7:04 PM 9/23/2018 – Maassen and Manafort | AfD and BfV are BFF! (With some BS…) | (The alleged FSB agent and neo-Nazi informant) Maassen is out as the German domestic spy chief but with promotion within his Interior Ministry. – M.N. 

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Директор Федеральной службы безопасности Александр Бортников и Министр обороны Сергей Шойгу перед началом заседания Военно-промышленной комиссии.

The latest news were discussed…

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Из альбома к материалу

19 сентября 2018 года Московская область, Кубинка

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AfD and BfV are BFF! (With some BS…)

(The alleged FSB agent and neo-Nazi informant) Maassen is out as the German domestic spy chief but with promotion within his Interior Ministry. (!)

Maassen and Manafort – Google Search 

Is this possible that Maassen did not know about Manafort’s shenanigans? Absolutely impossible. And now dive into this connection and its interconnected webs DEEPER. Who was really behind it? What are the connections with the other German Intelligence Services

5:45 AM 9/24/2018 – Update

Is Maassen just a convenient scapegoat or the designated fall guy? Who is behind him? 

What are his connections with Ernst Uhrlau and other personae? What are his possible connections with the hypothetical “New Abwehr“?

Investigate his and these complex, interconnected, social, professional, and political networks. Who should do this investigation? Those who are capable to and those who have to, irrespective of the country and the type of the investigative service. At the later stage the results of these investigations should be compiled, combined, and published. 

M.N. 

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Urban Dictionary: BFF
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German spy chief passed info to AfD: report | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW
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Top definition
BFF has two definitions
the most common of which is : Best Friends Foreverthe other is the complete opposite and is: Big Fat Fuck
Yo dude, that guy is my BFF, we have been friends our whole lives and we will until we die
Man that girl is such a BFF, she is so fat and annoying
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KIT!!! stay cool and don’t skip school!! sincerely, Britney. PS: BFF!
by Anonymous November 01, 2001
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German spy chief passed info to AfD: report | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW
 

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The relationship between Germany’s domestic spy chief, Hans-Georg Maassen, and the Alternative for Germany (AfD) came under renewed scrutiny on Thursday, when it was revealed that the head of the domestic intelligence service, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), had passed on information from his yearly report to the far-right populist party ahead of its publication.

AfD Bundestag member Stephan Brandner confirmed to public broadcaster ARD that Maassen had given him “numbers from the report” at a personal meeting on June 13, five weeks before it was released.

“We talked about different figures that are in there,” Brandner told ARD, including the number of Islamist extremists in the country. The BfV is tasked with tracking extremist groups inside Germany and determining whether they represent a danger, and brings out a report on its findings every summer.

Maassen has already faced intense pressure after an interview in which he questioned whether videos showing far-right violence in Chemnitz were authentic, directly contradicting Chancellor Angela Merkel’s statements.

  • BfV President Hans-Georg Maaßen (picture-alliance/dpa/R. Hirschberger)

    HANS-GEORG MAASSEN: A CONTROVERSIAL CAREER

    Shadowy figure

    Hans-Georg Maassen, the head of Germany’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) — the domestic intelligence service — is no stranger to controversy. Calls for him to step down have been a constant throughout his long career in the intelligence community.

  • Detainee at the US prison at Guantanamo (picture-alliance/dpa/R. Schmidt)

    HANS-GEORG MAASSEN: A CONTROVERSIAL CAREER

    Trouble in the Interior Ministry

    Maassen gained notoriety in 2002 while working for the German Interior Ministry and arguing that Murat Kurnaz, a German resident held in the US prison at Guantanamo for five years before being released, could not return to Germany because his residency had lapsed. Herta Däubler-Gmelin, who was justice minister at the time, called Maassen’s argument, “false, appalling and inhumane.”

  • BfV President Hans-Georg Maassen (picture-alliance/dpa/S. Pilick)

    HANS-GEORG MAASSEN: A CONTROVERSIAL CAREER

    Vows to restore trust

    In 2012, Maassen was tapped to lead Germany’s top spy agency. He promised to restore faith in the BfV, which was embroiled in controversy over its entanglement in the right-wing extremist scene and his predecessor’s decision to destroy files related to the neo-Nazi NSU murders.

  • BfV President Hans-Georg Maassen (picture-alliance/dpa/R. Hirschberger)

    HANS-GEORG MAASSEN: A CONTROVERSIAL CAREER

    First calls for firing

    Maassen has been accused of having “a troubled relationship with basic democratic principles” for his pursuit of bloggers on grounds of treason and trying to suppress negative stories on the BfV. In January 2017, he told parliament reports the BfV had undercover agents in the Islamist scene connected to the Berlin Christmas market attack were false. Records showing it did became public in 2018.

  • BfV President Hans-Georg Maaßen in Berlin (picture-alliance/dpa/K. Nietfeld)

    HANS-GEORG MAASSEN: A CONTROVERSIAL CAREER

    Sympathies for the right?

    Before Maassen made headlines by questioning the veracity of videos of right-wing protestors chasing foreigners through the streets of Chemnitz, he was under fire for advising right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD) on how to avoid scrutiny from his agency. Now he is accused of sharing confidential documents with the AfD before presenting them to the public.

    Author: Jon Shelton

Even before Thursday’s revelation, opposition parties had called on Maassen to resign over suspicions that he harbors right-wing sympathies and has a too-close relationship with the AfD. But until now he has been backed by his boss, conservative Interior Minister Horst Seehofer.

In a speech to the Bundestag on Thursday morning, Seehofer reiterated his support for the BfV president, and it now appears that Maassen’s future could become a new crisis point for Merkel’s government: Merkel, Seehofer, and Social Democrat leader Andrea Nahles held a special crisis meeting to discuss the issue. The group said that any decision on Maassen’s future would not be made before next Tuesday.

Routine information

Maassen quickly rejected any wrongdoing. In a statement to DW, the BfV press office said he had received “express instructions” from the Interior Ministry, which is responsible for the BfV, to speak to parliamentarians from all political parties, and to inform them regularly about potential national security threats.

“The [ARD report] gives the impression that information or documents were passed on without a legal foundation,” the statement said. “This is of course not the case.” The BfV press office would not comment on the exact content of the conversation with Brandner, on the grounds that these conversations are confidential.

The DPA news agency reported on Thursday that Maassen had had all of 237 personal conversations with politicians since he took over the post in 2012, only five of which had been with members of the AfD. The party, however, was only formed in 2013 and only entered the Bundestag after the last election in 2017.

Nevertheless, the political fallout from the revelation could still threaten the spy chief, especially in light of his contentious interview with Bild newspaper, in which he cast doubt on evidence of migrants being threatened on the streets of Chemnitz. Such doubts were also shared by the AfD.

Read moreLessons from Chemnitz: Eastern Germany’s right-wing protesters awash in anxiety

  • Wolf showing Hitler salute

    HITLER SALUTE WOLVES FIGHT FAR-RIGHT IN CHEMNITZ

    10 wolves in Chemnitz

    “The Wolves Are Back” is a series of 66 bronze statues of wolves. Some do the Hitler salute, which is usually banned in Germany. Artist Rainer Opolka says the work is meant to remind people of the threat of racism. Far-right sympathizers often use the wolf to describe themselves. The AfD’s Björn Höcke used the word recently; Hitler’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, used it as early as 1928.

  • Wolf showing Hitler salute with creator

    HITLER SALUTE WOLVES FIGHT FAR-RIGHT IN CHEMNITZ

    Touring Germany

    Opolka has brought his statues all around the country to places where racism and xenophobia are on display. They have been on show in Dresden during the anti-immigrant PEGIDA marches, and outside the Munich courthouse during the sentencing of Beate Zschäpe, a member of the neo-Nazi NSU terror cell.

  • Wolf showing Hitler salute with Karl Marx in background

    HITLER SALUTE WOLVES FIGHT FAR-RIGHT IN CHEMNITZ

    Ready for the far right

    When the far-right Pro Chemnitz group launches its newest rally on Friday, both the city’s famous Karl Marx statue and the wolves will be watching. While some of the wolves have an aggressive stance, others appear with blindfolds.

  • Wolf showing Hitler salute

    HITLER SALUTE WOLVES FIGHT FAR-RIGHT IN CHEMNITZ

    Chemnitz fights back

    After a series of far-right rallies in early September, Chemnitz has been trying to reclaim its image from the negative headlines. Large banners in the city center decry ethno-nationalism, and an anti-racism concert held under the banner “We are more” attracted some 65,000 people.

  • Wolf showing Hitler salute

    HITLER SALUTE WOLVES FIGHT FAR-RIGHT IN CHEMNITZ

    Tourist attraction

    Officials in Chemnitz have voiced their concern that the unrest will permanently damage the city’s image. They’ve gone to great lengths to distance themselves from the right-wing rallies, and have fast-tracked criminal proceedings for those who committed violence or broke hate-speech laws during the protests.

    Author: Elizabeth Schumacher

Time to go?

Even voices from the governing parties have joined in calls for Maassen’s dismissal. Lars Klingbeil, general secretary of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), junior partner in Angela Merkel’s governing coalition, tweeted on Thursday afternoon that, “for the SPD leadership it is completely clear that Maassen must go. Merkel must act now.”

Konstantin von Notz, interior policy spokesman for the opposition Green party, took a more nuanced view. While acknowledging that the meeting between Brandner and Maassen was unusual, the revelation that he may have passed on figures about Islamists was less interesting than the fact that the pair had apparently discussed the BfV’s budget.

“This is secret, and can only be discussed among very few Bundestag members in the parliament’s confidential committee,” he told DW.

Read moreMigration ‘mother of all political problems,’ says German interior minister

The pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) has also made its mind up about Maassen. The party’s interior policy spokesman, Konstantin Kuhle, told DPA on Thursday that the BfV head was “not neutral” about the AfD, and thus had to go, because of the “general impression after the events of the last few weeks and months.”

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Seehofer will Maaßen nicht entlassen

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Der deutsche Innenminister Horst Seehofer hat in der Debatte um die Zukunft des Verfassungsschutzpräsidenten Hans-Georg Maaßen dessen …
Hans-Georg Maaßen – Wikipedia
 

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Controversy[edit]

2013 mass surveillance disclosures[edit]

During the 2013 mass surveillance disclosures, German media reported that Maaßen visited the headquarters of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) in January and May. According to classifieddocuments of the German government, Maaßen had agreed to transfer all data collected by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution via XKeyscore to the NSA.[5]

Snowden question[edit]

In June 2016 he questioned whether Edward Snowden was working for Russian intelligence, and Snowden sent a sarcastic response in perfect German.[6]

Ob Maaßen Agent des SVR oder FSB ist, kann derzeit nicht belegt werden. (Whether Maaßen is an agent of the SVR or FSB [two Russian security services] cannot be currently determined.)

Cooperation with the FSB had also been suggested by Oleg Kalugin, at least since Snowden’s arrival in Russia.[7]

7:49 AM 9/23/2018 – Operation “Trump Card” – Google Search – Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
 

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M.N.: “Brexit” serves the same purpose as the Operation “Trump Card”: to displace the Anglo-Saxon, English speaking culture and political sphere of influence from Europe, including Eastern Europe and Ukraine, for the benefits of German domination. It looks as a quite straightforward, simple, “black and white” type of the historical competition, with these operations brilliantly performed from the technical … Continue reading“7:49 AM 9/23/2018 – Operation “Trump Card” – Google Search – Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks “

Trump vows to rid Justice Department, FBI of ‘lingering stench’ – Chicago Tribune
 

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A partner in Germany’s governing coalition withdrew from a deal to transfer one of the country’s top intelligence officials to another post, citing public outrage at the settlement.

Rosenstein Denies That He Discussed Recording Trump, Invoking 25th Amendment – New Hampshire Public Radio
 

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Andrew McCabe drafted memos to memorialize significant discussions he had with high-level officials and preserved them so he would have an accurate, contemporaneous record of those discussions,” said his lawyer, Michael Bromwich. “He has no …
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One original source for the account may have been a memorandum written by then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who was keeping his own set of written records of what he experienced — just as his former boss, onetime FBI Director James Comey, …
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German Coalition Party Pulls Out of Deal on Spy Chief

mikenova shared this story from WSJ.com: World News.

A partner in Germany’s governing coalition withdrew from a deal to transfer one of the country’s top intelligence officials to another post, citing public outrage at the settlement.

Rosenstein Denies That He Discussed Recording Trump, Invoking 25th Amendment – New Hampshire Public Radio

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Rosenstein Denies That He Discussed Recording Trump, Invoking 25th Amendment
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Andrew McCabe drafted memos to memorialize significant discussions he had with high-level officials and preserved them so he would have an accurate, contemporaneous record of those discussions,” said his lawyer, Michael Bromwich. “He has no …

The Russia Investigations: Rod Rosenstein On The Razor’s Edge – KALW

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The Russia Investigations: Rod Rosenstein On The Razor’s Edge
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One original source for the account may have been a memorandum written by then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who was keeping his own set of written records of what he experienced — just as his former boss, onetime FBI Director James Comey, …

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The German domestic intelligence agency, BfV, has reportedly decided to scrutinize the activities of Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DİTİB) in order to …

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German Coalition Party Pulls Out of Deal on Spy Chief

Wall Street JournalSep 21, 2018
BERLIN—An agreement reached four days ago to stabilize German … to the transfer of the domestic intelligence chief to a new position at the interior ministry.

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German spy caught praising white supremacist group

The TimesSep 21, 2018
German intelligence officer has been caught boasting of his sympathies for a white supremacist movement, raising fears that the far right is infiltrating the …

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German coalition to reconsider firing and promotion of ex-intelligence

Deutsche WelleSep 21, 2018
Maassen was forced out from his post as the head of Germany’s BfV intelligence agency after publically disputing the authenticity of a video shot during the …

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German leaders to review botched firing of spy chief

POLITICO.euSep 21, 2018
… said Friday they will review their heavily-criticized decision to fire the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency by promoting him to a better-paid post.

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Germans angry over spy chief’s promotion after comments

KIRO SeattleSep 21, 2018
BERLIN (AP) – A spat over Germany’s domestic intelligence chief flared up again Friday, after a center-left party in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government said it …

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SPD wants to unpick spymaster deal that has hobbled German …

ReutersSep 21, 2018
SPD wants to unpick spymaster deal that has hobbled German government … Maassen, head of the BfV domestic intelligence agency, had faced accusations of …

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Seehofer popularity drops amid intelligence chief scandal: poll

POLITICO.euSep 21, 2018
Seehofer popularity drops amid intelligence chief scandal: poll ….. About 59 percent of Germansparticipating in a poll by German public broadcaster ARD said …
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Head of German intelligence replaced over Chemnitz row

Irish TimesSep 18, 2018
The head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency is being replaced after clashing with chancellor Angela Merkel over anti-migrant violence …

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AfD youth wing under observation by German intelligence

Financial TimesSep 3, 2018
The youth wing of the far-right Alternative for Germany is officially under observation by the country’s domestic intelligence service, in a move …

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Germany’s Intelligence Chief Loses Post Over Comments on Far-Right …

Wall Street JournalSep 18, 2018
BERLIN—The German government is replacing a top intelligence official less than two weeks after he made comments that appeared to play …

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German intelligence chief at odds with Angela Merkel as he says no …

Telegraph.co.ukSep 7, 2018
German intelligence chief at odds with Angela Merkel as he says no … That put him at odds with Mrs Merkel, the German chancellor, who spoke …

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German government seeks to end standoff over spy chief

ABC News6 hours ago
The leaders of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing coalition … domestic intelligence chief and stabilize their six-month-old alliance.
German coalition meet to reevaluate Maassen compromise
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Will Brexit make the EU more pro-Russian? – EURACTIV.com
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Asked if Brexit will make the EU more pro-Russian, international experts with different backgrounds approached by <a href=”http://euractiv.com” rel=”nofollow”>euractiv.com</a> were not unanimous in their assessment. However, all said that without the UK, the EU will be weaker internationally.

Michael Emerson, Associate Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies and former EU Ambassador to Moscow, said that Brexit would tilt the EU toward a softer stance vis-à-vis Russia.

Emerson cited the heavily-read article in the Guardian by David Miliband, the former UK foreign secretary, who said that those who will celebrate the morning after a British vote to leave will not be Germany, France or the rest of the EU. It would be Marine Le Pen, Vladimir Putin, and perhaps Donald Trump.

Emerson pointed out the the Litvinenko affair, which has helped position the UK amongst hardliners in the EU, vis-à-vis Russia.

Alexander Litvinenko, a former officer in the Russian secret services, who received political asylum in the UK, fell victim to radioactive polonium poisoning in 2006. Subsequent investigations by British authorities into the circumstances of Litvinenko’s death led to serious diplomatic difficulties between the British and Russian governments.

Contrasting ends of the spectrum

Among the anti-Moscow hardliners in the EU is Poland, a country marked by the 1940 Katyn massacre, in which some 22,000 Polish officers and intelligentsia were executed on the orders of Stalin.

In contrast, member states such as Italy, Greece, Bulgaria have always been considered pro-Russian. In recent years, a rapprochement with Russia has been visible under Hungary’s PM Viktor Orbán, as well as in Slovakia under Robert Fico. But even France is seen as accommodating to Russia, and found it hard to cancel a sale of Mistral-class helicopter carriers because of Moscow’s war in Ukraine.

FRANCE SUSPENDS MISTRAL DELIVERY TO RUSSIA

France will not deliver the first of two helicopter carriers to Russia for now because of Moscow’s actions in eastern Ukraine, the French president’s office said yesterday (3 September).

Regarding Germany, the country appears to be inhibited by its recent history to strongly oppose Russia. It is also seen as being too friendly to Gazprom, and support for the Nord Stream 2 project has become a divisive factor in the EU.

TUSK JOINS ‘VISEGRAD FOUR’ IN ATTACK ON NORD STREAM 2

The ‘Visegrad Four’ countries (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary) found a powerful ally at the EU summit which ended today (18 December) in the person of Council President Donald Tusk, who repeated most of their arguments against the Germany-favoured project.

“The UK tends towards the harder end of the spectrum of EU member states, not as deeply so as Poland or the Baltic states, but with much less weight given to commercial interests than in Germany or Italy for example. The Litvinenko polonium affair also introduces a fair amount of political poison into the relationship. So overall, the weighting of views in the Council of Foreign Ministers would be tilted a bit towards the softer end of the spectrum,”  Emerson said.

Morgan Palmer, a visiting scholar at the SWP Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, argued that Brexit served Russia’s overarching goal of weakening the EU. Officially, Russia denies pursuing such goal.

CHIZHOV: I WONDER WHY PEOPLE THINK RUSSIA WANTS TO BREAK UP EU

There are people who believe that everything that happens in the world should be attributed to the Kremlin and personally to President Vladimir Putin, but this is not the case on many occasions, the Russian Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizov told EURACTIV in an exclusive interview.

“It is well known that Russia would prefer to deal with the individual nation states of the EU separately rather than as a collective unit. Russia’s preference would be division and less integration of the European member states,” Palmer said.

The analyst further argued that Brexit could start a trend of member states questioning their own membership.

“There have been articles and discussions of the possibility of Poland and France succumbing to the same cries for a referendum that Britain is now in the process of and perhaps more would follow this domino effect depending on the outcome of a Brexit and the success that it has in re-establishing itself outside the EU. The looming threat of another Scottish referendum on independence if Britain does decide to leave could also provide a further catalyst for the splitting of individual member states resulting in further divisions which may well be beneficial from a Russian perspective,” Palmer said.

In the case of Brexit, Germany would have even more influence, he further argued.

“The loss of a significant contributor to the EU budget, compounded with the fact that France is in real danger of an economic recession, it is likely that Germany would gain even more influence over the EU. There has been much debate about whether Germany can try and maintain its position as a country between East and West. Yet, it was Germany that called for intervention in the Ukraine conflict, Palmer reminded.

But he said that a lot depended on Germany assuming real leadership,

“Thus, Germany could in fact create strong resistance to Russia’s relations with Europe. This, however, depends on whether Germany would choose to lead Europe to further integration upon the exit of Britain, or permit it to continue coping with crises but not solving the underlying problems,” Palmer concluded.

Roman Rukomeda, an independent analyst in Ukraine, said that Brexit would not necessarily make the EU more pro-Russian, but in any case, the Union would become weaker. He referred to the recent Dutch referendum against the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement as an early warning of further disintegration. He also hinted that Russia was pushing in this direction with money and covert activity.

DUTCH VOTERS REJECT EU-UKRAINE ASSOCIATION

Dutch voters on Wednesday (6 April) rejected a European pact with Ukraine in a referendum seen as a barometer of anti-EU feeling, dealing an embarrassing blow to the government in charge of the rotating EU presidency, sending shockwaves throughout the Union.

“Brexit can become the real starter of the EU’s disintegration process. After the referendum in Netherlands on the Ukraine-EU association, Brexit is pushing the trend on European Union’s internal conflict. No doubt it is done with the help of Russian influence, especially political, financial and informational resources. The issue of the UK referendum, irrespective of its result, is already making EU weaker as a political player. It has negative impact on EU’s ability to deal with Russia and it is giving the Kremlin the assurance that its divide-and-rule tactics are quite effective,” Rukomeda said.

The Ukrainian analyst said that this does not mean that the EU will necessarily be more pro-Russian. “It will just be weaker to react on continuous Russian pressure and attempts to create as many conflict lines inside EU as possible. The European Union will not become more pro-Russian. It will just become less pro-European,” Rukomeda said.

He further referred to the issue of EU sanctions against Russia, seen by Ukraine as vital for leveraging the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

“It also will give good ground for many Russian friends in France, Austria, Hungary, Germany, Italy and some other countries to feel that it is time to push on Brussels for taking away the sanctions against Russia. After, it may happen that the EU will finally lose its mandate to proclaimEuropean values and human rights as its highest priority. Instead, it will become clear that only profit is the main value of many European capitals,” Rukomeda said. He added that for Ukraine, it was better to have no illusions and be able to defend itself by all possible means.

Danila Bochkarev, Senior Fellow at the East-West Institute, sees Brexit as unlikely. But in the event of Brexit, he sees the ties between the UK, where a large part of the Russian elite has invested its wealth in real estate, becoming even stronger.

“I think Brexit is a bit too theoretical to discuss it at this stage, especially in the foreign policy area. My take is that nothing will really change in an unlikely event of Brexit. I see only ties between Moscow and London getting stronger – indeed despite often harsh rhetoric and serious political disagreements the financial link between the UK and Russia is strong and will get stronger in case of Brexit”, Bochkarev said.

He did not anticipate major changes in EU-Russia relations, and stressed that UK-Russia and the Russia-US relations had more relevance in geopolitical terms.

“The UK, as a member of the UN Security Council and a member of nuclear club is and will be an important interlocutor for Russia. As for Ukraine, I think the resolution of Ukraine crisis is more affected by the changing dynamics in the US – Russia relations, than by Moscow’s relations with Brussels,” Bochkarev said.

Piotr Kazczynski, a Polish-born analyst with vast Brussels experience, was even more pessimistic, pondering the ultimate disintegration of the EU itself.

“Brexit impact would have a terrible impact on EU’s capacity worldwide,” he told EURACTIV.

“First, inside of the EU, it could trigger a domino effect (eg in the Netherlands or Finland… or even in France in 2017).

“Second, it would substantially diminish the EU’s clout, be it political (such as transatlantic relations would now be largely based on Germany-US ties) or military (the UK’s military capacity can be only matched by France in the EU).

“In effect, it would further push EU into internal turmoil without much capacity to deal with any major international matters. Effectively this could mean that the political Europe, if it meant a power to impact world affairs, is gone, and Europe is at best relegated to be a secondary regional actor.

“At worst, it could enter a path of disintegration.”

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Pussy Riot Activist May Have Been Poisoned, German Doctors Say

New York TimesSep 18, 2018
BERLIN — German doctors treating a Pussy Riot activist who lost his sight, … Moscow of using a highly sophisticated nerve agent in a botched attempt to … the soccer World Cup final on July 15 that was attended by Mr. Putin.
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Your Friday News Briefing: RussiaBrexit, Puerto Rico

New York TimesSep 20, 2018
(Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the sign-up.) Good morning. Russia’s plot to subvert an election, E.U. leaders’ united front on Brexit …

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Macron urges EU leaders to stand firm against Theresa May

The GuardianSep 20, 2018
Macron urges EU leaders to stand firm against Theresa May … EU membership had to be the priority in the dying days of the Brexit negotiations. …. We have problems with Mr Trump about tariffs, sanctions with RussiaBrexit, …

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Brexit latest: EU leaders spark fury suggesting UK should hold second …

Express.co.ukSep 20, 2018
Brexit latest: EU leaders spark fury suggesting UK should hold second …. EU leaders for Britain to hold a second referendum on membership of the union. … problems with Mr Trump about tariffs, sanctions with RussiaBrexit, …

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Why a second Brexit referendum is unlikely

POLITICO.euSep 21, 2018
But that’s still not a second referendum on EU membership — it’s a vote on the terms of the divorce. Take a look at the Labour Party’s internal …
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Vote Leave data firm hit with first ever GDPR notice

BBC NewsSep 20, 2018
It was also used by pro-Brexit youth group BeLeave. … Earlier this year it was linked to UK data firm Cambridge Analytica by … Cambridge Analytica has been credited with helping Donald Trump win the US presidential election in 2016. … Following the allegations, Facebook suspended both firms from its …

The Economist asksIs democracy safe in the age of big data?

The EconomistAug 25, 2018
He built up the data team at Cambridge Analytica and then resigned … in both the American presidential election in 2016 and the Brexit vote …

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Brexit’s data bogeyman

POLITICO.euAug 26, 2018
It’s a sure-fire bet that no one who voted for Brexit gave two thoughts about how … including terrorist threats and state-backed meddling in national elections. The rest of us (no matter if you’re in Madrid, Manchester or Milan) … agency worldwide to fine Facebook for its role in the Cambridge Analytica case.).

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Farage-Linked Brexit Pollster Faces Scrutiny Over Operations

BloombergSep 5, 2018
The polling firm also has surfaced in two other investigations related to UKIP … or perverting the course of justice, which is akin to obstruction in the U.S. … Cambridge Analytica worked with the pro-Brexit side, though the extent of … reported paying to Constituency Polling in 2015 election-spending reports.

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Cambridge Analytica helped ‘cheat’ Brexit vote and US election …

POLITICO.euMar 27, 2018
Cambridge Analytica helped ‘cheat’ Brexit vote and US election, claims … outcome of both the U.S. presidential election and the U.K.’s Brexit referendum, … for the Vote Leave campaign ahead of the 2016 Brexit referendum.

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Here’s everything you need to know about the Cambridge Analytica …

CNBCMar 21, 2018
Cambridge Analytica is in the midst of a media firestorm after an undercover sting … the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the Brexit vote. Both … Wylie, who revealed the alleged practices to bothnewspapers.
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Hugh Trevor-Roper: the spy as historian, the historian as spy

Spectator.co.ukSep 17, 2014
But what excited most interest by now was ‘the Cambridge spies‘. … this dedicated Soviet agent might have come to head our secret service.

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Secrecy and firing squads: Britain’s ruthless war on Nazi spies

The GuardianAug 28, 2016
They were agents of the Abwehr, the German military intelligence service, and their mission was to reconnoitre England’s south coast for the …

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Geordie Shore’s Chantelle Connelly flaunts her busty assets and bum …

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Ordering cider at 10am, cycling on the wrong side of the road and …

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Russian Trolls Stole Real US Identities to Hide in Plain Sight

WIREDFeb 16, 2018
According to the indictment, the Russians not only created Paypal … it suggests that disinformation operation didn’t hesitate to resort to outright …

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‘I was shocked it was so easy’: ​meet the professor who says facial …

The GuardianJul 7, 2018
Five years ago, while a graduate student at Cambridge University, he showed … That would be enough to make Kosinski interesting to the Russian cabinet. ….. If you basically accept we’re just computers, then computers are not guilty of crime … Kosinski hesitates, saying that “crime” is an overly blunt label.

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Fears for public after Russian spy is ‘poisoned’ on British street …

Daily MailMar 5, 2018
‘I know that Mr Putin’s Russia does not accept the findings of the British public inquiry and will … I had no hesitation in accepting. … But Keir Giles, the director of the Conflict Studies Research Center in Cambridge said he ‘would be …. He added: ‘He had been here for quite a while, five years I should think.

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Another president for life? Putin has Russia guessing before election …

South China Morning PostMar 13, 2018
Putin has Russia guessing before election: how long will he keep power? … Told a hijacked jet was bound for Sochi Olympics, Putin didn’t hesitate … Putin’s but the ruling elite could accept him as a tried-and-tested proxy for Putin. … The day before yesterday I slept for four hours, last night I got five hours.”.

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Facebook’s Reckoning

WIREDFeb 12, 2018
Facebook announces that a Russian group paid $100,000 for roughly 3,000 ads …. “Without hesitation, with clarity and boldness, Mark said there is only one ….. right now; he’s interested in the problems fiveor 20 years from now. ….. acceptance of our User Agreement (updated 5/25/18) and Privacy Policy …
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How Whistleblower Christopher Wylie Is Seeking Redemption After …

TIMESep 20, 2018
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Data Firms Team up to Prevent the Next Cambridge Analytica Scandal

WIREDSep 17, 2018
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Younger People Were More Likely to React to Facebook’s Cambridge …

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Aleksandr Kogan: The link between Cambridge Analytica and Facebook

CBS NewsSep 2, 2018
The man who mined that data for Cambridge Analytica is a scientist named Aleksandr Kogan. He’s at the center of the Facebook controversy …

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The Silver Lining of Cambridge Analytica: A Better Way to Capture …

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Robert Mueller is zeroing in on someone with ties to Cambridge …

Fast CompanyAug 31, 2018
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Double Cross: the True Story of D-Day Spies by Ben Macintyre: review

Telegraph.co.ukApr 30, 2012
Throughout the war, the German Abwehr intelligence department was … Jebsen was seized on the orders of Georg Hansen, the new Abwehr chief, … decline and the revelations of Soviet moles in our intelligence services.
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Germany to Fight Alone to Review EU Policy Against US Sanctions …

Sputnik InternationalAug 29, 2018
Germany was for the economic sanctions against Russia when Italy and … Merkel was also involved in the Ukraine crisis to serve the US interests. … US is working against the German domination, but be sure Germany will be …

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Russia’s Controversial Nord Stream 2 Pipeline May Now Be …

ForbesSep 5, 2018
… Russia to shut down its existing pipeline bringing gas to the EU through Ukraine. … Russian gas currently accounts for just 4.3% of German power … (the fear of Russian energy domination) as a justification for rejecting the …

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Behind Anglo-US war on Russia

<a href=”http://newagebd.net” rel=”nofollow”>newagebd.net</a>Sep 12, 2018
Mackinder added, ‘This might happen if Germany were to ally herself … threat to Anglo-American global domination, and to destroy the prospect of … At the time, Ukraine was the prime energy pipeline link feeding the German …

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Making Europe financially independent, one transaction at a time

Handelsblatt Global EditionAug 28, 2018
Last week, Germany’s foreign minister made headlines around the world …. large Russian banks after Russia’s military interference in Ukraine, …
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The New York Times Magazine

New York TimesSep 13, 2017
After RT and Sputnik gave platforms to politicians behind the British vote to leave … that “Russia Today and Sputnik were agents of influence which on … to “break the monopoly of the Anglo-Saxon global information streams,” as ….. with which Russian had strong ethnic, cultural and political ties: “Our Slavic …

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The Far-Right Book Every Russian General Reads

Daily BeastFeb 26, 2018
… heard of Alexander Dugin, the 56-year-old political philosopher and … In 1999, he became special adviser to then-Duma speaker Gennady Seleznev. … translated into English, not even in a version sponsored by the CIA. … Nonetheless, in revenge for a disintegrated Russian sphere of influence, Dugin …

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Myths of British ancestry

ProspectSep 11, 2015
The first settlers were unlikely to have spoken a Celtic language but … of Celtic and Anglo-Saxon ethnicity based on more recent invasions.

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Does Spanish Matter?

Forbes (blog)May 26, 2011
Is the English language the world’s only virtual superpower? … culture via land, language, and law (the common law, which originated in Anglo-Saxon culture). … of debate – the sphere model for evaluating cultural influence strikes a chord with anyone following the … But in the Latinosphere, politics matter.
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Michael Moore Plays His Trump Card: A New Movie, Modern Fascism …

Hollywood ReporterSep 5, 2018
As for 2020, Moore adds, “As things stand right now, everybody should operate as if it’s a two-term Trump,” but if the Dems are to unseat him, …

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The ‘Trump effect’ and world diplomacy

Daily SabahSep 20, 2018
The new strategy plan is likely to foil the economic operation, which seems to be the last trump card of the United States. Nowadays, Turkey is …

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Can Europe resist Tiger’s roar? Woods has fallen in love with the …

Daily Mail13 hours ago
… fallen in love with the Ryder Cup and could be America’s trump card …. to 1,199 last December as he recovered from a fourth back operation.

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Schofield: Top developmental trait and trump card for every rookie first …

Pro Football WeeklySep 7, 2018
Mayfield certainly does not fit the mold of a traditional NFL quarterback, given his height and his experience operating in a wide-open offense in …

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Press review: Italy’s ‘trump card‘ with Russia and US ‘mission creep’ in …

TASSSep 7, 2018
Press review: Italy’s ‘trump card‘ with Russia and US ‘mission creep’ in Syria … opposes the beginning of a large-scale military operation there.
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May vows to hold nerve after Brexit talks hit impasse

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The Sunday Times reported that her aides had begun contingency planning for a November snap election to help save the Brexit talks and her …
Brexit Is Just One Of Many European Problems
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UK PM May Delivers Brexit Statement
BlogBloomberg (blog)Sep 21, 2018
Embattled UK leader defiant after Brexit plan attacked
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Merkel’s Spy Chief, a Hero to the Far Right, Is Removed After Public Rift
Sat, 22 Sep 2018 14:34:57 -0400

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BERLIN — Germany’s chief of domestic intelligence was removed from his post on Tuesday after a public rift with Chancellor Angela Merkel raised questions about whether Germany’s security apparatus was too sympathetic to the far right to monitor its links to neo-Nazi groups effectively.

Following far-right protests in the eastern city of Chemnitz, Hans-Georg Maassen, the spy chief, questioned the authenticity of a video showing an immigrant being chased by far-right protesters, directly contradicting the chancellor.

Since then, calls for his resignation had increased. But on far-right forums and rallies, Mr. Maassen has been celebrated as a hero and a defender of “truth.”

The standoff had become the latest test for an ever-weaker and embattled chancellor, whose fragile government depends on support from both the left and the increasingly emboldened right wing of her own coalition. Unable to fire her rebellious chief spy without risking the collapse of her government, Ms. Merkel agreed to have him promoted into a senior position in the Interior Ministry, with a higher salary.

Spies are paid to be invisible — to stay under the radar of the public eye and above the fray of politics. Germany’s chief spy did neither.

Mr. Maassen’s unapologetic stance won him status with the far right and called into question his political neutrality. It also revived longstanding concerns about a tradition of negligence inside the German security services when it comes to far-right extremism.

His predecessor was dismissed six years ago, after it became clear that his agency had destroyed documents pertaining to a series of far-right terrorist attacks on immigrants, which had initially been blamed on other immigrants and become known as the “kebab murders.”

An underground neo-Nazi group, the N.S.U., killed 10 immigrants over seven years through 2007, as paid informers of the intelligence service helped hide the group’s leaders and build up its network. The case has become a byword for the failure of Germany’s postwar security apparatus to monitor and control far-right extremism.

Mr. Maassen was appointed to give the intelligence agency, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, a new start. Its founding mission when created in the aftermath of World War II was to protect against the rise of political forces — primarily another Nazi party — that could once again threaten Germany’s democracy.

That made questions about Mr. Maassen’s political sympathies — and whether he was capable of monitoring neo-Nazi groups and their possible links to far-right politicians — all the more troubling to many lawmakers and analysts.

One powerful obstacle to removing Mr. Maassen more swiftly was his immediate boss and close ally, the interior minister, Horst Seehofer, who leads the Bavarian conservatives, a key component of the chancellor’s center-right coalition.

Mr. Maassen and Mr. Seehofer have never made a secret of their shared disapproval of Ms. Merkel’s 2015 decision not to close the border to hundreds of thousands of migrants coming mostly from the Middle East.

Mr. Seehofer was an adamant proponent of re-establishing border controls with Austria to head off illegal immigrants, and almost brought down Ms. Merkel’s governing coalition this summer over the issue.

The interior minister appeared to defend his colleague even as he authorized his removal. “Mr. Seehofer values his competency in questions of public security, but Mr. Maassen will not be responsible for the Office of the Protection of the Constitution,” the government said in a terse statement.

It said Mr. Maassen would be reassigned as an under secretary in the interior ministry. As for the domestic intelligence agency, the statement added, Mr. Seehofer would name a replacement on Wednesday.

The announcement of Mr. Maassen’s new assignment was met with outrage by many politicians and commentators. “Maassen has destroyed the trust in the intelligence service with untruths,” Robert Habeck, co-leader of the Greens, wrote on Twitter. “He is rewarded with a promotion.”

Some had speculated that Mr. Maassen’s recent comments, which appeared to deliberately play down far-right violence, were a calculated attempt by him and Mr. Seehofer to further weaken and eventually topple Ms. Merkel.

“This looks like a putsch attempt,” said Matthias Quent, director of the Institute for Democracy and Civil Society in Jena and an expert on the far right, including the rise of the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany, or AfD, now the biggest opposition party in Parliament. “The whole episode shows how much the success of the AfD has weakened the chancellor.”

Two weeks ago, Mr. Maassen gave an interview to Germany’s best-selling tabloid newspaper, Bild, in which he suggested that a widely circulated video of a dark-skinned man being chased by a number of white men, during riotous protests in Chemnitz at the end of August, was a fake.

He later backpedaled on his claims, saying he had been “misunderstood.” It was not the video that was inauthentic, but the interpretation of it, he suggested.

But Mr. Maassen’s initial comments, vetted and authorized by him before publication, were hardly ambiguous: “There is no evidence that the video circulating on the internet about this purported event is authentic,” he told Bild.

There were, he said, “good reasons to believe that this was a case of targeted misinformation” — possibly, he added, “to distract from the murder in Chemnitz.”

Mr. Maassen, a trained lawyer, used the word “murder” even as prosecutors investigating the death of a German man, allegedly at the hands of an Iraqi and a Syrian refugee, referred to “manslaughter.”

It was not the first time that Mr. Maassen had come under scrutiny for what some saw as indications of far-right sympathies. He had met several times with senior members of the Alternative for Germany, or AfD, in at least one case on his own initiative.

In 2015, he met at least twice with the AfD leader at the time, Frauke Petry. According to Franziska Schreiber, a former AfD member, who has since left the party and written a book about it, Mr. Maassen was advising Ms. Petry on how to avoid surveillance by state authorities. Mr. Maassen denies this.

Mr. Maassen also met at least three times with Alexander Gauland, the current co-leader of the party, who has recently referred to 12 years of Nazi rule as a mere “bird poop” in history.

Mr. Gauland recently defended Mr. Maassen as “a very good top official who had the courage to criticize Merkel’s completely misdirected asylum policy.”

In June, Mr. Maassen shared details from an intelligence report with Stefan Brandner, an AfD lawmaker, a month before the report became public.

At a time when a growing number of politicians are calling for Mr. Maassen’s agency to conduct surveillance of some of the AfD’s regional chapters because of suspected links to far-right extremists, the doubts about his neutrality have intensified concerns that his office might be too lenient on the far right.

Some regional heads of his agency have urged more support from the federal level, but so far, they say, with little success.

“Instead of monitoring far-right groups that are of concern, the head of domestic intelligence spreads conspiracy theories in a tabloid newspaper; it is incomprehensible,” Mr. Quent said.

The number of politicians calling for Mr. Maassen’s ouster had steadily grown, with the Greens and the Social Democrats, Ms. Merkel’s coalition partners, being the most vocal.

By contrast, only 5 percent of AfD voters wanted him gone, according to a survey commissioned by Spiegel magazine.

“Thank you, Mr. Maassen, for the truth,” read one placard, during a far-right march in the eastern city of Koethen last weekend, while far-right bloggers like Oliver Flesch, called him “one of the rare responsible voices up there.”

Melissa Eddy contributed reporting.

A version of this article appears in print on

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Germany’s Spy Chief, Favorite of the Far Right, Is Removed

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Merkel coalition under renewed pressure over U-turn on spy chief row
Sat, 22 Sep 2018 14:29:49 -0400

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Angela Merkel’s government is to reconsider a controversial promotion for Germany’s outspoken domestic intelligence chief,  further threatening the unity of the chancellor’s fragile coalition.

Hans-Georg Maassen was removed as head of the BfV intelligence service this week amid concerns he was interfering in politics after he publicly contradicted the chancellor over far-Right protests in the city of Chemnitz.

Mr Maassen’s fate has already divided Mrs Merkel’s coalition partners. The centre-Left Social Democrats (SPD) demanded his dismissal while Horst Seehofer, the interior minister and leader of the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), backed the intelligence chief.

Under a compromise deal designed to keep all sides happy, Mr Maassen was due to move to a more senior position at the interior ministry. But in a sign of growing tensions within the coalition, the SPD demanded a rethink on Friday amid growing public opposition.

“The consistently negative reactions from the population show that we were wrong, and that we lost trust instead of restoring it, which should give us cause to pause and reconsider,” Andrea Nahles, the SPD leader, wrote in a letter to her coalition partners.

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Watch: Russian President Vladimir Putin shows off his sharpshooting …

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<a href=”http://KING5.com” rel=”nofollow”>KING5.com</a>3 hours ago

<a href=”https://twitter.com/PutinRF_Eng” rel=”nofollow”>https://twitter.com/PutinRF_Eng</a>
3 days ago –
Visit to Patriot military-patriotic park en.kremlin.ru/events/pres… pic.twitter.com/TFy0tU9Pv…

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Who Putin Is Not

The Nation.Sep 20, 2018
Putin is an evil man, and he is intent on evil deeds.” … We must prevent the darkness of Mr. Putin’sworld from befalling more of humanity.”.
Putin Pushes Gas Deals as His Approval Falters at Home
The National Interest Online (blog)Sep 20, 2018

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poroshenko merkel – Google Search

Sat, 22 Sep 2018 14:11:51 -0400

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Merkel plans to visit Ukraine in November – Poroshenko

Ukrinform. Ukraine and world newsAug 28, 2018
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko stated this while speaking at a meeting with heads of foreign diplomatic institutions of Ukraine, …
Merkel to visit Ukraine in autumn, – Poroshenko
112 International (blog)Aug 28, 2018
In the fall of Merkel will visit Ukraine
The Siver PostAug 28, 2018
Merkel to visit Ukraine early November
InternationalUNIANAug 28, 2018
Merkel to visit Ukraine in early November
InternationalKyiv PostAug 28, 2018

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Merkel personally supported Ukraine’s NATO prospects – Ukraine envoy

UNIANSep 4, 2018
… phone and met more frequently than President Poroshenko. In addition, it was Merkel who initiated the Minsk process for Donbas settltment.

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Donald Trump HITS OUT at Germany for paying Russia ‘BILLIONS’ for …

Express.co.ukSep 18, 2018
Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko said the project is “political bribe … Mass opposition to the pipeline has also come from Angela Merkel’s ..
Flash – Ukrainian leader Poroshenko suing BBC for libel: lawyer
Sat, 22 Sep 2018 13:44:39 -0400

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KIEV (AFP) -Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko is suing British broadcaster BBC for libel over an article that said Kiev paid $400,000 to secure a meeting with US leader Donald Trump last year.

Poroshenko issued the libel claim, seen by AFP, over an article published in May this year that said Kiev paid Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen a “secret payment of at least $400,000” to “fix talks” between Poroshenko and Trump in the White House in June 2017.

The claim, filed through a British law firm, says the news story damaged Poroshenko’s “political and business” reputation and caused him “substantial distress and embarrassment”.

It added that the allegation of “serious corruption” was especially damaging because of Poroshenko’s “promotion of a number of anti-corruption measures in Ukraine”.

A spokesman for the BBC told AFP that it “cannot comment on this ongoing case”.

The article, which was also used in a televised report, was based on “sources in Kiev close to those involved”.

It said a “high ranking Ukrainian intelligence officer” told the BBC the payment was made as Kiev’s embassy in Washington “could get Poroshenko little more than a brief photo-op with Trump”.

Poroshenko met with Trump in the White House in June 2017.

There was speculation ahead of the meeting that Trump would refuse to meet the Ukrainian leader.

Washington did not announce the sit-down in advance — as is customary — and when it was described, the White House called it a “drop-in” with the US president.

For three years, ties between Washington and Kiev have been dominated by efforts to contain a destabilising Russia-backed rebellion in eastern Ukraine.

The crisis has left 10,000 dead and heightened tensions between the West and the Kremlin.

Kiev has been concerned by Trump often appearing reluctant to put pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin to solve the crisis.

Ukrainians are scheduled to go to polls to elect a president next March.

Poroshenko, who took office in 2014, is widely expected to run but has not yet made an official announcement.

Corruption was among the top reasons that prompted Ukrainians to take to the streets and oust a Kremlin-backed regime in early 2014.

But Ukrainian and Western observers have repeatedly questioned pro-Western Poroshenko’s resolve to reform the country’s kleptocratic system.

© 2018 AFP

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Ukrainian leader Poroshenko suing BBC for libel: lawyer

FRANCE 24Sep 21, 2018
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko is suing British broadcaster BBC for libel over an article that said Kiev paid $400,000 to secure a …
Ukraine will not allow Russian revenge – Poroshenko
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german intelligence – Google Search
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Head of German intelligence replaced over Chemnitz row

Irish TimesSep 18, 2018
The head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency is being replaced after clashing with chancellor Angela Merkel over anti-migrant violence …

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Germany’s Intelligence Chief Loses Post Over Comments on Far-Right …

Wall Street JournalSep 18, 2018
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AfD youth wing under observation by German intelligence

Financial TimesSep 3, 2018
The youth wing of the far-right Alternative for Germany is officially under observation by the country’s domestic intelligence service, in a move …

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German coalition to reconsider firing and promotion of ex-intelligence

Deutsche WelleSep 21, 2018
Maassen was forced out from his post as the head of Germany’s BfV intelligence agency after publically disputing the authenticity of a video …
Sat, 22 Sep 2018 12:46:27 -0400

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In linguistics, a clipped compound is a word produced from a compound word by reducing its parts while retaining the meaning of the original compound.[1] It is a special case of word formation called clipping.

Clipped compounds are common in various slang and jargon vocabularies.[1]

Manafort plea deal begs key question: What does he know?
Sat, 22 Sep 2018 12:08:15 -0400

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WASHINGTON (AP) — As Trump campaign associates folded one by one over the last year under the pressure of federal investigators, there was always Paul Manafort.

Until suddenly there wasn’t.

Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, who for months stood resolute in his innocence and determined to fight charge upon charge even as fellow onetime loyalists caved, reached an extraordinary plea agreement with special counsel Robert Mueller’s office on Friday that requires him to assist the Russia investigation and converts him into a potentially vital government cooperator.

The deal, struck in Washington just days before Manafort was to have faced a second trial, is tied to Ukrainian political consulting work and unrelated to the Trump campaign.

The question remains what information Manafort, 69, is able to provide about the president, as well as whether the Trump election effort coordinated with Russia.

Manafort’s leadership of the campaign at a time when prosecutors say Russian intelligence was working to sway the election, and his involvement in episodes under scrutiny, may make him an especially insightful witness.

He was among the participants in a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting in New York with Russians and Trump’s oldest son and son-in-law that was arranged for the campaign to receive derogatory information about Democratic president nominee Hillary Clinton.

He was also a close business associate of a man who U.S. intelligence believes has ties to Russian intelligence. While he was working on the campaign, emails show Manafort discussed providing private briefings for a wealthy Russian businessman close to Vladimir Putin.

“The expectations around Manafort’s cooperation are likely at a level beyond anyone else to date who has agreed to cooperate,” said Jacob Frenkel, a Washington lawyer not involved in the case. “Whether those expectations will be met is the great unknown.”

Manafort had long resisted the idea of cooperating even as prosecutors stacked additional charges against him in Washington and Virginia. Trump had saluted that stance, publicly praising him and suggesting Manafort had been treated worse than gangster Al Capone. Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, had suggested a pardon might be a possibility after the investigation was concluded.

Then came Friday’s development.

Manafort agreed to provide any information asked of him, testify whenever asked and even work undercover if necessary. The cooperation ensures the investigation will extend far beyond the November elections despite entreaties from the president’s lawyers that Mueller bring it to a close.

The agreement makes Manafort the latest associate of Trump, a president known to place a premium on loyalty among subordinates, to admit guilt and work with investigators in hopes of leniency.

Mueller had already secured cooperation from a former Trump national security adviser who lied to the FBI about discussing sanctions with a Russian ambassador; a Trump campaign aide who broached the idea of a meeting with Putin; and another aide who was indicted alongside Manafort but ultimately turned on him. Trump’s former personal lawyer has separately pleaded guilty in New York.

Manafort was convicted last month of eight financial crimes in a separate trial in Virginia and faces an estimated seven to 10 years in prison in that case. The two conspiracy counts he admitted to on Friday carry up to five years, though Manafort’s sentence will ultimately depend on his cooperation.

“He wanted to make sure that his family was able to remain safe and live a good life. He’s accepted responsibility. This is for conduct that dates back many years and everybody should remember that,” Manafort attorney Kevin Downing said outside court.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders insisted the Manafort case was unrelated to Trump. Giuliani said he spoke to Trump on Friday about Manafort’s plea.

“The president was OK with it,” he said. “In a way, it’s another indication there is no evidence of collusion. All of these charges predate the time Paul spent with the president. And there’s nothing in what he pleaded about collusion.”

It’s unclear how the deal might affect any Manafort pursuit of a pardon from Trump, though Giuliani told Politico before the deal that a plea without a cooperation agreement wouldn’t foreclose the possibility of a pardon.

This courtroom sketch depicts former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, center, and his defense lawyer Richard Westling, left, before U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, seated upper right, at federal court in Washington, Friday, Sept. 14, 2018, as prosecutors Andrew Weissmann, bottom center, and Greg Andres watch. (Dana Verkouteren via AP)

Under the terms of the deal, Manafort was allowed to plead guilty to just two counts, though the crimes he admitted largely overlap with the conduct alleged in an indictment last year. He abandoned his right to appeal his sentences in Washington and Virginia and agreed to forfeit homes in New York, including a condo in Trump Tower.

But the guilty plea spares Manafort the cost of a weekslong trial that could have added years to the prison time he’s already facing following the Virginia guilty verdicts. A jury there found him guilty of filing false tax returns, failing to report foreign bank accounts and bank fraud. Jurors deadlocked on 10 other counts.

Prosecutors on Friday presented new information about allegations they were prepared to reveal at trial, which was to have focused on Manafort’s political consulting and lobbying work on behalf of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and the pro-Russian Party of Regions.

That case alleged that Manafort directed a large-scale U.S. lobbying operation for Ukrainian interests but never registered with the Justice Department as a foreign agent despite being required to do so under the law, and that he concealed millions of dollars in income for the consulting work from the IRS.

He also failed to disclose his involvement in lobbying efforts made through a group of former European politicians, known as the Hapsburg Group, who pushed policies beneficial to Ukraine, prosecutors said Friday.

In 2013, one of the politicians and his country’s prime minister met with then-President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in the Oval Office. Manafort was later sent an email that the politicians had “delivered the message of not letting ‘Russians Steal Ukraine from the West.'”

Another allegation revealed Friday concerns Manafort’s efforts to peddle stories to discredit Yanukovych’s opponent, Yulia Tymoshenko, and undermine U.S. government support for her.

Prosecutors said he spread stories and secretly coordinated with an Israeli government official to publicize the idea that a U.S. Cabinet official was an anti-Semite for supporting Tymoshenko, “who in turn had formed a political alliance with a Ukraine party that espoused anti-Semitic views,” court documents said.

“I have someone pushing it on the NY Post. Bada bing bada boom,” Manafort wrote to a colleague, prosecutors say.

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Sat, 22 Sep 2018 12:03:18 -0400

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Manafort-Geständnis belastet “Hapsburg

derStandard.atSep 20, 2018
Sie waren Teil der sogenannten Hapsburg Group und tourten zwischen 2012 und 2014 mit dieser Message durch Europa. Ob sie wussten …
Fall Manafort: Was Gusenbauer in den USA blüht
<a href=”http://DiePresse.com” rel=”nofollow”>DiePresse.com</a>Sep 19, 2018

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Manafort plea deal begs the key question: What does he know?

FOX 29Sep 15, 2018
He also failed to disclose his involvement in lobbying efforts made through a group of former European politicians, known as the Hapsburg Group, who pushed …

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The American Prospect

Crimea riverThe swampy business of lobbying for foreign governments

The EconomistSep 20, 2018
He worked to plant stories unfavourable to Yulia Tymoshenko, a political rival of Mr Yanukovych, and arranged for a “Hapsburg Group”, made …

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Paul Manafort’s Europe Connection

The GlobalistSep 18, 2018
Former European political leaders who worked under the auspices of the Habsburg Group had multiple contacts with Paul Manafort.

Story image for hapsburg group from Washington Post

The Mueller indictment mentioned the ‘Hapsburg group.’ Now …

Washington PostFeb 24, 2018
Though the group’s members weren’t named, they are collectively given an informal nickname: the “Hapsburg group,” an apparent reference …

Story image for hapsburg group from Bloomberg

Manafort Pleads Guilty, Agrees to Cooperate With Mueller

BloombergSep 14, 2018
Manafort organized the European politicians, known as the Hapsburg Group, to lobby U.S. senators in a campaign to defeat a resolution that …
manafort – Google Search
Sat, 22 Sep 2018 11:56:33 -0400

mikenova shared this story from manafort – Google News.

Story image for manafort from New York Times

Trump’s Ex-Lawyer Is Said to Have Proposed Diverting Funds to …

New York Times15 hours ago
Both men have pleaded guilty to charges brought by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and Mr. Manafort was also convicted at a trial …
Ex-Trump Lawyer Tried to Help Pay Legal Fees for Manafort, Gates
Highly CitedWall Street JournalSep 21, 2018

Media image for manafort from ABC News

ABC News

Media image for manafort from Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal

Media image for manafort from CNBC

CNBC

Media image for manafort from Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair

Media image for manafort from The Root

The Root

Media image for manafort from Business Insider

Business Insider

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