Connect with us


Trump fires FBI Director James Comey



New York, May 10 :  In a move laden with ironies, US President Donald Trump suddenly dismissed James Comey, the controversial head of the FBI, who had earned the wrath of the Democratic Party for his interference in last year’s elections but was in the middle of an investigation into whether Trump’s campaign had links to Russia.

Democrats, who had blamed Comey for Trump’s victory and their candidate Hillary Clinton’s defeat, reacted swiftly to Tuesday’s firing of the powerful domestic intelligence chief by calling for an independent investigator to take over the probe into Trump’s campaign.

Trump wrote in the dismissal letter to Comey that he was firing him on the advice of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein because of his handling of the bungled Clinton investigation.

The dismissal was a continuation of the election mess affecting both parties in which Comey was embroiled.

His letter to Congress on October 28, about investigations into Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for official work as Secretary of State, started the sordid controversy.

Clinton and the Democrats say Comey’s disclosure of the investigation – that ultimately came to naught – 11 days before the election cost her the presidency as it made some voters suspicious of her.

Comey himself admitted at a Senate hearing last week that it made him “mildly nauseous” to think that he had affected the November 8 election.

Then the mercurial Trump praised Comey, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, over the action, saying it took “guts.”

But in a political twist, with Comey launching an investigation into his own campaign, Trump turned around and made the Clinton investigation as the official reason for the firing.

Trump cited Rosenstein’s letter to him, in which he wrote, “I cannot defend the Director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken.”

But Democrats were not gloating at the turn of events — had she been elected Clinton would have herself fired Comey.

Indian American Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi, a Democrat, said in a statement: “No matter how you view Comey, this is not a ‘gotcha’ moment.”

Krishnamoorthi noted that Comey “was leading a counter-intelligence investigation of the President’s 2016 campaign” and called for an independent Commission or prosecutor to take over the investigation.

Republican Representative, Justin Amash, tweeted his support for an independent probe, adding his voice to the calls by several other Democratic Party leaders.

Trump, however, made a reference to the Russia probe in the dismissal letter, but only to highlight the fact that he was himself not under investigation.

“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau,” Trump wrote to Comey.

In March, Comey told the House Intelligence Committee that the FBI was investigating if anyone from Trump’s campaign had coordinated with Russia the hacking of Democratic Party computers “and whether crimes were committed.

In January, Comey joined other heads of US intelligence agencies to say that Russia had interfered in the US elections. The likely beneficiary of Moscow’s actions was Trump.

CNN reported that court orders had been issued seeking records of people connected to Michael Flynn, whom Trump had fired as National Security Adviser in April.

The subpoenas issued by a grand jury were a sign that a preliminary legal process was underway. Grand jury, made up of citizens, is the first step to determine if there was a prima facie case for prosecution.

On Monday Sally Yates, who was dismissed by Trump as Acting Attorney General, told the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee that Flynn could be blackmailed by Russia.

By Arul Louis

(Arul Louis can be reached at [email protected])



Israel opens probe into Facebook after data scandal



Cambridge Analytica data scandal

JERUSALEM: Israeli authorities said Thursday (Mar 22) they had launched an investigation into Facebook’s activities following a scandal over the hijacking of personal data from millions of the social network’s users.

Israel’s privacy protection agency “informed Facebook” of the probe after revelations over data transfers from the tech giant to consultant Cambridge Analytica, the agency said.

It said it was also looking into “the possibility of other infringements of the privacy law regarding Israelis”, it said in a statement released by the justice ministry.

Britain’s Guardian newspaper has reported that Israeli hackers offered material to Cambridge Analytica.

But an Israeli justice ministry spokeswoman said the probe did not involve hackers, focusing rather on whether Israeli users’ rights were violated.

Under Israel’s privacy law, personal data may only be used with consent and for the purpose for which it was handed over, the privacy protection agency said.


Continue Reading

Middle East

Loud explosion heard outside busy hotel in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu

Explosion hits busy road outside popular hotel in central Mogadishu.



Somalia Car Bombing

MOGADISHU: 16 people killed and 20 injured in a bomb attack at the entrance of  Wehliye hotel in Mogadishu. Most of the casualties are auto rickshaw drivers and passengers, according to witnesses.

The death toll is expected to rise.

The attacked was claimed by al-Shabab, Reuters news agency reported, citing the armed group’s military operation spokesman.

Al-Shabab, which is fighting to overthrow Somalia’s internationally recognised government, is frequently carrying out attacks in and around the capital.

More to follow.

Continue Reading


Twitter’s chief information security officer quits




San Francisco, March 22: As tech companies reel under mounting pressure to prevent their platforms from data breach and fake news, Twitter’s Chief Information Security Officer Michael Coates has decided to quit.

In a tweet on Thursday, Coates who joined Twitter in 2015 announced his departure from the micro-blogging website.

“Twitter has been an amazing ride, but as I mentioned internally a few weeks back, my time is coming to an end. I’m confident to leave the program with an amazing security team,” Coates tweeted.

According to The Verge, Coates’ interim replacement is Joseph Camilleri, a senior manager for information security and risk.

Coates’ departure comes soon after reports surfaced that Facebook’s Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos is planning to leave the company by August.

Facebook is facing the heat after Cambridge Analytica, a British consulting company, was accused of harvesting data of up to 50 million Facebook users without permission and using the data to help politicians, including US President Donald Trump and the Brexit campaign.

Meanwhile, Michael Zalewski, Director of Information Security Engineering at Google, has also announced his departure from that company after 11 years.


Continue Reading

Most Popular