ONTD Political

Nineteen residents have been killed in a knife attack at a care centre for people with mental disabilities in the Japanese city of Sagamihara.

Such attacks are extremely rare in Japan - the incident is the worst mass killing in decades.

Police have arrested a man who worked at the centre until February, and who turned himself into police after the attack.

He reportedly said he wanted people with disabilities to "disappear".

The brutal killings have shocked Japan, one of the safest countries in the world.

Who was Japanese knife attacker?

"The lives of many innocent people were taken away and I am greatly shocked. We will make every effort to discover the facts and prevent a reoccurrence," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.

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Obama Just Became The First Sitting President To Publish A Scientific Paper

President Obama has achieved a first for a sitting president – he's published a paper in a leading peer-reviewed journal. The paper reviews the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, summarizes its effects, and considers what can be done in the future.

Being president doesn't usually leave a lot of time for other intellectual pursuits, and some recent occupants of the White House never seemed to have had much respect for science in the first place. Obama has always been different in that respect. John Holdren, Obama's science advisor, described how his boss enjoyed questioning scientists about their work more than his time with sports stars.

Now, Obama has joined the ranks of public health researchers as sole author of a paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), in which he reviews his most famous work, often known as Obamacare.

The paper includes a little on the history of the Act's passage, but the main focus is on how it has operated.

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Trivializing people’s problems and fears is not a good way to win support.

Among members of the liberal press, the reaction to Donald Trump’s RNC acceptance speech has been almost unanimous. It was, they say, “grim,” “angry,” and “dark.” Trump painted a “Mad Max” picture of the United States, as a nation in crisis, beset by crime, terrorism, unemployment, and despair.

This picture, say the commentators, is false. Trump exaggerated crime rates, which are actually going down rather than up. He scare-mongered about immigrants and terrorism, creating threats where there are none. And he suggested that the world is going to hell in a handbasket, when it is not. As Ezra Klein put it in a blog post for his website, Trump had to convince people that “things are really, really bad” when things are not “really, really bad.”

This has been a consistent thread in the liberal reply to Trump’s rhetoric. Trump casts America as a broken land in need of fixing. Democrats respond that America is doing just fine, and that everyone is better off than they have been in years. They highlight the achievements of the Obama administration in bringing healthcare to millions and reducing unemployment. In response to Trump’s bright-red “Make America Great Again” baseball caps, the Democratic Party attempted to popularize its own brand of “America Is Already Great” hats. (They did not take off.)

All of this is a peculiar role reversal. Ordinarily, conservatives are the ones defending the status quo, while the left tries to rouse public interest in various pressing social problems. Now, Trump is the one speaking of the decline of the country’s fortunes, while liberals have become the new cheerleaders for America-as-it-is.

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In an age where millions of people are looking for explanations and solutions for their despair, it might be unwise to count on fear of Trump as one’s sole campaign message. So long as Democrats stick with the mantra that everything is fine and Obama is fantastic, not only will they come across as smug, not only will what they are saying be false, but it’s hard to see how they will win a presidential election.

by Nathan J. Robinson

OP note: Interesting and insightful article. If the democratic's party whole argument against Trump is that they are in fact not Trump (literally anything is better than Trump) and that America is already great, with Hillary Clinton leading this message, will this motivate working-class people who already are really struggling to get by (on the moderate right or the left) to vote Hillary come November?
The rush to blame Russia for the DNC email hack is premature

There is some circumstantial evidence that the hack may have originated in Russia, but there are many questions that haven’t been resolved

Since WikiLeaks published the DNC’s hacked emails on Sunday, there has been a flurry of accusations – including from the Hillary Clinton campaign – that Russian president Vladimir Putin orchestrated both the hack and the leak, in an attempt to help Donald Trump win the presidency.

First, it would certainly be disturbing if Russia is trying to affect our democratic process, but maybe we should wait until we see actual evidence before deciding, as some have, that Putin ordered hackers to help swing the US election on the eve of the Democratic convention?

It’s amazing how quickly the media are willing to forgo any skepticism and jump to conspiracy-tinged conclusions where Putin is involved. He has been linked to everything from Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn, Greece and Spain. People treat him like an omnipotent mastermind who secretly and effortlessly controls world events. Here’s an idea: maybe we should stop giving him so much credit?

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If Russian Intelligence Did Hack the DNC, the NSA Would Know, Snowden Says

As my colleague Glenn Greenwald told WNYC on Monday, while there may never be conclusive evidence that the Democratic National Committee was hacked by Russian intelligence operatives to extract the trove of embarrassing emails published by WikiLeaks, it would hardly be shocking if that was what happened.

“Governments do spy on each other and do try to influence events in other countries,” Glenn noted. “Certainly the U.S. government has a very long and successful history of doing exactly that.”

Even so, he added, given the ease with which we were misled into war in Iraq by false claims about weapons of mass destruction — and the long history of Russophobia in American politics — it is vital to cast a skeptical eye over whatever evidence is presented to support the claim, made by Hillary Clinton’s aide Robby Mook, that this is all part of a Russian plot to sabotage the Democrats and help Donald Trump win the election.

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Requesting "Edward Snowden" and "cybersecurity" tags, pls mods. Also maybe one for "hacks / hacking" or "leaks."

And in before I'm accused of being a Putin sympathizer/Trump supporter/Kremlin agent/useful idiot/Clinton hater/sleeper agent, I guess. Because there have been a lot of people, who aren't trolls, accusing people who are even slightly skeptical and waiting for more solid proof of the claim that the hack is a deliberate and calculated attempt by Russia to subvert American democracy of working for Putin, so I'd figure I'd jump ahead of that. Journalists (Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, Jeremy Scahill) have been accused of the same, too, so that's been interesting to watch.
Somalia attack: Twin car bombs explode by Mogadishu airport

A large plume of smoke rose into the sky after the blasts.

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PHILADELPHIA — The Democratic National Convention is careening into Day 2, and Bernie Sanders’s supporters continue to express their opposition to Hillary Clinton, even as the Vermont senator has unequivocally endorsed her. Tuesday’s roll call vote could be the latest stage for their protest. Here are a few other things to expect on Tuesday:

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Here are some of the other speakers scheduled for Tuesday:Collapse )

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RIP my inbox after last night, 17 pages and almost 1k comments! Disabling notifications tonight like a smart person lmao
Sanders can’t end his revolution, but the first lady hands Clinton the best speech of 2016.

PHILADELPHIA — Even Bernie wasn’t Bernie enough to tame Bernie’s revolution.

Polls show that the majority of Bernie Sanders supporters are consolidating around Hillary Clinton. But hundreds of die-hard Sanders backers — furious over revelations the Democratic National Committee colluded with Clinton campaign officials — resisted their candidate’s calls to unify around the party’s nominee, or at least booed lustily when he called for them to mobilize for Clinton.

The shake-up of the party’s senior leadership on the first day of a Democratic National Convention that was supposed to unify Democrats around their sturdy but widely unadored nominee wasn’t enough to appease progressives who still believe the Clintons rigged the game against them. “Brothers and sisters, this is the real world we live in!” Sanders implored his supporters at an outdoor rally hours before he was scheduled to address the convention to offer his un-Ted Cruz-like backing to the candidate who defeated him.

Hours earlier they booed ousted DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz off a stage, and then, to the surprise of the socialist who led their “revolution,” they hooted and howled their disapproval at him. It got so bad Sanders had to send out a last-minute text message to his delegates instructing them to “not engage in any kind of protest on the floor,” begging them not to turn their backs or heckle pro-Clinton speakers. “Our credibility as a movement will be damaged,” he wrote.

But something happened on the way to the Democratic crack-up: Michelle Obama, something of an afterthought on the opening-night program, delivered the best speech of Hillary Clinton’s career.

And Sanders, not one to show emotion on the campaign trail, momentarily broke down during a nearly five-minute standing ovation — and braved the boos to summon his army to battle Trump. Whether all of them will heed the call remains to be seen.

Here are five takeaways from an emotional roller coaster of a first night of the Democratic convention.
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In the wee hours of June 14, the Washington Post revealed that “Russian government hackers” had penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee. Foreign spies, the Post claimed, had gained access to the DNC’s entire database of opposition research on the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, just weeks before the Republican Convention. Hillary Clinton said the attack was “troubling.”

It began ominously. Nearly two months earlier, in April, the Democrats had noticed that something was wrong in their networks. Then, in early May, the DNC called in CrowdStrike, a security firm that specializes in countering advanced network threats. After deploying their tools on the DNC’s machines, and after about two hours of work, CrowdStrike found “two sophisticated adversaries” on the Committee’s network. The two groups were well-known in the security industry as “APT 28” and “APT 29.” APT stands for Advanced Persistent Threat—usually jargon for spies.

CrowdStrike linked both groups to “the Russian government’s powerful and highly capable intelligence services.” APT 29, suspected to be the FSB, had been on the DNC’s network since at least summer 2015. APT 28, identified as Russia’s military intelligence agency GRU, had breached the Democrats only in April 2016, and probably tipped off the investigation. CrowdStrike found no evidence of collaboration between the two intelligence agencies inside the DNC’s networks, “or even an awareness of one by the other,” the firm wrote.

This was big. Democratic political operatives suspected that not one but two teams of Putin’s spies were trying to help Trump and harm
Clinton. The Trump campaign, after all, was getting friendly with Russia. The Democrats decided to go public.

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Aides to President Barack Obama urged him to get rid of the troublesome DNC chair last fall. He passed, figuring she was Hillary Clinton’s problem to solve.

Hillary Clinton and her team aren’t thrilled that the head of the Democratic National Committee was forced out on the eve of the nominee’s coronation — but they aren’t exactly distraught to see Debbie Wasserman Schultz booted from the tent.

Several senior Democratic officials with ties to Hillary and Bill Clinton told POLITICO that campaign higher-ups have been trying to replace the oft-off-message Florida congresswoman from the start of Clinton’s campaign late last year.

John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman — and a former top adviser to Barack Obama — broached the idea of replacing Wasserman Schultz as early as last fall, only to be rebuffed by the president’s team, according to two people with direct knowledge of the conversation.

“It came down to the fact that the president didn’t want the hassle of getting rid of Debbie,” said a former top Obama adviser. “It’s been a huge problem for the Clintons, but the president just didn’t want the headache of Debbie bad-mouthing him. ... It was a huge pain in the ass.”

The Obama team — especially 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina — long viewed Wasserman Schultz as a major campaign liability, questioning her fundraising prowess and her tendency to appoint personal aides to positions of authority, prioritizing loyalty over competence and effectiveness as a spokesperson for Democrats. At the time, senior campaign officials leaked details of an internal survey, conducted by pollster David Binder, showing Wasserman Schultz was the least-liked Obama surrogate; she later dismissed the report as “National Enquirer” dross.
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Mere hours after Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned as chair of the DNC, Hillary Clinton has already given her a high ranking position in her campaign.

Schultz resigned after Wikileaks released emails that showed her team showed a clear bias for Clinton over Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primaries, with DNC CFO Brad Marshall going so far as to suggest attacking his faith in Bible belt states Kentucky and West Virginia.

In an official statement, Clinton praised Wasserman Schultz without mentioning the email scandal, commending her “hard work and leadership.” Wasserman Schultz’s new job will be to act as honorary chairman of the Clinton campaign’s “50-state” program:

“There’s simply no one better at taking the fight to the Republicans than Debbie–which is why I am glad that she has agreed to serve as honorary chair of my campaign’s 50-state program to gain ground and elect Democrats in every part of the country, and will continue to serve as a surrogate for my campaign nationally, in Florida, and in other key states.”

President Obama and Vice President Biden also released glowing statements about Wasserman Schultz following her resignation, neither of which mentioned the DNC emails. The first sentence of both of these statements talk about how Wasserman Schultz has “had my back.” An odd choice of words, given the reason for her resignation.

Bernie Sanders’ statement about Wasserman Schultz’s resignation was less positive:

“Debbie Wasserman Schultz has made the right decision for the future of the Democratic Party. While she deserves thanks for her years of service, the party now needs new leadership that will open the doors of the party and welcome in working people and young people. The party leadership must also always remain impartial in the presidential nominating process, something which did not occur in the 2016 race.”

Further details of Wasserman Schultz’s new role as honorary chair within Clinton’s campaign have yet to be released.

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