The Truth Almost Comes Out | To Treaty, Or Not To Treaty | Ole “Short Fuse” Kelly


“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” – Seneca


The Truth Almost Comes Out: Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave his highly anticipated speech Tuesday before the parliament in Ankara. The occasion had been billed as the moment the president would reveal the “naked truth” about what happened to journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabian consulate October 2. Erdogan criticized the Saudi government’s numerous inconsistent statements, and rejected its most recent explanation that the killing was accidental. Erdogan said Khashoggi was “brutally murdered” as part of a meticulous operation by a team of Saudis. He called for the Saudi government to share facts about the case, to bring “the highest ranked of those responsible” to justice, and to extradite suspects to Turkey for trial. But he stopped short of presenting the conclusive audio and video evidence he claims to have, leading many to wonder just what role CIA director Gina Haspel might be playing while in Turkey. She was dispatched there ahead of Erdogan’s speech “to be briefed on the investigation and prepare the US policy response.”

Hours after Erdogan’s speech President Trump criticized the Saudis’ shifting version of events and told reporters “The coverup was the worst in the history of coverups.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that 21 Saudi suspects in Khashoggi’s death will have their visas revoked or be ineligible for a visa to enter the United States. “We are taking appropriate actions, which include revoking visas, entering visa lookouts and other measures,” Pompeo said. The move to banish the Saudi nationals is the first step the Trump administration has taken against the country since officials admitted Friday Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate in Istanbul.

Additional Read: “Jamal Khashoggi Body Double Created False Trail in Turkey, surveillance Images Suggest. For more than two weeks, the Saudis denied that Khashoggi had died in the Saudi consulate, claiming he left within an hour. Video footage even shows what one Turkish official referred to as an apparent ‘body double’ — a man approximately the same height as Khashoggi and seemingly wearing some of his clothes — leaving the consulate by a back door.” (NYT)


A Troll’s Guide To Trollin’: The Justice Department’s latest criminal complaint was filed Friday. It details not only the charges against a woman accused of serving as the money boss for the “Project Lakhta” disinformation operation, but also how it works through some dozen Russian entities. The project has been running since mid-2014. Court documents allege that the Russian Research Agency, quasi-“news” and other organizations employed hundreds of people and had a global budget equating to tens of millions of dollars. The money ran through a company called Concord, which is controlled by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a billionaire ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Project Lakhta workers, who were able to disguise the fact they were logging in from St. Petersburg, Russia, would pretend to be Americans, for example by creating Facebook and Twitter identities to appear legitimate. They would then join conversations on social media. (NPR)

To Treaty, Or Not To Treaty: King Abdullah II of Jordan has succumbed to political pressure from within and will not renew the nearly 25-year old peace treaty giving Israeli farmers and tourists free access to two tracts of land along Jordan’s border. The decision isn’t likely to touch off an immediate diplomatic crisis but did come as an unwelcome surprise to Israelis, and does expose underlying tensions in the region. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would enter into negotiations with Jordan over the possibility of extending the current arrangement, which has not been popular with Jordanians. (NYT)

Like The Cuban Missile Crisis, But More “He Said, She Said”: National Security Adviser John Bolton spoke Tuesday at a news conference in Moscow, reiterating President Trump’s determination to withdraw the US from the 31-year old landmark nuclear arms control treaty (INF) negotiated by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Bolton was in Moscow for two days of talks with top Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin. However, Bolton indicated no progress had been made to overcome the impasse created by American accusations of violations, and Russian denials. (WaPo)

– “Man Sentenced In Germany For Poisoned Baby Food Scheme: A German court has sentenced a man to 12 1/2 years in prison on charges of attempted murder and attempted extortion for poisoning jars of baby food and leaving them on store shelves.” (NPR)

– “Plague of caterpillars threatening food crisis may be halted with safe pesticides: Study suggests biopesticides should be trialled to control the march of armyworm that’s destroying crops across the continent” (Guardian)


An Apple A Day, You Are What You Eat, Etc, Etc: Spaniards are on track to outlive the Japanese by 2040. Even if it’s just by a little (85.8 years vs. 85.7 years, respectively) it’s still all because of what your momma always told you—eat your vegetables (and fruits)! A study published this week by Seattle’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation confirms that Spain’s famous Mediterranean diet plays a major role in longevity. Stop by any open air market across the country and you’ll find piles of neatly stacked fruits and vegetables, bags of nuts, and all kinds of fresh fish displayed on beds of ice. One vendor, who has run a fruit and vegetable stall in the Mercado de Maravillas for 47 of his 61 years, said he could not conceive of a diet without a sizeable daily ration of just what he sells. “A Spanish diet without fruit and vegetables is just unthinkable,” he said. He would have a hard time envisioning places in the US that one research fellow said were “so-called food deserts, where you have to drive for miles before you can find a fruit and vegetable store – and, when you do, it’s ridiculously expensive.”

Others are quick to point out that diet isn’t the only reason people are living longer. Lifestyle is right up at the top. One professional said: “Like other Mediterranean countries, Spain really values that family richness: the bonds of family; the closeness of family… It’s a bonus.” Other important factors in helping people live longer include Spain’s universal free healthcare system. So, diet, lifestyle and free healthcare all work together to get you to a longer life. But if you want to live extremely long, say to 100, one physiologist says what you’ll also need is some really good genes.


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The Swingingest State On Earth: Florida’s Seminole County is a rapidly growing, diverse suburb directly in Democrat’s sights as they fight to turn the Sunshine State “blue.” But Republicans are fighting just as hard to keep the state “red.” As the midterm elections approach and voters in America’s most notorious swing state prepare to elect a new governor and help decide which party controls the US Senate, the clash of views in this middle class neighborhood represents the battle over Florida’s direction in Trump’s America. (WaPo)

Ole “Short Fuse” Kelly: When retired four-star Marine Corp general John Kelly was appointed White House Chief of Staff, most people hoped he would bring some order and decorum to what clearly appeared to be a chaotic West Wing. But Kelly has shown himself to have a very short fuse, with little inclination to curb his own instinct for confrontation. Last week’s profanity-laced shouting match with National Security Adviser John Bolton outside the Oval Office was just the latest indelicate conflict Kelly’s been smack dab in the middle of. (NYT)

– “The Whistleblower: How a Gang of Hedge Funders Strip-Mined Kentucky’s Public Pensions” (The Intercept)

– “Far From Washington, Americans’ Thoughts Are, Well, Far From Washington: ‘Stay-at-home moms in Nebraska who have a limited grocery budget to live off of — no politician can understand that,’ she said. ‘Especially on a federal level. How could they?’” (NYT)


– “Tech firms make millions from Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda, report finds: Amazon, Palantir and Microsoft provide tools that aid surveillance, detention and deportation, according to report” (Guardian)

– “First thing we do, let’s kill all the experts: Tom Nichols’ book describes how experts are no longer ignored—they’re attacked.” What happens to whoever is the expert at killing experts? (Ars Technica)

– “This Is What Happens to Your Body if You Don’t Eat For Three Days: I took a look at the good, bad, and smelly effects a 72-hour fast has on the body.” (Tonic)

– “Who Will Teach Silicon Valley to Be Ethical?: Some think chief ethics officers could help technology companies navigate political and social questions.” (NYT)

– “Who Are My Investors?: I got an email from the CEO of one of our portfolio companies last week. It asked a very basic question, but one that I don’t recall being asked before: I need to know if any of your LPs include ………. entities/interests.” (AVC)

– “Find it hard to make a big decision? Don’t overthink it: If no option stands out, you could just flip a coin – often you are simply taking a stab in the dark anyway” You can also solve all your problems with riddles or just freeze them. (Guardian)

– “How to Set Up the Best Fake Phone Number” (Lifehacker)


“Associate with people who are likely to improve you.” – Seneca

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