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Did Putin try to bug the White House with a soccer ball?

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Did Putin try to bug the White House with a soccer ball

The world of espionage is rife with creative attempts to listen in on conversations, access devices, and keep tabs on people of interest. Russian President Vladimir Putin may or may not have attempted one of the most interesting when he gave a soccer ball to President Trump that contained a NFC chip.

Before anyone screams foul, it was likely inadvertent and not a bungled attempt to spy on Americans. The Near Field Communication chip was designed by Adidas to make it a “smart ball” that could transmit data relevant to soccer players. It’s relatively common and similar to the balls used during this year’s World Cup.

The Soccer Ball Putin Gave Trump Has an Adidas Transmitter Chip in It: Report

https://www.newsweek.com/adidas-soccer-ball-transmitter-chip-putin-1042734According to Adidas’ website, the digital technology is called “Near Field Communication” (NFC) which enables a phone or tablet to send “radio frequency signals” that interacts with the NFC chip. It allows players to access special information and games online after connecting. Adidas says the NFC tag cannot be modified and can only send information, not receive it.

“It is not possible to delete or rewrite the encoded parameters,” Adidas says.

As it turns out, the chip can allegedly be hacked, though reports of such things are scant. Who would hack a soccer ball chip?

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Foreign Affairs

Posobiec: Maduro negotiating with Spain on Venezuela exit strategy

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Posobiec Maduro negotiating with Spain on Venezuela exit strategy

Contested Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro may be exploring options to leave the country and move to the safety of Spain, according to an One America News report from Jack Posobiec. Speaking to Americans for Intelligence Reform president Brad Johnson, the two discussed a possible exit strategy that would put Maduro in Spain and leave the country in the hands of U.S.-backed leader Juan Guaidó.

The nation is in a state of complete economic and social collapse. Years of socialism has taken one of the richest countries in the western hemisphere and turned it into a nation of chaos and destitution. The writing for Venezuela has been on the wall or years, and perhaps now the failed leader is ready to take his personal riches and make a break for it.

Guaidó has a semblance of infrastructure ready to take over if Maduro should leave. He also has the backing of many nations who would be very willing to help him make the quick transition to power should Maduro cede it.

Opinion

We’ve talked many times about the failures of socialism in Venezuela and the oppression of a people who have no recourse to save themselves as a result of the sacrifices made to install socialism in the first place. For the first time, there seems to be a potential for the suffering to end in the near future as the hope predicated by a Maduro exit could translate into instant resources. The United States and other countries have attempted to send aid to the people, but the military under Maduro’s control has not let it through. Under Guaidó, the aid should start reaching the people immediately.

This is beyond the point of being a political struggle. Lives are being lost. A nation is losing its ability to sustain itself, and the longer Maduro is in power, the harder it will be for them to recover. He needs to go now, and anything short of military intervention should be explored.

Quote

“I think the recognition by the United States of Juan Guaidó is the beginning of the end for Nicolás Maduro, and I think that’s how Maduro views it himself.” – Brad Johnson

Final Thoughts

In this exclusive interview, Posobiec and Johnson discuss the possible outcomes of an exit by Maduro, one that will instantly shake the nation. But they can recover with assistance, and Guaidó will have it ready for him if he takes control.

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The President is right to veto war powers bill. Now he needs to pull support for the war in Yemen.

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The President is right to veto war powers bill Now he needs to pull support for the war in Yemen

As seems to be the case with so many things associated with President Trump and foreign policy, he is both right and wrong about how to handle a particular military status. On one hand, he’s right to veto the bill passed by Congress that called for the U.S. to end support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. On the other other hand, it’s time for the President himself to end our support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen.

As I Tweeted earlier:

Congress normally gives away its power to the executive branch by relying on departments and agencies far too much. This is a case where Congress is actually wrong to step in and try to interfere with the Presidential power of Commander-in-Chief. That’s not their lane. It doesn’t matter if they think the war is bad or Saudi Arabia is unworthy of our help. Both might be true, but it’s not their call. The President was right to veto it.

Of course, the war itself is none of our concern. We can and should be working through NGOs and directly to help the people who have been affected by the war. Starvation is rampant. This is another Syria, only without “easy” access to Europe for the people to flee to while their homes are being destroyed. But claims that our interests are being served militarily by being involved in a proxy war with Iran is foolish. It may be true to some extent, but not enough to justify our support.

I’m biased. I was opposed to our coziness with Saudi Arabia long before Jamal Khashoggi was murdered. For decades we’ve acted like we’re beholden to the Saudis because, unfortunately, we likely are beholden to them behind the scenes. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less disgusting. I wish I could go on television and scream like Howard Beale in Network about the corruption of our system by the Saudis, but no network would be crazy enough to put me on the air.

Nevertheless, the President’s veto was righteous.

We need to pull our support for the war, but not because Congress steps out of their lane pretending they wield the power of Commander-in-Chief. The consequences of deflating the executive’s military control are too great.

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Pompeo doesn’t seem worried about Netanyahu applying sovereignty to Judea and Samaria

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Pompeo doesnt seem worried about Netanyahu applying sovereignty to Judea and Samaria

Prior to the Israeli elections last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to apply sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, a move that goes starkly against the wishes of the United Nations, the Palestinians, and most nations around the world. CNN’s Jake Tapper asked U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo if this would cause a problem for the Middle East peace plan the United States intends to reveal to the world next month.

Pompeo said, “I don’t. I think that the vision we’ll lay out is going to represent a significant change from the model that’s been used.”

Opinion

If we set aside the fact that the lands wanted by the Palestinians are areas that are imperative for Israel to be able to defend itself from the enemies that surround it, any deal that trades peace for land still makes no sense. Israel is tiny. Compared to the multitude of Muslim nations in the region and around the world, it’s barely even noticeable on a map. There is no logical reason for Israel to give up any of the land that it took as a result of getting attacked.

Remember, if Israel hadn’t been attacked, they wouldn’t have had to take the land that is currently being disputed. In fact, they’ve given back land that wasn’t necessary in order to achieve the limited peace they’ve had with certain nations for decades.

This entire situation of the world against Israel is not based on logic or fairness. It’s based solely on a growing Islamic influence over the entire planet, especially within the halls of the United Nations. This is why I’m skeptical when President Trump called for recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Don’t get me wrong – that was a great thing. But if that’s a precursor to asking the Israelis to hand over all or part of the West Bank as well as East Jerusalem, it’s really a non-starter.

I do not foresee a situation in which Israel gives over any significant amounts of land in exchange for peace. But these are strange times.

Quote

“We’ve had a lot of ideas for 40 years. They did not deliver peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Our idea is to put forward a vision that has ideas that are new, that are different, that are unique, that tries to reframe and reshape what’s been an intractable problem, that multiple administrations have grappled with, multiple administrations in Israel as well.” – Mike Pompeo

Final Thoughts

If the only Jewish state, one the size of New Jersey, must give up land to form the 51st Muslim nation, then peace will be an illusion. There can be no peace unless the deal is delivered through strength and solidarity between the U.S. and Israel.

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