–The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday sought permission to interview an FBI informant who helped agents uncover a major corruption scheme by Russian nuclear officials seeking to aggressively expand their American business under the Obama administration.
The undercover witness, who has not been publicly identified, spent nearly five years helping agents build a case that resulted in one of Russia’s top nuclear industry officials in the United States, a Russian financier and an American trucking executive to plead guilty in 2015 to charges related to a racketeering scheme that prosecutors said involved bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering.
The informant possesses information about the extent of Russian efforts to curry favor inside the United States that he has been prevented from disclosing to the courts and Congress because he signed an FBI nondisclosure statement, his lawyer Victoria Toensing told The Hill on Tuesday.
The undercover witness was threatened by Justice officials when he tried to disclose some of the information in a lawsuit during last year’s election, forcing him to withdraw his legal action, the lawyer alleged.
–Political content on the internet, paid or not, should face substantial federal regulation to eliminate undefined “disinformation,” and users of platforms and news feeds, from Facebook, to Twitter, to the Drudge Report and evenNew York Times, could be punished for sharing “fake news” from those sites, the former Democratic chair of the FEC is urging.
In a broad proposal that adds threatening libel suits to regulatory plans already pushed by Democrats on the Federal Election Commission, ex-chair Ann Ravel believes that there is support for expanded regulation in the wake of reports foreign governments spent $100,000 on 2016 political ads on Facebook.
She would include “fake news,” not just paid ads, to be regulated, though it’s never defined other than the Democrat’s description of “disinformation.” And anybody who shares or retweets it could face a libel suit.
–AlphaGo Zero has surpassed its predecessor’s abilities, bypassing AI’s traditional method of learning games, which involves watching thousands of hours of human play. Instead, it simply starts playing at random, honing its skills by repeatedly playing against itself. Three days and 4.9 million such games later, the result is the world’s best Go-playing AI.
“It’s more powerful than previous approaches because we’ve removed the constraints of human knowledge,” says David Silver, the lead researcher for AlphaGo.
–In kicking his top priorities toCongress, President Trump is setting the stage — intentionally or not — for weeks of messy horse-trading that may culminate in a year-end standoff to avoid another government shutdown.
Trump is betting he can pressure Congress into breaking its gridlock and squeeze some concessions from Democrats.
But his own flip-flops on key issues have left lawmakers unable to trust the White House’s leadership and uncertain how to resolve the most thorny policy disputes.
The latest example came Wednesday when Trump reversed course again, criticizing a short-term fix to the Affordable Care Act that he had endorsed just a day earlier. That sent lawmakers back to the negotiating table.
“This president keeps zigging and zagging, so it’s impossible to govern,” said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.).
–MIAMI (AP) — President Donald Trump emphatically rejected claims Wednesday that he was disrespectful to the grieving family of a slain soldier, as the firestorm he ignited over his assertions of empathy for American service members spread into a third contentious day. “I have proof,” he insisted.
The controversy over how Trump has conducted one of the most sacred of presidential tasks generated new turmoil in the White House. After one slain soldier’s father accused the president of going back on a promise to send a check for $25,000, the White House said the money had been sent.
Peter Schweizer got onto part of the scandal in his 2015 book, “Clinton Cash”: the gifts of $145 million to the Clinton Foundation, and the $500,000 fee to Bill for a single speech, by individuals involved in a deal that required Hillary Clinton’s approval.
–George Soros, who built one of the world’s largest fortunes through a famous series of trades, has turned over nearly $18 billion to Open Society Foundations, according to foundation officials, a move that transforms both the philanthropy he founded and the investment firm supplying its wealth.
Now holding the bulk of Mr. Soros’s fortune, Open Society has vaulted to the top ranks of philanthropic organizations, appearing to become the second largest in the U.S. by assets after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, based on 2014 figures from the National Philanthropic Trust.
Soros Fund Management LLC’s 87-year-old founder now shares influence over the firm’s strategy with an investment committee of Open Society. Mr. Soros set up the committee and is its chairman, but it is meant to survive him, people familiar with it said.
–In the days following the massacre, friends reached out to Suchomel over a October 4 post in which she described someone setting off “fire crackers” near the venue, and detailed being chased by numerous people, concluding at one point “There was more than one gun firing. 100% more than one.”
One longtime friend of Suchomel’s, who asked to remain anonymous, provided Infowars with screenshots of a conversation he’d had with her, in which she indicated planning to “organize a group of survivors” in order “to piece things together.”
Updated numbers released by the county Health and Human Services Agency come as a massive effort around vaccination, sanitation and public education continues to try and stop the largest surge of the viral disease since the vaccine for hepatitis A was approved in the late 1990s.
With last week’s total number of cases at 490, the latest reported increase to 507 may make it seem as if the outbreak continues to grow, but, because of the way that the public health department is tallying the outbreak, it is difficult to say whether that’s the case.