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Why does mainstream media hate Trump so much. The answer is very simple…

With Megyn Kelly at NBC and O’Reilly gone, Sean Hannity is the only network stalwart holding up Fox News.

Alex Christoforou

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It’s all about ratings.

Hating Trump gets you ratings. The liberal left snowflake half of America (the 62 million people who voted for Hillary), can not come to grips with Trump’s victory, and there is no better safe space than that of the fantasy – fake news dished out by Rachel Maddow and here stenographer colleagues at MSNBC and CNN.

Cable news has become fiction. Few stories are rooted in fact…Comey memos, 17 intelligence agencies, Russian collusion, and even investigating Trump’s two scoops of ice cream.

America is tuning in to the network that can spin the most far fetched tale of Trump treachery, complete with KGB’like Russian meddling, and FBI agent sabotage.

The network that spins the most elaborate fake news wins the day, as The Hollywood Reporter notes, “both CNN and MSNBC nabbed big wins among adults 25-54.”

Here are the Primetime Averages for May 15-19…
1. MSNBC: 611,000 adults 25-54; 2.44 million viewers
2. CNN: 589,000 adults 25-54; 1.65 million viewers
3. FNC: 497,000 adults 25-54; 2.41 million viewers

The Hollywood Reporter

There hasn’t been a horse race like this in cable news in quite some time … if ever.

A week of humbling headlines for the embattled Trump administration proved to be ratings paydirt for CNN and MSNBC, each of which scored significant victories in different dayparts. Simultaneously, Fox News Channel posted its first five-day streak at No. 3 in primetime since 2000.

Both CNN and MSNBC nabbed big wins among adults 25-54, with CNN winning total day in the key demo for the workweek and MSNBC scoring in primetime. Though it was a tight race between 8 and 11 p.m. throughout the week, FNC ranked below the other two for the first time in almost 17 years.

Standout telecasts include CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360. With Bill O’Reilly now out of play in the 8 o’clock time slot for more than a month, Cooper placed No. 1 for the hour Monday through Friday. (The last time CNN had such a streak in the hour was during coverage of the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.) MSNBC and FNC traded off the No. 2 slot, with O’Reilly replacement Tucker Carlson coming in at No. 3 on several nights.

Rachel Maddow remains the biggest story in cable news. Her nightly dominance now a safe bet, the anchor’s MSNBC show topped the week among adults 25-54 with an average 760,000 viewers in the key news demo. The Rachel Maddow Show is driving MSNBC to a record streak. Last week marked its second consecutive one atop the demo in primetime, and the first ever with a win among total viewers.

All three networks are up significantly from the same period a year ago — and even with its string of nights at No. 3, FNC is still winning the month of May in both primetime and total day. (That’s in the demo and total viewers.) But with CNN and MSNBC on its heels in different dayparts, this last week will prove to be make-or-break for all parties.

The confluence of events here is a decidedly unique one. CNN certainly benefits from fast-moving stories, and MSNBC is no doubt getting opposition eyeballs as the Republican government battles crisis after crisis, but the fact that FNC’s comparatively weaker narrative comes amid massive programming shifts cannot be ignored. Its primetime lineup is virtually unrecognizable from the one that finished 2016 (the biggest year in cable news history) on top.

Variety notes

For the first time in its history, MSNBC ranked number one in both total viewers and the key adults 25-54 demographic during primetime for a full week among the big three cable news networks, according to Nielsen data.

In addition, Fox News ranked number three in primetime in the key demographic for five straight days with 497,000 viewers, the longest streak at number three the network has had in that measure in 17 years, since June 2000. CNN finished second in the demo with 588,000. Fox was second in total viewers, however, with 2.41 million, beating out CNN’s 1.65 million.

Four primetime MSNBC programs were number one for the week in total viewers in their respective time periods: “The Rachel Maddow Show,” “Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell”, “The 11th Hour” and the midnight re-air of “The Rachel Maddow Show.” Maddow had the top ranked non-sports program in all of cable for the week. On CNN, “Anderson Cooper 360” ranked number one in in the demo for five straight days at 8 p.m. This ties for the longest winning streak on record for the show in that timeslot.

MSNBC’s record week comes as repeated scandals have plagued Donald Trump’s administration. First came the report last Tuesday that now former FBI Director James Comey had written in a memo that Trump personally asked him to drop the investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia. That report was followed closely by another claiming Trump gave away classified information to Russian diplomats during a meeting in the Oval Office. Finally, on Wednesday, the Department of Justice announced that they would appoint former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel in charge of the Trump-Russia investigation.

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Rod Rosenstein resigns from his post before President Trump can fire him

Rosenstein’s comments about secretly recording the President backfire, and resignation may throw the Mueller Russiagate probe into question.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The Washington Times broke the story that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein resigned from his post. He submitted his resignation to Chief of Staff John Kelly.  At present the breaking story says the following:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is out at the Department of Justice.

Axios reported that Mr. Rosenstein verbally resigned to White House Chief Of Staff John Kelly, but CNN said that he is expecting to be fired.

Sarah Isgur Flores, a Department of Justice spokeswoman, declined to comment on the reports.

Mr. Rosenstein’s departure immediately throws Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian collusion probe into chaos.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation, leaving Mr. Rosenstein in charge.

President Trump mulled firing the No. 2 at the Department of Justice over the weekend.

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This report came after Fox News reported that the Deputy AG was summoned to the White House. Fox reported a little more detail:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is heading to the White House expecting to be fired, sources tell Fox News, in the wake of a report that he suggested wearing a wire against President Trump and invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office last year.

This is a developing story, however one major factor that comes under consideration is the fate of Robert Mueller and his Russiagate investigation, which was authorized by Rosenstein. CNBC had this to say in their piece:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is resigning Monday, according to Axios, which cited a source familiar with the matter.

NBC News’ Pete Williams, however, reported that Rosenstein would not resign of his own accord, and that he will only depart if the White House fired him. He will refuse to resign if asked to do so, Williams added.

Rosenstein was at the White House when Williams reported this on the air. However, President Donald Trump is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

Bloomberg later reported that the White House accepted Rosenstein’s resignation, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Rosenstein’s expected resignation will immediately raise questions about the fate of the ongoing investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump.

Rosenstein’s job security was called into question after The New York Times reported last week that the No. 2 DOJ official had discussed invoking the 25th amendment to remove Trump, and had also talked about surreptitiously recording the president.

Rosenstein oversees the special counsel investigation, and has appointed Mueller to run the Russia probe last year, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the case.

The special counsel’s office declined to comment on the report.

The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on Axios’ report. The Justice Department did not immediately respond to CNBC’s inquiry.

Trump has repeatedly blasted Mueller’s inquiry, which also is focused on possible collusion with Russia by members of the Trump campaign.

He has called the investigation a “witch hunt,” and has repeatedly vented frustration about Sessions’ recusal, which directly led to Mueller’s appointment by Rosenstein.

Rosenstein’s expected departure comes on the heels of a guilty plea by Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort to conspiracy charges related to his consulting work in Ukraine, which predates his role on the campaign.

As part of the investigation, Mueller’s team has been locked in an ongoing back-and-forth with Trump’s legal team over an in-person interview with the president.

Trump’s lawyers, including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, have signaled that Trump is unwilling to sit for an interview, calling it a “perjury trap” and setting up a potential challenge for Mueller to subpoena the president.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

 

 

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European Council crushes Theresa May’s soft Brexit dream (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 116.

Alex Christoforou

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UK Prime Minister Theresa May hoped that the European Council was ready to see things her way, in terms of proceeding with a soft Brexit, which was essentially no Brexit at all…at least not the hard Brexit that was voted on in a democratic referendum approximately two years ago.

Much to May’s surprise, European Council President Donald Tusk delivered a death blow verdict for May’s Brexit, noting that EU leaders are in full agreement that Chequers plan for Brexit “will not work” because “it risks undermining the single market.”

Without a miracle compromise springing up come during the October summit, the UK will drift into the March 29, 2019 deadline without a deal and out of the European Union…which was initially what was voted for way back in 2016, leaving everyone asking, what the hell was May doing wasting Britain’s time and resources for two years, so as to return back to the hard Brexit terms she was charged with carrying forward after the 2016 referendum?

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss what was a disastrous EU summit in Salzburg for UK PM Theresa May, in what looks to be the final nail in May’s tenure as UK Prime Minister, as a hard Brexit now seems all but certain.

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Via Zerohedge

Tusk was speaking at the end of an EU summit in Salzburg, where the leaders of the 27 remaining states in the bloc were discussing Brexit. He said that while there were “positive elements” in May’s Chequers plan, a deal that puts the single market at risk cannot be accepted.

“Everybody shared the view that while there are positive elements in the Chequers proposal, the suggested framework for economic co-operation will not work, not least because it is undermining the single market,” Tusk said. He also said that he could not “exclude” the possibility that the UK could exit the EU in March with no deal.

May has been urging her European counterparts to accept her controversial Chequers plan which has split both the Conservative party and the broader UK population after it was thrashed out back in July. However, despite the painfully-slow negotiation process, which appears to have made little headway with just a few months left, the UK is set to leave the EU on March 29 2019 – with or without an exit deal.

The main sticking point that has emerged, and left May and the EU at loggerheads, has been how to avoid new checks on the Irish border. May has claimed that her proposals were the “only serious, credible” way to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland. She said during a press conference after the Salzburg meeting that she would not accept the EU’s “backstop” plan to avoid a Northern Ireland hard border. She said the UK would shortly be bringing forward its own proposals.

May also said that there was “a lot of hard work to be done,” adding that the UK was also preparing for the eventuality of having to leave the EU without a deal. Tusk, meanwhile, said that the upcoming October summit would be the “moment of truth” for reaching a deal, and that “if the conditions are there” another summit would be held in November to “formalize” it.

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Russia makes HUGE strides in drone technology

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The US and Israel are universally recognized leaders in the development and use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones. Thousands of American and Israeli UAVs are operating across the world daily.

The US military has recently successfully tested an air-to-air missile to turn its MQ-9 Reaper drone into an effective long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance unmanned spy aircraft capable of air-to-surface as well as air-to-air missions. This is a major breakthrough. It’s not a secret that Russia has been lagging behind in UAV development. Now its seems to be going to change with tangible progress made to narrow the gap.

Very few nations boast drones capable of high-altitude long endurance (HALE) missions. Russia is to enter the club of the chosen. In late 2017, the Russian Defense Ministry awarded a HALE UAV contract to the Kazan-based Simonov design bureau.

This month, Russian Zvezda military news TV channel showed a video (below) of Altair (Altius) heavy drone prototype aircraft number “03”, going through its first flight test.

Propelled by two RED A03/V12 500hp high fuel efficiency diesel engines, each producing a capacity of 500 hp on takeoff, the 5-ton heavy vehicle with a wingspan of 28.5 meters boasts a maximum altitude of 12km and a range of 10,000km at a cruising speed of 150-250km/h.

Wingspan: about 30 meters. Maximum speed: up to 950 km/h. Flight endurance: 48 hours. Payload: two tons, which allows the creation of a strike version. The vehicle is able to autonomously take off and land or be guided by an operator from the ground.

The UAV can carry the usual range of optical and thermal sensors as well as synthetic-aperture ground-surveillance radar with the resolution of .1 meter at the range of 35km and 1 meter at the range of 125km. The communications equipment allows real-time data exchange.

Russia’s UAV program currently underway includes the development of a range of large, small, and mid-sized drones. The Orion-E medium altitude long endurance (MALE) UAV was unveiled at the MAKS 2017 air show. Its developer, Kronstadt Technologies, claims it could be modified for strike missions. The one-ton drone is going through testing now. The Orion-E is capable of automatic takeoff and landing.

It can fly continuously for 24 hours, carrying a surveillance payload of up to 200 kg to include a forward looking infra-red (FLIR) turret, synthetic aperture radar and high resolution cameras. The drone can reach a maximum altitude of 7,500 m. Its range is 250 km.

The Sukhoi design bureau is currently developing the Okhotnik (Hunter) strike drone with a range of about 3,500km. The drone made its maiden flight this year. In its current capacity, it has an anti-radar coating, and will store missiles and precision-guided bombs internally to avoid radar detection.

The Kazan-based Eniks Design Bureau is working on the small T-16 weaponized aerial vehicle able to carry 6 kg of payload.

The new Russian Korsar (Corsair) tactical surveillance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) will be upgraded to receive an electronic warfare system. Its operational range will be increased from 150km to 250km. The drone was revealed at Victory Day military parade along with the Korsar unmanned combat helicopter version.

The rotary wing drone lacks the speed and altitude of the fixed wing variant, but has a great advantage of being able to operate without landing strips and can be sea-based. Both drones can carry guided and unguided munitions. The fixed-wing version can be armed with Ataka 9M120 missiles.

The first Russian helicopter-type unmanned aerial vehicle powered by hydrogen fuel cells was presented at the Army-2018 international forum. With the horizontal cruising speed of the drone up to 60 kph, the unmanned chopper can stay in the air at least 2.5 hours to conduct reconnaissance operations. Its payload is up to 5 kg.

Last November, the Kalashnikov Concern reported that it would start production of heavy unmanned aerial vehicles capable of carrying up to several tons of cargo and operating for several days at a time without needing to recharge.

All in all, the Russian military operate 1,900 drones on a daily basis. The multi-purpose Orlan-10 with a range of 600km has become a working horse that no military operation, including combat actions in Syria, can be conducted without. Maj. Gen. Alexander Novikov,
the head of the Russian General Staff’s Office for UAV Development, Russian drones performed over 23,000 flights, lasting 140,000 hours in total.

Russia’s State Armament Program for 2018-2027 puts the creation of armed UAVs at the top of priorities’ list. Looks like the effort begins to pay off. Russia is well on the way to become second to none in UAV capability.

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Via Strategic Culture

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