Seeking a trade, Israel to withhold bodies of Palestinian militants

Israel said on Sunday it will withhold the bodies of Palestinians killed in attacks against its citizens as it seeks to pressure Hamas to return the remains of soldiers and hand back missing Israeli civilians. Hamas says it is holding two Israeli soldiers whom the army declared dead after they were lost in action in the 2014 Gaza war. The group also says it is holding two Israeli civilians who strayed into the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Israel’s security cabinet, a forum of senior ministers, made the decision on Sunday, enacting what it said would be a permanent policy for dealing with the bodies of militants. “The security cabinet discussed ways to effect the return of fallen soldiers and of civilians […]

Seeking a trade, Israel to withhold bodies of Palestinian militants

Israel said on Sunday it will withhold the bodies of Palestinians killed in attacks against its citizens as it seeks to pressure Hamas to return the remains of soldiers and hand back missing Israeli civilians. Hamas says it is holding two Israeli soldiers whom the army declared dead after they were lost in action in the 2014 Gaza war. The group also says it is holding two Israeli civilians who strayed into the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Israel’s security cabinet, a forum of senior ministers, made the decision on Sunday, enacting what it said would be a permanent policy for dealing with the bodies of militants. “The security cabinet discussed ways to effect the return of fallen soldiers and of civilians […]

Trump Speaker Downplays Imminent “Russian Hacking” Revelations; Says “Zero Evidence” Russia Involved

Over the weekend, Trump made waves among policy and media circles when during a brief, informal exchange with reporters on New Year’s Eve at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, the president-elect questioned the official version of “Russians hacking the election”, saying it was possible “somebody else” compromised the Democratic campaign’s servers, and adding that he will reveal some previously undisclosed facts in the coming days by hinting that “I also know things that other people don’t know, we they cannot be sure of the situation.”

Asked what that information included, the Republican President-elect said, “You will find out on Tuesday or Wednesday.” He did not elaborate.

This naturally prompted curiosity among the press, with some wondering what, if anything Trump knows, above and beyond what has been revealed, while others such as CNN’s Jim Sciutto, suggesting that “Trump’s promise of “new information” on #RussianHacking and his team’s subsequent backing off has echoes of the birther campaign.”

1/Trump’s promise of “new information” on #RussianHacking and his team’s subsequent backing off has echoes of the birther campaign

— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) January 2, 2017

2/Often, just a hint of something secret and new is enough to keep the story going for his most ardent supporters

— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) January 2, 2017

3/Now his camp is pointing to White House review due out by inauguration but question is: will that sway him if briefings so far have not?

— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) January 2, 2017

Meanwhile, perhaps concerned by the build up in expectations, Trump’s incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday sought to temper expectations that the President-elect will reveal new details about alleged Russian hacking during the U.S. presidential election in the coming days.

“It’s not a question of necessarily revealing,” Spicer said on CNN’s “New Day.”

.@seanspicer: “Irresponsible” for Obama to act on intel report on alleged Russian hacking as it is not yet final https://t.co/lPWONBiTwk

— New Day (@NewDay) January 2, 2017

“He’s going to talk about his conclusions and where he thinks things stand. He’s not going to reveal anything that was privileged or was shared with him classified. I think he can share with people his conclusions of the report and his understanding of the situation and make sure people understand there’s a lot of questions out there. “

During the Monday interview, Spicer stressed that a report released last week that said the FBI and Department of Homeland Security had linked Russia to the hacking of Democratic party organizations is not final (it was also, as noted here yesterday, woefully inadequate and incomplete).

“The current president of the United states has not seen a final report. The intelligence community is talking about wrapping it up later this week,” he said. “I think that the idea that we’re jumping to conclusions before we have a final report is frankly irresponsible.”

Spicer also took a dig at host Alisyn Camerota. “I know this is frustrating for you that we are doing it in a logical way. We are going to actually get all the information, get briefed properly and then make a decision. We’re not going to put the cart before the horse.”

“I know this is frustrating for you that we are doing it in a logical way.” Trump spox takes shot at @AlisynCamerota https://t.co/ffqmL8CubK

— New Day (@NewDay) January 2, 2017

* * *

Following up his CNN appearance, Spicer later spoke on Fox News, and said that there’s “zero evidence” that Russia influenced the U.S. presidential election.

“The way the mainstream media is playing it up is that [Russia] had an influence on the election,” Spicer said on Fox News. “There is zero evidence that they actually influenced the election.”

Spicer emphasized on Monday that  “whether or not they were hacked and they did anything is a completely different story” than whether Russia had an influence on the election. The incoming White House speaker also added that “hacking is wrong” and that “people shouldn’t be interfering,” but said the “13-page report is more of a how-to manual for the [Democratic National Committee] as to how they can improve their IT security.”

No matter what Trump will, or won’t reveal, on “Tuesday or Wednesady”, one thing is virtually certain: it will take place on Twitter, and will completely bypass the conventional press distribution apparatus, leading to even greater anger among the mainstream media.

The post Trump Speaker Downplays Imminent “Russian Hacking” Revelations; Says “Zero Evidence” Russia Involved appeared first on crude-oil.top.

Kenya To Make Electricity Available For 100 Percent Of Its Population

A national drive to provide 100 percent of Kenya’s population with electricity by 2020 and reduce load losses is gaining momentum, steered by a multi-billion-dollar project pipeline. Supplying hard-to-reach rural areas that are currently off-grid forms a key part of the government’s efforts, and has opened doors to private investors and developers as Kenya’s state-owned utilities look to tap funding for projects. Their efforts are expected to receive a boost in the early part of 2017 with the launch of a framework for public-private…

The South American Nation Seeing An Oil And Gold Breakout

Big resource developments from a tiny and unexpected nation this week. Where both the mining and energy sectors are, incredibly, taking off at the same time. That’s Guyana — a roughly Florida-sized country sandwiched between Venezuela and Suriname on the Caribbean coast of South America (see map below). Where the government announced this week that the gold mining sector just hit an all-time record for production. (Click to enlarge) Guyana’s Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, told a press gathering over the weekend…