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Kari Lake Responds to Defamation Lawsuit Filed by Top Arizona Elections Official

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Republican candidate Kari Lake was the target of a defamation lawsuit filed by a senior election official in Maricopa County, Arizona, on Thursday. Kari Lake replied by accusing the official of attempting to silence her.

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer claimed he’s faced “violent vitriol and other dire consequences” because of allegations made by Lake about the 2022 midterm elections. Following the election, Lake has filed several lawsuits with various Arizona state courts to claim that irregularities and errors that occurred during the midterms should make her the winner.

“Rather than accept political defeat, rather than get a new job, she has sought to undermine confidence in our elections and has mobilized millions of her followers against me,” Richer wrote in an op-ed published in The Arizona Republic.

Lake has claimed that Richer and other Maricopa County officials meddled in the election to prevent her from defeating Democrat Katie Hobbs, who was inaugurated in as governor in January, in the campaign for governor after multiple cases were dismissed. In the meanwhile, Lake is publicly mulling a bid for the U.S. Senate and is allegedly a top possibility to serve as Trump’s running mate in the 2024 election.

Lake, her campaign, and her political fundraising organization are named as defendants in Richer’s case, which was filed in Maricopa County Superior Court. Richer is requesting a court ruling deeming Lake’s claims fake and ordering her to remove them from social media in addition to undisclosed monetary penalties.

Two of Lake’s claims are contested in his complaint, including the claim that Richer purposefully printed 19-inch ballot pictures on 20-inch paper, creating issues with counting on election day. He further said in the complaint that he deliberately threw 300,000 fictitious votes into the voting process.

In the lawsuit, Lake’s claims were supported by screenshots and links to videos and social media posts.

“Lake Campaign’s false and defamatory statements accused Richer, of among other things, intentionally sabotaging the 2022 election by intentionally having ballot-on-demand printers print the wrong sized ballots,” he wrote in the suit, adding that her statements also “damaged Richer.”

Although Lake had the First Amendment right to criticize him, his attorneys contend that she made false claims that may have been defamatory. “She has gone far outside of the bounds of protected free speech as guaranteed under the First Amendment and the Arizona Constitution,” Richer claimed in The Republic opinion article.

Her Response

Lake responded by writing on her Twitter page that Richer’s lawsuit is an effort to silence her. Lake has previously promised to take her election disputes all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.

“I’m exposing the massive corruption in our elections and this … is suing me,” Lake wrote on Twitter Thursday. “He wants to silence US … corrupt elections have saddled us with disasters like [Joe] Biden and Hobbs.”

Officials who allegedly “orchestrated the wide-spread fraud want us to shut-up and accept it,” she wrote, adding a link to a donation webste. “We won’t. Our country is GONE unless we tackle this problem. They want to stop President Trump. They want to stop me. They want to stop you. Not. Going. To. Happen.”

One of Lake’s legal claims is that on Election Day on November 8, thousands of Republican voters were denied the right to vote due to vote-tabulation system malfunctions at dozens of polling places in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous county. She also said that the county’s signature-verification procedure for mail-in votes was allegedly flawed.

The Arizona Supreme Court dismissed Lake’s complaint against Maricopa, Richer, and other state election officials last month, finding that the GOP candidate had not provided sufficient proof of widespread voting fraud. Peter Thompson, a Maricopa County judge, rendered a decision in May that rejected Maricopa County officials’ request for sanctions against Lake and her counsel.

“Even if her argument did not prevail, Lake, through her witness, presented facts consistent with and in support of her legal argument,” Thompson wrote at the time. “The remainder of Defendants’ allegations appear to rely on the Court’s inherent power as the authority by which they request the Court ‘award’ unspecified sanctions ‘against’ Lake’s counsel,” he also said.

The judge said he “acknowledges its inherent authority to sanction bad faith attorney conduct and that the rules of attorney conduct in the Rules of the Supreme Court provide a legal basis for imposing sanctions against attorneys,” according to the ruling However, he stipulated that “opposing litigants in a heated dispute will naturally view the same evidence differently.”

On May 26, a couple of days after County Attorney Rachel Mitchell submitted a motion for sanctions the previous week, Thompson ultimately rejected the request for punishment and the plea for restitution. It happened roughly a day after Thompson decided Lake had not provided sufficient evidence to support her contention that county authorities had not verified tens of thousands of signatures on mail-in votes.

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CIA Secret Report Reveals Warning to Russia of Terrorist Attack was Marked “Urgent” but Failed to Identify Target

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US warning regarding a potential terrorist attack at a concert venue in Russia was labeled as “urgent.” However, the warning, according to Hersh’s source, did not specify Crocus City Hall as the target, despite some media reports suggesting otherwise.

The CIA allegedly provided the warning to Russian intelligence before the concert at the Crocus City Hall marking it “urgent,” meaning that the data in it “was credible and near term,” Hersh quoted the official as saying.

“The highly secret report on the attack in Moscow was prepared by the Counterterrorism Center at CIA headquarters and delivered to the terrorism division of the Russian Federal Security Service located in the old KGB building in Moscow. Separate briefings were presented in person by the FBI officer at the embassy. This is an established relationship,” the official said.

The warning, however, did not mention Crocus City Hall near Moscow and only said that an attack was being planned at some “public gathering,” according to the official.

The information provided by the official is contrary to a Washington Post report published on Tuesday claiming that Crocus City Hall was specifically identified in the warning as the target of a terrorist attack.

On March 22, several armed men broke into Crocus City Hall, a major concert venue just outside Moscow, and started shooting at people. They also started a fire in one of the auditoriums, which was full of people ahead of a concert. The attack left 695 casualties, including 144 dead, according to the latest data from the Russian Emergencies Ministry.

The four main suspects in the case — all of them citizens of Tajikistan — tried to flee the scene in a car but were detained and charged with terrorism. Russian authorities believe the perpetrators planned to flee to Ukraine, where a safe haven had been arranged for them. An investigation is underway.

Later in March, The New York Times reported, citing European and US security officials, that the US intelligence agencies did not provide the Russian side with all the information they had about the threat of a terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall in the Moscow Region out of fear that Russian authorities might learn about their intelligence sources or methods of work.

Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Alexander Bortnikov also said that the information transmitted by the United States on the preparation of a terrorist attack was of a general nature, and the Russian special services responded to it.

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Biden Admin is Using Fraudulent Climate Dataset in Push For Green Agenda, According to Government Watchdog

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A government watchdog group has filed a complaint with the Biden administration over its use of a dataset frequently used to push its climate agenda.

Protect the Public’s Trust (PPT) filed the complaint with the Commerce Department over the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) “Billions Project” dataset, which purports to keep track of natural [and climate] disasters that have caused at least $1 billion in damages going back to 1980. The billion-dollar disasters (BDD) data — cited frequently by the Biden administration to insinuate that climate change is intensifying and justify sweeping green policies — is based on opaque data derived from questionable accounting practices, PPT alleges in the complaint.

“American families and businesses continue to struggle with persistently high inflation, which many attribute in large part to the energy policies and government spending of the current administration. The idea that blatant violations of scientific integrity could be underlying the rationale for these policies should concern every American,” Michael Chamberlain, PPT’s director, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Unfortunately, this is far from an isolated incident. The Biden Administration came into office pledging that its decision making would be grounded in the highest-quality science, but all too often has failed to live up to those promises.”

The complaint was filed with the Commerce Department, as NOAA operates under its auspices, Chamberlain told the DCNF.

PPT’s complaint alleges that NOAA does not adequately disclose its sources and methods for compiling the BDD dataset, adds and removes BDD events from the dataset without providing its rationale for doing so and produces cost estimates that are sometimes significantly different than those generated by more conventional accounting procedures.

While NOAA states that it develops its BDD data from more than a dozen sources, the agency does not disclose those sources for specific events or show how it calculates loss estimates from those sources, PPT’s complaint alleges.

The complaint further alleges that NOAA’s accounting methods are opaque and “produce suspect results.”

For example, when Hurricane Id alia took aim at Florida in 2023, NOAA initially projected that the storm would cause about $2.5 billion worth of damages before insured losses ultimately came in at about $310 million, according to PPT’s complaint, which cites the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation

 for that figure. Nevertheless, NOAA subsequently marked up its estimate for how much damage the storm caused to $3.5 billion, a discrepancy for which NOAA provided no explanation, PPT alleges in its complaint.

NOAA researchers have disclosed in the past that the agency considers factors such as functions pertaining to livestock feeding costs — in addition to more conventional types of damages — in their cost calculations.

Further, the complaint alleges that BDD events are quietly added and removed from the dataset without explanation, citing Roger Pielke Jr., a former academic who believes climate change to be a real threat but opposes politicized science. In a forthcoming paper analyzing the merits of BDD statistics, Pielke compared the dataset in late 2022 to the dataset in the middle of 2023 and found that ten new BDD events were added to the list and 3 were subtracted without explanation.

Apart from the issues with methodology alleged by PPT in its complaint, the use of BDD events as a proxy for climate change’s intensity is inherently misleading because economic data does not reflect changes in meteorological conditions, as Pielke has previously explained to the DCNF.

For example, increasing concentrations of assets, especially in coastal areas, can confound the usefulness of BDD events as an indicator for the intensity of climate change, as Energy and Environment Legal Institute Senior Policy Fellow Steve Milloy has previously explained to the DCNF. Hypothetically, the same exact hurricane could hit the same exact place, decades apart, with vastly different damage totals; this would be the case because there are simply more assets sitting in the way of the storm, not because the storm was any more violent due to worsening climate change.

NOAA has acknowledged this limitation of the dataset in prior communications with the DCNF.

Additionally, NOAA will add disasters to the list retrospectively because it adjusts for inflation, meaning that a hurricane that caused $800 million in damages in 1980 dollars would be added to the list because the damages exceed $1 billion when adjusted for inflation, for example.

The Biden administration has frequently cited the BDD dataset to substantiate its massive climate agenda.

For example, Deputy Energy Secretary David Turk cited the dataset in written testimony submitted to lawmakers in February explaining the White House’s decision to pause new approvals for liquefied natural gas export terminals.

The BDD statistics are also referenced Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5), the Biden administration’s landmark climate report that is intended to provide the most sound scientific basis for lawmakers and officials to craft climate policy.

NOAA asserted that the increasing frequency of BDD events is a sign of intensifying climate change in a January press release and blog post summarizing 2023, and then defended the use of the dataset in subsequent communications with the DCNF.

“Sensational climate claims made without proper scientific basis and spread by government officials threaten the public’s trust in its scientific officials and undermines the government’s mission of stewarding the environment,” PPT’s complaint states. “It also poses the danger of policymakers basing consequential government policy on unscientific claims unsupported by evidence.”

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U.S. Military Has Started Recalling Retirees Due to Recruiting Crisis

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The U.S. Army Publishing Directorate released the ALARACT 017/2024, titled, “Utilization of the Army Retiree Recall Program.”

The document cites Executive Order 13223 from the Bush administration in 2001.

A retiree recall is a “retired Soldier who is ordered to active duty (AD) from the Retired Reserve or the retired list under 10 USC 688/688a, 12301(a), or 12301(d). Per AR 601-10, Recalled retiree Soldiers must be aligned to a valid vacant AC requirement that matches the grade and skill of the retiree before he or she may be recalled to AD,” according to the document. “The retiree population will be utilized as a last resort to fill Active Component vacant requirements.”

The ALARACT 017/2024 comes as the U.S. military is experiencing a recruitment crisis.

The U.S. Army recently announced that it is cutting thousands of positions. Authorized troop levels will now be an estimated 470,000 by fiscal year 2029, down 24,000 from its 494,000 soldiers.

“While making these investments and adding formations, the Army must also reduce force structure to protect readiness in light of decreased end strength. The Army is currently significantly over-structured, meaning there are not enough soldiers to fill out existing units and organizations. Army leaders seek to have at least 470,000 soldiers in the Active Component by FY29, which is nearly 20,000 above the current end strength but a reduction of about 24,000 authorizations compared to currently planned force structure,” the report

 states.

It added that the Army is “undertaking a similarly important transformation of its recruiting enterprise so that it can man units sufficiently, continue to bring the right types and amounts of new talent into the Army, and rebuild its overall end strength.” Noting the ongoing recruitment failure within the U.S. military, the document noted, “The Army must solve its recruiting challenges to successfully transform for the future.”

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