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FBI Suspects Russia Hacked Emails of Clinton Campaign Chairman

hacker-istock-photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI suspects what Democrats have been saying for weeks: Russian intelligence agencies hacked the emails of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman and a contractor handling Florida voter data, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

And now top Russian officials are no longer denying the country was involved in a separate attack of the Democratic National Convention. President Vladimir Putin, for example, said it’s irrelevant who hacked the computer records.

“Everyone is saying, ‘Who did it?’” Mr. Putin said at an investor forum in Moscow. “But does it matter that much? It’s what’s inside the information that matters.”

Just weeks before the election, the FBI has uncovered numerous political targets for hackers.

Clinton’ campaign chairman, John Pedesta, also suggested Russian intelligence agencies are behind the hacks of his emails.

“This level of meddling by a foreign power can only be aimed at boosting Donald Trump and should send chills down the spine of all Americans, regardless of political party,’’ accusing Trump of “continuing to side with the Russians.”

Investigators Say Small Plane Crash in Connecticut Appears to Be ‘Intentional Act’

East Hartford, Conn.

East Hartford, Conn.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Investigators are coming to a chilling conclusion about the small plane crash in East Hartford, Conn.: It appears to be “the result of an intentional act,” the National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday.

The NTSB plans to hand over the case to the FBI, ABC News reports. 

Earlier Wednesday, the agency said, “If there is reason for us to believe that a criminal event has occurred, then we will take formal steps to transfer the investigation to the FBI.”

The crash killed a student pilot and seriously injured the instructor when the plane hit a utility pole and caught fire.

Investigators are looking into information that the student pilot was a Jordanian national.

“We are in touch with the relevant U.S. authorities on this matter as they undergo their investigation,” the Embassy of Jordan in Washington D.C. wrote in a statement.

The FBI has been interviewing the surviving flight instructor, Arian Prevalla, 43, who was upgraded to fair condition from critical condition Wednesday.

The family of Prevalla said they don’t have much information.

“We are all, of course, glad he survived. As of now, we have not been able to speak to him because the FBI was still questioning him.”

FBI Investigating Bomb Found in Backpack Outside Colorado Police Station

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating the discovery of an explosive device in a backpack outside a police department in a small Colorado town.

The bag was found by a Nederland place detective and discovered “suspicious articles” that were later deemed to be an improvised explosive device, police Marshal Paul Carrill said, the Associated Press reports. 

The backpack was searched by two robots, and the device was found to be active but failed to detonate.

“It’s difficult to interpret why someone would do this,” said Carrill, who declined to disclose if police have identified the backpack’s owner. “It is my hope and intent, for the health and safety of the community to get to the bottom of why.”

Carroll is asking the public to come forward with information because “the individual or individuals who may have assembled this could be a risk to their neighbors.”

Justice Department Finds Implicit Bias Against People of Color in New Report

ca_-_san_francisco_policeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A six-month Justice Department investigation of the San Francisco Police Department revealed numerous problems, including an institutional bias against people of color.

The report said, “The deficiencies identified range from outdated use of force policies to inadequate data collection and lack of accountability measures. The assessment team identified disparities in traffic stops, post-stop searches, and use of deadly force against African-Americans. In addition, there are numerous indicators of implicit and institutionalized bias against minority groups,” according to CNN. 

The Justice Department recommended more than 27 change in the police department following an investigation sparked by several officer-involved fatal shootings.

Most of the cases of deadly use of force involved people of color.

“The truth hurts,” said Ronald Davis, director of the Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. ”To be selectively ignorant and pretend nothing is going on around you is ultimately going to be fatal to your organization.”

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee pledged to pledged to respond to the findings.

“The SFPD will accept and implement every single recommendation. We must restore trust, ” Lee said. “We have worked hard to put reforms in place. We did not wait for the DOJ report to become final.”

Other Stories of Interest

Firebrand Arizona Sheriff to Face Charges of Unlawfully Targeting Immigrants

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, a prominent Donald Trump supporter who has been a firebrand for the anti-immigration movement, is expected to be charged for willfully defying federal court orders.

The Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section said Tuesday it intends to take the Maricopa County sheriff to trial on criminal charges, the Washington Post reports. 

Arpaio is accused of failing to stop targeting undocumented immigrants without a legal basis.

Arpaio’s attorney, Mel McDonald, said the sheriff “vehemently denies that he was ever knowingly and willfully contemptuous of any court order” and plans to fight the case.

U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow ruled in August that the sheriff was defying the court’s order, and the sheriff’s office “continued to stop and detain persons based on factors including their race, and frequently arrested and delivered such persons to [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] when there were no state charges to bring against them.”

“Sheriff Arpaio did so based on the notoriety he received for, and the campaign donations he received because of, his immigration enforcement activity,” Snow wrote.

Clinton Campaign Chairman Blames Russia for Email Hack, Suggests Trump Involved

Hillary Clinton, via Wikipedia.

Hillary Clinton, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman, John Podesta, blamed Russia on attacking his personal email account and suggested Donald Trump’s campaign may have been involved.

Podesta’s private email account was hacked, and the FBI is investigating, the Clinton aide said, the Washington Post reports. 

“I’ve been involved in politics for nearly five decades, and this definitely is the first campaign that I’ve been involved with in which I’ve had to tangle with Russian intelligence agencies, who seem to be doing everything they can on behalf of our opponent,” Podesta told reporters.

Pedestal said the FBI told him on Sunday that his email hack is part of a wider investigation into potential Russian cyberattacks.

“Russian interference in this election and apparently on behalf of [Donald] Trump is, I think, of the utmost concern to all Americans, whether you’re a Democrat or independent or Republican,” Podesta said.

FBI Investigating Whether Connecticut Plane Crash Was Intentional

East Hartford, Conn.

East Hartford, Conn.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating whether the Jordanian pilot who crashed a small plane into a utility pole in East Hartford did it intentionally.

One person was killed and another seriously injured in the crashed, CBS News reports.

The pilot, Feras M. Freitekh, entered the U.S. on a temporary student visa in 2012 for flight school.

The instructor told investigators that he believed the Cesna was intentionally crashed.

The crash occurred at 4 p.m., and the Piper PA 34 twin-engine plane burst into flames.

A passenger in the plane was killed, and the pilot was rushed to the hospital with serious burns.

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Border Patrol Agent Can Be Sued for Killing Mexican Teen

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Can a Border Patrol agent be sued for shooting and killing a Mexican teenager?

The Supreme Court decided Tuesday it will take up the case of a Border Patrol agent who shot and killed a Mexican teenager who was playing with friends, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

The victim of the 2010 shooting was an unarmed 15-year-old named Sergio Hernandez.

The central question: Does the 4th Amendment extend beyond the U.S. border patrolled by Border Patrol agents?

Lawyers for the parents of the teenager argue that the 4th Amendment’s ban on unreasonable seizures and the unjustified use of deadly force extends beyond the border where agents patrol.

Hernandez “was killed in a culvert the U.S. officials patrol and effectively control,” the lawyers wrote in their appeal to the high court.