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‘Secret Society’ FBI Text Actually Began With A ‘Beefcake’ Putin Calendar

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 It was hours after Donald Trump became the president-elect, and two FBI officials, like many of their fellow citizens, were flabbergasted. Peter Strzok and Lisa Page ― both of whom had worked on the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, which the former secretary of state would blame for her loss ― were worried about the future of their country and their agency.

One text that Page sent Strzok early on the morning of Nov. 9, 2016, has dominated the conservative media world this week, serving as a springboard for a Republican conspiracy theory suggesting that the nation’s premier law enforcement organization was plotting a coup against Trump within hours of his stunning victory.

“Are you even going to give out your calendars? Seems kind of depressing,” Page, a FBI lawyer, wrote in the text to Strzok from her FBI-issued phone. “Maybe it should just be the first meeting of the secret society.”

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AFP via Getty Images
An FBI official bought calendars featuring “beefcake” photos of Vladimir Putin for the early Russia probe team.

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Click link below for article and gallery:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/fbi-text-secret-society-putin-beefcake-calendar_us_5a6940d1e4b0e56300762ffe

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There’s A Line Between Justice And Vengeance. Larry Nassar’s Judge Crossed It.

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Rosemarie Aquilina, the judge who presided over the astounding sentencing hearing of former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar this month, has emerged as a heroine for victims of sexual assault.

Her decision to allow 156 women and girls to address their alleged abuser in court, with their emotional testimony streamed live across the nation, created an invaluable opportunity for catharsis, and directed vital attention to what is likely the worst sex abuse scandal in U.S. sports history.

But Aquilina’s manner during sentencing, in which she said she was honored to sentence Nassar to die in prison and suggested he deserved to be sexually assaulted himself, has raised questions about whether she overstepped her role as an impartial arbiter of justice.

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Click link below for article and video:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/larry-nassar-judge_us_5a6a204ee4b06e25326595eb

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Exclusive: 5 Women Sue Monster Energy Over Abusive, Discriminatory Culture

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Even as he awaits a criminal trial for allegedly strangling his girlfriend during a business trip in 2016, Brent Hamilton is still the head of music marketing at Monster Energy, the multibillion-dollar beverage company partly owned by Coca-Cola.

John Kenneally is a vice president at Monster despite three women accusing him of bullying, harassment and retaliation. They say he actively undermined their reputations and forced them out of the company. HuffPost obtained text messages he sent to one of these women, in which he described her as a “whore,” made a racially charged comment about “black dicks,” and used the term “bitch” to refer to both her and another female employee. 

Another manager, Phillip Deitrich, regularly humiliated a female subordinate in front of co-workers and sabotaged her ability to work effectively, according to a sex discrimination lawsuit she filed. He still has a job. She left the company.

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Sara Rabuse said Brent Hamilton (right) charmed her early on and she fell in love.

Sara Rabuse

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Click link below for article and video:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/monster-energy-lawsuits_us_5a6280c1e4b002283002ca27

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Southern California Mudslides Leave At Least 15 Dead

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A day after powerful mudslides swept through the Southern California community of Montecito, rescue crews continued to search the wreckage for missing people on Wednesday.

The disaster left at least 15 people dead, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office tweeted Wednesday. At least 25 people have been injured in the mudslides, while more than 50 people were rescued by air, officials said. Over two dozen people were unaccounted for as of Wednesday morning, The New York Times reported. 

And those numbers will likely rise, as authorities told the AP flash floods have destroyed 100 single-family homes and damaged 300 more in Santa Barbara County.

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Powerful mudslides swept through the Southern California

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Click link below for article and video:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/california-mudslides-death-toll_us_5a5625d3e4b0b117f881385f?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

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10 Democratic Primaries To Watch In 2018

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After big wins in Virginia and Alabama last year, Democrats are poised to make gains in this November’s midterm elections.

But first, a series of contentious Democratic primaries could shape how well the party fares in November, as well as the ideological character of the incoming Democratic elected officials.

Some of the most pivotal Democratic Party primaries to watch in 2018.

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10 Democratic Primaries To Watch

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Click link below for article, video and gallery:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ten-democratic-primaries-to-watch-in-2018_us_5a4d652fe4b0b0e5a7aad4d5

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Oprah Calls For Day When No One Has To Say ‘Me Too’ During Golden Globes Speech

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Oprah Winfrey assured women and girls everywhere that “time is up” for men in power who have silenced them during her history-making speech at the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards.

The media mogul ― who holds many titles, including actress, TV host, producer, author and philanthropist ― became the first black woman to receive the Cecil B. DeMille award during Sunday’s ceremony. During her acceptance speech, Winfrey recalled sitting on her the floor in her childhood home watching Sidney Poitier become the first black person to win an Oscar for Best Actor.

“I’d never seen a black man being celebrated like that. And I tried many, many times to explain what a moment like that means to a little girl, a kid watching from the cheap seats as my mom came through the door bone-tired from cleaning other people’s houses,” she recalled. “In 1982, Sidney received the Cecil B. DeMille award right here at the Golden Globe awards and it is not lost on me that at this moment, there are some little girls watching as I become the first black woman to be given this same award.”

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Click link below for article, video and gallery:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/oprah-golden-globes-speech_us_5a52451ae4b089e14dbbbf4f

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Masturbating Inmates Are A ‘Traumatizing’ Daily Problem For Female Lawyers In This Jail

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Public defenders who work for Cook County, which includes Chicago, are dealing with what can only be described as nightmare levels of sexual assault and harassment, according to a lawsuit filed in Illinois federal court on Wednesday by six female lawyers.

Male inmates in courtroom lockups and Cook County Jail, one of the country’s largest, repeatedly exposed themselves and masturbated in front of lawyers, law clerks and interns, making it nearly impossible for them to do their jobs, according to the lawsuit and other public complaints and reports.  

The situation was widely known, but authorities did little to stop the behavior, the plaintiffs claimed.

The women filed the suit against their boss, Public Defender Amy Campanelli, and against Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart, charging that Campanelli and Dart failed to take adequate measures to fix some of the most egregious examples of a hostile work environment.

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Jim Young / Reuters
A Cook County Sheriff’s police car patrols the exterior of the Cook County Jail in Chicago on Jan. 12, 2016. 

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Click link below for article:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/chicago-jail-harassment-lawsuit_us_5a04af9ce4b03deac08c13d3

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What Is The Massive Document Leak Known As The Paradise Papers?

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An enormous document leak of over 13 million files was revealed on Sunday, in what is being collectively referred to as the Paradise Papers. It’s one of the biggest data leaks in history, and involves the elaborate offshore assets of top politicians and corporations, as well as some of the world’s wealthiest individuals and celebrities.

Millions of the leaked files come from a single company, Appleby, which is based in Bermuda and offers offshore legal services. Appleby has denied any wrongdoing in relation to the findings from the documents.

The Paradise Papers closely resemble a document leak from last year known as the Panama Papers, which also detailed the offshore holdings and tax avoidance schemes of some of the world’s most powerful people.

The Panama Papers caused a significant international fallout when they were released in April 2016, even leading to the resignation of Iceland’s prime minister amid protests and the surrounding controversy. The effects of this new Paradise Papers leak remain to be seen, but it has already put increased scrutiny on high-profile figures including U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Queen Elizabeth II.

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Hannah Mckay / Reuters
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth attends The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery 70th parade in Hyde Park in London on Oct. 19, 2017.

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https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/paradise-papers-leak-explainer_us_59ff57b9e4b0c965300029eb

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Pope Francis Uses Christmas Message To Call For Two-State Solution

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Pope Francis used his Christmas message on Monday to call for a negotiated two-state solution to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, after U.S. President Donald Trump stoked regional tensions with his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Francis spoke of the Middle East conflict and other world flashpoints in his “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) address, four days after more than 120 countries backed a U.N. resolution urging the United States to reverse its decision on Jerusalem.

“Let us pray that the will to resume dialog may prevail between the parties and that a negotiated solution can finally be reached, one that would allow the peaceful coexistence of two states within mutually agreed and internationally recognized borders,” he said, referring to the Israelis and Palestinians.

“We see Jesus in the children of the Middle East who continue to suffer because of growing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians,” he said in his address, delivered from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica to tens of thousands of people.

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Pope Francis

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Click link below for article and video:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/pope-francis-christmas-message-two-state-solution_us_5a410709e4b025f99e17f407

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Thomas Fire Close To Becoming The Biggest Wildfire In California History

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The Thomas fire burning in Southern California is on the verge of becoming the largest blaze on state record, accomplishing a shocking feat for this time of year. 

The relentless wildfire burning in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties has burned a total of 272,000 acres and remains 60 percent contained as of Wednesday, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also known as Cal Fire, said in a release.

While the fire’s growth has slowed since igniting on Dec. 4, it’s on track to claim the title of the state’s largest fire on record from the 2003 Cedar Fire, which burned more than 280,000 acres in San Diego County. The data is based on records dating back to 1932. 

While good weather conditions in recent days have allowed firefighters to make progress in fighting the blaze, wind gusts of up to 70 mph are expected to pick up tonight or tomorrow and could challenge firefighters working on the Thomas fire, Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said in a Wednesday update. 

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Gene Blevins / Reuters

Firefighters attack the Thomas fire’s north flank with backfires near Ojai, Dec. 9, 2017.

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Click link below for article:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/thomas-fire-ranking_us_5a3ab80ee4b025f99e1426be

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