U.S. sends message to Turkey, halts F-35 equipment shipments

The United States has halted delivery of equipment related to the stealthy F-35 fighter aircraft to Turkey, sources familiar with the situation said, marking the first concrete U.S. step to block delivery of the jet to the NATO ally in light of Ankara’s planned purchase of a Russian missile defense system.

In recent days, U.S. officials told their Turkish counterparts they will not receive further shipments of F-35 related equipment needed to prepare for the arrival of the stealthy jet, two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters. The aircraft is built by Lockheed Martin Corp.

The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the next shipment of training equipment, and all subsequent shipments of F-35 related material, have been canceled.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has refused to back down from Ankara’s planned purchase of a Russian S-400 missile defense system that the United States has said would compromise the security of F-35 aircraft. Turkey has said it will take delivery of the S-400s in July.

The disagreement over the F-35 is the latest of a series of diplomatic disputes between the United States and Turkey including Turkish demands that the United States extradite Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, differences over Middle East policy and the war in Syria, and sanctions on Iran.

A Pentagon official had told Reuters in March that the United States had a number of items it could withhold in order to send Turkey a signal that the United States was serious about Ankara dropping its ambition to own the S-400.

The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Turkish officials in Ankara were not immediately available for comment.

The U.S. decision on the F-35s was expected to complicate Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s planned visit to Washington this week for a NATO summit. The latest development in the F-35 dispute came a day after Erdogan suffered one of his biggest electoral losses in decades in local elections.

Reuters reported last week that Washington was exploring whether it could remove Turkey from production of the F-35. Turkey makes parts of the fuselage, landing gear and cockpit displays. Sources familiar with the F-35’s intricate worldwide production process and U.S. thinking on the issue last week said Turkey’s role can be replaced.

The United States and other NATO allies that own F-35s fear the radar on the Russian S-400 missile system will learn how to spot and track the jet, making it less able to evade Russian weapons in the future.

In an attempt to persuade Turkey to drop its plans to buy the S-400, the United States offered the pricier American-made Patriot anti-missile system in a discounted deal that expired at the end of March. Turkey has shown interest in the Patriot system, but not at the expense of abandoning the S-400.

Turkey has engaged with U.S. negotiators in recent days about buying the Patriot system, a person familiar with the matter said. The system is made by Raytheon Co.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-turkey-f35-exclusive/exclusive-u-s-sends-message-to-turkey-halts-f-35-equipment-shipments-sources-idUSKCN1RD316

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Official: Trump team overruled 25 security clearance denials

A career official in the White House security office says dozens of people in President Donald Trump’s administration were granted security clearances despite “disqualifying issues” in their backgrounds, such as concerns about foreign influence, drug use and criminal conduct.

Tricia Newbold, an 18-year government employee who oversees the issuance of clearances for some senior White House aides, says she compiled a list of at least 25 officials who were initially denied security clearances last year because of their backgrounds. But she says senior Trump aides overturned those decisions, moves that she said weren’t made “in the best interest of national security.”

Newbold’s allegations were detailed in a letter and memo released Monday by Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, chairman of the House Oversight and Reform committee. Cummings panel has been investigating security clearances issued to senior officials including Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and former White House aide Rob Porter.

The documents don’t identify the officials on Newbold’s list but they note that two are “current senior White House officials.”

The release of the information comes about a month after The New York Times reported that Trump ordered officials to grant Kushner a clearance over the objections of national security officials and after Newbold spoke out to NBC News and other news outlets about her concerns. It also sets the stage for another fight between the White House and the Democratic-controlled House. Cummings said he will move this week to authorize his first subpoena in the probe.

Cummings said the subpoena will be for the deposition of Carl Kline, who served as the White House personnel security director and supervised Newbold. He has since left the White House for the Defense Department.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

Rep. Jim Jordan, the committee’s ranking Republican, said in a statement that Cummings’ probe is a “partisan attack” and an “excuse to go fishing” through personnel files. He also said that one person on Newbold’s list is a GSA custodian.

Newbold laid out her experience in the White House during a March 23 interview with bipartisan committee staff. Portions of that interview were in the memo released by Cummings.

According to the memo, Newbold’s list of overturned security clearance denials included “two current senior White House officials, as well as contractors and individuals throughout different components of the Executive Office of the President.”

“According to Ms. Newbold, these individuals had a wide range of serious disqualifying issues involving foreign influence, conflicts of interest, concerning personal conduct, financial problems, drug use, and criminal conduct,” the memo says.

Newbold said she raised her concerns up the chain of command in the White House to no avail. Instead, she said, the White House retaliated, suspending her in January for 14 days without pay for not following a new policy requiring that documents be scanned as separate PDF files rather than one single PDF file.

Newbold said that when she returned to work in February, she was cut out of the security clearance process and removed from a supervisory responsibility.

The committee has previously singled out Flynn, Porter and Kushner as it sought records from the White House about how their clearances were handled.

Flynn maintained his clearance even after the White House learned he lied to the FBI about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador and that he was under federal investigation by the Justice Department for his previous foreign work.

Kushner failed to initially disclose numerous foreign meetings on security clearance forms, and according to the Times, career officials recommended against granting him one before Trump personally overruled them.

Porter had high-level access with an interim security clearance even though the FBI repeatedly told the White House of past allegations of domestic violence lodged against him by two ex-wives.

Porter resigned after the allegations becoming public.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://apnews.com/1759ac2858ee4aafb041f91cbd6d86e9

Poll: Two Thirds Of Democrats Refuse To Believe No Collusion

A Washington Post poll has revealed that almost two thirds of registered Democrats are refusing to believe the findings of the Mueller report, that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

The survey, released on Saturday, found that only 31 percent of Democrats accept Mueller’s conclusion that there was no evidence that “members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

A majority of 62 percent rejected the findings, despite the fact that the investigation was ongoing for over two years.

Even some Republicans are not convinced, with 18 percent saying they reject the collusion conclusion. 79 percent of Republicans say they accept the report’s conclusion.

The poll noted a split of 52-40 percent in favor of accepting Mueller’s conclusion among Independents.

The findings cement the fact that Democrats and Trump opposition fanatics continue to refuse to accept that the President won the election by fair means.

On Sunday, the President tweeted that it is important to document how the “fraudulent investigation of the No Collusion, No Obstruction Trump Campaign began.”

“This Hoax should never be allowed to happen to another President or Administration again!” Trump urged

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.infowars.com/poll-two-thirds-of-democrats-refuse-to-believe-no-collusion/

Christchurch mosques shooting: 49 killed in New Zealand attacks

At least 49 people have been killed and 20 seriously injured after mass shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch Friday, in a carefully planned and unprecedented attack that has shocked the usually peaceful nation.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, called the incident a terrorist attack in a Friday press conference, saying the suspects held “extremist views” that have no place in New Zealand or the world.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/14/asia/christchurch-mosque-shooting-intl/index.html

House Votes, 420-to-0, to Demand Public Release of Mueller Report

House Republicans joined Democrats on Thursday to demand that the Justice Department publicly release the full findings of the special counsel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and the possible involvement of President Trump’s campaign.

Though the resolution is nonbinding, Democrats who put it on the House floor are trying to build public pressure on Attorney General William P. Barr before the investigation’s anticipated conclusion.

Far from standing in the way, Republicans joined Democrats en masse. On the 420-to-0 vote, four Republicans voted present.

“This report must see the light of day, must be available to the American public for a catharsis that will allow us to start with the facts, understand what happened and begin to rebuild the faith of the American people,” said Representative Jim Himes, Democrat of Connecticut and a senior member of the Intelligence Committee, which has undertaken its own Russia investigation.

Republicans debating it on the House floor called the resolution a waste of time and said they trusted Mr. Barr. But they were unwilling to stand in its way.

“I am especially concerned about what would happen if the report was not made available to Congress,” Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the second-ranking Republican, said in a statement. “Since the investigation began, Democrats have used it as an excuse to fund-raise, fear-monger and peddle conspiracy theories about collusion with the Russian government. Let’s bring this chapter to a close.”

The four “present” votes came from two libertarians who routinely oppose such resolutions, Representatives Justin Amash of Michigan and Thomas Massie of Kentucky, and two ardent Trump loyalists, Representatives Matt Gaetz of Florida and Paul Gosar of Arizona.Mr. Gaetz said afterward that while he supported making the report public, he objected to other language in the resolution praising the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, whose team he has repeatedly attacked as partisan.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, tried to move the resolution through the Senate later on Thursday by unanimous consent, but he was blocked by Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina.

The four “present” votes came from two libertarians who routinely oppose such resolutions, Representatives Justin Amash of Michigan and Thomas Massie of Kentucky, and two ardent Trump loyalists, Representatives Matt Gaetz of Florida and Paul Gosar of Arizona.Mr. Gaetz said afterward that while he supported making the report public, he objected to other language in the resolution praising the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, whose team he has repeatedly attacked as partisan.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, tried to move the resolution through the Senate later on Thursday by unanimous consent, but he was blocked by Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, tried to move the resolution through the Senate later on Thursday by unanimous consent, but he was blocked by Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina.

The four “present” votes came from two libertarians who routinely oppose such resolutions, Representatives Justin Amash of Michigan and Thomas Massie of Kentucky, and two ardent Trump loyalists, Representatives Matt Gaetz of Florida and Paul Gosar of Arizona.Mr. Gaetz said afterward that while he supported making the report public, he objected to other language in the resolution praising the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, whose team he has repeatedly attacked as partisan.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, tried to move the resolution through the Senate later on Thursday by unanimous consent, but he was blocked by Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, tried to move the resolution through the Senate later on Thursday by unanimous consent, but he was blocked by Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, tried to move the resolution through the Senate later on Thursday by unanimous consent, but he was blocked by Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina.

Though Mr. Graham, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, said he supported transparency, he asked to amend the resolution to include the appointment of a new special counsel to investigate the F.B.I.’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email case and its surveillance of a former Trump adviser. Mr. Schumer rejected the request as political and beside the point, and the resolution failed.

The Justice Department has given signals in recent weeks that after 22 months, Mr. Mueller is nearing completion of his work. Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mr. Mueller, offered what many viewed as fresh evidence of an imminent conclusion on Thursday when he confirmed that one of the special counsel’s top prosecutors, Andrew Weissmann, will be departing the special counsel’s office “in the near future.”

The resolution — sponsored by Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the Judiciary Committee chairman, and a handful of other Democratic committee leaders — “calls for the public release of any report Special Counsel Mueller provides to the attorney general, except to the extent the public disclosure of any portion thereof is expressly prohibited by law.”

Under the regulation that governs special counsels, Mr. Mueller is expected to produce a confidential report on his prosecution decisions to Mr. Barr, who will then review it and produce his own report to Congress. Thus far, Mr. Barr has demurred on just what he will release to Congress and the public, reserving the right to keep some matters secret.Democrats seized on Mr. Barr’s resistance to making specific promises about the Mueller findings during his confirmation process in the Senate. They have not let the point rest in the weeks since, with prominent Democratic chairmen and other leaders laying out their case for why all of the special counsel’s findings — including underlying evidence — ought to be shared with Congress for review.House Democrats are prepared to use subpoena power and other tools at their disposal to force the Justice Department to turn over anything Mr. Barr chooses to withhold.They argue that the Justice Department set a new precedent in the last two years when it granted Republicans, who then controlled the House, extraordinary access to hundreds of thousands of pages of sensitive investigative material related to the F.B.I.’s investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private server and the Russia investigation itself.

Under the regulation that governs special counsels, Mr. Mueller is expected to produce a confidential report on his prosecution decisions to Mr. Barr, who will then review it and produce his own report to Congress. Thus far, Mr. Barr has demurred on just what he will release to Congress and the public, reserving the right to keep some matters secret.Democrats seized on Mr. Barr’s resistance to making specific promises about the Mueller findings during his confirmation process in the Senate. They have not let the point rest in the weeks since, with prominent Democratic chairmen and other leaders laying out their case for why all of the special counsel’s findings — including underlying evidence — ought to be shared with Congress for review.House Democrats are prepared to use subpoena power and other tools at their disposal to force the Justice Department to turn over anything Mr. Barr chooses to withhold.They argue that the Justice Department set a new precedent in the last two years when it granted Republicans, who then controlled the House, extraordinary access to hundreds of thousands of pages of sensitive investigative material related to the F.B.I.’s investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private server and the Russia investigation itself.
Under the regulation that governs special counsels, Mr. Mueller is expected to produce a confidential report on his prosecution decisions to Mr. Barr, who will then review it and produce his own report to Congress. Thus far, Mr. Barr has demurred on just what he will release to Congress and the public, reserving the right to keep some matters secret.Democrats seized on Mr. Barr’s resistance to making specific promises about the Mueller findings during his confirmation process in the Senate. They have not let the point rest in the weeks since, with prominent Democratic chairmen and other leaders laying out their case for why all of the special counsel’s findings — including underlying evidence — ought to be shared with Congress for review.House Democrats are prepared to use subpoena power and other tools at their disposal to force the Justice Department to turn over anything Mr. Barr chooses to withhold.They argue that the Justice Department set a new precedent in the last two years when it granted Republicans, who then controlled the House, extraordinary access to hundreds of thousands of pages of sensitive investigative material related to the F.B.I.’s investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private server and the Russia investigation itself.

Under the regulation that governs special counsels, Mr. Mueller is expected to produce a confidential report on his prosecution decisions to Mr. Barr, who will then review it and produce his own report to Congress. Thus far, Mr. Barr has demurred on just what he will release to Congress and the public, reserving the right to keep some matters secret.Democrats seized on Mr. Barr’s resistance to making specific promises about the Mueller findings during his confirmation process in the Senate. They have not let the point rest in the weeks since, with prominent Democratic chairmen and other leaders laying out their case for why all of the special counsel’s findings — including underlying evidence — ought to be shared with Congress for review.House Democrats are prepared to use subpoena power and other tools at their disposal to force the Justice Department to turn over anything Mr. Barr chooses to withhold.They argue that the Justice Department set a new precedent in the last two years when it granted Republicans, who then controlled the House, extraordinary access to hundreds of thousands of pages of sensitive investigative material related to the F.B.I.’s investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private server and the Russia investigation itself.
Under the regulation that governs special counsels, Mr. Mueller is expected to produce a confidential report on his prosecution decisions to Mr. Barr, who will then review it and produce his own report to Congress. Thus far, Mr. Barr has demurred on just what he will release to Congress and the public, reserving the right to keep some matters secret.Democrats seized on Mr. Barr’s resistance to making specific promises about the Mueller findings during his confirmation process in the Senate. They have not let the point rest in the weeks since, with prominent Democratic chairmen and other leaders laying out their case for why all of the special counsel’s findings — including underlying evidence — ought to be shared with Congress for review.House Democrats are prepared to use subpoena power and other tools at their disposal to force the Justice Department to turn over anything Mr. Barr chooses to withhold.They argue that the Justice Department set a new precedent in the last two years when it granted Republicans, who then controlled the House, extraordinary access to hundreds of thousands of pages of sensitive investigative material related to the F.B.I.’s investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private server and the Russia investigation itself.
Under the regulation that governs special counsels, Mr. Mueller is expected to produce a confidential report on his prosecution decisions to Mr. Barr, who will then review it and produce his own report to Congress. Thus far, Mr. Barr has demurred on just what he will release to Congress and the public, reserving the right to keep some matters secret.Democrats seized on Mr. Barr’s resistance to making specific promises about the Mueller findings during his confirmation process in the Senate. They have not let the point rest in the weeks since, with prominent Democratic chairmen and other leaders laying out their case for why all of the special counsel’s findings — including underlying evidence — ought to be shared with Congress for review.House Democrats are prepared to use subpoena power and other tools at their disposal to force the Justice Department to turn over anything Mr. Barr chooses to withhold.They argue that the Justice Department set a new precedent in the last two years when it granted Republicans, who then controlled the House, extraordinary access to hundreds of thousands of pages of sensitive investigative material related to the F.B.I.’s investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private server and the Russia investigation itself.
Under the regulation that governs special counsels, Mr. Mueller is expected to produce a confidential report on his prosecution decisions to Mr. Barr, who will then review it and produce his own report to Congress. Thus far, Mr. Barr has demurred on just what he will release to Congress and the public, reserving the right to keep some matters secret.Democrats seized on Mr. Barr’s resistance to making specific promises about the Mueller findings during his confirmation process in the Senate. They have not let the point rest in the weeks since, with prominent Democratic chairmen and other leaders laying out their case for why all of the special counsel’s findings — including underlying evidence — ought to be shared with Congress for review.House Democrats are prepared to use subpoena power and other tools at their disposal to force the Justice Department to turn over anything Mr. Barr chooses to withhold.They argue that the Justice Department set a new precedent in the last two years when it granted Republicans, who then controlled the House, extraordinary access to hundreds of thousands of pages of sensitive investigative material related to the F.B.I.’s investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private server and the Russia investigation itself.

“Last year, I directly warned department leadership that in providing these materials to Congress, they were establishing a precedent, and one they would have to live with in the future,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee.

Democrats also fear that the Justice Department could combine its policies against indicting a sitting president and against disclosing negative information on an investigative target who was not indicted to justify keeping secret all the information collected about Mr. Trump.

“To maintain that a sitting president cannot be indicted, and then to withhold evidence of wrongdoing from Congress because the president cannot be charged, is to convert D.O.J. policy into the means for a cover-up,” Mr. Nadler said during debate over the resolution on Thursday.

Though they voted for the resolution, many Republicans expressed skepticism about the wisdom and likely success of Democrats’ quest. Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, told reporters last week that he anticipated hurdles to public disclosure in the form of classified information, information obtained through a secret grand jury process and the need to insulate continuing prosecutions stemming from the investigation.

“Those are also going to be things that we are going to have to litigate,” Mr. Collins said.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/14/us/politics/mueller-report-public.html

Theresa May warns Brexit will be lost after her own top lawyer torpedoes deal

Last night in Strasbourg, the PM worked until midnight out last-minute tweaks to the Irish backstop plan intended to allow the UK to exit European control.

In a last-ditch bid to stave off Commons humiliation, an exhausted-sounding Mrs May told MPs today: “If this vote is not passed tonight, if this deal is not passed, Brexit may be lost.

“Support this deal, in which case we leave the European Union with a deal. Or risk No Deal, or no Brexit. These are the options.

“Members across this house should ask themselves if they want to make the perfect the enemy of the good.”

The Prime Minister showed the strain she is under as she croaked her way through an hour-long speech, losing her voice in an echo of her disastrous 2107 conference speech.

This morning the PM’s chief legal adviser torpedoed her chances of winning over rebel MPs – warning that the “risk remains unchanged” of the backstop lasting indefinitely if trade talks break down.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/brexit/8615679/brexit-theresa-may-deal-fail-britain-tied-eu/

Nancy Pelosi just admitted that Democrats have nothing on Trump

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Monday that she’s against impeaching President Trump “unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan.” Which is exactly the point — there isn’t.

The speaker is surely up to speed on what evidence Democrats actually have against Trump and has a fair sense of what Special Counsel Bob Mueller’s report will say. And she recognizes that it’s nothing that will persuade anyone who hasn’t wanted Trump ousted since Election Day 2016.

Which means that moving to impeach him would be not just “divisive to the country,” as she says, but also bad for Democrats — since it would show them as unable to resist the most demented demands of their base.

Nancy Pelosi says ‘it’s not worth it’ impeaching Trump

This, when last week’s pathetic failure to confront Rep. Ilhan Omar’s anti-Semitism already exposed them as in thrall to extremists.

Now, will Pelosi call off the dogs? Committee Chairmen Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff will keep on subpoenaing away, and grandstanding for the cameras — in hopes of maybe somehow, someday, somewhere finding some genuine dirt, while at least harassing the president, his family and associates and feeding an endless string of breathless this time, Trump is going down reports.

Just as impeachment would be bad for the Democrats, chances are Americans will note that the press has been blaring those “scoops” for more than two years now, and not a one has panned out. Keeping it up only shows that not just the Democratic Party, but also most of the media, can’t stop themselves from playing to the unhinged left.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://nypost.com/2019/03/11/nancy-pelosi-just-admitted-that-democrats-have-nothing-on-trump/

Trump Rocks CPAC!

While President Trump promoted common sense at CPAC regarding the long overdue security of the U.S. southern border, Bernie Sanders, announcing his presidential bid from his hometown of Brooklyn New York, pushed the hordes to swallow his hollow message claiming xenophobia and racism are behind Trump’s policies.

The left has made it abundantly clear, the American people are merely collateral damage to be ignored as they obey their UN master’s replacement migration directive.

Regarding the House bill terminating Trump’s Emergency declaration on our border, the Democrats weighed in with their support for the drug cartels painting the thousands of Americans raped, murdered, and threatened by a foreign drug epidemic flowing across our border as delusional.

Thirteen Republicans were among the 245-182 that voted to assert a ceremonial and ultimately pointless reaction to the President’s fight to increase much-needed National Security on our southern border.

This sets up a presidential veto that can only be overridden by a two-thirds vote in both the Senate and the House, which is highly unlikely.

Regardless, several lawsuits tying up the money for the wall could delay access to those funds for months or years.

In the end, it’s all just another blatant example of the Democrat’s disconnect from the real issues facing our Country.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.infowars.com/trump-rocks-cpac/

HHS Extends Contract to Make ‘Humanized Mice’ With Aborted Baby Parts for Another 90 Days

The Department of Health and Human Services says it has granted a second 90-day extension to a contract it has with the University of California at San Francisco that requires UCSF to make “humanized mice.”

These creatures are made by implanting mice with human tissues taken from late-term aborted babies.

The HHS’s multi-million-dollar contract with UCSF that requires the construction of these “humanized mice” creates a demand–driven by federal tax dollars–for tissue taken from late-term aborted babies. According to an estimate it has published on its website, the National Institutes of Health (which is a division of HHS) will spend $95 million this fiscal year alone on research that–like UCSF’s “humanized mouse” contract–uses human fetal tissue.

Under the new 90-day extension, the contract—which the government calls “Humanized Mouse Models for HIV Therapeutics Development”–will run through June 5.

HHS also is still in the process of conducting the “comprehensive review” it announced last September “of all research involving fetal tissue.”

That review was initiated to ensure that all federally funded research using human fetal tissue is consistent “with statutes and regulations governing such research, and to ensure the adequacy of procedures and oversight of this research in light of the serious regulatory, moral, and ethical considerations involved.”

“The UCSF contract has been issued another extension,” HHS said on Friday in response to questions from CNSNews.com about the contract and the review.

“We will provide an update on the review once it has concluded and as appropriate,” HHS said.

As CNSNews.com first reported on Oct. 17, 2018, the National Institutes of Health, which is part of HHS, originally signed its “humanized mouse” contract with UCSF on Dec. 6, 2013. The contract was for a one-year period and gave the government the option of renewing it for up to six additional one-year periods through Dec. 5, 2020.

According to contract information published on the Federal Procurement Data System, the new three-month extension will pay UCSF $521,082—bringing the total payments the federal government has made to UCSF for this contract to $10,596,960.

If the government continues renewing the contract through Dec. 5, 2020, HHS would end up paying UCSF a total of $13,799,501.

The contract specifically requires researchers at UCSF to make two different types of “humanized mice” both of which are “engrafted with human fetal liver and thymus.”

The “Statement of Work” in the original contract solicitation said that the contractor would be required to make one “cohort” of “up to 50” mice per month of the first type of humanized mouse and another cohort of “up to 40” mice per month of the second type. The statement said each of these two cohorts of “humanized mice” should be made “with tissue from a single donor”—meaning a single aborted baby.

The Statement of Work for the “Humanized Mouse Models for HIV Therapeutics Development” contract says the contractor shall make one “cohort” per month of two types of humanized mice. Each of these (one numbering up to 50 mice and the other up to 40) will be made with human fetal thymus and liver tissue taken from “a single donor.”

The Statement of Work for this federal contract specifically charged the contractor with the obligation to “[o]btain the necessary human fetal tissues for use under the contract.”

An article published in the Jan. 12, 2016 issue of Stem Cell Reports, which discussed research funded by the contract, described humanized mice that were created by engrafting them with human fetal bone marrow, liver and thymus taken from babies who were 20-to-24 weeks in gestational age.

Another article discussing research under the contract was published in the Feb. 27, 2017 issue of Pathogens. This article described another type of humanized mouse that was engrafted with “fetal gut tissues” taken from babies at 18-to-24 weeks in gestational age.

On Dec. 4, 2018, one day before the contract’s most recent one-year extension was set to expire, HHS gave UCSF an initial 90-day extension on the contract—rather than a full one-year extension. That 90-day extension was set to expire on March 5. But with the new 90-day extension signed on Feb. 19, the contract is now set to run through June 5.

On Dec. 5, 2018, HHS published a statement in response to a story that the Washington Post published about the UCSF contract that cited an unnamed “virologist” and an unnamed “university spokeswoman” in reporting that the NIH had informed the contract’s principal investigator that the government was ending the contract.

“According to the virologist, the principal investigator was told in a telephone conversation with an NIH employee last Wednesday that the AIDS division was exercising its discretion to discontinue the contract,” the Post reported then.

“A university spokeswoman, speaking on condition of anonymity because she had no authorization to discuss the matter, confirmed the university was informed last week the contract was not being extended,” the Post said.

But HHS refuted this story.

“No decision has been made on the extension of a University of California San Francisco contract with the NIH regarding research involving fetal tissue,” HHS said in a Dec. 5 statement responding to the Post’s report.

“A decision will be made when the contract has been reviewed, pursuant to the ongoing audit/review process,” the HHS statement said.

HHS also released at that time the full text of a statement by HHS Spokesperson Caitlin Oakley that HHS said it had given to the Post. Oakley’s statement said:

“In September, HHS issued a statement announcing an audit would be conducted of all acquisitions involving human fetal tissue to ensure conformity with procurement and human fetal tissue research laws and regulations. In addition, HHS has initiated a comprehensive review of all research involving fetal tissue to ensure consistency with statutes and regulations governing such research, and to ensure the adequacy of procedures and oversight of this research in light of the serious considerations involved. Regarding the extension on the UC San Francisco contract, no final decision has been made. A decision will be made when the contract has been reviewed, pursuant to the ongoing audit/review process. There is a provision for continuity of work while the contract is being reviewed.”

On Jan. 10, CNSNews.com published a story about the initial 90-day extension that HHS had granted UCSF’s humanized mouse contract on Dec. 5.

“The contract remains on the 90-day extension to ensure continuity of service until the audit is completed and a final decision can be made about the contract,” the NIH said in response to questions from CNSNews.com at that time.

“During the 90-day extension,” the NIH said then, “the NIH Contracting Officer Representative can instruct UCSF to produce new mouse cohorts, obtain or engraft new fetal tissue, and/or start new in vitro or humanized mouse studies that are not already planned, if deemed scientifically necessary.”

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/hhs-extends-contract-make-humanized-mice-aborted-baby-parts-another

U.S. troops found nearly 5,000 abandoned chemical weapons in Iraq from 2004 to 2011

American troops found nearly 5,000 abandoned chemical weapons in Iraq from 2004 to 2011, but their discoveries were kept secret by the U.S. government, the New York Times reports.

According to the 10,000-word, eight-part interactive report (“The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons“) by C.J. Chivers published on the paper’s website late Tuesday, at least 17 American service members and seven Iraqi police officers were exposed to nerve or mustard agents in Iraq after 2003.

On at least six occasions, American troops and American-trained Iraqi troops were wounded by the abandoned munitions, but news of the encounters was neither shared publicly nor widely circulated among the troops, the victims told the Times. Others said they were told to be vague or deceptive about what they found.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://news.yahoo.com/chemical-weapons-found-in-iraq-nyt-report-135347507.html