Officials in at least four countries have privately discussed ways they can manipulate Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, by taking advantage of his complex business arrangements, financial difficulties and lack of foreign policy experience, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with intelligence reports on the matter. Among those nations discussing ways to influence Kushner to their advantage were the United Arab Emirates, China, Israel and Mexico, the current and former officials said.
Last November, a 74-year-old rancher and attorney was walking around his ranch just south of Encinal, Texas, when he happened upon a small portable camera strapped approximately eight feet high onto a mesquite tree near his son's home. The camera was encased in green plastic and had a transmitting antenna. Not knowing what it was or how it got there, Ricardo Palacios removed it.
In Arkansas, there's a kind of David-versus-Goliath battle underway over a weedkiller. On one side, there's the giant Monsanto Company. On the other, a committee of 18 people, mostly farmers and small business owners, who regulate the use of pesticides in the state. They've banned Monsanto's latest way of killing weeds. read more
U.S. forces killed scores of Russian contract soldiers in Syria last week in what may be the deadliest clash between citizens of the former foes since the Cold War, according to a U.S. official and three Russians familiar with the matter. More than 200 mercenaries, mostly Russians fighting on behalf of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, died in a failed attack on a base and refinery held by U.S. and U.S.-backed forces in the oil-rich Deir Ezzor region, two of the Russians said. The U.S. official put the death toll at about 100, with 200 to 300 injured.
The Moscow operation behind the now-infamous Russian-Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 included a direct attempt to enlist a foreign country's law-enforcement official as a virtual double-agent, according to a court case in Switzerland. One of Switzerland's top investigators has been fired after allegations of bribery, violating secrecy laws, and "unauthorized clandestine behavior" in meeting with the very same Russian actors linked to the Trump Tower encounter. read more