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TRUMP SPEECH IN CONGRESS: HI-POINT GOT NAVY SEAL WIDOW IN BALCONY EMOTIONAL WITH 2-MINUTE STANDING OVATION
[RELATED: Trump speech leaves Democrats befuddled, in ruins, with question marks]


MARCH 1 -
Widow of Fallen Navy Seal, Senior Chief William Owens, Carryn Owens (2ndL), first lady Melania Trump and White House Senior Advisor to the President for Strategic Planning Jared Kushner attend a joint session of the U.S. Congress with U.S. President Donald Trump on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.  
The Washington Post logo The Washington Post Philip Rucker 2 hrs ago- The invitation came on Jan. 30, the day after her husband was killed in a raid on an al-Qaeda stronghold in Yemen. President Trump, then just 10 days in office, called Carryn Owens, the grieving widow of Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens, to express his condolences, according to a White House account, and to invite her and her three children to visit him at the White House. “By the way,” Trump told Owens, according to the White House, “I’m going to be giving this speech in February. If you feel comfortable, I would love to have you as a guest.”  Owens was overcome with emotion from the past 24 hours. She told the president that she appreciated him asking, but was noncommittal. Trump directed a military aide to follow up with her until, ultimately, she accepted. The story of how Owens made it to the balcony of the House chamber Tuesday night to create the emotional high point of Trump’s joint address to Congress was recounted Wednesday by White House press secretary Sean Spicer in his briefing with reporters. READ MORE...RELATED, Trump speech leaves Democrats befuddled, in ruins, with question marks...

ALSO Explainer: Trump's new office on immigrant crime
[RELATED: What happens when a Canadian border agent asks to search your phone?]


MARCH 1 -President Donald Trump reacts after addressing a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool Image via AP 
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is spotlighting violence committed by immigrants, announcing the creation of a national office that can assist American victims of such crimes. He said during his address Tuesday night that the Homeland Security Department's Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement office will provide a voice for people ignored by the media and "silenced by special interests." Critics of the president's approach to immigration say the proposal is misguided, in part because studies show immigrants are less likely to commit crime than native-born U.S. citizens. A look at the proposal and what it aims to do: WHAT IS THE VICTIMS OF IMMIGRATION CRIME ENGAGEMENT OFFICE? Trump's plan is to create VOICE as an office to ensure that victims of immigrant crime are kept abreast of developments in their cases and the deportation proceedings of suspects. It's a role similar to that of victim advocates who work in local and state courts. READ MORE..RELATED,
What happens when a Canadian border agent asks to search your phone?...

ALSO:
Obama Administration Rushed to Preserve Intelligence of Russian Election Hacking
[RELATED:
All Donald Trump's team members who are alleged to have had undisclosed contact with Russia officials]
[RELATED(2): Russia says, Furor over Sessions meetings with envoy 'a witch hunt’]


MARCH 2 -© Al Drago/The New York Times President Obama in December. Some in his administration feared that intelligence about Russian interference in the 2016 election could be covered up or destroyed.
WASHINGTON — In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government. Former American officials say they had two aims: to ensure that such meddling isn’t duplicated in future American or European elections, and to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators. American allies, including the British and the Dutch, had provided information describing meetings in European cities between Russian officials — and others close to Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — and associates of President-elect Trump, according to three former American officials who requested anonymity in discussing classified intelligence. Separately, American intelligence agencies had intercepted communications of Russian officials, some of them within the Kremlin, discussing contacts with Mr. Trump’s associates. Then and now, Mr. Trump has denied that his campaign had any contact with Russian officials, and at one point he openly suggested that American spy agencies had cooked up intelligence suggesting that the Russian government had tried to meddle in the presidential election. Mr. Trump has accused the Obama administration of hyping the Russia story line as a way to discredit his new administration. READ MORE...RELATED, All Donald Trump's team members who are alleged to have had undisclosed contact with Russia officials ...RELATED(2) Russia: Furor over Sessions meetings with envoy 'a witch hunt’...

ALSO: Major setback for Pope Francis - Abuse survivor quits Pope’s commission
[RELATED: Abuse survivor quits pope’s panel over Vatican stonewall; never had chance to talk with pope in her 3 years on the panel]


MARCH 3 -Survivor says she quit pope's anti-abuse panel over frustrations with Curia VATICAN CITY. – A leading member of a group advising Pope Francis on how to root out sex abuse in the Catholic Church quit in frustration on Wednesday, citing “shameful” resistance within the Vatican. The sudden departure of Marie Collins, an outspoken Irish woman who was the last remaining survivor of priestly abuse on a Holy See commission, was a major setback for the Pope who has faced criticism of not doing enough to tackle the problem. The work of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, set up by Francis in March 2014, has been slowed down by internal disputes and Collins blamed the Vatican’s administration, known as the Curia, for the “constant setbacks.” “The lack of cooperation, particularly by the dicastery most closely involved in dealing with cases of abuse, has been shameful,” she said in a statement. She said the Pope had a “genuine wish” to solve the problem but in later comments to a Catholic publication, she criticized him for being too forgiving towards sexual abuse in the Church. READ MORE...RELATED, Abuse survivor quits pope’s panel over Vatican stonewall, she noted she never had the opportunity to talk with the pope during her three years on the commission...

ALSO Rody hits HRW report: Killing criminals not a crime vs humanity; killings to continue as long as there are drug lords and drug pushers in my country
[RELATED: Amid HRW report, Panelo insists Duterte not behind drug killings]


MARCH 2 -President Rodrigo Duterte shows a list of government officials and police officers who are allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade in his speech during the 38th National Convention of the Philippine Association of Water Districts at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City on Feb. 2, 2017. The president further explains that around 6,000 police officers and 40 of the barangays in the country are linked to the illegal drug trade. Toto Lozano/Presidential Photo
MANILA, Philippines — Killing criminals is not a crime against humanity because they have no humanity. This was President Rodrigo Duterte’s response to the report of New York-based Human Rights Watch which claimed that the Philippines is in the midst of a “human rights calamity” because of the extrajudicial killings of suspected drug offenders. RELATED: HRW: Duterte could be charged with crimes vs humanity
“When you kill criminals that is not a crime against humanity. The criminals have no humanity. God damn it,” the president told reporters during the groundbreaking of the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway. Unfazed by critics who blame him for the deaths of drug suspects, Duterte said the killings would not stop as long as there are drug lords and pushers.  READ MORE...RELATED, Amid HRW report, Panelo insists Duterte not behind drug killings...

ALSO: De Lima arrest shows Duterte capable of using gov't for vendetta –HRW
[RELATED: Duterte - Killings for both rich, poor; "the biggest drug pusher or the poorest in Cordova, both destroying our fellowmen,”]
[RELATED(2): De Lima goes on tirade vs Duterte over her prison security]


FEBRUARY 25 -The arrest of Senator Leila de Lima shows President Rodrigo Duterte is capable of "debasing" the government to the level of personal vendetta, an international human rights group said Friday. In a statement, Human Rights Watch (HRW) described the drug charges filed against De Lima as "politically motivated." "By arresting Senator Leila de Lima on politically motivated drug charges, President Duterte has effectively expanded his 'drug war' from the urban poor to the legislative branch of the government," HRW Asian Division Deputy Director Phelim Kine said. "The arrest of Senator de Lima suggests that Duterte is willing to debase Philippine governance to the level of personal vendetta," he added. De Lima has been a vocal critic of Duterte, particularly his violent war on illegal drugs that has been blamed for the spate of extrajudicial killings of drug suspects in the past couple of months.  READ MORE...RELATED, Duterte - Killings for both rich, poor; "the biggest drug pusher or the poorest in Cordova, both destroying our fellowmen,”... RELATED(2) De Lima goes on tirade vs Duterte over prison security---


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 How Carryn Owens ended up in the balcony to create the emotional high point of Trump’s speech


Widow of Fallen Navy Seal, Senior Chief William Owens, Carryn Owens (2ndL), first lady Melania Trump and White House Senior Advisor to the President for Strategic Planning Jared Kushner attend a joint session of the U.S. Congress with U.S. President Donald Trump on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.

MANILA, MARCH 6, 2017 (WASHINGTON POST)15/19 The Washington Post logo The Washington Post Philip Rucker 2 hrs ago- The invitation came on Jan. 30, the day after her husband was killed in a raid on an al-Qaeda stronghold in Yemen.

President Trump, then just 10 days in office, called Carryn Owens, the grieving widow of Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens, to express his condolences, according to a White House account, and to invite her and her three children to visit him at the White House.

“By the way,” Trump told Owens, according to the White House, “I’m going to be giving this speech in February. If you feel comfortable, I would love to have you as a guest.”

Owens was overcome with emotion from the past 24 hours. She told the president that she appreciated him asking, but was noncommittal. Trump directed a military aide to follow up with her until, ultimately, she accepted.

The story of how Owens made it to the balcony of the House chamber Tuesday night to create the emotional high point of Trump’s joint address to Congress was recounted Wednesday by White House press secretary Sean Spicer in his briefing with reporters.

READ MORE...


“Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity,” Trump said, thanking Owens, who stood and looked to the heavens.

Near the end of his 60-minute speech, Trump recounted the counterterrorism raid — his first as president — and recognized Carryn Owens, whose eyes were filling with tears. He said of her late husband, “Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity,” as she looked to the heavens. The crowd of lawmakers, administration officials and military leaders stood to applaud her for two full minutes.

“I’ve been in this town 25 years, probably watched ‘State of the Unions’ for 30,” Spicer said. “I’ve never seen a sustained applause like that.”

 

Spicer said the past month has been an emotional roller coaster for the Owens family, but the White House staff worked closely with Carryn to arrange the visit.

“Our goal was to make sure that we respected her wishes and her privacy,” Spicer said. “Even with referencing her in the speech, that was her decision. We asked her, ‘The president would like to raise this,’ and she said, ‘I’d like that.’”

Trump’s aides kept Owens’ name off the list released to the media of guests who would be sitting in first lady Melania Trump’s box, so as to lessen the media attention on the family in the run-up to the speech, Spicer said.

RYAN OWENS' FATHER

Adding to the sensitivity was the public posture Ryan Owens’ father was taking. Bill Owens said in an interview last Friday with the Miami Herald that he had reservations about the decision to launch his son’s fatal mission in Yemen and called for an investigation. He also said he was troubled by Trump’s incendiary comments during last year’s campaign about another Gold Star family.

Bill Owens also said that when Trump and daughter Ivanka visited Dover Air Force Base to pay their respects to the Owens family as Ryan’s flag-draped casket was carried off a military jet, he declined to visit with the president.

“I’m sorry, I don’t want to see him,” Bill Owens recalled telling a chaplain in his interview with the Herald. “I told them, ‘I don’t want to meet the president.’”

Clearly, Carryn Owens felt differently. On Tuesday, she and her children visited the White House. They met privately with Trump and some of his senior aides. The kids ate lunch at the Navy mess, toured the White House and hung out for a bit with Spicer, who for years has been an officer in the Navy Reserve.

“They’re kids,” Spicer said. “They were happy. They were running around. I don’t know that they fully appreciate the sacrifice that their father made.”

Slide 1 of 17: US Vice President Mike Pence (L) and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R) applaud as US President Donald J. Trump (C) arrives to deliver his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, USA, 28 February 2017.


U.S. President Donald Trump addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - An audience member wears an American flag hijab.


Guest Susan Oliver, widow of slain police officer Danny Oliver, attends a joint session of the U.S. Congress with U.S. President Donald Trump on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump's first address to Congress focused on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare



Senators, from left, Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., front, center, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., rear, center, and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. wait on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, for President Donald Trump to arrive for his address a joint session of Congress.


Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) arrive to a joint session of the U.S. Congress with U.S. President Donald Trump on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Trump's first address to Congress is expected to focus on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare.


President Donald Trump, flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., gestures on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, before his address to a joint session of Congress.


Female Democratic members of the House of Representatives wearing white wait for President Donald Trump to arrive at a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28, 2017, in Washington.


Police officers stand outside the U.S. Capitol building ahead of a joint session of Congress in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. President Donald Trump will press Congress to carry out his priorities for replacing Obamacare, jump-starting the economy and bolstering the nations defenses in an address eagerly awaited by lawmakers, investors and the public who want greater clarity on his policy agenda.


A protester holds an umbrella that states "Where are Trump's Taxes?" at a rally in Lafayette Park near the White House where advocacy groups gathered before President Donald Trump's first address to Congress in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

------------------------------------------------

RELATED FROM THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Trump speech leaves Democrats befuddled, in ruins, with question marks By Charles Hurt - The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Trump is applauded after arriving in the House chamber. President Trump's first address to Congress  with VP Pence and House Speaker Ryan.

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The president opened by celebrating Black History Month. Lady Democrats wore white.

Donald Trump delivered the most finely crafted speech of his political life Tuesday night in what will go down as one of the best speeches delivered to a joint session of Congress in the past two decades.

He hit stirring emotional high notes. And he laid out his vision for his presidency.

Mr. Trump stole the issue of affordable health care from Democrats. He unabashedly owned the fight against illegal immigration.

“Obamacare is collapsing — and we must act decisively to protect all Americans,” he said. “Action is not a choice — it is a necessity.”

In other words, Democrats led by President Obama swindled poor Americans into this disastrous program with their usual host of lies and false promises, and now these good people are stranded. But Mr. Trump and Republicans are not going to leave these innocent Americans to dig themselves out of the mess Democrats put them in.

“So I am calling on all Democrats and Republicans in the Congress to work with us to save Americans from this imploding Obamacare disaster.”


Nancy Pelosi wore white in support of women's rights at the joint session of Congress

When the camera panned to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — who, inexplicably, is still the Democratic leader in the House — she looked like she had been sucking on the bitterest of lemons.

Strategically, it was brilliant. It completely cuts Democrats out of the debate.

And then the president’s salute to Megan Crowley, who is alive today because of the herculean efforts by her father to find a drug to combat Pompe disease, sealed the deal.

Mr. Trump then laid out the broad brush parameters of a health care law he would like to see Republicans hammer out to replace Obamacare.
On illegal immigration, Mr. Trump held firm.

“To any in Congress who do not believe we should enforce our laws, I would ask you this question: What would you say to the American family that loses their jobs, their income or a loved one because America refused to uphold its laws and defend its borders?”

Another question he might have asked those in Congress who do not believe in enforcing immigration laws: “If you don’t like the immigration laws, why don’t you change them? You are the only branch of government that can.”


Thumbs down: Democrat women dressed in white in defense of women's rights gesture at President Donald Trump when he spoke about repealing Obamacare Democrats unimpressed with Trump's Obamacare repeal plan

Mr. Trump also deplored the hellfire violence in Chicago and called education “the civil rights issue of our time.”

The senator from Illinois and other Democrats offered only the most paltry, perfunctory applause.

The entire speech was supremely presidential. But it wasn’t without humor. After excoriating both Democrats and Republicans for spending $6 trillion in the Middle East, he said, “We could have rebuilt our country — twice.”

He waited two beats. “And maybe even three times if we had people who had the ability to … negotiate,” Mr. Trump said, dropping into his finest “Apprentice” tone of voice.

The camera panned to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who was exchanging perplexed glances with an equally befuddled senator. They didn’t get the line. Apparently, Ms. Warren never achieved her merit badge for reading smoke signals.

In the end, Donald Trump so dominated the entire night that Democrats were left with nothing but sullen protests.

The ladies wore white, but nobody was exactly sure why.

In a shocking development, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg did not doze off during the hourlong address. At least not on national television. She did not show up.

And in another development that absolutely nobody cared about, Rep. Eliot Engel, New York Democrat, announced he would not shake Mr. Trump’s hand. It was not clear at press time if Mr. Trump even knows who Eliot Engel is.

There were so many protests on the Democratic side of the aisle, it was hard to keep track. Even the Democrats seemed confused about what they were protesting.

Rep. Joseph Crowley, New York Democrat, wore a giant pin protesting, well, not sure exactly what. It simply featured a large question mark.

In all honesty, that pin could be the party’s entire platform in the next election.


Charles Hurt can be reached at churt@washingtontimes.com; follow him on Twitter via @charleshurt.


PHILSTAR WORLD NEWS

Explainer: Trump's new office on immigrant crime By Alicia A. Caldwell (Associated Press) | Updated March 2, 2017 - 8:02am 1 2 googleplus0 0


President Donald Trump reacts after addressing a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool Image via AP

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is spotlighting violence committed by immigrants, announcing the creation of a national office that can assist American victims of such crimes. He said during his address Tuesday night that the Homeland Security Department's Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement office will provide a voice for people ignored by the media and "silenced by special interests."

Critics of the president's approach to immigration say the proposal is misguided, in part because studies show immigrants are less likely to commit crime than native-born U.S. citizens.

A look at the proposal and what it aims to do:

WHAT IS THE VICTIMS OF IMMIGRATION CRIME ENGAGEMENT OFFICE?

Trump's plan is to create VOICE as an office to ensure that victims of immigrant crime are kept abreast of developments in their cases and the deportation proceedings of suspects. It's a role similar to that of victim advocates who work in local and state courts.

READ MORE...

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly detailed the office's planned work in a memo last month that explained how his agency would carry out Trump's immigration enforcement policies.

Kelly said in the memo that Immigration and Customs Enforcement was previously blocked from keeping victims informed about their ongoing cases because it extended privacy protections to immigrants, a policy that left "victims feeling marginalized and without a voice."

Kelly also wants ICE to redirect any of the money that had been used for outreach to immigrants to be used instead for outreach and advocacy for legal residents and U.S. citizens.

A NEW APPROACH

The new office continues a dramatic overhaul of immigration policies.

Under President Barack Obama, ICE protected information about immigration cases from public inspection, including from victims. It also created a public advocate position in 2012 in the midst of an overhaul of policies about which immigrants in the country illegally should be targeted for deportation.

ICE said at the time that its public advocate would be the person at ICE who helped immigrants facing deportation and also answered complaints or offered explanations about how the agency was conducting its work.

Launched and then closed by the Obama administration, the office was bashed by critics of Obama's immigration enforcement policies who said it was misguided to use government money to advocate for immigrants in the country illegally.

Trump's VOICE would play a much different role and hews to some of his campaign vows.

"This office has to do with keeping the promises and maintaining the pressure on the issue on criminal aliens and putting a human face to it," said Doris Meissner of the Migration Policy Institute.

IMMIGRANTS AND CRIME

Multiple studies have concluded that immigrants are less likely to commit crime than native-born U.S. citizens. A 2014 study published in the journal Justice Quarterly concluded that immigrations "exhibit remarkably low levels of involvement in crime across their life course."

Trump listed some high-profile examples in his Tuesday night speech to Congress, pointing to guests in the crowd, including a man whose son was shot by a gang member in Los Angeles and the wives of police officers who were killed on duty.

Frank Sharry, founder and executive director of America's Voice, a liberal-leaning organization that advocates for immigrants, said, "Trump continues to tag immigrants as criminals, a charge as false as it is cruel."

The new office fits into his hard-line stance on immigration that includes a proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and new guidance that Homeland Security would subject any immigrants in the country illegally to deportation if they are charged or convicted of any offense, or even suspected of a crime.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says it is rearranging existing personnel to support the new office and is "currently drafting outreach materials for victims and families impacted by immigration crime."

___

This story has been corrected to show that Trump's guests included the wives of two officers killed in the line of duty, not two married police officers.

----------------------------------

RELATED FROM THE CBC CANADA

What happens when a Canadian border agent asks to search your phone? CBC logo CBC Matthew Braga
8 hrs ago

Cody Anderson was one of millions of Americans who cast his vote on election day last November.

But unlike most Americans, he decided to watch the results come in from the other side of the border — "a little cheap joke," he recalled, what with the number of Americans claiming they would move to Canada if Donald Trump won.

The Canadian border agents in Manitoba who greeted him after his drive from Nebraska were suspicious. An agent asked to see his phone and Anderson gave her his PIN.

"That decision was a bit [hasty] because I didn't want to turn around and drive another 10 hours to get all the way home," Anderson wrote in an online exchange with CBC News.

He doesn't know what was examined on his phone, but in the end, the border agent let him in.

"She stamped my passport and I forget her exact remark after that but it was something that sounded like she thought I was trying to move in," Anderson said.

For all the recent tales of U.S. border agents scrutinizing travellers' phones and laptops, Anderson's story is a reminder that, yes, Canadian border agents can and will search electronics, too.

And just like Canadians entering the U.S., foreign travellers have little choice but to comply, lest they risk the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) not letting them in.

"I was mad that they went through my phone," said Anderson, who described himself as "privacy advocate," but he tried to rationalize the experience nonetheless.

"I was telling myself that going to another country is a privilege and not a right, so if I had to give away some freedom to do that, it was acceptable."

U.S. and Canadian border agents have the right to search travellers' personal belongings without a warrant and say that right applies to digital devices, too.

While CBSA says its agents will only search information stored locally on the device, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has a much wider latitude to comb through social media apps installed on the device, remotely stored emails or files stored in the cloud.

"Officers are not to read emails or consult social media accounts on the traveller's digital device unless the information is already downloaded and has been opened (usually marked as read) and is therefore stored on the device," said CBSA spokesperson Patrizia Giolti in a statement sent to CBC News last month.

'Insulting and invasive'

And while border agents can't force you to give up passwords, you could have your devices seized, your trip delayed or even be denied entry if you're not a citizen of the country you're trying to enter.

Such was Brandon Wu's fear en route by train from Buffalo to Toronto for a two-day trip in March 2015.

After answering some basic questions from a CBSA agent at the Niagara Falls border crossing, Wu was told to wait in a nearby room for a secondary inspection.

There, the border agent asked Wu where he was staying and Wu showed the agent the details of his Airbnb reservation on his phone. The agent then asked to see Wu's phone — which, by that point, Wu had voluntarily unlocked. He handed over the phone.

"In retrospect, I regret that decision but I'm not sure if I really had a choice, especially if I wanted to get on with my trip on time," Wu said.

He's not sure why he was picked, but said it could have had something to do with being a Chinese-American and having a Chinese-sounding legal name.

"It felt insulting and invasive," Wu said. "He looked through it for a few minutes and we were silent during that time. I did catch a glimpse of him looking through my text messages."

Catch-22

Micheal Vonn, policy director for the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, has fielded numerous questions in recent weeks about border searches of smartphones, laptops and other electronic devices.

It's not that the rules have changed, but rather, people's awareness of what the rules are — spurred by numerous stories of U.S. border agents asking to search travellers' phones.

"The best data is no data when you go across the border," the Vancouver-based lawyer says.

'But that doesn't necessarily mean scrubbing or wiping your device is the best way to go.

The internet is rife with suggestions that travellers delete files or uninstall apps before they leave, make backups of devices and wipe them clean for travel or even buy new devices with temporary accounts that are only used while travelling abroad.

That might make sense for some travellers, but travelling with little or no data on a device could also raise red flags.

"This is the question that we're being asked. Am I actually going to paint a target on my back by looking overly well-prepared?" says Vonn.

"So now we're kind of caught in the catch-22 that privacy advocates have known for a very long time, which is asserting your right to privacy should not make you a target, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be construed in that fashion. And I don't know any surefire way to assist with that paradox."

Can you be arrested if you don't comply?

One thing you can do before your trip is think critically about the data you have on your device, how much you're willing or able to share and the consequences for refusing to hand over your phone.

In Canada, CBSA confirmed to CBC News that it will not arrest travellers for refusing to provide the password to a device — even though the agency believes it has the legal right to do so.

This has been the agency's policy since at least 2015 when interim guidelines were released — guidelines that "are still in force with respect to examinations of electronic goods as well as for arrest," said CBSA spokesperson Nicholas Dorion.

Previously, these guidelines were only available via an Access to Information document published by the BCCLA, but CBSA released its own copy of the guidelines to CBC News.

While Canadians citizens can't be detained or denied entry to Canada, those travelling to the U.S. can be detained, interrogated or ultimately denied entry for not co-operating — in addition to having a device seized and forensically examined, a power that can also be exercised by CBSA.

"CBSA may only collect data for customs purposes and may only disclose customs information if authorized to do so under section 107 of the Customs Act," Giolti wrote, declining to answer questions about where data is stored or how long it's retained.

In that case, encrypting a device and using a strong password — and not a PIN — will make it difficult for others to gain access.

Encryption is also strongest when the phone is powered down, and doing so disables the fingerprint reader until you enter your password as well.

"You protect your privacy before you get to the border, not at the border," Vonn says. "Think long and hard before [crossing] if there are other people's information on your device that you are legally or ethically obliged to protect."


NEW YORK TIMES

Obama Administration Rushed to Preserve Intelligence of Russian Election Hacking The New York Times logo The New York Times
By MATTHEW ROSENBERG, ADAM GOLDMAN and MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT  MARCH 2, 20172 hrs ago


© Al Drago/The New York Times
President Obama in December. Some in his administration feared that intelligence about Russian interference in the 2016 election could be covered up or destroyed.

WASHINGTON — In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government. Former American officials say they had two aims: to ensure that such meddling isn’t duplicated in future American or European elections, and to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators.

American allies, including the British and the Dutch, had provided information describing meetings in European cities between Russian officials — and others close to Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — and associates of President-elect Trump, according to three former American officials who requested anonymity in discussing classified intelligence. Separately, American intelligence agencies had intercepted communications of Russian officials, some of them within the Kremlin, discussing contacts with Mr. Trump’s associates.

Then and now, Mr. Trump has denied that his campaign had any contact with Russian officials, and at one point he openly suggested that American spy agencies had cooked up intelligence suggesting that the Russian government had tried to meddle in the presidential election. Mr. Trump has accused the Obama administration of hyping the Russia story line as a way to discredit his new administration.

READ MORE...

At the Obama White House, Mr. Trump’s statements stoked fears among some that intelligence could be covered up or destroyed — or its sources exposed — once power changed hands. What followed was a push to preserve the intelligence that underscored the deep anxiety with which the White House and American intelligence agencies had come to view the threat from Moscow.

It also reflected the suspicion among many in the Obama White House that the Trump campaign might have colluded with Russia on election email hacks — a suspicion that American officials say has not been confirmed. Former senior Obama administration officials said that none of the efforts were directed by Mr. Obama.


Dan Coats, President Trump’s nominee for director of national intelligence, has pledged cooperation in investigating the Russia allegations.© Al Drago/The New York Times

“The only new piece of information that has come to light is that political appointees in the Obama administration have sought to create a false narrative to make an excuse for their own defeat in the election. There continues to be no there, there,” said Sean Spicer, the White House spokesman.

As Inauguration Day approached, Obama White House officials grew convinced that the intelligence was damning and that they needed to ensure that as many people as possible inside government could see it, even if people without security clearances could not. Some officials began asking specific questions at intelligence briefings, knowing the answers would be archived and could be easily unearthed by investigators — including the Senate Intelligence Committee, which in early January announced an inquiry into Russian efforts to influence the election.

At intelligence agencies, there was a push to process as much raw intelligence as possible into analyses, and to keep the reports at a relatively low level of classification to ensure as wide a readership as possible across the government — and, in some cases, among European allies. This allowed the upload of as much intelligence as possible to Intellipedia, a secret wiki used by American intelligence analysts to share information.

There was also an effort to pass reports and other sensitive materials to Congress. In one instance, the State Department sent a cache of documents marked “secret” to Senator Benjamin Cardin of Maryland days before the Jan. 20 inauguration. The documents, detailing Russian efforts to intervene in elections worldwide, were sent in response to a request from Mr. Cardin, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee.

“This situation was serious, as is evident by President Obama’s call for a review — and as is evident by the United States response,” said Eric Schultz, a spokesman for Mr. Obama. “When the intelligence community does that type of comprehensive review, it is standard practice that a significant amount of information would be compiled and documented.”

The opposite happened with the most sensitive intelligence, including the names of sources and the identities of foreigners who were regularly monitored. Officials tightened the already small number of people who could access that information. They knew the information could not be kept from the new president or his top advisers, but wanted to narrow the number of people who might see the information, officials said.

More than a half-dozen current and former officials described various aspects of the effort to preserve and distribute the intelligence, and some said they were speaking to draw attention to the material and ensure proper investigation by Congress. All spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were discussing classified information, nearly all of which remains secret, making an independent public assessment of the competing Obama and Trump administration claims impossible.

INVESTIGATIONS

The F.B.I. is conducting a wide-ranging counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s meddling in the election, and is examining alleged links between Mr. Trump’s associates and the Russian government.

Separately, the House and Senate intelligence committees are conducting their own investigations, though they must rely on the F.B.I. and intelligence agencies to provide access to the information collected across the government.

At his confirmation hearing on Wednesday, former Senator Dan Coats, Mr. Trump’s nominee for director of national intelligence, told the Senate Intelligence Committee that “I think it’s our responsibility to provide you access to all that you need.”

He added that Russian meddling “needs to be investigated.”

Some Obama White House officials had little faith that a Trump administration would make good on such pledges, and the efforts to preserve the intelligence continued until the administration’s final hours. This was partly because intelligence was still being collected and analyzed, but it also reflected the sentiment among many administration officials that they had not recognized the scale of the Russian campaign until it was too late.

The warning signs had been building throughout the summer, but were far from clear.

As WikiLeaks was pushing out emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee through online publication, American intelligence began picking up conversations in which Russian officials were discussing contacts with Trump associates, and European allies were starting to pass along information about people close to Mr. Trump meeting with Russians in the Netherlands, Britain and other countries.

But what was going on in the meetings was unclear to the officials, and the intercepted communications did little to clarify matters — the Russians, it appeared, were arguing about how far to go in interfering in the presidential election.

What intensified the alarm at the Obama White House was a campaign of cyberattacks — suspected to have been carried out by Russia — on state electoral systems in September, which led the Obama administration to deliver a public accusation against the Russians in October.

But it wasn’t until after the election, and after more intelligence had come in, that the administration began to grasp the scope of the suspected tampering and concluded that one goal of the campaign was to help tip the election in Mr. Trump’s favor.

In early December, Mr. Obama ordered the intelligence community to conduct a full assessment about the Russian campaign.

In the weeks before the assessment was released in January, the intelligence community combed through databases for an array of communications and other information — some of which was months old by then — and began producing reports that showed there were contacts during the campaign between Trump associates and Russian officials.

The nature of the contacts remains unknown. Several of Mr. Trump’s associates have done business in Russia, and it is unclear if any of the contacts were related to business dealings.

The New York Times, citing four current and former officials, reported last month that American authorities had obtained information of repeated contacts between Mr. Trump’s associates and senior Russian intelligence officials.

The White House has dismissed the story as false.

Since the Feb 14 article appeared, more than a half-dozen officials have confirmed contacts of various kinds between Russians and Trump associates. The label “intelligence official” is not always cleanly applied in Russia, where ex-spies, oligarchs and government officials often report back to the intelligence services and elsewhere in the Kremlin.

Steven L. Hall, the former head of Russia operations at the C.I.A., said Mr. Putin was surrounded by a cast of characters, and that it was “fair to say that a good number of them come from an intelligence or security background. Once an intel guy, always an intel guy in Russia.”

The concerns about the contacts were cemented by a series of phone calls between Sergey I. Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, and Michael T. Flynn, who had been poised to become Mr. Trump’s national security adviser. The calls began on Dec. 29, shortly after Mr. Kislyak was summoned to the State Department and informed that, in retaliation for Russian election meddling, the United States was expelling 35 suspected Russian intelligence operatives and imposing other sanctions. Mr. Kislyak was irate and threatened a forceful Russia response, according to people familiar with the exchange.

But a day later, Mr. Putin said his government would not retaliate, prompting a Twitter post from Mr. Trump praising the Russian president — and puzzling Obama White House officials.

On Jan. 2, administration officials learned that Mr. Kislyak — after leaving the State Department meeting — called Mr. Flynn, and that the two talked multiple times in the 36 hours that followed. American intelligence agencies routinely wiretap the phones of Russian diplomats, and transcripts of the calls showed that Mr. Flynn urged the Russians not to respond, saying relations would improve once Mr. Trump was in office, according to multiple current and former officials.

Beyond leaving a trail for congressional investigators to follow, the Obama administration also wanted to help European allies combat a threat that had caught the United States off guard.

A number of European powers are holding elections this year, including France and Germany, and American intelligence agencies made it clear in the declassified version of the intelligence assessment released in January that they believed Russia intended to use its attacks on the United States as a template for more meddling.

“We assess Moscow will apply lessons learned,” the report said, “to future influence efforts worldwide, including against U.S. allies.”

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RELATED FROM THE INDEPENDENT

All Donald Trump's team members who are alleged to have had undisclosed contact with Russia officials
The Independent logo The Independent Harriet Agerholm 19 hrs ago

A scandal around the undisclosed contact between members of Donald Trump's team and Moscow has continued to snowball, most recently engulfing Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The saga has taken observers on a helter-skelter ride – here is a run down of the key figures allegedly involved so far.

Paul Manafort

Mr Trump’s former campaign manager has worked for a string of controversial leaders, including pro-Russia Ukrainian leader, Viktor Yanukovych.

Mr Manafort was accused in July 2016 of agreeing to help soften US support for Ukraine in exchange for the Kremlin releasing information that would harm Hillary Clinton’s chances in the election.

The political consultant has also faced claimed he continued to take “kickback payments” from the former Ukrainian leader last year. He has denied all the charges.

In August 2016 The New York Times reported that Mr Yanukovych’s political party had set aside $12.7m (£10.3,) for Mr Manafort for his work between 2007-2012.

Mr Manafort said he never collected the payments, but five days later, for unspecified reasons, he resigned.

Lt Gen Michael Flynn

Mr Trump’s national security adviser resigned after only three weeks on the job.

He had come under increasing pressure to stand down after it was reported he discussed the issue of sanctions with the Russian ambassador.

He reportedly spoke five times with Sergey Kislyak on the same day Barack Obama announced sanctions against Moscow for its alleged attempt to influence the US election.

The former army man at first denied discussing the issue of sanctions, but eventually conceded that he “couldn’t be certain” sanctions were not discussed. He then apologised to the Vice President Mike Pence for misleading him.

Other media reports have since emerged that the US army was investigating whether Lt Gen Flynn took money from the Moscow on a trip to the Russian capital in 2015.


image© Provided by Independent Print Limited image

Jeff Sessions

It has come to light that Attorney General Jeff Sessions met Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak twice last year – encounters he did not disclose when asked directly about the issue at his confirmation hearing.

One of the meetings took place at the height to the alleged Russian cyber campaign attack against the US election.

Mr Sessions has denied wrongdoing, saying the reports were "unbelievable" and that he would only recuse himself from an investigation into Russian involvement in the election "whenever it's appropriate" to do so.

Carter Page

Oil industry consultant Carter Page was named as a foreign policy adviser to Mr Trump during his campaign, although Mr Trump has since denied giving him the job.

A report in July said Mr Page had attended a secret meeting with Igor Sechin, head of the Rosneft state-owned oil company and a long-term ally of Vladimir Putin.

Mr Page also allegedly met with Igor Divyekin, an internal affairs official, who was said to have warned Mr Page that Moscow had compromising material on the Mr Trump.

Michael Cohen

It has been alleged Mr Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen attended a secret rendezvous on 29 August with Russian officials at the offices of Rossotrudnichestvo, a Russian government cultural organisation.

Mr Cohen said he has never been to the Czech Republic and claimed he and his son at a baseball game on the date in question. The allegations have not yet been verified.

Roger Stone

A long-running adviser to Mr Trump, Roger Stone has been named in news reports as one of at least four people the FBI was investigating for alleged contact with Russia.

Mr Stone said in a 2016 speech in Florida he had communicated with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. The anti-secrecy group was behind the publication of hacked Democratic emails that badly affected Ms Clinton's presidential campaign.

During Mr Stone's speech, he predicted further leaks, a prediction that came true in the weeks that followed.

Mr Stone dismissed allegations he had ties to Russian intelligence as “nonsense” and has since called on the White House to launch an official inquiry into the Russian contact crisis.

-----------------------------------------

RELATED FROM USA TODAY

Russia: Furor over Sessions meetings with envoy 'a witch hunt’    USA TODAY logo USA TODAY Jane Onyanga-Omara 11 hrs ago


© Provided by USA Today

Russian foreign minister: Allegations involving envoy to U.S. ‘reminiscent of a witch hunt’

The Kremlin agreed Friday with President Trump's assertion that the furor over meetings between Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, was a "witch hunt," Russian state media reported.

The remark by Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, came after sharp criticism by Democrats in Congress over Sessions failure to disclose meetings with Kislyak last year, when he was a senator and a Trump campaign adviser.

Trump said Thursday that there was a "total witch hunt" against Sessions.

"Jeff Sessions is an honest man. He did not say anything wrong. He could have stated his response more accurately, but it was clearly not intentional," Trump tweeted.

"The Democrats are overplaying their hand. They lost the election, and now they have lost their grip on reality. The real story is all of the illegal leaks of classified and other information. It is a total "witch hunt!"" he added.

Peskov pointed out Trump's phrasing Friday. "After President Trump’s comprehensive definition, we have nothing to add," he said, according to Russia's TASS news agency.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov echoed Trump and Peskov earlier. "I can cite the media that say all this is very much reminiscent of a witch hunt and the McCarthyism era which we all thought was long gone," he said, according to TASS.

In the 1950s, Sen. Joseph McCarthy, a Republican from Wisconsin, led a hunt for alleged communist traitors who he said were working secretly in the government and the army on behalf of the Soviet Union. The Senate later censured him.

"As for accusations against Kislyak and those he met with… Our ambassador is accused of meeting with the U.S. politicians who opposed the Obama administration. This is the essence of the accusations, to be honest," Lavrov added.

Sessions stepped aside Thursday from overseeing the continuing FBI investigation into Russia’s interference in last year’s election.

Phone conversations between Kislyak and Gen. Michael Flynn before Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration got Flynn fired as national security adviser after less than a month in office.

J.D. Gordon and Carter Page, two other Trump advisers, also spoke with Kislyak at the diplomacy conference connected to the Republican National Convention in July, where he met with Sessions. It's unknown what they discussed.

There have been repeated denials by Trump officials that his campaign had contact with officials representing the Russian government.

Contributing: Steve Reilly, Oren Dorell


MALAYA (VIA REUTERS)

Abuse survivor quits Pope’s commission March 03, 2017


MARCH 3 -Survivor says she quit pope's anti-abuse panel over frustrations with Curia

VATICAN CITY. – A leading member of a group advising Pope Francis on how to root out sex abuse in the Catholic Church quit in frustration on Wednesday, citing “shameful” resistance within the Vatican.

The sudden departure of Marie Collins, an outspoken Irish woman who was the last remaining survivor of priestly abuse on a Holy See commission, was a major setback for the Pope who has faced criticism of not doing enough to tackle the problem.

The work of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, set up by Francis in March 2014, has been slowed down by internal disputes and Collins blamed the Vatican’s administration, known as the Curia, for the “constant setbacks.”

“The lack of cooperation, particularly by the dicastery most closely involved in dealing with cases of abuse, has been shameful,” she said in a statement.

She said the Pope had a “genuine wish” to solve the problem but in later comments to a Catholic publication, she criticized him for being too forgiving towards sexual abuse in the Church.

READ MORE...

She told the National Catholic Reporter that in her three years on the commission, she had never been able to speak to the pontiff, and denounced those who surround him.

“It is devastating in 2017 to see that these men still can put other concerns before the safety of children and vulnerable adults,” she said, listing a string of cases in which she said the commission’s work had been hampered by Church officials.

The Vatican said the Pope had accepted her resignation “with deep appreciation for her work on behalf of the victims/survivors of clergy abuse.”

Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, who heads the commission, also thanked her for her work and said the commission would look at her concerns at a meeting next month.

Collins said “the last straw” was when she discovered that the Curia had been ignoring a specific request by the Pope, on the commission’s recommendation, that all correspondence to the Vatican from abuse victims should receive a response.

“It is a reflection of how this whole abuse crisis in the Church has been handled: with fine words in public and contrary actions behind closed doors,” she said.

Thousands of cases of sexual and physical abuse of youths by priests have come to light around the world in recent years as investigations have encouraged long-silent victims to finally go public with their complaints.

Victim support groups have repeatedly attacked the Vatican for its response to the crisis since it first emerged in the United States in 2002, saying successive popes have failed to grasp the gravity of the situation.

While acknowledging Francis’s good intentions on ending sex abuse, Collins said he was misguided and ineffective.

“I feel (he) does not appreciate how his actions of clemency undermine everything else he does in this area,” she said, referring to a recent report that the Pope had reduced sanctions against several pedophile priests who had sought clemency.

In February last year Briton Peter Saunders, the only other member of the commission who had suffered clerical sexual abuse, left to take a leave of absence after repeatedly criticizing the commission’s work.

It is unclear if he will return.

Saunders and Collins both threatened to resign as long ago as February 2015 unless bishops were made more accountable over cover-ups of rampant sexual abuse or failing to prevent it. -- Reuters

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RELATED FROM THE TELEGRAM, UK

Abuse survivor quits pope’s panel over Vatican stonewall; she noted she never had the opportunity to sit down with the pope to talk with him during her three years on the commission Wednesday Posted Mar 1, 2017 at 10:56 AM By The Associated Press By FRANCES D'EMILIO,


FILE - In this May 3, 2014 file photo, Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the archbishop of Boston, right, and Marie Collins attend a press conference at the Vatican. Collins, an Irish woman who was sexually abused by clergy, has quit in frustration her post on a Vatican commission advising Pope Francis about how to fight abuse of minors, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca) AP

Frustrated by what she described as Vatican stonewalling, an Irish woman who was sexually abused by clergy quit her post Wednesday on a pontifical panel advising Pope Francis about how to protect minors from such abuse.

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors said Marie Collins quit out of "frustration" at an alleged lack of cooperation from other Vatican offices, known as the Curia. Her departure delivered a fresh credibility blow to the Vatican's insistence that it is working to ensure that no more children are abused by predator priests.

Collins, in a statement carried by the National Catholic Reporter, was damning in her criticism. She decried "cultural resistance" at the Vatican that she said included some officials refusing the pope's instructions to reply to all correspondence from survivors or victims.

"I find it impossible to listen to public statements about the deep concern in the church for the care of those who lives have been blighted by abuse, yet to watch privately as a congregation (office) in the Vatican refuses to even acknowledge these letters!" Collins said in her statement.

"The reluctance of some in the Vatican Curia to implement recommendations or cooperate with the work of a commission when the purpose is to improve the safety of children and vulnerable adults around the world is unacceptable," she added.

Pope Francis set up the commission three years ago, saying its job was to "propose to me the most opportune initiatives for protecting minors and vulnerable adults, in order that we may do everything possible to ensure that crimes such as those which have occurred are no longer repeated in the church."

A systematic cover-up by bishops and other hierarchy in many dioceses around the world over decades compounded the crimes of pedophile priests who raped children and committed other sexual abuse.


THE PANEL: 2015 PHOTO -Vatican Commission for protection of minors to study issue of accountability Members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors - OSS_ROM Members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors - OSS_ROM  (Vatican Radio) Making the Church a safe place for children and vulnerable adults means having proper protection procedures in place, making sure they are implemented and holding bishops accountable when they are not. In essence, these are the priorities before the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults which is holding its first full Plenary Assembly since it was set up by Pope Francis in 2013. FROM THE VATICAN RADIO ONLINE

In explaining her reasons for leaving the panel, Collins wondered if the continuing reluctance to address the problem is "driven by internal politics, fear of change, clericalism which instills a belief that 'they know best' or a closed mindset which sees abuse as an inconvenience or a clinging to old institutional attitudes?"

Collins said she didn't know the answer, "but it is devastating in 2017 to see that these men still can put other concerns before the safety of children and vulnerable adults."

She added, "I have come to the point where I can no longer be sustained by hope."

The commission's statement said Pope Francis "accepted Mrs. Collins' resignation with deep appreciation for her work on behalf of the victims/survivors of clergy abuse."

It noted that she accepted an invitation from the panel's president, Boston Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley, to help the commission through her "exceptional teaching skills and impact of her testimony as a survivor."

O'Malley in a statement issued by the Vatican said, "We will greatly miss her important contributions" as a commissioner member.

Boston is one of the more prominent dioceses where hierarchy tried to hide clergy abuse by shuttling pedophile priests from parish to parish.

Collins didn't immediately respond to a phone request for comment.

Her litany of complaints included the failure of the Vatican to put into place a tribunal which could hold bishops accountable for negligence in handling sex abuse within their dioceses, a commission recommendation that was approved by Pope Francis in 2015.

Collins expressed disappointment that the pontiff has in some cases reduced sanctions for convicted perpetrators of child sex abuse. Still, she said, "I believe the pope does at heart understand the horror of abuse and the need for those who hurt minors to be stopped."

Collins noted she never had the opportunity to sit down with the pope to talk with him during her three years on the commission. By FRANCES D'EMILIO, Associated Press


PHILSTAR

Duterte: Killing criminals not a crime against humanity; killings will not stop for as long as there are drug lords, pushers By Alexis Romero (philstar.com) | Updated March 2, 2017 - 8:50pm 7 83 googleplus0 1


President Rodrigo Duterte shows a list of government officials and police officers who are allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade in his speech during the 38th National Convention of the Philippine Association of Water Districts at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City on Feb. 2, 2017. The president further explains that around 6,000 police officers and 40 of the barangays in the country are linked to the illegal drug trade. Toto Lozano/Presidential Photo

MANILA, Philippines — Killing criminals is not a crime against humanity because they have no humanity.

This was President Rodrigo Duterte’s response to the report of New York-based Human Rights Watch which claimed that the Philippines is in the midst of a “human rights calamity” because of the extrajudicial killings of suspected drug offenders.

RELATED: HRW: Duterte could be charged with crimes vs humanity

“When you kill criminals that is not a crime against humanity. The criminals have no humanity. God damn it,” the president told reporters during the groundbreaking of the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway.

Unfazed by critics who blame him for the deaths of drug suspects, Duterte said the killings would not stop as long as there are drug lords and pushers.

READ MORE...

“Marami pang patayan to. Lumalaban talaga yan. (There will be many more killings. They are really fighting). It will not end tomorrow for as long as there is a drug pusher and drug lord,” Duterte said.

“Lahat naman sila lumaban. Yung hindi lumaban sa gobyerno hindi amin yun. Baka pari ang kalaban nila (All of them fought. Those who did not fight the government, we are not responsible for them. Maybe their enemies are the priests),” he added.

“Yung namatay (Those who died) during encounters, of course, I answer for them, I hold myself legally responsible.”

Duterte said there is a difference between killing an innocent person and killing a criminal.

READ: PNP dares Human Rights Watch to show evidence of cop abuses Primary tabs

“They ought not to be mixed up... I’m trying to zero in on law and order because peace is what makes a country developed and progressive. I hold it as an article of faith,” he said.

To support his claim that the narcotics problem in the country is serious, Duterte said about 6,000 policemen and 40 percent of barangay captains in the country are into illegal drugs.

Duterte lamented that the killing of suspected drug offenders was presented melodramatically and “played up” by the media.

“This won’t stop if we don’t get rid of the apparatus,” he said. “Who wants to kill people?”

READ: Philippines urged to condemn, investigate extrajudicial killings

Duterte assailed the Catholic Church again for criticizing the spate of killings tied to his war on drugs. He claimed that the Church has not been transparent on the funds it collected from parishioners.

“Where is the money of the faithful?” the president said during the oath taking of the officials of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Lapu-Lapu City.

“Sige yaw yaw mga pari, wala naman kayong ginagawa (You keep on talking but you do nothing),” he added. “When were you really true to your vocation?”

Duterte said he would order every precinct commander all over the country to provide the priests a list of persons who are involved in drugs. He also claimed that the destruction of some churches in the country was a message from God.

“You know why God destroyed the churches? To show you that you are not deserving of his mercy,” he said.

READ: Report: Patterns in drug killings suggest planning, police involvement

Duterte reiterated that he does not intend to declare martial law and to suspend the privilege of writ of habeas of corpus to address the drug problem.

“I took my oath of office. The Constitution says there is martial law, law and order, It’s all here. They are all in my hands. My oath before God and country is to preserve the Filipino people period,” Duterte said.

“I do not need martial law. I do not need to declare a suspension of habeas corpus, you destroy my country, you destroy the youth, I don’t give a s***.”

 
https://youtu.be/s4dg6-fvshQ?t=27
Duterte on HRW: Criminals have no humanity PhNews Review PhNews Review

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RELATED FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

Amid HRW report, Panelo insists Duterte not behind drug killings Published March 2, 2017 12:21pm


PANELO

A Malacañang official on Thursday described as "baseless" the report of the Human Rights Watch (HRW) that says President Rodrigo Duterte is liable in an international court for the extrajudicial killings linked to his administration's war on illegal drugs.

In a television interview, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Secretary Salvador Panelo insisted that Duterte is not behind the killings.

"What I am saying is there is no basis that the President is behind all these killings. He is saying that there are corrupt policemen; that doesn’t mean he is behind the corruption of these policemen," Panelo said.

"They’re saying that there are policemen who killed; that doesn’t say that he (Duterte) is the one behind these killings. That’s what I’m saying," he added.

Panelo also stressed that drug syndicates are behind the killings, which have reached over 7,000 since Duterte took office in June last year.

"Now, we have repeatedly said that these killings are committed by the syndicates because those who surrendered are pointing to those who are in complicity with them," Panelo said. "So they're killing each other."

HRW, an international human rights watchdog, on Thursday released “License to Kill,” a report that detailed how Duterte's words incited and instigated the police to commit extrajudicial killings. —Trisha Macas/KBK, GMA News


GMA NEWS NETWORK

De Lima arrest shows Duterte capable of using gov't for vendetta –HRW Published February 24, 2017 2:43pm

The arrest of Senator Leila de Lima shows President Rodrigo Duterte is capable of "debasing" the government to the level of personal vendetta, an international human rights group said Friday.

In a statement, Human Rights Watch (HRW) described the drug charges filed against De Lima as "politically motivated."

"By arresting Senator Leila de Lima on politically motivated drug charges, President Duterte has effectively expanded his 'drug war' from the urban poor to the legislative branch of the government," HRW Asian Division Deputy Director Phelim Kine said.

"The arrest of Senator de Lima suggests that Duterte is willing to debase Philippine governance to the level of personal vendetta," he added.

De Lima has been a vocal critic of Duterte, particularly his violent war on illegal drugs that has been blamed for the spate of extrajudicial killings of drug suspects in the past couple of months.

READ MORE...

De Lima was arrested Friday morning, a day after the court issued an arrest warrant against her on charges that she, during her stint as justice secretary, allowed the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison.

HRW had earlier called on Philippine officials to drop the charges against De Lima.

The HRW also questioned the testimonies against De Lima, noting that the witnesses were reported to have been given benefits inside the national penitentiary.

"Not only Congress, but other pillars of Philippine democracy, from the press to the judiciary, should be worried about the future," the group said.

De Lima, who has denied the charges against her and has claimed to be a victim of political persecution, will be detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center inside Camp Crame. —Anna Felicia Bajo/KBK, GMA News

------------------------------

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Duterte - Killings for both rich, poor; "If you are the biggest drug distributor or if you’re the poorest in Cordova, you are just as liable for destroying your fellowmen,”  By Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 4, 2017 - 12:00am 1 3


President Rodrigo Duterte stressed that the chain of distribution in the illegal drug trade involves those from the financiers or distributors down to the lowest level, or those who sell in the streets. AP/Aaron Favila

DAVAO CITY , Philippines – In the vicious war against illegal drugs, poor and rich drug offenders alike could end up dead, President Duterte made clear the other day.

“Do not give me that s*** about this Duterte, going only for the poor. What do you mean poor? They earn big,” Duterte said in Cebuano and English.

He was reacting to statements from some sectors – particularly human rights groups – that his deadly war on illegal drugs targeted mainly the poor, with major drug traffickers generally untouched.

“If there is no one to peddle or sell drugs in the streets, they will just be kept in warehouses,” he said. Having drug runners without suppliers would not make sense to operators of the illegal industry, he added. Having both suppliers and sellers would mean an unimpeded flow of illegal drugs, an arrangement requiring prompt and tough action from law enforcers, he pointed out.

The President stressed that the chain of distribution in the illegal drug trade involves those from the financiers or distributors down to the lowest level, or those who sell in the streets.

“You are part of an organization. So it does not really matter to me at all. If you are the biggest drug distributor or if you’re the poorest in Cordova, you are just as liable for destroying your fellowmen,” he said in a speech at the groundbreaking ceremonies for a bridge project in Cebu Thursday afternoon.

The President remains unfazed by criticisms from Human Rights Watch and other organizations, saying he is committed to his relentless campaign against illegal drugs and that people should expect more killings, particularly with his recent order for the police to resume their anti-illegal drugs operations.

“That’s how I am committed to stop drugs before I go out,” he said.

“I am committed to stop drugs. This means there will be more killings because (criminals) really fight back. It won’t end tomorrow,” he added.

Duterte said more than 6,000 policemen and 40 percent of barangay captains all over the country are involved in the illegal drugs trade.

“You will die. Either you kill me or I kill you,” the President said, adding that killing criminals is not a human rights violation because “criminals are not humanity.”

“There is a whale of a difference between killing a criminal and an innocent individual,” Duterte further said. Christina Mendez

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RELATED(2) FROM THE TRIBUNE

De Lima goes on tirade vs Duterte over prison security Written by Angie M. Rosales Friday, 03 March 2017 00:00



Once again, Sen. Leila de Lima has unleashed another assault on President Rodrigo Duterte, this time hurling accusations that the Chief Executive is “capable” of having her killed even inside prison.

“I can never trust him because he is a murderer and he is capable of having me killed,” the senator said in a statement where she raised concerns over her security, saying anything can happen to her while inside the national police headquarters in Camp Crame.

The President had earlier assured his fiercest critic that she would be “100 percent” safe and secured in her detention area.

“I assure that she is safe. I think people are interested not to see her dead but to see her in prison for what she did,” Mr. Duterte stressed.

De Lima, however, noted that her “life is at risk “each day that I am here.”

The senator is nowdetained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) custodial center after she surrendered to authorities last Saturday over drug cases filed against her.

“While I have no complaints about my custodians – they are very professional and courteous – I feel completely defenseless here. Each day I am detained is a day of injustice. What is being done to me is extraordinary,” she added.

The embattled senator said she embraces the persecution knowing full well that God knows she’s innocent and she will one day be vindicated.

“But how soon or how late, that I don’t know,” De Lima said.

She also reiterated her innocence, saying she was merely performing her job and the issues being thrown against her are trumped-up charges.

De Lima said she could not think of any other reason the President would want to see her in jail except that of concerning her investigation on his alleged human rights violations committed while he was still Davao City mayor.

In a handwritten letter to her family, copies of which were given to the media, de Lima said while she’s psychologically prepared for her detention, “my whole being cries out for truth and justice.”

“My heart also bleeds for all other victims of injustice, those who were falsely accused and now cramped in severely congested jails,” she said.

“But God who is all-knowing and infinitely good and just, will make sure that EVIL will not triumph. I pray for more strength and fortitude. Let’s all be strong...love you all,” de Lima added.



Meanwhile, Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel has ordered the pullout of the members of the Senate’s Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms (OSAA) from Camp Crame, detailed to de Lima.

“It’s useless to keep OSAA personnel detailed at the PNP Custodial Center where de Lima is currently detained, since they could not even get near the senator since they are not allowed to stay inside the said facility,” he stressed.

“I placed OSAA there but they are far from her. So that’s pointless. Yesterday, I ordered their recall.”

The Senate chief also said it is useless for them to stay there as they’re some 50 meters away from her cell.

“(Besides) the PNP is already guarding her,” Pimentel added.

Nonetheless, he said they’re trying to find a way how they can convince the authorities in charge or in control of the detention facility to allow members of the Senate’s OSAA be detailed there.

“Let’s see their rules. Just as they respected our rules in the Senate we will also respect their rules.

Much as he would like to accommodate the request of de Lima whose preference is to have OSAA personnel “guard” her in detention, Pimentel said his hands are tied since it’s the PNP that is in charge of the affairs of the detention center.

“So we have to deal with them. But of course, if I can find an arrangement, I will reassign the OSAA to go there but not now,” he said.

Asked if he plans to pay his colleague a visit, Pimentel answered in the affirmative, saying he will do so in due time.

Members of the Senate OSAA, at least two for every shift, have been assigned to provide security for de Lima round the clock. They, however, do not have any access inside the detention facility that is being manned by the PNP personnel as well as the Special Action Force.


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