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Author: Mary Chastain

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Mary Chastain

Mary is the resident libertarian. She covers stories in every vertical, but her favorite thing to do is take on the media. She saw its bias against the right when she was a socialist.

Mary loves the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Blackhawks, tennis, cats, Oxford comma, Diet Coke, and needlework.

The U.S. has investigated numerous naval officers over possible connections to a Malaysian businessman Leonard Glenn "Fat Leonard" Francis, who bribed leaders with whiskey, prostitutes, and cash. A California court unsealed three indictments on Friday against three Naval soldiers to face charges of working with Fat Leonard. The courts already charged Cmdr. Michael Vannak Khiem Misiewicz, 48, with bribery and conspiracy. From The Los Angeles Times:
Cmdr. Michael Vannak Khiem Misiewicz, 48, pleaded guilty earlier to one charge of conspiracy and one charge of bribery. Prosecutors said that for nearly two years, he accepted gifts, travel, stays at fancy hotels and the services of prostitutes — all paid for by Leonard Glenn “Fat Leonard” Francis, the owner of a port servicing company that supplied Navy ships across the Pacific. In exchange, Misiewicz gave Francis confidential information on ship schedules for the U.S. 7th Fleet, for which he served as deputy operations officer in 2011 and 2012. He also used his influence to try to steer ships to ports in Asia that were controlled by Francis’ company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, prosecutors said.

Supporters of Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders hopes the FBI swoops in and takes out front runner Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server. An inspector general report found that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton broke State Department rules when she opted to use a private email server for work. The FBI has an open investigation against Clinton, which has puzzled some supporters of Sanders like Julie Crowell:
Like many of Mr. Sanders’s supporters, Ms. Crowell, 37, said she hoped that Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state would eventually yield an indictment, and she described it as the kind of transgression that would disqualify another politician seeking high office. “She should be removed,” said Ms. Crowell, of Tustin, Calif., who attended a Sanders rally here on Tuesday and said she planned to vote for a third-party candidate if Mr. Sanders failed to overtake Mrs. Clinton and capture the Democratic nomination. “I don’t know why she’s not already being told, ‘You can’t run because you’re being investigated.’ I don’t know how that’s not a thing.”

The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) continues to take advantage of the migrant issue by blending their fighters and shipping them through Europe. Smuggler Abu Walid told CNN that ISIS has contacted people in his business in Libya in the past two months, offering up to $40,000 for 25 people. Libyan officials told the new outlet they have found ISIS members attempting to sneak into Europe disguised as migrants seeking a better life:
A senior Libyan military intelligence official in Misrata, Ismail Shukri, said that ISIS militants sought to disguise themselves by traveling with "their families, without weapons, as normal illegal immigrants." "They will wear American dress and have English language papers so they cause no suspicion."

Portuguese intelligence officers have decided to search for other moles after they discovered one of their own passed NATO secrets to Russia. Italian police arrested Frederico Carvalhão, a senior officer in Portugal's SIS intelligence service, along with an alleged Russian SVR intelligence agent. However, SIS believe others helped Carvalhão extract confidential and sensitive information. The Telegraph reports:
Augusto Santos Silva, the Portuguese foreign minister, confirmed on Wednesday that there was “an ongoing judicial investigation” into the case. The focus is believed to be on discovering who helped Mr Carvalhão extract top-secret documents from Ameixoeira Fort, the SIS headquarters in Lisbon. The use of USB sticks is prohibited inside Ameixoeira, access to all printed documents is registered and those classified as secret have an invisible watermark to allow for the detection of anyone who has removed them. Yet Mr Carvalhão was allegedly caught while handing over six "top secret" documents covering Nato defence systems, the communication infrastructure between member countries and military bases.

Katie Couric's documentary Under the Gun edited out remarks by a guns rights group to make them look unprepared for a simple question. Couric sat down with the Virginia Citizens Defense League and asked them, “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?” The clip shows the members sitting silently for around nine seconds, but audio provided to the Washington Free Beacon's Stephen Gutowski shows the group provided an answer.

The Kremlin has officially pardoned Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko after two years of imprisonment and a farce trial in exchange for two Russia Special Forces servicemen. The Ukrainian and Russian governments did not offer any details about the exchange. But journalists in Ukraine "noted that a Ukrainian presidential aircraft had flown to the airport of Rostov-on-Don, a southern Russian city close to the Ukrainian border." It came back at 3PM local time with Savchenko on board.

The official Palestinian Authority television celebrated the death of U.S. tourist Taylor Force, calling his murderer a martyr 11 times in the broadcast. From the report:
Official PA TV newsreader: "In Qalqilya, hundreds of citizens accompanied the body of Martyr Bashar Masalha [to his burial]..." Official PA TV reporter: "After delays by Israel in the transfer of his body, Martyr Bashar Masalha’s family, from the village of Hajja, east of Qalqilya, received their son in the evening... The Martyr Bashar returned from Qalqilya to his village Hajja in a procession... His family, friends, and people of the region took it upon themselves to ensure that this [burial] would be a large national wedding (i.e., to the 72 Virgins in Paradise) befitting of Martyrs... The Martyr was accompanied to his last resting place in the cemetery for Martyrs in Hajja..."

The inspector general at the State Department says Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton broke federal email rules when she used a private server while she served as secretary of state. NBC News reports::
"At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department issues before leaving government service," says an audit by the State Department Inspector General, obtained by NBC News. "Because she did not do so, she did not comply with the [State] Department's policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told French Prime Minister Manuel Valls he wants to hold a one-on-one meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas instead of a multinational conference in Paris. Netanyahu thinks Abbas will use the conference as a way to ignore direct negotiations with Israel. France has scheduled the peace talks for the beginning of June without Israel or Palestinian Authority representatives. From The Times of Israel:
“The Palestinian Authority does not see the French initiative as an inducer for negotiations, but as a way to avoid them,” he said. Instead, Netanayhu said, he would be willing to meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “in Paris or wherever,” and hold face-to-face negotiations without international mediation. “Every difficult issue will be on the table,” he said.
France plans to host another conference with Israel and Palestine in the autumn.

Terrorist group Hamas plans to conduct public executions in Gaza in an attempt to bring down crime. Ismail Jaber, the group's attorney general, said he wants them to "take place before a large crowd." Hamas has thirteen men waiting for their execution after the courts convicted them "of murder connected to robberies." Officials can seek the death penalty for "collaborators, murderers and drug traffickers." If Hamas conducts the executions, the numbers could push them past Saudi Arabia. The kingdom houses 31.5 million people and executed 153 in 2015. Hamas will commit more death penalties since they have a population on 1.8 million.

Vietnam veteran Roberto Gonzales does not have much time left, but he wanted to spend a few moments with his horses Ringo and Sugar. His wife Rosario described the reunion:
“When the horses came up to him, he actually opened his eyes,” Rosario Gonzales said. “They came up to him and I think they were actually kissing him.”
The final meeting took place on May 21, exactly 46 years after he was injured in Vietnam.

President Barack Obama has lifted a five decade old arms ban against Vietnam as China Sea tensions continue to rise. At a press conference with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, Obama said that he did not consider China's aggression in the region as a motivating factor. He chose to remove the ban as "part of a deeper defense cooperation with the country" and "normalizing relations" between the one time enemies:
“Over time what we’ve seen is a progressive deepening and broadening of the [bilateral] relationship,” Obama said. “And what became apparent to me and my administration at this point was … that it was appropriate for us not to have a blanket, across-the-board ban.”
The U.S. implemented the ban during the Vietnam War, which ended in 1975 after the army withdrew forces from Saigon. North Vietnam ambushed the city, reunited the two Vietnams, and renamed the capital Ho Chi Minh City after the revolutionary leader.

Independent candidate Alexander Van der Bellen, backed by the Green Party, has become Austria's new head of state. He barely beat Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer. The Interior Ministry counted over 700,000 ballots, almost 12% of the country's registered voters, to determine the winner. Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka announced the results:
Van der Bellen reached 50.3 percent, 49.7 Hofer . In absolute terms, the scarcity of the result is visible: 2,254.484 votes could gather Van der Bellen, Hofer 2,223.458. The difference amounts to just 31,026 votes. The turnout was 72.7 percent, significantly higher than the first ballot reached 68.5 percent.

The Afghanistan government confirmed a U.S. drone killed Taliban leader Mullah Mansoor in Pakistan. The U.S. Department of Defense said the government targeted the leader "while travelling in convoy near the town of Ahmad Wal." From The Guardian:
The US secretary of state, John Kerry, speaking in Myanmar on Sunday, said Mansoor “posed a continuing imminent threat to US personnel in Afghanistan, Afghan civilians, Afghan security forces” and members of the US and Nato coalition. He said the air strike on Mansoor sent “a clear message to the world that we will continue to stand with our Afghan partners”. “Peace is what we want. Mansoor was a threat to that effort,” Kerry said. “He also was directly opposed to peace negotiations and to the reconciliation process. It is time for Afghans to stop fighting and to start building a real future together.”

Coca-Cola has become the latest victim of socialism as the company announced it will no longer develop its product in Venezuela. Without sugar, they can only produce sugar free Coca-Cola. From CBS News:
The Atlanta-based company said in an emailed statement Friday said that its production of sugar-sweetened beverages will be suspended in the coming days after local suppliers reported they had run out of the raw material. Sugar-free beverages are not affected and the company said its offices and distribution centers remain open in Venezuela.

Leon's Frozen Custard in Milwaukee, WI, has come under fire for its English-only policy, inspiring one group to demand a federal investigation. The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) flipped out over the private business policy. The group's state director Dr. Arturo Martinez released this statement:
"In the last 24 hours, LULAC of Wisconsin has received numerous requests to investigate the issue of workplace policy as it pertains to language at Leon's Frozen Custard located at 3131 S. 27th Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While many of us consider this as a community institution, it was surprising when we learned of their language policy, which is in clear violation of federal labor law. Upon reviewing the statements made by management in a video interview detailing Leon’s policy, we are requesting an investigation of this policy by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The law is clear on this issue and offers few exceptions. In the meantime, we encourage management to review their current employment policies with counsel to bring them into compliance. We are confident that in doing so, it will lead to a stronger business and a stronger community.”
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