SYDNEY (Reuters) – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Australia said on Sunday they held “grave concerns” about escalating tensions caused by North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
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Jay Powell will hold his first press conference as chair of the US central bank
Fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe may have just thrown former FBI Director James Comey under the bus – perhaps intentionally.
Recall that McCabe was fired for, among other things, an “improper media disclosure.” In other words leaking.
In a Saturday morning appearance on CNN with host Michael Smerconish, Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley suggested that McCabe’s statement following his firing “immediately” raised a flag, which may lead to serious consequences for his former boss. McCabe’s statement reads in part:
The OIG investigation has focused on information I chose to share with a reporter through my public affairs officer and a legal counselor. As Deputy Director, I was one of only a few people who had the authority to do that. It was not a secret, it took place over several days, and others, including the Director, were aware of the interaction with the reporter.
Turley notes “There was one line in the case statement last night that I immediately flagged. Because he said that he had authority to do this and he conferred with the director – the director at the time was James Comey.”
“Now, the problem there is that James Comey said under oath that he never leaked information and never approved a leak,” said Turley. “So, if the Inspector General believes this was a leak to the media, it raises serious questions about Comey’s previous testimony and could get him into serious trouble.“
This directly contradicts Comey’s statement under oath that “he never leaked information, and never approved a leak.” Turley continued. “So if the Inspector General believes this was a leak to the media, it raises serious questions about Comey’s previous testimony that could get him into serious trouble.”
Law Professor Jonathan Turley: McCabe firing suggests Comey lied to Congress while under oath about ‘never leaking or approving a leak.’ pic.twitter.com/7y0z7qGZhe
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) March 17, 2018
Turley writes in The Hill:
McCabe is accused of misleading investigators about allegedly giving information to a former Wall Street Journal reporter about the investigation of Hillary Clinton and the Clinton family’s charitable foundation. McCabe asserts in his post-firing statement that he not only had authority to “share” that information to the media but did so with the knowledge of “the director.” The FBI director at the time was Comey. –The Hill
If the “interaction” means leaking the information, then McCabe’s statement would seem to directly contradict statements Comey made in a May 2017 congressional hearing. Asked if he had “ever been an anonymous source in news reports about matters relating to the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation” or whether he had “ever authorized someone else at the FBI to be an anonymous source in news reports about the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation,” Comey replied “never” and “no.”
Former FBI Assistant Director Chris Swecker said on Friday that the upcoming OIG report will contain some “pure TNT,” whenever it comes out – which should shed more light on the FBI’s transgressions surrounding the 2016 U.S. election.
The timing of McCabe’s statement and Comey’s apparent perjury comes at an inconvenient time for the former FBI director, who’s selling $100 tickets to attend stops on his upcoming book tour to promote: “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.”
As Turley notes, “If he gave McCabe the green light for his “interaction,” the title could prove embarrassingly ironic.”
Both India and Pakistan have between 120 and 140 nuclear warheads, according to estimates provided by the Arms Control Association. However a report produced in 2015 by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Stimson Center asserts that Pakistan may be outpacing India in terms of its nuclear stockpile, and may possess 350 nuclear warheads in the next five to ten years. A 2016 SIPRI report confirmed the assessment that Pakistan has more nuclear warheads than India.
However, what distinguishes the two neighbors’ nuclear-weapons programs from each other is not so much the pace of production or the size of the stockpiles, but their radically different nuclear doctrines.
The major difference between the two countries’ nuclear doctrines is that while India has renounced first use of nuclear weapons, Pakistan has refused to do so by reserving its right to use nuclear weapons in the face of India’s conventional superiority.
So far, uncertainty regarding Pakistan’s nuclear threshold is the principal factor preventing a major conflagration in South Asia. Pakistan’s refusal to disavow first use of nuclear weapons, and its emphasis on amassing tactical nuclear weapons and short-range missiles as a corollary of its nuclear doctrine, can be explained in light of its conventional-force inferiority vis-à-vis India. It is in fact a mirror image of the American nuclear doctrine as applied to central Europe during the Cold War. The United States refused to disavow first use of nuclear weapons, and deployed tactical nuclear weapons in central Europe on a large scale, because of NATO’s presumed inferiority in terms of conventional power vis-à-vis that deployed by the Warsaw Pact.
But for Pakistan, the uncertainty introduced by its nuclear doctrine has achieved another major objective as well. It has provided Pakistan with the shield behind which terrorist groups armed and trained by Islamabad, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad, can engage in acts of terror that create mayhem not only in Indian-administered Kashmir but also in other parts of India. The fear of escalating a conflict with Pakistan to the nuclear level has prevented India from retaliating to these provocations with the massive use of its superior conventional force.
India desisted from retaliating against terrorist bases or Pakistani military installations even when a massive terrorist operation launched from Pakistan targeted India’s financial capital, Mumbai, in November 2008. This attack lasted for more than sixty hours and left at least 174 people dead.
However, it seems that the logic of this deterrence is fast eroding. Attacks such as the one in Mumbai, and subsequent assaults on Indian military installations in Kashmir and elsewhere, have also provided justification for India’s hard-line Hindu nationalists to heighten anti-Pakistan rhetoric, and putting pressure on the Indian government to intensify its military response. In the past few months, Indian retaliatory attacks have targeted not only terrorist bases but also Pakistani military facilities, causing significant casualties among Pakistani forces.
The escalation in the last two years in terror attacks, especially by Jaish-e-Muhammad, with the obvious connivance of the Pakistan army, on Indian military targets in Kashmir and surrounding Indian states has made the situation very perilous. In the past several months, terrorist groups operating from Pakistan have undertaken several such major attacks, causing significant loss of life among Indian security forces.
A major terrorist attack on the Uri camp in Jammu and Kashmir in September 2016, which left seventeen military personnel dead, motivated the Indian government to reassess its strategy for responding to such attacks. On September 29, 2016, India launched its first publicly acknowledged “surgical strike” against terrorist bases in Pakistan. Although there had been speculation that India had conducted such strikes earlier as well, this was the first admission by New Delhi that it was ready to launch major retaliatory attacks against targets in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
In the latest incident, in February 2018, Jaish terrorists attacked an Indian military camp in Jammu; five army personnel and four militants were killed. In retaliation, the Indian army destroyed a Pakistani army post with the help of rocket launchers, killing, according to Indian sources, twenty-two Pakistani personnel. This tit-for-tat exchange is reaching dangerous proportions.
So far, the Pakistani military has downplayed Indian incursions and retaliatory attacks and refused to recognize their seriousness, because it does not want to appear weak in the eyes of the Pakistani public, which is then likely to clamor for revenge. However, the Pakistani military cannot continue to downplay Indian attacks, especially in light of the increasing fatalities. There is the danger that at some point, either by miscalculation or by design, an Indian surgical strike in Pakistani territory will push the Pakistani military—which controls the nuclear weapons—to retaliate in force.
If a full-scale war erupts, at some point Pakistan, unable to counter superior Indian conventional forces, could resort to battlefield nuclear weapons, as its doctrine proclaims. While India subscribes to a no-first-use doctrine, it has made it abundantly clear that it will massively retaliate against any use of battlefield nuclear weapons by Pakistan without making a distinction between tactical and strategic nuclear weapons. This strategy, as enunciated in a statement issued by the government of India on January 4, 2003, is designed to inflict unacceptable damage on the enemy.
Former Indian national security advisor Shivshankar Menon elaborated this strategy in his memoirs:
“India would hardly risk giving Pakistan the chance to carry out a massive nuclear strike after the Indian response to Pakistan using tactical nuclear weapons. In other words, Pakistani tactical nuclear weapon use would effectively free India to undertake a comprehensive first strike against Pakistan.”
This is a very scary scenario. Pakistan’s overreliance on its nuclear deterrence, especially its refusal to subscribe to the no-first-use doctrine, when combined with its reckless support for terrorist groups attacking Indian military and civilian targets, could unintentionally usher in a nuclear winter – and spell doom not only for South Asia, but for a much wider area surrounding the subcontinent.
A few days ago, we published a Property Shark analysis of the wealthiest zip codes in America, and found that – to our complete lack of surprise – the wealthiest towns are clustered around the Bay Area and New York City A, attend their own schools, shop at their own stores and live in their own exclusive enclaves of wealth.
While those data were largely anticipated, that study also showed that midwestern and even some southern areas had seen remarkable gains.
The same pattern applies to Property Shark’s latest study, which ascertained the wealthiest zip codes in the country by median income. Contrary to what one might expect, PS found that most of the nation’s 100 most expensive zip codes were on the West Coast, while most of the wealthiest 100 zip codes were on the East Coast.
The ultimate takeaway from these data are that, as one might expect, being able to afford an expensive home doesn’t necessarily mean a wealthy family will buy one. After all, frugality is inevitably one of the traits that helped them accumulate wealth.
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The East Coast Dominates The Light Of High-Earning Zips Codes
Of the nation’s top 100 earning zip codes, 70 are located on the East Coast…
Predictably, there are two areas where most zip codes are clustered: The Northeast with 48 zip codes, and the suburbs around Washington DC, with 28 spots in the top 100.
Going by state, the ranking of the most expensive zip codes for housing was dominated by California, with 77 spots on the list. However, the picture changed drastically when PS looked for the highest-earning zip codes. By that measure, Cali only took 17 spots in the top 100, while New York led with 20 codes. Of those, 8 are located in Manhattan. Most of the others cover well-established communities in Westchester County.
Maryland and Connecticut trail New York and California, each claiming 10 spots in the ranking. New Jersey and Virginia follow, further strengthening the East’s dominance, thanks to the D.C. suburbs. Washington, DC itself only managed to claim 1 spot in the ranking.
Unlike the list of priciest zip codes for home prices, the by-income scale is more heterogeneous, with 15 states taking spots on the list. Virginia, Washington DC, Delaware, Illinois, Texas, and Pennsylvania were all absent from the top 100 most expensive zip codes, but they were present in the homeowner income ranking.
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Here’s Where Zip Codes With $250k+ Income Stand In Terms Of Home Prices
The first 11 highest-earning zip codes all feature a yearly median household income of over $250,000. New York leads with 5 of the 11 zip codes that feature top-bracket median incomes, followed by California with 4 zip codes. Of the top 11 zip codes by median income, the highest ranked based on median sale price is 10013 in Manhattan, which took the 2nd spot.
On the other hand, San Diego’s 92145 did not even make the cut in the 100 priciest zips for housing, although the median income here exceeds $250,000. The median price here clocked in at $1,332,500, not enough to secure it a spot in the top 100. Furthermore, 2 of the 11 zip codes have median sale prices well below $1 million—Chappaqua’s 10514 and Chicago’s 60603. In zip code 60603, the median sale price recorded in 2017 was $495,000 and, with a median gross income of over $250,000, it stands out as the market with the smallest gap between median price and income.
Check out Property Shark’s interactive map here: