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New York Times: New US Memo highlights gaps in intelligence reports about Russian prizes



New York Times: New US Memo highlights gaps in intelligence reports about Russian prizes

Citing three officials, the newspaper reported that the National Intelligence Council, led by National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe, wrote a two and a half page memo, dated on Wednesday – just days after the Times first reported last week on intelligence officials’ knowledge of the next White House gift and inaction.

Officials told the Times that the time and highlight of the memo, which was said to contain no new details, implied that it was aimed at strengthening the government’s efforts to keep the news quiet. Former national security officials told the newspaper that the memo’s depiction showed that it might be influenced by political intentions.

The memo stated that the CIA and the National Counterterrorism Center had evaluated with “moderate confidence” that a Russian military intelligence unit GRU offered the prize, two officials explained the contents of the memo to the newspaper.

But the National Security Agency and other members of the intelligence community determined that they did not have sufficient evidence to reach this level of certainty and thus lacked confidence in the determination, the two officials told the newspaper. A third official familiar with the memo told the Times that the CIA’s level of confidence in the conclusion was higher than other institutions.

A spokesman for the DNI office declined to comment. CNN also reaches the CIA.

The news memo follows a refusal from the White House that President Donald Trump was “privately told” on reports that Russia offered prizes to Taliban fighters to kill US troops in Afghanistan.
But intelligence was included in one of Trump’s daily briefings on intelligence problems in the spring, according to a US official with firsthand knowledge of the latest information. And a source who was aware of the situation told CNN that the White House was given this intelligence in early 2019.
CNN also reported on Wednesday that Trump’s resistance to intelligence warnings about Russia led his national security team, including those who submitted the President’s Brief Report, to give a brief explanation of the threats related to Russia to the US, according to former government officials who gave Trump’s direction, present for the briefing and who prepared the documents for the intelligence briefing.

The Times reported Friday that the memo was said to have gone through intelligence behind the agency’s conclusion. These include reports of meetings between Russian military intelligence officers and leaders of criminal networks with links to the Taliban, about GRU accounts that transfer money to the network and arrested lower-level network members who confirm Russia’s use of gifts for spurring such killings.

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However, two officials who elaborated on the memo in more detail told the Times that the memo emphasized the lack of evidence about what GRU officials and network leaders said during the meeting – and thus could not ensure that Russia explicitly extended the bounty for the death of American troops.

It was also stressed that the NSA did not have surveillance records of accounts claimed to belong to captured members or clear evidence that the money transferred was to pay for gifts, officials told the Times.

The memo also stated that the Defense Intelligence Agency did not have evidence that directly connected the alleged gift offer with the Kremlin, the officials told the newspaper.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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