7 Earth-Size Planets Orbit Dwarf Star, NASA and European Astronomers Say

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7 New Planets Could Host Alien Life

These new Earth-size planets orbit a dwarf star named Trappist-1 about 40 light years from Earth. Some of them could have water on their surfaces.

By NEETI UPADHYE on Publish DateFebruary 22, 2017. Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech. Watch in Times Video »

Not just one, but seven Earth-size planets that could potentially harbor life have been identified orbiting a tiny star not too far away, offering the first realistic opportunity to search for signs of alien life outside the solar system.

The planets orbit a dwarf star named Trappist-1, about 40 light-years, or 235 trillion miles, from Earth. That is quite close in cosmic terms, and by happy accident, the orientation of the orbits of the seven planets allows them to be studied in great detail.

One or more of the exoplanets in this new system could be at the right temperature to be awash in oceans of water, astronomers said, based on the distance of the planets from the dwarf star.

“This is the first time so many planets of this kind are found around the same star,” Michael Gillon, an astronomer at the University of Liege in Belgium and the leader of an international team that has been observing Trappist-1, said during a telephone news conference organized by the journal Nature, which published the findings on Wednesday.

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Scientists could even discover compelling evidence of aliens.

“I think that we have made a crucial step toward finding if there is life out there,” said Amaury H. M. J. Triaud, an astronomer at the University of Cambridge in England and another member of the research team. “Here, if life managed to thrive and releases gases similar to that we have on Earth, then we will know.”

Cool red dwarfs are the most common type of star, so astronomers are likely to find more planetary systems like that around Trappist-1 in the coming years.

“You can just imagine how many worlds are out there that have a shot to becoming a habitable ecosystem,” Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s science mission directorate, said during a NASA news conference on Wednesday. “Are we alone out there? We’re making a step forward with this — a leap forward, in fact — towards answering that question.”

Telescopes on the ground now and the Hubble Space Telescope in orbit will be able to discern some of the molecules in the planetary atmospheres. The James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch next year, will peer at the infrared wavelengths of light, ideal for studying Trappist-1.

Comparisons among the different conditions of the seven will also be revealing.

“The Trappist-1 planets make the search for life in the galaxy imminent,” said Sara Seager, an astronomer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who was not a member of the research team. “For the first time ever, we don’t have to speculate. We just have to wait and then make very careful observations and see what is in the atmospheres of the Trappist planets.”

Even if the planets all turn out to be lifeless, scientists will have learned more about what keeps life from flourishing.

Astronomers always knew other stars must have planets, but until a couple of decades ago, they had not been able to spot them. Now they have confirmed more than 3,400, according to the Open Exoplanet Catalog. (An exoplanet is a planet around a star other than the sun.)

The authors of the Nature paper include Didier Queloz, one of the astronomers who discovered in 1995 the first known exoplanet around a sunlike star.

While the Trappist planets are about the size of Earth — give or take 25 percent in diameter — the star is very different from our sun.

Trappist-1, named after a robotic telescope in the Atacama Desert of Chile that the astronomers initially used to study the star, is what astronomers call an “ultracool dwarf,” with only one-twelfth the mass of the sun and a surface temperature of 4,150 degrees Fahrenheit, much cooler than the 10,000 degrees radiating from the sun. Trappist is a shortening of Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope.

During the NASA news conference, Dr. Gillon gave a simple analogy: If our sun were the size of a basketball, Trappist-1 would be a golf ball.

Until the last few years, scientists looking for life elsewhere in the galaxy have focused on finding Earth-size planets around sun-like stars. But it is hard to pick out the light of a planet from the glare of a bright star. Small dim dwarfs are much easier to study.

Last year, astronomers announced the discovery of an Earth-size planet around Proxima Centauri, the closest star at 4.24 light-years away. That discovery was made using a different technique that does not allow for study of the atmosphere.

Photo

Trappist-1 is about 8 percent the size of the sun. CreditESO

Trappist-1 periodically dimmed noticeably, indicating that a planet might be passing in front of the star, blocking part of the light. From the shape of the dips, the astronomers calculate the size of the planet.

Trappist-1’s light dipped so many times that the astronomers concluded, in research reported last year, that there were at least three planets around the star. Telescopes from around the world then also observed Trappist-1, as did the Spitzer Space Telescope of NASA.

Spitzer observed Trappist-1 nearly around the clock for 20 days, capturing 34 transits. Together with the ground observations, it let the scientists calculate not three planets, but seven. The planets are too small and too close to the star to be photographed directly.

All seven are very close to the dwarf star, circling more quickly than the planets in our solar system. The innermost completes an orbit in just 1.5 days. The farthest one completes an orbit in about 20 days. That makes the planetary system more like the moons of Jupiter than a larger planetary system like our solar system.

“They form a very compact system,” Dr. Gillon said, “the planets being pulled close to each other and very close to the star.”

In addition, the orbital periods of the inner six suggest that the planets formed farther away from the star and then were all gradually pulled inward, Dr. Gillon said.

Because the planets are so close to a cool star, their surfaces could be at the right temperatures to have water flow, considered one of the essential ingredients for life.

The fourth, fifth and sixth planets orbit in the star’s “habitable zone,” where the planets could sport oceans. So far that is just speculation, but by measuring which wavelengths of light are blocked by the planet, scientists will be able to figure out what gases float in the atmospheres of the seven planets.

So far, they have confirmed for the two innermost planets that they are not enveloped in hydrogen. That means they are rocky like Earth, ruling out the possibility that they were mini-Neptune gas planets that are prevalent around many other stars.

Because the planets are so close to Trappist-1, they have quite likely become “gravitationally locked” to the star, always with one side of the planets facing the star, much as it is always the same side of Earth’s moon facing Earth. That would mean one side would be warmer, but an atmosphere would distribute heat, and the scientists said that would not be an insurmountable obstacle for life.

For a person standing on one of the planets, it would be a dim environment, with perhaps only about one two-hundredth the light that we see from the sun on Earth, Dr. Triaud said. (That would still be brighter than the moon at night.) The star would be far bigger. On Trappist-1f, the fifth planet, the star would be three times as wide as the sun seen from Earth.

As for the color of the star, “we had a debate about that,” Dr. Triaud said.

Some of the scientists expected a deep red, but with most of the star’s light emitted at infrared wavelengths and out of view of human eyes, perhaps a person would “see something more salmon-y,” Dr. Triaud said.

NASA released a poster illustrating what the sky of the fourth planet might look like.

If observations reveal oxygen in a planet’s atmosphere, that could point to photosynthesis of plants — although not conclusively. But oxygen together with methane, ozone and carbon dioxide, particularly in certain proportions, “would tell us that there is life with 99 percent confidence,” Dr. Gillon said.

Astronomers expect that a few decades of technological advances are needed before similar observations can be made of Earthlike planets around larger, brighter sunlike stars.

Dr. Triaud said that if there is life around Trappist-1, “then it’s good we didn’t wait too long.”

“If there isn’t, then we have learned something quite deep about where life can emerge,” he continued.

The discovery might also mean that scientists who have been searching for radio signals from alien civilizations might also have been searching in the wrong places if most habitable planets orbit dwarfs, which live far longer than larger stars like the sun.

The SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., is using the Allen Telescope Array, a group of 42 radio dishes in California, to scrutinize 20,000 red dwarfs. “This result is kind of a justification for that project,” said Seth Shostak, an astronomer at the institute.

“If you’re looking for complex biology — intelligent aliens that might take a long time to evolve from pond scum — older could be better,” Dr. Shostak said. “It seems a good bet that the majority of clever beings populating the universe look up to see a dim, reddish sun hanging in their sky. And at least they wouldn’t have to worry about sun block.”

Correction: February 22, 2017
An earlier version of this article named the wrong telescope that is trained on the Trappist-1 dwarf star. It is the Spitzer Space Telescope, not the Kepler. The article also misstated how many days it takes for the planet farthest from Trappist-1 to orbit the star. It is about 20 days, not 12.35.

370 Economists: ‘Do Not Vote For Donald Trump’

by natehopper

Three hundred and seventy economists, including eight Nobel Prize winners, co-signed a letter that asserts, “Donald Trump is a dangerous, destructive choice for the country. He misinforms the electorate, degrades trust in public institutions with conspiracy theories, and promotes willful delusion over engagement with reality.”

The statement, which was first published by the Wall Street Journal, does not endorse a candidate. Instead it lists 15 points of concern about the Republican presidential nominee. Several criticize Trump for his assertions about supporting manufacturing workers, particularly those in Ohio and Michigan. Contrary to what he has said, the economists write that renegotiating NAFTA will not increase the number of manufacturing jobs: “manufacturing’s share of employment has been declining since the 1970s and is mostly related to automation, not trade.” (NAFTA came into effect in January 1994.) They also write that trade agreements have not cut national income and wealth, which has risen because, as the signatories write, trade is not “zero-sum.” (“Freedom to trade” was on a list of “what America needs” in a September statement of concern about “Hillary Clinton’s economic agenda” signed by 300 economists. An Oct. 31 statement by 19 Nobel laureatesin economics decried Trump’s “reckless threats to start trade wars with several of our largest trading partners.”)

The new letter, signed by economists who won this and last year’s Nobel prizes as well as the chief economist at the World Bank, also questions Trump’s math on how he would eliminate the fiscal deficit while decreasing revenue; says he exaggerates immigration’s negative impact; and laments how “he repeats fake and misleading economic statistics, and pushes fallacies.”

The economists instead recommend discussions about helping laborers who have been displaced by automation; remedying the unequal distribution of income via increasing tax revenue or by way of a “reduction in spending on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or Defense;” and reminding American citizens that the U.S. is not, in fact, one of the world’s most heavily taxed countries.

“If elected, he poses a unique danger to the functioning of democratic and economic institutions, and to the prosperity of the country,” the letter concludes. “For these reasons, we strongly recommend that you do not vote for Donald Trump.”

natehopper | November 2, 2016 at 3:09 pm | Tags: Economics, politics | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/p5HMd-j6Yg

Somali troops kill jihadists in Mogadishu hotel terror attack

Somali security forces have ended the siege of the Sahafi hotel in Mogadishu and neutralized all of the suspected al-Shabab militants, officials say. Somali President Sheikh called the jihadists “increasingly desperate.”

Somalia Mogadischu Anschlag auf Hotel

A group of five Islamic extremists killed six people and injured ten more in the Sunday attack on the highly fortified hotel in the Somali capital, a police official said.

The security forces ended the siege by midday, according to police commander Ali Ahmed.

“It’s over now, we have killed all the attackers.” said Ahmed.”They came under cover of darkness and attacked the hotel while some of the guards were sleeping.”

The militants, armed with AK47 and grenades, detonated a car bomb to gain entry to the hotel, a popular venue for MPs, government employees and businesspeople.

“They came in firing bullets randomly and chanting God is great they shot anyone they could see,” said a surviving hotel resident, Ahmed Abdulle.

Protecting faith from extremists

The jihadist group al-Shabab quickly claimed responsibility for the Sunday attack.

“The mujahedeen fighters took control of the Sahafi hotel, where apostates and invading Christians were staying,” the group’s spokesman Abdiaziz Abu-Musab said in a statement.

After the deadly incident, President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud urged his compatriots to “prevent extremists from distorting the faith of our fathers.”

“This is the action of an increasingly desperate, internally-divided group of extremists … (who) seek to grab the headlines through killing innocent Muslims,” he said.

dj/jm (AP, AFP)

14 ghostly photos of famous Egyptian landmarks with no tourists

Egypt Isolation
Jack Sommer

Egypt Isolation

“I wasn’t expecting the Pyramids of Giza site to be so empty and eerie,” photographer Ben Terzza told Business Insider.
Tourists have traveled to Egypt’s ancient pyramids and historic monuments for centuries.

But tourism has dropped rapidly in recent years, as violent conflicts following the 2011 revolution have been particularly successful in scaring off travelers.

According to a recent Reuters article, 9.9 million tourists visited Egypt in 2014, compared to 14.7 million people in 2010. The country’s tourism minister recently said that he expects that number to be around 10 million again this year.

“From January until the end of August the rise was very little, barely 5%,” he told Reuters.

In 2014, photographer Ben Terzza left Wales with his partner to live in Egypt for several months. A teaching job had been offered to his partner, so Terzza decided to tag along.

Terzza and his partner eventually made a trip to the capital city of Cairo. What they found there was a disappointing surprise. Cairo felt desolate and was visibly empty, which Terzza captured in a selection of his photos below.

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After four months of living in Egypt, Terzza and his partner decided to take a trip to Cairo around Christmastime. It was about five hours north of El Gouna, where they had been staying.

After four months of living in Egypt, Terzza and his partner decided to take a trip to Cairo around Christmastime. It was about five hours north of El Gouna, where they had been staying.

They were warned to be careful while visiting Cairo, and sure enough, they felt isolation in the air as soon as they got there.They were warned to be careful while visiting Cairo, and sure enough, they felt isolation in the air as soon as they got there.

When they went to the Saqqara pyramids on the edge of the Cairo region, they found they were the only people there. Besides feeling nervous to be off that far alone, they were also being bothered by locals while they were walking around.When they went to the Saqqara pyramids on the edge of the Cairo region, they found they were the only people there. Besides feeling nervous to be off that far alone, they were also being bothered by locals while they were walking around.
When they went to the Saqqara pyramids on the edge of the Cairo region, they found they were the only people there. Besides feeling nervous to be off that far alone, they were also being bothered by locals while they were walking around.

The locals were constantly asking Terzza and his partner for their tickets, begging for money, and trying to show them around the premises.The locals were constantly asking Terzza and his partner for their tickets, begging for money, and trying to show them around the premises.
The locals were constantly asking Terzza and his partner for their tickets, begging for money, and trying to show them around the premises.

Terzza even had to resort to shouting at them to stop them from bothering him, which he was uncomfortable doing.
Terzza even had to resort to shouting at them to stop them from bothering him, which he was uncomfortable doing.

But Terzza knew it was deep-seated problem. “As you spoke to more and more locals, the reality of their political, economic, and social cultures started to make sense,” he said to Business Insider.But Terzza knew it was deep-seated problem. "As you spoke to more and more locals, the reality of their political, economic, and social cultures started to make sense," he said to Business Insider.
But Terzza knew it was deep-seated problem. “As you spoke to more and more locals, the reality of their political, economic, and social cultures started to make sense,” he said to Business Insider.

He had done plenty of research about the state of the country beforehand, but the level of corruption and dysfunction within the government was still both surprising and upsetting.He had done plenty of research about the state of the country beforehand, but the level of corruption and dysfunction within the government was still both surprising and upsetting.

According to Terzza, one of the most disturbing parts of Egypt’s culture was their sense of women’s rights, which were pretty much nonexistent. “To watch my partner be treated like dirt was extremely infuriating,” he said.According to Terzza, one of the most disturbing parts of Egypt's culture was their sense of women’s rights, which were pretty much nonexistent. "To watch my partner be treated like dirt was extremely infuriating," he said.

Not many other people were there to check out the pyramids with Terzza.
Not many other people were there to check out the pyramids with Terzza.
Not many other people were there to check out the pyramids with Terzza.
Egypt has had problems with tourism in the past. Visitors declined dramatically after a group of 58 tourists were killed in a 1997 attack by Islamic militants.Egypt has had problems with tourism in the past. Visitors declined dramatically after a group of 58 tourists were killed in a 1997 attack by Islamic militants.

It is a priority for the government to get the industry booming again. Tourism is one of Egypt’s biggest moneymakers, bringing in billions of dollars a year.It is a priority for the government to get the industry booming again. Tourism is one of Egypt’s biggest moneymakers, bringing in billions of dollars a year.

The tourism minister of Egypt told Reuters that the country is planning to launch a global advertising campaign in November.The tourism minister of Egypt told Reuters that the country is planning to launch a global advertising campaign in November.

Source: Reuters
Even if tourism makes a rebound, however, the country still has a lot to work out with its government and citizens.
Even if tourism makes a rebound, however, the country still has a lot to work out with its government and citizens.
Until then, a campaign might not be enough to save them.
Until then, a campaign might not be enough to save them.
More of Terzza’s work can be seen on his Instagram and Twitter.

SEE ALSO: The 15 countries that receive the most tourists every day
More: Features Photography Travel Visual Features

Without a cabinet, Nigeria is stuck “on hold”

By Ulf Laessing

ABUJA (Reuters) – Seven months after Muhammadu Buhari was elected president on a promise to “fix” Nigeria, a policy vacuum has brought decision-making to a halt, hampering everything from national budget planning to new roads and art exhibitions.

Late on Thursday, the Senate ended yet another session screening Buhari’s ministerial candidates without giving its approval, leaving Africa’s biggest economy with no government since the former military ruler took office on May 29.

With political wrangling in full swing, lawmakers will need at least another week for more vetting. After three weeks, only half of Buhari’s 36-strong lineup has got the green light.

Buhari has launched the first steps to reform the oil sector in Africa’s biggest producer and fight graft, which is blamed for most of the nation of 170 million people living in poverty despite Nigeria’s vast energy wealth.

But some of his high-flying plans are gathering dust in rudderless ministries while entrepreneurs and businessman look on in vain as Africa’s biggest economy reels from the decline in crude prices.

“We support Buhari’s change but ministers need to get appointed and start working,” said Chidubem Nnajiofor, whose computer shop has been struggling to pay for imports because of central bank currency controls imposed to protect the naira.

“You cannot get dollars even if you have a letter of credit.”

BUDGET DEFERRED

The 72-year-old president has won praise for a bailout of federal states and audits designed to root out graft but, with the economy flatlining, investors wonder why he took four months to name a cabinet of familiar political faces.

“For a while, one could say that transparency reforms introduced by the new government and the state government bailout possibly trumped the appointment of a cabinet,” said Razia Khan, Chief Economist, Africa, at Standard Chartered Bank.

“As we get closer to the budget cycle deadline and important decisions on subsidies and taxation need to be taken, the absence of a cabinet will likely become more glaring.”

Parliament typically tables the annual budget in November but there is no draft yet for a planned supplementary budget for this year, let alone a proposal for 2016. Discussions are likely to take longer than normal because of the need of spending cuts.

The lack of a government has hampered even basic ministry work such as aid projects or state-sponsored art exhibitions. Business people and diplomats have been dealing with undersecretaries who are afraid to sign off on anything.

“No political decisions are being taken at the moment at ministries,” said a Western diplomat who asked not to be named.

Even when the Senate clears Buhari’s nominees, ministers will have to wade through reams of documents that have piled up on their desks over the last half a year before getting down to work.

ONE-MAN SHOW?

Many Nigerians support Buhari’s cause to fight graft. Most people in the country struggle to make ends meet while a globe-trotting elite has enjoyed an oil bonanza.

To the delight of many, foreign airlines are reporting a slump in first-class bookings as high-rollers take care over displays of wealth, and noticeably fewer private jets jostle for space at Abuja’s airport.

But in the absence of ministers, reforms aired before the election – such as curbing food imports to boost domestic farming – are stuck on the drawing board, and without any consideration for their consequences.

For example, if steel imports are curbed, as has been mooted, Buhari may have to drop some infrastructure projects because local steel output is insufficient, executives say.

The cabinet delay is also sowing confusion and intrigue, according to political insiders, with some ministers on the cabinet list telling friends which portfolio they have landed, only to call back later to say they are not so sure.

Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, head of state oil firm NNPC, is expected to become junior oil minister with Buhari maintaining oversight of the sector.

Buhari – by his own admission not an economist – has tasked his deputy president, Yemi Osinbajo, a commercial lawyer, with overseeing economic policy. Osinbajo has said dollar curbs are only a short-term measure to preserve currency reserves.

But the wider paralysis is blocking nearly all government spending, putting a big brake on growth.

“It’s only when government starts embarking on capital projects that there is money,” said Joel Mtsor, who runs a printing firm in Abuja that relies on government work.

“Nothing is happening – no workshops, no seminars. As I speak there is no printing company today that is busy,” he said.

(Editing by Ed Cropley and Timothy Heritage)

Hillary Hearing: The Republicans’ Six Best Shots

BY 10/23/15 AT 11:18 AM

10_23_HillaryBenghazi_01
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton testifies before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, on Capitol Hill in Washington October 22. In 11 long hours of testimony, Clinton fended off repeated Republican charges. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

This article first appeared on the Daily Signal.

In a much-anticipated hearing, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared Thursday before a panel of lawmakers tasked with investigating the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time of the attacks and resigned five months after, testified before the House Select Committee on Benghazi in an 11-hour hearing—the fourth public hearing since the committee’s inception in May 2014.

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For the last 17 months, the committee has been conducting an investigation into the September 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

The committee has conducted 54 interviews with a number of administration officials, as well as those who worked closely with Clinton, including Huma Abedin, her closest aide, and Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s former chief of staff.

In speaking with reporters after the marathon hearing, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who chairs the panel, said he wasn’t sure Clinton revealed information that hadn’t been volunteered in past hearings.

However, in the months since the committee was formed, lawmakers have learned that the former secretary of state and senator from New York operated a private email server from her home and used a private email address to conduct official business.

Additionally, responding to a request from the Select Committee on Benghazi, the State Department released more than 7,000 pages of emails from Stevens this month. The committee’s request was the first time a congressional panel investigating the attacks has asked the State Department for his messages.

Still, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the committee’s ranking member, said the committee has not uncovered any new information that the Accountability Review Board hadn’t learned in its own independent review and criticized Republicans for spending $4.8 million on the committee’s efforts.

“It is time now for the Republicans to end this taxpayer-funded fishing expedition,” he said. “We need to come together and shift from politics to policy. That’s what the American people want, shifting from politics to policy.”

It was a point his Democratic colleagues agreed with.

“The reality is that we’ve had eight investigations, we’ve gone through this endlessly,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said. “The reality is that after 17 months, we have nothing new to tell the families. We have nothing new to tell the American people.”

Here are the top six moments from Clinton’s testimony.

1) As demonstrated by Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.), Clinton sent far fewer emails regarding events in Libya in 2012 than she did in 2011. According to Brooks, this demonstrated a diminished interest in the climate in Libya during the year Stevens was murdered.

In 2011, Clinton sent approximately 800 emails pertaining to Libya, compared with just 67 sent in 2012.

Clinton, in responding to Brooks’s line of questioning, said she conducted the bulk of her work offline, participating in meeting at the White House, taking phone calls to learn of events taking place in the country in 2012, and reading memos that contained classified information.

“There were a lot of things that happened that I was aware of and that I was reacting to,” Clinton said. “If you were to be in my office in the State Department, I didn’t have a computer, I did not do the vast majority of my work on email.”

2) Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) analyzed the number of security requests Stevens made in 2012 and found there to be more than 600. However, as discussed in an exchange between Pompeo and Clinton, none of his requests landed on Clinton’s desk.

By contrast, Pompeo pointed out, more than 180 emails sent by Sidney Blumenthal, Clinton’s close personal friend, to the former secretary of state, were sent directly to Clinton’s personal email address.

Clinton previously told Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) that Stevens did not have her email address, though he, too, was a friend.

“With respect to security, [Stevens] took the requests where they belong,” Clinton said of Stevens’s security requests going to the appropriate people within the State Department.

3) In the same line of questioning, Pompeo questioned why no officials at the State Department involved in the decision-making in Libya were held accountable for the security failures there.

Though the Accountability Review Board, which conducted its own independent investigation into the attacks, identified State Department employees who did not “carry out their responsibilities adequately,” it also found that there was no “breach of duty,” Clinton said.

“It is my position that in the absence of finding dereliction or breach of duty, there could not be immediate action taken, but there was a process immediately instituted and which led to decisions being made,” Clinton said.

Pompeo, though, noted that State Department employees received back pay and were kept on the payroll.

“The folks in Kansas don’t think that is accountability,” he said.

4) In a tense exchange between Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), and Clinton, he displayed emails recovered from Clinton’s personal account showing she was aware that the attacks on both the consulate and CIA annex were, indeed, terrorist attacks.

In a message exchanged with her family, Clinton said those killed were murdered by members of Al-Qaeda.

Clinton and other members of the Obama administration, though, initially said the attacks were in response to an anti-Islam YouTube video.

“You tell the American people one thing,” Jordan said. “You tell your family an entirely different story.”

Additionally, Jordan also read emails from Clinton that reveal she also told the Egyptian prime minister that the attacks were not a reaction to the YouTube video.

“We know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film,” Jordan read. “It was a planned attack. Not a protest.’”

In response, Clinton admitted that she was responding to others who tried to justify the attacks as a reaction to the video and noted that events were occurring very quickly.

“Well, Congressman, there was a lot of conflicting information that we were trying to make sense of,” Clinton said. “The situation was very fluid. It was fast-moving.”

5) During both his first and second rounds of questioning, Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), discussed Clinton’s role in the U.S.’ decision to intervene in Libya.

Roskam read through a series of emails Clinton exchanged with Blumenthal, in which he encouraged Clinton to appear before cameras and in interviews to discuss Libya’s political transition.

Calling the plan the “Clinton Doctrine,” Roskam also cited a Washington Postarticle discussing Clinton’s role.

“Let me tell you what I think the Clinton Doctrine is,” he said. “I think it’s where an opportunity is seized to turn progress in Libya into a political win for Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

Clinton, though, stressed repeatedly that it was ultimately President Obama who made the decision to intervene and wanted credit to be given to those who crafted the policy on Libya.

Responding to Roskam’s line of questioning, Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) chided his Republican colleague for addressing what he said was an irrelevant issue.

“Mr. Roskam’s questions, I found to be the most interesting, basically, I don’t know, it was like he was running for president,” Smith said. “He wanted to debate you on overall Libya policy and why we got in there in the first place. And that’s debatable, and I think you will argue that quite well, but it’s not about the attack on Benghazi.”

6) Responding to further questions from Jordan, Clinton said she still believes the anti-Muslim YouTube video did play some role in fueling the attacks.

“I believe to this day the video played a role,” the former secretary of state told the panel.

“I have been consistent about speaking out about the video from the very first day,” Clinton continued. “I think it is important to look at the totality of what is going on.”

Jordan, though, said statements Clinton made in private differ.

“Privately your story was much different than your public one,” he said. “The video may have impacted other places but in Benghazi it didn’t.”

Responding to Republicans’ questions, Democrats on the panel argued their colleagues across the aisle attempted to push an inaccurate narrative of the events leading up to and during the attacks.

“I think the core theory is this: that you deliberately interfered with security in Benghazi and that resulted in people dying,” Schiff told Clinton. “Notwithstanding how many investigations we’ve had that have found absolutely no merit to that, that is the impression they wish to give.”

Melissa Quinn is a news reporter for the Daily Signal.

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