Manchester terror attack suspect identified as Salman Abedi

British authorities on Tuesday identified the suicide bomber who launched a deadly attack at a Manchester Ariana Grande concert, hours after the Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for the blast.

Salman Abedi, 22, was identified as the man who detonated an improvised explosive device at about 10:30 p.m. local time Monday, killing more than 20 people, some of them children, and injuring dozens more, Manchester police confirmed in a news conference on Tuesday. At least 12 children under the age of 16 were injured, emergency responders said. An 8-year-old girl was among the dead.

A European security official told the Associated Press that Abedi was British. No additional details about Abedi were immediately available.

TIMELINE OF RECENT TERROR ATTACKS AGAINST THE WEST

It was previously reported that Abedi was 23, but police clarified that another 23-year-old man was arrested. Two warrants have been issued at two separate residences. Officers used a police-controlled explosive device to gain entry into one home.

ISIS claimed on Tuesday that “a soldier of the caliphate planted bombs in the middle of Crusaders gatherings” then detonated them, but Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said that the U.S. had not yet verified that the terror group was responsible.

The explosion unfolded outside Manchester Arena as Grande’s concert was coming to a close. The pop star, who wasn’t injured, reportedly suspended her Dangerous Woman Tour following the attack. She wrote on Twitter, “broken. from the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don’t have words.”

Officials believe the device was packed with shrapnel, built to inflict as much human damage as possible, according to U.S. law enforcement sources. Manchester police said one of their priorities is to investigate whether the attacker acted alone or had some kind of support.

Politicians both at home and abroad condemned the attack. British Prime Minister Theresa May called the attack “appalling, sickening cowardice.”

MANCHESTER ARENA WAS PACKED WITH ARIANA GRANDE’S YOUNG FANS

“We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young children not as a scene to cherish but as an opportunity for carnage,” she said.

President Donald Trump slammed those responsible for the attack as “losers.”

“I won’t call them ‘monsters’ because they would like that term… I will call them, from now on, ‘losers’ because that’s what they are, they’re losers.”

Fox News’ Jake Gibson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Clinton blames Comey, WikiLeaks for election loss to Trump

Hillary Clinton on Tuesday said she took “absolute personal responsibility” for her losing presidential campaign — but went on to blame FBI Director James Comey and Russian interference for aiding Republican rival Donald Trump’s ascension to the presidency.

Clinton specifically cited the letter from Comey late in the campaign saying agents were looking into possible new information related to Clinton’s secret, homebrewed computer server. She was ultimately never charged with a crime, and Comey cleared Clinton on the Sunday before the election.

She also mentioned WikiLeaks, the antisecrecy website which some analysts believe to be connected to Russia and which posted the hacked emails of Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta.

“I was on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but were scared off,” Clinton said at the Women for Women International Conference.

She added: “If the election were on October 27, I’d be your president.”

But those presidential aspirations seem to be a thing of the past for Clinton, who said, however, that she wasn’t getting out of politics entirely.

“I’m now back to being an activist citizen, and part of the resistance,” she said.

Clinton said she was writing a book about her experience as the 2016 Democratic nominee.

“It is a painful process reliving the campaign,” she said.

Clinton, the first female presidential candidate of a major party, said her election “would have been a really big deal.”

“There were important messages that could have sent,” Clinton said.

Taking a hit at Trump, Clinton said the president should worry less about the election “and my winning the popular vote.”

Moderator Christiane Amanpour at one point asked Clinton if she was a victim of misogyny, to which she replied, “Yes I do think it played a role. And I think as we learn more and more about unprecedented foreign interference from a foreign leader who is not in my fan club.”

Scandal’s TV president says Hillary lacked authenticity: Clinton-loving actor Tony Goldwyn admits she could have learned from Trump ‘being himself’

  • Tony Goldwyn, who plays President Fitzgerald Grant III on ABC’s Scandal, talked about what went wrong with Hillary Clinton’s campaign 
  • Goldwyn suggested that while Clinton would have made an ‘extraordinary president’ she wasn’t a ‘natural candidate’ like her husband or President Obama
  • Additionally, she was faced with a ‘perfect storm of horror,’ which included Donald Trump, FBI Director James Comey and Russian interference  

Tony Goldwyn, who plays the president of the United States on the TV show Scandal, still thinks Hillary Clinton would have made an ‘extraordinary president.’

But in a new interview with Politico he admitted ‘she wasn’t a natural candidate,’ while now President Donald Trump was able to sell authenticity.

‘You know, I think that’s one of Trump’s gifts, he’s just himself in all situations and unapologetically so,’ the actor said. ‘And as horrifying as I find it, obviously, it appeals to a tremendous amount of people.’

Scroll down for video 

Actor Tony Goldwyn, who plays the president of the United States on Scandal, talked to Politico about what went wrong with Hillary Clinton's campaign. Here he's seen speaking last summer at the Democratic National Convention 

Actor Tony Goldwyn, who plays the president of the United States on Scandal, talked to Politico about what went wrong with Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Here he’s seen speaking last summer at the Democratic National Convention

Tony Goldwyn (center) was a campaign surrogate for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton (left) and suggested that she wasn't always the most natural candidate 

Tony Goldwyn (center) was a campaign surrogate for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton (left) and suggested that she wasn’t always the most natural candidate

Tony Goldwyn (left) said of Hillary Clinton (center) that she would have made an 'extraordinary president' but was faced with a 'perfect storm of horror' during last year's presidential run 

Tony Goldwyn (left) said of Hillary Clinton (center) that she would have made an ‘extraordinary president’ but was faced with a ‘perfect storm of horror’ during last year’s presidential run

Goldwyn, who was one of the Clinton campaign’s celebrity surrogates, sat down with Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown as part of the publication’s Women Rule podcast series.

‘It was sort of a perfect storm of horror, really,’ Goldwyn replied when assessing what happened in the 2016 campaign.

Clinton had ‘this very unique opponent in Donald Trump,’ Goldwyn noted, along with James Comney having a ‘huge role in turning things at the last minute,’ combined with the Russian interference.

And then there was the candidate herself.

‘Put it this way, her strength and her comfort zone were not like Barack Obama or Bill Clinton,’ Goldwyn noted, calling the two former Democratic presidents ‘rock star charismatic candidates.’

‘Hillary’s whole thing is, “Look, let me do the job, let me show you what I can do.” And her personality and her demeanor is about, “Roll up your sleeves and let’s get to work.”‘

Goldwyn didn’t want to sound too critical of the candidate he backed and stumped for, saying he had seen her give ‘incredible speeches.’

Tony Goldwyn was a celebrity campaign surrogate for Hillary Clinton, traveling to Nashville, Tennessee last February to participate in a 'Get Out The Vote' event for the Democrat 

Tony Goldwyn was a celebrity campaign surrogate for Hillary Clinton, traveling to Nashville, Tennessee last February to participate in a ‘Get Out The Vote’ event for the Democrat

Tony Goldwyn talks in 2016 about campaigning for Hillary

‘I think Hillary did a fantastic job on the campaign and I saw her many times completely being herself and I saw how crowds were enraptured by her,’ he added.

He felt she improved upon herself as a candidate since 2008, when she first ran for the White House.

‘And when she did struggle in the [2016] campaign often it was when the pressure was on and she felt that she needed to be something other than just who she is,’ Goldwyn said.

The actor added that many politicians have found themselves in Clinton’s predicament as she tried to twist herself and her position in a way that pleased the most people.

‘I think the most successful politicians are people that, you know, clarify their message and what they are passionate about and stick to that,’ the actor noted. ‘And express that passion,’ he added, using ex-President Obama as an example, and Bill Clinton too.

Goldwyn was among Clinton’s campaign surrogates who were gathered at the Jacob K. Javits Center on election night.

‘We were all highly confident going in,’ recalls the actor, who had even stumped for Clinton in Michigan three days before.

Goldwyn remembered running into fellow celebrity Ted Danson, who was worried about the results coming in.

‘What a buzz kill, Ted, lighten up,’ the Scandal star remembered thinking.

But soon the moment came when Goldwyn realized that his candidate had lost.

He ran into Gene Sperling, the former director of the National Economic Council, and ‘he looked like he was about to die,’ Goldwyn recalled.

Sperling informed Goldwyn that it was all over, Clinton had lost.

And quoting Sperling Goldwyn said, ‘It’s the worst thing that has happened to this country since the Civil War.’

‘And I’m like, wow, oh my God, that’s when it hit me, I got a sick feeling in my stomach,’ the actor said of his own reaction.

Soon, he and his wife bolted from the Javits Center, as things were getting depressing, and he talked to his two daughters, both of whom were distraught.

His 26-year-old daughter said ‘I need to go to the red states … because obviously we don’t get it,’ and his college-age daughter said precisely the same thing.

Now, with President Trump about to hit the 100 day mark, Goldwyn told Politico’s Budoff Brown that he still was at a loss.

‘So I want to understand it,’ the actor said. ‘But I still can’t get my brain around it.’

As for the next generation of Democratic ladies, Goldwyn pointed to California’s new Sen. Kamala Harris, Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, as women who could eventually break the presidential glass ceiling.

‘But I just don’t know,’ the actor added. ‘I think it’s too early.’

Andrew Napolitano: Hillary Clinton and the FBI…again

Last weekend, The New York Times published a long piece about the effect the FBI had on the outcome of the 2016 presidential campaign. As we all know, Donald Trump won a comfortable victory in the Electoral College while falling about 3 million votes behind Hillary Clinton in the popular vote.

I believe that Clinton was a deeply flawed candidate who failed to energize the Democratic Party base and who failed to deliver to the electorate a principled reason to vote for her. Yet when the Times reporters asked her why she believes she lost the race, she gave several answers, the first of which was the involvement of the FBI. She may be right.

Here is the back story.

In 2015, a committee of the House of Representatives that was investigating the deaths of four Americans at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, learned that the State Department had no copies of any emails sent or received by Clinton during her four years as secretary of state. When committee investigators pursued this — at the same time that attorneys involved with civil lawsuits brought against the State Department seeking the Clinton emails were pursuing it — it was revealed that Clinton had used her own home servers for her emails and bypassed the State Department servers.

Because many of her emails obviously contained government secrets and because the removal of government secrets to any non-secure venue constitutes espionage, the House Select Committee on Benghazi sent a criminal referral to the Department of Justice, which passed it on to the FBI. A congressionally issued criminal referral means that some members of Congress who have seen some evidence think that some crime may have been committed. The DOJ is free to reject the referral, yet it accepted this one.

It directed the FBI to investigate the facts in the referral and to refer to the investigation as a “matter,” not as a criminal investigation. The FBI cringed a bit, but Director James Comey followed orders and used the word “matter.” This led to some agents mockingly referring to him as the director of the Federal Bureau of Matters. It would not be the last time agents mocked or derided him in the Clinton investigation.

He should not have referred to it by any name, because under DOJ and FBI regulations, the existence of an FBI investigation should not be revealed publicly unless and until it results in some public courtroom activity, such as the release of an indictment. These rules and procedures have been in place for generations to protect those never charged. Because of the role that the FBI has played in our law enforcement history — articulated in books and movies and manifested in our culture — many folks assume that if a person is being investigated by the FBI, she must have done something wrong.

In early July 2016, Clinton was personally interviewed in secret for about four hours by a team of FBI agents who had been working on her case for a year. During that interview, she professed great memory loss and blamed it on a head injury she said she had suffered in her Washington, D.C., home. Some of the agents who interrogated her disbelieved her testimony about the injury and, over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, asked Comey for permission to subpoena her medical records.

When Comey denied his agents the permission they sought, some of them attempted to obtain the records from the intelligence community. Because Clinton’s medical records had been digitally recorded by her physicians and because the FBI agents knew that the National Security Agency has digital copies of all keystrokes on all computers used in the U.S. since 2005, they sought Clinton’s records from their NSA colleagues. Lying to the FBI is a felony, and these agents believed they had just witnessed a series of lies.

When Comey learned what his creative agents were up to, he jumped the gun by holding a news conference on July 5, 2016, during which he announced that the FBI was recommending to the DOJ that it not seek Clinton’s indictment because “no reasonable prosecutor” would take the case. He then did the unthinkable. He outlined all of the damning evidence of guilt that the FBI had amassed against her.

This double-edged sword — we won’t charge her, but we have much evidence of her guilt — was unprecedented and unheard of in the midst of a presidential election campaign. Both Republicans and Democrats found some joy in Comey’s words. Yet his many agents who believed that Clinton was guilty of both espionage and lying were furious — furious that Comey had revealed so much, furious that he had demeaned their work, furious that he had stopped an investigation before it was completed.

While all this was going on, former Rep. Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Clinton’s closest aide, Huma Abedin, was being investigated for using a computer to send sexually explicit materials to a minor. When the FBI asked for his computer — he had shared it with his wife — he surrendered it. When FBI agents examined the Weiner/Abedin laptop, they found about 650,000 stored emails, many from Clinton to Abedin, that they thought they had not seen before.

Rather than silently examine the laptop, Comey again violated DOJ and FBI regulations by announcing publicly the discovery of the laptop and revealing that his team suspected that it contained hundreds of thousands of Clinton emails; and he announced the reopening of the Clinton investigation. This announcement was made two weeks before Election Day and was greeted by the Trump campaign with great glee. A week later, Comey announced that the laptop was fruitless, and the investigation was closed, again.

At about the same time that the House Benghazi Committee sent its criminal referral to the DOJ, American and British intelligence became interested in a potential connection between the Trump presidential campaign and intelligence agents of the Russian government. This interest resulted in the now infamous year-plus-long electronic surveillance of Trump and many of his associates and colleagues. This also produced a criminal referral from the intelligence community to the DOJ, which sent it to the FBI.

Yet this referral and the existence of this investigation was kept — quite properly — from the press and the public. When Comey was asked about it, he — quite properly — declined to answer. When he was asked under oath whether he knew of any surveillance of Trump before Trump became president, Comey denied that he knew of it.

What was going on with the FBI?

How could Comey justify the public revelation of a criminal investigation and a summary of evidence of guilt about one candidate for president and remain silent about the existence of a criminal investigation of the campaign of another? How could he deny knowledge of surveillance that was well-known in the intelligence community, even among his own agents? Why would the FBI director inject his agents, who have prided themselves on professional political neutrality, into a bitterly contested campaign having been warned it might affect the outcome? Why did he reject the law’s just commands of silence in favor of putting his thumb on political scales?

I don’t know the answers to those questions. But the American public, and Hillary Clinton, is entitled to them.

Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel.

Donald Trump, Protectionism and World Trade

Gabby Ogbechie, TPG.

Photo published for The New York Times' ongoing dishonesty only helps Trump

Since the Second world war which ended in 1945, the world has never witnessed a phenomenon such as the emergence and triumph of Donald J Trump at the polls, and his subsequent swearing in as the 45th President of the United States of America. That is, with the exception of the 2008 Global Economic Crisis which basically impacted every soul on planet earth with bankruptcies, suicides, etc. That Trump ran on an ultra populist platform in which “making America great again”, making “America first”, declining participation in TPP, NAFTA and other Trade blocks because of the perception that those agreements were causing loss of jobs for America; “building a wall” to keep out Mexicans, defeating ISIS, keeping Muslims out of the United States, etc. were soundbites which eventually ensured that Donald Trump became President.

Two weeks to election day, the polls indicated that Hillary Clinton was ahead in the polls by as much as 10 – 15 percentage points. However, one thing became clearer as the days sped by; several happenstances and coincidences conspired to not only deny Secretary Clinton the Presidency, but ensured that Donald Trump became President. So much of what candidate Trump said during the campaign pointed to a man who was prepared to exploit whatever would give him the Presidency, ranging from “hobnobbing” with Vladimir Putin of Russia whose dislike for Obama and Clinton was so glaring one could touch it, to accepting the authority of WikiLeaks on any subject whatever, irrespective of the fact that Julian Assange was, as it were, “persona non grata” as far the American establishment is concerned.

Donald Trump’s disdain for Mexican immigrants who he characterized as “thieves, drug peddlers and rapists”, and Black Americans who’s lives, to him didn’t matter, were evident. Furthermore, his stance on fundamentalist Muslims and immigration were issues that should have cost him the election but, instead, he left Candidate Clinton so far behind in the Electoral College votes that the entire world was benumbed. However, in all the polls showing that Clinton was far ahead of him before the election, the only person on Planet earth who believed on election day that Candidate Trump would win was Donald Trump himself. This was so because more than anyone else right now, Donald Trump possesses an uncanny ability to know how people would react to breaking news, and how to deflect negative attention from himself.

It took a man like Donald Trump who wasn’t very religious by any dint of the imagination, to make America realise that ISIS was a much more bigger threat to world peace than the Obama administration had let on; that Christians were being persecuted all over the world with America not saying anything about it; and that God must be brought back to his pride of place as the One who made it possible for America to be called “God’s own country”. He outlined all these in his foreign policy speech, and lack of adequate reportage of that event basically eclipsed the foregoing issues.

We at LandAssets endorsed Hillary Clinton for President some couple of weeks before the election. We found Julian Assange/WikiLeaks’s release of incriminating leaks; James Comey’s re-investigation of Clinton’s emails; etc. affronts to the Electoral process and wished that every American would cast an anti-Trump vote. But heaven had a different take; and the fact that we are here with Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States looks like God declaring that he still rules in human affairs.

This brings us to the core subject of this discuss; President Trump has miles to go in the learning curve before he becomes the President God wants him to be. In no other aspect of his Presidency must the learning curve be shortened than in his stance on trade. Going by his election pledges and resolutions, it was obvious that Donald Trump was bent on taking the developed, Western world as far away from Globalization as his term in the oval office would let him, and with all the nibbling which went on via his now famous tweets and the Taiwan call, China felt rattled, enough to effect a very cultured but effective response: Davos 2017 presented that opportunity.

President Xi Jinping

President Xi Jinping became the perfect salesman and advocate for World Trade and Globalization, a concept which, like so many other things, the West foisted on the rest of the world from the time of the Roman Empire, through the scramble for, and colonization of Africa to the contemporary period. The irony in the obvious fact that the President of China, which barely came out of its isolationist policy some forty-some years back was urging the leader of the free world to embrace the inevitability of Globalization was not lost on most people. If anything, it was awkward and embarrassing.

With his swearing in over and done with, President Trump has been resisted every inch of the way by Democrats and Liberals internally. His travel ban Executive Orders have been mired in controversy and stopped by Federal District judges. Externally, Washington, owing to the President’s insistence on abiding by candidate Trump’s pledges, is forced to watch from a distance as world leaders queue up to go to Beijing to make trade deals with Xi Jinping.

Sometime in 2015, President Obama came to the inevitable realization that the developing world was increasingly drifting towards China and tried at stemming that tide; not by going bilaterally to those nations, but by arrogantly summoning them to Washington on one of such trade conferences as the one that saw African nations as one trade block. At last count, Theresa May of Brexit-ed Britain, Angela Merkel of Germany, King Salman the Saudi monarch, with his entourage of 1500, comprising of 25 Princes and 10 ministers and business leaders have equally made the trip. Lastly, Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel was also in China.

Where does this leave the United States? It would seem to us at The Property Gazette that Donald Trump may end up winning the battle only to lose the war. With the inevitable rapprochement Rex Tillerson offered during his Beijing trip, it is crystal clear that President Trump wasn’t looking forward to a trade war; but the America he seeks to make great again is fast losing grounds and leadership to China.

Furthermore may we dare ask this inevitable question; to which country would America sell her products after it would have ceded a good percentage of its world market share to China? With the deals it made with China, Russia has smothered the effects of NATO Sanctions. With the deals it is currently making with China, Saudi Arabia is creating investments which would ensure that its reliance on America not purchasing its oil shouldn’t remain the game changer it has been.

With a population of 1.5 billion, and with another energy hungry giant in India gradually awakening; manufacturing, technology and innovation wise, America might just find itself truly isolated trade wise. Globalization is a fact of human capital development which shouldn’t be abandoned because of the ugly face of terrorism which the West shies away from under the euphemism of “immigration”.

We observed back in 2013 that Globalization, a great concept, was being threatened by Western countries, especially Britain with the notion that while funds from Developing nations could move around the world unhindered, immigration would stop the investors of such funds from travelling out of those countries. It is unfortunate that European nations which exploited Third World economies are the ones who now seek an end to Globalization because they don’t want to share in the burden of making better, the lot of those economies they exploited. As we close, it is absolutely vital to observe that much as we have accepted the inevitability of Trump’s Presidency, we shall continue to pray; for the greatness of America and the good of the whole world, that the leader of the free world would embrace once again, the reality of Globalization.

Finally, as informed commentators like Ms. Brigitte Gabriel have observed, terrorism has been the hallmark of fundamentalist Islam. In videos they have circulated via You tube, they have not minced words over the fact that they want the rest of the world to accept Islam or be slaughtered. The Islamic Caliphate of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi has put these concepts into operation in Iraq and Syria in recent times. In a speech to the Islamic Scholars and Leadership in Egypt in 2015, President el Sisi demanded that those spiritual leaders should school their followers to the effect that it wasn’t possible that the rest of the world, all 6.2 billions of them, would wait docilely for 1.3 billion Muslims to force them into submission to the Muslim religion or be butchered.

The rest of the world is gradually accepting the undeniable fact that the war against the Caliphate must not be fought with the decency reserved for decent people. The growing reprisals all over Europe are indications that the welcome of the Western world for potential terrorists have worn thin. Soon, the rest of America, like President Trump, like Steve Bannon, like American ultra nationalists and even the racists would learn to apply “America First” rightly, in the preservation of their own lives, not in isolating America from the rest of the world.

Why we need the humanities more than ever, by the President of Yale

Students walk on the campus of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, October 7, 2009.  REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES) - RTXPEBX

The Yale campus: ‘We develop our emotional intelligence through the humanities’
Image: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Written by
Peter SaloveyPresident, Yale University
Published
Thursday 23 March 2017
Share
31 Mar 2017

In our complex and interconnected world, we need leaders of imagination, understanding, and emotional intelligence—men and women who will move beyond polarizing debates and tackle the challenges we face. To cultivate such leaders, we must value and invest in the humanities.

I am a psychologist by training, and I study human emotions. Art, literature, history, and other branches of the humanities are vital for developing our emotional intelligence—essential to understanding ourselves and others. They help us grapple with uncertainty, understand complexity, and empathize.

Consider what happens when you read a novel. Engrossed in the narrative, you are invited to imagine the world from a character’s perspective. You think about the interplay between a person’s desires and her actions. When you listen to music, go to the theater, or visit a museum, you have an emotional response—one that connects you with other people and new perspectives.

We develop our emotional intelligence—and learn skills of empathy, imagination, and understanding—through the humanities. These skills, if cultivated, enable leaders to respond successfully to challenges and opportunities in every sector. Our scientists are better at their work if they read literature; our diplomats and our generals are more effective when they understand languages; our data scientists are able to think beyond algorithms when they experience art and music.

Around the world, we can see the gains of globalization. Debates continue, however, about how to promote more inclusive and equitable growth, embracing a diversity of peoples and cultures and respecting the environment.

The humanities must be part of this conversation. Leadership on these difficult issues demands understanding more than the bottom line; it requires an appreciation of all that makes life meaningful and complete. As Lei Zhang, a successful business leader and Yale alumnus, said, “The humanities are fundamental to reason. Isolating data and technology from the humanities is like trying to swim without water; you can have all the moves of Michael Phelps, but you still won’t end up getting anywhere.” The humanities provide the context—the possibility of real understanding—for all that the future promises.

Reaching across divides

To harness the extraordinary power of the humanities, we must ensure they are widely accessible. Institutions like my own, as guardians of some of the world’s greatest cultural treasures, must work to share the joy and wonder of the humanities with the public. Otherwise, potential leaders of the future will lose out on the opportunity to learn from the humanities.

Last year my colleague and friend, Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust, wroteeloquently about the importance of scholarship and education in addressing inequality. Cultural and educational institutions can also make the world a more equal and inclusive place through the transformative power of the humanities.

I recently had the privilege of touring the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. As I walked through this remarkable space, I was able to see, hear, and imagine the story of African Americans in the United States. I was particularly drawn to an exhibit about the influence of black Americans on music. My hobby and passion is bluegrass music, so I was fascinated by the exchange between African-American blues musicians and old-time Appalachian music played by Scotch-Irish immigrants. Understanding this influence made me listen to music I knew well with new ears—hearing cadences and rhythms I had never heard before.

Museums make such moments of emotional and intellectual awakening possible. Today, technology can help us share these moments even more widely. Scholars at Yale, for instance, have partnered with the Library of Congress to launch Photogrammar, a website that allows users anywhere in the world to peruse, search, and visualize 170,000 photographs created as part of Roosevelt’s New Deal. These iconic images capture the raw emotion of people living through the Great Depression. In another project, Transcribe@Yale, we are “crowdsourcing” the transcription of documents in the Kilpatrick Collection of Cherokee Manuscripts, housed at Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, so we can understand and preserve aspects of Oklahoma Cherokee culture that would otherwise be lost.

Yale Photogrammar – Photos from the FSA organized

Despite the promise of technology to connect people, too often we remain isolated in our own narrow circles. Joining the humanities with new digital tools can help us reach across divides—through time and space—and allow more people to explore our rich cultural resources.

‘The heritage of the human experience is impoverished’

The problems we face today are grave. Poverty, disease, climate change, and threats to national and global security test even our greatest leaders. At such times, it may seem prudent to forget about art, music, literature, and languages.

We have been here before. In 1939, as war raged in Europe and Asia, Yale President Charles Seymour worried that the liberal arts would be neglected. Although the public did not think they were “useful,” Seymour was convinced the humanities were indispensable. “Without them,” he wrote movingly, “the heritage of the human experience is impoverished.”

Now, as then, we must value the humanities even in the midst of conflict and division. Only through the humanities can we prepare leaders of empathy, imagination, and understanding—responsive and responsible leaders who embrace complexity and diversity. Our institutions must also play a leadership role by making the treasures of the humanities widely available. It is our responsibility to prepare the leaders of tomorrow, and to elevate and protect “the heritage of the human experience” that we all share.

Written by

Peter Salovey, President, Yale University

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Connecting Trump’s Dots to Russia

I enjoyed the show “House of Cards” but always felt that it went a bit too far, that its plot wasn’t plausible. After seven weeks of President Trump, I owe “House of Cards” an apology. Nothing seems impossible any more.

That includes the most towering suspicion of all: that Trump’s team colluded in some way with Russia to interfere with the U.S. election. This is the central issue that we must remain focused on.

There are a lot of dots here, and the challenge is how to connect them. Be careful: Democrats should avoid descending into the kind of conspiratorial mind-set that led some Republicans to assume Hillary Clinton was a criminal about to be indicted or to conjure sex slaves belonging to her in a Washington pizza restaurant. Coincidences happen, and I think there has been too much focus on Attorney General Jeff Sessions, not enough on Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign manager. Here are 10 crucial dots:

1. President Trump and his aides have repeatedly and falsely denied ties to Russia. USA Today counted at least 20 denials. In fact, we now know that there were contacts by at least a half-dozen people in the Trump circle with senior Russian officials.

2. There’s no obvious reason for all these contacts. When Vice President Mike Pence was asked on Jan. 15 if there had been contacts between the Trump campaign and Kremlin officials, he answered: “Of course not. Why would there be?” We don’t know either, Mr. Vice President.

Photo

Trump protesters at a rally in New York in February. CreditHiroko Masuike/The New York Times

3. There were unexplained communications between a Trump Organization computer server and Russia’s Alfa Bank, which has ties to President Vladimir Putin. These included 2,700 “look-up” messages to initiate communications, and some investigators found all this deeply suspicious. Others thought there might be an innocent explanation, such as spam. We still don’t know.

5. A well-regarded Russia expert formerly with MI6, Christopher Steele, produced a now-famous dossier alleging that Russia made compromising videos of Trump in 2013, and that members of the Trump team colluded with the Kremlin to interfere with the U.S. election.

The dossier quoted a Russian as saying that a deal had been arranged “with the full knowledge and support of Trump” and that in exchange for Russian help, “the Trump team agreed to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue.” James Clapper, the American former national intelligence director, says he saw no evidence of such collusion but favors an investigation to get to the bottom of it.

6. Trump has expressed a bewilderingly benign view of Russia and appointed officials also friendly to Moscow. He did not make an issue of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during the campaign.

7. A Trump associate, Roger Stone, appeared to have had advance knowledge of Russia’s disclosures through WikiLeaks of Hillary Clinton campaign emails. As early as August, two months before her campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails were released, Stone tweeted: “Trust me, it will soon [be] Podesta’s time in the barrel.” In October, six days before a dump of Clinton campaign emails, Stone tweeted: “Hillary Clinton is done. #Wikileaks.”

8. Sessions seems a red herring, in that he wasn’t a secret conduit to the Kremlin. The more interesting dot is Manafort, whom investigators have focused on because of his longstanding ties to Russia.

9. “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia,” Donald Trump Jr. was quoted as saying in 2008. Russia may have gained leverage over Trump through loans to his organization or other business dealings. The way to ease these suspicions would be to examine Trump’s tax returns: Any government investigation that doesn’t obtain Trump’s tax returns simply isn’t a thorough investigation.

10. Even many Republicans acknowledge, as President George W. Bush put it, “We all need answers.” The House and Senate Intelligence Committees mostly operate behind closed doors, while we yearn for transparency. What is desperately needed is an independent inquiry modeled on the 9/11 Commission.

When friends press me about what I think happened, I tell them that my best guess is that there wasn’t a clear-cut quid pro quo between Trump and Putin to cooperate in stealing the election, but rather something more ambiguous and less transactional — partly because Putin intended to wound Clinton and didn’t imagine that Trump could actually win. Yet I wouldn’t be surprised if the Trump team engaged in secret contacts and surreptitious messages, and had advance knowledge of Russia’s efforts to attack the American political process. And that would be a momentous scandal.

One reason I’m increasingly suspicious is Trump’s furious denunciations of the press and of Barack Obama, to the point that he sometimes seems unhinged. Journalists have learned that when a leader goes berserk and unleashes tirades and threats at investigators, that’s when you’re getting close.

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