STARBUCKS: NONPAYING GUESTS WELCOME…

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Employees told in a letter that everyone is “considered a customer”

Starbucks Corp. SBUX -0.07% said Saturday it is creating an official policy that allows all guests to use its cafes, including its restrooms, whether or not they make a purchase.

The policy comes a month after a Philadelphia manager called the police in April about two black men who asked to use the bathroom without purchasing anything and then allegedly refused to leave the cafe when asked.

Starbucks baristas and store managers have long found the coffee company’s guidelines on how to treat lingering nonpaying guests vague at best. One company executive told the Journal the guidance on nonpaying guests had long been a gray area, which the Philadelphia incident brought to the forefront.

The company said at the time that it had different guidelines for its 28,000 stores globally, depending on the market. The new policy will apply to its more than 8,000 U.S. company-operated cafes.

On Saturday, the company told its employees in a letter that “any person who enters our spaces, including patios, cafes and restrooms, regardless of whether they make a purchase, is considered a customer.”

Under the new policy, when a customer is “behaving in a disruptive manner,” employees should follow the company’s procedure on handling disruptive guests, which will contain some new guidance, a spokesman said. Starbucks didn’t say what that procedure entails or define what constitutes disruptive behavior. If a situation presents an immediate danger or threat to employee or customer safety, Starbucks employees should call 911, the company said.

The two black men arrested on April 12 for sitting at a Philadelphia Starbucks cafe without ordering anything, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, have reached settlements with Starbucks and the city of Philadelphia. The men spent hours in jail before they were released, but no charges were filed. Demonstrators protest outside the Starbucks cafe where the arrests occurred.
The two black men arrested on April 12 for sitting at a Philadelphia Starbucks cafe without ordering anything, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, have reached settlements with Starbucks and the city of Philadelphia. The men spent hours in jail before they were released, but no charges were filed. Demonstrators protest outside the Starbucks cafe where the arrests occurred. PHOTO: RON TODT/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Starbucks said customers should use spaces as intended, be considerate of others, and act responsibly.

During a talk about corporate responsibility at a Washington, D.C., think tank earlier this month, Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz told attendees: “We don’t want to become a public bathroom, but we’re going to make the right decision 100% of the time and give people the key.”

The Philadelphia store where the two black men were ultimately arrested had signs informing people the bathrooms and cafe were for paying customers only. The guidelines at that store were for employees to ask nonpaying guests to leave.

On May 29, Starbucks plans to close its company-operated cafes in the U.S. for the afternoon to provide employees with anti-bias education.

Which countries are dumping the dollar and why?

The European Union is considering switching payments from the US dollar to the euro after Washington threatened to target European firms working in Iran, according to reports.

The measure may help the EU to retain one of the world’s largest markets, which was opened for trade after the historic nuclear deal signed by Tehran and the P5+1 powers (China, France, Russia, UK, US, plus Germany) in June 2015.

The idea to eliminate the role of the greenback in international settlements is not new. Aside from the EU, a number of nations have been mulling the idea. RT discussed with analysts how realistic the prospect of countries ditching the dollar is.

In light of the recent developments Iran is the most pressured nation to drop the dollar with Tehran having partially adjusted trade without the US currency, Alexandre Kateb, president of Competence Finance SAS, told RT.

“When Iran was previously under sanctions from 2012 to 2015, it established new mechanisms to bypass US-related financial institutions, such as barter exchange and to replace the dollar with other currencies, such as the renminbi in its bilateral trade with China or the euro in its trade with European countries,” the economist said.

At the same time, China’s recent move to trade oil in yuan is seen as an initial step to challenging the dollar dominance, Stephen Innes, Head of FX Trading for OANDA in Asia Pacific told RT, stressing that the number of bilateral trade agreements, signed amongst Asia Pacific nations, will settle in yuan.

“Mainland it is laying the ground for the Belt and Road Initiative, and China is even sweetening the pot by offering swap facilities to local countries to promote the use of the yuan,” he added.

Experts are unanimous on the point that bi- and multi-lateral pacts between various nations could become the major drivers on the way toward decreasing the dependence on US currency in international trade.

“This would depend on the leverage the EU, the UK, Russia and China deploy. The likely scenario is diversification – bilateral arrangements between trading partners, or regional arrangements, substituting for multilateral arrangements that supported dollar dominance,” Ramaa Vasudevan an Associate Professor at the Department of Economics, Colorado State University told RT.

At the same time, analysts admit that getting rid of the greenback is not an easy task. It took the US dollar nearly a century to unsettle the British pound that had been enjoying its preeminence through the 19th century and the first half of the 20th as the global reserve currency.

“Old habits are hard to break as most of the global hedging is still done on US exchanges like Nymex or ICE,” Innes said. “The issues are working out the deliverable to hedge ratio factors which could put many off from breaking long-held settlement in US dollar.”

“The US dollar is still, for many reasons, the international trade and reserve currency of choice,” according to Kateb. “The whole international financial system is currently structured around the United States and around the central role of the dollar.”

However, the expert noted that the international system will change dramatically. Rapid development of blockchain technology along with rooting of virtual currencies is reportedly set to bring about the changing process.

“Eventually, the evolution of global finance will be very much related to the evolution of the global balance of power,” the economist told RT. “This will not happen overnight. It will take time and many more crises and balance shifts. None really knows what the new system will look like.”

The experts agreed that expelling the greenback from its dominant position in the international monetary system will take much more effort than just replacing it with the euro or other domestic currencies.

“Dollar dominance does not depend simply on its use to denominate trade, but on the dollar’s role as the pivot of the international financial system – the fact that about 88 percent of the average daily turnover of foreign exchange instruments is against the dollar, in contrast to the share of the euro which is only about 31 percent,” said Vasudevan.

The researcher highlighted that the recent impulse for dislodging the US currency is a symptom of a wider discontent with the rules of the dollar system, but is not a cure for the dollar problem.

WaPo issues correction as story claims more people killed in school shootings than in military

The Washington Post has been forced into making several corrections to a story claiming that the number of people killed in US schools this year was double that of those killed serving in the military.

READ MORE: ‘Door control is the real issue’: Twitter reacts to Texas high school massacre

The newspaper revised the piece after it emerged that reporter Philip Bump had based his findings on incomplete figures gleaned from Department of Defense press releases. The story has since been updated with new information provided by the website ‘Task & Purpose.’

The new figures added an extra seven fatalities to the total of military fatalities, meaning that – while the number of people killed in school shootings is still quite shocking – it is by no means “double” the number of those killed while serving in the military.

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“The figures for 2018 do not suggest schools are more dangerous than combat zones. After all, there are more than 50 million students in public elementary and high schools and only 1.3 million members of the armed forces,” the story reads.

The story added that members of the military are around 40 times more likely to be killed than a student in a school shooting, representing a revision of the original piece, which put the rate at 17 times more likely. The revision has sparked a mixed reaction online. The original report was shared widely on Twitter, with a number of liberal commentators seen to regurgitate the false claim.

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READ MORE: Tucker Carlson goes bananas after ex-cop claims AR-15 can shoot 150 rounds in 15 seconds (VIDEO)

Critics were quick to brand the report “fake news” and claim it as an example of perceived anti-gun bias by the liberal media. Others were more philosophical, saying that while the reporting may have been incorrect, the real numbers remain startling.

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Informant Spied on Trump Campaign Before the FBI Officially Began Its Probe

by Kristina Wong

Current and former officials — apparently so fearful that an FBI informant’s identity and role would be outed by congressional Republicans — confirmed both to the New York Times and theWashington Post in an attempt to offer their own narratives first.

Both outlets offered details that readily identify the informant — but do not name him, citing concerns for his safety and warnings from U.S. intelligence officials.

The details, however, match a person described in the Daily Caller as Stefan Halper, a Cambridge professor and longtime Washington, D.C. fixture who worked for three Republican administrations and has links to U.S. and British intelligence.

The Times and Post are the first outlets claiming to have confirmed his identity, and to describe him in such detail as to match the description of Halper.

The accounts also indicate the FBI lied about when they first began surveilling the Trump campaign, or might have done so, without any particular intelligence.

FBI officials have said they began investigating the Trump administration on July 31, 2016, after stolen Democratic National Committee emails were released on July 22, 2016, prompting Australian officials to come forward with information they received from Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos months earlier.

Officials sold this version of events last year to the Times, which wrote on December 31, 2017, in a piece titled “How the Russia Inquiry Began: A Campaign Aide, Drinks and Talk of Political Dirt”:

“…when leaked Democratic emails began appearing online, Australian officials passed the information about Mr. Papadopoulos to their American counterparts, according to four current and former American and foreign officials with direct knowledge of the Australians’ role.”

However — the problem with that account is that the FBI informant had approached Trump campaign adviser Carter Page before that email release on July 22, 2016, and before the Australians came forward with the information, supposedly after that.

The informant first approached Carter Page at a Cambridge symposium on the U.S. presidential election in London on July 11-12, 2016. Page was invited to the symposium in June 2016 by an unnamed doctoral student at Cambridge who knew Halper, according to a source.

That timeline — of Page being approached by the informant before the Australian tip off — was confirmed to the Post, which wrote:

“In mid-July 2016, a retired American professor approached an adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign at a symposium about the White House race held at a British university.

“The professor took the opportunity to strike up a conversation with Carter Page, whom Trump had named a few months earlier as a foreign policy adviser.

“But the professor was more than an academic interested in American politics — he was a longtime U.S. intelligence source. And, at some point in 2016, he began working as a secret informant for the FBI as it investigated Russia’s interference in the campaign, according to people familiar with his activities.”

The timeline of events indicate that the current and former officials lied about when their investigation of the Trump campaign started, and why.

Some have speculated that former CIA Director John Brennan had launched a spy operation on the Trump campaign as early as April 2016, but it is not clear what might have prompted him.

The leakers confirmed to the Times and the Post that the informant had also reached out to Papadopoulos in the ensuing months after he reached out to Page.

The Post revealed that the informant had also approached Trump campaign adviser Sam Clovis, offering help to the campaign:

“In late summer, the professor met with Trump campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis for coffee in Northern Virginia, offering to provide foreign-policy expertise to the Trump effort. In September, he reached out to George Papadopoulos, an unpaid foreign-policy adviser for the campaign, inviting him to London to work on a research paper.”

The Post notes the informant’s role raises questions about how he first became involved in the case, the extent of the information he provided,  the actions he took to obtain intelligence for the FBI, and whether his interaction with Page was for the FBI or for another agency, such as the CIA.

Details about the informant began leaking to the Times and the Post after House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes inquired about the informant last month.

Officials initially went to the White House to try to stop Nunes from receiving the information, according to the Post. After first denying his request, last week, Justice Department officials briefed Nunes and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC).

FBI Spy-Op Exposed, Trump Campaign Infiltrated By Longtime CIA And MI6 Asset

By Tyler Durden

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Following two weeks of mounting speculation over the FBI’s so-called “mole” inside the Trump campaign, the New York Times and Washington Post published separate accounts on Friday detailing the infiltration of the Trump campaign – a scheme revealed in a Wednesday report by the New York Times in which “at least one government informant met several times with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos.” The Wednesday report also disclosed the existence of “Operation Crossfire Hurricane” – the FBI’s code name for their early Trump-Russia investigation.

Thanks to Friday’s carefully crafted deep-state disclosures by WaPo and the Times, along with actual reporting by the Daily Caller‘s Chuck Ross, we now know it wasn’t a mole at all – but 73-year-old University of Cambridge professor Stefan Halper, a US citizen, political veteran and longtime US Intelligence asset enlisted by the FBI to befriend and spy on three members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 US election.

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While Halper’s name remains undisclosed by the NYT and WaPo, a quick read of all three articles linked above makes it abundantly clear that the “American academic who teaches in Britain” described by The Times, who “met several times with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos” is none other than Halper – whose meetings with the Trump aides were revealed by the Daily Caller‘s Chuck Ross in late March.

Two months before the 2016 election, George Papadopoulos received a strange request for a meeting in London, one of several the young Trump adviser would be offered — and he would accept — during the presidential campaign.

The meeting request, which has not been reported until now, came from Stefan Halper, a foreign policy expert and Cambridge professor with connections to the CIA and its British counterpart, MI6.

Halper’s September 2016 outreach to Papadopoulos wasn’t his only contact with Trump campaign members. The 73-year-old professor, a veteran of three Republican administrations, met with two other campaign advisers, The Daily Caller News Foundation learned. –Daily Caller

These contacts are notable, as Halper’s infiltration of the Trump campaign corresponds with the two of the four targets of the FBI’s Operation Crossfire Hurricane – in which the agency sent counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and others to a London meeting in the Summer of 2016 with former Australian diplomat Alexander Downer – who says Papadopoulos drunkenly admitted to knowing that the Russians had Hillary Clinton’s emails.

George Papadopoulos

Interestingly Downer – the source of the Papadopoulos intel, and Halper – who conned Papadopoulos months later, are linked through UK-based Haklyut & Co. an opposition research and intelligence firm – founded by three former British intelligence operatives in 1995 to provide the kind of otherwise inaccessible research for which select governments and Fortune 500 corporations pay huge sums

Downer – a good friend of the Clintons, has been on their advisory board for a decade, while Halper is connected to Hakluyt through Director of U.S. operations Jonathan Clarke, with whom he has co-authored two books. (h/t themarketswork.com)

Alexander Downer, the Australian High Commissioner to the U.K. Downer said that in May 2016, Papadopoulos told him during a conversation in London about Russians having Clinton emails.

That information was passed to other Australian government officials before making its way to U.S. officials. FBI agents flew to London a day after “Crossfire Hurricane” started in order to interview Downer.

It is still not known what Downer says about his interaction with Papadopoulos, which TheDCNF is told occurred around May 10, 2016.

Also interesting via Lifezette – Downer is not the only Clinton fan in Hakluyt. Federal contribution records show several of the firm’s U.S. representatives made large contributions to two of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign organizations.”

Halper contacted Papadopoulos on September 2, 2016 according to The Caller – flying him out to London to work on a policy paper on energy issues in Turkey, Cyprus and Israel – for which he was ultimately paid $3,000. Papadopoulos met Halper several times during his stay, “having dinner one night at the Travellers Club, and Old London gentleman’s club frequented by international diplomats.”

They were accompanied by Halper’s assistant, a Turkish woman named Azra Turk. Sources familiar with Papadopoulos’s claims about his trip say Turk flirted with him during their encounters and later on in email exchanges.

Emails were also brought up during Papadopoulos’s meetings with Halper, though not by the Trump associate, according to sources familiar with his version of events. The sources say that during conversation, Halper randomly brought up Russians and emails. Papadopoulos has told people close to him that he grew suspicious of Halper because of the remark. –Daily Caller

Meanwhile, Halper targeted Carter Page two days after Page returned from a trip to Moscow

Page’s visit to Moscow, where he spoke at the New Economic School on July 8, 2016, is said to have piqued the FBI’s interest even further. Page and Halper spoke on the sidelines of an election-themed symposium held at Cambridge days later. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6 and a close colleague of Halper’s, spoke at the event.

Page would enter the media spotlight in September 2016 after Yahoo! News reported that the FBI was investigating whether he met with two Kremlin insiders during that Moscow trip.

It would later be revealed that the Yahoo! article was based on unverified information from Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote the dossier regarding the Trump campaign. Steele’s report, which was funded by Democrats, also claimed Page worked with Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on the collusion conspiracy. –Daily Caller

A third target of Halper’s was Trump campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis, whose name was revealed by the Washington Post on Friday.

In late August 2016, the professor reached out to Clovis, asking if they could meet somewhere in the Washington area, according to Clovis’s attorney, Victoria Toensing.

“He said he wanted to be helpful to the campaign” and lend the Trump team his foreign-policy experience, Toensing said.

Clovis, an Iowa political figure and former Air Force officer, met the source and chatted briefly with him over coffee, on either Aug. 31 or Sept. 1, at a hotel cafe in Crystal City, she said. Most of the discussion involved him asking Clovis his views on China.

“It was two academics discussing China,” Toensing said. “Russia never came up.”WaPo

Who is Stefan Halper?

After attending Stanford and Oxford, Halper worked for the Nixon administration, where he ended up in the Office of Management and Budget as an Assistant Director, then moved to the Chief of Staff’s office in the Carter White House from 1974-1977.

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Halper was involved in US politics at the highest levels for decades, becoming George H.W. Bush’s National Director for Policy Development during his presidential campaign. After Bush lost to Reagan, Halper worked as Reagan’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of State – where he served under three different Secretaries.

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He then became a senior advisor to the Department of Defense and DOJ between 1984 and 2001. Halper’s former father-in-law was Ray Cline, former Deputy Director of the CIA. He also allegedly spied on the Carter administration – collecting information on foreign policy (an account disputed by Ray Cline).

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As one can clearly see, Halper has been around the block a few times.

We can’t imagine he thought his legacy would be cast as the man who infiltrated the Trump campaign in what is shaping up to be the largest political corruption scandal in the history of the United States, which of course would have been swept under the rug had Hillary simply won the election as all the “experts” predicted.

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