By Robert Romano

While the Electoral College in the U.S. was officially making Donald Trump the President-elect on Dec. 19, twin terror attacks in Berlin and Ankara offered the West a fresh reminder of the true enemy it faces from radical Islam.

It does not matter if you live in a country like Germany, which has taken in 1 million refugees from the war in Syria and opposes the Assad regime there. Or in Russia, which backs the Assad regime in Syria and whose ambassador, Andrei Karlov, was assassinated on camera while delivering a speech at an art gallery in Ankara.

The enemy is making no distinction.

Whether you support or oppose the Assad regime in Syria, they’re coming to get you. Whether you take in the refugees or not — although your society might be safer if you didn’t — they’re coming to get you. The enemy does not care.

The truck that plowed into a Christmas marketplace in Berlin may have been driven by a refugee — a Tunisian man named Anis Amri is now being sought after asylum office papers belonging to him were found in the cab — but more importantly, it was an Islamist attack.  Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the carnage in Berlin, which matched the tactic used by the truck attacker at Nice, France in 2015.

The message is clear.

Radical Islam remains at war with the West. Its adherents simply want us dead.

And now it will be up to Trump, upon assuming office on Jan. 20, 2017, to prosecute the West’s war against radical Islam.

But Trump will be entering the world’s stage in an increasingly dangerous environment, where events have played out largely with U.S. acquiescence under the leadership of outgoing President Barack Obama as the situation in the Middle East has deteriorated.

The U.S. backed the overthrow of the governments of Libya and Egypt in 2011, and then opposed it when Egypt was reclaimed from Muslim Brotherhood by the military in 2013.

In 2011, the Syrian civil war began, with the U.S. backing rebel factions there against the Assad regime, a Russian ally.

The U.S. finished its withdrawal of military forces from Iraq at the end of 2011, completing Obama’s 2008 campaign promise to leave that country.

By 2013, the Obama administration was seeking Congressional authorization for direct military confrontation there to overthrow Assad, and even considered options to go there without a vote of Congress.

As the civil war in Syria played out, the power vacuum the U.S. left created the opportunity for Islamic State to fill as it rose to power in 2014 after capturing several cities in Syria and Iraq.

The war displaced millions of refugees, who fled the region for Europe and elsewhere, setting the stage for Islamic State attacks in Paris, Nice, multiple attacks in the U.S. and now Berlin.

Since then, U.S. special forces have reentered the theater in Iraq along with a campaign of air strikes beginning in 2014. That was possible because although Obama had withdrawn U.S. forces, the 2002 authorization to use force in Iraq, which overthrew the government of Saddam Hussein, was never repealed.

In 2015, the U.S. signed the nuclear deal with Iran that critics charge creates the path for Tehran to get nuclear weapons.

Russian forces too have since intervened in Syria since 2015, culminating in the latest offensive by Syrian forces to defeat the rebels at Aleppo, a rebel stronghold, this month.

Trump indicated on the campaign trail that he would focus U.S. efforts on defeating Islamic State and has hinted at the possibility of cooperation with Russia in that endeavor to defeat a common enemy.

In that case, the assassination of Karlov in Turkey, a NATO ally, and the Islamic State attack in Germany, another NATO ally, could provide a basis for Trump to thread that needle, but it will not be easy.

Countries like France and Germany have played both sides of the conflict in Syria, working to overthrow the Russian-backed Assad regime while simultaneously opposing Islamic State, fueled by the illusion that the armed opposition to Assad was anybody but radical Islamists. That convoluted policy has destabilized the country and led directly to the refugee crisis.

It will now be up to Trump to bring clarity to the conflict by focusing on the real enemy, Islamic State. By now, it should be clear that Russia will not permit the overthrow of the Assad regime. If the U.S. had intervened there, it could very well have brought the U.S. to war with Russia. That would not only be destabilizing, but catastrophic.

The path of least resistance, then, is defeating Islamic State, and working to simultaneously deescalate tensions between the U.S. and Russia.

That will likely require assurances that the U.S. will not act to overthrow the Assad regime, which should be easy, since the war there is already over and the U.S. has already passed up the opportunity to intervene.

The gunman in Ankara, who shouted “Remember Aleppo!” as he shot Karlov, certainly did not think that the war in Syria is over. He also pledged allegiance to the rebels there, reportedly saying, “We are the descendants of those who supported the Prophet Muhammad for jihad.” That is said to be similar to the anthem of al Nusra, an al Qaeda affiliate, another Islamist faction in the Syrian civil war, and the group has claimed responsibility via an Internet letter.

Defeating those factions, then, Islamic State and al Nusra, will have to be the administration’s top foreign policy priority. There, the U.S. and Russia share common interests, and cooperation should be embraced, despite allegations by the outgoing Obama administration of supposed Russian intervention in U.S. elections. Defeating radical Islam is more important than hearing out grievances from John Podesta and the now-defeated Hillary Clinton for President campaign.

At the same time, and in exchange for providing Assad assurances, Trump could then work with European allies to settle the refugee crisis in Germany, Italy and France — by resettling refugees into a more permanent setting. Trump’s call for halting immigration from terror havens comes into view, as well, but if the war in Syria winds down, then it becomes possible that the refugees could begin to return home.

But even if they would not return there willingly, the political circumstances in Europe may ultimately mean the final settlement for refugees will have to be elsewhere in the world of Islam, in North Africa or somewhere else. This will require more deft diplomacy by Trump to work with U.S. allies in the region, but it could help deescalate tensions in Europe as well while simultaneously denying sanctuaries for Islamic State there. Europe cannot be the dumping ground for the Middle East’s wars.

The goal now must be restoring stability across the entire region.

European integration of the refugees was a foolish, idealist pipe dream by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Sadly, it lays in tatters on the streets of Berlin. Now it falls on Trump to clean up the mess.

Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.





On December 7, 2016 handpicked lists of the best app and web development firms. After choosing from thousands of globally recognized development agencies, chose the firms that present an absolute source for finding the best and most sought-after companies that provide various services. Some of the requirements that a firm must focus on were mobile app development, website design, or, enterprise app development.

“The top-rated companies are abreast of modern technologies and frameworks, which fulfill every need of every business and expectations of customers. Some of them are continuously setting benchmarks in the development industry so high that they are outperforming themselves in each of the categories,” stated

Some of the top Mobil App Development firms included Fueled, Konstant Infosolutions, and Sourcebits. However, the list does not stop there. Please visit for a complete list of the 2016 rankings.






“We Democrats cannot vote for that substitute and urge others to vote against it.”

That was Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) explaining in no uncertain terms that the proposed continuing resolution by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is dead on arrival.

The unexpected turn of events came as negotiations broke down between McConnell and his counterpart, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

I write “unexpected” because the legislation McConnell is touting as a compromise was apparently not even agreed to by Reid. It’s a Republican bill — that funds Democrat priorities.

And, it strips out language that would have prevented the transition of U.S. oversight of the Internet’s domain name system to foreign powers and multinational corporations at the end of the month, risking censorship by an unaccountable Internet global monopoly — with no First Amendment federal court remedy once out from under the U.S. government contract..

Meaning, McConnell is singularly responsible for everything in the legislation, including surrendering the Internet. He could have put whatever he wanted into the bill, including the language blocking the Internet giveaway. He opted not to.

Luckily, what he has on the floor now might not even pass. He has no idea what Reid will do when it goes to the floor Monday for a vote.

In other words, it’s amateur hour. McConnell ceded U.S. oversight over the Internet — in exchange for nothing. They got nothing.

Well almost nothing. You know what we’re hearing? Republicans might have kept language out that would have allowed the Export Import Bank to meet and conduct business at a lower quorum requirement. And they kept out funding for Flint, Michigan’s water crisis — which will probably pass next week anyway.

So they delayed inevitable meetings by the Ex-Im Bank to make loans pending another appointment to its board of directors in the next few months, and they slowed down passage of funding on Flint by a few days.

We ask you: Was that worth surrendering U.S. oversight of the free and open Internet we all use and depend on?

You know what we’re also hearing? That Senate leaders are blaming Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for elevating the issue and using their platforms to communicate to their supporters about it. Oh, the horror.

As negotiations broke down, Reid told reporters Sept. 22 that Trump’s support made the rider a non-starter: “It’s obvious to me that Trump, [who] wants the federal government out of everything, suddenly now wants the government in something. It’s his issue now, I don’t think it’s going to sell well in my caucus.”

So, Reid bluffed and told McConnell that Democrats would shut down the government if Republicans tried to block the surrender of the Internet to the international community — because Donald Trump said something about it.

And McConnell believed him, stripped the language out all by himself — without consulting with Reid — and put it on the Senate floor.

Can you believe this?

The Internet had to be given away because blocking the surrender was simply too popular, garnering the support of the GOP standard bearer, Trump, and oh gee, that was just too much exposure.

Never mind the fact that Trump’s statement actually helped to begin the process of reconciliation between Trump and Cruz after a bitter primary battle, helping to unify Republicans for the elections in November. A legislative victory by McConnell could have had Republicans nationwide saluting and feeling inspired to keep the Senate majority, to keep the Internet free and open.

Now? They’re cursing the day we ever won the Senate majority and put McConnell in charge.

In a statement, Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning lamented McConnell’s surrender: “It is truly ironic that an issue which unifies the GOP, can be tossed aside because the minority in the Senate threatens to shut down the government… [T]he ultimate conclusion is that the GOP wields far more power when the Democrats control the Senate and they are forced to unify around conservative principles for political campaign purposes. The current Majority in Name Only is hardly worth defending when the Democrats and the corporatists win every battle.”

Perhaps McConnell also blames grassroots Americans who have been phoning their representatives and writing letters on this issue for 2-and-a-half years to stop the Internet surrender.

Or the Wall Street Journal’s L. Gordon Crovitz for writing too many columns about it.

Or Americans for Limited Government for filing too many Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests demanding the Commerce Department’s legal analysis of the authority to perform the transfer. Or demanding via FOIA analysis of antitrust issues to do with creating the global Internet monopoly in ICANN — which the Commerce Department still has not found any responsive documents for, nor have they responded to Congressional demands for the analysis.

You see, really, it’s our fault. For advocating the issue. We simply raised its profile too high. If only we all had kept quiet, Congress would have addressed this issue.

Oh wait, no they wouldn’t have.

In reality, it’s McConnell’s fault. For unilaterally stripping out the language blocking the Internet transfer, without apparently checking with anyone. Language his entire conference and both major Republican presidential candidates supported, which would have protected the vital Internet freedoms of each and every American. Because he did not know how to fight and win this issue, and when he unilaterally surrendered, blamed those who were on the outside trying to help.

Fortunately, all is not lost. McConnell has scheduled a vote for Monday, but already he is losing supporters for his precious continuing resolution. Sens. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) have withdrawn support because it did not address the Export Import Bank’s quorum issues.

Which about that. If what it takes to save the free and open Internet for another fiscal year and kick this into the next administration so a new president can have a look is to lower the quorum requirements for the Ex-Im Bank, you lower the quorum requirements for the Ex-Im Bank. That’s not even a choice. Include funding for Flint, Michigan’s water supply in a bill that already spends hundreds of billions of dollars when similar legislation might pass the House next week anyway? Whatever.

The thing is, those issues however important (or unimportant, depending on your perspective) could also be dealt with again next year. Whereas once U.S. oversight of the Internet is relinquished — creating an unaccountable global monopoly over the Internet’s domain name system — we will never get it back. We hope we’re wrong, but the risks are there.

And we’ll know who to blame. Senate Republicans, who refused to fight and, in this case, compromise to get something done on behalf of the American people.

If House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has any sense he’ll immediately write his own continuing resolution, defund the Internet surrender — for the entire year, not this 3-month nonsense, like anyone wants to do this all over again in December — and send it to the Senate for consideration.

Or, Ryan can join McConnell’s failure and force his own conference to vote for an unpopular, ill-conceived continuing resolution that surrenders U.S. oversight of the Internet.

Because, make no mistake, a vote for the continuing resolution is a vote for surrendering the free and open Internet to foreign powers and multinational corporations. Whoever votes yes will share the blame. And the shame — when one day it goes against U.S. interests, and results in censorship, a global Internet tax and other evils.

Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government. You can read more of his articles at





A tentative truce brokered Sept. 9 by the U.S. and Russia on Syria aims at allowing the Syrian people to take the necessary time to recover from years of oppressive and violent rule from leader Bashar al Assad and the ravaging terror of Islamic State.

However, instead of an effective multinational solution which might end the hostility, the U.S. appears to have brokered a feckless ceasefire, emboldening the Syrian people’s national predators and isolating the nation’s real problems.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov negotiated the deal despite dramatically different interests in the region.

Now Secretary Kerry is praising Russian involvement in the area, during a press conference discussing the deal Kerry said, “Sergey Lavrov and I, on behalf of our president and our countries, call on every Syrian stakeholder to support the plan that the United States and Russia have reached, to… bring this catastrophic conflict to the quickest possible end through a political process.”

While coming together in the interest of peace might seem like a noble venture, in reality the inconsistency of the U.S. mission in Syria — which once sought the overthrow of Assad — has provided opportunity for the growth of terror in the region and even shown submission to Russian authority.

The ceasefire, which includes the Syrian government as well as Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah armed group, does not include Islamic State. Neither is the growing presence of the Jabhat Fateh al Sham, a group who recently cut ties with al Qaeda has pledged no end to their obstruction. These groups now may have a critical opportunity to advance their initiatives due to the silence of government forces and other internal opposition they must usually fight against.

Rebel forces were aware of the ceasefire’s ability to spread terror, and spoke against it consistently. According to a Middle East Eye report from just after the ceasefire began, nearly a dozen internal rebel groups called the agreement unjust and believe it will “reinforce the suffering” of civilians.

A ceasefire cannot work with the main perpetrator of violence, Islamic State, is still able to commit atrocities while the people are silenced.

But this result is not a surprise, the Russians have never cared about the continuation of terror or destruction in Syria per se, their goal has been the reinforcement of the Assad regime, a Russian satellite, despite the threat to the people.

In five years, the International Business Times finds Assad’s attacks on his people to be responsible for more than 86,000 civilian deaths. Yet Russia continues to support the regime due to their political alliance, and now the U.S. is apparently supporting Russia.

Which is why it is no surprise the ceasefire has resulted in exactly what the Russians were hoping it would, the dominance of Assad.

In any event, the ceasefire was short-lived. The Washington Post of Sept. 12 reports that “Residents and activists of the besieged rebel portion of Aleppo said that Syrian government helicopters had dropped barrel bombs on one neighborhood of the city and that loyalist forces were shelling a route intended to be used for the delivery of humanitarian aid.” This occurred within hours of the ceasefires beginning and reports of violence continue to trickle in.

Secretary Kerry has not only allowed Assad to fortify his power, but the beacon of hope that the U.S. once was for rebel forces has been lost, providing them with no faith in the future of their country. As they recede, Islamic State could fill the void.

In the meantime, as the war drags on in the region in spite of meaningless U.S.-sponsored ceasefires, the appearance of U.S. strength in the region continues to wane. No longer purporting to stand with the Syrian people being harmed by the war, instead the U.S. is apparently acquiescing to Russian hegemony over the region.

Natalia Castro is a contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government. You can read more of her articles at





Nancy Pelosi – Isn’t she just about the dumbest politician you have ever seen? She admitted to not reading ObamaCare before she voted on it.

The Vast Majority of People Who Think They DESERVE Hand Outs from the Government – I didn’t even know what a cell phone was when I was growing up, much less thought the government would give me one for free.

Colonel Sanders – If the rumor is true that Kentucky Fried Chicken isn’t actually chicken, but some weird GMO concoction.

The Guy Who Gave Bruce Springsteen His Nickname – Not because I don’t like Springsteen’s music; I actually love it. But because he heisted Donald Trump’s nickname. And don’t tell me Springsteen was called The Boss before The Donald was – and if that’s the case, then the nickname-giver was a prognosticator and he’s still guilty of this faux pas.

Al Sharpton – The man is an absolute racist. And what’s going on with his head in proportion to his body?

The Government of Iran – Let’s start with the way they treat women…

Men Who Have Nose Rings and/or Have Botox – Both are just odd.

Sandra Fluke – Why should we pay for her contraception? And does anyone really want to use it with her?

People Who Smell Like Fish – If they’re not fisherman, why is that?

Those Who Have Pigs for Pets – Can’t we just eat them?

A Subset of Those Who Have Pigs for Pets (Those Who Don’t Eat Bacon) – I just can’t trust someone who doesn’t eat bacon, unless it’s for a religious reason. And if it’s for a religious reason, the person better eat turkey bacon.

Planned Parenthood Employees – Can’t you get a job where you don’t murder babies?

Americans Who Don’t Realize That Israel is One of Our Most Important Allies – Knuckleheads…

Those Who Used Cocaine Yet Oversee Prosecutions of Others Who Snorted It – Oops, that’s exactly what Barack Obama did. He used the white powder in his student years and then has been the chief executive officer of the country (including overseeing the Justice Department), where he has seen to thousands prosecuted for cocaine endeavors…Hypocrite….Not to mention: it’s just plain stupid to use coke or any CDS.

Vampires – Not into these weirdos.

The Guy With No Legs from South Africa Who Shot His Girlfriend – If he didn’t do it on purpose, he sure was reckless by firing into a closed bathroom door when he had no idea who was behind it…And I’m not being insensitive by describing him “as the guy with no legs” – it’s just a fact and I forgot his name. Everyone knows who I am talking about.

People Who are Overly Sensitive and Easily Offended – Boo hoo…Go pound salt.

Anyone Who Thinks Brexit was a Bad Idea.

I’m disgusted, grossed out and sickened by these above people.

More to Come…

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — The world is in the grip of a global crisis that kills the equivalent of the populations of Philadelphia, Kampala or Prague – around 1.6 million each year. A new report published today in the esteemed Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, documents how many countries do not have life-saving antifungal therapies. Fungal infections attack the lungs and may spread through the body and, without the drugs to fight back, claim the lives of over 3,500 people every day.

Now GAFFI (The Global Action Fund for Fungal Infections) has gathered together the most powerful weapon there is – knowledge – information that it plans to use to bring about change. It has just published the largest survey ever undertaken from 159 countries and found that a pair of critical antifungal medicines for AIDS patients are not available in over 95 countries. One of these antifungals has been available since the 1950’s and the other since the 1970’s.

Professor David Denning of The University of Manchester, President of GAFFI and the paper’s lead author says it beggars belief that hundreds of millions of people cannot access the optimal therapy for fungal meningitis and fungal lung infections. “It is doubly tragic,” he says, “that these antifungals have been used since the late 1950’s in the case of amphotericin B. Yet the systems for delivering these drugs to the most needy are still not in place. “Last year GAFFI called on governments to provide fungal diagnostics and antifungal drugs to all their citizens yet there has been a deafening silence. There is clearly a long way to go, but the tragedy is that every day thousands more people die needlessly while the world turns a blind eye,” he adds.

Hollywood actor and GAFFI celebrity patron Rupert Everett declared that: ‘We have known for over 25 years that many people with AIDS and cancer do die of fungal complications. And death is avoidable with treatment. Why on earth are commonly used antifungal medicines not provided to everyone who needs them?”

Dr Glenda Gray, President and CEO of the African Medical Research Council and Professor of Pediatrics, Faculty of Health Sciences, at University of Witwatersrand, says: “In South Africa we are addressing the HIV epidemic squarely on with greatly increased provision of anti-retroviral drugs and expanding testing. “Fungal diseases in AIDS have not received the priority they should have, although this is now changing with our national screening program for Cryptococci meningitis. Clearly ensuring antifungal agents are available to all is an key component in reducing deaths and illness across southern Africa.”

GAFFI’s key findings:

• One of the critical drugs for fungal meningitis in AIDS (amphotericin B) is not available in 42 countries. The other key drug for fungal meningitis, flucytosine, is unavailable in at least 95 countries. Yet both have been available in Europe and the US for over 40 years. The World Health Organization recommends they be used together to bring down mortality from 100% to 25%. Fungal meningitis is the commonest form of meningitis in sub-Saharan Africa because of AIDS.

• The 25 -year old drug, fluconazole is available in all countries and itraconazole is unavailable in just five countries. However, being available is not enough – price also matters as patients pay for their care in many countries. The daily cost of fluconazole varied from <$1 to $31 and itraconazole from <$1 to $102. In South Africa, which has the largest AIDS burden in the world and a massive TB problem, itraconazole costs about £11.60 per day – unaffordable for most people there. *Kneale M, Bartholomew JS, Davies E, Denning DW. Global Access to Antifungal Therapy and its Variable Cost. J Antimicrob Chemother. In press. For more information please contact Susan Osborne, Director of Communications, Goodwork, on 07836 229208 or email COMMENTS DISABLED BY SITE.




The American Red Cross has issued an emergency call for blood and platelets, urging all eligible donors to give now to replenish an extremely low summer blood supply.

Blood donations have fallen short of hospital needs for the past few months, resulting in about 39,000 fewer donations than what’s needed, as well as a significant draw down of the overall Red Cross blood supply. In addition, the Independence Day holiday may have caused many regular donors to postpone donations due to vacation plans. A recent Red Cross poll revealed that more than 75 percent of donors surveyed indicated vacation plans this summer, many of them occurring the weeks before and after July 4.

“Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, which is why we are making this emergency request for donations,” said Patty Corvaia, communications manager of the New York-Penn Blood Services Region. “Donations are urgently needed now to meet the needs of hospital patients in the coming days and weeks. If you’ve thought about giving blood and helping to save lives, now is the time to do it. It’s the blood donations on the shelves that help save lives when an emergency occurs.”

To schedule an appointment to donate, use the free Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). The Red Cross is extending hours at many donation sites to allow for more donors to make an appointment to give. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to avoid longer wait times. Donors with all blood types are needed.

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The value of environmental crime is 26 per cent larger than previous estimates, at $91-258 billion today compared to $70-213 billion in 2014, according to a rapid response report published today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and INTERPOL. The Rise of Environmental Crime, released on the eve of World Environment Day (WED), finds that weak laws and poorly funded security forces are enabling international criminal networks and armed rebels to profit from a trade that fuels conflicts, devastates ecosystems and is threatening species with extinction.

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said, “Interpol and UNEP have joined forces to bring to the attention of the world the sheer scale of environmental crime. The vast sums of money generated from these crimes keep sophisticated international criminal gangs in business, and fuel insecurity around the world.

Environmental crime dwarfs the illegal trade in small arms, which is valued at about $3 billion. It is the world’s fourth-largest criminal enterprise after drug smuggling, counterfeiting and human trafficking. The amount of money lost due to environmental crime is 10,000 times greater than the amount of money spent by international agencies on combatting it – just $20-30 million.

The last decade has seen environmental crime rise by at least 5-7 per cent per year. This means that environmental crime – which includes the illegal trade in wildlife, corporate crime in the forestry sector, the illegal exploitation and sale of gold and other minerals, illegal fisheries, the trafficking of hazardous waste and carbon credit fraud – is growing two to three times faster than global GDP.

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Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that VLADIMIR TSASTSIN was sentenced in Manhattan federal court to more than seven years in prison for perpetrating a massive internet fraud scheme by infecting more than four million computers in over 100 countries with malware. The malware secretly altered the settings on infected computers, enabling TSASTSIN and his co-conspirators to digitally hijack users’ Internet searches and re-route their computers to certain websites and advertisements. As a result, the defendants received millions of dollars in fees from advertisers who paid the defendants to bring customers to their websites or ads, but were unaware that the defendants did so by digitally hijacking victims’ computers.

The malware also prevented the installation of anti-virus software and operating system updates on millions of infected computers, leaving those computers and their users unable to detect or stop the malware, and exposing them to attacks by other malware. On July 8, 2015, TSASTSIN pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion. U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan sentenced TSASTSIN earlier today.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Vladimir Tsastin was sentenced today to 87 months in prison for his role in a massive fraud scheme, which victimized more than four million Internet users in 100 countries. By falsely collecting advertising fees for every ‘click’ their victims made, Tsastsin and his co-conspirators collected over $14 million. Together with our law enforcement partners all over the globe, this Office will continue to investigate and prosecute sophisticated cyber frauds.”

From 2007 until October 2011, TSASTSIN and co-defendants Andrey Taame, Timur Gerassimenko, Dmitri Jegorov, Valeri Aleksejev, Konstantin Poltev, and Anton Ivanov controlled and operated various companies that masqueraded as legitimate publisher networks (the “Publisher Networks”) in the Internet advertising industry. The Publisher Networks entered into agreements with ad brokers under which they were paid based on the number of times Internet users clicked on the links for certain websites or advertisements, or based on the number of times certain advertisements were displayed on certain websites. Thus, the more traffic that went to the advertisers’ websites and display ads, the more money the defendants earned under their agreements with the ad brokers. The defendants fraudulently increased the traffic to the websites and advertisements that would earn them money and made it appear to advertisers that the Internet traffic came from legitimate “clicks” and ad displays on the defendants’ Publisher Networks when, in actuality, it had not.

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The Fundraising Group challenges the junk-food culture of school fundraising and provides ideas for schools to get much-needed funds on board. Schools often need to raise money for items such as computers, books, and sporting equipment that they might otherwise not be able to access.

The website relaunch aims to help schools find inspiration and gain information about healthy ways to raise money. The Fundraising Group is hoping to eliminate the presence of junk food in schools altogether.

“The new website reflects our focus, which is to eliminate the need for junk food fundraising at schools. Fundraising can be done with healthy alternatives to achieve much better results,” says Dean Newcombe, Customer Service Manager at The Fundraising Group. He continues, “We had one school with 47 students raise $24,500. To achieve that result with chocolate, each student would need to sell 521 candy bars.”

The Fundraising Group promotes fun-runs and read-a-thons as healthier alternatives to school fundraising. Past fundraising at schools has often consisted of selling junk food such as chocolate, cakes, or sausage sizzles. The Fundraising Group is also utilizing a new system to allow donations to be made to schools online.

The figure of 14-million Australians overweight or obese is on the rise with 80% of adults and one third of children expected to suffer by 2025, according to research by Monash University.

Whilst schools don’t sell chocolates at canteens anymore in Australia, fundraising has remained the loophole for these unhealthy treats to find their way into schools under the premise of raising money. With The Fundraising Group, healthy fundraising options are proving to be an alternative for schools.

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