• Facebook crumbles around its lonely king

    Published: Mar 22, 2019 7:00 a.m. ET

    Shareholders gave Mark Zuckerberg all the power, and now watch as top executives walk away from his iron-fisted rule

    Author photo

    By

    THERESEPOLETTI

    COLUMNIST 

    Mark Zuckerberg seems increasingly alone at the top of Facebook Inc., with executives streaming out the doors as he promises a new direction that seems antithetical to all he has said about the company’s plans for years.

    He can, of course, do what he wants, because the company is truly a Mark Zuckerberg production, and because he has always had what Silicon Valley founders crave: founder control of his company. As more executives depart, Facebook appears to be heading further under Zuckerberg’s total rule.

    Facebook FB, -1.05% has suffered seemingly endless controversies, including the most recent, hosting a live stream of mass shootings in two mosques in New Zealand. Facebook was alerted by the police in Christchurch to remove the video, which was not found by any of Facebook’s AI engines or humans searching for violent content, contrary to Zuckerberg’s explanation to Congress a year agoabout how its systems are getting better at finding harmful content. Facebook said in a blog post this week that in the first 24 hours of the shootings, it removed about 1.5 million videos of the attack globally, with more than 1.2 million of those videos blocked at upload.

    The massacres happened two days after a massive outage and a day after a top executive left amid reported unhappiness with Zuckerberg’s new direction, outlined in a manifesto that was long on words while being short on detail. It appears Zuckerberg has dug himself into a foxhole, where he is following his inner instincts and intuition for the company he started up with his roommates at Harvard 15 years ago. Needham & Co. analyst Laura Martin, citing recent events plus a looming threat of regulation, said the combined risks are creating a negative network effect for Facebook.

    Investors who may be unhappy with the continued chaos know their hands are tied even if they don’t agree with how Zuckerberg is ruling over his kingdom. Zuckerberg still controls about 60% of Facebook’s votes. The departure of a key lieutenant — longtime product chief Chris Cox — on top of the loss of the founders of Instagram and WhatsApp, signal growing internal turmoil, with a CEO more alone at the top.

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    “There have been some significant high-level departures that have raised a lot of concerns,” said Jonas Kron, who leads shareholder advocacy efforts at Trillium Asset Management, an employee-owned investment-management firm based in Boston. “Then you top it off with New Zealand, and a 12-hour outage, it’s sort of hard to keep up.”

    Last October, Trillium submitted a shareholder proposal with the backing of several state treasurers, representing about 5 million shares, asking Facebook’s board to appoint an independent chairman.

    “There is a lot going on, and the company would greatly benefit from having Mark Zuckerberg focus on management and execution, and have an independent board chair focusing on the board and relations with investors and board oversight,” he said.

    Throughout the many crises that the company has endured following the U.S. elections in 2016, Zuckerberg has appeared to listen to no one but possibly Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg. The New York Times reported late last year that Zuckerberg and Sandberg ignored repeated warning signs of some of the many problems that have bedeviled Facebook.

    There have been anecdotal reports about some Facebook employees looking for new jobs or not feeling comfortable giving dissenting opinions amid Zuckerberg’s tight control. In January, CNBC reported on the company’s cult-like culture and how the fear among some employees to give honest feedback may have contributed to the scandals that have enveloped the company.

    Two weeks ago, Zuckerberg surprised investors and users with a more-than-3,000-word pledge to improve privacy, admitting, in the understatement of the year, that Facebook “does not have a strong reputation for privacy.” Facebook now plans to work on a single encrypted-messaging platform, a move that Cox obviously disagreed with by his resignation.

    Cox was not the only key executive to depart in the past few months. Last fall, co-founders of both WhatsApp and Instagram left in disagreements over the directions Zuckerberg wanted to take their platforms, a few years after their acquisitions by Facebook. He had initially promised to leave the companies alone, running them as subsidiaries. In Martin’s note, in which the Needham analyst also downgraded the stock to a hold, she highlighted 11 senior executive departures over the past several months.

    “A Negative Network Effect suggests that departures will continue, and since we believe that people are a key competitive advantage of FAANG companies, this implies accelerating value destruction until senior executive turnover ends,” Martin wrote. ‘We prefer to move to the sidelines until we see senior employee turnover stabilize.”

    The pressure to produce continued revenue growth as well as generate revenue at its other properties, Instagram and WhatsApp, even as user growth at Facebook declines, have led Zuckerberg to make some severe decisions. Those decisions could just lead to more controversies, however.

    After his privacy manifesto, which talked about encrypting all messages, many worried that Facebook would be increasingly used for more evil means, and that the company would not be able to police abuses on its network or to help law enforcement. Roger McNamee, an early Facebook investor and co-founder of Elevation Partners, believes that even with encryption of messages, the company’s core business model remains intact. Messaging is “a tiny fraction of the data and metadata that matters,” for Facebook’s business model, he said, because it can continue to glean information about its users for targeted advertising through newsfeed and story activity.

    “The manifesto leaves FB’s business model unchanged. That is not acceptable,” McNamee said in an email. “The business model amplifies hate speech, disinformation, and conspiracy theories, with increasingly severe consequences, such as the terrorism in New Zealand.”

    Read about McNamee’s new book, which talks about the problems at Facebook and his solutions

    Whether Zuckerberg’s decisions and instincts are correct or not, Facebook investors have to trust him. Because he still has voting control, the company’s board and its investors just have to agree or vote with their feet, since they don’t technically have any real say. Some day, Zuckerberg may end up as a poster child for the concept of the gradual elimination of founder control and dual-class shares, a proposal that some officials at the Securities and Exchange Commission support, which would put some sort of time limit on founder control of a company.

    Jonas of Trillium believes that is an imperfect solution.

    “The better approach is just not to have dual-class at all,” he said. “One share, one vote.”

    But while more investors are speaking out against dual-class stock and founder control in public companies, the concept is becoming even more popular as a new wave of major IPOs starts to hit U.S. markets. Ride-hailing app developer Lyft’s prospectus revealed it is going to go public with dual-class stock, with its two founders, Logan Green and John Zimmer, expected to have control. That’s after rival Uber Technology Inc.’s well-documented problems with its controlling co-founder, Travis Kalanick. A D.A. Davidson analyst wrote in a note this week that Lyft gained riders after the spate of scandals at Uber, ranging from a culture of widespread sexual harassment to software used to deceive regulators, that ultimately led to Kalanick’s ouster.

    At Facebook’s next annual meeting, likely to be held in May, shareholders will have an opportunity to voice their displeasure with some of Zuckerberg’s recent decisions and his reign in general. But with Zuckerberg’s control and the votes stacked against them, why would they even bother?

    “The goal is to give investors the opportunity to express an opinion about whether an independent board chair is a good idea or not and to give the board that information,” Jonas said. “If a majority of outside shareholders agree to that, even if its only 40%, that’s an opinion that I think everyone would agree should be taken seriously.”

    Investors need to remember that at founder-controlled companies, when the going gets tough, they don’t really have much say. They can try to send messages to management and the board, through things like shareholder resolutions, but the founder/controlling shareholder always has the final say.


  • Report: Chick-fil-A Gave Over $1.8 Million To Anti-Gay Christian Hate Groups

    MARCH 20, 2019 BY MICHAEL STONE

    Chick-fil-A still hates gay people: Chick-fil-A, a southern-style chicken sandwich franchise and a self-identified Christian company, gave over $1.8 million to anti-gay Christian hate groups in 2017.

    Think Progress reports:

    Chick-fil-A has taken great pains to downplay its anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and giving, seven years into a national boycott by LGBTQ and allied diners. But contrary to the company’s latest claims that it has no political or social agenda, newly released tax filings show that, in 2017, the Chick-fil-A Foundation gave more than $1.8 million to a trio of groups with a record of anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

    The donations — $1,653,416 to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, $6,000 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, and $150,000 to the Salvation Army — actually represent a slight increase from the previous year

    That’s right, despite repeated claims from the company that they are no longer anti-gay, they continue to actively support and fund anti-gay Christian hate groups.

    Late last year Rider University in New Jersey  joined many other institutions of higher learning and denied the fast food restaurant a potential on-campus location because of“the company’s record widely perceived to be in opposition to the LGBTQ community.”

    In response, Chick-fil-A issued a statement claiming:

    We have no policy of discrimination against any group, and we do not have a political or social agenda.

    However the money tells a different story. For example, Chick-fil-A gave more than $1.6 million in 2017 to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a religious organization which “imparts a strongly anti-LGBTQ message.”

    In addition, the foundation also gave more than $6,000 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, a Georgia-based “transformative organization” that operates an anti-gay “Christian residential home for troubled youth” and uses propaganda associated with harmful and discredited “ex-gay” therapy.

    Also on the list, Chick-fil-A Foundation gave at least $150,000 to the Salvation Army, a conservative Christian organization with a long history of anti-LGBTQ housing discriminationopposition to same-sex marriage equality, and supporting exemptionsfrom non-discrimination ordinances.

    In fact, Chick-fil-A has a long and well documented history of promoting discrimination against members of the gay and lesbian community. In the past Chick-fil-A donated considerable resources to anti-gay causes, including Christian extremist organizations labeled as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

    And in the past Chick-fil-A has supported multiple anti-gay Christian extremist organizations, including the Focus on the Family Institute, the American Family Association, the National Organization for Marriage, the Pennsylvania Family Institute, Exodus International and the Family Research Council. These groups are some of the most vehement and vicious anti-gay groups in the country.

    Bottom line: Chick-fil-A, the Christian fast food restaurant whose corporate purpose is to “glorify God,” continues to support anti-gay groups and organizations.

    Report: Chick-fil-A Gave Over $1.8 Million To Anti-Gay Christian Hate Groups (Image via YouTube)
    Report: Chick-fil-A Gave Over $1.8 Million To Anti-Gay Christian Hate Groups (Image via YouTube)



  • Kill the Aircraft Carriers: How China Plans to Win a Naval War Against America

    History tells them so. by Kyle Mizokami

     

      

    China is in the unique position of both seeing the value of carriers and building its own fleet while at the same time devoting a lot of time and resources to the subject of sinking them. The United States may soon find itself in the same position.

    More than twenty years ago, a military confrontation in East Asia pushed the United States and China uncomfortably close to conflict. Largely unknown in America, the event made a lasting impression on China, especially Chinese military planners. The Third Taiwan Crisis, as historians call it, was China’s introduction to the power and flexibility of the aircraft carrier, something it obsesses about to this day.

    (This first appeared several years ago.)

    The crisis began in 1995. Taiwan’s first-ever democratic elections for president were set for 1996, a major event that Beijing naturally opposed. The sitting president, Lee Teng-hui of the Kuomintang party, was invited to the United States to speak at his alma mater, Cornell University. Lee was already disliked by Beijing for his emphasis on “Taiwanization,” which favored home rule and established a separate Taiwanese identity away from mainland China. Now he was being asked to speak at Cornell on Taiwan’s democratization, and Beijing was furious.

    The Clinton administration was reluctant to grant Lee a visa—he had been denied one for a similar talk at Cornell the year before—but near-unanimous support from Congress forced the White House’s hand. Lee was granted a visa and visited Cornell in June. The Xinhua state news agency  warned, “The issue of Taiwan is as explosive as a barrel of gunpowder. It is extremely dangerous to warm it up, no matter whether the warming is done by the United States or by Lee Teng-hui. This wanton wound inflicted upon China will help the Chinese people more clearly realize what kind of a country the United States is.”

    In August 1995, China announced a series of missiles exercises in the East China Sea. Although the exercises weren’t unusual, their announcement was, and there was speculation that this was the beginning of an intimidation campaign by China, both as retaliation against the Cornell visit and intimidation of Taiwan’s electorate ahead of the next year’s elections. The exercises involved the People’s Liberation Army’s Second Artillery Corps (now the PLA Rocket Forces) and the redeployment of Chinese F-7 fighters (China’s version of the MiG-21 Fishbed fighter) 250 miles from Taiwan. Also, in a move that would sound very familiar in 2017, up to one hundred Chinese civilian fishing boats  entered territorial waters  around the Taiwanese island of Matsu, just off the coast of the mainland.

    According to Globalsecurity.org , redeployments of Chinese long-range missile forces continued into 1996, and the Chinese military actually prepared for military action. China drew up contingency plans for thirty days of missile strikes against Taiwan, one strike a day, shortly after the March 1996 presidential elections. These strikes were not carried out, but preparations were likely detected by U.S. intelligence.

    In March 1996, China announced its fourth major military exercises since the Cornell visit. The country’s military announced a series of missile test zones off the Chinese coastline, which also put the missiles in the approximate direction of Taiwan. In reality, China fired three missiles, two of which splashed down just thirty miles from the Taiwanese capital of Taipei and one of which splashed down thirty-five miles from Kaohsiung. Together, the two cities handled most of the country’s commercial shipping traffic. For an export-driven country like Taiwan, the missile launches seemed like an ominous shot across the country’s economic bow.

    American forces were already operating in the area. The USS  Bunker Hill , a Ticonderoga-class Aegis cruiser, was stationed off southern Taiwan to monitor Chinese missile tests with its SPY-1 radar system. The Japan-based USS  Independence, along with the destroyers  Hewitt and O’Brien and frigate  McClusky, took up position on the eastern side of the island.

    After the missile tests, the carrier USS  Nimitz left the Persian Gulf region and raced back to the western Pacific. This was an even more powerful carrier battle group, consisting of the Aegis cruiser  Port Royal , guided missile destroyers  Oldendorf and Callaghan (which would later be transferred to the Taiwanese Navy), guided missile frigate USS  Ford, and nuclear attack submarine USS  PortsmouthNimitz and its escorts took up station in the Philippine Sea, ready to assist  Independence. Contrary to popular belief,  neither carrier actually entered the Taiwan Strait .

    The People’s Liberation Army, unable to do anything about the American aircraft carriers, was utterly humiliated. China, which was just beginning to show the consequences of rapid economic expansion, still did not have a military capable of posing a credible threat to American ships just a short distance from of its coastline.

    While we might never know the discussions that later took place, we know what has happened since. Just two years later a Chinese businessman purchased the hulk of the unfinished Russian aircraft carrier  Riga, with the stated intention of turning it into a resort and casino. We know this ship today as China’s first aircraft carrier,  Liaoning, after it was transferred to the PLA Navy and underwent a fifteen-year refurbishment. At least one other carrier is under construction, and the ultimate goal may be as many as five Chinese carriers.

    At the same time, the Second Artillery Corps leveraged its expertise in long-range rockets to create the DF-21D antiship ballistic missile. The DF-21 has obvious applications against large capital ships, such as aircraft carriers, and in a future crisis could force the U.S. Navy to operate eight to nine hundred miles off Taiwan and the rest of the so-called “First Island Chain.”

    The Third Taiwan Crisis was a brutal lesson for a China that had long prepared to fight wars inside of its own borders. Still, the PLA Navy deserves credit for learning from the incident and now, twenty-two years later, it is quite possible that China could seriously damage or even sink an American carrier. Also unlike the United States, China is in the unique position of both seeing the value of carriers and building its own fleet while at the same time devoting a lot of time and resources to the subject of sinking them. The United States may soon find itself in the same position.

    Kyle Mizokami is a defense and national-security writer based in San Francisco who has appeared in the  DiplomatForeign Policy War is Boring  and the  Daily Beast . In 2009, he cofounded the defense and security blog  Japan Security Watch . You can follow him on Twitter:  @KyleMizokami.


  • Man sexually assaulted 3-year-old relative, gave her STDs, police say

    By Mary Claire Patton – Digital Content CuratorPosted: 8:23 AM, March 06, 2019Updated: 8:23 AM, March 06, 2019

    SAN ANTONIO – Drevon Alexander Perkins, 26, has been arrested and charged with super aggravated sexual assault of a child.

    Perkins allegedly assualted a 3-year-old family member in January, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

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    The 3-year-old was taken to a doctor’s office by her mother after the girl showed signs of being sick.

    Doctors confirmed the girl had several sexually transmitted diseases including chlamydia and gonorrhea.

    Perkins has the same STDs, according to the affidavit, and confessed to police that he had sexually assaulted the toddler while high on drugs.

    Perkins submitted himself to a polygraph test and told police the assault took place at his apartment while his wife was at work.


  • London Man Is Second Adult In The World To Be Considered Cleared Of HIV

    The “London patient” case gives doctors hope that they might soon find a cure for AIDS.

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    By Sanjana Karanth

    A scanning electron micrograph of multiple round bumps of the HIV-1 virus on a cell surface. 
    A scanning electron micrograph of multiple round bumps of the HIV-1 virus on a cell surface. 

    Doctors said a London man with HIV has become the second known adult in the world to be apparently cleared of the infection since the global epidemic began decades ago, giving hope for a potential cure for AIDS.

    Doctors said that recent tests showed no trace of the man’s previous HIV infection. The milestone came about three years after the man received bone marrow stem cells from an HIV-resistant donor and about a year and a half after coming off antiretroviral drugs. The patient was receiving the bone marrow transplant for cancer.

    The case offers hope that researchers will soon find a cure for AIDS. But doctors cautioned against calling the patient’s results a cure for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

    Ravindra Gupta, an HIV biologist who helped treat the man, told Reuters that his patient is “in remission” but warned that it’s “too early to say he’s cured.”

    The man has chosen to remain anonymous, with scientists referring to him as “the London patient.” The title is similar to the first known case of a cured HIV-positive patient. Timothy Brown, an American man, was known as “the Berlin patient” when he also received a bone marrow transplant for leukemia treatment in Germany 12 years ago. That transplant also appeared to clear his HIV infection.

    After Brown’s case, scientists tried for 12 years to copy the result with other HIV-positive cancer patients. The London patient, who had Hodgkin’s lymphoma, is the first adult to be cleared of HIV since Brown.

    The decades-long HIV epidemic still persists in the United States and worldwide, with nearly 39,000 new diagnoses in the country in 2017. About 37 million people worldwide currently have HIV, and the AIDS virus has killed about 35 million since taking off in the 1980s.

    Scientists who have studied the London patient are expected to publish a report Tuesday in the journal Nature. They also plan to present details in Seattle at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, which began Monday.

    Bone marrow transplants as an HIV cure is a treatment with harsh side effects, but The New York Times reported that scientists think giving patients similar HIV-resistant immune cells might do the trick.

    “This will inspire people that cure is not a dream,” Dr. Annemarie Wensing, a virologist at University Medical Center Utrecht, told the Times. “It’s reachable.”

    headshot

    Sanjana KaranthReporter, HuffPostSuggest a correction


  • Maryland Lawmaker Apologizes For Calling Majority-Black County A ‘N****r District

    Del. Mary Ann Lisanti (D-Harford), who is white, reportedly said “everyone has used” the slur.

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    By Hayley Miller

    Maryland Del. Mary Ann Lisanti (D-Harford) is accused of using a racial slur to describe majority-black Prince George's Count
    Maryland Del. Mary Ann Lisanti (D-Harford) is accused of using a racial slur to describe majority-black Prince George’s County. 

    A Maryland lawmaker apologized Tuesday for using a racial slur to describe a majority-black county in suburban Washington.

    Del. Mary Ann Lisanti (D-Harford), who is white, allegedly told a white colleague late last month at an Annapolis cigar bar that campaigning in Prince George’s County on behalf of another candidate amounted to door-knocking in a “nigger district,” reported The Washington Post.

    Prince George’s County, with a population that is 65 percent black, is one of the most affluent majority-black counties in the U.S., according to the Census Bureau. Harford is 80 percent white.

    Lisanti apologized for her “word choice several weeks ago.”

    “I am sickened that a word that is not in my vocabulary came out of my mouth,” she said in a statement. “It does not represent my belief system, my life’s work or what is my heart.” 

    Lisanti also apologized to the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland on Monday. She said she did not recall using the slur and offered an “inadequate” apology, the caucus said in a statement on Tuesday. 

    “It is clear Delegate Lisanti is unsuited to continue in a position of leadership in the Maryland General Assembly,” the black caucus statement said. “The use of a derogatory term exhibits that she does not hold the requisite contrition to be entrusted in a leadership role moving forward.”

    Lisanti announced Tuesday that she had also apologized to the entire House Democratic Caucus and had agreed to stepped down as chair of the unemployment insurance subcommittee on the House Economic Matters Committee after meeting with House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel).

    Busch said in a statement Monday that Lisanti must “face the consequences of her behavior.” He did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for further comment.

    The Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland also called on Lisanti to undergo racial sensitivity training, which she said she would attend.

    “I understand that the use of inappropriate and insensitive language is not acceptable under any circumstance,” she wrote in her statement. “I am sorry for the hurt I have caused and will do everything I can to help heal that pain and regain the trust of my colleagues and constituents. I pray for forgiveness.”

    The Post questioned Lisanti earlier this month about whether she used the slur, but she claimed she couldn’t “recall much of that evening.” Asked if she believes she’s ever used the word, Lisanti said she was “sure” she had.

    “I’m sure everyone has used it,” she told the Post. “I’ve used the f-word. I used the Lord’s name in vain.”

    Del. Darryl Barnes (D-Prince George’s), who chairs the Black Caucus, applauded Busch for taking swift action against Lisanti. He condemned her use of the racist slur and her comments to the Post that she was “sure” she had used the term in the past, but Barnes stopped short of calling for her resignation.

    “Racism is just as prevalent today as it was in 1950 ― it’s just a sugarcoated form,” Barnes told HuffPost.

    “This is not a one-time incident. This is a behavioral pattern ― those are her words,” he said. “She has to take a real close look in the mirror and do a judgment call … and decide whether she should stay in the General Assembly or if should she move on.”

    This article has been updated with Lisanti’s apology and Barnes’ comments. 

    Source: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/mary-ann-lisanti-racial-slur-apology_n_5c757bd4e4b03a10c232b9c5?section=politics&utm_source=main_fb&utm_medium=facebook&ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063&utm_campaign=hp_fb_pages&fbclid=IwAR0XH88Q5zznwv1Vc2h6_yMb7BrgsRrBP1pX50QLrgwz1MD9ZP0JD9dyB1E


  • After Putin’s Warning, Russian TV Lists Nuclear Targets in U.S.

    Feb. 25, 2019, at 6:38 a.m.More

    After Putin’s Warning, Russian TV Lists Nuclear Targets in U.S.More

    Reuters

    FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with FIFA President Gianni Infantino at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia February 20, 2019. Yuri Kadobnov/Pool via REUTERSREUTERS

    BY ANDREW OSBORN

    MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian state television has listed U.S. military facilities that Moscow would target in the event of a nuclear strike, and said that a hypersonic missile Russia is developing would be able to hit them in less than five minutes.

    The targets included the Pentagon and the presidential retreat in Camp David, Maryland.

    The report, unusual even by the sometimes bellicose standards of Russian state TV, was broadcast on Sunday evening, days after President Vladimir Putin said Moscow was militarily ready for a “Cuban Missile”-style crisis if the United States wanted one.

    With tensions rising over Russian fears that the United States might deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe as a Cold War-era arms-control treaty unravels, Putin has said Russia would be forced to respond by placing hypersonic nuclear missiles on submarines near U.S. waters.

    The United States says it has no immediate plans to deploy such missiles in Europe and has dismissed Putin’s warnings as disingenuous propaganda. It does not currently have ground-based intermediate-range nuclear missiles that it could place in Europe.

    However, its decision to quit the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty over an alleged Russian violation, something Moscow denies, has freed it to start developing and deploying such missiles.

    Putin has said Russia does not want a new arms race, but has also dialled up his military rhetoric.

    The Pentagon said that Putin’s threats only helped unite NATO.

    “Every time Putin issues these bombastic threats and touts his new doomsday devices, he should know he only deepens NATO’s resolve to work together to ensure our collective security,” Eric Pahon, a Pentagon spokesman, said.

    Some analysts have seen his approach as a tactic to try to re-engage the United States in talks about the strategic balance between the two powers, for which Moscow has long pushed, with mixed results.

    In the Sunday evening broadcast, Dmitry Kiselyov, presenter of Russia’s main weekly TV news show ‘Vesti Nedeli’, showed a map of the United States and identified several targets he said Moscow would want to hit in the event of a nuclear war.

    The targets, which Kiselyov described as U.S. presidential or military command centers, also included Fort Ritchie, a military training center in Maryland closed in 1998, McClellan, a U.S. Air Force base in California closed in 2001, and Jim Creek, a naval communications base in Washington state.

    Kiselyov, who is close to the Kremlin, said the “Tsirkon” (‘Zircon’) hypersonic missile that Russia is developing could hit the targets in less than five minutes if launched from Russian submarines.

    Hypersonic flight is generally taken to mean traveling through the atmosphere at more than five times the speed of sound.

    “For now, we’re not threatening anyone, but if such a deployment takes place, our response will be instant,” he said.

    Kiselyov is one of the main conduits of state television’s strongly anti-American tone, once saying Moscow could turn the United States into radioactive ash.

    Asked to comment on Kiselyov’s report, the Kremlin said on Monday it did not interfere in state TV’s editorial policy.

    (Additional reporting by Tom Balmforth and Idrees Ali in Washington; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Dan Grebler)

    Source: https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2019-02-25/after-putins-warning-russian-tv-lists-nuclear-targets-in-us