Trump Authorizes Release of Oil From US Strategic Petroleum Reserve After Saudi Attacks
Iran Dismisses Claim It Was Behind Saudi Oil Attacks, Ready for War
General says US targets within reach of Iranian missiles
September 15, 2019
US Carpet-Bombs ISIS-Infested Island in Iraq
U.S. Credits Mexico, Central America for Help Reducing Border Detentions
Trump Cancels Afghan Peace Negotiations After Taliban Admits to Kabul Attack
Trump Congratulates “Both Countries” As Russia And Ukraine De-Escalate Tensions With Prisoner Swap
Russia and Ukraine conducted a long-expected prisoner swap on Saturday, as government planes from both countries took off from their respective capitals around the same time to pick up dozens of people, according to the New York Times.
The plane carrying the sailors took off from Vnukovo Airport near Moscow, according to Ukraine’s presidency and Nikolai Polozov, a lawyer working on their case in Russia, who announced the news on the Ukrainian television channel 112. A similar plane departed from Borispol Airport near Kiev, taking off around noon local time.
Included in the swap was 24 Ukrainian sailors detained in the Kerch Strait last November, who Russian President Vladimir Putin refused to hand back nnder Ukraine’s old leadership, stating at the time “The current Ukrainian leadership is not interested in resolving this at all.”
In May, however, Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky took office. Four months later, the sailors are home.
Zelensky called the swap the “first stage to unblock our dialogue,” and “the first step to stop the war.”
For Mr. Putin, the exchange could open the door to easing tensions with Europe, which imposed sanctions on Russia’s ailing economy after the annexation of Crimea in 2014. For the Russian leader — weakened by an ailing economy and weeks of protests calling for fair municipal elections after opposition candidates were stricken from ballots — the gesture could be a way to demonstrate to Europe that he was willing to compromise.
For Mr. Zelensky, the swap represented the first diplomatic coup of his presidency and the first significant campaign promise fulfilled. With his approval ratings at record-high levels, it is important for Mr. Zelensky to keep his administration’s momentum and to deliver results. Defusing tensions in the country’s east was the top priority for Ukrainians, polls showed. –New York Times
President Trump praised the swap in a Saturday tweet, calling it “Very good news,” and “perhaps a first giant step to peace.”
Russia and Ukraine just swapped large numbers of prisoners. Very good news, perhaps a first giant step to peace. Congratulations to both countries!
A lawyer for Ukrainian filmmaker and Russian prisoner Oleg Sentsov announced over Twitter that Sentsov – who had been sentenced to 20 years on terrorism charges – was part of the exchange.
Russia’s Embassy in Kiev tweeted a picture of the released Russians, writing “Our people have been released! They are flying home
Russia-Ukraine relations cratered following Russia’s annexation of Crimea, while armed Russia-backed separatists have been conducting violent campaigns in Ukraine’s east – leading to the deaths of over 13,000 people according to the United Nations.
Ukraine’s president at the time of the sailors’ detention, Petro O. Poroshenko, had put his nation on a war footing with Russia as tensions over the shared Kerch waterway escalated into a crisis that dragged in NATO and the United Nations.
The sailors, who were onboard three small vessels, had been involved in a clash with a Russian tanker in the strait, a disputed waterway linked to the Black Sea. Some of them were wounded in a firefight.
In retaliation, Ukraine in July this year seized the Russian tanker that it said had been used during the confrontation. The tanker was accused of blockading the route under the Kerch Bridge, a structure built hastily and opened by Mr. Putin in 2018 as the first direct link from Russia to the Crimean peninsula. –New York Times
Families of the prisoners greeted them following their respective touchdowns, while Zelensky greeted the Ukrainians at the Kiev airport.
“On Aug. 7, we had a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin,” he said at a Saturday press conference. “We have agreed on the first stage to unblock our dialogue and on the first step to stop the war: the release of our servicemen, our hostages, our sailors, our territories.”
“We agreed that we should work hard for a month without any lies and return our boys home. We agreed to release sailors and prisoners of war. I believe that the first step has been fulfilled,” Zelinsky added. “We will try to return all our hostages.”
Sentsov, the film director, was detained in Crimea in 2014 and accused of a plot to blow up power lines, bridges and a statue of Lenin – allegations he denied. He did admit, however, his opposition to the Crimean annexation, and was sentenced to 20 years in a Siberian prison. He made international headlines during the 2018 men’s soccer World Cup when he went on a hunger strike and was kept alive for 145 days due to medical intervention.
When Sentsov was transferred from his Arctic prison to one in Moscow, Rumors began to swirl about the long-teased prisoner exchange.
Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis thanked the United States for assisting his country during Hurricane Dorian and said that this help prevented further loss of life. …
China Is Using Fentanyl as ‘Chemical Warfare,’ Experts Say
Behind the deadly opioid epidemic ravaging communities across the United States lies a carefully planned strategy by a …
Hong Kong Leader Announces Withdrawal of Extradition Bill That Sparked Protest Movement
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has announced the withdrawal of an extradition bill that has triggered the largest …
Chinese dictator Xi Jinping, head of the nation’s authoritarian Communist Party, reportedly mentioned the Hong Kong protests in passing during a speech to communist officials-in-training on Tuesday. It marks the first known mention of Hong Kong since the current protest began in June.
As North Korea fired off a series of missiles in recent months – at least 18 since May – President Donald Trump has repeatedly dismissed their importance as short-range and “very standard” tests. And although he has conceded “there may be a United Nations violation,” the president says any concerns are overblown.
Huawei Strikes 50 Commercial Deals for 5G Worldwide Despite US Crackdown
Despite Chinese telecom giant Huawei being blacklisted by US authorities over allegations of spying activities in collaboration with the Chinese government, the company managed to increase its revenues in 2019, as well as to strike an array of new 5G deals worldwide. The tech giant has repeatedly denied the accusations of espionage.
Mexico’s “Teflon” presidency starting to show wear
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s drug war has burst into flames again, the economy is flat, the health care system is creaking and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador — facing the wrath of U.S. President Donald Trump — has cracked down on Central American migrants harder than ever.
Yet López Obrador, once known for being angry and irascible after years of losing presidential bids, almost never loses his smile at the news conferences he has held almost every morning since taking office Dec. 1. He is scheduled to give his first state of the union address Sunday.
In some ways, it is a Teflon presidency: Little sticks to Lopez Obrador because he is so quick to smile and say “peace and love” to adversaries. It doesn’t hurt that the opposition is so discredited, disheartened and disorganized that on most major issues its voice isn’t even heard over Lopez Obrador’s daily din.
DoJ May Block Google-Backed Fiber-Optic Project Over ‘National Security’ Fears
Offering a glimpse of complications that are arising from Washington’s campaign to stamp out ‘national security’-related issues emanating from the Chinese telecom sector, WSJ reported on Wednesday about a major project to lay high-speed fiber-optic cable across the Pacific that would increase the Internet connectivity between China and the US. The project, known as the Pacific Light Cable Network, involved laying 8,000 miles of undersea fiber-optic cable between Los Angeles and Hong Kong, creating a new link between the US and Hong Kong.
The project, which is already in its final stages, with most of the cable having already been laid, is being financed by Facebook, Google-parent Alphabet and a major Chinese telecoms company.
But now, a committee of US officials responsible for granting the project final approval are getting cold feet, and the project’s backers are worried it might not pass its final ‘national security’ review led by the DoJ, DHS and other US federal agencies. These agencies make a recommendation to the FCC, which makes the final decision whether to allow the project will receive a license to operate.
China Rotates Troops at Hong Kong and Macau Borders
August 29, 2019
HONG KONG—China rotated troops in its People’s Liberation Army garrison in Hong Kong on Aug. 29, days before protesters planned to hold a march calling for full democracy for the Chinese-ruled city after three months of sometimes violent demonstrations.
Chinese state media described the troop movement in the early hours as routine. Troops were also rotated in neighboring Macau, a former Portuguese colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1999.
But the timing is likely to hit a few nerves in Hong Kong, which was returned to China in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” agreement.
China’s state mouthpiece Xinhua decried that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) garrison in the territory will make even greater contributions to maintaining Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability.
The military had completed a routine troop rotation of air, land, and maritime forces, Xinhua said. Along with the People’s Daily, it released pictures and footage of armored personnel carriers moving in convoy in Hong Kong before dawn, their lights flashing.
Observers estimate the Hong Kong garrison numbers between 8,000 and 10,000 troops split between bases in southern China and a network of former British army barracks in Hong Kong.
Mexico Seizes 52,000 Pounds of Fentanyl From China
Petrol Bombs Kill at Least 23 in Violent Attack on Nightclub in Mexico
August 28, 2019
US Adviser Bolton Visits Ukraine, Touts Trump Meeting With Zelenskiy
Ousting Huawei, Australia Finishes Laying Undersea Internet Cable for Pacific Allies
In Nod to Trump, G-7 Leaders Make Joint Statement on Fair Trade
Leaders of the Group of Seven issued a declaration on Aug. 26 committing to fair trade, a term …
Google’s Power to Shift Elections—Zachary Vorhies, Greg Coppola and Dr. Robert Epstein
According to Google whistleblower Zachary Vorhies, how is Google suppressing certain viewpoints, promoting others, and altering public perception?
Is there evidence of active intent on the part of Google staff or executives?
And in the eyes of Dr. Robert Epstein, what are the broader implications of Google bias—whether intentional or unintentional—for America and beyond?
This is American Thought Leaders ??, and I’m Jan Jekielek.
In this special episode, we sit down with Google whistleblower Zachary Vorhies, a former senior Google engineer, who recently leaked nearly 1000 pages of documents that he says suggest Google has been secretly acting as a publisher, selectively boosting or demoting content, while publicly claiming to be a neutral platform.
We sent Google some questions regarding each specific allegation that Vorhies made in our interview. Google has not responded to our requests for comments.
We also spoke to another Google whistleblower Greg Coppola, who has also called out big tech bias, and Dr. Robert Epstein, a leading expert on Google search engine bias, to get their take on the leaked documents and Vorhies’ allegations against Google.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson have predicted “fantastic mini-deals” and “a very big trade deal” after Brexit, with the American saying he believes the Tory MP is “the right man for the job”.
US Military Ship Passes Through Strategic Taiwan Strait Amid China Tension
WASHINGTON—The United States sent a Navy ship through the Taiwan Strait on Aug. 23, rekindling one of a growing number of flashpoints in Washington’s relationship with Beijing.
The U.S. military has increased the frequency of its transport movements through the strategic waterway in the face of opposition from China.
Friday’s voyage risks further raising bilateral tensions stoked by a bitter trade war, but will likely be viewed by self-ruled Taiwan as a sign of support from the administration of President Donald Trump.
This month China denounced arms sales from the United States to Taiwan and in July said it was ready for war if there was any move by Taiwan towards independence.
Beijing has been ramping up pressure to assert its sovereignty over the island, which it considers a wayward province.
Commander Reann Mommsen, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet, said the ship’s transit through the Strait—a 112-mile wide (180 km) waterway separating Taiwan from China—“demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
Named Fedor, the robot is the first ever sent up by Russia
Moscow (AFP) – Russia on Thursday launched an unmanned rocket carrying a life-size humanoid robot that will spend 10 days learning to assist astronauts on the International Space Station.
Named Fedor, short for Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research, the robot is the first ever sent up by Russia.
Fedor blasted off in a Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft at 6:38 am Moscow time (0338 GMT) from Russia’s Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Soyuz is set to dock with the space station on Saturday and stay till September 7.
Soyuz ships are normally manned on such trips, but on Thursday no humans are travelling in order to test a new emergency rescue system.
Instead of cosmonauts, Fedor, also known as Skybot F850, was strapped into a specially adapted pilot’s seat, with a small Russian flag in hand.
“Let’s go. Let’s go,” the robot was heard saying during launch, repeating the famous phrase used by first man in space Yuri Gagarin.
The silvery anthropomorphic robot stands 1.80 metres (5 foot 11 inches) tall and weighs 160 kilogrammes (353 pounds).
Fedor has Instagram and Twitter accounts with posts saying it is learning new skills such as opening a bottle of water. In the station, it will trial those manual skills in very low gravity.
“That’s connecting and disconnecting electric cables (and) using standard items, from a screwdriver and a spanner to a fire extinguisher,” the Russian space agency’s director for prospective programmes and science, Alexander Bloshenko, said in televised comments ahead of the launch.
“The first stage of in-flight experiments went according to the flight plan,” the robot tweeted after reaching orbit.
Fedor copies human movements, a key skill that allows it to remotely help astronauts or even people on Earth to carry out tasks while the humans are strapped into an exoskeleton.
Such robots will eventually carry out dangerous operations such as space walks, Bloshenko told the state news agency RIA Novosti.
On the website of one of the state backers of the project, the Foundation of Advanced Research Projects, Fedor is described as potentially useful on Earth for working in high radiation environments, demining and tricky rescue missions.
Though initially developed for the emergencies ministry, Fedor can also be seen shooting at targets from two handguns in a video posted by Russian space agency chief Dmitry Rogozin.
The “Lungs Of The Earth” Are Being Burned Away As Unprecedented Wildfires Absolutely Ravage The Planet
We have never seen anything quite like this.
This week the skies above Brazil’s largest city turned black in the middle of the afternoon due to the massive wildfires that are currently raging in that country. But the wildfires aren’t actually happening anywhere near Sa?o Paulo. In fact, the smoke that turned the skies black actually came from fires that were happening more than 1,000 miles away. Can you imagine how powerful the fires have to be in order to do that?
And it isn’t just Brazil – right now horrific fires are scorching vast stretches of our planet from South America all the way up to the Arctic. Some of the fires are producing so much smoke that you can actually see it from space. And in the process, irreversible damage is being done to our ecosystems.
I know that this number is hard to believe, but there have been more than 72,000 wildfires in Brazil so far in 2019, and most of those fires are happening in the Amazon rainforest. I understand that many of you may not care what happens in Brazil, but you should. Approximately 60 percent of the entire Amazon rainforest is in Brazilian territory, and that rainforest produces approximately 20 percent of all the oxygen in our atmosphere. So essentially the “lungs of the Earth” are being burned away right in front of our eyes…
The fires are burning at the highest rate since the country’s space research center, the National Institute for Space Research (known by the abbreviation INPE), began tracking them in 2013, the center said Tuesday.
There have been 72,843 fires in Brazil this year, with more than half in the Amazon region, INPE said. That’s more than an 80% increase compared with the same period last year.
The Amazon is often referred to as the planet’s lungs, producing 20% of the oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Every minute of every single day, an average of 1½ soccer fields of Amazon rainforest are being wiped out. This is an ongoing crisis that hasn’t been getting nearly the attention that it deserves in the United States.
You will find more infographics at Statista
But when the skies above Sao Paulo suddenly turned completely black at three in the afternoon on Monday, that set off a social media frenzy…
São Paulo’s skies were blackened for roughly an hour at around 3 p.m. Monday due to raging fires throughout the region and weather conditions that pushed particulate matter over the city, setting off intense speculation on social networks about the reason why the day was seemingly transformed into night.
Videos and images posted by local residents depicted disturbing scenes of pedestrians walking under black skies and cars driving in the mid-afternoon with their headlights on as the continued fires throughout the Amazon rainforest drove the hashtags #PrayforAmazonia and #PrayforAmazonas to worldwide viral status.
Sadly, these fires are not going to end any time soon. It is being reported that more than 9,000 fires are raging at the moment, and it is being estimated that 640 million acres have been affected by those fires.
Yes, you read that number correctly.
640 million acres.
Multiple fires are burning near the state’s biggest city, and firefighters have called in assistance from the Lower 48. More than 400,000 acres are currently burning, and one of the biggest concerns is the McKinley Fire, which has destroyed at least 50 structures about 100 miles north of Anchorage. Officials with the Matanuska-Susitna Borough declared a state of emergency, and firefighters hoped that calmer weather predicted for Wednesday could permit evacuees to return.
When I think of Alaska, I think of a place that is bitterly cold. But apparently it is hot enough this year for wildfires to sweep across hundreds of thousands of acres.
And we are also witnessing highly unusual wildfires in the Arctic in 2019…
The Arctic as a whole has seen unusually high wildfire activity this summer, Parrington said, including areas such as Greenland that typically don’t see fires. One estimate found that the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from fires burning within the Arctic Circle in in June 2019 was greater than all of the CO2 released in the same month from 2010 through to 2018 put together.
To me, it is very strange to be talking about “wildfires in the Arctic”, but we have entered a period of time when our entire definition of “normal” is going to change. Last winter we experienced one of the coldest winters in ages, during the first half of this year the middle of the U.S. experienced unprecedented rainfall and flooding, and now we are being told that last month was the hottest July ever recorded…
The average global temperature in July was 1.71 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees, making it the hottest July in the 140-year record, according to scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.
The previous hottest month on record was July 2016. Nine of the 10 hottest recorded Julys have occurred since 2005; the last five years have ranked as the five hottest. Last month was also the 43rd consecutive July and 415th consecutive month with above-average global temperatures.
Unfortunately, many believe that this is just the beginning. Global weather patterns are going haywire, and so the extremes that we have seen so far may just be the tip of the iceberg.
The environment that we depend upon for life every moment of every day is being shaken, and many are deeply alarmed about what is happening to the Earth. Each day it is being destroyed a little bit more, and the clock is ticking…
According to the White House:
President Donald J. Trump spoke by telephone with Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom earlier today to discuss a wide range of trade and economic issues. Prime Minister Johnson also provided the President with an update on Brexit. The President expressed great enthusiasm for his upcoming meeting with the Prime Minister at the G7 Summit in Biarritz, France. (link)
NBC News Repeats Chinese Communist Party Propaganda in Hit Piece on The Epoch Times
A social worker was stabbed to death after a work visit to a house in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Belinda Rose was pronounced dead on Aug. 3 at a house with …
MANILA—Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has warned of “unfriendly” treatment for foreign ships traveling in the country’s territorial waters …
HONG KONG—Britain said on Aug. 20 it was “extremely concerned” by reports that a staff member at the …
US Tests Cruise Missile That Was Banned Under INF Treaty
August 19, 2019
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces was signed during the Cold War, but American officials—with backing from NATO—had argued Russia breached the treaty and refused to correct the breaches, instead insisting it had not breached the treaty.
“The United States has fully adhered to the INF Treaty for more than 30 years, but we will not remain constrained by its terms while Russia misrepresents its actions,” President Donald Trump said in a statement. “We cannot be the only country in the world unilaterally bound by this treaty, or any other.”
The Department of Defense said Aug. 19 that it conducted a test on Sunday afternoon of “a conventionally-configured ground-launched cruise missile” at San Nicolas Island in California.
“The test missile exited its ground mobile launcher and accurately impacted its target after more than 500 kilometers of flight. Data collected and lessons learned from this test will inform the Department of Defense’s development of future intermediate-range capabilities,” it stated.
Cameras installed in airline seats now surreptitiously record you during every flight, then store the video files indefinitely
08/19/2019 / By Lance D Johnson
If being subjected to radiation and groped at the airport wasn’t enough, now airline passengers will be monitored in their seats by CCTV cameras that can randomly take pictures of you, watch you eat, and pick your nose. In Hong Kong, individual camera screens are being installed in every headrest, glaring at each passenger.
Hong-Kong based Cathay Pacific has installed “entertainment screens” in the back of every airline seat. These screens are equipped with cameras that can surreptitiously monitor every passenger’s movements and personal preferences. The only place where cameras aren’t installed – the airline reassures – is in the bathrooms.
Tens of Thousands of Hong Kongers Join Rally Pressuring Local Government Meet Their Demands
August 18, 2019
HONG KONG—Tens of thousands of protesters poured into one of Hong Kong’s busiest shopping districts on Aug. 18, braving a downpour to join a rally in the eleventh week of what have been often violent demonstrations in the Asian financial hub.
SHENZHEN, China (AP) — Members of China’s paramilitary People’s Armed Police marched and practiced crowd control tactics at a sports complex in Shenzhen across from Hong Kong in what some interpreted as a threat against pro-democracy protesters in the semi-autonomous territory.
Clinton Emails With Classified Info Sat in Gmail Account Two Weeks Before Comey Exonerated Her
Trump Says He Doesn’t Want to See Violent Crackdown in Hong Kong, Links Issue to Trade Talks
FTC Chair Joe Simons Says He Is Prepared to Break Up Big Tech
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Joe Simons said Tuesday he remains prepared to break up America’s largest technology companies, even by reversing past mergers, as part of the regulator antitrust investigation into big tech.
Demonstrators protesting a perceived erosion of civil liberties under Chinese rule clashed with police at Hong Kong`s international airport late on Tuesday, plunging the former British colony deeper into turmoil after 10 weeks of increasingly violent clashes. …
Hong Kong Police Fire Tear Gas in Subway Station as Protests Continue for Another Weekend
Hong Kong was rocked by mass demonstrations and clashes between protesters and police on Aug. 11, as protesters
According to ABC News, Jeffrey Epstein was reportedly found dead by suspected suicide in his jail cell.
Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced millionaire who was facing federal sex trafficking charges, died by suicide Friday night in his Lower Manhattan jail cell, three law enforcement officials told ABC News.
The exact timing and circumstances were not immediately clear.
China might abandon high-level diplomacy or use its economic might against neighbours if they agree to deploy US offensive intermediate-range missiles on their territory, analysts said.But such…
Assange being ‘treated worse than a murderer’ in prison – John Pilger
Describing Assange’s “deteriorating” condition, Pilger tweeted that he was being treated “worse than a murderer” at London’s Belmarsh prison.
“[H]e is isolated, medicated and denied the tools to fight the bogus charges of a US extradition. I now fear for him. Do not forget him,” Pilger wrote.
Do not forget Julian #Assange. Or you will lose him.
I saw him in Belmarsh prison and his health has deteriorated. Treated worse than a murderer, he is isolated, medicated and denied the tools to fight the bogus charges of a US extradition. I now fear for him.
Assange was arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy in central London on April 11 and received a 50-week sentence for skipping bail in a Swedish investigation involving alleged sexual assault.
The 48-year-old now faces extradition to the United States, where he is charged with possession and dissemination of classified information. If found guilty, he could receive up to 175 years in prison.
Assange has been in Washington’s crosshairs for years, with his organization gaining notoriety after publishing a leaked video showing the US military attacking journalists and civilians in Iraq in July 2007.
Latest US Sanctions Could Bring Venezuelan Economy to ‘Grinding Halt’
August 7, 2019
“If the Venezuelan economy has already slowed, it’s going to come to a grinding halt” should the sanctions be fully enforced, Sergio Guzman, of Colombia Risk Analysis, predicted.
The executive order, announced late Aug. 5, freezes Venezuela’s assets in the United States, bans entry to Venezuelan citizens believed to have aided the dictator, and could lead to measures being taken against any countries that continue to trade with Nicolás Maduro’s government.
All business dealings with “property and interests in property of the Government of Venezuela” within the United States will now be prohibited, according to the statement released by White House.
Private Venezuelan businesses aren’t affected, as the order stops short of a full embargo—such as the one enforced on Venezuela’s socialist ally, Cuba. It remains, however, the most symbolic wave of U.S. sanctions to date on the country, enforcing blanket measures instead of targeting individuals—as was previously the case—to break the ongoing political impasse.
“While the order falls short of an outright trade embargo, it represents the most determined U.S. action to remove Maduro since the Trump administration recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s rightful leader in January,” said Geoff Ramsey, assistant director for the Washington Office on Latin America.
China Opens New Front in Trade War, Manipulating Its Currency
WASHINGTON—China has resorted to currency manipulation, allowing the yuan to fall against the U.S. dollar, in an apparent …
Trump: North Korea’s 3 Short-Range Missile Tests Are Not a Violation of Singapore Agreement
President Donald Trump said North Korea’s three recent short-range missile tests are not a violation of the 2018 …
President Donald Trump designated Brazil a “major non-NATO ally” on Wednesday, making good on a pledge he made to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in March of greater military cooperation.
The move, announced by the White House on Wednesday, will give the Brazilian military preferential access to American weaponry and training facilities that other nations outside of NATO cannot access. The announcement comes four months after Trump publicly promised Bolsonaro greater security cooperation.
“I intend to designate Brazil as a major non-NATO ally, or even possibly, if you start thinking about it, maybe a NATO ally,” he said at the time. “I’ll have to talk to a lot of people but maybe a NATO ally – which will greatly advance security and cooperation between our countries.”
Pompeo Jabs at China’s ‘Bad Behavior’, Defends US Tariffs
August 2, 2019
BANGKOK–U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Aug. 2 decried “decades of bad behavior” from China that have hampered free trade, laying out a case at a Southeast Asian forum for Washington’s escalating trade war with Beijing.
Pompeo’s statements came after President Donald Trump on Thursday announced he would slap a 10 percent tariff on the remaining $300 billion of Chinese imports starting Sept. 1, abruptly ending a truce in year-long trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.
“China’s problems are homegrown, but President Trump’s confrontation of China’s unfair trade practices has helped shine a light on them,” Pompeo said in his speech to business executives and others in the Thai capital, where he is attending a wider meeting of Southeast Asian nations with world powers. “We’d like our trade matters resolved as quickly as possible. All we want is for China to compete on a level playing field with everyone else. This will benefit not only us, but you, and the global trading system, too.”
“We want free and fair trade, not trade that undermines competition,” Pompeo said.
U.S. criticism of China has been a running theme at the Bangkok forum.
“For decades, China has taken advantage of trade … It’s time for that to stop. President Trump said we’re gonna fix this. And to fix it requires determination, and that’s what you saw this morning,” Pompeo said on Friday.
Crackdown Coming? China Gathers Forces On Hong Kong Border Amid Unrest
Massive anti-Beijing protests which have gripped Hong Kong over the past month, and have become increasingly violent as both an overwhelmed local police force and counter-protesters have hit back with force, are threatening to escalate on a larger geopolitical scale after the White House weighed in this week.
With China fast losing patience, there are new reports of a significant build-up of Chinese security forces on Hong Kong’s border, as Bloomberg reports:
The White House is monitoring what a senior administration official called a congregation of Chinese forces on Hong Kong’s border.
From nearly the start of the protests which began over a proposed extradition bill (which would see Hong Kong citizens under legal accusation potentially extradited to the mainland) interpreted as major Chinese overreach inside historically semi-autonomous Hong Kong, officials in Beijing have suggested an “external plot” afoot, more recently alleging the hidden hand of the United States.
The latest charge made Tuesday by mainland government officials is that the still escalating Hong Kong unrest is the “creation of the US” — something which the Trump admin official speaking under anonymity to Bloomberg firmly denied.
On Monday Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a press interview that “protest is appropriate” and that “we hope the Chinese will do the right thing” regarding respecting Hong Kong’s historic “one country, two systems” status. This was enough to elicit a quick response alleging US meddling out of Beijing on Tuesday.
“It’s clear that Mr. Pompeo has put himself in the wrong position and still regards himself as the head of the CIA,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a news briefing. “He might think that violent activities in Hong Kong are reasonable because after all, this is the creation of the U.S.”
China’s position has been to recently declare the protests going “far beyond” what’s legal and “peaceful” amid clashes with police.
Last week Chinese military leaders hinted that People’s Liberation Army troops could be used to quell the protests following widespread reports of vandal attacks on the central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong, according to The New York Times. Ministry of National Defense, Senior Col. Wu Qian, said at the time, “That absolutely cannot be tolerated.”
For now, few details are known concerning the reported Chinese “build-up” on the border, which could consist of military forces, as Bloomberg added to its report:
The nature of the Chinese buildup wasn’t clear; the official said that units of the Chinese military or armed police had gathered at the border with Hong Kong. The official briefed reporters on condition he not be identified.
Honduras, El Salvador Expected to Follow After Guatemala, Mexico Make Immigration Deals With Trump
Trump Announces Rep. John Ratcliffe to Replace Dan Coats as Director of National Intelligence
July 28, 2019
President Donald Trump announced on July 28 that Daniel Coats, the director of national intelligence (DNI), will be leaving his office in the coming weeks and is to be replaced by Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas).
Trump predicted Johnson would “do a great job” and that they would get along well. They do have similarities. Both want to control the endless influx of people from 3rd world countries looking for free stuff. Both have blonde hair and blue eyes. They’re both conservative.
BOJO is an Oxford man who was trained in the classics and he speaks several languages. He said his hero is Winston Churchill. Britain will need another Churchill to drain their swamp, which is nearly as bad as ours here in America.
It will be interesting to see how Boris Johnson starts out.
Iran Test-Fires Medium-Range Ballistic Missile, Says US Official
July 26, 2019
The unnamed official told several news outlets that the country fired a Shahab-3 medium-range missile, and one told the New York Times that the projectile didn’t pose a threat to American or Western interests in the region.
The official said the missile landed east of Tehran, the capital, and stayed within the country the entire time. American officials, the person said, were monitoring the site that Iran was preparing to use as a launch site.
“We are aware of reports of a projectile launched from Iran, and have no further comment at this time,” a senior Trump administration official also told Fox News.
GENEVA/BEIRUT, July 26 (Reuters) – Air strikes by the Syrian government and its allies on schools, hospitals, markets and bakeries have killed at least 103 civilians in the past 10 days, including 26…
EU Strikes Conciliatory Tone With US on Trade, Calls for Unified Front Against China
BRUSSELS—The European Union has called for a joint approach with the United States to tackle China’s “unfair trading practices” as part of a plea to de-escalate commercial …
Terror Attacks in Hong Kong Result of Power Struggle in Beijing
July 25, 2019
The situation in Hong Kong is becoming more intense after violent gangster attacks against peaceful protesters on July 21. A Chinese analyst says it’s a reflection and manifestation of internal power struggles in Beijing, and Xi Xinping is at another crossroad.
Former Mayor of London Boris Johnson has won the internal vote to become the new leader of the governing Conservative Party, meaning he is due to become the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Wednesday afternoon.
Comey’s Cyber Spy in White House Stole Classified White House Material — Is Now Working for CNN
(Corrupt Comey’s corrupt cyber spy Anthony Ferrante)
Yesterday a report was released that corrupt and fired former FBI Director James Comey had a spy in the Trump White House. We know he stole information and shared it with Comey, the question is, did he try to frame the President as well?
As of yesterday we now know that corrupt former FBI Director James Comey had an agent inside the White House reporting back to the FBI about Trump and his aides. It’s clear that Comey’s spy, Anthony Ferrante, was feeding information that he stole back to Comey. That is what spies do. But what is not yet clear is whether Ferrante, who now works for CNN, attempted to frame the President as well, from within the White House.
In March 2019 CNN reported that their cyber expert Anthony Ferrante was used by Buzzfeed as an expert in the lawsuit against them by Aleksej Gubarev. Guberove denied the allegations and Buzzfeed used Ferrante as an expert in their defense.
If corrupt Comey and his spy Ferrante tried to frame the President, it wouldn’t be the first time that the Obama – Comey Deep State gang was accused of attempting to frame President Trump through a cyber crime.
We reported a month ago that the recent firings of top Italian spies were related to Obama and a plot to set up candidate and then President Trump. Obama’s Deep State reportedly tried to frame President Trump by inserting Hillary emails on a related party’s servers.
Italian Prime Minister Conte asked for the resignations of four top intelligence officials after his call with President Donald Trump. It was next reported that the recent removal of these top Italian intelligence ministers from their positions as top spies in the government.
The story begins in January 2017 when Computer World wrote about alleged crimes committed by Italian Giulio Occhionero
UK Minister Resigns, Tries To Topple Johnson Government Before It’s Even Official
In a race that has been marked by mostly harmless scandal (the altercation between Boris Johnson and girlfriend Carrie Symonds being an exception), some exciting developments are threatening to topple Johnson’s administration before it even begins.
Ministers’ discomfort with serving under Boris Johnson have manifested in a series of resignations in recent days.
And on Monday, one of Johnson’s longtime enemies within the Conservative Party became the latest to resign and try to be a thorn in Johnson’s side, and possibly even scuttle hiswell-laid path to No. 10.
In a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May, Sir Alan Duncan resigned his post as foreign office minister, saying it was “customary” for ministers to step aside upon the changing of a PM, and added that it would free to “express my views” ahead of May leaving office.
May accepted Duncan’s offer and thanked him for his “distinguished” service.
US Authorizes Deployment of Troops, Resources to Saudi Arabia
July 20, 2019
WASHINGTON—With Iranian military threats in mind, the United States is sending American forces, including fighter aircraft, air defense missiles and likely more than 500 troopsto a Saudi airbase that became a hub of American airpower in the Middle East in the 1990s but was abandoned by Washington after it toppled Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Iran says its seizure of British ship a ‘reciprocal’ move
WAR DRUMS IRAN
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A powerful council in Iran said Saturday the country’s seizure of a British oil tanker in the strategic Strait of Hormuz was in response to Britain’s role in impounding an Iranian supertanker two weeks earlier.
Spokesman of Iran’s Guardian Council, Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei, was quoted in the semi-official Fars news agency saying “the rule of reciprocal action is well-known in international law” and that Iran’s moves to “confront the illegitimate economic war and seizure of oil tankers is an instance of this rule and is based on international rights.”
The council rarely comments on state matters, but when it does it is seen as a reflection of the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s views. That’s because the council works closely with Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters.
Iran Seizes Foreign Oil Tanker Accused of Smuggling Fuel: State TV
July 18, 2019
According to Iran’s Fars News agency, the ship had 12 foreign crew members on board and capacity for 2 million liters of fuel.
The Revolutionary Guards said the impounded vessel—which Iranian authorities have not yet named—was the same one it towed after it sent a distress call.
US Tech Giants Are Top Contributors to China’s Surveillance State
July 16, 2019
With Western companies using patents to protect their intellectual property and set technical standards, China’s State Council launched an initiative in 2006 to influence international technology standards to “make market space for Chinese innovations.” Leveraging its 1989 Technology Standardization Law as the “sole legal basis for China’s standardization system,” foreign firms seeking to do business in China must “proactively disclose any patents which may be infringed by the proposed standard.”
China tech-standards start as recommendations by university scientists at government-funded institutions, including the National University of Defense Technology. A researcher setting a standard favored by Chinese companies is eligible to receive “bonuses, travel permissions, or credits toward promotions and tenure.” Given the limited value of foreign patents in China is offset by market size, IBM and Google are the premium sponsors for a Linux open-source software non-profit called “OpenPOWER.”
The Intercept reported that IBM under the OpenPOWER banner as an effort to “drive innovation” in China, has been leading a collaboration with China’s Semptian Big Data Solutions and top U.S. chip manufacturer Xilinx to “advance a breed of microprocessors that enable computers to analyze vast amounts of data more efficiently.”
A source that gave documents to The Intercept claimed that Shenzhen-based Semptian uses high-performance cloud computing to “enhance the capabilities of internet surveillance and censorship technology it provides to human rights-abusing security agencies in China” that routinely surveils 200 million Chinese Internet users each day.
The Intercept “after contacting Semptian under the pretext of a potential customer, received documents through Semptian’s iNext unit for a product called Aegis that can “store and analyze unlimited data” to offer “a full view to the virtual world”; reveal “the connections of everyone”; and provide “location information for everyone in the country.”
India lifted 271 million people out of poverty in 10 years:
India lifted 271 million people out of poverty between 2006 and 2016, recording the fastest reductions in the multidimensional poverty index values during the period with strong improvements in areas such as “assets, cooking fuel, sanitation and nutrition,” a report by the United Nations said.
The 2019 global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) from the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) was released on Thursday.
The report said that in the 101 countries studied — 31 low income, 68 middle income and 2 high income – 1.3 billion people are “multidimensionally poor”, which means that poverty is defined not simply by income, but by a number of indicators, including poor health, poor quality of work and the threat of violence.
The report identifies 10 countries, with a combined population of around 2 billion people, to illustrate the level of poverty reduction, and all of them have shown statistically significant progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 1, namely ending poverty “in all its forms, everywhere”.
The 10 countries are Bangladesh, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru and Vietnam.
The report said that within these 10 countries, data shows that 270 million people moved out of multidimensional poverty from one survey to the next.
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday the French air force will expand to include a space command to improve the country’s defense capabilities.
The move echoes U.S. President Donald Trump who signed a policy directive in February requiring the secretary of defense to create a separate Space Force within the United States military.
“The Space Force will organize, equip, and train the next generation of warriors to deter aggression and defend the nation, our allies, and American interests against hostile actions in the form of space and taking place in space,” Mr Trump said.
The president noted that America’s enemies were already creating technology to threaten the country from space, which he was determined to meet and surpass, an enhancement to U.S. military capabilites that was applauded by Vice President Mike Pence:
The brave men and women here at Vandenberg AFB have made it a priority to advance our country’s leadership on the frontier of space in their work towards President @realDonaldTrump‘s Space Force! Thank you for all for your hard work, dedication, and service to our nation!
Macron’s declaration meanwhile came on the eve of France’s Bastille Day national celebrations that feature a military parade down Paris’s Champs-Elysees.
“To assure the development and the reinforcement of our capacities in space, a high command for space will be created in September,” Macron told military brass gathered for a traditional pre-Bastille Day reception.
He called the renewed military focus on space a “true national security issue.”
Observers see military activities — including spy satellites, location tracing and jamming, communications and cyber attacks — increasingly being set up in orbit around Earth.
France has a 2019-2025 military spending plan that allocates 3.6 billion euros ($4 billion) to defence in space.
That includes the renewal of the France’s CSO observation and Syracuse communication satellites, the launch of three CERES electromagnetic-monitoring satellites, and the modernisation of a spatial radar surveillance system called GRAVES.
In March, United Nations-backed talks in Geneva to prevent an arms race in outer space ended without agreement.
Our ageing world rulers are unfit to tackle climate change – their politics are suited to inaction …
The average age of world leaders at this year’s G20 summit was 60 years old. Half of them have been in senior political positions within their countries or parties for over 20 years. For many of…
Hongkongers Use Ingenious Method to Break Through China’s Information Blockade
Historically, airborne leaflets have been used as an effective form of psychological warfare. During the Second World War, the Allies dropped packets of leaflets or hydrogen balloons from aircraft over German territory to refute the Nazi regime’s deceptive propaganda. After the Korean War, several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in South Korea have been using balloons to send materials censored in North Korea to the North Korean people.
In the past month, Chinese state media kept silent on the mass protests in Hong Kong. Internet police and robot censors continue to stop the spread of pictures, videos, and reports about the Hong Kong protests on all social media platforms.
As a result, many Chinese tourists who witnessed the July 7 parade in Hong Kong, a vast march with 230,000 participants, were shocked and bewildered by the event, as they had no idea what has been happening in Hong Kong over the last few weeks.
Having realized how important it is to help mainland Chinese understand what they have been fighting for, the Hong Kong protesters figured out an ingenious method to share information with tourists from mainland China. They are now using “AirDrop,” a file sharing feature that allows Apple devices (mobile phones, tablets, etc.) to send photos and videos over Bluetooth and wireless networks. They write the information in simplified Chinese characters to make sure the recipients would easily understand the content.
“Did you know that in the past month, there have been three large-scale parades in Hong Kong, and as many as 2 million people have taken to the streets to protest?” said one of the AirDropped leaflets.
Chief Investment Officer of Largest US Public Pension Fund Has Deep Ties to Chinese Regime
July 8, 2019 Updated
Newly discovered deep ties between the chief investment officer (CIO) of the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) and the Chinese government, along with CalPERS’s China investment holdings, have provoked controversy about the operations of the biggest public retirement fund in the nation.
CalPERS is one of the largest public retirement systems in the West. It manages more than $350 billion in funds for public employees either already retired from or currently working for most of the state and local public agencies in California.
The fund holds tens of millions of shares in equities of Chinese companies. Among other things, these companies develop advanced weapons for China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), and are involved in unethical business practices and human rights abuses, including the concentration camps holding Uyghurs in Xinjiang, according to one expert.
According to a 2017 report by the People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the current CIO of CalPERS, Yu “Ben” Meng, as at 2015 was a participant in the Chinese government’s prestigious headhunting program called the Thousand Talents Plan (TTP).
In testimony by the FBI to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in December 2018, the TTP was called part of “China’s non-traditional espionage against the United States.”
US-China Space Race: Amazon and SpaceX to Launch 7,661 5G and 6G Satellites
Chinese Regime Waging Economic War With West, US Experts Warn
Nintendo Says to Shift Part of Switch Console Production Out of China
July 9, 2019
TOKYO—Nintendo Co Ltd plans to shift part of the production of its Switch gaming console to Vietnam from China to diversify manufacturing sites, a spokeswoman at the Japanese video game maker told Reuters on July 9.
Trump–Xi Summit a Clear Win for America
Chinese leader Xi Jinping came as a supplicant to the G-20 summit meeting in Japan with President Donald Trump, and left having narrowly escaped disaster.
Xi faces a flagging economy at home and a popular uprising in Hong Kong. In fact, the political crisis that his hardline policies toward the former British colony have caused is so sensitive that the Chinese side insisted that the issue not be brought up at the summit. The fear in Beijing is that the unrest will spread across the border.
Worse yet, he faced a U.S. president who has his finger on the “kill switch” of the Chinese economy, or at least on both its export sector and its premier high-technology company, Huawei.
Xi knew, better than anyone, that if Trump imposed 25 percent duties on all $570 billion worth of Chinese imports, the export sector of the Chinese economy, already limping along, would be fatally crippled. Factories would flee China, and millions would lose their jobs.
NEW DELHI: Finance MinisterNirmala Sitharaman on Friday said the average amount spent on food security per year nearly doubled during 2014-19 compared with preceding five years. It is well within our…
With Google doubling down on its criminal enterprise of election meddlingand politically motivated censorship, the world is becoming increasingly aware of how unfair and evil Google has become.
A new meme has emerged that perfectly captures Google’s “philosophy” of brainwashing the public by rigging search results and search suggestions to annihilate independent journalism and push establishment, liberal lies that enslave humanity and cause untold human suffering.
Israeli warplanes conducted fresh attacks on the Damascus Army’s military positions in Eastern and Southern Syria by using Lebanon’s airspace, and were confronted by the Syrian Army’s air defense batteries, the Arabic-language media outlets reported on Monday.
Iran Warns It Will Increase Nuclear Enrichment Within Days
China’s Global Times government newspaper cited experts Sunday who credited “China’s mediation and encouragement” to North Korea for this weekend’s surprise meeting between President Donald Trump and communist dictator Kim Jong-un.
China’s Communist Party chairman Xi Jinping visited Pyongyang in June to give Kim assurances that China would support his rogue state amid the strictest sanctions North Korea has endured since its founding, which China allowed to pass through the U.N. General Assembly despite having veto power. Since the sanctions took hold in 2017, abundant evidence has surfaced that Chinese companies, which act only under the authority of the communist regime, have been helping Kim evade the sanctions and keep his economy afloat
The World Faces a Choice on the Anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s Founding
Fake News Media in Serious Trouble
I can’t think of a single major mainstream media outlet that has admitted to its audience that it has examined how it ended up presenting the Trump-Russia collusion hoax as real news for more than two years, figured out what went wws Media in Serious Trouble
I can’t think of a single major mainstream media outlet that has admitted to its audience that it has examined how it ended up presenting the Trump-Russia collusion hoax as real news for more than two years, figured out what went wrong, and made the necessary corrections to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
Isn’t that a telling sign? They can’t bring themselves to admit it was all a hoax, because that would mean exposing the role they themselves played in creating and sustaining it for more than two years, as they relentlessly gaslighted the entire country
Trump at G-20: Democratic Party ‘Has Become the Socialist Party’
OSAKA, Japan— President Donald Trump commented June 28 on Democratic presidential candidates, calling them socialists during his bilateral …
Concern over Angela Merkel’s health as German chancellor seen shaking for second time this month
BUSTED: Democrats are intentionally withholding assistance and supplies to illegal minors at the border so they can blame Trump for “caging children”
Tags: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, AOC, assistance, border, cages, Child abuse, children, democrats, evil, humanitarian, hypocrisy, Illegal aliens, illegal immigrants, invasion usa, left cult, migrants, Open border, politics, President Trump, supplies, Trump, Twisted, virtue signal
(Natural News) Even as they feign being heartbroken over the plight of illegal alien children being held in detention facilities at America’s southern border, leftist Democrats have kept themselves busy actively blocking aid to these same children as a gesture of hatred towards President Donald Trump.
Trump Arrives in Japan for G-20 Summit
Former ambassadors say far-right leader has cuddled up to rightwing nationalists, irked China, infuriated Middle Eastern partners, and jettisoned its position as climate crisis leader It has long been…
US Sanctions Iranian Regime Leader, Military Commanders
President Donald Trump imposed new “hard-hitting” sanctions on Iran on June 24 that targeted Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, …
Thousands of Taiwanese Rally Against Beijing Infiltration Through Media
Tens of thousands of Taiwanese citizens braved heavy rain for more than four hours on June 23 to …
Trump–Xi Meeting to Take Center Stage at the G-20 Summit
High-tech systems will not stop hard Irish border after Brexit, warns former shadow secretary Owen …
Proposed technological solutions to avoid a hard Irish border after Brexit will not succeed in the absence of consent from…
Trump Reveals Why He Called Off Military Strike Against Iran: ‘I Am in No Hurry’
Interview With ‘Shield Girl’: The Story Behind an Iconic Image From Hong Kong Protests
Right in front of a line of riot police officers holding shields, Lam Ka Lo, 26, decided to sit down, close her eyes, and meditate.
Photojournalists from around the world captured the image. It soon circulated widely on social media. People called her “Shield Girl.”
“I wanted to protect those who were younger than me. That night, seeing how the police line kept advancing toward [the protesters], I just sat down with my back facing the police. I just wanted to let the police know that, we do not want you to keep on advancing. At the same time, we don’t want to attack you either,” said Lam, in an interview with the Hong Kong bureau of the Epoch Times.
On the evening on June 11, before legislative debates on the controversial bill were to take place the following day, Lam decided to join protesters in an area near Hong Kong’s government headquarters, located in the Admiralty neighborhood.
The Hong Kong government first proposed controversial amendments to its extradition laws in February, which would allow the chief executive—the city’s top official—to sign off on extradition requests, including from mainland China, without approval from the city’s unicameral legislature.