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The Pronk Pops Show 1139:  Breaking News — Story 1: Huge Hurricane Florence In Size Downgraded To Category 2 With 100 Miles Per Hour Winds Gusting to 120 MPH — Storm Surge 9-13 Feet — Tracking To Hit North and South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia — Expect 2 to 4 Feet of Rain Over Next 2 to 3 Days with Massive Flooding and Land Mud Slides — Water Kills Most Hurricane Fatalities (75%+)  — Electrical Power Out For Days and Weeks — Leave Now! — Videos — Story 2: President Trump Should Declassify All Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court Applications For The Carter Page Warrants To Spy on Trump Campaign and President Trump — October Surprise Exposing The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy Before Mid-term Elections — Videos — Story 3: Jobless Claims Hit A 50 Year Low of 204,000 in the Week Ended Sept. 8, 2018 — Videos

Posted on September 13, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Cartoons, Climate Change, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, Communications, Countries, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, History, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rule of Law, Scandals, Social Networking, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Weather, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1139, September 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1138, September 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1137, September 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1136, September 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1135, September 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1134, September 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1133, August 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1132, August 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1131, August 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1130, August 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1129, August 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1128, August 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1127, August 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1126, August 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1125, August 15, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1124, August 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1123, August 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1122, August 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1121, August 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1120, August 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1119, August 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1118, August 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1117, July 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1116, July 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1115, July 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1114, July 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1113, July 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1112, July 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1111, July 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1110, July 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1109, July 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1108, July 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1107, July 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1106, July 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1105, July 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1104, July 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1103, July 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1102, JUly 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1101, July 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1100, June 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1099, June 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1098, June 25, 2018 

Pronk Pops Show 1097, June 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1096, June 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1095, June 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1094, June 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1093, June 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1092, June 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1091, June 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1090, June 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1089, June 7, 2018

cone graphicSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

Breaking News — Story 1: Huge Hurricane Florence In Size Downgraded To Category 2 With 100 Miles Per Hour Winds Gusting to 120 MPH — Storm Surge 9-13 Feet — Tracking To Hit North and South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia — Expect 2 to 4 Feet of Rain Over Next 2 to 3 Days with Massive Flooding and Land Mud Slides — Water Kills Most Hurricane Fatalities (75%+)  — Electrical Power Out For Days and Weeks — Leave Now! — Videos —

Storm Surge Like You’ve Never Experienced it Before

NASA Footage Shows The ‘Nightmare’ Hurricane Florence

WAVY News 10 at 4 – Super Doppler 10 Hurricane Florence Update

Emergency crews head toward Hurricane Florence’s path

Hurricane Florence is starting to impact coast

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster Updates State’s Response to Hurricane Florence

Pentagon briefing on Hurricane Florence

Ensuring FEMA is funded ahead of Hurricane Florence

Why Hurricane Florence is such a dangerous storm

VDOT says they don’t plan to close roads during Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence closes in on the US coast

Myrtle Beach braces for Hurricane Florence

Residents facing quadruple threat from Hurricane Florence

Graham on preparing South Carolina for Hurricane Florence

North Carolina local on why he isn’t evacuating

NHC director on Hurricane Florence’s 2 biggest threats

Storm’s uncertain track sows fear; 10 million in crosshairs

Hurricane Florence put a corridor of more than 10 million people in the crosshairs Wednesday as the monster storm closed in on the Carolinas, uncertainty over its projected path spreading worry across a widening swath of the Southeast.

Faced with new forecasts that showed a more southerly threat, Georgia’s governor joined his counterparts in Virginia and North and South Carolina in declaring a state of emergency, and some residents who had thought they were safely out of range boarded up their homes.

The National Hurricane Center’s best guess was that Florence would blow ashore as early as Friday afternoon around the North Carolina-South Carolina line, then push its rainy way westward with a potential for catastrophic inland flooding.

Florence’s nighttime winds were down to 110 mph (175 kph) from a high of 140 mph (225 kph), and the Category 3 storm fell to a Category 2, with a further slow weakening expected as the storm nears the coast. But authorities warned it will still be an extremely dangerous hurricane.

“Do you want to get hit with a train or do you want to get hit with a cement truck?” said Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Tropical storm-force winds extended 195 miles (315 kilometers) from Florence’s center, and hurricane-force winds reached out 70 miles (110 kilometers).

The National Weather Service said 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million live in places covered by tropical storm warnings or watches.

At the White House, President Donald Trump both touted the government’s readiness and urged people to get out of the way of Florence.

“Don’t play games with it. It’s a big one,” he said.

As of 11 p.m., the storm was centered 280 miles (455 kilometers) southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, moving northwest at 17 mph (28 kph). The hurricane center said Florence will approach the coast Friday and linger for a while before rolling ashore.

As of Tuesday, more than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out. Airlines had canceled nearly 1,000 flights and counting. Home Depot and Lowe’s activated emergency response centers to get generators, trash bags and bottled water to stores before and after the storm. The two hardware chains said they sent in a total of around 1,100 trucks.

Duke Energy, the nation’s No. 2 power company, said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks. Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm’s aftermath, it said.

Boarding up his home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Chris Pennington watched the forecasts and tried to decide when to leave.

“In 12 or 18 hours, they may be saying different things all over again,” he said.

Computer models of exactly what the storm might do varied, adding to the uncertainty. In contrast to the hurricane center’s official projection, a highly regarded European model had the storm turning southward off the North Carolina coast and coming ashore near the Georgia-South Carolina line.

Reacting to the possibility of a more southerly track, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared an emergency but did not immediately order any evacuations.

“I ask all Georgians to join me in praying for the safety of our people and all those in the path of Hurricane Florence,” Deal said.

The shift in the projected track spread concern to areas that once thought they were relatively safe. In South Carolina, close to the Georgia line, Beaufort County emergency chief Neil Baxley told residents they need to prepare again for the worst just in case.

“We’ve had our lessons. Now it might be time for the exam,” he said.

In Virginia, where about 245,000 residents were ordered to evacuate low-lying areas, officials urged people to remain away from home despite forecast changes showing Florence’s path largely missing the state.

Their entire neighborhood evacuated in Wilmington, North Carolina, David and Janelle Garrigus planned to ride out Florence at their daughter’s one-bedroom apartment in Charlotte. Unsure of what they might find when they return home, the couple went shopping for a recreational vehicle.

“We’re just trying to plan for the future here, not having a house for an extended period of time,” David Garrigus said.

Melody Rawson evacuated her first-floor apartment in Myrtle Beach and arrived at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia, to camp for free with three other adults, her disabled son, two dogs and a pet bird.

“We hope to have something left when we get home,” she said.

Forecasters worried the storm’s damage will be all the worse if it lingers on the coast. The trend is “exceptionally bad news,” said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it “smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge.”

AP Graphic

With South Carolina’s beach towns more in the bull’s-eye because of the shifting forecast, Ohio vacationers Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand. Most other beachgoers were long gone.

“It’s been really nice,” Nicole Roland said. “Also, a little creepy. You feel like you should have already left.”

___

Associated Press writers Seth Borenstein in Washington; Jonathan Drew in Wilmington, North Carolina; Jennifer Kay in Miami; Gary Robertson in Raleigh, North Carolina; Sarah Rankin and Denise Lavoie in Richmond, Virginia; Meg Kinnard in Columbia, South Carolina; Skip Foreman in Charlotte, North Carolina; Jeff Martin in Hampton, Georgia; David Koenig in Dallas; and Jay Reeves in Atlanta contributed to this report.

___

For the latest on Hurricane Florence, visit https://www.apnews.com/tag/Hurricanes .

https://apnews.com/58781157df70417ca4168b48bdc9e3c2

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 rating based on a hurricane’s sustained wind speed. This scale estimates potential property damage. Hurricanes reaching Category 3 and higher are considered major hurricanes because of their potential for significant loss of life and damage. Category 1 and 2 storms are still dangerous, however, and require preventative measures. In the western North Pacific, the term “super typhoon” is used for tropical cyclones with sustained winds exceeding 150 mph.

Category Sustained Winds Types of Damage Due to Hurricane Winds
1 74-95 mph
64-82 kt
119-153 km/h
Very dangerous winds will produce some damage: Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.
2 96-110 mph
83-95 kt
154-177 km/h
Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage: Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.
3
(major)
111-129 mph
96-112 kt
178-208 km/h
Devastating damage will occur: Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.
4
(major)
130-156 mph
113-136 kt
209-251 km/h
Catastrophic damage will occur: Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.
5
(major)
157 mph or higher
137 kt or higher
252 km/h or higher
Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

 

https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutsshws.php

 

Coastal Watches/Warnings and Forecast Cone for Storm Center

Forecast Length* Forecast Track Line Initial Wind Field
Full Forecast
3 days
On
Off
On
Off

cone graphic

* If the storm is forecast to dissipate within 3 days, the “Full Forecast” and “3 day” graphic will be identical

Click Here for a 5-day Cone Printer Friendly Graphic

About this product:

This graphic shows an approximate representation of coastal areas under a hurricane warning (red), hurricane watch (pink), tropical storm warning (blue) and tropical storm watch (yellow). The orange circle indicates the current position of the center of the tropical cyclone. The black line, when selected, and dots show the National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast track of the center at the times indicated. The dot indicating the forecast center location will be black if the cyclone is forecast to be tropical and will be white with a black outline if the cyclone is forecast to be extratropical. If only an L is displayed, then the system is forecast to be a remnant low. The letter inside the dot indicates the NHC’s forecast intensity for that time:

D: Tropical Depression – wind speed less than 39 MPH
S: Tropical Storm – wind speed between 39 MPH and 73 MPH
H: Hurricane – wind speed between 74 MPH and 110 MPH
M: Major Hurricane – wind speed greater than 110 MPH

NHC tropical cyclone forecast tracks can be in error. This forecast uncertainty is conveyed by the track forecast “cone”, the solid white and stippled white areas in the graphic. The solid white area depicts the track forecast uncertainty for days 1-3 of the forecast, while the stippled area depicts the uncertainty on days 4-5. Historical data indicate that the entire 5-day path of the center of the tropical cyclone will remain within the cone about 60-70% of the time. To form the cone, a set of imaginary circles are placed along the forecast track at the 12, 24, 36, 48, 72, 96, and 120 h positions, where the size of each circle is set so that it encloses 67% of the previous five years official forecast errors. The cone is then formed by smoothly connecting the area swept out by the set of circles.

It is also important to realize that a tropical cyclone is not a point. Their effects can span many hundreds of miles from the center. The area experiencing hurricane force (one-minute average wind speeds of at least 74 mph) and tropical storm force (one-minute average wind speeds of 39-73 mph) winds can extend well beyond the white areas shown enclosing the most likely track area of the center. The distribution of hurricane and tropical storm force winds in this tropical cyclone can be seen in the Wind History graphic linked above.

Considering the combined forecast uncertainties in track, intensity, and size, the chances that any particular location will experience winds of 34 kt (tropical storm force), 50 kt, or 64 kt (hurricane force) from this tropical cyclone are presented in tabular form for selected locations and forecast positions. This information is also presented in graphical form for the 34 kt50 kt, and 64 kt thresholds.

Note:  A detailed definition of the NHC track forecast cone is also available.

https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at1+shtml/032641.shtml?cone

Terrifying simulation video shows what the life-threatening Hurricane Florence storm surge will look like if it reaches nine feet

  • Simulation video shows what Hurricane Florence’s storm surge might look
  • Life-threatening storm surges of up to 13 feet have been forecast in some areas 
  • Florence is expected to make landfall in North and South Carolina on Friday
  • Storm is also forecast to dump up to 40 inches of rain in some places 

A simulation weather video is showing what the life-threatening Hurricane Florence storm surge might look like if it reaches a frightening nine feet.

Life-threatening storm surges of up to 13 feet have been forecast in some areas when the monster storm eventually makes landfall in North and South Carolina.

The Weather Channel‘s forecast video shows the potential damage such surges could inflict on the southern states.

The Weather Channel's forecast video shows the potential damage storm surges caused by Hurricane Florence could inflict on North and South Carolina

Dr Greg Postel, the network’s hurricane specialist, said three feet of water was enough to knock people off their feet, potentially carry cars away and flood lower levels of buildings.

Six feet of storm surge could carry large objects like cars underwater and leave lower levels structures submerged in water, according to Dr Postel.

The video also gives a frightening indication of what nine feet of water looks like – completely submerging lower buildings.

In addition to the life-threatening storm surge, Florence is also forecast to dump up to 40 inches of rain after it makes landfall in North and South Carolina Thursday night or Friday.

THREE FEET: Three feet of storm surge is enough to knock people off their feet, potentially carry cars away and flood lower levels of buildings

SIX FEET: Storm surge of six feet could carry large objects like cars underwater and leave lower levels structures submerged in water

SIX FEET: Storm surge of six feet could carry large objects like cars underwater and leave lower levels structures submerged in water

Florence’s winds had dropped from a peak of 140 mph to 105 mph by Thursday, reducing the hurricane from a terrifying Category 4 to a 2.

But forecasters warned that the widening storm – and its likelihood of lingering around the coast for days – will bring life-threatening storm surge and torrential rains.

The center of Florence is expected to hit North Carolina’s southern coast Friday, then drift southwest before moving inland on Saturday.

The storm was already generating 83-foot waves at sea on Wednesday.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center warned that Florence remained deadly because of its size and slow forward speed, even if its top sustained winds have dropped it to Category 2 status as a hurricane.

NINE FEET: the video also gives a frightening indication of what nine feet of water looks like - completely submerging lower buildings

Story 2: President Trump Should Declassify All Foreign Intelligence Surveillance ACT (FISA) Court Applications For The Carter Page Warrants To Spy on Candidate and President Trump and Campaign — October Surprise Exposing The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Videos

Rep. Jordan: Strzok’s argument doesn’t hold water

Fitton on New Strzok-Page Texts: ‘Corrupted’ Mueller Probe Needs to Be Shut Down

Judge Nap on Strzok & Page Discussing ‘Media Leak Strategy’: Gov’t Is World’s ‘Best Leaker’

Gaetz on ‘media leak strategy’ of Strzok and Page

New Strzok-Page texts reveal ‘media leak strategy’

Dershowitz on Strzok, Page ‘media leaking strategy’

The Ingraham Angle 9/12/18 | Breaking Fox News | September 12, 2018

Tucker Carlson Tonight 9/12/18 | Fox News September 12, 2018

THE HOUSE OF CARDS IS ABOUT TO FALL..Jarrett: Rosenstein, Comey, Yates & McCabe Can Be Prosecuted

Sean Hannity 9/10/18 | Fox News September 10, 2018

Gohmert on the Economy, FISA documents, and the Border Wall funding

Solomon on Bruce Ohr’s efforts to shape Trump probe

FBI & US Justice Dept accused of deliberate media leak strategy

Strzok, Page & the FBI’s ‘Leak Strategy’ With the Media

Leaking lovers and an FBI smear job of Carter Page?
© Getty Images

Just last week I opined on how troubling it was that the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) apparently targeted and used media to further, in the court of public opinion, an as-yet-unproven Russia-collusion case against Donald Trump.

Now, belatedly released information from the files of those favorite FBI lovebirds — Peter Strzok and Lisa Page — has created even more concern that the top echelons of America’s premier law enforcement were involved in name-smearing media leaks.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, disclosed in a letter Monday to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that, in April 2017, Strzok and Page discussed a specific media-leak strategy about Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Carter Page, of course, was subjected to a year-long FBI surveillance warrant but never has been charged with any wrongdoing — yet, somehow, nearly all the FBI’s suspicions about his ties to Russia made it into media reports.

Meadows’ letter suggests a possible reason why and how that happened.

On April 10, 2017, Strzok texted Lisa Page the following message: “I had literally just gone to find this phone to tell you I want to talk to you about media leak strategy with DOJ before you go.”

The next day, according to Meadows, the Washington Post broke a storyon the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant application against Carter Page.

And then, on April 12, 2017, Strzok texted regarding two articles coming out about Carter Page — whom he refers to as Lisa Page’s “namesake” — and that one is more damaging than the other.

Strzok, according to Meadows, then congratulated his FBI colleague Lisa Page, with whom he allegedly was having an affair. “Well done, Page,” he texted.

Meadows, who has led the charge against the FBI’s conduct in the Russia probe, told Rosenstein the “text exchange should lead a reasonable person to question whether there was a sincere desire to investigate wrongdoing or to place derogatory information in the media to justify a continued probe.”

FISA warrants are among the most secretive tools in the FBI’s arsenal, and information contained in them is supposed to be guarded closely from public release, in part because innocent people sometimes can be caught up in surveillance in complex espionage and terrorism cases.

In his letter, Meadows asks the deputy attorney general to provide more documents to explain what the FBI and the DOJ were up to in devising a “media leak strategy” and whether there was a “systemic culture of media leaking by high-ranking officials at the FBI and DOJ related to ongoing questions.”

I asked the FBI and DOJ for comment. So far, crickets.

But I asked Carter Page what he thought of the text messages. He had his own very personal observation, starting with “it seems pretty obvious” the FBI texts referred to leaking about him. But he also was happy that the DOJ is finally giving the light of day to what happened over the past two years.

“After so much damage has been done to this new administration, I’m happy steps are being take to correct this. It’s not about me; it’s about us and our country,” Page told me.

“In the southern district of New York and the foreign intelligence surveillance court, the Department of Justice and their affiliates made a kangaroo court out of some of the most important courts of our country,” he added. “There will be civil liability but all I really want is for DOJ just to do the right thing.”

In the end, the new text messages aren’t dispositive but raise obvious and disturbing questions. And that means a real investigation should be conducted to determine if anyone in government leaked something as sensitive as a FISA warrant or the intercepts between former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador.

Honest, independent answers to those questions are especially warranted inside an FBI where:

  • the former FBI director, James Comey, authorized a leak in hopes of securing a special prosecutor in the Russia case;
  • the former deputy director already has been fired for lying about another leak;
  • agents used leaked stories as corroborating evidence in court, even though they knew the leaks were simply circular intelligence flowing from their tainted source, former British intelligence operative Christopher Steele.

The FISA court that approves secret surveillance warrants operates on an honor system, so much so that the judges never bothered to hold a hearing about the four warrants they issued on Carter Page.

That honor system requires the FBI to disclose everything they know — the good, the bad and the ugly.

There’s growing evidence the bad and the ugly (i.e., the exculpatory evidence) was carefully omitted from the FBI’s submissions. And that should concern anyone who believes in a fair and honest court system.

John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists’ misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He is The Hill’s executive vice president for video.

http://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/405956-leaking-lovers-and-an-fbi-smear-job-of-carter-page

FBI’s ‘Leak Strategy’: Was It Criminal Collusion To Damage Trump?

Russia Investigation: Drip by drip, a pool of incriminating evidence grows almost daily showing that FBI and Justice Department officials worked together to thwart President Trump’s presidency just as it got underway. The whole Russia investigation conducted by Robert Mueller must now come under serious question, and it seems likely that key FBI officials will be charged with crimes.

Congress released documents late Monday showing an “apparent systemic culture of media leaking” among top officials at the FBI and Justice Department, according to a letter that North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows sent to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

In particular, wrote Meadows, two text messages exchanged on April 10 and April 12, 2017, between former FBI agent Peter Strzok and his then-lover, former FBI attorney Lisa Page, explicitly discuss the FBI’s “media leak strategy.”

On April 10, 2017, Strzok texted Page: “I had literally just gone to find this phone to tell you I want to talk to you about media leak strategy with DOJ before you go.”

Just two days later, Meadows noted, Strzok lauded Page’s efforts and gave her a heads up that “two articles are coming out, one which is ‘worse’ than the other about Lisa’s ‘namesake,’ ” a reference to Carter Page, the target of a monthslong FBI surveillance effort that began in October 2016. Despite the surveillance, Carter Page has never been charged with any crime.

Just one day after Strzok’s text to Page, the Washington Post, on April 11, 2017, ran a piece titled “FBI obtained FISA warrant to monitor former Trump advisor Carter Page.”

Ignoring The Rulebook

But that wasn’t all. As Fox News reports, “The leaks involved other outlets in addition to the Washington Post. … FBI and DOJ officials, including DOJ prosecutor and top Robert Mueller deputy Andrew Weissman, met with several Associated Press reporters in April 2017, according to court filings in the Virginia federal trial of Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.”

Moreover, Meadows wrote, “The leaks to the media continued even as FBI attorneys cited the U.S. Attorney’s Manual in telling Congress that witnesses could not answer questions about pending probes.”

So the FBI was stonewalling Congress’ nascent investigation of the FBI’s actions, while leaking like a sieve to the media. Leaking secret information to anyone, by the way, is a crime.

It’s noteworthy that Strzok was the lead investigator not just for the Russia investigation but for the Hillary Clinton email scandal as well. So Strzok and the others covered all the bases. He was just fired in August for sending anti-Trump messages to Lisa Page, including one that grandiosely said of Trump’s presidency, “We’ll stop it.”

Page, The Patsy

As for poor Carter Page, the Post piece on April 11 claimed that “law enforcement and other U.S. officials” had told them that top Justice and FBI officials convinced a FISA judge that there was “probable cause to believe Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power, in this case Russia.”

Their evidence? The bogus anti-Trump dossier authored by former British spy Christopher Steele, who served as a paid informant for the FBI. When the FBI discovered that he had leaked information to the press, they fired him. As it turns out, Steele compiled his dossier while working for the shady opposition research group Fusion GPS. And the Hillary Clinton-controlled Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s own presidential campaign paid for it all.

The FBI, in short, lied to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court about the source of its “probable cause.” They used the phony Steele dossier as the basis for their claims to the FISA court, but told the court they didn’t. Isn’t that perjury? Or don’t U.S. officials have to tell the truth to FISA?

Collusion At FBI, Justice?

As for Carter Page, he was a tool, spied upon for entirely spurious reasons. Mainly, it appears, pro-Hillary, anti-Trump officials in the CIA, Justice Department and FBI wanted a pretense for spying on the Trump campaign — and, later, for undermining his presidency. Surveillance of Carter Page gave the FBI a backdoor into the Trump campaign.

The troubling aspect of all this isn’t just the media leaks, which are troubling enough. It’s why they leaked that is most bothersome.

Given the prevalent and near-total anti-Trump animus that various CIA, FBI and Justice officials exhibited, it seems quite clear that they coordinated their efforts to take down a presidential candidate and, when that failed, to politically damage him once he won the election.

Moreover, it was all collusion on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and against Donald Trump.

This is the stuff of cheap spy novels, and yet it’s true. This appears to be a conspiracy to undermine the constitutional government of the U.S. — a crime of the highest order. At the very least, Congress should name a special prosecutor. Mueller’s case for Trump-Russia collusion was never strong; the case for FBI-Justice-CIA political interference looks like a slam dunk.

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/fbi-leak-strategy-collusion-trump/

 

Trump responds to Strzok, Page texts on ‘media leak strategy’

President Trump lamented on Tuesday that “nothing is being done” to investigate former FBI agent Peter Strzok and his mistress Lisa Page after a report said they had planned a “media leak strategy” to embarrass the president.

“New Strzok-Page texts reveal ‘Media Leak Strategy.’ @FoxNews So terrible, and NOTHING is being done at DOJ or FBI – but the world is watching, and they get it completely,” the president wrote on his Twitter account.

A report late Monday on Fox News said GOP Rep. Mark Meadows sent a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to alert him to the actions of Strzok and Page that were revealed in newly released text messages.

“Review of these new documents raises grave concerns regarding an apparent systemic culture of media leaking by high-ranking officials at the FBI and DOJ related to ongoing investigations,” Meadows wrote in the letter.

He said the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee discovered an April 10, 2017, text from Strzok to Page that said: “I had literally just gone to find this phone to tell you I want to talk to you about media leak strategy with DOJ before you go.”

Then, two days later, Strzok reached out to Page to congratulate her for planting two stories that were critical of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

“Well done, Page,” Strzok wrote.

Meadows’ letter notes that the Washington Post wrote a story on April 11, 2017, about the FBI receiving a FISA warrant to monitor Carter Page and that it had convinced a judge there was “probable cause to believe Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power, in this case Russia.”

The message “should lead a reasonable person to question whether there was a sincere desire to investigate wrongdoing or to place derogatory information in the media to justify a continued probe,” Meadows wrote in the letter.

Strzok’s lawyer, Aitan Goelman said the strategy was intended to stop leaks and accused Trump of misleading people in his Twitter post.

“The term ‘media leak strategy’ in Mr. Strzok’s text refers to a Department-wide initiative to detect and stop leaks to the media. The president and his enablers are once again peddling unfounded conspiracy theories to mislead the American People,” Goelman said in a statement.

Strzok worked on special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into any links between Trump campaign officials and Russia but was removed after text messages between him and Page showed they were critical of the president.

He was fired by the FBI in August.

Page, a former FBI lawyer who had an affair with Strzok, also was removed from Mueller’s team. She has since resigned.

https://nypost.com/2018/09/11/trump-responds-to-strzok-page-texts-on-media-leak-strategy/

 

GOP official: Strzok and Page conspired to unleash a ‘media leak strategy’

Fired FBI agent Peter Strzok and his gal pal Lisa Page conspired to unleashed a “media leak strategy” to embarrass President Trump, a House Republican said Monday.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), a member of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, made those allegations in a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

“Review of these new documents raises grave concerns regarding an apparent systemic culture of media leaking by high-ranking officials at the FBI and DOJ related to ongoing investigations,” Meadows wrote.

Meadows claims his committee uncovered an April 10, 2017, text from Strzok to Page in Justice Department documents saying: “I had literally just gone to find this phone to tell you I want to talk to you about media leak strategy with DOJ before you go.”

Then two days later, Meadows said, Strzok congratulated Page — texting “Well done, Page” — for allegedly planting stories that reflected poorly on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Meadows suggested that an April, 11, 2017, story in The Washington Post — reporting that the FBI obtained a secret court order to monitor Carter Page’s communications — came from Strzok and Page.

“While these two text messages alone are troubling enough, events surrounding these interactions call the motives of the investigative team into question,” Meadows wrote to Rosenstein.

Strzok was once one of the top FBI agents on Mueller’s team before it was discovered that he had sent texts that disparaged Trump. He was removed from the Russia probe and fired last month.

Page was an FBI lawyer and her affair with Strzok has added to Republican accusations that they’re both untrustworthy.

“Our task force continues to receive troubling evidence that the practice of coordinated media interactions continues to exist within the DOJ and FBI,” Meadows wrote to Rosenstein.

“While this activity may be authorized and not part of the inappropriate behavior highlighted above, it fails to advance the private march to justice, and as such, warrants your attention to end this practice.”

https://nypost.com/2018/09/10/gop-official-strzok-and-page-conspired-to-unleash-a-media-leak-strategy/

Story 3: Jobless Claims Hit A 49 Year Low of 204,000 in the Week Ended Sept. 8, 2018 — Videos

U.S. Jobless Claims Fall To Lowest Level Since 1969

Jobless Claims Hit 49 Year Low

US Jobless Claims fall to 49 YEAR LOW…WOMP WOMP!!

US weekly jobless claims drop to near 49-year low

 | 
  • The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week.
  • Claims hit their lowest level in nearly 49 years and pointed to robust labor market conditions.
  • Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 204,000 for the week ended Sept. 8, the lowest level since December 1969, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
GP: Job seeker at Home Depot now hiring event 160901
A job seeker speaks with recruiters from The Home Depot at a RecruitMilitary veterans job fair in Cleveland.
Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, hitting its lowest level in nearly 49 years and pointing to robust labor market conditions.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 204,000 for the week ended Sept. 8, the lowest level since December 1969, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Data for the prior week was revised to show 2,000 more applications received than previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 210,000 in the latest week. The claims data covered last Monday’s Labor Day holiday. Claims tend to be volatile around public holidays.

The Labor Department said only claims for Maine were estimated last week. The four-week moving average of initial claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 2,000 last week to 208,000, also the lowest level since December 1969.

The labor market is viewed as being near or at full employment. It continues to strengthen, with nonfarm payrolls increasing by 201,000 jobs in August and annual wage growth notching its biggest gain in more than nine years. Job openings hit an all-time high of 6.9 million in July.

The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book report, which was published on Wednesday, described the labor market as “tight throughout the country, with most districts reporting widespread shortages.”

Though there have been reports of some companies either planning job cuts or laying off workers because of trade tensions between the United States and its major trade partners, they have been partially offset by increased hiring in the steel industry.

Economists, however, warn of widespread job losses if the Trump administration presses ahead with tariffs on nearly all Chinese imports. President Donald Trump last week threatened duties on another $267 billion worth of Chinese goods on top of a $200 billion tariff list that is awaiting his decision.

Washington has already slapped duties on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, provoking retaliation from Beijing. The United States has also engaged in tit-for-tat tariffs with other trade partners, including the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

Thursday’s claims report also showed the number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid dropped 15,000 to 1.70 million for the week ended Sept. 1, the lowest level since December 1973. The four-week moving average of the so-called continuing claims decreased 8,250 to 1.71 million, the lowest level since November 1973.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/13/us-weekly-jobless-claims-sept-8-2018.html

 

Jobless Claims Remain at Half-Century Low

Initial claims, a proxy for layoffs across the U.S., fell to 204,000 in the week ended Sept. 8

A job seeker taking notes during employer presentations at a United Career Fairs hiring event in Oak Brook, Ill., in July.
A job seeker taking notes during employer presentations at a United Career Fairs hiring event in Oak Brook, Ill., in July. PHOTO: DANIEL ACKER/BLOOMBERG NEWS

WASHINGTON—The number of Americans filing applications for new unemployment benefits fell last week, remaining at a half-century low for the second-straight week.

Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs across the U.S., fell by 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 204,000 in the week ended Sept. 8, the Labor Department said Thursday. This is the lowest level since December 1969. Unemployment benefit applications were near this level last week too.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected 210,000 new claims last week.

Data can be volatile from week to week. The four-week moving average of claims, a steadier measure, fell 2,000 to 208,000, also the lowest level since 1969.

Jobless claims have remained low in recent years, as the labor market continues to tighten and managers face difficulty finding qualified employees.

The August unemployment rate remained at 3.9% for the second straight month, just above the best rate in two decades. Hiring regained momentum in August, as employers added 201,000 workers to payrolls.

Thursday’s report showed the number of claims workers made for longer than a week declined by 15,000 to 1,696,000 in the week ended Sept. 1. The figure, also known as continuing claims, is reported with a one-week lag.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/jobless-claims-remain-at-half-century-low-1536842053

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1117, July 31, 2018, Story 1: The 11 Year Old Tax Evasion Case of Paul Manafort Begins In Attempt By Special Counsel Mueller To Flip Manafort in Witch Hunt To Get Trump — Abuse of Power — Nothing To Do With Russian Collusion Delusion With Trump — There Was None Stupid — Videos — Story 2: Authoritarianism of Lying Lunatic Left Losers — Videos

Posted on August 1, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Banking System, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Business, Climate Change, College, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Economics, Elections, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Food, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, Health Care Insurance, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Independence, Labor Economics, Law, Life, Lying, Media, National Interest, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Progressives, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Senate, Social Security, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Tax Policy, Taxes, Unemployment, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

 

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Story 1: The 11 Year Old Tax Evasion Case of Paul Manafort Begins In Attempt By Special Counsel Mueller To Flip Manafort in Witch Hunt — Abuse of Power — Nothing To Do With Russian Collusion Delusion With Trump — There Was None Stupid — Videos —

Why Mueller isn’t having success with Manafort

Potential impact of Manafort trial on Russia probe

Jury Selected In First Day Of Paul Manafort Trial | Katy Tur | MSNBC

Conway on Manafort trial, possible Iran meeting, immigration

Judge sends Manafort to jail, pending trial

Giuliani: Mueller probe not a legitimate investigation

 

Prosecutors’ opening statement: ‘Paul Manafort lied’

Jury seated in Paul Manafort trial 01:32

Alexandria, Virginia (CNN)Prosecutors accused former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of being a “shrewd” liar who orchestrated a global scheme to avoid paying taxes on millions of dollars, in opening statements that kicked off Manafort’s trial on Tuesday.

Manafort lived an “extravagant lifestyle” fueled by millions of dollars in “secret income” that he earned from his lobbying in Ukraine, said Uzo Asonye, a prosecutor working on the case with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team. Manafort became wealthy from the “cash spigot” that came from working for his “golden goose in Ukraine,” former President Viktor Yanukovych, Asonye said.
“All of these charges boil down to one simple issue: that Paul Manafort lied,” Asonye said. “Manafort placed himself and his money over the law.”
The case against Manafort outlined by prosecutors on Tuesday represents a new phase in Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling — the first jury trial stemming from the probe that President Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked as a “witch hunt.”

In opening statements for the defense, Manafort’s defense attorney Thomas Zehnle laid out the bare bones of his side of the case, shifting much of the blame to the Ukrainian oligarchs Manafort worked for and the business associates he worked with.
“This is the way that they required it to be done,” Zehnle said, arguing why oligarchs paid Manafort through secret foreign accounts. Prosecutors said Tuesday that Manafort hid 30 foreign bank accounts from US authorities.
Of Manafort’s associates, like longtime deputy Rick Gates, Zehnle said, “he trusted them to speak with one another and make sure things were done right.” Gates pleaded guilty earlier this year to participating in Manafort’s alleged financial conspiracy and is slated to testify against him.
Both men were top officials in Trump’s campaign, but that is not part of the criminal case against Manafort in this trial.
Zehnle specifically attacked Gates and called him “the prosecution’s star witness.”
Manafort is facing 18 charges, including accusations of filing false tax returns, failing to report foreign bank accounts and defrauding several banks. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 305 years in prison. He has denied all charges.
Manafort arrived at the courthouse Tuesday morning wearing a black suit, with his hair neatly parted.

Luxurious spending habits

To demonstrate Manafort’s lavish spending habits, Asonye told jurors that Manafort owned several homes, acquired real estate in New York and Virginia, bought expensive cars and watches, and even got a $15,000 jacket “made from an ostrich.”
As he started delivering his opening statement, Asonye earned a near-immediate rebuke from Judge T.S. Ellis, who told him not to tell jurors that “the evidence will show” that the allegations against Manafort are true.
During his preliminary instructions to the jury, Ellis reminded told jurors that “you and you alone are the sole judges to the facts in this case.”
The opening statements were delivered not long after the jury was selected and sworn in on Tuesday. The 12-person jury comprises six men and six women. There are also four alternates, three women and a man.
Ellis had given the pool of 65 potential jurors an overview of the charges against Manafort, though he reminded the group that the indictment “is not evidence of any guilt whatsoever.”
The pool was also nearly evenly split between men and women. The group was predominantly white, with fewer than a dozen nonwhite potential jurors. Most were comfortably middle-aged.
Nine potential jurors indicated they have connections to the Justice Department, including four who said they were current or former federal employees. Two joked that they were “recovering attorneys.” All affirmed that they could handle the case without any bias.
None said they knew Manafort, his lawyers or their law firms.
One younger woman said she knew Justice Department attorneys from her work at a Silicon Valley-based tech company. Another man brought a John Grisham novel into the courtroom.

‘Witch hunt’

The trial is expected to last several weeks.
Manafort was a senior Trump campaign aide and he led the campaign for several months, but the charges are not directly related to campaign activity, as the White House has repeatedly emphasized.
“The judge has very strictly instructed no mention of Paul Manafort’s role in the Trump campaign, no mention of Trump, Russia or collusion,” senior White House aide Kellyanne Conway said Tuesday morning on Fox News. “This trial obviously centers on matters that have nothing to do with the campaign.”
While Trump has repeatedly railed against Manafort and the “witch hunt” on Twitter in recent weeks, he has not tweeted about Manafort specifically in more than a month. He said June 15 that Manafort received a “tough sentence” after his bond was revoked over allegations of witness tampering.
Manafort faces a maximum of 305 years in prison if he is convicted on all charges. Prosecutors say he hid millions of dollars in income from lobbying for Ukrainian politicians, failed to pay taxes while spending the money on US real estate and luxury purchases, and lied to banks in order to take out more than $20 million in loans.
Before jury selection got underway, Ellis said he did not plan to offer decisions on Tuesday about all of the documents that Manafort’s team wants to keep out of the trial. They hope to prevent jurors from seeing some documents and photos from Manafort’s lobbying work in Ukraine.
Instead, the judge gave broad directions to the prosecutors: Try to reduce the number of Ukrainian documents given to the jury, use testimony to add context and don’t refer to individual documents in opening statements.
Ellis said he thinks “the government’s correct” in using the documents to broadly show how Manafort made his money. Prosecutors say Manafort made $60 million from his work.

Appeals court rejects request to be freed

Manafort appears likely to remain in jail throughout his trial after a federal appeals court on Tuesday rejected his request to overturn a lower court’s decision to send him to jail before trial.
Tuesday’s ruling from a three-judge panel on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals was unanimous.
Manafort’s bail was revoked in June while he was on house arrest, after prosecutors accused him of tampering with witnesses.
The appellate judges said Manafort was rightfully jailed because he had decided “to push the envelope by contributing to an op-ed in a foreign newspaper” while under a gag order, and also had “repeated communications with potential witnesses” for his upcoming trial. In addition to his Virginia case, Manafort faces lobbying-related charges in Washington.
The panel agreed with some of Manafort’s arguments, for instance that the gag order in his Virginia case was somewhat ambiguous. But it ultimately said this wasn’t enough to look past Manafort’s conduct and set him free from jail.

Story 2: Authoritarianism of Lying Lunatic Left Losers — Coming Collapse of American Empire and The Warfare and Welfare State — Videos

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Michael Parenti

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Michael Parenti
Michael Parenti.jpg

Michael Parenti
Born Michael John Parenti
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Political scientisthistorianmedia critic
Nationality American
Education City College of New YorkB.A.
Brown UniversityM.A.
Yale UniversityPh.D.
Subject Historypoliticseconomics
Children Christian Parenti
Website
michaelparenti.org

Michael John Parenti (born 1933) is an American political scientist and cultural critic who writes on scholarly and popular subjects. He has taught at American and international universities and has been a guest lecturer before campus and community audiences.[1][2]

 

Education and personal life

Michael Parenti was raised in an Italian-American working-class family and neighborhood in New York City about which he has written.[3] He received a BA from City College of New York, an MA from Brown University, and his PhD in political science from Yale University. Parenti is the father of Christian Parenti, an author and contributor to The Nation magazine.

Career

For many years Parenti taught political and social science at various institutions of higher learning. Eventually he devoted himself full-time to writing, public speaking, and political activism.[4] He is the author of 23 books and many more articles. His works have been translated into at least eighteen languages.[5] Parenti lectures frequently throughout the United States and abroad.

Parenti’s writings cover a wide range of subjects: U.S. politics, culture, ideology, political economyimperialismfascismcommunismdemocratic socialismfree-market orthodoxies, conservative judicial activism, religionancient historymodern historyhistoriography, repression in academia, news and entertainment media, technology, environmentalismsexismracismVenezuela, the wars in Iraq and Yugoslavia, ethnicity, and his own early life.[6][7][8] His influential book Democracy for the Few,[9] now in its ninth edition, is a critical analysis of U.S. society, economy, and political institutions and a college-level political science textbook published by Wadsworth Publishing.[10] In recent years he has addressed such subjects as “Empires: Past and Present,” “US Interventionism: the Case of Iraq,” “Race, Gender, and Class Power,” “Ideology and History,” “The Collapse of Communism,” and “Terrorism and Globalization.”[5]

In 1974, Parenti ran in Vermont on the Liberty Union Party ticket for U.S. Congress and received 7% of the vote.[11]

In the 1980s, he was a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. In Washington, D.C., in 2003, the Caucus for a New Political Science gave him a Career Achievement Award. In 2007, he received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from U.S. Representative Barbara Lee and an award from New Jersey Peace Action.[citation needed]

He served for some 12 years as a judge for Project Censored. He also is on the advisory boards of Independent Progressive Politics Network, and Education Without Borders; as well as the advisory editorial boards of New Political Science and Nature, Society and Thought.[12]

Writings

To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia

In 2000, Verso Books published Parenti’s To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia.[13] According to Kirkus Reviews: “Parenti dissents from every piece of conventional wisdom about the former Yugoslavia’s breakup, the Kosovo crisis, and the NATO bombing campaign against the Serbian state in purported support of the Kosovar Albanians. Instead, he assembles an alternate history in which an American-led coalition backed by aggressive financial interests precipitated the civil war and the profoundly destructive air campaign that killed at least 3,000 civilians.”[13] Publishers Weekly’s review stated: “Parenti gives an unabashedly critical assessment of this intervention, based on a solid and passionate rejection of Western leaders’ ‘lies’ about events in the Balkans and Western interests in that part of the world. Readers not familiar with his leftist analysis may find Parenti’s dismissal of NATO’s justification for its 1999 bombing campaign shocking or silly; others may find it thought-provoking.”[14]

The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People’s History of Ancient Rome

External video
 Booknotes interview with Parenti on The Assassination of Julius Caesar, September 7, 2003C-SPAN

In 2003 The New Press published Parenti’s The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People’s History of Ancient Rome.[15] PW said, “Parenti… narrates a provocative history of the late republic in Rome (100–33 B.C.) to demonstrate that Caesar’s death was the culmination of growing class conflict, economic disparity and political corruption.”[16] Kirkus Reviews wrote: “Populist historian Parenti… views ancient Rome’s most famous assassination not as a tyrannicide but as a sanguinary scene in the never-ending drama of class warfare.”[15] Kirkus Reviews described the book as “revisionist history at its most provocative.”[15] Political Affairs wrote: “This is an excellent book and a good read.”[17]

God and His Demons

Prometheus Books published Parenti’s 2010 book, God and His Demons.[18] Writing for the San Francisco ChronicleDon Lattin said: “God and his Demons is a depressing, mean-spirited book. Much of it is a recounting of the usual suspects we find in the new wave of atheist chic nonfiction – targets like Islamist extremists, TV preachers, child-molesting Catholic priests, Christian-right political operatives, creationists, cult leaders and, for historical context, a reminder that the Crusades and the Inquisition were no picnic either, along with a tired recounting of all those troublesome passages in the Hebrew Bible and the anti-Semitism in much New Testament translation.”[18] Calling it an “angry volume” that “makes no clear argument”, Publishers Weekly said: “His condescending tirade is directed not so much at religion as at human beings whom—one gets the impression—he can barely suffer.”[19]

Appearances in media

Apart from several recordings of some of his public speeches, Parenti has also appeared in the 1992 documentary Panama Deception, the 2004 Liberty Bound and 2013 Fall and Winter documentaries as an author and social commentator.

Parenti was interviewed in Boris Malagurski‘s documentary film The Weight of Chains 2 (2014). He was also interviewed for two episodes of the Showtime series Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, speaking briefly about the Dalai Lama (Episode 305 – Holier Than Thou) and patriotism (Episode 508 – Mount Rushmore).

New York City-based punk rock band Choking Victim use a number of samples from Michael Parenti’s lectures in their album, No Gods, No Managers.

Bibliography

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Parenti

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1106, July 11, 2018, Story 1: President Trump Is Right: “Everybody’s talking about it all over the world, they’re saying we’re paying you billions of dollars to protect you but you’re paying billions of dollars to Russia.” — Germany Is Dependent Upon Russia For Natural Gas — Buy American LNG And Eliminate Some of The U.S. Trade Deficit With The European Union, Germany and China! — U.S. LNG Competes With Russian Natural Gas — World Economic Boom Fueled By Natural Gas and LNG — Free and Fair Trade Is A Winner — Videos — Story 2: President Trump Increases The Pressure on China To Eliminate Trade Deficits and Unfair Trade Practices or Face Higher Tariffs On Many Chinese Exports To United States — Videos

Posted on July 11, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Autos, Blogroll, Bombs, Breaking News, British Pound, Budgetary Policy, Business, Canada, China, Climate Change, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Cruise Missiles, Currencies, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drones, Economics, Education, Elections, Employment, Energy, Euro, European History, European Union, Federal Government, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, France, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Germany, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Great Britain, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Impeachment, Independence, Investments, Iraq, Islamic Republic of Iran, Italy, Language, Law, Life, Liquid Natural Gas (LNG), Media, Medicare, Middle East, MIssiles, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Netherlands, News, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, President Trump, Prime Minister, Progressives, Qatar, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Rifles, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Social Security, South America, Spying, Success, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Transportation, Trucks, U.S. Dollar, United Kingdom, United States Constitution, United States of America, Vessels, Videos, War, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Story 1: President Trump Is Right: “Everybody’s talking about it all over the world, they’re saying we’re paying you billions of dollars to protect you but you’re paying billions of dollars to Russia.” — Germany Is Dependent Upon Russia For Natural Gas — Buy American LNG And Eliminate Some U.S. Trade Deficit With European Union and China! — Compete With Russian Natural Gas — World Economic Boom Fueled By Natural Gas and LNG — Free and Fair Trade Is A Winner — Videos

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‘Germany is a captive of Russia’: Trump dresses down NATO’s secretary general and threatens Berlin over its lagging defense spending and energy partnership with Putin’s government

  • Donald Trump unleashed his fury on NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday morning after the leader asked him about Vladimir Putin
  • ‘Germany is totally controlled by Russia,’ Trump charged. ‘I think its a very bad thing for NATO’
  • Merkel told press that her country is ‘independent’ after Trump’s tongue-lashing 
  • President Trump has berated America’s European allies for failing to meet their defense spending obligations to NATO
  • The complaints come full circle this week at the NATO leaders’ summit 
  • On Tuesday, European Council President Donald Tusk hit back at Trump, telling him, ‘America does not have and will not have a better ally than Europe’
  • Tusk said: ‘America appreciate your allies. After all you don’t have that many’  
  • President Trump tweeted minutes later: NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS. Very Unfair!’
  • He told reporters as he prepared to board Marine One that America has plenty of allies and put new pressure on NATO nations to increase their defense spending 

Donald Trump unleashed his fury on NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday for defending Germany‘s energy partnership with Russia and threatened Berlin with U.S. action over the deal that he said is wholly inappropriate.

Trump fumed that ‘Germany is a captive of Russia’ and said the U.S. would ‘have to do something’ in light of the pipeline deal that’s funneling billions of dollars to Moscow.

‘Germany is totally controlled by Russia,’ he charged. ‘I think its a very bad thing for NATO, and I don’t think it should have happened.’

Stoltenberg reminded him that the U.S. and Europe are ‘stronger together than apart’ and that has been proven by two World Wars and the alliance’s dealings with Russia.

The confrontation stunned the leaders’ senior advisers, including Trump’s secretaries of defense and state. A press aide demanded the media leave the room as Trump pushed Stoltenberg to explain how the U.S. is supposed to protect Germany when it’s opening its front door to Vladimir Putin.

Donald Trump unleashed his fury on NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday for defending Germany’s energy partnership with Russia after Stoltenberg reminded him that the U.S. and Europe are ‘stronger together than apart

Stoltenberg inadvertently whipped the U.S. president into a frenzy at an internationally-broadcast breakfast by asking Trump about his upcoming meeting with Putin. Trump responded with a tirade on Germany and its weaknesses and griped, again, about lagging contributions from members of the NATO alliance.

Trump gave Stoltenberg an earful with media present, telling the visibly startled NATO chief, ‘We’re protecting Germany. We’re protecting France. We’re protecting everybody, and yet, we’re paying a lot of money to protect.’

Trump said that past presidents did not confront America’s allies because they did not want to meddle in their affairs or they were blind to the problem.

‘I think that these countries have to step it up — not over a 10-year-period — they have to step it up immediately,’ Trump demanded. ‘Germany is a rich country. They talk about they’re gonna increase it a tiny bit by 2030. Well, they could increase it immediately tomorrow and have no problem.’

The United States’ more than 4 percent GDP contribution to the security group compared to its European allies is ‘very unfair’ to the American taxpayer, he said in a familiar complaint.

‘I don’t think it’s fair to the United States, so we’re going to have to do something, because we’re not gonna put up with it. We can’t put up with it, and it’s inappropriate,’ Trump on Wednesday proclaimed. ‘So we have to talk about the billions and billions of dollars that’s being paid to the country that we’re supposed to be protecting you against.’

A new NATO report actually puts the U.S. contribution at 3.5 percent of the nation’s GDP in 2018. Still, it’s significantly more than the next closest country. Germany’s spending on defense as a percentage of GDP was on par with a handful of other NATO nations at 1.24 percent, putting it at the mid-to-lower end of the pack.

A new NATO report actually puts the U.S. contribution at 3.5 percent of the nation's GDP in 2018. Still, it's significantly more than the next closest country - and nearly three times as much as Germany

A new NATO report actually puts the U.S. contribution at 3.5 percent of the nation’s GDP in 2018. Still, it’s significantly more than the next closest country – and nearly three times as much as Germany

TERSE TALKS: Trump fumed that 'Germany is a captive of Russia' and said the U.S. would 'have to do something' about a gas deal that's funneling billions into Moscow's economy

U.S. President Donald Trump, U.S. Secretary of Defence James Mattis, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the breakfast with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

Trump began his Wednesday morning rant by telling Stoltenberg that it’s ‘very sad’ when Germany, France and ‘numerous of the countries go out and then make a pipeline deal with Russia’ and then expect the U.S. to foot the bill for their security.

‘So we’re supposed to protect you against Russia but they’re paying billions of dollars to Russia, and I think that’s very inappropriate,’ Trump said. ‘And the former chancellor of Germany is the head of the pipeline company that’s supplying the gas.’

Trump informed Stoltenberg that ‘Germany will have almost 70 percent of their country controlled by Russia with natural gas’ when the deal is fully realized.

‘So you tell me is that appropriate?’ he said. ‘I mean I’ve been complaining about this from the time I got in. It should never have never been allowed to have happened.’

Now, he said, ‘Germany is totally controlled by Russia…And you tell me if that’s appropriate, because I think it’s not. And I think it’s a very bad thing for NATO, and I don’t think it should have happened, and I think we have to talk to Germany about it.’

Merkel told press in German as she arrived at NATO that her country makes ‘independent decisions,’ according to a translation of her remarks on NATO’s blue arrival carpet by AFP.

‘I myself have also experienced a part of Germany being occupied by the Soviet Union,’ said Merkel, who was born and raised in East Germany, in her native tougue.

She touched on her nation’s communist history, saying. ‘I am very glad that we are united today in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany and that we can therefore also make our own independent policies and make our own independent decisions.’

The White House said after the president’s remarks went wide that he would hold private talks in the afternoon on the sidelines of the summit with Merkel and then meet separately with France’s president.

Trump told Stoltenberg that the alliance must confront Germany over its gas deal with Russia. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is seen her on Wednesday during her Cabinet meeting in Berlin. She'll see Trump later today at NATO

Trump said last week at a rally that he told Merkel in an undated conversation that he couldn't commit to protecting Germany from Putin's army

In bringing up the gas deal on Wednesday, Trump returned to an issue he had raised before his trip in an attempt to put Germany on the defensive while simultaneously pushing back on the narrative that it is the U.S. that is cozying up to Moscow.

For much of the past year, it has been Trump who has been under attack for resisting sanctions imposed on Russia for its election interference. His frequent praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his repeated attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe have also been the subject of national and international scrutiny.

But in Brussels, it was Trump who hammered Merkel for taking part in a deal that would give Germany direct access to Russian energy supplies and cut out Eastern European nations fearful of Moscow’s leverage

In March, Germany reached a deal to allow Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom to run its Nord Stream 2 pipeline through its waters. The $11 billion deal immediately outraged Eastern European allies.

Russia has used its oil and gas to pressure and punish its neighbors. In a shock move, the parties announced the deal a day after Germany joined UK in protesting the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Great Britain.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May arrives at the Alliance's headquarters ahead of the NATO summit in Brussels

She will continue talking to Trump after everyone else has gone home as she is hosting the U.S. President in Britain for a two-day visit

The pipeline will send Russian oil and gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea. Poland and other Eastern European countries fear the pipeline could leave them vulnerable to Russian pressure.

In May, a State Department official weighed in against the project. Deputy Assistant Secretary Sandra Oudkirk said the pipeline could allow Russia to exert ‘malign influence’ in Europe. But the pipeline company said the project wouldn’t be used to blackmail other countries.

Stoltenberg unequivocally said at a news conference that followed his meeting with Trump that the pipeline deal is ‘a national decision’ and ‘it’s not for NATO to decide.’

‘It’s not for NATO to solve this issue,’ he asserted.

Trump bashed Germany over the pipeline issue at a campaign rally last Thursday in Montana, where he also raised the ally’s defense spending.

‘They go out and make a gas deal, oil and gas, from Russia, where they pay billions and billions of dollars to Russia. They want to protect against Russia, and yet they pay billions of dollars to Russia,’ Trump said then.

He said at the rally that he told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that he could not ensure her nation’s security as a result.

U.S. President Donald Trump is greeted by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg before a bilateral breakfast ahead of the NATO Summit in Brussels on Wednesday

Trump informed Stoltenberg that 'Germany will have almost 70 percent of their country controlled by Russia with natural gas' when the deal is fully realized

Former Secretary of State John Kerry blasted Trump for his display.

‘I’ve never seen a president say anything as strange or counterproductive as President Trump’s harangue against NATO and Germany,’ Kerry said in a statement. ‘It was disgraceful, destructive, and flies in the face of the actual interests of the United States of America,’ the former top diplomat said.

 Then Kerry, a 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, said of Trump: ‘He is steadily destroying our reputation in the world. He is undermining our interests. He diminishes alliances we built to safeguard an economic and strategic force that has allowed millions of people to live in freedom.

House Speaker Paul Ryan invoked a bygone rule usually cited when members of one party refrain from attacking a president of the other.

‘I subscribe to the view that we should not be criticizing our president while he’s overseas,’ Ryan said.

‘NATO is indispensable. It is as important today as it ever has been,’ Ryan said in defense of the organization Trump went after.

Germany’s defense minister told CNBC after Trump’s assault on her country on Wednesday that two weeks ago she had occasion to visit the United States and was reassured by her conversations with American lawmakers of the strength of the trans-Atlantic alliance.

‘The president is as the president is. We know him and we can cope with that,’ Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen told CNBC from outside of NATO’s headquarters. ‘This rhetoric also leads us to remember that a lot is at stake.’

Von der Leyen said that generations that came of age after WWII have taken peace for granted. ‘Now, we have to fight for democracy. We have to secure our international order, our peace architecture,’ she said.

It was Trump who had arrived in Brussels on the defense on Tuesday after the EU Council’s head berated him at an off-site event that was attached to the NATO summit.

Trump had signaled in early morning tweets on Tuesday that foreign leaders could expect a reckoning when he sees them this week over the ‘unfair’ burden on the U.S. taxpayer to carry the cost of Europe’s protection.

He was met with an immediate brush-back from European Council chief Donald Tusk, who said at a signing of a joint declaration between the Brussels-based security alliance and the body of EU nations that Trump should be more careful with his taunts.

‘America does not have and will not have a better ally than Europe. Today Europeans spend on defense many times more than Russia and as much as China,’ he said in remarks that were addressed to Trump.  ‘And I think you can have no doubt, Mr. President, that this is an investment in common American and European defense and security.’

Then, in the toughest challenge yet to the U.S. president, Tusk said: ‘America: appreciate your allies. After all you don’t have that many.’

U.S. President Donald Trump signaled Tuesday that European leaders can expect a reckoning when he sees them this week in Brussels at the NATO summit and faced an immediate brush-back from European Council President Donald Tusk

U.S. President Donald Trump signaled Tuesday that European leaders can expect a reckoning when he sees them this week in Brussels at the NATO summit and faced an immediate brush-back from European Council President Donald Tusk

Trump signaled in early morning tweets that foreign leaders can expect a reckoning when he sees them this week in Brussels at the NATO summit over the 'unfair' burden on the U.S. taxpayer to pay for Europe's protection. He's seen here in May of 2017 at a working dinner at last year's NATO gathering

Trump fired back minutes later as he left the White House en route to NATO.

‘We do have a lot of allies. But we cannot be taken advantage of. We’re being taken advantage of by the European Union,’ he told DailyMail.com. ‘We lost $151 billion last year on trade, and on top of that we spend at least 70 per cent for NATO, and frankly it helps them a lot more than it helps us. So we’ll see what happens.

Trump had invited the challenge in the lead-up to the alliance’s summertime summit by pillorying NATO member nations in almost-day tirades.

Just prior to Tusk’s comments on Tuesday, Trump complained that the United States is bearing the brunt of the 29-nation security alliance’s costs and said that it’s not fair to Americans, especially when the U.S. is getting hosed in economic markets.

‘The U.S. is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them. Not fair to the U.S. taxpayer,’ he griped. ‘On top of that we lose $151 Billion on Trade with the European Union. Charge us big Tariffs (& Barriers)!’

After Tusk’s slap at him — which the EU Council leader also tweeted at Trump — the president doubled down on his position, saying, ‘NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS. Very Unfair!’

Trump woke up early on Tuesday chagrined about the United States' trade relationship with allies that are part of the Brussels-based security and their lacking contributions to NATO's defense fund

Tusk fired back at Trump from NATO's new headquarter city of Brussels: 'America: appreciate your allies. After all you don’t have that many'

Tusk had acknowledged in his remarks that European countries need to step up their contributions.

‘Everyone expects an ally that is well-prepared and equipped,’ he said.

The EU Council chief assessed that ‘money is important’ yet said that ‘genuine solidarity is even more important.’

‘Speaking about solidarity, I want to dispel the American president’s argument which says that the U.S. alone protects Europe against our enemies, and threat the U.S. is almost alone in this struggle,’ he said in a repudiation of Trump’s statements.

Tusk argued that Europe ‘was first to respond on a large scale’ when terrorists attacked the U.S. on 9/11. He further noted that European soldiers have been fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with American soldiers in Afghanistan.

But Trump refused to climb down from his position as he spoke to reporters on Tuesday morning local time from the White House’s South Lawn.

‘NATO has not treated us fairly, but I think we’ll work something out. We pay far too much and they pay far too little,’ he said. ‘But we will work it out and all countries will be happy.’

He acknowledged that the relationship between the U.S. and many of its traditional allies had soured in the nearly 18 months since he took office. He said a meeting next week with the Russian president may be the ‘easiest’ leg of his four-nation visit to Europe.

Trump refused to climb down from his position as he spoke to reporters on Tuesday morning local time from the White House's South Lawn. 'NATO has not treated us fairly...We pay far too much and they pay far too little'

Trump had invited the challenge in the lead-up to the alliance's summertime summit by pillorying NATO member nations in almost-day tirades

With Trump in the air, it was his NATO Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison who was left to do the talking for him at a news conference where Trump’s flattery of Putin and his disagreements with Merkel and Tusk came up.

Hutchison told reporters that Trump backs Article 5 of NATO’s charter, which specifies that an attack on one is an attack on all.

‘He is committed to Article 5 protection just as it is in he NATO charter,’ she told press who arrived at the NATO summit in advance of the U.S. president.

She also stressed that ‘the importance of unity in NATO is what makes us different’ from other alliances that the U.S. and Europe are a part of.

‘I will say that in all of the disagreements that have happened between President Trump and the United States’ position and the EU,’ Hutchsion said, ‘our allies in NATO have remained steadfastly focused on the NATO issues, and we are in agreement, we are in unity on our security issues, and we are an alliance that has performed better, increasing our capabilities.’

Hutchison said that while Trump is hard on Germany, he believes he is ‘pulling them toward us, not away from us.’

Croatia's President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic (second from left) arrives for a NATO summit in Brussels with her entourage

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu arrive at the Alliance's headquarters ahead of the NATO summit

At a news conference just before Hutchison’s, Stoltenberg had thanked Trump for the push as he informally kicking off the 2018 summit.

‘It is clearly having an impact,’ he said. ‘We estimate that European allies and Canada will add an extra $266 billion USD to defense between now and 2024. This is significant.’

Stoltenberg said that eight countries are on track to hit their contribution targets this year compared to three in 2014.

At the presser he said he was confident that leaders would be able to put their differences over trade aside as they have done in the past, because NATO has a good story to tell.

When it comes to defense spending, he said, it is true that the burden sharing has not been fairly distributed. That is why Canada and European nations that are part of the alliance are stepping up their donations.

‘I would not be surprised if we had robust discussions at the summit, including on defense spending,’ he said. ‘Different views are common between friends and allies.’

Just how robust they would get, even he did not seem to have imagined. The NATO secretary general was pummeled in his Wednesday morning breakfast by a fired-up Trump.

Trump indicated Tuesday that he was chagrined about the United States’ trade relationship with allies that are part of the Brussels-based security organization NATO and intended to make their contributions to its defense fund the focal point of his conversations in Belgium.

The president directly linked the the trade discrepancies that inspired his heavy metal tariffs in tweets that contradicted his NATO ambassador's assessment a day prior that the policies should be evaluated separately from one another. He's pictured here talking to German Chancellor Angela Merkel in June at the G7 summit

Just 16 countries are on track to meet the agreed upon spending obligation of 2 percent GDP, the United States has said, in accordance with a 2014 pact. That’s roughly half of NATO’s 29 members.

In tweets on Monday, President Trump berated the rest for relying on America for protection while at the same time running massive trade deficits with the U.S.

The president directly linked the trade discrepancies that inspired his heavy tariffs on metal imports to Western security in tweets that contradicted his NATO ambassador’s assessment a day prior that the policies should be evaluated separately from one another.

‘NATO benefits Europe far more than it does the U.S. By some accounts, the U.S. is paying for 90% of NATO, with many countries nowhere close to their 2% commitments,’ Trump said. ‘On top of this the European Union has a Trade Surplus of $151 Million with the U.S., with big Trade Barriers on U.S. goods. NO!’

The president put trade on the table in talks that begin Wednesday in Brussels with the tweets that he continued to send even after he had departed the U.S. for Belgium.

His trip to Brussels was proving to be a repeat of the testy confrontation he had with leaders from allied nations in June at the G7 summit in Charlevoix.

He butted heads with them on trade in Canada, also, complaining in conversations that NATO is ‘much too costly for the U.S’ and almost as bad as the North American Free Trade Agreement.

In Belgium, he was due to come face-to-face with Canada’s Justin Trudeau for the first time since senior aides to Trump accused the prime minister of trying to sabotage the American president’s Singapore summit.

He was also assured to have an uncomfortable encounter with Germany’s long-running chancellor, Merkel.

He put on the table in talks that begin Wednesday in Brussels with the tweets that kicked off a day that was supposed to be focused on his Supreme Court appointment on Monday

TRUMP’S AGENDA IN BRUSSELS

President Trump arrives in Brussels on Tuesday evening local time July 10.

He begins his Wednesday with a bilateral meeting with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg. His secretaries of defense and state and his national security adviser will also participate in the conversation.

Trump will next meet with the United States’ Brussels missions’ staff and families, as is customary for a U.S. president when visiting foreign countries.

Later on Wednesday he will attend an opening ceremony at the NATO headquarters. There, he will meet privately with unknown heads of government.

He will attend a working dinner that evening with fellow leaders.

Wednesday morning leaders will participate in meeting with the presidents of Georgia and Ukraine.

An Afghan strategy session follows.

Trump departs Belgium on Wednesday afternoon for London, where he has a working visit with Prime Minister Theresa May and an audience with the queen before a weekend in Scotland.

He caps his trip to Europe with a stop in Helsinki, Finland, for a summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

He will also likely to be pressed on a decision to conclude his trip to Europe with a tacked-on stop in Finland to negotiate with NATO nemesis and Russian head of state Putin.

The president who has groused since he was a candidate about NATO burden sharing was expected to put pressure of his own on member nations in Brussels to meet the soft goal of 2 percent GDP for defense spending. The guideline was agreed to by the group years before he took office.

‘The United States is spending far more on NATO than any other Country. This is not fair, nor is it acceptable. While these countries have been increasing their contributions since I took office, they must do much more. Germany is at 1%, the U.S. is at 4%,’ Trump harped in a message on Monday.

He has singled out Germany as a violator incessantly. His defense secretary recently put a microscope on spending by the contribution-abiding U.K. in a new twist of the knife, as well.

Trump hammered Germany at a Thursday evening rally, in Montana, where he claimed that he told Merkel that he believes Europe is benefited more by the security alliance because of its proximity to Russia than the U.S.

He repeated the charge in tweets on Monday in which he again brought up the EU’s trade deficit with the United States.

A day prior, Hutchison, had insisted on Fox News that trade and security were not related and should not be a subject of NATO talks.

‘One thing I will say is that in all of the disagreements that we have seen at the G7 and with allies with whom we are now having trade talks and negotiations and tariffs, that has not come up in the NATO context,’ she stated. ‘Our diplomats are professional and they are staying on our NATO issues, where we are 100 percent allied.’

An outside view of the NATO building is seen at the NATO's new headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. The security organization has its annual summit in Belgium this week

An outside view of the NATO building is seen at the NATO’s new headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. The security organization has its annual summit in Belgium this week

She said prior to the summit that Russia’s ‘malign activities’ and a ‘rising China’ would be the foremost topics.

The president on Friday slapped $34 billion in tariffs on China that were aimed at reducing a trade deficit with the country that the U.S. has also accused of rampant and intentional intellectual property violations. He said Tuesday that he intends to hit Beijing with $200 billion more in penalties.

He is also said to have told France’s Macron that the EU is worse than China on trade in some ways when they met in Canada last month.

The rift over trade and the president’s planned talks with Putin set the stage for more tension in Belgium.

Hucthison pointed out on Sunday that Trump’s way of doing business had been effective, though, pointing to increased contributions to NATO since he took office.

‘NATO really is making progress and they are doing it really at President Trump’s insistence, and I think that it’s very clear, and he’s been very direct about the Europeans needing to do more for their own security,’ she said. ‘Every ally is now increasing defense spending.’

Trump’s liaison to NATO said, ‘We’ve had the largest increase in defense spending since the Cold War. And in the year and a half since President Trump has been in office, it has doubled since 2014.

‘So, I think he is making an impact and I think that the Europeans, including Chancellor Merkel just recently who has said we are going to do more,’ she said. ‘We need to do more, it’s the right thing to do and she is encouraging her Bundestag, her parliament, to increase the defense budget so that we will be more fit for purpose in NATO for the fights that we want to deter.’

A day prior, U.S. Ambassador to NATO, Kay Bailey Hucthison, had insisted on Fox News that trade and security were not related and should not be a subject of NATO talks

Merkel said last month in a speech to parliament that she anticipates ‘very difficult’ talks in Brussels in a reference to the increasingly complicated relationship between Germany and the United States in the era of Donald Trump.

‘It is no secret that the transatlantic alliance is under strain at the moment but we are convinced that the alliance remains central to our common security,’ the European leader stated.

Trump hit back at her on Thursday evening, saying in remarks at a campaign event for a U.S. Senate candidate that Europe is killing America on trade and paying Russia billions for oil and gas all while complaining that it needs protection from Putin and his military.

‘We’re paying anywhere from 70- to 90-percent to protect Europe. And that’s fine. Of course, they kill us on trade. They kill us on other things,’ he proclaimed. ‘So they want to protect against Russia, yet they pay billions of dollars to Russia and we’re the schmucks paying for the whole thing.’

The president said he told Merkel in an undated conversation that he couldn’t commit to protecting Germany from Putin’s army.

‘Putin is fine. He’s fine. We’re all people,’ he said. ‘Will I be prepared? I’ve been preparing for this stuff all my life.’

Hutchison said Sunday that she does not agree with the president’s assessment of Putin. She said Trump is right, however, to engage with the former KGB spy who has personally been accused by the U.S. of directing a scheme to disrupt the 2016 presidential election.

‘We should be talking to Vladimir Putin and many of our allied nations do as well,’ she said. ‘But it is to try to bring them in the tent instead of just constantly seeing them do these things that are attempting to disrupt us, but will not.’

She claimed on Tuesday at a news conference that Trump was saying at his rally that he was ‘not certain’ that Germany could pay out more money to NATO, not that he was unclear about the United States’ continued ability to protect the ally from Russia. Trump promptly contradicted her Wednesday when he indicated that’s exactly what he meant during his breakfast with Stoltenberg.

Germany’s defense minister, von der Leyen, said Wednesday on CNBC that Trump is right that Germany needs to increase its defense contribution — and said that it has.

The German official said her country also backs Trump’s summit next week with Putin.

‘It is good that he talking to President Putin,’ she said. ‘We have a lot of issues with Russia without question, but it’s good to be in a dialogue.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5941337/Germany-captive-Russia-Trump-dresses-NATOs-secretary-general-Brussels.html

The LNG supply chain

What is LNG ?

LNG, which stands for Liquefied Natural Gas, is natural gas that has been converted to a liquid state by cooling to below -163°C. In this form, it occupies 600 times less space than before cooling, while retaining the same calorific value. This makes transport much easier.

Setting up a LNG chain requires investment in several types of facility:

– Exploration, to detect deposits of natural gas (which are generally discovered during oil exploration operations) and extraction/production

– Storage then liquefaction, to convert the natural gas from “gaseous” to “liquid” form in which it can be transported by tanker

– Transportation by special vessels called LNG tankers

– Storage then regasification, to restore the natural gas to its gaseous form, in which it can be transmitted through pipelines for consumption by end customers.

The differents steps of a LNG supply chain

 

The history of LNG

Natural gas liquefaction was developed in the 19th century by the British chemist and physicist Michael Faraday, who experimented with liquefying several gases, including natural gas. The first liquefaction plant was built in the United States in 1917. The first commercial operation began in 1941, again in the US. In January 1959, a former World War II cargo ship was converted into a tanker, the Methane Pioneer, to carry LNG between Lake Charles (Louisiana, USA) and Canvey Island (UK). Long-distance LNG transportation had become a reality. The 7 deliveries made in the following 14 months suffered only minor technical problems. Following this success, the British Gas Council decided to set up a commercial route between Venezuela and Canvey Island. In 1964, the UK became the first LNG importer, and Algeria the first exporter. Subsequently, several countries became interested in this new supply technique, including France, which built its first LNG terminal at Le Havre in 1965 (dismantled in 1989). The terminals of Fos-Tonkin (1972), Montoir-de-Bretagne (1980), Fos-Cavaou (2010) and Dunkerque (2016) are all part of the strategy to diversify national and European natural gas supplies.

sharelngimports

Share of LNG among the total of natural gas imports in France in 2014

Worldwide, there are currently 26 liquefaction terminals in 16 countries, and 95 regasification terminals in 33 countries. Furthermore, there are plans for several both liquefaction and regasification terminals: if some of these projects  will never be built, other are under construction.

 

The LNG supply chain

A LNG supply chain is made up of 4 interdependent segments: exploration/production, liquefaction, transportation and regasification. Each of these segments has its own specific industrial processes and involves specific rules and participants.

1. Exploration – production

At the heart of this essential activity, specialists analyse geological structure to identify areas that may contain hydrocarbons. They carry out special tests, such as seismic analysis, to confirm their initial assessments. Drilling is undertaken when there is a high probability of discovering gas (or oil). If the well is viable (after a series of tests, measurements and additional drilling), it can go into production.

2. Liquefaction

The natural gas extracted from the deposit is filtered and purified, so as not to damage equipment during the conversion from gas to liquid, and in order to meet the specifications of the importing regions. This means that the liquefaction process produces a natural gas with a methane content close to 100%. Liquefaction plants often consist of several installations arranged in parallel, called “liquefaction trains”. The liquefaction process reduces the volume of gas by a factor of around 600, in other words 1 cubic metre of LNG at -163°C has the same energy content as 600 cubic metres of “gaseous” gas at ambient temperature and atmospheric pressure. The density of LNG is around 45% that of water.

3. LNG transportation

LNG tankers are double-hulled ships specially designed to prevent hull leaks and ruptures in the event of accident. The LNG is stored in tanks (generally 4 to 5 per tanker) at a temperature of -163°C and at atmospheric pressure. There are currently 3 types of LNG carrier, each corresponding to a different tank design: membrane tanks, spherical tanks and IHI Prismatic tanks. In 2009, carriers with membrane tanks accounted for more than 60% of world LNG transportation capacity, and more than 85% of orders. This is so far the only technology which allows the construction of large capacity carriers such as the Q-flex (210,000 cu. m.) and Q-max (260,000 cu. m.) vessels.

Chaine-GNL-31

 

Interior of a membrane type tank in an LNG carrier (Source: GTT)

 

4. Storage and regasification

Once received and offloaded, the liquefied natural gas is returned to cryogenic storage tanks – usually varying in capacity from 100,000 to 160,000 cubic meters, depending on the site – where it is kept at a temperature of -163°C prior to regasification. Regasification consists of gradually warming the gas back up to a temperature of over 0°C. It is done under high pressures of 60 to 100 bar, usually in a series of seawater percolation heat exchangers, the most energy efficient technique when water of the right quality is available. An alternative method is to burn some of the gas to provide heat. On its way out of the terminal, the gas undergoes any treatment processes needed to bring its characteristics in line with regulatory and end-user requirements. Its heating value, for example, may be tweaked by altering nitrogen, butane or propane content or blending it with other gases.

 

Exporting and importing countries

image1

The LNG importing countries can be divided into 2 markets: the Atlantic Basin and the Pacific Basin. The Pacific Basin comprises countries along the Pacific and in South Asia (including India). The Atlantic Basin covers Europe, North and West Africa and the Atlantic coast of the American continent.

The Pacific Basin market emerged in the 1990s, at a time when demand in some Asian countries increased significantly (mainly Japan and South Korea). LNG represented an alternative to oil, and the goal was to maintain security of supply even at relatively high cost. The Atlantic Basin market emerged later in the 1990s, for reasons of security of supply and also in anticipation of a fall in some countries’ domestic reserves.

We can note that there are less and less exporting countries. Thus, in 2015 there were 17 exporting countries whereas there were 19 in 2014.

LNG exports (Source: IGU “2016 World LNG Report”)

 

In contrast to the declining number of exporters, the number of importers is growing. In 2015, there were 34 LNG importing countries. Although it tends to import lower LNG quatities, Japan remains the world’s biggest LNG importer, followed by South Korea. The reason is that those countries – just like a great part of Asia-Pacific region –  are extremely dependent on LNG for their gas consumption.

LNG imports (Source: IGU “2016 World LNG Report”)

 

https://www.gasinfocus.com/en/focus/the-lng-supply-chain/

 

Trump and Merkel clash at fraught NATO summit

Damon WAKE

,

AFP

US President Donald Trump traded barbs with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a tense NATO summit Wednesday after he accused Berlin of being “captive” to Russia and demanded it immediately step up defence spending.

The two-day meet in Brussels is shaping up as the alliance’s most difficult in years, with Europe and the US engaged in a bitter trade spat and Trump demanding that NATO allies “reimburse” Washington for defending the continent.

Merkel, who grew up in communist East Germany, shot back that she knew what it meant to be under Kremlin domination and Germany had the right to make its own policy choices.

European alliance members were braced for criticism from Trump on defence spending, but his blistering attack on Germany at a breakfast meeting with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg took the summit by surprise.

“Germany is a captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia,” Trump said, taking particular aim at the proposed Nord Stream II gas pipeline, which he has previously criticised.

“Everybody’s talking about it all over the world, they’re saying we’re paying you billions of dollars to protect you but you’re paying billions of dollars to Russia.”

Video: Trump Attends NATO Summit Amid Tense Relations With Allies

For more news videos visit Yahoo View.  

Merkel ramped up the febrile atmosphere of the summit with a sharp reply on arriving at NATO HQ.

“I myself have also experienced a part of Germany being controlled by the Soviet Union,” she said.

“I am very glad that we are united today in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany and that we can therefore also make our own independent policies and make our own independent decisions.”

The pair later met for a one-on-one meeting and while Trump insisted they had a “very very good relationship”, their frosty body language suggested otherwise.

Merkel said she welcomed the chance to have an “exchange of views” with Trump.

– ‘Step it up’ –

Trump has long complained that European NATO members do not pay enough for their own defence, singling out Germany for particular criticism.

NATO allies agreed at a summit in Wales in 2014 to move towards spending two percent of GDP on defence by 2024. But Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, spends just 1.24 percent, compared with 3.5 percent for the US.

“These countries have to step it up — not over a 10 year period, they have to step it up immediately,” Trump said.

“We’re protecting Germany, France and everybody… this has been going on for decades,” Trump said. “We can’t put up with it and it’s inappropriate.”

Stoltenberg acknowledged that Trump had expressed himself in “very direct language” but insisted that away from the fiery rhetoric the allies all agree on fundamental issues: the need to boost NATO’s resilience, fight terror and share the cost of defence more equally.

NATO officials and diplomats will try to promote an image of unity at the summit in the face of growing unease about the threat from Russia, but with the row between Merkel and Trump it may prove difficult to paper over the cracks.

The mercurial tycoon said before leaving Washington that his meeting in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday “may be the easiest” part of his European tour, which also includes a trip to Britain, where the government is in crisis over Brexit.

– ‘Appreciate your allies’ –

Trump ramped up his rhetoric ahead of the talks, explicitly linking NATO with the transatlantic trade row by saying the EU shut out US business while expecting America to defend it.

EU President Donald Tusk stepped up to the fight with his own salvo against Trump on Tuesday, telling him to “appreciate your allies” and reminding him Washington that Europe had come to its aid following the 9/11 attacks.

European diplomats fear a repeat of last month’s divisive G7 in Canada, when Trump clashed with his Western allies before meeting North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un at a summit and praising him as “very talented”.

There have been fears that Trump, keen to be seen to make a breakthrough with the Kremlin strongman, might make concessions in his meeting with Putin that would weaken Western unity over issues such as Ukraine and Syria.

US ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison urged allies to look beyond Trump’s rhetoric and focus on the summit declaration for the alliance’s future work — which the US is expected to back.

And she said she expected Trump to recommit to one of the founding articles of NATO — Article 5 — which holds that an attack on one member is an attack on them all.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-slams-captive-germany-nato-summit-081237901.html

NATO Funding and Burdensharing
May 19, 2017 (IN10704)
|
Related Author
Paul Belkin
|
Paul Belkin, Analyst in European Affairs (pbelkin@crs.loc.gov, 7-0220)
President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with NATO heads of state and government in Brussels on May 25, 2017.
This will be the President’s first collective meeting with his counterparts from NATO’s other 27 member states.
President Trump is expected to continue to strongly urge NATO members to increase defense spending and enhance
military capabilities.

For numerous reasons—not least the United States’ status as the world’s preeminent military power—U.S. defense
spending levels long have been significantly higher than those of any other NATO ally. Since NATO’s founding,
successive U.S. Administrations have characterized a steadfast U.S. commitment to NATO as essential to advancing a
key U.S. security interest: peace and stability in Europe. Nevertheless, the relative imbalance in defense spending and
military capabilities within NATO has long fueled concerns about burdensharing and European allies’ reliance on U.S.
defense guarantees.

NATO members contribute to the alliance financially in various ways. The most fundamental way is by funding, in
members’ individual national defense budgets, the deployment of their respective armed forces to support NATO
missions.

NATO member states also fund NATO’s annual budget of about $2.5 billion. National contributions fund the day-to-day
operations of NATO headquarters, as well as some collective NATO military assets and infrastructure. The U.S. share
of these so-called common-funded budgets is currently about 22%, followed by Germany (15%), France (11%), and the
United Kingdom (UK; 10%).

Defense Spending Targets
As signatories of NATO’s founding North Atlantic Treaty, member states commit to “maintain and develop their
individual and collective capacity to resist armed attack” (Article 3) and, in the case of an armed attack against one or
more allies, to take “such action as [they] deem necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the
security of the North Atlantic area” (Article 5). However, decisions about individual national contributions to specific
NATO missions are essentially voluntary.

In 2006, NATO members agreed informally to aim to allocate at least 2% of gross domestic product (GDP) to their
national defense budgets annually and to devote at least 20% of national defense expenditure to research and
development and procurement. These targets were formalized at NATO’s 2014 Wales Summit, when the allies pledged
to “halt any decline in defence expenditure” and to “aim to move towards the 2% guideline within a decade.” The 2%
and 20% spending targets are intended to guide national defense spending by individual NATO members; they do not
refer to contributions made directly to NATO.

Most analysts agree that the 2% spending figure “does not represent any type of critical threshold or ‘tipping point’ in
terms of defence capabilities.” The target is considered politically and symbolically important, however. NATO does
not impose sanctions on countries that fail to meet the target.

In 2016, 5 allies met or exceeded the 2% target (Estonia, Greece, Poland, the UK, and the United States); 10 allies met
or exceeded the 20% target (France, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Romania, Turkey, the UK, and the
United States); and 3 allies met both targets (Poland, the UK, and the United States).

NATO figures for 2015 indicate that if every ally were to have met the 2% benchmark, the aggregate sum of NATO
members’ national defense budgets would have increased by about $100 billion (from $891 billion to $989 billion).
Although most analysts agree that such an increase could benefit the alliance significantly, many stress that how
additional resources are invested is equally, if not more, important. Critics note, for example, that an ally spending less
than 2% of GDP on defense could have more modern, effective military capabilities than an ally that meets the 2%
target but allocates most of that funding to personnel costs and relatively little to procurement and modernization.
Defense Spending Trends and Future Prospects
NATO and U.S. officials say they are encouraged that many allies have bolstered their defense budgets in recent years,
largely in response to Russian aggression in Eastern Europe. According to NATO, in 2016, 23 allies increased defense
spending compared to 2015, in real terms. NATO officials expect at least three more allies (Latvia, Lithuania, and
Romania) to meet the 2% guideline in 2017 or 2018. Other allied governments, including France and Germany, have
reiterated their commitment to meeting the 2% target by 2024.
Nevertheless, ongoing fiscal challenges facing many European governments and broad public skepticism of military
action could impede some allies’ plans to increase defense spending. To help stretch existing defense resources, NATO
and U.S. leaders have called for more progress on allied defense cooperation initiatives, including the joint acquisition
of shared capabilities.

U.S. Policy and Considerations for Congress
U.S. calls for increased allied defense spending are not new, but the Trump Administration has approached the issue
more stridently than its predecessors. Defense Secretary James Mattis’s suggestion in February 2017 that the United
States could moderate its commitment to NATO if spending increases are not forthcoming caused particular concern
within the alliance, given that past U.S. Administrations had never linked spending levels to the U.S. commitment to
NATO to this degree.

Trump Administration officials have acknowledged the upward trend in allied defense spending but also have indicated
that they will continue to seek more specific commitments to achieve NATO targets.
U.S. concerns about defense spending and burdensharing raise several broader policy questions related to the nature and
scope of U.S. commitments to NATO and the appropriate U.S. military presence in Europe that could be of interest to
Congress, including the following:
How does NATO membership advance U.S. national security interests? Some analysts argue that a robust U.S.
commitment to NATO and force presence in Europe continues to advance key U.S. national security interests,
especially given recent Russian aggression in Europe. Others contend that the U.S. commitment to European security
could be scaled back to ensure greater European contributions.

Is the 2% defense spending target the best means to enhance allied military capabilities? Some analysts argue that
NATO should focus more on ensuring more effective defense spending than on increasing aggregate defense spending,
including through pooling and sharing of defense resources. Others counter that effective defense cooperation requires
minimum defense spending levels.

https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/IN10704.pdf

NATO

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North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Organisation du Traité de l’Atlantique Nord
NATO OTAN landscape logo.svg

Logo
Flag of NATO.svg

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (orthographic projection).svg

Member states of NATO
Abbreviation NATO, OTAN
Formation 4 April 1949; 69 years ago
Type Military alliance
Headquarters BrusselsBelgium
Membership
Official language
English
French[1]
Jens Stoltenberg
Air Chief MarshalStuart PeachRoyal Air Force
General Curtis ScaparrottiUnited States Army
Général Denis MercierFrench Air Force
Expenses (2017) US$946 billion[2]
Website NATO.int

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO /ˈnt/FrenchOrganisation du Traité de l’Atlantique NordOTAN), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. The alliance is based on the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949.[3][4] NATO constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party. NATO Headquarters are located in HarenBrusselsBelgium, while the headquarters of Allied Command Operations is near MonsBelgium.

NATO was little more than a political association until the Korean War galvanized the organization’s member states, and an integrated military structure was built up under the direction of two US Supreme Commanders. The course of the Cold War led to a rivalry with nations of the Warsaw Pact which formed in 1955. Doubts over the strength of the relationship between the European states and the United States ebbed and flowed, along with doubts over the credibility of the NATO defense against a prospective Soviet invasion—doubts that led to the development of the independent French nuclear deterrent and the withdrawal of France from NATO’s military structure in 1966 for 30 years. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany in 1989, the organization conducted its first military interventions in Bosnia from 1992 to 1995 and later Yugoslavia in 1999 during the breakup of Yugoslavia.[5] Politically, the organization sought better relations with former Warsaw Pact countries, several of which joined the alliance in 1999 and 2004.

Article 5 of the North Atlantic treaty, requiring member states to come to the aid of any member state subject to an armed attack, was invoked for the first and only time after the September 11 attacks,[6] after which troops were deployed to Afghanistan under the NATO-led ISAF. The organization has operated a range of additional roles since then, including sending trainers to Iraq, assisting in counter-piracy operations[7] and in 2011 enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1973. The less potent Article 4, which merely invokes consultation among NATO members, has been invoked five times following incidents in the Iraq WarSyrian Civil War, and annexation of Crimea.

Since its founding, the admission of new member states has increased the alliance from the original 12 countries to 29. The most recent member state to be added to NATO is Montenegro on 5 June 2017. NATO currently recognizes Bosnia and HerzegovinaGeorgiaMacedonia and Ukraine as aspiring members.[8] An additional 21 countries participate in NATO’s Partnership for Peace program, with 15 other countries involved in institutionalized dialogue programs. The combined military spending of all NATO members constitutes over 70% of the global total.[9] Members’ defense spending is supposed to amount to at least 2% of GDP by 2024.[10]

History

Beginnings

Eleven men in suits stand around a large desk at which another man is signing a document.

The North Atlantic Treaty was signed by US President Harry S. Truman in Washington, on 4 April 1949 and was ratified by the United States in August 1949.

The Treaty of Brussels was a mutual defence treaty against the Soviet threat at the start of the Cold War. It was signed on 17 March 1948 by Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, and the United Kingdom. It was the precursor to NATO. The Soviet threat became immediate with the Berlin Blockade in 1948, leading to the creation of a multinational defence organization, the Western Union Defence Organisation, in September 1948.[11] However, the parties were too weak militarily to counter the Soviet Armed Forces. In addition, the 1948 Czechoslovak coup d’état by the Communists had overthrown a democratic government and British Foreign Minister Ernest Bevinreiterated that the best way to prevent another Czechoslovakia was to evolve a joint Western military strategy. He got a receptive hearing in the United States, especially considering American anxiety over Italy (and the Italian Communist Party).[12]

In 1948, European leaders met with US defence, military and diplomatic officials at the Pentagon, under US Secretary of State George C. Marshall‘s orders, exploring a framework for a new and unprecedented association.[13] Talks for a new military alliance resulted in the North Atlantic Treaty, which was signed by US President Harry S. Truman in Washington on 4 April 1949. It included the five Treaty of Brussels states plus the United States, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland.[14] The first NATO Secretary GeneralLord Ismay, stated in 1949 that the organization’s goal was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down”.[15] Popular support for the Treaty was not unanimous, and some Icelanders participated in a pro-neutrality, anti-membership riot in March 1949. The creation of NATO can be seen as the primary institutional consequence of a school of thought called Atlanticism which stressed the importance of trans-Atlantic cooperation.[16]

The members agreed that an armed attack against any one of them in Europe or North America would be considered an attack against them all. Consequently, they agreed that, if an armed attack occurred, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence, would assist the member being attacked, taking such action as it deemed necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area. The treaty does not require members to respond with military action against an aggressor. Although obliged to respond, they maintain the freedom to choose the method by which they do so. This differs from Article IV of the Treaty of Brussels, which clearly states that the response will be military in nature. It is nonetheless assumed that NATO members will aid the attacked member militarily. The treaty was later clarified to include both the member’s territory and their “vessels, forces or aircraft” above the Tropic of Cancer, including some overseas departments of France.[17]

The creation of NATO brought about some standardization of allied military terminology, procedures, and technology, which in many cases meant European countries adopting US practices. The roughly 1300 Standardization Agreements (STANAG) codified many of the common practices that NATO has achieved. Hence, the 7.62×51mm NATO rifle cartridge was introduced in the 1950s as a standard firearm cartridge among many NATO countries.[18] Fabrique Nationale de Herstal‘s FAL, which used the 7.62mm NATO cartridge, was adopted by 75 countries, including many outside of NATO.[19] Also, aircraft marshalling signals were standardized, so that any NATO aircraft could land at any NATO base. Other standards such as the NATO phonetic alphabet have made their way beyond NATO into civilian use.[20]

Cold War

The outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 was crucial for NATO as it raised the apparent threat of all Communist countries working together and forced the alliance to develop concrete military plans.[21] Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) was formed to direct forces in Europe, and began work under Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower in January 1951.[22] In September 1950, the NATO Military Committee called for an ambitious buildup of conventional forces to meet the Soviets, subsequently reaffirming this position at the February 1952 meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Lisbon. The Lisbon conference, seeking to provide the forces necessary for NATO’s Long-Term Defence Plan, called for an expansion to ninety-six divisions. However this requirement was dropped the following year to roughly thirty-five divisions with heavier use to be made of nuclear weapons. At this time, NATO could call on about fifteen ready divisions in Central Europe, and another ten in Italy and Scandinavia.[23][24] Also at Lisbon, the post of Secretary General of NATO as the organization’s chief civilian was created, and Lord Ismay was eventually appointed to the post.[25]

Two soldiers crouch under a tree while a tank sits on a road in front of them.

The German Bundeswehr provided the largest element of the allied land forces guarding the frontier in Central Europe.

In September 1952, the first major NATO maritime exercises began; Exercise Mainbrace brought together 200 ships and over 50,000 personnel to practice the defence of Denmark and Norway.[26] Other major exercises that followed included Exercise Grand Slam and Exercise Longstep, naval and amphibious exercises in the Mediterranean Sea, Italic Weld, a combined air-naval-ground exercise in northern Italy, Grand Repulse, involving the British Army on the Rhine (BAOR), the Netherlands Corps and Allied Air Forces Central Europe (AAFCE), Monte Carlo, a simulated atomic air-ground exercise involving the Central Army Group, and Weldfast, a combined amphibious landing exercise in the Mediterranean Sea involving American, British, Greek, Italian and Turkish naval forces.[27]

Greece and Turkey also joined the alliance in 1952, forcing a series of controversial negotiations, in which the United States and Britain were the primary disputants, over how to bring the two countries into the military command structure.[22] While this overt military preparation was going on, covert stay-behind arrangements initially made by the Western European Union to continue resistance after a successful Soviet invasion, including Operation Gladio, were transferred to NATO control. Ultimately unofficial bonds began to grow between NATO’s armed forces, such as the NATO Tiger Association and competitions such as the Canadian Army Trophy for tank gunnery.[28][29]

A 1952 US postage stampcommemorating the third anniversary of NATO. Stamps honoring the organization were issued by many member countries.

In 1954, the Soviet Union suggested that it should join NATO to preserve peace in Europe.[30] The NATO countries, fearing that the Soviet Union’s motive was to weaken the alliance, ultimately rejected this proposal.

On 17 December 1954, the North Atlantic Council approved MC 48, a key document in the evolution of NATO nuclear thought. MC 48 emphasized that NATO would have to use atomic weapons from the outset of a war with the Soviet Union whether or not the Soviets chose to use them first. This gave SACEUR the same prerogatives for automatic use of nuclear weapons as existed for the commander-in-chief of the US Strategic Air Command.

The incorporation of West Germany into the organization on 9 May 1955 was described as “a decisive turning point in the history of our continent” by Halvard LangeForeign Affairs Minister of Norway at the time.[31] A major reason for Germany’s entry into the alliance was that without German manpower, it would have been impossible to field enough conventional forces to resist a Soviet invasion.[32] One of its immediate results was the creation of the Warsaw Pact, which was signed on 14 May 1955 by the Soviet Union, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, and East Germany, as a formal response to this event, thereby delineating the two opposing sides of the Cold War.

Three major exercises were held concurrently in the northern autumn of 1957. Operation Counter PunchOperation Strikeback, and Operation Deep Water were the most ambitious military undertaking for the alliance to date, involving more than 250,000 men, 300 ships, and 1,500 aircraft operating from Norway to Turkey.[33]

French withdrawal

A map of France with red and blue markings indicating air force bases as of 1966.

Map of the NATO air bases in France before Charles de Gaulle‘s 1966 withdrawal from NATO military integrated command

NATO’s unity was breached early in its history with a crisis occurring during Charles de Gaulle‘s presidency of France.[34] De Gaulle protested against the United States’ strong role in the organization and what he perceived as a special relationship between it and the United Kingdom. In a memorandum sent to President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Prime Minister Harold Macmillan on 17 September 1958, he argued for the creation of a tripartite directorate that would put France on an equal footing with the US and the UK.[35]

Considering the response to be unsatisfactory, de Gaulle began constructing an independent defence force for his country. He wanted to give France, in the event of an East German incursion into West Germany, the option of coming to a separate peace with the Eastern bloc instead of being drawn into a larger NATO–Warsaw Pact war.[36] In February 1959, France withdrew its Mediterranean Fleet from NATO command,[37] and later banned the stationing of foreign nuclear weapons on French soil. This caused the United States to transfer two hundred military aircraft out of France and return control of the air force bases that it had operated in France since 1950 to the French by 1967.

Though France showed solidarity with the rest of NATO during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, de Gaulle continued his pursuit of an independent defence by removing France’s Atlantic and Channel fleets from NATO command.[38] In 1966, all French armed forces were removed from NATO’s integrated military command, and all non-French NATO troops were asked to leave France. US Secretary of State Dean Rusk was later quoted as asking de Gaulle whether his order included “the bodies of American soldiers in France’s cemeteries?”[39] This withdrawal forced the relocation of SHAPE from Rocquencourt, near Paris, to Casteau, north of Mons, Belgium, by 16 October 1967.[40] France remained a member of the alliance, and committed to the defence of Europe from possible Warsaw Pact attack with its own forces stationed in the Federal Republic of Germany throughout the Cold War. A series of secret accords between US and French officials, the Lemnitzer–Ailleret Agreements, detailed how French forces would dovetail back into NATO’s command structure should East-West hostilities break out.[41]

When de Gaulle announced his decision to withdraw from the integrated NATO command, President Lyndon Johnson suggested that when de Gaulle “comes rushing down like a locomotive on the track, why the Germans and ourselves, we just stand aside and let him go on by, then we are back together again.”[42] The vision came true. France announced their return to full participation at the 2009 Strasbourg–Kehl summit.[43]

Détente and escalation

Two older men in suits sit next to each other, while a third stands behind leaning in to listen to the right man talk. US President Richard Nixon talked with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev in 1973.

Détente led to many high level meetings between leaders from both NATO and the Warsaw Pact.

Wim van Eekelen, Minister of Defence of the Netherlands, greeting US soldiers arriving as they are deployed to NATO bases (1987).

During most of the Cold War, NATO’s watch against the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact did not actually lead to direct military action. On 1 July 1968, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons opened for signature: NATO argued that its nuclear sharing arrangements did not breach the treaty as US forces controlled the weapons until a decision was made to go to war, at which point the treaty would no longer be controlling. Few states knew of the NATO nuclear sharing arrangements at that time, and they were not challenged. In May 1978, NATO countries officially defined two complementary aims of the Alliance, to maintain security and pursue détente. This was supposed to mean matching defences at the level rendered necessary by the Warsaw Pact’s offensive capabilities without spurring a further arms race.[44]

A map of Europe showing several countries on the left in blue, while ones on the right are in red. Other unaffiliated countries are in white.

During the Cold War, most of Europe was divided between two alliances. Members of NATO are shown in blue, with members of the Warsaw Pact in red, unaffiliated countries are in grey. Yugoslavia, although communist, had left the Soviet sphere in 1948, while Albania was only a Warsaw Pact member until 1968.

On 12 December 1979, in light of a build-up of Warsaw Pact nuclear capabilities in Europe, ministers approved the deployment of US GLCM cruise missiles and Pershing II theatre nuclear weapons in Europe. The new warheads were also meant to strengthen the western negotiating position regarding nuclear disarmament. This policy was called the Dual Track policy.[45] Similarly, in 1983–84, responding to the stationing of Warsaw Pact SS-20 medium-range missiles in Europe, NATO deployed modern Pershing II missiles tasked to hit military targets such as tank formations in the event of war.[46] This action led to peace movement protests throughout Western Europe, and support for the deployment wavered as many doubted whether the push for deployment could be sustained.

The membership of the organization at this time remained largely static. In 1974, as a consequence of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, Greece withdrew its forces from NATO’s military command structure but, with Turkish cooperation, were readmitted in 1980[citation needed]. The Falklands War between the United Kingdom and Argentina did not result in NATO involvement because article 6 of the North Atlantic Treaty specifies that collective self-defence is only applicable to attacks on member state territories north of the Tropic of Cancer.[47] On 30 May 1982, NATO gained a new member when the newly democratic Spain joined the alliance; Spain’s membership was confirmed by referendum in 1986. At the peak of the Cold War, 16 member nations maintained an approximate strength of 5,252,800 active military, including as many as 435,000 forward deployed US forces, under a command structure that reached a peak of 78 headquarters, organized into four echelons.[48]

After the Cold War

The Revolutions of 1989 and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact in 1991 removed the de facto main adversary of NATO and caused a strategic re-evaluation of NATO’s purpose, nature, tasks, and their focus on the continent of Europe. This shift started with the 1990 signing in Paris of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe between NATO and the Soviet Union, which mandated specific military reductions across the continent that continued after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991.[49] At that time, European countries accounted for 34 percent of NATO’s military spending; by 2012, this had fallen to 21 percent.[50] NATO also began a gradual expansion to include newly autonomous Central and Eastern European nations, and extended its activities into political and humanitarian situations that had not formerly been NATO concerns.

Two men in suits sit signing documents at a large table in front of their country's flags. Two others stand outside watching them.

Reforms made under Mikhail Gorbachev led to the end of the Warsaw Pact.

The first post-Cold War expansion of NATO came with German reunification on 3 October 1990, when the former East Germany became part of the Federal Republic of Germany and the alliance. This had been agreed in the Two Plus Four Treaty earlier in the year. To secure Soviet approval of a united Germany remaining in NATO, it was agreed that foreign troops and nuclear weapons would not be stationed in the east, and there are diverging views on whether negotiators gave commitments regarding further NATO expansion east.[51] Jack Matlock, American ambassador to the Soviet Union during its final years, said that the West gave a “clear commitment” not to expand, and declassified documents indicate that Soviet negotiators were given the impression that NATO membership was off the table for countries such as Czechoslovakia, Hungary, or Poland.[52] Hans-Dietrich Genscher, the West German foreign minister at that time, said in a conversation with Eduard Shevardnadze that “[f]or us, however, one thing is certain: NATO will not expand to the east.”[52] In 1996, Gorbachev wrote in his Memoirs, that “during the negotiations on the unification of Germany they gave assurances that NATO would not extend its zone of operation to the east,”[53] and repeated this view in an interview in 2008.[54] According to Robert Zoellick, a State Department official involved in the Two Plus Four negotiating process, this appears to be a misperception, and no formal commitment regarding enlargement was made.[55]

As part of post-Cold War restructuring, NATO’s military structure was cut back and reorganized, with new forces such as the Headquarters Allied Command Europe Rapid Reaction Corps established. The changes brought about by the collapse of the Soviet Union on the military balance in Europe were recognized in the Adapted Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty, which was signed in 1999. The policies of French President Nicolas Sarkozy resulted in a major reform of France’s military position, culminating with the return to full membership on 4 April 2009, which also included France rejoining the NATO Military Command Structure, while maintaining an independent nuclear deterrent.[41][56]

Enlargement and reform

A pale yellow building with square columns with three flags hanging in front and soldiers and dignitaries saluting them.

The NATO flag being raised in a ceremony marking Croatia‘s joining of the alliance in 2009.

Between 1994 and 1997, wider forums for regional cooperation between NATO and its neighbors were set up, like the Partnership for Peace, the Mediterranean Dialogue initiative and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. In 1998, the NATO–Russia Permanent Joint Council was established. On 8 July 1997, three former communist countries, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Poland, were invited to join NATO, which each did in 1999. Membership went on expanding with the accession of seven more Central and Eastern European countries to NATO: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania. They were first invited to start talks of membership during the 2002 Prague summit, and joined NATO on 29 March 2004, shortly before the 2004 Istanbul summit. At that time, the decision was criticised in the US by many military, political and academic leaders as a “a policy error of historic proportions.”[57] According to George F. Kennan, an American diplomat and an advocate of the containment policy, this decision “may be expected to have an adverse effect on the development of Russian democracy; to restore the atmosphere of the cold war to East-West relations, to impel Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking.”[58]

New NATO structures were also formed while old ones were abolished. In 1997, NATO reached agreement on a significant downsizing of its command structure from 65 headquarters to just 20.[59] The NATO Response Force (NRF) was launched at the 2002 Prague summit on 21 November, the first summit in a former Comecon country. On 19 June 2003, a further restructuring of the NATO military commands began as the Headquarters of the Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic were abolished and a new command, Allied Command Transformation (ACT), was established in Norfolk, United States, and the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) became the Headquarters of Allied Command Operations (ACO). ACT is responsible for driving transformation (future capabilities) in NATO, whilst ACO is responsible for current operations.[60] In March 2004, NATO’s Baltic Air Policing began, which supported the sovereignty of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia by providing jet fighters to react to any unwanted aerial intrusions. Eight multinational jet fighters are based in Lithuania, the number of which was increased from four in 2014.[61] Also at the 2004 Istanbul summit, NATO launched the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative with four Persian Gulf nations.[62]

Two older Caucasian men in black suits and red ties sit facing each other in a room with green, white, and gold trimmed walls.

Meetings between the government of Viktor Yushchenko and NATO leaders led to the Intensified Dialogue programme.

The 2006 Riga summit was held in Riga, Latvia, and highlighted the issue of energy security. It was the first NATO summit to be held in a country that had been part of the Soviet Union. At the April 2008 summit in Bucharest, Romania, NATO agreed to the accession of Croatia and Albania and both countries joined NATO in April 2009. Ukraine and Georgia were also told that they could eventually become members.[63] The issue of Georgian and Ukrainian membership in NATO prompted harsh criticism from Russia, as did NATO plans for a missile defence system. Studies for this system began in 2002, with negotiations centered on anti-ballistic missiles being stationed in Poland and the Czech Republic. Though NATO leaders gave assurances that the system was not targeting Russia, both presidents Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev criticized it as a threat.[64]

In 2009, US President Barack Obama proposed using the ship-based Aegis Combat System, though this plan still includes stations being built in Turkey, Spain, Portugal, Romania, and Poland.[65] NATO will also maintain the “status quo” in its nuclear deterrent in Europe by upgrading the targeting capabilities of the “tactical” B61 nuclear bombs stationed there and deploying them on the stealthier Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.[66][67] Following the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia, NATO committed to forming a new “spearhead” force of 5,000 troops at bases in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria.[68][69]

The Russian intervention in Crimea in 2014 lead to strong condemnation by NATO nations, and Poland invoked Article 4 meetings.[70] At the subsequent 2014 Wales summit, the leaders of NATO’s member states reaffirmed their pledge to spend the equivalent of at least 2% of their gross domestic products on defence by 2024.[71] In 2015, five of its 28 members met that goal.[72][73][74] On 15 June 2016, NATO officially recognized cyberwarfare as an operational domain of war, just like land, sea and aerial warfare. This means that any cyber attack on NATO members can trigger Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.[75] Montenegro became the 29th and newest member of NATO on 5 June 2017, amid strong objections from Russia.[76][77]

Military operations

Early operations

No military operations were conducted by NATO during the Cold War. Following the end of the Cold War, the first operations, Anchor Guard in 1990 and Ace Guard in 1991, were prompted by the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Airborne early warning aircraft were sent to provide coverage of southeastern Turkey, and later a quick-reaction force was deployed to the area.[78]

Bosnia and Herzegovina intervention

A fighter jet with AV marked on its tail takes off from a mountain runway.

NATO planes engaged in aerial bombardments during Operation Deliberate Force after the Srebrenica massacre.

The Bosnian War began in 1992, as a result of the breakup of Yugoslavia. The deteriorating situation led to United Nations Security Council Resolution 816 on 9 October 1992, ordering a no-fly zone over central Bosnia and Herzegovina, which NATO began enforcing on 12 April 1993 with Operation Deny Flight. From June 1993 until October 1996, Operation Sharp Guard added maritime enforcement of the arms embargo and economic sanctionsagainst the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. On 28 February 1994, NATO took its first wartime action by shooting down four Bosnian Serb aircraft violating the no-fly zone.[79]

On 10 and 11 April 1994, during the Bosnian War, the United Nations Protection Force called in air strikes to protect the Goražde safe area, resulting in the bombing of a Bosnian Serb military command outpost near Goražde by two US F-16 jets acting under NATO direction.[80] This resulted in the taking of 150 U.N. personnel hostage on 14 April.[81][82] On 16 April a British Sea Harrier was shot down over Goražde by Serb forces.[83] A two-week NATO bombing campaign, Operation Deliberate Force, began in August 1995 against the Army of the Republika Srpska, after the Srebrenica massacre.[84]

NATO air strikes that year helped bring the Yugoslav wars to an end, resulting in the Dayton Agreement in November 1995.[84] As part of this agreement, NATO deployed a UN-mandated peacekeeping force, under Operation Joint Endeavor, named IFOR. Almost 60,000 NATO troops were joined by forces from non-NATO nations in this peacekeeping mission. This transitioned into the smaller SFOR, which started with 32,000 troops initially and ran from December 1996 until December 2004, when operations were then passed onto European Union Force Althea.[85] Following the lead of its member nations, NATO began to award a service medal, the NATO Medal, for these operations.[86]

Kosovo intervention

Three trucks of soldiers idle on a country road in front of trees and red roofed houses. The rear truck has KFOR painted on is back.

German KFOR soldiers patrol southern Kosovo in 1999

In an effort to stop Slobodan Milošević‘s Serbian-led crackdown on KLA separatists and Albanian civilians in Kosovo, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1199 on 23 September 1998 to demand a ceasefire. Negotiations under US Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke broke down on 23 March 1999, and he handed the matter to NATO,[87] which started a 78-day bombing campaign on 24 March 1999.[88] Operation Allied Force targeted the military capabilities of what was then the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. During the crisis, NATO also deployed one of its international reaction forces, the ACE Mobile Force (Land), to Albania as the Albania Force (AFOR), to deliver humanitarian aid to refugees from Kosovo.[89]

Though the campaign was criticized for high civilian casualties, including bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, Milošević finally accepted the terms of an international peace plan on 3 June 1999, ending the Kosovo War. On 11 June, Milošević further accepted UN resolution 1244, under the mandate of which NATO then helped establish the KFOR peacekeeping force. Nearly one million refugees had fled Kosovo, and part of KFOR’s mandate was to protect the humanitarian missions, in addition to deterring violence.[89][90] In August–September 2001, the alliance also mounted Operation Essential Harvest, a mission disarming ethnic Albanian militias in the Republic of Macedonia.[91] As of 1 December 2013, 4,882 KFOR soldiers, representing 31 countries, continue to operate in the area.[92]

The US, the UK, and most other NATO countries opposed efforts to require the UN Security Council to approve NATO military strikes, such as the action against Serbia in 1999, while France and some others claimed that the alliance needed UN approval.[93] The US/UK side claimed that this would undermine the authority of the alliance, and they noted that Russia and China would have exercised their Security Council vetoes to block the strike on Yugoslavia, and could do the same in future conflicts where NATO intervention was required, thus nullifying the entire potency and purpose of the organization. Recognizing the post-Cold War military environment, NATO adopted the Alliance Strategic Concept during its Washington summit in April 1999 that emphasized conflict prevention and crisis management.[94]

War in Afghanistan

A monumental green copper statue of a woman with a torch stands on an island in front of a mainland where a massive plume of gray smoke billows amongst skyscrapers.

The September 11 attacks in the United States caused NATO to invoke its collective defence article for the first time.

The September 11 attacks in the United States caused NATO to invoke Article 5 of the NATO Charter for the first time in the organization’s history. The Article says that an attack on any member shall be considered to be an attack on all. The invocation was confirmed on 4 October 2001 when NATO determined that the attacks were indeed eligible under the terms of the North Atlantic Treaty.[95] The eight official actions taken by NATO in response to the attacks included Operation Eagle Assist and Operation Active Endeavour, a naval operation in the Mediterranean Sea which is designed to prevent the movement of terrorists or weapons of mass destruction, as well as enhancing the security of shipping in general which began on 4 October 2001.[96]

The alliance showed unity: On 16 April 2003, NATO agreed to take command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which includes troops from 42 countries. The decision came at the request of Germany and the Netherlands, the two nations leading ISAF at the time of the agreement, and all nineteen NATO ambassadors approved it unanimously. The handover of control to NATO took place on 11 August, and marked the first time in NATO’s history that it took charge of a mission outside the north Atlantic area.[97]

A general hands a NATO flag from a soldier on the left to one on the right.

ISAF General David M. Rodriguezat an Italian change of command in Herat.

ISAF was initially charged with securing Kabul and surrounding areas from the Talibanal Qaeda and factional warlords, so as to allow for the establishment of the Afghan Transitional Administration headed by Hamid Karzai. In October 2003, the UN Security Council authorized the expansion of the ISAF mission throughout Afghanistan,[98] and ISAF subsequently expanded the mission in four main stages over the whole of the country.[99]

On 31 July 2006, the ISAF additionally took over military operations in the south of Afghanistan from a US-led anti-terrorism coalition.[100] Due to the intensity of the fighting in the south, in 2011 France allowed a squadron of Mirage 2000 fighter/attack aircraft to be moved into the area, to Kandahar, in order to reinforce the alliance’s efforts.[101] During its 2012 Chicago Summit, NATO endorsed a plan to end the Afghanistan war and to remove the NATO-led ISAF Forces by the end of December 2014.[102] ISAF was disestablished in December 2014 and replaced by the follow-on training Resolute Support Mission

Iraq training mission

In August 2004, during the Iraq War, NATO formed the NATO Training Mission – Iraq, a training mission to assist the Iraqi security forces in conjunction with the US led MNF-I.[103] The NATO Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I) was established at the request of the Iraqi Interim Government under the provisions of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546. The aim of NTM-I was to assist in the development of Iraqi security forces training structures and institutions so that Iraq can build an effective and sustainable capability that addresses the needs of the nation. NTM-I was not a combat mission but is a distinct mission, under the political control of NATO’s North Atlantic Council. Its operational emphasis was on training and mentoring. The activities of the mission were coordinated with Iraqi authorities and the US-led Deputy Commanding General Advising and Training, who was also dual-hatted as the Commander of NTM-I. The mission officially concluded on 17 December 2011.[104]

Turkey invoked the first Article 4 meetings in 2003 at the start of the Iraq War. Turkey also invoked this article twice in 2012 during the Syrian Civil War, after the downing of an unarmed Turkish F-4 reconnaissance jet, and after a mortar was fired at Turkey from Syria,[105]and again in 2015 after threats by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to its territorial integrity.[106]

Gulf of Aden anti-piracy

A tall plume of black smoke rises from the blue ocean waters next to a large gray battleship and a small black inflatable boat.

USS Farragut destroying a Somali pirate skiff in March 2010

Beginning on 17 August 2009, NATO deployed warships in an operation to protect maritime traffic in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean from Somali pirates, and help strengthen the navies and coast guards of regional states. The operation was approved by the North Atlantic Council and involves warships primarily from the United States though vessels from many other nations are also included. Operation Ocean Shield focuses on protecting the ships of Operation Allied Provider which are distributing aid as part of the World Food Programme mission in SomaliaRussiaChina and South Korea have sent warships to participate in the activities as well.[107][108] The operation seeks to dissuade and interrupt pirate attacks, protect vessels, and abetting to increase the general level of security in the region.[109]

Libya intervention

During the Libyan Civil War, violence between protestors and the Libyan government under Colonel Muammar Gaddafi escalated, and on 17 March 2011 led to the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which called for a ceasefire, and authorized military action to protect civilians. A coalition that included several NATO members began enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya shortly afterwards, beginning with Opération Harmattan by the French Air Force on March 19.

On 20 March 2011, NATO states agreed on enforcing an arms embargo against Libya with Operation Unified Protector using ships from NATO Standing Maritime Group 1 and Standing Mine Countermeasures Group 1,[110] and additional ships and submarines from NATO members.[111] They would “monitor, report and, if needed, interdict vessels suspected of carrying illegal arms or mercenaries“.[110]

Pieces of a destroyed tank, notably the gun turret, lie on a sandy landscape.

Libyan Army Palmaria howitzersdestroyed by the French Air Force near Benghazi in March 2011

On 24 March, NATO agreed to take control of the no-fly zone from the initial coalition, while command of targeting ground units remained with the coalition’s forces.[112][113] NATO began officially enforcing the UN resolution on 27 March 2011 with assistance from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.[114] By June, reports of divisions within the alliance surfaced as only eight of the 28 member nations were participating in combat operations,[115] resulting in a confrontation between US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and countries such as Poland, Spain, the Netherlands, Turkey, and Germany to contribute more, the latter believing the organization has overstepped its mandate in the conflict.[116][117][118] In his final policy speech in Brussels on 10 June, Gates further criticized allied countries in suggesting their actions could cause the demise of NATO.[119] The German foreign ministry pointed to “a considerable [German] contribution to NATO and NATO-led operations” and to the fact that this engagement was highly valued by President Obama.[120]

While the mission was extended into September, Norway that day announced it would begin scaling down contributions and complete withdrawal by 1 August.[121] Earlier that week it was reported Danish air fighters were running out of bombs.[122][123] The following week, the head of the Royal Navy said the country’s operations in the conflict were not sustainable.[124] By the end of the mission in October 2011, after the death of Colonel Gaddafi, NATO planes had flown about 9,500 strike sorties against pro-Gaddafi targets.[125][126] A report from the organization Human Rights Watch in May 2012 identified at least 72 civilians killed in the campaign.[127] Following a coup d’état attempt in October 2013, Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan requested technical advice and trainers from NATO to assist with ongoing security issues.[128]

Participating countries

Map of NATO affiliations in Europe Map of NATO partnerships globally
A map of Europe with countries in blue, cyan, orange, and yellow based on their NATO affiliation. A world map with countries in blue, cyan, orange, yellow, purple, and green, based on their NATO affiliation.

Members

Twelve men in black suits stand talking in small groups under a backdrop with the words Lisbonne and Lisboa.

NATO organizes regular summits for leaders of their members states and partnerships.

NATO has twenty-nine members, mainly in Europe and North America. Some of these countries also have territory on multiple continents, which can be covered only as far south as the Tropic of Cancer in the Atlantic Ocean, which defines NATO’s “area of responsibility” under Article 6 of the North Atlantic Treaty. During the original treaty negotiations, the United States insisted that colonies such as the Belgian Congo be excluded from the treaty.[129][130]French Algeria was however covered until their independence on 3 July 1962.[131] Twelve of these twenty-nine are original members who joined in 1949, while the other seventeen joined in one of seven enlargement rounds.

From the mid-1960s to the mid-1990s, France pursued a military strategy of independence from NATO under a policy dubbed “Gaullo-Mitterrandism”.[citation needed] Nicolas Sarkozy negotiated the return of France to the integrated military command and the Defence Planning Committee in 2009, the latter being disbanded the following year. France remains the only NATO member outside the Nuclear Planning Group and unlike the United States and the United Kingdom, will not commit its nuclear-armed submarines to the alliance.[41][56] Few members spend more than two percent of their gross domestic product on defence,[132] with the United States accounting for three quarters of NATO defense spending.[133]

Enlargement

A map of Europe with countries labeled in shades of blue, green, and yellow based on when they joined NATO.

NATO has added 13 new members since the German reunification and the end of the Cold War.

New membership in the alliance has been largely from Central and Eastern Europe, including former members of the Warsaw Pact. Accession to the alliance is governed with individual Membership Action Plans, and requires approval by each current member. NATO currently has two candidate countries that are in the process of joining the alliance: Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Macedonia. In NATO official statements, the Republic of Macedonia is always referred to as the “former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, with a footnote stating that “Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia under its constitutional name”. Though Macedonia completed its requirements for membership at the same time as Croatia and Albania, who joined NATO in 2009, its accession was blocked by Greece pending a resolution of the Macedonia naming dispute.[134] In order to support each other in the process, new and potential members in the region formed the Adriatic Charter in 2003.[135] Georgia was also named as an aspiring member, and was promised “future membership” during the 2008 summit in Bucharest,[136]though in 2014, US President Barack Obama said the country was not “currently on a path” to membership.[137]

Russia continues to oppose further expansion, seeing it as inconsistent with understandings between Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and European and American negotiators that allowed for a peaceful German reunification.[52]NATO’s expansion efforts are often seen by Moscow leaders as a continuation of a Cold War attempt to surround and isolate Russia,[138] though they have also been criticised in the West.[139] A June 2016 Levada poll found that 68% of Russians think that deploying NATO troops in the Baltic states and Poland – former Eastern bloc countries bordering Russia – is a threat to Russia.[140] Ukraine‘s relationship with NATO and Europe has been politically divisive, and contributed to “Euromaidan” protests that saw the ousting of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014. In March 2014, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk reiterated the government’s stance that Ukraine is not seeking NATO membership.[141] Ukraine’s president subsequently signed a bill dropping his nation’s nonaligned status in order to pursue NATO membership, but signaled that it would hold a referendum before seeking to join.[142]Ukraine is one of eight countries in Eastern Europe with an Individual Partnership Action Plan. IPAPs began in 2002, and are open to countries that have the political will and ability to deepen their relationship with NATO.[143]

A 2006 study in the journal Security Studies argued that NATO enlargement contributed to democratic consolidation in Central and Eastern Europe.[144]

Partnerships

Hundreds of soldiers in military uniforms stand behind a line on a tarmac with 14 flags held by individuals at the front.

Partnership for Peace conducts multinational military exercises like Cooperative Archer, which took place in Tblisi in July 2007 with 500 servicemen from four NATO members, eight PfP members, and Jordan, a Mediterranean Dialogue participant.[145]

The Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme was established in 1994 and is based on individual bilateral relations between each partner country and NATO: each country may choose the extent of its participation.[146] Members include all current and former members of the Commonwealth of Independent States.[147] The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) was first established on 29 May 1997, and is a forum for regular coordination, consultation and dialogue between all fifty participants.[148] The PfP programme is considered the operational wing of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership.[146] Other third countries also have been contacted for participation in some activities of the PfP framework such as Afghanistan.[149]

The European Union (EU) signed a comprehensive package of arrangements with NATO under the Berlin Plus agreement on 16 December 2002. With this agreement, the EU was given the possibility to use NATO assets in case it wanted to act independently in an international crisis, on the condition that NATO itself did not want to act—the so-called “right of first refusal“.[150] For example, Article 42(7) of the 1982 Treaty of Lisbon specifies that “If a Member State is the victim of armed aggression on its territory, the other Member States shall have towards it an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power”. The treaty applies globally to specified territories whereas NATO is restricted under its Article 6 to operations north of the Tropic of Cancer. It provides a “double framework” for the EU countries that are also linked with the PfP programme.

Additionally, NATO cooperates and discusses its activities with numerous other non-NATO members. The Mediterranean Dialogue was established in 1994 to coordinate in a similar way with Israel and countries in North Africa. The Istanbul Cooperation Initiative was announced in 2004 as a dialog forum for the Middle East along the same lines as the Mediterranean Dialogue. The four participants are also linked through the Gulf Cooperation Council.[151]

Political dialogue with Japan began in 1990, and since then, the Alliance has gradually increased its contact with countries that do not form part of any of these cooperation initiatives.[152] In 1998, NATO established a set of general guidelines that do not allow for a formal institutionalisation of relations, but reflect the Allies’ desire to increase cooperation. Following extensive debate, the term “Contact Countries” was agreed by the Allies in 2000. By 2012, the Alliance had broadened this group, which meets to discuss issues such as counter-piracy and technology exchange, under the names “partners across the globe” or “global partners”.[153][154] Australia and New Zealand, both contact countries, are also members of the AUSCANNZUKUS strategic alliance, and similar regional or bilateral agreements between contact countries and NATO members also aid cooperation. Colombia is the NATO’s latest partner and Colombia has access to the full range of cooperative activities NATO offers to partners; Colombia became the first and only Latin American country to cooperate with NATO.[155]

Structures

Two gray haired older men talk with a soldier wearing camouflage and a green beret who is facing away.

Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg (right) and his predecessor, Anders Fogh Rasmussen(left), talk with members of the Norwegian army’s Telemark Battalionin Oslo.

The main headquarters of NATO is located on Boulevard Léopold III/Leopold III-laan, B-1110 Brussels, which is in Haren, part of the City of Brussels municipality.[156] A new €750 million headquarters building began construction in 2010, was completed in summer 2016,[157] and was dedicated on 25 May 2017. The 250,000 square metres (2,700,000 sq ft) complex was designed by Jo Palma and home to a staff of 3800.[158] Problems in the original building stemmed from its hurried construction in 1967, when NATO was forced to move its headquarters from Porte Dauphine in Paris, France following the French withdrawal.[159][40]

The staff at the Headquarters is composed of national delegations of member countries and includes civilian and military liaison offices and officers or diplomatic missions and diplomats of partner countries, as well as the International Staff and International Military Staff filled from serving members of the armed forces of member states.[160] Non-governmental citizens’ groups have also grown up in support of NATO, broadly under the banner of the Atlantic Council/Atlantic Treaty Association movement.

The cost of the new headquarters building escalated to about €1.1 billion[161] or $1.23 billion.[162]

NATO Council

Like any alliance, NATO is ultimately governed by its 29 member states. However, the North Atlantic Treaty and other agreements outline how decisions are to be made within NATO. Each of the 29 members sends a delegation or mission to NATO’s headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.[163] The senior permanent member of each delegation is known as the Permanent Representative and is generally a senior civil servant or an experienced ambassador (and holding that diplomatic rank). Several countries have diplomatic missions to NATO through embassies in Belgium.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry during the NATO Summit in Newport, 5 September 2014

NATO foreign ministers and Montenegro’s Prime Minister Milo Đukanović have signed a protocol on Montenegro’s accession to NATO on 19 May 2016

Together, the Permanent Members form the North Atlantic Council (NAC), a body which meets together at least once a week and has effective governance authority and powers of decision in NATO. From time to time the Council also meets at higher level meetings involving foreign ministersdefence ministers or heads of state or government (HOSG) and it is at these meetings that major decisions regarding NATO’s policies are generally taken. However, it is worth noting that the Council has the same authority and powers of decision-making, and its decisions have the same status and validity, at whatever level it meets. France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States are together referred to as the Quint, which is an informal discussion group within NATO. NATO summits also form a further venue for decisions on complex issues, such as enlargement.[164]

The meetings of the North Atlantic Council are chaired by the Secretary General of NATO and, when decisions have to be made, action is agreed upon on the basis of unanimity and common accord. There is no voting or decision by majority. Each nation represented at the Council table or on any of its subordinate committees retains complete sovereignty and responsibility for its own decisions.

List of Secretaries General[165]
# Name Country Duration
1 Lord Ismay United Kingdom 4 April 1952 – 16 May 1957
2 Paul-Henri Spaak Belgium 16 May 1957 – 21 April 1961
3 Dirk Stikker Netherlands 21 April 1961 – 1 August 1964
4 Manlio Brosio Italy 1 August 1964 – 1 October 1971
5 Joseph Luns Netherlands 1 October 1971 – 25 June 1984
6 Lord Carrington United Kingdom 25 June 1984 – 1 July 1988
7 Manfred Wörner Germany 1 July 1988 – 13 August 1994
Sergio Balanzino Italy 13 August 1994 – 17 October 1994
8 Willy Claes Belgium 17 October 1994 – 20 October 1995
Sergio Balanzino Italy 20 October 1995 – 5 December 1995
9 Javier Solana Spain 5 December 1995 – 6 October 1999
10 Lord Robertson United Kingdom 14 October 1999 – 17 December 2003
Alessandro Minuto-Rizzo Italy 17 December 2003 – 1 January 2004
11 Jaap de Hoop Scheffer Netherlands 1 January 2004 – 1 August 2009
12 Anders Fogh Rasmussen Denmark 1 August 2009 – 30 September 2014
13 Jens Stoltenberg Norway 1 October 2014 – present
List of Deputy Secretaries General[166]
# Name Country Duration
1 Jonkheer van Vredenburch Netherlands 1952–1956
2 Baron Adolph Bentinck Netherlands 1956–1958
3 Alberico Casardi Italy 1958–1962
4 Guido Colonna di Paliano Italy 1962–1964
5 James A. Roberts Canada 1964–1968
6 Osman Olcay Turkey 1969–1971
7 Paolo Pansa Cedronio Italy 1971–1978
8 Rinaldo Petrignani Italy 1978–1981
9 Eric da Rin Italy 1981–1985
10 Marcello Guidi Italy 1985–1989
11 Amedeo de Franchis Italy 1989–1994
12 Sergio Balanzino Italy 1994–2001
13 Alessandro Minuto Rizzo Italy 2001–2007
14 Claudio Bisogniero Italy 2007–2012
15 Alexander Vershbow United States 2012–2016
16 Rose Gottemoeller United States 2016–present
 Acting Secretary General

NATO Parliamentary Assembly

A large baroque yellow and gold room with a stage on the left and long tables filled with men and women in suits on the right.

The NATO Parliamentary Assembly, an intergovernmental organization of NATO and associate countries’ elected representatives, meets in London prior to the start of the 2014 Newport summit.

The body that sets broad strategic goals for NATO is the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO-PA) which meets at the Annual Session, and one other time during the year, and is the organ that directly interacts with the parliamentary structures of the national governments of the member states which appoint Permanent Members, or ambassadors to NATO. The NATO Parliamentary Assembly is made up of legislators from the member countries of the North Atlantic Alliance as well as thirteen associate members. Karl A. Lamers, German Deputy Chairman of the Defence Committee of the Bundestag and a member of the Christian Democratic Union, became president of the assembly in 2010.[167] It is however officially a different structure from NATO, and has as aim to join together deputies of NATO countries in order to discuss security policies on the NATO Council.

The Assembly is the political integration body of NATO that generates political policy agenda setting for the NATO Council via reports of its five committees:

  • Committee on the Civil Dimension of Security
  • Defence and Security Committee
  • Economics and Security Committee
  • Political Committee
  • Science and Technology Committee

These reports provide impetus and direction as agreed upon by the national governments of the member states through their own national political processes and influencers to the NATO administrative and executive organizational entities.

Military structures

Location of the commands attatched to NATO‘s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), also referred to as Allied Command Operations (ACO)

An older man with a gray beard, red beret, and olive green military suit.

Petr Pavel (right), of the Czech Republic, was Chairman of the NATO Military Committee from 2015 to 2018

Three soldiers in camouflage stand in salute while a fourth raises a blue and white flag on a red and white striped flagpole.

NATO flag raising at opening of Exercise Steadfast Jazz at Drawsko Pomorskie in Poland in November 2013.

NATO’s military operations are directed by the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee with the Deputy Chairman, and split into two Strategic Commands commanded by a senior US officer and (currently) a senior French officer[168] assisted by a staff drawn from across NATO. The Strategic Commanders are responsible to the Military Committee for the overall direction and conduct of all Alliance military matters within their areas of command.[60]

Each country’s delegation includes a Military Representative, a senior officer from each country’s armed forces, supported by the International Military Staff. Together the Military Representatives form the Military Committee, a body responsible for recommending to NATO’s political authorities those measures considered necessary for the common defence of the NATO area. Its principal role is to provide direction and advice on military policy and strategy. It provides guidance on military matters to the NATO Strategic Commanders, whose representatives attend its meetings, and is responsible for the overall conduct of the military affairs of the Alliance under the authority of the Council.[169] The Chairman of the NATO Military Committee is Air Chief Marshal Stuart Peach of the United States, since 2018, and the Deputy Chairman is Steven Shepro of the United States, since 2016.[170]

Like the Council, from time to time the Military Committee also meets at a higher level, namely at the level of Chiefs of Defence, the most senior military officer in each nation’s armed forces. Until 2008 the Military Committee excluded France, due to that country’s 1966 decision to remove itself from the NATO Military Command Structure, which it rejoined in 1995. Until France rejoined NATO, it was not represented on the Defence Planning Committee, and this led to conflicts between it and NATO members.[171] Such was the case in the lead up to Operation Iraqi Freedom.[172] The operational work of the Committee is supported by the International Military Staff.

The structure of NATO evolved throughout the Cold War and its aftermath. An integrated military structure for NATO was first established in 1950 as it became clear that NATO would need to enhance its defences for the longer term against a potential Soviet attack. In April 1951, Allied Command Europeand its headquarters (SHAPE) were established; later, four subordinate headquarters were added in Northern and Central Europe, the Southern Region, and the Mediterranean.[173]

From the 1950s to 2003, the Strategic Commanders were the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT). The current arrangement is to separate responsibility between Allied Command Transformation (ACT), responsible for transformation and training of NATO forces, and Allied Command Operations (ACO), responsible for NATO operations worldwide.[174] Starting in late 2003 NATO has restructured how it commands and deploys its troops by creating several NATO Rapid Deployable Corps, including EurocorpsI. German/Dutch CorpsMultinational Corps Northeast, and NATO Rapid Deployable Italian Corps among others, as well as naval High Readiness Forces (HRFs), which all report to Allied Command Operations.[175]

In early 2015, in the wake of the War in Donbass, meetings of NATO ministers decided that Multinational Corps Northeast would be augmented so as to develop greater capabilities, to, if thought necessary, prepare to defend the Baltic States, and that a new Multinational Division Southeast would be established in Romania. Six NATO Force Integration Units would also be established to coordinate preparations for defence of new Eastern members of NATO.[176]

Multinational Division Southeast was activated on 1 December 2015.[177] Headquarters Multinational Division South – East (HQ MND-SE) is a North Atlantic Council (NAC) activated NATO military body under operational command (OPCOM) of Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) which may be employed and deployed in peacetime, crisis and operations by NATO on the authority of the appropriate NATO Military Authorities by means of an exercise or operational tasking issued in accordance with the Command and Control Technical Arrangement (C2 TA) and standard NATO procedures.

During August 2016, it was announced that 650 soldiers of the British Army would be deployed on an enduring basis in Eastern Europe, mainly in Estonia with some also being deployed to Poland. This British deployment forms part of a four-battle group (four-battalion) deployment by various allies, NATO Enhanced Forward Presence, one each spread from Poland (the Poland-deployed battle group mostly led by the US) to Estonia.

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO

Story 2: President Trump Increases The Pressure on China To Eliminate Trade Deficits and Unfair Trade Practices or Face Higher Tariffs On Many Chinese Exports To United States — Videos

 

See the source image

US to impose tariffs on $200bn of Chinese imports

US says to slap tariffs on extra $200 billion of Chinese imports

USTR lists $200 bil. in Chinese goods to be hit with tariffs

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Trump threatening to impose $200B in new tariffs on China

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China trade tensions worry US farmers

(6 Jul 2018) The United States hiked tariffs on Chinese imports Friday and Beijing said it would be forced to counterattack in a dispute between the world’s two biggest economies that President Donald Trump says he is prepared to escalate. Washington increased tariffs at 12:01 a.m. Eastern time (0401 GMT) on 34 billion US dollars worth of Chinese imports, a first step in what could become an accelerating series of tariffs. China’s Commerce Ministry said it would be “forced to make a necessary counterattack.” It gave no immediate details but Beijing earlier released a target list of American goods for retaliation including soybeans, electric cars, whiskey, pork and pork products. Ohio pig farmer Brian Watkins expressed the worry that the tariffs would rob him of the majority of his profits. Watkins said he’s worried that a prolonged trade dispute could take the US out of the pork equation as the global market becomes reliant on other countries’ production. He said he thought trade would be a big issue on farmers’ minds as they take to the polls in auturmn.

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U.S. Threatens Tariffs on $200 Billion of Chinese Goods, From Tilapia to Handbags

The trade war with China intensified as the Trump administration outlined tariffs on another $200 billion worth of products. China has already retaliated against the first round of tariffs with its own levies on American goods, including soybeans.CreditAgence France-Presse — Getty Images

By Ana Swanson and Jim Tankersley

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration escalated its trade dispute with China on Tuesday, saying it would impose tariffs on roughly $200 billion worth of Chinese fish, petroleum, chemicals, handbags, textiles and other products if Beijing does not change its trade practices.

The threat comes just days after President Trump imposed levies on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods, including robotics, airplane parts and ball bearings. Mr. Trump has said he is prepared to tax as much as $450 billion worth of Chinese products.

On Tuesday, his administration detailed the next list of products that would face Mr. Trump’s wrath unless Beijing folds to Washington’s demands. The White House is pushing China to reduce its trade surplus with the United States, halt intellectual property theft and open its markets to American companies.

Neither side appears eager to blink first. China has responded to Mr. Trump’s initial tariffs with its own equal amount of levies on American goods like pork, steel, cars and fiber optic cable and has said that it is prepared to continue retaliating.

The Chinese government said it would take unspecified countermeasures against new tariffs and renewed its threat to take its complaints to the World Trade Organization, which handles trade disputes.

“The American side’s behavior harms China, harms the world and also harms itself,” China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement.

With no official discussions scheduled to settle the trade dispute, it is unclear how or when the differences get resolved. A senior White House official said on Tuesday evening that the administration welcomed China’s engagement and had been “extremely clear” with China about its concerns over its trade practices, but that China had been “nonresponsive.” The official said that the process of imposing tariffs on the new list of goods would take roughly two months, with a public hearing on the tariffs scheduled for Aug. 20 through Aug 23.

The trade war has already started to raise costs for businesses that depend on international supply chains, from manufacturers to retailers, and consumers that purchase their products. The Trump administration said it intended its first wave of tariffs to target industrial products that the Chinese government subsidizes and to minimize the impact to American households.

But as the list of taxed products grows, the number of consumers and businesses that will feel the pinch also increases.

“It gets harder for them to keep it from the shelves of Walmart and Target and Best Buy,” said Mary E. Lovely, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “It also gets harder for them to continue to hide behind this rationale of hitting China for forced technology transfer.”

The administration’s approach has prompted criticism from lawmakers, particularly those from farm states, who say Mr. Trump is approaching a serious issue in an undisciplined way that could backfire.

Senator Orrin G. Hatch, the Utah Republican and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said that he supported the administration’s effort to crack down on Chinese practices, but the decision to use tariffs was not the proper response.

“Tonight’s announcement appears reckless and is not a targeted approach,” Mr. Hatch said. “We cannot turn a blind eye to China’s mercantilist trade practices, but this action falls short of a strategy that will give the administration negotiating leverage with China while maintaining the long-term health and prosperity of the American economy.”

The White House administration disagrees. Robert E. Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, said in a statement that the announcement was “an appropriate response.”

“Rather than address our legitimate concerns, China has begun to retaliate against U.S. products,” he said. “There is no justification for such action.”

For now, the limited tariffs combined with a booming economy seem to be having little impact beyond targeted industries.

Goldman Sachs economists estimated this week that the initial tariffs on Chinese goods would reduce the size of the United States economy by a minimal amount, and said they did not expect the White House to follow through on Mr. Trump’s latest threatened tariffs.

But Federal Reserve officials and others are worried about potential damage from a prolonged trade war. Minutes from the Fed’s June meetingshow business contacts “indicated that plans for capital spending had been scaled back or postponed as a result of uncertainty over trade policy.”

Goldman economists said in a report earlier this month that, if the broader range of tariffs were actually enacted, it would be more damaging because they would hit Americans more quickly in the wallet than the initial round of tariffs.

Economists have also cautioned that the potential damage to the economy could grow if the trade conflict grows. Eswar Prasad, a professor of international trade at Cornell University, said that it was difficult to see a path to cooling off tensions, especially with the highly charged midterm elections approaching in the United States.

“With China in attack mode as well, additional tariffs risk escalating the trade war to a level from which it is becoming increasingly difficult to envision an exit path,” he said.

U.S. LNG, ethanol sellers buoyed by China trade talks

(Reuters) – China’s interest in reducing its trade surplus with the United States through increased energy imports could advance plans for U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants and ethanol sales, analysts and energy executives involved in developing new LNG facilities said.

Washington and Beijing stepped back from the brink of a full-blown trade war after talks last week, with the United States appearing to set aside for now its demands that China revamp key planks of its industrial policy.

“China represents an enormous economic opportunity for U.S. LNG and ethanol exports as both products will likely see dramatic demand growth in the coming years, during which time the United States is also expected to dominate global export markets,” Katie Bays, energy analyst at Height Securities in Washington, D.C., said in a note on Tuesday.

Bays estimated that substantial LNG sales commitments could bring in between $20 billion and $30 billion annually and ethanol sales could reach $5 billion to $7 billion annually. She noted, however, that the LNG and ethanol markets are not big enough by themselves to meet President Donald Trump’s goal of reducing the Chinese trade deficit by $200 billion per year.

On Tuesday, Cheniere Energy Inc said its board approved financing for an LNG unit, the first new approval in the United States since 2015. The decision adds a third unit capable of producing 0.7-billion cubic feet per day of liquefied natural gas to its Corpus Christi, Texas, plant.

There are more than two dozen proposed U.S. LNG plants waiting for customer commitments to reach a final investment decision, many of them looking to China for deals.

China overtook South Korea in 2017 as the world’s second biggest buyer of LNG behind Japan. The country, which imported 5.6 billion cubic feet per day last year, is looking to buy more low-cost sources of energy, like gas, to reduce its use of coal and cut pollution.

Charlie Cone, LNG proprietary analyst for energy data provider Genscape, said at least 13 percent of total U.S. LNG cargoes currently go to China. “We expect this number to grow as more U.S. firms sign long-term agreements with Chinese buyers as their nation continues to develop its gas infrastructure,” Cone said.

Bays said a hold on the trade war could drive Chinese customers to sign new LNG contracts with Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass or Corpus Christi facilities, Sempra Energy’s Cameron, Freeport LNG, NextDecade Corp’s Rio Grande, or Pembina Pipeline Corp’s Jordan Cove.

“We see it as a positive development,” said William Daughdrill, director of health, safety and environmental matters at Delfin Midstream. The company’s chief executive was in Asia last week pursuing customers, Daughdrill said.

Delfin is proposing a floating LNG facility in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and aiming for a final investment decision as early as this year to go ahead and produce up to 13 million metric tons per annum (mtpa) of LNG for export.

“For us, it’s strictly been about marketing to China,” said Greg Vesey, chief executive of LNG Ltd, which is developing an LNG plant in Louisiana and another in Nova Scotia in Canada. It hopes to reach a final investment decision on the U.S. project by year-end and begin exports in 2022, he said.

“If you look at some forecasts for 2035, there are really only two places that have significant increases in LNG imports. Europe goes up about 100 mtpa and China goes up about 200 mtpa,” Vesey said.

Texas LNG, which is proposing a 4-mtpa export facility in Brownsville, Texas, and has five early-stage agreements with Chinese customers, hopes to make a final decision next year, about six months behind its original goal.

“Sentiment in the LNG markets is heating up again,” said Langtry Meyer, co-founder of the company. He added, however, that Texas LNG was not considering developing an import terminal in China, which would likely be needed to expand U.S. exports.

As for ethanol, Bays at Height Securities said ethanol producers like Archer Daniels Midland Co and Green Plains Inc could benefit from negotiations with China given the political importance of corn producers to Trump, coupled with China’s need to increase ethanol imports dramatically to meet its 2020 renewable fuel objectives.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino in New York; Writing by Gary McWilliams; Editing by Tom Brown and Leslie Adler

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1065, April 23, 2018, Story 1: No Official Intelligence From Five Eyes (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States Intelligence Services) For Commencing DOJ/FBI Investigation/Surveillance of Trump — Prosecute The Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy Cabal With Obama DOJ, FBI and CIA Leadership and Employees Based on Democrat National Committee and Clinton Campaign Paid For Fabricated/Fraudulent Opposition Research From Paid Russian Government Agents — Appoint Second Special Counsel Now! — Videos — Story 2: Democratic National Committee Sues Trump campaign, Wikileaks, Russia over 2016 election — Videos — Story 3: Senate Foreign Relations Committee Vote Advances CIA Director Mike Pompeo To Secretary of State Full Vote In Senate — Videos

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See the source imageImage result for dnc chairman annuonced law suit agains trump campaign and russianSee the source image

Story 1: No Official Intelligence From Five Eyes (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States Intelligence Services) For Commencing DOJ/FBI Investigation/Surveillance of Trump — Prosecute The Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy Cabal With Obama DOJ, FBI and CIA Leadership and Employees Based on Democrat National Committee and Clinton Campaign Paid For Fabricated/Fraudulent Opposition Research From Paid Russian Government Agents — Appoint Second Special Counsel Now! — Videos —

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Five Eyes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Five Eyes
UKUSA Map.svg
Official languages English(de facto)
Type Intelligence alliance
Contributors  Australia
 Canada
 New Zealand
 United Kingdom
 United States
Establishment
14 August 1941
17 May 1943

The Five Eyes, often abbreviated as FVEY, is an intelligence alliance comprising AustraliaCanadaNew Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries are parties to the multilateral UKUSA Agreement, a treaty for joint cooperation in signals intelligence.[1][2][3]

The origins of the FVEY can be traced back to the post-World War II period, when the Atlantic Charter was issued by the Allies to lay out their goals for a post-war world. During the course of the Cold War, the ECHELONsurveillance system was initially developed by the FVEY to monitor the communications of the former Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, although it is now used to monitor billions of private communications worldwide.[4][5]

In the late 1990s, the existence of ECHELON was disclosed to the public, triggering a major debate in the European Parliament and, to a lesser extent, the United States Congress. As part of efforts in the ongoing War on Terror since 2001, the FVEY further expanded their surveillance capabilities, with much emphasis placed on monitoring the World Wide Web. The former NSA contractor Edward Snowden described the Five Eyes as a “supra-national intelligence organisation that doesn’t answer to the known laws of its own countries”.[6] Documents leaked by Snowden in 2013 revealed that the FVEY have been spying on one another’s citizens and sharing the collected information with each other in order to circumvent restrictive domestic regulations on surveillance of citizens.[7][8][9][10]

In spite of continued controversy over its methods, the Five Eyes relationship remains one of the most comprehensive known espionage alliances in history.[11]

Overview

NSA Headquarters, Fort Meade, Maryland, United States

GCHQ, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

CSE, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Since processed intelligence is gathered from multiple sources, the intelligence shared is not restricted to signals intelligence (SIGINT) and often involves defence intelligence as well as human intelligence (HUMINT) and geospatial intelligence (GEOINT). The following table provides an overview of most of the FVEY agencies involved in such forms of data sharing.[1]

Country Agency Abbr Role[1]
 Australia Australian Secret Intelligence Service ASIS HUMINT
Australian Signals Directorate ASD SIGINT
Australian Security Intelligence Organisation ASIO Security intelligence
Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation AGO GEOINT
Defence Intelligence Organisation DIO Defence intelligence
 Canada Canadian Forces Intelligence Command CFINTCOM Defence intelligence
Communications Security Establishment CSE SIGINT
Canadian Security Intelligence Service CSIS HUMINT, Security intelligence
Canadian Forces Intelligence Command CFINTCOM GEOINT
 New Zealand Directorate of Defence Intelligence and Security DDIS Defence intelligence
Government Communications Security Bureau GCSB SIGINT
New Zealand Security Intelligence Service NZSIS HUMINT
 United Kingdom Defence Intelligence DI Defence intelligence
Government Communications Headquarters GCHQ SIGINT
Security Service MI5 Security intelligence
Secret Intelligence Service MI6, SIS HUMINT
 United States Central Intelligence Agency CIA HUMINT
Defense Intelligence Agency DIA Defense intelligence
Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI Security intelligence
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency NGA GEOINT
National Security Agency NSA SIGINT

History

Origins (1940s–1950s)

The cover page of the first version of the secret UKUSA Agreement in 1946, which was disclosed to the public in 2011.

The origins of the Five Eyes alliance can be traced back to the Atlantic Charter, which was issued in August 1941 to lay out the Allied goals for the post-war world. On 17 May 1943, the British–U.S. Communication Intelligence Agreement, also known as the BRUSA Agreement, was signed by the UK and U.S. governments to facilitate co-operation between the U.S. War Department and the British Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS). On 5 March 1946, the secret treaty was formalized as the UKUSA Agreement, which forms the basis for all signal intelligence cooperation between the NSA and the GCHQ to this day.[12][13]

In 1948, the treaty was extended to include Canada, followed by Norway (1952), Denmark (1954), West Germany (1955), Australia (1956), and New Zealand (1956).[13] These countries participated in the alliance as “third parties”. By 1955, the formal status of the remaining Five Eyes countries was officially acknowledged in a newer version of the UKUSA Agreement that contained the following statement:

At this time only CanadaAustralia and New Zealand will be regarded as UKUSA-collaborating Commonwealth countries.[13]

The “Five Eyes” term has its origins as a shorthand for a “AUS/CAN/NZ/UK/US EYES ONLY” (AUSCANNZUKUS) classification level.[14]

Cold War (1950s–1990s)

During the Cold War, the GCHQ and the NSA shared intelligence on the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China, and several eastern European countries (known as Exotics).[15] Over the course of several decades, the ECHELON surveillance network was developed to monitor the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies.[16]

During the Vietnam War, Australian and New Zealand operators in the Asia-Pacific region worked directly to support the United States, while GCHQ operators stationed in the (then) British colony of Hong Kong were tasked with monitoring North Vietnamese air defence networks.[17][18] During the Falklands War, the British received intelligence data from its FVEY allies such as Australia, as well as from third parties such as Norway and France.[19][20][21] In the aftermath of the Gulf War, a technician of the ASIS was used by SIS to bug Kuwaiti government offices.[20]

In the 1950s, SIS and the CIA jointly orchestrated the overthrow of Iran’s Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh.[22][23][24][25] In the 1960s, SIS and the CIA jointly orchestrated the assassination of the Congolese independence leader Patrice Lumumba.[26][27][28] In the 1970s, the ASIS and the CIA jointly orchestrated the overthrow of Chile’s President Salvador Allende.[29][30][31][32] During the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989SIS and the CIA took part in Operation Yellowbird to rescue dissidents from the Chinese regime.[33]

ECHELON network disclosures (1988–2000)

By the end of the 20th century, the ECHELON surveillance network had evolved into a global system capable of sweeping up massive amounts of private and commercial communications, including telephone calls, fax, e-mail and other data traffic. This was done through the interception of communication bearers such as satellite transmission and public switched telephone networks.[34]

The Five Eyes has two types of information collection methods: the PRISM program and the Upstream collection system. The PRISM program gathers user information from technology firms such as Google, Apple and Microsoft, while the Upstream system gathers information directly from the communications of civilians via fiber cables and infrastructure as data flows past.[citation needed] In 1988, Duncan Campbell revealed in the New Statesman the existence of ECHELON, an extension of the UKUSA Agreement on global signals intelligence [Sigint]. The story, ‘Somebody’s listening,’ detailed how the eavesdropping operations were not only being employed in the interests of ‘national security,’ but were regularly abused for corporate espionage in the service of US business interests. The piece passed largely unnoticed outside of journalism circles.[35] In 1996, a detailed description of ECHELON was provided by New Zealand journalist Nicky Hager in a book titled “Secret Power – New Zealand’s Role in the International Spy Network“, which was cited by the European Parliament in a 1998 report titled “An Appraisal of the Technology of Political Control” (PE 168.184).[36] On 16 March 2000, the Parliament called for a resolution on the Five Eyes and their ECHELON surveillance network, which, if passed, would have called for the “complete dismantling of ECHELON”.[37]

Three months later, the Temporary Committee on ECHELON was set up by the European Parliament to investigate the ECHELON surveillance network. However, according to a number of European politicians such as Esko Seppänen of Finland, these investigations were hindered by the European Commission.[38]

In the United States, congressionallegislators warned that the ECHELON system could be used to monitor U.S. citizens.[39] On 14 May 2001, the U.S. government cancelled all meetings with the Temporary Committee on ECHELON.[40]

According to a BBC report in May 2001, “the US Government still refuses to admit that Echelon even exists”.[16]

War on Terror (2001–present)

In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the surveillance capabilities of the Five Eyes were greatly increased as part of the global War on Terror.

During the run-up to the Iraq War, the communications of UN weapons inspector Hans Blix were monitored by the Five Eyes.[41][42] The office of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was bugged by British agents.[43][44] An NSA memo detailed plans of the Five Eyes to boost eavesdropping on UN delegations of six countries as part of a “dirty tricks” campaign to apply pressure on these six countries to vote in favour of using force against Iraq.[43][45][46]

SIS and the CIA forged a surveillance partnership with Libya’s ruler Muammar Gaddafi to spy on Libyan dissidents in the West, in exchange for permission to use Libya as a base for extraordinary renditions.[47][48][49][50][51]

As of 2010, the Five Eyes also have access to SIPRNet, the U.S. government’s classified version of the Internet.[52]

In 2013, documents leaked by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed the existence of numerous surveillance programs jointly operated by the Five Eyes. The following list includes several notable examples reported in the media:

  • PRISM – Operated by the NSA together with the GCHQ and the ASD[53][54]
  • XKeyscore – Operated by the NSA with contributions from the ASD and the GCSB[55]
  • Tempora – Operated by the GCHQ with contributions from the NSA[56][57]
  • MUSCULAR – Operated by the GCHQ and the NSA[58]
  • STATEROOM – Operated by the ASD, CIA, CSE, GCHQ, and NSA[59]

In March 2014, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Australia to stop spying on East Timor. This marks the first time that such restrictions are imposed on a member of the FVEY.[60]

Domestic espionage sharing controversy

The Five Eyes alliance is sort of an artifact of the post World War II era where the Anglophone countries are the major powers banded together to sort of co-operate and share the costs of intelligence gathering infrastructure. … The result of this was over decades and decades some sort of a supra-national intelligence organisation that doesn’t answer to the laws of its own countries.

Edward Snowden[6]

In recent years, documents of the FVEY have shown that they are intentionally spying on one another’s citizens and sharing the collected information with each other in order to circumvent restrictive domestic regulations on spying. [7][8][9][10][61]Shami Chakrabarti, the director of the advocacy group Liberty, claimed that the FVEY alliance increases the ability of member states to “subcontract their dirty work” to each other.[62] The former NSA contractor Edward Snowden described the FVEY as a “supra-national intelligence organisation that doesn’t answer to the laws of its own countries”.[6]

As a result of Snowden’s disclosures, the FVEY alliance has become the subject of a growing amount of controversy in parts of the world:

  •  Canada: In late 2013, Canadian federal judge Richard Mosley strongly rebuked the CSIS for outsourcing its surveillance of Canadians to overseas partner agencies. A 51-page court ruling asserts that the CSIS and other Canadian federal agencies have been illegally enlisting FVEY allies in global surveillance dragnets, while keeping domestic federal courts in the dark.[63][64][65]
  •  New Zealand: In 2014, the NZSIS and the GCSB of New Zealand were asked by the New Zealand Parliament to clarify if they had received any monetary contributions from members of the FVEY alliance. Both agencies withheld relevant information and refused to disclose any possible monetary contributions from the FVEY.[66]David Cunliffe, leader of the Labour Party, asserted that the public is entitled to be informed.[66]
  •  European Union: In early 2014, the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs released a draft report which confirmed that the intelligence agencies of New Zealand and Canadahave cooperated with the NSA under the Five Eyes programme and may have been actively sharing the personal data of EU citizens.[67][68]

Other international cooperatives

Since the addition of two members in 1956, the specific Five Eyes consist of Australia (accepted 1956), Canada (accepted 1948), New Zealand (accepted 1956), the United Kingdom (co-creator 1946), and the United States (co-creator 1946).[69][70] Further, there is a group of nations termed ‘3rd Party Partners’, which share their intelligence with the 5 Eyes.

While the Five Eyes is a very specific agreement with specific operations amongst the five nations, other non-FVEY sharing agreements have been set up independently and for specific purposes. For example, according to Edward Snowden, the NSA has a “massive body” called the Foreign Affairs Directorate that is responsible for partnering with foreign countries.[71]

Six Eyes

According to the news magazineL’Obs, in 2009, the United States proposed to France to join the Five Eyes, that would then have become the “Six Eyes”. Nicolas Sarkozy however made the requirement to be granted the same status as other allies, including the signing of a “no-spy agreement”. This requirement was approved by the director of the NSA, but not by the director of the CIA, and furthermore not by President Barack Obama, resulting in a refusal from France.[72]

In 2013 it was reported that Germany was interested in joining the Five Eyes alliance.[73][74] At that time, several members of the United States Congress, including Tim Ryan and Charles Dent, were pushing for Germany’s entrance to the Five Eyes alliance.[75]

Israel is, reportedly, an observer in Five Eyes.[76]

Singapore is reported to have partnered with the Five Eyes.[77]

Nine Eyes

A map of the Nine Eyes countries

The Nine Eyes is a different arrangement that consists of the same members of Five Eyes working with DenmarkFrancethe Netherlands and Norway.[69][70] A fictionalized Nine Eyes, with a different list of member states (including South Africa and China), was a key plot device in the 2015 film Spectre.

Fourteen Eyes

A map of the Fourteen Eyes countries

According to a document leaked by Edward Snowden, there is another working agreement amongst 14 nations officially known as SIGINT Seniors Europe, or “SSEUR“.[78] These “14 Eyes” consist of the same members of 9 Eyes plus GermanyBelgiumItalySpain and Sweden.[69][70]

Further intelligence sharing collaborations

As spelled out by Privacy International, there are a number of issue-specific intelligence agreements that include some or all the above nations and numerous others, such as:[79][80]

  • An area specific sharing amongst the 41 nations that formed the allied coalition in Afghanistan;
  • A shared effort of the Five Eyes nations in “focused cooperation” on computer network exploitation with Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey;
  • Club of Berne: 17 members including primarily European States; the US is not a member;
  • The Counterterrorist Group: a wider membership than the 17 European States that make up the Club of Berne, and includes the US;
  • NATO Special Committee: made up of the heads of the security services of NATO‘s 28 member countries;

List of FVEY surveillance targets

Notable individuals

As the surveillance capabilities of the FVEY continue to increase to keep up to pace with technological advancements, a global surveillance system has been gradually developed to capture the communications of entire populations across national borders.[81] The following list contains a handful of targets of the FVEY who are public figures in various fields. In order for a person to be included in the list, there must be well-documented evidence based on reliable sources, such as leaked or declassified documents or whistleblower accounts, which demonstrate that the person involved is, or was, intentionally targeted for FVEY surveillance.

Picture Name Lifetime Surveillance agencies Notes Ref.
Charlie Chaplin portrait.jpg Charlie Chaplin 1889–1977
  • MI5
  • FBI
A British comedian, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the silent era, Charlie Chaplin became one of the most important figures in the film industry through his screen persona “the Tramp“. Due to his alleged ties to communism, he was placed under surveillance in the early 1950s by MI5 agents, who acted on behalf of the FBI as part of a campaign to banish him from the United States. [82][83][84]
Strom Thurmond.jpg Strom Thurmond 1902–2003
  • Various
Dixiecrat candidate in the 1948 U.S. presidential election, Strom Thurmond represented South Carolina in the United States Senate from 1954 until 2003, when he became 100 years old and was recognized at that time as the longest-serving senator in U.S. history. In 1988, Margaret Newsham, a Lockheed employee, told a closed-door session of the United States Congress that Thurmond’s telephone calls were being intercepted by the FVEY via their ECHELON surveillance system. [85][86][87]
Nelson Mandela-2008 (edit).jpg Nelson Mandela 1918–2013
  • CIA
  • SIS
A South African activist, lawyer, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, Nelson Mandela was denounced as a terrorist by critics and was placed under surveillance by British SIS agents. In 1962, Mandela was arrested after details of his terrorist activities were picked up by the CIA and handed over to local authorities. [88][89][90][91]
Jane Fonda Cannes nineties.jpg Jane Fonda 1937–
  • GCHQ
  • NSA
An American actress, writer, political activist and former fashion model. Due to her political activism, her communications as well as those of her husband, Tom Hayden, were intercepted by the GCHQ and handed over to the NSA. [92][93]
Seyyed Ali Khamenei.jpg Ali Khamenei 1939–
  • GCHQ
  • NSA
Shiacleric and a former President of Iran, Ali Khamenei is the current Supreme Leader of Iran. During a rare visit to Iranian Kurdistan in 2009, he and his entourage were targeted for surveillance under a high-tech espionage mission involving the analysis and processing of satellite imagery. The operation was jointly conducted by the GCHQ and the NSA. [94]
JohnLennonpeace.jpg John Lennon 1940–1980
  • FBI
  • MI5
A British musician, songwriter, and a lead singer of The Beatles, John Lennon engaged in anti-war activism through several iconic songs such as “Give Peace a Chance” and “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)“. In 1971, he moved to New York City to join activists in the United States to protest against the Vietnam War. Over the next 12 months, the U.S. government launched an extensive surveillance operation to monitor his activities and to deport him back to Britain. The operation was conducted by the FBI with the help of MI5. [95][96][97][98]
Olmert.jpg Ehud Olmert 1949–
  • GCHQ
  • NSA
An Israeli politician, lawyer, and a former Mayor of Jerusalem, Ehud Olmert is the 12th Prime Minister of Israel. He and the Israeli Minister of DefenseEhud Barak, were included in a list of surveillance targets used by the GCHQ and the NSA. [99]
SusiloBambangYudhoyono.jpg Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono 1949–
  • ASD
  • NSA
A former chief military observer of the United Nation Peacekeeping Force in Bosnia and the former President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife were placed under surveillance by the ASD, which shared details of the operation with the NSA. [100][101][102]
Angela Merkel (August 2012) cropped.jpg Angela Merkel 1954–
  • Various
A German politician, former research scientist, and the Chancellor of Germany since 2005, Angela Merkel’s phone communications were monitored by the Special Collection Service, which is part of the STATEROOM surveillance program of the FVEY. [103][104][105]
Diana, Princess of Wales.jpg Diana, Princess of Wales 1961–1997
  • GCHQ
  • NSA
A firm opponent of the international usage of land mines, the Princess of Wales was placed under surveillance by the GCHQ and the NSA, which kept a top secret file on her containing more than 1,000 pages. The contents of Diana’s NSA file cannot be disclosed because of national security concerns. [106][107][108]
Kim Schmitz cropped and edited.jpg Kim Dotcom 1974–
  • FBI
  • GCSB
A German-Finnish Internet entrepreneur, businessman, and hacktivist, Kim Dotcom (born Kim Schmitz) is the founder of the file hosting service Megaupload. On behalf of the FBI, the GCSB of New Zealand conducted illegal surveillance on Dotcom. Prime Minister John Keylater issued an apology for the GCSB’s illegal surveillance. [109][110][111][112]

Notable organisations

Airlines
Broadcasting networks
Financial institutions
Multinational corporations
Oil corporations
Search engines
Telecom operators
United Nations
Universities

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Eyes

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The Pronk Pops Show 961, September 11, 2017, Story 1: Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irma is History — Storm Surge and Rain Floods Jacksonville, Miami, Naples , Charleston and Many Others –Wind and Flood Damage In Billions — More Than 25 Dead and Over 7 Million Without Electrical Power — Looting — Videos — Story 2: Bannon on Sixty Minutes — Republican Leadership Promises Not Kept — Firing of FBI Director Comey — A Big Mistake — DACA May Lead To Republican Civil War — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 961, September 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 960, September 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 959, September 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 958, September 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 957, September 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 956, August 31, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 947, August 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 946, August 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 945, August 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 944, August 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 943, August 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 942, August 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 941, August 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 940, August 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 939,  August 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 938, August 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 937, July 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 936, July 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 935, July 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 934, July 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 934, July 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 933, July 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 932, July 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 931, July 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 930, July 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 929, July 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 928, July 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 927, July 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 926, July 11, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 924, July 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 923, July 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 922, July 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 921, June 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 920, June 28, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 912, June 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 911, June 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 910, June 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 909, June 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 908, June 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 907, June 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 906, June 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 905, June 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 904, June 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 903, June 1, 2017

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Flooding In Jacksonville After Hurricane Irma | NBC News

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MOST SHOCKING : Live Footage as Hurricane Irma SLAMS Florida , #irma, #hurricane irma florida

LOOTERS IN THE HURRICANE : MOST CRAZIEST Footage EVER Of Florida Hurricane Irma (SEP. 10, 2017)

Hurricane Irma: Nearly half of Florida in the dark, Tampa takes pounding

The hurricane’s maximum sustained winds weakened to 85 mph with additional weakening expected. As of 2 a.m. EDT, the storm was centered about 25 miles northeast of Tampa and moving north-northwest near 15 mph.

Irma continues its slog north along Florida’s western coast having blazed a path of unknown destruction. With communication cut to some of the Florida Keys, where Irma made landfall Sunday, and rough conditions persisting across the peninsula, many are holding their breath for what daylight might reveal.

Forecasters say they expert Irma’s center to stay inland over Florida and then move into Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee.

They also expect Irma to weaken further into a tropical storm over far northern Florida or southern Georgia on Monday as it speeds up its forward motion. The hurricane center says the storm is still life-threatening with dangerous storm surge, wind and heavy rains.

More than 3.3 million homes and businesses — and counting — have lost power in Florida as Hurricane Irma moves up the peninsula.

The widespread outages stretch from the Florida Keys all the way into central Florida.

Florida Power & Light, the state’s largest electric utility, said there were nearly 1 million customers without power in Miami-Dade County alone.

There are roughly 7 million residential customers in the state.

The county administrator in the Florida Keys says crews will begin house to house searches Monday morning, looking for people who need help and assessing damage from Hurricane Irma.

Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi says relief will arrive on a C-130 military plane Monday morning at the Key West International Airport.

Once it’s light out, they’ll check on survivors. They suspect they may find fatalities.

Gastesi says they are “prepared for the worst.”

Hurricane Irma made landfall Sunday morning in Cudjoe Key.

But The Associated Press has been texting with John Huston, who has been riding out the storm in his house on Key Largo, on the Atlantic side of the island, just south of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

Every few minutes during the height of the storm, he sent another dispatch.

He described whiteout conditions, with howling winds that sucked dry the gulf side of the narrow island, where the tide is usually 8 feet deep. He kept his humor though, texting to “send cold beer” at one point. Now he sees furniture floating down the street with small boats.

He says the storm surge was at least 6 feet deep on his island, 76 miles from Irma’s eye. He can see now that structures survived, but the storm left a big mess at ground level.

Irma set all sorts of records for brute strength before crashing into Florida, flattening islands in the Caribbean and swamping the Florida Keys.

It finally hit the mainland as a big wide beast, but not quite as monstrous as once feared. The once-Category 5 storm lost some of its power on the northern Cuba coast.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_HURRICANE_IRMA_THE_LATEST?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-09-11-07-05-11

Florida picks up the pieces of Irma’s devastation: 7.2million left without power and at least seven dead after hurricane beat a path across the state before being downgraded to a tropical storm

  • Irma weakened to a tropical storm on Monday, as it continued to pummel northern Florida 
  • The storm is expected to move into Georgia later today, where Atlanta has been put on a tropical storm warning for the first time ever and schools are closed for the day 
  • More than 4,000 flights were cancelled on Monday, mostly out of Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa’s airports  
  • About 7.2 million people are without power and it could take a few days to by fully restored 
  • Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys early Sunday morning then pushed up the Gulf Coast
  • The National Hurricane Center said water levels in Naples rose 7ft in just 90 minutes with substantial flooding
  • Seven deaths reported in Florida so far but officials admit they do not have a definitive number of fatalities yet
  • The storm has toppled cranes, swallowed streets and ripped the roofs off homes  
  • Nearly seven million people had been told to leave their homes in mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders
  • More than 200,000 people waited in shelters statewide as Irma headed up the coast 
  • The storm has already claimed at least 25 lives across the Caribbean since it took hold earlier in the week 

The first Floridians are returning home today to survey the damage wreaked by Hurricane Irma.

The powerful hurricane made landfall Sunday morning in the Florida Keys as a category 4 storm and then made it’s way up the Golf Coast – knocking out power to some 7.2million people in the southeast, swamping downtown Miami with storm surge and blowing the roofs off homes.

More than 200,000 people waited in shelters statewide as Irma headed up the coast.

As of Monday morning, the storm was still pummeling northern Florida but had been downgraded to a tropical storm. Irma’s maximum sustained winds were down to 60 mph as the storm was about 50 miles south-southeast of Albany’ Georgia Monday afternoon. It’s moving at 17 mph.

Northern Florida and southern Georgia should keep getting soaked, with rain totals eventually accumulating to 8 to 15 inches. Isolated parts of central Georgia, eastern Alabama and southern South Carolina may get up to 10 inches of rain.

So far, the storm is believed to have caused seven deaths – including two in the Florida Keys, which was under mandatory evacuation.

But this morning, Florida Director of Emergency Management Bryan Koon said he could not confirm or deny reports of multiple deaths or extensive damage, admitting: ‘I don’t have any numbers on fatalities at this point.’

Scroll down for video 

A person walks through the flooded streets of a trailer park in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma on Monday in Key Largo, Florida

Marie Powell surveys damage to her property at a mobile home park after Hurricane Irma in Naples, Florida, U.S. September 11, 2017

Tommy Nevitt carries Miranda Abbott, 6, through floodwater caused by Hurricane Irma on the west side of Jacksonville, Florida on Monday

Debris from destroyed mobile sit in the Naples Estates mobile home park in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Naples, Florida Monday, September 11, 2017

Kelly McClenthen returns to see the flood damage to her home with her boyfriend Daniel Harrison in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Bonita Springs, Fla., Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

Wrecked boats that have come ashore are pictured in Coconut Grove following Hurricane Irma in Miami, Florida, U.S., September 11, 2017

The Sunrise Motel remains flooded after Hurricane Irma hit the area on September 11, 2017 in East Naples, Florida

Water rises in a neighborhood after Hurricane Irma brought floodwaters to Jacksonville, Florida Monday, September 11, 2017

Floodwaters surround a marina in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma on Monday in Key Largo, Florida 

Floodwaters surround a marina in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma on Monday in Key Largo, Florida

Hurricane Irma will cross into Georgia on Monday, bringing heavy wind and rain to the state 

A van remains in a sinkhole on Monday  in Winter Springs, Florida after Hurricane Irma passed through the state

People walk around branches and trees that were downed when hurricane Irma passed through Miami, Florida on Monday

A man walks by damage from Hurricane Irma at Sundance Marine in Palm Shores, Florida, Monday, September 11, 2017

Boats sit on the bottom in the north Florida panhandle community of Shell Point Beach as Hurricane Irma pulls the water out September 11, 2017 in Crawfordville, Florida

Downed power lines are seen in Bonita Springs, Florida, northeast of Naples, on September 11, 2017 after Hurricane Irma hit Florida

The roof of a gas station is shown damaged by Hurricane Irma winds on September 11, 2017 in Bonita Springs, Florida

A gas station is shown damaged by Hurricane Irma winds on September 11, 2017 in Bonita Springs, Florida

Pedestrians try to walk as waves crash at The Battery as Tropical Storm Irma hits Charleston, South Carolina on Monday

This satellite image shows Tropical Storm Irma as it moves up Florida's West Coast Monday morning

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says there’s damage across the state caused by Hurricane Irma and it’s still too dangerous for residents to go outside or return from evacuation.

Scott said Monday on Fox News that he’s concerned about flooding now unfolding in Jacksonville and the amount of damage in the Florida Keys. The governor will be flying out of Mobile, Alabama, on a U.S. Coast Guard plane down to the Keys where he plans to inspect the extent of the damage there.

Scott asked Floridians to be patient and warned that roads are impassable and that there are downed power lines.

A Fort Lauderdale police officer holds the paw of his K-9 as the two take a nap during the storm on Sunday 

While Irma has been downgraded to a tropical storm over Florida, it still has winds near hurricane force.

Jacksonville, Florida, authorities are telling residents near the St. Johns river to leave quickly as floodwaters rise.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office warned people in evacuation zones A and B along the St. Johns River to ‘Get out NOW.’

They say river is at historic flood levels and likely to get worse at high tide around 2pm.

On its Facebook page, the sheriff’s office told those who need help evacuating to ‘put a white flag in front of your house. A t-shirt, anything white.’

Rescue teams were ready to deploy.

The storm surge flooding in downtown Jacksonville has already exceeded a record set during a 1965 hurricane by at least a foot. A river gauge downtown in the Atlantic Coast city measured 3 feet above flood stage.

John Ward, the emergency operations manager of Clay County, says crews have pulled 46 people from flooded homes by early Monday and an undetermined number are still stranded as the area’s creeks and ponds are getting record flooding.

Ward says between 400 and 500 homes received severe flood damage but there have been no serious injuries or deaths.

To the south, winds knocked a utility pole and power lines onto a sheriff’s cruiser late Sunday in Polk County, illustrating the dangerous conditions for emergency personnel. A deputy and a paramedic, who had just escorted an elderly patient to safety, were trapped for two hours until a crew could free them. Both were unhurt.

Property damage is seen at a mobile home park after Hurricane Irma in Naples, Florida, U.S. September 11, 2017

A man walks through a flooded street in a rural area the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

A tree blocks a road after it was downed by winds from Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida

People take photos of boats that have come ashore in Coconut Grove following Hurricane Irma in Miami, Florida, on Monday

Partially submerged boats caused by Hurricane Irma sit in the water in a marina in downtown Miami, Florida on Monday

People wade through a flooded neighborhood in Bonita Springs, Florida, northeast of Naples, on September 11, 2017, after Hurricane Irma hit Florida

People wade through a flooded neighborhood in Bonita Springs, Florida, northeast of Naples, on September 11, 2017, after Hurricane Irma hit Florida

Kelly McClenthen walks through her flooded neighborhood, as she returns to see the damage to her home in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Bonita Springs, Florida on Monday

A boat is seen washed ashore at the Dinner Key marina after hurricane Irma passed through the area on September 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida

Street flooding is prevalent on the Southbank of downtown as Hurricane Irma passes by in Jacksonville, Florida on Monday

A fire truck is shown in a flooded area in the wake of Hurricane Irma on Monday in Key Largo, Florida 

The entirety of the Florida Keys was under evacuation during Irma but an estimated 10,000 stuck around to weather the storm 

Above, another flooded neighborhood in Key Largo, Florida on Monday 

A pickup truck drives through a flooded area of Key Largo, Florida on Monday 

The winds ripped the roofs off of these two homes in Key Largo, Florida, as seen on Monday

The heavy winds left many of the trees in Key Largo, Florida barren after the storm 

And more than 120 homes were being evacuated early Monday in Orange County, just outside the city of Orlando, as floodwaters started to pour in. Firefighters and the National Guard were going door-to-door and using boats to ferry families to safety. A few miles away, 30 others had to be evacuated when a 60-foot sinkhole opened up under an apartment building. No injuries were reported in either case.

Much of central Florida, including Orlando, suffered significant damage as Irma blew through Sunday night and into Monday morning.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said Monday morning that there’s been widespread damage and significant power loss throughout the area.

Jacobs said approximately 300,000 residents in Orlando are without power. She also said 60 per cent of the fire stations are operating on backup generators and dispatchers received 1,381 calls between Sunday at midnight and 5:45 a.m. Monday morning.

Residents are being asked to minimize usage such as flushing toilets, bathing, along with washing dishes and laundry.

SeaTow workers attempt to save a damaged motor yacht in the Pompano Beach, Florida on Monday, following the passing of Hurricane Irma

A driver guides his pickup truck through a neighborhood flooded by Hurricane Irma on Monday in Bonita Springs, Florida

A driver guides his pickup truck through a neighborhood flooded by Hurricane Irma on Monday in Bonita Springs, Florida

A man walks through Hurricane Irma floodwaters on Monday in Bonita Springs, Florida

A man walks through Hurricane Irma floodwaters on Monday in Bonita Springs, Florida

People move around branches and trees that were downed when hurricane Irma passed through the area on September 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida

People move around branches and trees that were downed when hurricane Irma passed through the area on September 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida

A boat is seen washed ashore at the Dinner Key marina after hurricane Irma passed through the area on September 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida

A boat is seen washed ashore at the Dinner Key marina after hurricane Irma passed through the area on September 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida

ouis Castro picks up a coconut downed by the winds of Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

ouis Castro picks up a coconut downed by the winds of Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

Members of the Bonita Springs Fire Department set off to survey damage in a flooded neighborhood in Bonita Springs, Florida, northeast of Naples, on September 11, 2017 after Hurricane Irma hit Florida

Members of the Bonita Springs Fire Department set off to survey damage in a flooded neighborhood in Bonita Springs, Florida, northeast of Naples, on September 11, 2017 after Hurricane Irma hit Florida

A woman walks past trees downed by the winds of Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

A woman walks past trees downed by the winds of Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

Some street flooding persists on Biscayne Boulevard after Hurricane Irma struck in Miami, Florida, USA, 11 September 2017

In Redington Shores west of Tampa, attorney Carl Roberts spent a sleepless night riding out Irma in his 17th floor beachfront condo. After losing power late Sunday, he made it through the worst of the storm shaken but unhurt.

‘The hurricane winds lashed the shutters violently, throughout the night,’ he wrote in a text message, ‘making sleep impossible.’

As morning broke, he couldn’t open the electric shutters to see outside.

‘It’s so dark in here,’ he said.

Nearly 5.8 million homes and businesses across Florida lost power, and utility officials said it will take weeks to restore electricity to everyone. More than 125,000 were in the dark in Georgia.

Downtown Savannah was getting soaked Monday morning, with winds just strong enough to rustle treetops and shake small branches onto the roads. Impacts from the storm were expected throughout the day.

People walk through flooded streets the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

A Miami Beach Police officer watches residents attempting to return to their homes after Hurricane Irma struck in Miami, Florida, USA, 11 September 2017

Mike Getman (left) and Rob Beaton (right), residents of the north Florida community of Shell Point Beach, walk the newly exposed Gulf bottom as Hurricane Irma pulls the water out on September 11, 2017 in Crawfordville, Florida

Neighbors emerge from their homes to get a first look at the damage to their neighborhood caused by Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Fort Meade, Florida

A women stands near trees downed by Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Bonita Springs, Florida

A women stands near trees downed by Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Bonita Springs, Florida

Zachary Harrison, his fiance Cheyanne O'Donnell and their three children, Jaiden, 14, Jackson, 9, and Ella, 10-months, get their first look at the damage to their neighborhood caused by Hurricane Irma on Monday in Fort Meade, Florida

A large tree is seen laying on top of a home after high winds from Hurricane Irma came through the area on Monday in Fort Meade, Florida

A large tree is seen laying on top of a home after high winds from Hurricane Irma came through the area on Monday in Fort Meade, Florida

The National Weather Service said the threat of storm surge had decreased Monday along Georgia’s 100 miles of coast, but flooding rains could still cause swollen rivers, streams and creeks to overflow.

Officials say at least one tornado has been reported in coastal Georgia as strong winds and drenching rains from Tropical Storm Irma hammer the state.

The National Weather Service also issued a flash-flood emergency for Charleston,  South Carolina as heavy rains begin to move into areas already flooding by ocean surge from Tropical Storm Irma.

Irma has now knocked out power to around 190,000 customers in South Carolina.

Firefighters on one of South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island are staying inside until the worst weather from Tropical Storm Irma passes.

Irma’s center was about 105 miles north of Tampa when forecasters announced it had weakened to a tropical storm. However, they warned its maximum sustained winds were 70 mph, and the storm was still producing higher gusts.

The monster storm, which arrived in Florida as a Category 4 hurricane, has toppled at least three constructions cranes – two over downtown Miami and one in Fort Lauderdale.

People in the heavily populated Tampa-St. Petersburg area had feared a first direct hit from a major hurricane since 1921, but the storm weakened to a Category 2 as it approached that area.

A Florida Highway Patrol vehicle drives by part of a roof and ceiling torn off of a nearby home from the high winds from Hurricane Irma at an intersection on September 11, 2017 in Bowling Green, Florida

A Florida Highway Patrol vehicle drives by part of a roof and ceiling torn off of a nearby home from the high winds from Hurricane Irma at an intersection on September 11, 2017 in Bowling Green, Florida

A car sits in a flooded parking lot outside the Germain Arena, which was used as an evacuation shelter for Hurricane Irma, which passed through yesterday, in Estero, Florida on Monday

A car sits in a flooded parking lot outside the Germain Arena, which was used as an evacuation shelter for Hurricane Irma, which passed through yesterday, in Estero, Florida on Monday

Above, another view of downed trees in Miami, Florida on Monday  

Above, another view of downed trees in Miami, Florida on Monday

A couple leave their flooded home the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Fort Myers, Florida

A couple leave their flooded home the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Fort Myers, Florida

A home with a religious message taped to the front door sits apparently undamaged just hours after Hurricane Irma passed through the area on September 11, 2017 in Fort Meade, Florida

A home with a religious message taped to the front door sits apparently undamaged just hours after Hurricane Irma passed through the area on September 11, 2017 in Fort Meade, Florida

Cars make their away through a flooded street the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Bonita Springs, Florida

Hurricane Irma whips an aluminum carport in the north Florida panhandle community of Shell Point Beach on Monday

Above, the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Marco Island, Florida 

A fallen palm tree and a roof litters a street as Rick Freedman checks his neighborhood's damage from Hurricane Irma in Marco Island, Florida on Monday

The front staircase sits damaged as Rick Freedman surveys the aftermath on his home with his parrot Mango from Hurricane Irma in Marco Island, Florida on Monday

Hotel guests are served breakfast by lamplight as the power remains off at the Courtyard by Marriott one day after Hurricane Irma struck the state on Monday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said the situation was not as bad as it could have been, but warned residents that dangerous storm surge continued. He also described downed power lines and other debris.

Speaking Monday morning on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe,’ Buckhorn said ‘What we thought was going to be a punch in the face was a glancing blow.’

Buckhorn did say there are a lot of downed power lines and debris.

He said Tampa’s officials have vehicles positioned ‘to be sure that when that surge comes in we can keep people out of the streets.’

He said he expected power to be out for some sections of Tampa for at least a couple more days.

Meanwhile, rescue efforts ramped up in the evacuated neighborhood near Orlando as Guardsmen in helmets and fatigues rolled through standing water in a high-clearance vehicle. Firefighters rescued a puppy from one of the homes there and leashed the anxious dog to the front of one of their trucks to give it water and snacks.

As the sun rose in Orlando, many tried to survey the damage, but authorities warned that conditions remain dangerous and asked people not to venture outside because of a curfew.

Sedat Esenbahar carries his bird Maxiy after checking out of at the Courtyard by Marriott, where he stayed during Hurricane Irma on Monday

Sedat Esenbahar carries his bird Maxiy after checking out of at the Courtyard by Marriott, where he stayed during Hurricane Irma on Monday

Seat Turtle Overshight Protection co-founder Richard WhiteCloud works to recover and re-bury sea turtle eggs that were destroyed during Hurricane Irma along Fort Lauderdale Beach on Monday 

Seat Turtle Overshight Protection co-founder Richard WhiteCloud works to recover and re-bury sea turtle eggs that were destroyed during Hurricane Irma along Fort Lauderdale Beach on Monday

A bicycle rack is half buried in blown sand at Fort Lauderdale Beach the day after Hurricane Irma slammed into the state on Monday

A homeless man lays on a bench on Historic River Street on Monday in Savannah, Georgia 

Evacuees, from left, Dennis Larios, Odaliz Larios, Jennifer Larios and Kevin Renoso, wait to leave the Germain Arena, which was used as an evacuation shelter for Hurricane Irma, which passed through yesterday, in Estero, Florida on Monday

Tony Lobato works on removing tree branches and debris downed in the early morning hours by Hurricane Irma from his home on September 11, 2017 in Bowling Green, Florida

Tony Lobato works on removing tree branches and debris downed in the early morning hours by Hurricane Irma from his home on September 11, 2017 in Bowling Green, Florida

Sam Parish wades through a flooded neighborhood in Bonita Springs, Florida, northeast of Naples, on September 11, 2017 after Hurricane Irma hit Florida

Miami downtown residents return home after evacuating before Hurricane Irma struck in Miami, Florida, USA, 11 September 2017

Road crews clear debris after Hurricane Irma passed through on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

A woman walks past trees downed by the winds of Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

Kristen Bell sings for Hurricane Irma evacuees

Actress Kristen Bell says she’s ‘singing in a hurricane’ while riding out Irma in Florida.

The ‘Frozen’ star is in Orlando filming a movie and staying at a hotel at the Walt Disney World resort. She stopped by an Orlando middle school that was serving as a shelter and belted out songs from ‘Frozen.’

Back at the hotel, Bell posted pictures on Instagram of her singing with one guest and dining with a group of seniors.

Bell also helped out the parents of ‘Frozen’ co-star Josh Gad by securing them a room at the hotel.

Bell tells Sacramento, California, station KMAX-TV – where her father is news director – that the experience is her version of one of her favorite movies, ‘Singin’ in the Rain.’

Actress Kristen Bell performed at a shelter during Hurricane Irma on Sunday, belting out songs from the movie Frozen

Irma has so far claimed seven lives so far in the U.S.

Two of the people killed were in Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys. One of the bodies was found in a Shark Key home while another man was killed when he lost control of a truck carrying a generator.

A sheriff’s deputy and corrections officer were killed in a two-car crash in Hardee county during heavy rains.

Hardee County Sheriff’s deputy and mother-of-one Julie Bridges and Hardee Correctional Institute sergeant Joseph Ossman crashed and died around 60 miles from Saratosa.

Another victim was killed in Miami-Dade county from carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator while one person died in a car crash in Orange County.

Georgia Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Catherine Howden said Monday that one storm-related death has been confirmed in Worth County, about 170 miles (270 kilometers) south of Atlanta. She had no further details.

In the Caribbean, at least 37 were people were killed during Irma’s destructive trek across exclusive islands known as the vacation playground for the rich. Ten of those deaths were in Cube.

Randy Bresnik took this picture of Hurricane Jose's eye from the International Space Station

Hurricane Irma, taken by NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, seen from the International Space Station.

INSIDE THE EYE OF HURRICANE JOSE – Taken by Randy Bresnik aboard the ISS – ‘A walk inside the Eye of #Jose. Just amazing to see through the eye to the surface!’

Bridges, one of the people killed during the hurricane, had been collecting supplies to keep helping civilians when she collided with Ossman, 53, who had been going to work.

‘She worked the shelter all night and was going home to retrieve some more items and then go back to the shelter,’ Hardee County Sheriff Arnold Lanier told the Herald-Advocate.

The wreck was reported at 6.53am, having been found at the intersection of Old Crewsville Road and SR 66 in Zolfo Springs. No other vehicles or people were involved.

Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the incident, and has not yet ruled whether the winds and rain caused by Irma at the time of the crash directly influenced the accident.

Bridges was a mother of an eight-year-old boy and a member of the sheriff’s Honor Guard. Ossman, meanwhile, had been working at the Hardee Correctional Institute for 21 years.

‘We are heartbroken by this loss, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and fellow officers at this time,’ Corrections Secretary Julie Jones told the Miami Herald.

They were not the only people to die amid the deluge.

Evacuees leave the Germain Arena, which was used as an evacuation shelter for Hurricane Irma, which passed through yesterday, in Estero, Florida on Monday

Tony Loduca walks back to his apartment past a roof whose tiles where torn off from Hurricane Irma in Marco Island, Florida on Monday

A roof is strewn across a home's lawn as Rick Freedman checks his neighbor's damage from Hurricane Irma in Marco Island, Florida on Monday
A roof is strewn across a home’s lawn as Rick Freedman checks his neighbor’s damage from Hurricane Irma in Marco Island, Florida on Monday

Brian Baker, of Valrico, Florida, cuts up an Oak tree that fell across Falling Leaves Drive after Hurricane Irma passed through the area on Monday in Valrico, Florida

Wind from Hurricane Irma whip the flags on City Hall, Monday, Sept., 11, 2017, in Savannah, Georgia
Wind from Hurricane Irma whip the flags on City Hall, Monday, Sept., 11, 2017, in Savannah, Georgia

A large tree is seen laying in the front yard of a home after high winds from Hurricane Irma came through the area on Monday in Fort Meade, Florida 

Ducks swim through a street the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida. Hurricane Irma made another landfall near Naples yesterday after inundating the Florida Keys

People inspect their neighborhood that was flooded by Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Bonita Springs, Florida

Men clear debris from a roadway the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

Another man was killed after tropical-storm-strength winds caused him to lose control of the truck he was driving through Monroe County, which contains Key West. He had been carrying a generator, local officials told ABC News.

And an elderly man died of natural causes while sheltering in a school in the city of Marathon on the Keys, Larry Kahn, an editor for FlKeysNews.com, said.

‘He was staying in one of the classrooms,’ Khan explained. ‘Police came up, along with a couple of nurses who are here, actually, got everyone out of the room and sealed it off.’

Those deaths come after Irma claimed at least 25 lives in the Caribbean as it swept over several countries, destroying entire islands. Yesterday, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced that the confirmed death toll on the Caribbean island of St Maarten had increased to four.

In one of the largest U.S. evacuations, nearly 7 million people in the Southeast were warned to seek shelter, including 6.4 million in Florida alone. More than 200,000 people waited in shelters across Florida.

An overnight curfew was imposed in Miami to stop opportunistic looters taking advantage of the countless coastal homes that now stand abandoned.

But at least 32 people have been arrested across Florida for trying to loot the empty businesses and homes.

Two people burst into an Orlando sporting store and allegedly stole guns, before facing off with SWAT in a standoff. Shocking videos also emerged of gangs trying to break into stores and take advantage of deserted properties.

Bryan Koon, Florida’s emergency management director, said late Sunday that authorities had only scattered information about damage.

‘I’ve not heard of catastrophic damage. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It means it hasn’t gotten to us yet,’ Koon said.

Pedestrians walk by a flooded car on a street as Tropical Storm Irma hits Charleston, South Carolina on Monday 

A pet owner protects her dog as pedestrians prepare for waves crashing over The Battery as Hurricane Irma hits Charleston, South Carolina on Monday

Mattson Wiksell picks up debris at Waterfront Park as Hurricane Irma hits Charleston, South Carolina on Monday

Mattson Wiksell picks up debris at Waterfront Park as Hurricane Irma hits Charleston, South Carolina on Monday

A man takes pictures as people prepare for huge wave crashing over The Battery as Hurricane Irma hits Charleston, South Carolina on Monday

In the low-lying Keys, appliances and furniture were seen floating away, and Monroe County spokeswoman Cammy Clark said the ocean waters were filled with navigation hazards, including sunken boats.

The county administrator, Roman Gastesi, said crews would begin house-to-house searches Monday morning to check on survivors. They suspect they may find fatalities. Gastesi says they are ‘prepared for the worst.’

About 30,000 people heeded orders to leave the Keys as the storm closed in, but about 10,000 refused, in part because, to many storm-hardened residents, staying behind in the face of danger is a point of pride.

Koon said it was likely they did not have power or water and that there would have been ‘fairly significant impact to homes’.

‘It is obvious we need to get in there, assess the damage and figure out what we need to do for helping those folks,’ he said.

John Huston, who stayed in his Key Largo home, watched his yard flood even before the arrival of high tide.

‘Small boats floating down the street next to furniture and refrigerators. Very noisy,’ he said by text message. ‘Shingles are coming off.’

As the nation’s eyes turned to follow Irma up the west coast of Florida, the Keys began to take in the immensity of the damage done.

Another victim of the storm was claimed when his truck (pictured) was swept off the road and into a tree in Monroe County. He has not yet been named

People drive through a neighborhood that was flooded by Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Bonita Springs, Florida

Workers from Orange County rescue make a final check of an area on a flooded street after they were called to rescue residents from their homes during Hurricane Irma on Monday in Lake Buena Vista, Florida

An abandoned car that was stranded in storm surge remains on North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard one day after Hurricane Irma slamed into the southern part of the state on September 11, 2017

Florida responded with the launch of a massive airborne relief mission by Monroe County Emergency Management, whose director, Martin Senterfitt, called the damage done to the Keys a ‘humanitarian crisis.’

He promised disaster mortuary teams, as well as C-130 cargo planes, which United States Air Force special operations pilots are testing flights around the massive storm. Also on the mission will be Air National Guard flights of more C-130s, backed up by squadrons of helicopters. They are expected to start arriving early Monday morning.

The first load will head to Florida Keys Marathon Airport. As it can handle about two C-130 planes at a time, the plan is to land two every two hours, keeping a steady flow of good.

‘The help is on its way,’ Senterfitt said, adding: ‘We’re going to get more aid than we’ve ever seen in our lives.’

It has been difficult to determine the extent of damage Hurricane Irma caused in the Florida Keys due to difficulties with communication.

The Navy is sending an aircraft carrier to Key West to provide emergency services.

An update from Monroe County describes ‘an astounding recovery effort’ taking place in the Florida Keys.

The USS Lincoln aircraft carrier will be anchored off Key West to provide emergency services, and three other Navy vessels are en route.

Officials said the National Guard has arrived in the island chain, and state transportation officials have cleared six of 42 bridges as safe for travel. However, roads remain closed because of debris, and fuel is still a concern. There is no water, power or cell service in the Keys.

Irma once was the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the open Atlantic, a Category 5 with a peak wind speed of 185 mph (300 kph). For days, forecasters had warned Irma was taking dead aim at Florida. Irma made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane Sunday morning at Cudjoe Key, not far from Key West. It then rounded Florida’s southwestern corner and hugged the coast closely as it pushed north.

Meanwhile, an Atlanta airport official says there’ve been around 800 cancellations due to the threat of Irma, which weakened to a tropical storm Monday morning.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport spokesman Andrew Gobeil says the airport will still be operational Monday and will monitor storm conditions.

Gobeil says the airport created an overflow parking plan to allow planes unable to land in areas such as Florida to park at the airport in Atlanta.

Miami International Airport has announced it will be closed today and there has been no confirmation flights will resume on Tuesday.

Orlando International Airport closed Saturday and won’t reopen to passenger traffic until after Irma has passed, a damage assessment has been completed, necessary recovery efforts made and the airlines are consulted to determine when best to resume operations.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport says on its website it has no timetable yet to reopen. Its last flights were Friday. Tampa International Airport also is closed as Hurricane Irma moves up the Florida peninsula.

Airlines are preparing their recovery schedules, which may take several days to execute.

As the remnants of Hurricane Irma move out of Florida, work is underway to resupply the state with gasoline. Hurricane Irma caused a huge spike in gasoline demand as residents evacuated, topped of their tanks, and/or filled gas cans to power generators. This led to outages at various gas stations throughout Florida and neighboring states, and it could take a week for supply conditions to return to normal.

Suppliers face an uphill battle in the coming days, trying to keep gas stations supplied, as Florida evacuees return home in large numbers after the storm. Gas stations not located along major highways should have an easier time keeping supplies, as residents are no longer ‘panic pumping’, since the storm is no longer a threat. Refueling gas stations along major evacuation routes will be a top priority, as it was before the storm. Motorists are still likely to find long lines, which could lead to temporary outages, due to the surge in demand.

Heavy westbound traffic comes to a stop at a back up on I-4 near the Celebration exit as Florida residents attempt to make their way back home after evacuating Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Steve Slonan inspects a friend's home after Hurricane Irma hit the area on September 11, 2017 in East Naples, Florida

: A man walks through a flooded street in a rural part of Naples the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

A family leaves their flooded home in a rural area the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

A home is shown damaged after Hurricane Irma hit the area on September 11, 2017 in East Naples, Florida

A home is shown damaged after Hurricane Irma hit the area on September 11, 2017 in East Naples, Florida

A home is shown damaged after Hurricane Irma hit the area on September 11, 2017 in East Naples, Florida

A home is shown damaged after Hurricane Irma hit the area on September 11, 2017 in East Naples, Florida

A swamped boat off Watson Island marina after Hurricane Irma struck in Miami, Florida, USA, 11 September 2017

A damaged boat is seen at the Dinner Key marina after Hurricane Irma passed through the area on September 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida

‘Florida evacuees should plan their return home very carefully,’ said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. ‘First, ensure you know there are no major hazards at home or along your travel route. Expect congestion on the roadways, as the first few days after the storm will be the busiest. Pay close attention to traffic reports. Ensure you have a full tank of gas before you hit the road. Do not let your fuel gauge fall below a quarter tank before you start looking for a place to refuel. Bring a gas can in case you run out of fuel. It is not safe to drive with a full gas can inside an enclosed vehicle.’

President Donald Trump said last night that the U.S. may have gotten a ‘little bit lucky’ after Hurricane Irma veered from its original course and headed west along Florida’s coast.

He said Irma might not have been quite as destructive as a result, but that things will play out over the next several hours. Trump added that Irma would cost ‘a lot of money’ but he wasn’t thinking about that because ‘right now, we’re worried about lives, not cost.’

He declared a major disaster in the state of Florida, making federal aid available to people affected by Hurricane Irma in nine counties already hit by the storm.

The federal help includes temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans for uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover in the counties of Charlotte, Collier, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Pinellas, and Sarasota.

Property damage is seen at a mobile home park after Hurricane Irma in Naples, Florida, U.S. September 11, 2017

Property damage is seen at a mobile home park after Hurricane Irma in Naples, Florida, U.S. September 11, 2017

Property damage is seen at a mobile home park after Hurricane Irma in Naples, Florida, U.S. September 11, 2017

With no gas stations open anywhere in the area, motorists running low on fuel stop at an on ramp to westbound I-4 and get a few gallons of gas from Javier Franqui, a Florida Department of Transportation Road Ranger, on September 11, 2017 in Lake Helen, Florida

With no gas stations open anywhere in the area, motorists running low on fuel stop at an on ramp to westbound I-4 to refuel from tanks strapped to their vehicle's roof on September 11, 2017 in Lake Helen, Florida

Debris is shown strewn along a roadway in the wake of powerful Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Isamorada, a village encompassing six of the Florida Keys

A road is partially blocked by a tree downed in the high winds from Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida

Residents make their way across a flooded street after Hurricane Irma brought floodwaters to Jacksonville, Florida Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

Lawrence Buckmen rides his motorcycle through Hurricane Irma flood waters on September 11, 2017 in East Naples, Florida

Lawrence Buckmen rides his motorcycle through Hurricane Irma flood waters on September 11, 2017 in East Naples, Florida

The crumbled canopy of a gas station damaged by Hurricane Irma in Naples, Florida, U.S., September 11, 2017

A patient is evacuated by boat from the St. Vincent's Medical Center after floodwaters from Hurricane Irma covered the first floor of the hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

A patient is evacuated by boat from the St. Vincent’s Medical Center after floodwaters from Hurricane Irma covered the first floor of the hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

A lamp post is wrapped around a car in the wake of Hurricane Irma in Kissimmee, Florida September 11, 2017

Federal funding also is available to governments and non-profit organizations for emergencies in all 67 Florida counties. For the first 30 days, that money will cover 100 percent of the costs of some emergency responses.

As Irma swept over the country, people trapped in its midst told DailyMail.com of the drama they were enduring. One of them was lifelong Floridian Jacqueline Cobb of Pembroke Pines, which is near Miami.

She had been forced to bunker down in a school as it was the only shelter she could find for people with special needs, like her friend Stephen Herndon who has problems with his autonomic nervous system that can cause severe nosebleeds, fainting and overheating.

She had originally found a hotel for them to stay in, but it canceled their booking, saying that the lack of impact windows and a backup generator meant they had to shut down.

Cobb helped out as a Red Cross volunteer in Hurricane Andrew in 1992, but says Irma is on another level. ‘It was nothing like this, because Hurricane Andrew was a smaller, more compact hurricane, so you could get away from it,’ she said.

‘We did not feel the wrath, so to speak, in the northern part of the county, but in the southern part it was a battle field. It was completely decimated, some houses were completely destroyed, others were partially damaged.’

Cobb and her friend are safe in her shelter, but a shocking text message left her worried about her home and neighbors.

‘I received a code red tornado alert,’ she said. ‘I have a two-story townhouse and there is a three-and-a-half-ton air conditioner on the rooftop. I’m on a lake in the first house, so If the tornado rips that off, it will open up my house and let water into the building,’ she said.

Heavy rainfall is predicted to continue falling through Tuesday, even as Irma moves on, breaks up and dissipates

Also in the line of the storm was British tourist Stephanie Jay, who took shelter in Naples with her husband Elliot and their two-year-old daughter Isabella.

The family, from St Albans outside London, had enjoyed a week’s holiday in Miami until they were unceremoniously evicted from their hotel.

‘We went down to reception to ask what was happening and were told to pack our bags and move out of the hotel,’ she told DailyMail.com.

‘They weren’t very helpful considering they knew we were very worried, especially as we don’t know many people in Florida… They clearly didn’t want us to be there and made our one night there very difficult.’

‘We tried to get out of Florida but all the flights were booked and we knew they would be closing the airport so didn’t want to be stranded with a two year old,’ she said.

Instead, they spent a night in Naples with a friend before heading to Bradenton, south of Tampa. That has left them in the path of the oncoming Irma – but they are remaining positive and hope to return home as planned next week.

In more serious trouble were a pair of would-be sailors who called Martin County Sheriff’s Office for help after they remained on their boat in the storm – even though they could not swim.

‘MCSO Marine Rescue and Strike Teams are launching into treacherous waters to begin a marine rescue of two people who remained on their boat near the causeway,’ a post on the sheriff’s office’s Facebook page.

‘The mariners say they are unable to swim. We will keep you posted on this. Please pray for the safety of our brave first responders.’

Video later showed the paid being led off their boat safely onto the docks.

Reader Jenny Williams sent in this photograph from her Saratosa neighborhood where she and many of her neighbors had decided to weather out the storm

Key West's streets started to flood as Hurricane Irma struck the area. Even with the eye 15-20 miles out, winds and rain had made it too dangerous to drive

Water levels rose rapidly in Naples (above) from Hurricane Irma's storm surge with a reported a seven foot rise of water in just 90 minutes. The storm kept its top sustained wind speed of 110 mph yesterday

People tend to a car that flipped over on Cape Coral Parkway during Hurricane Irma last night in Cape Coral

A tree is seen toppled onto a pickup truck in Miami after being battered by Irma's winds. Flying debris is an omnipresent danger for those outside in the terrifying weather

Dramatic pictures have emerged showing the moment Hurricane Irma's powerful 130mph winds ripped the roof off a Miami home

Dramatic pictures have emerged showing the moment Hurricane Irma's powerful 130mph winds ripped the roof off a Miami home

A car sits abandoned in storm surge along North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard. Irma made initial landfall at 9:10am on the Florida Keys, which are now the subject of a massive relief effort. Five people have been confirmed dead in the disaster

A car sits abandoned in storm surge along North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard. Irma made initial landfall at 9:10am on the Florida Keys, which are now the subject of a massive relief effort. Five people have been confirmed dead in the disaster

Irma tore down a construction crane atop a skyscraper high over Miami

The crane can also be seen here. Cranes are designed to withstand strong winds and twist like weather vanes to reduce resistance, but Irma was too much

Palm Bay officer Dustin Terkoski walks over debris from a partially collapsed two-story home at Palm Point Subdivision in Brevard County

Large waves produced by Hurricane Irma crash all the way over the top of Anglins Fishing Pier in Fort Lauderdale as Irma picks up steam in the area

Large waves produced by Hurricane Irma crash all the way over the top of Anglins Fishing Pier in Fort Lauderdale as Irma picks up steam in the area

Recently planted palm trees lie strewn across the road as Hurricane Irma passes through Miami Beach

At least 32 people have been arrested across Florida for trying to loot empty businesses and homes that have been evacuated in preparation for Hurricane Irma

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4872940/The-sun-rises-devastation-wreaked-Irma-Florida.html#ixzz4sP9v0kAu

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The Pronk Pops Show 960, September 8, 2017, The Breaking and Developing Story 1: Category 4 Hurricane Irma Over 500 Miles Wide Bigger Than Texas with 150 MPH Sustained Winds Slows Down Turns Toward West and Tracks Directly Over All of South Florida — Evacuate Now — Hurricane Hit Landfall Sunday Morning With Storm Surge  Up To 12 Feet and Rain Fall 10-18 Inches — Over Florida For 24 Hours — All Day Sunday —  Mass Mandatory Evacuation For South Florida — Videos

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