The Pronk Pops Show 970, September 22, 2017: Breaking Story 1: Rocket Man Kim Jong-Un Promises To Explode Hydrogen Bomb Over Pacific Ocean — Story 2: The Democratic and Republican Party Failure To Completely Repeal Obamacare Including Repealing The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and All Related Mandates, Regulations, Taxes, Spending and Subsidies — Obamacare Collapsing — Replace Obamacare With Free Enterprise Market Capitalism Health Insurance — Keep The Federal Government Out Of The Health Insurance and Health Care Business — Videos — Story 3: Obama’s Secret Surveillance Spy State Scandal — Misuse of Intelligence Community For Political Purposes — Gross Abuse of Power and Political Conspiracy — Violation of Fourth Amendment — Videos —

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Image result for rocket man kim h bomb in pacific

Image result for branco cartoons on repeal of obamacare

Image result for susan rice smantha power james brennanImage result for branco cartoons on repeal of obamacare

 

Breaking Story 1: Rocket Man Kim Jong-Un Promises To Explode Hydrogen Bomb Over Pacific Ocean —

North Korea Threatens Nuclear Test in the Pacific Ocean

What could happen if NKorea tests hydrogen bomb over ocean?

Kim Jong-un makes unprecedented statement at Trump as N. Korea suggests future …

Panel on Kim Jong Un Calls President Trump ‘Dotard’ and ‘Frightened Dog’ #DonaldTrump #NorthKorea

“Rocket Man” : North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Calls President Trump ‘a Frightened Dog’ and ‘Dotard’

Putin warns US, North Korea on verge of conflict

Hydrogen Bomb vs. Atomic Bomb: What’s The Difference?

North Korea nuclear test: Hydrogen bomb ‘missile-ready’ – BBC News

Fareed Zakaria on North Korea hints at detonating H-Bomb in Pacific. #Breaking #FareedZakaria

LGM-30 Minuteman Launch – ICBM

Why Is It So Hard to Build an ICBM?

Why North Korea Can’t Build An ICBM (yet)

 

People in Pyongyang, North Korea, watched a television broadcast on Friday of Kim Jong-un’s response to President Trump’s speech at the United Nations. CreditEd Jones/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea has long cultivated an image of defiant belligerence, punctuating its propaganda and diplomacy with colorful threats, insults and bluster. But by addressing President Trump in a personal statement on Friday, the nation’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has pushed his government’s brinkmanship to a new, potentially more perilous level.

In a statement written in the first person, published on the front pages of state newspapers and read on national television, Mr. Kim called Mr. Trump a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard” who had “denied the existence of and insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world.”

Mr. Kim vowed to take the “highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history.”

In a country where the leader is essentially portrayed as a god, Mr. Kim’s decision to respond personally to Mr. Trump’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly and pledge reprisals escalated the standoff over the North’s nuclear program in a way that neither he nor his predecessors had done before.

Though the statement made no mention of nuclear weapons, in the context of a political system built on a cult of personality, Mr. Kim’s intervention appeared to sharply reduce the possibility that his government might retreat or compromise, even in the face of war.

Mr. Kim condemned Mr. Trump’s threat to “totally destroy” North Korea if the United States is forced to defend itself, and he declared that it had “convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last.”

Mr. Ri could not have made such an alarming comment without approval from Mr. Kim, although some analysts question whether North Korea has the technology or political daring to conduct an atmospheric nuclear test, something the world has not seen for decades.

Mr. Trump responded on Friday by further personalizing the dispute. On Twitter, the president pronounced Mr. Kim to be “obviously a madman.”

North Korea has often issued statements in the names of its government and its People’s Army, and since taking power in late 2011, Mr. Kim has delivered an annual New Year’s Day speech. But Friday’s statement was the first by Mr. Kim directed openly at a foreign head of state. Mr. Kim’s father and grandfather, who ruled North Korea before him, never made such a statement, South Korean officials said.

In effect, Mr. Kim, whose cultlike leadership rests upon his perceived daring toward North Korea’s external enemies, has turned the nation’s standoff with the United States into a personal duel with Mr. Trump, analysts said.

The North Korean news media carried photographs of Mr. Kim sitting in his office and reading his statement, but his voice was not broadcast. On the country’s state-run Central TV, a female announcer read his statement.

“This is totally unprecedented,” said Paik Hak-soon, a longtime North Korea analyst at the Sejong Institute, a think tank outside Seoul, referring to Mr. Kim’s statement. “The way North Korea’s supreme leadership works, Kim Jong-un has to respond more assertively as its enemy gets more confrontational, like Trump has.

“There is no backing down in the North Korean rule book,” Mr. Paik said. “It’s the very core of their leadership identity and motive.”

Until now, Mr. Kim himself has appeared to refrain from personal attacks on the American president, even as Mr. Trump has called him a “maniac,” a “total nut job,” and, most recently, “Rocket Man.”

On Friday, Mr. Kim said he took Mr. Trump’s latest assault personally and accused him of making “the most ferocious declaration of a war in history.”

Mr. Kim also suggested Mr. Trump’s belligerent rhetoric signaled American weakness rather than resolve. “A frightened dog barks louder,” he said.

Koh Yu-hwan, a professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University in Seoul, said that Mr. Kim, faced with Mr. Trump’s threat of annihilation, could respond only with equal force.

“When Trump stood before the United Nations General Assembly and threatened to totally destroy his country, Kim Jong-un had to take that as the United States telling the world of its intention for possible military action,” Mr. Koh said. “He had to respond in kind, launching the same kind of verbal bombs.”

Analysts said that by putting his reputation on the line with his statement, Mr. Kim was now far more unlikely to stand down. Instead, his government was likely to conduct more nuclear and missile tests, they said.

“Trump shot himself in the foot with his unabashedly undiplomatic United Nations General Assembly speech,” said Lee Sung-yoon, a Korea expert at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. “By threatening to totally destroy North Korea, he created the impression around the world that it is actually the United States — instead of North Korea — that’s motivated by aggression. In effect, Trump gave Kim Jong-un a freebie for another major provocation. Kim will oblige, and claim that it was in ‘self-defense’ against Trump’s unnerving threats.”

Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, compared the Korean standoff to the October 1962 crisis over Soviet missiles in Cuba, urging the United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, to convene the six parties that were previously involved in talks on denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula — China, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea and the United States — to discuss reducing fever-pitch tensions.

“We are in a cycle of escalation that leads to a very bad end,” Mr. Kimball said.

North Korea has conducted all of its six nuclear tests within deep underground tunnels to diminish the spread of radioactive materials, and has stepped up the pace of its missile tests. Some analysts fear that the next step might be for North Korea to try to prove that it can deliver a nuclear warhead on a long-range missile, no matter how dangerous and provocative that might be.

It has been 37 years since any nation tested a nuclear weapon in the planet’s atmosphere, reflecting the nearly universal opposition to such tests over fears of the effects of radioactive fallout on human health and the environment. The last atmospheric test took place in 1980, when China fired what experts believed to be a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile into a desert salt flat more than 1,300 miles west of Beijing.

Mr. Trump addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. CreditChang W. Lee/The New York Times

Shin Beom-chul, a security expert at the government-run Korea National Diplomatic Academy in Seoul, said that even if North Korea wanted to conduct an atmospheric nuclear test in the Pacific, it did not have the ability to dispatch test-monitoring ships to the open ocean while the United States military was on the prowl.

Mr. Shin said North Korea probably would not risk the radioactive fallout and other grave dangers involved in a nuclear missile test. The country has yet to master the technologies needed to prevent the warhead at the tip of its long-range ballistic missile from burning up while re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, South Korean officials said.

“What if the nuclear missile goes wrong midflight and detonates over Japan? It would mean a nuclear war,” Mr. Shin said. “More likely, North Korea will graduate its provocations, as if moving on steppingstones.”

Analysts said North Korea had been escalating tensions in stages in what they called a “salami tactic,” as in slice by slice.

Kim Dong-yub, a defense analyst at the Seoul-based Institute for Far Eastern Studies of Kyungnam University, said that North Korea would probably try to disprove skeptics in the West over its ability to strike long-range targets by firing its Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile over Japan and farther into the Pacific — but without a nuclear payload.

Some analysts said the North Korean leader was acting more defensively than offensively, with his threats aimed at forcing the Trump administration to ease sanctions. On Thursday, Mr. Trump issued an executive order empowering his government to punish international banks and other entities that trade with North Korea.

But other analysts warned that North Korea’s determination to improve its nuclear capabilities — and act offensively — had long been underestimated.

“If we follow what North Korea has been doing, it will be almost certain that it will fire its missile sooner or later to demonstrate an ICBM range,” Mr. Kim, the Kyungnam University analyst, said. “I don’t think the missile will carry a nuclear warhead, but I can’t shake off the fear that it might, because North Korea has time and again carried things beyond my expectation.”

Story 2: Obamacare Collapsing– American People Be Damned — Democratic and Republican Parties Fail To Completely Repeal Obamacare Including Repealing Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and All Related Mandates, Regulations, Taxes, Spending and Subsidies — Replace Obamacare With Free Enterprise Market Capitalism Health Insurance — Keep The Federal Government Out Of The Health Insurance and Health Care Business — Videos

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Graham-Cassidy Will Probably Fail. McCain and Paul Announce No Votes

BREAKING NEWS: McCain kills Obamacare repeal for a second time and announces he’ll oppose his p…

Rand Paul a No Vote on Graham-Cassidy HC Bill. He Explains

RAND PAUL FULL ONE-ON-ONE EXPLOSIVE INTERVIEW WITH MARTHA MACCALLUM (9/18/2017)

Rand Paul Goes Off On Obamacare “Repeal”

Senator: Graham-Cassidy not an Obamacare repeal

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) On Latest Obamacare Effort: This Is Not Repeal – The Five

RAND PAUL FULL ONE-ON-ONE EXPLOSIVE INTERVIEW WITH NEIL CAVUTO (9/14/2017)

 

Paul: ‘I won’t be bribed or bullied’ on repeal vote

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) pushed back on Friday against pressure from President Trump to vote for a last-ditch GOP effort in the Senate to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, saying that he “won’t be bribed or bullied.”

In an early-morning tweet, Trump warned Paul that if he failed to vote for Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy‘s (R-La.) health-care proposal, he would forever be known as “‘the Republican who saved ObamaCare.'”

But in a series of tweets following the president’s post, Paul contended that the Graham-Cassidy measure does not fulfill the GOP’s longtime promise to repeal the ACA, and ultimately keeps ObamaCare’s taxes and spending.

The Graham-Cassidy measure revives the GOP’s efforts to repeal and replace parts of the ACA after a slimmed-down repeal bill failed in July. It seeks to end ObamaCare’s insurance subsidies and the Medicaid expansion, and instead convert those pots of money to block grants for the states.

The new proposal needs at least 50 votes to pass the Senate with a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Pence, and backers are scrambling to round up the votes before a Sept. 30 procedural deadline, after which the measure would need a filibuster-proof 60 votes.

The White House has thrown its weight behind the measure and Trump has tweeted his support for it in recent days, casting the bill as a new opportunity for the GOP to fulfill its seven-year promise to do away with ObamaCare.

So far, Paul is the only GOP senator who has indicated he will vote against the Graham-Cassidy proposal. But three others — Sens. Susan Collins(Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and John McCain (Ariz.) — are being closely watched.

The trio voted “no” on the “skinny” ObamaCare repeal bill in July leaving that bill one vote short of passing. All three remain undecided about the Graham-Cassidy proposal.

http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/351865-paul-i-wont-be-bribed-or-bullied

3 red-flag provisions in the Graham-Cassidy health care bill

Posted September 21, 2017 08:36 AM

by Daniel Horowitz

Red flag storm warning

John-Kelly | Getty Images

Previously, I noted that while Graham-Cassidy does nothing to change the fundamentals of the current system of health care and medical insurance, it at least repeals the individual mandate, which will allow us to escape from the dumpster fire and potentially start a new system. But any “holding of the nose” to pass this bill should only be under the condition that the other provisions are not worse than the status quo. That’s the only way we can take “half a loaf rather than none” — or in this case, more like ten percent. That rationale breaks down if there are provisions that will make the system worse or further entrench Obamacare in current law.

Thus far, I have found three concerning provisions:

Protected class for insurance coverage

Page 13 of the bill stipulates that “a health insurance issuer may not vary premium rates based on an individual’s sex or membership in a protected class under the Constitution of the United States.”

Readers of Conservative Review are well aware that the radical king courts have already made foreign nationals and transgenders protected classes under the U.S. Constitution in many respects. Most certainly, once we codify such language into statute, there is no limit to what lower court judges and Anthony Kennedy will do to expand “constitutional” rights to all sorts of insurance coverage. They could use this provision to mandate coverage for illegal aliens. They could use this provision to carve out all sorts of coverage for homosexuals and for sex-change operations. Most certainly, it will give states trouble in cutting off subsidy funding for abortions.

This might possibly be worse than current law.

Forcing Texas and conservative states to expand government-run health care

Proponents of the bill are touting this system as an exercise in federalism because it devolves the subsidies and Medicaid expansion to the states in one giant pot. Some D.C. conservatives think it’s a good thing that red state that didn’t originally expand Medicaid will “get their fair share.” However, those who truly oppose Obamacare and understand free markets know that expanded Medicaid not only is costly and creates dependency but also distorts the market and inflates the cost of health care for everyone else. Furthermore, it hurts private practices because the programs pay hospital physicians more than private practice physicians. Medicaid expansion has been a boon for the hospital cartel and has destroyed any semblance of market-based health care.

Until now, we all celebrated the one silver lining of some red states not expanding Medicaid. Now, this bill brings this aspect of Obamacare, and its ensuing price inflation on the market, to the states that don’t currently have it. Worse, the bill (page 15) puts a gun to the heads of these states and says that if they want a waiver for even the few regulatory relief provisions offered in this bill, they must take and administer the federal Obamacare/Medicaid expansion grants.

Thus, to the extent a state can waive a regulation for an individual insurance contract, they must give subsidies to that individual — regardless of his status. He could be a millionaire!

As Chris Jacobs, noted health policy expert at the Texas Public Policy Institute, wrote, “Moreover, some conservatives may view provisions requiring anyone to whom a waiver applies to receive federal grant funding as the epitome of moral hazard—ensuring that individuals who go through health underwriting will receive federal subsidies, no matter their level of wealth or personal circumstances.” He further observed, “By requiring states to subsidize bad actors—for instance, an individual making $250,000 who knowingly went without health coverage for years—with federal taxpayer dollars, the bill could actually raise health insurance premiums, not lower them.”

Thus, this is not a “half a loaf,” this is a poisonous loaf. While blue states are free to move the funding further to the Left and create single-payer, in no way can red states move towards free markets, because for every step they make towards regulatory relief, they must add more market-distorting funding than even under the status quo. This will hook the politicians from the reddest of red states on the dope they didn’t fully embrace before now.

The bailout fund

It would be one thing to leave most of Obamacare in place, as opposed to leaving it all in place. But this bill adds a state bailout fund that entrenches Obamacare even further. Not only does it codify the illegal cost-sharing subsidies for three years (and we all know the three years will be expanded indefinitely), it creates an unaccountable $35 billion slush fund for HHS to dole out at their full discretion to “fund arrangements with health insurance issuers to address coverage and access disruption and respond to urgent health care needs within States.” And of course, rather than disappearing in 2020, this will create a funding cliff that will only expand the program thereafter.

As I mentioned before, the only saving grace of this bill is that repeal of the individual mandate will prompt consumers to leave the insurance cartel and create direct care and health-sharing associations as an alternative to this entire scheme. However, by creating an unaccountable bailout program, HHS bureaucrats will work with state bureaucrats and insurance cartel lobbyists (no elected officials involved!) to mask the price inflation to keep the insurance monopoly intact.

It will codify, enshrine, and expand Obamacare.

Overall, it’s understandable why conservatives would want to support something over nothing at this late hour. And with the right focus on supply-side market reforms, we could possibly make a partial repeal work, with the elimination of the mandates. But politicians must first focus on not making things worse. Moreover, they should at least negotiate to get rid of the bailout fund and these onerous provisions while working for some true health care reforms, such as price transparency and parity of tax treatment. If this requires using the reconciliation bill for next year to fix health care, then so be it.

The mother’s milk of the D.C. swamp is the false dichotomy of “take or leave it.” Don’t fall for the trick without first fighting for more.

https://www.conservativereview.com/articles/3-red-flag-provisions-in-the-graham-cassidy-health-care-bill

Story 3: Obama’s Secret Surveillance Spy State Scandal — Misuse of Intelligence Community For Political Purposes — Gross Abuse of Power and Political Conspiracy — Violation of Fourth Amendment — Videos —

Sharyl Attkisson speaks out about Obama-era surveillance

Breaking:Muller & DEP AG Colluding On Crimes In A HISTORIC CONFLICT OF INTEREST & BREACH OF ETHICS

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FBI, CIA and NSA served with subpoenas in unmasking probe

Special Report : Krauthammer on FBI, CIA and NSA served subpoenas in unmasking probe : 5/31/2017

Released Documents Prove Obama’s Administration Routinely Violated Fourth Amendment

Hannity : Circa News reports Obama’s FBI illegally shared spy data about Americans : 5/25/2017

James Clapper Admits To Unmasking Trump

President Obama went to British intelligence to spy on Trump for him! – Judge Napolitano

U.S. Citizens Names Are Already Unmasked In My Reports” Sally Yates Drops Bombshell During Congress

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It looks like Obama did spy on Trump, just as he apparently did to me

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The Pronk Pops Show 969, September 21, 2017, Story 1: President Trump Signs Executive Order Targeting Institutions and People Doing Business With North Korea — Communist China Trades With and Enabled North Korea Nuclear Weapon and Missile Programs — Waiting For Embargo Banning All Trade and Investment in Communist China — Videos — Story 2: Fed To Start Quantitative Tightening In October 2017 by Selling Some ($10 Billion Per Month or $120 Billion Per Year) of $4,500 Billion Bond Portfolio As U.S. Economy Slows in 2017? — Videos

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 Story 1: President Trump Signs Executive Order Targeting Institutions and People Doing Business With North Korea — Communist China Trades With and Enabled North Korea Nuclear Weapon and Missile Programs — Waiting For Embargo Banning All Trade and Investment in Communist China — Videos —

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BREAKING NEWS: President Donald Trump Announces New Sanctions on North Korea through Executive Order

Trump: China has told its banks to stop doing business with North Korea

North Korea: Trump signs new order to widen sanctions

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John Bolton calls for ‘sweeping’ set of sanctions on China

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John Bolton: We are at a ‘crisis point’ with North Korea

Trump administration undercuts his message on North Korea

Former CIA Director James Woolsey: North Korea Has Been Able To Hit Power Grid For Years | CNBC

Ralph Peters on North Korea: China will never help us

Peters: People don’t understand how desperate North Korea is

China getting away with ‘trade murder’: Ralph Peters

What Are Economic Sanctions?

Chinese sanctions will help US trade deficit, but could backfire: Andrew Peek

Gordon Chang: China understands the effects of US sanctions

Lou Dobbs : Is China helping North Korea create nuclear missiles? : 5/30/2017

Gordon Chang: NKorea is forcing the United States to act

Trump unplugging Chinese banks will end China’s economy: Gordon Chang

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What Is Life Really Like In North Korea?

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Trump signs order aiming to cut off funding for North Korean missile program

  • President Donald Trump signs an executive order to expand his authority to target people and institutions doing business with North Korea.
  • With the action, he aims to reduce funding going to the dictatorship’s nuclear and missile programs.

President Donald Trump speaking as he meets with South Korean president Moon Jae-in during the U.N. General Assembly in New York, September 21, 2017.

Trump unveils order aiming to cut off funding for North Korean missile program  

President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order expanding his authority to target people and institutions that do business with North Korea.

Through the measure, the president aims to cut off the communist dictatorship’s funding and deter its nuclear and missile ambitions amid a string of recent tests and provocations.

“North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile development is a grave threat to peace and security in our world and it is unacceptable that others financially support this criminal, rogue regime,” Trump said before a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. “Our new executive order will cut off sources of revenue that fund North Korea’s efforts to develop the deadliest weapons known to humankind. The order enhances the Treasury Department’s authorities to target any individual or entity that conducts significant trade in goods, services or technology with North Korea.”

The isolated nation has tested ballistic missiles and an apparent hydrogen bomb in recent weeks in the face of international economic sanctions and warnings. On Tuesday, Trump told the U.N. General Assembly that the U.S. “will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea” if it is forced to defend itself or its allies.

President Donald Trump speaking as he meets with South Korean president Moon Jae-in during the U.N. General Assembly in New York, September 21, 2017.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
President Donald Trump speaking as he meets with South Korean president Moon Jae-in during the U.N. General Assembly in New York, September 21, 2017.

Last week, the U.N. Security Council unanimously passed fresh measures to punish the communist dictatorship economically, with the support of China and Russia. Trump has repeatedly pressed China, North Korea’s only major ally, to do more to force Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

Trump on Thursday highlighted that China’s central bank has told its banks to strictly implement U.N. sanctions. He thanked President Xi Jinping for what he called a “bold” and “somewhat unexpected” move.

On Tuesday, he also commended Beijing for signing on to two recent sanctions packages enacted by the Security Council. The U.S. sees China’s commitment to sanctions as crucial to forcing Pyongyang to end its nuclear and missile programs.

Trump appeared to try to quash speculation that he is targeting China or other North Korean trading partners with the action.

“I want to be clear — the order targets only one country, and that country is North Korea,” he said.

Trump said the order identifies industries including textiles, fishing, information technology and manufacturing, which the Treasury Department can target with “strong sanctions.” The president added that the order includes “measures designed to disrupt” shipping and trade networks to reduce North Korea’s ability to avoid the sanctions.

Earlier, national security advisor H.R. McMaster said Trump would take more action to stop North Korea “short of war.” Trump’s advisors have repeatedly said they prefer to use diplomatic methods to curb North Korea’s aggression.

The president again said that he seeks the “complete denuclearization” of North Korea.

Trump had separate bilateral meetings scheduled with both Moon and Abe on Thursday.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/21/trump-to-make-north-korea-announcement-mcmaster-says.html

 

Trump announces new economic sanctions targeting North Korea over nuclear program

 September 21 at 12:45 PM

President Trump announced an executive order on Sept. 21 to enforce economic sanctions on North Korea and countries that do business with the “rogue regime” of North Korea. (The Washington Post)

NEW YORK — President Trump announced an executive order Thursday granting the Treasury Department additional authority to enforce economic sanctions on North Korea and target foreign companies and individuals that do business with the rogue nation in Northeast Asia.

Trump said the new powers aim to cut off international trade and financing that dictator Kim Jong Un’s regime uses support its nuclear and ballistic missile weapons programs. The president also said that Chinese President Xi Jinping had ordered Chinese banks to cease conducting business with North Korean entities. Trump called the move “very bold” and “somewhat unexpected,” and he praised Xi.

“North Korea’s nuclear program is a grave threat to peace and security in our world, and it is unacceptable that others financially support this criminal, rogue regime,” Trump said in brief public remarks during a meeting with the leaders of South Korea and Japan to discuss strategy to confront Pyongyang.

He added that the United States continues to seek a “complete denuclearization of North Korea.”

He added that the order will give Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin the “discretion to target any foreign bank knowingly facilitating specific transactions tied to trade with North Korea.”


President Trump meets with South Korean president Moon Jae-in during the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Thursday. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

A White House fact sheet said the executive order imposes a ban on airplanes or ships that have visited North Korea will be banned for 180 days from visiting the United States, a move to crack down on illicit trade.

“This significantly expands Treasury’s authority to target those who enable this regime…wherever they are located,” Mnuchin said.

Trump’s announcement came as he has sought to rally international support for confronting Pyongyang during four days of meetings here at the United Nations General Assembly. In a speech to the world body on Tuesday, Trump threatened to “totally destroy” the North if necessary and referred derisively to Kim as “rocket man.” But the president and his aides have emphasized that they are continuing to do what they can to put economic and diplomatic pressure on the North in order to avoid a military conflict.

“We are witnessing a very dangerous confrontation spiral,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a speech to the United Nations, filling in for President Vladimir Putin, who skipped the forum. “We resolutely condemn the nuclear missile adventures of Pyongyang in violation of Security Council resolutions. But military hysteria is not just an impasse, it’s disaster…There is no alternative to political and diplomatic ways of settling the nuclear situation on the Korean Peninsula.”

China is North Korea’s largest trading partner, but Mnuchin emphasized that “this action is in no way specifically directed at China,” and he said he called Chinese officials ahead of the announcement to give them a heads up.

In recent weeks, the U.N. Security Council has approved two rounds of economic sanctions but also left room for further penalties. For example, the sanctions put limits on the nation’s oil imports but did not impose a full embargo, as the United States has suggested it supports. The Trump administration has signaled it also wants a full ban on the practice of sending North Korean workers abroad for payments that largely go to the government in Pyongyang.

Sitting down with South Korean President Moon Jae-in before the trilateral discussion with Japan, Trump said the nations are “making a lot of progress.”

Moon praised Trump’s speech to the U.N., saying through a translator that “North Korea has continued to make provocations and this is extremely deplorable and this has angered both me and our people, but the U.S. has responded firmly and in a very good way.”

The Security Council had also applied tough new export penalties in August, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday that there are signs those restrictions are having an economic effect.

“We have some indications that there are beginning to appear evidence of fuel shortages,” Tillerson said in a briefing for reporters. “And look, we knew that these sanctions were going to take some time to be felt because we knew the North Koreans…had basically stockpiled a lot of inventory early in the year when they saw the new administration coming in, in anticipation of things perhaps changing. So I think what we’re seeing is a combined effect of these inventories are now being exhausted, and the supply coming in has been reduced.”

There is no sign, however, that economic penalties are having any effect on the behavior of the Kim regime and its calculation that nuclear tests and other provocations will ensure its protection or raise the price of any eventual settlement with the United States and other nations.

All U.N. sanctions have to be acceptable to China, North Korea’s protector and chief economic partner. China’s recent willingness to punish its fellow communist state signals strong disapproval of North Korea’s international provocations, but China and fellow U.N. Security Council member Russia have also opposed some of the toughest economic measures that could be applied, such as banking restrictions that would affect Chinese and other financial institutions.

“We continue to call on all responsible nations to enforce and implement sanctions,” Trump said.

Trump said the United States had been working on the North Korea problem for 25 years, but he asserted that previous administrations had “done nothing, which is why we are in the problem we are in today.”

Through executive orders and other measures extending back to the Clinton administration, the United States has been trying to undermine the economic underpinnings of the North Korean nuclear weapons program.

Each new sanction from Washington has been followed by evasive measures by Pyongyang, and then another attempt from Washington to ramp up pressure. Earlier sanctions restricted trade between U.S. companies and businesses involved with the North Korean regime and its weapons efforts. Until recently, however, such sanctions had limited effects because North Korea continued an expansive trade with other countries, mainly China.

In recent years, the United States has sought to expand the economic pressure by working through the international banking system, where the country has particular leverage because so much of international trade is conducted in dollars. The “vast majority of international transactions are denominated in dollars, the world’s reserve currency,” a Congressional report found last year.

Even when the companies are outside the United States, trade conducted in dollars typically must run through U.S. banks, and last year, that provided the Obama administration an opportunity to interrupt such business.

In November 2016, a special measure implemented by the Treasury barred U.S. banks from providing the accounts that handle such transactions for any North Korean bank or any party acting on its behalf. The measure essentially cut off North Korean banks from any trade denominated in U.S. dollars.

North Korea, however, has continued to conduct such trades by using front companies located in third countries, at least some of which are in China.

The new executive order expands the U.S. pressure on the North by allowing the Treasury to single out those front companies, and any banks helping to finance any trade with North Korea, for sanctions. Those sanctions would cut off trade with those companies or forbid them from conducting transactions in dollars.

Anne Gearan in New York,  Abby Phillip in Washington and Peter Whorisky contributed to this report.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/09/21/trump-says-the-u-s-will-impose-new-sanctions-on-north-korea/?utm_term=.f13cecf3e9e7

US-North Korea standoff could spark economic war with China

  • The escalating saber rattling between the U.S. and North Korea has raised the prospects of an economic confrontation between America and China.
  • So far, economic sanctions against Pyongyang have done little to convince North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to curb his ambitions to develop a nuclear missile capable of striking the U.S. mainland.
  • Now, critics of those measures are calling for stepped-up pressure on China, North Korea’s largest trading partner.

President Donald Trump (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) walk together at the Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida, April 7, 2017.

Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images
President Donald Trump (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) walk together at the Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida, April 7, 2017.

The escalating saber rattling between the U.S. and North Korea has raised the prospects of an economic confrontation between America and China.

At issue are a series of sanctions against Pyongyang designed to convince North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to curb his ambitions to develop a nuclear missile capable of striking the U.S. mainland.

But those measures have had little impact on the increasingly bellicose stand-off, and on Thursday President Donald Trump repeated his complaint that Beijing needs to lean harder on Pyongyang to defuse rising tensions.

“I think they can do a lot more and I think they will do a lot more,” the president told reporters. “We lost hundreds of billions of dollars a year on trade with China. They know how I feel. It’s not going to continue like that.”

On Tuesday, Trump threatened to inflict “fire and fury” on North Korea if it continues to pursue its nuclear weapons program. A recent series of successful North Korean test launches were matched Wednesday by Kim’s threats to launch a missile at the U.S. territory of Guam.

The latest round of sanctions includes fresh restrictions, unanimously approved Saturday by the United Nation Security Council, that target North Korean exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood. The measures also ban countries from hiring more North Korean laborers, bar new joint ventures with North Korea and ban fresh investment in existing joint ventures.

“We say to China, ‘You have a choice whether you do business with North Korea or you do business with the U.S. but you can’t do both.'”-Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.

Economic sanctions so far have proved ineffective largely because North Korea has found ways to get around them with “evasion techniques that are increasing in scale, scope and sophistication,” according to a February U.N. report.

“Designated entities and banks have continued to operate in the sanctioned environment by using agents who are highly experienced and well trained in moving money, people and goods, including arms and related material, across borders,” the U.N. report found.

The widest flow of goods and cash, by far, crosses North Korea’s border with China. As North Korea’s largest trading partner, China accounted for roughly 85 percent of overall volume in 2015, according to data from the United Nations Comtrade database.

Coal and other minerals accounted for more than 40 percent of North Korean exports in 2015, followed by textiles (29 percent), metals (7 percent) and machinery (6 percent). North Korea’s biggest imports included textiles, machinery and raw materials including minerals, metals and plastics.

Though China has taken some steps to curb imports from North Korea, exports rose by nearly 30 percent in the first half of this year, according to Chinese customs data. During the six-month period, overall trade flows across the North Korean-China border rose 10 percent to $2.65 billion.

That’s why critics of the existing North Korean sanctions say the measures don’t go nearly far enough in cutting off the flow of cash and goods to the Pyongyang regime.

Some of those critics are calling for “secondary sanctions,” which would cut off trade and financial flows to any country doing business with North Korea.

“We say to China, ‘You have a choice whether you do business with North Korea or you do business with the U.S., but you can’t do both,'” Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D.-Md., told MSNBC on Thursday. “That is what got people’s attention with the Iran sanctions, and that’s what we need to do now.”

Last month, Van Hollen co-sponsored a bill with Sen. Pat Toomey, R.-Pa., that would impose secondary sanctions targeting third parties and countries that do business with North Korean companies and individuals.

Secondary sanctions offer a powerful financial weapon by allowing the U.S. government to bar foreign banks access to the U.S. financial system.

In late June, the White House imposed limited secondary sanctions on two Chinese citizens and a shipping company for helping North Korea develop nuclear weapons and also accused a regional Chinese bank, the Bank of Dandong, of laundering money for Pyongyang, Reuters reported.

Beyond cutting off cash and supplies to the North Korean regime, secondary sanctions squeeze the flow of cash to individuals, putting pressure on Kim’s political allies, according to David Cohen, a senior CIA official in the Obama administration.

“Imposing secondary sanctions would send a strong message to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that the financial noose is tightening in a way that could drive a wedge between Kim and the Pyongyang elite critical to his continued hold on power,” Cohen wrote in a recent op-ed piece.

Imposing secondary sanctions that single out major Chinese banks and state enterprises comes with the risk of economic retaliation from Beijing.

To minimize that risk, the White House will need to build a much wider coalition of Asian countries, says Nicholas Burns, former U.S. ambassador to NATO during the George W. Bush administration.

But developing that coalition will be a tough task for an administration that has yet to fill dozens of key diplomatic positions. So far, the White House has filled fewer than half of the State Department positions that require Senate confirmation.

“It really is a time for diplomacy,” Burns told CNBC on Thursday. “But there’s no American ambassador to South Korea, there’s no secretary of State for East Asia. So, you’ve also got to fill out the ranks.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/10/us-north-korea-standoff-could-spark-economic-war-with-china.html

 

How did North Korea get nuclear weapons?

North Korea showed off its arsenal of missiles during this parade to celebrate the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il-Sung in Pyongyang, North Korea, April 15, 2017.

North Korea showed off its arsenal of missiles during this parade to celebrate the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il-Sung in Pyongyang, North Korea, April 15, 2017.

AP Photo/Wong Maye-E

North Korea is known for its bluster and outrageous propaganda, but the nuclear threat posed by the country is taken seriously by those in the know.

The “hermit kingdom” is estimated to have between 13 and 30 nuclear weapons, according to the Institute for Science and International Security. It could have up to 50 by the year 2020.

U.S. President Donald Trump has made it clear that he considers North Korea a legitimate threat. In early April, Trump dispatched the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and its battle group to waters off the Korean Peninsula, and said “major, major conflict” was quite possible.

WATCH: Trump discusses military option for North Korea

Tensions have since soared over fears that North Korea may be about to conduct its sixth nuclear weapons test. On Friday, the country sent a letter to American lawmakers, saying any sanctions would only cause its nuclear testing program to “gather greater pace, beyond anyone’s imagination.”

But how did a country as isolated and impoverished as North Korea get its hands on nuclear weapons in the first place?

The Korean War

In 1950, a few months into the Korean War, U.S. President Harry Truman said in a press conference that the use of an atomic bomb was under “active consideration.”

Truman’s nuclear threat remained just that, with the Korean War formally ending in an armistice in 1953. But U.S. forces still laid waste to North Korean targets, dropping over 650,000 tons of bombs and napalm, according to The Korean War: A History.

U.S. Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay estimated that the U.S. “killed off 20 per cent of the Korean population.”

WATCH: North Korea propaganda video puts White House in crosshairs, simulates strike on US Capitol

After the war, North Korea tried to convince its wartime ally China to share its nuclear weapons technologies. Supreme Leader Kim Il-Sung, grandfather of present-day leader Kim Jong-Un, twice asked Chinese ruler Mao Zedong for help but was refused both times, according to The Two Koreas: A Contemporary History.

Denied an easy path to a nuclear bomb, North Korea set about cobbling together an indigenous nuclear weapons program.

Soviet support

It helped that the country already had basic nuclear infrastructure in place.

As a founding member of the Soviet-led Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, North Korea had for years sent its scientists to the Soviet Union for nuclear energy training, according to a timeline compiled by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI).

The Soviets even helped North Korea set up its first nuclear reactor in 1964. The reactor was used to produce radioactive isotopes for medicinal, industrial and research purposes.

READ MORE: Mike Pence urges China, Russia to pressure North Korea to abandon weapons program

But in the years that followed, the country began to explore weapons capabilities, summoning its best scientists home — including from Canada, according to NTI — to work on its fledgling nuclear weapons program.

But while North Korea’s scientists had the technical training, they lacked designs for the highly sophisticated facilities needed to produce nuclear weapons.

Path to a plutonium weapon

 In the ‘70s and ‘80s, North Korea set about acquiring sensitive nuclear technologies from Europe, taking advantage of the lack of adequate nuclear information safeguards at the time.

At one point, North Korean agents went to a conference in Vienna and chatted up some Belgian scientists who had a design for a plutonium separation plant, The Atlantic reported.

“Lo and behold, it wasn’t long before the North Koreans obtained the design information for that installation… and then eventually over a period of 10 to 15 years, they set that technology up, they deployed the plant, they started to experiment with it and use it,” Mark Hibbs, a senior fellow with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told The Atlantic.

READ MORE: North Korea says it’s ready for war if Donald Trump wants

In 2003, CIA director George Tenet told the Senate Armed Services Committee that North Korea “probably” has one or two plutonium-based nuclear warheads, according to The Statesman’s Yearbook 2012.

The following year, second-generation Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Il invited a delegation of Western nuclear scientists to North Korea to see its plutonium extraction facility. One of them, American scientist Dr. Siegfried Hecker, revealed in a Google Tech Talk lecture that North Korean officials at one point brought out two marmalade jars of plutonium.

“Inside one was a plutonium powder and the other one had plutonium metal,” Hecker said.

He even held one of the jars in his hand, and concluded from its appearance, weight and warmth that it contained radioactive plutonium.

In 2006, two years after Hecker’s visit, North Korean state media announced the country’s first nuclear weapon test.

By then, the country’s scientists had increasingly begun redirecting their efforts away from plutonium-based nuclear weapons to uranium-based ones, according to NTI. This is because the facilities needed to produce weapons-grade uranium can more easily be hidden underground, away from prying satellites and weapons inspectors.

North Korea wanted to cover all its bases.

Pakistani proliferation

The groundwork for North Korea’s uranium nuclear weapons program was laid in the ‘90s, with substantial help from Dr. A.Q. Khan, the pioneer of Pakistan’s atomic bomb program.

Khan orchestrated the clandestine transfer of uranium centrifuges, enrichment machines and technical data to North Korea over a period of several years, according to the book Nuclear Black Markets: Pakistan, A.Q. Khan and the Rise of Proliferation Networks.

According to the book’s author, Mark Fitzpatrick, some of Khan’s deals were likely tied to existing official agreements between the two countries, wherein North Korea provided ballistic missile technologies to Pakistan.

WATCH: Pakistan test fires submarine-based cruise missile

In 2003, the U.S. learned of North Korea’s plans to build a uranium-enrichment facility with Pakistan’s help. The following year, Khan admitted to running a global nuclear proliferation ring, with Iran and Libya among his other clients.

Khan later told German magazine Der Spiegel that he was merely acting on behalf of the Pakistani leadership.

He even released what he claimed was a 1998 letter from Jon Pyong-ho, one of the architects of North Korea’s nuclear program, in which Pyong-ho assures that $3 million has been transferred to Pakistan’s army chief, and asks that Khan dispatch “the agreed documents, components, etc.” via a North Korean emissary.

READ MORE: Pakistan refuses to release doctor who helped US find Osama bin Laden

Khan was later pardoned by Pakistani leader Gen. Pervez Musharraf.

“By freely selling enrichment equipment and putting the designs on computer disks, Khan significantly lowered the technical barriers to nuclear weapons development,” Fitzpatrick wrote.

And no country benefited more from Khan’s largesse than North Korea.

READ MORE: Pakistan issues nuclear warning to Israel on Twitter after fake news story

In 2010, Dr. Siegfried Hecker was again invited to North Korea, and was this time taken on a tour of a uranium enrichment facility. He described what he saw as “truly mind-boggling” — around 2,000 centrifuges that appeared to contain highly enriched, weapons-grade uranium.

“[The North Koreans] take whatever they can get, and then they build things themselves, and they do it quite well,” Hecker concluded in his Google Tech Talks lecture.

The Nuclear Silk Road

In early 2015, debris from a North Korean satellite launch were analyzed by experts and found to contain components manufactured in the U.K. and routed through Chinese companies, according to a United Nations Panel of Experts report.

The following year, foreign journalists on a tour of a Pyongyang factory spotted a shipment of boxes from Calgary-based chemical producer Dow Canada, the Washington Post reported.

These are but two of several known instances of North Korea evading international sanctions and export controls to procure weapons components.

WATCH: China says it will impose more sanctions on North Korea if missile test conducted: Tillerson


“North Korea is very creative in the way that it goes about sanctions evasion, and the patterns in which it goes about it vary,” Andrea Berger, a senior researcher with the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, told Global News.

Berger says North Korea often sends trusted nationals to China to set up front companies, often in collaboration with Chinese citizens. These companies then import equipment from Western manufacturers, who often have no way of knowing that the companies are really fronts controlled by the North Korean regime.

“Let’s say you’re Siemens in Germany and you get a purchase request from ‘Golden Star General Trading Corporation’ in China. You look into that company and it doesn’t have a big web presence  —  because most Chinese small and medium-sized enterprises don’t  — and you assume, after some limited due diligence, that it’s probably fine,” Berger says.

READ MORE: China defends trade practices with North Korea after Chinese-made vehicles seen towing ballistic missiles

Even Chinese banks themselves often get deceived, she adds.

“The bank account might be under, say, ‘Golden Star General Trading Corporation’ or a Chinese director,” Berger says. “The Bank of China might not immediately be the wiser that there’s a North Korean beneficiary behind that account.”

By covering their tracks in this manner, front companies procure sensitive goods before re-exporting them to North Korea, evading Chinese export controls via misleading shipping labels or creative smuggling techniques.

READ MORE: U.S. mulls North Korea sanctions, targeting cash that flows through Chinese banks

The racket doesn’t exclusively involve surreptitious front operations, however.

In 2015, a large Chinese company called Shenyang Machine Tools bought equipment from a European manufacturer under the explicit condition that the items wouldn’t be re-sold to North Korea, according to the Institute for Science and International Security.

Shenyang Machine Tools promptly broke the agreement by embedding the products into its own line of industrial machines, which were then exported to North Korea.

The equipment in question is commonly used to manufacture missile parts and uranium centrifuges.

Financial skullduggery

So how does North Korea pay for the expensive parts that it acquires illegally?

Turns out it doesn’t just use front companies to buy  —  it also uses them to sell its own military products.

Earlier this year, the UN Panel of Experts reported the interception of a shipment of 45 military radios bound for Eritrea. The shipment was sent by a Malaysian-based company called Glocom — which investigators found to be controlled by the North Korean intelligence agency.

Glocom was selling the radios to developing countries at North Korea’s behest — for $8,000 per unit.

READ MORE: U.S. urges UN Security Council to increase economic pressure on North Korea over weapons program

Berger, who is familiar with the Glocom investigation, said the company was “being used to facilitate sales of that technology specifically.”

The combination of such clandestine military deals, the sale of missile technologies and the export of coal and minerals have enabled North Korea to fund its nuclear procurement, the UN report suggested.

The “disco ball” warhead

In March 2016, North Korean state media released photographs of Kim Jong-Un standing in front of what it claimed was a miniaturized nuclear warhead “standardized to be fit for ballistic missiles,” Reuters reported.

The object was silver, shiny and shaped like a giant orb. It was roundly mocked on Twitter for resembling a disco ball.

So you’re saying this new disco ball with old CDs stuck on the side will be more glittery? 

But experts aren’t laughing.

Melissa Hanham, a researcher who analyzes open source data and photos to assess North Korea’s weapons programs, says it’s “plausible” that the object is a working nuclear warhead.

“We can’t see inside it to say, ‘Yes, it is’ or ‘No, it isn’t’ a nuclear warhead,” Hanham told Global News. “But they’ve had five nuclear tests, so it wouldn’t be surprising for them to have that kind of compact warhead by that many tests.

READ MORE: North Korea’s latest missile launch could be 2nd test of new technology, experts say

“I can tell you that we’ve measured it a lot, and it does fit into the payload of many of their missiles.”

Hanham admits it’s bizarre that North Korea would let its Supreme Leader stand so close to the real thing, but points out that “there are other photographs of Kim Jong-Un engaging in really dangerous activities that confuse us as well” — referring to photos of him smoking next to a solid-fuel rocket engine and standing underneath a heavy object dangling from a crane.

A legitimate threat

The purported warhead may have been goofy-looking, but it represented one of many milestones in a ramped-up schedule of North Korean nuclear weapons development over the past year and a half.

“North Korea in 2016 spent a lot of time doing a point-for-point refutation of every major narrative of the things it ‘couldn’t do’ in its nuclear missile program,” Berger says.

“All the developments we’re seeing in the nuclear missile program are deeply serious, and the more we continue to laugh about it, the more North Korea will attempt to demonstrate that it has a credible military program that is making rapid advancement.”

WATCH: Should we be worried about North Korea?

That advancement is the result of over half a century of steadily accumulated scientific know-how and single-minded subterfuge, with North Korea taking advantage of lax regulations and shady foreign partners to hoodwink the international non-proliferation regime.

Berger says China’s “conscious negligence” — in relation to both clamping down on front companies and tightening export controls — has resulted in such a huge flow of illicit goods to North Korea that it would take “an enormous effort” to rein it in at this point.

“The problem we have is enormous policy inertia, and very few good ideas of how to address the situation,” Berger says.

READ MORE: Could North Korea’s nuclear missiles reach Canada?

Hanham agrees. “I think there are probably still opportunities to slow or disrupt their program, but they’ve already crossed a lot of important thresholds that make it unlikely that they will give up their [nuclear] program entirely,” she says.

“North Korea has shown that it’s dedicated to acquiring nuclear weapons, and it’s very hard to stop any country that’s completely dedicated.”

How did North Korea get nuclear weapons?

Story 2: Fed To Start Quantitative Tightening In October 2017 by Selling Some ($10 Billion Per Month or $120 Billion Per Year) of $4,500 Billion Bond Portfolio As U.S. Economy Slows in 2017? — Videos

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Fed will finally wind down historic rescue program

The Federal Reserve is leaving interest rates alone to give the economy room to keep growing.

But the central bank did take historic action on Wednesday: It will begin undoing the extraordinary steps it took to prop up the economy for almost a decade after the financial crisis. The Fed said it would begin shedding some of the $4.5 trillion in investments starting next month.

The announcement marks a milestone in the long recovery from 2008, and reflects confidence by Fed officials that the economy will continue to grow.

Starting in October, the Fed will begin unloading $10 billion of debt from its so-called balance sheet, including $6 billion in Treasury securities and $4 billion in agency debt each month through December.

For years, the central bank piled up purchases of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities, a strategy intended to stimulate the economy by reducing borrowing costs for everyone. At the time, it also reduced its benchmark interest rate to zero, and only began raising it in December 2015, seven year after the crisis.

On Wednesday, the Fed left rates unchanged, hovering between 1% and 1.25%.

Related: The CNNMoney Trump Jobs Tracker

The central bank has raised that rate three times since December as the economy has gradually improved. Raising rates too quickly could risk hobbling the recovery.

Still, the majority of Fed policymakers signaled on Wednesday that they expect to lift rates one more time this year.

Central bankers pointed to signs of strength in the U.S. economy, including a pickup in household spending and growth in business investments, in a statement following the Federal Open Market Committee’s two-day meeting.

“Job gains have remained solid in recent months, and the unemployment rate has stayed low,” the Fed said in a statement.

While Fed officials cautioned that the devastation of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria would hold back the U.S. economy in the “near term,” they said the storms would not “materially alter” the country’s economy overall.

“Within a few months, rebuilding activity has typically kicked in, returning economic growth to normal—or maybe even a little higher than normal,” wrote Eric Winograd, AB senior economist in a note. “So, despite the storms, we’re still confident the U.S. economy will keep its momentum, because the foundations are sound.”

Related: Fed Chair Janet Yellen warns – Monitor your credit report!

Some Fed officials have warned against raising interest rates until inflation — which reflects the prices of everything from meat and cheese to houses and cars — meets the goal of 2% that they consider healthy for the economy.

But inflation is still running below that target, even though the job market has picked up and other explanations have fallen away. In a press conference, Fed chair Janet Yellen described it as something of a “mystery.”

In past years, she said the Fed has been able to point to root causes of low inflation: the gap between those employed versus those that aren’t, energy prices and a rising dollar.

“This year’s inflation shortfall is more of a mystery,” Yellen told reporters at the press conference. “I will not say that the committee clearly understands what the causes are.”

Central bankers have been in a bind over when to lift rates again. Inflation has been stubbornly low for years, suggesting the Fed should hold off. But economic growth and low unemployment suggest they should act.

Fed officials cautioned that they do expect inflation to be higher than normal — at least for a little while — following the hurricanes that have devastated Texas, Florida and now Puerto Rico.

“Inflation remains the wild card of Fed policy and the temporary boost to gasoline prices following the hurricanes only clouds the picture further,” said Bankrate.com’s chief financial analyst Greg McBride. “Whether the Fed hikes in December will remain an open question until December.”

Along with one more rate hike this year, the Fed also predicted three more possible moves next year.

“It is too soon for the committee to conclude that the recent slowing in inflation was sufficiently permanent to alter the Fed’s plans,” Michael Gapen, a Barclay’s analyst wrote in a research note.

The Fed said it continues to expect inflation to remain at 1.6%, below its target, and the unemployment rate to be 4.3%, based on its updated economic projections.

The central bank did, however, offer a rosier picture of the overall economy, upping its economic growth forecast to 2.4% from 2.2%.

Yellen again declined to address speculation about whether President Trump will nominate her for a second four-year term leading the Fed. Her first term ends in February.

http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/20/investing/federal-reserve-janet-yellen/index.html

Fed prepares to cut $4.5 trillion portfolio: What it means
By Matthew Rocco Published July 12, 2017 The Fed FOXBusiness Opens a New Window.

USA-FED/ The Federal Reserve building in Washington, D.C (Kevin Lamarque / Reuters)
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen will be on Capitol Hill for two days of congressional testimony starting Wednesday, and investors will be closely watching the proceedings for any clues about the central bank’s plans to shrink its securities portfolio.

The Fed has begun to pave the way toward cutting its balance sheet, which grew from about $1 trillion to $4.5 trillion in five years. The large increase is the result of an aggressive bond-buying stimulus program known as quantitative easing. The program was implemented to keep interest rates low and support a collapsed housing market. Since December 2015, the Fed has gradually raised the benchmark fed funds rate from near zero amid an improved labor market and U.S. economy. But its large portfolio of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities has remained in place.

With officials phasing out its crisis-era monetary policies, the Fed is now discussing a timeline to start winding down its portfolio to about half its current size.

“[The Fed] is in uncharted territory. They’ll be very cautious because they are committed to reducing interest rates and reducing the balance sheet. The first foray will be fairly limited,” said Nariman Behravesh, IHS Markit’s chief economist.

Investors have mostly prepared themselves for the Fed’s next move by anticipating an increase in interest rates. If anything, the Fed tends to “do less than the market expected,” Behravesh added.

“I think the good thing is the Fed is raising rates in an environment that’s not gangbusters, but it’s decent. Rates will go up, no question, but if they go gradually, it won’t do a great amount of damage to the economy,” he said, noting that the fed funds rate remains historically low. “Monetary policy is becoming tighter, but at the end of next year, it still won’t be tight.”

Fed members have already decided on a plan of action. Currently, the Fed purchases new bonds to replace the ones that come due. Once it starts the clock, the central bank will allow bonds to mature and roll off its balance sheet.

At their June policy-setting meeting, members of the Federal Open Market Committee set up a plan to shed as much as $6 billion worth of government bonds and $4 billion in mortgage-backed securities each month as a starting point. The Fed would raise the amount every quarter, eventually hitting a cap of $30 billion in Treasury and $20 billion in mortgage bonds per month.

Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen holds a news conference after the Fed released its monetary policy decisions in Washington, U.S., June 14, 2017. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY – RTS1750PExpand / Contract
Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen holds a news conference after the Fed released its monetary policy decisions in Washington, U.S., June 14. (Joshua Roberts / Reuters)
Demand for bonds will weaken once the Fed stays on the sidelines, thus lowering prices and forcing interest rates to climb. (Bond yields move in the opposite direction as prices.) The magnitude of that rate increase will depend on how gradually the Fed sells off its holdings, Behravesh explained.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield has declined about 0.081 percentage points since the start of the year, hitting 2.36% in recent trading.

As for when the Fed will kick off the process, several officials prefer to “announce a start to the process within a couple of months,” according to minutes of their June meeting Opens a New Window. . Others believed that a decision later in 2017 would give the Fed more time to study inflation, which has fallen short of the central bank’s target, and U.S. economic activity.

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The general consensus is that the Fed will make an announcement in September. In her prepared remarks to Congress Opens a New Window. , Yellen affirmed that the Fed will “likely” implement the program this year, as long as the economy “evolves broadly as anticipated.”
“We do not intend to use the balance sheet as an active tool for monetary policy in normal times,” Yellen said, adding that the Fed is prepared to “resume reinvestments” if it sees a deterioration in the economic outlook.

No matter when the Fed begins to shrink its portfolio, economists expect it to move in the same way it raises interest rates: slowly.

“It’s hard to tell how slowly they are going to go,” Behravesh said, but the Fed is determined to move one step at a time. The impact on the financial and housing markets isn’t fully clear, and the Fed plans to raise the fed funds rate at the same time it dumps assets.

In June, the Fed raised the fed funds rate another quarter of a percentage point to a range of 1% to 1.25%. The next rate hike is expected in December.

http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2017/07/12/fed-prepares-to-cut-4-5-trillion-portfolio-what-it-means.html

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The Pronk Pops Show 968, September 20, 2018: Breaking and Developing: Story 1: 7.1 Richter Scale Earthquake Kills Over 200 In Mexico — Videos — Story 2: Category 4 Hurricane Marie With 155 Miles Per Hour Winds, 10 Foot Flood Surge and 20 Plus Inches of Rainfall Turns Lights Out in Puerto Rico with Widespread Flooding and Damages — Videos –Story 3: Yes The Obama Administration Was Wiretapping The Trump Campaign and Former Trump  Campaign Manager Paul Manafort — Trump Was Right and Big Lie Media Lied Again — Obama Spying Scandal Bigger Than Watergate — Videos — Story 4:  Illegal Aliens Shout Down House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Calling Her A Liar — When Will American Citizens Shout Down President Trump Calling Him A Liar? … President Trump and Republican Party Want Touch Back Amnesty and Pathway to  Citizenship For Illegal Aliens — Majority of American People Want All Immigration Laws Enforced — Deport and Remove All 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens In United States To Country of Origin — No Republican Re-importing of Illegal Aliens With Expedited Visas and Touch Back Amnesty and Pathway to Citizenship — Employ American Citizens Not Illegal Aliens — Videos

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‘It’s destroyed everything in its path’: Puerto Rico in total darkness after Hurricane Maria knocks out 100% of the island’s power while nearly two feet of rain turns roads into rivers of mud

  • The entire island of Puerto Rico is without power after Hurricane Maria swept through the U.S. territory today 
  • Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico Wednesday morning as a Cat. 4 hurricane with 155 mph winds
  • As of 5pm ER, the eye of the storm has moved off shore and weakened to a Cat. 3 storm with 110 mph winds
  • The storm is next headed to the Dominican Republic, where it’s expected to strike tonight 
  • The Turks & Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas will see hurricane conditions Thursday evening
  • Before hitting Puerto Rico, Maria battered St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands for about five hours overnight
  • So far, Maria has been blamed for nine deaths – seven on Dominica and two on Guadeloupe  

All of Puerto Rico has lost power after deadly Hurricane Maria swept through the island on Wednesday – with winds that blew the roofs off homes and flash floods that turned roads into rivers.

Leaving at least nine people dead in its wake across the Caribbean, Hurricane Maria blew ashore in the morning in the southeast coastal town of Yabucoa as a Category 4 storm with winds of 155 mph.

While the eye of the storm has since moved off the island and weakened to a Category 3 hurricane, it’s expected to continue lashing the island of 3.4million with life-threatening winds, storm surge and rain through this evening.

‘Once we’re able to go outside, we’re going to find our island destroyed,’ said Abner Gomez, Puerto Rico’s emergency management director. ‘The information we have received is not encouraging. It’s a system that has destroyed everything in its path.’

As people waited it out in shelters or took cover inside stairwells, bathrooms and closets, Maria – the strongest storm to hit the island since the Great Depression – brought down cell towers and power lines, snapped trees and unloaded at least 20 inches of rain.

Widespread flooding was reported, with dozens of cars half-submerged in some neighborhoods and many streets turned into rivers. People calling local radio stations reported that doors were being torn off their hinges and a water tank flew away.

Even before the storm, Puerto Rico’s electrical grid was crumbling and the island was in dire condition financially.

Puerto Rico is struggling to restructure a portion of its $73billion debt, and the government has warned it is running out of money as it fights back against furloughs and other austerity measures imposed by a federal board overseeing the island’s finances.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello urged people to have faith: ‘We are stronger than any hurricane. Together, we will rebuild.’

He later asked President Donald Trump to declare the island a disaster zone, a step that would open the way to federal aid.

Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico around 6:15am on Wednesday. Above was the hurricane's location at 5pm ET

The storm is expected to batter Puerto Rico for most of the day before moving on towards the Dominican Republic

Felled trees cover the roads in the Miramar neighborhood of San Juan, Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria made landfall on Wednesday

Felled trees cover the roads in the Miramar neighborhood of San Juan, Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria made landfall on Wednesday

A car is seen flipped over in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Wednesday

Residents of San Juan, Puerto Rico, deal with damages to their homes on September 20, 2017, as Hurricane Maria batters the island

A view from the Sheraton Old San Juan, in Puerto Rico, where people are waiting out hurricane Maria on the second floor, some with their pets

A view from the Sheraton Old San Juan, in Puerto Rico, where people are waiting out hurricane Maria on the second floor, some with their pets

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In a video posted to Facebook, one Puerto Rican shows off the flooding in the town of Guayama

In a video posted to Facebook, one Puerto Rican shows off the flooding in the town of Guayama

People walk on the street next to debris after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in Guayama, Puerto Rico on Wednesday

People walk on the street next to debris after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in Guayama, Puerto Rico on Wednesday

Rescue workers carry a woman into the Emergency Operation Centre in Guayama, Puerto Rico on Wednesday

Rescue workers carry a woman into the Emergency Operation Centre in Guayama, Puerto Rico on Wednesday

Above was the view inside the Roberto Clemente Coliseum early Wednesday morning, as Maria made landfall  

Above was the view inside the Roberto Clemente Coliseum early Wednesday morning, as Maria made landfall

People taking shelter at Fajardo's City Hall watch as Hurricane Maria hits Puerto Rico on Wednesday

People take shelter at Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on September 20, 2017

Hurricane Maria is pictured over Puerto Rico on Wednesday as it heads northwest towards the Dominican Republic

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4902546/Maria-makes-landfall-Puerto-Rico-Cat-4-hurricane.html#ixzz4tFsKOzSs

Maria Slams St. Croix, Rips Across Puerto Rico

September 20, 2017, 8:21 AM EDT

Above: VIIRS infrared satellite image of Hurricane Maria moving just west of St. Croix while at Cat 5 strength at 2:13 am EDT Wednesday, September 20, 2017. Image credit: NOAA/CIMSS/UM-Madison.

Ferocious Hurricane Maria made landfall around 6:15 am EDT Wednesday near Yabucoa in far southeast Puerto Rico as a top-end Category 4 storm, with peak sustained winds estimated at 155 mph.

Maria was the second strongest hurricane ever recorded to hit Puerto Rico, behind only the 1928 San Felipe Segundo hurricane, which killed 328 people on the island and caused catastrophic damage. Puerto Rico’s main island has also been hit by two other Category 4 hurricanes, the 1932 San Ciprian Hurricane, and the 1899 San Ciriaco Hurricane.

  • In terms of top sustained wind, Maria is the fifth strongest hurricane on record to hit the U.S. behind only the four Cat 5s to hit the country (Hurricane Andrew of 1992 in South Florida, Hurricane Camille of 1969 in Mississippi, the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 in the Florida Keys, and the 1928 hurricane in Puerto Rico.)
  • In terms of lowest atmospheric pressure at landfall, Maria (917 mb) ranks third in U.S. records behind only the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane and Camille.
  • Maria’s landfall at Category 4 strength gives the U.S. a record three Category 4+ landfalls this year (Maria, Harvey, and Irma). The previous record was two such landfalls, set in 1992 (Cat 5 Andrew in Florida, and Cat 4 Iniki in Hawaii.)

Maria did not hit Puerto Rico as a Category 5 hurricane, thanks to an eyewall replacement cycle (ERC) that began on Tuesday night. The storm’s “pinhole” eye, less than 10 miles wide, was supplemented by an outer eyewall that contracted around the smaller one. The process helped lead to the slight weakening of Maria’s top winds, but it also likely broadened its core of winds topping 100 mph.

Impact on St. Croix

Maria raked the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Croix (population 50,000) with its outer eyewall on the strong (right front) side of the eye, between about 1 – 3 am EDT Wednesday morning, but the island missed seeing the Category 5 winds of the inner eyewall, which remained just offshore to the south. The highest winds officially observed on the island were at Cotton Valley RAWS, located on the east end of St. Croix: sustained at 99 mph, gusting to 136 mph, at 2:13 am EDT. A WeatherFlow station at Sandy Point, on the island’s southwest tip, observed sustained winds of 100-104 mph, gusting to 137 mph. Even stronger winds likely occurred somewhere across the island’s west end, but we don’t know how strong, since the wind measuring equipment at the St. Croix airport and the Lime Tree Bay Buoy failed.

According to the Quicklook page at NOAA’s Tides and Currents, Christiansted Harbor on the north side of St. Croix observed a storm surge of two feet. The pressure at a personal weather station on the southwest tip of St. Croix fell to 954 mb at 1:48 am, when the eye made its closest pass to the island.

The British Virgin Islands and the other two U.S. Virgin Islands—St. John and St. Thomas—were far enough northeast to avoid the worst from Maria. A wind gust to 86 mph was reported at St. Thomas, according to weather.com.

Final radar image from NWS San Juan during Hurricane Maria, 0545 EDT 9/20/2017
Figure 1. The last radar image of Maria from the NWS Puerto Rico radar before it failed, taken at 5:45 am EDT Wednesday. Maria officially made landfall 30 minutes later at 6:15 am EDT, when the center of the eye crossed the coast.

Maria in Puerto Rico

Yabucoa Harbor in southeast Puerto Rico, near where the center of Maria made landfall, recorded sustained winds of 71 mph gusting to 99 mph at 7:06 am EDT. A peak wind gust of 113 mph was observed there at 5:12 am. Other wind gusts across Puerto Rico as of early Wednesday morning, as compiled by weather.com, included:

  • Isla Culebrita: 137 mph
  • Camp Santiago: 118 mph
  • El Negro: 116 mph
  • Gurabo: 115 mph
  • Yabucoa: 113 mph
  • Fajardo: 100 mph

According to the Quicklook page at NOAA’s Tides and Currents, Yabucoa Harbor recorded a peak storm surge of approximately 5.3’ as of 8 am EDT Wednesday.

At 8 am EDT Tuesday, Maria was centered about 15 miles south-southwest of San Juan, PR, moving northwest at 10 mph. A sustained wind of 64 mph, gusting to 113, was reported at San Juan, Puerto Rico at 7 am, but the airport is no longer reporting winds. Maria will cut a destructive swath across Puerto Rico from southeast to northwest on Wednesdaymorning, with its center moving offshore from the north central coast by late morning. The mountainous terrain of Puerto Rico will disrupt Maria’s core, probably leaving the storm as a Category 3 by the time it moves back offshore midday Wednesday. Maria’s track is putting the dangerous right-hand side of Maria’s core over or near the San Juan metropolitan area.

Torrential rains will produce widespread flooding across Puerto Rico. NOAA/USGS gauge data showed that several rivers along the higher terrain of central and east central Puerto Rico were already close to record crests as of Tuesday morning. Jonathan Vigh (National Center for Atmospheric Research) noted that very heavy rainfall was observed by the NWS San Juan radar in the vicinity of the El Yunque rainforest, just east of San Juan, before the radar went out of service on Wednesday morning. He added that the region’s 3000-foot-high mountains and a northeastward-facing valley were nearly ideal for intercept hurricane-force winds blowing toward Maria’s center.

We’ll be back with a full update on Maria and Jose later today.

Jeff Masters co-wrote this post.

Radar-based rainfall estimates for Puerto Rico, 9/20/2017
Figure 2. Before it went out of service at around 5:45 am EDT Wednesday, the NWS radar showed very heavy rainfall accumulations along the higher terrain of east central Puerto Rico. Totals of more than 25″ were estimated in the vicinity of the El Yunque rainforest.
First-light GOES-16 image of Hurricane Maria taken at 7:15 am EDT September 20, 2017.
Figure 3. First-light GOES-16 image of Hurricane Maria taken at 7:15 am EDT September 20, 2017. Maria’s eye was obscured by clouds due to interactions with land. Image credit: NOAA/RAMMB. GOES-16 data is preliminary and considered non-operational.

https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/maria-slams-st-croix-now-ripping-across-puerto-rico

San Juan (AFP) – Hurricane Maria caused devastation across Puerto Rico Wednesday as 150 mile-an-hour winds from the island’s worst storm in living memory flooded the capital and sent thousands scurrying to shelters.

After killing at least nine people on a string of small Caribbean islands, Maria slammed into Puerto Rico’s southeast coast at daybreak before churning across a territory which is home to 3.4 million.

As tens of thousands of people hunkered down in shelters in the capital San Juan, Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz broke down in tears as she spoke of the utter devastation she had witnessed.

“Many parts of San Juan are completely flooded,” Yulin Cruz told reporters in one of the shelters whose roof swayed as she spoke.

“Our life as we know it has changed… There is a lot of pain and a lot of devastation.”

Maria made landfall as a Category Four storm on the five-point Saffir-Simpson scale, initially packing winds of a little over 150 mph (240 kph) before easing slightly as it powered towards San Juan.

– ‘Absolutely hammered’ –

“The wind sounds like a woman screaming at the top of her lungs!” Mike Theiss wrote on Twitter, sheltering in a safe room in the eye of the storm.

“We are getting absolutely hammered right now.”

Imy Rigau, who was riding out the storm in her apartment in San Juan, said water had “cascaded” through her ceiling.

“We are taking refuge in the hallway as there is about a foot of water in my apartment,” she told AFP.

“I boarded up the windows but with all of this, it seems they are going to be blown away. One of them was smashed up, so we are here in the hallway where there are no windows.”

Many of the most vulnerable of Puerto Rico’s residents took cover in the 500 shelters set up around the island, with officials warning of life-threatening floods.

“As we anticipated, this is the most devastating storm in a century or in modern history,” Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rossello said on CNN as he warned of the danger of flooding and mudslides.

Puerto Rico’s most catastrophic hurricane was back in 1928 when Hurricane Okeechobee — also known as San Felipe Segundo — killed 300 people.

Although engineers had managed to restore power to most of the island after the recent Hurricane Irma, Maria caused a new black-out across the island.

Brock Long, who heads the US federal government’s emergency agency FEMA, warned it could take days for power to be restored on Puerto Rico and the smaller US Virgin Islands which have also been badly hit by Maria.

“Because of the nature of the geography of the islands, it’s a logistical challenge so it will be a frustrating event to get the power back on,” said Long.

– Dominica devastation –

The US and British Virgin Islands — still struggling to recover from the devastation of Irma — are also on alert, along with the Turks and Caicos Islands and parts of the Dominican Republic.

Maria has already torn through several Caribbean islands, leaving at least seven people dead on the island of Dominica.

Communications to Dominica have been largely cut, and its airports and ports have been closed.

But an advisor to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, who spoke to the premier by satellite phone, painted a picture of devastation on an island that is home to around 73,000 people.

“It’s difficult to determine the level of fatalities but so far seven are confirmed, as a direct result of the hurricane,” Hartley Henry said in a statement.

Reports from rural communities spoke of a “total destruction of homes, some roadways and crops,” added Henry.

“The country is in a daze -– no electricity, no running water — as a result of uprooted pipes in most communities and definitely no landline or cellphone services on island, and that will be for quite a while.”

In the French territory of Guadeloupe, one person was killed by a falling tree as Maria hit, while another died on the seafront.

At least two more are missing after their boat sank off the French territory, while some 40 percent of households were without power.

In the US Virgin Islands, locals reported horizontal rain and trees swirling in the wind.

“Very violent and intense right now as we have just begun to experience hurricane force winds,” said 31-year-old Coral Megahy, hunkered down on St Croix island.

There had been fears that Maria could wreak fresh havoc on islands that were already flattened by Category Five hurricane Irma earlier in the month.

Reports suggested St Martin, a French-Dutch island that was among the most severely hit by Irma with 14 dead, had escaped the worst this time around.

Britain, France and the Netherlands had boosted resources in their Caribbean territories ahead of Maria, after heavy criticism of poor preparations for Irma.

All three European countries have increased their troop deployments to the region after complaints of looting and lawlessness after Irma.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/puerto-rico-virgin-islands-brace-hurricane-maria-100652998.html

https://www.ventusky.com/?p=18;-67.4;5&l=temperature

 

Story 3: Yes The Obama Administration Was Wiretapping The Trump Campaign and Former Trump  Campaign Manager Paul Manafort — Trump Was Right and Big Lie Media Lied Again — Obama Spying Scandal Bigger Than Watergate — Videos

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Mueller casts broad net in requesting extensive records from Trump White House

President Trump has weighed in on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election time and time again. Here’s a look at how he can limit the probe, and what Congress is trying to do about it. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

 September 20 at 3:30 PM

The special counsel investigating Russian election meddling has requested extensive records and email correspondence from the White House, covering everything from the president’s private discussions about firing his FBI director to his White House’s handling of a warning that President Trump’s then-national security adviser was under investigation, according to two people briefed on the requests.White House lawyers are now working to turn over internal documents that span 13 categories investigators for the special counsel have identified as critical to their probe, the people said. Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, appointed in May in the wake of Trump’s firing of FBI Director James B. Comey, took over the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russians in that effort.The list of requests was described in detail by two people briefed on them. Both insisted on anonymity to discuss a sensitive investigation. Some details of the requests were first reported Wednesday afternoon by the New York Times.The requests broadly ask for any document or email related to a series of highly publicized incidents since Trump became president, including the firing of national security adviser Michael Flynn and Comey, the people said. The list demonstrates Mueller’s focus on key moments and actions by the president and close advisers that could shed light on whether Trump sought to block the FBI investigations of Flynn and of Russian interference. His team is also eyeing whether the president sought to obstruct the earlier Russia probe overseen by Comey.The special counsel team’s work in recent months has zeroed in on Paul Manafort, a former chairman of the Trump campaign, and Flynn. An official close to the probe said both men are under investigation.

After the revelation that the special counsel is examining a letter President Trump drafted to fire former FBI director James Comey, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said they’re working with the special counsel on Sept. 1. (Reuters)

Mueller’s agents have questioned witnesses and business associates of both men about whether the men sought to conceal the nature of consulting work they did that could have benefited foreign governments. In a raid of Manafort’s home last month, agents sought to seize records related to Manafort’s finances.

Over the past few weeks, White House lawyer Ty Cobb began sending records to the special counsel. Cobb is working within the White House to gather more of those documents and has told staffers and other lawyers that he hoped to turn over many more this week.

Cobb declined to discuss the subjects that Mueller’s team has questioned him about.

“The White House doesn’t comment on any communications between the White House and the Office of Special Counsel out of respect for the Office of Special Counsel and its process,” Cobb said in a statement. “We are committed to cooperating fully. Beyond that I can’t comment.”

Mueller also asked for any email or document the White House holds that relates to Manafort, the people briefed on the requests said. Manafort resigned from the campaign before the election amid scrutiny of his work for a powerful Ukrainian political party aligned with the Russian government.

Mueller has requested that the White House turn over all internal communications and documents related to the FBI interview of Flynn in January, days after he took office, as well as any document that discusses Flynn’s conversations with Russia’s then-ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, in December. Mueller has also asked for records about meetings then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates held with White House counsel Don McGahn in late January to alert him to Justice Department concerns about Flynn, as well as all documents related to Flynn’s subsequent firing by the White House.

Regarding Comey, Mueller has asked for all documents related to meetings between Trump and Comey while Comey served at the FBI, records of any discussions regarding Comey’s firing and any documents related to a statement by then-press secretary Sean Spicer made on the night Comey was fired. He has also asked for any documents related to a meeting Trump held in the Oval Office with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov the day after Comey was fired.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/mueller-casts-broad-net-in-requesting-extensive-records-from-trump-white-house/2017/09/20/3c5cfbe2-9e2e-11e7-8ea1-ed975285475e_story.html?utm_term=.62ec633db1ca

Manafort offered to give Russian billionaire ‘private briefings’ on 2016 campaign


Then-Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort talks to reporters at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July 2016. (Matt Rourke/AP)

 September 20 at 5:04 PM

Less than two weeks before Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination, his campaign chairman offered to provide briefings on the race to a Russian billionaire closely aligned with the Kremlin, according to people familiar with the discussions.Paul Manafort made the offer in an email to an overseas intermediary, asking that a message be sent to Oleg Deripaska, an aluminum magnate with whom Manafort had done business in the past, these people said.“If he needs private briefings we can accommodate,” Manafort wrote in the July 7, 2016, email, portions of which were read to The Washington Post along with other Manafort correspondence from that time.The emails are among tens of thousands of documents that have been turned over to congressional investigators and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s team as they probe whether Trump associates coordinated with Russia as part of Moscow’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election.There is no evidence in the documents showing that Deripaska received Manafort’s offer or that any briefings took place. And a spokeswoman for Deripaska dismissed the email ex­changes as scheming by “consultants in the notorious ‘beltway bandit’ industry.”

FBI agents raided the home of President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort without warning on July 26 with a search warrant, and seized documents and other records, say people familiar with the special counsel investigation.

Nonetheless, investigators believe that the exchanges, which reflect Manafort’s willingness to profit from his prominent role alongside Trump, created a potential opening for Russian interests at the highest level of a U.S. presidential campaign, according to people familiar with the probe.

Several of the exchanges, which took place between Manafort and a Kiev-based employee of his international political consulting practice, focused on money that Manafort believed he was owed by Eastern European clients.

The notes appear to be written in deliberately vague terms, with Manafort and his longtime employee, Konstantin Kilimnik, never explicitly mentioning Deripaska by name. But investigators believe that key passages refer to Deripaska, who is referenced in some places by his initials, “OVD,” according to people familiar with the emails. One email uses “black caviar,” a Russian delicacy, in what investigators believe is a veiled reference to payments Manafort hoped to receive from former clients.

In one April exchange days after Trump named Manafort as a campaign strategist, Manafort referred to his positive press and growing reputation and asked, “How do we use to get whole?”

Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said Wednesday that the email ex­changes reflected an “innocuous” effort to collect past debts.

“It’s no secret Mr. Manafort was owed money by past clients,” Maloni said.

Maloni said no briefings with Deripaska ever took place but that, in his email, Manafort was offering what would have been a “routine” briefing on the state of the campaign.

 As a lobbyist and political consultant in the 1980s, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort worked with international clients that included two dictators who were then allied with the United States. (Bastien Inzaurralde/The Washington Post)

Vera Kurochkina, a spokeswoman for Rusal, the company led by Deripaska, on Wednesday derided inquiries from The Post that she said “veer into manufactured questions so grossly false and insinuating that I am concerned even responding to these fake connotations provides them the patina of reality.”

Collectively, the thousands of emails present a complex picture. For example, an email exchange from May shows Manafort rejecting a proposal from an unpaid campaign adviser that Trump travel abroad to meet with top Russian leaders. “We need someone to communicate that DT is not doing these trips,” Manafort wrote, according to an email read to The Post.

The email exchanges with Kilimnik add to an already perilous legal situation for Manafort, whose real estate dealings and overseas bank accounts are of intense interest for Mueller and congressional investigators as part of their examination of Russia’s 2016 efforts. People close to Manafort believe Mueller’s goal is to force the former campaign chairman to flip on his former Trump associates and provide information.

In August, Mueller’s office executed a search warrant during an early-morning raid of Manafort’s Alexandria, Va., condominium, an unusually aggressive step in a white-collar criminal matter.

Mueller has also summoned Maloni, the Manafort spokesman, and Manafort’s former lawyer to answer questions in front of a grand jury. Last month, Mueller’s team told Manafort and his attorneys that they believed they could pursue criminal charges against him and urged him to cooperate in the probe by providing information about other members of the campaign. The New York Times reported this week that prosecutors had threatened Manafort with indictment.

The emails now under review by investigators and described to The Post could provide prosecutors with additional leverage.

Kilimnik did not respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for Mueller declined to comment.

Deripaska, one of Russia’s richest men, is widely seen as an important ally of President Vladi­mir Putin. A U.S. diplomatic cable from 2006, published by WikiLeaks, referred to Deripaska as “among the 2-3 oligarchs Putin turns to on a regular basis.”

The billionaire has struggled to get visas to travel to the United States because of concerns he might have ties to organized crime in Russia, according to the Wall Street Journal. He has vigorously denied any criminal ties.

Russian officials have frequently raised the visa matter over the years with U.S. diplomats, according to former U.S. officials familiar with the appeals.

In 2008, one of Manafort’s business partners, Rick Davis, arranged for Deripaska to meet then-presidential candidate John McCain at an international economic conference in Switzerland.

At the time, Davis was on leave from Manafort’s firm and was serving as McCain’s campaign manager. The meeting caused a stir, given McCain’s longtime criticism of Putin’s leadership.

The Post reported in 2008 that Deripaska jointly emailed Davis and Manafort after the meeting to thank them for setting it up. Davis did not respond Wednesday to a request for comment.

At the time of the McCain meeting, Manafort was working in Ukraine, advising a Russia-friendly political party. He ultimately helped to elect Viktor Yanukovych as president in 2010. In 2014, Yanukovych was ousted from office during street protests and fled to Moscow.

Manafort and Deripaska have both confirmed that they had a business relationship in which Manafort was paid as an investment consultant. In 2014, Deripaska accused Manafort in a Cayman Islands court of taking nearly $19 million intended for investments and then failing to account for the funds, return them or respond to numerous inquiries about exactly how the money was used. There are no signs in court documents that the case has been closed.

The emails under review by investigators also show that Manafort waved off questions within the campaign about his international dealings, according to people familiar with the correspondence.

Manafort wrote in an April 2016 email to Trump press aide Hope Hicks that she should disregard a list of questions from The Post about his relationships with Deripaska and a Ukrainian businessman, according to people familiar with the email.

When another news organization asked questions in June, Manafort wrote Hicks that he never had any ties to the Russian government, according to people familiar with the email.

Hicks, now the White House communications director, declined to comment.

Former campaign officials said that Manafort frequently told his campaign colleagues that assertions made about him by the press were specious. They also privately shared concerns about whether Manafort was always putting the candidate’s interests first.

The emails turned over to investigators show that Manafort remained in regular contact with Kilimnik, his longtime employee in Kiev, throughout his five-month tenure at the Trump campaign.

Kilimnik, a Soviet army veteran, had worked for Manafort in his Kiev political consulting operation since 2005. Kilimnik began as an office manager and translator and attained a larger role with Manafort, working as a liaison to Deripaska and others, people familiar with his work have said.

People close to Manafort told The Post that he and Kilimnik used coded language as a precaution because they were transmitting sensitive information internationally.

In late July, eight days after Trump delivered his GOP nomination acceptance speech in Cleveland, Kilimnik wrote Manafort with an update, according to people familiar with the email exchange.

Kilimnik wrote in the July 29 email that he had met that day with the person “who gave you the biggest black caviar jar several years ago,” according to the people familiar with the exchange. Kilimnik said it would take some time to discuss the “long caviar story,” and the two agreed to meet in New York.

Investigators believe that the reference to the pricey Russian luxury item may have been a reference to Manafort’s past lucrative relationship with Deripaska, according to people familiar with the probe.

Kilimnik and Manafort have previously confirmed that they were in contact during the campaign, including meeting twice in person — once in May 2016, as Manafort’s role in Trump’s campaign was expanding, and again in August, about two weeks before Manafort resigned amid questions about his work in Ukraine.

The August meeting is the one the two men arranged during the emails now under examination by investigators.

That encounter took place at the Grand Havana Club, an upscale cigar bar in Manhattan. Kilimnik has said the two discussed “unpaid bills” and “current news.” But he said the sessions were “private visits” that were “in no way related to politics or the presidential campaign in the U.S.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/manafort-offered-to-give-russian-billionaire-private-briefings-on-2016-campaign/2017/09/20/399bba1a-9d48-11e7-8ea1-ed975285475e_story.html?utm_term=.5cc60e2cfae3

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Immigration Activists Shout Down Nancy Pelosi Over Trump Dreamer Deal

They repeatedly called the minority leader a “liar.”

Immigration activists shouted down Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) during a tense press conference in San Francisco on Monday, protesting a tentative agreement with President Trump to pass a law that extends protections for young immigrants known as Dreamers.

In addition to ensuring recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program can stay in the country, Trump’s apparent agreement to work with Democrats reportedly includes tougher border security measures, something immigration advocates say is a non-starter. No concrete details have yet been released about the deal-in-the-works, and the president himself has offered contradictory statements on whether an agreement has been reached at all.

“We undocumented youth will not be a bargaining chip for Trump’s xenophobic agenda,” the protesters shouted at Monday’s press conference. They repeatedly called the minority leader a “liar.”

Half an hour after the press conference started, Pelosi left. “Since you don’t want to listen, we’ll have to just go,” she said.

Half an hour after the press conference started, Pelosi left. “Since you don’t want to listen, we’ll have to just go,” she said.

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The Pronk Pops Show 966, September 18, 2017, Story 1: Two Islamic Terrorists Arrested For London Train Attack — United Kingdom Threat Level Lowered From Critical to Severe — Elderly Couple Took in Several Hundred Forster Children Over The Years Including Two Suspected Terrorists — Trump: “Loser Terrorist” and “Sick and Demented” — 21-year-old Syrian refugee Yahyah Farroukh Named Suspect — Videos — Story 2: Trump Wants To Increase CIA Drone Attacks — Videos — Story 3: Third Night of Violence in St. Louis — Protesters and Vandals Damage Property With Over 120 Arrests and 11 Police Injured — Videos

Posted on September 19, 2017. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Drones, Employment, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Spending, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Language, Life, Media, National Interest, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, President Trump, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rule of Law, Security, Senate, Taxation, Taxes, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Image result for President Trump tweet on London terrerorist Attack Parson Green September 15, 2017

Image result for cartoons drones trump cia

Image result for violence and property damage in St. Louis september 15-17 2017Image result for violence and property damage in St. Louis september 15-17 2017

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Story 1: Two Islamic Terrorists Arrested For London Train Attack — United Kingdom Threat Level Lowered From Critical to Severe — Elderly Couple Took in Several Hundred Forster Children Over The Years Including Two Suspected Terrorists — Trump: “Loser Terrorist” and “Sick and Demented” — 21-year-old Syrian refugee Yahyah Farroukh Named Suspect — Videos —

Police nab second suspect over London bombing

UK Police make second arrest in Parsons Green terror attack

UK Police Make Arrest In London Subway Blast

Parsons Green: Home raided by police owned by couple ‘who took in children & refugees’

Teenager held over parsons green bomb was arrested in Dover port departure area

Nigel Farage on the London Train Attack and More

UK terror threat lowered to severe after subway bombing

 

The Parsons Green tube bomb suspect has been named

 

UK police quiz 2 ex-foster children over London subway bomb

 

LONDON (AP) – The two suspects detained over last week’s London subway bombing are an 18-year-old refugee from Iraq and a 21-year old from Syria, both of whom were fostered by a British couple, according to a local official and media reports.

The 18-year-old was detained Saturday at the southeast England port of Dover, a departure point for ferries to France. The 21-year-old was held later the same day in Hounslow in west London. Photos published by the Sun newspaper showed a man being detained outside a fast-food restaurant in Hounslow, which was searched by police.

Both men are being held under the Terrorism Act and are being questioned at a London police station about Friday’s attack. Neither has been charged.

A man walks into Aladdins, a fast food restaurant in Hounslow, London, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. The two suspects detained over last week's London subway bombing are an 18-year-old refugee from Iraq and a 21-year old believed to be from Syria, both of whom were fostered by a British couple, according to a local official and media reports. The 18-year-old was detained Saturday at the southeast England port of Dover, a departure point for ferries to France. The 21-year-old was held later the same day in Hounslow in west London. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

A man walks into Aladdins, a fast food restaurant in Hounslow, London, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. The two suspects detained over last week’s London subway bombing are an 18-year-old refugee from Iraq and a 21-year old believed to be from Syria, both of whom were fostered by a British couple, according to a local official and media reports. The 18-year-old was detained Saturday at the southeast England port of Dover, a departure point for ferries to France. The 21-year-old was held later the same day in Hounslow in west London. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Thirty people were injured when an improvised explosive device partly exploded aboard a crowded London Underground train at Parsons Green station during the morning rush hour. None of the injuries was life-threatening, and experts said it appears the main charge of the bomb didn’t detonate.

After the rush-hour bombing, British officials raised the country’s terror threat level to the highest level, “critical,” meaning an attack may be imminent. They lowered it Sunday to “severe,” and police said the investigation was making rapid progress.

Police searched three addresses, including the house in suburban Sunbury, outside London, of Penelope and Ronald Jones. The couple has been honored by Queen Elizabeth II for fostering more than 200 children, including refugees from Middle Eastern conflicts.

Ian Harvey, who heads local Spelthorne Borough Council, said he believed the 18-year-old was an Iraqi orphan who moved to the U.K. when he was 15 after his parents died and had lived in the Sunbury house.

He said the 21-year-old was also a former foster child of the Joneses. Sky News and other British media named him as Yahyah Farroukh, who is originally from Syria.

West Thames College in West London said in a statement that “Yahyah Farroukh, who, according to media reports is the second suspect detained in connection with the Parsons Green incident, was a former student at the college from December 2013 to June 2015.” It said he began attending courses when he was 17 to learn English.

Suleman Sarwar, co-owner of Aladdin’s Fried Chicken in Hounslow, said Farroukh worked there and was arrested by police Saturday night at the end of his shift.

Stephen Griffiths, who lives across the street from Penelope and Ronald Jones, said police had visited the house several times, most recently two or three weeks ago.

“The police were there multiple times over the span of about a month – a few times a week,” he said.

“You always think foster kids are going to have a bit of trouble, but you don’t think terrorism,” he added.

Footage obtained by broadcaster ITV shows a man near the Sunbury address Friday morning carrying a bag from Lidl supermarket. Images posted on social media following the attack appeared to show wires protruding from a flaming bucket contained in a Lidl bag on the floor of the train carriage.

Commuters returned to Parsons Green station Monday for the first morning rush hour since the bombing. Police asked the traveling public to be vigilant and said there would be more armed police on the transit network for the time being.

Most of the injured in Friday’s explosion aboard a District Line train suffered flash burns while some were injured in the panicked rush to leave.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but British officials say there is no proof yet that it was involved.

Four other violent attacks in Britain this year have killed 36 people. Three were the work of attackers motivated by Islamic extremism, and one by anti-Muslim hatred.

In the deadliest attack, a suicide bomber struck a packed concert hall in Manchester in northern England, killing 22 people. The other attacks, near Parliament, on London Bridge and near a mosque in Finsbury Park in north London, involved vehicles and, in two cases, knives.

___

Frank Griffiths and Gregory Katz contributed to this report.

A police officer stands by a cordon on Cavendish Road, in Sunbury-on-Thames, in England, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. The two suspects detained over last week's London subway bombing are an 18-year-old refugee from Iraq and a 21-year old believed to be from Syria, both of whom were fostered by a British couple, according to a local official and media reports. Police searched three addresses, including the house in suburban Sunbury, outside London, of Penelope and Ronald Jones. The couple has been honored by Queen Elizabeth II for fostering more than 200 children, including refugees from Middle Eastern conflicts. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)

A police officer stands by a cordon on Cavendish Road, in Sunbury-on-Thames, in England, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. The two suspects detained over last week’s London subway bombing are an 18-year-old refugee from Iraq and a 21-year old believed to be from Syria, both of whom were fostered by a British couple, according to a local official and media reports. Police searched three addresses, including the house in suburban Sunbury, outside London, of Penelope and Ronald Jones. The couple has been honored by Queen Elizabeth II for fostering more than 200 children, including refugees from Middle Eastern conflicts. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)

Commuters are seen on the platform at Parsons Green station in London, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. A bucket wrapped in an insulated bag caught fire on a packed London subway train at Parsons Green station on Friday Sept. 15, police are treating it as a terrorist incident. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
 Commuters are seen on the platform at Parsons Green station in London, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. A bucket wrapped in an insulated bag caught fire on a packed London subway train at Parsons Green station on Friday Sept. 15, police are treating it as a terrorist incident. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

This image made from CCTV video obtained by ITN on Sunday Sept. 17, 2017, shows what they say is a person leaving the property in Sunbury, England, on Friday, which was raided in connection with the subway bombing in London. British broadcaster ITN have released CCTV footage of what they say shows a person leaving the property in Sunbury-on-Thames where police carried out a raid in connection with Friday's bombing in London. (ITN via AP)

Commuters wait on the platform at Parsons Green station in London, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. A bucket wrapped in an insulated bag caught fire on a packed London subway train at Parsons Green station on Friday Sept. 15, police are treating it as a terrorist incident. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Commuters wait on the platform at Parsons Green station in London, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. A bucket wrapped in an insulated bag caught fire on a packed London subway train at Parsons Green station on Friday Sept. 15, police are treating it as a terrorist incident. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Commuters use the street and station at Parsons Green in London, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. A bucket wrapped in an insulated bag caught fire on a packed London subway train at Parsons Green station on Friday Sept. 15, police are treating it as a terrorist incident. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Commuters use Parsons Green station in London, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. A bucket wrapped in an insulated bag caught fire on a packed London subway train at Parsons Green station on Friday Sept. 15, police are treating it as a terrorist incident. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Transport police keep guard at Parsons Green station in London, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. A bucket wrapped in an insulated bag caught fire on a packed London subway train at Parsons Green station on Friday Sept. 15, police are treating it as a terrorist incident. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

An armed police officer stands nearby after an incident on a tube train at Parsons Green subway station in London, Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. A reported explosion at the train station sent commuters stampeding in panic, injuring several people on Friday at the height of London's morning rush hour, and police said they were investigating it as a terrorist attack. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Police forces guard the entrance following Friday's incident on a tube at Parsons Green Station in London, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. A manhunt is under way after an improvised explosive device was detonated on a crowded subway car, injuring at least 29 people. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2010 file photo, Penelope and Ronald Jones receive their MBEs for serving children and families from Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, in London. Police on Saturday launched a massive armed search in the southwestern London suburb of Sunbury which is believed to include the home of foster carer Jones and her husband after an 18 year-old man was arrested in connection with the London subway attack on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. (Lewis Whyld/PA via AP, File)

FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2010 file photo, Penelope Jones receives her MBE for serving children and families from Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, in London. Police on Saturday launched a massive armed search in the southwestern London suburb of Sunbury which is believed to include the home of foster carer Jones and her husband after an 18 year-old man was arrested in connection with the London subway attack on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. (Lewis Whyld/PA via AP, File)

A train pulls in to the platform at Parsons Green tube station in London, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. A bucket wrapped in an insulated bag caught fire on a packed London subway train at Parsons Green station on Friday Sept. 15, police are treating it as a terrorist incident. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Parsons Green attack: Police raid foster carers’ home in west London as 18-year-old man is arrested in Dover

Armed police raided the home of two respected foster carers in their hunt for the bomb factory used by the Parsons Green bomber today, just hours after arresting an 18-year-old man close to the port of Dover.

The rapidly moving developments came a day after commuters fled in terror after a homemade bomb partially detonated on a District Line train, injuring 29 people.

Kent police detained the teenager close to the Port of Dover at 7.50am on suspicion of being a terrorist, describing it as a “significant arrest”.

 Police officers were later seen searching bins close to Dover Priory rail station a few minutes walk from the port.

The suspect is due to be moved to a south London police station tonight.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, of the Metropolitan Police, said: “We have made a significant arrest in our investigation this morning. Although we are pleased with the progress made, this investigation continues and the threat level remains at critical.

“The public should remain vigilant. This arrest will lead to more activity from our officers.”

The arrest place to close to the busiest ferry hub in Europe, which serves as a commercial gateway to the French coast, including Calais and Dunkirk – raising the prospect the suspect could have been attempting to leave the country.

Mrs Penelope Jones and Mr Ronald Jones from Sunbury-on-Thames are made MBEs by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.
Mrs Penelope Jones and Mr Ronald Jones from Sunbury-on-Thames are made MBEs by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. CREDIT: LEWIS WHYLD/PA ARCHIVE 

Five hours later armed police backed by the bomb squad arrived at an address in Sunbury-on-Thames, south west London, and began evacuating residents from surrounding homes.

The elderly owners of the Cavendish Road property, Penelope and Ronald Jones, are a dedicated foster couple who have taken in hundreds of young people since 1970, including refugees from several countries.

In 2009 Mr and Mrs Jones were appointed MBEs for services to children and families. The honour was presented to them by the Queen at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Mrs Jones, 71, and her husband, 88, said at the time: “We open our hearts to all the children. Anybody that comes to us we will do whatever we can to help them with whatever they need.”

Their home is 11 miles from Parsons Green and on the overground rail line to Wimbledon, which is on the District Line. The couple were unavailable for comment.

A neighbour who gave her name as Daphne, who lives opposite the house that was raided on Cavendish Road, said: ”I am so worried about Ron and Penny, they are a lovely couple.”

The white bucket that is said to have blown up on the Parsons Green carriage
The improvised explosive device in a white bucket blew up on the final carriage of the Parsons Green train CREDIT: PRICEY1983AA/TWITTER

Mojgan Jamali, who lives close to the house, said: “I was in my house with my children and there was a knock at the door from the police.

“They told me to leave. They said: ‘You have one minute to get out of the house and get away.’

“I just got out, I got my three children and we left the house and the street.”

Friday’s device reportedly contained the explosive triacetone triperoxide (TATP) and nails, but is thought to have only partially detonated from inside a bucket.

There were fears the number of those hurt could have been much higher had the bomb, which was concealed within a supermarket carrier bag, fully exploded.

It is not yet known whether the device, which was reportedly fixed with a timer, went off at its intended target or whether it was intended to go off further into central London.

 The train, which was bound for Edgware Road, was just pulling into the station in south-west London when the device detonated in the rear carriage, sending passengers fleeing to safety.

Parsons Green station was reopened in the early hours of Saturday.

Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, speaking after a meeting of the Government’s Cobra emergency committee, said: “There is no doubt that this was a serious IED, it was good fortune that it did so little damage in fact.”

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said police were “chasing down suspects”, indicating that a potential network of plotters could have been involved in the Parsons Green attack.

The Met said it has spoken to 45 witnesses and 77 images and videos have been sent to detectives by members of the public.

A key plank of the investigation has focused on CCTV, with officers combing through footage to establish who planted the device, and when and where it was placed on the train.

Security minister Ben Wallace suggested CCTV images of the bomber could be released as part of the manhunt, but Scotland Yard subsequently denied there were any plans to do so.

Troops have been dispatched to key sites across the country to free up armed police officers after the country’s terror threat level was raised to its highest point.

The threat level remains at critical, which means a further attack is feared to be imminent.

In a move to reassure Londoners, the Met Commissioner Cressida Dick joined uniformed officers on patrol, travelling by tube to Waterloo Station and walking along the South Bank.

The army will deploy troops at key locations around the capital in order to free up police who were last night involved in a huge manhunt to catch the terrorist responsible for the failed Parsons Green bomb attack, which Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claimed responsibility.

Witnesses described scenes of terror and panic after the blast sent a “fireball” and a “wall of flame” through a District line service in west London.

But the main device, which had been fitted with a crude timer using shop-bought fairy lights, failed to detonate, meaning hundreds of people were spared death and serious injury.

Anti-terror police are understood to be working on the theory that the bomb was detonated early by accident and that the intended target may have been the Tube station at Westminster.

A police officer at the entrance to Parsons Green after the station re-opened overnight CREDIT:JONATHAN BRADY/PA WIRE

The attack – the fifth terrorist attack on the UK in just six months – caused a diplomatic row between Washington and London.

Donald Trump seemed to accuse the Metropolitan Police of knowing the identity of the attacker in advance but failing to prevent the bombing. Mr Trump posted on Twitter: “Another attack in London by a loser terrorist. These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!”

His claim earned the US President a stiff rebuke from Theresa May. “I never think it’s helpful for anybody to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation,” said the prime minister. “The police and security services are working to discover the full circumstances of this cowardly attack and to identify all those responsible.”

Despite Mr Trump’s suggestion that the terrorist was known to police, counter-terrorism sources insisted that was not the case and that the hunt for the perpetrator of the bombing on a District Line train was ongoing.

An injured woman is assisted by a police officer close to Parsons Green station
An injured woman is assisted by a police officer close to Parsons Green station CREDIT: STEFAN ROUSSEAU/PA

Counter terrorism specialists from Scotland Yard were working to establish his identity from CCTV footage on the train and at stations on the line. They were also combing through records of payments with Oyster cards used to buy Tube tickets.

One theory is the suspected bomber may have fled the scene among the stampede of panicking passengers and escaped among the crowds.

They were also uncertain that Parsons Green was not the planned target, pointing to reports that the bomb, which was packed with shrapnel and contained a timing device, had apparently malfunctioned.

Witnesses reported seeing people “covered in blood” after a “flash and a bang” from the device, but sent a “fireball” through the packed Tube train.

Pictures and video posted on social media showed a flaming bucket – which appeared to have wires coming from it – inside a Lidl carrier bag on the floor of a carriage.

The device is not believed to have fully detonated and it is reported that it could have been set off on a timer.

More follows – stay with us for the latest updates through the day

House raided belonged to respected foster carers

The Sunbury-on-Thames property was owned by Penelope and Ronald Jones, who were appointed MBE in 2009 for services to children and families.

Neighbours described them as a “lovely couple” and said they were worried for them.

Police search home of foster carers over London bomb attack

 00:38

The elderly couple were given their awards by the Queen at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

At the time Mrs Jones said: “We open our hearts to all the children. Anybody that comes to us we will do whatever we can to help them with whatever they need.”

Mrs Penelope Jones and Mr Ronald Jones from Sunbury On Thames are made MBEs by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. 
Mrs Penelope Jones and Mr Ronald Jones from Sunbury On Thames are made MBEs by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.  CREDIT: LEWIS WHYLD/PA ARCHIVE 

Residents evacuated at Sunbury address

The Met Police said police officers had evacuated and were searching a residential address in Sunbury-on-Thames.

Scotland Yard said: “The evacuation is a precautionary measure following the arrest of a man in Dover, Kent, at approximately 07:50hrs this morning in connection with the investigation into the terrorist attack at Parsons Green Underground Station on Friday, 16 September.

Officers began evacuating the address at approximately 13:40hrs today.

Residents in the buildings immediately surrounding the address are also being evacuated as a precautionary measure.

Cordons are being put in place at a 100 metre radius to facilitate the Metropolitan Police Service’s operation, which is being supported by colleagues from Surrey Police.

A search of the address is ongoing and the cordons will remain in place until the operation is complete.

Police would like to thank the local residents directly affected for their cooperation and patience. Local officers are on duty in the immediate area to talk to the community and address any concerns that they may have.

No further arrests have been made.”

Police cordon set up after officers raid house in Sunbury-on-Thames

00:35

Armed police raid west London address

Police investigating the Parsons Green bombing carried out a raid on an address in Sunbury-on-Thames, close to the start of the M3 in west London, on Saturday afternoon.

Residents described a house in Cavendish Road being evacuated by armed officers. Others reported bomb squad vehicles arriving as armed officers moved in.

Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick says London “will not stop”

London will not be stopped by terror, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has said as she highlighted an increased visible police presence on the capital’s streets.

Ms Dick spoke as she joined officers on some of the city’s busiest streets, travelling on the Tube to Waterloo Station and patrolling the tourist hot spot of the South Bank

She said: “London has not stopped after other terrible attacks and it will not stop after this one.”

The Commissioner said the public should feel “utterly reassured” by the presence of police.

Met chief says London "will not stop"Met chief says London “will not stop”

02:38

She said: “I’ve been out and about today. The public seem to be very positive about the number of officers that we have.”

She added: “The great thing about London is that we don’t give in, we don’t give in to terrorists – we never have and we carry on.

“So the transport system is running just as it ever did and the events are going ahead today. People are out and about. I’ve spoken to lots of people, Londoners and tourists and business people. People are here and I would say, carry on about your business and secondly, of course, be vigilant.”

She added: “My main message is London is carrying on. Carry on with your business but be alert, don’t be alarmed but make sure you tell us anything that worries you.”

Scenes from Saturday morning

Armed police are making their presence felt in the capital following the news last night that Prime Minister Theresa May had raised the UK terror threat level to critical.

Armed police in Westminster
Increased security in Westminster CREDIT:  TOM NICHOLSON/LNP

Meanwhile, Tube passengers have been returning to Parsons Green.

A passenger walks into Parsons Green Underground station
The station reopened in the early hours CREDIT: PETER NICHOLLS/REUTERS

Scotland Yard describe the arrest as “significant”

The 18-year-old was arrested by Kent Police in the port area of Dover under section 41 of the Terrorism Act.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, Senior National Co-ordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, said: “We have made a significant arrest in our investigation this morning. Although we are pleased with the progress made, this investigation continues and the threat level remains at critical.

“The public should remain vigilant as our staff, officers and partners continue to work through this complex investigation. We are not, at this time, changing our protective security measures and the steps taken to free up extra armed officers remain in place.

“This arrest will lead to more activity from our officers. For strong investigative reasons we will not give any more details on the man we arrested at this stage.”

18-year-old arrested in Dover over London bombing

00:49

Man, 18, arrested in Dover

An 18-year-old man has been arrested in the Dover area under the Prevention of Terrorism Act in connection with the Parsons Green station bombing.

More information to follow as we receive it.

Tightened security ahead of Chelsea v Arsenal game

In a statement, Chelsea said:  “Following Friday morning’s incident at Parsons Green, and in order to help us fully prepare for the game, the majority of the Stamford Bridge site will remain closed until Sunday morning.

“This includes Stadium Tours, the Museum, Megastore and the Chelsea Health Club & Spa, while the ticket office will be operating via telephone and online only.

“During that time, entrance to the site will be via the Stamford Gate entrance only. On Sunday, we urge supporters to arrive at least one hour before kick-off to allow for extra security measures.

“We also request that supporters do not bring bags as this will delay your entry to the stadium. The club continues to monitor events and liaise with the police and relevant authorities on supporter safety.”

Trump under fire in US over London bombing comments

Ben Cardin, a Democratic member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, backed Theresa May in her rebuke of Donald Trump over the London  bombing David Millward reports.

“I think the Prime Minister of the UK was appropriate in calling the president out.”

John Cohen, former US counterterrorism official and now a professor at Rutgers University, also believed Mr Trump’s intervention was unhelpful.

“At this stage investigators are going to be doing everything they can to locate those involved in the attack, and in particular the bomb maker,”  he told the New York Times.

“These types of statements — at this stage of the investigation — can undermine law enforcement efforts because it discloses key information that the investigators may be using to locate the attackers, and it could put peoples’ lives at risk.”

Bomb ‘highly likely’ to be TATP – CNN

A source briefed by investigators told CNN that an initial assessment of the device indicates it is “highly likely” to have contained the explosive TATP but that this has not been confirmed. It also appeared to have been crude and poorly designed, the source said.

‘Excellent progress’ made in hunt for terrorist, police say

Met Assistant Commissioner, Mark Rowley, said the police were making “excellent progress” in the hunt for the terrorist.

He said officers were trawling through hundreds of hours of CCTV footage and 77 images and videos taken by members of the public at the scene were also being examined.

Mr Rowley said the IED had now been made safe and was being examined by specialist forensic scientists.

Threat level raised to ‘critical’

The UK’s terror threat level has been raised from severe to critical, indicating a further attack may be imminent, following the Parsons Green Tube bomb, Prime Minister Theresa May said.

Army troops will be assisting the police with their duties, freeing up officers to continue their investigation into the attack.

Islamic State claims responsibility for the attack

The Islamic State terror group has claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the Amaq news agency which has links to the group.

White House defends Trump’s comments on Parsons Green attack

Mr McMaster was asked about Donald Trump’s comments this morning, in which he said the suspect of the bombing was “in the sights” of Scotland Yard.

Theresa May called that speculation “unhelpful”.

National security adviser H.R. McMaster, right, and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, participate in a news briefing at the White House, in Washington
National security adviser H.R. McMaster, right, and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, participate in a news briefing at the White House, in Washington CREDIT: CAROLYN KASTER 

Mr McMaster said he thought the president was speaking in general terms, and did not have any specific information.

He said: “I think what the president was communicating was that all our law enforcement efforts are focused on this threat for years.

“Scotland Yard is a leader in this, and if it happened here in the US the FBI would also have the suspect in their sights.

“I think he means generally this kind of activity is what we are trying to prevent.”

President Trump calls for renewed effort to cut terror funding

H.R. McMaster, Donald Trump’s national security adviser, has just spoken about the Parsons Green attack in the White House, Harriet Alexander reports.

He said: “The US stands in solidarity with the people of the UK.

“We will defend our people and our values against these cowardly attacks, and we will always stand by countries who do the same.”

He said Mr Trump had been “unambiguous” in his policy on terrorism, urging a renewed effort at cutting financing for terrorist networks.

President Trump speaks to PM to express sympathy

The White House press secretary has revealed details of the phone call between Donald Trump and Theresa May. The US president phoned to “convey his sympathies and prayers for those injured in the terrorist attack today in London”, the White House said.

“The President pledged to continue close collaboration with the United Kingdom to stop attacks worldwide targeting innocent civilians and to combat extremism. ”

A Downing Street spokesman said: “President Trump called the Prime Minister earlier today to offer his condolences over this morning’s cowardly attack in London.

“They also discussed North Korea’s latest missile test, agreeing it was a reckless provocation and that China must now use all its leverage to bring pressure to bear on the North Korean regime to ensure they change course and end these illegal tests.”

Number of injured rises to 29

NHS England says 29 people have been treated after the explosion at Parsons Green tube station.

As of 5.30pm on Friday, NHS England said it was now treating 21 patients.

Eight others were discharged earlier in the day.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/16/parsons-green-explosion-uk-terror-threat-level-critical-latest/

2017 Parsons Green bombing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
2017 Parsons Green bombing
Part of Terrorism in the United Kingdom
2017 Parsons Green bombing 20.jpg

Police on Parsons Green, following the bombing

2017 Parsons Green bombing is located in London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham

Parsons Green
Parsons Green
2017 Parsons Green bombing (London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham)

Show map of London Borough of Hammersmith and FulhamShow map of Greater LondonShow map of the United KingdomShow all

Location Parsons Green tube stationLondon
TQ 249 766
Coordinates 51°28′30.08″N0°12′08.14″WCoordinates51°28′30.08″N 0°12′08.14″W
Date 15 September 2017
8:20 am (BST)
Target London Undergroundcivilians
Weapons Improvised explosive device
Deaths 0
Non-fatal injuries
30[1][2]

On 15 September 2017, at around 8:20 am BST (07:20 UTC), an explosion occurred on a District line train at Parsons Green tube station, in London, England. Thirty people were treated in hospital or an urgent care centre, mostly for burn injuries.[3][4] The incident is being treated by the Metropolitan Police as a “terrorist” attack.[4]

Background

Several attacks occurred in Britain in the months preceding the bombing. These include the Westminster attack, the Manchester bombing, the London Bridge attack and the Finsbury Park attack.[5]

Incident

Map of the station area

A crude homemade bomb partially exploded on an eastbound District line train at Parsons Green tube station, in West London.[6] The District line train was packed with commuters and school children.[7] Witnesses described seeing a fireball in the rear carriage of the packed rush-hour train. Numerous passengers were reported to have suffered flash burns. Others received crush injuries in the rush to leave the scene. Thirty people received medical treatment for their injuries, 19 of whom were taken to hospital by ambulance – the remainder self-presented themselves at hospital.[8]

The device had been left in a white plastic bucket inside a shopping bag. Wires were hanging out, as well as a black towel. Reports also indicate the device had a timer attached.[9]According to Ben Wallace, the security minister, the bomb contained the triacetone triperoxide explosive (TATP), the same explosive used in the 2005 London Underground bombingsand the November 2015 Paris attacks.[10] The explosive is known to be very unstable, which may have led to critical errors in the construction of the bomb, such that it only partially exploded. According to Chip Chapman, former head of counter-terrorism at the Ministry of Defence, “This absolutely didn’t function properly because… 1 ounce (30 g) of TATP is enough to blow car doors off”.[10]

Claim of responsibility

According to the Amaq News AgencyISIS claimed that an affiliated unit of the Islamic State carried out the attack.[11][12] The Metropolitan Police described the claim as “very routine in these sort of circumstances… whether or not they have had any previous engagement with the individuals involved”.[13] On 17 September Home Secretary Amber Rudd said there was no evidence to suggest ISIS were behind the attack, and added that they would find out how the attacker was radicalised if they could.[14]

Investigation

British Transport Police are leading the investigation into the attack,[15] according to the Metropolitan Police, “hundreds of detectives” are involved in the investigation.[16] The Metropolitan Police launched a manhunt for one, possibly two, suspects.[17] On 16 September, Kent Constabulary announced that a suspect, an unnamed 18-year-old male Iraqi refugee,[18] had been arrested in the Port of Dover on suspicion of a terror offence.[19] The port area was partially evacuated and a number of items recovered by the police.[20] Later that day, police raided, and searched a house in SunburySurrey.[21] Police also arrested a 21-year old man on the same day in Hounslow, west London, and were searching a house in Stanwell, Surrey, in connection with the attack.[22][23] The 21-year-old was later reported to be Yahyah Farroukh, a Syrian refugee originally from Damascus,[24][25] who arrived in the UK about 2013,[26] and the 18-year-old to be an Iraqi orphan refugee.[27] Farroukh had been studying at West Thames College since 2013, according to his Facebook page. Both Farroukh and the 18-year-old Iraqi had been raised by the same foster carers. Their house is one of the properties in Surrey searched by police.[28]

The suspects were arrested under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act. A court extended the time period during which the suspects can be legally held.[29]

Reactions

Domestic

In a statement after the incident, British Prime Minister Theresa May said: “My thoughts are with those injured at Parsons Green and the emergency services who, once again, are responding swiftly and bravely to a suspected terrorist incident”.[30]

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “As London has proven again and again, we will never be intimidated or defeated by terrorism. I am in close contact with the Metropolitan PoliceTransport for London (TfL), Government and other emergency services who are responding at the scene and leading the investigation. I will be attending the emergency COBRA meeting in Whitehall this afternoon with the Prime Minister. My sincere gratitude goes to all our courageous emergency responders and the TfL staff who were first on the scene. I urge all Londoners to remain calm and vigilant”.[31] Khan also said: “I am not going to apologise for saying we need more resources and more police in London”.[32]

Subsequent to the attack, the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre decided to raise the terror threat level from ‘Severe’ to ‘Critical’,[33] for only the fourth time since its 2006 introduction.[34] Operation Temperer was also activated for the second time, as a result of the raise in threat level.[35] The terror threat level was then returned to ‘Severe’ by JTAC on 17 September 2017.[36]

International

US President Donald Trump tweeted: “Another attack in London by a loser terrorist. These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!”[37] He also touted his proposed travel ban.[38] His comments were described by Theresa May as “not helpful” and characterised the tweets as inaccurate speculation.[39]

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Parsons_Green_bombing

Story 2: Trump Wants To Increase CIA Drone Attacks — Videos

Image result for cartoons drones trump cia

Image result for cartoons drones trump cia

 

CIA Drone Strikes Escalating?

Trump Broadens CIA Power to Launch Drone Strikes

Trump Gives CIA Authority To Conduct Drone Strikes

Published on Mar 13, 2017
President Donald Trump has given the CIA new authority to conduct drone attacks against suspected militants, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing U.S. officials. The move would be a change from the policy of former President Barack Obama’s administration of limiting the CIA’s paramilitary role, the newspaper reported. http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/t… http://www.wochit.com This video was produced by YT Wochit Vote It using http://wochit.com
 

Trump Gave CIA New Authority on Attack Drones

The Story Of The Drone Strike That Saved Hundreds Of Lives

 

Trump Administration Wants to Increase CIA Drone Strikes

WASHINGTON — When President Donald Trump visited CIA headquarters in the first weeks of his presidency, he toured the secure floor where agency officers direct drone strikes against suspected terrorists, current and former U.S. officials told NBC News.

Impressed by what he saw, Trump conveyed to incoming CIA Director Mike Pompeo and the assembled agency officers that he wanted them to take a more aggressive posture, according to two current U.S. officials and one former official briefed on the visit.

Soon afterward, multiple sources said, the CIA began carrying out drone strikes that might not have been authorized under the Obama administration, including in Syria, where the military has taken the lead on targeting militant leaders.

The White House granted CIA officers more autonomy to decide on whether and when the U.S. can pull the trigger in various places around the world, including in Yemen, where the military carries out the bulk of the airstrikes, according to four U.S. officials who have been briefed on the agency’s counterterrorism operations. The upshot is less micromanaging of targeting decisions by the White House, these officials say.

A U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone sits armed with Hellfire missiles and a 500-pound bomb in a hanger at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan
A U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone sits armed with Hellfire missiles and a 500-pound bomb in a hanger at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan March 9, 2016.Josh Smith / Reuters file

Now, the Trump administration is contemplating additional policy changes that will further expand the CIA’s authority to conduct drone strikes in a number of countries, both in and out of war zones. Such a move would reverse years of effort by President Barack Obama to reduce the CIA’s role in targeted killing and shift that responsibility to the military. It could also mean more civilian casualtiesin CIA drone strikes.

In reporting this story, NBC News spoke to officials at intelligence agencies, the Pentagon, Congress and the White House. All requested anonymity to discuss a classified program.

At the peak of its lethal activity in 2010 during the Obama administration, the CIA was carrying out as many as two drone strikes a week in Pakistan. Some current and former officers have argued that turning American’s premier spy agency into what one former CIA officer called “a killing machine” caused an erosion in its traditional espionage mission against adversaries such as Russia and China. A changing threat environment, and new Obama rules, led to a sharp drop off in the pace of CIA strikes in recent years.

Pompeo has pushed for more freedom of action. He wants Trump to authorize the spy agency to strike targets in Afghanistan, which had long been the domain of the military, a senior U.S. official with direct knowledge told NBC News. The New York Times first reported that news last week.

The White House also is drafting a new written policy on counterterrorist operations outside of war zones that would supercede the so-called drone playbook that the Obama administration had hoped would govern the decisions of future presidents, several officials said.

The drone playbook, known as the Presidential Policy Guidance, or PPG, includes a provision that no strike should go forward unless analysts determine that there is a near-certainty that no civilians will be harmed. And it includes a provision forbidding the addition of new detainees to the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Image: An MQ-1B Predator remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) flies past a MQ-9 Reaper RPA as it taxis during a training mission at Creech Air Force Bas
An MQ-1B Predator remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) flies past a MQ-9 Reaper RPA as it taxis during a training mission at Creech Air Force Base on Nov. 17, 2015 in Indian Springs, Nevada.Isaac Brekken / Getty Images file

The Trump administration is contemplating removing both of those restrictions, officials involved in the planning told NBC News.

These developments concern human rights activists, who argue that the CIA is less accountable than the military.

“The last thing the U.S. should be doing right now is expanding a global, secret killing program,” said Zeke Johnson, senior director of programs for Amnesty International USA. “By its own admission, the U.S. government’s use of drones has meant the deaths of civilians and there has been insufficient accountability.”

U.S. officials who favor the changes point out that the military’s conventional bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria appears to have killed far more civilians than U.S. drones have.

But such comparisons are hard to make. Because the CIA drone strikes are secret and the U.S. government will not officially confirm them, there is no way for outsiders to gauge their frequency or effectiveness. In recent years, officials say, the pace of CIA drone strikes has declined as the military has conducted most of the drone strikes in nearly every country in which they are occurring, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen. But that also means it is not possible for outside groups to determine how many CIA strikes have occurred.

Related: Iran Has Drone Base Near U.S. Troops

Another factor is that the CIA and the military’s Joint Special Operations Command have integrated their targeted killing programs in recent years, U.S. officials say. It’s become easier for the CIA to hand off intelligence about a target and have the military pull the trigger, or vice versa.

“It’s impossible to know with Yemen, it’s impossible to know with Iraq and Syria, [how many CIA strikes have occurred],” said Bill Roggio, the editor of Long War Journal, a website that has tracked the strikes for years based on local media reports and other data.

The exception is Pakistan, where the U.S. military generally doesn’t bomb, and where the al Qaeda threat has much diminished in recent years. There have been five CIA drone strikes in Pakistan in 2017, up from three last year, according to Long War Journal.

Slick ISIS Video Shows Terror Group’s New Drones 1:12

It’s unclear whether a Trump overhaul to Obama’s drone playbook would be consequential in practice. Currently the playbook does not apply in Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan. It also does not apply for now in parts of Yemen and Somalia, which the military has declared to be active U.S. war zones.

But the playbook is still in place for Pakistan and anywhere else the CIA could potentially conduct drone strikes, including Libya and other parts of North Africa where ISIS is becoming an increasingly problematic presence.

In war zones such as Iraq and Syria, the so-called law of war standard applies, which tolerates civilian casualties as long as the targets are military and the collateral damage is “proportional” to the military benefit.

U.S. national security officials say they have seen no sign that Trump is seeking to follow through on some of the extreme rhetoric he employed on the campaign trail, including his calls for killing the families of terrorists and employing interrogation tactics that are “worse than waterboarding,” the simulated drowning technique used on three al Qaeda operatives that many consider to be torture.

The Pentagon and the CIA declined to comment. The White House did not respond to a request for comment

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=two%20suspect%20arrested%20in%20London%20terrerorist%20Attack%20Parson%20Green%20%20September%2015%2C%202017&qs=n&form=QBIR&sp=-1&pq=two%20suspect%20arrested%20in%20london%20terrerorist%20attack%20parson%20green%20september%2015%2C%202017&sc=0-81&sk=&cvid=0E1E1C8A24A2453FBFBAF4444685715F

 

5 Things You Should Know About the CIA’s ‘Robotic’ Drone Assassination Campaign

Since 2001 drones have become a signature weapon in America’s war on terrorists and insurgents in the Muslim world and have been deployed from sub-Saharan Africa to the Philippines. But for all the fact that drone strikes are regularly reported by the media, very few Americans have a basic understanding of the contours, tactics, geography, strategy and weaponry used in the CIA’s largest assassination campaign since the Vietnam era. The following five points provide a layman’s guide to this vast, covert campaign in exotic lands for readers who want a deeper understanding of this revolution in warfare and counter-terrorism than that conveyed by the media.

1. The drones are not actually robots. With the opening of the latest installment of the Terminator movie series starring Arnold Schwarzenegger this summer, non-specialists can be forgiven for thinking that drones are Terminator-style, autonomous deathbots with minds of their own. In actuality, the U.S. military and CIA prefer to use the term “Remotely Piloted Vehicles” to stress the fact that human pilots are in the “kill chain” and ultimately control the drones. A two-man team consisting of a pilot and a sensor operator fly the drones remotely, usually from specially designed trailers located at U.S. Air Force bases in the states (often in Nevada) or at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Drone pilots surveil their targets from afar via high resolution cameras for up to twenty four hours a day and follow their “pattern of life” movements. This provides an intimate knowledge of the target that was never had by manned jets flying at great heights and at high speeds (the drones are slow and propeller driven). The U.S. military is now training more drone pilots than pilots for manned aircrafts. There have been widely reported cases of drone pilots, who are not in harm’s way of course (in military terms they “project power, without projecting vulnerability”), suffering from combat stress due to the intimate nature of their tracking and killing of their human “targets” on screens.

2. The drones don’t usually drop bombs. While their critics, who make wild claims that “99 percent of the victims of drone attacks are civilians,” refer to “clumsy drone bombing campaigns,” in actuality most of the ordinance deployed by drones consists of highly accurate, laser-guided or satellite-guided “smart” mini-missiles. The most commonly used missile is the 100 pound AGM 114 Hellfire missile, which was originally designed to be fired by an Apache Longbow attack helicopter. This missile was originally designed to penetrate armor, but was re-configured with a metal sleeve to be used against un-armored targets, such as cars or clay walled houses. In an effort to reduce civilian bystander deaths (“collateral damage” in military parlance), the CIA and Air Force have also taken to firing even smaller mini-missiles called Scorpions which are only 21 inches in length. These “small smart weapons” are a far cry from unguided “dumb” bombs of up to 2,000 pounds which were inaccurately dropped by fast flying manned jets in the past. Their smaller blast radius leads to less un-intended victims. The drone missiles are so smart that if an operator sees a civilian bystander coming close to a target after the missile has been fired he can divert it at the last second.

3. The drones rarely kill civilians. While drone activists focus on the occasional accidental killing of civilian bystanders in voicing their criticism of the “play station mentality” behind drone operations, various studies have shown that the drones rarely create collateral damage. For example, the Washington DC-based New America Foundation has found that the drones have killed roughly 3,000 Al Qaeda and Taliban militants, but only about 300 civilians (i.e. about ten percent of the death toll is civilian). This makes the CIA’s “bombing” campaign far more precise than any previous bombing campaigns in history (usually civilian deaths far outnumber military deaths in aerial bombing campaigns). Such unprecedented accuracy is achieved through such tactics as firing smart missiles at targets when they are clearly observable in automobiles that have left crowded venues.

4.The CIA drones primarily operate in Pakistan. While the US military ran drone operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the CIA runs drone operations in the wild tribal regions across the border in Pakistan known as the FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Agencies). This is a remote, hilly region inhabited by fierce Pashtun tribesmen (the tribe that makes up the Taliban). The Pashtuns “bleed” across the frontier into neighboring Afghanistan and have long utilized the FATA as a cross-border sanctuary for waging guerilla warfare in that country. Unable to directly invade this border region, which belongs to sovereign Pakistan, the US chose instead to wage a targeted drone campaign against terrorists and insurgents who fled here after the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001 and converted it into a refuge known as “Talibanistan.” The U.S. has carried out almost 400 drone strikes in the FATA region and these have killed the number three in the Pakistani Taliban on three separate occasions and the number three in Al Qaeda on two occasions. But for all the fact that the advanced Predator and Reaper drones indisputably kill far more militants than civilians in this region that is under de facto Taliban control, the drone campaign is deeply unpopular in Pakistan. The Pakistani public sees the drones as an infringement of their sovereignty, even though the Pakistani government covertly supports the drone campaign against Taliban terrorists who target their people and have seceded from Pakistan.

5. The drones make extensive use of spy networks. The high flying drones rely, to a tremendous extent, on techint (technological intelligence, such as eavesdropping on targets’ cellphones and high resolution cameras), but are only as good as their humint (human intelligence). The drones work closely with CIA and Pakistani ISI (Inter Service Intelligence) spy networks on the ground to track the movements of suspected Taliban militants or Al Qaeda terrorists. The spies then surreptitiously place small homing beacons known as “prathrai” (chips) on their targets which send signals to the drones. The drones then fire laser guided missiles that home in on the cigarette lighter-sized homing beacons and incinerate their targets. The Taliban are quite aware of the drones’ uncanny ability to hunt them and have launched witch hunts to kill real or suspected spies. They live in constant fear of the ever present drones (which display “deadly persistence” in military parlance) and are afraid to use cell phones, gather in large numbers, move in convoys, store ammunition in depots that can be seen from the air etc. In other words, the drones, when combined with spy networks, terrorize the terrorists and make sure that their safe haven in the FATA is neither safe nor a haven.

There is much more to understanding this complex drone campaign, from the history or the anti-drone movement to the existence of secret CIA airbases in Pakistan itself to Al Qaeda’s responses, but the above points are a good starting point for understanding some of the basics of America’s drone war on terrorists, militants and insurgents in the Islamic world. For more on this highly controversial, murky issue see: Brian Glyn Williams. Predators. The CIA’s Drone War on Al Qaeda.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-glyn-williams/5-things-you-should-know-_5_b_7848274.html

UAVs in the U.S. military

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As of January 2014, the U.S. military operates a large number of unmanned aerial systems (UAVs or Unmanned Air Vehicles): 7,362 RQ-11 Ravens; 990 AeroVironment Wasp IIIs; 1,137 AeroVironment RQ-20 Pumas; and 306 RQ-16 T-Hawk small UAS systems and 246 Predators and MQ-1C Grey Eagles; 126 MQ-9 Reapers; 491 RQ-7 Shadows; and 33 RQ-4 Global Hawk large systems.[1]

The military role of unmanned aircraft systems is growing at unprecedented rates. In 2005, tactical- and theater-level unmanned aircraft alone had flown over 100,000 flight hours in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which they are organized under Task Force Liberty in Afghanistan and Task Force ODIN in Iraq. Rapid advances in technology are enabling more and more capability to be placed on smaller airframes, which is spurring a large increase in the number of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS) being deployed on the battlefield. The use of SUAS in combat is so new that no formal DoD wide reporting procedures have been established to track SUAS flight hours. As the capabilities grow for all types of UAS, nations continue to subsidize their research and development, leading to further advances and enabling them to perform a multitude of missions. UAS no longer only perform intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions, although this still remains their predominant type. Their roles have expanded to areas including electronic attack, strike missions, suppression or destruction of enemy air defense, network node or communications relay, combat search and rescue, and derivations of these themes. These UAS range in cost from a few thousand dollars to tens of millions of dollars, with aircraft ranging from less than one pound to over 40,000 pounds.[citation needed]

Classifications by the United States military

U.S. UAV demonstrators in 2005

The modern concept of U.S. military UAVs is to have the various aircraft systems work together in support of personnel on the ground. The integration scheme is described in terms of a “Tier” system and is used by military planners to designate the various individual aircraft elements in an overall usage plan for integrated operations. The Tiers do not refer to specific models of aircraft but rather roles for which various models and their manufacturers competed. The U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Marine Corps each has its own tier system, and the two systems are themselves not integrated. The arm forces has been funding UAV project way before the terrorist attacks in 2001. Ever since 2001, there has much support from government funding of more productions of UAVs.

Use in the “War on Terror”

When the Obama administration announced in December 2009, the deployment of 30,000 new troops in Afghanistan, there was already an increase of attacks by unmanned Predator UAVs against Taliban and al-Qaeda militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s tribal areas, of which one probably killed a key member of al-Qaeda. However, neither Osama bin Laden nor Ayman al-Zawahiri was the likely target, according to reports. According to a report of the New America Foundation, armed UAV strikes had dramatically increased under President Obama – even before his deployment decision. There were 43 such attacks between January and October 2009. The report draws on what it deems to be “credible” local and national media stories about the attacks. This can be compared to a total of 34 in all of 2008, which was President Bush’s last full year in office. Between 2006 and 2009, UAV-launched missiles allegedly had killed between 750 and 1,000 people in Pakistan, according to the report. Of these, about 20 people were said to be leaders of al-Qaeda, Taliban, and associated groups. Overall, 66% to 68% of the people killed were militants, and 31% to 33% were civilians. U.S. officials disputed the percentage for civilians.[2] The U.S. Air Force has recently begun referring at least to larger UAS like Predator, Reaper, and Global Hawk as Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) to highlight the fact that these systems are always controlled by a human operator at some location.

Armed attacks by U.S. UAVs

MQ-1 Predator UAVs armed with Hellfire missiles have been used by the U.S. as platforms for hitting ground targets. Armed Predators were first used in late 2001 from bases in Pakistan and Uzbekistan, mostly aimed at assassinating high-profile individuals (terrorist leaders, etc.) inside Afghanistan. Since then, there have been many reported cases of such attacks taking place in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia.[3] The advantage of using an unmanned vehicle rather than a manned aircraft in such cases is to avoid a diplomatic embarrassment should the aircraft be shot down and the pilots captured, since the bombings take place in countries deemed friendly and without the official permission of those countries.[4][5][6][7]

A Predator based in a neighboring Arab country was used to kill suspected al-Qaeda terrorists in Yemen on 3 November 2002. This marked the first use of an armed Predator as an attack aircraft outside of a theater of war such as Afghanistan.[8]

The U.S. has claimed that the Predator strikes killed at least nine senior al-Qaeda leaders and dozens of lower-ranking operatives, depleting its operational tier in what U.S. officials described as the most serious disruption of al-Qaeda since 2001.[9] It was claimed that the Predator strikes took such a toll on al-Qaeda that militants began turning violently on one another out of confusion and distrust.[9] A senior U.S. counter-terrorism official said: “They have started hunting down people who they think are responsible [for security breaches]. People are showing up dead, or disappearing.”[9]

By October 2009, the CIA claimed to have killed more than half of the 20 most wanted al-Qaeda terrorist suspects in targeted killings using UAVs.[10] By May 2010, counter-terrorism officials said that UAV strikes in the Pakistani tribal areas had killed more than 500 militants since 2008 and no more than 30 (5%) nearby civilians – mainly family members who lived and traveled with the targets.[11][12] UAVs linger overhead after a strike, in some cases for hours, to enable the CIA to count the bodies and attempt to determine which, if any, are civilians.[12] A Pakistani intelligence officer gave a higher estimate of civilian casualties, saying 20% of total deaths were civilians or non-combatants.[12]

In February 2013, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham stated that 4,756 people have been killed by U.S. UAVs.[13]

CIA officials became concerned in 2008, that targets in Pakistan were being tipped off to pending U.S. UAV strikes by Pakistani intelligence, when the U.S. requested Pakistani permission prior to launching UAV-based attacks.[9] The Bush administration therefore decided in August 2008 to abandon the practice of obtaining Pakistani government permission before launching missiles from UAVs, and in the next six months the CIA carried out at least 38 Predator strikes in northwest Pakistan, compared with 10 in 2006 and 2007 combined.[9]

One issue with using armed drones to attack human targets is the size of the bombs being used and the relative lack of discrimination of the 100 lb (45 kg) Hellfire, which was designed to eliminate tanks and attack bunkers.[14] Smaller weapons such as the RaytheonGriffin and Small Tactical Munition are being developed as a less indiscriminate alternative,[15] and development is underway on the still smaller US Navy-developed Spike missile.[16] The payload-limited Predator A can also be armed with six Griffin missiles, as opposed to only two of the much-heavier Hellfires.

Public opinion in the US (military use)

In 2013, a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll found that 48% of American voters believe it is “illegal for the U.S. government to target its own citizens living abroad with drone attacks.”[17] In the same poll, however, a majority of voters approved of the U.S. military and the CIA using UAVs to carry out attacks abroad “on people and other targets deemed a threat to the U.S.”.[18]

There are a number of critics of the use of UAVs to track and kill terrorists and militants. A major criticism of drone strikes is that they result in excessive collateral damage. However, others maintain that drones “allow for a much closer review and much more selective targeting process than do other instruments of warfare” and are subject to Congressional oversight.[19] Like any military technology, armed UAVs will kill people, combatants and innocents alike, thus “the main turning point concerns the question of whether we should go to war at all.”[19]

Infrastructure

In 2012, the USAF trained more UAV pilots than ordinary jet fighter pilots for the first time.[20] Unlike other UAVs, the Predator was armed with Hellfire missiles so that it can terminate the target that it locates.[21] This was done after Predators sighted Osama Bin Ladenmultiple times but could not do anything about it other than send back images. In addition, the Predator is capable of orchestrating attacks by pointing lasers at the targets.[22] This is important, as it puts a robot in a position to set off an attack. Their overall success is apparent because from June 2005 to June 2006 alone, Predators carried out 2,073 missions and participated in 242 separate raids.[23]

In contrast to the Predator, which is remotely piloted via satellites, the Global Hawk operates virtually autonomously.[24] The user merely hits the button for ‘take off’ and for ‘land’, while the UAV gets directions via GPS and reports back with a live feed. Global Hawks have the capability to fly from San Francisco and map out the entire state of Maine before having to return.[24] In addition, some UAVs have become so small that they can be launched from one’s hand and maneuvered through the street.[24] These UAVs, known as Ravens, are especially useful in urban areas, such as Iraq, in order to discover insurgents and potential ambushes the next block up.[25] UAVs are especially useful because they can fly for days at a time. Insurgents in the open for more than a few minutes at a time fear UAVs locating them.[21]

In the U.S., thousands of civilian UAV operators work for contractors, piloting and maintaining UAVs.[26] Up to four UAVs and about 400 to 500 pilot and ground support personnel are required for a single 24-hour-coverage combat air patrol (CAP).[27] A 2011 study by the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine indicated that nearly 50% of spy UAV operators suffer from high stress.[26] The president of a civilian UAV operators’ union, the Association of Unmanned Operation (AUO), cited long working hours and decreasing wages as U.S. involvement in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was reduced and as a result of the U.S. government’s budget sequestration.[26]

Given the increasing military use of cyber attacks against Microsoft software, the United States Armed Forces have moved towards Linux ground control software.[28][29]

Scale of use of UAVs by the U.S. military

An August 2013, Brookings Institution study reported that in the U.S. Air Force there were approximately 1,300 remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) pilots, 8.5 percent of total Air Force pilots, up from 3.3 percent in 2008.[30] The study indicated that the U.S. military’s combat air patrol (CAP) daily missions requirement is growing at a faster pace than RPA pilots can be trained, with an attrition rate during RPA flight screening being three times that of traditional pilots and a 13% lower promotion rate to Major than other officers.[30]

As of January 2014, the U.S. military operates a large number of unmanned aerial systems: 7,362 RQ-11 Ravens; 990 AeroVironment Wasp IIIs; 1,137 AeroVironment RQ-20 Pumas; and 306 RQ-16 T-Hawk small UAS systems and 246 Predators and MQ-1C Gray Eagles; 126 MQ-9 Reapers; 491 RQ-7 Shadows; and 33 RQ-4 Global Hawk large systems.[1]

As of mid-2014, the U.S. air force is training more drone pilots than fighter and bomber pilots combined.[31]

Research and development

At the center of the American military’s continued UAV research is the MQ-X, which builds upon the capabilities of the Reaper and Predator UAVs. As currently conceived, the MQ-X would be a stealthier and faster fighter-plane sized UAV capable of any number of missions: high-performance surveillance; attack options, including retractable cannons and bomb or missile payloads; and cargo capacity.[32]

Development costs for American military UAVs, as with most military programs, have tended to overrun their initial estimates. This is mostly due to changes in requirements during development and a failure to leverage UAV development programs over multiple armed services. This has caused United States Navy UAV programs to increase in cost from 0% to 5%, while United States Air Force UAV programs have increased from 60% to 284%.[33]

The USAF said in 2012, that it will focus development of UAVs to be collaboratively networked with manned aircraft in “buddy attacks,” while continuing to be able to fly as standalone systems.[34]

The U.S. Defense Department’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) planned in 2014 to award grants and contracts up to $5.5 million each, for its Fast Lightweight Autonomy Program (FLAP) program, which specifies UAVs capable of traveling 60 feet per second to include autonomy algorithms for quickly and autonomously navigating indoor obstacles and learning from past travels.[35]

List of U.S. military UAVs

Former
Current
Future

See also

References

Story 3: Third Night of Violence in St. Louis — Protesters and Vandals Damage Property With Over 120 Arrests and 11 Police Injured — Videos

St. Louis Cop Who Killed A Black Man Found Not Guilty | Los Angeles Times

‘Not Guilty’ Verdict In St. Louis Police Shooting Trial Sparks Protests | NBC Nightly News

St. Louis protesters stage ‘die-in’ and march for third time after police acquittal

Live: St. Louis Protest BREAKING NEWS Police Deploy Tear Gas as Protesters Turn Violent in Missouri

Police Officers Injured, Protesters Arrested In St. Louis Protests | NBC Nightly News

Arrests over Jason Stockley verdict in St. Louis

Black bloc runs amok in St. Louis street riot, 100+ arrests

USA: Violent protests continue in St Louis after following officer acquittal

Violence in St. Louis: Police & protesters clash after ex-cop acquitted of killing black man

Third night of violence rocks St. Louis

Violence breaks out on the streets of St Louis over white cop who was cleared of murdering black suspect as for the THIRD night in a row as cops arrest 80 people

  • St Louis entered its third night of protests on Sunday as demonstrators marched through traffic over town
  • They remain furious after white cop Jason Stockley was acquitted for 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith
  • As on Saturday, a peaceful daytime protest was followed by a splinter faction causing damage after dark
  • Police arrested 80 people, many for refusing orders to disperse, and confiscated several weapons
  • A man wearing a mask and carrying an Anonymous flag had body armor, a pistol and pepper spray taken
  • St Louis County cops were also sprayed with unknown chemicals from a pair of spray bottles

St Louis has entered its third consecutive night of violence over Friday’s acquittal of Jason Stockley, the white cop accused of murder in the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith.

As occurred on Saturday, thousands of protesters had engaged in a peaceful protest over Stockley’s Friday acquittal, this time gathering outside the Police Department HQ before walking through the city.

And just as on Saturday, that was followed up by a splinter group that began causing mayhem, smashing windows in downtown St Louis, with windows being smashed and police attacked.

One man in a mask and body armor who was spotted waving an Anonymous flag was stopped by police and had a pistol, pepper spray and his protective gear confiscated.

Several St Louis County sheriff’s deputies were sprayed with an unknown chemical and had to be decontaminated; others were pelted with rocks.

More than 80 people were arrested and five weapons confiscated, police said. The officers’ injuries were minor to moderate, it was announced.

Scroll down for video

Chaos took over St Louis streets for the third night in a row on Sunday, as crowds continued to protests white ex-cop Jason Stockley's acquittal for the 2011 murder of Anthony Lamar Smith. Pictured: people running as demonstrators march

Police arrest a man in St Louis as demonstrators march in the city. In total 80 people were arrested on Sunday night - many of them for refusing to disperse at the orders of police2

Police arrest a man in St Louis as demonstrators march in the city. In total 80 people were arrested on Sunday night – many of them for refusing to disperse at the orders of police

Police stopped this man and confiscated his shield, Anonymous flag and body armor - as well as a pistol, pepper spray, his mask and other items

Police stopped this man and confiscated his shield, Anonymous flag and body armor – as well as a pistol, pepper spray, his mask and other items

These are the items confiscated from the individual, who has not yet been named. Police said he was also taken into custody after the incident

A man throws a chunk of concrete through a window in St Louis on Sunday. Several businesses and other buildings had their windows smashed in downtown St Louis, while planters and trash cans were knocked over and damaged

Cops arrive en masse to deal with protesters amid violence late at night in St Louis. Police later commended the daytime protesters for their responsible attitude - in stark contrast to the violence that came as night fell

At around 7pm Pastor Doug Hollis, an organizer of the peaceful daytime event, announced: ‘We met our goal. We are dispersing. This was a great, peaceful protest. That’s what we want.’

Tensions were raised after some declined to leave, and an unmarked police car reversed into a crowd at speed; nobody was hurt, but police said some protesters threw bottles afterward, the St Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

‘The crowd started moving in a threatening manner toward the Impala and because of road closures, the car could not go forward,’ police said in a statement. ‘The officer driving the blue Impala backed down the street to safety.’

By 8pm troublemakers had departed that group and headed downtown.

Windows were broken at several businesses, including the Marriott hotel on Washington Avenue, a sushi restaurant and a nail salon, and the intersection of Olive and 10th Streets was particularly badly hit.

A bike officer was injured around this time and taken to hospital in an ambulance; the nature of his injuries was not immediately apparent.

Strings of arrests were made on multiple occasions as police commanded crowds to disperse, and arrested those who refused to leave.

The masked man's flag - with the Anonymous logo - can be seen in this image. The violent protesters were just a small fraction of the thousands that gathered in the daytime

Police arrive with riot shields to break up the violence downtown. The pattern was the same as the one seen on Saturday, when nine people were arrested, four of them juveniles

A cop chases after vandals in downtown St Louis on Sunday. Residents remain angry about the Stockley decision - but rioters may turn public opinion against protesters if they continue

Just as on Saturday, the violence that occurred after dark on Sunday came after the close of a peaceful early evening protest.

That peaceful protest began with thousands of protesters converging outside St Louis Police Department’s headquarters and staging a ‘die-in’ which they laid across the ground, pretending to be dead.

Authorities had closed off several blocks around the police headquarters Sunday afternoon in anticipation of the demonstration, which included young children and teenagers, as well as adults.

The crowd also observed six minutes of silence in front of the police department building, then chanted ‘stop killing us’ as officers looked on from the headquarters’ windows.

Afterward, they resumed the large-scale marching, chanting slogans such as ‘this is what democracy looks like.’

Protesters said that the six-minute silence symbolized the six years between the Smith’s death and Stockley’s acquittal.

Early Sunday evening, protesters (pictured) gathered outside the St Louis Police Department headquarters, holding Black Lives Matter signs and American flags

Sunday's protest (pictured) was the third consecutive day of action after the verdict was delivered. The judge said there was no evidence Stockley had unlawfully shot Smith or planted a gun on him, despite claims by the prosecution

Lamont Davis is one of the five adults arrested after demonstrations turned violence in St Louis on Saturday
Lakeshia Starks was also arrested. Four juveniles were also taken in but have not been identified by authorities
Tristan Muir was also among those arrested
These are three of the five adults arrested after demonstrations turned violent in St Louis on Saturday. They are (l-r) Lamont Davis, Lakeshia Starks and Tristan Muir. Four juveniles were also arrested; they have not been identified

Edward Stewart was also arrested. The violence broke out after a peaceful protest concluded earlier Saturday

The five adults named by police as suspects in Saturday’s riot were Caryn Pierson, Edward Stewart, Tristan Muir, Lakeshia Starks and Lamont Davis. Three of them live in St Louis; one in the surrounding county; and the fifth in Freeburg, Illinois.

Pierson was charged with first-degree property damage and rioting, and jailed on a $20,000 bond. Stewart was charged with unlawful assembly and resisting arrest and jailed on a $10,000 bond.

Muir was charged with rioting and fourth-degree assault; he was jailed on a $10,000 bond. Starks was charged with first-degree property damage, rioting, and resisting arrest and jailed on a $20,000 bond. And Davis was charged with first-degree property damage and jailed on a $20,000 bond.

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens issued a warning Sunday on Facebook that anyone caught destroying property would be held accountable and could face felony charges.

‘Saturday night, some criminals decided to pick up rocks and break windows. They thought they’d get away with it. They were wrong. Our officers caught ’em, cuffed ’em, and threw ’em in jail,’ the first-term Republican governor wrote.

Demonstrators chant outside police headquarters in St Louis. Many Black Lives Matter placards could be seen among the crowds as they peacefully protested

A protester is seen being arrested in St Louis following riots on Saturday night, which saw dozens of shopfronts smashed. The violence broke out after a peaceful protest concluded earlier Saturday

Police haul off a protester as they break up the violent crowd on Saturday. A protester had thrown red paint onto the riot shield seen here. Rocks and chunks of concrete were also thrown at cops, who responded with tear gas

Jason Stockley (pictured) was aquitted on Friday in the 2011 death of Anthony Lamar Smith

Ed Sheeran’s Sunday concert at the Scott Trade Center was canceled on Saturday by Messina Touring Group on the venue’s website.

THE JUDGE WHO DECIDED THE CASE

St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson

The judge who acquitted Stockley is described as objective and well-respected by prosecutors and defense lawyers alike.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson, who must retire when he turns 70 in December, has ruled both for and against police during his 28 years on the bench.

‘He’s very methodical and a very objective judge,’ Jack Garvey, a lawyer and former judge told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

‘He really will review everything before he makes a decision. I don’t think he’s ideological in any way.’

People accused of crimes have the right to have their cases heard by a jury, but can opt to have the verdict rendered by a judge instead, as Stockley chose to do.

Experts say a judge is more likely to understand the concept of reasonable doubt and not be swayed by emotions.

 ‘With the safety of the fans being of upmost concern, and after consulting with local officials, who could not fully commit to providing a sufficient amount of police and other city services support, we felt it was in everyone’s best interest to cancel Sunday night’s show,’ it read.

‘While we regret to have had to come to this decision, we do look forward to returning to St Louis as soon as Ed’s schedule will allow in 2018.’

The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, which had canceled its Saturday and Sunday performances of the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets scores, went ahead with its performance on Sundauy.

However, the orchestra is giving refunds on its website to those who were unable to attend due to the protests.

It also promised refunds to those who had tickets to the canceled Friday and Saturday events.

Rock band U2 also canceled a performance due to protests, saying their Saturday gig could not go ahead as ‘local crowd security personnel would not be at full capacity,’ and that they ‘cannot in good conscience risk our fans’ safety.’

Ticketholders will be able to claim a refund online or at their place of purchase, they added.

Saturday’s confrontation took place in an area that includes the Blueberry Hill club, where rock legend Chuck Berry played for many years.

There had been a peaceful march in the area earlier in the evening that ended with organizers calling for people to leave and reconvene Sunday afternoon.

But a few dozen protesters refused to go. Police ordered them to disperse, saying the protest was illegal. Hundreds of officers in riot gear eventually moved in with armored vehicles.

The demonstrators retreated down a street, breaking windows with trash cans and throwing objects at police.

Several protesters were taken away in handcuffs, including a man who was carried off upside down. At least one demonstrator was treated after he was hit with pepper spray.

Sam Thomas, who was helping his friend clean up the glass from the shattered windows of his clothing and accessories boutique, OSO, said he understood why people were angry. The US justice system is broken and needs to be fixed, he said.

‘I’m not saying this is the right way to fix it,’ he said of the damage. ‘The window isn’t murdered. Nobody is going to have a funeral for the window. We can replace it.’

Demonstrations began peacefully on Friday after Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson acquitted former St Louis police officer Stockley, 36, of first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of Smith, 24.

Protesters later clashed with police, and 33 people were arrested and 10 officers injured by early Saturday morning. Police said protesters also damaged Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home.

Police are seen here with two people - one of them unconscious after an asthma attack - during the riots. Protests continued on Sunday, but remained peaceful as of the early evening

Smith was shot in his car after Stockley and his partner chased him following an alleged drug deal, authorities said. Prosecutors argued that Stockley planted a weapon in Smith’s car.

Stockley left the St Louis Metropolitan Police Department in 2013. Smith’s family settled a wrongful death lawsuit against the city for $900,000 in 2013.

An informal group of St Louis-based activists known as the Ferguson frontline have organized the protests.

The group has focused on what it describes as institutional racism since rioting erupted in Ferguson, Missouri, a St Louis suburb, after a white police officer, Darren Wilson, shot black teenager Michael Brown in 2014.

A grand jury decided not to charge Wilson, and the US Justice Department declined to bring any charges of civil rights violations against him.

Brown’s death triggered sometimes violent protests in Ferguson and around the United States, fueled by police killings of unarmed black men in other cities.

It also helped spark debate about racial bias in the US justice system.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4893094/Third-day-protests-set-police-acquittal-St-Louis.html#ixzz4t4bVqEjQ

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The Pronk Pops Show 964, September 14, 2017, Story 1: Did President Trump Betray His Supporters By Promising Citizenship or Pathway To Citizenship For Illegal Alien “Dreamers”? — Big Lie Media and Lying Lunatic Left Losers (Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi ) Say They Have A Deal or Understanding and Rollover Republicans Support Trump (Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan) — No Wall and No Deportation For 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens Including “Dreamers” — You Were Warned Not To Trust Trump — Rollover Republicans Want Touch-back Amnesty For Illegal Aliens — Hell No — Illegal Aliens Must Go — Trump Has 48 Hours To Confirm or Deny Dreamer Citizenship Deal — Political Suicide Watch Countdown — Videos

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Story 1: Did President Trump Betray His Supporters By Promising Citizenship or Pathway To Citizenship For Illegal Alien “Dreamers”? — Big Lie Media and Lying Lunatic Left Losers (Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi ) Say They Have A Deal or Understanding and Rollover Republicans Support Trump (Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan) — No Wall and No Deportation For 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens Including “Dreamers” — You Were Warned Not To Trust Trump — Rollover Republicans Want Touch-back Amnesty For Illegal Aliens — Hell No — Illegal Aliens Must Go — Trump Has 48 Hours To Confirm or Deny! — Political Suicide Watch Countdown — Videos

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Trump’s die-hard supporters are fuming after an apparent about-face on ‘dreamers’

 September 14

Staunch conservative allies of President Trump have erupted in anger and incredulity after Democrats late Wednesday announced that the president had agreed to pursue a legislative deal that would protect thousands of young undocumented immigrants from deportation but not secure Trump’s signature campaign promise: building a massive wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Nearing midnight and into Thursday, social media accounts came alive as elected officials and activists on the right dashed off tweets and posts to share their shock.

And in between those posts, there was a flurry of fuming calls and text messages — a blaring political fire alarm among Trump’s die-hard supporters.

“The reality is sinking in that the Trump administration is on the precipice of turning into an establishment presidency,” Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign adviser, said in an interview early Thursday morning.

While the initial wave of fury could change direction as new details emerge, the torrent represented the first major break of Trump’s devoted base from the president on a core issue.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), one of the GOP’s biggest immigration hawks, issued a dramatic warning to the president after he scrolled through news reports.

“If AP is correct, Trump base is blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair,” King tweeted, referencing an Associated Press story on the bipartisan agreement.

e added, “No promise is credible.”

Conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham, who is friendly with Trump, mocked him for seeming to shelve the pledge that has animated his supporters since his campaign’s launch.

“Exactly what @realDonaldTrump campaigned on. Not,” Ingraham wrote on Twitter. She later added, “BUILD THE WALL! BUILD THE WALL! … or … maybe … not really.”

Trump tried to calm the conservative outrage early Thursday in a series of tweets that insisted the border wall “will continue to be built” and that no deal was hashed out with Democrats on the undocumented young immigrants known as “dreamers.”

“No deal was made last night on DACA. Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote,” Trump wrote, referring to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, an Obama-era program that has allowed 690,000 “dreamers” to work and go to school without fear of deportation.


Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) talks with President Trump in the Oval Office on Sept. 6. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

As he departed the White House on Thursday en route to Florida, which has been ravaged by Hurricane Irma, Trump told reporters that “the wall will come later … The wall is going to be built, it’ll be funded a little bit later.”

“We are working on a plan for DACA,” Trump said, calling the negotiations “fairly close” to concluding. Congressional Republican leaders, he added, were “very much on board” with his position.

Conservative polemicist Ann Coulter, who wrote a book titled “In Trump We Trust”, did not buy the president’s explanation.

“At this point, who DOESN’T want Trump impeached?” Coulter tweeted on Thursday morning.

Breitbart News, the conservative website now run by former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, quickly became a gathering place for aggrieved Trump backers. Readers congregated by the thousands in the comments section for an article with a bright red headline: “Amnesty Don.”

Days earlier, Bannon said on CBS’s “60 Minutes” that he was “worried about losing the House now because of this, because of DACA,” arguing that Republican voters would lack enthusiasm for Trump and the party if they felt it was drifting to the center on immigration.

“If this goes all the way down to its logical conclusion, in February and March it will be a civil war inside the Republican Party that will be every bit as vitriolic as 2013,” Bannon said, referencing the stalled fight that year over a comprehensive immigration bill. “And to me, doing that in the springboard of primary season for 2018 is extremely unwise.”

“This a betrayal of the highest order,” a Breitbart editor, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said in a phone call late Wednesday. “Donald Trump should be ashamed of himself. He wasn’t elected to do this.”

The editor was mostly echoed by the site’s readers:

“Put a fork in Trump. He is done.”

“PRIMARY TIME!!!!”

“What a HUGE let down.”

“I can reconcile Trump caving on virtually any issue, Amnesty and not building the wall are not one of them.”

Adding to the tumult in the deep of night: conflicting accounts over what exactly Trump and Democrats had brokered.

Aides to Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) asserted that Trump had agreed not to request wall funding as part of their pact to soon move legislation to help undocumented immigrants who are protected under the executive order.

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The Trump administration is rescinding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The Obama-era program granted two-year work permits to undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted at 10:21 p.m.: “While DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to.”

Eleven minutes later, Matt House, an adviser to Schumer, tweeted: “The President made clear he would continue pushing the wall, just not as part of this agreement.”

Sanders’s Twitter assurance, however, did little to calm the roiled voices, especially in the populist-nationalist wing of the Republican Party — a wing deeply linked to Trump.

“Deep State Wins, Huge Loss for #MAGA,” Fox Business anchor Lou Dobbs tweeted, alluding to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan.

Others who have supported Trump’s immigration positions took a wait-and-see approach amid the chaos.

“My sense is that he told Chuck and Nancy what they wanted to hear, and they heard what they wanted to hear. I think there could be some mischief-making on the part of Schumer since the White House is walking it back,” said Mark Krikorian, an immigration hard-liner who runs the Center for Immigration Studies, in an interview.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, tweeted Thursday that his efforts to work with Democrats on immigration policy were “undercut” by Trump’s moves and asked the White House staff to “brief me.”

Meanwhile, Fox News host Sean Hannity, who is in regular contact with Trump, directed his ire over the developments not at the president but at GOP leaders on Capitol Hill.

“Well Mitch GREAT JOB!” Hannity tweeted, referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “You failed so miserably with Healthcare and ‘excessive expectations’ now @POTUS has to deal with Dem Leaders!”

Hannity added later, “I blame R’s. They caused this. They wanted him to fail and now pushed him into arms of political suicide — IF TRUE.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/09/14/according-to-democrats-trump-has-done-an-about-face-on-dreamers-his-diehard-supporters-are-fuming/?utm_term=.773af8800f82

You asked if anyone wants to deport ‘dreamers,’ President Trump: Yes. Your base.

Commentary: 

Don’t buy into all of that rosy PR about DACA

Mickey KausSpecial to the Washington Post

Who wants to deport “Dreamers”? Not many people, it turns out. Even veteran immigration restrictionists seem willing to legalize this subset of immigrants in the country illegally if it is part of a package deal. That’s true even though a lot of what’s said about the DACA recipients is PR-style hooey.

For example, it’s often said — indeed, former President Barack Obama just recently said — that the approximately 800,000 of them were “brought to this country by their parents.” Well, many were. But that’s not required to qualify as a protected Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipient under the various plans, including Obama’s. You just have to have entered the country illegally before age 16. You could have decided to sneak in against your parents’ wishes. You’re still a “Dreamer!”

Likewise, we’re told DACA recipients are college-bound high school grads or military personnel. That’s an exaggeration. All that’s actually required is that the person enroll in a high school course or an “alternative,” including online courses and English-as-a-second-language classes. Under Obama’s now-suspended program, you didn’t even have to stay enrolled.

Compared with the general population, DACA recipients are not especially highly skilled. A recent survey for several pro-”Dreamer” groups, with participants recruited by those groups, found that while most DACA recipients are not in school, the vast majority work. But their median hourly wage is only $15.34, meaning that many are competing with hard-pressed lower-skilled Americans.

The DACA recipients you read about have typically been carefully selected for their appeal. They’re valedictorians. They’re first responders. They’re curing diseases. They root for the Yankees. They want to serve in the Army. If DACA recipients are the poster children for the much larger population of immigrants in the country illegally, these are the poster children for the poster children.

Still, taking the DACA recipients as a whole, not just the dreamiest of them, they represent an appealing group of would-be citizens. So why not show compassion and legalize them? Because, as is often the case, the pursuit of pure compassion comes with harmful side effects.

First, it would create perverse incentives. Can you imagine a stronger incentive for illegal immigration than the idea that if you sneak into the country your kids will get to be U.S. citizens? Sure, the protections don’t currently apply to recent entrants — under Obama’s plan, you had to have come before 2007. But those dates can be changed — Obama himself tried to do it once. And the rationale for rewarding those who arrive when young — that they’re here through “no fault of their own” and know only America, etc. — can apply on into the future, with no apparent stopping point. What about the poor kids who came in 2008? 2018? There’s a reason no country has a rule that if you sneak in as a minor, you’re a citizen. We’d be inviting the world.

Second, it would have knock-on effects. Under “chain migration” rules established in 1965 — ironically as a sop to conservatives, who foolishly thought that they’d boost European inflows — new citizens can bring in their siblings and adult children, who can bring in their siblings and in-laws, until whole villages have moved to the United States. That means today’s DACA recipients would quickly become millions of newcomers, who may well be low-skilled and who would almost certainly include the parents who brought them — the ones who, in theory, are at fault.

There are obvious, sensible ways to control these side effects. Pair any DACA recipient amnesty with a major upgrade to our system to prevent a new undocumented wave — such as a mandatory extension of E-Verify, the system that lets employers check on the legal status of hires. Curtail the right to bring in distant relatives. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., has proposed such a compromise — and it would be easy to compromise on his compromise, say by cutting back on chain migration only by the number of people that the new DREAM Act program adds to the citizenry. President Donald Trump could declare a one-time act of mercy for those who came here during the pre-Trump Era of Laxity, but make clear the game was changed for future entrants.

Why wouldn’t Democrats jump at such a deal? For years they’ve been touting “comprehensive immigration reform,” a mix of amnesty with stepped-up enforcement to prevent another surge of people entering the country illegally. But the DREAM Act is not comprehensive. It’s all amnesty, no prevention — let alone any compensating reduction in legal inflows. It’s hard to avoid the thought that Democrats (and Republicans who support the DREAM Act ) aren’t really interested in preventing illegal inflows. They’re not inclined to take Cotton up on his deal because they don’t think they have to.

If they win, we’ll get the compassion without dealing with its consequences. That would be especially unfortunate given the signs that Trump’s immigration crackdown, simply stepping up enforcement of current laws, is already helping to tighten the low end of the labor market and boost wages of low-skilled workers. News organizations are featuring stories from employers who aren’t getting their usual supply of workers in the U.S. illegally and are forced to take radical measures — such as raising wages. Proof of this connection, in the public mind, may be what terrifies the pro-immigration lobby the most.

The Washington Post

Mickey Kaus, the author of “The End of Equality,” writes at http://www.kausfiles.com.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-perspec-dreamers-daca-narrative-0914-story.html

 September 14

 

It seems like only about a week ago that the White House issued a statement from President Trump arguing that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program should be ended because, Trump argued, it encouraged illegal immigration and hurt salaries and job prospects for American citizens.

In fact, it was only about a week ago. On Sept. 5, Trump’s attorney general argued that the program — which allows some of those who immigrated to the country illegally as minors to live and work legally in the country — should be ended. The White House issued a statement from Trump bolstering Jeff Sessions’s arguments. The administration sent out talking points encouraging those in the program to use the six months before it ended to prepare to leave the country.

Even that afternoon, however, Trump seemed conflicted. A bit over a week later, his position on DACA has apparently flipped entirely.

Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!…..

…They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own – brought in by parents at young age. Plus BIG border security

There’s a question embedded in those tweets: Who could possibly want to toss these immigrants out of the country (except for the White House a week ago)? And the answer is: A large percentage of the people who elected Donald Trump.

Shortly before Election Day last year, American National Election Studies pollsters interviewed thousands of Americans about their views on a number of political issues, including the issues at the heart of DACA.

What should happen to those who immigrated illegally as children but who met the criteria of the program, the pollsters asked. Most Americans — including most Republicans and Trump voters — thought they should be allowed to stay and work in the country.

Nearly a fifth of Americans, though, thought that those immigrants should be “sent back where they came from” — a percentage powered by nearly 3-in-10 Republicans holding that position.

What’s most important to note in that graph are the last two numbers. Thirty-two percent of Trump general-election voters thought that DACA recipients should be deported. This isn’t a big surprise: Nearly a fifth of Trump voters in November thought that immigration was the most important issue facing the country, according to exit polls.

But notice that the 32 percent of Trump voters supporting deportation is significantly lower than the 40 percent of Trump primary voters who hold that position. Trump’s primary voters — the core base of support that powered him to the Republican nomination and then the presidency — is more supportive of deporting DACA recipients than anyone else.

We’ve made this argument before, but it bears repeating. A hard line on immigration was central to Trump’s candidacy. His comments about Mexican immigrants “bringing crime” and being “rapists” at his campaign launch spurred a public backlash that, in turn, drew a lot of attention to his campaign and his position on immigration — a position that appealed to a lot of conservative voters but which was anathema to mainstream Republicans. The controversy over immigration allowed him to cement the support of a big chunk of the Republican electorate — a chunk large enough to vault him into the lead in the crowded field and, eventually, push him to the nomination.

Marco Rubio would keep Barack Obama’s executive order on amnesty intact. See article. Cannot be President.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/11/02/marco-rubio-jorge-ramos-will-keep-obamas-first-executive-amnesty-place-legislative-amnesty-enacted/ 

Photo published for Marco Rubio To Jorge Ramos: I Will Keep Obama's First Executive Amnesty In Place Until Legislative...

Marco Rubio To Jorge Ramos: I Will Keep Obama’s First Executive Amnesty In Place Until Legislative…

“I think it will have to end at some point and I hope it will end because of some reform to the immigration laws,” Rubio said.

breitbart.com

Perhaps Trump is making a more nuanced case reflecting the evolution he himself seems to have gone through over the past week: Once people get to know these kids, to think about the issue in a broader context, they’ll change their minds. Given how fervent opposition to illegal immigration is among a number of conservatives, though, it seems unlikely that those views would shift simply because Trump’s position has. Trump once said that he “could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody” without losing any support. That argument has proven to be sound repeatedly. But it’s not clear if Trump could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and safely grant residency status to an immigrant here illegally.

Trump expressing bafflement that anyone could want to deport DACA recipients is, in a sense, like Trump wondering aloud if there were actually people who would have supported Trump in July 2015. Trump’s presidency was built on the people who Trump now speculates couldn’t possibly exist.

No wonder those people are now angry.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/09/14/you-asked-if-anyone-wants-to-deport-dreamers-president-trump-yes-your-base/?utm_term=.e16b3e26390d

Trump vows to work with Dems to legalize Dreamers, says ‘the wall will come later’

 – The Washington Times – Thursday, September 14, 2017

President Trump said Thursday that he is working with Democratic leaders on a plan to legalize illegal immigrant Dreamers, and said he won’t insist on funding his border wall as part of it, saying that “will come later.”

The president also said GOP leaders in Congress are “very much on board” the deal he’s working with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The two Democrats emerged from a working dinner at the White House Wednesday to say they’d all reached a framework, which would speed a bill to grant Dreamers full legal status, coupled with more border security. But they said the president agreed the wall wouldn’t be part of that security.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders disputed that version later Wednesday, but Mr. Trump on Thursday agreed with the Democrats’ reading, saying that the wall will not be part of the deal.

“The wall will come later, we’re right now renovating large sections of wall, massive sections, making it brand new,” he said as he departed the White House en route to Florida, where he was to look at hurricane recovery efforts.

Mr. Trump said he will insist on “massive border controls” as part of the Dreamer bill.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/sep/14/donald-trump-vows-work-democrats-legalize-dreamers/

‘If we don’t have the wall, we’re doing nothing’: Trump says there WILL eventually be a border wall and there won’t be amnesty for Dreamers

  • Democrats Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi claimed after a dinner at the White House with the president that a DACA deal had been done
  • They said  that Trump agreed to enshrine protections for 800,000 illegal immigrants, aka Dreamers, in a border security package ‘excluding the wall’ 
  • White House press secretary Sarah Sanders later said that there was no agreement on the wall during the meeting
  • President Trump said the same thing in a string of tweets on Thursday morning
  • ‘No deal was made last night on DACA. Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote,’ he said 
  • Follow up message: ‘The WALL, which is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls, will continue to be built’
  • Trump again pushed Congress to pass legislation protecting the immigrants – but said he wanted ‘BIG border security’
  • As he left the White House, Trump admitted he was ‘fairly close’ to reaching a deal with Democrats that excluded the wall and GOP leader are ‘on board’
  • Pelosi and Schumer released a statement around the same time saying the president’s tweets were not inconsistent with what they said 
  • When he landed in Florida Trump clarified that there will be a wall, just later, when he’s ready for it – and there won’t be amnesty for illegal immigrants 

President Donald Trump says he expects funding for his border wall to pass when he’s ready for it or Republicans will become the obstructionists in Congress.

‘Ultimately, we have to have the wall. If we don’t have the wall, we’re doing nothing,’ Trump reporters from the tarmac when he landed in Florida for a briefing on Hurricane Irma this morning.

The president also denied that he was giving ‘amnesty’ to illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children as part of an agreement he’s working on with Democrats.

‘We’re not looking at citizenship. We’re not looking at amnesty. We’re looking at allowing people to stay here. We’re working with everybody, Republican, we’re working with Democrat,’ Trump stated.

President Donald Trump says he expects funding for his border wall to pass when he's ready for it or Republicans will become the obstructionists in Congress. He talked to reporters from the tarmac in Florida

President Donald Trump says he expects funding for his border wall to pass when he’s ready for it or Republicans will become the obstructionists in Congress. He talked to reporters from the tarmac in Florida

His claim about citizenship directly contradicts what the leading House Democrat is saying about a conversation that took place over dinner last night at the White House.

Nancy Pelosi said at a news conference this morning Democrats and Trump have an ‘understanding’ and that people under the DACA program would get a path to citizenship. 

‘It’s in the DACA bill,’ Pelosi said. ‘The path to citizenship … they get way at the end of the line of people who’ve been here fully documented…Just in terms of timing it’s a long way down the road,’ she said.

The president admitted earlier on Thursday as he left the White House for the daylong trip that he discussed a deal with Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer to protect illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors from deportation and fund some border security enhancements but not a wall.

Citizenship did not come up in the original dispute. The part of the conversation the White House was quibbling with was about the border wall.

After claiming in early morning tweets that ‘no deal’ had been reached, Trump told reporters awaiting his departure that he was ‘fairly close’ to hammering out an agreement that mirrors the one his White House smacked down last night as a false negotiation.

‘We’re working on a plan for DACA. People want to see that happen. You have 800,000 young people brought here, no fault of their own, so we’re working on a plan, we will see how it works out. But we are going to get massive border security as part of that, and I think something can happen,’ Trump said over the roar of Marine One.

The president explicitly said, ‘The wall will come later.’ He also claimed that House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are ‘on board’ with the DACA deal he hammered out last night at a private meeting with Democrats.

‘The wall is going to be built, and it will be funded later,’ he asserted.

Trump admitted Thursday as he left the White House for a daylong trip to Florida that he discussed a deal with Democrats to protect illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors from deportation and fund some border security enhancements but not a wall

Trump admitted Thursday as he left the White House for a daylong trip to Florida that he discussed a deal with Democrats to protect illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors from deportation and fund some border security enhancements but not a wall

Trump explained in Florida that funding for the wall would not be a part of the immigration and border security package that’s in the works on Capitol Hill. It’s part of a separate set of budget and spending priorities his administration sent to Congress.

The president said he anticipates that a DACA deal will come to fruition in the next six months, although there is not one now, clarifying a disagreement that erupted last night and has sucked in all of Washington.

After Democratic leaders sent out a statement last night saying they ‘agreed’ with the president on a border package that doesn’t include the wall, news outlets reported that Trump struck a deal with the opposing party and caved on one of his top campaign priorities.

The statement did not say there was a ‘deal.’ It referred to an agreement, though, creating mass confusion about what had actually happened. The White House added to the chaos by claiming in a tweet that Trump did not agree to exclude funding for the border wall from a DACA and border security package.

Except that he did, as acknowledge himself today.

‘It doesn’t have to be here,’ he said of the DACA and border security package, ‘but they can’t obstruct the wall if its in a budget or anything else.’

 The president indicated then that Pelosi and Schumer’s original statement was not inaccurate, it had just been misinterpreted. 

‘There was no deal and they didn’t say they had a deal…they didn’t say that at all,’ he stated.

A debacle for both sides, the DACA ‘deal’ became a major distraction for Trump as he prepared to leave Washington for Florida to survey the damage caused by Hurricane Irma.

Trump said in this early morning tweets that ‘massive border security’ adjustments would have to be on the table for him to make a handshake agreement with Democrats.

‘No deal was made last night on DACA. Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote,’ he said in back to back messages. ‘The WALL, which is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls, will continue to be built.’

Schumer, the top Senate Democrat, and Pelosi, the head Democrat in the House, said in a joint statement at roughly the same time as Trump was speaking to the press at the White House that his tweets were not inconsistent with what they’d claimed in the Wednesday evening statement.

They said last night after a White House dinner that an agreement had been brokered that would protect the 800,000 immigrants who benefited from former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

Trump had put the program on a six-month sunset and urged Congress to pass legislation in that window to keep Dreamers, as they are called, in the U.S. permanently.

The Democratic statement said that Trump agreed to set aside the border wall as part of an agreement to keep Dreamers from being deported.

Hours later, as he spoke to reporters as the White House, Trump seemed to confirm what Pelosi and Schumer had said.

‘We want to get massive border security, and I think that both Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, I think they agree with it,’ Trump posited. ‘So we met last night, with, as you know, Schumer, Pelosi and a whole group. I think we’re fairly close but we have to get massive border security. ‘

Trump said he’d spoken to McConnell and Ryan since, and they had no qualms with the package that’s under development.

Oh I think he’s on board, yeah, Mitch is on board. Paul Ryan’s on board. We all feel, look, 92 percent of the people agree on DACA, but we want, is we want very, very powerful border security,’ Trump said.

President Donald Trump says he did not make a deal with Democratic leaders to protect illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors from deportation and fund some border security enhancements but not a wall 

President Donald Trump says he did not make a deal with Democratic leaders to protect illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors from deportation and fund some border security enhancements but not a wall

Schumer and Pelosi more or less agreed with Trump’s take on the meeting in a joint statement that hit inboxes as he was talking.

‘President Trump’s Tweets are not inconsistent with the agreement reached last night. As we said last night, there was no final deal, but there was agreement on the following:

‘We agreed that the President would support enshrining DACA protections into law, and encourage the House and Senate to act.

‘What remains to be negotiated are the details of border security, with a mutual goal of finalizing all details as soon as possible. While both sides agreed that the wall would not be any part of this agreement, the President made clear he intends to pursue it at a later time, and we made clear we would continue to oppose it.

‘Both sides agreed that the White House and the Democratic leaders would work out a border security package. Possible proposals were discussed including new technology, drones, air support, sensor equipment, rebuilding roads along the border and the bipartisan McCaul-Thompson bill.’

Pelosi vouched later at a press conference in the Capitol for the president’s overall sincerity, as well.

‘When we’re talking about this legislation to protect the DREAMers, yes I do trust that the president is sincere in understanding that the public supports that overwhelmingly, the public supports not sending these young people back,’ Pelosi said.

It’s the second time in two weeks that Trump has met with Pelosi and Schumer to talk about a deal with the potential to anger conservatives. The first time he met with them Ryan and McConnell were present. The meeting ended with a firm agreement to move forward with a three-month extension of government funding and the debt limit.

Importantly, the deal provided immediate aid to areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.

A joint Democratic statement that hit inboxes at 9:45 pm last night that began the brouhaha over DACA and the border wall said Pelosi and Schumer had a ‘very productive meeting at the White House with the President’ once again.

‘The discussion focused on DACA. We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides.’

At 10:21 pm, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said they were mistaken.

‘While DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to,’ she tweeted.

Trump followed up in a series of tweets this morning that suggested the joint statement was wrong, too. He defended the Dreamers again – yet said ‘no deal’ had been made.

‘Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!’ he said. ‘They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own – brought in by parents at young age. Plus BIG border security.’

The DACA program provides two-year work permits and protection from deportation to its 800,000 recipients.

Trump said he was ending the program this month and giving Congress six months to come up with a legislative fix before DACA paperwork begins to expire.

Conservatives were quick to point out that previous amnesty deals did not end with immigration overhaul like the one Trump has been pushing.

‘Reagan led with Amnesty, 1986. Bush 43 led with Amnesty ’06, Obama led with Amnesty ’13. All failed so…Trump leads with DACA Amnesty 2017,’ Iowa Rep. Steve King tweeted.

A joint Democratic statement said that Trump agreed to set aside the border wall as part of the agreement. The White House spokeswoman immediately slapped the claim down

A joint Democratic statement said that Trump agreed to set aside the border wall as part of the agreement. The White House spokeswoman immediately slapped the claim down

The deal announced by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (picturd on Wednesday) following a White House dinner would enshrine protections for the nearly 800,000 immigrants brought illegally to this country as children

The deal announced by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (picturd on Wednesday) following a White House dinner would enshrine protections for the nearly 800,000 immigrants brought illegally to this country as children

The White House initially said the president had had 'a constructive working dinner' with Schumer (pictured), Pelosi and administration officials

The White House had initially claimed that the president had had ‘a constructive working dinner’ with Schumer, Pelosi and administration officials ‘to discuss policy and legislative priorities’ such as DACA.

‘This is a positive step toward the President’s strong commitment to bipartisan solutions for the issues most important to all Americans,’ the White House said.

During a White House meeting earlier in the day with Republicans and Democrats, Trump brought DACA back to the forefront of the discussion.

‘We don’t want to forget DACA,’ Trump said. ‘We want to see if we can do something in a bipartisan fashion so that we can solve the DACA problem and other immigration problems.’

Trump has called Schumer a ‘clown’ and a ‘loser’ in the past, but has turned to the fellow New Yorker more recently to help break through congressional gridlock.

‘More and more we’re trying to work things out together,’ Trump said Wednesday. ‘If you look at some of the greatest legislation ever passed, it was done on a bipartisan manner. And so that’s what we’re going to give a shot.’

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said earlier Wednesday that Trump was 'committed to the wall. It doesn't have to be tied to DACA but its important and he will get it done'

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said earlier Wednesday that Trump was ‘committed to the wall. It doesn’t have to be tied to DACA but its important and he will get it done’

Trump (pictured on Wednesday) ended the DACA program earlier this month and had given Congress six months to come up with a legislative fix before the statuses of the so-called 'Dreamers' begin to expire

Trump (pictured on Wednesday) ended the DACA program earlier this month and had given Congress six months to come up with a legislative fix before the statuses of the so-called ‘Dreamers’ begin to expire

Sanders said Wednesday that Trump was ‘committed to the wall’ while acknowledging that ‘it doesn’t have to be tied to DACA.’

‘But it’s important and he will get it done,’ she said.

Ryan, the House speaker, told AP Wednesday during an interview that deporting Dreamers was ‘not in our nation’s interest.’ Trump was right to include a six-month sunset in his DACA termination orders.

‘I wanted him to give us time. I didn’t want this to be rescinded on Day One and create chaos,’ Ryan said. Congress how has time to ‘come up with the right kind of consensus and compromise to fix this problem.’

At a news conference on Thursday afternoon, Ryan reiterated his position on a DACA fix.

McConnell said in a paper statement that he and his colleagues ‘look forward’ to Trump’s proposal.

‘As Congress debates the best ways to address illegal immigration through strong border security and interior enforcement, DACA should be part of those discussions. We look forward to receiving the Trump administration’s legislative proposal as we continue our work on these issue,’ the senator said.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4882526/Trump-agrees-deal-Democrats-protect-immigrants.html#ixzz4sgM3IU7l

 

Cruz Is Far Tougher On Illegal Aliens Than Trump, Who Supports “Touchback” Amnesty

In the 2016 GOP primaries, Donald Trump has positioned himself as a hardliner on immigration. The general consensus is that no one is tougher on illegal aliens than Donald Trump. But is that actually the case?

While Trump would work diligently to deport all illegal immigrants-he has even proposed creating a “deportation force”-most would be surprised to learn that he would welcome the non-violent, “good” ones back in on an expedited basis. An expedited basis means line-cutting, and line-cutting means amnesty.

Trump’s specific plan-deportation before amnesty-is known as “touchback” amnesty, which was first proposed in 2007 by some members of Congress but failed after strong opposition from conservatives.

Marc Thiessen has written about it here, and also explains it below:

“My position is very simple. I oppose amnesty. I oppose citizenship. I oppose legalization … Today, tomorrow, forever. I believe in the rule of law.”

Cruz recently made note of the difference between his position and Trump’s:

Some Trump supporters will say that Cruz flip-flopped on a legal status-although Cruz insists that he was inserting a poison pill into the Gang of Eight bill.

If we are going to consider past positions, we can’t forget that Trump said in 2012 that Mitt Romney’s plan for self-deportation was “maniacal” and “mean-spirited.” And in 2013, Trump told a group of DREAMers that they had “convinced” him.

Ultimately voters will have to ask themselves whose immigration policy they prefer, and which candidate they trust.

https://www.redstate.com/diary/southernconstitutionalist/2016/01/11/cruz-far-tougher-illegal-aliens-trump-supports-touchback-amnesty/

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 962, September 12, 2017, Story 1: President Trump’s Inspiring Speech Commemorating September 11, 2001 — Videos — Story 2: U.S. Median Household Income Increased in 2016 to $59,039 — After 20 Year Declining Trend in Real Median Income — United States Ranks 17 in Economic Freedom — Videos — Story 3: Trump’s Show and Tell Tour — All Show No Tell — No Sale — Fair Tax Less Better Than Any Democratic or Republican or Trump Tax Plan: Replace All Federal Taxes With A Single Broad Based Consumption Tax With A Generous Tax Prebate of $1,000 Per Month — Videos

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Story 2: U.S. Median Household Income Increased in 2016 to $59,039 — After 20 Year Declining Trend in Real Median Income — United States Ranks 17 in Economic Freedom — Videos —

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Middle-class income hit highest level on record in 2016, Census Bureau reports

 September 12 at 11:10 AM

Derek Mathis, 23, of Hazelwood, Pa., works on a job site May 1 in Pittsburgh. (Jeff Swensen for The Washington Post)

America’s middle class had its highest-earning year ever in 2016, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday.

Median household income in America was $59,039 last year, surpassing the previous record of $58,655 set in 1999, the Census Bureau said. The figure is adjusted for inflation and is one of the most closely watched indicators of how the middle class is faring financially, as the Census surveys nearly 100,000 homes.

The Census said the uptick in earnings occurred because so many people found full-time jobs — or better-paying jobs — last year.

America’s poverty rate fell to 12.7 percent, the lowest since 2007, the year before the financial crisis hit. The percent of Americans without health insurance for the entire year also dropped in 2016 to just 8.8 percent, the lowest ever, largely thanks to expanding coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

“Today’s Census report is unambiguously good news: On income, on poverty and on health insurance,” said Bob Greenstein, founder and president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think tank.

Economists hailed the news as evidence the recovery is finally taking hold after years of frustration for the middle class, which watched the stock market soar while the average American’s income barely budged. Donald Trump tapped into this anger in the 2016 campaign, often saying people were no better off economically than they were in 2000.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/09/12/middle-class-income-hit-highest-level-on-record-in-2016-census-bureau-reports/?deferJs=true&outputType=default-article&utm_term=.e2317d2a1f1c

Country Rankings

overall score 75.1
world rank 17
RULE OF LAW

Property Rights81.3

Government Integrity78.1

Judicial Effectiveness75.1

GOVERNMENT SIZE

Government Spending 55.9

Tax Burden 65.3

Fiscal Health 53.3

REGULATORY EFFICIENCY

Business Freedom 84.4

Labor Freedom 91.0

Monetary Freedom 80.1

OPEN MARKETS

Trade Freedom 87.1

Investment Freedom 80.0

Financial Freedom 70.0

Free

rank country overall change rank country overall change
1 Hong Kong 89.8 +1.2 4 Switzerland 81.5 +0.5
2 Singapore 88.6 +0.8 5 Australia 81.0 +0.7
3 New Zealand 83.7 +2.1

Mostly Free

rank country overall change rank country overall change
6 Estonia 79.1 +1.9 21 Mauritius 74.7 0.0
7 Canada 78.5 +0.5 22 Iceland 74.4 +1.1
8 United Arab Emirates 76.9 +4.3 23 South Korea 74.3 +2.6
9 Ireland 76.7 -0.6 24 Finland 74.0 +1.4
10 Chile 76.5 -1.2 25 Norway 74.0 +3.2
11 Taiwan 76.5 +1.8 26 Germany 73.8 -0.6
12 United Kingdom 76.4 0.0 27 Malaysia 73.8 +2.3
13 Georgia 76.0 +3.4 28 Czech Republic 73.3 +0.1
14 Luxembourg 75.9 +2.0 29 Qatar 73.1 +2.4
15 The Netherlands 75.8 +1.2 30 Austria 72.3 +0.6
16 Lithuania 75.8 +0.6 31 Macedonia 70.7 +3.2
17 United States 75.1 -0.3 32 Macau 70.7 +0.6
18 Denmark 75.1 -0.2 33 Armenia 70.3 +3.3
19 Sweden 74.9 +2.9 34 Botswana 70.1 -1.0
20 Latvia 74.8 +4.4

Moderately Free

rank country overall change rank country overall change
35 Brunei Darussalam 69.8 +2.5 64 Saudi Arabia 64.4 +2.3
36 Israel 69.7 -1.0 65 Albania 64.4 -1.5
37 Colombia 69.7 -1.1 66 El Salvador 64.1 -1.0
38 Uruguay 69.7 +0.9 67 Dominica 63.7 -3.3
39 Romania 69.7 +4.1 68 Azerbaijan 63.6 +3.4
40 Japan 69.6 -3.5 69 Spain 63.6 -4.9
41 Jamaica 69.5 +2.0 70 Mexico 63.6 -1.6
42 Kazakhstan 69.0 +5.4 71 Fiji 63.4 +4.6
43 Peru 68.9 +1.5 72 France 63.3 +1.0
44 Bahrain 68.5 -5.8 73 Tonga 63.0 +3.4
45 Poland 68.3 -1.0 74 Guatemala 63.0 +1.2
46 Kosovo 67.9 +6.5 75 Côte d’Ivoire 63.0 +3.0
47 Bulgaria 67.9 +2.0 76 Dominican Republic 62.9 +1.9
48 Cyprus 67.9 -0.8 77 Portugal 62.6 -2.5
49 Belgium 67.8 -0.6 78 Namibia 62.5 +0.6
50 Malta 67.7 +1.0 79 Italy 62.5 +1.3
51 Rwanda 67.6 +4.5 80 Paraguay 62.4 +0.9
52 Vanuatu 67.4 +6.6 81 South Africa 62.3 +0.4
53 Jordan 66.7 -1.6 82 Oman 62.1 -5.0
54 Panama 66.3 +1.5 83 Montenegro 62.0 -2.9
55 Thailand 66.2 +2.3 84 Indonesia 61.9 +2.5
56 Hungary 65.8 -0.2 85 Seychelles 61.8 -0.4
57 Slovakia 65.7 -0.9 86 Morocco 61.5 +0.2
58 Philippines 65.6 +2.5 87 Trinidad and Tobago 61.2 -1.7
59 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 65.2 -3.6 88 Swaziland 61.1 +1.4
60 Turkey 65.2 +3.1 89 Kyrgyz Republic 61.1 +1.5
61 Kuwait 65.1 +2.4 90 The Bahamas 61.1 -9.8
62 Saint Lucia 65.0 -5.0 91 Uganda 60.9 +1.6
63 Costa Rica 65.0 -2.4 92 Bosnia and Herzegovina 60.2 +1.6

Mostly Unfree

rank country overall change rank country overall change
93 Burkina Faso 59.6 +0.5 126 Solomon Islands 55.0 +8.0
94 Cambodia 59.5 +1.6 127 Greece 55.0 +1.8
95 Croatia 59.4 +0.3 128 Bangladesh 55.0 +1.7
96 Benin 59.2 -0.1 129 Mongolia 54.8 -4.6
97 Slovenia 59.2 -1.4 130 Barbados 54.5 -13.8
98 Nicaragua 59.2 +0.6 131 Mauritania 54.4 -0.4
99 Serbia 58.9 -3.2 132 Micronesia 54.1 +2.3
100 Honduras 58.8 +1.1 133 Laos 54.0 +4.2
101 Belize 58.6 +1.2 134 Lesotho 53.9 +3.3
102 Mali 58.6 +2.1 135 Kenya 53.5 -4.0
103 Gabon 58.6 -0.4 136 The Gambia 53.4 -3.7
104 Belarus 58.6 +9.8 137 Lebanon 53.3 -6.2
105 Tanzania 58.6 +0.1 138 Togo 53.2 -0.4
106 Guyana 58.5 +3.1 139 Burundi 53.2 -0.7
107 Bhutan 58.4 -1.1 140 Brazil 52.9 -3.6
108 Samoa 58.4 -5.1 141 Pakistan 52.8 -3.1
109 Tajikistan 58.2 +6.9 142 Ethiopia 52.7 +1.2
110 Moldova 58.0 +0.6 143 India 52.6 -3.6
111 China 57.4 +5.4 144 Egypt 52.6 -3.4
112 Sri Lanka 57.4 -2.5 145 Sierra Leone 52.6 +0.3
113 Madagascar 57.4 -3.7 146 Burma 52.5 +3.8
114 Russia 57.1 +6.5 147 Vietnam 52.4 -1.6
115 Nigeria 57.1 -0.4 148 Uzbekistan 52.3 +6.3
116 Cabo Verde 56.9 -9.6 149 Malawi 52.2 +0.4
117 Democratic Republic of Congo 56.4 +10.0 150 Cameroon 51.8 -2.4
118 Ghana 56.2 -6.8 151 Central African Republic 51.8 +6.6
119 Guinea-Bissau 56.1 +4.3 152 Papua New Guinea 50.9 -2.3
120 Senegal 55.9 -2.2 153 Kiribati 50.9 +4.7
121 Comoros 55.8 +3.4 154 Niger 50.8 -3.5
122 Zambia 55.8 -3.0 155 Iran 50.5 +7.0
123 Tunisia 55.7 -1.9 156 Argentina 50.4 +6.6
124 São Tomé and Príncipe 55.4 -1.3 157 Maldives 50.3 -3.6
125 Nepal 55.1 +4.2

Repressed

rank country overall change rank country overall change
158 Mozambique 49.9 -3.3 170 Turkmenistan 47.4 +5.5
159 Haiti 49.6 -1.7 171 Djibouti 46.7 -9.3
160 Ecuador 49.3 +0.7 172 Algeria 46.5 -3.6
161 Liberia 49.1 -3.1 173 Timor-Leste 46.3 +0.5
162 Chad 49.0 +2.7 174 Equatorial Guinea 45.0 +1.3
163 Afghanistan 48.9 N/A 175 Zimbabwe 44.0 +5.8
164 Sudan 48.8 N/A 176 Eritrea 42.2 -0.5
165 Angola 48.5 -0.4 177 Republic of Congo 40.0 -2.8
166 Ukraine 48.1 +1.3 178 Cuba 33.9 +4.1
167 Suriname 48.0 -5.8 179 Venezuela 27.0 -6.7
168 Bolivia 47.7 +0.3 180 North Korea 4.9 +2.6
169 Guinea 47.6 -5.7

Not Ranked

rank country overall change rank country overall change
N/A Iraq N/A N/A N/A Somalia N/A N/A
N/A Libya N/A N/A N/A Syria N/A N/A
N/A Liechtenstein N/A N/A N/A Yemen N/A N/A

http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking

Story 3: Trump’s Show and Tell Tour — All Show No Tell — No Sale — Fair Tax Less Better Than Any Democratic or Republican or Trump Tax Plan: Replace All Federal Taxes With A Single Broad Based Progressive Consumption Tax With A Generous Tax Prebate of $1,000 Per Month for A Total of $12,000 — Videos

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Trump Plans Aggressive Road Show to Sell Tax Overhaul

 
  • White House retools communications operation for tax battle
  • President may visit as many as 13 states in next seven weeks

President Donald Trump plans an aggressive travel schedule, taking him to as many as 13 states over the next seven weeks, to sell the idea of a tax overhaul as the administration tries to avoid repeating the communications failures of its attempt to repeal Obamacare.

With a make-or-break legislative battle looming on taxes, the White House is moving to clean up a disorganized communications operation, said four people familiar with the effort.

The strategy was revealed by top advisers to about 40 allies during a closed-door meeting last week. It calls for the president to visit states he won where a Democratic senator is up for re-election next year, including Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Montana, Ohio and Pennsylvania, said three people who attended. The people asked not to be identified discussing internal strategy.

Follow the Trump Administration’s Every Move

In some instances, cabinet members will be deployed behind Trump in a “second wave” after the president’s speeches and town hall meetings to amplify his message.

White House officials held the private meeting on Sept. 8 to share details on its political strategy for tax legislation with allies who can deliver the message on cable news and in local media interviews. Separately, they’re prepping economists such as Arthur Laffer, Lawrence Kudlow and Stephen Moore, who served as informal advisers to Trump’s campaign.

Top communications staffers were at the meeting, including White House communications director Hope Hicks, counselor Kellyanne Conway, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Cliff Sims, a messaging strategist.

Sales Campaign

The administration plans to mount the full-bore sales campaign even though congressional Republicans and the White House haven’t yet determined key elements of the plan, including tax brackets for individuals, a corporate tax rate, what popular tax advantages will be eliminated or even whether the changes will be permanent or temporary. It’s unclear when additional details will emerge.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin revealed one bit of the administration’s planning Tuesday at CNBC’s Delivering Alpha conference in New York, saying negotiators are considering making new provisions of tax law retroactive to the start of the year. That, he said, “would be a big boon for the economy.”

White House officials have concluded that, even without a specific tax plan, Trump can build support early by making a broad case for lower rates, a simpler tax code and more incentives for multinational corporations based in the U.S. to bring home profits stashed overseas.

Trump has already tested this strategy with trips to two states, Missouri and North Dakota, that he carried in 2016 and that are represented by a Democratic senator facing re-election in 2018. He also plans to make time for another stop next week, even though he is scheduled to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York Sept. 19 through 21.

A lack of planning and coordination hampered the White House’s effort on health care and other legislative fights, said several people tapped by the White House to serve as surrogates on tax reform.

‘Vastly Different’

“It didn’t put them on the best footing to be successful,” said James Davis, executive vice president of Freedom Partners, an advocacy group partially funded by the Koch brothers. “This is vastly different the level of engagement than what we saw in health care.”

“One of the things we can learn from the last battle was that in many cases we did not get all of our allies on board with the path forward, so therefore the Republican base was splintered,” White House legislative director Marc Short told reporters Tuesday at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

“Team of Teams,” a management book by former general-turned-business consultant Stanley McChrystal, is serving as the template for retooling the White House communications operation. The White House is trying to overcome high staff turnover and past rivalries, with a new emphasis on good communication between various administration teams and with congressional leaders’ offices.

Hicks, who has been serving as interim communications director, will now lead the communications team on a permanent basis, two White House officials said. She’s viewed by staff as a strong leader because she is one of the president’s most trusted aides and therefore secure in her standing.

Fox News analyst Mercedes Schlapp is joining the team to help with long-term planning. Treasury Department spokesman Tony Sayegh has been detailed to the White House to help coordinate “all the moving pieces,” one official said. Shahira Knight, a tax aide with the National Economic Council, is interfacing with the communications team, speechwriters and the Hill. Steven Cheung will move to the press team to do rapid response.

Target States

The White House legislative affairs and political affairs teams are choosing the target states for Trump to visit. They’ve also put Republican-leaning states with GOP senators on the schedule to help Republicans stay motivated, one of the people familiar with the plan said.

“It’s only about the votes,” said Bryan Lanza, who was a deputy communications director for the Trump campaign.

In an effort to maximize the impact with local members of Congress, the administration is planning the president’s visits with an eye toward gaining additional attention in the run-up and afterward.

Although details of the tax plan remain fluid, the White House is planning for future speeches to highlight specific components of the proposed legislation. Those addresses will be drafted with input from the president himself, as part of a joint effort between top aide Stephen Miller’s speech-writing staff, the communications team, and economic advisers.

North Dakota

The White House plans to turn to prominent corporate chief executives and members of the public to reinforce Trump’s case for a tax overhaul through media interviews.

Administration officials were pleased with a Trump speech in North Dakota that highlighted the potential impact of a tax overhaul on Julie Ellingson, a local fourth-generation rancher who feared an estate tax might encourage her heirs to sell the farm. The anecdote generated additional coverage as local media interviewed Ellingson afterward.

Trump is expected to mix up the format at some of his events, hosting town halls and other more interactive sessions.

— With assistance by Saleha Mohsin

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-12/trump-is-said-to-plan-aggressive-road-show-to-sell-tax-overhaul-j7hb4fhi

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The Pronk Pops Show 957, September 5, 2017, Story 1: Attorney General Sessions Announced The Rescinding of  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) But Gives Congress Six Months To Enact Law — Deport and Remove All 30-60 Million Estimated Illegal Aliens In The United States — Enforce U.S. Immigration Laws — No Citizenship For Illegal Aliens — Videos –Story 2: Kim’s Bada Boom — Hydrogen Bomb Test — China Enabled North Korea’s Nuclear and Missile Weapon Programs — China Should Dismantle North Korea’s Nuclear and Missile Programs —  Otherwise on 1 January 2019 U.S. Government Should Impose A Total U.S. Embargo On All Chinese Imports To U.S. and Ban All Exports From U.S. To China Until North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons and Missile Weapon Programs Are Completely Dismantled — Videos –Story 3: Preparing For Hurricane Irma — Category 5 Destroyer and Killer Hurricane With Sustained Winds Over 180 Miles Per Hour and  Wind Gusts Exceeding 200 Miles Per Hour — Will It Hit Florida? — Videos

Posted on September 6, 2017. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Elections, Employment, Government Spending, History, House of Representatives, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Language, Legal Immigration, Media, National Interest, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Senate, United States of America, Videos, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 957, September 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 956, August 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 955, August 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 954, August 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 953, August 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 952, August 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 951, August 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 950, August 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 949, August 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 948, August 21, 2017

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