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Story 1: President Trump’s Historic Short Step Into North Korea — Peace Maker Trump Building Trust To Stop Nuclear Proliferation — Negotiation Restarted — Videos —

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Trump and Kim Jong-un meet at Korean demilitarised zone – BBC News

Published on Jul 1, 2019

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump met in Panmunjom, the so-called truce village inside the border zone, where negotiations between South and North Korea have often taken place. President Trump said: “Stepping across that line was a great honour”.

Trump is first sitting US president to step foot in North Korea

Trump’s historic moment in North Korea earns Democrat rage

Tim Ryan calls Trump’s historic DMZ visit an ‘appeasement tour’

FULL COVERAGE: [S. Korea-U.S Summit] Moon, Trump arrive at DMZ between two Koreas

What does Trump’s meeting with Kim mean for nuclear talks?

Obama warns North Korea against missile test

Trump takes historic walk from the DMZ into North Korean territory as he meets Kim Jong-un, who hails him as ‘courageous’ – and the president invites dictator to visit the U.S. and announces resumption of ‘concrete negotiations’

  • The president visited the DMZ on Sunday 
  • He shook hands with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un
  • He walked across the demarcation line into North Korean territory 
  • Trump repeatedly touted a potential meeting starting Saturday
  • He stoked the drama saying nothing was ‘final’ until hours before it occurred 
  • Become the first U.S. president to step inside North Korea 
  • North Korea said at first said it was waiting for a formal invitation to meet Trump
  • It then called the idea an ‘interesting suggestion’ 
  • Trump and Kim ended up meeting for 50 minutes inside ‘Peace House’
  • No immediate sanctions relief 
  • Mentioned a Kim visit to the U.S. but with no date 
  • Trump tweeted on Saturday morning inviting Kim to ‘shake his hand and say Hello(?)!’  
  • South Korean leader said he could ‘truly feel the flower of peace was blossoming on the Korean peninsula’
  • Trump said he knows ‘for a fact’ DPRK’s main negotiator is alive 
  • Said he hopes the rest of the negotiators are too 

President Donald Trump has taken the historic walk from the DMZ into North Korean territory in order to embark on a meeting with dictator Kim Jong-un.

Shortly after the pair greeted each other with a handshake Sunday, Trump was hailed as ‘courageous’ by the North Korean leader. Trump in turn praised the ‘power’ of Kim’s voice – then criticized his predecessor and faulted the media for down-playing his achievements.

‘This has a lot of significance because it means that we want to bring an end to the unpleasant past and try to create a new future, so it’s a very courageous and determined act,’ Kim told Trump through a translator after smiling during their initial handshake greeting.

‘You’re the first U.S. president to cross this line,’ Kim told him, moments after Trump became the first American president to venture into North Korean territory. Trump announced after the meeting that in the ‘near future’ the two sides would be able to ‘get some good results after concrete negotiations’ – but with nothing tangible other than the commitment to resume talks.

During the key moment – filmed and photographed from both directions – Trump slowly approached the boundary, as Kim strode toward him, arms moving. The two leaders shook hands at 3:45 pm local time above the low concrete barrier that marks the line of demarcation.

'HISTORIC': President Trump stood waiting for Kim Jong Un ahead of their meeting today, Jong Un was seen marching towards Mr Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Panmunjom

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Panmunjom

Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump shake hands during a meeting on the south side of the Military Demarcation Line

Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump shake hands during a meeting on the south side of the Military Demarcation Line

‘Good to see you again,’ Kim told his counterpart,’ whom he last saw during a summit in Hanoi that ended without agreement. ‘I never expected to meet you at this place.’

CNN reported that Trump on the spot invited Kim to visit the U.S. Trump later confirmed that, although with statements that were conflicting. He said the visit would happen ‘at the right time,’ but also said it could occur ‘any time’ Kim wanted.

‘I said you, know what, at the right time, you’re going to come over. We’re going to go over there,’ Trump told reporters after his meeting, held along the 38th parallel, which marks the dividing line set at the time of the 1953 Korean War Armistice.

‘I said any time he wants to do it,’ Trump said soon afterward. The president said of a web of sanctions imposed on the north: ‘I’m looking forward to taking them off,’ but that they remain in place. ‘At some point during the negotiation, things can happen,’ he added.

White House Senior Advisors Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, walk in the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (R) meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, alongside US President Donald J. Trump (L), at the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, which separates the two Koreas, 30 June 2019

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (R) meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, alongside US President Donald J. Trump (L), at the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, which separates the two Koreas, 30 June 2019

Photographers run as North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump cross south of the Military Demarcation Line that divides North and South Korea, after Trump briefly stepped over to the northern side, in the Joint Security Area (JSA) of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) on June 30, 2019

Photographers run as North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump cross south of the Military Demarcation Line that divides North and South Korea, after Trump briefly stepped over to the northern side, in the Joint Security Area (JSA) of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) on June 30, 2019

President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, right, at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea, Sunday, June 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, right, at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea, Sunday, June 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

NOT DEAD: People watch a TV screen showing an image of senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol in a musical performance by the wives of Korean People's Army officers in North Korea during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday. Trump said he knew 'for a fact' that North Korea's top negotiator was alive

NOT DEAD: People watch a TV screen showing an image of senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol in a musical performance by the wives of Korean People’s Army officers in North Korea during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday. Trump said he knew ‘for a fact’ that North Korea’s top negotiator was alive

Trump repeatedly pointed to previous U.S.-North Korean tensions under the Obama administration – while leaving out mention of the period during his own term when repeated missile tests prompted him to threaten ‘fire and fury’ and blast Kim as ‘Rocket Man’ at the UN.

‘You see the level of relationship as opposed to the way I came into office – when I came into office it was a fiery mess,’ Trump said.

Trump and Kim, their relationship, negotiations and diplomacy talks

Today President Trump met Kim Yong Un between North and South Korea, as they embarked on their third high-stakes meeting since they launched negotiations last year – but how progressive have they been?

March 2018: Kim says he is willing to discuss his nuclear arsenal with Trump and Trump agrees to meet him

April 2018: Trump praises North Korea for ‘big progress’ after it announces it has suspended nuclear and long range missile tests and is shifting its focus to improving the economy

May 2018: North Korea frees three Americans that were imprisoned following a visit from Mike Pompeo ahead of a meeting between Trump and Kim

June 2018: Trump and Kim meet in Singapore for the first summit between the leaders of the U.S and North Korea since the end of the Korean War

January 2019: Kim delivers his New Year speech which details that he will continue nuclear talks with Trump but says he would seek ‘new way’ if the U.S continued with sanctions 

February 2019: Meeting between the two collapses in Vietnam after Trump rejects Kim’s calls for sanction relief

April 2019: Kim agrees to meet Trump again, but sets a deadline to salvage democracy 

May 2019: North Korea fires two missiles into the sea in a bid to dial up pressure on Seol and Washington

June 29 2019: Trump urges Kim to shakes hands ahead of their meeting, with North Korea calling it an ‘interesting suggestion’

June 30 2019: Trump and Kim meet inside the DMZ and shake hands, making Trump the first president to cross over into North Korean territory 

Trump got asked about the status of Kim’s nuclear negotiators, after a thinly-sourced report out of South Korea that five top diplomats had been executed following the failure to reach a deal at the Hanoi summit in February.

‘I know for a fact he is [alive],’ Trump said of the DPRK’s top negotiator. As for others, Trump said, ‘I would hope the rest are too.’

Trump proclaimed his February summit, which failed to lead to an agreement, a ‘success,’ and says he told Kim as much.

‘I was telling Chairman Kim that actually to me Hanoi was a great success. The press reported it the opposite,’ Trump said.

During the initial meeting at the line of demarcation, a North Korean camera crew and photographers snapped images from Kim’s side, while American pool photographers and media came with Trump. White House handlers and a pool photographer urged them to hurry and stay out of the shots. ‘Get out of the way!’ someone could be heard yelling during the video feed of the scramble for position.

The two leaders then sat down inside the pastel blue Freedom House at the DMZ for what was to be a brief meeting.

Incoming White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham became bruised in a ‘scuffle’ with North Korean security as she tried to get press into position, CNNreported, with a source terming it an ‘all out brawl.’

Also there to witness some of the historic moment were first daughter Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner, who also were on hand for a series of Trump’s meetings with foreign leaders in Osaka.

Asked shortly after the end of the Trump-Kim meeting what it was like to visit North Korea, the president’s daughter replied: ‘Surreal.’

At that event, like the greeting carried on live TV in Korea and on cable networks internationally, Trump thanked Kim again, once more stressing their personal bond, after Kim first lauded Trump.

‘I want to thank you, chairman,’ Trump said. ‘You hear the power of that voice. Nobody’s heard that voice before. He doesn’t do few news conferences, in case you haven’t heard,’ Trump quipped – in one of his only references to the absolute power Kim wields in a regime known for mass starvation and use of a Stalinist-style gulag system to suppress opposition to his inherited rule.

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Panmunjom, South Korea, June 30, 2019

AT THE DMZ: U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in are seen at the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas, in Paju, South Korea, June 30, 2019

AT THE DMZ: U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in are seen at the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas, in Paju, South Korea, June 30, 2019

‘When I put out the social media notification, if he didn’t show up the press was going to make me look very bad,’ Trump said, referencing his unexpected Saturday tweet proposing a meeting. ‘So you made us both look good and I appreciate it.’

Kim told the media that with the meeting, ‘This means we can feel at ease and meet each other with positive mindsets.’

Trump and Kim meet at the DMZ, but what is it and why was it created?

The demilitarised zone spits the Korean peninsula in half – subsequently creating a buffer zone between North and South Korea – and is the most militarised border in the world.

It incorporates territory on both sides of the cease-fire lines which existed at the end of the Korean War which took place between 1950 and 1953.

It was created in 1953 by an agreement between North Korea and the People’s Republic of China, along with the United Nations Command.

Trump and Kim met today in the DMZ

Trump and Kim met today in the DMZ

Located within the territory is the so-called ‘truce village’ of P’anmunjom – the rest of the land is relatively untouched and is one of the most undeveloped areas in Asia.

Over the years there have been occasional issue but no major conflicts and in 2007 a limited freight-train service as resumed across the zone.

‘President Trump and myself, we have an excellent relationship with each other,’ Kim said, stressing the same themes Trump has been hitting for days, as he met leaders ranging from China’s Xi Jinping to Russia’s Vladimir Putin. ‘If it wasn’t for that good relationship, it would not have been able to make this meeting possible,’ he said.

Kim said he hoped it could be ‘the foundation for better things in the future that people will be not expecting.’

‘This will be a very mysterious force that allows us to overcome many difficulties that existed in the past,’ Kim predicted.

As he did during a Saturday meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin when he brought up the ‘fake news,’ Trump joked with a strongman counterpart about the press.

‘When I put out the social media notification, if he didn’t show up the press was going to make me look very bad,’ Trump said in reference to Kim and his tweet. ‘So you made us both look good and I appreciate it,’ the president told him. At another point he told the media that had Kim decided not to show, ‘You would have hit me hard.’

When it was over, Trump visited Osan Air Base for an outdoor event that had the feel of a Trump political rally – complete with Marine One in the background, and an audio soundtrack including Lee Greenwood’s ‘Proud to be an American’ and the Rolling Stones’ ‘You Can’t Always Get What you Want.’

Trump even opted to attack Democrats during what became a diplomatic victory speech to the troops, after saying the military equipment was ‘sadly depleted’ two and a half years ago.

‘This is not a political speech, but the Democrats weren’t going to give it to you, that I can tell you,’ he told the servicemen and women. ‘They want open borders and the hell with the military,’ Trump claimed, in a comment that could have drawn a Hatch Act complaint if made by a government employee.

Describing his earlier event, Trump said: ‘I actually stepped in to North Korea, and they say it’s a very historic moment. Many people, I noticed, from Korea were literally in tears,’ he said.

White House senior advisor Ivanka Trump, along with U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaks to U.S. troops at the Osan Airbase on June 20, 2019 in Pyeongtaek

White House senior advisor Ivanka Trump, along with U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaks to U.S. troops at the Osan Airbase on June 20, 2019 in Pyeongtaek

Later he called Ivanka and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on stage. ‘Mike – Beauty and the beast, Mike,’ Trump quipped.

When he finally left the country – he made several comments about being ready to go back after an intense three-day trip – Trump tweeted: ‘Leaving South Korea after a wonderful meeting with Chairman Kim Jong Un. Stood on the soil of North Korea, an important statement for all, and a great honor!’

During the run-up to his Kim meeting, Trump flew from Seoul aboard Marine One to the DMZ. The president visited a border post, accompanied by South Korean President Moon Jae-in. He then met with U.S. and South Korean forces stationed at the tense boundary.

A military service-member then proceeded to give him a brief tour, pointing out North Korean territory from a vista at the line of demarcation.

He arrived there after telling reporters about his decision to go to the DMZ to hold the historic handshake meeting with Kim. Then Trump took a shot at the media from the protected guard post.

‘I say that for the press. They have no appreciation for what is being done, none,’ Trump vented.

Trump made some brief comments, which were carried on live television amid anticipation of what would be his third meeting with Kim. As he did earlier Trump complained about doubters.

‘After our first summit all of the danger went away,’ he said of the nuclear capable nation. ‘When they say there’s been no difference, there’s been a tremendous difference,’ he said.

‘I was just thinking – hey, I’m here, let’s see whether or not we can say hello to Kim Jong-un,’ Trump told reporters at a press event here in Seoul Sunday afternoon.

‘He wanted to do it from the beginning and so did I,’ the president said of his North Korean counterpart.

Later, speaking to a group of troops at a border post he visited, Trump said the DMZ visit had been scheduled ‘a number of months ago.’

‘I said we have to see the DMZ. So this was scheduled for a long time ago and then yesterday I had the idea, maybe I’ll call Chairman Kim and see if he wants to say hello. So we didn’t give him much notice,’ Trump told them.

Commander of U.S. Forces Korea Gen. Robert Abrams then presented Trump with a gift – a monogramed pullover that he said he hoped the president ‘might find some utility for you on one of your golf courses.’

Trump said of Kim during the count-down to the meeting: ‘We respect each other – maybe even like each other.

Stoking the drama, Trump told troops he would be meeting Kim within four minutes, although the scheduled meeting blew through that timeline.

President Trump received a briefing while at the DMZ

He viewed an observation post in anticipation of a meeting with the North Korean dictator

He viewed an observation post in anticipation of a meeting with the North Korean dictator

Trump was accompanied by the South Korean president

Trump was accompanied by the South Korean president

HISTORIC MEETING: President Donald Trump confirmed that he will meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un during his visit to the DMZ

HISTORIC MEETING: President Donald Trump confirmed that he will meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un during his visit to the DMZ

President Donald Trump views North Korea from the Korean Demilitarized Zone from Observation Post Ouellette at Camp Bonifas in South Korea, Sunday, June 30, 2019

President Donald Trump views North Korea from the Korean Demilitarized Zone from Observation Post Ouellette at Camp Bonifas in South Korea, Sunday, June 30, 2019

President Donald Trump arrives at the DMZ to meet with Kim Jong-Un

President Donald Trump arrives at the DMZ to meet with Kim Jong-Un

Assessing the potential for another meeting with the hermetic regime, Trump said: ‘It’s just a step. It might be an important step and it might not. But what we’re doing today is a step. And probably it’s a step in the right direction.’   

‘There is a good feeling so it could be very good,’ said Trump.

He said the meeting would be brief, describing it as ‘just shake hands and say hello.’

South Korean leader Moon Jae-in first revealed the news at the start of a joint press event, with only a handful of reporters present.

‘The United States and North Korea will be meeting in Panmunjom for the first time in history – the leaders of the United States and North Korea will be standing face to face in Panmunjom the symbol of division,’ he said, through a translator during a joint press event with Trump in Seoul and referring to the Joint Security Area between north and south.

Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in broke the news of the Kim meeting

Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in broke the news of the Kim meeting

Trump also weaved in his North Korea policy with attacks on the 'fake news'

Trump also weaved in his North Korea policy with attacks on the ‘fake news’

The president called it a 'first step'

The president called it a ‘first step’

‘They’re trying to work it out,’ Trump said of his potential handshake meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un

Basketball star Dennis Rodman tweeted about the meeting in advance

Basketball star Dennis Rodman tweeted about the meeting in advance

In this undated photo published on Sept. 7, 2013, on the homepage of North Korea's Rodong Sinmun newspaper, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, talks with former NBA player Dennis Rodman during a dinner in North Korea

In this undated photo published on Sept. 7, 2013, on the homepage of North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, talks with former NBA player Dennis Rodman during a dinner in North Korea

 In addition to meeting with Kim, Trump may step inside North Korean territory.

Asked about the prospect on Saturday, he said he would ‘feel very comfortable’ doing so. He said he would ‘have no problem’ becoming the first U.S. president to set foot there.

Trump weaved the news of a meeting with attacks on what he calls the ‘fake news,’ who he claims have diminished his achievements in tamping down the security threat, which included regular missile launches early in his presidency.

‘It’s always insulting,’ Trump said.

He also continued to describe his bond with the North Korean dictator in personal terms. ‘We understand each other. I think he understands me and I think I maybe understand him. Sometimes that can lead to very good things,’ Trump said.

Former Chicago Bulls star Dennis Rodman, who has made news with his splashy trips to visit North Korea, tweeted about the news.

‘Wishing my friends, @RealDonaldTrump and Marshal Kim Jong Un a very good meeting… Much love to you both and keep up the wonderful progress!

The confirmation came after Trump spent the morning teasing the possibility of a meeting with Kim, building the drama with each media appearance throughout the day Sunday.

‘I understand that they want to meet and I’d love to say hello. It’s going to be very short but we are in territory that’s very close,’ Trump said, touting his trip hours before he was to visit the DMZ for the first time.

‘We don’t have to take long trips. We’ll see what happens. They’re trying to work it out,’ he said, adding it’s ‘not so easy.’

As for who might attend, Trump said: ‘I don’t’ know about beyond the two of us but I can say the two of us. But we’ll see how that goes.’

During meandering remarks at an event for business leaders, Trump said ‘nothing’s final’ about the meeting, which he floated Saturday morning.

But he touted his leadership on North Korea, and repeated his claim there would have been World War III if it weren’t for his election.

‘I’m really the opposite of a war-monger,’ Trump said.    

Trump ran through key events of a recent cooling in tensions, including the return of the remains of U.S. Korean War dead, and the return of Otto Warmbier, who died shortly after his return to the U.S. in a coma.

Trump made his remarks at a meeting with South Korean business leaders

Trump made his remarks at a meeting with South Korean business leaders

Ivanka Trump, second from left, and White House adviser Jared Kushner, right, talk with people before the start of remarks from President Donald Trump to Korean business leaders in Seoul, Sunday, June 30, 2019

Ivanka Trump, second from left, and White House adviser Jared Kushner, right, talk with people before the start of remarks from President Donald Trump to Korean business leaders in Seoul, Sunday, June 30, 2019

Of the return of ‘our hostage,’ Trump said it was something ‘which we really appreciated from Jong-un, Chairman Kim.

Later, as he met South Korean President Moon Jae-in, President Moon referenced Trump’s tweet about meeting Kim. ‘I could really feel that the flower of peace was really blossoming on the Korean peninsula,’ he said.

Moon, who has pushed to keep the peace process going, said if Trump and Kim could meet at the line of demarcation it would be a ‘historic event.’

Trump also delivered a message that the peninsula was much safer since he took office, and attacked the ‘fake news’ for not showing it while also poking at the ‘previous administration.’

‘North Korea and South Korea are both in much better places right now than they were two and a half years ago when I became president. There was tremendous danger,’ Trump said.

‘A lot of progress has been made. I watch some of the news. Fake news, it’s only fake news. They said well what’s been done? Well, it’s like the difference between day and night,’ Trump said.

‘So when I hear some of these fakers some of these people that aren’t honest reporters saying well what has Trump done, you’ve done a lot,’ Trump said.

He added: ‘It’s changed very, very rapidly. It’s very positive. A lot of positive things going on right now.’

 

North Korea said on Saturday that Trump’s offer was a ‘very interesting suggestion,’ brightening prospects for a third face-to-face meeting between the two leaders.

The president tweeted from the G-20 in Osaka: ‘If Chairman Kim of North Korea sees this, I would meet him at the Border/DMZ just to shake his hand and say Hello(?)!’

It was later revealed he had told the Hill newspaper in an interview Monday he might go and meet come, but the paper held off publication in accordance with White House security concerns.

President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in pose for a photo during a visit to the tea house on the grounds of the Blue House in Seoul, South Korea on Saturday

The border between North and South Korea is seen from the South at the Panmunjom joint security area in the DMZ. The border is the line separating the brown dirt on the northern side from the grey gravel on the south, running between buildings used for peace talks

President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un before their last meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel in Hanoi on February 27, 2019

Earlier Saturday, Trump invited Kim to shake hands during his planned visit to the DMZ, which has served as a de-facto border between the Koreas since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

‘All I did is put out a feeler if you’d like to meet,’ Trump said later of the invitation, saying he didn’t even know if Kim was in North Korea.

Trump and Kim held a historic first summit in Singapore in June, which concluded with a vague joint statement where Kim pledged to work toward denuclearization. Then they met in Hanoi in February, but talks broke down without any joint agreement as Kim pushed for sanctions relief and the U.S. pushed for denuclearization.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reads a letter from U.S. President Donald Trump which he described as 'excellent' earlier this month

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, prepares to shake hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in over the military demarcation line at the border village of Panmunjom last year

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7196873/Trump-wont-say-sure-Kim-Jong-trip-DMZ.html

 

Story 2: President Trump at G-20 Summit Meeting Warns Putin Not To Meddle in U.S. Elections — Announces U.S. China Trade Truce — Videos —

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The Group of 20 summit in Osaka ended Saturday with lofty language from powerful world leaders, but it was eclipsed by U.S. President Donald Trump, who agreed to restart trade talks with China and extended a surprise invitation for North Korea’s leader to meet him Sunday.

Despite the focus on Trump, the summit’s host, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, declared the gathering a success.

“The G-20 nations, as the countries that lead the world economy, have a responsibility to squarely face global problems and to come up with solutions through frank dialogue,” Abe said in concluding the meeting.

“Now, with this ‘Osaka Declaration,’ we should try to tenaciously find, not the differences, but common ground among us, and, we hope, to continue our effort to sustain global economic growth,” he said.

In striving for common ground, however, the summit declaration finessed differences and yielded no major new initiatives.

Still, German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the fact that the leaders managed to hold the line on the issue of climate change, with 19 countries committing themselves to the Paris climate accord.

President Donald Trump attends the G-20 summit session on women's workforce participation, future of work, and aging societies in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Donald Trump attends the G-20 summit session on women’s workforce participation, future of work, and aging societies in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Only the United States dissented, reiterating Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement “because it disadvantages American workers and taxpayers.”

Merkel told reporters that “this process cannot be turned around.” She said some leaders in Osaka indicated they were willing to up commitments to curb greenhouse gases by aiming for “net zero” emissions by 2050.

Merkel also lauded the deal between the EU and the Latin American bloc MERCOSUR – also struck on the G-20 sidelines – to create the world’s largest free trade zone after 20 years of negotiations. The agreement includes a reference to the goals of the Paris accord.

Japan had pushed for the Osaka summit to become a landmark for progress on environmental issues, including tackling the global problem of plastic waste and recommitting to efforts to counter climate change.

Leaders said they’d “look into a wide range of clean technologies and approaches, including smart cities, ecosystem and community based approaches.”

The G-20 leaders have long sought to present a united front in promoting open markets and calling for smart policies to fend off threats to global economic growth. But the schisms over such issues as protectionism and migration are straining efforts to forge the usual consensus on a broad array of policy approaches and geopolitical issues.

The summit declaration did not take aim at protectionism but included a call for free, fair, non-discriminatory and open markets.

“Weren’t we originally seeking agreement on these principles? We need to go back to the original point so that we can remember what it was we were initially seeking,” Abe said. “This time, we managed to go back to this original point to come to agreeing on these important principles.”

Much of the spotlight of the two-day meeting focused on Trump.

Using Twitter, he raised a stir by inviting North Korea’s Kim Jong Un to shake hands during a visit the he plans to make to the heavily armed Demilitarized Zone between the Koreas on Sunday. “If Chairman Kim of North Korea sees this, I would meet him at the Border/DMZ just to shake his hand and say Hello(?)!”

North Korea’s First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui responded by saying it was a “very interesting suggestion,” and the meeting, if realized, would serve as “another meaningful occasion in further deepening the personal relations between the two leaders and advancing the bilateral relations.”

She said North Korea still hadn’t received an official proposal for the meeting from the United States.

Trump has at times found himself at odds with other leaders in such international events. China, meanwhile, has sought support for defending global trade agreements against Trump’s “America First” stance in gatherings like the G-20.

At the outset of their meeting, Trump told Xi he wants to “even it up in respect to trade,” and that he thought it would be very easy to do.

The two sides have levied billions of dollars’ worth of tariffs on each other’s products, and talks on resolving the longstanding issues had stalled in May.

Afterward, Trump said the talks were “back on track.” He said he had decided to hold off on imposing more tariffs on Chinese exports, while China planned to buy more American farm products.

China’s official Xinhua News Agency said Xi and Trump had agreed to restart trade talks “on the basis of equality and mutual respect.”

It’s unclear, however, if they have overcome the obstacles that brought the talks to a halt earlier.

“I think that realistically that the two sides, there are substantive issues that remain to be resolved – subsidies, state owned enterprise, reform, industrial policy in China – that go to the core of China’s economic system,” said Jacob Parker, vice president of U.S.-China Business Council China Operations.

“These are not issues that are going to be resolved quickly or overnight. And I think we have to expect that both sides are going to have to compromise a little bit. They can’t let perfect be the enemy of good,” Parker said.

Holding the summit in Osaka allowed Abe to perhaps raise his popularity among constituents in this manufacturing hub ahead of an election for the upper house of parliament in July. Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party has suffered several setbacks in by-elections and his long tenure as prime minister is raising questions about who will succeed him.

While he upstaged his host, Trump did make a point of attending meetings like one early Saturday on women’s empowerment, where his daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump spoke.

She and others noted that the world economy would get a boost of up to $28 trillion by 2025 if women were on an equal economic footing and described improving the status of women as “smart economic and defense policy.”

The G-20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, France, Britain, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United States and the European Union. Also attending the summit were the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Guinea, Senegal, Singapore and Vietnam.

Associated Press journalists Kaori Hitomi and Yves Dam Van in Osaka and Sam McNeil in Beijing contributed to this report.

President Donald Trump, left, meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Donald Trump, left, meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Donald Trump, right, leans over to talk to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a G-20 summit event on women's empowerment in Osaka, Japan, in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. Ivanka Trump is in the middle. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)+17

President Donald Trump, right, leans over to talk to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a G-20 summit event on women’s empowerment in Osaka, Japan, in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. Ivanka Trump is in the middle. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Donald Trump, left, talks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as they arrive for the G-20 summit session on women's workforce participation, future of work, and aging societies in Osaka, Japan, in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)+17

President Donald Trump, left, talks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as they arrive for the G-20 summit session on women’s workforce participation, future of work, and aging societies in Osaka, Japan, in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center back, speaks during the session 3 at the G-20 summit in Osaka, western Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (Kazuhiro Nogi/Pool Photo via AP)

Ivanka Trump, right, turns back to look at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, center, during a G-20 summit event on women's empowerment in Osaka, Japan, in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Ivanka Trump, right, turns back to look at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, center, during a G-20 summit event on women’s empowerment in Osaka, Japan, in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Donald Trump, right, leans over to talk to Ivanka Trump as they sit next to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a G-20 summit event on women's empowerment in Osaka, Japan, in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center back, speaks during the session 3 at the G-20 summit in Osaka, western Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (Kazuhiro Nogi/Pool Photo via AP)+17

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center back, speaks during the session 3 at the G-20 summit in Osaka, western Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (Kazuhiro Nogi/Pool Photo via AP)

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, speaks during the session 3 at the G-20 summit in Osaka, western Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (Kazuhiro Nogi/Pool Photo via AP)+17

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, speaks during the session 3 at the G-20 summit in Osaka, western Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (Kazuhiro Nogi/Pool Photo via AP)

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in, second from left, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands prior to the session 3 at the G-20 summit in Osaka, western Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (Kazuhiro Nogi/Pool Photo via AP)

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in, second from left, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands prior to the session 3 at the G-20 summit in Osaka, western Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (Kazuhiro Nogi/Pool Photo via AP)

President Donald Trump talks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as they arrive for the G-20 summit session on women's workforce participation, future of work, and aging societies in Osaka, Japan, in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Donald Trump talks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as they arrive for the G-20 summit session on women’s workforce participation, future of work, and aging societies in Osaka, Japan, in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shake hands during their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka Saturday, June 29, 2019. (Yuri Kadobnov/Pool Photo via AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attend their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka Saturday, June 29, 2019. (Yuri Kadobnov/Pool Photo via AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attend their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka Saturday, June 29, 2019. (Yuri Kadobnov/Pool Photo via AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attend their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka Saturday, June 29, 2019. (Yuri Kadobnov/Pool Photo via AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attend their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka Saturday, June 29, 2019. (Yuri Kadobnov/Pool Photo via AP)

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin greet each other during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin greet each other during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

President Donald Trump, left, poses for a photo with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

 

 

Story 3: Crazy Communist Ocasio Cortez, Radical Extremist Democratic Socialist (REDS), Just Another Lying Lunatic Leftist Loser — Videos

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See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageDailyMail.com showed the CBP official this photo from a 2016 federal court filing, which depicts toilets inside a Phoenix CBP holding facility; the official confirmed that the Texas facilities have the same fixtures – which deliver clean drinking water from faucets above every toilet

See the source image

See the source image

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Raging AOC claims border agents make detainees drink from TOILETS, wage ‘psychological warfare’ on women and laughed at her during tour of facility – sparking a furious denial

  • ** GRAPHIC CONTENT ** 
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and at least one other Democrat claimed Customs and Border Protection agents were telling detainees to drink toilet water
  • Speaking outside a Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas, she raged: ‘There’s abuse in these facilities… This was CBP on their best behavior. Telling people to drink out of the toilet’
  • They visited two Texas border stations; one journalist reported two sources inside saying Ocasio-Cortez refused to tour one personally
  • A CBP official confirms that toilets at border facilities there all have sinks attached that deliver safe drinking water
  • After this story was published Ocasio-Cortez claimed the sink she saw didn’t work; she sent contradictory tweets about what she witnessed 
  • Her visit comes after a Facebook group for current and former border patrol agents erupted with anger after ‘AOC’ compared border facilities to Nazi concentration camps  
  • Group members posted Photoshopped illustrations of AOC engaging in oral sex with a migrant man and being forced into another sex act with Donald Trump 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Monday that illegal immigrants and asylum-seekers detained at a pair of U.S. Customs and Border Protection stations she visited are ‘drinking out of toilets’ – a claim an agency official quickly denied.

Speaking outside a Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas, she raged: ‘There’s abuse in these facilities.’

‘This was them knowing a congressional visit was coming. This was CBP on their best behavior. Telling people to drink out of the toilet.’

AOC said she ‘forced’ herself into a cell with detainees and one woman told her officers were waging ‘psychological warfare’ and that the agents often called them ‘wh***s.’

The 29-year-old congresswoman claimed officers laughed at migrants drinking out of toilets.

The inflammatory statements – including the suggestion that she witnessed toilet-drinking herself – came hours after a news story established the existence of a private Facebook group where current and former CBP agents distributed lewd illustrations of the Democratic socialist congresswoman from New York.

But a CBP official said Monday in the early evening that plumbing fixtures at the locations Ocasio-Cortez visited are standard-issue jail appliances with sinks that dispense safe drinking water attached to toilets in a single unit.

‘Of course that’s what we have,’ the official said. ‘No one is drinking toilet water. They’re drinking potable water from the sink attached to the toilet. It’s what you would find in every municipal jail in the United States.’

A photo filed in a federal court case in 2016 illustrates the setup in a Tucson, Arizona CBP holding facility. The official confirmed that it’s identical to what detainees at Texas border stations have access to.

Fuming: AOC describes the conditions in a migrant detention center to members of the media after 15 members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus gathered to tour Border Patrol facilities and migrant detention centers

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) addresses the media after touring the Clint, TX Border Patrol Facility

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) addresses the media after touring the Clint, TX Border Patrol Facility

Ocasio-Cortez said Monday that illegal immigrants and asylum-seekers detained at a pair of U.S. Customs and Border Protection stations she visited are 'drinking out of toilets'

Ocasio-Cortez said Monday that illegal immigrants and asylum-seekers detained at a pair of U.S. Customs and Border Protection stations she visited are ‘drinking out of toilets

The inflammatory statement – including the suggestion that she witnessed toilet-drinking herself – came hours after a news story established the existence of a private Facebook group where current and former CBP agents distributed lewd illustrations of the Democratic socialist congresswoman from New York

The inflammatory statement – including the suggestion that she witnessed toilet-drinking herself – came hours after a news story established the existence of a private Facebook group where current and former CBP agents distributed lewd illustrations of the Democratic socialist congresswoman from New York

After this story was published, Ocasio-Cortez confirmed on Twitter that ‘[t]his was in fact the type of toilet we saw in the cell.’

She also claimed ‘there was just one’ in the cell she saw, and the sink portion was not functioning,’ adding that Rep. Ayanna Pressley ‘smartly tried to open the faucet, and nothing came out. So the women were told they could drink out of the bowl.’

Her other tweets were contradictory, with some suggesting she witnessed guards offering a toilet as a source of drinking water and others intimating that she had only heard a story about it from a detainee. 

The claims were quickly rebutted by an official at CBP who said 'no one is drinking toilet water' at border holding facilities

The claims were quickly rebutted by an official at CBP who said ‘no one is drinking toilet water’ at border holding facilities

DailyMail.com showed the CBP official this photo from a 2016 federal court filing, which depicts toilets inside a Phoenix CBP holding facility; the official confirmed that the Texas facilities have the same fixtures – which deliver clean drinking water from faucets above every toilet

DailyMail.com showed the CBP official this photo from a 2016 federal court filing, which depicts toilets inside a Phoenix CBP holding facility; the official confirmed that the Texas facilities have the same fixtures – which deliver clean drinking water from faucets above every toilet

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in mid-afternoon that she didn’t have photos of what she saw because ‘CBP made us check our phones.’

She was one of more than a dozen Democratic members of Congress visiting the border facilities. At least one, Rep. Jouqin Castro of Texas, posted photos that he took inside.

A Washington Examiner reporter tweeted that two sources inside the building said Ocasio-Cortez ‘refused to tour the facility.’

The congresswoman had tweeted earlier that border agents were dismissive and ‘physically & sexually threatening’ toward her, and claimed in a statement to the press that women in the El Paso facility had no safe water to drink.

‘What we saw today was unconscionable,’ she told a waiting klatch of TV reporters. ‘No woman should ever be locked up in a pen, when they have done no harm to another human being. They should be given water. They should be given basic access to human rights.’

A reporter with the Washington Examiner wrote that two sources at the El Paso border station reported that Ocasio-Cortez refused to tour the facility in person on Monday

A reporter with the Washington Examiner wrote that two sources at the El Paso border station reported that Ocasio-Cortez refused to tour the facility in person on Monday

In her tweets she claimed ‘[o]fficers were keeping women in cells w/ no water & had told them to drink out of the toilets. This was them on their GOOD behavior in front of members of Congress.’

‘It’s not just the kids. It’s everyone. People drinking out of toilets, officers laughing in front of members Congress,’ the 29-year-old Democratic socialist added in another tweet.

‘I brought it up to their superiors. They said ‘officers are under stress & act out sometimes.’ No accountability.’

She called the experience ‘horrifying’ and classed it as ‘systemic cruelty w/ a dehumanizing culture that treats them like animals.’

A second member of Congress claimed in an online video that a single detainee in El Paso had told her she was advised to drink toilet water.

‘One woman said that the border patrol agent told her to – if she wanted water, just to drink from the toilet, California Democratic Rep. Judy Chu said.

Chu’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

California Rep. Judy Chu repeated Ocasio-Cortez's claim in a video shot Monday, saying a detained woman had told the Democratic delegation that she was told to drink toilet water

California Rep. Judy Chu repeated Ocasio-Cortez’s claim in a video shot Monday, saying a detained woman had told the Democratic delegation that she was told to drink toilet water

Later Monday evening Ocasio-Cortez continued to tweet and share other people’s pictures of women inside the facilities.

‘Even if they let you in, these women told us CBP did a lot of ‘cleaning up’ before we arrived. They were moved into that room from outside tents before our arrival. They said they’d gone 15 days w/o a shower, & were allowed to start bathing 4 days ago (when visit was announced).

‘These officers felt brazen in there. While mgmt was telling us it was a ‘secure facility’ where *members of Congress* had to check their phones, we caught officers trying to sneak photos, laughing. CBP’s ‘good’ behavior was toxic. Imagine how they treat the women trapped inside.’

Alongside a photo of women inside a facility she wrote: ‘Here’s another photo from inside taken by @JoaquinCastrotx, where we’re trying to comfort women trapped in cells. This woman was telling me about her daughters who were taken from her – she doesn’t know where they’ve taken them. We held & listened to them. They were distraught.’

She later added: ‘Pro-concentration camp & Pro-Trump protestors tried to drown out our accounts. They yelled at Rashida Tlaib about pork when she talked about facilities. They called Joaquin Castro ‘traitor’ for denouncing family separation. @AyannaPressley was heroic, speaking truth to vitriol.’

‘And to these CBP officers saying they felt ‘threatened’ by me – They were literally discussing making a GoFundMe for an officer who attacked my on my tour. They confiscated my phone, and they were all armed. I’m 5’4′. They’re just upset I exposed their inhumane behavior.’

AOC shared the above tweets and photos on Monday evening as she further explained her experiences at the facilities on Monday

 

AOC shared the above tweets and photos on Monday evening as she further explained her experiences at the facilities on Monday

The indignant New Yorker had begun Monday defending herself against slurs from a private Facebook group frequented by current and former border agents, where leaked images showed members sharing lewd pictures of her and suggesting a heart-rending photo of a drowned migrant and his toddler daughter was staged.

Screen captures of some postings include a Photoshopped image depicting her performing oral sex on a migrant man, and another portraying President Donald Trump forcing her head into his lap for another sex act.

The group, first noted by the news website Pro Publica, has 9,500 members.

In one message thread, a member posted a now-famous Associated Press photograph of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria, face down in the Rio Grande after drowning during a failed attempt to reach the United States.

‘I HAVE NEVER SEEN FLOATERS LIKE THIS,’ the person wrote, suggesting it could be ‘another edited photo. We’ve all seen the dems and liberal parties do some pretty sick things.’

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in mid-afternoon that she didn't have photos of what she saw because 'CBP made us check our phones'

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in mid-afternoon that she didn’t have photos of what she saw because ‘CBP made us check our phones’

The congresswoman had tweeted earlier that border agents were dismissive and 'physically & sexually threatening' toward her, and claimed in a statement to the press that women in the El Paso facility had no safe water to drink

The congresswoman had tweeted earlier that border agents were dismissive and ‘physically & sexually threatening’ toward her, and claimed in a statement to the press that women in the El Paso facility had no safe water to drink

The nonprofit news service Pro Publica published this image, which it said was posted to the Facebook group and depicted Ocasio-Cortez being forced to engage in oral sex with President Donald Trump

 

The nonprofit news service Pro Publica published this image, which it said was posted to the Facebook group and depicted Ocasio-Cortez being forced to engage in oral sex with President Donald Trump

One member of the 'I am 10-15' group – it's named for the radio code used when an illegal immigrant is detained – suggested that a news photograph of a man and his toddler daughter who drowned crossing the Rio Grande was staged

One member of the ‘I am 10-15’ group – it’s named for the radio code used when an illegal immigrant is detained – suggested that a news photograph of a man and his toddler daughter who drowned crossing the Rio Grande was staged

When Ocasio-Cortez and Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar announced a visit to a border station near El Paso, a group member proposed a bounty collected on GoFundMe for any agent willing to throw a burrito at them

The '10-15' group is described as a home for U.S. Border Patrol (BP) and Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents

The ’10-15′ group is described as a home for U.S. Border Patrol (BP) and Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents

Another post said: ‘Let’s start a go fund me for one CTX agent brave enough to thrown a 10-15 burrito at one of these b***hes,’ one member wrote. ‘Who ever does it takes the pot of $$.’

’10-15′ is the law enforcement radio code that refers to the apprehension of an illegal immigrant. The Facebook group is called ‘I’m 10-15.’

Another group member, who Pro Publica reported was ‘apparently a patrol supervisor,’ wrote, ‘F**k the hoes.’

A third wrote: ‘There should be no photo ops for these scum buckets.’

Ocasio-Cortez, a far-left lightning rod, had already angered Border Patrol agents last week by comparing their lockups to Nazi concentration camps.

The computer illustration of her fellating a migrant man was captioned: ‘Lucky Illegal Immigrant Glory Hole Special Starring AOC.’

The second image, which portrayed Trump forcing her to perform a sex act on him, was posted along a comment that read: ‘That’s right b***hes. The masses have spoken and today democracy won. I have returned. To everyone who knows the real me and had my back I say thank you. To everyone else? This is what I have to say.’

The young lawmaker responded on Twitter.

‘This isn’t about ‘a few bad eggs. This is a violent culture,’ she said, insisting that she would still visit the border patrol station Monday afternoon.

‘They’re threatening violence on members of Congress. How do you think they’re treating caged children+families?’ she wrote.

Ocasio-Cortez said in a separate tweet that the reported 9.500 members of the ‘racist & sexually violent’ Facebook group represented ‘almost half’ of the Customs & Border Protection agents in the United States.

Pro Publica reported, however, that the group was also open to former agents. It’s unknown how large that group might be.

Ocasio-Cortez erupted with anger after seeing herself made the butt of lewd jokes by the border agents she was traveling to oversee

Ocasio-Cortez erupted with anger after seeing herself made the butt of lewd jokes by the border agents she was traveling to oversee

US Police Department agents guard the Paso del Norte International Bridge checkpoint at the border with Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, Monday

US Police Department agents guard the Paso del Norte International Bridge checkpoint at the border with Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, Monday

CBP agents and Border Patrol agents participate in an operative to find illegal migrants at the International Bridge Paso del Norte-Santa Fe in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua State, Mexico, Monday+27

CBP agents and Border Patrol agents participate in an operative to find illegal migrants at the International Bridge Paso del Norte-Santa Fe in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua State, Mexico, Monday

Matthew Klein, CBP’s Assistant Commissioner in the Office of Professional Responsibility, said in a statement that the agency was ‘aware of disturbing social media activity hosted on a private Facebook group that may include a number of CBP employees.’

‘CBP immediately informed DHS Office of the Inspector General and initiated an investigation,’ he said

Klein added that agency employees must adhere to strict standards of conduct ‘both on and off duty,’ which includes an order to ‘not make abusive, derisive, profane, or harassing statements or gestures, or engage in any other conduct evidencing hatred or invidious prejudice to or about one person or group on account of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability.’

U.S. Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost said: ‘Any employees found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable.’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7201939/Border-patrol-agents-shared-Photoshopped-images-AOC-performing-oral-sex-secret-Facebook-group.html

 

AOC says migrants forced to drink toilet water after tense border visit

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claims Border Patrol agents are forcing migrants to drink out of toilets and live under other extreme conditions — while the officers sit back and laugh.

“I see why CBP officers were being so physically &sexually threatening towards me,” the congresswoman tweeted Monday after leaving a US Customs and Border Protection facility in Texas.

“Officers were keeping women in cells w/ no water & had told them to drink out of the toilets,” she said. “This was them on their GOOD behavior in front of members of Congress.”

The New York lawmaker was visiting a number of migrant detention centers scattered along the southern border on Monday with other congressional Democrats following reports of terrible conditions and repeated sexual assaults.

“Now I’ve seen the inside of these facilities,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “It’s not just the kids. It’s everyone. People drinking out of toilets, officers laughing in front of members Congress.”

She added, “I brought it up to their superiors. They said ‘officers are under stress & act out sometimes.’ No accountability.”

Ocasio-Cortez claimed that she “forced” herself into a cell with a group of female migrants and began speaking to them.

“One of them described their treatment at the hands of officers as ‘psychological warfare’ – waking them at odd hours for no reason, calling them wh*res, etc,” she said. “Tell me what about that is due to a ‘lack of funding?’”

The freshman legislator was planning to visit detention facilities in Clint — where the Trump administration “was denying children toothpaste and soap,” she said.

“This has been horrifying so far,” Ocasio–Cortez concluded. “It is hard to understate the enormity of the problem. We’re talking systemic cruelty w/ a dehumanizing culture that treats them like animals.”

A CBP official denied the toilet accusations on Monday, insisting that the locations Ocasio-Cortez visited have standard-issue jail-type appliances with sinks that dispense safe drinking water attached to toilets in a single unit.

“‘No one is drinking toilet water,” the official said. “They’re drinking potable water from the sink attached to the toilet.” It’s what you would find in every municipal jail in the United States.”

Ocasio-Cortez has accused CBP agents of making threats to her life on social media — saying a “secret Facebook group” of 9,500 officers discussed making a GoFundMe to harm her and the other Dems during their visits Monday.

“This isn’t about ​’​a few bad eggs,’” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted early Monday afternoon. “This is a violent culture.​”​

Rep. Judy Chu, of California, was among the congressional leaders who visited the centers with Ocasio-Cortez and also recounted what she saw on Twitter.

“‘If you want water, just drink from a toilet.’ That’s what border patrol told one thirsty woman we met on today’s #DemsAtTheBorder trip,” Chu tweeted, along with a video in which she described the conditions.

“What we saw was appalling and disgusting,” the congresswoman said. “There seriously has to be some changes.”

Monday’s border visit was met with outrage from local Trump supporters, who were caught on video heckling the Democratic lawmakers in both English and Spanish as they attempted to hold a press conference.

“Go take care of your country!” shouted one man, who repeatedly yelled “Trump 2020” with several others.

“You guys are retarded!” he added. “Cry me a river!”

Ocasio-Cortez, who spoke at the presser, got told to “go back to New York City” at one point.

“Nobody wants you here!” a heckler screamed.

“Did you bring your onion?!” another asked, blasting Ocasio-Cortez for shedding “fake tears.”

Videos from the presser were posted online by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Attempts to reach the group were not immediately successful.

https://nypost.com/2019/07/01/aoc-says-migrants-forced-to-drink-toilet-water-after-tense-border-visit/

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The Pronk Pops Show 1212, February 20, 2019, Story 1: Putin Threatens United States With New Hypersonic Missiles — A New Nuclear Missile Arms Race and Cold War With China and Russia — Restoring Nuclear Parity — Videos — Story 2: Communist China’s Totalitarian Regime’s Social Credit System or Digital Dictatorship — Videos — Story 3: Socialist Sanders Rakes in $6 Million From Over 225,000 Contributors — Videos —

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Story 1: Putin Threatens United States With New Hypersonic Missiles — A New Nuclear Missile Arms Race and Cold War With China and Russia — Restoring Nuclear Parity — Videos —

How Will Trump Respond to Putin’s Threats?

Putin Warns U.S. Not To Discount Russia’s Weapons Capabilities

Trump Admin To Withdraw From Cold War-Era Nuclear Weapons Treaty With Russia | NBC Nightly News

US and Russia Potentially Re-Enter Nuclear Arms Race

US suspends nuclear missile treaty with Russia, may withdraw in six months

INF Treaty walks U.S., Russia back from a Cold War nuclear showdown

Withdrawal From INF Nuclear Treaty Brings us “Closer to Doomsday” Than any Time Since 1950’s

Russia, China on Defense and No Iranian Nuclear Bomb – US Intelligence Report

Putin in trouble over Russia’s economic problems | DW News

Troops prepare for conflict at Polish base

US military build-up on Russia border – days after Putin’s ‘mock invasion’ drills REVEALED

Peter Brookes on INF Treaty Withdrawal: “The President’s Policy Is Right”

Russia reacts to U.S. withdrawal from nuclear arms treaty

Putin Gets Serious: If Europe Accepts US Missiles, Russia Will Rearm and Retaliate!

Vladimir Putin’s missile threat is serious, but nothing we couldn’t handle: Today’s talker

How Deadly Are The New Russian Hypersonic Missiles- Avangard, Kinzhal & Sarmat ICBM?

China & Russia warn President Trump’s Plans to Boost Missile Defense Could Spark an Arms Race

China should think twice before threatening to strike U.S

GLIDE BREAKER – THIS DARPA PROJECT WILL KILL RUSSIAN & CHINESE HYPERSONIC WEAPONS

Unbeatable! Here’s How America’s Quietly Winning the Hypersonic-Missile race over Russia and China

Revealed: How America’s Quietly Winning the Hypersonic-Missile race over Russia, China and N-korea

Putin claims new missile will make defense systems useless

Putin: Russia’s new nuclear missile is invincible

Putin warns U.S. against putting missiles in Europe

Russia, China outpace US in hypersonic missile technology

China Ready For War With U S

 

Putin’s new nuclear threat to Trump: Russian leader promises more missiles targeting the US if America deploys warheads to Europe after tearing up arms treaty

  • Vladimir Putin hit out at America over its withdrawal from key arms control pact
  • Warned Russia will target weapons at US should it deploy new missiles in Europe
  • The 66-year-old also said Russia will deploy a new hypersonic missile for its navy
  • Putin made remarks during his annual state of the nation address this morning

Vladimir Putin has promised to target more missiles at the US if America deploys new weapons to Europe in the wake of Washington’s withdrawal from a key arms pact.

In his toughest remarks yet on a potential new arms race, Putin said Russia would deploy more missiles if the Trump administration put short or intermediate range missiles in Europe  – after the President’s decision this month to quit a treaty banning nuclear missiles with a range of less than 3,415 miles.

Putin said U.S. policy-makers, some of whom he said were obsessed with U.S. exceptionalism, should calculate the risks before taking any steps and said any new Russian missiles would target US ‘decision-making centres’.

He said: ‘It’s their right to think how they want. But can they count? I’m sure they can. Let them count the speed and the range of the weapons systems we are developing,’ Putin told Russia’s political elite to strong applause this morning.

Putin also boasted about Russia’s expanding array of new weapons and said it will deploy a new hypersonic missile for its navy as part of efforts to counter what he described as hostile U.S. moves.

Vladimir Putin (pictured this morning) says Russia will target weapons at the US should it deploy new intermediate-range missiles in Europe following America's withdrawal from a key arms control pact

Vladimir Putin (pictured this morning) says Russia will target weapons at the US should it deploy new intermediate-range missiles in Europe following America’s withdrawal from a key arms control pact

The US repeatedly accused Russia of violating the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty by developing banned weapons and earlier this month Donald Trump (pictured) said Washington was starting a process to withdraw from the deal

The US repeatedly accused Russia of violating the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty by developing banned weapons and earlier this month Donald Trump (pictured) said Washington was starting a process to withdraw from the deal

America's withdrawal from the Cold War-era Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty has sparked fears of a new arms race (file picture)

America’s withdrawal from the Cold War-era Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty has sparked fears of a new arms race (file picture)

Vladimir Putin criticises America for ‘neglecting’ the INF treaty

The 1987 International Nuclear Forces Treaty signed the U.S. and the then-USSR up to a ban on mobile ground-based nuclear missiles with ranges from 310 to 3,415 miles.

The immediate effect was to eliminate the U.S.’s Pershing II missiles – which had a range of 1,100 miles – and the Soviet Union’s SS-20s, which had a range of 2,700 miles.

Both were deployed in Europe and their removal under the pact – signed by then US president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev – was a key part in ending the Cold War.

However, no restrictions were placed on other major military actors such as China.

During the 2014 crisis in Ukraine, the US accused Russia of violating the pact by deploying banned tactical nuclear weapons designed to intimidate Europe and Western-aligned former Soviet states.

US officials say the Kremlin is deploying a prohibited ‘SSC-8’ land-based cruise missile.

Alleging Russian violations, Washington said earlier this month it was suspending its obligations under the pact and starting the process of quitting it, untying its hands to develop new missiles.

With the deal having banned either side from stationing short and intermediate-range, land-based missiles in Europe, its demise raises the prospect of a new arms race between Washington and Moscow.

Russia denies violating the treaty and Putin responded to the U.S. move by saying Russia would mirror the U.S. by suspending its own obligations and quitting the pact.

The new Zircon missile will fly at nine times of the speed of sound and have a range of 620 miles, he warned, adding that the missile is designed to equip existing surface ships and submarines.

Other new weapons announced last year, including the nuclear-powered Burevestnik cruise missile and the Poseidon nuclear-powered underwater drone, have been undergoing tests successfully, he said.

Putin, facing an unprecedented fall in his approval ratings, made the remarks during his first address to both houses of parliament since he was elected to a fourth presidential term a year ago, extending his long rule until 2024.

In his toughest remarks yet on a potential new arms race, the Kremlin strongman warned the US against further missile deployments in Europe.

‘Russia does not intend to be the first to deploy such missiles in Europe,’ he said.

‘If (the US) develops and deploys them in Europe… this will dramatically exacerbate the international security situation, creating serious threats to Russia.

‘I’m saying this clearly and openly, Russia will be forced to deploy weapons that can be used… against the decision-making centres that are behind the missiles systems which threaten us.’

Putin said Russia was not seeking confrontation ‘particularly with such a global power as the U.S’.

But he added that Russia’s reaction to any deployment would be resolute and that U.S. policy-makers, some of whom he said were obsessed with U.S. exceptionalism, should calculate the risks before taking any steps.

‘It’s their right to think how they want. But can they count? I’m sure they can. Let them count the speed and the range of the weapons systems we are developing,’ Putin told Russia’s political elite to strong applause.

Signed in 1987 towards the end of the Cold War by then US president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, the treaty bans ground-launched missiles with a range of between 315 miles to 3,415 miles.

The deal resolved a crisis over Soviet nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles targeting Western capitals, but put no restrictions on other major military actors such as China.

The 66-year-old, facing an unprecedented fall in his approval ratings, is making his first address to both houses of parliament since he was elected to a fourth presidential term a year ago, extending his long rule until 2024

The 66-year-old, facing an unprecedented fall in his approval ratings, is making his first address to both houses of parliament since he was elected to a fourth presidential term a year ago, extending his long rule until 2024

Zircon: Russia’s feared hypersonic weapon

Vladimir Putin used his speech today to give an update on Russia’s new hypersonic missile – dubbed Zircon.

The Russian leader said the weapon will be capable of flying at nine times the speed of sound and have a range of 620 miles.

He said it would be designed to equip existing ships and submarines.

In 2017, reports claimed Zircon’s capabilities put Russia half a decade’ ahead of the US’.

One expert said that the missile could enter Russia’s arsenal between 2018 and 2020′.

Putin said he understood concerns about the INF agreement, namely that other countries could continue to develop weapons that are banned for the US and Russia.

‘The current state of affairs of course raises questions,’ he said during his annual state of the nation address.

‘Our American partners should have been honest… and not use far-fetched accusations against Russia to justify their unilateral withdrawal from the treaty,’ he said of the deal, during his annual state of the nation address.

Last year, Putin used the address to unveil a new arsenal of weapons in a nearly two-hour speech that stunned the West and many in Russia. 

Speaking two weeks before his re-election, Putin promised Russians higher standards of living and hailed Moscow’s military might as relations with the West reached post-Cold War lows.

In his toughest remarks yet on a potential new arms race, Putin said Russia was not seeking confrontation and would not take the first step to deploy missiles in response to Washington's decision this month to quit the INF treaty

 

In his toughest remarks yet on a potential new arms race, Putin said Russia was not seeking confrontation and would not take the first step to deploy missiles in response to Washington’s decision this month to quit the INF treaty

The missile that can ‘fly forever’ and a nuclear-powered underwater drone

Vladimir Putin warned today that successful tests have been carried out on a new nuclear-powered cruise missile and underwater drone as he talked up Russia’s military capabilities.

Putin, updating members of Russia’s elite this morning, made reference to the Burevestnik cruise missile which is supposedly capable of flying for days on end.

Russia’s state news agency released a video just days ago claiming to show a test of the missile, which the Kremlin says is designed to strike over ‘unlimited’ range and with with unprecedented ability to manoeuvre.

The Russian state news agency on Friday released a video claiming to show a test of the Burevestnik missile which the Kremlin says is designed to strike over 'unlimited' range and with with unprecedented ability to manoeuv

The Russian state news agency released a video claiming to show a test of the Burevestnik missile which the Kremlin says is designed to strike over ‘unlimited’ range and with with unprecedented ability to manoeuvre

In theory, the Burevestnik could fly forever because it has a nuclear power source, potentially circling the globe until remotely ordered to approach a target and hit it with a nuclear warhead.

Scientists claim to have developed a nuclear power plant small enough to fit inside the missile and power a turbojet engine – but these claims have been met with scepticism in the West.

The missile is designed to use a conventional engine for takeoff, switching to a nuclear powered power source for flight – hence its theoretical ability to be in the air for days.

If the Burevestnik actually works, the heat from the nuclear reaction inside the small reactor would be used to heat the air inside a jet engine, replacing the need for fuel.

In March last year, Vladimir Putin spoke about the weapon. He said: ‘One of them is a small-scale, heavy-duty nuclear energy unit that can be installed in a missile like our latest X-101 air-launched missile or the American Tomahawk missile—a similar type but with a range dozens of times longer, dozens—basically an unlimited range.

Russia unveils nuclear-powered and armed underwater drone

‘It is a low-flying stealth missile carrying a nuclear warhead, with almost an unlimited range, unpredictable trajectory and ability to bypass interception boundaries. It is invincible against all existing and prospective missile defense and counter-air defense systems.’

A source in the missile program told the agency: ‘A major stage of trials of the cruise missile of the Burevestnik complex – tests of the nuclear power unit – have been successfully completed at one of facilities in January.’

The trials ‘sustained stated specifications of the reactor ensuring the missile’s unlimited range’, claimed the source. No further details were given about the top secret trials.

 Last month, state media claimed Moscow was set to deploy more than 30 underwater drones capable of carrying a two megaton nuclear warhead.

Four submarines fitted with the torpedo drones, named Poseidon, will join the Northern and Pacific Russian fleets, state news agency Tass reported.

Each submarine can fit eight Poseidons, designed specifically to destroy ‘enemy navy bases’ and able to travel at up to 70 knots.

After the speech he enjoyed his highest approval rating since he came to power in 1999.

But a year on, Putin has seen his popularity slide against a backdrop of economic problems.

A hugely unpopular reform raising the retirement age that Putin signed into law in October led to a major dip in his support.

A survey by Russia’s independent Levada Center released in January found his approval rating at 64 per cent, the lowest since before Moscow’s annexation of Crimea five years ago.

Another Levada poll in October found only 40 percent of Russians would vote for Putin if an election were held.

HOW U.S. MISSILES LED TO PROTEST IN  EUROPE IN THE 1980s – AND TOOK THE WORLD CLOSE TO THE NUCLEAR BRINK

Both the U.S. and the Soviets expected that if they went to war, Europe would be their battleground.

By the early 1980s, the U.S. under Ronald Reagan was outspending the Soviets and introducing dramatically improved new weapons in the air and on the ground.

In particular, the Soviet SS-20 medium-range nuclear missiles, launched from mobile carriers, were seen as the biggest threat to NATO forces if there were to be an exchange of weapons. 

Nuclear missiles which could match their destructive power were a priority and the Pershing II was developed which could destroy underground bunkers and silos and reach Soviet territory in just six minutes – making them both undetectable and capable of largely killing off the Soviet ability to respond. 

But moving the missiles into the places where they would be used in battle created a whole new dimension of conflict for the U.S. and its NATO allies – this time with peace protesters who made their deployment the focus of their rage. 

Target: The land-based nuclear cruise missiles brought to the UK sparked public protests when they were deployed to the USAF base at Greenham Common west of London in 1983

Target: The land-based nuclear cruise missiles brought to the UK sparked public protests when they were deployed to the USAF base at Greenham Common west of London in 1983

Women's protests: Women formed a peace camp at Greenham Common from the time it was identified as the host for the cruise and Pershing missiles and remained there long afterwards. In December 1982 one of their protests was a human chain around its perimeter

 

Women’s protests: Women formed a peace camp at Greenham Common from the time it was identified as the host for the cruise and Pershing missiles and remained there long afterwards. In December 1982 one of their protests was a human chain around its perimeter

Blocking tactic: Anti nuclear protesters from the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp tried to stop cruise missiles arriving by stopping access to its main gates

Blocking tactic: Anti nuclear protesters from the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp tried to stop cruise missiles arriving by stopping access to its main gates

Beginning in 1983, two deployments  in particular were to become infamous flashpoints.

In the UK, the U.S. Air Force base at Greenham Common, Berkshire, to the west of London, would be used for 160 medium-range nuclear cruise missiles, and a smaller number of Pershing II rockets. RAF Molesworth in Cambridgeshire would receive 64 cruise missiles.

In Germany, three bases – Neu-Ulm, Mutlangen and Neckarsulm – would receive a total of 108 Pershing IIs.

But in both countries the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament launched huge and widespread protests.

Focus: The Perishing II missile was deployed in 1983 to German bases in the face of huge public anger, with demonstrations of hundreds of thousands who saw it as a threat to West Germany's existence

Focus: The Perishing II missile was deployed in 1983 to German bases in the face of huge public anger, with demonstrations of hundreds of thousands who saw it as a threat to West Germany’s existence

Cold war welcome: In West Germany there were protests regularly against the missiles and their deployment. They entered active duty in 1983 and by 1987 a deal for their destruction was done

Cold war welcome: In West Germany there were protests regularly against the missiles and their deployment. They entered active duty in 1983 and by 1987 a deal for their destruction was done

Cold war welcome: In West Germany there were protests regularly against the missiles and their deployment. They entered active duty in 1983 and by 1987 a deal for their destruction was done

In Germany, Mutlangen became the focal point, while in Greenham Common, a peace camp of women against nuclear weapons sprang up at the perimeter. Attempts to move munitions were met with sit-down protests on roads outside.

In Bonn, then the capital of West Germany, as many as 400,000 people took part in one anti-Pershing protest, part of a day of demonstrations across Europe, while other protests saw a human chain from U.S. headquarters in Stuttgart to the gates of Mutlangen.

1983 also saw one of the most dangerous moments of the Cold War when NATO’s Able Archer war games, which involved activating troops and giving dummy instructions to fire nuclear weapons, were misunderstood by the Soviets.

Soviet threat: An SS-20 preserved in Russia shows the weapon which the Pershing II and cruise missiles were designed to counter. The SS-20 rocket launched multiple warheads and could reach all of Western Europe from Soviet-controlled territory including East Germany

Soviet threat: An SS-20 preserved in Russia shows the weapon which the Pershing II and cruise missiles were designed to counter. The SS-20 rocket launched multiple warheads and could reach all of Western Europe from Soviet-controlled territory including East Germany

They thought the exercise was really preparations for a first strike with the new Pershing arsenal part of the plan. 

The Soviets ordered its nuclear arsenal to be prepared for action and placed bombers on high alert.  

If NATO forces under U.S. command had moved to an increased state of readiness, the Soviets could well have launched their own nuclear weapons. 

Spy Oleg Gordiesky later wrote an account of the tense moments, which ended when Able Archer concluded on November 11 1983.

What peace protesters had not realized was that behind the scenes, the U.S. had made an offer in the late 1970s to the Soviets, that if it agreed to get rid of its SS-20s, the U.S, would withdraw the Pershings and the cruise missiles.

By 1986, the Soviet Union was lead by Mikhail Gorbachev, and a deal began to take shape.

By September 1987, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was signed by Reagan and Gorbachev in Washington D.C. 

It eliminated all the weapons being protested against in the space of four years, leaving just a handful of mementos in museums.

Now however, its future appears doomed. 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6724533/Putin-promises-reciprocal-measures-America-tore-arms-treaty.html

Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

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Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty
Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles
Gorbachev and Reagan sign the INF Treaty.

Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan sign the INF Treaty.
Type Nuclear disarmament
Signed 8 December 1987, 1:45 p.m.[1]
Location White HouseWashington, D.C.
Effective 1 June 1988
Condition Ratification by the Soviet Union and United States
Expiration 1 February 2019 (United States)
2 February 2019 (Russia)
Signatories  Soviet UnionMikhail Gorbachev
 United StatesRonald Reagan
Languages English and Russian
Text of the INF Treaty

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty, formally Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range MissilesRussianДоговор о ликвидации ракет средней и меньшей дальности / ДРСМД, Dogovor o likvidatsiy raket sredney i menshey dalnosti / DRSMD) was an arms control treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union (and its successor state, the Russian Federation). U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev signed the treaty on 8 December 1987.[1][2]The United States Senate approved the treaty on 27 May 1988, and Reagan and Gorbachev ratified it on 1 June 1988.[2][3]

The INF Treaty eliminated all of two nations’ land-based ballistic missilescruise missiles, and missile launchers with ranges of 500–1,000 kilometers (310–620 mi) (short medium-range) and 1,000–5,500 km (620–3,420 mi) (intermediate-range). The treaty did not apply to air- or sea-launched missiles.[4][5] By May 1991, the nations had eliminated 2,692 missiles, followed by 10 years of on-site verification inspections.[6]

President Donald Trump announced on 20 October 2018 that he was withdrawing the U.S. from the treaty, citing Russian non-compliance.[7] The Western press has been dismissive of Russian claims that U.S. missile defense in Eastern Europe, ostensibly meant to intercept missiles from Iran, presents a formidable offensive force near Russian borders. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists published a report in February 2019, using publicly available documents, on how the Aegis-based missile defense installations in Poland and Romania are not capable of providing missile defense against Iran due to the limited range of the Aegis radar, but retain offensive capabilities that are in violation of the INF.[8]

The U.S. formally suspended the treaty on 1 February 2019,[9] and Russia did so the following day.[10]

 

Background

In March 1976, the Soviet Union first deployed the RSD-10 Pioneer (called SS-20 Saber in the West) in its European territories, a mobile, concealable intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) with a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) containing three nuclear 150-kiloton warheads.[11] The SS-20’s range of 4,700–5,000 kilometers (2,900–3,100 mi) was great enough to reach Western Europe from well within Soviet territory; the range was just below the SALT II minimum range for an intercontinental ballistic missile, 5,500 km (3,400 mi).[12][13][14] The SS-20 replaced aging Soviet systems of the SS-4 Sandal and SS-5 Skean, which were seen to pose a limited threat to Western Europe due to their poor accuracy, limited payload (one warhead), lengthy preparation time, difficulty in being concealed, and immobility (thus exposing them to pre-emptive NATO strikes ahead of a planned attack).[15] Whereas the SS-4 and SS-5 were seen as defensive weapons, the SS-20 was seen as a potential offensive system.[16]

The US, then under President Jimmy Carter, initially considered its strategic nuclear weapons and nuclear-capable aircraft to be adequate counters to the SS-20 and a sufficient deterrent against possible Soviet aggression. In 1977, however, Chancellor Helmut Schmidt of West Germany argued in a speech that a Western response to the SS-20 deployment should be explored, a call which was echoed by NATO, given a perceived Western disadvantage in European nuclear forces.[14] Leslie H. Gelb, the US Assistant Secretary of State, later recounted that Schmidt’s speech pressured the US into developing a response.[17]

SS-20 launchers

On 12 December 1979, following European pressure for a response to the SS-20, Western foreign and defense ministers meeting in Brussels made the NATO Double-Track Decision.[14] The ministers argued that the Warsaw Pacthad “developed a large and growing capability in nuclear systems that directly threaten Western Europe”: “theater” nuclear systems (i.e., tactical nuclear weapons[18]). In describing this “aggravated” situation, the ministers made direct reference to the SS-20 featuring “significant improvements over previous systems in providing greater accuracy, more mobility, and greater range, as well as having multiple warheads”. The ministers also attributed the altered situation to the deployment of the Soviet Tupolev Tu-22M strategic bomber, which they believed to display “much greater performance” than its predecessors. Furthermore, the ministers expressed concern that the Soviet Union had gained an advantage over NATO in “Long-Range Theater Nuclear Forces” (LRTNF), and also significantly increased short-range theater nuclear capacity.[19]

To address these developments, the ministers adopted two policy “tracks”. One thousand theater nuclear warheads, out of 7,400 such warheads, would be removed from Europe and the US would pursue bilateral negotiations with the Soviet Union intended to limit theater nuclear forces. Should these negotiations fail, NATO would modernize its own LRTNF, or intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF), by replacing US Pershing 1a missiles with 108 Pershing IIlaunchers in West Germany and deploying 464 BGM-109G Ground Launched Cruise Missiles (GLCMs) to BelgiumItaly, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom beginning in December 1983.[13][20][21][22]

Negotiations

Early negotiations: 1981–1983

The Soviet Union and United States agreed to open negotiations and preliminary discussions, named the Preliminary Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Talks,[13] which began in Geneva in October 1980. On 20 January 1981, Ronald Reagan was sworn into office as President after defeating Jimmy Carter in an election. Formal talks began on 30 November 1981, with the US then led by Ronald Reagan and the Soviet Union by Leonid Brezhnev. The core of the US negotiating position reflected the principles put forth under Carter: any limits placed on US INF capabilities, both in terms of “ceilings” and “rights”, must be reciprocated with limits on Soviet systems. Additionally, the US insisted that a sufficient verification regime be in place.[23]

Paul Nitze, a longtime hand at defense policy who had participated in the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT), led the US delegation after being recruited by Secretary of State Alexander Haig. Though Nitze had backed the first SALT treaty, he opposed SALT II and had resigned from the US delegation during its negotiation. Nitze was also then a member of the Committee on the Present Danger, a firmly anti-Soviet group composed of neoconservatives and conservative Republicans.[17][24] Yuli Kvitsinsky, the well-respected second-ranking official at the Soviet embassy in West Germany, headed the Soviet delegation.[16][25][26][27]

Paul Nitze, 1983

On 18 November 1981, shortly before the beginning of formal talks, Reagan made the Zero Option proposal (or the “zero-zero” proposal).[28] The plan called for a hold on US deployment of GLCM and Pershing II systems, reciprocated by Soviet elimination of its SS-4, SS-5, and SS-20 missiles. There appeared to be little chance of the Zero Option being adopted, but the gesture was well received in the European public. In February 1982, US negotiators put forth a draft treaty containing the Zero Option and a global prohibition on intermediate- and short-range missiles, with compliance ensured via a stringent, though unspecific, verification program.[25]

Opinion within the Reagan administration on the Zero Option was mixed. Richard Perle, then the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs, was the architect of the plan. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, who supported a continued US nuclear presence in Europe, was skeptical of the plan, though eventually accepted it for its value in putting the Soviet Union “on the defensive in the European propaganda war”. Reagan later recounted that the “zero option sprang out of the realities of nuclear politics in Western Europe”.[28] The Soviet Union rejected the plan shortly after the US tabled it in February 1982, arguing that both the US and Soviet Union should be able to retain intermediate-range missiles in Europe. Specifically, Soviet negotiators proposed that the number of INF missiles and aircraft deployed in Europe by one side be capped at 600 by 1985 and 300 by 1990. Concerned that this proposal would force the US to withdraw aircraft from Europe and not deploy INF missiles, given US cooperation with existing British and French deployments, the US proposed “equal rights and limits”—the US would be permitted to match Soviet SS-20 deployments.[25]

Between 1981 and 1983, US and Soviet negotiators gathered for six rounds of talks, each two months in length—a system based on the earlier SALT talks.[25] The US delegation was composed of Nitze, General William F. Burns of the Joint Chiefs of StaffThomas Graham of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA), and officials from the US Department of StateOffice of the Secretary of Defense, and US National Security Council. Colonel Norman Clyne, a SALT participant, served as Nitze’s chief of staff.[16][29]

There was little convergence between the two sides over these two years. A U.S. effort to separate the question of nuclear-capable aircraft from that of intermediate-range missiles successfully focused attention on the latter, but little clear progress on the subject was made. In the summer of 1982, Nitze and Kvitsinsky took a “walk in the woods” in the Jura Mountains, away from formal negotiations in Geneva, in an independent attempt to bypass bureaucratic procedures and break the negotiating deadlock.[30][16][31] Nitze later said that his and Kvitsinsky’s goal was to agree to certain concessions that would allow for a summit meeting between Brezhnev and Reagan later in 1982.[32]

Nitze’s offer to Kvitsinsky was that the US would forego deployment of the Pershing II and continue deployment of GLCMs, but limited to 75 missile launchers. The Soviet Union, in return, would also have to limit itself to 75 intermediate-range missile launchers in Europe and 90 in Asia. Due to each GLCM launcher containing four GLCMs and each SS-20 launcher containing three warheads, such an agreement would have resulted in the US having 75 more intermediate-range warheads in Europe than the Soviet Union, though SS-20s were seen as more advanced and maneuverable than GLCMs. While Kvitsinsky was skeptical that the plan would be well received in Moscow, Nitze was optimistic about its chances in Washington.[32] The deal ultimately found little traction in either capital. In the US, the Office of the Secretary of Defense opposed Nitze’s proposal, as it opposed any proposal that would allow the Soviet Union to deploy missiles to Europe while blocking US deployments. Nitze’s proposal was relayed by Kvitsinsky to Moscow, where it was also rejected. The plan accordingly was never introduced into formal negotiations.[30][16]

Thomas Graham, a US negotiator, later recalled that Nitze’s “walk in the woods” proposal was primarily of Nitze’s own design and known beforehand only to William F. Burns, another arms control negotiator and representative of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), and Eugene V. Rostow, the director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. In a National Security Council following the Nitze-Kvitsinsky walk, the proposal was received positively by the JCS and Reagan. Following protests by Richard Perle, working within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Reagan informed Nitze that he would not back the plan. The State Department, then led by Alexander Haig, also indicated that it would not support Nitze’s plan and preferred a return to the Zero Option proposal.[16][31][32] Nitze argued that one positive consequence of the walk in the woods was that the European public, which had doubted US interest in arms control, became convinced that the US was participating in the INF negotiations in good faith.[32]

In early 1983, US negotiators indicated that they would support a plan beyond the Zero Option if the plan established equal rights and limits for the US and Soviet Union, with such limits valid worldwide, and excluded British and French missile systems (as well as those of any other third party). As a temporary measure, the US negotiators also proposed a cap of 450 deployed INF warheads around the world for both the US and Soviet Union. In response, Soviet negotiators expressed that a plan would have to block all US INF deployments in Europe, cover both missiles and aircraft, include third parties, and focus primarily on Europe for it to gain Soviet backing. In the fall of 1983, just ahead of the scheduled deployment of US Pershing IIs and GLCMs, the US lowered its proposed limit on global INF deployments to 420 missiles, while the Soviet Union proposed “equal reductions”: if the US cancelled the planned deployment of Pershing II and GLCM systems, the Soviet Union would reduce its own INF deployment by 572 warheads. In November 1983, after the first Pershing IIs arrived in West Germany, the Soviet Union walked out of negotiations, as it had warned it would do should the US missile deployments occur.[33]

Restarted negotiations: 1985–1987

Reagan and Gorbachev shake hands after signing the INF Treaty ratification during the Moscow Summiton 1 June 1988.

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher played a key role in brokering the negotiations between Reagan and Gorbachev in 1986–1987.[34]

In March 1986, negotiations between the US and the Soviet Union resumed, covering not only the INF issue, but also separate discussions on strategic weapons (START I) and space issues (Nuclear and Space Talks). In late 1985, both sides were moving towards limiting INF systems in Europe and Asia. On 15 January 1986, Gorbachev announced a Soviet proposal for a ban on all nuclear weapons by 2000, which included INF missiles in Europe. This was dismissed by the US and countered with a phased reduction of INF launchers in Europe and Asia to none by 1989. There would be no constraints on British and French nuclear forces.[35]

A series of meetings in August and September 1986 culminated in the Reykjavík Summit between Reagan and Gorbachev on 11 October 1986. Both agreed in principle to remove INF systems from Europe and to equal global limits of 100 INF missile warheads. Gorbachev also proposed deeper and more fundamental changes in the strategic relationship. More detailed negotiations extended throughout 1987, aided by the decision of West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl in August to unilaterally remove the joint US-West German Pershing 1a systems. Initially, Kohl had opposed the total elimination of the Pershing Missiles, claiming that such a move would increase his nation’s vulnerability to an attack by Warsaw Pact Forces.[36] The treaty text was finally agreed in September 1987. On 8 December 1987, the Treaty was officially signed by President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev at a summit in Washington and ratified the following May in a 93-5 vote by the United States Senate.[37][38]

Contents

The treaty[39] prohibits both parties from possessing, producing or flight-testing ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500-5,500km. Possessing or producing ground-based launchers of those missiles is also prohibited. The ban extends to weapons with both nuclear and conventional warheads, but does not cover air-delivered or sea-based missiles.

Existing weapons had to be destroyed, and a protocol for mutual inspection was agreed upon.

Each party has the right to withdraw from the treaty with six months’ notice, “if it decides that extraordinary events related to the subject matter of this Treaty have jeopardized its supreme interests”.

(1988) A Soviet train with SS-12 Scaleboard medium-range ballistic missiles ready to leave for the Soviet Union from Czechoslovakia’s Hranice na Morave railroad station

By the treaty’s deadline of 1 June 1991, a total of 2,692 of such weapons had been destroyed, 846 by the US and 1,846 by the Soviet Union.[40]

As provided by the treaty, onsite inspections ended in 2001. After that time, compliance was checked primarily by satellites.[41]

 

Russian criticism

In February 2007, the Russian president Vladimir Putin gave a speech at the Munich Security Conference in which he said the INF Treaty should be revisited to ensure security, as it only restricted Russia and the U.S. but not other countries.[43]

Dan Blumenthal of the American Enterprise Institute wrote that the actual Russian problem with the INF was that China is not bound by it and continued to build up their own intermediate-range forces.[44]

Alleged violations

In 2007, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Yuri Baluyevsky said that Russia was planning to unilaterally withdraw from the treaty in response to deployment of adaptable defensive NATO missile system and because other countries were not bound to the treaty.[45]

In 2013, the United States launched test launches from the ground of the AGM-158B aviation cruise missile with a range of a thousand kilometers and in December 2017, President Trump signed a bill on defense, which, among others, provided for the allocation of $ 25 million to develop a new cruise missile of this type. According to Russian diplomats this was a violation of the INF Treaty.[46]

According to US officials, Russia violated the treaty by testing the SSC-8 cruise missile in 2008.[47] The US representatives briefed NATO on a Russian nuclear treaty breach again in 2014[48][49] and 2017.[47][50] In 2013, reports came out that Russia had tested and planned to continue testing two missiles in ways that could violate the terms of the treaty: the SS-25 road mobile intercontinental ballistic missile and the newer RS-26 ICBM, although neither missile is considered intermediate range.[51]

Russian officials argued that the American decision to deploy the missile defense system in Europe was a violation of the treaty.[52][53][54] Russian experts also stated that the US usage of target missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles, such as the MQ-9 Reaper and MQ-4, violated the INF Treaty.[55]

Withdrawal

The United States declared its intention to withdraw from the treaty on 20 October 2018.[56][57][58] Donald Trump mentioned at a campaign rally that the reason for the pullout was because “they’ve [Russia has] been violating it for many years”.[57] This prompted Putin to state that Russia would not launch first in a nuclear conflict but would “annihilate” any adversary, essentially re-stating the policy of “Mutually Assured Destruction“. Putin claimed Russians killed in such a conflict “will go to heaven as martyrs”.[59]

It was also reported that the United States’ need to counter a Chinese arms buildup in the Pacific was another reason for their move to withdraw, because China is not a signatory to the treaty.[56][57][58] US officials extending back to the Obama period have noted this. For example, Kelly Magsamen, who helped craft the Pentagon’s Asian policy under the Obama administration, said China’s ability to work outside of the INF treaty had vexed policymakers in Washington, long before Trump came into office.[60] A Politico article noted the different responses U.S. officials gave to this issue: “either find ways to bring China into the treaty or develop new American weapons to counter it” or “negotiating a new treaty with that country”.[61] Bringing an ascendant China into the treaty, or into a new comprehensive treaty including other nuclear powers, was further complicated by relationships between China, India and Pakistan.[62]

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said a unilateral U.S. withdrawal would have a negative impact and urged the United States to “think thrice before acting”. John R. BoltonUS National Security Advisor, said on Echo of Moscow that recent Chinese statements indicate that it wants Washington to stay in the treaty, while China itself is not bound in a treaty.[60]

On 26 October 2018, Russia called but lost a vote to get the U.N. General Assembly to consider calling on Washington and Moscow to preserve and strengthen the treaty.[63] Russia had proposed a draft resolution in the 193-member General Assembly’s disarmament committee, but missed the 18 October submission deadline[63] so it instead called for a vote on whether the committee should be allowed to consider the draft.[63] On the same day, John R. Bolton said in an interview with Reuters that the INF Treaty was a cold war relic and he wanted to hold strategic talks with Russia about Chinese missile capabilities.[64]

Four days later, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called on Russia to comply with the treaty at a news conference in Norway saying “The problem is the deployment of new Russian missiles”.[65]

Russian president Vladimir Putin announced on 20 November 2018 that the Kremlin was prepared to discuss INF with Washington but would “retaliate” if the United States withdrew.[66]

Starting on 4 December 2018, the United States said Russia had 60 days to comply with the treaty.[67] On 5 December 2018, Russia responded by revealing their Peresvet combat laser, stating they had been deployed to Russia armed forces as early as 2017 “as part of the state procurement program”.[68]

Russia presented the 9M729 (SSC-8) missile and its technical parameters to foreign military attachés at a military briefing on 23 January 2019, held in what it said was an exercise in transparency it hoped would persuade Washington to stay in the treaty.[69] The Russian Defence Ministry said diplomats from the United States, Britain, France and Germany had been invited to attend the static display of the missile, but they declined to attend.[69] The United States had previously rejected a Russian offer to do so because it said such an exercise would not allow it to verify the true range of its warheads.[69]

The summit between U.S. and Russia on 30 January 2019 failed to find a way to preserve the treaty.[70]

The United States withdrew from the INF Treaty on 2 February 2019 following an announcement by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo the day prior. In addition the US said there was a six-month timeline for full withdrawal and INF Treaty termination if the Russian Federation did not come back into compliance within those six months given.[71][62] The same day, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia had also suspended the INF Treaty in a ‘mirror response’ to President Donald Trump’s decision to suspend the treaty, effective that day.[10] The next day, Russia started work on new intermediate range (ballistic) hypersonic missiles along with land based (club kalibr – biryuza) systems (both nuclear armed) in response to the USA announcing it would start to conduct research and development of weapons prohibited under the treaty.[72]

Reactions to the withdrawal

Numerous prominent nuclear arms control experts, including George ShultzRichard Lugar and Sam Nunn, urged Trump to preserve the treaty.[73] Mikhail Gorbachev commented that Trump’s nuclear treaty withdrawal is “not the work of a great mind” and that “a new arms race has been announced.”[74][75]

The decision was criticized by chairmen of the United States House of Representatives Committees on Foreign Affairs and Armed Services who said that instead of crafting a plan to hold Russia accountable and pressure it into compliance, the Trump administration has offered Putin an easy way out of the treaty and has played right into his hands.[76] Similar arguments were brought previously, on 25 October 2018 by European members of NATO who urged the United States “to try to bring Russia back into compliance with the treaty rather than quit it, seeking to avoid a split in the alliance that Moscow could exploit.”[63]

Stoltenberg has suggested the INF Treaty could be expanded to include countries such as China and India, whose non-inclusion, Stoltenberg said, Russia had previously admonished.[77]

According to military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer, USA and NATO currently do not have a significant number of ballistic high-precision medium-range missiles, and it will take at least five years for them to create such missiles. Therefore, the withdrawal from the treaty will provide Russia with a total nuclear superiority, and this superiority should be enough to guarantee the West from any interference if Russia decides to take over any former Soviet republics.[78]

On 15 February 2019, Tulsi Gabbard introduced the proposed INF Treaty Compliance Act (H.R. 1249), designed to stop the United States from withdrawing from the treaty.[79][80][81]

References …

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermediate-Range_Nuclear_Forces_Treaty

 

Avangard (hypersonic glide vehicle)

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Avangard
Hypersonic rocket complex Avangard.jpg

The UR-100UTTKh ICBM launched from the Dombarovsky Air Base.
Type Boost-glide vehicle
Place of origin Russia
Service history
In service In production[1]
Used by Russian Strategic Missile Troops
Production history
Designer Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology
Manufacturer Votkinsk Machine Building Plant
Produced 2018
Specifications
Mass ~ 40–50 tons[2]
Length 5.4 m

Engine Scramjet
Propellant Solid-fuel
Operational
range
Unlimited
Speed M=27[3]

The Avangard (also known as Objekt 4202Yu-71 and Yu-74) is a hypersonic glider, developed by Russia, that can be carried as a MIRV payload by the UR-100UTTKh,[4][5] R-36M2 and RS-28 Sarmat heavy ICBMs. It can deliver both nuclear and conventional payloads.[6][7][8][9] The system entered service in March 2018, and was unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin as one of the six new Russian strategic weapons.[8]

 

Development

The Avangard (then called Yu-71 and Yu-74) was reportedly tested during a series of flight tests between February 2015 and June 2016 on board the UR-100UTTKh ICBMs launched from the Dombarovsky ICBM siteduring which the glider reached a speed of 11,200 kilometres per hour (7,000 mph; 3,100 m/s) and successfully hit its targets at the Kura Missile Test Range.[10][11]

Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces Vladimir Putin watching the launch of the Avangard missile complex carrying a hypersonic glide vehicle at the National Centre for State Defence Control in Moscow. December 26, 2018.

Another flight test was carried out in October 2016 with use of the R-36M2 heavy ICBM launched from Dombarovsky ICBM site, hitting a target at the Kura Missile Test Range. This was reportedly the first fully successful test of the glide vehicle.[12][13]

On 1 March 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin in his presidential address to the Federal Assembly in Moscow announced that testing of the weapon is now complete and that the missile has entered serial production.[14][15][16][17][8] This was also confirmed by the commander of the Russian Strategic Missile ForcesColonel General Sergei Karakayev.[18][19]

The latest flight test occurred on 26 December 2018 when the glider was launched on board a UR-100UTTKh ICBM from the Dombarovsky missile base in the Ural Mountainsand subsequently hit a target at the Kura Missile Test Range.[20] The Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Yury Borisov stated a day later on a Russian TV channel that the missile flew at 27 times the speed of sound, thus making it invulnerable to interception.[20]

Design

The Avangard has been demonstrated to operate at up to Mach 27 during the latest flight test.[3] When approaching a target, the glider is capable of sharp high speed horizontal and vertical evasive maneuvers in flight, making it “absolutely invulnerable for any missile defence system,” according to Russian officials.[21][22][23][24][25] According to Russian President Putin, Avangard strikes “like a meteorite, like a fireball”.[26] The blast yield of a nuclear warhead carried by the Avangard is reportedly more than 2 megatons TNT.[27]

Operators

Russia

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avangard_(hypersonic_glide_vehicle)

Putin confirms development of Russia’s hypersonic cruise missile called Tsirkon

  • Russia has successfully tested a ship-based hypersonic missile the United States is currently unable to defend against, according to people with direct knowledge of U.S. intelligence reports.
  • The Russian president said the new missile will travel at Mach 9, almost 2 miles per second.

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives to deliver his annual state of the nation address in Moscow on February 20, 2019.

ALEXANDER NEMENOV | AFP | Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives to deliver his annual state of the nation address in Moscow on February 20, 2019.

Russia has confirmed it is building a new hypersonic missile that can be launched from ships or submarines and travel at almost 2 miles per second.

Russian President Vladimir Putin used his state of the nation address on Wednesday to publicly confirm that the cruise missile was well under development.

“This is a hypersonic missile called Tsirkon. It will have the speed of mach 9, it has a range of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) and can hit navy or land targets.”

The Russian leader added the missile could be launched from a ship or submarine and costs would be kept low by its compatibility with the existing Kalibr missile system.

In December, CNBC learned that a U.S. Intelligence report had highlighted testing of the Tsirkon hypersonic system, noting that five tests had been carried out by the Russian military since 2015.

Putin has previously described Russia’s hypersonic prowess as “invincible” and accused “those who have fueled the arms race over the last 15 years” of failing to contain Russia.

Publicly confirming the project on Wednesday, the Russian president again took a pot-shot at the West and specifically the United States.

“The U.S. once sought global domination through its missiles program. They should abandon illusions, we will always respond with a reciprocal response,” said Putin.

US doesn’t see ‘changing world’

In February this year, the U.S. and Russia both confirmed they would suspend participation in the decades-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, or INF treaty, which bans ground-launched medium-range missiles with a range of 310-3,400 miles.

The U.S. administration, who withdrew first, said it had taken the measure following Russia’s refusal to accept that its SSC-8 missile directly contravenes the Cold War-era agreement.

NATO calls on Russia to comply with denuclearization treaty

NATO calls on Russia to comply with missile treaty  

Addressing the topic Wednesday, Putin said Russia “doesn’t threaten anyone” and its military build-up was a defensive measure.

“We do not want confrontation with a global power, especially like the U.S., but it seems like the U.S. doesn’t see how the world is changing,” he said, before adding that he was ready for further talks on arms control but “we are not going to keep knocking on a locked door.”

Now that both countries have suspended the INF treaty, it will expire in August if Washington and the Kremlin don’t find agreement.

The White House and the U.S. Department of Defense didn’t immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

CNBC’s Amanda Maciascontributed to this report.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/20/putin-confirms-tsirkon-russian-hypersonic-cruise-missile.html

Story 2: Communist China’s Totalitarian Regime’s Social Credit System or Digital Dictatorship — Videos

Social Credit: Almost There, a Warning to Every American! (2018)

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Does China have a secret plan to take America’s place?

 

About 17.46 million “discredited” people were restricted from buying plane tickets and 5.47 million were restricted from purchasing high-speed train tickets, the report said. Photo: Handout

China’s social credit system shows its teeth, banning millions from taking flights, trains

  • Annual report shows the businesses and individuals added to trustworthiness blacklist as use of the government system accelerates
  • System aims to pressure citizens to avoid bad behaviour, although human rights advocates argue it does not take into account individual circumstances

Story 3: Socialist Sanders Rakes in $6 Million From Over 225,000 Contributors — Videos

Bernie Sanders Raises $6 Million After Announcing Presidential Bid

Bernie Sanders Raises $3.3 Million Hours After 2020 Announcement | Hardball | MSNBC

Bernie Sanders Joins Democratic Presidential Race

 

Bernie Sanders Raises $6 Million After Announcing Presidential Bid

Senator Bernie Sanders at a rally in April before the start of a march honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis. CreditTamir Kalifa for The New York Times
Senator Bernie Sanders at a rally in April before the start of a march honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis.CreditCreditTamir Kalifa for The New York Times

 Just over 24 hours after announcing his presidential bid, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has already raised $6 million from more than 225,000 donors, his campaign said Wednesday morning.

That amount far surpasses what any of his rivals have disclosed raising after their own announcements this year.

Previously, Senator Kamala Harris of California had claimed the biggest early fund-raising haul that had been made public, with $1.5 million in 24 hours. In comparison, Mr. Sanders’s campaign said its fund-raising in the first 24 hours came to $5.9 million.

Later Wednesday, President Trump’s campaign cited Mr. Sanders’s windfall in its own fund-raising pitch, sending a text message to supporters telling them about the $6 million that “Socialist Bernie” had raised. “Now I’m calling on you to CRUSH that number,” the message said.

Mr. Sanders’s early fund-raising success is not unexpected: After all, he raised well over $200 million when he ran against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 election, and his list of online donors dwarfs those of his Democratic rivals.

[Where does Bernie Sanders stand on key issues? Here’s a refresher.]

But in a crowded presidential field, where candidates are eager to demonstrate the enthusiasm behind their campaigns, early fund-raising hauls offer bragging rights, at least for a moment.

A recent New York Times analysis found that Mr. Sanders began his 2020 candidacy with about 2.1 million online donors who had given him money over the last six years, an enormous lead among proven contributors that is roughly equivalent to the donor base of all the other Democratic hopefuls combined.

Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman who ran unsuccessfully for Senate last year, has twice as many online donors as anyone running or considering running besides Mr. Sanders. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Ms. Harris each had drawn money from at least 230,000 online donors ahead of their candidacies.

A more complete view of the candidates’ fund-raising will eventually be available through the Federal Election Commission. Several well-known Democratic candidates have not released early fund-raising totals, including Ms. Warren, Ms. Gillibrand and Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/20/us/politics/bernie-sanders-fundraising.html

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1048, March 21, 2018, Story 1: Austin Serial Bomber, Mark Anthony Conditt, 23, Blows Himself Up as Police Close In On Bomber’s Car — Videos — Story 2: President Trump Like Former President Barack Obama Congratulated Validmer Putin Election Win — Videos — Story 3: Fired Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe Authorized Investigation of Attorney General Jeff Session — Time For A Second Special Counsel To Clean-up The Corruption At The FBI and Department of Justice Caused By The Clinton Obama Democrat Conspiracy To Spy On American People — Plotters Panicking: McCabe, Comey, Lynch, Brennan, Clapper, Power, Rice, Jarrett, Obama — Videos

Posted on March 21, 2018. Filed under: Abortion, American History, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Biology, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Chemistry, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, Federal Government, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Fourth Amendment, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hate Speech, Health, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, Homicide, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Independence, James Comey, Killing, Labor Economics, Language, Law, Life, Lying, Media, Medical, Mental Illness, National Security Agency, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, President Trump, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Science, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Sexual Harrasment, Social Networking, Spying, Success, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Treason, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Austin Serial Bomber, Mark Anthony Conditt, 23, Blows Himself Up as Police Close In On Bomber’s Car — Videos —

Two people were killed and five injured in five explosions that began on March 2. A sixth device was found before it detonated

See the source image

Mark Conditt’s family didn’t know he was Austin bombing suspect

Austin bombing suspect wrote about gay marriage, abortion in class blog

Austin bombing suspect blows himself up during police confrontation

Police: Austin bombing suspect kills himself with explosive device

Austin serial bomber dead; kills self with explosives

Austin Bomb Suspect Laid Out Views In 2012 Blog

How technology caught the Austin serial bomber

Man suspected of Texas bombings killed himself in police showdown

BREAKING: Austin Bomber’s ‘Treasure Trove’ He Left Behind Just FOUND!

Austin serial bomber was scouting NEW targets to continue his campaign of terror as investigators storm his house and warn that the homeschooled Christian may have sent MORE devices

  • Austin bomber Mark Anthony Conditt, 23, blew himself up as police tried to arrest him about 2am Wednesday
  • Police were able to zero in on the bomber after obtaining CCTV footage of him posting two packages at a FedEx office in Austin on Sunday night
  • Authorities are warning more bombs could be out there because Conditt’s final movements aren’t yet known
  • The bomber had gone on a three week bombing spree that killed two people and injured at least five others
  • The most recent package bomb detonated at a FedEx distribution center near San Antonio early Tuesday
  • Police still do not know the motive behind the attacks or whether the bomber had an accomplice
  • Investigators say Conditt’s Google search history indicated he was researching other addresses
  • Bomber used ‘exotic’ batteries ordered online from Asia to make his bombs and bought some equipment from a local Home Depot store
  • Conditt, who previously worked as a computer repair technician, is believed to have made the bombs himself
  • Neighbors described Conditt as a quiet, studious young man who came from a ‘good Christian’ family
  • His 2012 blog posts indicate he was in favor of the death penalty and was against gay marriage and abortion

The 23-year-old who blew himself up as police tried to arrest him over a string of deadly Austin bombings has been described as a quiet, home-schooled young man.

Mark Anthony Conditt killed himself when he detonated a bomb inside his SUV as police surrounded him near a hotel on Interstate 35, just outside Austin, at about 2am on Wednesday.

Police closed in on the bomber after obtaining CCTV footage of him posting two packages at a FedEx office that intended to target people of color on Sunday night.

Authorities are warning that more bombs could still be out there because they do not know if he posted more devices prior to his death. Investigators say Conditt’s Google search history indicated he was researching other addresses before SWAT teams cornered him.

Police started evacuating the area around Conditt’s home at about 1pm on Wednesday, fearing there could explosives there. They have also questioned his two housemates about their knowledge of the bombings. One roommate was questioned and later released, while the second was still being held for questioning.

The bomber had gone on a three week bombing spree stretching back to March 2. The series of bombings killed two people and injured at least five others. The most recent package bomb detonated at a FedEx distribution center near San Antonio early Tuesday.

Police still do not know the motive behind the attacks or whether the bomber had an accomplice, but did say he wasn’t previously known to law enforcement. Police believe Conditt, who previously worked as a computer repair technician and at a manufacturing company, made all the bombs himself.

Shocked neighbors described Conditt as a quiet, studious young man who came from a good family.

He doesn’t appear to have left much of a trail on social media but his blog posts from 2012 indicate he was in favor of the death penalty and was against gay marriage and abortion. He identified himself as a conservative but said he was not politically engaged and said he had interests in tennis, parkour and gymnastics.

An aerial view of the bomber’s car is pictured above after the 23-year-old detonated an explosive device before police could arrest him

Authorities had zeroed in on the Austin bombing suspect in the last 24 to 36 hours and located his vehicle at a hotel (above) on Interstate 35 in the suburb of Round Rock early Wednesday morning

Police zeroed in on the bomber after CCTV taken at a FedEx office in south Austin emerged showing him dropping off two packages around 7.30pm on Sunday. He appeared to be in disguise and was wearing latex-style gloves to handle the parcels

Conditt was home-schooled growing up with his three younger sisters. He attended Austin Community College from 2010-12 when he 15 but didn’t graduate. He was fired from his sales job at local business Crux Manufacturing in August last year after failing to meet expectations.

He had purchased a property in the Austin suburb of Pflugerville last year and neighbors told the Statesman that he had been living in that home with several housemates prior to the bombings.

His parents Danene and Pat Conditt lived in their family home – a tidy white clapboard, two story house – not too far away. Neighbor Jeff Reeb, 75, told DailyMail.com that Conditt was the eldest of four children and he moved out several years ago.

Shocked neighbors described Conditt as a quiet, studious young man who came from a good family. His blog posts from 2012 indicate he was in favor of the death penalty and was against gay marriage and abortion

‘It doesn’t make any sense, none of it,’ he said. ‘I’d see him when he came back to visit his parents. He’d drive up in his red truck and stay two or three hours.

Other neighbors described the Conditts as a ‘nice Christian family’.

A lone police officer stood guard outside the family home as one of Mark’s sisters ushered FBI and ATF agents inside on Wednesday just hours after her brother had blown himself up.

Gov. Greg Abbott said Conditt was apparently unemployed when he began planting bombs. Abbott added that some of the equipment Conditt used was purchased from Home Depot.

He said that among the items the bomber purchased at Home Depot were five signs saying ‘CAUTION CHILDREN AT PLAY.’ He said he was told a tripwire bomb that injured two men in Austin on Sunday was tied to one of the signs.

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said officers used CCTV, cell phone data, witness accounts and store receipts to track the bomber to the hotel north of the city.

When officers arrived at the hotel, the man was sitting inside his vehicle and police called for backup before they attempted to make an arrest.

As reinforcements were arriving the man left the hotel and police followed him. The suspect pulled off the city’s main highway and brave officers rammed his car to stop him, knowing it was likely packed with explosives.

Two Austin police officers were approaching his vehicle when he detonated a bomb. One officer fired at the vehicle and the other sustained a minor injury after being thrown back when the bomb went off.

The bomber’s death came just hours after CCTV footage emerged showing the suspect at a Fed-Ex office in the south of the city.

Images show the man wearing a disguise and delivering two packages to the store around 7.30pm on Sunday. It appears he was wearing latex style gloves at the time he posted the packages.

One of the packages subsequently exploded on a conveyor belt at a FedEx sorting facility outside of San Antonio in Schertz just after midnight on Tuesday. The other was intercepted at a facility near Austin airport and was later confirmed to contain a bomb.

 

The 23-year-old who blew himself up as police tried to arrest him over a string of deadly Austin bombings has been described as a quiet, home-schooled young man.

Mark Anthony Conditt killed himself when he detonated a bomb inside his SUV as police surrounded him near a hotel on Interstate 35, just outside Austin, at about 2am on Wednesday.

Police closed in on the bomber after obtaining CCTV footage of him posting two packages at a FedEx office that intended to target people of color on Sunday night.

Authorities are warning that more bombs could still be out there because they do not know if he posted more devices prior to his death. Investigators say Conditt’s Google search history indicated he was researching other addresses before SWAT teams cornered him.

Police started evacuating the area around Conditt’s home at about 1pm on Wednesday, fearing there could explosives there. They have also questioned his two housemates about their knowledge of the bombings. One roommate was questioned and later released, while the second was still being held for questioning.

The bomber had gone on a three week bombing spree stretching back to March 2. The series of bombings killed two people and injured at least five others. The most recent package bomb detonated at a FedEx distribution center near San Antonio early Tuesday.

Police still do not know the motive behind the attacks or whether the bomber had an accomplice, but did say he wasn’t previously known to law enforcement. Police believe Conditt, who previously worked as a computer repair technician and at a manufacturing company, made all the bombs himself.

Shocked neighbors described Conditt as a quiet, studious young man who came from a good family.

He doesn’t appear to have left much of a trail on social media but his blog posts from 2012 indicate he was in favor of the death penalty and was against gay marriage and abortion. He identified himself as a conservative but said he was not politically engaged and said he had interests in tennis, parkour and gymnastics.

Conditt killed himself after detonating a bomb in his car (pictured above) as authorities zeroed in on him early Wednesday

An aerial view of the bomber’s car is pictured above after the 23-year-old detonated an explosive device before police could arrest him

Authorities had zeroed in on the Austin bombing suspect in the last 24 to 36 hours and located his vehicle at a hotel (above) on Interstate 35 in the suburb of Round Rock early Wednesday morning

Police zeroed in on the bomber after CCTV taken at a FedEx office in south Austin emerged showing him dropping off two packages around 7.30pm on Sunday. He appeared to be in disguise and was wearing latex-style gloves to handle the parcels

Police zeroed in on the bomber after CCTV taken at a FedEx office in south Austin emerged showing him dropping off two packages around 7.30pm on Sunday. He appeared to be in disguise and was wearing latex-style gloves to handle the parcels

He had purchased a property in the Austin suburb of Pflugerville last year and neighbors told the Statesman that he had been living in that home with several housemates prior to the bombings.

His parents Danene and Pat Conditt lived in their family home – a tidy white clapboard, two story house – not too far away. Neighbor Jeff Reeb, 75, told DailyMail.com that Conditt was the eldest of four children and he moved out several years ago.

Shocked neighbors described Conditt as a quiet, studious young man who came from a good family. His blog posts from 2012 indicate he was in favor of the death penalty and was against gay marriage and abortion

Shocked neighbors described Conditt as a quiet, studious young man who came from a good family. His blog posts from 2012 indicate he was in favor of the death penalty and was against gay marriage and abortion

‘It doesn’t make any sense, none of it,’ he said. ‘I’d see him when he came back to visit his parents. He’d drive up in his red truck and stay two or three hours.

Other neighbors described the Conditts as a ‘nice Christian family’.

A lone police officer stood guard outside the family home as one of Mark’s sisters ushered FBI and ATF agents inside on Wednesday just hours after her brother had blown himself up.

Gov. Greg Abbott said Conditt was apparently unemployed when he began planting bombs. Abbott added that some of the equipment Conditt used was purchased from Home Depot.

He said that among the items the bomber purchased at Home Depot were five signs saying ‘CAUTION CHILDREN AT PLAY.’ He said he was told a tripwire bomb that injured two men in Austin on Sunday was tied to one of the signs.

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said officers used CCTV, cell phone data, witness accounts and store receipts to track the bomber to the hotel north of the city.

When officers arrived at the hotel, the man was sitting inside his vehicle and police called for backup before they attempted to make an arrest.

As reinforcements were arriving the man left the hotel and police followed him. The suspect pulled off the city’s main highway and brave officers rammed his car to stop him, knowing it was likely packed with explosives.

Two Austin police officers were approaching his vehicle when he detonated a bomb. One officer fired at the vehicle and the other sustained a minor injury after being thrown back when the bomb went off.

The bomber’s death came just hours after CCTV footage emerged showing the suspect at a Fed-Ex office in the south of the city.

Images show the man wearing a disguise and delivering two packages to the store around 7.30pm on Sunday. It appears he was wearing latex style gloves at the time he posted the packages.

One of the packages subsequently exploded on a conveyor belt at a FedEx sorting facility outside of San Antonio in Schertz just after midnight on Tuesday. The other was intercepted at a facility near Austin airport and was later confirmed to contain a bomb.

Mark Conditt, pictured above with his parents Danene and Pat and his three young sisters, previously worked as a computer repair technician and is believed to have made all the bombs himself

Neighbors described the Conditts as a 'nice Christian family' and his mother had indicated on social media that the 23-year-old had been considering going on a 'mission' after finishing his studies

Police were spotted searching the home where Conditt lived with two others at about 1pm on Wednesday, fearing there could explosives there. They had also earlier evacuated the neighborhood and questioned his two roommates

A heavy law enforcement presence was spotted outside Conditt's home in Pflugerville on Wednesday morning after he blew himself up

His parents Danene and Pat Conditt lived in their family home - a tidy white clapboard, two story house (pictured above) - not too far away from him. Authorities went to the house on Wednesday just hours after Conditt blew himself up

ATF Special Agent George Goodman flew in from Michigan with his five-year-old chocolate lab Bonny to search the parents' property after the series of bombings but didn't locate anything

ATF Special Agent George Goodman flew in from Michigan with his five-year-old chocolate lab Bonny to search the parents’ property after the series of bombings but didn’t locate anything

Two people were killed and five injured in five explosions that began on March 2. A sixth device was found before it detonated

Two people were killed and five injured in five explosions that began on March 2. A sixth device was found before it detonated

Law enforcement sources told KUVE that the tipping point in the investigation came on Tuesday at about 9pm after the CCTV footage emerged.

It led police to the suspect’s home and allowed them to collect cell phone data that enabled them to track him to his hotel.

Timeline of how Austin bomber was busted:

Tuesday:

After 9pm – Authorities identify the suspect after obtaining CCTV footage from a FedEx store in South Austin that shows him posting two packages on Sunday night.

It leads police to his home where they obtain information from his Google history and computer confirming he was looking at where he could ship the devices.

Wednesday:

Around 2am – Police use cell phone data to track Conditt to a hotel on Interstate 35, just outside Austin.

Cops find him sitting in his car and they call for backup to make an arrest.

Just before 3am – As reinforcements are arriving, suspect starts driving away in the direction of the highway.

Officers ram his car to stop him fleeing. As two cops approach his car, he detonates a bomb and kills himself.

8am – Bomber is identified as local 23-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt.

Authorities also got information from Google and from the suspect’s computer history that confirmed the suspect was looking at information on where to ship devices. Based on that information, police were dispatched to two homes on Tuesday night to check for packages.

The bomber is understood to have used ‘exotic’ and foreign batteries ordered online from Asia to make the bombs, NBC reports. Law enforcement said the signature trait is what helped them quickly link all the bombings together.

It is not known if the suspect was planning to deliver a seventh device when police stopped him. Chief Manley said it is not clear why he tried to leave the parking lot of the hotel.

Chief Manley has warned residents not to let their guard down yet, saying there was a possibility that more bombs had yet to be found.

‘We don’t know where this suspect has spent his last 24 hours and therefore we still need to remain vigilant to ensure that no other packages or devices have been left to the community,’ Manley said.

The I-35 was closed off in both directions following the explosion and officers are set to remain on scene until their investigation has been completed.

Austin PD homicide detective David Fugitt said the Conditt family was cooperating ‘above and beyond’ what police could expect. He said a ballistics sniffing dog had been brought to the family home on a quiet cul-de-sac later on Wednesday but stressed that was just a precaution.

‘They are having a difficult time,’ Fugitt said. ‘It’s a shock to their conscience as well.’

He said police have no information that Conditt’s family had any knowledge of Mark’s bombing campaign.

‘They want to express their condolences to the families affected by this.’

He said the family will issue a formal statement later Wednesday.

President Donald Trump, who was earlier criticized for failing to speak out over the shootings, tweeted ‘Austin bombing suspect is dead’ on Wednesday morning. ‘Great job by law enforcement and all concerned,’ he added.

Police say they tracked the bomber to the Round Rock area using CCTV (pictured above), store receipts and cell phone data

Conditt was captured on CCTV cameras sending two packages at a FedEx office on Sunday. He was dressed in disguise and was wearing latex protective gloves at the time

Conditt was captured on CCTV cameras sending two packages at a FedEx office on Sunday. He was dressed in disguise and was wearing latex protective gloves at the time

The packages he sent from Austin were addressed to two places in the city. One exploded at a FedEx facility and the other was found before it could detonate

The packages he sent from Austin were addressed to two places in the city. One exploded at a FedEx facility and the other was found before it could detonate

President Trump, who was earlier criticized for his silence around the attacks, tweeted on Wednesday morning. Republican Ted Cruz also thanked police for their efforts

The series of bombings killed two people and injured at least five others, unnerving residents of Austin, a city of some 1 million people.

The first incident occurred on March 2 when a package bomb exploded at a northeast Austin home, killing a 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House.

Two more package bombs then exploded further south on March 12. Draylen Mason, 17, was killed and his mother was wounded after they opened a package in their kitchen.

A 75-year-old Hispanic woman named by family as Esperanza Herrera was severely injured when a package bomb exploded at her home a few hours later.

On Sunday, two white men aged in their 20s were badly injured when they triggered a ‘near-invisible’ tripwire linked to another explosive device.

A female employee was wounded at a FedEx facility in San Antonio just after midnight on Tuesday when a package exploded while moving between conveyor belts. The package had been posted from a FedEx office in the Austin area and was addressed to a home in Austin.

Hours later, a bomb was discovered at another FedEx facility near Austin airport but was found before it detonated. The package was posted from the same address in Austin as the one that exploded earlier in the day.

The first three devices were parcel bombs dropped off in front of homes around Austin neighborhoods.

The series of bombings bewildered law enforcement officials, who by Sunday began taking the unusual step of publicly calling on the bomber to get in touch and explain why he was carrying out the attacks.

Authorities had initially believed the bombings may be hate crimes because the first two victims were black, but they backed off that theory after Hispanic and white victims from different parts of the city were also affected.

President Donald Trump had earlier been criticized for his silence over the bombing spree given most of the victims were from the city’s historically black and Latino neighborhoods.

Unlike other attacks, such as the Pulse nightclub shooting in Florida, which Trump was quick to label an act of terrorism, the president initially remained silent about the Austin bombs.

Previous victims: Anthony Stephan House, 39, (left) died on March 2 and Draylen Mason, 17, (right) died on March 12 when package bombs were left at their respective homes

A second package was later intercepted and was confirmed to contain another bomb (pictured, FBI agents at the facility where a package exploded)

A second package was later intercepted and was confirmed to contain another bomb (pictured, FBI agents at the facility where a package exploded)

Two men were injured on Sunday after triggering a tripwire bomb, the fourth such explosion in the city in two weeks

Two men were injured on Sunday after triggering a tripwire bomb, the fourth such explosion in the city in two weeks

Three weeks of terror: Timeline of Texas package bomb attacks

Anthony Stephan House, 39, died on March 2 after opening a package delivered to his Austin home

Anthony Stephan House, 39, died on March 2 after opening a package delivered to his Austin home

March 2: Police are called to the scene of an explosion in Austin around 6.55am. Anthony Stephan House, 39, is found with critical injuries and taken to hospital, but is pronounced dead around 7.45am. Officers say the explosion is ‘not part of a larger scheme’.

March 12: At 6.45am officers respond to the scene of another explosion, 12 miles south of the first, which happened in the kitchen of a home. Draylen Mason, 17, is killed in the blast and his mother, aged in her 40s, is badly injured.

Just before noon a second explosion is reported, five miles south of the second. Esperanza Herrera, 75, is taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Investigators say the two explosions are linked and are also connected to the first blast 10 days prior.

Draylen Mason, 17, died on March 12 and his mother was seriously injured after a package exploded in their kitchen

Draylen Mason, 17, died on March 12 and his mother was seriously injured after a package exploded in their kitchen

March 18: Two white men in their 20s are seriously injured in south west Austin after triggering a ‘near-invisible’ tripwire that was attached to a bomb.

Police believe the attack is linked to the first three bombings and say it shows the attacker is intelligent and becoming more sophisticated.

A reward of $115,000 is offered for information on the serial bomber.

March 20: A female worker at a FedEx sorting facility in San Antonio is injured shortly after midnight when a package explodes while being moved between conveyor belts. Police say the package had been posted from a FedEx in the Austin area and was due to return to an address in the city.

Around 6.20am officers are called to another FedEx facility near Austin airport to reports of a suspicious package. It is later discovered to contain a bomb that investigators say is linked to the previous devices. The package was posted from the same address in Austin as the one that exploded earlier in the day.

Another explosion is reported shortly after 7pm at a Goodwill store on Brodie Lane, a short distance from where the two previous packages were posted. However, police later say the device was ‘old, military type ordinances’ that were donated, and is not related to the other attacks.

A female worker at a FedEx sorting facility in San Antonio was injured when a package exploded on March 20

March 21: Police track the bomber to a hotel around 18 miles north of Austin using CCTV footage from the FedEx store and witness description of his vehicle. When they arrive he is sitting inside the vehicle in the parking lot, so they call for backup.

As backup is arriving the vehicle moves away then stops on a frontage road leading to the I-35 freeway. As officers approach the vehicle a bomb detonates, killing the driver and leaving an officer with minor injuries.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5526159/Austin-bomber-shot-dead-police-try-arrest-him.html#ixzz5APnwiyFv

 

Components used to make bombs found inside home of Austin serial bombing suspect

Components used to make bombs found inside home of Austin serial bombing suspect, Tom Abrahams reports.

The suspect in the deadly bombings that terrorized Austin blew himself up early Wednesday as authorities closed in on him, bringing a grisly end to a three-week manhunt.

The young man behind the attacks was identified as Mark Anthony Conditt, an unemployed 23-year-old who bought bomb-making materials at Home Depot. His motive remained a mystery, along with whether he acted alone in the five bombings in the Texas capital and suburban San Antonio that killed two people and wounded four others.

Authorities have detained two people who lived with Conditt. Austin police said Wednesday that one roommate was questioned and later released, while the second was still being held for questioning.

Authorities did not release the names of the roommates, explaining that they have not been placed under arrest.

During a press conference Wednesday afternoon, officials said they found components used in bombs and potential homemade explosives.

Police zeroed in on the 23-year-old man in the last 24 to 36 hours and located his vehicle at a hotel on Interstate 35 in the suburb of Round Rock. Officers were waiting for armored vehicles to arrive before moving in for an arrest when his vehicle began to drive away, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said at a news conference.

Authorities followed the vehicle, which ran into a ditch on the side of the road, he said.

When members of the SWAT team approached, the suspect detonated an explosive device inside the vehicle, the police chief said. The blast knocked one officer back, and a second officer fired his weapon, Manley said.

Austin police chief giving update on serial bomber who blew himself up in Round Rock

View image on Twitter

Here’s a look at the Austin bomber’s car. Police say Mark Conditt, the 23 yo suspect, blew himself up. Officers say he’s tied to five other explosions, some deadly. @abc13houston

The mayor of Pflugerville, an Austin suburb not far from the site of the first of four bombings, said the suspect lived in his city, just two blocks from his house.

Pflugerville resident Jay Schulze said he was jogging Tuesday night when he was stopped by police and asked about the bombings. He said police flew drones over a home for about six hours between Tuesday evening and early Wednesday morning.

He described the home over which the drones were flying as “a weird house with a lot of people coming and going” and a bit rundown.

Austin was hit with four package bombings starting on March 2. A fifth parcel bomb went off early Tuesday at a FedEx distribution center near San Antonio. Law enforcement sources told ABC News that Conditt used the alias “Kelly Killmore” to ship two packages to FedEx.

Here are how the events of the Austin bombings have unfolded over the last few weeks.

Citing a high-ranking law enforcement official, the Austin American-Statesman reported that authorities had identified the suspect based largely on information, including security video, gleaned after he sent an explosive device from an Austin-area FedEx store.

Officials then tracked Conditt using his vehicle and his cell phone.

He also purchased bomb making materials at a Home Depot near his house, and they included nails and battery packs, according to authorities.

Police warned Wednesday of the possibility that more bombs had yet to be found.

“We don’t know where this suspect has spent his last 24 hours, and therefore we still need to remain vigilant to ensure that no other packages or devices have been left to the community,” Manley said.

Manley said the suspect is believed to be responsible for all the major Austin bombings.

AUSTIN BOMBING SUSPECT IS DEAD. Great job by law enforcement and all concerned!

To say all of your colleagues across the Nation are proud of you, @Austin_Police, @ATFHou, @FBI & all who worked courageously & tirelessly, would be understatement. Now let’s remove that interim title & build the Department which is long overdue. Congratulations. https://twitter.com/chief_manley/status/976405321005531136 

Authorities initially believed the bombings may be hate crimes because the victims of the earliest blasts were black, but they backed off that theory after Hispanic and white victims from different parts of the city were also affected. The suspect was described as white.

Fred Milanowski, an agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said it was “hard to say” if the bombing suspect had acted alone.

“What we do know is we believe the same person built each one of these devices,” said Milanowski, the agent in charge of the Houston division of the ATF. “We are not 100 percent convinced there’s not other devices out there.”

Asked if the suspect built bombs before the Austin attacks, Milanowski said: “We know when he bought some of the components. It’s hard to say whether he was building along the way.”

Austin Mayor Steve Adler thanked law enforcement for their work in bringing down the suspect and urged residents to continue to report anything that appeared suspicious or out of place.

Isaac Figueroa, 26, said he and his brother heard sirens and helicopters early Wednesday in the area and drove toward them, then cut through nearby woods on foot after they hit a police roadblock.

Figueroa said they saw a silver or gray Jeep Cherokee that was pinned between black and white vehicles and “looked like it had been rammed off the road.” He said he saw police deploy a robot to go examine the Jeep.

Federal authorities have blocked off the scene in Pflugerville where they are interviewing Conditt’s former roommates.

Police say those former roommates are not suspects. However, someone was removed from the scene in handcuffs at some point.

President Donald Trump, who had earlier said whoever was responsible for the Austin bombings was “obviously a very sick individual or individuals,” tweeted, “AUSTIN BOMBING SUSPECT IS DEAD. Great job by law enforcement and all concerned!”

The suspect’s death followed a day of rapid-fire developments in the case.

On Tuesday, a bomb inside a package exploded around 1 a.m. as it passed along a conveyer belt at a FedEx shipping center in Schertz, northeast of San Antonio and about 60 miles (95 kilometers) southwest of Austin. One worker reported ringing in her ears and was treated at the scene.

Later in the morning, police sent a bomb squad to a FedEx facility outside the Austin airport to check on a suspicious package. Federal agencies and police later said that package had indeed contained an explosive that was successfully intercepted and that it, too, was tied to the other bombings.

The Schertz blast came two days after a bombing wounded two men Sunday night in a quiet Austin neighborhood about 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the FedEx store. It was triggered by a nearly invisible tripwire, suggesting a “higher level of sophistication” than agents saw in three package bombs previously left on doorsteps, Milanowski said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Russia leak raises questions about staff undermining Trump

A furor erupted at the White House on Wednesday over a damaging leak that revealed President Trump defied his aides’ advice during a congratulatory phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The White House raised the prospect of a staff purge over the disclosure, saying in a statement that it would be a “fireable offense and likely illegal” to give Trump’s briefing papers to the news media.

Chief of staff John Kelly was “frustrated and deeply disappointed” by the leak, a White House official told The Hill.

The official refused to say whether the White House has launched a formal investigation into the incident.

Only a small circle of staff members would have had access to such sensitive briefing documents, according to former White House officials, indicating that the leak may have some from somebody close to the president.

The incident raised concerns among Trump allies that members of own staff could be trying to undermine him.

“’YOU’RE FIRED’ Any free agent leaker(s) on @realDonaldTrump’s National Security Council w/their own agenda/vision for Presidency & America need to be tossed to curb in a NY minute,” Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) tweetedWednesday.

Zeldin suggested that Obama holdovers on the National Security Council may have been behind the breach. Trump and his allies have frequently warned that a “deep state” of government officials in Washington have constantly tried to torpedo his agenda.

“The ‘what would @brhodes want me to do’ attitude by some in NSC is a disease easily curable,” the New York lawmaker tweeted, referring to Obama deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes.

The person or people responsible for the leak have not been publicly identified.

The leak added to the wave of negative coverage of Trump’s phone call with Putin, frustrating the president, who has faced Russia-related scrutiny ever since he was elected.

The Washington Post and other outlets reported Trump had been warned in briefing materials not to congratulate the Russian leader on his reelection. Aides even included the message “DO NOT CONGRATULATE” in the president’s talking points.

But Trump went ahead and did it anyway, drawing criticism from Republicans on Capitol Hill.

A leading Putin opposition figure was barred from running in the election and international organizations reported instances of ballot-box stuffing and other irregularities during last Sunday’s contest.

Trump also did not confront Putin over a nerve-agent attack against a former Russian double agent in Britain, despite being instructed in briefing papers to do so. Both the U.S. and U.K. have blamed the attack on Russia. Moscow has denied the accusation.

But Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a critic of Trump’s Russia stance, said Wednesday he was even more upset with the leaks than what the president did or did not say to the Russian leader.

“No, I don’t like that he did it, but you know what I like even less? That there’s someone close to him leaking this stuff out,” Rubio told reporters at the Capitol.

“If you don’t like the guy, quit. But to be this duplicitous and continue to leak things out, it’s dangerous,” the senator added.

The leak appeared to reveal deep frustration among some members of the administration over Trump’s approach toward Russia.

Trump has long argued that forming a good relationship with Putin will help repair strained ties between the U.S. and Russia, despite warnings from advisers, lawmakers and allies that such an outcome is unlikely.

“The Fake News Media is crazed because they wanted me to excoriate him. They are wrong!” Trump tweeted Wednesday afternoon, referring to Putin.

“Getting along with Russia (and others) is a good thing, not a bad thing,” he continued. “They can help solve problems with North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, [Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] ISIS, Iran and even the coming Arms Race.”

Trump did not address the leak of his briefing materials on Twitter. He also did not appear in public Wednesday after his daily schedule was scrapped due to a snowstorm in Washington.

It’s not clear whether the president had read or absorbed the warning from his staff about his call with Putin. The Washington Post reported that national security adviser H.R. McMaster briefed the president orally before the call, but did not raise the caution against a congratulations message.

McMaster, who is reportedly on the verge of being replaced, and others will likely be the subject of scrutiny in any probe of the leaks.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the administration was cracking down on unauthorized disclosures last summer after the Post published full transcripts of Trump’s private calls with the leaders of Mexico and Australia.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday did not comment on the effort. A spokesman said the agency “takes unauthorized leaks extremely seriously” and referred The Hill to Sessions’s remarks from last summer.

At the time, Sessions said the DOJ had tripled the number of active leaks investigations and had created a counterintelligence unit to manage the heavy case load.

There have been few bombshell indictments since then, although one former National Security Agency contractor has been charged with the illegal “transmission of national defense information.”

Jonathan Easley contributed.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/379606-russia-leak-raises-questions-about-staff-undermining-trump

 

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Trump’s national security advisers warned him not to congratulate Putin. He did it anyway.

 President Trump also said that he will discuss what he described as an “arms race” with President Putin. 
 March 20 at 7:15 PM 
President Trump did not follow specific warnings from his national security advisers Tuesday when he congratulated Russian President Vladi­mir Putin on his reelection — including a section in his briefing materials in all-capital letters stating “DO NOT CONGRATULATE,” according to officials familiar with the call.Trump also chose not to heed talking points from aides instructing him to condemn the recent poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain with a powerful nerve agent, a case that both the British and U.S. governments have blamed on Moscow.The president’s conversation with Putin, which Trump described as a “very good call,” prompted fresh criticism of his muted tone toward one of the United States’ biggest geopolitical rivals amid the special counsel investigation into Russia’s election interference and the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian officials.Although the Trump administration has taken a tougher stance toward Russia recently — including new sanctions last week on some entities for election meddling and cyberattacks — the president has declined to forcefully join London in denouncing Moscow for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, England, this month. They remain critically ill.

 

Trump told reporters that he had offered his well wishes on Putin’s new six-year term during a conversation that covered a range of topics, including arms control and the security situations in Syria and North Korea. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that Skripal’s case was not discussed. Information on Syria and North Korea was also provided to the president in writing before the call, officials said.

In this file photo taken on Friday, July 7, 2017, President Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. (Evan Vucci/AP)

“We’ll probably be meeting in the not-too-distant future,” Trump said of Putin, though Sanders emphasized that nothing is planned.

The White House press office declined to comment on the briefing materials given to Trump. Two people familiar with the notecards acknowledged that they included instructions not to congratulate Putin. But a senior White House official emphasized that national security adviser H.R. McMaster did not mention the issue during a telephone briefing with the president, who was in the White House residence ahead of and during his conversation with Putin.

It was not clear whether Trump read the notes, administration officials said. Trump, who initiated the call, opened it with the congratulations for Putin, one person familiar with the conversation said.

The president’s tone drew a rebuke from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who wrote on Twitter: “An American president does not lead the Free World by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections. And by doing so with Vladimir Putin, President Trump insulted every Russian citizen who was denied the right to vote in a free and fair election.”

But Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, appeared less concerned, noting that Trump has also offered congratulations to other leaders of more totalitarian states. “I wouldn’t read much into it,” Corker said.

Putin’s latest consolidation of power came in what foreign policy analysts said was a rigged election in which he got 76 percent of the vote against several minor candidates. Some world leaders have hesitated to congratulate Putin, since his reelection occurred in an environment of state control of much of the news media and with his most prominent opponent barred from the ballot.

While Russian President Vladimir Putin was reelected in a landslide victory on March 18, videos emerged of alleged ballot-stuffing at polling stations.

Ahead of Tuesday’s phone call, national security aides provided Trump with several handwritten notecards filled with talking points to guide his conversation, as is customary for calls with foreign leaders, according to the officials with knowledge of the call, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

The notecards are similar to the one Trump was photographed clutching during a White House meeting last month with students and parents after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., officials said.

Trump’s failure to raise Moscow’s alleged poisoning of the former spy in Britain risked angering officials in London, who are trying to rally Britain’s closest allies to condemn the attack. Russia has denied involvement in the March 4 poisoning, but the attack has badly damaged British-Russian relations, and British Prime Minister Theresa May last week announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats in retaliation.

Putin has denied that Russia had any role and called the claim “nonsense.”

Asked about McCain’s criticism, Sanders noted that the leaders of France and Germany also called Putin this week, and she pointed to former president Barack Obama, who congratulated Putin on an election win in 2012.

“We’ve been very clear in the actions that we’ve taken that we’re going to be tough on Russia, particularly when it comes to areas that we feel where they’ve stepped out of place,” Sanders said. “We’ve placed tough sanctions on Russia and a number of other things where we have shown exactly what our position is.”

She emphasized, however, that Trump is determined to establish a working relationship with Putin to tackle global challenges, including confronting North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

Asked whether the Trump administration believes that Russia conducted a “free and fair” election, Sanders said the administration is focused on U.S. elections.

“We don’t get to dictate how other countries operate,” she said. “What we do know is that Putin has been elected in their country, and that’s not something that we can dictate to them how they operate.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) distanced himself Tuesday from Trump’s congratulatory remarks.

“The president can call whomever he chooses,” McConnell said at his weekly news conference. “When I look at a Russian election, what I see is a lack of credibility in tallying the results. I’m always reminded of the election they used to have in almost every communist country where whoever the dictator was at the moment always got a huge percentage of the vote.”

Trump has largely refrained from criticizing Putin amid special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of the 2016 election meddling; in February, Mueller indicted 13 Russian nationals on conspiracy charges. The president’s tone has at times been at odds with that of his administration, which has taken stronger actions to counter Russian aggression, including Trump’s authorization of new sanctions against Russia and additional support for Ukrainian troops in their fight against Russian-backed forces.

“It’s blatantly obvious that he has just an inexplicable level of support for President Putin,” said Julie Smith, a European security expert who served as deputy national security adviser for Vice President Joe Biden. “You keep thinking it will change as he sees his own administration take action — that this never-ending well of support for Putin will somehow subside. It’s disheartening at a time when our transatlantic partners really need a boost. Europe is looking to us for leadership on Russia in particular, and they’re not getting it.”

Thomas Wright, director of the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution, said Trump’s actions were “a sign he wants a pro-Russia foreign policy,” which conflicts with the harder line from his administration.

“Everyone is trying to figure out what does this mean,” Wright said. “Russia hawks say, ‘Pay attention to us, but not to the president or to the tweets.’ But the reality is, his reaction is policy. The fact that there hasn’t been a stronger sanctions response to the poisoning so far is policy.”

Trump’s applause of Putin’s victory was in line with other congratulatory calls he has made, including to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for winning a much-disputed referendum that increased his already autocratic powers, and to China’s President Xi Jinping for his “extraordinary elevation” after Xi last month engineered the Communist Party’s elimination of presidential term limits.

“I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot someday,” Trump said in a closed-door speech to Republican donors at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida several weeks ago, a recording of which was obtained by CNN.

Karen DeYoung, John Hudson and Jenna Johnson in Washington, and Anton Troianovski in Moscow, contributed to this report.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-national-security-advisers-warned-him-not-to-congratulate-putin-he-did-it-anyway/2018/03/20/22738ebc-2c68-11e8-8ad6-fbc50284fce8_story.html?utm_term=.cf38730b99d9

 

 

Story 3: Fired Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe Authorized Investigation of Attorney General Jeff Session — Time For A Second Special Counsel To Clean-up The Corruption At The FBI and Department of Justice Caused By The Clinton Obama Democrat Conspiracy To Spy On American People — Plotters Panicking: McCabe, Comey, Lynch, Brennan, Clapper, Power, Rice, Jarrett, Obama — Videos

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EXCLUSIVE: Fired FBI official authorized criminal probe of Sessions, sources say

PHOTO: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions picks up his remarks as Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe looks on during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, July 13, 2017.Alex Wong/Getty Images, FILE
WATCHTop House Intel Democrat: Even if McCabe firing ‘justified, it can also be tainted’

Nearly a year before Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired senior FBI official Andrew McCabe for what Sessions called a “lack of candor,” McCabe oversaw a federal criminal investigation into whether Sessions lacked candor when testifying before Congress about contacts with Russian operatives, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

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Democratic lawmakers have repeatedly accused Sessions of misleading them in congressional testimony and called on federal authorities to investigate, but McCabe’s previously-unreported decision to actually put the attorney general in the crosshairs of an FBI probe was an exceptional move.

One source told ABC News that Sessions was not aware of the investigation when he decided to fire McCabe last Friday less than 48 hours before McCabe, a former FBI deputy director, was due to retire from government and obtain a full pension, but an attorney representing Sessions declined to confirm that.

Last year, several top Republican and Democratic lawmakers were informed of the probe during a closed-door briefing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and McCabe, ABC News was told.

By then, Sessions had recused himself from the FBI’s probe of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election, giving Rosenstein oversight of the growing effort.

PHOTO: US Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on November 14, 2017, in Washington, DC.Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on November 14, 2017, in Washington, DC.

Within weeks, Rosenstein appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to take over the investigation and related inquiries, including the Sessions matter.

Two months ago, Sessions was interviewed by Mueller’s team, and the federal inquiry related to his candor during his confirmation process has since been shuttered, according to a lawyer representing Sessions.

“The Special Counsel’s office has informed me that after interviewing the attorney general and conducting additional investigation, the attorney general is not under investigation for false statements or perjury in his confirmation hearing testimony and related written submissions to Congress,” attorney Chuck Cooper told ABC News on Wednesday.

According to the sources, McCabe authorized the criminal inquiry after a top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, and then-Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., wrote a letter in March 2017 to the FBI urging agents to investigate “all contacts” Sessions may have had with Russians, and “whether any laws were broken in the course of those contacts or in any subsequent discussion of whether they occurred.”

It’s unclear how actively federal authorities pursued the matter in the months before Sessions’ interview with Mueller’s investigators. It’s also unclear whether the special counsel may still be pursuing other matters related to Sessions and statements he has made to Congress – or others – since his confirmation.

During his confirmation in January 2017, Sessions told the Senate committee that he had not been in contact with anyone connected to the Russian government about the 2016 election. He also said he was “not aware” of anyone else affiliated with the Trump campaign communicating with the Russian government ahead of the election.

Two months later, after a Washington Post report disputed what Sessions told Congress, the attorney general acknowledged he had met the Russian ambassador twice during the presidential campaign, but insisted none of those interactions were “to discuss issues of the campaign.”

Sessions “made no attempt to correct his misleading testimony until The Washington Post revealed that, in fact, he had at least two meetings with the Russian ambassador,” Leahy and Franken said in a statement at the time. “We know he would not tolerate dishonesty if he were in our shoes.”

Sessions called any suggestions that he misled lawmakers “false.”

Nevertheless, charges subsequently brought by Mueller raised more questions over Sessions’ testimony to Congress.

In November, former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos admitted to federal authorities that during the campaign he was in frequent contact with Russian operatives about setting up a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Papadopoulos pitched the idea to Sessions and Trump at a meeting of the then-candidate’s foreign policy team in March 2016.

PHOTO: Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Capitol Hill, June 7, 2017. Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Capitol Hill, June 7, 2017.

Sessions later told lawmakers he “always told the truth,” insisting he didn’t recall the March 2016 meeting when first testifying to Congress. He later remembered the meeting after reading news reports about it, he said.

“We are concerned by Attorney General Sessions’ lack of candor to the Committee and his failure thus far to accept responsibility for testimony that could be construed as perjury,” Leahy and Franken said in their March 2017 letter to then-FBI director James Comey, who was fired by Trump two months later.

It is a federal crime for anyone to knowingly provide false information to Congress – or to a federal law enforcement agency. No charges have been announced against McCabe, and there’s no indication that the FBI has recommended he be charged.

McCabe was fired Friday after the Justice Department‘s inspector general concluded that McCabe misled investigators looking into how Justice Department and FBI officials handled matters associated with the 2016 presidential election.

In October 2016, hoping to push back on a series of news reports questioning whether he might be trying to protect Hillary Clinton, McCabe authorized two FBI officials to speak with a reporter about his efforts to boost the FBI’s investigation of the Clinton Foundation. When he was questioned later about that decision, McCabe “lacked candor – including under oath – on multiple occasions,” Sessions said in a statement announcing McCabe’s firing.

“The FBI expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and accountability,” Sessions said. “As the [FBI’s ethics office] stated, ‘all FBI employees know that lacking candor under oath results in dismissal and that our integrity is our brand.'”

McCabe vehemently denies misleading investigators, saying in his own statement that he is “being singled out and treated this way because of the role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey.”

For more than a year, Trump and other Republicans have questioned whether McCabe harbored a political bias when making law enforcement decisions as deputy director. McCabe’s critics point to his ties to Democrats, particularly his wife’s failed Democratic run for state senate in Virginia nearly three years ago.

But in an interview with ABC News, McCabe insisted politics was “absolutely not” a factor in any of the decisions he made, noting he has considered himself a Republican all his life.

A representative for McCabe declined to comment for this article.

Franken, one of the two senators who pushed the FBI to investigate Sessions, resigned from Congress in December amid several claims of sexual misconduct.

–ABC News’ Trish Turner and Matt Mosk contributed to this report

http://abcnews.go.com/US/exclusive-fired-fbi-official-authorized-criminal-probe-sessions/story?id=53914006

DOJ gives special counsel internal docs on proposed Sessions resignation, source says

PHOTO: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions addresses a crowd of law enforcement officers in Louisville, Kentucky, Jan. 30, 2018. JOhn Sommers II/Reuters
WATCHSigns show that special counsel is pursuing a possible obstruction of justice case

In the weeks before special counsel Robert Mueller’s team interviewed Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Justice Department turned over a cache of internal correspondence, including documents related to the proposed resignation of Sessions last year and emails with the White House about fired national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.

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Details of what the Justice Department has now provided to Mueller’s team, which sources say has been investigating whether President Donald Trump sought to obstruct a federal inquiry into possible connections between his presidential campaign and Russian operatives, reflect how widely investigators are casting their net.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, ABC News reported in November that Mueller’s office was interested in obtaining internal emails related to the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the earlier decision of Sessions to recuse himself from the entire matter, but at the time it was unclear what other type of information Mueller’s office might have been seeking.

PHOTO: Robert Mueller, the special counsel probing Russian interference in the 2016 election, departs Capitol Hill, June 21, 2017.Andrew Harnik/AP, FILE
Robert Mueller, the special counsel probing Russian interference in the 2016 election, departs Capitol Hill, June 21, 2017.

Comey was fired in May of last of year, and days later Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel.

In an Oval Office meeting after Mueller’s appointment, Trump told Sessions he should resign, prompting the attorney general to submit a letter of resignation, according to The New York Times. But Trump ultimately rejected the resignation after advisers warned against it in the wake of Comey’s firing.

A month after that episode, Trump wanted to have White House aides fire Mueller but backed off after White House counsel Don McGahn and others made clear they were opposed to such a move, a source familiar with the deliberations told ABC News.

PHOTO: Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates testifies on May 8, 2017, before the US Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates testifies on May 8, 2017, before the US Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.more +

Emails and other documents produced within the Justice Department during that time, including emails with White House officials, have now been sent to Mueller’s office, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.

Sessions and Rosenstein both played key roles in Comey’s high-profile removal. To publicly bolster the controversial move at the time, the White House released two memos written separately by Sessions and Rosenstein, with both faulting Comey for his handling of the FBI’s probe into Hillary Clinton‘s use of a private email server when she was secretary of state. During a House hearing last year, Rosenstein refused to say whether he consulted with the White House before Comey’s firing or whether anyone asked him to write his memo, insisting such questions “may well be within the scope of the special counsel’s investigation.”

The special counsel has already secured charges against four Trump associates, including Flynn.

Flynn was fired only weeks into the Trump administration after then–Acting Attorney General Sally Yates informed White House officials that Flynn lied to them about his contacts with Russian officials.

Referring to the Justice Department, Yates told lawmakers last year, “We believed Gen. Flynn was compromised in regards to the Russians” and “could be blackmailed by the Russians.”

Yates privately brought those concerns to the White House, and Flynn has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, acknowledging that before Trump’s inauguration he spoke about U.S. sanctions against Russia with Russia’s then-ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak.

The Justice Department has now provided Mueller’s team with internal documents related to the matter, according to the source with knowledge of the matter.

Mueller’s team also asked former senior Justice Department officials for information from their time at the department, sources familiar with the request previously told ABC News.

Meanwhile, Sessions has faced public criticism from Trump over his recusal and Rosenstein’s subsequent appointment of Mueller.

At one point last year, Trump told reporters he wouldn’t have nominated Sessions to run the Justice Department had he known Sessions would give up oversight of the investigation.

In announcing his recusal, Sessions said he and “senior career department officials” spent “several weeks” discussing whether his role as top foreign policy adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign last year meant his “impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”

Such internal discussions have been turned over to Mueller’s team, the source familiar with the matter told ABC News.

Sessions was interviewed by Mueller’s team two weeks ago. Rosenstein was interviewed last summer.

In the wake of Flynn’s guilty plea, the former national security adviser is now cooperating with Mueller’s investigation, which has already netted another guilty plea and an indictment against two Trump associates.

Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his time with the campaign. In court documents, he said he told Sessions and Trump during a 2016 meeting that he was working with Russians to orchestrate a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Sessions rejected the suggestion that Papadopoulos should help orchestrate a meeting between the two.

In addition, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his former business partner Rick Gates have been indicted on money-laundering and other charges tied to their previous lobbying efforts. They have pleaded not guilty.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/doj-special-counsel-internal-docs-sessions-resignation/story?id=52721241

OFFICE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY

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MEET THE COUNSEL

Robin C. Ashton Photo
Counsel, Office of Professional Responsibility

Robin Ashton became the head of the Office of Professional Responsibility in January, 2011.

ABOUT OPR

The Office of Professional Responsibility, reporting directly to the Attorney General, is responsible for investigating allegations of misconduct involving Department attorneys that relate to the exercise of their authority to investigate, litigate or provide legal advice, as well as allegations of misconduct by law enforcement personnel when related to allegations of attorney misconduct within the jurisdiction of OPR. Learn more.

OPR OBJECTIVES

The objective of OPR is to ensure that Department of Justice attorneys continue to perform their duties in accordance with the high professional standards expected of the Nation’s principal law enforcement agency.

RELATIONSHIP WITH THE INSPECTOR GENERAL

Some allegations of misconduct by Department attorneys do not fall within the jurisdiction of OPR and are investigated by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). OPR’s jurisdiction is limited to reviewing allegations of misconduct made against Department of Justice attorneys and law enforcement personnel that relate to the attorneys’ exercise of authority to investigate, litigate, or provide legal advice. The OIG is required to notify OPR of the existence and results of any OIG investigation that reflects upon the professional ethics, competence or integrity of a Department attorney. In such cases, OPR will take appropriate action.

https://www.justice.gov/opr

Office of Professional Responsibility

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) is part of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) responsible for investigating attorneys employed by the DOJ who have been accused of misconduct or crimes in their professional functions. The OPR promulgates independent standards of ethical and criminal conduct for DOJ attorneys, while the DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has jurisdiction of non-attorney DOJ employees. Mary Patrice Brown was named acting head of the office in April 2009.[1] Robin Ashton became the head of the office in 2011[2]

The OPR receives reports of allegations of misconduct made against DOJ attorneys from many sources. Nearly half of all such allegations are reported to OPR by DOJ sources, such as the attorney involved.[3] The remaining complaints come from a variety of sources, including private attorneys, defendants and civil litigants, other federal agencies, state or local government officials, judicial and congressional referrals, and media reports. OPR gives expedited attention to judicial findings of misconduct.

The OPR reviews each allegation and determines whether further investigation is warranted. The determination is a matter of investigative judgment that weighs many factors, including the nature of the allegation, its apparent credibility, its specificity, its susceptibility to verification, and the source of the allegation. A decision to open a matter does not give rise to a presumption of misconduct, nor shift the burden of proof to the accused person. The OPR’s investigations involve a wide range of allegations, and the investigative methods used vary accordingly.

In many cases, the OPR notifies the accused attorney and requests a written response. Sometimes, the OPR also makes on-site investigations. The OPR reports the results of the investigation to the component head concerned and to the Office of the Deputy Attorney General. The OPR also advises the complainant and the accused attorney of its conclusion.

OPR has a policy of not reporting or investigating complaints for violation of duty of candor towards the tribunal that may be resolved in court. It does not publish this policy in the Federal Register. OPR does not publish agendas of its meetings or keep minutes of its meetings.[4][5][6]

References

External links

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

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1042, March 1, 2018,  Story 1: Trump Declares Trade War With Huge Tax/Tariff Increase on Steel and Aluminum Imports — Government Intervention or Meddling Is Not The Answer — Currency Wars Lead To Trade Wars Lead To Real Wars — Competition and Consumer Sovereignty Is The Answer — Big Government Interventionist Trump The New Hoover/Roosevelt/Nixon Progressive Interventionist and Big Spender — Decline and Fall of The American Empire — QT — Quantitative Tightening and Inflation — Videos — Story 2: New Cold War and Arms Race Between United States and Russia — Targeting Trump in Florida — Videos

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 Story 1: Trump Declares Trade War With Huge Tax/Tariff Increase on Steel and Aluminum Imports — Government Intervention or Meddling Is Not The Answer — Currency Wars Lead To Trade Wars Lead To Real Wars — Competition and Consumer Sovereignty Is The Answer — Big Government Interventionist Trump The New Hoover/Roosevelt/Nixon Progressive Interventionist and Big Spender — Decline and Fall of The American Empire — QT — Quantitative Tightening and Inflation — Videos

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Trump’s proposed tariffs raise national security questions

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Nucor CEO on tariffs: We’ve been in a trade war for 30 years

Former Nucor CEO Dan DiMicco: Tariffs Completely Justified | CNBC

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Republicans furious as Trump announces huge new tariffs: ‘A massive tax increase on American families’

President Donald Trump.

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

  • President Donald Trump on Thursday announced new tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, setting off a firestorm among Republicans.
  • Sen. Ben Sasse called the move “a massive tax increase on American families.”
  • Conservative policy groups also came out against the move.

Republicans and conservative groups were furious with President Donald Trump’s Thursday’s announcement that the US would impose new tariffs — taxes on imports — of 25% for steel and 10% for aluminum.

The move is designed to boost domestic production of US metals, but economists, lawmakers, and even many White House officials are worried it could lead to devastating consequences for the US economy.

In response, several Republicans painted Trump’s announcement as a grave mistake.

“Let’s be clear: The President is proposing a massive tax increase on American families,” Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska said in a statement. “Protectionism is weak, not strong. You’d expect a policy this bad from a leftist administration, not a supposedly Republican one.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, a key figure in the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement who supports free-trade policies, also urged Trump to reconsider.

“Tariffs on steel and aluminum are a tax hike the American people don’t need and can’t afford,” Hatch said in a statement. “I encourage the president to carefully consider all of the implications of raising the cost of steel and aluminum on American manufacturers and consumers.”

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the second-highest-ranking member of the Republican Senate leadership, told Business Insider that the move was coming from a good place but could lead to negative outcomes such as a trade war.

“Obviously we don’t want to be taken advantage of by our trading partners, but then there is always a danger of retaliation and creating trade wars,” Cornyn said. “So it’s a very delicate balance.”

Cornyn also said that while senators knew the decision was “imminent,” the announcement on Thursday was unexpected.

Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, the head of the agriculture committee, told CNN that the move would be likely to lead to retaliation against American farmers.

“Every time you do this, you get a retaliation, and agriculture is the No. 1 target,” Roberts said. “I think this is terribly counterproductive for the ag economy, and I’m not very happy.”

In addition to lawmakers, conservative action groups joined the pile-on. Adam Brandon, the president of FreedomWorks, said the decision could reverse economic gains from the new GOP tax law.

“The Trump administration would mar its otherwise strong economic record by imposing these tariffs,” Brandon said in a statement. “These could be a lethal blow to all the economic success this administration has ushered in. Higher costs to producers and distributors of goods always get passed on to us, the consumers.”

Joe Perticone contributed reporting.

http://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-tariff-on-steel-aluminum-imports-republicans-blast-2018-3

 

Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs could rattle Canada’s economy and NAFTA

  • Canada’s weak economy had GDP growth of 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter, and its stock market is down 5 percent year-to-date.
  • Canada exports nearly 90 percent of its steel to the U.S., the most of any country.
  • Canada accounts for 41 percent of America’s aluminum imports.
  • Tariffs could impact the interconnected supply chain of many industries, including autos, and this could hurt NAFTA renegotiation talks.
  • On Monday Trump signaled he may drop tariffs if a ‘fair’ NAFTA agreement is signed.
Bryan Borzykowski, special to CNBC.com

Canada's Justin Trudeau: Tariffs 'absolutely unacceptable'

Canada’s Justin Trudeau: Tariffs ‘absolutely unacceptable’  

There’s never a good time for a trade war, but for Canada the announcement of possible tariffs on steel and aluminum imports comes at a particularly difficult moment for the country.

The Great White North is currently engaged in what’s become a bitter battle over NAFTA’s future, and it was announced Friday that its GDP grew at 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter, much slower than the 4 percent it was growing at previously. Its stock market is down about 5 percent year-to-date and was flat over the last 12 months.

On Monday, Trump tweeted that his hasty announcement may not be implemented for Canada and Mexico if a fair NAFTA agreement is negotiated. Canadian market watchers are hoping this will be the case.

After aerospace-related trade flare-ups, fights over softwood lumberand President Donald Trump’s continuous verbal jabs at the country, the last thing Canada needs now is to get into another cross-border brawl.

“Canada seems to get kicked when they’re down,” said Barry Schwartz, vice president and chief investment officer at Baskin Financial Services, a Toronto-based wealth management firm. “We’re dealing with so many things at the same time, and Canada hasn’t even done anything wrong.”

The hit on Canada’s economy

Imports on tariffs could hit the country particularly hard. Canadaexports nearly 90 percent of its steel to the United States, while it accounts for 16 percent of all U.S. steel imports, the most out of any country. It also accounts for 41 percent of America’s aluminum imports. Trump’s main target in this, China, barely exports any steel to the United States, with America ranking 26th as a destination for Chinese steel imports, according to the International Trade Administration.

While there aren’t publicly listed steel and aluminum companies in Canada of any significance anymore — they were all bought in the mid-2000s by larger international concerns when demand for commodities from China was soaring — putting a 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum should make goods in other sectors, such as auto, defense and aerospace, more expensive to produce and pricier to buy. If that happens, then people and companies may spend less in other areas, which could then impact a number of sectors.

Here’s how Trump’s tariffs could affect Canada

Here’s how Trump’s tariffs could affect Canada  

“Resources will be shifted toward these two sectors and away from everything else,” said John Curtis, a senior fellow at the C.D. Howe Institute and the founding chief economist at what used to be Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. “That means people will have to pay more, so they’ll buy less of everything else in the economy.”

Where a steel tariff might have the most impact, though, is on Canada and America’s interconnected supply chain, of which many companies big and small are a part of, Curtis said. For instance, cars assembled in Canada have parts made in the United States and vice versa. Cars are often being shipped back and forth between the two countries until final assembly.

“Parts move back and forth until it might finally get made in Canada,” said Patrick Leblond, a senior fellow the Ottawa’s Centre For International Governance Innovation. “Then that car will get exported back to the U.S. Is there going to be tax every time that happens?”

Trade war worries

Steel and aluminum tariffs should be worrisome for companies and investors alike, but the big question that everyone has on their minds now is, what does this mean for NAFTA?

That question likely won’t be answered anytime soon. In a tweet Monday morning, Trump called out Canada: “We have large trade deficits with Mexico and Canada. NAFTA, which is under renegotiation right now, has been a bad deal for U.S.A. Massive relocation of companies & jobs. Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum will only come off if new & fair NAFTA agreement is signed. Also, Canada must treat our farmers much better.”

Threatening to remove tariffs only if the administration gets what it thinks is a good deal from NAFTA surely won’t go over well with Canada and Mexico. (And the United States has a trade surplus with Canada, not a deficit, according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative.)

Still, Leblond doesn’t think these tariffs will impact discussions, as negotiators likely are focused more on technical and legal issues right now than steel. Also, when the U.S. slapped a 20.8 percent tariff on Canadian lumber producers for softwood lumber imports, NAFTA talkskept going. (Canada did take its fight with the United States to the World Trade Organization, though.)

However, it certainly doesn’t help things, Curtis said, and could make negotiations much more awkward and tense. Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland, who is part of the negotiating team, said sternly that these tariffs were “absolutely unacceptable” and that Canada is prepared to “take responsive measures to defend its trade interests and workers.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau echoed Freeland’s comments, adding that “any disruption to this integrated market would be significant and serious.”

Some market analysts do foresee a grave threat to NAFTA in Trump’s tariff move. But if Canada and other countries do indeed retaliate with tariffs of their own and a trade war begins in earnest, then whether NAFTA stays or goes could ultimately be of lesser importance. It could upend global trade as we know it, Leblond said. He’s particularly concerned about Trump using a national security excuse to impose tariffs.

Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC Capital Markets, said it’s a double-edged sword in terms of the NAFTA negotiations. Unless Canada gains an exemption, a war of words and actions on trade isn’t a helpful backdrop for reasoned negotiations. But it also helps satisfy Trump’s protectionist voting bloc, perhaps easing the pressure on the White House to take a hard line on the NAFTA deal.

These sorts of disputes underscore why Canada believes that the appeal process under NAFTA is a critical piece of the puzzle. The Trump administration wants a deal that excludes that provision, but without it Canada can face spurious rulings against its exports even with a “free trade” agreement in force, Shenfeld said. “The latest claim, that U.S. national security is imperiled by the use of Canadian steel or aluminum in U.S. manufacturing, seems baseless, considering that Canada has been America’s steadfast ally,” he said.

“If everyone can now say we’re going to impose tariffs because we need to protect what’s important and use national security as a justification, then everyone will lose,” Leblond said. “[Canada] could put a ban on California wine; China could impose constraints on intellectual property rights or innovation. The fear is that it will undermine the WTO process, and for what? To protect a small portion of U.S. manufacturing jobs?”

Sagging stocks

While things could change between now and April 11, when Trump will decide whether to impose the steel tariff, and April 19, when he must make a decision on aluminum tariffs, stocks have taken a hit from the announcement.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index representing Canadian stocks hasn’t been hit as hard as the S&P 500 — the market is almost flat now since the announcement — but some companies have seen their share prices decline more significantly. Global auto parts supplier Magna, for example, is down 3.9 percent and shares of aerospace giant Bombardier fell by nearly 6 percent when the markets opened Friday but have regained some ground since.

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Jeff Mills, managing director and co-chief investment strategist at Pittsburgh-based PNC Asset Management Group, isn’t surprised that stocks in the United States and elsewhere are selling off post-announcement, though U.S. stock did rebound on Friday afternoon.

“The policy change will very likely increase costs for all consumers, which means it will serve to reduce some of the benefit of the recently passed tax bill,” he said. “Markets are now worried about countermeasures from other countries, and investors are starting to wonder what other protectionist measures Trump could take.”

Baskin Financial’s Schwartz doesn’t think the Canadian stock market will take that much of a hit over these tariffs specially — the S&P/TSX is already underperforming other markets – but if a trade war heats up then stocks in Canada and around the globe will see big declines.

“Who knows what will happen, but I presume the direction would be negative,” he said. “The price of goods for everything around the world would go up, inflation would rise, and while companies ultimately adjust to inflation, stocks will be negative while that adjustment period happens.”

Global investors can’t do much now, added Mills, as the exact details are still largely unknown, though he does think, generally, people should be making sure they’re comfortable with the risk they’re taking in their portfolios. Any investors interested in Canada, though, should hope that Trump, at the very least, makes the country tariff-exempt.

“Canada is probably the most penalized as things stand today,” Mills said. “Perhaps cooler heads prevail over the weekend and the tariffs end up being less broad-based.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/02/trumps-steel-aluminum-tariffs-may-rattle-canadas-economy-and-nafta.html

 

‘Trade wars are good,’ Trump says, defying global concern over tariffs

The European Union raised the possibility of taking countermeasures, France said the duties would be unacceptable and China urged Trump to show restraint. Canada, the biggest supplier of steel and aluminum to the United States, said it would retaliate if hit by U.S. tariffs.

U.S. stock indexes recouped some losses on Friday, but were on track to end the week in the red as investors fretted over a possible global trade war. World equity markets slid further and the U.S. dollar dropped to its lowest point in more than two years against the yen.

Trump said on Thursday that a plan for tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum products would be formally announced next week.

“When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win,” Trump said on Twitter on Friday.

In a later social media post, Trump said his aim was to protect U.S. jobs in the face of cheaper foreign products.

“We must protect our country and our workers. Our steel industry is in bad shape. IF YOU DON’T HAVE STEEL, YOU DON’T HAVE A COUNTRY!” he wrote.

Many economists say that instead of increasing employment, price increases for consumers of steel and aluminum such as the auto and oil industries will destroy more U.S. jobs than they create.

RETALIATION LIKELY

Major U.S. trade partners are likely to hit back.

Europe has drawn up a list of U.S. products on which to apply tariffs if Trump follows through on his plan.

“We will put tariffs on Harley-Davidson, on bourbon and on blue jeans – Levi’s,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told German television.

Trump’s threats to unleash a trade war over steel crushed any hopes of substantial progress in current talks with Canada and Mexico to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said any U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports would be“absolutely unacceptable” and vowed to continue to engage with U.S. officials on the issue.

The International Monetary Fund also expressed concern about the proposed tariffs and said they likely would damage the U.S. economy as well as the economies of other nations.

Trump’s announcement came after what one person with direct knowledge of the discussions described as a night of“chaos” in the White House due to frequent switching of positions in the administration.

While Trump often lays out stark policy positions which he later rolls back as part of a negotiating tactic, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the levels of the planned tariffs were not expected to change.

 

Capital Alpha Partners, a policy research group in Washington, said a quick reversal by Trump was highly unlikely.

“We also don’t see a chance for fine tuning, exceptions, carve outs, or a country-by-country policy” in the short term, the group said in a research note.“We would be hopeful that the policy could be modified in time.”

The United States is the world’s biggest steel importer, buying 35.6 million tonnes in 2017.

Peter Navarro, a White House adviser with largely protectionist views on trade, brushed off the negative effects of tariffs on U.S. industry.

    He said a 10 percent tariff on aluminum would add one cent to the cost of a can of beer, $45 to a car and $20,000 to a Boeing 727 Dreamliner.“Big price effects? Negligible price effects,” he told Fox News.

ELUXB.STSTOCKHOLM STOCK EXCHANGE
-10.20(-3.83%)
ELUXb.ST
  • ELUXb.ST

But home appliance maker Electrolux (ELUXb.ST) said it was delaying a $250 million expansion of its plant in Tennessee as it was worried U.S. steel prices would rise and make manufacturing there less competitive.

Trump’s administration has imposed a series of trade duties on a range of goods from solar panels to washing machines.

It is even studying whether America’s rubber band makers need protection as he seeks to boost domestic manufacturing and employment. The decision on steel and aluminum was the most wide ranging and provocative to date and there is the prospect of more to come, with the government holding an investigation into alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property by China.

The EU, which sees itself as a global counterweight to a protectionist-leaning Trump, made no mention of retaliation but spoke of countermeasures that conform with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

Safeguard measures, last deployed by Europe in 2002 after then-U.S. President George W. Bush imposed steel import duties, would be designed to guard against steel and aluminum being diverted to Europe from elsewhere if U.S. tariffs come in.

But to conform with WTO rules such measures would have to apply to imports from all countries and could also hit producers including China, India, Russia, South Korea and Turkey.

Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, a fellow Republican, urged Trump to rethink the tariffs.

“If the president wants to protect good-paying, family-supporting jobs in America, especially here in Wisconsin, then he should reconsider the administration’s position on these tariffs, particularly on ultra-thin aluminum,” Walker said in a statement.

China, which Trump frequently accuses of unfair trade practices, called for restraint from the United States.

“China urges the United States to show restraint in using protective trade measures, respect multilateral trade rules, and make a positive contribution to international trade order,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

Although China accounts for only 2 percent of U.S. steel imports, its massive industry expansion has helped produce a global steel glut that has driven down prices.

Economists say that Trump’s own expansionary budget policies will fuel ever larger trade deficits, essentially defeating his stated aim of having“balanced trade” with individual countries.

Additional reporting by Tom Westbrook in Sydney, Tom Daly in Beijing, Philip Blenkinsop and Robert-Jan Bartunek in Brussels, Doina Chiacu, Eric Walsh and Makini Brice in Washington, and Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss in New York; Writing by David Clarke and Alistair Bell; Editing by Paul Simao and James Dalgleish

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade/trade-wars-are-good-trump-says-defying-global-concern-over-tariffs-idUSKCN1GE1PM

The White House’s war over steel tariffs, explained

The move sparked an internal feud at the White House. Then the stock market plunged.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Trump administration may have finally launched the trade war many expected was coming.

President Trump announced plans to impose a 25 percent tariff on all steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports — a move that will likely anger US trading partners and American businesses that buy steel. Wall Street panned the move, with the Dow falling more than 500 points in the hours after Trump’s statement.

The announcement came amid a fierce fight within the White House over the proposed tariffs, according to CNBC. News reports Thursday morning said that Trump would disclose the new policy later in the day. Then the announcement was reportedly postponed. Finally, at a White House meeting with steel executives, Trump said that the tariffs would indeed be implemented. “We’ll be signing it next week,” he told the group, according to a pool report. “And you’ll have protection for a long time in a while.”

The dispute pitted free trade advocates, such as chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, against trade hawks like White House adviser Peter Navarro.

In the end, the trade hawks won. The Commerce Department will impose the tariffs under a rarely used law that allows emergency trade sanctions for “national security.”

Protecting the US steel industry from foreign competition has been a top priority for Trump’s trade team since day one. They’ve framed the issue as a fight to preserve jobs for American steelworkers, who have seen their jobs disappear as a result of automation and globalization.

Coincidentally (or not), Trump’s trade team has deep ties to the US steel industry, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross made his fortune investing in distressed steel companies. (It’s also worth noting, as Vox’s Matthew Yglesias points out, that the Metals Service Center Institute, a trade group that favors anti-import measures, held last year’s annual conference at the Trump Doral resort in Miami.)

https://www.vox.com/2018/3/1/17066838/white-house-trump-steel-tariffs

What you need to know about the Trump steel tariffs US president chooses the most drastic option available to him Share on Twitter (opens new window)

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Shawn Donnan in Washington YESTERDAY

Donald Trump has said he will impose new tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium, fuelling fears that the US is about to start a trade war with China and other major trading partners.

The move triggered a sharp sell-off in financial markets, and prompted complaints from across the broader business community that US companies would be hit by higher prices.

Here are five things you need to know.

Mr Trump has chosen the most drastic option available The president said he would sign an order announcing 25 per cent tariffs on steel imports and 10 per cent tariffs on aluminium imports. The announcement followed investigations that Mr Trump ordered last year into whether a surge in imports undermined the US’s ability to source the steel and aluminium it needs to build military equipment such as tanks and warships, as well as the nation’s broader economic security. Last month, the commerce department recommended three separate options for each metal: a global tariff, tariffs targeted at China and other key countries mixed with quotas, and a universal quota. Mr Trump opted for the global tariff option, potentially subjecting imports from all countries to the hefty levy.  Question is whether this makes sense economically The US steel and aluminium industries argue that they have faced an existential assault for more than a decade from China, which has become the world’s largest producer of both metals and has flooded global markets with cheap products. The tariffs are intended to restrict imports and allow the US steel and aluminium industries to increase production and use idle capacity, as well as rehire workers.  But history shows that imposing tariffs to protect one industry often results in pain for another. According to industry groups, about 6.5m people are employed in the US in businesses that use steel and aluminium. After President George W Bush imposed tariffs on steel imports in 2002, a study found that the move had cost the US about 200,000 jobs.  As a result, many Republicans see tariffs as a mistake, and worry that such a broad move will undermine other efforts such as tax reform intended to boost economic growth.  “The president is right to target unfair trade, but blanket tariffs that sweep up fairly traded steel and aluminium can backfire and harm our businesses and workers,” said Kevin Brady, the Republican congressman who chairs the House ways and means committee. China is unlikely to suffer the consequences The US aluminium and steel industries have long been clamouring for protection from what they claim is unfair competition from China. But following a series of product and country-specific tariffs introduced in recent years, China now accounts for very little of the steel or aluminium imported into the US. Instead, the leading source for the US of both metals is Canada. Other major Nato members such as Germany are also major exporters of steel to the US.  Many trade experts expect there will be a process for countries and companies to apply to be exempted from the tariffs. For example, Canada has long been considered part of the US national security industrial base, which, lawyers say, means it has a strong case to be exempted. Mexico could also apply for an exception given its membership in the North American Free Trade Agreement, although that pact is now being renegotiated.  But such a process is also likely to lead to furious lobbying of the president by companies who will have to seek to curry favour with the administration, said Phil Levy, a former trade adviser to Mr Bush. “It is just about the polar opposite of draining the swamp,” Mr Levy said. China and the EU are likely to retaliate EU officials have made clear that they are prepared to retaliate against any US move to impose tariffs and challenge them in the World Trade Organization.

EU member states have already begun discussing possible targets for retaliation. In the EU’s line of fire are likely to be politically sensitive products such as Kentucky Bourbon — from top Republican senator Mitch McConnell’s home state — and cheese from Wisconsin, the home of House Speaker Paul Ryan.  Wendy Cutler, a former senior US trade official who heads the Asia Society Policy Institute, said China would also likely respond with “quick and proportional” trade measures.

Ending a longstanding ceasefire in the global trading system Ever since it was established following the second world war, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade has included a loophole that allows countries to invoke “national security” to impose tariffs and other trade barriers in the event of war or other national threats. But the US and other countries have studiously stayed away from using that loophole for decades, for fear that doing so would lead others to do the same.  By invoking national security in the steel and aluminium tariffs, Mr Trump is throwing out that decades-old gentleman’s agreement. Part of the problem is that the president has made his disdain for the WTO clear.

If the US is challenged at the WTO and a panel finds that Washington wrongly invoked national security, Mr Trump — if he is still president — could decide to ignore the finding, or even pull the US out of the body altogether. Others worry that it could also have the long-feared “domino effect”, with countries such as China using national security as an excuse for their own trade measures.

“This will either close the door on being able to self-define ‘national security’ or open the door on being able to block imports simply by waving the ‘national security’ flag,” said John Veroneau, who served as a senior trade official in the administration of Mr Bush and is now at law firm Covington & Burling.

Elsewhere, the proposed tariffs are unlikely to sway US monetary policy in the short term given the direct impact on America’s $19tn economy is likely to be modest.

Even if import prices are lifted by the amount of the tariff it would add a modest 5 basis points of price pressure – which may or many not be passed onto consumer prices, according to JP Morgan calculations. If the Trump administration’s approach, however, triggers retaliation and escalates into a broader trade war, the consequences would be more serious, adding to inflationary pressures in the US while damaging growth and complicating the policy outlook.

https://www.ft.com/content/d8c3812a-1d97-11e8-aaca-4574d7dabfb6

Trump Repeats Nixon’s Folly

This president isn’t the first to embrace a “trade war” to bolster his populist credentials—but in the end, it’s ordinary people who will bear its cost.

President Trump just raised the price of cars, beer, vacations, and apartment rentals.

That’s not what most headlines say. Those headlines say that Trump will raise tariffs on steel and aluminum. Higher tariffs mean higher prices for those inputs—and therefore for the products ultimately made from those outputs. Automotive and construction top the largest users of steel in the United States. Aluminum is heavily used to make airplanes, cars and trucks, and beverage containers, and also in construction.

The last time the U.S. imposed steel tariffs, back in 2002, the project was abandoned after 20 months. A 2003 report commissioned by industries that consumed steel estimated that the Bush steel tariffs cost in excess of 200,000 jobs—or more than the total number of people then employed in the entire steel industry at the time.

This time the cost-benefit ratio is likely to skew much worse. There are fewer steel jobs to protect this time. Auto sales growth has stalled. The first warnings of consumer price inflation are appearing.

But Trump wanted tariffs, and tariffs he has got. Even by Trump standards, the decision-making process was chaos. As late as 9 p.m. last night, it remained undecided whether there would be an announcement today at all—never mind what that announcement would be. Key congressional committee chairs were unconsulted and uninformed.

The president as so often relied on junk information. The advice of the economic populist Peter Navarro(previously best known for blood-curdling anti-China documentaries) was heeded over that of actual trade experts. Industries seeking protection reportedly bought commercials on Fox & Friends. Apparently a decisive event in the debate was the firing of staff secretary Rob Porter, after revelations that he had engaged in spousal abuse. Porter had also chaired the weekly trade debate, forcing the president to confront the costs and harms of protectionism. His removal also empowered Trump’s worst instincts.

The usual rules of trade policy were ignored. For authority, Trump invoked a trade law premised on protecting war-essential industries. Yet this authority is plainly a pretext. The Department of Defense intervention in the debate shredded the logic of protectionists like Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, himself a former steel man.

U.S. military requirements for steel and aluminum each only represent about 3 percent of U.S. production. Therefore, DoD does not believe that the findings in the reports [of harm to domestic steel and aluminum producers from foreign competition] impact the ability of DoD programs to acquire the steel or aluminum necessary to meet national defense requirements.

What did alarm the Department of Defense about proposed steel and aluminum tariffs was potential harm to vital U.S. alliances. China does not rank among the top 10 steel exporters to the United States. That list is topped by Canada, followed by Brazil. In third place is South Korea, an indispensable ally in the preemptive war the Trump administration is now contemplating against North Korea.

Canada also heads the list of aluminum exporters. For that reason, DoD pleaded for even more caution with regard to aluminum tariffs than steel. “[If] the Administration takes action on steel, DoD recommends waiting before taking further steps on aluminum.”

Trump announced simultaneous action on both—without itemizing which countries would be subject to the tariffs, and which exempt. Trump’s unpredictability and threatening language have not only jolted U.S. financial markets, but have done further damage to the U.S.-led alliance system. European Union trade ministers agreed earlier this week to retaliate if the U.S. imposes steel tariffs, further degrading a U.S.-EU relationship already badly damaged by Trump’s hostility to NATO and deference to Russia.

Donald Trump is often compared to Richard Nixon in his disdain for law and ethics. The parallel applies to economics too. Nixon in 1971 quit the Bretton Woods agreement and imposed a surtax on all imports. The “shock” disrupted the world economy and profoundly angered formerly trusting friends already uneasy over the war in Vietnam. But Nixon, who knew little and cared less about economics, had his eye fixed on one concern only: the 1972 election. His emergency economic measures—joined to a loosening of monetary policy and a big increase in Social Security payouts the next year—were selected with an eye to one concern only. In the words of Allen Matusow, the shrewdest student of Nixon’s economic policy, “Somehow he had to make the economy hum by 1972 or face likely defeat in his quest for reelection.” What that meant in practice, Matsuow wrote, was that Nixon governed not according to what would work in the long term, but according to “the prevailing mood of the two-thirds of the country he called the ‘constituency of uneducated people.’”

Nixon did indeed win in 1972. He also bequeathed his country not only the worst political scandal in its history to date, but a decade of stagflation that bore most heavily upon the very people Nixon claimed to champion. We’ve been there before; it looks like we’re returning there again.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/03/steel-tariffs-consequences/554690/

Peter Navarro

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Peter Navarro
White House National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro in Orval Office in January 2017.jpg

Peter Navarro in the White HouseOval Officein January 2017
Director of the National Trade Council
Assumed office
January 20, 2017
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Position established
Personal details
Born July 15, 1949 (age 68)
Political party Democratic
Education Tufts University (BA)
Harvard University (MPAPhD)

Peter Navarro (born July 15, 1949) is an American economist who currently serves as the Assistant to the President, Director of Trade and Industrial Policy, and the Director of the White House National Trade Council, a newly created entity in the executive branch of the U.S. federal government.[1] A former professor of economics and public policy at the Paul Merage School of BusinessUniversity of California, Irvine, Navarro is the author of over a dozen books, including Death by China.

Navarro is known as a staunch critic of China and strong proponent of reducing U.S. trade deficits. He has accused Germany and China of currency manipulation. He has called for increasing the size of the American manufacturing sector, setting high tariffs, and repatriating global supply chains. He is also a strong opponent of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. His views on trade are widely considered unorthodox by other economists.

Early life and education

Navarro was born on July 15, 1949. Navarro’s father, a saxophonist and clarinetist, led a house band, which played summers in New Hampshire and winters in Florida.[2] His parents divorced when he was 9 or 10.[2]Subsequently, he lived with his mother, a Saks Fifth Avenue secretary, in Palm Beach, Florida.[2] He lived in Bethesda, Maryland, during his teenage years.[2]

Navarro graduated from Tufts University in 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He earned a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University‘s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1979, and a PhD in Economics from Harvard in 1986.[3] Shortly after graduation from Tufts, Navarro spent three years in the U.S. Peace Corps, serving in Thailand.[3]

Career

Policy analysis

In the 1970s, Navarro served as a policy analyst for the Urban Services Group, the Massachusetts Energy Office, and the United States Department of Energy.[3]

Professor Peter Navarro talks his work Death by China and how China cheats in the world trade system at University of Michigan in 2012

Navarro’s work has appeared in Barron’sBloomberg BusinessweekLos Angeles TimesThe Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, the International Herald TribuneThe New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalHarvard Business ReviewMIT Sloan Management Review and The Journal of Business.[4] He has appeared on Bloomberg TV and radio, BBCCNNNPR, and Marketplace. He is a contributor to CNBC and has appeared on 60 Minutes.[4] He also writes investment articles for thestreet.com.[5] In 2012, Navarro directed and produced a poorly received[6]documentary film based on his book, Death by China.[7] The film was released under the same title and narrated by Martin Sheen.

Navarro’s policy prescriptions include that “U.S. should be tough on trade, crack down on intellectual property theft, tax Chinese exports, combat Chinese mercantilism, [and] bring jobs home.”[8]

Academics

professor of economics and public policy at University of California, Irvine for over 20 years, Navarro has worked on energy issues and the relationship between the United States and Asia.[9] He has received multiple teaching awards for MBA courses he has taught.[10] Before joining the UC Irvine faculty, Navarro worked as a research associate in Harvard University’s Energy and Environmental Policy Center from 1981 to 1985.

As a doctoral student in 1984 Nararro wrote a book titled, The Policy Game: How Special Interests and Ideologues are Stealing America, which discussed that special interest groups had led the United States to “a point in its history where it cannot grow and prosper.” In the book he also called for greater worker’s compensation by those that had lost jobs to trade and foreign competition. His doctoral thesis on why corporations donate to charity is one of his highest cited works. He has also done research in the topic of wind energy with Frank Harris, a former student of his.[11]

He then lectured at the University of California, San Diego, where he also served as an assistant professor, teaching courses in business and government.[3] Prior to teaching, Navarro worked in Washington, D.C. as an energy and environmental policy analyst.[12] Navarro has published peer-reviewed economics research on energy policy, charity, deregulation and the economics of trash collection.[8][13][14] According to the Economist, Navarro “is a prolific writer, but has no publications in top-tier academic journals.”[15]

Academic and research authorship

Navarro is a prolific author with nearly a dozen books written on various topics in economics and specializing in issues of balance of trade. The Coming China Wars: Where They Will Be Fought, How They Can Be Won is a book by published by FT Press in (2006). Navarro examines China as an emerging world power confronting challenges at home and abroad as it struggles to exert itself in the global market. He also investigates how China’s role in international commerce is creating conflicts with nations around the world over energynatural resources, the environment, intellectual property, and other issues. A review in Publishers Weekly describes the book as “comprehensive” and “contemporary” and concludes that it “will teach readers to understand the dragon, just not how to vanquish it”.[16]

Death by China: Confronting the Dragon – A Global Call to Action (2011) is a non-fiction book by Navarro and Greg Autry[17] that chronicles “from currency manipulation and abusive trade policies, to deadly consumer products,” the alleged threats to America’s economic dominance in the 21st century posed by China’s Communist Party. Navarro argues that China violates fair trade by “illegal export subsidies and currency manipulation, effectively flooding the U.S. markets” and unfairly making it “virtually impossible” for American companies to compete.[18] It is a critique of “global capitalism” including foreign labor practices and environmental protection.[19] Currency manipulation and subsidies are stated as reasons that “American companies cannot compete because they’re not competing with Chinese companies, they’re competing with the Chinese government.”[20] Ronnie Scheib, from Variety, says “One need not fully subscribe to Peter Navarro’s demonization to appreciate his lucid wake-up call to the imminent dangers of the huge U.S.-China trade imbalance and its disastrous impact on the American economy.”[18]

Politics

Navarro ran for office in San DiegoCalifornia three times as a Democrat. In 1992, he ran for mayor as an Independent, finishing first (38.2%) in the all-party primary, but losing (48.0%) to Republican Susan Golding in the runoff.[21] In 1996, he ran for the 49th Congressional District as the Democratic Party nominee (41.9%), but lost to Republican Brian Bilbray (52.7%).[22] In 2001, Navarro ran in a special election to fill the District 6 San Diego city council seat, but lost in the primary.[23]

President Trump’s chief trade advisor

Director Peter Navarro addresses President Donald Trump‘s promises to American people, workers, and domestic manufacturers (Declaring American Economic Independence on 6/28/2016) in the Oval Office with Vice PresidentMike Pence and Secretary of CommerceWilbur Ross before President Trump signs Executive Orders regarding trade in March 2017[24][25]

In 2016, Navarro served as a policy adviser to Donald Trump‘s 2016 presidential campaign.[1] Navarro and the international private equity investor Wilbur Ross authored an economic plan for the Donald Trump presidential campaign in September 2016.[26] Navarro was invited to be an adviser after Jared Kushner saw on Amazon that he co-wrote Death by China, while he was researching China for Trump.[27] When told that the Tax Policy Centerassessment of Trump’s economic plan would reduce federal revenues by $6 trillion and reduce economic growth in the long term, Navarro said that the analysis demonstrated “a high degree of analytical and political malfeasance”.[28] When the Peterson Institute for International Affairs estimated that Trump’s economic plan would cost millions of American their jobs, Navarro said that writers at the Peterson Institute “weave a false narrative and they come up with some phony numbers.”[29] According to MIT economist Simon Johnson, the economic plan essay authored by Navarro and Wilbur Ross for Donald Trump during the campaign had projections “based on assumptions so unrealistic that they seem to have come from a different planet. If the United States really did adopt Trump’s plan, the result would be an immediate and unmitigated disaster.”[30] When 370 economists, including nineteen Nobel laureates, signed a letter warning against Donald Trump’s stated economic policies in November 2016, Navarro said that the letter was “an embarrassment to the corporate offshoring wing of the economist profession who continues to insist bad trade deals are good for America.”[31][32]

In October 2016, with Wilbur Ross and Andy Puzder, Navarro coauthored the essay titled “Economic Analysis of Donald Trump’s Contract with the American Voter”.[33] On December 21, 2016, Navarro was selected by President-elect Donald Trump to head a newly created position, as director of the White House National Trade Council.[34] He outlines President Trump’s trade policy as aiming to create jobs, revive the manufacturing sector, and improve the country’s trade balance. He warned that trade deficits could jeopardize U.S. national security by allowing unfriendly nations to encroach on American supply chains. One of his main missions is to focus on behaviors by other countries that he considers abusive, cheating, illegal, and unfair against the U.S.[35][36][37]

By July 2017, Politico reported that Navarro’s influence within the White House was weak.[38]Axios reported the same in November 2017.[39] By July 2017, Navarro only had two staffers, and the National Trade Council had essentially become part of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing policy.[38] By September 2017, the Office of Trade and Manufacturing policy had been folded into the National Economic Council, which meant that Navarro would have to report to NEC Director Gary Cohn.[40] However, in February 2018, several media outlets reported that Navarro’s influence in the administration was rising again and that he would likely be promoted shortly.[41][42]Josh Rogin, writing for The Washington Post, reported that Navarro had used his time of lowered influence to lead several low-profile policy items, such as working to increase military funding, drafting Executive Order 13806, and leading the effort to solve a dispute between the United States and Qatar over the Open Skies Agreement between the two countries.[43]

Opinions and assessment of trade policy

Navarro has been a staunch critic of trade with China and strong proponent of reducing U.S. trade deficits. He has attacked Germany, Japan and China for currency manipulation. He has called for increasing the size of the American manufacturing sector, setting high tariffs, and repatriating global supply chains. He was a fierce opponent of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

According to Politico, Navarro’s economic theories are “considered fringe” by his fellow economists.[44] Al-Jazeera notes that “few other economists have endorsed Navarro’s ideas.”[45] A New Yorker reporter described Navarro’s views on trade and China as so radical “that, even with his assistance, I was unable to find another economist who fully agrees with them.”[46] The Economist described Navarro as having “oddball views”.[47] The George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen has praised him as “one of the most versatile and productive American economists of the last few decades”, but Cowen noted that he disagreed with his views on trade, which he claimed go “against a strong professional consensus.”[44] University of Michigan economist Justin Wolfers described Navarro’s views as “far outside the mainstream,” noting that “he endorses few of the key tenets of” the economics profession.[48] According to Lee Branstetter, economics professor at Carnegie Mellon and trade expert with the Peterson Institute for International Economics, Navarro “was never a part of the group of economists who ever studied the global free-trade system … He doesn’t publish in journals. What he’s writing and saying right now has nothing to do with what he got his Harvard Ph.D. in … he doesn’t do research that would meet the scientific standards of that community.”[49] Marcus Noland, an economist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, described a tax and trade paper written by Navarro and Wilbur Ross for Trump as “a complete misunderstanding of international trade, on their part.”[28]

Border adjustment tax

Navarro supports a tax policy called “border adjustment”, which essentially taxes all imports.[49] In response to criticism that the border adjustment tax could hurt U.S. companies and put jobs at risk, Navarro called it “fake news.”[49]

Critic of China trade policy

According to Politico, “Navarro is perhaps the most extreme advocate in Washington, and maybe in all of economics, for an aggressive stance toward China.”[44] Navarro put his attention to China in the mid-2000s.[6] His first publication on the subject is the 2006 book The Coming China Wars: Where They Will Be Fought, How They Can Be Won.[50] Navarro has said that he started to examine China when he noticed that his former students were losing jobs, concluding that China was at fault.[6]

IPoliticos description of the book, “Navarro uses military language to refer to China’s trade policies, referring to its ‘conquest’ of the world’s export markets, which has ‘vaporized literally millions of manufacturing jobs and driven down wages.’ … China’s aspirations are so insatiable, he claims, that eventually there will be a clash over “our most basic of all needs—bread, water, and air.'”[50] Navarro has described the entry of China to the World Trade Organization as one of the United States’ biggest mistakes.[6] To respond to the Chinese threat, Navarro has advocated for 43% tariffs, the repudiation of trade pacts, major increases in military expenditures and strengthened military ties with Taiwan.[50][6] The New York Times notes that “a wide range of economists have warned that curtailing trade with China would damage the American economy, forcing consumers to pay higher prices for goods and services.”[51]Navarro has reportedly also encouraged President Trump to enact a 25-percent tariff on Chinese steel imports, something that “trade experts worry… would upend global trade practices and cause countries to retaliate, potentially leading to a trade war”.[52]

Navarro has said that a large part of China’s competitive advantage over the United States stems from unfair trade practices.[15] Navarro has criticized China for pollution, poor labor standards, government subsidies, producing “contaminated, defective and cancerous” exports, currency manipulation, and theft of US intellectual property.[15][45][53] In his poorly received 2012 documentary, Navarro said that China caused the loss of 57,000 US factories and 25 million jobs.[45] While Navarro maintains that China manipulates its currency, neither the U.S. Treasury nor most economists believe that it is the case.[49][6]

According to Foreign Policy, “well-regarded China analysts are almost universal in their derision of [Navarro’s] views.”[6] Of the more than dozen China specialists contacted by Foreign Policy, most either did not know of him or only interacted with him briefly.[6] Kenneth Pomeranz, University of Chicago professor of Chinese History, said that his “recollection is that [Navarro] generally avoided people who actually knew something about the country.”[6] Columnist Gordon G. Chang was the only China watcher contacted by Foreign Policywho defended Navarro, but even then noted that he disagreed with Navarro’s claims of currency manipulation, opposition to the TPP and calls for high tariffs.[6] Navarro does not appear to speak Chinese nor has he spent any time in the country.[6] James McGregor, a former chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, said that Navarro’s books and documentary on China “have close to zero credibility with people who know the country,” and are filled with “hyperbole, inaccuracies” and a “cartoonish caricature of China that he puts out.”[6]

Germany

Navarro drew controversy when he accused Germany of using a “grossly undervalued” euro to “exploit” the US and its EU partners.[54]Politico noted that Germany does not set the value of the euro.[50] Economists and commentators are divided on the accuracy of Navarro’s remarks.[55][56]Paul Krugman said that Navarro was right and wrong at the same time: “Yes, Germany in effect has an undervalued currency relative to what it would have without the euro… But does this mean that the euro as a whole is undervalued against the dollar? Probably not.”[57] Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff described Navarro’s accusation of Germany as a currency manipulator as “#stupideconomics”.[58]

Manufacturing

Navarro argues that the decline in US manufacturing jobs is chiefly due to “unfair trade practices and bad trade deals. And if you don’t believe that, just go to the booming factories in Germany, in Japan, in Korea, in China, in Malaysia, in Vietnam, in Indonesia, in Italy—every place that we’re running deficits with.”[59] However, many economists attribute the decline in manufacturing jobs chiefly to automation and other innovations that allow manufacturing firms to produce more goods with fewer workers, rather than trade.[59][60]

Navarro has been a proponent of strengthening the manufacturing sector’s role in the national economy: “We envision a more Germany-style economy, where 20 percent of our workforce is in manufacturing. … And we’re not talking about banging tin in the back room.”[49]The New York Times notes that “experts on manufacturing … doubt that the government can significantly increase factory employment, noting that mechanization is the major reason fewer people are working in factories.”[51]

Opposition to NAFTA

Navarro has called for the United States to leave NAFTA.[52]Politico reported that Navarro tried to convince President Trump of leaving NAFTA.[52]

Repatriation of global supply chains

Navarro has called for repatriating global supply chains.[50][53] According to Politico’s Jacob Heilbrunn, such a move “would be enormously costly and take years to execute”.[50]

Trade as a national security risk

Navarro has framed trade as a national security risk.[50][61][62] According to Politico, “he’s a hard-line mercantilist who insists that military confrontation with some trading partners is almost inevitable.”[50]

Navarro has characterized foreign purchases of U.S. companies as a threat to national security, but according to NPR, this is “a fringe view that puts him at odds with the vast majority of economists.”[63] Dartmouth economist Douglas Irwin noted that the US government already reviews foreign purchases of companies with military or strategic value, and has on occasion rejected such deals.[63] Irwin said that Navarro had not substantiated his claim with any evidence.[63]

Navarro has also said that the United States has “already begun to lose control of [its] food supply chain”, which according to NPR, “sounded pretty off-the-wall to a number of economists” who noted that the US is a massive exporter of food.[63] Dermot Hayes, an agribusiness economist at Iowa State University, described Navarro’s statement as “uninformed”.[63]

Trade deficits

Navarro is a proponent of the notion that trade deficits are bad in and of themselves, a view which is widely rejected by trade experts and economists across the political spectrum.[64][65][66][67][68][69][70][71][72][73][2][excessive citations] In a white paper co-authored with Wilbur Ross, Navarro stated, “when a country runs a trade deficit by importing more than it exports, this subtracts from growth.”[69][74] In a Wall Street Journal op-ed defending his views, Navarro stated, “If we are able to reduce our trade deficits through tough, smart negotiations, we should be able to increase our growth.”[75] Harvard University economics professor Gregory Mankiw has said that Navarro’s views on the trade deficit are based on the kind of mistakes that “even a freshman at the end of ec 10 knows.”[76][77] Tufts University professor Daniel W. Drezner said about Navarro’s op-ed, “as someone who’s written on this topic I could not for the life of me understand his reasoning”.[61] According to Tyler Cowen, “close to no one” in the economics profession agrees with Navarro’s idea that a trade deficit is bad in and of itself.[68] Nobel laureate Angus Deaton described Navarro’s attitude on trade deficits as “an old-fashioned mercantilist position.”[73]

The Economist magazine has described Navarro’s views on the trade deficit as “dodgy economics” and “fantasy”,[15] while the Financial Times has described them as “poor economics”.[78] Economists Noah Smith,[79]Scott Sumner,[80][81]Olivier Blanchard,[53] and Phil Levy[82] have also criticized Navarro’s views on the trade deficit.

Opposition to Trans-Pacific Partnership

Navarro opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership.[83] In an April 2015 op-ed, Navarro said, “To woo us, their spinmeisters boast the TPP will spur American exports to stimulate sorely needed economic growth. In truth, the American economy will suffer severely. This is because the TPP will hammer two main drivers of economic growth – domestic investment and ‘net exports.'”[83] Navarro said in March 2017 that TPP “would have been a “death knell” to America’s auto and vehicle parts industry that we “urgently need to bring back to full life.”[53]Politico‘s Jacob Heilbrunn and theEconomist argue that there may be a disconnect between Navarro’s policy on China and his opposition to the TPP, as scuttling the TPP will strengthen China’s hand.[50][15]

Personal life

Navarro is married to architect Leslie Lebon.[84] They live in Laguna Beach, California.[85]

Bibliography

References

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

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How Russia’s ‘invincible’ new weapons work

  • 05/03/2018
  • Dan Satherley

Vladimir Putin reveals the new weapons. Credits: APTN

Vladimir Putin’s claim Russia now has “invincible” weapons that can strike anywhere in the world is probably true, experts say.

On Friday (NZ time), the Russian President said Moscow’s new weapons could strike anywhere in the world, and evade missile defence shields.

“They need to take account of a new reality and understand that everything I have said today is not a bluff.”

But how? Missile defence expert Laura Grego explained to Livescience’s Rafi Letzterthat Russia’s new nuclear arsenal is largely not of the ballistic missile variety.

“Ballistic missiles, true to the name, go on a ballistic trajectory,” she told the site on Monday (NZ time). “They use these powerful engines to get themselves moving really fast, but after the engines burn out they’re just coasting.”

It’s not hard to figure out where a ballistic missile is going to land, she explains, so it’s not hard to shoot them out of the sky.

Russia’s new weapons evade defences in three ways. The first is by attaching nuclear warheads to cruise missiles, which don’t coast to their destination high up in the air – they fly close to the ground, out of radar’s sight.

“In theory, a cruise missile carrying a nuclear bomb could slip under American defenses and detection systems, and detonate before Americans could mobilise a response,” wrote Mr Letzter.

And being nuclear-powered, the missiles in theory have enough power to travel across the world.

Russian S-400 missile air defence systems in a military parade to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the battle of Stalingrad.
Russian S-400 missile air defence systems in a military parade to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the battle of Stalingrad. Photo credit: Reuters

The second method is a new nuclear torpedo, difficult to detect before it detonates on the coast.

“A missile that can deploy multiple warheads, all of which enter the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds – up to 20 times the speed of sound – and could perform evasive manoeuvres in flight before striking their targets,” writes Mr Letzter.

Multiple warheads bear down on Florida in an animation.
Multiple warheads bear down on Florida in an animation. Photo credit: Russia/APTN

Dr Grego said the escalation in missile technology is a partly a result of the US abandoning the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2001 – part of which disallowed states from building missile defence shields for this very reason.

“By building a defence, rather than discourage your adversary, your adversary is likely to just build more so that they can get up and over your defence. And then you build more defence. So it’s an arms race cycle.”

Former adviser to US Presidents and nuclear weapons expert Philip Coyle told Livescience much the same thing.

“In 2004, Putin himself warned the United States that if we kept going the way we were going, this is what he was going to do. And he did it.”

Mr Putin’s US counterpart, Donald Trump, has called for the US to build more nuclear weapons.

In January, a group of scientists said the world was inching closer to ‘Doomsday’ thanks to North Korea’s nuclear programme and Mr Trump’s aggressive rhetoric.

Newshub.

http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2018/03/how-russia-s-invincible-new-weapons-work.html

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1012, December 12, 2017, Story 1: Russia’s Attempt To Control and Corner World Uranium Supply Needed For Fuel To Power Nuclear Reactors To Produce Electricity — Greed, Money, Power — Obama’s Administration’s Cover-up of Rosatom’s U.S. Subsidiary Crimes Between 2004-2014 And Bill and Hillary Clinton’s and Clinton Charitable Foundation Pay for Play Racket — Massive Scandal About To Go Nuclear — Videos

Posted on December 14, 2017. Filed under: American History, Banking System, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Business, Coal, Coal, College, Communications, Constitutional Law, Crime, Culture, Currencies, Disasters, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Empires, Employment, Energy, Extortion, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, Human, Human Behavior, James Comey, Law, Life, Lying, Media, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, News, Nuclear, Nuclear, Obama, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Science, Security, Spying, Success, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Treason, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Clinton Uranium Scam

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LibertyPen

Published on Nov 9, 2017

In 2009, the Obama administration approved the transferred control of twenty percent of America’s uranium to Russian interests. This deal, which on the face seems contrary to national interest, is examined by focusing on the beneficiaries and following the money. http://www.LibertyPen.com (Excerpts are largely from Fox News, since other networks find it their interest to ignore the story)

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[youtube3=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7v1fs-T7KE]

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List of countries by uranium production

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of countries by uranium production in 2015.

Rank Country/Region Uranium production (2015)
(tonnes U)[1]
Uranium Production (2011)
(thousands pounds U3O8)[2]
Percentage of
World Production (2015)
 World 60,496 139,513 100
1 Kazakhstan Kazakhstan 23,800 46,284 39.3
2 Canada Canada 13,325 25,434 22.0
3 Australia Australia 5,654 15,339 9.3
4 Niger Niger 4,116 10,914 6.8
5 Russia Russia 3,055 1,516 5.0
6 Namibia Namibia 2,993 11,689 4.9
7 Uzbekistan Uzbekistan 2,385[3] 6,239 3.9
8 China China 1,616[3] 2,150 2.7
9 United States United States 1,256 4,316 2.1
10 Ukraine Ukraine 1,200[3] 2,210 2.0
11 South Africa South Africa 393 2,210 0.6
12 India India 385[3] 1,040 0.6
13 Czech Republic Czech Republic 155 660 0.3
14 Romania Romania 77[3] 200 0.1
15 Pakistan Pakistan 45[3] 117 0.1
16 Brazil Brazil 40[3] 385 0.1
17 France France 2 18 0.0

See also

References

8 Countries With the Largest Uranium Reserves

Where can North Korea get uranium? More places than you think have it — and some might actually be willing to sell this vital nuclear fuel.

Oct 18, 2017 at 6:00AM

A visualization of an atom in a pair of cupped hands.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

If you’ve been following the news, you may think uranium is only used in nuclear bombs and nuclear power plants. But uranium has lots of other uses. Unfortunately, the Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdown in Japan and North Korea’s (and Iran’s) continued push for nuclear weapons show the volatile and dangerous nature of this vital element. What’s even more frightening that uranium’s destructive potential is the fact that several of the countries with the largest uranium reserves could conceivably sell some to North Korea and Iran.

Check out this list of the countries with the world’s top uranium reserves.

The Ranger uranium mine in Australia

THE RANGER URANIUM MINE IN AUSTRALIA’S NORTHERN TERRITORY. IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

1. Australia

Australia possesses around 30% of the world’s known recoverable uranium reserves. This island nation is the 20th-largest economy in the world and has stable legal and political systems; you might say it’s one of the “nice guys.”

The stability of Australia makes it a great place for miners to operate. For example, globally diversified giants Rio Tinto plc(NYSE:RIO) and BHP Billiton Limited(NYSE:BHP) both have uranium mines in the country. BHP’s Olympic Dam, its only uranium asset, is the largest known uranium orebody in the world. Rio, meanwhile, has an investment in the Ranger Mine.

The nuclear fuel is such a small contributor to BHP’s business that the company doesn’t even report that segment’s results independently. And at Rio, uranium made up just 1.3% of 2016 revenue and 0.4% of EBITDA. That said, Rio’s and BHP’s uranium mines are the most important in Australia, so the companies play a significant role in the global uranium market. The same is true of Australia, which is better known for commodities like iron ore and coal.

A map with Kazakhstan highlighted with a magnifying glass

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

2. Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is the 42nd-largest economy in the world and the largest former Soviet Republic by area (excluding Russia). Kazakhstan is resource-rich, which helps to explain why its economy is so much larger than those of other Central Asian nations, and 22% of its exports go to neighboring China and Russia. The country also struggles with corruption and a weak banking system.

Kazakhstan contains about 13% of the world’s recoverable uranium, with 50 known deposits and around 20 operating uranium mines, so it’s a key player in the uranium market. Kazatomprom, a state-owned entity, controls the uranium industry in the country through its own subsidiaries or via joint ventures with foreign companies. One such partner is Cameco Corp(NYSE:CCJ), the world’s largest pure-play, publicly traded uranium miner. Cameco’s Inkai mine investment is just one of many uranium assets in the miner’s portfolio, which spans mining, processing, and brokering.

A man in Russian military uniform looking through binoculars

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

3. Russia

The third-largest player in the global uranium market is Russia, with about 9% of the world’s uranium (it’s actually tied with No. 4, Canada). Russia’s economy is the seventh-largest in the world, and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency describes the country as a “centralized authoritarian state … in which the regime seeks to legitimize its rule through managed elections, populist appeals, a foreign policy focused on enhancing the country’s geopolitical influence, and commodity-based economic growth.” It’s easy to see why Russia’s enormous uranium reserves make many world leaders nervous.

Russia is largely seen as supporting countries like North Korea and Iran, either overtly or through political means, e.g., using its veto power on the United Nations Security Council. It has often teamed up with China, which will make a brief appearance later on this list, to soften the world’s response to North Korean and Iranian nuclear provocations. State-controlled AtomRedMetZoloto handles all of Russia’s uranium mining and exploration activity.

Canadian flag flying with a large building in the distance

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

4. Canada

Canada also accounts for around 9% of the world’s recoverable uranium. The United States’ northern neighbor, like Australia, is generally considered a positive force in the world. Its economy is the 18th-largest in the world. Throughout much of its history Canada has benefited from its proximity to the U.S., which is the end market for more than three-quarters of Canada’s exports.

Cameco, which hails from Canada, is the most notable uranium miner in the country. It has a number of investments, but Cigar Lake and McArthur River are two of the largest uranium mines in Canada and the world.

There is vast potential for further uranium development in Canada. For example, Cameco and Denison Mines Corp(NYSEMKT:DNN) are partners in the Wheeler River project. This mine, which isn’t expected to start production until 2025, has the potential to be one of the five largest uranium-producing mines in the world.

aerial photo of Cape Town South Africa

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA. IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

5. South Africa

From here the list of uranium-rich countries gets a little subjective, because the numbers are fairly close.According to some sources, South Africa has around 6% of the world’s developable uranium reserves. Other sources peg its reserves at just lower than the next two countries on the list, Niger and Namibia. Either way, it’s in the neighborhood of No. 5 by uranium reserves, and it’s a big step down from the top four countries on the list.

South Africa’s economy ranks at No. 31 globally. It has long struggled with unemployment, poverty, and inequality. The government, meanwhile, has not been a particularly stable influence. When it comes to mining, the country is better known for platinum, gold, and chromium than for uranium. For example, gold miner AngloGold Ashanti Limited(NYSE:AU) produces uranium in South Africa, but only as a byproduct of its other mining efforts.

South Africa has two nuclear power plants, and there are plans to build a couple more, so there is a potentially growing market for nuclear fuel in the country. Although South Africa will probably never be a major force in the global uranium market, it could be an interesting region to watch — especially if those new nuclear facilities get built.

Niger flag waving in the wind

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

6. Niger

Niger has about 5% of the world’s known developable uranium reserves. The country has two major mines and hits above its weight class, supplying roughly 7.5% of the world’s uranium. France’s Areva SA(NASDAQOTH:ARVCF) is a major player in the country, and its Arlit mine is one of the 10 highest-producing uranium mines in the world. Areva has another project in the country that’s currently on hold due to low uranium prices.

Niger’s is not a large economy, ranking at just 146 globally. Interestingly, uranium is Niger’s largest export. According to Areva, uranium represents around 5% of the country’s gross domestic product and supplies around 5% of its tax revenues. Niger, however, is a very poor nation and must rely on outside investment for the development of its resources. That’s where Areva comes in, though it’s worth noting here that China is also involved in developing Niger’s uranium assets to a smaller extent.

sand dunes in Namibia's Naukluft National Park

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

7. Namibia

Next up is Namibia, which also has roughly 5% of the world’s developable uranium resources. Namibia is only slightly larger than Niger, with its economy weighing in at No. 136 worldwide. Its economy, while poor, is more diversified than Niger’s: The country exports more diamonds, copper, gold, zinc, than it does uranium. Natural resources are highly important to the nation’s economic well-being. Overall, mining accounts for about 11.5% of the country’s gross domestic product and provides over half of the country’s foreign exchange earnings.

China is a big player in the country, and China’s investment there could materially change the face of the uranium market inside and outside Namibia. The CIA expects the Chinese-owned Husab mine to make Namibia the No. 2 uranium producer worldwide. India is also working toward a uranium relationship with the country. Australian-British miner Rio Tinto has a major stake in one of the country’s other two major mines as well. Namibia is a country to watch closely as competing forces look to take advantage of its uranium wealth.

Two athletes holding the Chinese flag between them

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

8. China

China has around 5% of the world’s developable uranium supplies and ranks as the globe’s largest economy based on gross domestic product. Some sources place its uranium reserves a little higher than countries like Namibia and Niger, while others rank them a little lower.

The centrally controlled country is a major nuclear power, with 20 nuclear power plants currently under construction (not to mention the ability to produce its own nuclear weapons). As you can see from its investment in Namibia, it is reaching out beyond its borders to ensure it has access to the uranium it needs for its internal use. And because of its size, it has the resources to continue investing to boost its position in the uranium industry.

Perhaps more concerning, China and its neighbor with nuclear ambitions, North Korea, have long been trading partners. China has attempted to protect the autocratic state politically, often allying with Russia in the effort. So while China is nowhere near the top of this list when it comes to uranium reserves, it is already playing an important role globally in mining for uranium and deciding how it gets used. China should probably be higher up on your list of concerns than any of the African nations that have equal or larger uranium reserves, and perhaps even higher than uranium giant Australia.

Tensions are running high

Uranium is a potentially life-altering power source when used conscientiously and carefully. It can provide reliable baseload power without the use of dirty carbon fuels. However, it can also be used to create weapons of mass destruction, which is why most countries around the world would prefer to keep it out of the hands of players like Iran and North Korea.

As you can see from this list, many of the largest uranium reserves are in countries that are democratic, relatively stable, and all-around good geopolitical forces. But some are too corrupt, unstable, or financially weak to fall into that category. If you are interested in the way uranium is getting used around the world, you should be keeping a close eye on at least a few of the countries that made this list.

https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/10/18/8-countries-with-the-largest-uranium-reserves.aspx

Supply of Uranium

(Updated December 2016)

  • Uranium is a relatively common metal, found in rocks and seawater. Economic concentrations of it are not uncommon.
  • Its availability to supply world energy needs is great both geologically and because of the technology for its use.
  • Quantities of mineral resources are greater than commonly perceived.
  • The world’s known uranium resources increased by at least one-quarter in the last decade due to increased mineral exploration.

Uranium is a relatively common element in the crust of the Earth (very much more than in the mantle). It is a metal approximately as common as tin or zinc, and it is a constituent of most rocks and even of the sea. Some typical concentrations are: (ppm = parts per million).

Very high-grade ore (Canada) – 20% U 200,000 ppm U
High-grade ore – 2% U, 20,000 ppm U
Low-grade ore – 0.1% U, 1,000 ppm U
Very low-grade ore* (Namibia) – 0.01% U 100 ppm U
Granite 3-5 ppm U
Sedimentary rock 2-3 ppm U
Earth’s continental crust (av) 2.8 ppm U
Seawater 0.003 ppm U

* Where uranium is at low levels in rock or sands (certainly less than 1000 ppm) it needs to be in a form which is easily separated for those concentrations to be called ‘ore’ – that is, implying that the uranium can be recovered economically. This means that it needs to be in a mineral form that can easily be dissolved by sulfuric acid or sodium carbonate leaching.

An orebody is, by definition, an occurrence of mineralisation from which the metal is economically recoverable. It is therefore relative to both costs of extraction and market prices. At present neither the oceans nor any granites are orebodies, but conceivably either could become so if prices were to rise sufficiently.

Measured resources of uranium, the amount known to be economically recoverable from orebodies, are thus also relative to costs and prices. They are also dependent on the intensity of past exploration effort, and are basically a statement about what is known rather than what is there in the Earth’s crust – epistemology rather than geology. See section below for mineral resource and reserve categories.

Changes in costs or prices, or further exploration, may alter measured resource figures markedly. At ten times the current price*, seawater might become a potential source of vast amounts of uranium. Thus, any predictions of the future availability of any mineral, including uranium, which are based on current cost and price data and current geological knowledge are likely to be extremely conservative.

* US DOE-funded work using polymer absorbent strips suggest $610/kgU in 2014. Japanese (JAERI) research in 2002 using a polymeric absorbent in a nonwoven fabric containing an amidoxime group that was capable of forming a complex with uranyl tricarbonate ions, suggested about $300/kgU.

From time to time concerns are raised that the known resources might be insufficient when judged as a multiple of present rate of use. But this is the Limits to Growth fallacy, a major intellectual blunder recycled from the 1970s, which takes no account of the very limited nature of the knowledge we have at any time of what is actually in the Earth’s crust. Our knowledge of geology is such that we can be confident that identified resources of metal minerals are a small fraction of what is there. Factors affecting the supply of resources are discussed further and illustrated in the Appendix.

Uranium availability

With those major qualifications the following Table gives some idea of our present knowledge of uranium resources. It can be seen that Australia has a substantial part (about 29%) of the world’s uranium, Kazakhstan 13%, Russia and Canada 9% each.

Known Recoverable Resources of Uranium 2015

tonnes U percentage of world
Australia
1,664,100
29%
Kazakhstan
745,300
13%
Canada
509,000
9%
Russian Fed
507,800
9%
South Africa
322,400
6%
Niger
291,500
5%
Brazil
276,800
5%
China
272,500
5%
Namibia
267,000
5%
Mongolia
141,500
2%
Uzbekistan
130,100
2%
Ukraine
115,800
2%
Botswana
73,500
1%
USA
62,900
1%
Tanzania
58,100
1%
Jordan
47,700
1%
Other
232,400
4%
World total
5,718,400

Reasonably Assured Resources plus Inferred Resources (recoverable), to US$ 130/kg U, 1/1/15, from OECD NEA & IAEA, Uranium 2016: Resources, Production and Demand (‘Red Book’). The total to US$ 260/kg U is 7.641 million tonnes U.
Reasonably Assured Resources of Uranium in 2009 stacked column graph

Current usage is about 63,000 tU/yr. Thus the world’s present measured resources of uranium (5.7 Mt) in the cost category less than three times present spot prices and used only in conventional reactors, are enough to last for about 90 years. This represents a higher level of assured resources than is normal for most minerals. Further exploration and higher prices will certainly, on the basis of present geological knowledge, yield further resources as present ones are used up.

An initial uranium exploration cycle was military-driven, over 1945 to 1958. The second cycle was about 1974 to 1983, driven by civil nuclear power and in the context of a perception that uranium might be scarce. There was relatively little uranium exploration between 1985 and 2003, so the significant increase in exploration effort since then could conceivably double the known economic resources despite adjustments due to increasing costs. In the two years 2005-06 the world’s known uranium resources tabulated above and graphed below increased by 15% (17% in the cost category to $80/kgU). World uranium exploration expenditure is increasing, as the the accompanying graph makes clear. In the third uranium exploration cycle from 2004 to the end of 2013 about US$ 16 billion was spent on uranium exploration and deposit delineation on over 600 projects. In this period over 400 new junior companies were formed or changed their orientation to raise over US$ 2 billion for uranium exploration. Much of this was spent on previously-known deposits. All this was in response to increased uranium price in the market and the prospect of firm future prices.

The price of a mineral commodity also directly determines the amount of known resources which are economically extractable. On the basis of analogies with other metal minerals, a doubling of price from present levels could be expected to create about a tenfold increase in measured economic resources, over time, due both to increased exploration and the reclassification of resources regarding what is economically recoverable.

This is in fact suggested in the IAEA-NEA figures if those covering estimates of all conventional resources (U as main product or major by-product) are considered – another 7.3 to 8.4 million tonnes (beyond the 5.9 Mt known economic resources), which takes us past 200 years’ supply at today’s rate of consumption. This still ignores the technological factor mentioned below. It also omits unconventional resources (U recoverable as minor by-product) such as phosphate/ phosphorite deposits (up to 22 Mt U), black shales (schists – 5.2 Mt U) and lignite (0.7 Mt U), and even seawater (up to 4000 Mt), which would be uneconomic to extract in the foreseeable future, although Japanese trials using a polymer braid have suggested costs a bit over $600/kgU. US work has developed this using polyethylene fibres coated with amidoxime, which binds uranium so that it can be stripped with acid. Research proceeds.

Known Uranium Resources and Exploration Expenditure area graph

It is clear from this Figure that known uranium resources have increased almost threefold since 1975, in line with expenditure on uranium exploration. (The decrease in the decade 1983-93 is due to some countries tightening their criteria for reporting. If this were carried back two decades, the lines would fit even more closely. Since 2007 some resources have been reclassified into higher-cost categories.) Increased exploration expenditure in the future is likely to result in a corresponding increase in known resources, even as inflation increases costs of recovery and hence tends to decrease the figures in each cost category.

About 20% of US uranium came from central Florida’s phosphate deposits to the mid 1990s, as a by-product, but it then became uneconomic. With higher uranium prices today the resource is being examined again, as is another lower-grade one in Morocco. Plans for Florida extend only to 400 tU/yr at this stage. See also companion paper on Uranium from Phosphate Deposits.

Coal ash is another easily-accessible though minor uranium resource in many parts of the world. In the 1960s and 1970s, some 1100 tU was recovered from coal ash in the USA. In central Yunnan province in China the coal uranium content varies up to 315 ppm and averages about 65 ppm. The ash averages about 210 ppm U (0.021%U) – above the cut-off level for some uranium mines. The Xiaolongtang power station ash heap contains over 1000 tU, with annual arisings of 190 tU. Recovery of this by acid leaching is about 70% in trials. This project has yet to announce any commercial production, however. Economic feasibility depends not only on grade but the composition of the ash – high acid consumption can make recovery uneconomic. World potential is likely to be less than 700 tU per year.

Widespread use of the fast breeder reactor could increase the utilisation of uranium 50-fold or more. This type of reactor can be started up on plutonium derived from conventional reactors and operated in closed circuit with its reprocessing plant. Such a reactor, supplied with natural or depleted uranium as a fuel source (NB not actual fuel), can be operated so that each tonne of ore yields vastly more energy than in a conventional reactor.

See also WNA position paper.

Reactor fuel requirements

The world’s power reactors, with combined capacity of some 375 GWe, require about 68,000 tonnes of uranium from mines or elsewhere each year. While this capacity is being run more productively, with higher capacity factors and reactor power levels, the uranium fuel requirement is increasing, but not necessarily at the same rate. The factors increasing fuel demand are offset by a trend for higher burn-up of fuel and other efficiencies, so demand is steady. (Over the years 1980 to 2008 the electricity generated by nuclear power increased 3.6-fold while uranium used increased by a factor of only 2.5.)

Reducing the tails assay in enrichment reduces the amount of natural uranium required for a given amount of fuel. Reprocessing of used fuel from conventional light water reactors also utilises present resources more efficiently, by a factor of about 1.3 overall.

The 2014 Red Book said that efficiencies on power plant operation and lower enrichment tails assays meant that uranium demand per unit capacity was falling, and the report’s generic reactor fuel consumption was reduced from 175 tU per GWe per year at 0.30% tails assay (2011 report) to 160 tU per GWe per year at 0.25% tails assay (2016 report). The corresponding U3O8 figures are 206 tonnes and 189 tonnes. Note that these figures are generalisations across the industry and across many different reactor types.

Today’s reactor fuel requirements are met from primary supply (direct mine output – 78% in 2009) and secondary sources: commercial stockpiles, nuclear