From The Alpha and the Omega - Chapter Eight
by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved
"KING OF THE WEST 2019 AUGUST"
This file is attached to http://www.mazzaroth.com/ChapterEight/BeastThatCameOutOfTheSea.htm from “Beast That Came Out Of The Sea” - Chapter Eight by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved.
This link will return you to King Of The West 2019 for July or continue to King Of The West 2019 for September.
KING OF THE WEST 2019 AUGUST
- WTO REGION 1 IN 1995 NAFTA (3 nation): UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, CANADA, MEXICO, CENTRAL AMERICA.
- NAFTA is the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, is a three-country accord negotiated by the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States that entered into force in January 1994.
- On 10/1/2018 NAFTA was dropped and a new agreement called USMCA or United States, Mexico, Canada Agreement was formed.
- WTO REGION 2 IN 1995 EUROPEAN UNION (EU 15 nations by 1995): BRITAIN, FRANCE, GERMANY, ITALY, BELGIUM, DENMARK, IRELAND, SPAIN, NETHERLANDS, GREECE, LUXEMBOURG, PORTUGAL, AUSTRIA, FINLAND, SWEDEN.
- AS OF TODAY THE EU GREW TO 28 NATIONS ADDING: BULGARIA, CROATIA, CYPRUS, CZECH REPUBLIC, ESTONIA, HUNGARY, LATIVIA, LITHUNIA, MALTA, POLAND, ROMANIA, AND SLOVAKIA.
- OF NOTE: IN 2018 THE UNITED KINGDOM [England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland] CALLED BREXIT IS ATTEMPTING TO EXIT THE EUROPEAN UNION BY 2019.
- THERE IS ALSO A GROUP CALLED EEA: ICELAND, LIECHTENSTEIN, NORWAY.
- In 2018, November 25th, negotiations developed on the Comprehensive Indonesia-European Free Trade Association Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IE-CEPA) between Indonesia and EFTA members – Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland, and are parties to the Agreement on a European Economic Area (EEA).
- On 2/16/2019 Iceland is a two-year rotating chairmanship of the Arctic Council which comprises Canada, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, the United States and Denmark all of which have territory inside the Arctic Circle.
- On 1/11/2019 Macedonia’s parliament passed an amendment to the constitution to rename the country Republic of North Macedonia, in line with an agreement with Greece to put an end to a 27-year-old dispute.
- WTO REGION 10 IN 1995 SOUTH (LATIN) AMERICA: VENZUELA (OPEC), BRAZIL, CHILE, COLUMBIA, GUATEMALA, NICARAGUA, YUCATAN, PARAGUAY, ARGENTINA, BOLIVIA, PERU, ECUADOR, URUGUAY, GUINNESS.
- On 1/5/2018 I add the Lima Group which is a multilateral body that was established following the Lima Declaration on August 8, 2017 in the Peruvian capital of Lima, where representatives of 12 countries met in order to establish a peaceful exit to the crisis in Venezuela. Twelve countries initially signed the declaration: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru. Guyana and Saint Lucia joined later.
- On 3/22/2019 a new bloc called Prosur: South American leaders Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru to replace the previous bloc, Unasur, to rid crisis-stricken Venezuela, to form a commitment to democracy, freedom and a respect for human rights and will be open for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido. Bolivian President Evo Morales, a close ally of Maduro, and Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez did not attend.
- A replacement for the ineffective League of Nations, the organization was established on October 24, 1945 after World War II with the aim of preventing another such conflict. At its founding, the United Nations had 51 member states and now it is up to 193.
- And I will mention that the following were all formed in my time frame for the opening of the Seals.
During 1950-1962 The First group of Twelve years NATO formed in 1949.
During 1987-1998 The Fourth group of Twelve years the New World Order of the (G-7) seven richest industrial nations is envisioned in 1991 after the Persian Gulf War and the dissolvement of the Warsaw Pact occurred: Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, and United States of America, which are the Seven Heads that influenced GATT which led to the World Trade Talks in 1993, and by 1995 the new (WTO) World Trade Organization develops into 10 Regions (Horns of the Beast with 10 crowns) of Free Trade under GATT which is my "Beast That Came Up Out Of The Sea." So if you think the King is free of the wrath of God, think again.
- This union was formed before 2010 called BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa] with Afghanistan, Argentina, Indonesia, Mexico and Turkey, as well as Egypt, Iran, Nigeria, Sudan, Syria, Bangladesh and Greece have considered joining it as well as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization [created in June 2001, members Pakistan, Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajkistan, Kyrgystan, India].
8/1/2019 Oil up $0.53 to $58.58, DOW down 334 to 26,864 because the Fed lowered its rate by a quarter point.
8/1/2019 Fed cuts key rate for 1st time in over a decade - Economic pressures brew despite healthy economy by Martin Crutsinger, ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON – The Federal Reserve cut its key interest rate Wednesday for the first time in a decade to try to counter threats ranging from uncertainties caused by President Donald Trump’s trade wars to chronically low inflation and a dim global outlook.
The Fed also repeated a pledge to “act as appropriate to sustain the expansion” – wording that the financial markets have interpreted as a signal of possible future rate cuts.
The initial reaction in the financial markets was muted. Stocks fell slightly after the Fed issued its statement at 2 p.m. Eastern time.
The central bank reduced its benchmark rate – which affects many loans for households and businesses – by a quarter-point to a range of 2% to 2.25%. It’s the first rate cut since December 2008 during the depths of the Great Recession, when the Fed slashed its rate to a record low near zero and kept it there until 2015.
The economy is far healthier now despite risks to what’s become the longest expansion on record.
In addition to its rate cut, the Fed also said it would stop shrinking its enormous bond portfolio in August, two months earlier than planned. This step is intended to avoid putting upward pressure on long-term borrowing rates. The Fed had aggressively bought Treasury and mortgage bonds after the financial crisis seems to drive down long-term rates but had been gradually shrinking its balance sheet as the economy strengthened.
The Fed’s action Wednesday was approved by an 8-2 vote, with two dissents: Esther George, president of the Fed’s Kansas City regional bank, and Eric Rosengren, head of the Boston Fed, wanted to keep rates unchanged. It was the first time there have been as many as two dissents since December 2017 and suggested that Chairman Jerome Powell may face opposition if he seeks further rate cuts this year.
Compared with when the Fed previously cut rates more than a decade ago, the economy is now solid by most measures, if not spectacular. Consumers are spending. Unemployment is close to a half-century low. A recession hardly imminent.
Yet the Fed under Powell has signaled that rising economic pressures, notably from Trump’s trade wars and from weakness in Europe, Asia and elsewhere, have become cause for concern. So has an inflation rate that remains stubbornly below the Fed’s 2% target level.
So the Fed has decided that a rate cut now – and possibly one or more additional cuts to follow – could provide a kind of insurance policy against an economic downturn.
The idea is that lowering its key short-term rate could encourage borrowing and spending and energize growth.
Wall Street has welcomed that prospect with a stock market rally since the start of the year.
A television monitor on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange reports the Federal Reserve’s
decision to cut a key interest rate Wednesday. RICHARD DREW/AP
8/1/2019 U.S. will extend sanctions waivers for Iran nuclear programs: Bolton
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton walks to give an interview to Fox News outside
of the White House in Washington, U.S. July 31, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States will renew sanctions waivers for Iranian nuclear programs that allow Russia, China and European countries to continue their civilian nuclear cooperation with Tehran, White House national security adviser John Bolton said on Wednesday.
“I think the idea here is we are watching those nuclear activities very, very closely,” Bolton said in an interview on Fox Business Network. “So this is a short 90-day extension,” he said.
Bolton’s comments came hours after Washington imposed sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, a key figure in Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which President Donald Trump withdrew from last year.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in early May extended five of seven sanctions waivers for 90 days, a shorter period than earlier waivers. The waivers allow work at Iran’s Bushehr nuclear plant, the Fordow enrichment facility, the Arak nuclear complex and the Tehran Research Reactor.
Trump last year abandoned the nuclear agreement, arguing that he wanted a bigger deal that not only limited Iran’s atomic work, but also reined in its support for proxies in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon, and curbed its ballistic missile program.
Trump also tightened sanctions on Iran in May to try to choke off its oil exports.
Fears of a direct U.S.-Iranian conflict have risen since May with several attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf, Iran’s downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, and a plan for U.S. air strikes on Iran last month that Trump called off at the last minute.
Wendy Sherman, who served as undersecretary of state under former President Barack Obama and was the lead U.S. negotiator for the Iran nuclear agreement, linked the action against Zarif to the sanctions waivers.
“For a president who says he is ready to talk with Iran without preconditions, sanctioning the foreign minister of Iran clearly undermines that objective and risks dangerous escalation instead,” said Sherman, who is director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School.
“One assumes sanctioning Zarif is the price for those waivers. The internal administration battle of war or diplomacy apparently wages on,” she said.
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Trump, in an Oval Office meeting last week, sided with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who argued for renewing the waivers over the objections of Pompeo and Bolton.
The report said Mnuchin argued that if the waivers were not renewed, “the United States would have to sanction Russian, Chinese and European firms that are involved in projects inside Iran that were established as part of the 2015 nuclear deal.”
The Treasury Department asked for more time to consider the effects of such sanctions, the Post reported.
(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton and Eric Beech; writing by Mohammad Zargham, editing by G Crosse)
8/1/2019 With Fed’s ‘insurance’ cut, Powell takes cue from Greenspan by Ann Saphir and Jason Lange
FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell testifies before a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs
Committee hearing on the "Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress" on Capitol Hill
in Washington DC, U.S., July 11, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In cutting U.S. interest rates but signaling that a series of further cuts was unlikely, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday took a page from the playbook of his predecessor Alan Greenspan, who used a similar tactic in the 1990s with apparent success.
Rather than marking the start to a lengthy rate-cutting cycle, Powell said at a news conference after the decision that the Fed’s quarter-point rate reduction was an “adjustment” aimed at keeping the U.S. economy’s record-long expansion going.
“There is definitely an insurance aspect to it,” said Powell, echoing the phrasing that the Greenspan Fed used to describe its monetary policy easing in 1995 and again in 1998.
The reference may not have been coincidental. Since becoming Fed chair in February 2018, Powell has met at least a dozen times with former Fed officials, according to records on Powell’s daily activities released by the Fed, but no one more frequently than Greenspan. The two last met on April 17, sharing a 75-minute lunch.
And though U.S. President Donald Trump complained the Fed had “let us down” by delivering only a limited does of stimulus, the economic record shows that both times the Greenspan Fed tried insurance cuts, they worked.
In July 1995, industrial production and job creation were slowing and new unemployment claims were rising. Though Fed policymakers at the time did not believe the data meant a recession was coming, they did not want to wait to find out. They cut rates three times, and the manufacturing sector and the job market both regained health.
(Graphic: Turning the tide – https://tmsnrt.rs/2ytqEsG)
Just over three years later, the economy was showing few signs of weakness, but a stock market swoon and credit crunch following the collapse of Long Term Capital Management hedge fund boded ill for the future. Again, the Fed cut rats three times, the stock and credit markets recovered, and the expansion continued.
(Graphic: Market turnaround – https://tmsnrt.rs/2MqYneu)
By the end of the decade, with the help of the two sets of “insurance” cuts, the economy had chalked up what was then a record-long expansion, surpassed in length only by the current one.
(Graphic: Pays to take out insurance? – https://tmsnrt.rs/2ytnZiG)
This time around, Powell faces a different set of challenges, including an inflation rate that remains stubbornly south of the Fed’s targeted level of 2% and sudden swings in trade policy that are denting business confidence and investment.
Powell contends that all of the Fed’s actions this year, starting with calling an end to rate hikes in January, have helped keep the economy on a relatively even keel. It may be months or more before it becomes clear whether the added stimulus of slightly lower rates keeps the economy chugging along.
(Reporting by Ann Saphir and Jason Lange; Additional reporting by Dan Burns in Washington; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
8/1/2019 Sen. Graham pushes through asylum bill after waiving committee rules by OAN Newsroom
Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham pushed through his asylum bill by waiving committee rules. The legislation narrowly moved out of committee Thursday in a 12-to-10 vote, which means it can now be taken up by the full Senate for consideration.
Graham’s decision allowed Republicans to act alone in making the bill eligible for Thursday’s vote after Democrats skipped last week’s business meeting on the bill. The South Carolina lawmaker defended his actions by saying “the Judiciary Committee can’t be a place where nothing happens.”
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., joined at right by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.,
the ranking member, speaks during a contentious markup in his panel as he tries to change asylum laws as a way
to address the migrant crisis at the southern border, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
“We have a right to vote. You don’t want the committee to be ignored by the majority leader of either party, and just take a bill out of our committee and bring it to the floor because we can’t do our business. I’m not changing the rules. I’m making a motion in response to what you did last week.” — Senator Lindsey Graham, (R-S.C.)
His asylum proposal would increase the number of days migrant children can be held in custody, and it would require asylum seekers to file their claims from outside the U.S.
Lindsey Graham: “I will no longer allow our asylum laws to be exploited by human traffickers and cartels.
Unless we change our laws we are aiding and abetting the horrific practices we now see taking place at the southern border.
My bill fixes these problems.”
8/1/2019 Rep. McCarthy blasts support for impeachment inquiry into President Trump by OAN Newsroom
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy blasted congressional Democrats after a majority of left-leaning lawmakers said they support an impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
In an interview Wednesday, the representative said “Democrats are trying to push impeachment without saying the word.” This comes after more lawmakers switched sides to support an inquiry, bringing the total number of lawmakers who support it to 114 with only four more needed to push an inquiry forward.
Impeachment has been a hot button issue since special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony on Capitol Hill last week, where McCarthy criticized Democrats for pushing it.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, D-Calif., speaks to reporters at his weekly news conference
at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, July 25, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
He had this to say during his weekly news conference following Mueller’s testimony:
“Why would you ever even bring up impeachment after yesterday’s hearing? …That should be put to bed. That is over. We watched it. We heard it. We’ve read it. What more can they make up? The only people that want impeachment are the ones sitting inside this chamber on the democratic side. The American public have made their decision. Poll after poll you see it.”
McCarthy says even if House Democrats get support for an impeachment inquiry in their chamber, the Republican-controlled Senate will reject it right away.
8/1/2019 Sen. Grassley warns President Trump on USMCA, says he should be patient when dealing with Speaker Pelosi by OAN Newsroom
Senate Finance Committee chairman Chuck Grassley offered words of advice for President Trump alongside his push for a revised version of the USMCA trade deal.
During a committee hearing tuesday, "Grassley warned the president should tread lightly” in his effort to persuade House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to move forward with the agreement.
Grassley noted, in this circumstance the president should be “patient.” He claimed nothing will happen if “Pelosi doesn’t want it to happen.”
FILE – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa chairs a meeting of the
committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
“I came away from a meeting that I had with speaker Pelosi that was very positive as I heard her words and expressed her attitude towards USMCA,” he stated. “People want to push and push, but I think we must be patient as she works through this and I have confidence she wants to get to yes.”
House Democrats are seeking changes to the accord before final approval with the House Ways and Means Committee set to take up the deal in September.
[YOU KNOW IT CANNOT GET WORSE IN CONGRESS WHEN ONE OF THEM WANT PALESTINIANS TO BE VIOLENT AGAINST ISRAELI SOLDIERS AND CIVILIANS AND ALL THAT IS GOING TO DO IS GET PALESTINIANS KILLED FOR HER STUPIDITY IF THEY ARE STUPID ENOUGH TO LISTEN TO HER.].
8/1/2019 Ocasio-Cortez: No choice for Palestinians, but to riot against Israeli ‘occupation’ by OAN Newsroom
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has appeared to endorse the Palestinian violence against Israeli soldiers and civilians. In a recent interview, the New York representative accused Israel of the “occupation” of the “Palestinian territories.” She claimed Israel treats all “Palestinian Arabs” in a “criminal manner,” adding, they have no choice but to “riot” against Israeli officials.
Members of the far-left “squad” have been under fire for allegedly endorsing the agenda of Palestinian terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Ocasio-Cortez, however, has rejected such criticism.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., attends a House Oversight Committee hearing on
Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, July 26, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
“Criticizing the occupation doesn’t make you anti-Israel, frankly,” she stated. “It doesn’t mean that you are against the existence of a nation, it means that you believe in human rights.”
The Democrat lawmaker failed to mention Palestinian terror groups. She also didn’t acknowledge reports that participants of the weekly “March of Return” call for the destruction of the “State of Israel.”
[If you do criminal activity then you are a criminal, and recently you and Omar have done criminal activity and should be punished by the criminal courts and the IRS.].
8/1/2019 U.N. chief says world will lose brake on nuclear war with end of INF treaty
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attends a session of the St. Petersburg Internationalz
Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russia June 7, 2019. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is concerned by rising tensions between nuclear-armed states, warning “the world will lose an invaluable brake on nuclear war” with the expiration of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) on Friday.
“This will likely heighten, not reduce, the threat posed by ballistic missiles,” Guterres told reporters.
“Regardless of what transpires, the parties should avoid destabilizing developments and urgently seek agreement on a new common path for international arms control.”
Barring a last-minute decision by Russia to destroy a new medium-range missile that NATO says violates the INF, the United States is set to pull out of the accord on Aug. 2, arguing that it needs to develop its own warheads to deter Moscow.
Moscow says it is fully compliant with the treaty, negotiated by former U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, which eliminated the medium-range missile arsenals of the world’s two biggest nuclear powers.
The breakdown of the treaty, the latest in a growing list of East-West tensions, is of grave concern because medium-range rockets would allow Russia to launch a nuclear attack on Europe at very short notice, Western experts and officials say.
“I strongly encourage the United States and the Russian Federation to extend the so-called New Start agreement to provide stability and the time to negotiate future arms control measures,” Guterres said.
The 2011 New START treaty, a U.S.-Russia arms control pact which limits deployed strategic nuclear weapons, is set to expire in February 2021 but can be extended for five years if both sides agree.
Guterres also said he was “troubled by growing friction” between the economies of the United States and China. He warned of the possible “emergence of two competing blocs – each with their own dominant currency, trade and financial rules, their own internet and artificial intelligence strategy, and their own contradictory geopolitical and military views.”
The United States and China have levied billions of dollars of tariffs on each other’s goods in a year-long trade war, disrupting global supply chains and roiling financial markets.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Alistair Bell)
8/1/2019 After Guatemala, U.S. seeks migration deals with Honduras, El Salvador by Sofia Menchu
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan looks on as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in the
Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 26, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis
GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – The U.S. homeland security chief said in Guatemala on Thursday that the United States is pursuing “similar agreements” with Honduras and El Salvador on migration in its drive to turn the region into a buffer zone for U.S.-bound migrants.
U.S. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan made the comment in Guatemala City after the Central American nation last week agreed to become a “safe third country” to accept migrants trying to reach the United States.
“This is not something that the United States is asking to work on with Guatemala alone. We see this as a regional responsibility,” McAleenan said during a speech in Guatemala City. “We are now seeking discussions with Honduras and El Salvador about similar arrangements.”
Government spokesmen in El Salvador and Honduras did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
U.S. President Donald Trump has pushed Mexico and Guatemala to sign such agreements to make asylum seekers passing through their territory solicit safe haven in those countries, instead of the United States, where authorities have been struggling to cope with a surge in illegal immigration this year.
Mexico has so far refused. Guatemala agreed after Trump threatened to impose what President Jimmy Morales described on Facebook as “drastic” economic sanctions against the country, which is heavily dependent on billions of dollars in remittances sent home by Guatemalans in the United States.
Guatemalan Interior Minister Enrique Degenhart said on Thursday the country would only accept migrants from El Salvador and Honduras under the deal with the United States.
“We will orient (the program) to the primary nationalities that, in the case of Honduras and El Salvador, represent almost half” of migrants detained at the U.S. southern border, Degenhart told reporters.
U.S. officials are already on the ground in Guatemala as part of the deal to curb migrant flows, he added.
The deal allows Guatemalans to apply for temporary visas to work in the agricultural sectors in the United States and, eventually, in the construction and service sectors.
Speaking at the end of a two-day visit to Guatemala City, McAleenan said the United States welcomes the participation of Guatemalan agricultural workers in the U.S. economy.
Separately on Thursday, a federal judge in San Francisco denied the Trump administration request to move forward pending an appeal with a rule that would bar anyone who had passed through a third country from seeking asylum at the U.S. southern border.
Rights groups in the United States quickly challenged the sweeping new rule, which the Trump administration signed before the deal with Guatemala. Last week, Obama-appointed judge Jon Tigar temporarily blocked the rule from taking effect.
In his Thursday ruling, Tigar wrote that “the Court found that the Rule was substantively invalid because it conflicted with the core principle that asylum … is designed to protect [refugees] with nowhere else to turn.”
(Reporting by Sofia Menchu and Mica Rosenberg; writing by Julia Love; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Bill Berkrot)
8/2/2019 Oil prices rebound more than 2% after plunge on Trump’s tariff vow by Noah Browning
FILE PHOTO: A view shows Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq oil facility in eastern Saudi Arabia
in this undated handout photo. Saudi Aramco/Handout via REUTERS
LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices rose around 2% on Friday, regaining ground after their biggest falls in years on U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to impose more tariffs on Chinese imports.
The move, due to take effect on Sept. 1, would intensify a trade war between the world’s top two economies and crude consumers that has disrupted global supply chains and roiled financial markets.
Brent crude futures slumped more than 7% on Thursday, their steepest drop in more than three years. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell nearly 8% to post their biggest drop in more than four years.
This ended a fragile rally built on steady drawdowns in U.S. inventories even though global demand looked shaky due to the trade dispute.
Brent futures rose $1.60, or 2.64%, to $62.10 a barrel by 1045 GMT on Friday. WTI futures gained $1.25, or 2.32%, to $55.20 a barrel.
“Given the latest turn in U.S.-Sino trade relations, sustaining this uplift may be subject to how China chooses to respond to President Trump’s new tariff initiative,” Harry Tchilinguirian, global oil strategist at BNP Paribas in London, told the Reuters Global Oil Forum.
“The rise in oil prices may be simply the result of a technical bounce back from an oversold close yesterday.”
Trump said on Thursday he would impose a 10% tariff on $300 billion of Chinese imports and could raise tariffs further if China’s President Xi Jinping fails to move more quickly to strike a trade deal.
The announcement extends Trump’s tariffs to nearly all of China’s imports into the United States.
China warned it would not accept any “intimidation or blackmail” and pledged countermeasures should the tariffs go into effect.
The U.S. economy expanded by 2.1% in the second quarter, government data showed on July 26, which beat economists’ expectations, though it was lower than first quarter growth.
Still, there are some signs of the economic toll of the trade dispute between the United States and China, which this week reported slowing manufacturing activity in July.
U.S. manufacturing activity also slipped last month, dropping to a near three-year low, and construction spending fell in June as investment in private construction projects tumbled to its lowest level in 1-1/2 years, data showed on Thursday.
(GRAPHIC – Daily closes for Brent, U.S. crude in 2019 png: https://tmsnrt.rs/2yHHep7)
(Additional reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Jane merriman)
8/2/2019 Oil down $4.63 to $53.95 the day after the above article, DOW down 281 to 26,583.
8/2/2019 Comey hits back at Rep. Meadows by OAN Newsroom
Former FBI Director James Comey recently responded to criticisms from one of his more vocal critics. Comey took to Twitter on Thursday, where he stated that he’s waiting for the facts before discussing them. He was responding to a tweet by Representative Mark Meadows, who pointed out the former FBI director’s silence in the wake of a report from the Department of Justice inspector general.
James Comey: “I love transparency. I just wait for facts before I talk about them. I’m confident the results of all IG reports will show honest public servants worked hard to protect this country from a threat this president and his enablers won’t acknowledge. And @ me next time, bruh. https://twitter.com/repmarkmeadows/status/1157094066762452993 …”
FILE – Former FBI Director James Comey speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill Washington. The Justice Department has declined to prosecute
Comey over his handling of memos he wrote documenting personal interactions with President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
Michael Horowitz reportedly made a criminal referral against Comey for his leaking of a memo containing confidential information to reporters. However, the Justice Department decided against bringing charges against Comey, which is something President Trump said he knows nothing about.
“I know that there is a lot of things going on, that’s a piece of it I guess, but I really don’t know,” the president told reporters outside the White House. “I would, frankly, be surprised because what James Comey did was illegal, so I would be surprised, but I don’t know anything about that.”
Nonetheless, the leaked memo was only part of the Horowitz investigation. He’s expected to complete his full review of the agency’s actions in about a month.
8/2/2019 China threatens countermeasures if Washington implements new tariffs by OAN Newsroom
President Trump recently sent a stern warning to China for not living up to its promises regarding a possible trade deal. Beijing has responded with its own threats. In a statement Friday, China’s Commerce Ministry said there will be “necessary countermeasures” if Washington implements another tariff hike.
This comes after the president announced the U.S. will slap a 10-percent tariff on the remaining $300 billion worth of Chinese goods starting September 1st. Chinese commerce officials claimed their country doesn’t want a trade war, but said it isn’t afraid of fighting one either.
White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow talks to reporters outside the
White House, Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Economic Council director Larry Kudlow commented on the possible effects of the new China tariffs on U.S. residents early Friday at the White House:
“Any consumer impact is very, very small, minuscule. By the by, consumer spending and consumer wages and salaries and consumer savings are all booming. It’s the strongest part of the economy, so that’s the underlying fact. And I would also add in economic terms we believe, and we’ve looked at these numbers again and again, that economic burdens have fallen most heavily on China. They’ve had to slash prices to try to compete, that has done damage to their profits and their companies and their economy is in a very big slowing mode.”
The retaliatory threats come as Chinese stocks are reportedly feeling the heat from the President Trump’s tariffs.
Trump tweet: “China is doing very badly, worst year in 27 - was supposed to start buying our agricultural product now - no signs that they are doing so. That is the problem with China, they just don’t come through. Our Economy has become MUCH larger than the Chinese Economy is last 3 years....”
8/2/2019 Calif. removes arrest data from Harris years by OAN Newsroom
California is making it difficult for primary voters to review the criminal justice record of presidential hopeful Kamala Harris. The state’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation recently removed archives on incarceration rates from its website.
The reports contained information from Harris’ tenure as attorney general from 2011 through 2017. During that time, data shows more than 120,000 black and Latino citizens were sent to prison.
Harris has attempted to portray herself as a progressive on criminal justice on the campaign trail, but her record has faced growing scrutiny. Most recently, Harris was called out by one her 2020 challengers on the debate stage.
A state official said the change has nothing to do with Harris’ campaign, but rather to maintain compliance with a California law. The records are still available upon request.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) is pictured. (Paul Sancya/AP Photo)
8/2/2019 President Trump responds to reports of burglary at Rep. Cummings home by OAN Newsroom
The president recently addressed reports of a break-in at the home of Trump critic and Democrat congressman Elijah Cummings. In a tweet Friday, President Trump responded to the reported Baltimore burglary by calling it “really bad news.”
Trump tweet: “Really bad news! The Baltimore house of Elijah Cummings was robbed. Too bad!”
Cummings released a statement on the break-in Friday, saying a person attempted to gain entry into his home last Saturday morning. He said he scared away the intruder once he yelled at him to leave. The congressman then thanked the Baltimore Police Department for their swift response to the incident.
FILE – House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md. is on
Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, file)
The president’s tweet comes after he continued to criticize Cummings and the city of Baltimore at his Ohio rally Thursday night.
“The homicide rate in Baltimore is significantly higher than El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala…yet Democrats, and they’ve run it for many years, want to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on illegal migrants instead of supporting their own struggling communities — no good, no good,” he said to the crowd gathered in Cincinnati.
The president has refuted claims his comments against Baltimore and Cummings are racist by saying he is the “least racist person in the world.”
President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
8/2/2019 Republicans push back against Democrats over election security by OAN Newsroom
Republicans in the Senate are pushing back amid pressure from Democrats and the mainstream media to pass election security bills. According to The Hill, Senator James Lankford said Democrat’s plans for providing federal funding for elections and a certification center voting machines are issues separate from election security.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took the Senate floor this week to defend his decision to block the Democrat’s recent attempts to fast-track legislation he says is highly partisan.
“This kind of objection is a routine occurrence here in the Senate,” he stated. “It doesn’t make Republicans traitors or un-American, it makes us policy-makers with a different opinion.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., speaks to reporters following the weekly policy
lunches on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
On Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he thinks Republicans will buckle under the pressure and eventually take up a vote on election security legislation. The move would mark a reversal on the issue, with McConnell previously saying he did not think such legislation was necessary.
However, the move would not be unprecedented. Last year, McConnell said he wouldn’t bring “criminal justice reform” legislation to the floor, only to change his mind following pressure from President Trump. Schumer predicts the same thing will happen when the Senate reconvenes in September.
8/2/2019 Conservative student group sues UF for free speech violations by OAN Newsroom
The University of Florida recently settled a lawsuit after a conservative student group sued them for violating their right to free speech. The Alliance Defending Freedom group representing the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) announced the university agreed to settle the lawsuit out of court.
YAF filed the lawsuit in December of 2018, arguing First Amendment rights were violated. The suit alleged the school denied the chapter equal access to funding. It claimed the university funded organizations to bring progressive speakers to the school, but denied funding for conservative names.
The settlement will total up to $66,000 from the school, and the university has agreed to change its policies to allocate funds in a neutral manner.
“One of the things that really gets me going is when a conservative student’s voice is silenced in the public marketplace, and the reason why that’s important is because conservatives need to have that voice,” explaiend political commentator Todd Starnes. “They need to be able to share their opinions, they need to be able to share their viewpoints.”
The suit claimed progressive groups automatically received funding, while conservative groups had to file special petitions to get speakers approved.
“Here’s the problem: the left is terrified of these ideas, the concept of free speech and personal responsibility, and that’s a big problem in America,” said Starnes. “Ultimately, conservatives are going to have to take a stand.”
YAF said it will move forward in booking speakers, including those who were previously denied to speak. This includes conservative commentators Andrew Klavan and Dana Loesch.
8/2/2019 Man in N.Y. violently beaten after wearing ‘Make America Great Again’ hat by OAN Newsroom
Another conservative was violently targeted for supporting President Trump, while wearing the iconic ‘Make America Great Again’ hat. The incident happened this week after the man bought his MAGA hat at Trump Tower, and wore it while walking around New York City.
According to 42-year-old John Turan, a group of about 15 teenagers “viciously beat” him. The violent encounter left him with a swollen black eye and a fractured cheek.
Turan said he notified police about the altercation, but the group was able to get away before authorities arrived.
This latest attack is just one of many examples of conservatives facing violence for openly supporting President Trump in public. The signature red hats emblazoned with the president’s 2016 campaign slogan have become a symbol of right-wing targeted harassment.
Turan said he bought the hat because he “loves President Trump” and thinks “he is doing a great job.” However, the victim said he will think twice before wearing his ‘Make America Great Again’ hat in public again.
The NYPD is still searching for the suspects, and Turan is hoping they will be able to make an arrest.
8/2/2019 Trump says auto tariffs never off the table in EU trade talks
U.S. President Donald Trump listens to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer speak after Trump announced a deal to sell
more American beef to Europe in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., August 2, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Friday blasted the European Union for its use of trade barriers and revived his threat to impose U.S. tariffs on European automobiles if he does not see progress in stalled negotiations between the longstanding partners.
Trump made the comments shortly after signing a deal to sell more U.S. beef to Europe, an event at which he startled participants by joking that his administration was working “on a 25% tariff on all Mercedes-Benz and BMWs coming into our nation.” He then said he only kidding.
“The EU has tremendous barriers to us,” Trump told reporters later at the White House. “They’re very, very difficult.”
Trump said the threat of auto tariffs may have helped move the EU toward accepting the beef deal, but auto tariffs remain an option.
“Auto tariffs are never off the table,” Trump said. “If I don’t get what we want, I’ll put auto tariffs. … If I don’t get what I want, I’ll have no choice but maybe to do that. But so far they’ve been very good.”
EU officials have said they are eager to work with the United States to reform the World Trade Organization (WTO) and rein in China’s behavior on world markets, but would retaliate if Washington makes good on its threat to raise car tariffs.
Sabine Weyand, the European Commission’s director general of trade, last month said Brussels would not be bullied by the threat of car tariffs, which it views as illegal under WTO rules.
Negotiators for Brussels and Washington have been meeting since Trump and then-European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed to ease trade tensions last year, but have made little progress and remain at odds over the scope of the talks.
The United States wants agricultural products included in a broader trade deal, but the EU has said its mandate from member countries does not include that area.
Germany’s coordinator for transatlantic ties, Peter Beyer, said the beef agreement shows progress is possible when both sides work together constructively, and called for fresh efforts to reach a broader trade deal.
“I urge the United States to now, finally, begin serious negotiations to reach an industrial tariff agreement” he said in a statement.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Andrea Shalal; Writing by David Alexander; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Will Dunham)
8/3/2019 Oil up $0.70 to $55.19, DOW down 98 to 26,485.
8/3/2019 Trump pick for intelligence director is withdrawing
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said his pick for national intelligence director has decided to withdraw from the running, citing unfair media coverage. In a tweet Friday, Trump said Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe of Texas had decided to stay in Congress. Questions about Ratcliffe’s experience have dogged him since Trump announced his candidacy five days ago. Trump didn’t cite any specific media reports, but tweeted that “rather than going through months of slander and libel,” he would be returning to Capitol Hill.
8/3/2019 Pres. Trump: things are going along very well with China by OAN newsroom
President Trump things are going along very well with China, amid the ongoing trade dispute with the Asian nation.
In a tweet Saturday, the president said “China is paying us tens of billions of dollars, made possible by their monetary devaluations and pumping in massive amounts of cash to keep their system going.”
President Donald Trump waves as he walks from Air Force One upon arrival at Morristown
Municipal Airport, in Morristown, N.J., Friday, July 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
He then said “so far our consumer is paying nothing and no inflation,” and added “no help from the Fed.”
Trump tweet: “Things are going along very well with China. They are paying us Tens of Billions of Dollars, made possible by their monetary devaluations and pumping in massive amounts of cash to keep their system going. So far our consumer is paying nothing - and no inflation. No help from Fed!”
This comes, after the President Trump announced a 10% tariff on $300 million worth of Chinese goods, starting in September, earlier this week.
8/3/2019 Trump defends stance on China trade after new tariffs
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump attends a bilateral meeting with China's President Xi Jinping during
the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday that things are going well with China, insisting U.S. consumers are not paying for import taxes he has imposed on goods from that country although economists say Americans are footing the bill.
“Things are going along very well with China. They are paying us Tens of Billions of Dollars, made possible by their monetary devaluations and pumping in massive amounts of cash to keep their system going. So far our consumer is paying nothing – and no inflation. No help from Fed!” Trump said on Twitter.
He also said – without presenting evidence – that countries are asking to negotiate “REAL trade deals,” saying on Twitter, “They don’t want to be targeted for Tariffs by the U.S.”
Trump abruptly decided on Thursday to slap 10% tariffs $300 billion in Chinese imports, stunning financial markets and ending a month-long trade truce.
China vowed on Friday to fight back.
Tariffs are intended to make foreign goods more expensive to boost domestic producers, unless international exporters reduce prices. But there has been no evidence that China is cutting prices to accommodate Trump’s tariffs.
A study published by the National Bureau of Economic research in March found that all of the cost of tariffs imposed in 2018 were passed on to U.S. consumers.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Alistair Bell)
8/3/2019 UN warns of ISIS terror attack by end of year by OAN Newsroom
There’s new concerns out of the UN, that ISIS could launch a terror attack by the end of the year.
A recent report by UN analysts claim there are thousands of fighters still remaining, despite the group being pushed out of Iraq and Syria.
U.N. ‘peacekeepers’ use high-powered binoculars to watch fighting near the Syrian town of Quneitra. (Photo: Atef Safadi/Newscom)
They said these individuals are working to plan more attacks throughout the world, and may even be considering joining Al Qaeda or other terror groups.
The UN is now growing concerned, as thousands of people who joined ISIS leave the Middle East, and return to their home countries.
They are worried this could lead to more people becoming radicalized.
8/3/2019 Authorities confirm 1 suspect in custody in El Paso, Texas shooting, multiple fatalities by OAN Newsroom
Texas police confirm up to 20 people are dead, and several others are injured in a shooting at an El Paso mall.
During a press briefing Saturday afternoon, authorities did not confirm the number of injuries, but said that at least one suspect was in custody after Saturday’s shooting at the Cielo Vista Mall.
Law enforcement officers make their way along a walkway to the scene of a shooting at a shopping mall in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019.
Several people were killed in the shooting Saturday in a busy shopping area in the Texas border town. (AP Photo/Rudy Gutierrez)
That suspect was arrested without incident. NBC is identifying the suspect as 21-year old Patrick Crusius, though local authorities have not yet confirmed the suspects name nor have they released any photos.
Because El Paso police initially received reports of multiple shooters, they cannot rule out if others were involved.
“I didn’t see their faces. I saw them all dressed in black,” an unidentified witness said. “They were the ones shooting because I could see their weapons and the bullets firing.”
Local hospitals said they’re treating nearly two dozen victims at this time. President Trump has since tweeted about the shooting, saying he is working with state and local authorities, and has spoken to Texas Governor Greg Abbott to “pledge total support of federal government.”
Trump tweet: “'God be with you all': Trump pledges full support for El Paso shooting victims as lawmakers also grieve https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/08/03/el-paso-massacre-trump-pelosi-pledge-support-after-shooting/1911058001/ … via @usatoday.”
We will continue to follow this story and bring you more information as it comes into our newsroom.
8/4/2019 Covington Catholic students file libel suit - 12 public figures’ comments on National Mall incident targeted by Max Londberg, Cincinnati Enquirer USA TODAY NETWORK
CINCINNATI – A dozen public figures have been named in a libel lawsuit that claims their comments on the Covington Catholic incident were defamatory.
The suit was filed Friday on behalf of eight unnamed Covington Catholic High students present during the now-viral encounter with Native Americans on the National Mall, in which Nathan Phillips sang and played a drum as Nick Sandmann and his classmates stood around him. Some students chanted and performed a tomahawk chop, considered by some as mocking toward Native Americans.
This new lawsuit seeks a fraction of the more than three-quarters of $1 billion sought by Nick in his three suits against media companies. This suit was also not filed in federal court.
This suit, submitted by attorneys from Los Angeles and Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, seeks at least $15,000 and at most $50,000 for each student from each of the 12 defendants. That makes for a total of at least $1.44 million and at most $4.8 million.
The suit lists the following as defendants, claiming they made defamatory comments against the “Covington Boys,” as they are identified in the suit:
Haaland, who in 2018 joined Sharice Davids of Kansas as the first Native American women elected to Congress, tweeted about Phillips “being harassed and mocked by a group of MAGA hat-wearing teens.”
The tweet is defamatory, the suit alleges.
- Rep. Debra Haaland, a congresswoman from New Mexico;
- Ana Navarro, a Republican strategist and frequent guest on CNN;
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a congresswoman from Massachusetts and presidential candidate;
- Maggie Haberman, a New York Times reporter;
- Kathy Griffin, an actress;
- Matthew Dowd, a political consultant and analyst;
- Reza Aslan, a scholar and author;
- Kevin Kruse, a history professor at Princeton;
- Shaun King, an activist;
- Adam Edelen, a former state auditor of Kentucky;
- Clara Jeffery, the editor in chief of Mother Jones;
- and Jodi Jacobson, the editor in chief of Rewire News.
But David Marburger, a Cleveland-based First Amendment attorney, was critical of the suit’s credibility after reviewing it.
“Assuming politics don’t intervene in the judicial system, this is exceedingly weak,” he said. “I can’t see anything that is colorably actionable as defamation.”
Aslan is listed in the suit for tweeting a photo of Nick and Phillips and the question, “Have you ever seen a more punchable face than this kid’s?”
Warren tweeted that Phillips “endured hateful taunts.”
Kruse tweeted the students “mocked” Phillips and “taunted women.”
The same and similar language highlighted by the suit as defamatory was listed as protected speech by a federal judge in Kentucky just last week, when U.S. District Judge William Bertelsman dismissed Nick’s $250 million suit against The Washington Post.
Citing a Supreme Court decision, Bertelsman wrote statements that are “loose, figurative” or “rhetorical hyperbole” are protected by the First Amendment because they can’t be proved true or false.
He identified certain words used by The Post as falling under this protection: “swarmed,” “taunting,” “disrespect,” among others. Another parallel exists between Nick’s federal suit and the one filed in state court. In his ruling, Bertelsman wrote some of The Post’s identifiers – “the teens” and “hat wearing people” – couldn’t constitute defamation of Nick because he wasn’t named or specifically described.
This new suit includes a tweet by Navarro that deems “MAGA-hat wearing teens” racist. And a tweet by King about “young kids in MAGA hats” is also included.
Marburger said the defendants may find protection because some of their comments were directed at a group rather than individuals. Though the suit says the statements were “interpreted by their [the students’] friends, family and associates as about them personally.”
The suit claims the defendants called for the “public punishment” of the students, who received hate mail and death threats.
Griffin, in a tweet, called on her followers to identify, shame and “dox” the students. To dox is to publish personal information and encourage the harassment of others.
Edelen, the former Kentucky auditor, is the only Kentuckian named in the suit.
Robert Barnes, an attorney on the case, said by email that because no plaintiff is seeking more than $75,000 from any one defendant, the case could not legally be filed in federal court.
Marburger said the plaintiffs are “deliberately limiting the potential damages to keep it out of federal court.”
“They figure if they go to federal court, they’re going to lose because of the Bertelsman ruling,” he added. “I’ve defended about 100 libel suits. Nobody limits libel suit damages.”
Kevin L. Murphy is the local attorney representing the students.
Kenton Circuit Judge Kathy Lape will handle the case.
She was elected in 2014 to an eight-year term.
Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann faces Native American Nathan Phillips on the
National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 18. SURVIVAL MEDIA AGENCY VIA AP
[THIS IS A WARNING TO THE LEFT TO KEEP YOU IDENTITY POLITICS TO YOURSELF OR YOU WILL BE SUED BY THE RIGHT.].
8/4/2019 German far-right party ahead in east before regional votes
FILE PHOTO: A supporter of Germany's far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party takes shelter from rain under a
German flag, during an election campaign in Cottbus, Germany, July 13, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo
BERLIN (Reuters) – The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has taken the lead in the east of the country ahead of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), just a month before regional elections there, an opinion poll showed on Sunday.
The AfD is favored by 23% of voters in the former east, ahead of the CDU on 22%, the far-left Linke on 14%, the Greens on 13% and the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) on 11%, according to a poll in the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.
The AfD entered Germany’s national parliament for the first time in 2017 as the third largest party, helped by voter anger at Merkel’s decision to welcome asylum seekers from the Middle East and Africa.
The eastern states of Brandenburg and Saxony hold regional elections on Sept. 1, followed by Thuringia a month later.
Defeats for the SPD in Brandenburg, where it has won all of the last six elections there since German reunification in 1990, and the CDU in Saxony would put more pressure on the coalition partners to rethink their alliance in national government.
Sunday’s poll was conducted by Emnid among 1,419 people on July 25-31.
At the national level, the poll showed the AfD up one percentage point at 14%, the SPD down a point at just 13%, the CDU steady at 26%, the Greens on 23%, the Free Democrats on 9% and the Linke on 8%.
(Reporting by Emma Thomasson; editing by David Evans)
8/4/2019 Shooting in Dayton, Ohio Leaves at Least 9 People Dead, 27 Injured by OAN Newsroom
At least nine people are dead and 27 others are injured following a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio.
Officers said the incident took place Sunday morning around 1 A.M. local time.
The suspected shooter reportedly approached a popular bar in the Oregon District, with body armor and a “.223 high-capacity” gun.
The suspect was killed by police, and has since been identified as 24-year-old Connor Betts.
In a message to Twitter Sunday, President Trump said “The FBI, local and state law enforcement are working together in El Paso and in Dayton, Ohio. Information is rapidly being accumulated in Dayton. Much has already be learned in El Paso.”
This comes less than 24 hours after a shooting in El Paso, Texas, when a gunman opened fire near a Walmart, killing at least 20 people and injuring 26 more.
That suspect was apprehended, and is now in custody.
8/4/2019 Democrats condemn Trump, white nationalism after U.S. shootings by Doina Chiacu and Pete Schroeder
Samuel Lerma, Arzetta Hodges and Desiree Qunitana join mourners taking in a vigil at El Paso High School after
a mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, U.S. August 3, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two mass shootings that killed 29 people in Texas and Ohio reverberated across the United States’ political arena on Sunday as Democratic presidential candidates called for stricter gun laws and some accused President Donald Trump of being a white nationalist.
Dozens were also wounded Saturday and early Sunday in shootings within just 13 hours of each other in carnage that shocked a country that has become grimly accustomed to mass shootings and heightened concerns about domestic terrorism.
The first massacre occurred on Saturday morning in the heavily Hispanic border city of El Paso, where a gunman killed 20 people at a Walmart store before surrendering. Authorities in Texas said the rampage appeared to be a racially motivated hate crime and federal prosecutors are treating it as a case of domestic terrorism.
Across the country, a gunman opened fire in a downtown district of Dayton, Ohio, early on Sunday, killing nine people and wounding at least 26 others. The assailant was killed by police, making the death toll for both shootings 30.
The El Paso shooting resonated on the campaign trail for next year’s U.S. presidential election, with most Democratic candidates repeating calls for tighter gun control measures and some drawing connections to a resurgence in white nationalism and xenophobic politics in the United States.
Several 2020 candidates said Trump was indirectly to blame.
“Donald Trump is responsible for this. He is responsible because he is stoking fears and hatred and bigotry,” U.S. Senator Cory Booker said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
The Republican president called the El Paso shooting a “hateful act” and “an act of cowardice.” Trump has not made a public statement on the shootings other than his Twitter posts, which also expressed sympathy for the victims. He ordered flags at half-staff in honor of the victims.
Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney rebutted the Democrats’ allegations and attributed the shootings to “sick” individuals.
“There’s no benefit here in trying to make this a political issue, this is a social issue and we need to address it as that,” he said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”
It was a personal issue for Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, the former congressman who returned to El Paso after the attack in his hometown. Asked on CNN if he believed Trump was a white nationalist, he responded, “Yes, I do.”
“Let’s be very clear about what is causing this and who the president is,” O’Rourke said. “He is an open avowed racist and is encouraging more racism in this country.”
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders said he agreed that Trump was a white nationalist.
“It gives me no pleasure to say this but I think all of the evidence out there suggests that we have a president who is a racist, who is a xenophobe who appeals, and is trying to appeal, to white nationalism,” Sanders said on CNN.
“Clearly Donald Trump does not want anybody shooting down innocent people,” Sanders said, but his talk about invasions and calling Mexicans criminals risks leading unstable people to take up arms.
“White nationalists think he’s a white nationalist,” added U.S. Representative Tim Ryan.
A hallmark of Trump’s presidency has been his determination to curb illegal immigration. Trump has drawn criticism for comments disparaging Mexican immigrants and referring to the flood of migrants trying to enter through the U.S. southern border as an “invasion.”
In recent weeks, critics also accused Trump of racism after his attacks on members of Congress who belong to racial or ethnic minorities. Trump has denied he is a racist.
The White House cannot shirk its responsibility in shaping public discourse, said Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana. “There’s no question that white nationalism is condoned at the highest levels of our government,” he told “Fox News Sunday.”
“He’s spoken about immigrants as being invaders. He’s given license for this toxic brew of white supremacy to fester more and more in this country, and we’re seeing the results of that,” Julian Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio, said on ABC.
While authorities were still investigating the motive of the El Paso shooter, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said the rampage appeared to be a hate crime. Police cited a manifesto they attributed to the suspect, a 21-year-old white man, as evidence that the bloodshed was racially motivated.
The statement called the Walmart attack “a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.” The manifesto also expressed support for the gunman who killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March.
The shooting renewed attention to domestic terrorism. FBI Director Christopher Wray told a Senate hearing in July the majority of the domestic terrorism the FBI has investigated were “motivated by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden launched his presidential campaign with a reminder of Trump’s response to the deadly 2017 attack at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, when he said there were “fine people” on both sides.
Biden refrained from attacks on Trump on Sunday, instead calling for action to end “our gun violence epidemic.”
The carnage ranked as the eighth-deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, after a 1984 shooting in San Ysidro, California, in which 21 people died.
Despite several high-profile mass shootings in recent years, gun control has proven to be an intractable debate within the U.S. Congress, as lawmakers have failed to advance any significant policy changes to combat them.
Republicans and some moderate Democrats have resisted placing additional restrictions on gun ownership, and efforts to improve mental health services or establish new ways to identify potential shooters before they act have not gained traction.
Democratic leaders responded to the pair of shootings with a call for action. They urged Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to hold an emergency session to debate gun control legislation, after lawmakers left Washington just a few days ago for a 5-week recess. McConnell’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Pete Schroeder in Washington; Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton in Bedminster, N.J., Michelle Price in Washington, Lisa Shumaker in Chicago; Writing by Doina Chiacu and Frances Kerry, Editing by Nick Zieminski)
[Mass Shootings under the Last Five Presidents plus Trump.
Ronald Reagan: 1981-1989 (8 years) 11 mass shootings - Incidents with 8 or more deaths = 5
George H. W. Bush: 1989-1993 (4 years) 12 mass murders - Incidents with 8 or more deaths = 3
Bill Clinton: 1993-2001 (8 years) 23 mass murders - Incidents with 8 or more deaths = 4
George W. Bush: 2001-2009 (8 years) 20 mass murders - Incidents with 8 or more deaths = 5
Barrack H. Obama: 2009-2015 (in 7th year) 162 mass murders - Incidents with 8 or more deaths = 18
Donald Trump 2016-date: Oct 1, 2017 S. Paddock Nevada 58, Nov. 5, 2017 Kelly, church 12, Feb. 14, 2018 Cruz Fla. 17 students, May 18, 2018 8 students, May 28, 2018 Pagourtzi, June 18, 2018 Ramos Capital Gazette 5, Oct 27 2018 Long 12 The Oaks, Feb 15, 2019 Martin 5 in Illinois, May 31 2019 Craddock 12 Va, Beach, Aug 3, 2019 El Paso 20. Aug 4, 2019 Dayton, OH 9, 11 total since in office for total of 159.
Remember guns do not kill, people do, so resolve the mental problems solve the problem, which we can all obviously can see it all started 10 years ago. The question is why did this go from 66 mass murders in 27 years and then start in 2009 to be at 321 mass killings to date in only 10 years.
I myself believe it is because many persons, etc., during that time were taken or subdued to go against Christianity and to not believe in God and their savior Jesus Christ, and have allowed every foul and low sins that they can drum up which has dragged this country down with it for 8 years of the Obama administration and we are still in a battle in the Trump administation now to get back to the righteousness we need but are still fighting the instigators of that sinfulness.
The solution all need to pray to God and ask for forgiveness and repent and it will change and save this nation, or continue down the same road as you can see in the article above, which will only take you to your own hell.].
8/5/2019 FBI conducting new terrorism threat assessment after 3 shootings in a week by OAN Newsroom
FBI field offices are diligently working to identify future threats after three separate shootings in three different states has left dozens of people dead. More than 30 people were killed in mass shootings in less than a week, pressing the FBI to identify potential threats in the hopes of thwarting potential future attacks.
In a news conference Monday, President Trump said federal authorities are on the ground, and he’s been in contact with both the attorney general and the director of the FBI.
“We have asked the FBI to identify all further resources they need to investigate and disrupt hate crimes and domestic terrorism, whatever they need,” he explained.
The president also said he’s directing the Department of Justice to work with both state and federal agencies to develop tools to detect mass shooters before they act, and will work with social media companies to identify these individuals as well.
On Sunday, the FBI warned the both the shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio may inspire copycat incidents. The bureau is asking citizens to remain diligent and report any suspicious activity.
Mourners gather for a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in
Ohio were killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
In the meantime, FBI Director Christopher Wray has ordered agency offices across the nation to conduct a new threat assessment aimed at working to identify threats similar to the ones in California, Texas and Ohio. A command group at the bureau’s Washington, D.C. headquarters will reportedly oversee this effort.
Late last month, Wray told a Senate panel the risk of domestic violent extremism is nearly on par with the threat of international terrorism.
“Needless to say, we take domestic terrorism or hate crime, regardless of ideology, extremely seriously, I can assure you,” he stated. “And we are aggressively pursuing it using both counter-terrorism resources and criminal investigative resources, and partnering closely with our state and local partners.”
Wray said the FBI is most concerned with “lone offender” attacks because they have been the primary method for violent domestic attacks.
FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on
Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
8/5/2019 President Trump directs DOJ to take actions against domestic terrorism by OAN Newsroom
President Trump recently announced he has directed the Justice Department to take extensive actions against the rise of domestic terrorism and hate crimes in the aftermath of last weekend’s mass shootings in Ohio and Texas.
During an address to the nation Monday, the president offered his sympathies to the family members and victims of the massacres in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. He then called on the Department of Justice to partner with state and local agencies to detect mass shooters before they strike.
President Donald Trump speaks about the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, in the
Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
The president also called for red flag laws to stop mentally disturbed people from getting access to firearms, and blamed the violence in our pop culture for contributing to the inspiration of the shootings. He then suggested the internet has radicalized disturbed minds to commit heinous acts.
President Trump called for those who commit hate crimes to face the death penalty “without delay.” He also disavowed those consumed by racist hate, and called for the nation to universally condemn white supremacy.
8/5/2019 Death toll in El Paso shooting rises to 22 by OAN Newsroom
The death toll in the El Paso shooting rises to 22 after two more victims succumb to their injuries. On Monday, officials at the Del Sol Medical Center announced two more people died at the hospital. They said one of the victims passed away after having major inter-abdominal injuries.
This comes after a 21-year-old gunman opened fire inside a Wal-Mart store in the city over the weekend. More than 20 people were injured in the attack.
A Virgin Mary painting, flags and flowers adorn a makeshift memorial for the victims of Saturday’s mass shooting
at a shopping complex in El Paso, Texas, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
“It is absolutely heartbreaking and I’m terribly sorry to be able to share that two of the patients have ended up passing away,” stated David Shimp, chief executive officer at Del Sol Medical Center. “One elderly woman ended up passing away in the middle of the night and another patient just recently passed away.”
The suspect was arrested and booked on capital murder charges. Authorities are investigating the incident as an act of domestic terrorism, and the city’s district attorney is seeking the death penalty.
8/5/2019 Dayton shooter had as many as 250 rounds of ammo, victims fund set up by OAN Newsroom
Dayton officials have given an update, following a deadly mass shooting over the weekend. At a press conference Monday, medics said they could confirm at least 14 of the victims were directly injured by gunfire, while the rest were injured when attempting to flee. 11 victims still remain in the hospital.
Authorities said after recovering the magazines at the scene, the gunman likely had as many as 250 rounds of ammo in his possession.
A local nonprofit has set up a relief fund for victims and will waive all processing fees for credit cards, so all proceeds go directly to victims and their families. Residents in Ohio also held a vigil to honor the victim’s of Sunday’s shooting.
Make Online Credit Gifts to the Dayton Oregon District Tragedy Fund at The Dayton Foundation.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley speaks during a news conference regarding a mass shooting earlier in the morning,
Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. At least nine people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in
the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley reportedly spoke to President Trump on the phone Sunday. She said the president will visit the city sometime this week. Whaley told local news outlets that no specific date nor plans have been set in stone, but FAA advisory notices suggest the president may make an appearance on Wednesday.
President Trump is also expected to visit El Paso, Texas this week in the wake of a separate mass shooting.
8/5/2019 President Trump to unveil health care plan next month by OAN Newsroom
“We’re coming up with a great package of health care. We’re going to be the party of health care. We’re going to come up with a great package after the election. We’re going to win the House, we’re going to win the Senate — we’re going to win the presidency.” — President Trump.
President Trump is finally looking to present a new health care plan, which has been a staple of his re-election campaign. He is reportedly looking to unveil the long-awaited proposal during a speech next month.
The president has often criticized our current health care system, even calling to repeal the Affordable Care Act in exchange for a better plan which offers insurance for every one.
“We got rid of the individual mandate, the worst thing in Obamacare, where you paid a fortune for the privilege of not paying for horrible health care — very unpopular, I got rid of it,” he stated.
President Donald Trump waves as he arrives at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019,
as he returns from a campaign rally in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
The president claims his plan will offer better coverage than Obamacare at a much lower rate. It’s also expected to include coverage for all Americans, including those with pre-existing conditions.
In a recent statement, a White House spokesperson said it will offer more health plan options for consumers, help expand health savings accounts, create more transparency on drug prices, and end surprise medical billing.
President Trump has not set an exact date for his announcement, but said he will likely release it in the coming weeks.
8/5/2019 NRA expresses ‘deepest sympathies’ for victims of El Paso, Dayton shootings by OAN Newsroom
The National Rifle Association (NRA) expressed its “deepest sympathies” to the victims of both of this weekend’s mass shootings. In its statement Sunday, the NRA said it’s committed to the “safe and lawful use of firearms,” and promised the organization would not politicize the tragedies.
This comes after a shooting in El Paso, Texas left 20 people dead and dozens injured Saturday. Another shooting occurred only hours later in Dayton, Ohio, which left nine people dead and about two dozen injured.
The statement comes as multiple 2020 presidential candidates, including Bernie Sanders, Beto O’Rourke and Corey Booker, have attempted to blame both the NRA and President Trump for the shootings.
Mourners gather for a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. A masked gunman
in body armor opened fire early Sunday in the popular entertainment district in Dayton, killing several people,
including his sister, and wounding dozens before he was quickly slain by police, officials said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Meanwhile, the president has urged media outlets to provide fair coverage of the two shootings. In a tweet Monday, President Trump said the media has a “big responsibility to life and safety” in the U.S. He warned that the problem would only get worse unless news coverage is “unbiased” and “fair.”
In a separate tweet Monday morning, the president said “Republicans and Democrats must come together” to implement gun legislation such as strong background checks.
Trump tweets: “We cannot let those killed in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, die in vain. Likewise for those so seriously wounded. We can never forget them, and those many who came before them. Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying....” “....this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform. We must have something good, if not GREAT, come out of these two tragic events!”
8/5/2019 Ivanka Trump calls on Congress to pass ‘red flag’ gun laws across U.S. by OAN Newsroom
First Daughter Ivanka Trump is calling for improved laws to determine who can and cannot legally possess a firearm. In a tweet Sunday, Ivanka echoed remarks from Republican Senator Lindsey Graham by suggesting Congress should pass “red flag laws.”
Ivanka Trump, daughter and senior adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks in the
East Room of the White House in Washington. (Andrew Harnik/AP Photo)
Under those measures, state authorities are permitted to confiscate the firearm of an individual believed to be a threat to public safety. Potential gun owners would also be restricted from purchasing a firearm if they have been convicted of domestic violence.
Ivanka’s tweet follows two mass shootings over the weekend, which left 29 people dead in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas.
8/5/2019 U.S. opposes new vote in Venezuela with Maduro still in power: Bolton
FILE PHOTO: U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton speaks during a graduation ceremony at the
U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, U.S., May 22, 2019. REUTERS/Michelle McLoughlin
LIMA (Reuters) – Washington is opposed to new elections in Venezuela while President Nicolas Maduro remains in power because his government could manipulate the electoral system in his favor, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Monday.
Speaking to reporters in Lima, Peru, which is hosting a summit on Venezuela on Tuesday, Bolton said ongoing talks between Maduro’s government and the opposition in Barbados were “not serious” and were allowing Maduro to buy time.
(Reporting By Mitra Taj; Editing by Dan Grebler)
8/5/2019 Brexit agreement is ‘the best deal possible’, EU Commission says
An EU flag and a British Union Jack flag are seen flying near the Houses of
Parliament in London, Britain, May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The deal reached on Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union is the “best possible” and is not up for negotiation but the European Commission is ready to talk with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a spokeswoman for the bloc’s executive said on Monday.
She was responding to an op-ed by British Brexit Minister Stephen Barclay, who said the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, must go back to EU leaders to change the terms of the talks because the British parliament will not accept the current deal.
“So far it…remains unchanged – this position that the withdrawal agreement is not up for negotiation but we are open to talk about the political declaration,” Mina Andreeva told a news briefing in Brussels.
“And of course we are willing to talk and engage with Prime Minister Johnson.”
Writing in the Mail on Sunday newspaper, Barclay said the “political realities” had changed since Barnier’s instructions were set after Britain voted to leave the EU more than three years ago and that his mandate should reflect those differences.
Johnson has insisted Britain will leave the EU on Oct. 31 with or without a deal, and has told the bloc there is no point in new talks unless negotiators are willing to drop the so-called Northern Irish backstop agreed with his predecessor, Theresa May.
But Barnier has said the EU will not renegotiate the divorce deal, or Withdrawal Agreement, including the backstop, an insurance policy to prevent a return to a hard border between the British province of Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.
“We are not in the blame game, this is not our business. Our business is to prepare for a no deal,” Andreeva said, saying that if Britain left without a deal it would cause “significant disruption” for citizens and businesses and have “a serious economic impact.”
“Both sides negotiated with the very best intentions and the very best efforts. The outcome on the table is the best deal possible and I don’t think that there is any fault or blame to be looked for in this,” she said.
“We just simply expect the UK to live up to its commitment to avoiding a hard border while protecting Ireland’s place in the internal market.”
(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis and Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio; Writing by John Chalmers; Editing by Angus MacSwan)
8/6/2019 Oil down $0.97 to $54.69, DOW down 767 to 24,718 and gasoline prices went down $0.10 a gallon.
8/6/2019 No deal Brexit is UK PM Johnson’s central scenario, EU diplomats say: Guardian
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during the first meeting of the National Policing Board
at the Home Office in London, Britain July 31, 2019. Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool via REUTERS
LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s central scenario is a no-deal Brexit and he has no intention of renegotiating the Withdrawal Agreement, European diplomats were quoted as telling The Guardian newspaper.
“It was clear UK does not have another plan,” the newspaper quoted a senior EU diplomat after a meeting between David Frost, the government’s new chief Europe adviser and EU diplomats.
“No intention to negotiate, which would require a plan,” the diplomat was quoted as saying. “A no-deal now appears to be the UK government’s central scenario.”
(Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Michael Holden)
8/6/2019 Trump freezes all Venezuelan government assets in bid to pressure Maduro by Matt Spetalnick and Roberta Rampton
FILE PHOTO: Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a ceremony to commemorate the Bicentennial of the Battle in
the Vargas Swamp at the National Pantheon in Caracas, Venezuela July 25, 2019. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump imposed a freeze on all Venezuelan government assets in the United States on Monday, sharply escalating an economic and diplomatic pressure campaign aimed at removing socialist President Nicolas Maduro from power.
The executive order signed by Trump goes well beyond the sanctions imposed in recent months against Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA [PDVSA.UL] and the country’s financial sector, as well as measures against dozens of Venezuelan officials and entities.
Trump’s action, the toughest yet against Maduro, not only bans U.S. companies from dealings with the Venezuela government but also appears to open the door to possible sanctions against foreign firms or individuals that assist it.
Russian and Chinese companies are among those still doing significant business in the South American OPEC nation.
“All property and interests in property of the Government of Venezuela that are in the United States … are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in,” according to the executive order released by the White House.
The scope of the announcement came as a surprise even to some Trump administration allies. “This is big,” said Ana Quintana, senior policy analyst with the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington think tank.
Quintana said it appeared the order would be a sweeping embargo on doing business with Venezuela, although she was awaiting further details.
Venezuela’s Information Ministry did not respond immediately to a request to comment.
The United States and most Western nations have called for Maduro to step down and have recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s legitimate president.
Guaido, accused by Maduro of mounting a U.S.-directed coup attempt, appointed a board for Citgo Petroleum, Venezuela’s most important foreign asset, earlier this year.
Trump said on Thursday he was considering a quarantine or blockade of Venezuela, although he did not elaborate at the time on when or how such a blockade would be imposed.
He is taking more dramatic action after numerous rounds of sanctions failed to turn Venezuela’s military against Maduro or make significant progress in dislodging him.
U.S. officials have long said they had other weapons in their economic arsenal, even as they privately expressed frustration that European partners and others had not taken stronger steps and that the months-long pressure campaign had not made more headway.
Trump said in a letter to Congress the freezing of assets was necessary “in light of the continued usurpation of power by the illegitimate Nicolas Maduro regime, as well as the regime’s human rights abuses, arbitrary arrest and detention of Venezuelan citizens, curtailment of free press, and ongoing attempts to undermine Interim President Juan Guaido.”
His executive order also threatened sanctions against anyone assisting Maduro or his loyalists, suggesting that Washington could resort to so-called secondary sanctions against third-country companies and individuals.
Fernando Cutz, a former top Trump adviser on Latin America, said the executive order could be applied to non-U.S. firms and entities, limiting their ability to do business with Venezuela if they wanted to continue to deal with U.S. companies or banks.
China and Russia continue to trade oil with Venezuela. The move could escalate tensions with China, already inflamed by a tit-for-tat trade war, said Cutz, now a senior associate with the Cohen Group, a consulting firm.
China and Russia – together with Cuba – have continued to back Maduro, prompting U.S. national security adviser John Bolton to warn Beijing and Moscow on Monday against doubling down in their support for him.
Bolton is slated to give a speech on Tuesday morning at a gathering of more than 50 countries in Lima, Peru, that would outline a planned U.S. initiative to lead to a peaceful transfer of power in Venezuela.
Moscow and Beijing turned down invitations to attend.
A White House official declined to comment on the implications of the order for foreign companies doing business in Venezuela, where an economic crisis has driven more than 3 million people to emigrate, fleeing hyperinflation and shortages of food and medicine.
Trump’s order allows exceptions for the delivery of food, medicine and clothing “intended to be used to relieve human suffering.”
(Reporting by Makini Brice, Eric Beech, Matt Spetalnick, Roberta Rampton and Lesley Wroughton; Additional reporting by Angus Berwick in CARACAS; Editing by Sandra Maler and Paul Tait)
8/6/2019 Senators pitch gun background check legislation to President Trump by OAN Newsroom
Democrat Senator Joe Manchin and Republican Senator Pat Toomey met with President Trump separately on Monday to push new gun reform legislation, specifically to expand background checks for firearm purchases. This includes those that take place at gun shows or over the internet.
Manchin announced the meeting on Twitter, even highlighting that the president “showed a willingness to work” with them.” In their conversation, the president noted that proposing new enactment is “much overdue.” He said it’s a very common sense and broadly supported measure.
FILE – U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey ( R-Pa.) delivers remarks in Dallas, Pa. (Christopher Dolan/The Citizens’ Voice via AP)
Hours later, the president spoke out about this past weekend’s mass shootings and condemned the hateful acts:
“The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online consumed by racist hate. In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart, and devours the soul."
President Trump also voiced support for stronger death penalty legislation for those who commit mass shootings, placing additional resources and new tools toward helping to identify early warning signs before shooters act along with reforming mental health laws.
“Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun,” stated the president.
In the meantime, legislation to strengthen gun background checks faces an uphill battle in the GOP-controlled Senate. So far, there has been no reported timeline of when the Manchin-Toomey bill will be introduced to Congress.
8/6/2019 U.S. ready to target other countries for supporting Venezuela’s Maduro by Mitra Taj
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro takes part in a meeting with members of the government at Miraflores Palace
in Caracas, Venezuela July 25, 2019. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS
LIMA (Reuters) – U.S. national security adviser John Bolton on Tuesday said Washington was ready to impose sanctions on any international company doing business with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, a sharp escalation of U.S. pressure on the leftist leader.
Bolton, addressing a summit on Venezuela in the Peruvian capital Lima, emphasized that tougher international action was needed to speed up a transition of power in the country, where more than four million Venezuelans have fled economic collapse.
“We are sending a signal to third parties that want to do business with the Maduro regime: proceed with extreme caution,” Bolton said.
His speech came a day after U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order that freezes the assets of the Venezuelan government and bans any transactions with it, an act that could ensnare its dealings with Russia and China as well as with Western companies.
Bolton told reporters the move forces companies around the world to choose whether to risk access to the United States and its financial system for business with Maduro.
“Do you want to do business in Venezuela, or do you want to do business with the United States?” said Bolton, one of the Trump administration’s most influential hawks on Venezuela.
Asked by a reporter how Venezuela would respond to the executive order, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said: “I’m going to paraphrase Donald Trump … All options are on the table.”
It was the first U.S. asset freeze against an entire government in the Western Hemisphere in more than 30 years. But it was also a reminder that successive rounds of U.S. sanctions have so far failed to peel away the crucial support of Venezuela’s military for Maduro, who took office in 2013 following the death of his political mentor President Hugo Chavez.
Continuing the state controls started under Chavez, Maduro has overseen one of the worst economic collapses in recent world history, leaving his nation of 30 million people with severe shortages of food and medicine despite sitting on the world’s largest oil reserves.
U.S. sanctions on Venezuela are similar to the kind of measures imposed on Iran, North Korea and Syria, Bolton said. “Now, Venezuela is part of this very exclusive club of rogue states,” he said.
In private, Bolton had told Peruvian officials the measure would have the effect of about tripling current sanctions related to Venezuela, a Peruvian government source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The executive order stopped short, however, of a full U.S. trade embargo of the kind imposed on Cuba, experts said, by excluding Venezuela’s still sizeable private sector.
The order maintains some exemptions for companies that do business with state oil company PDVSA [PDVSA.UL], and licenses published on Tuesday reiterated that companies like Chevron and Halliburton can continue to do business with PDVSA in Venezuela through Oct. 25.
RUSSIA: ‘ECONOMIC TERROR’
Most Western and Latin American democracies accuse Maduro of rigging elections last year and are calling for him to step down so the country can hold a fresh presidential ballot.
But U.S. policymakers have privately expressed frustration that European partners have not acted more forcefully to match U.S. sanctions on Venezuela.
The summit, organized by Peru, a regional leader on demanding democratic reforms in Venezuela, had aimed to build support for new elections with Maduro’s allies. Yet Russia, China, Cuba, Turkey, Bolivia and Iran all boycotted the summit.
Russia’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday that Washington’s asset freeze was illegal and amounted to “economic terror,” the RIA news agency reported.
The order also could inflame the U.S.-China trade war if it hits Beijing hard, with Venezuela owing China oil deliveries as repayment for loans through 2021, said Fernando Cutz, a former top aide to Trump on the National Security Council.
Venezuela’s foreign ministry said the freeze was designed to “formalize a criminal economic, financial, and commercial blockade” of the country but said the government would continue with political dialogue with the opposition.
Bolton accused Maduro of only pretending to engage in European-backed negotiations with the opposition on the Caribbean island of Barbados to buy himself time.
Bolton warned Russia against doubling down on its support for Caracas, and urged China to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s legitimate leader if it wanted to recoup debt owed by Caracas, since a new government in Venezuela might not want to honor agreements made with countries that helped Maduro hang onto power.
Bolton said Washington had taken steps to ensure the sanctions did not hurt Guaido and his allies, nor prevent access to humanitarian goods.
Trump’s Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross also spoke to the Lima summit, promising U.S. support and cooperation to help Venezuela rebuild its oil sector, institutions and economy once Maduro leaves office, without giving details.
The plan has a goal of reversing Venezuela’s decline in oil production within a year, and calls for a long-term deal with the International Monetary Fund, Ross said.
Though sanctioning third parties for doing business with Venezuela would escalate pressure on Maduro, such efforts can lead to push back from other countries that complain of being bullied into following U.S. goals. Proving that foreign companies are undermining sanctions on Venezuela requires significant investment of economic and human resource.
“How much is the U.S. government willing to spend in diplomatic capital in economic costs in the United States, in order to further its Venezuela policy?” said David Murray, Vice President of the Washington-based firm Financial Integrity Network who is an expert on sanctions compliance.
(Reporting By Mitra Taj in Lima, Additional Reporting by Roberta Rampton in Washington, Brian Ellsworth and Luc Cohen in Caracas; Editing by Alistair Bell)
8/6/2019 Trump campaign, GOP sue Calif. over tax return law by OAN Newsroom
The Trump campaign and the Republican Party are suing California over a new law requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns.
Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill last week requiring presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns in order to appear on the state’s primary ballot.
The Trump campaign and the GOP called the law unconstitutional, and said it denies citizens the right to vote for the candidate they support.
FILE — In this July 23, 2019 file photo is California Gov. Gavin Newsom during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif.
Newsom, who signed a law requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns last week, has been named as a
defendant in one of the two lawsuits, filed Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019 by the GOP and Trump campaign. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
President Trump has said he wants to release his financial records, but they are under audit. He had this to say from the Oval Office:
“I’d like to have people see my financial statement because it’s phenomenal. It’s not up to me. It’s up to lawyers, it’s up to everything else, but they’re asking for things that they should never be asking for, that they’ve never asked another president for. They want to go through every deal that I’ve ever done. What they’re doing is a disgrace.”
President Trump’s lawyer — Jay Sekulow — called the law “flagrantly illegal,” and said the effort to deny Californians the opportunity to vote for President Trump will clearly fail.
8/7/2019 Oil down $1.06 to $53.63, DOW up 312 to 26,030.
8/7/2019 Ohio governor proposes gun control measures - DeWine wants ‘red flag’ law, background checks by Jessie Balmer, Cincinnati Enquirer USA TODAY Network
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A crowd of frustrated mourners yelled at Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Sunday night to “do something” about gun violence.
DeWine said he heard them.
“Some chanted ‘do something,’ and they were absolutely right,” DeWine said Tuesday morning. “We must do something, and that is exactly what we are going to do.”
DeWine unveiled several proposals Tuesday aimed at curbing gun deaths. Among them: a “red flag” law, background checks for most firearm purchases, more access to mental health treatment and harsher penalties for felons with guns and straw purchases.
DeWine said no one thing will prevent gun violence, but together, the changes will save lives.
“If we do these things, it will matter. If we do these things, it will make us safer,” the Republican said.
Police haven’t yet determined a motive for the Dayton shooter, who killed nine and injured 27 on Sunday morning.
Whether DeWine’s solutions have any hope of becoming law depends on Ohio’s GOP-controlled Legislature, which has been wary of restricting gun rights and rejected proposals similar to the governor’s in recent years.
“Red flag” laws allow family members or police to seek removal of firearms from individuals who they fear will cause harm to themselves or others. States with such laws allow guns to be removed temporarily before a judge grants a longer-term “emergency risk protection order.”
DeWine’s variation on the idea was crafted to satisfy concerns from gunrights advocates: Guns could not be removed before a court “safety protection order” is granted, which must happen within three days of the initial complaint. The National Rifle Association has supported emergency risk protection orders – if they protect gun owners’ due process rights not to have their property seized without a valid legal reason.
DeWine also wants background checks on all gun sales, except sales between family members and a few other scenarios. DeWine voted for back- ground checks on all sales at gun shows while in Congress.
In a recent Quinnipiac University poll, 90% of Ohio voters said they supported background checks for all gun buyers, and 87% of gun owners agreed.
If DeWine and lawmakers don’t act, a group called Ohioans for Gun Safety wants to force lawmakers to consider a universal background check bill with a citizen-initiated law or put it on the 2020 ballot.
DeWine also wants to strengthen existing laws for convicted felons caught with firearms and for straw purchases, in which someone who can’t legally buy a gun buys one through a third party.
Ohio lawmakers will vet DeWine’s proposals after they return in mid-September.
Days after a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine proposed ways Tuesday
to curb gun deaths. JOSHUA A. BICKEL/THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH VIA AP
8/7/2019 Trump to visit El Paso over objections by Joey Garrison, USA TODAY
President Donald Trump intends to visit El Paso, Texas, on Wednesday in the wake of a deadly shooting at a Walmart store that killed 22 people, despite calls from the area’s congresswoman and other Democrats for him to stay away.
Democrats have blamed Trump for stoking anti-immigrant rhetoric that mirrors language in a manifesto believed to have been posted by the gunman before he entered the Walmart in the heavily Hispanic border city Saturday morning.
U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, and her predecessor in Congress, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, said the president shouldn’t come to El Paso. Escobar said Trump is “not welcome” because of his inflammatory rhetoric about Latinos and immigrants.
But El Paso Mayor Dee Margo, a Republican, confirmed at a Monday news conference that the president will make the visit and said he would be welcome.
“I want to clarify for the political spin that this is the office of the mayor of El Paso in an official capacity of welcoming the office of the president of the United States, which I consider is my formal duty,” Margo said.
Trump condemned white supremacy and offered his condolences to victims at a White House speech on Monday morning. He said the nation would respond with “urgent resolve” to a weekend of mass shootings but offered few specifics. Nine people were also killed in a mass shooting at a bar in Dayton, Ohio, bringing the total fatalities to 31.br>
Trump is also expected to visit Dayton on Wednesday, The Associated Press reported.
O’Rourke, who has called Trump a “racist,” tweeted Monday that Trump should not come to El Paso despite his remarks earlier in the morning. O’Rourke represented the El Paso area in Congress from 2013 to 2019.
“This president, who helped create the hatred that made Saturday’s tragedy possible, should not come to El Paso. We do not need more division. We need to heal. He has no place here.”
Throughout his presidency, Trump has made the construction of a U.S. Mexico border wall a top priority and used words like “invasion” to describe immigration. Last week he described the majority-black city of Baltimore as “rodent infested,” and last month he told four Democratic congresswomen of color to “go back” to their countries. Three of them were born in America.
Trump on Tuesday pushed back at critics who have called him a racist. “I am the least racist person. Black, Hispanic and Asian Unemployment is the lowest (BEST) in the history of the United States!”
Multiple immigrant advocacy organizations and other left-leaning groups have organized vigils in cities across the U.S. for Wednesday as part of “a call to action against white supremacy.” The rallies are called “.”
“The uncontrolled access to weapons of war that has enabled mass atrocities in cities over and over again, has converged with the white supremacist political agenda that we see at every Trump rally, that we hear in every Trump speech,” organizers say on their website.
Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso, has called for President Donald Trump to stay away from the city.
MICHAEL CHOW/ARIZONA REPUBLIC
[Thank God that Republicans do not act like children and tell their constituents that no Democrat nominees can come to Republican states or cities. This seems to be instigated by two Dem candidates who are on their way out and desperate for press.].
8/7/2019 Strzok sues FBI for firing him over anti-Trump text messages
WASHINGTON – An FBI agent who wrote derogatory text messages about Donald Trump filed a lawsuit Tuesday charging that the bureau caved to “unrelenting pressure” from the president when it fired him. The suit from Peter Strzok also alleges he was unfairly punished for expressing his political opinions, and that the Justice Department violated his privacy when it shared hundreds of his text messages with reporters. The lawsuit seeks reinstatement to the FBI, back pay and a declaration that the government violated his rights.
8/7/2019 Trump says talks with South Korea under way over defense costs
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about the shootings in El Paso and Dayton in the Diplomatic Room
of the White House in Washington, U.S., August 5, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Wednesday discussions have begun with South Korea, aimed at getting the country to pay more for the cost of maintaining U.S. troops in the region to guard against any threat from North Korea.
“Talks have begun to further increase payments to the United States. South Korea is a very wealthy nation that now feels an obligation to contribute to the military defense provided by the United States of America,” Trump said in a Twitter post.
South Korea’s presidential Blue House did not immediately respond to request for comment on the talks.
Trump has repeatedly said Seoul should bear more of the burden of keeping some 28,500 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea, where the United States has had a military presence since the 1950-53 Korean War.
South Korean and U.S. officials signed an agreement in February, under which Seoul would raise its contribution to just under 1.04 trillion won ($927 million), an increase of about $70.3 million. The interim agreement was due to expire in a year.
U.S. national security adviser John Bolton discussed the cost-sharing issue during his visit to Seoul in July, according to the Blue House.
Trump’s tweet comes ahead of U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper’s first official visit to Seoul as part of a tour through Asia in August. U.S. and South Korean militaries are planning to stage a joint exercise this month as well.
(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Bernadette Baum)
8/7/2019 France denies report that Macron invited Rouhani to G7 summit
FILE PHOTO: A combination of file photos showing French President Emmanuel Macron attending a meeting at the
Elysee Palace in Paris, France, May 23, 2017, and Iran President Hassan Rouhani looking on at the Campidoglio palace
in Rome, Italy, January 25, 2016 REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Alessandro Bianchi//File Photo
PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron has not invited Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to the G7 summit to be held in Biarritz later this month, a French diplomatic source said on Wednesday.
The official was responding to a report on the Al-Monitor website that Macron had invited Rouhani to the G7 meeting in Biarritz at the end of August to meet U.S. President Donald Trump. Rouhani rejected the proposal, according to the report.
Rouhani said last week that Iran was ready for the worst in an uphill struggle to salvage its nuclear deal struck with world powers such as France but which has been abandoned by the United States.
(Reporting by Jean-Baptiste Vey; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Richard Lough)
8/7/2019 Rep. Nadler requests Kavanaugh documents from National Archives by OAN Newsroom
House Democrats are demanding access to records from Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s time in the George W. Bush administration. House Judiciary chairman Jerry Nadler sent a letter to the National Archives and Records Administration Tuesday, citing his authority with oversight of the judicial committee.
The request asks for emails and office files between 2001 and 2006 when Kavanaugh served in the White House Counsel’s office and as staff secretary. In the letter, Nadler admitted he was motivated to make his request before the Supreme Court starts addressing hot-button topics like abortion and the limits of executive authority.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., gives his opening statement as former special counsel Robert Mueller testifies
before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, July 24, 2019 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Meanwhile, top Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee are speaking out against the continued scrutiny of Kavanaugh. Representative Doug Collins took aim at Nadler Tuesday, saying the judiciary chairman’s false accusations are intended to harass the Supreme Court justice.
“When the FBI was asked to investigate, there was not a complete investigation for the reasons I stated then,” Nadler claimed. “A lot of witnesses who volunteered to come forward weren’t interviewed and so forth, but we have to look into that with a view towards making sure that future FBI investigations are not subject to the same White House interference and can be relied upon.”
Collins said Kavanaugh has already been thoroughly vetted by the Senate Judiciary Committee, however, Nadler said the Senate only reviewed a fraction of the documents during the confirmation process.
[IT IS OBVIOUS THAT THEY ARE DESPERATE WITH A DISEASE OF ELECTILE DSYFUNCTION IN THAT NO MATTER WHAT THEY TRY TO DO TO TRUMP THAT IT BACK FIRES AND MAKES THEM LOOK LIKE THE LIARS THEY ARE AND STILL THEY TRY TO FIND ANYTHING THAT ANYONE THEY ASSUME MAY HAVE DONE SOMETHING WRONG AND ARE CONTINUING WITH THEIR HARRASSMENT OF ANYONE ASSOCIATED WITH TRUMP AND ANGRY SINCE THE SUPREME COURT NOW HAVE JUDGES THAT CAN SHUTDOWN THEIR PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL SOCIALIST AGENDAS THAT THEY ARE TRYING TO PUSH ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WHO HAVE CAUGHT ON TO THEIR LIES NOW.].
8/7/2019 President Trump explores executive action for hate crimes following mass shootings by OAN Newsroom
President Trump is seeking executive action, following two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio over the weekend.
“I’m also directing the Department of Justice to propose legislation ensuring that those who commit hate crimes and mass murders face the death penalty, and that this capital punishment be delivered quickly, decisively and without years of needless delay,” the president announced.
This comes as he reaffirmed his stance Monday to increase ‘red flag’ laws, which would prohibit unstable individuals from owning or purchasing a firearm.
White House hopefuls suggested gun restrictions should go even further by lawfully banning assault weapons altogether. Other Democrat leaders are choosing to blame Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell by claiming it’s the majority leaders job to put a background check measure up for vote.
“You don’t like it, Mr. McConnell, you have the right of that, why don’t you put up the vote? Put it on the Senate floor. He doesn’t have the guts to do it. He’s weak. He’s a weak leader.” — Gavin Newsom, (D) Gov. – Calif.
President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019,
before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, in the
afternoon to praise first responders and console family members and survivors from two recent mass shootings. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Democrats have also targeted the president, suggesting his rhetoric has contributed to white supremacist hate crimes. Regardless of accusations, the president said he is confident America will rise to the challenge and is asking both parties to put politics aside.
“Now is the time to set destructive partisanship aside, so destructive, and find the courage to answer hatred with unity, devotion and love — our future is in our control,” stated President Trump.
8/7/2019 Texas expands gun rights laws as 10 news bills are set to take effect by OAN Newsroom
Texas’s Congress is fighting back as the nation’s legislature increases the desire to restrict the Second Amendment. In May of this year, the 86th Texas legislature reportedly approved 10 firearm laws, which are set to take effect on September 1st. The new laws aim to safeguard a citizen’s right to carry handguns, and protect them from being vulnerable in lawsuits endangering this right.
This comes as the shooting in El Paso has been widely politicized by 2020 Democrat candidates who are fighting for more gun control. Meanwhile, Governor Greg Abbott, who signed all 10 of the Texas bills, refrained from commenting on the gun control issue in the wake of the attack. Instead, he focused efforts on grieving for the victims killed.
FILE _Texas Governor Greg Abbott, left, listens as Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen, right, answers a question
during a joint news conference in Austin, Texas, Thursday, May 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Already approved before the El Paso shooting, Texas legislature will implement a law encouraging businesses to adopt permissive policies for law abiding citizens to carry handguns on company grounds. The laws will provide protection to businesses, who choose not to post signs indicating a gun-free zone. It will also give leniency to those with a license to carry, who unknowingly enter establishments that ban firearms.
The NRA, who has backed the Texas laws, said they will continue working to pursue real solutions to protect American citizens.
“These rights are the cornerstone and the foundation of our free society,” said NRA CEO Wayne Lapierre. “These rights continue to make America not just different, but they continue to make America better than other countries.”
Other laws included aim to protect those who have the license to carry at places of religious worship, at disaster areas, and at property where they reside as tenants.
Another bill to take effect seeks to protect the youth, and will allow public schools to designate more armed marshals to guard campuses and some foster homes to safely store firearms.
8/7/2019 Calif. governor calls for new federal law to enforce background checks on ammo sales by OAN Newsroom
California Governor Gavin Newsom is calling for a federal law to be implemented regarding background checks on ammunition purchases. While speaking during a gun violence meeting with state leaders on Monday, Newsom said he would like to see other states follow suit on the proposal already put in place in California.
The law, enacted in the state back in July, requires ammunition dealers to run a buyer’s ID through the state’s “automated firearm system.” At the additional cost of $1 per purchase, the system would then alert the seller if a buyer has any felonies or convictions. The law was put into place due to the Democrat’s claims that ammunition is to blame for the mass shooting epidemic gripping the nation.
“Guns don’t kill people, guns require a dangerous component and that’s ammunition,” said Newsom. “And it’s interesting that we are debating background checks on guns, but we’re not debating background checks on their dangerous component.”
FILE – In this July 11, 2019 file photo, California Gov. Gavin Newsom talks with reporter’s
at his office in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File )
However, as critics point out, the mass shooting in Gilroy, California is a prime example of the law failing to do its part. In response, gun rights activists have called the move an “unconstitutional scheme” infringing on their Second Amendment rights.
Local gun shop owners are also beginning to feel the brunt of the new law, claiming the system works on the buyer’s expense.
“If there is licensing fees or anything like that, obviously as a dealer we have to cover that. So, we would need to raise prices on ammunition.” — Nathan Woodward, gun vendor – Sacramento Black Rifle.
Most recently, California’s Rifle and Pistol Association filed a motion to block the law from going into effect. Members have claimed their rights are at stake, but if California has its way those concerns may ripple across the rest of the country.
[Californians wake up you are about to have your Second Amendment rights taken away from you, which is what socialist want to do to you.].
8/7/2019 Oil dives nearly 5% to seven-month low on surprise U.S. stock build, trade war by Collin Eaton
FILE PHOTO: An oil pump is seen at sunset outside Scheibenhard, near Strasbourg, France,
October 6, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/File Photo
HOUSTON (Reuters) – Oil prices tumbled more than 4.5% on Wednesday to a seven-month low, extending recent heavy losses following a surprise build in U.S. crude stockpiles and fears that demand will shrink due to Washington’s escalating trade war with Beijing.
Brent crude futures settled down $2.71, or 4.6%, at $56.23 a barrel, the lowest close since early January. Prices have lost 24.5% since their 2019 peak in April.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures finished $2.54, or 4.7%, lower at $51.09.
Oil prices fell early in the session on worries about the trade war, then extended losses after government data showed a build of 2.4 million barrels in U.S. crude stockpiles last week, instead of the 2.8 million-barrel draw analysts had expected.
U.S. crude oil inventories had declined for seven consecutive weeks prior to last week’s build but were still about 2% above the five-year average for this time of year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.
U.S. gasoline inventories rose 4.4 million barrels, and distillates rose 1.5 million, with both fuels in the Gulf Coast region hitting their highest on record for this time of year.
“The stats were a major disappointment to the market with crude and product builds,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston.
“With refiners increasing their utilization, product supplies are more than adequate as we head into the home stretch of the driving season,” Lipow said.
Brent has plunged nearly 14% since last week as global equity markets went into a tailspin after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would slap a 10% tariff on a further $300 billion in Chinese imports from Sept. 1.
“The market continues to trade lower on concerns about demand growth and the idea that economic growth can be impacted by the trade war,” said Gene McGillian, vice president of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford Connecticut.
“The market isn’t concerned about anything other than how demand is going to play out through the rest of the year,” he said.
Graphic: Brent crude – https://tmsnrt.rs/2M55YzY
This week, the EIA reduced its forecast U.S. demand for crude and liquid fuels. The agency also cut its forecast for global crude and liquids consumption by 0.1% for both 2019 and 2020.
Meanwhile, U.S. crude production was set to rise 1.28 million bpd to 12.27 million bpd this year.
“People saw those numbers and it put a negative vibe in the market,” said Robert Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York.
U.S. crude could fall to around the low-$40 a barrel range unless bearish sentiment changes, but U.S. oil production is still surging and the stock market is signaling rising fears of an economic downturn, said Josh Graves, senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago.
“We could keep following the trend lower,” Graves said. “Crude oil inventories were disappointing and the stock market is in worrisome territory.”
Trump on Tuesday dismissed fears that the trade row with China could be drawn out further. Still, U.S. stock indexes tumbled more.
Demand for safe-haven assets such as government debt underscored lingering anxiety over recession risks.
Tensions in the Middle East remained high after Iran seized a number of tankers in recent weeks in the Strait of Hormuz, a major chokepoint for oil shipments.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih and U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Tuesday expressed mutual concern over threats targeting freedom of maritime traffic in the Gulf.
(Additional reporting by Ron Busson, Jane Chung; Editing by Marguerita Choy and David Gregorio)
8/7/2019 President Trump thanks OAN for report on alleged Ohio shooter’s political leanings by OAN Newsroom
President Trump recently thanked One America News for its coverage on the alleged Dayton, Ohio shooter. This comes after a report acknowledging the fact that the gunman had “a history of supporting political figures like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Antifa.”
The president noted most news outlets have purposefully omitted the Ohio shooter’s political leanings now that it appears he had liberal and anti-Trump beliefs.
One America’s Kara McKinney with more on the alleged shooter’s social media posts.
8/8/2019 Oil down $2.54 to $51.09, DOW down 23 to 26,007.
8/8/2019 President Trump visits Ohio and Texas to be with victims of shootings by OAN Newsroom
President Trump made a visit to Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas Wednesday to thank local first responders as well as mourn with victims and their families after the two cities suffered mass shootings over the weekend.
Just before his departure, the president told the press a major part of the visits are to talk about unity and preventing further and future violence. This is a message many residents of El Paso and Dayton were eager to hear.
“I think it’s really nice that he’s taking his day to come see and the grieving families of this area, and breathe some life into the people that lost a family member and friends.” — William McNamara, Ohio resident.
The president said he strongly supports background checks for those purchasing a gun, and cited large bipartisan support for the checks.
“I’ll bring that up as one of the point — there’s a great appetite and I mean a very strong appetite for background checks,” he stated.
President Trump’s comments come as ‘red flag’ laws, which aim to take guns away from those deemed as a potential threat to themselves and others, gain bipartisan support.
President Donald Trump speaks to first responders as he visits the El Paso Regional Communications Center after meeting with
people affected by the El Paso mass shooting, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
During the visit, the president did not shy away from criticizing the media and politicians for using divisive language. He claimed many candidates and lawmakers are using these shootings for political gain.
Upon returning to Washington, President Trump thanked doctors and first responders in a tweet:
[On January 22, 2005, Trump married Melania and it was his third marriage 14 years ago when he was 59 and she was 35. He is 73 now and she is 49, so he is 24 years older than her. The reason I brought this up is that I had been married and divorced 3 times, and in 2004 I, Jim A.Cornwell met my 4th wife when she was 27 and I was 53 so I was 26 years older than her. So I beat him in that. And I told everyone jokingly that I started that fad before Paul McCarthy, Mick Jagger and that Connelly guy, so now I can add Trump's name to that.]
8/8/2019 President Trump speaks with NRA CEO after mass shootings in Texas, Ohio by OAN Newsroom
President Trump received a stern warning from NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre. According to recent reports, the NRA chief reminded the president during a phone call Tuesday that moving to increase gun control would not sit well with his supporters. This comes after the president suggested he’s open to working with Congress toward legislation for tougher gun background checks.
“I am open and ready to listen and discuss all ideas that will actually work ,and make a very big difference,” he stated. “Republicans and Democrats have proven that we can join together in a bipartisan fashion to address this plague.”
National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre is pictured. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Trump has also said he’s in favor of ‘red flag’ laws to ensure those who are judged to pose a grave risk to public safety do not have access to firearms.
“I think background checks are important, I don’t want to put guns into the hands of mentally unstable people or people with rage or hate, sick people — I don’t want to,” said President Trump.
The NRA has previously expressed support for the concept of ‘red flag’ laws, but have yet to back any of these type of laws passed on the state level. The organization has stated they are still waiting for legislation that strongly guarantee the protection of the Second Amendment and due process rights.
8/8/2019 Gov. Bullock declines to answer when asked if President Trump is responsible for shootings by OAN Newsroom
A Democrat presidential contender says he wants to focus on the nation’s issues at hand instead of playing the blame game.
While speaking to reporters Wednesday, Montana Governor Steve Bullock immediately rejected the question when asked if the president should be blamed for inspiring the shooting in El Paso. He went on to say his fellow Democrat candidates are putting the party at risk of losing in 2020.
Bullock did criticize the president’s rhetoric, but stopped short of claiming it was responsible for fueling the shooter’s motive. He said that he would rather move forward.
Democratic presidential candidate Montana Gov. Steve Bullock speaks at the National Press Club
in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
“I reject the question…there’s people in a community torn apart from a horrible, violent and tragic act,” said Governor Bullock. "…But I wouldn’t try to say ‘here’s who responsible,’ I’d say ‘lets move forward’ and try not to have to have this this dialogue again.”
This comes as a number of Democrats, including 2020 hopefuls, have openly claimed President Trump was directly responsible for influencing the recent shootings. The president has continuously condemned white supremacists and hate.
Trump tweet: “Today’s shooting in El Paso, Texas, was not only tragic, it was an act of cowardice. I know that I stand with everyone in this Country to condemn today’s hateful act. There are no reasons or excuses that will ever justify killing innocent people....”
8/8/2019 Sen. Mitch McConnell’s campaign Twitter restored after video controversy by OAN Newsroom
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign Twitter page is back up and running after being temporarily suspended. The social media site reportedly suspended it Wednesday.
According to McConnell’s campaign manager, Twitter locked them out because of a video they posted showing people allegedly making violent threats against him. The video was reportedly of people yelling profanities and threatening the 77-year old Kentucky senator outside his home.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., addresses the audience gathered at the Fancy Farm Picnic
in Fancy Farm, Ky., Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
This comes as the lawmaker recovers from a recent shoulder fracture. His campaign manager said Twitter refused to unlock the account until the footage was deleted.
8/8/2019 Biden’s stance on sanctuary cities unclear by OAN Newsroom
2020 Democrat front-runner Joe Biden is feeling pressure from the left to make his stance on sanctuary cities clear. In a statement Thursday, the liberal advocacy group ‘Indivisible’ pressed Biden on the issue after past comments he made on immigration resurfaced.
When Biden ran against Obama for the 2008 Democrat presidential nomination, he said he would not allow sanctuary cities to ignore federal law. The group is now demanding Biden clarify his stance for the American voter.
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to local residents during a
community event, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, in Burlington, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
“Part of the problem is you have to have a federal government that can enforce laws,” stated Biden. “This administration (George W. Bush) has been fundamentally derelict in not funding any of the requirements you need to enforce any of the existing laws.”
During his past presidential campaign, Biden also spoke about jailing employers for hiring illegal immigrants as well as the need for physical barriers at the southern border.
8/8/2019 Maduro pauses negotiations amid sweeping economic embargo by OAN Newsroom
Venezuela’s embattled leader Nicolas Maduro is halting scheduled talks with the opposition amid fresh U.S. sanctions against the South American country. In what seems to be an act of defiance Wednesday, Maduro ordered government representatives to not attend meetings with opposition members slated this week in Barbados.
The two sides began talks in the Caribbean Islands in July to resolve the political stalemate and end the humanitarian crisis taking place across the nation. However, reports say the government has not completely abandoned negotiations altogether, and said it will review the effectiveness of the meetings.
This comes days after President Trump signed an executive order to freeze Venezuela’s assets in the U.S. and ban transactions with government authorities. The U.S. and 50 other nations formally recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate leader of Venezuela, and have called for Maduro to step down. The socialist leader spoke out against the White House’s decision.
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, accompanied by first lady Cilia Flores, waves to supporters as he leaves the
National Pantheon after attending a ceremony to commemorate an 1800’s independence battle, in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday,
Aug. 7, 2019. Sweeping new U.S. sanctions freeze all of the Maduro government’s assets in the U.S. and even threaten to punish
companies from third countries that keep doing business with his socialist administration. (AP Photo/Leonardo Fernandez)
“We are also going to win this battle and Venezuela will go forward with grace, overcoming aggressions and blockades,” he stated. “The U.S. has not and can never (win) against Venezuela — this is the birthplace of the liberators, Mr. Donald Trump.”
Maduro’s supporters rallied in the streets of Caracas in protest, claiming the sanctions will harm the people of Venezuela. However, Guaido argues the blockade is aimed at government officials who “steal and profit from misery.”
“This has nothing to do with the purchasing of food, medicine, private companies — this doesn’t have anything to do with that,” he stated. “It all goes against those who enrich themselves at the expense of people with hunger, they enrich themselves at the expense of people who need medicine.”
Maduro said he will join a coalition of party leaders this Saturday to protest the embargo.
Opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim President of Venezuela Juan Guaido speaks during a protest asking
for the freedom of opposition lawmaker Juan Requesens, in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, August 7, 2019. Requesens
has spent a year in prison and is accused in an assassination attempt on President Nicolas Maduro. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
8/8/2019 Man arrested after killing 4 in stabbing spree in Orange County, Calif. by OAN Newsroom
Authorities in Southern California say a deadly stabbing spree, which left four people dead in Orange County, appears to be a random attack.
Police say the 33-year-old male suspect was arrested Wednesday after allegedly committing a string of robberies and knife attacks over the course of two hours across the cities of Garden Grove and Santa Ana.
Authorities tracked the suspect’s vehicle to a 7-Eleven convenience store, where he was discovered armed with a knife and firearm. Officials say the firearm was taken from a security guard, who was fatally stabbed during the incident.
“It’s pure evil when this happens, and we don’t see it happen every day. It’s one of those things you see one time in a career. It’s common place when you see what’s happening in society today, it’s unfortunate, but its something our officers have to deal with as first responders. I am very proud of our officers and what they did, they were able to find the suspect after the last time and we took him into custody quickly.” — Lt. Carl Whitney, Garden Grove Police Department
The two injured victims were transported to nearby hospitals for treatment and are expected to recover. A further investigation into the attacks remains underway.
8/8/2019 Report: 9/11 Intel center focuses on domestic terror, raises concerns about data collection by OAN Newsroom
A U.S. intelligence center is shifting its focus to domestic terror threats amid concerns about a rise in violent hate groups.
The National Counterterrorism Center, or NCTC, is known for collecting information about known or suspected terrorists. It was established under the Director of National Intelligence after the terrorist 9/11 attacks in response to possible foreign terror threats.
Over the past year, however, the organization has reportedly been putting its resources toward tracking homegrown extremism. The move is raising concerns from privacy advocates who are questioning whether or not the information of ordinary Americans is being collected.
Critics are calling for transparency to determine how the NCTC is applying the law.
5/8/2019 Trump accuses France’s Macron of sending ‘mixed signals’ to Iran
FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron speaks with U.S. President Donald Trump ahead of a meeting
at the Prefecture of Caen, on the sidelines of D-Day commemorations marking the 75th anniversary of the
World War II Allied landings in Normandy, France, June 6, 2019. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said no one is authorized to speak to Iran on behalf of the United States, and he accused French President Emmanuel Macron of sending “mixed signals” to Tehran over possible talks.
“I know Emmanuel means well, as do all others, but nobody speaks for the United States but the United States itself,” Trump said in a series of tweets.
It was not immediately clear what Trump was referring to, but a report earlier this week said Macron had invited Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to this month’s G7 summit to meet Trump. A French diplomat denied the report on Wednesday.
Representatives for the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Trump’s Iran tweets.
European leaders are seeking to defuse the brewing confrontation between Tehran and Washington after Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear last year and renewed sanctions in an effort to push a new deal under the U.S. Republican president.
Tehran has responded with a series of moves, including seizing a British tanker in the Gulf and retreating from some of its commitments to limit its nuclear activity made under the deal.
The crisis is expected to be a focus at the G7 summit later this month. Trump and his administration officials have previously said Trump is open to talks with Iran and that the United States does not want war with Iran.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Lisa Shumaker)
8/8/2019 House Speaker Pelosi in Central America as Trump seeks asylum deals
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi listens to U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala Luis Arreaga upon her arrival at the
Guatemalan Air Force base in Guatemala City, Guatemala August 8, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a congressional delegation to Central America on Thursday as the Trump administration presses countries there to stop U.S.-bound asylum seekers before they reach the U.S. border.
Pelosi, a Democrat, began in Guatemala, which late last month under threat of economic sanctions struck a deal with Republican President Donald Trump to become a so-called “safe third country.” That will require migrants to seek refuge in Guatemala rather than in the United States.
But critics question whether Guatemala has the resources to handle the potential surge in asylum applications, and the country faces its own instability.
U.S. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said this month that the United States wants similar agreements with Honduras and El Salvador, where Pelosi will also visit.
Immigration, one of Trump’s signature issues in the 2016 presidential campaign, is already shaping up as a central issue in the November 2020 election. Democrats have sharply criticized Trump’s policies aimed at banning nearly all asylum-seekers from entry, warehousing detainees in crowded quarters and holding children separately from the adults they traveled with.
Pelosi’s office said in a statement that in Guatemala she will meet with representatives from government, the judiciary and rights groups during her trip.
“We look forward to strengthening our partnership to enhance regional security and stability, create greater economic opportunity, combat corruption and advance human rights to make it safer for people to thrive in their communities,” Pelosi said in a statement.
While in Guatemala, Pelosi will visit a children’s shelter and meet with human rights activists Helen Mack and Alvaro Montenegro, as well as former Vice President Eduardo Stein, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
After the visit to Central America, Pelosi and the bipartisan congressional delegation will visit of U.S. detention centers in McAllen, Texas, the speaker’s office said. Democrats have said Trump’s policies have sparked a humanitarian crisis at border facilities.
(Reporting by Sofia Menchu; additional reporting by Doina Chiacu; writing by Julia Love; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
8/8/2019 Greece scraps no-go areas at universities; opposition fumes
People make their way past the Athens' University, Greece, May 5, 2016. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek lawmakers on Thursday scrapped regulations making universities a no-go zone for police, a move authorities say will tackle lawlessness but which critics have decried as a clampdown on democracy.
The move is one of the first taken by the country’s conservative New Democracy government, which swept to power last month, unseating left-wing Syriza. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis campaigned hard on the issue of public safety.
“We don’t want police in university. We do want though to get rid of the hoodies who police the lives of students,” Mitsotakis told parliament, referring to self-styled anarchists.
The conservatives have long argued that university sanctuary has outlived its purpose and has been hijacked by criminal elements. Many academics complain of violence and drug dealing in plain view.
“During a typical student’s life, he will see faculties controlled by a manner of different groups, drugs, and basements full of petrol bombs and hoods,” Mitsotakis said.
University asylum was a legacy of the crackdown by the then military junta on students in 1973, when a tank burst through the gates of the Athens Polytechnic, killing dozens of people.
Alexis Tsipras, the former prime minister and now main opposition leader, said the move was an attempt to undermine Greece’s public universities. “You are obsessed with it,” Tsipras told Mitsotakis.
“New Democracy has always followed that line; to gradually privatize universities, undermine welfare and research,” he said.
Under the 1982 law, which has been repealed and reinstated by different governments in recent years, Greek universities have been largely out of bounds to police.
(Reporting by Michele Kambas, George Georgiopoulos and Lefteris Papadimas; Editing by Stephen Powell)
8/8/2019 Mexico minister says 107 Mexicans detained in Mississippi operations
Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard speaks at the Mexican consulate, two days after a
mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, U.S. August 5, 2019. REUTERS/Julio-Cesar Chavez
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Thursday that 107 Mexicans had been detained in the southern U.S. state of Mississippi, part of sweeping U.S. immigration operations.
U.S. immigration authorities arrested nearly 700 people at seven agricultural processing plants across the state on Wednesday in what federal officials said could be the largest worksite enforcement operation in a single state.
(Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; writing by Julia Love; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel)
8/8/2019 Oil rises more than 2% on firm yuan, expectations of more OPEC cuts by Devika Krishna Kumar
FILE PHOTO: A pump jack operates in the Permian Basin oil and natural gas production area near
Odessa, Texas, U.S., February 10, 2019. Picture taken February 10, 2019. REUTERS/Nick Oxford
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil jumped more than 2% on Thursday on expectations that falling prices could lead to production cuts, coupled with a steadying of the yuan currency after a week of turmoil spurred by an escalation in U.S.-China trade tensions.
Brent crude ended the session up $1.15, or 2.1%, at $57.38 a barrel, after hitting a session high of $58.01.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose $1.45, or 2.8%, to settle at $52.54 a barrel after hitting a peak of $52.98.
Prices rebounded after tumbling nearly 5% to their lowest since January on Wednesday after data showed an unexpected build in U.S. crude stockpiles after nearly two months of decline.
Lending some support to prices on Thursday, inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI, fell about 2.9 million barrels in the week to Aug. 6, said traders, citing data from market intelligence firm Genscape.
China’s yuan strengthened against the dollar and its exports unexpectedly returned to growth in July on improved global demand despite U.S. trade pressure. The dollar fell 0.2% against the offshore yuan.
“Today’s price rebound across the energy spectrum looks like a normal correction from a short-term oversold technical condition,” Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch and Associates said in a note.
“While some Saudi overtures of additional output restraint, a softening U.S. dollar and lift in global risk appetite are facilitating today’s rally, we are not viewing this as the beginning of a sustainable advance by any measure.”
Graphic: China commodity import data – https://tmsnrt.rs/2BVPuDF
Reports that Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, had called other producers to discuss the slide in crude prices have helped supported the market, traders and analysts said.
“Saudis are scrambling to send a signal that will stabilize oil markets … With energy prices heading for the worst weekly close since December, we should not be surprised to hear more rumors that OPEC may be considering increased production cut efforts ahead of a key summit that is tentatively planned for the second week in Abu Dhabi,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in New York.
Persistent worries about demand growth have weighed on global oil markets, particularly as the world’s two biggest economies are locked in a trade row.
Crude oil shipments into China, the world’s largest importer, in July rose 14% from a year earlier as new refineries ramped up purchases. Fuel exports continued to climb as supply outstripped demand in the world’s second-largest oil consumer.
Saudi Arabia plans to keep its crude oil exports below 7 million barrels per day in August and September despite strong demand from customers, to help drain global oil inventories and bring the market back to balance, a Saudi oil official said.
Geopolitical tensions over the safety of oil tankers passing through the Persian Gulf remained unresolved as Iran refused to release a British-flagged tanker it seized last month.
The U.S. Maritime Administration said U.S.-flagged commercial vessels should send their transit plans for the Strait of Hormuz and Gulf waters to U.S. and British naval authorities, and that crews should not forcibly resist any Iranian boarding party.
(Additional reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin in London, Florence Tan in Singapore; Editing by Marguerita Choy and David Evans)
8/8/2019 President Trump: EU-Iran talks may be hindering new deal with Iran by OAN Newsroom
President Trump says Iran is in serious financial trouble, and desperately wants to speak with the U.S. However, the Islamic Republic may be getting “mixed signals” from other world leaders.
In a series of tweets Thursday, the president called out French President Emmanuel Macron by insinuating that the may very well be misrepresenting America’s position in his talks with Tehran. He continued by saying no other country is authorized to speak on America’s behalf.
Trump tweet: “Iran is in serious financial trouble. They want desperately to talk to the U.S., but are given mixed signals from all of those purporting to represent us, including President Macron of France....” “....I know Emmanuel means well, as do all others, but nobody speaks for the United States but the United States itself. No one is authorized in any way, shape, or form, to represent us!”
FILE – In this Aug. 2, 2019 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before
departing the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
The president also said talks between Iran and the EU may be hindering peace in the Middle East. However, Iranian officials have said they will only engage in talks if all parties return to compliance with the failed nuclear deal.
“We are ready for cooperation. The nuclear deal is the greatest document showing that Iran is committed to its obligations, and has no fear to stand in front of the six great world powers and make a deal, which Mr. Trump says is the worst deal in history for the U.S.” — Mohammad Javad Zarif, foreign minister – Iran
President Trump says the EU’s efforts to keep the nuclear deal alive gives Iran mixed signals, and may be preventing a new deal with Iran to curb its destabilizing actions.
8/8/2019 Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer: FISA investigation will lead to criminal indictments by OAN Newsroom
Attorney General William Barr is in the midst of conducing his investigation into alleged FISA abuse by former national security officials. There have been new developments in the investigation, which is being led by U.S. attorney John Durham.
One America’s Jack Posobiec sat with with Lt. Colonel Tony Shaffer for the latest.
[What was said in this interview should scare all FBI and DOJ persons who may have committed a crime associated with the
FISA corruption abuse better start lawyering up as your D-Day is coming, which is what McCabe and Strzok have already done.].
8/9/2019 Oil up $1.45 to $52.54, DOW up 371 to 26,379.
8/9/2019 El Paso suspect’s mom called police by Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY
An attorney for the family of the man charged in the El Paso shootings said the man’s mother contacted police weeks before the rampage out of concern that her son had a rifle.
Twenty-two people were killed after a white gunman targeting a Hispanic area opened fire at a Walmart in the border city Saturday.
Dallas attorney Chris Ayres told The Associated Press the call was made to police in the suspected shooter’s town of Allen, Texas, a Dallas suburb.
Ayres and fellow attorney R. Jack Ayres told CNN that the suspect’s mother contacted the Allen Police Department to ask about an “AK”-type firearm he owned. The attorneys said the mother was only seeking information and wasn’t motivated by a concern that her son was a threat to anybody. They said the mother didn’t identify herself or her son in the call. The lawyers told CNN the mother was concerned about her son’s age, maturity level and lack of experience but was told by a public safety officer that her son, who is 21, was legally allowed to possess the weapon.
A family statement sent by Chris Ayres to USA TODAY said the suspect acted outside the family’s teachings and
values. “He was raised in a family that taught love, kindness, respect, and tolerance – rejecting all forms of racism, prejudice, hatred, and violence,” the statement says. “There will never be a moment for the rest of our lives when we will forget each and every victim of this senseless tragedy.”
Sgt. Jon Felty, Allen police spokesman, said he couldn’t confirm the call. “I have nothing in the database to support this claim,” he told USA TODAY.
The suspect, Patrick Crusius, faces charges of capital murder in state court and may face federal hate crime charges that could carry a death sentence.
Contributing: The Associated Press
[The question to be asked, "Did the El Paso police not do their job or are the laws or Democrat policies of El Paso prevented them from doing their job?].
8/9/2019 THE DEMOCRAT NOMINEES HAD TO STOP CALLING PRESIDENT TRUMP OF COMMITTING RUSSIAN COLLUSION SINCE THE MUELLER REPORT FLOPPED RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEIR FACE SO NOW DUE TO MASS SHOOTINGS THEY HAD TO RESORT TO CALL TRUMP A WHITE SUPREMIST AND RACIST AS THEIR NEW NARRATIVE TO ATTACK HIM WITH AND THE WORSE OF THE BUNCH IS THE 1 PER CENTERS WHO ARE DESPERATE FOR ANYTHING TO GET SUPPORT FOR THEIR NARRATIVE TO STAY IN THE RACE WHICH IS AS LOW AS YOU CAN GO AS A HUMAN BEING.
8/9/2019 ICE released 300 of 680 arrested in roundups - Agents raid processing plants in Mississippi by Sarah Fowler, Clarion Ledger USA TODAY NETWORK
JACKSON, Miss. – Nearly half of the 680 people detained in Wednesday’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids at food processing plants across Mississippi were released the same day, according to and ICE spokesman.
Bryan Cox, the spokesman, confirmed Thursday morning that 300 people were released from custody Wednesday night.
The raids occurred in small towns near Jackson with a workforce made up largely of Latino immigrants, including Bay Springs, Carthage, Canton, Morton, Pelahatchie and Sebastapol. About 600 agents fanned out across the plants involving several companies, surrounding the perimeters to prevent workers from fleeing.
The raids follow President Donald Trump’s calls for widespread enforcement of immigration laws and comes after several crackdowns in other states.
Matthew Albence, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s acting director, told The Associated Press that the raids could be the largest such operation thus far in any single state.
In an emailed statement Wednesday morning, U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst said, “U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations special agents are executing federal search warrants today at multiple locations across the state of Mississippi as part of a coordinated operation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi pursuant to ongoing HSI administrative and criminal investigations.”
In a second statement, Hurst said via email, “The execution of federal search warrants today was simply about enforcing the rule of law in our state and throughout our great country.”
Bryan Cox, ICE spokesperson, said everyone taken into custody and detained Wednesday will be processed but “not everyone is going to be (permanently) detained.”
“You are going to have persons released,” he said. “ICE makes custody determination on a case-by-case basis based on the totality of their circumstances.”
The names of the plants has not been publicly released by ICE officials.
However, reporters were on scene at the Koch Foods processing plant in Morton.
Another included the Peco Chicken Processing Plant in Canton.
In an emailed statement, Peco Foods Inc. confirmed raids took place at three of their facilities –
Canton, Bay Springs and Sebastopol. The company is “fully cooperating” with authorities, the statement read.
Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba in a statement called the U.S. immigration raids Wednesday “dehumanizing and ineffective.”
The mayor then called on “faith institutions” in the community to become sanctuaries for “our immigrant neighbors.”
In his statement, Lumumba said the raids “will only further alienate communities from law enforcement.”
However, Councilman Ashby Foote disagreed with the mayor and said calling on churches in the community to act on his behalf was misguided.
“I think the mayor’s statement was a mistake. We’re a nation of laws and when you don’t have laws, you have chaos,” he said.
The crackdown on immigration in Mississippi comes on top of a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, where the gunman appears to have specifically targeted immigrants. The shooting has had a chilling effect on immigrants in the metro Jackson area.
Contributing: Justin Vicory, (Jackson) Clarion Ledger
Handcuffed workers await transportation to a processing center after a raid Wednesday by U.S. immigration officials
at a Koch Foods plant in Morton, Miss. Immigration officials raided several food processing plants. ROGELIO V. SOLIS/AP
8/9/2019 Rep. Nadler: Formal impeachment proceedings are underway by OAN Newsroom
House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler says formal impeachment proceedings against President Trump are underway.
In an interview with CNN Thursday, Nadler said his committee has officially launched the proceedings into allegations of misconduct under the president. He added, the committee will decide by the end of the year whether to bring articles of impeachment to the House floor.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-NY, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, speaks during
a news conference, May 29, 2019, in New York. (Richard Drew/AP Photo)
“We are investigating all the evidence and we will at the conclusion of this hopefully by the end of the year vote to vote articles of impeachment to the House floor or we won’t,” said Nadler.
The Judiciary Committee chairman went on to say he isn’t waiting for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to make a decision despite her public reluctance to launch impeachment proceedings.
[First they tried to prove Russia collusion against Trump's administration, Second they violated a fake FISA warrant investigation with surveilance on all of Trump's personnel, Third they had an investigation through the Mueller Report for obstruction of justice, and 3 times is a charm, but after all that is falling apart they are dumb enough to do a Fourth attempt to try to prove they have enough to Impeach Trump, which will have no affect. Give up Democrats since Trump has been blessed by God for moving the embassy to Jerusalem, and promoting the Golan Heights for Israel, that is why all your attempts have failed. God is watching you and if you continue you will go down in flames in this fourth attempt.].
8/9/2019 After Trump rebuke, France says it speaks for itself on Iran
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian speaks during a news conference at the
Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia, Brazil July 29,2019. REUTERS/Adriano Machado
PARIS (Reuters) – France does not need the permission of other states to try to defuse tensions with Iran, its foreign minister said on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump accused President Emmanuel Macron of sending “mixed signals” to Tehran.
“France speaks for itself on Iran as a sovereign power,” Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a written statement.
“France is deeply committed to peace and security in the region, is committed to de-escalating tensions and does not need any authorization to do so.”
Trump on Thursday had said no one was permitted to speak to Iran on behalf of the United States, after a report this week said Macron had invited Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani to this month’s G7 summit to meet the U.S. president.
A French diplomat denied the invitation had been made.
Washington’s major European allies Britain, France and Germany have been at odds with the Trump administration over Iran since last year, when Trump pulled the United States out of an international deal to give Iran access to world trade in return for curbs to its nuclear program.
While the Europeans say they share U.S. concerns about Iran’s regional behavior and missile program, they believe pulling out of the nuclear agreement was a mistake.
In recent months the United States has sharply tightened sanctions on Iran with the aim of halting its oil exports. The Europeans have warned that heightened confrontation could lead to an accidental war in the Gulf.
Le Drian did not make a direct reference to Trump’s remarks. The diplomatic sparring is the latest in a series of terse exchanges between Washington and Paris ahead of the G7 meeting later this month.
In late July, Trump blasted the “foolishness” of Macron for pressing ahead with a tax on big tech companies, and threatened to tax French wines in retaliation. One French minister called Trump’s comments “completely moronic.”
Iran will be a hot-button topic at the G7 summit in Biarritz. The European countries still hope to salvage the nuclear deal, although Iran has begun to scale down its cooperation with it in response to U.S. sanctions.
Britain was drawn deeper into the confrontation last month when it seized an Iranian tanker accused of violating sanctions on Syria. Iran responded by seizing a British tanker. London has since said it will join a U.S.-led mission to boost security in the Gulf; France and Germany have so far held back.
“The aggravation of tensions requires political initiatives that create the conditions for dialogue. That’s what President Macron is doing, in all transparency,” Le Drian said. “He is of course keeping the U.S. authorities informed.”
(Reporting by Richard Lough; Editing by Peter Graff)
8/9/2019 Spend more on defense or we move troops to Poland, U.S. envoy tells Germany
Richard Grenell U.S. Ambassador to Germany attends the "Rally for Equal Rights at the United Nations (Protesting Anti-Israeli Bias)"
aside of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
BERLIN (Reuters) – An envoy of U.S. President Donald Trump suggested on Friday that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s unwillingness to boost defense spending might give the United States no choice but to move American troops stationed in Germany to Poland.
The comments by Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, signal Trump’s impatience with Merkel’s failure to raise defense spending to 2% of economic output as mandated by the NATO military alliance.
“It is offensive to assume that the U.S. taxpayers continue to pay for more than 50,000 Americans in Germany but the Germans get to spend their (budget) surplus on domestic programs,” Grenell told the dpa news agency.
Germany’s fiscal plans foresee the defense budget of NATO’s second-largest member rising to 1.37% of output next year before falling to 1.24% in 2023.
Eastern European countries like Poland and Latvia, fearful of Russia after it annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, have raised their military spending to the 2% target, drawing praise from Trump who wants Germany to do the same.
U.S. complaints about Germany’s defense spending pre-date Trump but relations with the United States have deteriorated since he became president.
The two allies do not see eye-to-eye on a range of issues, including Iran, trade tariffs and the NordStream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany.
Trump said in June he would deploy 1,000 U.S. troops from Germany to Poland, which sees the measure as deterrence against possible aggression from Russia.
Georgette Mosbacher, U.S. ambassador to Poland, has made a similar criticism of Germany’s reluctance to commit more financial resources to NATO.
“Poland meets its 2% of GDP spending obligation toward NATO. Germany does not. We would welcome American troops in Germany to come to Poland,” she wrote on Twitter on Thursday.
The United States has more than 33,000 soldiers in Germany and an additional 17,000 U.S. civilian employees to support them. It is believed the United States also has nuclear warheads in Germany.
“President Trump is right and Georgette Mosbacher is right,” Grenell told dpa. “Multiple presidents have asked Europe’s largest economy to pay for its own defense. This request has been made over many years and by many presidents.”
Grenell added that the United States must react if Germany continues to ignore Trump’s demand to boost defense spending.
Trump travels to France this month for the G7 summit where Iran will be a major topic. Trump will also visit Poland and Denmark.
Grenell earlier this month criticized Germany for showing reluctance to join a planned U.S. naval mission in the Strait of Hormuz, close to Iran.
(Reporting by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Catherine Evans)
8/9/2019 Oil rises on European stock draw despite demand slowdown forecast by Stephanie Kelly
FILE PHOTO: Pump jacks operate at sunset in an oil field in Midland, Texas U.S. August 22, 2018. REUTERS/Nick Oxford/File Photo
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices rose more than $1 a barrel on Friday, supported by a drop in European inventories and OPEC output cuts despite the International Energy Agency reporting demand growth at its lowest since the financial crisis of 2008.
Brent crude futures gained $1.15, or 2%, to settle at $58.53 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose $1.96, or 3.7%, to settle at $54.50 a barrel.
“Despite a further cut in oil demand growth by the IEA, oil prices are trading marginally higher, as the demand growth cut was already announced previously by the head of the IEA and the agency still expects larger inventory draws for 2H19,” said UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo.
The IEA said global oil demand to May from January grew at its slowest since 2008, hurt by mounting signs of an economic slowdown and a ramping up of the U.S.-China trade war.
Graphic: Global oil demand growth – https://tmsnrt.rs/2YFYbzG
Oil prices rose after Euroilstock data showed total crude and product inventories of 16 European nations in July were slightly lower than in June.
Yet crude oil prices have lost about 20% from 2019 peaks reached in April.
For the week, Brent lost more than 5%, while WTI fell about 2%, after markets this week were weighed down by an unexpected build in U.S. crude stockpiles and on fears of slowing demand amid the deepening China-U.S. trade war.
Despite the weekly decline, hedge funds boosted their net long U.S. crude futures and options positions in the week to Aug. 6, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.
Graphic: OPEC and non-OPEC supply – https://tmsnrt.rs/2MPdnD7
Russia’s energy ministry said the IEA’s estimates were largely in line with its own forecasts and that Moscow had taken into account the possibility of a slowdown in oil demand when it extended an output reduction deal with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Saudi Arabia, de facto leader of OPEC, plans to maintain its crude oil exports below 7 million barrels per day (bpd) in August and September to bring the market back to balance and help to absorb global oil inventories, a Saudi oil official said on Wednesday.
“The Saudis appear to be redoubling their efforts to constrain global supplies, in response to this week’s sell-off,” said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital Management.
However, oil production in Russia rose to 11.32 million bpd on Aug. 1-8, up from 11.15 million bpd on average in July, two industry sources familiar with the energy ministry data told Reuters.
The level is higher than Moscow’s commitment under its production-curbing deal with OPEC.
OPEC, Russia and other producers, an alliance known as OPEC+, agreed in July to extend their supply cuts until March 2020 to boost oil prices.
U.S. energy firms this week reduced the number of oil rigs operating for a sixth week in a row, cutting six rigs and bringing the total count down to 764, the lowest since February 2018, General Electric Co’s Baker Hughes energy services firm said on Friday.
(Additional reporting by Scott DiSavino in New York, Bozorgmehr Sharafedin in London and Jane Chung in Seoul; editing by Marguerita Choy and Cynthia Osterman)
8/10/2019 Oil up $1.96 to $54.50, DOW down 91 to 26,287.
8/10/2019 Trump chooses new intel director by Deb Riechmann, ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Thursday named Joseph Maguire, the nation’s top counterterrorism official, as acting national intelligence director, part of a leadership shake-up at the agency that oversees 17 U.S. spy agencies.
Maguire will become acting director on Aug. 15, the same day that National Intelligence Director Dan Coats’ resignation takes effect. It’s also the same day that deputy national intelligence director Sue Gordon will retire. Democrats accused Trump of pushing out two dedicated professionals.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has been in upheaval since Coats, who had bumped heads with Trump, announced late last month that he was stepping down as of Aug. 15.
Then Thursday, Gordon, who has worked in the intelligence field for three decades, announced she was leaving the same day with Coats.
On Thursday, Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, called Coats’ and Gordon’s retirements a “devastating loss” to the intelligence community.
“These losses of leadership, coupled with a president determined to weed out anyone who may dare disagree, represent one of the most challenging moments for the intelligence community,” he said.
8/10/2019 Pelosi skeptical about Trump migration plan for El Salvador by Nelson Renteria
U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks at a joint news conference with El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele
at the Presidential House in San Salvador, El Salvador, August 9, 2019. REUTERS/Jessica Orellana
SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi raised concern about El Salvador’s ability to cope with a tough migration deal being pursued by the Trump Administration as she led a U.S. congressional mission to the Central American country on Friday.
On the second leg of a bipartisan delegation to the region, Pelosi and other Democratic lawmakers criticized Donald Trump’s immigration agenda at a time when the Republican president is pushing Mexico and Central America to clamp down on asylum-seekers.
The group raised skepticism about an agreement aimed at curbing migrant flows which the White House is seeking with El Salvador and Honduras, similar to one reached with Guatemala late last month under the threat of economic sanctions.
“I don’t consider it a solution,” Pelosi said. “When we were in Guatemala yesterday, we asked what the terms were of that agreement and they said it hasn’t really been written down, we haven’t seen what that is. So I think it remains to be seen as to whether that is even a good idea and I would not encourage it.”
Under that deal, Guatemala agreed to become a so-called “safe third country,” meaning migrants would be required to seek asylum in Guatemala rather than in the United States.
Guatemala suffers from rampant poverty and violence, and critics question its capacity to handle a surge in asylum applications from its impoverished, crime-wracked neighbors, El Salvador and Honduras, which Pelosi will visit on Saturday.
Representative Henry Cuellar, a Democrat from Texas, added: “We are of the opinion that it would be very difficult to do this, and for that reason we would like to do everything … to not have this type of deal.”
Pelosi and other members of the delegation denounced the Trump Administration’s policy of separating migrant families, which she called “totally completely unacceptable.”
Some also criticized the administration’s efforts to remove 200,000 Salvadorans from the United States by revoking their residency under a so-called Temporary Protected Status.
“El Salvador would not be able to absorb all those who are in the United States at this time,” said Lucille Roybal-Allard, a Democratic representative from California.
Representative Jim McGovern, a Democrat from Massachusetts, offered a stark assessment of U.S. foreign policy around El Salvador’s 1980-1992 civil war, which pitted leftist rebels against a string of U.S.-backed military governments.
Speaking at the University of Central America, site of a 1989 murder of Jesuit priests during the war, McGovern said:
“We took sides in that war, we provided a lot of military assistance, including to those who murdered these Jesuits without conditioning them on human rights."
“When the war ended, our aid dropped dramatically. We should have stayed and helped this country rebuild. We did not,” he added. “We deported gang members back to El Salvador … we have a moral obligation to this country.”
(Additional reporting by Delphine Schrank in Mexico City; Editing by Dave Graham and Sandra Maler)
8/10/2019 Mexico detains migrant children in cramped holding center despite court ruling by Rebekah F Ward
The facade of the holding center of Mexico's National Migration Institute (INM), know as "Las Agujas," is pictured
at Iztapalapa neighborhood in Mexico City, Mexico August 5, 2019. Picture taken August 5, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Overcrowding, prison-like conditions, bed bugs and illness are among the complaints of migrants in a Mexico City detention center that holds dozens of minors two months after a court ruled it was unconstitutional.
Under the threat of economic sanctions from U.S. President Donald Trump, Mexico has stepped up migrant detentions this year to stem a surge in asylum-seekers from Central America.
Known as Las Agujas, the Mexico City holding center enclosed by spike-topped walls in the eastern district of Iztapalapa held about 108 minors as of this week, some of whom are unaccompanied, said Jesus Quintana, who monitors the station for the Mexican human rights ombudsman’s office (CNDH).
In June, a court ruled it unconstitutional for Las Agujas to hold children after a 10-year-old Guatemalan girl died in its custody. Mexico’s National Migration Institute (INM), which runs the center, has not appealed the decision, but told Reuters it observes the laws protecting migrants in “each and every case.”
Las Agujas is part of a network of centers the government has vowed to upgrade. The detention of minors has increased concerns about treatment of migrants by the Mexican government in its push to reduce the flow of people north.
“What they have are facilities similar to prisons,” said Ana Saiz, director of Sin Fronteras, one of four migrant advocacy groups that took Las Agujas to court after the Guatemalan girl died in May. “This practice (of detaining children) goes against human rights and is illegal in Mexico.”
The government said the girl, who was held with her mother, died in official custody after falling out of a bunk bed at the center, which has a capacity of 464 people.
On June 10, a panel of judges ordered Las Agujas to stop holding children, citing migration laws and minors’ rights.
On July 24, an administrative court said the director of Las Agujas, Miguel Angel Hernandez, had not heeded the order, referencing five unaccompanied minors from India at the center.
Hernandez told the court he had complied by re-housing 38 minors identified by the groups that brought the case, court documents seen by Reuters show. The INM said on July 27 that it “at no time failed to comply with a court order.”
In a statement, the INM said it prioritized family unity, and that unaccompanied minors are only in the centers “temporarily.”
Hernandez could not be reached directly for comment.
Mexican government figures show 32,507 migrating minors were detained between January and June 2019.
The migration authority picks up minors along with adults, said Rosalba Rivera, migrant children’s coordinator at the Institute for Migrant Women.
Rivera said the INM sometimes contacts the national agency for family development to find alternative housing for children, such as shelters, once they are in facilities like Las Agujas.
But Mexican law is explicit that migrant children should not spend “even a day” in detention, she added.
In the United States, unaccompanied minors can be held in border patrol custody for 72 hours before being transferred to children’s shelters.
Detainees and visitors told Reuters that minors are still being brought to Las Agujas.
Guarded watch towers overlook the four corners of the high-walled compound in the heart of a residential neighborhood. Its concrete walls and green metal spikes contrast with a flower-muraled elementary school down the block.
Detainees often cannot leave for weeks or months before they are deported or file for asylum, according to monitoring groups.
A July report from a federal watchdog found the center to be over capacity, ridden with bed bugs and short of food.
The INM told Reuters that each of the center’s detainees is given basic hygiene equipment, drinking water and three meals a day. It did not respond to the bed bug or capacity claims.
“The kids cry all the time,” said a Venezuelan migrant in his 30s who left Las Agujas recently. He spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals from authorities.
He described a crowded, “prison-like” facility and said he often saw a long line of mothers and their kids waiting to see a doctor, since children often fell ill.
Sister Maria Josefa Martinez, a nun who visits the center weekly, said children “have a hard time,” often getting stomach and throat infections, and have little to do.
Saiz of Sin Fronteras said her staff learned of a chicken pox outbreak among children in the center on a visit in July.
Without commenting on the illnesses, the INM said Las Agujas provides free medical assistance to detainees 24 hours a day.
(Reporting by Rebekah F Ward; additional reporting by Lizbeth Diaz and Mica Rosenberg in New York; editing by Dave Graham and Cynthia Osterman)
8/10/2019 EU’s Juncker tells Britain: no-deal Brexit will hurt you the most
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker signs the guest book during his visit at the Finnish Parliament in
Helsinki, Finland, July 5, 2019. Emmi Korhonen/Lehtikuva via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS. FINLAND OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN FINLAND
VIENNA (Reuters) – A no-deal Brexit would hurt Britain more than the rest of Europe no matter how much Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government pretends otherwise, outgoing European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in remarks published on Saturday.
Britain has been pressing the European Union to amend the terms of Britain’s withdrawal agreement, saying Brussels would have to take responsibility for a no-deal Brexit if it does not compromise.
But at the end of the day that would do the most harm to Britain, Juncker told a regional newspaper in the Austrian province of Tyrol, where he regularly spends his summer holiday.
“If it comes to a hard Brexit, that is in no one’s interest, but the British would be the big losers. They are acting as though that were not the case but it is,” Juncker told the Tiroler Tageszeitung newspaper.
“We are fully prepared even though some in Britain say we are not well set up for a ‘no deal.’ But I am not taking part in these little summer games,” said Juncker, who is due to be succeeded by German conservative Ursula von der Leyen once she has put together her Commission.
The European Union has said the withdrawal agreement negotiated by the previous British administration led by Theresa May will not be re-opened. Johnson says it wants a key element of that deal, the so-called Irish “backstop,” to be scrapped.
The backstop, agreed between Brussels and May’s government, aims to keep the border between the Republic of Ireland and British-ruled Northern Ireland open, and would effectively keep Northern Ireland within the EU’s single market if no alternative arrangement can be found.
“We have made clear that we are not prepared to hold new negotiations on the withdrawal agreement but only to make certain clarifications in the framework of the political declarations that regulate future relations between the United Kingdom and European Union,” Juncker said.
“We are well prepared (for no deal) and I hope the British are too.”
(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Stephen Powell)
8/11/2019 British PM Johnson to meet Ireland’s Varadkar over Brexit: report
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives to welcome King Abdullah II of Jordan outside
10 Downing Street in London, Britain August 7, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo
LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has accepted an offer to meet Irish leader Leo Varadkar to discuss Brexit and the Northern Irish backstop, the Sunday Telegraph said citing UK government sources.
“The UK has accepted Varadkar’s offer to meet and dates are being discussed,” a UK source told the newspaper.
Johnson has told the European Union there is no point in new talks on a withdrawal agreement unless negotiators are willing to drop the Northern Irish backstop agreed by his predecessor Theresa May.
The EU has said it is not prepared to reopen the divorce deal it agreed with May, which includes the backstop, an insurance policy to prevent the return to a hard border between the British province of Northern Ireland and EU-member Ireland.
May’s agreement, rejected three times by the British parliament, says the United Kingdom will remain in a customs union “unless and until” alternative arrangements are found to avoid a hard border.
Johnson has said Britain will leave the EU on Oct. 31 with or without a deal. He has stepped up preparations to leave without a divorce agreement if Brussels refuses to renegotiate, prompting some lawmakers to suspect a no-deal Brexit is his goal.
The Telegraph said it was hoped a meeting between Johnson and Varadkar could take place before the G7 summit in France later in August.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Janet Lawrence)
8/11/2019 U.S. adviser Bolton to urge tougher UK stance on Iran and China by Steve Holland
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton walks to give an interview to Fox News outside
of the White House in Washington, U.S. July 31, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis
LONDON (Reuters) – John Bolton, U.S. President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, arrived in London on Sunday for talks at which he is expected to urge Britain to toughen its stance on Iran and Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei.
As the United Kingdom prepares to leave the European Union on Oct. 31, its biggest geopolitical shift since World War Two, many diplomats expect London to become increasingly reliant on the United States.
Bolton’s two days of talks on Monday and Tuesday, to include a heavy focus on Brexit, reflect the Trump White House’s attempts to solidify ties with the new British government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson after Trump’s strained relationship with former Prime Minister Theresa May.
Bolton is expected to urge British officials to align policy on Iran more closely with that of Washington, which has pressured Tehran with ever-tightening sanctions after Trump withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal.
Britain has so far backed the European Union in sticking with the nuclear accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, but the seizure of a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz has put pressure on London to consider a tougher stance.
British marines seized an Iranian vessel, which is suspected of smuggling oil to Syria, off the coast of Gibraltar on July 4. This month, Britain joined the United States in a maritime security mission in the Gulf to protect merchant vessels.
A senior Trump administration official said Bolton’s argument to the British will be that it would help add pressure on Iran if London would declare the JCPOA dead but that such a decision was not expected soon.
Trump has also pushed Britain to get tougher on China’s Huawei out of concern its next-generation 5G technology represents a national security risk. Washington wants its allies, including Britain, to avoid using equipment from Huawei.
Under former PM May, the British government decided in principle to give Huawei limited access to non-core parts of the 5G network, but the senior U.S. official said Bolton hoped to find a friendlier audience on the topic from the Johnson government. A final British decision has not yet been taken.
Bolton plans to argue that Huawei is an arm of the Chinese government and that its hardware could be used to monitor communications that go through its system.
Trump and New York-born Johnson have spoken frequently on the phone since the new prime minister took power and Trump wants to seal a U.S.-British free trade agreement in order to help cushion Britain when it exits the European Union.
The two leaders are to meet later this month at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France.
Bolton, who met last week in Washington with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, is to have lunch on Monday with Britain’s cabinet secretary, Mark Sedwill, and later meet at No. 10 Downing Street with Edward Lister, who is Johnson’s chief strategic adviser.
Later in the day, Bolton will meet Sajid Javid, Johnson’s new finance minister.
On Tuesday, Bolton is due to meet Liz Truss, Britain’s international trade secretary, and Ben Wallace, the new defense secretary, as well as Steve Barclay, the minister for exiting the European Union, among other officials.
(Reporting by Steve Holland, editing by Guy Faulconbridge)
8/12/2019 Venezuela’s Guaido says government plans to dissolve opposition-run legislature
FILE PHOTO: Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who many nations have recognised as the country's rightful interim
ruler, speaks during a gathering with supporters in Caracas, Venezuela August 7, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero
CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido said on Sunday President Nicolas Maduro’s government is preparing to dissolve the opposition-run legislature and call new legislative elections, potentially escalating Venezuela’s political crisis.
Guaido, who is also head of congress, said the decision would be made on Monday by the all-powerful Constituent Assembly – a parallel legislature controlled by the ruling Socialist Party – and could involve more arrests of legislators.
Such a move would likely fuel criticism of Maduro in the international community and halt Norway-brokered talks between the government and Guaido allies meant to reach a negotiated solution to Venezuela’s political stalemate.
“Tomorrow they intend to dissolve parliament, illegally convene parliamentary elections or even begin mass persecution of legislators,” Guaido said in a video posted on Twitter.
“If they do what they intend to do tomorrow, the result will be a phase of escalated conflict,” he said.
The next parliamentary elections are not scheduled until December 2020.
The information ministry did not reply immediately to a request for comment.
Socialist Party No. 2 Diosdado Cabello, head of the Constituent Assembly, confirmed on Twitter that a session is planned for tomorrow and mocked Guaido by saying “if you’re scared, buy a dog.”
“It looks like we’re getting to a crisis of justice and these traitorous worms are leaving in a stampede,” Cabello wrote.
Guaido invoked the constitution in January to assume a rival presidency, saying Maduro’s 2018 re-election was fraudulent. He has been recognized by more than 50 countries, including the United States, as Venezuela’s legitimate president.
Government supporters have staged attacks outside the assembly’s headquarters in recent months. At least 21 deputies have fled the country, been arrested, or sought asylum in embassies to avoid detention.
Maduro said on Saturday Guaido will face justice for supporting the most recent round of U.S. sanctions, which block all commercial transactions with Venezuela’s government and freeze its assets in the United States.
He called on Cabello last week to begin an offensive against the “traitors” in the legislature.
(Reporting by Vivian Sequera; Writing by Mayela Armas and Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Paul Tait)
8/12/2019 Global economic outlook darkens amid escalating trade dispute, Ifo says
Workers stand at the port of Qingdao, Shandong province, China June 10, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer
BERLIN (Reuters) – The economic outlook has deteriorated worldwide as the trade dispute between the United States and China escalates, a survey showed on Monday.
Germany’s Ifo economic institute said its quarterly survey among nearly 1,200 experts in more than 110 countries showed that its measures for current conditions and economic expectations have both worsened in the third quarter.
“The experts expect significantly weaker growth in world trade,” Ifo President Clemens Fuest said, adding that trade expectations hit the lowest since the beginning of the tariff conflict last year.Respondents also expect weaker private consumption, lower investment activity, and declining short- and long-term interest rates,” Fuest said.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he was not ready to make a trade deal with China and even called a September round of talks into question, raising fresh doubts in financial markets that the dispute is unlikely to end anytime soon.
The United States and China are important export destinations for German manufacturers, so the tit-for-tat tariff dispute between the world’s two largest economies is having a large impact on German goods producers.
The German economy, Europe’s largest, is widely expected to have contracted in the second quarter, and sentiment indicators suggest hardly any improvement in the third.
“We’re in the twilight zone of a marked economic slowdown and a recession,” said Commerzbank economist Joerg Kraemer.
Germany’s Federal Statistics Office will release preliminary gross domestic product figures for the April-June period on Wednesday. A Reuters Poll of analyst predicts a 0.1% contraction quarter-on-quarter.
(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; editing by Larry King)
8/12/2019 GOP candidate Jon Hollis hopes to unseat Rep. Adam Schiff by OAN Newsroom
California Congressman Adam Schiff is set to face a new challenger in 2020. Republican candidate Jon Hollis announced his congressional bid last week in hopes of unseating the Democrat lawmaker, who has held the seat since 2013. One America News had a chance to speak with Hollis to learn more about his efforts and his hopes for the golden state.
“I live and work in my district and I have been for the past seven years or so, and I’ve watched over the past seven years — its been slowly starting to fall apart, the homeless issue has become a huge problem,” he explained.
The homeless crisis has been a hot topic among candidates, especially for areas like District 28 which includes parts of Los Angeles County where around 59,000 people are battling homelessness. According to recent data by the LA Times, the number of people living on the streets of Los Angeles County jumped 12-percent since last year, while homelessness in the city increased by 16-percent.
Republican Jon Hollis is pictured. (Photo/handout/Hollis for Congress Campaign)
When asked how he would combat this issue. Hollis has this to say:
“The root cause is this mental health crisis…so even if you don’t have a mental disorder when your pushed to the street, often time you develop one while you’re there. So, even if you get someone a house or get someone a job, they’re still dealing with these mental health issues that no body is addressing.”
Although a good promise to run on, unseating Schiff wont come easy as the district is considered to be a Democrat stronghold. Additionally, there are five other candidates vying for the spot, including Eric Early, Jennifer Barbosa, Maebe Girl and Akinyeme Agbede.
However, if elected Hollis says he will work to address the homeless crisis, crumbling infrastructure, and corruption among government officials.
[Great, Shifty Adam leaker to the news for years for false information on Russian collusion needs to go.].
8/12/2019 Trump admin. announces new rule to limit legal immigration by OAN Newsroom
The Trump administration has introduced a new immigration rule, which could reduce the number of legal immigrants allowed to stay in the country. On Monday, acting Director of Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli announced the final rule, which makes it easier for green cards and visa applications to be rejected.
The rule expands the range of disqualifying programs to include receiving welfare benefits, food stamps, and public housing. Cuccinelli said this is necessary to make legal immigrants “self-sufficient and not reliant on the government to meet their needs.”
Acting Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli, speaks during a
briefing at the White House, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
“Throughout our history, self-reliance has been a core principle in America,” he stated. “The virtues of perseverance, hard work, self-sufficiency, laid the foundation of our nation and have defined generations of immigrants seeking opportunity in the United States.”
The rule will take effect on October 15th with exemptions for refugees and asylum seekers.
8/12/2019 Scaramucci goes full anti-Trump, calls for GOP to replace 2020 ticket by OAN Newsroom
Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci is officially off the Trump train after going head-to-head against the president over the weekend.
In an interview Monday, Scaramucci said after last week’s handling of the El Paso and Dayton mass shootings he believes the Republican Party may soon need to find a replacement candidate to lead the 2020 ticket.
This comes after the man nicknamed “the Mooch” recently engaged in a Twitter war with President Trump over his rhetoric towards immigrants. He claimed the president’s words incite violence against minorities.
Anthony Scaramucci, former White House communications director, is pictured. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
“One thing I find reprehensible, and the president continues to do this, and I think what will end up happening is sound and reasonably minded men and woman in the Republican Party will say ‘wait a minute, we can’t do this’…he is giving people a licensed to hate, to provide a source of anger to go after each other and he does it on his twitter account,” he stated.
On Twitter Saturday, the president claimed Scaramucci knows very little about him, and said he was incapable of handling his job during his 11 day stint as the White House communications director.
8/12/2019 Cali. schools to teach kids capitalism is racist, history is sexist by OAN Newsroom
A California curriculum is proposing lessons to children on so-called “oppressive systems.” Critics are calling it outright “radical propaganda” being forced on children and their parents.
One America’s Chanel Rion has more from Washington.
8/12/2019 New Trump rule targets poor and could cut legal immigration in half, advocates say by Daniel Trotta and Mica Rosenberg
People are seen in front of a graffiti next to a section of the wall separating Mexico and
the United States, in Tijuana, Mexico August 10, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Duenes
(Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration unveiled a sweeping rule on Monday that some experts say could cut legal immigration in half by denying visas and permanent residency to hundreds of thousands of people for being too poor.
The long-anticipated rule, pushed by Trump’s leading aide on immigration, Stephen Miller, takes effect Oct. 15. It would reject applicants for temporary or permanent visas if they fail to meet high enough income standards or if they receive public assistance such as welfare, food stamps, public housing or Medicaid.
“The Trump administration is trying to bypass Congress and implement its own merit based-immigration system. It’s really a backdoor way of prohibiting low-income people from immigrating,” said Charles Wheeler of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc.
The rule is part of Republican Trump’s efforts to curb both legal and illegal immigration, an issue he has made a cornerstone of his presidency.
After the rule was announced, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) said it would file a lawsuit to stop it from taking effect. The group’s executive director said the rule was racially motivated. The state attorneys general of California and New York threatened to sue.
The 837-page rule, seeking to target those who could become “public charges” in the United States, could be the most drastic of all the Trump administration’s policies targeting the legal immigration system, experts have said. It could deny visas to people for not making enough money or who are drawing public benefits.
The government estimates the status of 382,000 immigrants could immediately be reviewed on those grounds. Immigrant advocates fear the real number could be much higher, especially if the rule is extended to the millions of people who apply for U.S. visas at American consulates around the world.
The State Department already changed its foreign affairs manual in January 2018 to give diplomats wider discretion in deciding visa denials on public charge grounds. In the fiscal year that ended last September, the number of visas denied on those grounds quadrupled compared to the previous year.
“This is an end run around Congress to achieve through executive fiat what the administration cannot get through Congress,” said Doug Rand, co-founder of Boundless, a pro-migrant group that helps families navigate the U.S. immigration system.
The rule is intended to scare immigrants away from using public benefits to which they are legally entitled, Rand said, adding that a study by Boundless found it could eliminate more than half of visa applicants.
A 2018 study by the Migration Policy Institute found 69 percent of already established immigrants had at least one negative factor against them under the administration’s wealth test, while just 39 percent had one of the heavily weighed positive factors.
Other immigrant advocates have expressed concern the rule could negatively affect public health by dissuading immigrants from using health or food aid. The Trump administration estimates its rule will save $2.47 billion annually in spending on public benefits.
The rule is derived from the Immigration Act of 1882, which allows the U.S. government to deny a visa to anyone likely to become a “public charge.”
DEFINING ‘PUBLIC CHARGE’
Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), said at a White House media briefing that the law has always required foreign nationals to rely on their own resources, with help from relatives and sponsors, but the term “public charge” was never clearly defined.
“That is what changes today with this rule,” Cuccinelli said.
The new rule defines public charge as an immigrant who receives one or more designated public benefits for more than 12 months within any 36-month period.
The definition of public benefits is cash aid including Supplemental Security Income, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), most forms of Medicaid, and a variety of public housing programs, officials said.
“The principle driving it is an old American value and that’s self-sufficiency,” Cuccinelli said in a Fox News interview.
Whether someone is public charge will be determined on a variety of positive and negative factors. A positive factor would be earning 125 percent of the poverty line, which is $12,490 for an individual and $25,750 for a family of four, while earning less would be a negative factory.
Critics have decried the effort to limit legal immigration for lower-income people affront to the ideals of the United States highlighted by the inscription on the Statue of Liberty that reads “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
Trump aide Miller, asked in 2017 about whether the administration’s policies countered that inscription, said the words were not original to the monument.
Cuccinelli was also asked about the inscription at the White House on Monday and said: “I do not think, by any means, we are ready to take anything off the Statue of Liberty.”
In early 2018, Trump rejected a bipartisan effort in Congress to reform the immigration system. The effort became embroiled in controversy over accusations by a Democratic senator that the Republican president disparaged African and Caribbean nations with a vulgarity in regard to their immigrants. Trump was reported to have asked why the United States could not get more immigrants form northern Europe.
Trump has denied using that language and said he wanted immigrants to come the United States from all nations.
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta in New York; Additional reporting by Mica Rosenberg in New York and Susan Heavey and Makini Brice in Washington; Editing by Bill Trott and Grant McCool)
8/12/2019 Majority of Britons support ‘Brexit by any means’: poll
FILE PHOTO: A pro-Brexit demonstator is seen outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, July 17, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
LONDON (Reuters) – A majority of Britons believe Prime Minister Boris Johnson must take Britain out of the European Union “by any means” even if that involves suspending parliament, an opinion poll conducted for the Daily Telegraph said on Monday.
Johnson has promised to lead Britain out of the EU on Oct. 31 regardless of whether he manages to secure an exit deal with Brussels, despite many in parliament being opposed to leaving without a deal.
A ComRes opinion poll showed 54% of respondents said they agreed with the statement: “Boris (Johnson) needs to deliver Brexit by any means, including suspending parliament if necessary, in order to prevent MPs (Members of Parliament) from stopping it.”
Johnson is seeking a deal with the EU but has not ruled out suspending parliament to prevent lawmakers’ attempts to block a no-deal exit.
The poll showed 46% disagreed with the statement. The result was based on the answers of 1,645 respondents, after those who said they did not know their preference had been excluded.
The same survey found support for the Conservative Party had risen by 6 percentage points to 31%, compared with 27% who said they would back the opposition Labour Party. That result was based on 1,783 responses.
That finding is largely in line with other polls showing an increase in support for the Conservatives since Johnson took over from Theresa May, who formally quit last month having failed to deliver Brexit on schedule.
(Reporting by William James; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
8/13/2019 Oil down $0.43 to $54.93, DOW down 390 to 25,898.
8/13/2019 US budget deficit grows 27% through July, now at $867 billion
WASHINGTON – The U.S. government’s budget deficit rose by $183 billion to $867 billion during the first 10 months of this budget year. The Treasury Department said the deficit for the current fiscal year through July is up 27% from the same period a year earlier. Spending rose 8% to $3.73 trillion, and tax revenue rose 3% to $2.86 trillion. President Donald Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut and new spending agreed to last year have swelled the gap between what the federal government spends and what it takes in.
8/13/2019 U.S. Senate leader: Any violent crackdown in Hong Kong would be ‘completely unacceptable’ by David Brunnstrom and Jeff Mason
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks with reporters following the weekly policy luncheons
on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 7, 2019. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell warned China on Monday that any violent crackdown on protests in Hong Kong would be “completely unacceptable,” while Trump administration officials urged all sides to refrain from violence.
“The people of Hong Kong are bravely standing up to the Chinese Communist Party as Beijing tries to encroach on their autonomy and freedom,” McConnell wrote in tweet.
“Any violent crackdown would be completely unacceptable. … The world is watching.”
Increasingly violent demonstrations in Hong Kong have plunged the Chinese-ruled territory into its most serious crisis in decades, presenting Chinese leader Xi Jinping with one of his biggest popular challenges and raising fears of direct intervention by Beijing.
Some Hong Kong legal experts say official descriptions of some protesters’ actions as terrorism could lead to the use of extensive anti-terror laws and powers against them.
China’s People’s Armed Police have also assembled in the neighboring city of Shenzhen for exercises, the Chinese state-backed Global Times newspaper said.
On Tuesday, China’s state media said an unidentified official with the Foreign Ministry office in Hong Kong denounced the “arrogance and biases of some U.S. politicians,” adding that McConnell’s remarks sent protesters a “seriously mistaken signal.”
Republican U.S. President Donald Trump, who has been seeking a major deal to correct trade imbalances with China, drew criticism this month after he described the Hong Kong protests as “riots” and said they were a matter for China and Hong Kong to deal with as the territory was part of China.
On Monday a senior Trump administration official and a State Department spokeswoman urged all sides to refrain from violence, while stressing support for democracy.
The senior official reiterated Trump’s remark that it was a matter between Hong Kong and China, “with the understanding that ‘they’re looking for democracy and I think most people want democracy."
“Societies are best served when diverse political views are respected and can be freely and peacefully expressed. The United States urges all sides to refrain from violence,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
CALL TO RESPECT AUTONOMY
A State Department spokeswoman repeated calls for Beijing to adhere to its commitments after its 1997 handover from British rule to allow Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy. She said it was important for the Hong Kong government to respect freedoms of speech and assembly.
“We condemn violence and urge all sides to exercise restraint, but remain staunch in our support for freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly in Hong Kong,” she said.
“The ongoing demonstrations in Hong Kong reflect the sentiment of Hongkongers and their broad concerns about the erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy,” she added. “Freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly are core values that we share with Hong Kong; these freedoms must be vigorously protected.”
While some commentators have accused Trump of all but giving China a green light for a crackdown, Beijing has accused Washington of encouraging the protests and angrily denounced July meetings between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence and Hong Kong publisher and democracy activist Jimmy Lai.
Trump has drawn criticism even from some normally supportive media. On Aug. 3, the conservative Washington Examiner called his Hong Kong remarks “a bizarre regurgitation of mainland Chinese propaganda” and added: “We hope this is Trump speaking off the cuff and not him selling out Hong Kong.”
On Monday, Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton told reporters on a visit to London he had talked about Hong Kong with British officials “as part of a general discussion about China.”
He rejected Chinese allegations that a U.S. diplomat was a “black hand” in the demonstrations as “ridiculous” and said it was “incumbent on the Chinese to live up to their obligations” on Hong Kong.
A spokesman for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said earlier that Britain was concerned about the latest violence in Hong Kong and called for calm from all sides.
Last week, State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus called China a “thuggish regime” for disclosing photographs and personal details of a U.S. diplomat who met with Hong Kong’s student leaders. On Friday, she said the reports had “gone from irresponsible to dangerous” and must stop.
Hong Kong’s airport canceled all flights on Monday, blaming demonstrators for the disruptions. China said the anti-government protests that have roiled the city through two summer months had begun to show “sprouts of terrorism.”
(Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Additional reporting by Jeff Mason in Washington, Steve Holland in London, and Michael Martina in Beijing; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Clarence Fernandez)
8/13/2019 WATCH: Calif. state audit reveals over 255K voter registration errors by OAN Newsroom
A new state audit has revealed massive flaws with California’s Motor Voter system at the DMV. One America’s Pearson Sharp has more as officials uncover over a quarter of a million voter registration errors across the state.
8/13/2019 Don Jr. denies conflict of interest with Indonesian ‘Dream Project’ by OAN Newsroom
The president’s eldest son is brushing off accusations his family’s ‘Dream Project’ in Indonesia presents a conflict of interest. Donald Trump Jr. attended a pre-launch event Tuesday with the billionaire chairman of Indonesia’s MNC Group, which is helping to build two Trump branded luxury resorts in the country.
The president’s son said the Trump Organization has a “contractual- obligation” to finish the project, which was agreed to before the 2016 election. He said his family has lost out on millions of dollar because they agreed not to take on any new overseas deals in order to avoid “the impression of impropriety.”
FILE – Donald Trump Jr. speaks in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo: AP)
“But the notion that some people would say that because of the development somewhere that my father would, you know, even remotely be influenced or change U.S. policy on major issue that affects the life of hundreds of millions of Americans and frankly, that people around the world are totally asinine, and so I’d like to shut that non-sense down once in for all,” said Donald Jr.
The project includes two resorts, which will be built on the island of Bali and in Lido, which is located near the Indonesian capital. The projects will include hotels, villas, and golf courses.
8/13/2019 Harry Reid calls to end filibuster, cites unprecedented gridlock in senate by OAN Newsroom
Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is calling for the filibuster to be eliminated in the upper chamber. In an op-ed for the New York Times Monday, Reid said the Senate should do away with the 60 vote threshold. He says there has been unprecedented gridlock in the Senate, which has held back sweeping bills that would address gun violence, immigration and climate change.
Reid infamously eliminated the filibuster in 2013 in regard to presidential appointees, laughing off criticisms when asked what precedent he was setting:
“Let them do it, why in the world would we care? We were trying to protect everybody. I mean do they want simple majority, fine. I mean all these threats about ‘we’re going to change the rules more’…as Senator (Chuck) Schumer said: what is the choice? Continue like we are or have democracy?”
Harry Reid is pictured. (AP Photo)
Since then, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has used the precedent to confirm a record number of judges, including two to the Supreme Court. Democrats fear the same thing could happen, once again, if they take up Reid’s suggestion.
[After Obama got caught using the Surveillance Act on American Citizens and admitted it Harry Reid who was the Senate majority leader of the Democrat Senate told everybody to vote that the surveillance was okay. So why would anyone trust or believe anything he says and by the way Pelosi was in the Congress during that time. This is obviously an effort also to help them Impeach Trump.].
8/13/2019 Castro struggling among Latinos, presidential candidate lacking support from leaders by OAN Newsroom
The only Hispanic Democrat running for president is having a hard time finding support from leaders in the Latino community. As of Tuesday, former Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro has only secured two of the 38 members of the House Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
This comes as his twin brother, Representative Joaquin Castro, stands as the chairman of that caucus. The vice chairman, Representative Ruben Gallego, endorsed congressman Eric Swalwell back in April, who has since dropped out.
Castro does, however, have his share of endorsements from Hispanic members of Congress in the San Antonio City Council.
Democratic presidential candidate former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro speaks at
the Presidential Gun Sense Forum, Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Recently, he has used the mass shooting in El Paso to reach out to the Latino community.
“The attack two days ago was an attack on the Latino community, it was an attack on immigrants, it was an attack on Mexicans and Mexican-Americans,” he stated. “That is due, in part, the the climate that this president has set of division.”
Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus argued back in January for holding off on endorsements. However, several members have shown their support for other candidates already.
8/13/2019 Merkel promises to meet defense spending target amid U.S. criticism
German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Germany's new Defence Minister,
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, at the provisionally plenary hall of the German lower house of
Parliament Bundestag at the Paul Loebe Haus in Berlin, Germany July 24, 2019. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
STRALSUND, Germany (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday she was taking Berlin’s commitment toward its NATO allies seriously to further increase defense spending toward the agreed target.
U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized Germany’s failure to raise defense spending to 2% of economic output as mandated by the NATO military alliance.
The U.S. ambassador to Germany said last Friday that Berlin’s reluctance to spend more money on defense and its continued reliance on U.S. troops for protection were “offensive.”
Speaking at a panel discussion organized by Ostsee Zeitung local newspaper in the Baltic Sea town of Stralsund, Merkel said she took seriously the 2% defense spending target, adding: “We said we want to achieve 1.5% by 2024. And that is our common will.”
Merkel said the current budget would see another increase in defense spending which would lift Germany’s level to 1.41% by 2020 according to recent economic growth projections.
“And then we still have a lot of work to do for the next few years,” Merkel said. But she was convinced that Germany would meet its interim defense spending target of 1.5% target by 2024.
The center-right leader pointed out that Germany was actually not violating Nato’s defense spending agreement, sealed during a summit in Wales in 2014, as member countries agreed back then to lift defense spending “toward 2%.”
“So this means in the direction of 2%, and we will continue to go in this direction also after 2024,” Merkel added.
(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Gareth Jones)
8/13/2019 Oil soars near 5% on easing U.S.-China trade tensions by Scott DiSavino
FILE PHOTO: A view of an oil refinery off the coast of Singapore March 14, 2008. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices rose almost 5% on Tuesday after the United States said it would delay imposing a 10% tariff on certain Chinese products, easing concerns over a global trade war that has pummeled the market in recent months.
The Chinese products include laptops and cellphones. The tariffs had been scheduled to start next month.
“The U.S.-China trade war has caused energy demand growth to take a big hit. Any glimmer of hope revives the prospects for a more positive demand landscape,” said John Kilduff, partner at energy hedge fund Again Capital Management in New York.
Brent futures were up $2.69, or 4.6%, at $61.26 a barrel by 1:33 p.m. EDT (1733 GMT), while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up $2.07, or 3.8%, at $57.00.
That put Brent futures on track for their biggest daily percentage gain since December.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on Tuesday that U.S. and Chinese trade officials spoke on the phone and agreed to talk again within two weeks.
“The possibility that the United States and China can get the trade talks on track … is raising hopes that they might actually get some type of deal,” said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.
“That’s why we are seeing this big rebound in prices,” Flynn said.
Before the U.S. announcement about the tariff delay, Brent futures were still trading about 20% below the 2019 high they hit in April.
Oil prices seesawed earlier in the day, caught between demand worries and rising global supplies and expectations for deeper production cuts from leading producers.
U.S. oil output from seven major shale formations was expected to rise by 85,000 barrels per day (bpd) in September to a record 8.77 million bpd, the Energy Information Administration forecast in a report.
Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), last week said it planned to keep its crude exports below 7 million bpd in August and September to help drain global oil inventories.
“Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies standing firm on their commitment to the OPEC+ output-cut agreement has supported prices,” said Abhishek Kumar, head of analytics at Interfax Energy in London.
OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+, have agreed to cut 1.2 million bpd of production since Jan. 1.
In the United States, meanwhile, analysts forecast crude stockpiles fell by 2.8 million barrels last week, according to a Reuters poll.
“If we get the drawdown in (U.S.) inventory that most people are looking for, that is going to get the market a lot tighter,” said Flynn at Price Futures.
The American Petroleum Institute (API), an industry group, was due to release its inventory report at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT) on Tuesday, followed by U.S. government data on Wednesday morning.
(Additional reporting by Ron Bousso in London and Roslan Khasawneh in Singapore; Editing by Marguerita Choy and David Goodman)
8/14/2019 Oil up $2.17 to $57.10, DOW up 382 to 26,280.
8/14/2019 US delays portions of China tariff list by Janna Herron, USA TODAY
The Trump administration is delaying new tariffs on some consumer products and removed other items from its September list of duties on Chinese goods, due to health, safety and national security concerns.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said Tuesday it will wait until Dec. 15 to impose tariffs on products detailed in a 21-page list, including many items that are popular during the holiday season such as cellphones, laptop computers, video game consoles, some toys, computer monitors, shoes and clothing.
“We’re doing this for Christmas season, just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. customers. So far they’ve had virtually none,” President Donald Trump said in New Jersey before boarding Air Force One for an event in Pennsylvania.
Traders on Wall Street welcomed the news. Stocks rallied, and investors fled safe-haven investments, encouraged that trade tensions weren’t escalating.
The U.S. still plans to enact 10% tariffs on about $300 billion in Chinese goods on Sept. 1 that Trump announced at the beginning of August.
That list runs 122 pages and includes items that were not subject to earlier tariffs, such as clothes, jewelry, linens, sunglasses, select motorcycles, watches, guns and sports equipment.
8/14/2019 Democratic-led states sue Trump administration over new coal rules
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A coalition of 21 Democratic-led states sued the Trump administration over its decision to ease restrictions on coal-fired power plants. In June, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency eliminated the agency’s Clean Power Plan and replaced it with a rule that gives states more leeway in deciding upgrades for coal-fired power plants. The lawsuit says the new rule violates the federal Clean Air Act because it does not meaningfully replace power plants’ greenhouse gas emissions.
8/14/2019 No-deal Brexit will be stopped, former finance minister Hammond says by Guy Faulconbridge and James Davey
FILE PHOTO: Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond leaves Downing Street
in London, Britain, July 24, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo
LONDON (Reuters) – Parliament will block a no-deal Brexit if unelected people behind Prime Minister Boris Johnson try to wrench Britain out of the European Union on Oct. 31 without agreement, former finance minister Philip Hammond said on Wednesday.
The United Kingdom is heading toward a constitutional crisis at home and a showdown with the EU as Johnson has vowed to leave the bloc in 78 days time without a deal unless it agrees to renegotiate a Brexit divorce.
After more than three years of Brexit dominating EU affairs, the bloc has repeatedly refused to reopen the Withdrawal Agreement which includes an Irish border insurance policy that Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, agreed in November.
Hammond, who served as May’s finance minister for three years, said unelected people in Johnson’s Downing Street office were setting London on an “inevitable” course toward a no-deal Brexit by demanding the backstop be dropped.
“The people behind this know that that means that there will be no deal,” Hammond told the BBC. “Parliament is clearly opposed to a no-deal exit, and the prime minister must respect that.”
The former minister’s first public intervention since resigning indicates the determination of a group of influential lawmakers to thwart Johnson if he goes for a no-deal Brexit.
Hammond said he was confident parliament, where a majority oppose a no-deal Brexit, would find a way to block that outcome.
It is, however, unclear if lawmakers have the unity or power to use the 800-year-old heart of British democracy to prevent a no-deal Brexit on Oct. 31 – likely to be the United Kingdom’s most consequential move since World War Two.
Opponents of no deal say it would be a disaster for what was once one of the West’s most stable democracies. A disorderly divorce, they say, would hurt global growth, send shockwaves through financial markets and weaken London’s claim to be the world’s preeminent financial center.
Brexit supporters say there may be short-term disruption from a no-deal exit but that the economy will thrive if cut free from what they cast as a doomed experiment in integration that has led to Europe falling behind China and the United States.
Heading toward one of the biggest constitutional crises in at least a century, Britain’s elite are quarrelling over how, when and even if the result of the shock 2016 referendum will be implemented.
Part of the problem is that Britain’s constitution, once touted as a global model, is uncodified and vague. It relies on precedent, but there is little for Brexit.
The House of Commons speaker John Bercow told an audience in Scotland that lawmakers could prevent a no-deal Brexit and that he would fight any attempt to prorogue, or suspend, parliament “with every bone in my body.”
“We cannot have a situation in which parliament is shut down – we are a democratic society,” the Telegraph quoted Bercow as saying at an event on the sidelines of the Edinburgh Festival.
“And parliament will be heard and nobody is going to get away, as far as I am concerned, with stopping that happening,” added the 56-year-old who says he voted “Remain” in the 2016 Brexit referendum.
Johnson, who replaced May after she failed three times to get her Brexit deal through parliament, has refused to rule out proroguing the House of Commons and Brexit supporters have vociferously encouraged him to do so if necessary.
Hammond said the Leave campaign in the 2016 referendum did not tout no deal as a likely option, so to leave under those conditions would be a betrayal of the referendum that would reduce the nation to an “inward-looking little England.”
The United Kingdom, he said, would be under threat with referendums likely on Scottish independence and a united Ireland.
Johnson’s top advisor, Dominic Cummings, has reportedly said he could delay calling a general election until after Oct. 31, even if he lost a no confidence motion, allowing for a no-deal Brexit while parliament is dissolved.
Clearly with him in mind, Hammond said there were people “who are pulling the strings in Downing Street, those who are setting the strategy.”
Cummings declined to comment to Reuters.
(Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)
8/14/2019 British PM Johnson says opponents of Brexit are ‘collaborating’ with EU
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers a speech outside
Downing Street in London, Britain July 24, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Picture
LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday that some British lawmakers who thought they could bloc Brexit were engaging in a “terrible” collaboration with the EU.
“There is a terrible kind of collaboration as it were going on between those who think they can block Brexit in parliament and our European friends,” Johnson said in a “People’s PMQs” question-and-answer session on Facebook.
“Our European friends … are not compromising at all,” Johnson said. He added that the longer the impasse continued, the more likely a no-deal Brexit became.
(Reporting by William James, editing by Guy Faulconbridge)
8/14/2019 Oil prices fall on weak economic data from Europe and China by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin
FILE PHOTO: Drilling rigs operate at sunset in Midland, Texas, U.S., February 13, 2019. REUTERS/Nick Oxford/File Photo
LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices fell on Wednesday on weak economic data from China and Europe and a rise in U.S. crude inventories, partly erasing the previous session’s sharp gains after the United States said it would delay tariffs on some Chinese products.
Brent crude was down $1.03, or 1.7%, at $60.27 a barrel at 1135 GMT, after rising 4.7% on Tuesday, the biggest percentage gain since December.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude future was down $1.17, or 2%, at $55.93 a barrel, having risen 4% the previous session, the most in just over a month.
China reported a raft of unexpectedly weak data for July, including a surprise drop in industrial output growth to a more than 17-year low, underlining widening economic cracks as the trade war with the United States intensifies.
“This morning’s Chinese industrial production came in below expectations confirming our expectation that the late-cycle dent likely becomes deeper before year end,” Norbert Ruecker of Swiss bank Julius Baer said, referring to the late-cycle phase in economies that is characterized by slowing growth.
“Oil demand should continue to soften,” he added.
The global slowdown amplified by tariff conflicts and uncertainty over Brexit is also pressuring European economies. A slump in exports sent Germany’s economy into reverse in the second quarter, data showed.
The euro zone’s GDP barely grew in the second quarter of 2019.
Profit taking after Tuesday’s sharp gains also weighed on crude prices on Wednesday, analysts said.
Benchmark crude prices surged on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump backed off his Sept. 1 deadline for 10% tariffs on some products, affecting about half of the $300 billion target list of Chinese goods.
“While Brent crude has recovered back above $60 a barrel, the technical outlook for WTI looks somewhat better after once again managing to find support above $50 a barrel,” said Ole Hansen, Head of Commodity Strategy at Saxo Bank.
“The range-bound behavior, however, looks set to continue with focus on U.S.-China trade talks and continued production restraint from OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia.”
Data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed U.S. crude stocks unexpectedly rose last week. [API/S]
Crude inventories increased by 3.7 million barrels to 443 million, compared with analyst expectations for a decrease of 2.8 million barrels, the API said.
(Additional reporting by Aaron Sheldrick in Tokyo and Roslan Khasawneh in Singapore; Editing by Alexandra Hudson and Mark Potter)
8/14/2019 Poll: Farmers support tariffs on China by OAN Newsroom
A survey conducted by Iowa State University has found that farmers in Iowa, Minnesota, and Illinois support President Trump’s tariffs against China. According to the study, nearly 60-percent of respondents in those states expressed support for the ongoing trade war, while 14-percent had neutral feelings on the matter.
This comes after Beijing announced earlier this month it would be suspending purchases of all U.S. agricultural farm products in response to the Trump administration’s recent round of tariffs targeting $300 billion in Chinese imports.
Although the heightened trade tensions between Washington and Beijing has resulted in a near $10 billion decrease in U.S. agricultural exports to China, domestic farm exports have continued to rise. This suggests other countries have started buying products that China has dropped.
Nonetheless, farmers feel the tariffs have put pressure on their industry with nearly 80-percent of respondents saying they fear farmers will bear the brunt of the trade dispute. President Trump has been eager to address this fear.
FILE – In this Aug. 24, 2018, file photo, Sam Bentzinger, left, and Jake Bentzinger unload freshly picked wild blueberries at the
Coastal Blueberry Service in Union, Maine. Maine is the sole commercial producer of wild blueberries in the United
States, and the industry has struggled in recent years with falling crop sizes and low prices to farmers. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)
“Again, they’ve said this many times, they’ve said they’re going to buy farm products, so far they’ve disappointed me with the truth,” he stated. “They haven’t been truthful or let’s say they have certainly delayed this decision, but it’s their intention to buy a lot of farm products and we did, we had a very good call with China.”
On Tuesday, the president announced he will be holding off on a number of tariffs scheduled for September, so consumers won’t be affected during the holiday season.
“We’re doing this for Christmas season, just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. customers, but so far they’ve had virtually none,” explained President Trump. “The only impact has been that we’ve collected almost $60 billion from China, compliments of China, but just in case they might have an impact on people, what we’ve done is we’ve delayed it so that they won’t be relevant for the Christmas shopping season.”
President Donald Trump walks down the steps of Air Force One at Francis S. Gabreski Airport
in Westhampton Beach, N.Y., Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
8/14/2019 Ariz. Sen. McSally to draft bill to make domestic terrorism a federal crime by OAN Newsroom
A GOP lawmaker is looking to change the way the government charges individuals who commit acts of mass violence.
Arizona Senator Martha McSally is reportedly drafting a bill, which would make domestic terrorism a distinct federal crime.
McSally said the legislation would close a loop hole which currently prevents officials from charging suspects specifically for domestic terrorism. This comes in the wake of two recent mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso Texas, which collectively left 31 people dead.
“Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart, and devours the soul. We have asked the FBI to identify all further resources they need to investigate and disrupt hate crimes and domestic terrorism.” — President Trump.
Although crimes like these are already being treated as domestic terrorism cases by authorities, the suspects will not be charged as such. That’s because the government only has a criminal statute for International terrorism, and nothing for domestic.
Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., joins her staff after delivering her first major speech on the Senate floor, at the Capitol in Washington,
Tuesday, July 30, 2019. McSally is a former Air Force colonel who flew combat missions in Iraq and Kuwait. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
While the El Paso shooter was still charged for capital murder, which means he is eligible for the death penalty, McSally says that’s not good enough. In a recent statement she said, “for too long we have allowed those who commit heinous acts of domestic terrorism to be charged with related crimes that don’t portray the full scope of their hateful actions.”
The bill is expected to garner support from leaders on both sides of the isle.
8/14/2019 Open border activists threaten to dox Fla. ICE contractor by OAN Newsroom
Anti-ICE protesters are threatening to post the personal information of a Florida immigration contractor. A group of open border activists reportedly gathered in Florida outside the GEO Group recently, which is a company contracted by ICE for facility and detention space.
One protester specifically threatened the company’s former general counsel, John Bulfin, by calling out places where he and his children live as well as where he attends church:
“John Bulfin you have kids in ****, you have kids in *****". “We know everything about you, and you won’t just be seeing us here.”
Recently, there have been multiple targeted protests by a number of “abolish ICE” activists. The vice president of corporate officials from the GEO Group said in a statement the safety of their employees is their top priority and they will continue to do whatever’s necessary to provide that safety.
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
8/14/2019 With 78 days to Brexit, British parliament ready to take on PM by William James
Birds fly past the Houses of Parliament, in central, London, Britain, June 24, 2017. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
LONDON (Reuters) – The British parliament is set for a September showdown between Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “do or die” pro-Brexit government and those implacably opposed to leaving the European Union without a divorce deal.
Johnson says Britain will leave the EU with or without a deal on Oct. 31 and is refusing to negotiate with Brussels until it agrees to change the Withdrawal Agreement, the deal it negotiated with his predecessor Theresa May. Brussels says it won’t renegotiate.
The impasse leaves Britain on course for a no-deal exit unless parliament can stop it.
On Wednesday, former finance minister Philip Hammond accused Johnson of deliberately wrecking negotiations and saying parliament has the power to block a no-deal exit.
“There is no popular mandate for a no-deal Brexit and no parliamentary mandate for one either,” he wrote in the Times. “The hardliners may make the most noise but they are not the most numerous.”
Johnson’s office declined to comment on the record, but unnamed sources in his team accused Hammond of failing to prepare the country properly when he was finance minister and having a secret agenda to halt Brexit.
Several ministers criticized Hammond’s comments.
Hammond hit back, saying on Twitter he wanted to deliver Brexit, but not without a divorce deal to smooth the transition and protect the economy.
The spat shows a change in leadership over the summer has done nothing to heal the divisions that felled May, raising the chances of a full-blown constitutional crisis on the way to a no-deal Brexit.
The signals point to a frantic 78 days ahead as parliament takes on prime minister, testing the country’s unwritten constitution.
Lawmakers return from their summer break on Sept. 3, reconvening in the Palace of Westminster on the banks of the River Thames for a fight over Brexit that will determine the fortunes of the world’s fifth-largest economy.
Johnson has staked his leadership on an Oct. 31 Brexit and left little room for maneuver. He has refused to rule out suspending parliament until after Britain leaves the EU and aides have reportedly said he could delay any election until November if he lost a vote of no confidence.
Lawmakers have been scouring parliamentary rulebooks looking for a way to either apply pressure for a change of course or seize control of the agenda and change the law to reverse or delay Brexit.
Johnson says parliament is undermining his negotiations, causing the EU to wait and see if efforts to block a no-deal exit are successful.
Speaker John Bercow, the arbiter of disputes on parliamentary procedure, said he would fight any attempt to bypass or close down parliament to secure Brexit.
Votes in parliament have shown on several occasions there is majority support for measures to block or hinder a no-deal exit.
But any majority would be unstable, made up of lawmakers from different parties that are ideologically opposed, except when it comes to stopping a no-deal Brexit.
And with the government controlling the tight parliamentary timetable and capable of starving opponents of opportunity to make their move, the Institute for Government think tank says lawmakers face a huge challenge.
“Even if they can assemble a majority for something, they may find few opportunities to make their move – and time is running out,” said Joe Owen, Brexit program director.
(Editing by Janet Lawrence)
8/14/2019 Democrats flip-flop opinions on MSM coverage by OAN Newsroom
2020 Democrat candidates are taking issue with mainstream media coverage, following in the footsteps many of them criticized President Trump for.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders took aim at The Washington Post Monday by accusing the organization of covering his campaign unfairly after his criticisms of Amazon.
“I talk about it all of the time and then I wonder why the Washington Post, which is owned by Jeff Bezos who owns Amazon, doesn’t write particularly good articles about me,” said the Democrat 2020 hopeful.
Sanders advisers also called out CNN and MSNBC on reports about his slumping campaign, leading journalists to accuse him of pushing a “conspiracy theory.”
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks at the Iowa State Fair,
Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Meanwhile, President Trump has been no stranger to enduring damaging mainstream media reports. His repeated call for fairness was met with Democrats accusing him of dismantling free speech.
“I think the biggest frustration is the way the media covers me,” the president explained. “The way that media covers, perhaps, this agenda, and I’m disappointed by it, I’m very surprised by it.”
President Trump received rare praise from a New York Times article after he condemned racism and called for unity, following the El Paso and Dayton, Ohio mass shootings. Democrat candidate Beto O’Rourke fired back against the article, calling it “unbelievable” of the mainstream media to applaud the president.
Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke speaks during a public
employees union candidate forum Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
President Trump hasn’t backed down from calling out biased coverage from major networks and its influence on voters, but he has always supported fair coverage of his presidency.
“If the news, the lamestream or mainstream or whatever you wanna call it, media or fake news — if it would be covered, people would feel different,” he stated.
As 2020 looms closer, Democrats will need to figure out how they plan to respond to the media going forward.
[Poor little Democrats. What goes around comes around when you have poor policies and anti-Christian values, so follow the money and apparently you will see someone who wants you out of the race, and I think some of the far lefters will be doing that soon.].
8/15/2019 Oil down $1.87 to $55.23, DOW down 801 to 25,479.
8/15/2019 Markets plummet as bonds provide warning - Long-term yields slide amid trade-war worries by Janna Herron, USA TODAY
Is a recession coming? Wall Street sure thought so Wednesday.
The Dow lost 800 points, posting its worst percentage drop of the year while the Standard & Poor’s 500 and the Nasdaq each lost about 3%.
Worrying economic indicators from overseas coupled with an ominous signal in the bond market sent stocks into a tailspin.
“There was this realization that the rest of the globe is slowing faster than people expected, which leads to part two, the yield curve inverting for the first time since the financial crisis,” said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist for LPL Financial. “That, historically, occurs ahead of a recession.”
Investors are worried about a mix of things, including the effect of the trade war between the United States and China, unrest in Hong Kong, uncertainty around the Brexit in Europe and the projected pace of interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve.
Many factors weigh on the market, making it jumpy:
Still, that’s temporary, said Kathy Bostjancic, chief U.S. financial economist at Oxford Economics.
- Bond troubles: Investors poured money into government bonds Wednesday, triggering a troubling sign: The yield on the 10-year Treasury dipped below the yield on the two-year one. That hasn’t happened since 2007 and historically signals an economic downturn is coming.
A similar scenario unfolded in the U.K.’s bond market Wednesday.
The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond hit a new low Wednesday at 2.04%, also a warning, said J.J. Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade.
“It shows that people are buying bonds as a protective mechanism,” he said.
- Global slowdown: Stocks were poised for a sell-off even before the bell opened trading because two reports overseas renewed fears of a global economic slowdown.
Germany, Europe’s largest economy, reported that its gross domestic product, a measure of an economy’s health, went negative in the second quarter.
In China, the country’s industrial output in July hit a 17-year low, Detrick said. Retail sales and investment in real estate and other fixed assets weakened, an indication the world’s second- biggest economy is feeling pressure.
“We like a worldwide economy when it comes to buying cheap shoes,” Kinahan said. “But it’s a worldwide economy on the bad things, too. It can come onto our shores.”
- Trade war: Underpinning these factors are the trade tensions between the U.S. and China, whose machinations have whipsawed markets.
Stocks rallied Tuesday after the Trump administration postponed some tariffs on Chinese imports until Dec. 15, instead of enacting them in September.
A board at the New York Stock Exchange reflects tumbling stocks Wednesday as
the bond market fanned recession fears. JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
[The Sky is falling. The Sky is falling. Where have I heard that before? As the Dems think that Trump's policies will lead to a recession and if the Feds wake up it will turn out fine.].
8/15/2019 UK’s Labour vows to bring down PM Johnson and delay Brexit by Kate Holton
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks at the House of Commons in
London, Britain May 22, 2019. ©UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s opposition Labour Party began its campaign to bring down Prime Minister Boris Johnson, urging lawmakers to back a no-confidence vote and unite behind a caretaker government led by Jeremy Corbyn to prevent a no-deal Brexit.
Johnson has promised to take Britain out of the European Union by Oct. 31, with or without a deal, setting the scene for a showdown in parliament where lawmakers are opposed to a divorce without a transition agreement.
However, the scale of the challenge facing anti-Brexit forces was immediately made clear when the leader of pro-EU party the Liberal Democrats described the proposal as nonsense and Labour leader Corbyn as the wrong man for the job.
In a letter to opposition party leaders and several senior rebel Conservatives, Corbyn said his “strictly time-limited temporary government” would delay Brexit and hold an election.
He said Labour would then campaign in the election for a second referendum on the Brexit terms, including an option as to whether Britain should remain after all.
“This government has no mandate for No Deal, and the 2016 EU referendum provided no mandate for No Deal,” Corbyn said. “I therefore intend to table a vote of no confidence at the earliest opportunity when we can be confident of success.”
A spokeswoman for Johnson’s Downing Street office said the Labour leader was showing contempt for the 2016 referendum. “Jeremy Corbyn believes that the people are the servants and politicians can cancel public votes they don’t like,” she said.
Lawmakers return from their summer break on Sept. 3 for a battle over Brexit that will determine the fortunes of the world’s fifth-largest economy. Labour’s business spokeswoman said a challenge in parliament could come days later.
Johnson, who led the 2016 campaign to leave the EU, has staked his premiership on getting Britain out by Oct. 31 and accused lawmakers standing in his way of “i>collaborating” with Brussels. His approach has prompted politicians from all sides to try to stop him but they have failed yet to agree on a united way forward.
Johnson has a working majority in parliament of just one seat, including several lawmakers who have said they could vote to bring down the government.
Were the government to lose a no-confidence vote, lawmakers would have a 14-day period to try to form a new administration, otherwise a parliamentary election would be called, which could be held after the Oct. 31 exit date.
Opponents of a sudden departure without a transition deal say it would be a disaster for what was one of the West’s most stable democracies, shattering supply chains, damaging global growth, and weakening Britain’s standing in the world.
Brexit supporters say while there may be short-term disruption, it would provide a clean break from the struggling bloc and eventually allow the economy to thrive. The pound, which has tumbled in recent weeks as the prospect of a turbulent exit has increased, was largely unmoved by Corbyn’s proposal.
Parliamentary votes have shown there is a small majority against a no-deal Brexit. Corbyn, a low-key Remain campaigner during the 2016 referendum, has been under pressure within his party to step up efforts to prevent it from happening.
He said he hoped his proposal to lead a caretaker government could “halt the serious threat of No Deal, end the uncertainty and disarray, and allow the public to decide the best way ahead.”
But Corbyn, a veteran socialist, is a highly divisive figure in parliament and could struggle to form a majority of his own.
While the political turmoil of the last year has led to an unprecedented level of cross-party cooperation, many in Johnson’s Conservative Party and others would still find it difficult to vote for a Corbyn-led administration.
In one of the first responses to Corbyn’s proposal from a Conservative politician, Alistair Burt, a former foreign office minister who is opposed to a no-deal Brexit, said he could not support the Labour leader.
Jo Swinson, the new leader of the pro-EU Liberal Democrat party which has 14 lawmakers in the 650-seat parliament, said Corbyn could not even secure the backing of his own party.
“I would expect there are people in his own party and indeed the necessary Conservative backbenchers who would be unwilling to support him,” she said. “It is a nonsense.”
Swinson said a more centrist politician such as the Conservative’s Ken Clarke or Labour’s Harriet Harman could be capable of commanding a majority across the House to navigate the country through Brexit.
(Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Andrew Cawthorne)
8/15/2019 Venezuela’s Maduro accuses former Colombian president Uribe of plotting to kill him
FILE PHOTO: Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a ceremony to commemorate the Bicentennial of the Battle in the Vargas
Swamp at the National Pantheon in Caracas, Venezuela July 25, 2019. Picture taken July 25, 2019. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS
CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday accused former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe of plotting to assassinate him in cohorts with Colombia’s U.S. ambassador Francisco Santos, and exiled Venezuelan opposition leader Lester Toledo.
It was not the first time Maduro, a socialist, accused politicians from neighboring Colombia of plotting against him, as relations between the two countries deteriorate amid an economic crisis in Venezuela that has prompted more than one million migrants to settle in Colombia.
During a state television broadcast on Wednesday evening, Maduro gave a detailed account of how the three plotted the attack from “a bunker” in a house belonging to Uribe, a right-wing leader who has been an outspoken critic of Maduro and his predecessor and mentor, the late former President Hugo Chavez.
“It is a plan for 32 mercenaries to enter [Venezuela] to try to assassinate me and leaders of the revolution,” Maduro said. “But we are here, protected by God.”
Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes denied the allegation in a post on Twitter, saying the government “rejects the delirious and slanderous accusations by the dictator Maduro against two Colombians who have dedicated their lives to serving democracy.”
A press advisor to Uribe did not respond to a request for comment. Toledo, who is based in Colombia, has been designated by Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as his international coordinator for efforts to bring in humanitarian aid. He could not be reached for comment.
Maduro frequently calls current Colombian President Ivan Duque a “lackey” for U.S. interests. Maduro has accused Colombia and the United States of being behind a drone explosion at a military parade last year, which he describes as an assassination attempt.
(Reporting by Corina Pons; additional reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb in Bogota; Writing by Luc Cohen; editing by Grant McCool)
8/15/2019 Report: Trump admin. aims to shift money to ICE amid border crisis by OAN Newsroom
House aides and a congressional office claimed this week that the Trump administration is looking to allocate funds from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to ICE from other department accounts. While it remains unclear which departments are expected to have money redirected, this follows a similar move last year when the DHS allocated approximately $170 million to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Those funds were used to help with the removal and detention of those who were in the country illegally.
Reports from last year’s reallocation of funds mentioned the Department of Homeland Security is allowed to move money in whichever way it sees fit with the approval of Congress. However, chairwoman Nita Lowey from the House Appropriations Committee said it is unlikely House Democrats will be in support of the reallocation.
Meanwhile, the move comes as the Trump administration continues to crack down on illegal immigration. It also follows a series of ICE raids in Mississippi, which resulted in more than 600 arrests.
“I want people to know that if they come into the United States illegally, they’re getting out. They’re gonna be brought out, and this serves as a very good deterrent. If people come into our country illegally, they’re going out. They’re not coming in illegally and staying. We have bad laws.” — President Trump
At this time there has been no confirmation on what the newly allocated money would specifically be used for.
8/15/2019 Oil deepens slide on recession fears, China’s trade threats by Devika Krishna Kumar
FILE PHOTO: Drilling rigs operate at sunset in Midland, Texas, U.S., February 13, 2019. REUTERS/Nick Oxford/File Photo
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices fell more than 1% on Thursday, extending the previous session’s 3% drop, pressured by mounting recession concerns and a surprise boost in U.S. crude inventories.
In a sign of investor concern that the world’s biggest economy could be heading for recession, weighing on oil demand, the U.S. Treasury bond yield curve inverted on Wednesday for the first time since 2007.
China’s threat to impose counter-measures in retaliation for the latest U.S. tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods also weighed on oil prices.
Brent crude fell as much as $1.81, or 3%, to $57.67 a barrel. The international benchmark was $1.23, or 2.1%, lower at $58.25 and West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) was down 75 cents, or 1.4%, to $54.48 by 12:32 p.m. ET (1632 GMT)
“Oil is getting whacked again as risk-aversion again kicks in and fears of a trade war inflicted slowdown grip traders,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.
“WTI had enjoyed a decent rebound over the last week but failed at the first hurdle, running into resistance around the mid-July lows before plunging once again.”
The price of Brent is still up 10% this year thanks to supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies such as Russia, a group known as OPEC+.
In July, OPEC+ agreed to extend oil output cuts until March 2020 to prop up prices. A Saudi official on Aug. 8 indicated more steps may be coming, saying “Saudi Arabia is committed to do whatever it takes to keep the market balanced next year.”
But the efforts of OPEC+ have been outweighed by worries about the global economy amid the U.S.-China trade dispute and uncertainty over Brexit, as well as rising U.S. stockpiles of crude and higher output of U.S. shale oil.
“The market is becoming very anxious about global growth,” said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM.
China reported disappointing data for July, including a surprise drop in industrial output growth to a more than 17-year low. A slump in exports sent Germany’s economy into reverse in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, a second week of unexpected rises in U.S. crude inventories is adding to the pressure. [EIA/S]
U.S. crude stocks grew by 1.6 million barrels last week, compared with expectations for a drop of 2.8 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.
Providing some support to U.S. crude prices, inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI, fell by about 2 million barrels in the week to Aug. 13, traders said, citing data from market intelligence firm Genscape.
That helped narrow U.S. crude’s discount to Brent to as little as $3.60 a barrel, near the smallest level since March 2018.
(Additional reporting by Alex lawler in London, Aaron Sheldrick; editing by Jason Neely and Marguerita Choy)
8/16/2019 Oil down $0.76 to $54.47, DOW up 100 to 25,579.
8/16/2019 House panel calls Lewandowski, former Trump aide to testify
WASHINGTON – The House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and an ex-White House aide as part of its investigation into President Donald Trump’s conduct in office. Panel chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., says the committee wants to hear publicly from Lewandowski and Rick Dearborn on Sept. 17 “as part of its efforts to hold the president accountable.” Lewandowski and Dearborn were both “prominently featured” in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
[Chairman of Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, where in February 2016, Manafort approached Donald Trump through a mutual friend, Thomas J. Barrack Jr., and pointed out his experience advising presidential campaigns in the United States and around the world, described himself as an outsider not connected to the Washington establishment, and offered to work without salary. In March 2016, he joined Trump's presidential campaign to take the lead in getting commitments from convention delegates. On June 20, 2016, Trump fired campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and promoted Manafort to the position. Manafort gained control of the daily operations of the campaign as well as an expanded $20 million budget, hiring decisions, advertising, and media strategy.
However, lawmakers focused on former Trump campaign aide Corey Lewandowsky, who Hicks was allegedly dating at the time. House Democrats expressed their frustration with Hicks’s reluctance to answer questions, but Republicans on the committee dismissed Democrat claims as a “political stunt.”
The Dems got nothing out of Hicks, so now they are desparate in doing Lewandowski and I guess Dearborn.]
8/16/2019 President Trump calls Biden a ‘disaster’ after scaling back campaign events by OAN Newsroom
President Trump slammed former Vice President Joe Biden after his campaign said he may cut back on his scheduled appearances, following a series of verbal slip-ups.
During his rally in New Hampshire Thursday, the president said Biden has been a “disaster” on the campaign trail. He also said if he had done what Biden did the “fake news” would assail him.
“This is certain. They’re going to cut way back on his appearances. Can you believe it? If I ever did that it would be over the fake news would get us, but we don’t let him get us and it is fake…”
Biden has come under scrutiny over a number of verbal blunders on during his campaign. Recently, the former vice president mistakenly said the shootings in El Paso and Dayton occurred in Michigan and Houston. He also received backlash for proclaiming his support for “truth over facts” during an event in Iowa.
President Donald Trump reacts at the end of his speech at a campaign rally, Thursday,
Aug. 15, 2019, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
[12,000 in the arena and another 5,000 outside.].
8/16/2019 GOP lawmakers push back on NASA decision to move project to Ala. by OAN Newsroom
GOP lawmakers in Texas are working to convince NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine to reconsider the location for its new moon program. NASA is looking to move parts of the program development from the Johnson Space Center in Houston to the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
The Marshall Space Flight Center will oversee two of the three elements necessary for this program: the transfer element and the descent element. This initiative comes as President Trump is eager to complete another man-made flight to The Moon by 2024.
“We’ll be going to The Moon. We’ll be going to Mars very soon. It’s very exciting and from a military stand point, there is nothing more important right now than space.” — President Trump
Senator Ted Cruz and Senator John Cornyn, along with Representative Brian Babin, expressed concerns in a letter. They say the move discredits the history of the Johnson Space Center, and that splitting the production to two centers is counterproductive. They believe Houston should be the place where the next moon landing is developed and launched given that “Houston was one of the first words ever uttered on The Moon,” and the Johnson Space Center developed the last moon-landed rocket.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine talks to reporters in front of the core stage of the Space Launch System, which will power the Artemis
1 lunar mission, as he visits the NASA Michaud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Back in May, NASA officials asked Congress to increase its fiscal budget for 2020 by $1.6 billion, most of which will go toward the development of this human lunar landing system.
“And when we do what we call Artemis 2, we will in fact, have American astronauts launching on American rockets around the moon, and then Artemis 3 will be the mission in 2024 that lands our humans for the first time on the surface of the moon,” explained Bridenstine.
The NASA administrator is scheduled to announce the new location Friday, but lawmakers requested NASA hold off on any formal announcement until they have been fully briefed on the subject and the timeline.
8/16/2019 Democratic, Republican lawmakers back $8 billion F-16 sale to Taiwan by Bryan Pietsch
FILE PHOTO: A U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter taking part in the U.S.-led Saber Strike
exercise flies over Estonia June 6, 2018. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Congress should move quickly with an $8 billion sale of F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan as China “seeks to extend its authoritarian reach” over the region, leading U.S. Democratic and Republican lawmakers said on Friday.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch, a Republican, said in a statement that he welcomed the sale of Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-16 jets to boost Taiwan’s “ability to defend its sovereign airspace," which he said is “under increasing pressure” from China.
The deal “sends a strong message” about U.S. commitment to security and democracy in the region, House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot and Michael McCaul, the panel’s ranking Republican, said in a joint statement.
They said the move will deter China as Beijing threatens “our strategic partner Taiwan and its democratic system of government.”
The United States is the main arms supplier to Taiwan, which China deems a wayward province. Beijing has never renounced the use of force to bring the self-governed island under its control.
Senator Marco Rubio urged Congress to move forward with the deal, which he said in a statement is “an important step in support of Taiwan’s self-defense efforts” as China “seeks to extend its authoritarian reach” in the region.
Senator Ted Cruz said in a statement that it is critical “now more than ever” for Taiwan to boost its defense capabilities.
After the United States approved sales of tanks and Raytheon Co’s anti-aircraft Stinger missiles to Taiwan in July, China said it was “ready to go to war” if people “try to split Taiwan from the country.”
Beijing said it would impose sanctions on U.S. companies involved in any deals. The United States and China are embroiled in a wider trade war.
On Thursday, Taiwan unveiled its largest defense spending increase in more than a decade, to T$411.3 billion ($13.11 billion.)
The United States has no formal ties with self-ruled and democratic Taiwan but is bound by law to help provide it with the means to defend itself. China has repeatedly denounced U.S. arms sales to the island.
(Reporting by Bryan Pietsch; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
8/16/2019 Greenland tells Trump it is open for business but not for sale by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen
FILE PHOTO: Snow covered mountains rise above the harbour and town of Tasiilaq, Greenland, June 15, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo
COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Greenland on Friday dismissed the notion that it might be up for sale after reports that U.S. President Donald Trump had privately discussed with his advisers the idea of buying the world’s biggest island.
“We are open for business, but we’re not for sale,” Greenland’s foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger told Reuters.
Trump is due to visit Copenhagen in September and the Arctic will be on the agenda during meetings with the prime ministers of Denmark and Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory.
Talk of a Greenland purchase was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. Two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters that the notion had been laughed off by some advisers as a joke but was taken more seriously by others in the White House.
Danish politicians on Friday poured scorn on the idea.
“It has to be an April Fool’s joke. Totally out of season,” former prime minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said on Twitter.
“If he is truly contemplating this, then this is final proof, that he has gone mad,” foreign affairs spokesman for the Danish People’s Party, Soren Espersen, told broadcaster DR.
“The thought of Denmark selling 50,000 citizens to the United States is completely ridiculous,” he said.
Greenland, a self-ruling part of Denmark located between the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans, is dependant on Danish economic support. It handles its own domestic affairs while Copenhagen looks after defense and foreign policy.
“I am sure a majority in Greenland believes it is better to have a relation to Denmark than the United States, in the long term,” Aaja Chemnitz Larsen, Danish MP from Greenland’s second-largest party Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA), told Reuters.
“My immediate thought is ‘No, thank you’,” she said.
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod were not available for comment but officials said they would respond later on Friday. The U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen was also not immediately available for comment.
“Oh dear lord. As someone who loves Greenland, has been there nine times to every corner and loves the people, this is a complete and total catastrophe,” former U.S. ambassador to Denmark, Rufus Gifford, said in on Twitter.
Greenland is gaining attention from global super powers including China, Russia and the United States due to its strategic location and its mineral resources.
In May, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Russia was behaving aggressively in the Arctic and China’s actions there had to be watched closely as well.
A defense treaty between Denmark and the United States dating back to 1951 gives the U.S. military rights over the Thule Air Base in northern Greenland.
There has been no indication that a Greenland purchase will be on the agenda for Trump’s talks with Danish officials.
Martin Lidegaard, senior lawmaker of the Danish Social Liberal Party and a former foreign minister, called the idea “a grotesque proposal” which had no basis in reality.
“We are talking about real people and you can’t just sell Greenland like an old colonial power,” he told Reuters.
“But what we can take seriously is that the U.S. stakes and interest in the Arctic is significantly on the rise and they want a much bigger influence,” he added.
In 1917 Denmark sold off the then Danish West Indies islands for $25 million to the United States, which renamed them the United States Virgin Islands.
(Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard, Andreas Mortensen, Stine Jacobsen and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; additional reporting by Steve Holland in the United States, Editing by Angus MacSwan)
8/16/2019 Trump meeting advisers on Afghan peace plan by Steve Holland and Jonathan Landay
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives aboard Air Force One at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport
in Manchester, New Hampshire U.S. August 15, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
BRIDGEWATER, N.J./WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump was to meet top advisers on Friday to review negotiations with the Taliban on a U.S. troop pullout from Afghanistan and the potential for a political settlement between the warring sides, a senior administration official said.
Trump, who is on a working vacation at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, was to receive an afternoon briefing from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other advisers on the talks, which have been handled by Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad.
Vice President Mike Pence and White House national security adviser John Bolton were expected to attend, an official said.
A U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said significant differences remained between the United States and the Taliban after an eighth round of talks ended in Qatar on Monday.
Some 14,000 U.S. troops remain engaged in America’s longest war, training and advising Afghan security forces and conducting counter-insurgency operations against militant groups such as al Qaeda and Islamic State’s local affiliate.
The U.S. military presence dates to 2001 when then-President George W. Bush invaded in pursuit of al Qaeda and ousted the Taliban rulers who had given Osama bin Laden and his followers a safe haven in which they plotted the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Trump has been adamant that he would like to withdraw U.S. forces, possibly ahead of the November 2020 election.
A pullout has raised deep concerns within the U.S. military and among some lawmakers that Afghanistan could plunge into a new civil war that could see a return of Taliban rule and give al Qaeda and other militants a sanctuary in which to expand and plot new attacks on U.S. and allied targets.
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally, said any deal should allow the United States to maintain a military presence in Afghanistan to pursue such groups.
“Any peace agreement which denies the U.S. a robust counter-terrorism capability in Afghanistan is not a peace deal,” he said in a statement. “Instead, it is paving the way for another attack on the American homeland and attacks against American interests around the world.”
A senior administration official said a decision was not necessarily expected from the Bedminster meeting but Trump “has been pretty clear that he wants to bring the troops home.”
Both sides had raised expectations of being close to finalizing an agreement prior to convening the latest round of talks.
The U.S. defense official, however, said differences remained over U.S. demands that the insurgents publicly renounce ties to al Qaeda and other militant groups and agree to a nationwide ceasefire, the official said.
Khalilzad also is seeking the Taliban’s agreement to hold direct negotiations on a political settlement with Kabul government officials who would be part of a delegation that included opposition leaders and civil society representatives.
Taliban leaders to date have refused to hold official talks with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government, which they denounce as a U.S. puppet.
(Reporting By Steve Holland and Jonathan Landay; Additional reporting by Idress Ali; Editing by Bill Trott)
8/16/2019 Senator Graham, close Trump ally, joins opponents to planned U.S. foreign aid cuts by Patricia Zengerle
FILE PHOTO: Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks before a
Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the proposed budget estimates and justification for FY2020
for the State Department on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 9, 2019. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon/File Photo
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senator Lindsey Graham and Representative Hal Rogers urged President Donald Trump on Friday to drop planned “sweeping and indiscriminate” foreign aid cuts, joining a chorus of lawmakers opposing what they consider a bid to sidestep Trump’s own budget deal.
Trump administration officials have said they are reviewing State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development spending with an eye to using a budget process known as “rescission” to slash some $4.3 billion in aid spending, defying Congress, which passed legislation – signed into law by Trump – backing such spending.
Only do these cuts have the potential to undermine significant national security and anti-terrorism efforts of our diplomats and international partners overseas, but we fear such a rescission package could complicate the ability of the Administration and Congress to work constructively on future appropriations deals,” the two lawmakers said in a letter to Trump.
Graham and Rogers said they had supported a budget deal with the administration in good faith, and said plans to use the budget mechanism to sidestep that pact “seems an abdication of this bipartisan agreement.”
Graham, typically a close Trump ally, is chairman of the Senate appropriations subcommittee that handles foreign affairs and foreign aid spending. Rogers is the ranking Republican on the comparable House of Representatives subcommittee.
Trump signed the budget deal into law two weeks ago, after urging Congress to pass it.
A senior administration official said the rescissions package would involve more than $4 billion and likely would be sent to Congress early next week, although it was not yet determined how much of that money would end up being cut.
The official said programs likely to be cut included some money for the United Nations and for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, but that the administration did not foresee cuts in global health spending, a women’s program championed by Trump’s daughter Ivanka or money spent to protect Christian religious minorities.
Graham and Rogers follow many others, including the top Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations and House Foreign Affairs committees, who have come out against the reported plan to make proposed cuts.
Congress had pushed back last year against a similar rescissions package.
“We are happy to work with you to ensure that our foreign assistance is targeted in the most appropriate way. However, we discourage you from submitting this rescission package in the strongest possible terms,” Graham and Rogers said.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Leslie Adler)
8/17/2019 Oil up $0.40 to $54.87, DOW up 307 to 25,886.
8/17/2019 U.S. appeals court deals partial setback to Trump rule to curtail asylum by Daniel Trotta
FILE PHOTO: Central American migrants, returned from the U.S. to Nuevo Laredo in Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocol
(MPP) to wait for their court hearing for asylum seekers, are seen arriving to Monterrey, Mexico July 31, 2019. REUTERS/Daniel Becerri
(Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court on Friday dealt a setback to the Trump administration attempt to bar almost all asylum applications at the U.S.-Mexico border, but stopped short of applying its decision nationwide.
While ruling against a provision of President Donald Trump’s hard-line anti-immigration policy, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the decision would only apply to the nine Western states that make up the 9th Circuit. Only two of those nine, California and Arizona, are on the border with Mexico.
That left open the possibility that the sweeping ban, which requires most asylum-seekers to first seek safe haven in a third country, could be applied in the other border states of Texas and New Mexico.
The appellate court ruling came on the same day that California and other states, as well as a coalition of advocacy groups, filed lawsuits to stop a separate Trump initiative to reduce legal immigration by denying visas to poor migrants.
The flurry of legal activity is attempting to halt major policy moves by the Trump administration to crack down on immigration, an issue central to the Republican president’s political fortunes.
One of Trump’s main objectives has been to reduce the number of asylum claims by mostly Central American migrants who have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border in record numbers during his presidency.
His July 15 rule promptly drew legal challenges including from a coalition of groups led by the American Civil Liberties Union.
On July 24, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco issued a preliminary injunction blocking it from taking affect.
The government appealed Tigar’s decision. In Friday’s ruling a three-judge panel found the Trump administration had failed to comply with portions of the law that governs rule-making.
“The court properly refused to let the new asylum ban go into effect, though currently limited to the Ninth Circuit. We will continue fighting to end the ban entirely,” ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt said in a statement.
The White House said in a statement that it “strongly” disagreed with the decision and hoped the injunction would be lifted on appeal.
“While the injunction remains overbroad – even as modified by the Ninth Circuit’s decision – we will now be able to apply the rule at issue to curb asylum abuse outside of the Ninth Circuit,” the statement said.
The ruling could provide an incentive for more asylum-seekers to cross the U.S. border in California and Arizona, as opposed to Texas and New Mexico.
The Trump administration has said it needs to curtail asylum cases because the vast majority are ultimately found to be without merit.
Opponents counter that it is unrealistic to expect people fleeing persecution to seek asylum in ill-equipped countries they may have traveled through on their way to the United States, such as Mexico or Guatemala.
STATES CHALLENGE TRUMP
In Friday’s other legal development, four states led by California plus the District of Columbia sued the Trump administration over its attempt to curtail legal immigration.
At the same time, a coalition of immigrant advocacy groups filed a similar suit. Both were filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
The two new cases mirrored two legal challenges filed earlier this week by 13 states and two local California jurisdictions.
All are challenging a Trump administration rule that would deny or revoke visas for legal immigrants who might become a public charge because they fail to make enough money or because they receive or might in the future receive public assistance such as welfare, food stamps or public housing.
Some experts say the rule could cut legal immigration in half.
California Governor Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the lawsuit in a news conference, calling it illegal in part for violating the equal protection guarantee of the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by disproportionately blocking nonwhite and non-European immigrants.
“As a son of immigrants, I will tell you this Trump rule, the way it targets and attacks immigrants, it is personal,” Becerra said. “As the attorney general of the state of California, I will tell you that this Trump rule is unlawful.”
The advocacy groups in their complaint said the Trump administration was “determined to prevent immigrants of color from coming to and remaining in the United States.”
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; editing by Mica Rosenberg, Jonathan Oatis and Leslie Adler)
8/17/2019 U.S. issues warrant to seize Iranian tanker off Gibraltar by Marco Trujillo
The name of Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 is seen removed as it sits anchored after the Supreme Court of the British territory
lifted its detention order, in the Strait of Gibraltar, southern Spain, August 16, 2019. REUTERS/Jon Nazca
GIBRALTAR (Reuters) – The United States has issued a warrant to seize an Iranian oil tanker caught in the standoff between Tehran and the West in a last ditch effort to prevent the vessel from leaving Gibraltar.
The Grace 1 was seized by British Royal Marines at the western mouth of the Mediterranean on July 4 on suspicion of violating European Union sanctions by taking oil to Syria.
Gibraltar lifted the detention order on Thursday after the British territory’s chief minister said he had secured written assurances from Tehran that the cargo would not go to Syria.
But with the vessel and its 2.1 million barrels of oil free to leave, the United States launched a separate legal appeal to impound the ship on the grounds that it had links to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which it designates as a terrorist organization.
A federal court in Washington issued a warrant to seize the tanker, the oil it carries and nearly $1 million.
“A network of front companies allegedly laundered millions of dollars in support of such shipments,” the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Jessie Liu, said in a news release.
“The scheme involves multiple parties affiliated with the IRGC and furthered by the deceptive voyages of the Grace 1.”
The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on how the warrant, which was addressed to “the United States Marshal’s Service and/or any other duly authorized law enforcement officer,” may be enforced.
The Pentagon declined to comment, as did Britain’s Foreign Office.
Asked on Friday about the U.S. intervention, Gibraltar’s chief minister, Fabian Picardo, said that would be subject to the jurisdiction of Gibraltar’s Supreme Court. “It could go back to the court absolutely.”
The Gibraltar Chronicle newspaper reported that the vessel was unlikely to sail before Sunday, citing an unnamed source who added that it was waiting for six new crew members including a captain to arrive.
The Grace 1 had its name erased and it was no longer flying a Panama flag.
Iranian state television had quoted Jalil Eslami, deputy head of the country’s Ports and Maritime Organisation, as saying the tanker would depart for the Mediterranean after being reflagged under the Iranian flag and renamed Adrian Darya.
(Writing by Kate Holton; Editing by Angus MacSwan)
8/17/2019 Portland police prepare for possible violence ahead of dueling right and left wing protests by OAN Newsroom
Dozens of businesses are closed and law enforcement is present in Portland, where Antifa is expected to possibly showdown with right-wing demonstrators.
Those extra security measures were put in place for a right-wing rally, titled End Domestic Terrorism, taking place Saturday downtown.
Local, state, and federal officials have taken extreme precaution in securing the event, as many expect the anti-fascist group known as Antifa to turn up against the demonstration.
Joseph Oakman and fellow Proud Boys plant a flag in Tom McCall Waterfront Park during an “End Domestic Terrorism” rally in
Portland, Ore., on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said the situation was “potentially dangerous and volatile”
but as of early afternoon most of the right-wing groups had left the area via a downtown bridge and police used officers on bikes
and in riot gear to keep black clad, helmet and mask-wearing anti-fascist protesters — known as antifa — from following them. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
Reports said potentially hundreds of people with opposing ideologies could clash at the gathering.
Many Portland residents are choosing to stay inside, saying violence at such protests has become the norm.
More than two dozen law enforcement agencies have reportedly been recruited to Portland to assist.
8/17/2019 Report: WH considered blocking migrant children from enrolling in public schools by OAN Newsroom
The Trump administration reportedly considered implementing a new rule, that would have blocked illegal immigrant children from attending public schools in the U.S.
Bloomberg reported Saturday that Trump Senior Adviser Stephen Miller spearheaded the idea, and pushed for it as a way to deter illegal migration to the U.S.
The proposal was ultimately scrapped, as it would have violated a supreme court ruling, that guarantees all U.S. residents access to public school regardless of their citizenship status.
8/17/2019 Rep. Pelosi slams Pres. Trump, Israel PM Netanyahu over barring of Representatives Omar, Tlaib by OAN Newsroom
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is taking aim at President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after two congresswomen were barred from entering the nation.
In an interview, Friday Pelosi expressed disappointment over Israel’s decision to block Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from visiting the country.
FILE – In this Friday, March 8, 2019, file photo, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks in Washington. The messages
coming from House Democrats on impeachment in recent weeks are decidedly confusing. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
She accused Netanyahu and President Trump of “weakness” over the move but said it will not affect strong ties between Israel and the U.S.
“We have a deep relationship and long standing relationship with Israel that can withstand Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu. So, we cannot let their weaknesses stand in the way of our ongoing relationship,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi also said she would not discourage other U.S. lawmakers from traveling to Israel.
Earlier this week Omar and Tlaib were banned from entering the country for supporting a Palestinian-led boycott of Israel.
8/17/2019 Pres. Trump gives ‘major consideration’ to designating Antifa as terrorist group by OAN Newsroom
President Trump says he’s is giving “major consideration” to designating Antifa as a terror group.
He made the comment on Twitter Saturday, adding he’s watching Portland “very closely” ahead of dueling demonstrations between Antifa and the Proud Boys.
Portland police are reportedly stationing the majority of their forces near the protests, in the event the demonstrations turn violent.
The president added “hopefully the mayor will be able to properly do his job!”
This after Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler called on those planning to attend to “stay home” if they plan on committing violence.
Trump tweet: “Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an 'ORGANIZATION OF TERROR.' Portland is being watched very closely. Hopefully the Mayor will be able to properly do his job!”
8/17/2019 Lewandowski ‘happy’ to testify before House Judiciary Committee by OAN Newsroom
Former Trump Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski says he “happy” to testify before the House Judiciary Committee following their recent subpoena.
FILE – In this April 28, 2018 file photo, President Donald Trump, left, watches as Corey Lewandowski, right, his former campaign manager
for Trump’s presidential campaign, speaks during a campaign rally in Washington Township, Mich. Trump is throwing his support behind
his former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who is considering a run for Senate in his home state of New Hampshire. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
Lewandowski made the remark in an interview Friday, and added he is an open book and wants to remind the American people the Democrats are on a witch hunt.
He also said he wants to explain there was no collusion and no obstruction inside the Trump campaign, and suggested he is looking forward to fighting back against democrat claims.
The panel subpoenaed Lewandowski earlier this week and is expected to testify on Capitol Hill next month.
8/18/2019 UK faces food, fuel and drugs shortages in no-deal Brexit: Times, citing official documents by Kate Holton and William James
FILE PHOTO: An anti-Brexit protester is seen outside the Cabinet Office in London, Britain July 29, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will face shortages of fuel, food and medicine if it leaves the European Union without a transition deal, jamming ports and requiring a hard border in Ireland, official government documents leaked to the Sunday Times show.
The Times said the forecasts compiled by the Cabinet Office set out the most likely aftershocks of a no-deal Brexit rather than the worst case scenarios. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office said it did not comment on leaked documents.
The newspaper said up to 85% of trucks using the main channel crossings “may not be ready” for French customs, meaning disruption at ports would potentially last up to three months before the flow of traffic improves.
The government also believes a hard border between the British province of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, an EU member, will be likely as current plans to avoid widespread checks will prove unsustainable, the Times said.
“Compiled this month by the Cabinet Office under the codename Operation Yellowhammer, the dossier offers a rare glimpse into the covert planning being carried out by the government to avert a catastrophic collapse in the nation’s infrastructure,” the Times reported.
“The file," marked “official-sensitive” — requiring security clearance on a “need to know” basis — is remarkable because it gives the most comprehensive assessment of the UK’s readiness for a no-deal Brexit.”
Asked about the Yellowhammer documents, energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng told Sky News: “I think there’s a lot of scaremongering around, and a lot of people are playing into ‘Project Fear’ … We’ve got to prepare for no deal.”
“We will be fully prepared to leave without a deal on the 31st of October.”
The United Kingdom is heading toward a constitutional crisis at home and a showdown with the EU as Johnson has repeatedly vowed to leave the bloc on Oct. 31 without a deal unless it agrees to renegotiate the Brexit divorce.
After more than three years of Brexit dominating EU affairs, the bloc has repeatedly refused to reopen the Withdrawal Agreement which includes an Irish border insurance policy that Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, agreed in November.
Brexit minister Stephen Barclay said on Twitter he had signed a piece of legislation which set in stone the repeal of the 1972 European Communities act – the laws which made Britain a member of the organization now known as the EU.
Though his move was largely procedural, in line with previously approved laws, Barclay said in a statement: “This is a clear signal to the people of this country that there is no turning back (from Brexit).”
A group of more than 100 lawmakers wrote to Johnson calling for an emergency recall of parliament to discuss the situation.
“We face a national emergency, and parliament must now be recalled in August and sit permanently until October 31 so that the voices of the people can be heard, and that there can be proper scrutiny of your government,” the letter said.
Johnson will this week tell French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the Westminster parliament cannot stop Brexit and a new deal must be agreed if Britain is to avoid leaving the EU without one.
The prime minister is coming under pressure from politicians across the political spectrum to prevent a disorderly departure, with opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn vowing this week to bring down Johnson’s government in early September to delay Brexit.
It is, however, unclear if lawmakers have the unity or power to use the British parliament to prevent a no-deal departure – likely to be the United Kingdom’s most significant move since World War Two.
Opponents of no deal say it would be a disaster for what was once one of the West’s most stable democracies. A disorderly divorce, they say, would hurt global growth, send shockwaves through financial markets and weaken London’s claim to be the world’s preeminent financial center.
Brexit supporters say there may be short-term disruption from a no-deal exit but that the economy will thrive if cut free from what they cast as a doomed experiment in integration that has led to Europe falling behind China and the United States.
(Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Gareth Jones)
8/18/2019 Trump says he will likely release Mideast peace plan after Israel elections
FILE PHOTO: A demonstrator holds a Palestinian flag and a cane during a protest against the Israeli demolitions of
Palestinian homes in the village of Sur Baher which sits on either side of the Israeli barrier in East Jerusalem
and the Israeli-occupied West Bank July 26, 2019. REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday he would likely wait until after Israel’s Sept. 17 elections to release a peace plan for the region that was designed by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner.
Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, is the main architect of a proposed $50 billion economic development plan for the Palestinians, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon that is designed to create peace in the region.
(Reporting by Ginger Gibson; Editing by Peter Cooney)
8/19/2019 Recall UK parliament to tackle Brexit crisis, opposition Labour Party says by William James
British Labour politician John McDonnell speaks to media outside the BBC headquarters after appearing
on the Andrew Marr show in London, Britain July 7, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s parliament needs to be recalled immediately to discuss Brexit, the opposition Labour Party’s finance spokesman John McDonnell said on Monday, after leaked official documents forecast possible food, fuel, and medicine shortages.
Britain has less than 74 days to resolve a three-year crisis that is pitting the country against the EU, its closest trade partner, and parliament against the executive. The outcome will mark its most significant geopolitical move since World War Two.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson says Britain will leave the European Union, with or without a transition deal, on Oct. 31. His calls for the EU to renegotiate the existing exit deal have so far been rejected in Brussels.
That puts Britain on course for an unmanaged exit, which an official assessment published by the Sunday Times said would jam ports, increase the risk of public protests and severely disrupt the world’s fifth-largest economy.
McDonnell, the Labour Party’s second most powerful man, said that the looming crisis demanded parliament’s summer break be brought to an early end.
“There’s a need now to bring MPs (members of parliament) back together again because we need time now to really have a proper debate and discussion about this,” McDonnell, a close ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, told BBC radio.
His comments add weight to a demand made on Sunday, signed by more than 100 lawmakers, to recall parliament to discuss what they called a “national emergency.”
Parliament is currently not due to sit until Sept. 3, when it will reconvene for a short session before breaking up again to allow for annual party conferences. Lawmakers are already fretting that they do not have enough time to try to stop a no-deal Brexit.
BERLIN AND PARIS
Johnson will make his first foreign trip as prime minister this week, meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Wednesday and French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Thursday. He will tell them that the British parliament cannot stop Brexit and that a new deal must be agreed if Britain is to avoid leaving the EU without one.
Labour, which is opposed to a no-deal exit, wants to bring down Johnson’s government and form its own emergency coalition under Corbyn’s leadership to delay Brexit.
Lawmakers from other parties have dismissed the possibility of Corbyn, a veteran leftist, leading any so-called ‘Government of National Unity’, preferring either someone else to do the job or else to focus on other parliamentary procedures to block a no-deal.
“I don’t see how he (Corbyn) could lead a government of national unity,” Dominic Grieve, a rebel lawmaker from Johnson’s ruling Conservative Party, told the BBC, adding that other people could lead such a government.
“But I am perfectly prepared to cooperate with him (Corbyn) and indeed with anybody else in the House of Commons to make sure that no-deal, which is being threatened by the current government, doesn’t happen,” Grieve said.
McDonnell said there was a majority in parliament committed to stopping a no-deal exit, and that Corbyn would meet rival leaders next week to discuss the best approach to doing so.
Johnson’s ministers played down the leaked no-deal assessment on Sunday, saying the document was old and did not reflect the increased funding and planning that the prime minister has undertaken since he took office last month.
They accuse Labour and others who are opposed to a no-deal Brexit of undermining negotiations with the EU, saying that EU leaders will wait to see if parliament can block such an outcome before deciding whether to renegotiate the deal.
(Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Gareth Jones)
8/19/2019 Former prosecutors call Attorney General Barr’s recent comments ‘deeply concerning’ by OAN Newsroom
Dozens of current and former prosecutors signed a letter in response to Attorney General William Barr’s comments regarding progressive district attorneys. In a letter this weekend, several officials said Barr’s remarks to the Fraternal Order of Police last weekend were “deeply concerning.”
This comes after Barr criticized district attorneys who have promised to help the communities they are elected to serve in, but undercut police and let criminals off the hook instead.
United States Attorney General William Barr, waves to the crowd, after addressing the Grand Lodge Fraternal Order of Police’s
64th National Biennial Conference at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on Convention Blvd. in New Orleans, La. Monday,
Aug. 12, 2019. Barr said Monday that there were “serious irregularities” at the federal jail where Jeffrey Epstein took his own life
this weekend as he awaited trial on charges he sexually abused underage girls. (David Grunfeld/The Advocate via AP)
“Some are refusing to prosecute thefts, some are refusing to prosecute drug cases even when the distribution of narcotics is involved, and when they do din to charge a criminal suspect they are frequently seeking sentences that are pathetically lenient,” stated the attorney general. “So, these cities are headed back to the days of the revolving door justice and the results are going to be predictable — more crime and more victims.”
Barr went on to say as a society we should not take our police officers for granted.
8/19/2019 ICE officials arrest fugitive wanted for rape after N.C. sheriff allowed release by OAN Newsroom
ICE officials are blasting a North Carolina sheriff, following the release of an illegal immigrant accused of rape. 33-year-old Honduran national Oscar Pacheco Leonardo was arrested by immigration enforcement last week, just two months after Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office failed to honor an ICE detainer.
Sheriff Gary McFadden said if a person meets the conditions of his bond, he is mandated by law to release them. However, a detainer asks authorities to hold the inmate up to 48-hours after their release date in order to decide if they may be deported.
Honduran national Oscar Pacheco Leonardo is pictured.(Photo/Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office)
ICE officials and North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore were outraged by the decision.
“Had the sheriff honored the ICE detainer, this rapist wouldn’t have been turned loose back on the street, but would have been turned over immediately to ICE officials,” Moore explained.
On Friday, the North Carolina offical announced the House of Representatives will be voting this week on House Bill 370. The bill will reportedly demand local sheriff’s to cooperate with ICE detainers.
8/19/2019 Lewandowski doubles down on Senate run, says he would ‘destroy’ Sen. Shaheen by OAN Newsroom
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski recently opened up about a potential 2020 New Hampshire Senate run. In an interview on Sunday, Lewandowski doubled down on his recent comments after he said he would “destroy” Senator Jeanne Shaheen in the state’s Senate race.
Lewandowski laid out how New Hampshire’s current senator didn’t vote to confirm Supreme Court justices Neil Gorsuch or Brett Kavanaugh. Additionally, she didn’t vote to defund sanctuary cities. He also added, he believes in term limits and said its time to send Shaheen home.
Corey Lewandowski, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager for Trump’s presidential campaign,
boards Air Force One with his family, at Morristown Municipal Airport in Morristown, N.J., Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019,
en route to a campaign rally in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
“I’m gonna think about it, but I think if I get in this race I’m gonna win,” he stated. “I’m gonna beat Jeanne Shaheen, who voted against Gorsich, voted against Kavanaugh, she voted to continue to fun sanctuary cities — those aren’t the values of the people of New Hampshire, so If I get in this race I think I can beat her.”
Lewandowski’s comments come after a recent poll showed him leading the GOP Senate field in New Hampshire.
8/19/2019 President Trump: Anthony Scaramucci is a highly unstable “nut job” by OAN Newsroom
President Trump slammed former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci as a unstable “nut job” amid his recent criticism of the White House.
The president scorched Scarammuci in a series of tweets Monday, accusing him of “wheedling” his way into his 2016 campaign. He said he barely knew Scarammuci, and called him a “mental wreck” that the administration didn’t want around.
Trump tweet: “Anthony Scaramucci is a highly unstable “nut job” who was with other candidates in the primary who got shellacked, & then unfortunately wheedled his way into my campaign. I barely knew him until his 11 days of gross incompetence-made a fool of himself, bad on TV. Abused staff,...” “....got fired. Wrote a very nice book about me just recently. Now the book is a lie? Said his wife was driving him crazy, “something big” was happening with her. Getting divorced. He was a mental wreck. We didn’t want him around. Now Fake News puts him on like he was my buddy!”
President Donald Trump speaks with reporters before boarding Air Force One at Morristown Municipal Airport
in Morristown, N.J., Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
This comes after the former official said he was putting together a group of people to speak out against the president.
Scaramucci has not provided any names of former officials who are allegedly willing to speak out against President Trump at this time.
8/19/2019 UK plans to end EU freedom of movement immediately in no-deal Brexit by Kylie MacLellan
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures during a meeting with health professionals during his visit
to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, Britain, August 19, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/Pool
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Monday it would end European Union freedom of movement rules immediately after it leaves the bloc on Oct. 31 but Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the country would not be hostile to immigration.
Under Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, the government had said only that if Britain left the EU without a transition deal it would aim to end free movement “as soon as possible.”
Johnson, who took office last month, has promised to take Britain out of the EU with or without a deal on Oct. 31.
“Freedom of movement as it currently stands will end on 31 October when the UK leaves the EU, and after Brexit the government will introduce a new, fairer immigration system that prioritizes skills and what people can contribute to the UK, rather than where they come from,” a spokesman for Britain’s interior ministry, the Home Office, said in a statement.
Johnson’s spokeswoman said further details on the changes to freedom of movement were being worked on and would be set out shortly but would include tougher criminality checks.
“What we are going to do is leave the EU and that means that legally all those powers revert to the UK…That does not mean that we are going to stop anybody coming into this country, it doesn’t mean that we are going to become remotely hostile to immigration or to immigrants,” Johnson told BBC Radio Cornwall.
“What it does mean is that immigration into the UK will be democratically controlled and we will be producing an Australian-style points-based system to do it.”
Adam Marshall, Director General at the British Chambers of Commerce, said businesses had planned on the basis of no-deal guidance set out by the Home Office seven months ago.
“Now, with weeks to go, hints that it’s all up in the air again. Firms need clarity and consistency to prepare for change,” he said on Twitter.
The Home Office said there would be no change to planned rules for EU citizens and their families already living in Britain by the end of October, who would still have until at least the end of December 2020 to apply to Britain’s EU Settlement Scheme.
No one eligible for settled status would be barred from re-entering Britain when free movement ends, the Home Office said.
Joe Owen, program director at the Institute for Government think tank, said the planned change was “close to impossible” on a practical level as it would require designing, legislating for and rolling out a new system in just over two months. It would also leave millions of EU citizens in limbo, he said.
“There would be no way for employers to distinguish between those EU citizens who have lived and worked in the UK for decades, but are yet to get settled status, and those who arrive in the days after a no-deal Brexit without a visa or permission to work,” he said.
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Mark Heinrich, William Maclean)
8/19/2019 U.S. Senator Schumer says he would oppose any U.S.-UK trade deal imperiling Irish border
FILE PHOTO: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) talks to reporters on
Capitol in Washington, U.S., August 1, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said on Monday he would oppose any post-Brexit trade deal between the United States and Britain if it undermined the Good Friday agreement, which helped end three decades of violence in Northern Ireland.
The Good Friday pact also dismantled all physical border infrastructure between European Union member Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of Britain, guaranteeing that people and goods on either side can move freely.
“The notion that America would now endorse a policy or agreement that undermines the success of the Good Friday Agreement is profoundly counterproductive and risks exacerbating sectarian polarization and eroding self-determination – and unleashing the potential for violence that comes with that reality. This cannot be allowed to happen,” Schumer wrote in a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office last October notified Congress that it intends to negotiate a trade agreement with Britain under the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015.
Under such procedures, known as “fast-track,” Congress would not be able to alter the pact and would only be able to hold a simple-majority vote on it.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s Republican Party holds a narrow majority in the Senate, but a trade deal considered under such a procedure would not pass if a handful of Republicans and all of the Democrats in the chamber voted against it.
U.S. House of Representatives’ Speaker Nancy Pelosi said last week that a U.S.-UK trade deal would languish in Congress if it facilitated a reinstatement of a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.
The future status of the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland has been one of the knottier issues of Britain’s promised exit from the EU, popularly known as Brexit, now scheduled for Oct. 31.
(Reporting by Tim Ahmann; Writing by Makini Brice and David Lawder; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
8/19/2019 Commerce Secretary Ross: U.S. to ease Huawei sanctions for 90 days by OAN Newsroom
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the U.S. plans to ease sanctions on Huawei to allow U.S. companies to wean themselves off their dependence on the Chinese tech giant.
In an interview Monday, Ross said some companies require more time to purge the remaining need for Huawei products. He said the administration would give U.S. telecom industries 90-days before the next deadline, which would be around November 19th. The secretary also said the Commerce Department has placed 46 more Huawei subsidiaries onto the entity list.
FILE – In this Aug. 1, 2019, file photo U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross attends a meeting of the
17th Latin American Infrastructure Leadership Forum, in Brasilia, Brazil. The U.S. government gave
chipmakers and technology companies a 90-day extension to sell products to technology giant Huawei. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres, File)
On Sunday, President Trump said he would rather not do business with the Chinese company for national security concerns.
“Huawei is uh, a company we may not do business with at all…I don’t want to do business at all because it is a national security threat, and I really believe that the media has covered it a little bit differently than that,” he stated. So, we’re looking really not to do business with Huawei.”
The extension comes as U.S. companies fear Huawei will turn to foreign competitors if sanctions continued. U.S. intelligence agencies claim Huawei devices could possibly be used to transfer spyware for the Chinese communist government.
8/20/2019 Oil up $1.34 to $56.21, DOW up 250 to 26,136.
8/20/2019 Pentagon conducts 1st test of previously banned missile
WASHINGTON – The Pentagon says the U.S. military tested a modified ground-launched version of a Navy Tomahawk cruise missile, which has been banned for more than 30 years by a treaty that the United States and Russia abandoned this month. The test off the coast of California marks the resumption of an arms competition that some analysts worry could increase U.S.-Russia tensions. The Trump administration says it is interested in arms control but questions Moscow’s willingness to adhere to its treaty commitments.
8/20/2019 Rep. Omar, Rep. Tlaib Israel trip planned by antisemite, pro-terror group by OAN Newsroom
Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar recently held a press conference to address ties with an anti-Semitic group as well as recent travel restrictions imposed on the two lawmakers.
On Monday, the congresswomen discussed Miftah, the anti-Israel group that promised to sponsor Tlaib’s trip. Miftah reportedly has a long history of anti-Israel and pro-terrorist sentiments similar to those held by Tlaib and company.
“All I can do as my city’s granddaughter, as the granddaughter of a woman who lives in occupied territories, is to elevate her voice by exposing the truth the only way I know how, as my Detroit Public Schools teacher taught me, by humanizing the pain of oppression congresswoman,” stated Tlaib.
The so-called “truth” she touts, however, seems to align with rhetoric of the organization, which has downplayed suicide bombings of Israeli citizens and has described the actions of terrorists as “sacrificing their lives for the cause.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., right, consoles and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., as Tlaib talked about Israel’s refusal to allow them
to visit the country during a news conference Monday, Aug. 19, 2019 at the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Tlaib claims she did not chose the organization to sponsor her trip, and that Miftah has sponsored trips made by five other Congress members. Omar and Tlaib argued the scrutiny over the organization are distractions that have nothing to do with their agenda. During the press conference, Omar seemed to instigate anti-Israel sentiments by questioning the lifesaving aid Israel receives from the U.S.
Tlaib and Omar were barred from visiting Israel due to their public support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement, who’s objective is to eliminate Israel as a nation. The Israeli government defended their decision to block the members of Congress by pointing to pro-terrorist activist group Miftah sponsoring the trip. Tlaib was later allowed to visit her grandmother on the West Bank, but rejected the invitation.
8/20/2019 U.S. officials respond to the release of Iranian tanker from Gibraltar, say it’s a ‘shame’ by OAN Newsroom
The U.S. is expressing concern over an Iranian oil tanker that was set free after being detained off of the coast of Gibraltar. The oil tanker set its course for Greece late Sunday after being detained by the British for a month for its alleged plans to break EU sanctions against Syria.
This comes after officials in Gibraltar rejected a U.S. application to block its release last week. According to U.S. officials, the ship is assisting Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corp, which has been designated a terrorist organization by Washington.
In an interview Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said it was a “shame” the vessel was allowed to go free despite its ties to the terrorist group.
“Its unfortunate that, that happened — these are oil profits that when this is ultimately sold somewhere into the market that will run back to the Qassem Sulaimani and the Iranian Quds Force…elite forces that have sown terror and destruction and killed Americans all around the world,” stated Pompeo. “And now they will have, if they are successful and we hope that they are ultimately not, but if they are successful they will have more money, more wealth, more resources to continue their terror campaign, to continue their assassination campaign…this is what we are trying to stop, so it’s very unfortunate.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to media during a news conference with Lebanese Prime Minister
Saad Hariri at the State Department in Washington, Thursday, Aug.15, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
While speaking in Finland Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif thanked the U.K. for its decision to release the ship, and said Iran does not have to comply with international sanctions placed on it.
“Iran is not subjected to European decisions and Europe does not seek to impose its decisions on non-EU members,” said the Iranian official. “So, there was no grounds for taking that ship by Gibraltar authorities and by the United Kingdom.”
Zarif went on to blame the U.S. for escalating tensions in the region, referring to U.S. actions against the Ayatollah regime as illegal.
“We are happy that this ordeal has ended and I hope that this will lead to less escalation,” he stated. “Certainly the United States continues to try to make more escalation by passing a rather purely political court decision on on this ship, which is a travesty of justice and law.”
It is still unclear why the tanker is heading to Greece, however, British authorities believe it will not unload its shipment to Syria. A U.S. official told reporters Monday, Washington has expressed its “strong position” to Mediterranean officials against doing business with the tanker. The ship is on course to arrive in Greece next Sunday.
8/20/2019 GOP Strategist: Joe Biden will win nomination due to fundraising by OAN Newsroom
A Republican strategist is predicting former Vice President Joe Biden will win the Democrat nomination due to his successful fundraising efforts. In an interview with Hill.TV Monday, strategist Marissa Martinez said Biden’s fundraising abilities will likely overshadow his multiple shortcomings.
The former vice president has maintained his lead as the front-running Democrat candidate since he announced his White House bid in April. Martinez said despite Biden’s controversial statements and less than favorable debate performances, he will likely still take the nomination.
FILE – In this Aug. 10, 2019, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President
Joe Biden speaks in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
“I still think Biden will take the nomination because he’s the favorite, because he raises high-dollar types of money,” she stated. “But like we’ve all discussed, he’s not really necessarily vibing with younger voters.”
President Trump also previously predicted Biden would win the nomination, saying “sleepy Joe” would “limp across the line.”
8/20/2019 U.S. focused on helping Venezuelans when Maduro is forced out by OAN Newsroom
The head of the U.S. Southern Command is speaking out about the crisis in Venezuela. Navy Admiral Craig Faller said the U.S. must continue to put pressure on the Maduro regime. He made the comment Monday while in Brazil, where naval forces from more than a dozen countries are participating in annual military exercises.
Faller warned against Venezuela’s weapons system, and also criticized several countries for assisting Nicolas Maduro. He particularly called out Cuba, Russia, and China.
FILE – In this July 27, 2019 file photo, Admiral Craig Faller, commander of U.S. Southern Command, speaks with
the news media following a commissioning ceremony for the U.S. Navy’s guided missile destroyer, the USS Paul Ignatius,
at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Faller said on Monday, Aug. 19, 2019 that military officials are focusing
on preparing for “the day after” once “isolated” Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro leaves power. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)
He said his command is looking forward to helping the people of Venezuela when Maduro is forced out.
“One of the things we’re focused on is what happens the day after we get invited in by a legitimate government (in Venezuela) to support the people, and at South Comm (U.S. Southern Command), my headquarters, we’re focused very keenly on planning for the day after,” stated Faller.
The Navy admiral will be in Rio de Janeiro this month for the maritime exercises, which aim to improve the response to cyber war threats and natural disasters.
8/20/2019 Pompeo says North Korea talks have not resumed as quickly as hoped: CBS
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the demilitarized zone
separating the two Koreas, in Panmunjom, South Korea, June 30, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has not returned to the negotiation table with North Korea as quickly as it had hoped, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday, but he added that Washington knew there would be ‘bumps on the road’ in the denuclearization talks.
Speaking in an interview with CBS, Pompeo said Washington was concerned about North Korea’s firing of short-range missiles. “I wish they would not,” he said, referring to the tests.
The latest of the missile tests by North Korea was carried out on Friday as Pyongyang fired two more short-range projectiles into the sea off its east coast.
The launches have complicated attempts to restart talks between U.S. and North Korean negotiators over the future of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
Those denuclearization talks have been stalled despite a commitment to revive them that was made at a June 30 meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“We haven’t gotten back to the table as quickly as we hoped but we’ve been pretty clear all along, we knew there would be bumps along the way,” Pompeo said.
He added that Stephen Biegun, U.S. special envoy for North Korea, was in the region on Tuesday and Wednesday, but did not elaborate on the details of his trip. The State Department said last week that Biegun would travel to Japan and Seoul this week.
(The story was refiled to fix a typographical error in paragraph 6)
(Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Paul Simao)
8/20/2019 France vows tight security to keep troublemakers far from G7 summit by Emmanuel Jarry
FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron speaks with U.S. President Donald Trump on the sidelines of commemorations marking
the 75th anniversary of the World War II D-Day landings in Normandy, France, June 6, 2019. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
BIARRITZ, France (Reuters) – The French seaside resort of Biarritz will be transformed into more of a fortress than a surfers’ paradise as organizers of this weekend’s G7 summit prepare to shield world leaders from outside disturbances.
Protesters will have difficulty getting up close to any of the seven leaders during the Aug. 24-26 meeting. France is deploying 13,200 police backed up by soldiers and drones to make sure they are kept far from the summit.
“We will not tolerate any serious trouble,” Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told a news conference.
The G7 groups France, the United States, Britain, Germany, Canada, Japan and Italy. Seven other heads of state have also been invited.
Authorities are allowing campaign groups and demonstrators to congregate in the towns of Hendaye and Irun, which straddle the France-Spain border 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) away.
There they will hold a “counter-summit” that touches on themes ranging from the end of capitalism and climate change to the fight for social justice and the advance of feminism.
The counter-summit will conclude with a protest in Hendaye, which lies beneath the foothills of the Pyrenees, on Saturday as the leaders arrive.
No protest groups have announced plans to target Biarritz but Castaner said security forces were taking no chances against the threat of civil unrest, terrorism and cyber criminals.
“It is not because we have any particular intelligence but because there is a culture (of trouble) at these events and we remember the past,” Castaner said.
Any fireworks at the Biarritz meeting is more likely to come from inside the summit, with U.S. President Donald Trump at odds with allies over global trade, climate change and Iran, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson making his debut on the world stage as he gears up to haul Britain out of the European Union.
The Biarritz summit will bring big disruption to the popular Atlantic coastal town just as the summer holidays wrap up. Biarritz’s airport and station will both be closed, streets barricaded, the main beach closed to the public and residents forced to show badges to access their homes.
Violent anti-government “Yellow Vest” protests convulsed Paris and towns and cities across France late last year and the first half of 2019, challenging President Emmanuel Macron’s authority and forcing some policy reversals.
Rights groups accused the police of excessive force in their handling of the unrest.
(Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by John Irish and Mark Heinrich)
8/20/2019 EU rebuffs British PM Johnson’s Brexit gambit by Guy Faulconbridge and Gabriela Baczynska
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers a speech outside Downing Street
in London, Britain July 24, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Picture
LONDON/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union on Tuesday rebuffed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s demand that it reopen the Brexit divorce deal, saying Britain had failed to propose any realistic alternative to an agreed insurance policy for the Irish border.
After more than three years of Brexit crisis, the United Kingdom is heading towards a showdown with the EU as Johnson has vowed to leave the bloc on Oct. 31 without a deal unless it agrees to renegotiate the divorce terms.
In his opening bid to the EU ahead of meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Johnson wrote a four-page letter to European Council President Donald Tusk asking to ax the Irish border “backstop.”
Johnson proposed that the backstop – part of the Withdrawal Agreement that then-prime minister Theresa May agreed last year – be replaced with a “commitment” to implement alternative arrangements as part of a deal on the post-Brexit relationship.
Merkel, Europe’s most powerful leader, said the EU would consider “practical solutions” but that the Withdrawal Agreement, which contains the protocol on the Irish border “backstop,” did not need to be changed.
“It is a question of the declaration on future ties,” she said during a visit to Iceland. “And I think we will act in a very unified way.”
Brussels was more direct.
“Those against the backstop and not proposing realistic alternatives in fact support re-establishing a border. Even if they do not admit it,” Tusk tweeted.
A note seen by Reuters setting out the agreed joint position of the 27 EU states staying on after Brexit said the EU regretted Johnson’s bid to scrap a “necessary, legally operative solution” in favor of a “commitment to try to find a solution.”
Johnson told reporters the EU was being “a bit negative” but he believed a deal could be reached.
Britain’s pound, sensitive to the prospects of a no-deal departure, fell after Tusk’s comments to near three-year lows against the euro and the dollar, before recovering its losses after Merkel’s comments. [GBP/]
European diplomats expect little progress on Brexit until the British domestic landscape becomes clearer when parliament returns on Sept. 3 – after which the opposition Labour Party has vowed to try to collapse Johnson’s government.
Johnson said the EU was unlikely to make the concessions Britain is seeking as long as it believed there was a possibility that parliament would block Brexit.
With British politics in such turmoil, it is still unclear how, when or indeed if the United Kingdom will leave the EU. Many expect an election within months.
With such uncertainty, some suspect perfidy in London.
A diplomat from one EU country told Reuters that Johnson’s letter was “pure PR” and not meant to spur constructive talks but rather set the stage for a “blame game” with the EU.
The riddle of what to do about Ireland’s 500-km (300-mile) land border with the British province of Northern Ireland has repeatedly imperiled Brexit talks.
The EU wants to ensure that its only land border with the United Kingdom after Brexit does not become a back door for goods to enter the EU’s single market – which guarantees free movement of goods, capital, services and labor.
But Ireland says checks could undermine the 1998 Good Friday agreement, which brought peace after more than 3,600 died in a three-decade conflict between unionists who wanted Northern Ireland to remain British and Irish nationalists who want Northern Ireland to join a united Ireland ruled from Dublin.
The United Kingdom does not want there to be any border – effective or virtual – between Britain and Northern Ireland. Johnson’s government is propped up by Northern Irish unionists.
The backstop was aimed at squaring the circle: it would keep the United Kingdom in a customs union with the EU until a better solution was found, and keep Northern Ireland aligned to the rules of the EU’s single market.
Johnson wrote that the backstop was anti-democratic and threatened the United Kingdom’s sovereignty as the application of single-market rules in Northern Ireland could divide the province from the rest of the UK.
He also said it risked upsetting the delicate balance between nationalists and unionists in Northern Ireland.
(Additional reporting by Kylie MacLellan in London, Padraic Halpin in Dublin, John Chalmers in Brussels, Michel Rose in Paris and Michelle Martin in Berlin; Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Gareth Jones)
8/20/2019 U.S. removed almost 2.7 million barrels daily of Iranian oil from market: Pompeo
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reacts as he talks to the media after his meeting with Lebanon's
Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri at the State Department in Washington, U.S., August 15, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has removed nearly 2.7 million barrels of Iranian oil from global markets daily as a result of Washington’s decision to reimpose sanctions on all purchases of Iran’s crude, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday.
In an interview with MSNBC, Pompeo said the U.S. government was confident it could continue with its strategy.
The United States re-imposed sanctions on Iran in November after pulling out of a 2015 nuclear accord between Tehran and six world powers. In May, Washington ended sanction waivers given to importers of Iranian oil, aiming to cut Tehran’s exports to zero.
Iran exported about 100,000 bpd of crude in July, according to an industry source who tracks such flows and data from Refinitiv Eikon. If condensate, a light oil, is included, shipments were about 120,000 bpd a day.
“We have managed to take almost 2.7 million barrels of crude oil off of the market, denying Iran the wealth to create their terror campaign around the world, and we have managed to keep the oil markets fully supplied,” Pompeo said.
“I am confident we can continue to do that,” he added.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and other producers have been cutting 1.2 million bpd since Jan. 1 to reduce global supply. OPEC in July renewed the pact until March 2020 to avoid a build-up of inventories as worldwide demand is seen weakening.
Despite OPEC’s actions along with U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, Brent crude international oil prices have been relatively weak, falling on Tuesday to $59 a barrel from a 2019 high of $75, pressured by concerns about slowing demand.
The exact level of Iranian exports has become harder to assess since U.S. sanctions returned in November, meaning estimates fall into a range rather than a definitive figure.
(This story corrects to clarify barrels removed per day in headline, first paragraph).
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Doina Chiacu in Washington; Editing by Paul Simao)
8/20/2019 New info. implicates former CIA director for targeting George Papadopoulos by OAN Newsroom
As the Justice Department continues to investigate the origins of the Russia investigation, new information has come to light which could potentially implicate former CIA Director John Brennan.
[See the following found at https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/458173-10-declassified-russia-collusion-revelations-that-could-rock-washington-this dated 8/20/2019 10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall by John Solomon, The Hill or go to my page at http://www.mazzaroth.com/ChapterEight/2019/FISA-UnderSurveillance2019B.htm and scroll down to 8/20/2019. It is finally going to happen to make the SWAMP crooks pay for their crimes.].
8/20/2019 President Trump brushes off recession fears by OAN Newsroom
President Trump continues to downplay fears of an economic recession, disputing concerns from U.S. economists. At the White House Tuesday, he said he would not call the recent bond market volatility signs of a recession even though the media loves saying the word.
The president also confirmed a new payroll tax cut could happen, but he is not taking any immediate action. He added, no decisions would be made in response to speculation over a coming recession.
“Payroll tax is something that we think about and a lot of people would like to see that…that very much affects the workers of our country, we have a lot of workers," said President Trump. “Right now, by the way, we have more people working today than we’ve ever had before in the history of our country — we have almost 160 million people working today.”
The president then took shots at Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell, saying if he had cut interest rates sooner there would be a burst in economic growth.
8/20/2019 Trump says appropriate to let Russia join Group of Seven
With a painting of George Washington in the background, U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during his meeting with Romania's
President Klaus Iohannis in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S. August 20, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday it would be appropriate to let Russia join the G7 group of advanced industrialized countries.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump noted his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, had wanted Russia out of what used to be the G8.
“But I think it’s much more appropriate to have Russia in. It should be the G8 because a lot of the things we talk about have to do with Russia,” Trump said.
Russia was pushed out of the G8 in 2014 because of its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
It was not the first time Trump has floated the idea of Russia getting back together with the G7, which groups the United States, Germany, Japan, France, Britain, Italy and Canada.
In June 2018, Trump suggested Russia should attend a forthcoming G7 summit in Canada. A Kremlin spokesman seemed to reject the idea, saying Russia was focused on other formats.
Two days later, President Vladimir Putin said Russia did not choose the G7 and would be happy to host its members in Moscow.
Trump has periodically called for closer ties with Russia, although his administration’s policy has included strong sanctions against Moscow.
(Reporting by Steve Holland; writing by Mohammad Zargham; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Dan Grebler)
8/21/2019 Oil up $0.13 to $56.34, DOW down 173 to 25,962.
8/21/2019 White House staffers speak out about Scaramucci’s behavior by OAN Newsroom
Several White House staffers are backing up the president when it comes to Anthony Scaramucci. Many said the former White House communications director was abusive to them, tried to intimidate by standing over them, and harassed women verbally during his 11 days on the job.
In one case, some said Scaramucci accused a woman of having sexual relations with a White House official in a higher position than her. This comes after the president posted about Scaramucci the abuse on Twitter Monday.
Trump tweet: “Anthony Scaramucci is a highly unstable “nut job” who was with other candidates in the primary who got shellacked, & then unfortunately wheedled his way into my campaign. I barely knew him until his 11 days of gross incompetence-made a fool of himself, bad on TV. Abused staff,...”
Scaramucci claimed he was still a supporter of the president after he was fired in 2017, but it now appears he is no longer loyal to the White House. Scaramucci said he wants the GOP to nominate someone else in 2020. However, when asked during a mainstream media interview about who he would consider the former White House official danced around the question.
“This is not a ‘Never Trump’ situation…this not just screeching rhetoric…this is — okay — the guy is unstable,” he stated. “Everyone inside knows it, everyone outside knows it — let’s see if we can find a viable alternative.”
Anthony Scaramucci had initially planned an Internet event of his own, but that was canceled last week. (Evan Vucci/AP Photo)
There are also reports Scaramucci was on his way to being fired before White House Chief of Staff John Kelly took action. Last week, the president was asked about Scaramucci during a visit to New Jersey.
“He made terrible statements and gestures and everything to people that worked in the office,” said President Trump. “I think Anthony is really somebody that is very much out of control, and he doesn’t have what it takes, he really doesn’t.”
The president went on to describe how Scaramucci wanted to return to the White House earlier this year, but the president told him that would not be possible.
White House deputy spokesman Hogan Gidley had the president’s back on Sunday. He told an interviewer he believes Scaramucci’s recent attacks are a way to enrich himself, and also thinks Scaramucci is trying to destroy the president by being part of the mainstream media.
The former White House communications director openly admitted he wants Republicans to turn their backs on the president by letting Americans know what he believes they really think.
8/21/2019 Trump says other countries will need to fight Islamic State
FILE PHOTO: A flag of Islamic State militants is pictured above a destroyed house near the Clock Square
in Raqqa, Syria October 18, 2017. Picture taken October 18, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that other countries will need to take up the fight against Islamic State militants, citing Russia, Pakistan and Iran as examples.
Earlier this year, U.S.-backed forces reclaimed the last remaining territory once held by Islamic State militants in Syria. Since then however, there has been concern about the militant group gaining new strength in Iraq and Syria.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acknowledged on Tuesday that Islamic State militants are gaining strength in some areas but said the militant group’s capacity to conduct attacks has been greatly diminished.
In Afghanistan, a deal between the Taliban and the United States for U.S. forces to withdraw from their longest-ever war could drive some diehard Taliban fighters into the arms of Islamic State, Afghan officials and militants say.
The Afghan affiliate of Islamic State, known as Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K), after an old name for the region, first appeared in eastern Afghanistan in 2014, and has since made inroads into other areas, particularly the north.
Trump also told reporters at the White House that if Europe does not take Islamic State fighters held as prisoners, he will have to release them into the countries from which they came, such as Germany and France.
Thousands of people, including men, women and children from more than 50 countries, are lingering in detention camps in northeastern Syria, held by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
The group includes at least 2,000 suspected foreign fighters, many from Western countries, whose fates remain unresolved against a backdrop of protracted diplomacy.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Doina Chiacu; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
8/21/2019 G7 or G5? Trump and Johnson add unpredictability to French summit by John Irish and Marine Pennetier
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before boarding Air Force One to return to Washington from
Morristown Municipal Airport in Morristown, New Jersey U.S. August 18, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
PARIS (Reuters) – Brexit Britain’s overtures to U.S. President Donald Trump risk further complicating the search for common ground this weekend at a Group of Seven summit already clouded by transatlantic rifts over trade, Iran and climate change.
The summit host, President Emmanuel Macron of France, has set the bar low for Biarritz to avoid a repeat of the fiasco last year when Trump threw Canada’s G7 summit into disarray by leaving early, scotching the final communique.
Macron, an ardent europhile and staunch defender of multilateralism, will count on incremental advances in areas where a united front can be presented, with the meeting, which runs from Saturday to Monday, officially focusing on the broad theme of reducing inequality.
On hot-button issues, they will, when necessary, have to agree to disagree.
“We have to adapt formats. There will be no final communique, but coalitions, commitments and follow-ups,” Macron said. “We must assume that, on one subject or another, a member of the club might not sign up.”
The G7 groups the United States, France, Britain, Japan, Germany, Italy and Canada, and the European Union also attends. Macron has also invited the leaders of Australia, Burkina Faso, Chile, Egypt, India, Senegal, Rwanda and South Africa, in order to widen the debate on inequality.
But the tougher discussions lie elsewhere. The Sino-U.S. trade war has spurred fears of a global economic slump; European powers are struggling to defuse tensions between Washington and Tehran; and Trump has shown little enthusiasm for France’s push for a universal tax on digital multinationals such as Google and Amazon, and turned his back on efforts in Europe and around the globe to limit carbon emissions to slow climate change.
The crisis in Kashmir and street protests in Hong Kong may also be touched on during the talks in France’s Atlantic coast surfing capital, where some 13,000 police will be drafted in to prevent any violent anti-globalization demonstrations.
“There’s no doubt that we will discuss how trade frictions could affect the global economy,” a Japanese government official said. “But it is difficult to deliver messages to the outside, since a communique won’t be issued.”
Strained relations between the United States and its top allies mean that where once they were in agreement, they now seek the lowest common denominator.
“It won’t be productive to push something that someone — whether it’s America or some other country — would not agree to do,” the Japanese official added.
Moreover, Italy’s prime minister resigned on Tuesday, Canada is heading for an election, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s influence on the world stage is waning ahead of her departure, and Britain is probably on the verge of either leaving the EU or a snap election.
One unknown is where British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will position himself, making his debut on the global stage at a summit that will lay bare new realities as Britain’s influence in Europe collapses and its dependency on the United States grows.
With less than three months to go before the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU – with or without a divorce deal, according to Johnson – his government has sought to cozy up to Trump’s White House with a view to future trade deals.
Francois Heisbourg of the International Institute for Strategic Studies said the combination of two personalities “not well-known for their self-control” was “political nitroglycerine.”
He said it might be entertaining, “but if it actually gets in the way of more substantive proceedings, that would be another story.”
While Johnson will want to avoid crossing a volatile Trump and putting trade ties at risk, analysts say, he will also be wary of alienating himself from other leaders who have a more multilateral approach to world politics.
One French diplomat who declined to be named said Paris was curious to see how the Trump-Johnson dynamic played out in Biarritz:
“Even with Brexit in the background, we still have the sense that the British reflex when it comes to international crises is to turn to us and the Germans first.”
(Additional reporting by Lucien Libert in Paris and Tetsushi Kajimoto in Tokyo; Editing by Richard Lough and Kevin Liffey)
8/21/2019 Trump: ‘I am the chosen one’ to fix U.S. trade imbalance with China
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump rallies with supporters in Manchester, New Hampshire U.S. August 15, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday his life would be easier if he had not mounted a trade war with China but said “I am the chosen one” to take on Beijing.
Trump told reporters the United States would probably make a deal with China.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Makini Brice; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
8/21/2019 Trump admin. releases regulation, extends migrant family detentions indefinitely by OAN Newsroom
The Trump administration has unveiled a regulation that would allow it to detain, indefinitely, migrant families who cross the border illegally.
At a news conference Wednesday, acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan announced the new directive, which would establish standards for conditions in detention centers and abolish the 20 day limit on detaining families in immigration centers.
The move is the latest effort by the administration to restrict illegal immigration and deter more migrants from crossing the border.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan speaks about upcoming changes to the Flores ruling at a
news conference at the Reagan Building in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
“By eliminating the incentive to make the journey the United States as a family, the new rule would reduce the unprecedented volume of family units that have strained the already limited resources of our department components and put children throughout the region at risk,” explained McAleenan.
Under the new rule, the administration would be free to send families who are caught crossing the border illegally to a family residential center to be held for as long as it takes for their immigration cases to be decided.
The new regulation now requires approval from a federal judge and is expected to be challenged in court.
8/22/2019 Oil down $0.45 to $55.68, DOW up 240 to 26,203.
8/22/2019 Report: Deficit to exceed $1T next year by Kevin Freking, ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON – The federal budget deficit is expected to balloon to more than $1 trillion in the next fiscal year under the first projections taking into account the big budget deal that President Donald Trump and Congress reached this summer, the Congressional Budget Office reported Wednesday.
The return of $1 trillion annual deficits comes despite Trump’s vow when running for office that he would not just balance the budget but pay down the entire national debt.
“The nation’s fiscal outlook is challenging,” said Phillip Swagel, director of the nonpartisan CBO. “Federal debt, which is already high by historical standards, is on an unsustainable course.”
The office upped this year’s deficit projection by $63 billion and the cumulative deficit projection for the next decade by $809 billion. The higher deficit projections come even as the CBO reduced its estimate for interest rates, which lowers borrowing costs, and as it raised projections for economic growth in the near term.
The number crunchers at CBO projected that the deficit for the current fiscal year will come to $960 billion. In the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, it will exceed $1 trillion.
The CBO said the budget deal signed into law earlier this month, which took away the prospect of a government shutdown in October and the threat of deep automatic spending cuts, would boost deficits by $1.7 trillion over the coming decade. Increased spending on disaster relief and border security would add $255 billion. Downward revisions to the forecast for interest rates will help the picture, trimming $1.4 trillion.
Swagel said the federal debt will rise even higher after the coming decade because of the nation’s aging population and higher spending on health care.
To put the country on sustainable footing, Swagel said, lawmakers will have to increase taxes, cut spending or combine the two approaches.
The CBO’s estimate is the first to reflect the hard-won budget and debt deal signed into law earlier this month.
“The recent budget deal was a budget buster, and now we have further proof. Both parties took an already unsustainable situation and made it much worse,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the private Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
MacGuineas said lawmakers should ensure the legislation they enact is paid for and redouble efforts to control the growth in health care costs and restore the solvency of the Social Security program. Her organization is focused on educating the public on issues with significant fiscal policy impact.
The Congressional Budget Office’s budget deficit estimate is the first to reflect the budget deal that President Donald Trump
and Congress reached this summer. This year’s deficit projection was upped by $63 billion. SUSAN WALSH/AP
8/22/2019 EU against Russia’s return to G7 world leaders’ talks: official
A G7 Summit patch is seen on a French Gendarme's uniform as he patrols at a toll station in Anglet ahead
of the G7 Summit in the French coastal resort of Biarritz, France, August 21, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union is against making any unconditional invitation to Russia to let it rejoin talks among the G7 world leaders, a senior official with the bloc said of an idea floated by U.S. President Donald Trump.
The seven leaders of the world’s advanced industrialized countries are due to meet in the French resort of Biarritz this weekend.
The format used to be known as G8 before Russia was kicked out in 2014 after annexing Crimea from Ukraine and then backing an anti-Kiev rebellion in the industrial east of the country.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of the G7 summit, said the reasons for excluding Moscow “remain valid” and that any unconditional return offer would be “counterproductive” and “a sign of weakness.”
(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)
8/22/2019 Hillary Clinton confronted over denying close ties to Big Tech, particularly Google by OAN Newsroom
Election meddling by Big Tech companies comes into question once again after a long-time Hillary Clinton supporter confirms close ties between tech giant Google and the 2016 runner up.
A Twitter war between Clinton and President Trump led to Clinton claiming research showing bias from Google in 2016 was debunked. However, Dr. Robert Epstein — a decades long Hillary supporter and the man behind the research — defended his conclusions in a Twitter rampage, where he referenced his testimony before Congress last month.
“In 2020 — if all these companies are supporting the same candidate — there are 15 million votes on the line that can be shifted without people’s knowledge, and without leaving a paper trail for authorities to trace,” he stated.
Epstein hit hard, claiming Hillary is “in Google’s pocket” and pointing out Google’s parent company Alphabet was Clinton’s number one donor in 2016. He also posted an email from former Google head Eric Schmidt, who offered to run Clinton’d tech campaign. According to Epstein, back in 2015 Schmidt funded a tech company whose main reason for existence was to get Clinton into office.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is pictured. (AP Photo)
Since 2012, Big Tech companies have been studying methods to shift voter opinion without being seen, which Epstein says can shift votes on a massive scale.
“The 2.6 million is a rock-bottom minimum — the range is between 2.6 and 10.4 million votes depending on how aggressive they were in using the techniques that I’ve been studying such as the search engine manipulation affect, the search suggestion effect, the answer bot effect, and a number of others they control these and no one can counteract them,” explained the researcher.
Projections show a potential shift of up to 15 million votes in the 2020 election.
8/22/2019 Sen. Romney blasts political opponents, attacks President Trump’s leadership by OAN Newsroom
GOP Senator Mitt Romney recently took a jab at his political opponents in an effort to elevate himself. During a speech at a conservative think tank in Salt Lake City Wednesday, Romney subtly went after President Trump’s foreign policy approach.
Without naming the president, Romney called to censure the leaders of Russia and North Korea rather than approach them with flattery. His comments come as President Trump has rejected accusations of being too lenient on foreign adversaries.
FILE – In this Jan., 18, 2019, file photo, U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, speaks with reporters, in Ogden, Utah.
Romney said Friday, June 7, 2019, that he’s not sure if he will endorse President Donald Trump for a second term
and that he may not throw his weight behind anyone during the 2020 campaign. “I don’t think endorsements
are worth a thimble of spit,” the Republican former presidential candidate told reporters. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
In fact, the president has touted his ability to maintain strong ties with foreign leaders unlike previous administrations.
“I think we’ll have another meeting — he (Kim Jong-un) really wrote a beautiful three-page, I mean right from top to bottom, really beautiful letter,” President Trump told reporters. “And maybe I’ll release the results of the letter, but it was very positive.”
Also in Wednesday’s speech, Romney said he considers himself a “renegade Republican,” adding, he doesn’t agree with everything his party does. He then went on to slam Democrats for their socialist agenda, including Medicare for All and the Green New Deal.
8/22/2019 President Trump signs order forgiving disabled veteran student debt by OAN Newsroom
President Trump signed a memorandum forgiving disabled veterans’ student debt, while addressing a veterans convention in Louisville, Kentucky. The signing took place Wednesday at the 75th Annual AMVETS National Convention.
According to the Trump administration, the order will permanently expunge around $30,000 in debt owed by more than 25,000 disabled veterans.
“That’s hundreds of millions of dollars in student debt held by our severely wounded warriors — it’s gone forever,” said the president.
President Donald Trump holds up a presidential memorandum that he signed that discharges the
federal student loan debt of totally and permanently disabled veterans following his speech at the American Veterans (AMVETS)
75th National Convention in Louisville, Ky., Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Trump also said the federal income tax on the forgiven loans will be waived, imploring states to do the same. He commended the countless veterans who made great sacrifices to protect the United States, and called them incredible people.
“They’ve made a sacrifice that’s so great and they’re such incredible people, and they never complain, they never complain,” he stated.
The new executive order displays the president’s undying support for the armed services and veterans, joining the long list of pro-veteran legislation passed this term.
“We have also expanded the GI Bill so that veterans can use their benefits to get an education at any point in their lifetime,” the president continued. “A crucial reform to expand opportunity to veterans in every stage in their career — that’s a big thing.”
8/22/2019 Portland residents slam city, state officials over homeless crisis by OAN Newsroom
Portland locals are echoing sentiments by other major cities on the West Coast by slamming elected officials for failing to act on the homeless crisis. This week residents, business owners, and advocates said they have lost faith in their officials to solve the problem and claimed they are all talk and no action.
A recent report says around 38,000 people were homeless in the city at some point during the year 2017, and it’s seemingly only getting worse. Recent data also showed 52-percent of arrests made by local police involved a homeless individual.
Two homeless people sleep on a street in downtown Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
“A swarm of extra campers have shown up in the last week, and we’ve had a lot of personal attacks from that alone,” explained Portland resident Tiffany Hammer. “We hide our children in our homes to protect them, they are no longer able to walk to school.”
Analysts, like those in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle, cited liberal policies, rising housing costs, and a generous safety net for the ongoing issue.
8/22/2019 Budget spat puts Boeing contract for AWACS upgrades at risk: sources by Andrea Shalal
FILE PHOTO: A Boeing AWACS 1E-3F and Mirage 2000 jet fighters fly past the "Genie de la Liberte"
gilded figure (Spirit of Freedom) on top of the Place de la Bastille's July Column in Paris, during the
traditional Bastille Day military parade in Paris, France, July 14, 2018. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A dispute over budgeting processes could delay NATO’s efforts to finalize a $1 billion contract to extend the life of 14 aging Boeing E-3A surveillance aircraft, often called NATO’s “eyes in the sky,” sources familiar with the program said.
NATO officials have invited the 16 member nations in the Airborne Warning & Control System, or AWACS, program to an extraordinary meeting on Sept. 12 to mark the program’s 40th anniversary and resolve the budget dispute, the sources said.
Unless the issue is resolved soon, the contract will not be awarded to Boeing in time to be announced as planned at the Dec. 3-4 NATO summit in London, the sources said.
“It’s disappointing that a one-sided interpretation of the rules is putting this much-needed upgrade program at risk,” said one of the sources.
The upgrades would keep the 1979/1980-era airplanes, with their distinctive radar domes on the fuselage, flying until 2035. NATO needs the planes to carry out missions such as air policing, evacuations and counter-terrorism operations.
A second source said the dispute was not expected to kill the upgrade program outright, but could well push a contract award to Boeing off until next year, marking a setback for the U.S. contractor at a time when it still is struggling to get its 737 MAX commercial airplane back in the air.
NAPMA, the NATO agency that manages the AWACS fleet, said in June it expected to finalize by December a $750 million contract with Boeing to extend the life of the aircraft through 2035, with $250 million more earmarked for design, spare parts and testing.
But unanimous consent of member states is needed to proceed, and Norway has raised concerns about an uneven flow of funds to the program until its completion by 2027, the sources said.
They said Oslo wants the biggest program states – the United States, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands – to transfer the bulk of their payments at the start, but that is not possible due to budgetary rules in those countries.
In the United States, for instance, funding for weapons programs is generally authorized and distributed on an annual basis, subject to approval by the U.S. Congress.
Ann-Kristin Salbuvik, spokeswoman for the Norwegian defense ministry, said Norway remained committed to the AWACS Final Life Extension Program and was prepared to finance its share of the program in coming years.
But she said a decision to launch the program was contingent on approval by all member states, and the Boeing offer had to be “compliant, affordable and feasible.”
Boeing spokeswoman Melissa Stewart on Thursday had no comment on the dispute, saying Boeing continued to work with NATO “to assess needs and present the best options and upgrades that will keep their AWACS fleet operational for years to come.”
Once NAPMA presented its recommendations later this fall, member nations still have to agree on technical, financial and managerial aspects of the program, she said.
A NATO official downplayed the risk to the upgrade program but acknowledged that it still required securing final signatures on multilateral agreements, confirmation of budget arrangements and negotiation of other “last-minute details.”
“Despite the complexity of a $1 billion multinational program being conducted by 16 Allies, these preparations are on track. The plan remains to award the contract in December,” the official said.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Dan Grebler)
8/22/2019 French yellow vests join global activists at G7 counter-summit by Antony Paone and Geert De Clercq
French policemen stand guard near the Grande Plage beach ahead of the G7 summit
in Biarritz, France, August 22, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Perez
HENDAYE, France, IRUN, Spain (Reuters) – Anti-globalization and climate activists have teamed up with yellow vest protesters and Basque nationalists ahead of a G7 meeting in France this weekend to confront a rich-poor divide they say is growing due to the “cynicism” of world leaders.
At a “counter-G7” summit in the twin cities of Hendaye, France and Irun, Spain, on the French-Spanish border 30 km (18 miles) south of G7 venue Biarritz, 50 NGOs are meeting to protest at economic and climate policies pursued by the world’s leading industrial countries and to promote alternatives.
“The cynicism of the G7 meeting is that it has made inequality the central theme of the event, but it is these rich countries’ very policies that create and strengthen inequality,” said Sebastien Bailleul, a spokesman for “Alternatives G7.”
He said he saw no contradiction in international anti-globalization activists working with France’s “yellow vest” movement, which grew from a protest against green taxes on fuel.
The “yellow vest” movement included figures with far-right sympathies and has been marked by rioting and looting in a series of often violent weekly protests end 2018-early 2019.
Bailleul added the Basque independence movement in Spain has abandoned violence. In 2011, Basque militant separatist group ETA announced an indefinite halt to its campaign of armed action which killed more than 850 people in Spain over half a century.
“The organization of this counter-summit is with those Basque movements that are rather leftist, and who have the same worldview as the anti-globalization movement,” he said.
He added that the counter-G7 summit would have been a failure if France’s most important social movement, the yellow vests, had not been represented there.
CONVERGENCE OF PROTESTS
Friends of the Earth spokeswoman Malika Peyraut also said the presence of the yellow vests at the G7 was essential.
“We are buildings bridges with the yellow vests, which is a multifaceted movement. Part of it understands very well that social and climate issues are closely linked,” she said.
Yellow vest protesters have a stand at the Ficoba conference center in Irun, across the bridge to Hendaye, and people wearing the movement’s trademark yellow high-visibility vests spoke at several pre-summit events at the center.
“There is a convergence of battles,” yellow vest activist Genevieve Legay told Reuters.
In March, veteran activist Legay, then 73, ended up in hospital after she was knocked over during a police charge on a yellow vest march in Nice.
Speaking on stage at the NGO meeting area in Irun, Aurelie Trouve, spokeswoman for the “Alternatives G7” collective of French NGOs, said the groups bring together climate activists, yellow vests, feminists and other activists.
“At this counter-summit we want to unite all the movements that fight policies imposed by heads of state, policies that benefit the wealthiest and multinational companies and that are discriminatory and authoritarian,” she said.
Counter-summit organizers plan peaceful marches in Hendaye and Irun on Saturday, but yellow vest organizers have also called for their 41st Saturday protest to be held in Biarritz, which is off-limits to protesters.
On Sunday, activists plan “disobedience” actions and self-described radical environmentalist group “Action non-violente COP21” will defy a ban on demonstrations in Bayonne, 8 km (5 miles) east of Biarritz, with a march carrying official portraits of French President Emmanuel Macron which it says have been taken from town halls around the country.
This weekend thousands of anti-riot police will block access to Biarritz as authorities fear a repeat of the looting, rioting and car-torching in Paris mid-December last year, when the French capital saw the worst urban violence since the May 1968 student protests.
A previous G8 summit in Deauville, France was noted for its absence of demonstrations as protesters there were also kept at a location 40 km (25 miles) away. https://reut.rs/2P3G1Dp
(Writing by Geert De Clercq, Editing by William Maclean)
8/23/2019 Oil down $0.33 to $55.35, DOW up 50 to 26,252.
8/23/2019 France’s Macron to meet Iran foreign minister on eve of G7
FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron attends a joint statement with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis
(not seen) before a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, August 22, 2019. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron will meet Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday, as major world powers seek to salvage a 2015 international nuclear deal signed with Tehran.
An official in Macron’s office said the meeting would take place around 1000 GMT, or 1200 local Paris time. World leaders will also discuss Iran at the G7 meeting in the French town of Biarritz later this week.
Zarif said on Thursday that Iran was prepared to work on French proposals to salvage the nuclear deal that Tehran signed with world powers, but he added that Iran would not tolerate U.S. interference in the Gulf.
The United States abandoned the international nuclear deal in May last year and stepped up sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
In an effort to prop up the agreement, Macron offered this week to either soften sanctions on Iran or provide a compensation mechanism “to enable the Iranian people to live better” in return for full compliance with the pact.
Iran-U.S. tensions have risen since the Trump administration quit the accord to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Tehran has denounced the new penalties as “economic warfare,” and said that if its oil exports are cut to zero, international waterways will not have the same security as before.
(Reporting by Marine Pennetier; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta, William Maclean)
8/23/2019 Oil price steadies as markets await Fed steer by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin
FILE PHOTO: Pump jacks operate at sunset in an oil field in Midland, Texas U.S. August 22, 2018. REUTERS/Nick Oxford/File Photo
LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices steadied on Friday, on track for a weekly gain, with attention focused on a speech by U.S. Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell for news on whether it will cut interest rates for a second time this year to boost the world’s largest economy.
Brent crude futures , the international benchmark for oil prices, fell 8 cents to $59.84 a barrel by 0952 GMT but was up about 2.1% on the week.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures slipped by 3 cents to $55.32, up 0.8% this week.
“For now, it all comes down to Powell’s projected bias on Friday. Does he insist on the robustness of the U.S. economy or does he highlight the growing downside risks? Investors’ interpretation of Powell’s policy bias is set to sway markets,” said FXTM market analyst Han Tan.
Traders will comb through Powell’s speech later on Friday at a meeting of global central bankers at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, looking for clues on U.S. rates as economic headwinds strengthen and the U.S. China trade conflict shows no sign of abating.
“Some have blamed the hesitant tone [for oil prices] on an end-of-summer lull. Yet, in truth, the sense of unease stems from ongoing worries about the global economy,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.
Exacerbating concern over the possibility of recession, U.S. manufacturing industries registered their first month of contraction in almost a decade.
However, oil production cuts from OPEC members and Russia, as well as reduced exports from Iran and Venezuela because of U.S. sanctions, have continued to support crude prices.
Harry Tchilinguirian, of BNP Paribas, said the market had some bearish data, with a rise in Saudi Arabian oil exports while Russia’s crude output moved above its quota under an OPEC+ agreement and Russian state oil major Rosneft helped to ship Venezuelan oil to China and India.
OPEC, Russia and other producers have, since Jan. 1, implemented a deal to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day. The alliance, known as OPEC+, renewed the pact in July, extending the curbs to March 2020 to avoid a build-up of inventories that could hit prices.
French President Emmanuel Macron will meet Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday as world powers seek to salvage a 2015 international nuclear deal signed with Tehran.
Iran has said it will scale back compliance with the pact unless the Europeans find a solution enabling Tehran to sell its oil despite U.S. sanctions.
(Additional reporting by Florence Tan in Singapore; Editing by David Goodman)
8/23/2019 Former Overstock CEO alleges Peter Strzok gave orders during Russia investigation by OAN Newsroom
Former Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne recently revealed the reasons behind his resignation, and opened up about his alleged involvement in a ‘deep state’ operation. Byrne said he began a relationship with a woman who turned out to be a Russian spy — Maria Butina — in 2015, which Byrne claimed led FBI officials to reach out and push him to form a romantic relationship with Butina.
Once Byrne learned about the alleged scheme, he said he refused to pursue romantic encounters with Butina. He also said he felt he was involved in – what he called – a politicized operation in which he was being given orders by the FBI. Orders that, according to Byrne, turned out to be political espionage under the directive of Peter Strzok and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
“Last summer watching television, watching Congress rip apart some people, I put some details together and figured out who had sent me the request — the man’s name was Peter Strzok,” said Byrne.
FILE – In this Nov. 6, 2007, file photo Patrick Byrne, President and CEO of Overstock.com is reflected on a large television screen while
being interviewed at the headquarters for supporters of school vouchers in Salt Lake City. Byrne has resigned, saying he’d become
“far too controversial” to helm the e-commerce company known for selling discounted sofas and jewelry. Bryne, who founded the
online discount retailer 20 years ago, said Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019, that was “in the sad position” of having to step down. (AP Photo/Steve C. Wilson)
The executive claimed he was offered up to one billion dollars to keep quiet, but refused the offer. Byrne also alleged President Trump, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio were all targets of the spying, and named former FBI Director James Comey as one of the prime suspects.
“Not only knew, but I was specifically told this request is coming from Jim Comey at the request of somebody, who I’m not going to name,” he stated.
The CEO also alleged he is not the only whistleblower that will come forward with allegations of ‘deep state’ spying, adding, names that he refused to publicize will likely be revealed during a potential indictment from William Barr.
Byrne resigned from Overstock.com Thursday amid revelations of his involvement in these investigations, which caused their stock value to plummet more than 30-percent only to recover shortly after his resignation. Butina is currently in prison serving 18-months for charges unrelated to Russian interference.
8/23/2019 France’s Macron to push for charter on biodiversity at G7 summit
French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech on environment and social equality to business leaders
on the eve of the G7 summit in Paris, France August 23, 2019. Michel Spingler/Pool via REUTERS
PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that he would put pressure on the United States to sign a charter on protecting biodiversity at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France this weekend.
“We have talked about diversity. It is for the first time, at this G7, that we will sign a charter for biodiversity, we are committed to this, it will be signed by all,” he said in an interview with news website Konbini in the garden of his Elysee palace.
Asked whether this would include the United States, Macron said: “That is the real question, we will see, I will put pressure.”
“It will be signed by India, which is also very important,” he added.
Macron said that climate, global warming and biodiversity would be at the heart of the G7 meeting but he also called on individual citizens to live and consume responsibly.
“We are all co-responsible for this, in the choices we make when we buy clothing and food, in our everyday behaviour when it comes to sorting (and recycling). The G7 is one thing, but our daily life is just as important,” he said.
In May, after meeting scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), Macron said he would bring up the issue of biodiversity in talks within the G7.
He said at the time that his government would seek to increase the size of natural areas under protection and take tax and budget measures to support biodiversity. He added that he also wants the European Union to encourage financing of sustainable crops as part of its common agriculture policy.
IPBES – which groups 130 countries, including the United States, Russia and China – said in a report released in May that one million animal and plant species are at risk of extinction due to humans’ relentless pursuit of economic growth.
(Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau and Geert De Clercq; Editing by Andrew Heavens)
8/24/2019 Oil down $1.18 to $54.17, DOW down 623 to 25,629.
8/24/2019 Global disputes likely to thwart unity at G7 summit in France by Richard Lough and Marine Pennetier
French policemen stand guard near the Grande Plage beach ahead of the G7 summit
in Biarritz, France, August 22, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Perez
BIARRITZ, France (Reuters) – Leaders of the G7 nations began arriving in France on Saturday for a summit as a U.S.-China row over protectionism highlighted President Emmanuel Macron’s tough task in delivering real results on trade, Iran and climate change.
The three-day meeting in the Atlantic seaside resort of Biarritz takes place amid sharp differences over a clutch of global issues that risk further dividing a group of countries already struggling to speak with one voice.
Summit host Macron wants the leaders of Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States to focus on the defense of democracy, gender equality, education and climate change, and has invited leaders from Asia, Africa and Latin America to join them for a global push on these issues.
But with the trade war between China and the United States worsening, European governments struggling to defuse tensions between Washington and Tehran and global condemnation growing over illegal fires in the Amazon, his agenda could be eclipsed.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s history of pugnacity at multilateral gatherings, which brought last year’s G7 summit to an acrimonious conclusion, means there is scant hope for substantive agreements.
Macron was exploring holding a joint news conference with Trump at the summit’s close, a French diplomatic source said, but has already decided that, to avoid another failure, there will be no final communique.
“French President Emmanuel Macron… bills the meeting as a chance to relaunch multilateralism, promote democracy and tame globalization to ensure it works for everyone,” Stewart Patrick of the Council on Foreign Relations think tank wrote.
“More likely, the gathering will expose the political, economic and ideological fault lines threatening Western solidarity and international cooperation.”
Trump’s fireworks at the Charlevoix summit in Canada last year prompted foreign policy analysts to dub the Group of Seven nations the G6+1.
U.S. officials said Trump would tout his policies of tax cuts and deregulation and press allies to follow his example to stave off problems with the global economy.
Hours before leaving for Biarritz, Trump reacted angrily to China’s move to impose retaliatory tariffs on more U.S. goods, even saying he was ordering U.S. companies to look at ways to close their operations in China. The president cannot legally compel U.S. firms to abandon China immediately.
Trump also took aim at France’s new tax on big tech companies, threatening to tax French wine “like they’ve never seen before.” His remarks cast doubts over Macron’s chances to secure agreement at the summit on a universal digital tax.
China’s President Xi Jinping is not among the Asian leaders invited to the Biarritz summit.
JOHNSON’S WORLD DEBUT
Adding to the unpredictable dynamic between the G7 leaders are the new realities facing Brexit-bound Britain: dwindling influence in Europe and growing dependency on the United States.
New Prime Minister Boris Johnson will want to strike a balance between not alienating Britain’s European allies and not irritating Trump and possibly jeopardizing future trade ties. Johnson and Trump will hold bilateral talks on Sunday morning.
Even so, diplomats played down the likelihood of Trump and Johnson joining hands against the rest, citing Britain’s close foreign policy alignment with Europe on issues from Iran and trade to climate change.
“There won’t be a G5+2,” one senior G7 diplomat said.
Johnson said ahead of the summit that Britain would not retreat from its responsibilities on the world stage after Brexit, nor sacrifice its belief in the global order.
The remarks were a riposte to those who say leaving the European Union will diminish Britain’s influence on the global stage and force a pivot towards Trump’s unorthodox and often confrontational approach to diplomacy.
Anti-G7 demonstrators are due to protest in Hendaye on the nearby French-Spanish border but will be kept away from Biarritz by more than 13,000 police officers, backed by soldiers.
EU leaders on Friday piled pressure on Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro over fires raging in the Amazon rainforest.
Macron said Bolsonaro had lied in playing down concerns about climate change at a G20 summit in Japan in June, and threatened to veto a trade pact between the European Union and the Mercosur bloc of South American countries.
A French diplomatic source said advisers to the G7 leaders were working on concrete initiatives to respond to the fires.
“Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rain forest — the lungs which produce 20 percent of our planet’s oxygen – is on fire,” Macron tweeted in the run-up to the summit.
(Reporting by Richard Lough and Marine Pennetier; Additional reporting by John Chalmers, Crispian Balmer, John Irish in Biarritz, William James in London and Bryan Pietsch in Washington; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Gareth Jones and Angus MacSwan)
8/24/2019 Oil spills into U.S.-China trade war, prices slump by Devika Krishna Kumar
Pumpjacks are seen during sunset at the Daqing oil field in Heilongjiang province, China August 22, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer
NEW YORK (Reuters) – China said on Friday it would impose tariffs on U.S. crude oil imports for the first time, sending prices down nearly 4% to two-week lows as the escalating bilateral trade war fed worries over a slowdown in global oil demand.
Beijing said crude would be among the U.S. products hit by tariffs of 5% as of Sept. 1. U.S. President Donald Trump responded later in the day saying starting on Oct. 1, the 25-percent tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods will rise to 30%. Tariffs on remaining $300 billion due to begin on Sept. 1 will now be set at 15%, versus 10%.
The trade war between the world’s two largest economies has dragged on for more than a year and roiled financial markets. Though Chinese and U.S. trade negotiators held discussions as recently as this week, neither side appears ready to make a significant compromise and there have been no signs of a truce in the near term.
China, one of the world’s biggest crude importers, has sharply lowered U.S. shipments from a record high hit last year. With the latest tariffs, purchases are likely to grind to a halt, traders and analysts said.
A shale boom has helped the United States become the world’s largest oil producer, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Russia, and exports have surged to a record above 3 million barrels per day (bpd) after a ban was lifted in late 2015.
“The tit-for-tat trade war now has the oil market officially caught in the crossfire, this time with China striking the heart of Trump’s traditional base of support of U.S. oil producers,” said Michael Tran, director of energy strategy at RBC Capital Markets in New York.
“With China being the world’s foremost crude import growth region, U.S. producers need China, not the other way around,” he said. “The U.S. will have to find alternative buyers for their crude, which will be a challenge given the weakening global demand backdrop.”
U.S. shipments to China have made up about 6% of total U.S. crude exports on average so far this year, according to data from the Department of Energy and the Census Bureau.
“This escalation of the U.S.-China trade war is another step in the wrong direction, the consequences of which will be felt by American businesses and families,” Kyle Isakower, vice president of regulatory and economic policy at the American Petroleum Institute (API), the top lobbying group for U.S. oil and gas drilling, said in a statement.
“We urge the Administration to quickly come to a trade agreement with China that would lift all tariffs under Section 301, including the damaging retaliatory tariffs on American energy exports.”
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures slumped as much as 3.8% to $53.24 a barrel on Friday, the lowest since Aug. 9, before ending the session at $54.17. The rising trade war is likely to weigh on U.S. crude more than international benchmark Brent , market sources said.
“Chinese buyers will (now) be looking to purchase Brent and Dubai-based crude oil and I would expect that to result in a widening of the Brent-to-WTI spread,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston.
“In essence what you’ve done is created new demand for Brent-based crude oil at the expense of U.S.-origin crude.”
U.S. crude exports to Asia so far in August indicate weaker flows around 892,000 bpd, down by 360,000 bpd from last month, according to market intelligence firm Kpler.
The drop was driven by a decrease in shipments to South Korea and China, down by 114,000 bpd and 52,000 bpd respectively month-over-month in August, the firm’s vessel-tracking data showed.
“ In a world where margins are thin, a 5% tax is significant,” said Jim Burkhard, head of oil market analysis at IHS Markit in Washington.
(Reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar in New York, additional reporting by Collin Eaton in Houston, Laila Kearney and Jessica Resnick-Ault in New York; Editing by Marguerita Choy, Tom Brown and Sonya Hepinstall)
8/24/2019 President Trump speaks with Brazilian counterpart about trade, Amazon fires by OAN Newsroom
President Trump speaks with his Brazilian counterpart on trade and the on-going wildfires in the Amazon.
The president took to Twitter Friday evening, saying he spoke with Jair Bolsonaro ahead of the G7 summit in France.
He adds, future trade prospects are very exciting, and their relationship is perhaps even stronger than before.
The president also discussed the on-going Amazon wildfires, offering the U.S. help, adding “we stand ready to assist.”
Although details of their trade talks are unknown, President Trump has previously floated the possibility of a free trade agreement with Brazil.
“Yeah, we’re going to work on a free trade agreement with Brazil. Brazil is a big trading partner,” President Trump said. “They charge us a lot of tariffs but other than that, we love the relationship.”
Brazil’s president also took to Twitter, saying he had an excellent conversation with his American counterpart. He went on to say, there’s a mutual desire to start major trade-talks to promote the prosperity of both countries.
8/24/2019 Pres. Trump holds lunch with Macron ahead of G7 summit by OAN Newsroom
President Trump meets with French President Emmanuel Macron ahead of the G7 summit.
After his arrival in Biarritz Saturday, the president sat down with his French counterpart at a private luncheon. During that meeting, the president gave an update on relations with France.
U.S President Donald Trump listens to French President Emmanuel Macron, right, during a lunch at the Hotel du Palais in Biarritz, southwestern France,
Saturday Aug. 24, 2019. Efforts to salvage consensus among the Group of Seven rich democracies on the economy, trade and
environment were fraying around the edges even as leaders were arriving before their three-day summit in southern France. ( Ludovic Marin, Pool via AP)
The president said he and Macron “have a special relationship” and get along very well despite their differences. He added he looks forward to accomplishing a lot in the next couple of days, saying things are off to a great start.
“So far so good. The weather is perfect. The guest was fantastic. Everybody’s getting along. We will accomplish a lot this weekend and I look forward to it,” President Trump said.
The lunch between the two leaders comes after Macron said he hopes to convince other countries to pull back from their trade wars, saying those tensions have destabilized global economic growth.
8/24/2019 French police fire tear gas, water cannons at anti-G7 protesters by John Irish
Anti-G7 protesters attend a protest march on the French-Spanish border, in Hendaye
during the Biarritz G7 summit, France, August 24, 2019. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe
BAYONNE, France (Reuters) – French riot police used water cannons and tear gas on Saturday to disperse anti-capitalism protesters in Bayonne, near the resort of Biarritz where President Emmanuel Macron and G7 nation allies were meeting for a three-day summit.
A police helicopter circled as dozens of protesters, some hurling stones, shouted slogans and abuse at the lines of police in the Basque town’s historic center.
The protesters shouted “Everybody hates the police” and “anti, anti anti-capitalists” as the mood took a darker turn from peaceful protests earlier in the day in an authorized march on the French-Spanish border.
Roiled by months of anti-government protests this year, France has deployed more than 13,000 police to ensure protesters get nowhere near U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders. Authorities designated two counter-summit “villages” and the morning protest about 30 km (19 miles) from the summit.
Thousands of anti-globalization activists, Basque separatists and “yellow vest” protesters walked from the French town of Hendaye to Irun in Spain, waving banners calling for climate action, gay rights and a fairer economic model.
“The top capitalist leaders are here and we have to show them that the fight continues,” said Alain Missana, 48, an electrician wearing a yellow vest – symbol of the anti-government demonstrations that have been held in France for months.
“It’s more money for the rich and nothing for the poor. We see the Amazonian forests burning and the Arctic melting. The leaders will hear us,” he said.
Four police officers were lightly wounded on Friday after protesters fired a homemade mortar near the anti-G7 gathering in Hendaye. Police arrested 17 people for hiding their faces.
Activists in the counter-summit villages have this week united from France, the Basque region straddling the French-Spanish border and beyond to confront a rich-poor divide they say is growing due to the cynicism of world leaders.
“The counter-G7 demonstration is in this Basque region and we want people to see we are part of it,” said Alfredo Akuna, a 46-year-old engineer from San Sebastián in northern Spain who wore traditional Basque clothing.
“We’re involved in many movements including anti-capitalism and anti-fascism so it’s important to be here to show that.”
(Editing by Crispian Balmer and Ros Russell)
8/24/2019 Pres. Trump says middle-class tax cut coming if re-elected and GOP keeps Senate, takes House by OAN Newsroom
President Trump strongly suggests he will look at a middle-class tax cut, if Republicans take back the government in 2020.
President Donald Trump speaks with reporters as he walks to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Friday,
Aug. 23, 2019, in Washington. Trump is en route to the G-7 summit in France. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
In a tweet Saturday, the president cited a New York Times headline in April, admitting his last cut benefited most American taxpayers.
He said if Republicans take back the House, and keep the Senate and presidency, one of his first acts will be a “major” middle-class tax cut.
The President also pointed out Democrats only want to raise taxes.
This comes after the president said earlier this week his administration was not looking to cut taxes, saying the country doesn’t need it right now.
8/24/2019 Immigrant advocacy hotline blocked from migrant detention centers by OAN Newsroom
ICE is defending its decision to remove a toll-free hotline from its migrant detention center phone system.
Migrants are detained in a tented, air-conditioned cage at a Border Patrol detention facility in Tornillo, Texas, Thursday,
Aug. 15, 2019. Immigration officials say that with less detainees and more detention space, migrants apprehended along the U.S.-Mexico
border won’t be subject to the squalid, overcrowded conditions criticized earlier this year. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)
According to reports, the Freedom for Immigrants hotline was removed earlier this month.
ICE effectively blocked the phone number from being dialed or received on detention centers phones, which are shared between migrants.
The move came after the popular Netflix show, Orange is the New Black aired the contact information for the California-based advocacy group in several of their episodes.
ICE officials have stated three-way calling and call forwarding are strictly prohibited, and, pro bono organizations found violating these rules will “be removed from the platform.”
8/25/2019 Trump paints picture of unity at prickly G7 summit by Jeff Mason and William James
U.S. President Donald Trump and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson hold a bilateral meeting
during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, August 25, 2019. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez/Pool
BIARRITZ, France (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday he was getting along well with Western allies at a G7 summit in France, dismissing reports of rifts among leaders and declaring that they “respect” the trade war between Washington and Beijing.
The G7 gathering is taking place against a backdrop of worries about a global economic downturn and coincides with an era of international disunity across an array of issues.
“Before I arrived in France, the Fake and Disgusting News was saying that relations with the 6 others countries in the G-7 are very tense, and that the two days of meetings will be a disaster,” Trump wrote on Twitter shortly before meeting new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“Well, we are having very good meetings, the Leaders are getting along very well, and our Country, economically, is doing great – the talk of the world!”
He began his first full day in the Basque coast resort of Biarritz with a show of amity. Addressing journalists as Johnson stood beside him, he said: “Do you know who this is? Does everybody know? He’s going to be a fantastic prime minister I can tell you.”
He said Britain would have a major trade deal with Washington after it leaves the European Union and, asked what his advice on Brexit was for Johnson, he replied: “He needs no advice, he is the right man for the job.”
Nevertheless, policy differences over trade protectionism, climate change, Iran and France’s push for a universal tax on digital technology giants loomed over the summit of the industrialized nations’ leaders.
TRUMP: ALLIES RESPECT OUR TRADE WAR
Before leaving Washington Trump stepped up his tariff war with Beijing in a battle between the world’s two largest economies that has spooked financial markets, and called on U.S. companies to move out of China.
He said G7 allies were not pressuring him to relent in his standoff with China, adding “they respect the trade war.”
Still, Johnson voiced concern on Saturday about creeping protectionism and said those who support tariffs “are at risk of incurring the blame for the downturn in the global economy.” Standing beside Trump on Sunday, he said: “Our view on the trade war: we’re in favor of trade peace.”
Underlining the multilateral discord, Trump also threatened his host on the eve of the summit, saying the United States would tax French wine “like they’ve never seen before” unless Paris dropped a digital tax on U.S. technology companies.
Leaping into the fray, European Council President Donald Tusk, who takes part in the G7 discussions, warned the EU would respond “in kind” if Trump acted on his threat.
“This may be the last moment to restore our political community,” Tusk told reporters on Saturday, giving a bleak assessment of Western relations.
Looking to broaden the scope of the debate, Macron has invited several African leaders to discuss problems facing their continent, while leaders from India, Australia, Chile and Spain are due to attend a dinner on Sunday where the focus will be on the environment and other issues.
Trump up-ended last year’s G7 summit in Canada, walking out early and disassociating himself from the final communique having initially endorsed the document.
The delegations had barely arrived in Biarritz before differences were exposed, with senior U.S. officials accusing the host, French President Emmanuel Macron, of looking “to fracture the G7” by focusing on “niche issues” rather than major global concerns.
France denied this, pointing to Sunday’s initial session covering the economy, trade and security – areas that used to draw easy consensus but are now sources of great friction.
Overnight, Trump wrote on Twitter that lunch with Macron was the best meeting the pair had yet had, and that a summit dinner with world leaders on Saturday “went very well.”
While the transatlantic rift is the most stark, there are also deep divisions within the European camp, with Johnson making his G7 debut at a time when he is struggling to persuade EU capitals to renegotiate Britain’s exit from the bloc.
Johnson and Tusk, who are due to talk on Sunday, sparred ahead of the meeting over who would take the blame if Britain leaves the EU on Oct. 31 without a Brexit agreement acceptable to both sides.
Macron added to the internal EU strains by unexpectedly threatening on Friday to block an EU trade deal with a group of South American states over Brazil’s handling of fires that are ravaging the Amazon rainforest.
Germany and Britain both voiced deep concern about the fires, but disagreed with Macron on how to respond, saying shooting down the ambitious Mercosur trade accord would not help save the Amazon.
(Reporting by Richard Lough, Crispian Balmer, Marine Pennetier, John Chalmers, Jeff Mason, John Irish, Andreas Rinke, William James and Michel Rose; writing by Crispian Balmer and John Chalmers; Editing by Angus MacSwan)
8/25/2019 At G7 summit, Trump offers Brexit Britain a ‘very big’ trade deal by Jeff Mason and William James
U.S. President Donald Trump and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrive for a bilateral meeting
during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, August 25, 2019. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez/Pool
BIARRITZ, France (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump promised a big trade deal for post-Brexit Britain to Boris Johnson on Sunday and praised the new prime minister as the right man to take Britain out of the European Union.
Johnson, who faces a delicate task of assuaging European allies while not angering Trump at a G7 summit in France, said trade talks with the United States would be tough but there were huge opportunities for British businesses in the U.S. market.
Speaking to reporters with Johnson ahead of a trade-focused bilateral meeting, Trump said Britain’s membership of the EU had been a drag on efforts to forge closer trade ties.
“We’re going to do a very big trade deal – bigger than we’ve ever had with the UK,” Trump said. “At some point, they won’t have the obstacle of – they won’t have the anchor around their ankle, because that’s what they had. So, we’re going to have some very good trade talks and big numbers.”
With less than three months until an Oct. 31 deadline, it is still totally unclear, how, when or even whether Britain will leave the EU. The uncertainty around Brexit, the United Kingdom’s most significant political and economic post-war move, has left allies and investors aghast and roiled markets.
Opponents fear Brexit will make Britain poorer and divide the West as it grapples with both Trump’s unconventional presidency and growing assertiveness from Russia and China.
Supporters acknowledge the divorce might bring short-term instability, but say in the longer term it will allow the United Kingdom to thrive if cut free from what they cast as a doomed attempt to forge European unity.
COMPREHENSIVE DEAL VS MINI DEALS
Trump and Johnson were in the French seaside resort of Biarritz for a summit of G7 industrialized nations that exposed sharp difference over trade protectionism and an array of other issues including climate change and digital taxes before it had even begun.
Johnson will on Sunday meet European Council head Donald Tusk, who on Saturday said Johnson would go down as “Mr No-Deal” if he took Britain out of the EU without a withdrawal agreement.
Johnson is expected to tell Tusk that Britian will only pay 9 billion pounds ($11 billion) instead of the 39 billion pound liability agreed by former prime minister Theresa May under a no-deal Brexit, Sky News reported on Sunday.
On his arrival on Saturday, Johnson said in reference to the escalating U.S.-China trade war he was “very worried” about the growth of protectionism. He said those who “supported tariffs were at risk of incurring the blame for the downturn in the global economy.”
Sitting opposite Trump on Sunday, Johnson praised the performance of the U.S. economy before adding: “But just to register a faint, sheeplike note of our view on the trade war – we are in favor of trade peace on the whole.”
Johnson used a pre-summit phone call to Trump to demand he lower trade barriers and open up parts of the U.S. economy to British firms, citing a wide range of markets from cars to cauliflowers.
Britain was looking forward to some comprehensive talks about taking the future UK-U.S. relationship forward, Johnson said, adding he had made clear to Trump that the National Health Service would not be a part of trade talks.
London’s preference is for a comprehensive free trade deal with the United States post Brexit, UK government officials say, while some U.S. officials including Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton have talked of a sector-by-sector approach.
Hints of those divisions emerged on Sunday.
As Johnson said London and Washington would do a “fantastic deal,” Trump interrupted to say: “lots of fantastic mini-deals, we’re talking about many different deals but we’re having a good time.”
(Writing by Richard Lough)
8/25/2019 Trump dampens Macron optimism on Iran talks by Jeff Mason and Michel Rose
French President Emmanuel Macron and President Donald Trump participate in a G-7 Working Session on the Global Economy,
Foreign Policy, and Security Affairs at the G-7 summit with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
and President of the European Council Donald Tusk in Biarritz, France August 25, 2019. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS
BIARRITZ, France (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump appeared to brush aside French efforts to mediate with Iran on Sunday, saying that while he was happy for President Emmanuel Macron to reach out to Tehran to defuse tensions he would carry on with his own initiatives.
European leaders have struggled to tamp down the brewing confrontation between Iran and the United States since Trump pulled his country out of Iran’s internationally-brokered 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on the Iranian economy.
Macron, who has pushed mediation efforts in recent weeks to avoid a further deterioration in the region, had told LCI television that the G7 had agreed on joint action on Iran.
The French presidency said G7 leaders had even agreed that Macron should hold talks and pass on messages to Iran after they discussed the issue over dinner at a summit in southwestern France on Saturday evening.
However, Trump, who has pushed a maximum pressure policy on Iran, pushed back.
Asked if he had signed off on a statement that Macron intends to give on behalf of the G7 on Iran, Trump said:
“I haven’t discussed this. No I haven’t,” he told reporters, adding that Macron and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe were free to talk to Iran.
“We’ll do our own outreach, but, you know, I can’t stop people from talking. If they want to talk, they can talk.”
Macron, who has taken the lead to defuse tensions fearing that a collapse of the nuclear deal could set ablaze the Middle East, met Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday. The aim was to discuss proposals that could ease the crisis, including the idea of reducing some U.S. sanctions or providing Iran with an economic compensation mechanism.
He was supposed to discuss those ideas with Trump on the sidelines of the G7, which also comprises Britain, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan and the EU.
“We agreed on what we wanted to say jointly on Iran,” Macron told LCI television. There is a message from the G7 on our objectives and the fact that we share them is important, which avoids divisions that in the end weaken everybody.”
“Everyone wants to avoid a conflict. Donald Trump was extremely clear on that point.”
He said the priority remained to prevent Iran obtaining nuclear weapons and defuse tensions in the Gulf, but he gave no details.
“We have to continue to take initiatives and in the coming weeks that on the one hand there are no more Iranian decisions that contradict this objective and that we open new negotiations,” Macron said.
In response to the tougher U.S. sanctions and what it says is the inability of European powers party to the deal – France, Britain and Germany, to compensate it for its lost oil revenue, Tehran has responded with a series of moves, including retreating from some of its commitments to limit its nuclear activity made under the deal.
The United States has made no indication it will ease any sanctions and it is unclear what kind of compensation mechanism Macron wants to offer Iran given at this stage a proposed trade channel for humanitarian and food exchanges with Iran is still not operational.
Macron has also said that in return for any concessions he would expect Iran to comply fully with the nuclear deal and for Iran to engage in new negotiations that would include its ballistic missile program and regional activities.
(Writing by John Irish; editing by Richard Lough and Angus MacSwan)
8/25/2019 President Trump Touts ‘Very Big’ Trade Deal in the Works with U.K. by OAN Newsroom
President Trump says a ‘very big trade deal’ is in the works with the U.K.
President Donald Trump and Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, left, speak to the media before a working breakfast meeting at the
Hotel du Palais on the sidelines of the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019. (Erin Schaff, The New York Times, Pool)
‘We’re having very good trade talks. There’s going to be a very big trade deal, bigger than we’ve ever had with the U.K. and now, at some point, they won’t have the obstacle. They won’t have the anchor around their ankle because that’s what they’ve had. So, we’re going to have some very good trade talks’ President Trump said speaking on trade negotiations with China.
Discussions reportedly came head Sunday at the G7 summit, where President Trump and Prime Minister Boris Johnson conducted their first bilateral meeting over a working breakfast.
President Trump touted new trade deals on the horizon and said it is great working with Prime Minister Johnson, adding he is the ‘right man’ to deliver brexit.
Johnson said he hopes Britain can take advantage of all of the huge opportunities in the U.S. market.
The U.S. and U.K. are expected to finalize a trade deal sometime after Britain exits the EU.
8/25/2019 President Trump Announces Trade Deal with Japan Done ‘In Principle’ by OAN Newsroom
Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announce a trade deal has been reached and is projected to be finalized in September.
U.S President Donald Trump, accompanied by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, speaks at
a news conference at the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019, where they announced that the U.S.
and Japan have agreed in principle on a new trade agreement. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
The announcement was made by President Trump accompanied by trade representative Robert Lighthizer Sunday at the G7 summit.
Lighthizer said the U.S. and Japan have created a deal to greatly benefit both countries.
Extensive details have not been released however Lighthizer did say the deal is centralized around agriculture, industrial tariffs, and digital trade.
‘The deal is done in principle we will probably be signing it around UNGA, around the date of UNGA which we all look forward to. We are very far down the line. We’ve agreed to every point and now we’re papering it and will be signing it at a formal ceremony. This is a tremendous deal for the United States. It’s a really tremendous deal for our farmers and agricultural ranchers, it also involves other things as I said e-commerce’ President trump said.
UNGA stands for the United Nations General Assembly.
Japan is expected to buy large amounts of U.S. corn as part of the deal.
[As you can see in the title below stating Trump had an issue with Iran's Zarif coming to the G-7, which never occurred since Macron asked him ahead of time if it was a problem and Trump told him it was okay, so "Fake News" strikes again for ratings.].
8/25/2019 Trump caught off guard as Iran’s Zarif lands in G7 summit town by Jeff Mason and Michel Rose
FILE PHOTO: Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif attends a joint news conference after meeting with Norway's Foreign Minister
Ine Eriksen Soereide in Oslo, Norway, August 22, 2019. NTB Scanpix/Stian Lysberg Solum/ via REUTERS
BIARRITZ, France (Reuters) – Iran’s foreign minister flew into the French resort hosting a G7 summit on Sunday, an unexpected twist to a meeting already troubled by differences between U.S. President Donald Trump and Western allies over a raft of issues, including Iran.
A White House official said France’s invitation to Mohammad Javad Zarif for talks on the sidelines of the meeting in the Basque beachside town of Biarritz was “a surprise” and there were no immediate plans for U.S. officials to meet him.
Zarif went straight into talks with his French counterpart to assess what conditions could lead to a de-escalation of tension between Tehran and Washington, a French official said.
European leaders have struggled to calm a deepening confrontation between Iran and the United States since Trump pulled his country out of Iran’s internationally brokered 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on the Iranian economy.
Earlier on Sunday at the summit, Trump appeared to brush aside French efforts to mediate with Iran, saying that while he was happy for Paris to reach out to Tehran to defuse tensions he would carry on with his own initiatives.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who has taken the lead in trying to defuse tensions, fearing a collapse of the nuclear deal could set the Middle East ablaze, met Zarif on Friday. The aim was to discuss plans to ease the crisis, including reducing some U.S. sanctions or providing Iran with an economic compensation mechanism.
Iran wants to export a minimum of 700,000 barrels per day of its oil and ideally up to 1.5 million bpd if the West wants to negotiate with Tehran to save the 2015 deal, two Iranian officials and one diplomat told Reuters on Sunday.
“A DIFFICULT DINNER”
Trump insisted on Sunday that he was getting along well with other leaders of a group that also includes Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.
But rifts emerged on issues from his quickening trade war with China to the nuclear ambitions of both Iran and North Korea, and the question of whether Russia’s President Vladmir Putin should be readmitted to the group.
Russia was excluded from what used to be the G8 in 2014 after it annexed Ukraine’s Crimea and then backed an anti-Kiev rebellion in the industrial region of Donbas in eastern Ukraine.
A European official who declined to be named said Russia was the thorniest issue discussed at a dinner on Saturday.
“(The conversation) became a bit tense over this idea of the G7 being a club of liberal democracies … that point was clearly not shared by the U.S. president,” the official said.
Trump’s argument was that on a number of issues, like Iran and Syria, it made more sense to have Putin involved in the talks given that it is a key player there.
New British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday congratulated Macron for hosting a difficult dinner encounter.
"You’re doing well,” Johnson said on the sidelines of the summit. “You did very well last night, my God, that was a difficult one, you did really, you did really well.”
The G7 gathering is taking place against a backdrop of worries that a global economic downturn could be exacerbated by the escalating tariff war between Washington and Beijing.
Britain’s Johnson voiced concern on Saturday about creeping protectionism and said those who support tariffs “are at risk of incurring the blame for the downturn in the global economy” Sitting across from Trump on Sunday, he said: “We’re in favor of trade peace on the whole, and dialing it down if we can.”
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte warned other leaders of the dangers of protectionism and urged Washington not to carry through on its threat to impose tariffs on German autos.
However, the White House doubled down on its aggressive stance toward trade with China.
White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham, explaining what Trump meant at a news conference when he said he had second thoughts after he had raised tariffs on Chinese tariffs last week, said he meant that he wished he had raised them higher.
Underlining the multilateral discord even before the summit began, Trump threatened the meeting’s host, saying Washington would tax French wine “like they’ve never seen before” unless Paris dropped a digital tax on U.S. technology companies.
Looking to broaden the scope of the debate, Macron has invited several African leaders to discuss problems facing their continent, while leaders from India, Australia, Chile and Spain are due to attend a dinner on Sunday where the focus will be on the environment and other issues.
However, senior U.S. officials accused Macron of looking “to fracture the G7” by focusing on “niche issues” rather than major global concerns.
France denied this, pointing to Sunday’s initial session covering the economy, trade and security – areas that used to draw easy consensus but are now sources of great friction.
Trump up-ended last year’s G7 meeting in Canada, walking out early and disassociating himself from the final communique.
Trump also appeared at odds with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over the seriousness of North Korea’s series of short-range missile launches.
Trump, who prizes his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, told reporters the launches did not violate an agreement and were in line with what others were doing. Abe, sitting across from him, said they breached U.N. resolutions.
At the start of the day, Trump said Britain would have a major trade deal with Washington after it leaves the European Union. Asked what his advice on Brexit was for Johnson, he replied: “He needs no advice, he is the right man for the job.”
While the transatlantic rift is the most stark, there are also deep divisions within the European camp, with Johnson making his G7 debut at a time when he is struggling to persuade EU capitals to renegotiate Britain’s exit from the bloc, which Johnson has said will happen on Oct. 31 come what may.
(Reporting by Richard Lough, John Irish, Crispian Balmer, Marine Pennetier, John Chalmers, Jeff Mason, William James, Andreas Rinke and Michel Rose; Writing by John Chalmers, Editing by William Maclean)
[The G-7, the seven heads of the Beast, who has 10 crowns or powers or ten regions of the WTO, is interested in changing the rules for specific trade rules at the WTO - World Trade Organization, who I called the Beast That Came Up Out Of The Sea in 1995, which correlates with God's notice on the first creation of Nimrod's, promoting a king in the land of Shinar (Mesopotamia), which led to the cities of Babel, Erech, Akkad, and perhaps Calneh, in Shinar (Ge 10:10), and which led to the Tower of Babel led to rebellious against God. The reason I wrote this is the WTO and its fledgling are following the same intent at that.].
8/25/2019 Trump, Abe at odds on North Korea missile launches
U.S. President Donald Trump and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attend a bilateral meeting
during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, August 25, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
BIARRITZ, France (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe showed their differences over the seriousness of North Korea’s series of short-range missile launches on Sunday, while maintaining that they would remain in synch on the issue.
Trump, who prizes his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, said the launches did not violate an agreement and were in line with what others were doing.
“He hasn’t been doing nuclear testing. He has done short range, much more standard missiles. A lot of people are testing those missiles, not just him,” Trump said.
Asked if he was concerned by the latest launches, Trump said: “I’m not happy about it, but again, he’s not in violation of an agreement.”
Abe said the launches breached U.N. resolutions.
Launches of short-range ballistic missiles on Saturday were the seventh by North Korea since Trump and Kim met at the border between the two Koreas in June.
Asked if he wanted Trump to come closer to his position on the issue, Abe said: “I would like to make sure that we, meaning myself and President Trump, will always stay on the same page when it comes to North Korea.”
Abe said he said he supported the U.S.-North Korea dialogue.
The launches have complicated attempts to restart talks between U.S. and North Korean negotiators over the future of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Toby Chopra)
8/26/2019 HOMELESSNESS IN LOS ANGELES - Housing SOS - Misery on the streets is spreading – and the cost of solutions is skyrocketing by Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY
LOS ANGELES – As this city tries to cope with thousands of people living on the streets, a few homeless and low-income senior citizens will be luckier than most next year.
They will receive keys to one of 72 new apartments, complete with a fitness center, in the heart of trendy Koreatown, built at a projected cost of $690,692 for each unit, according to the city controller’s office. Two additional projects in the pre-approval phase are expected to top $700,000 a unit in total costs.
“This kind of cost is utterly unacceptable,” Controller Ron Galperin said. “I believe we need a fundamental course correction.”
Despite a booming national economy, homeless people have set up tents in makeshift encampments in major cities on the West Coast amid a housing shortage that has driven up rents to unaffordable levels.
In Los Angeles, the tents are spread out on sidewalks across the city, the homeless emboldened by a court ruling that allows them to live outside if no shelter space is available. Making matters worse, many live in filthy, third-world conditions without basic necessities such as toilets and sinks. It makes them and those who venture near susceptible to disease.
Cities continue to grapple over difficult housing decisions about how to solve the problem. Should homeless people be entitled to the Are there lower-cost alternatives?
“There’s nowhere that’s doing a great job,” said Megan Hustings, managing director of the National Coalition for the Homeless in Washington, D.C. “Across the board, we have not been investing in affordable, low-cost housing.”
The high price for toilets
With the backing of Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles voters passed a $1.2 billion bond measure in 2016 with the hope of seeing up to 10,000 permanent housing units. It would be enough to make a significant dent in the 27,221 people deemed living “unsheltered” in the most recent homeless count. Besides tents, they sleep in cars or out in the open.
The result has been a crash program to construct new apartments meant as permanent housing for homeless people across the city at a median cost that Galperin pegs at $520,000 each. He said by taking a costly route, at the current rate only a little more than 7,000 units will be constructed, far short of the 10,000 goal and leaving thousands on the street who otherwise might be able to be housed if there were a lowercost alternative.
The bond issue provides up to about $150,000 a unit for permanent housing for the homeless with the rest coming from a variety of sources. In addition, the city is developing shorter-term homeless shelters, often dormitorystyle housing or units with shared bathrooms or kitchens.
Being forced by court order to let people camp out on the streets is no bargain, either.
“It’s still cheaper to put a person into a home than leave them on the streets,” said Joel John Roberts, CEO of People Assisting the Homeless, or PATH.
There’s the cost of police, ambulances and health care at emergency rooms. And under pressure to improve sanitation, the city is putting additional toilets near encampments: The average annual cost per toilet under the city’s Mobile Pit Stop program is $173,930 for the permanent ones and $320,325 for the temporary portable ones.
The high cost for toilets reflects not only the cost of servicing them but also the need to provide monitors to make sure they stay clean and are not used for nefarious purposes. San Francisco has operated a similar system for five years at 25 locations, at an average cost about $200,000 each, and is expanding it.
High costs are an urban reality
The soaring cost of permanent housing isn’t the result of extravagance, city officials say.
“Mayor Garcetti is leveraging every available dollar – as efficiently as possible – to confront our region’s homelessness and affordability crisis,” Garcetti’s spokesman, Alex Comisar, said in a statement. “Angelenos in need are already benefiting from high quality, long-lasting supportive housing that will serve our city for generations to come."
“Mayor Garcetti recognizes the immediacy of this crisis, and is working with a diverse coalition of partners to find innovative solutions that can be scaled up quickly.”
High costs are due to the realities of building in a city like Los Angeles, where land is more costly than ever and there are shortages of construction workers and materials amid a building boom in high-end apartments and condos in the rest of the city, officials say. The permanent units are meant to last at least 55 years, which is why construction standards have to be as high as anywhere else.
“Obviously, the city would very much like to see projects produced at a lower price point,” said Rushmore Cervantes, general manager of the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department, which is leading the charge on homeless housing construction. But many of those costs, he adds, are outside the city’s control. And while it provides funding for some conventional projects, it is also looking for innovative approaches.
As for units costing almost $700,000, Cervantes said the price tag includes common areas and spaces
aimed at helping the homeless make the transition to housing. As part of the transition, there will be help for residents to cope with addictions or mental illness. The median sales price of a home in Los Angeles County was $618,000 in June, tracker CoreLogic reports.
“We include the wrap-around services to address their needs and make them successful,” Cervantes said.
Is the program sustainable?
Those camped out on the streets are mixed in their opinions about whether it’s better to wait out the prospect of having their own apartments, kitchen and bathroom included, rather than getting into something lesser sooner.
Billy Lindsey, 50, who lives in a tent under a blue tarp on Seventh Street in the city’s Skid Row area, eyed the homeless apartment building under construction across the street.
“You got a place to live – water, shower, all the things you don’t have here,” he said. “They need to be building more like this.”
Cynthia Angulo, 54, living near the opposite corner, wasn’t sounding so choosy.
“I settle for what I can get,” she said. “I won’t be picky. There’s a lot of predators out here. It’s getting worse.”
Critics, however, wonder if more people could be housed by less expensive means. The city’s program is “not sustainable,” said Mark Ryavec, president of the Venice Stakeholders Association, which has been raising questions about some homeless projects slated for the hip seaside enclave that’s home to some of the city’s priciest real estate.
He calls the pricey apartments a product of the “homeless industrial complex,” in which “they are buying Mercedes-Benzes and Cadillacs when they should be buying Fiat 500s” when it comes to providing homeless housing.
The Union Rescue Mission, one of the city’s oldest religious-based facilities in downtown Los Angeles serving homeless people, is trying the cheaper approach. It is building a large fabric structure, complete with heating, air conditioning and access to clean restrooms, that’s expected to last for decades and will provide beds for 120 women who are now sleeping on air mattresses in the chapel, said its CEO, the Rev. Andy Bales.
He said the facility will be built at a fraction of what the city is spending to build apartment buildings. He thinks the city is taking the wrong approach.
“I am not only shaking my head at the lack of progress over the last three years, but I am shaking my head over how much money has been spent and how little there is to show for it.”
“There’s nowhere that’s doing a great job. Across the board, we have not been investing in affordable, low-cost housing.”
Megan Hustings National Coalition for the Homeless, Washington, D.C.
In Los Angeles, thousands of homeless people have set up camps along the street, bed down in cars or sleep out
in the open, without basic necessities such as bathrooms and running water. JEFF LEWIS/AP
Homeless encampments crowd a downtown Los Angeles sidewalk on Skid Row. FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
8/26/2019 Trump says he does not want regime change in Iran
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as he meets Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi (not pictured) for
bilateral talks during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, August 26, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
BIARRITZ, France (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he wanted to see a strong Iran and was not seeking a change of leadership in Tehran, adding that the standard of living for ordinary Iranians was unacceptable.
“I’m looking at a really good Iran, really strong, we’re not looking for regime change. You’ve seen how that works over the last 20 years, that hasn’t been too good,” Trump told reporters during a summit of wealthy nation leaders.
He said he had not been surprised that France had invited Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for talks on Sunday on the sidelines of the G7 gathering, which were aimed at trying to ease tensions between Washington and Tehran.
However, he said he had not wanted to see Zarif himself, adding that it was too soon for such an encounter.
“I knew he was coming in and I respected the fact that he was coming in. And we’re looking to make Iran rich again, let them be rich, let them do well, if they want,” he said.
“Or they can be poor as can be. And I tell you what, I don’t think it’s acceptable the way they are being forced to live in Iran,” he said.
Tensions between Tehran and Washington that have risen sharply since Trump pulled out of Iran’s internationally-brokered 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on the Iranian economy.
“What we want is very simple. It’s got to be non-nuclear. We’re going to talk about ballistic missiles, we’re going to talk about the timing,” he said, adding: “But they have to stop terrorism. I think they are going to change, I really do. I think they have a chance.”
(Reporting by Jeff Mason, Writing by Crispian Balmer; Editing by John Irish)
8/26/2019 Trump moves to ease tensions over China, Iran as G7 summit wraps up by Jeff Mason and Richard Lough
(L-R) EU Council President Donald Tusk, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe,
U.S. President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
attend a work session during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, August 26, 2019. Ian Langsdon/Pool via REUTERS
BIARRITZ, France (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday offered an olive branch to China after days of intense feuding over trade and opened the door to diplomacy on Iran, easing tension on the last day of a strained G7 summit.
The leaders of the world’s major industrialized nations, meeting in the French coastal resort of Biarritz, look set to reach an agreement on how to help fight the Amazon forest fires and try to repair the devastation.
While they are not expected to leave with a more comprehensive set of agreements or even a joint communique, Trump and his Western allies appear to have agreed amicably to disagree on issues dividing them.
These ranged from Washington’s escalating trade war with China, which many fear could tip the slowing world economy into recession; how to deal with the nuclear ambitions of both Iran and North Korea; and the question of whether Russian President Vladimir Putin should be readmitted to the group.
Trump, a turbulent presence at last year’s G7 gathering, insisted during the Biarritz meeting that he was getting along well with other leaders of a group that also comprises Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.
The trade war between the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies, escalated on Friday as both sides leveled more tariffs on each other’s exports, sending more shockwaves through financial markets.
Speaking on the sidelines of the G7 summit on Monday, Trump said he believed China wanted to make a trade deal after it contacted U.S. trade officials overnight to say it wanted to return to the negotiating table.
China’s lead negotiator in the U.S. trade talks said earlier on Monday Beijing was willing to resolve its trade dispute with the United States through “calm negotiations” and resolutely opposed the escalation of the conflict.
Trump hailed Chinese President Xi Jinping as a great leader and said the prospect of talks was a very positive development.
“He understands, and it’s going to be great for China, it’s going to be great for the U.S., it’s going to be great for the world,” he said.
“LET THEM BE RICH”
Trump also backed away from confrontation over Iran on Monday, a day after French President Emmanuel Macron stunned other leaders by inviting Iran’s foreign minister to Biarritz for talks on the stand-off between Washington and Tehran.
Trump told journalists that they had been wrong to report that he was blindsided by the five-hour visit of Mohammad Javad Zarif to the summit’s sidelines, and said that while he thought it was too soon for a meeting he had no objections to it.
European leaders have struggled to calm a deepening confrontation between Iran and the United States since Trump pulled his country out of Iran’s internationally brokered 2015 nuclear deal last year and reimposed sanctions on the Iranian economy.
Macron has led efforts to defuse tensions, fearing a collapse of the nuclear deal could set the Middle East ablaze.
Trump indicated an openness to discussions with Iran on a nuclear deal and said he was not looking for regime change.
“I’m looking at a really good Iran, really strong, we’re not looking for regime change,” he said. “And we’re looking to make Iran rich again, let them be rich, let them do well.”
Trump and Macron met over a long lunch on the first day of the summit and, as they gathered with other leaders on Monday for further talks, they greeted each other warmly and smiled.
Taking more heat out of the annual meeting, French and U.S. negotiators meeting behind the scenes reached a compromise agreement on France’s digital tax, a levy that had prompted Trump to threaten a separate tax on French wine imports.
The row had threatened to open up a new front in the trade spat between Washington and the EU as economic relations between the two appeared to sour.
France’s 3% levy applies to revenue from digital services earned by firms with more than 25 million euros in French revenue and 750 million euros ($830 million) worldwide.
U.S. officials complain it unfairly targets U.S. companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon. They are currently able to book profits in low-tax countries such as Ireland and Luxembourg, no matter where the revenue originates.
A source close to the negotiations said the deal envisaged that France would repay to companies the difference between a French tax and a planned mechanism being drawn up by the OECD.
The G7 leaders were due to discuss climate change in one of their final sessions on Monday and were expected to consider a deal on technical and financial help for the Amazon.
A record number of fires are ravaging the rainforest, many of them in Brazil, drawing international concern because of the Amazon’s importance to the global environment.
Macron shunted the blazes fires to the top of the summit agenda after declaring them a global emergency. Last week he accused Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s government of not doing enough to protect the area and of lying about its environmental commitments.
(Reporting by Richard Lough, John Irish, Crispian Balmer, Marine Pennetier, John Chalmers, Jeff Mason, William James, Andreas Rinke and Michel Rose; Writing by John Chalmers; Editing by Alison Williams)
8/26/2019 G7 leaders agree on $20M wildfire aid package for Amazon countries by OAN Newsroom
A deal struck by international leaders at the G7 summit to develop a $20 million Amazon fund is met with lackluster support from Brazil. Shortly after French President Emmanuel Macron outlined the plan Monday, his Brazilian counterpart accused him of treating the country like a “colony.”
President Jair Bolsonaro, who’s been locked in a public dispute with Macron, said any joint plan about the region’s future should be made by the countries directly affected in order to protect their “sovereignty and natural wealth.”
“Do you think someone helps someone else to not be poor without something in return?” questioned the Brazilian leader. “Why do they have their eye on the Amazon, what do they want there?”
While Bolsonaro did not immediately clarify if he would cooperate with the plan, his environmental minister said the funding is “welcome.” A large amount of that money will go toward firefighting planes and military support on the ground.
French President Emmanuel Macron, right, and Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera attend a
joint press conference that focused on climate during the G7 summit Monday, Aug. 26, 2019 in Biarritz. G-7 countries
have agreed to an immediate $20 million fund to help Amazon countries fight wildfires. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, Pool)
“We think that we have to protect these real lungs of our world (the Amazon rainforest), and that’s why I’m very happy that we have been able to reach an agreement and go in support of those countries immediately,” stated Chilean President Sebastian Pinera.
While President Trump was unable to make the meeting in person due to a scheduling issue, Macron said the U.S. is completely on board with the Amazon deal.
“We had a discussion with President Trump, a long and very positive one, about the situation in the Amazon,” said Macron. “He shares the objectives that we are following and that have been reflected in this G7 summit initiative, so that is the first point.”
The second part of the agreement calls for a long-term plan for reforestation that would replenish biodiversity in areas destroyed by the fires. If the framework proves successful, the leaders expressed interest in applying it to Africa’s rainforests, which are also under threat from fires.
Firefighters work to put out fires in the Vila Nova Samuel region, along the road to the National Forest of Jacunda,
near to the city of Porto Velho, Rondonia state, part of Brazil’s Amazon, Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019. Leaders of the Group of Seven nations
said Sunday they were preparing to help Brazil fight the fires burning across the Amazon rainforest and repair the damage even as
tens of thousands of soldiers were being deployed to fight the blazes that have caused global alarm. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
8/26/2019 Tethered balloons aid in effort to secure border by OAN Newsroom
It looks like a giant white blimp hanging lazily in the air, but what appears to be nothing more than a simple balloon is part of America’s ongoing fight to keep its borders secure. It’s called the Tethered Aerostat Radar System, or TARS.
These heavy duty balloons anchored to the ground provide Border Patrol agents with a military grade security system for protecting the border. They float about 4,500 feet off the ground with two 360-degree cameras, giving agents live video feeds of around 10 to 15 miles in any direction.
“This Aerostat has assisted Border Patrol in Rio Grande City by providing a higher level of surveillance and detection, and increasing our situational awareness, thereby allowing us to appropriately respond to threats as they’re crossing the river and even before they cross the river.” — Alberto Olivares, CBP Special Operations Supervisor
The TARS program was previously under Air Force control and used in operations in the Middle East. The balloons were first used in the 1970s to stop smugglers from flying small aircraft into the country. Authorities said they now only see about 10 planes trying to come across the border, which is down from 10,000, because smugglers know they will be detected and arrested as soon as they land.
Back in 2013, the program moved to the Department of Homeland Security. Six of the eight largest balloons are located along the border in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona with the other two in Florida and Puerto Rico. CBP also has smaller balloons deployed across Texas.
Agents say they see smuggling of all kinds along the border, adding, the balloons have increased their effectiveness. Earlier this year, agents in Texas reported detected nearly 82,000 people trying to cross the border thanks to the balloons. They have also seized hundreds of thousands of pounds of narcotics.
A crane can be seen at the beginning of new border wall construction about 20 miles west of
Santa Teresa, New Mexico, Aug. 23, 2019. The wall visible on the left was built in 2018 with money allocated by Congress,
while the new construction is funded by money reallocated from Department of Defense funding. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)
8/26/2019 Vice President Pence: U.S. supports Israel’s right to defend itself
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence delivers the commencement speech at Liberty University
in Lynchburg, Virginia, U.S., May 11, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said he spoke on Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and reiterated U.S. support for its Middle East ally.
“Had a great conversation with Prime Minister @netanyahu this morning. The United States fully supports Israel’s right to defend itself from imminent threats. Under President @realDonaldTrump, America will always stand with Israel!” Pence wrote on Twitter, without specifying the imminent threats.
Israel said it conducted an air strike on Sunday against an arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in Syria and on Thursday Netanyahu hinted at possible Israeli involvement in a series of blasts in the past few weeks in Iraq.
(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Eric Beech)
8/27/2019 Oil down $0.53 to $53.64, DOW up 270 to 25,899.
8/27/2019 Trump defends tactics on China trade by Zeke Miller and Darlene Superville, ASSOCIATED PRESS
BIARRITZ, France – Brushing off concerns about global economic instability, President Donald Trump on Monday defended the way he is trying to squeeze a trade deal out of China, saying it’s what worked for him in business.
Trump was challenged on a negotiating style in which he praises Chinese President Xi Jinping one day and castigates him the next. Allies are complaining that that’s contributing to stability problems for them and other nations, a questioner noted at a news conference closing out Trump’s participation in the Group of Seven summit.
“Sorry, it’s the way I negotiate,” the president said unapologetically.
He said layers of U.S. tariffs have hurt China so badly that it will have no choice but to come to terms with the United States.
His trade war has been blamed for a global economic slowdown and has sown fears of an economic recession in the U.S. Some of the leaders who spent the past three days meeting in picturesque Biarritz urged Trump to bring the fight to a close.
French President Emmanuel Macron, the summit host who joined Trump at the start of the news conference, said the situation has created economic uncertainty and urged both sides to reach an agreement.
“What’s bad for the world economy is uncertainty,” Macron said, speaking in English. “The quicker an agreement is arrived at, the quicker that uncertainty will dissipate.”
Another ally, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, tried to sell the president on the value of free trade when they met over Saturday breakfast.
“We’re in favor of trade peace,” Johnson said.
Under pressure over the so-far fruitless negotiation, Trump claimed earlier Monday that his trade negotiators had been on the receiving end of two “very good calls” from China. He said it was a sign that China is serious about reaching a deal and that talks would begin soon.
The White House announced weeks ago that China’s negotiating team was expected in Washington in September to continue the discussions.
Trump expressed his optimism about China hours after he sent mixed messages on the tariff war. He first seemed to express regret Sunday over escalating the trade dispute, but the White House later said his only regret was that he didn’t impose even higher tariffs on China.
“I think we’re going to have a deal, because now we’re dealing on proper terms. They understand and we understand,” Trump said.
He declined to say whether he has spoken to Xi or to identify those involved in the most recent conversations, saying only that they were at the “highest levels.”
“This is the first time I’ve seen them where they really want to make a deal. And I think that’s a very positive step,” Trump added.
“I have not heard of the weekend calls mentioned by the United States,” said Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry.
After trade talks broke down this spring, Trump and Xi agreed in June to resume negotiations. Talks in Shanghai in July ended without progress.
President Donald Trump was unapologetic about the way he has handled trade negotiations with China.
8/27/2019 Judiciary panel subpoenas former White House aide Porter
WASHINGTON – The House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed former White House staff secretary Rob Porter as part of its investigation into President Donald Trump’s conduct in office and whether he should be impeached. The subpoena demands that Porter testify at a Sept. 17 hearing. The committee previously subpoenaed former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and former White House aide Rick Dearborn to appear that same day. All three men are featured prominently in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
[Another Democrat witchhunt on Robert Roger Porter, an American lawyer and former political aide who served as White House Staff Secretary for President Donald Trump from January 20, 2017, until February 7, 2018. He was previously Chief of Staff for U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah. Porter resigned his position as White House Staff Secretary after domestic abuse allegations from both of his former wives came to public attention.]
8/27/2019 U.S. stocks rebound after President Trump says China wants to make trade deal by OAN Newsroom
U.S. shares reverse last week’s losses, following President Trump’s statement that China wants to make a deal on trade. During the trading session on Wall Street Monday, all three major indices rose more than one-percent each amid thin trading volumes.
President Trump said he received two “very good calls” from Beijing on Monday, which was a positive sign for investors. Last week, the president decided to slap 30-percent tariffs on all Chinese imports, which led stocks to drop and fueled speculation about a possible recession.
This file photo shows the American flag and Wall Street street sign
outside the New York Stock Exchange, in New York. (AP Photo)
Experts say investors are overreacting to the trade tensions with China.
“One thing we’ve learnt over the last couple of months is that it moves ones day, it move up the other day, it moves down…the reality is this is not a trade war — this is a geopolitical rivalry between two great geopolitical and economic powers, and it’s going to be with us for the next 5 or 10 years,” stated Burkhard Varnholt, deputy chief investment officer for Credit Suisse.
Meanwhile, several investment banks have advised their clients to buy gold and other safety assets to decrease their exposure to trade risks going forward.
8/27/2019 Russia denies visa to U.S. senator amid G7 tensions
FILE PHOTO: Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) speaks after the senate voted on a resolution ending U.S. military support
for the war in Yemen on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 13, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said on Tuesday that Russia had denied him a visa, amid disagreement within Washington and among U.S. allies over whether the country should be readmitted to the Group of Seven.
U.S. President Donald Trump said last week it would be appropriate to let Russia return to the G7 group of advanced industrialized countries, telling reporters that former Democratic President Barack Obama had wanted Russia out of what used to be the G8 but he thought it was “much more appropriate” to include the country.
Other G7 countries have objected.
Murphy, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said he had planned to visit Russia as part of an upcoming congressional delegation including Democrats and Republicans.
“With the collapse of recent arms control agreements and significant domestic opposition to Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian rule, this is potentially a perilous moment for our two nations’ fragile relationship, and it’s a shame that Russia isn’t interested in dialogue,” Murphy said in a statement.
Russia repeatedly has denied visas to U.S. lawmakers in recent years, especially those who have pushed for sanctions against Moscow over its aggression toward Ukraine and interference in U.S. elections.
Separately, a group of senior Democratic senators said on Tuesday they had written to Trump expressing strong opposition to readmitting Russia to the G7, citing its invasion of Ukraine’s Crimea.
The letter was signed by Senators Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader in the Senate, as well as Jack Reed, Bob Menendez and Mark Warner, the top Democrats on the Armed Services, Foreign Relations and Intelligence committees, respectively.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Richard Chang)
8/27/2019 Many states support President Trump’s decision to end DACA by OAN Newsroom
More than a dozen states are supporting President Trump’s decision to end the DACA program.
WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 18: Pro-immigration activists gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court
on April 18, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Officials from states including, Texas, Alabama, Alaska, and Arizona filed a legal brief Tuesday with the Supreme Court to oppose DACA.
This comes after the Justice Department also filed a brief, stating the president acted lawfully when he decided to end the program in 2017.
The Obama-era program was created by executive order in 2012. It shields more than 1 million illegal immigrants, who were brought to the U.S. as children, from deportation.
The Supreme Court will take up the issue in November.
8/27/2019 Trump administration requests SCOTUS lift order blocking safe third country rule by OAN Newsroom
The Trump administration asks the Supreme Court to lift a judge’s ruling preventing an asylum rule from taking effect.
The Supreme Court building in Washington. Challenges to the Trump administration’s asylum policy
are pending in different courts. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
On Monday, Solicitor General Noel Francisco made a request to the high court, arguing the federal judge’s order “unduly interfere’s with the executive’s authority to establish immigration law.”
In July, federal judge Jon Tigar briefly blocked the government from enacting the rule which would have made migrants apply for asylum in the first country they pass through on their journey to the U.S.
Tigar said the move contradicts existing asylum laws.
8/27/2019 Federal judge blocks 8-week abortion ban from taking effect in Missouri by OAN Newsroom
A federal judge is blocking Missouri’s eight week abortion ban from taking effect while a legal challenge plays out in court.
Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Tuesday, July 30, against the state of Missouri to
stop a law that bans abortions beyond the eighth week of pregnancy from taking effect Aug. 28. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
The judge ruled in favor Tuesday of the ALCU and Planned Parenthood, as they seek to overturn the law which was supposed to be implemented Wednesday.
The bill, which was signed by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson in May, outlaws abortion after 8 weeks, even in cases of rape or incest, but it does include an exception for medical emergencies.
Similar laws have been struck down in North Dakota and Iowa. The state’s attorneys are reportedly planning to appeal Tuesday’s decision.
8/28/2019 Oil up $1.29 to $54.93, DOW down 121 to 25,778.
8/28/2019 UK’s Johnson plans to restrict parliament time before Brexit by William James and Kate Holton
The sun rises behind the statue of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill near the
Houses of Parliament, in London, Britain July 24, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will limit parliament’s opportunity to derail his Brexit plans by announcing his new legislative agenda on Oct. 14 – his boldest move yet in the push to take the country out of the European Union on Oct. 31.
A government source said Johnson, who has vowed to take Britain out of the EU without a divorce deal if necessary, plans to set an Oct. 14 date for the Queen’s Speech – the formal state opening of a new session of parliament.
That would effectively shut parliament from mid-September for around a month and reduces the parliamentary time in which lawmakers could try to block a no-deal Brexit.
While suspending parliament ahead of a Queen’s Speech is the historical norm in Britain, the decision to limit parliamentary scrutiny weeks before the country’s most contentious policy decision in decades prompted an immediate outcry.
Sterling fell sharply, losing around a cent against the U.S. dollar and the euro, as investors took the news as a sign that a no-deal Brexit, and the prospect of a hit to Britain’s economy, was more likely.
“This action is an utterly scandalous affront to our democracy,” Tom Watson, the deputy leader of the Labour Party, said on Twitter. “We cannot let this happen.”
On Tuesday, lawmakers opposed to a no-deal Brexit met to discuss ways they could use parliamentary procedure to force Johnson to seek a delay to Brexit.
According to the BBC, a meeting about the government’s move to limit parliamentary time was due to take place at Queen Elizabeth’s Scottish summer residence in Balmoral on Wednesday.
Buckingham Palace declined to comment.
The BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg said senior ministers would hold a conference call on Wednesday.
Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister of Scotland, said Wednesday would go down as a “dark one indeed for UK democracy” unless politicians join forces next week to stop the prime minister.
Parliament returns from its summer break on Sept. 3 and had been expected to sit for two weeks before breaking up again to allow political parties to hold their annual conferences. Typically it begins sitting again in early October.
The source said Johnson would set an Oct. 14 date for the Queen’s Speech – the formal state opening of a new session of parliament at which Queen Elizabeth reads a speech prepared by the government, setting out a legislative agenda for the coming year.
A Queen’s Speech on Oct. 14 would delay parliament’s return, and leave lawmakers with just over two weeks until Britain is due to leave the EU on Oct. 31.
(Reporting by William James and David Milliken; Editing by William Schomberg, Kate Holton and Janet Lawrence)
8/28/2019 Oil prices rise on drop in U.S. crude inventories by Shadia Nasralla
FILE PHOTO - A Chinese man works at a pump jack in PetroChina's Daqing oil field in China's northeastern Heilongjiang province March 18, 2006.
LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Wednesday after industry data showing a fall in stockpiles of U.S. crude somewhat eased worries about subdued demand due to the China-U.S. trade war.
Brent crude futures climbed 70 cents to $60.21 a barrel by 0858 GMT. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 83 cents to $55.76 a barrel.
The two benchmarks are headed for monthly losses of around 8% and 5%, respectively, weighed down by trade barriers between the world’s two biggest oil consumers.
U.S. crude stockpiles plummeted by 11.1 million barrels last week as imports dropped, compared with expectations for a 2-million-barrel draw, data from the American Petroleum Institute (API), an industry group, showed.
“Overnight, the energy complex was given a shot of bullish adrenaline by a supportive API report,” PVM analysts said in a note.
The U.S. government’s weekly inventory report is due at 1430 GMT. If the official numbers confirm the API data, it would be the biggest weekly decline in nine weeks.
GRAPHIC: U.S. crude inventories – https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/editorcharts/US-OIL-STOCKS/0H001QEL67HJ/eikon.png
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that he believed China was sincere about wanting to reach a trade deal, while Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said China was willing to resolve the dispute through “calm” negotiations.
On Tuesday, however, concerns resurfaced after China’s foreign ministry said it had not heard of any recent telephone call between the United States and China on trade, and that it hoped Washington could create conditions for talks.
Crude prices have fallen about a fifth from 2019 highs hit in April, partly because of worries that the trade war is hurting the global economy and could dent oil demand.
Morgan Stanley on Wednesday lowered its price outlook for the rest of the year for Brent to around $60 per barrel from $65 and for U.S. crude to $55 per barrel from $58 as it downgraded its demand growth forecast for this year and next.
(Additional Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick in TOKYO; Editing by Dale Hudson)
8/28/2019 Moderate House Democrats face tough reelection as progressives push for impeachment inquiry by OAN Newsroom
Moderate House Democrats are facing a tough reelection next year as the party’s push for impeachment gains momentum. Politico recently reported Democrats are facing questions from voters at Town Hall events over the summer recess about where they stand on the issue.
While support for a formal inquiry is popular among progressives, the majority of Americans don’t back the move. The clash of ideas poses a threat to vulnerable representatives in Republican-leaning districts across the country. Among them is California congresswoman Katie Porter, who has acknowledged her support for impeachment could have negative political implications.
Katie Porter speaks in Tustin, Calif. (Photo/Chris Carlson/AP)
It’s something Democrat leadership is also aware of. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, herself, hasn’t backed launching an impeachment inquiry, and has reportedly urged her caucus to take a cautious approach.
“This is going to be a tough election because for them it’s about money — they’ll put up any amount of money to protect their investments of degrading the environment…guns and all that,” she stated. “We have to be ready to take a punch.”
Nonetheless, more than half of House Democrats support the move regardless of the negative consequences they could face.
8/28/2019 Banks respond to subpoena from House Democrats regarding Trump family tax returns by OAN Newsroom
Deutsche Bank recently confirmed it possesses tax returns from members of the Trump family. In a letter Tuesday, the bank said it has records that could fall under a subpoena issued by House Democrats back in April.
However, the bank redacted the names of who exactly the records pertain to. It said there are statutory, contractual, and privacy concerns fueling its reluctance to release any additional information.
Meanwhile, another bank — Capital One — told the court it does not have any documents requested in the subpoena.
FILE – In this Oct. 7, 2016, file photo a flag for Deutsche Bank flies outside the German bank’s New York offices
on Wall Street. Deutsche Bank revealed in court papers on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019, that it has tax records Congress
is seeking in its investigation into President Trump’s finances. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
This issue has set up a contested legal battle between members of the Trump family and House Democrats.
“Now the Trump lawyers are coming back and trying to use the fact that there was some delay here as a reason to not have the court rule promptly to provide these documents,” stated Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas). “My concern, as you know, has been that under the procedure, under what the committee has outlined, we will never see these (tax) returns this year because Mr. Trump will exhaust every possible appeal.”
The Trump family sued the banks in an effort to block them from complying with the subpoena, but the case was rejected by a federal judge in May. They are now appealing the decision.
8/28/2019 Pence, in visit to Iceland, to discuss ‘incursions’ into Arctic Circle by China, Russia: official
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence gestures to supporters at a campaign rally for
U.S. President Donald Trump in Cincinnati, Ohio. U.S., August 1, 2019. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Vice President Mike Pence, in a visit to Iceland next week, will have talks about ‘incursions’ into the Arctic Circle by China and Russia, a senior Trump administration official said on Wednesday.
Pence leaves on Tuesday on a trip that will take him to Iceland, Britain and Ireland.
In London, he will have talks with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson that will include a discussion about Johnson’s efforts to separate Britain from the European Union.
In Ireland, he will have talks with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in Dublin and will make a side trip to Shannon for events celebrating his Irish heritage.
Amid growing divisions in the polar region over melting ice and access to minerals, the United States has expressed concerns that Russia is behaving aggressively in the Arctic and that China’s actions there have to be watched closely as well.
The official, who spoke to a group of reporters on condition of anonymity, said the topic will come up during Pence’s visit to Iceland.
“Part of our conversations there will be national security-focused,” the official.
(Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio)
8/28/2019 Germany approves aid for coal regions just before they go to polls
FILE PHOTO: Supporters attend an election campaign of Germany's far-right Alternative For Germany (AFD) party ahead the
upcoming Saxony state elections in Dresden, Germany, August 25, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s cabinet backed a draft law on Wednesday to funnel billions of euros in financial support to regions affected by plans to phase out coal, days before two of them hold crunch state elections.
The draft law envisages state aid totaling 40 billion euros ($45 billion) spread over the next 20 years, mostly to four regions affected by the plans to phase out coal by 2038 – part of Germany’s transition to renewable energy, known as the ‘Energiewende.’
Two of the states to benefit are Brandenburg and Saxony, which both hold regional elections on Sunday at which Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and her Social Democrat (SPD) partners are expected to bleed support to the far-right.
A surge in support for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) in the two former communist eastern states threatens to wreck Merkel’s unwieldy right-left coalition government.
Polls show the AfD is running neck and neck with the SPD in Brandenburg, a state the Social Democrats have run since German reunification in 1990, and is a close second to Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) in Saxony.
The AfD has sought to attract voters in the poorer East by prioritizing coal jobs above the environment.
Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, a close Merkel ally, said the exit from coal was needed to bring the opportunity for the affected regions to reinvent themselves while also helping to protect the climate.
“With today’s law, we are paving the way for aid to flow quickly and for a successful structural change to take place,” he said in a statement.
The other regions to profit most from the aid are the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt and North Rhine-Westphalia in western Germany.
($1 = 0.8973 euros)
(Reporting by Markus Wacket and Paul Carrel; Editing by Gareth Jones)
8/28/2019 U.S. trade agency affirms Trump’s extra 5% tariff hike on Chinese goods by David Lawder
FILE PHOTO: Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai, China August 6, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Trade Representative’s office on Wednesday reaffirmed President Donald Trump’s plans to impose an additional 5% tariff on a list of $300 billion of Chinese imports starting on Sept. 1 and Dec. 15.
The USTR said in an official notice that on Sept 1, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency will begin collecting a 15% tariff on a portion of the list that contains over $125 billion of targeted goods from China, including smartwatches, Bluetooth headphones, flat panel televisions and footwear.
A 15% tariff will be levied on the remainder of the list, which includes cellphones, laptop computers, toys and clothing, from Dec. 15, the agency said in the Federal Register filing.
The Trump administration had previously planned to impose a lower 10% tariff on the $300 billion of imports, which represents nearly all the remaining U.S. imports from China yet to be hit with punitive U.S. tariffs.
Trump announced the tariff increase last Friday on Twitter, in response to Chinese retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods, including crude oil, escalating the protracted trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
The Federal Register notice, however, did not mention Trump’s announcement of his intention to increase the duty to 30% on a separate list of $250 billion of Chinese imports from Oct. 1, that are already being taxed at 25%.
A USTR spokesman said the Oct. 1 tariff increase, along with a process for collecting public comments on it, will be detailed in another Federal Register notice.
“China’s most recent response of announcing a new tariff increase on U.S. goods has shown that the current action being taken is no longer appropriate,” USTR said in the notice https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2019-18838.pdf posted to a government website on Wednesday.
The Trump administration has, for two years, been trying to persuade China to eliminate unfair trade practices and make sweeping changes to its policies on intellectual property protection, forced transfers of technology to Chinese firms, industrial subsidies and market access.
The U.S.-China trade dispute in July 2018 boiled over into tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of each other’s goods and threatens to engulf all trade between the countries, putting global growth at risk.
USTR accuses China of “unfair acts, policies and practices,” including its retaliatory tariffs and “concrete steps to devalue its currency,” allegations denied by Beijing.
The U.S. Treasury earlier this month declared China a currency manipulator. [L2N25201Y]
“In short, instead of addressing the underlying problems, China has increased tariffs and adopted or threatened additional retaliation to further protect the unreasonable acts, policies, and practices identified in the investigation, resulting in increased harm to the U.S. economy,” USTR said in the notice.
(Reporting by David Lawder, Andrea Shalal and David Shepardson; Editing by Bernadette Baum)
8/29/2019 Oil up $0.85 to $55.78, DOW up 258 to 26,036.
8/29/2019 DOJ IG releases Comey report by OAN Newsroom
The Justice Department’s inspector general recently released a report on the leaking of classified documents by fired FBI director James Comey.
According to the report, Comey violated policy by writing, keeping and then leaking memos about his conversations with Donald Trump during the transition period as well as during his presidency.
The inspector general did refer his findings to the Justice Department for prosecution, but the department declined.
Comey admitted to Congress that he leaked documents to the media through a friend to ensure the appointment of a special counsel into alleged Russian collusion, but said he did so after he was fired.
Read the full report here:
Report of Investigation of Former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey’s Disclosure of Sensitive Investigative Information and Handling of Certain Memoranda
FILE – In this Dec. 17, 2018, file photo, former FBI Director James Comey speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill Washington.
The Justice Department’s inspector general says former FBI Director James Comey violated FBI policies in his handling of
memos documenting private conversations with President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
8/29/2019 Trump may block $250 million in aid to Ukraine: officials
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump waves as he boards Air Force One upon departure
after the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, August 26, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House is reviewing whether $250 million in military assistance should be sent to Ukraine in keeping with President Donald Trump’s view that U.S. foreign aid must be justified, two senior administration officials said on Thursday.
The money is intended for use by Ukraine in its struggle with pro-Russian separatists backed by Moscow.
“The president has made no secret when it comes to foreign assistance that U.S. interests abroad should be prioritized and other foreign countries should also be paying their fair share,” said one of the officials, who shared details of the plan on condition of anonymity.
The officials said chances are the money will be allocated as usual but that the determination will not be made until a policy review is completed and Trump makes a final decision. The federal fiscal year ends on Sept. 30.
“Agencies are under no restrictions from preparing to obligate those funds, and agencies still have adequate time to obligate those funds prior to the end of the fiscal year,” the official said.
Moscow annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region in 2014.
(Reporting by Steve Holland, Lisa Lambert and David Alexander; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Howard Goller and Jonathan Oatis)
8/29/2019 Trump, Erdogan spoke about trade, Syria in call: White House
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump attends a bilateral meeting with Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan
during the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone on Wednesday on a range of issues, including trade and the humanitarian situation in Idlib, Syria, the White House said on Thursday.
Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu news agency reported the call on Wednesday, saying the two leaders agreed to cooperate to protect civilians in the Idlib region after jets believed to be Syrian or Russian struck a rebel-held city in northwest Syria.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Makini Brice; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
8/29/2019 U.S. crude rises 1% on big inventory draw, hurricane fears by Collin Eaton
FILE PHOTO: Pump jacks operate in front of a drilling rig in an oil field in Midland, Texas U.S. August 22, 2018. REUTERS/Nick Oxford
HOUSTON (Reuters) – U.S. oil futures rose more than 1% on Thursday, lifted by a steep drop in U.S. crude inventories, especially at the benchmark’s delivery hub due to increased demand with the start-up of two new West Texas pipelines.
The approach of Hurricane Dorian toward Florida also raised fears that offshore U.S. crude producers may slow output if the storm passes into the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend, analysts said.
Meanwhile, international benchmark Brent oil edged up, remaining above $60 a barrel as it withstood pressure from concerns about economic growth.
West Texas International (WTI) crude was up 67 cents, or 1.2%, at $56.45 a barrel by 12:21 p.m. CDT (1721 GMT). Brent crude was up 21 cents at $60.70 a barrel.
“There’s a storm premium in the WTI price,” said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. “The track of the storm is kind of dangerous for Gulf of Mexico production.”
Dorian is forecast to strengthen and become a highly dangerous Category 4 hurricane on Sunday, the National Hurricane Center said.
Last month, Hurricane Barry had prompted offshore oil companies to shut as much as 74% of production, lifting U.S. crude prices, before it weakened to a tropical storm in Louisiana.
Government data on Wednesday showed U.S. crude stocks dropped last week by 10 million barrels to their lowest since October as imports slowed, while gasoline and distillate stocks each fell by over 2 million barrels.
Inventories at the nation’s main delivery hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, where WTI futures are priced, slumped last week by nearly 2 million barrels to their lowest since December, the data showed.
Cushing stocks have dropped since the government report by over 300,000 barrels, traders said citing market intelligence firm Genscape’s midweek report.
The drop came after two new pipelines opened in the Permian Basin earlier this month, flowing crude to the U.S. Gulf Coast and tightening supplies at Cushing.
EPIC Midstream Holdings LLC and Plains All American Pipeline LP both opened new lines from the Permian to Corpus Christi, Texas, in mid-August. The lines will eventually have a combined total capacity of more than 1 million barrels per day (bpd), the companies have said.
“The market is bid on filling these lines,” said Robert Yawger, an analyst at Mizuho in New York. “Things have changed drastically in just two or three weeks. And you’re going to have another big pipeline that’s going to continue to change the math.”
Phillips 66 expects its 900,000 bpd Gray Oak pipeline to come into service before the end of the year.
On Wednesday, EPIC proposed to lower transportation rates on its 400,000 bpd line to $1.35 a barrel, down from $2.50 a barrel, effective Sept. 1, according to U.S. regulatory filings. Cheaper rates will encourage greater flows to the coast and reduce deliveries into Cushing, analysts said.
As shippers send more Permian crude to the Gulf Coast, “there’s more competition for Cushing barrels,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston. “You’ll see a continued decline in Cushing inventories.”
(GRAPHIC: U.S. weekly petroleum stocks link: https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/editorcharts/US-OIL-STOCKS/0H001PBQX5Y0/eikon.png)
Concerns about a slowdown in economic growth due to the trade war raging between the United States and China, the world’s biggest oil consumers, along with the potential hit to oil demand, are keeping prices in check.
China’s commerce ministry said on Thursday China and the United States were discussing the next round of face-to-face trade talks scheduled for September, but hopes for progress hinged on whether Washington could create favorable conditions.
Media reports that China will not retaliate anytime soon against the United States because of new U.S. tariffs “is tamping down fears of the trade wars,” said Gene McGillian, vice president of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.
(Additional reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar in London, Aaron Sheldrick in Tokyo and Julia Payne in London; Editing by Marguerita Choy)
8/29/2019 White House mulls Sen. Scott’s plan to cut taxes by amount raised in tariffs by OAN Newsroom
The White House is reportedly considering cutting taxes again to offset possible negative effects of tariffs on foreign trade. According to Thursday reports, the Trump administration could spend billions of dollars in tariff revenues on a new fiscal stimulus package.
The idea, which was proposed by Florida Senator Rick Scott, would offset a potential rise in costs of imports to U.S. consumers and support GDP growth. Democrat officials have claimed the trade war with China could hurt the purchasing power of Americans.
Fla. Sen. Rick Scott is pictured. (AP Photo)
Senator Scott is urging the U.S. government to tax foreign companies and help U.S. consumers and companies.
“We’ve gotta help American companies to do everything we can to buy American product, we get more American jobs and stop helping China, they’re mot a partner,” he stated. “So, I think anything we raise in tariffs, we should give back to the American public in tax reductions, so it doesn’t impact American families.”
White House officials, however, admit they are uncertain if the proposed plan would get through Democrat-controlled House.
8/29/2019 Defense Secretary Esper, Saudi counterpart talk bilateral ties, security at Pentagon by OAN Newsroom
Defense Secretary Mark Esper recently met with Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman at the Pentagon for diplomatic talks. The two officials focused on the ongoing conflict in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is fighting militants backed by Iran.
The sides also discussed bilateral security ties as well as the sale of U.S. weapons and military equipment to Riyadh, and efforts to address security challenges in the Middle East.
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper speaks to Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman,
during their meeting at the Pentagon, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Secretary Esper praised the Saudi contribution to protecting U.S. interests in the region.
“Prince Sultan Air Base is an important base that allows us to foster troops and equipment and protect our shared interests throughout the region,” stated the U.S. defense secretary. “This is a critical time for our countries to continue to work together as there are many threats to stability throughout the Middle East.”
The Saudi minister thanked the U.S. for ongoing support, and said the kingdom will work to deescalate regional tensions and mitigate emerging threats.
8/30/2019 Oil up $0.67 to $56.45, DOW up 326 to 26,362.
8/30/2019 CBP agents say new border wall in ‘smuggler’s gulch’ makes a difference by OAN Newsroom
According to California Border Patrol agents, new infrastructure in an area known as “smuggler’s gulch” is making a difference. On Thursday, the agent in charge — Justin De La Torre — stated a steep, open canyon between Tijuana and San Diego has been used for decades by immigrants attempting to smuggle drugs into the U.S. from Mexico.
The agent said when he first started working in “smuggler’s gulch” there needed to be at least five agents on patrol. He also noted that effective infrastructure there was lacking. However, De La Torre now says the wall’s formidable features have successfully bolstered Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) security efforts.
“It has an anti-climb feature, it’s made of steel, it also has a concrete base that prevents digging from underneath, and now we’re able to control this area with the new infrastructure,” he stated.
De La Torre added, the agents who patrolled “smugglers gulch” in the past only had a fence made out of landing mat to aid security efforts. He said the fence helped, but it was easy to climb.
Workers break ground on new border wall construction about 20 miles west of Santa Teresa, New Mexico,
Aug. 23, 2019. The wall visible on the left was built in 2018 with money allocated by Congress, while the
new construction is funded by money reallocated from Department of Defense funding. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)
President Trump moved to replace the fencing along the San Diego border earlier this year as his administration sped up moves to build taller, stronger border reinforcement. During the State of the Union address, the president stated CBP agents are the ones who see how the wall is helping mitigate the crisis at the border first-hand.
“This is a smart, strategic, see-through steel barrier — not just a simple concrete wall,” said the president. “It will be deployed in the areas identified by border agents as having the greatest need, and as these agents will tell you, where walls go up, illegal crossings go way down.”
Border officials stated they are continuing their efforts to construct several miles of wall along the southwest border. The CBP confirmed several wall construction projects are underway in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.
8/30/2019 CNN touts OANN during anti-Fox news panel by OAN Newsroom
One America News Network received a shout from one of the most outspoken anti-Trump talk show hosts on TV. Earlier this week on CNN, anchor Don Lemon held a panel on the president’s anti-Fox News tweets. During the discussion, a Daily Beast columnist brought up the president’s new favorite news channel — One America News.
While some critics on the panel tried to downplay One America’s rise, others gave the channel some free publicity. One America News CEO Robert Herring took to Twitter in response to the discussion:
Here’s how it all played out.
[CNN the "Fake News" ratings have fallen down to its lowest point in its history, and Fox News and OANN are having highest ratings in their history as the American people are waking up to the issue of lies for the past 3 years.].
8/30/2019 Brexit: PM Johnson faces mounting legal, political, diplomatic challenges by Guy Faulconbridge and Gabriela Baczynska
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe on
day three of the G7 Summit in Biarritz, France, August 26, 2019. Andrew Parsons/Pool via REUTERS
LONDON/HELSINKI (Reuters) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan was facing mounting legal, political and diplomatic challenges on Friday as Ireland accused Britain of being unreasonable and former British leader John Major sought to stop the suspension of parliament.
The ultimate outcome of Britain’s tortuous three-year Brexit crisis remains unclear with options ranging from a frantic departure without an exit deal or a last-minute agreement to an election or referendum that could cancel the whole endeavor.
Johnson, the face of the Vote Leave campaign in the 2016 referendum, has promised to lead the United Kingdom out of the European Union in two months with or without a divorce deal, a threat he hopes will convince the bloc to give him the exit deal he wants.
In the eye of the Brexit maelstrom, though, Johnson was under mounting pressure: opponents in parliament were plotting to tear up his Brexit plans or topple his government, while his suspension of parliament was under scrutiny in the courts.
Johnson’s bid to get the insurance policy for the Irish border changed were bluntly dismissed by Dublin which said London was being totally unreasonable.
“Boris Johnson is outlining a very clear and firm position but it is a totally unreasonable position that the EU cannot facilitate and he must know that,” Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said in an interview with Ireland’s Newstalk radio.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Britain should make concrete proposals as soon as possible but that the EU could not imagine reopening the Withdrawal Agreement that Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May agreed with Brussels in November.
Britain insisted it had made proposals on the border backstop and that it was “untrue” to suggest it had not.
The government said British negotiators would hold twice-weekly talks with EU officials next month in an attempt to rework the Brexit agreement that Britain’s parliament has repeatedly rejected.
With just two months until the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU, Johnson’s decision to ask Queen Elizabeth to suspend parliament was under challenge from three separate court proceedings.
The queen on Aug. 28 approved Johnson’s order to suspend parliament from as early as Sept. 9 to Oct. 14, a move that ensures parliament would sit for around four days less than it had been expected to.
Former Prime Minister John Major, whose 1990-1997 premiership included the 1992 disorderly exit of the pound from the Exchange Rate Mechanism, asked to join one of the proceedings to block Johnson’s order.
A Scottish court will hear arguments on Sept. 3, a case brought by campaigner Gina Miller will be heard on Sept. 5 and a Northern Irish court will hear a separate case on Sept. 6.
Ultimately, the cases could be combined to go to the Supreme Court – the final court of appeal in the United Kingdom which hears cases of the gravest constitutional importance.
“Legal proceedings can be fast-tracked as the judges in the case determine,” Robert Blackburn, professor of constitutional law at King’s College London, told Reuters.
“If the case of those bringing the legal proceedings wins, the Supreme Court could quash and/or declare unlawful the Privy Council order authorizing the forthcoming prorogation,” said Blackburn.
In parliament, the battle for Brexit was due to begin in earnest on Sept. 3 when lawmakers return from their summer break and will try to either topple the government or force through a law designed to prevent Britain leaving the EU without an exit deal.
(Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Janet Lawrence)
8/30/2019 Oil falls ahead of hurricane but posts weekly gain as U.S.-China trade war eases by Stephanie Kelly
FILE PHOTO: A pump jack operates at sunset in an oil field in Midland, Texas U.S. August 22, 2018. REUTERS/Nick Oxford
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil futures fell on Friday, with U.S. crude down nearly 3% ahead of a hurricane near the Florida coast that could dampen demand, but prices were still headed for the biggest weekly increase since early July, boosted by an easing of U.S.-China trade rhetoric.
Brent crude futures fell 65 cents, or 1.1%, to settle at $60.43 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures settled down $1.61, or 2.8%, at $55.10 a barrel.
Hurricane Dorian gained strength as it crept closer to Florida’s coast on Friday, raising the risk that parts of the U.S. state will be hit by strong winds, a storm surge and heavy rain for a prolonged period after it makes landfall early next week.
“The latest modeling has Hurricane Dorian avoiding the Gulf of Mexico, while raking the entire state of Florida, turning it into a demand destruction event for the energy market rather than a supply disruption event,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital in New York.
U.S. crude oil output fell for a second straight month in June, dropping by 33,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 12.08 million bpd, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a monthly report released on Friday.
In an indication of future production, U.S. energy firms cut 12 oil rigs in the week to Aug. 30, bringing the total count down to 742, General Electric Co’s Baker Hughes energy services firm said on Friday. The rig count declined for the ninth straight month to its lowest level since January last year.
Meanwhile, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ oil output rose 80,000 barrels per day in August, the first monthly increase this year, a Reuters survey found.
OPEC, Russia and other nonmembers, an alliance known as OPEC+, agreed in December to reduce supply by 1.2 million bpd in 2019. Russia’s oil output in August was slightly higher than levels agreed under its output deal with OPEC+, but Moscow is still aiming to comply fully with the deal, RIA and Interfax news agencies cited Energy Minister Alexander Novak as saying.
Oil prices have fallen around 20% since they hit a 2019 peak in April, in part because of concerns that the U.S.-China trade war could hurt the global economy and soften demand for oil.
In August alone, Brent posted a monthly drop of 7.3%, and WTI fell by 6%.
This week, however, WTI gained by 1.7% and Brent by 1.8%, in part due to hopes that trade tensions between the world’s two biggest oil consumers are easing.
Chinese and U.S. trade negotiating teams are maintaining effective communication, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday at a daily news briefing in Beijing.
Analysts polled by Reuters slashed price forecasts for Brent to an average of $65.02 in 2019 – the lowest in more than 16 months – citing softening global demand brought on by an economic slowdown and the trade war.
Hedge funds and other money managers cut their net long U.S. crude futures and options positions in the week to Aug. 27 by 20,049 contracts to 197,055, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.
(Reporting by Stephanie Kelly in New York; Additional reporting by Noah Browning in London and Aaron Sheldrick in Tokyo; Editing by Richard Chang and Matthew Lewis)
8/30/2019 U.S. blacklists Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya, sanctions captain
FILE PHOTO: A crew member takes pictures with a mobile phone on Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya 1,
previously named Grace 1, as it sits anchored after the Supreme Court of the British territory lifted its
detention order, in the Strait of Gibraltar, Spain, August 18, 2019. REUTERS/Jon Nazca/File Photo
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury Department on Friday blacklisted the Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya, which is at the center of a confrontation between Washington and Tehran, and sanctioned its captain.
The ship, formerly called Grace 1, was detained by Britain off Gibraltar in July due to British suspicion it was carrying Iranian oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions. It was released in mid-August after Iran gave assurances its cargo was not headed to Syria.
“Vessels like the Adrian Darya 1 enable the (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force) to ship and transfer large volumes of oil, which they attempt to mask and sell illicitly to fund the regime’s malign activities and propagate terrorism,” Treasury Under Secretary Sigal Mandelker said in a statement.
“Anyone providing support to the Adrian Darya 1 risks being sanctioned,” she said.
The United States considers Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist group.
Turkey said on Friday the ship was headed to Lebanon’s waters after changing course several times, although Beirut said it was not informed of the plan. It raises the possibility that a ship-to-ship transfer of cargo may be attempted once it nears Lebanon’s coast.
(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Chris Reese)
8/31/2019 Oil down $1.58 to $55.03, DOW up 41 to 26,403.
8/31/209 ELECTION 2020 - Guest list for Democratic presidential debate now 10 by Annah Aschbrenner and Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY
After two debates that spanned two nights and included 20 candidates, the third Democratic debate will cut those numbers in half.
The lineup of presidential candidates who made the debate stage was announced Thursday and included 10 of the 20 Democrats seeking the White House. The debate will be confined to one night. It will air live on ABC, Univision, KTRK-TV and ABC News Live on Sept. 12. It will be hosted at Texas Southern University, a historically black university in Houston.
The following candidates will appear on stage together:
The September debate is the first that required raised thresholds in polling and fundraising, in accordance with Democratic National Committee guidelines. To make the stage, candidates had to meet a 2% threshold in four qualifying national or early state polls and secure at least 130,000 unique donors, including 400 donors each from at least 20 states. Candidates had until Wednesday to meet the marks.
- Former Vice President Joe Biden
- Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey
- South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
- Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro
- Sen. Kamala Harris of California
- Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
- Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas
- Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
- Andrew Yang, entrepreneur
The new polling and fundraising thresholds have proved difficult for many candidates, and four Democratic candidates have dropped out of the race since the previous debate in July. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand dropped out on Wednesday, the day of the deadline to meet the qualifications.
Candidates left off the stage this time around after having made at least one of the previous debates include: Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado; Montana Gov. Steve Bullock; New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio; former Rep. John Delaney; Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii; Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio; and author Marianne Williamson.
Three other candidates – Miramar, Florida Mayor Wayne Messam; Navy vice admiral and former Rep. Joe Sestak; and billionaire activist Tom Steyer – have not qualified for any of the three debates.
Those who were in danger of missing the stage weren’t shy about their frustrations with the process.
“We’re rewarding celebrity candidates with millions of Twitter followers, billionaires who buy their way onto the debate stage and candidates who have been running for president for years,” Bennet said last week at the DNC’s summer meeting in San Francisco. “It forces campaigns to (fork) over millions of dollars to Facebook (to purchase ads to gain donors), the same platform that let the Russians interfere in 2016, instead of harnessing the resources to talk to voters.”
Gabbard’s campaign on Monday called for the DNC to revise which polls it considers for qualifying, citing in a statement “numerous irregularities in the selection and timing of those polls.”
“Notably, there have been only four qualifying polls released after the second Democratic primary debate compared with fourteen qualifying polls released in the month after the first Democratic primary debate,” the statement read.
On Wednesday morning, the campaign sent a fundraising email to supporters referencing the DNC debate criteria.
Williamson’s campaign also took issue Tuesday night with the number of polls that have been released since July.
8/31/2019 At least 5 dead, 21 shot in Odessa, Texas, police confirm at least one suspect dead by OAN Newsroom
We’re continuing to follow developing news out of West Texas, where five people are confirmed dead and at least 21 others are injured following a mass shooting.
Authorities Saturday evening said a suspect was shot and killed in a local movie theater in Odessa, after opening fire on nearly two dozen people.
According to reports, a suspect opened fire along I-20 this Saturday afternoon, wounding a state trooper and multiple others. The official is said to be in stable condition.
Officials said there is only one suspect at this time, who switched vehicles during the incident, but add the investigation remains ongoing.
Meantime, President Trump said he has been briefed on the situation, and that the FBI and law enforcement is fully engaged.
8/31/2019 Police: at least 9 people shot at Ala. high school football game by OAN Newsroom
An investigation is underway after at least nine people have been shot at a high school football game in Mobile, Alabama.
At least 10 people were injured in a shooting at a high school football game in Mobile, Alabama.
Though details are slim, witnesses said Friday they were exiting the event when the gunshots rang out. Authorities confirmed the shooting victims ranged from 15 to 47-years-old.
While Chief Lawrence Battiste did not confirm what the shooting stemmed from, he blasted young people for bringing their issues into public settings and putting people in danger.
According to Batiste, six of the victims have been treated and released from the hospital. Three others remain in the hospital.
Deangelo Parnell, 17, was arrested and charged with nine counts of attempted murder.
Police announced Friday night they had taken two suspects into custody. However, early Saturday morning 17-year-old Deangelo Parnell turned himself in to police.
The teen is reportedly being held at Mobile Metro Jail and is facing nine counts of attempted murder.
8/31/2019 President Trump: suing Omarosa Newman over confidentiality agreement by OAN Newsroom
President Trump said he’s filing a lawsuit against former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman.
In a tweet Saturday, the president said he’s currently suing “various people” for confidentiality agreement violations.
He said one of them included Newman, adding although he gave her a break, she went for some cheap money with a book.
Trump tweet: “...Yes, I am currently suing various people for violating their confidentiality agreements. Disgusting and foul mouthed Omarosa is one. I gave her every break, despite the fact that she was despised by everyone, and she went for some cheap money from a book. Numerous others also!”
The tweet comes after the president said he wouldn’t have to enforce a confidentially agreement against former personal assistant Madeline Westerhout, who stepped down earlier this week.
Newman published a book about her alleged experiences working with the president last year.
8/31/2019 Illegal acquitted of murdering Kate Steinle gets gun conviction tossed by Calif. appeals court by OAN Newsroom
An illegal alien acquitted of killing Kate Steinle back in 2015 sees his gun conviction overturned by a San Francisco court.
FILE – In this July 17, 2015, file photo, flowers and a portrait of Kate Steinle remain at a memorial site on Pier 14
in San Francisco. A California state appeals court has thrown out the sole conviction against an immigrant who fatally shot
Steinle on the San Francisco waterfront in 2015. The 1st District Court of Appeal on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, overturned a gun
conviction against Garcia-Zarate because the judge failed to instruct the jury on one of his defenses. Garcia-Zarate is in
custody and facing federal gun charges. (Paul Chinn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)
Earlier Friday, an appeals court reversed Jose Inez Garcia-Zarate’s 2017 conviction for possession of a firearm by a felon.
This comes after he accused a judge of failing to tell the jury it’s not a crime to “momentarily” have a gun. The 46-year-old claims he found the firearm on a San Francisco pier, picked it up, and it “accidentally” went off.
The bullet then ricocheted off a concrete-walkway, before fatally striking Steinle. Garcia-Zarate then threw the gun into the bay. He was deported five times before Steinle’s death, sparking a nationwide debate over sanctuary city policies.
He’s currently being held in custody on federal gun charges.
[THE ABOVE NEWS ARTICLE IS VERY DISGRACEFUL TO WHAT WE ARE AS AMERICANS TO LET THIS KIND OF THING OCCUR AND AS YOU SEE HERE THE DEMOCRATS HAVE LOADED THEIR COURTS WITH LIBERAL JUDGES FOR YEARS AND SHOULD BE A WAKE UP CALL FOR THE SUPREME COURT. THIS IS WHY WE ALL SHOULD BOYCOTT TRAVELING TO CALIFORNIA SINCE SANCTUARY CITIES LET ILLEGAL MIGRANTS VIOLATE THE LAW OF THE U.S.A. AND GET AWAY WITH IT MULTIPLE TIMES.].
8/31/2019 ‘Earthquake’ elections in east Germany could jolt Merkel’s coalition by Joseph Nasr
Alternative for Germany (AfD) supporters react during an election campaign event ahead of the upcoming Brandenburg
and Saxony state elections in Koenigs Wusterhausen, Germany August 30, 2019. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi
BERLIN (Reuters) – Elections in two east German states on Sunday are set to yield a surge in support for the far right and raise the pressure on conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Social Democrat (SPD) coalition partners to quit her government.
Both Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and the SPD are expected to lose support to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in Brandenburg and Saxony.
But polls show that the SPD will be the bigger losers when the voting ends at 1600 GMT. Exit polls are due then.
The AfD is harnessing voter anger over refugees and the planned closure of coal mines in the two regions and cast themselves as the heirs of the demonstrators who brought about the fall of the Berlin Wall three decades ago.
The SPD is almost tied with the anti-immigrant AfD in Brandenburg, where an unprecedented victory for the far-right party would amplify leftist voices in the center-left party who want out of the coalition to rebuild in opposition.
The latest poll put the Social Democrats on 22%, just 1 point ahead of the AfD in Brandenburg, the state neighboring Poland that has been governed by the SPD since German reunification three decades ago.
“Earthquake in the east, earthquake in Berlin?,” headlined the Munich-based Merkur newspaper. “A resounding (SPD) defeat in the east would be grist to the mill of critics (of the coalition).”
The SPD has been run by an interim leadership team since their leader stepped down in June after painful losses in the elections for the European Parliament and support for the party nationally is at a record low of about 15%.
SPD delegates are expected to elect a new leader in December and the party has promised members to assess the partnership with Merkel’s conservatives at the end of this year.
CRACKS IN COALITION
A coalition breakdown could trigger a snap federal election before 2021, an unappealing option for the SPD given that national polls have put Merkel’s conservatives first, with the Greens close behind and the SPD trailing on a par with the AfD.
Another option would be a conservative minority government, anathema to stability-loving Germans.
To tame opponents of continuing to serve in Merkel’s government, SPD leaders could demand painful concessions from the conservatives, such as generous state pensions for low-income workers and higher taxes for the rich.
This would anger many conservatives who prefer tax relief for companies and widen cracks in an unwieldy coalition that has been weakened by disputes over asylum policy, tax and pensions.
“The coalition is no end in itself for us,” Ralph Brinkhaus, conservative leader in the national parliament warned the SPD in an interview with Focus Magazine. “We as conservatives are surely not going to bend over backwards just to reach 2021.”
Merkel’s CDU has widened their lead over the AfD in Saxony, where they have governed since 1990.
But support for the conservatives in the state of 4 million people on the border with Poland and the Czech Republic is expected to fall by more than 7 points to 32% as they lose voters to both the AfD and Greens.
A humiliating outcome in Saxony is likely to renew debate among conservatives about whether CDU leader and Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, aka AKK, is the right person to lead them into the next national election.
Kramp-Karrenbauer, widely seen as the most likely successor to Merkel who will not run as chancellor in the 2021 federal election, has seen her popularity slide since taking over as CDU leader last year after damaging gaffes.
“It’s going to be tough for AKK. She has to prove she is fit for the defense minister post. As CDU leader she would also be needed to deal with any SPD moves to leave the coalition,” wrote the Berliner Morgenpost.
“Will her authority suffice? Her popularity is at the bottom and bad election results will lead to a discussion among conservatives about her future,” the newspaper added.
(Writing by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Alison Williams)
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