Explosives require careful handling. Sometimes they blow up in your face.
After the 2016 election, the so-called deep state was confident that it had the power easily to either stop, remove, or delegitimize the outlier Donald Trump and his presidency.
Give it credit, the Washington apparat quite imaginatively pulled out all the stops: implanting Obama holdover appointees all over the Trump executive branch; filing lawsuits and judge shopping; organizing the Resistance; pursuing impeachment writs; warping the FISA courts; weaponizing the DOJ and FBI; attempting to disrupt the Electoral College; angling for enactment of the 25th Amendment or the emoluments clause; and unleashing Hollywood celebrities, Silicon Valley, and many in Wall Street to suffocate the Trump presidency in its infancy.
But now the administrative state’s multifaceted efforts are starting to unwind, and perhaps even boomerang, on the perpetrators. If a federal judge should end up throwing out most of the indictments of Paul Manafort on the rationale that they have nothing much to do with the original mandate of the special counsel’s office, or if Michael Flynn’s confession to giving false statements is withdrawn successfully because the FBI politicized its investigation and FISA courts were misled in approving the surveillance of Flynn, then the Mueller investigation will implode. . . . Clivck article title to continue reading.
John Pilger special: Beyond the headlines on Syria, Salisbury, Yemen and North Korea . . . from goingundergroundRT . . . a wonderful video ‘conversation’
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Withdrawing US troops from the Korean Peninsula will not be on the table of negotiations with North Korea, Defense Secretary James Mattis said during a Senate hearing on Wednesday.
Commenting on Wednesday’s meeting between Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Li Kai of Shanxi Finance University told Sputnik about a proposed free trade zone between the three countries.
After being shipped a phalanx of advanced Javelin anti-tank missiles, Ukraine’s oligarch-dictator Petro Poroshenko wasted no time preparing for an offensive against pro-Russian fighters in the Donbass region. Hours after the announcement the U.S. weapons had reached Ukraine, think tanks and analysts began mulling over Poroshenko’s redux military mission against separatists.
On April 30, 2018, the same day the U.S. missiles created a media wave again, Ukraine’s “antiterrorist operation” in the eastern region of Donbas officially ended. In place of a long-awaited resolution to the Donbass stalemate, the Porosenko junta reshuffled the deck renaming the war on the pro-Russian citizens in the East a “joint forces operation.” My colleagues in Russia, America, and in the EU are now afraid of a full-scale assault which would inevitably escalate out of control. The Minsk Protocol and Minsk II seem like faint and far off echoes of negotiated peace today. Here’s why.
The so-called “antiterrorist operation” (ATO) which Poroshenko used to pummel separatists and civilians alike in the Donbass was intended to be a short-lived operation to smash the relatively puny force made up of Donbass fighters and volunteers. But when the carnage gripped the world, and when those outnumbered fighters held out under the Poroshenko regime’s onslaught, the “big boys” stepped in to broker a tentative ceasefire. Now, with a booster shot of money and weapons from the Trump Administration, it seems clear the war on the frontier will be reignited. But my Donbass colleagues have been ready for this all along. What’s more important for all Ukrainians is Poroshenko’s wider ambitions. You see, the biggest difference between the terrorist operation (ATO) and the joint forces operation has little to do with semantics. With the instigating of the JFO Poroshenko is ceasing tighter control over all of Ukraine. Pay close attention. The previous operation was run under the auspices of the security force, the SBU. Now, the new operation will be primarily under the control of the armed forces, which are wholly controlled by the Commander in Chief, Petro Poroshenko. Furthermore, regional and local police, the SBU, the National Guard, and the Border Guard Service will now be utilized under the presidential command structure. . . . Click article title to continue reading.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States has dedicated a large portion of its Defense Intelligence Agency to keep an eye on Russia, US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford said during a Senate hearing on Wednesday.
Shortly after President Donald Trump announced that Washington was quitting the Iran nuclear deal, the US Treasury pledged to pursue efforts to significantly reduce purchases of Iranian crude oil.
The oil price has skyrocketed to its highest in more than three years, just 12 hours after President Donald Trump said that that the US is abandoning the “horrible and one-sided” Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, according to the Financial Times.
During early trading in London on Wednesday, Brent Crude, which serves as a major benchmark price for purchases of oil worldwide, increased by 3.1 percent to 77.20 dollars per barrel, while the US benchmark, WTI, rose by a similar amount, to 70.93. dollars per barrel.
Shortly after Trump’s announcement about the JCPOA, the US Treasury said in a statement that the US’s re-imposition of sanctions against Iran would go into effect as of November 2018.
“The sanctions lifted under section 1245(d) of the NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act] will be re-imposed following a 180-day wind-down period, and the United States will again pursue efforts to reduce Iran’s sales of crude oil under the NDAA during and following that period,” the Treasury said.
The Saudi Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, in turn, vowed to do its best to maintain stability in oil markets after Trump’s decision, while the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said that it would continue making efforts to rebalance the oil market and bring investment back into the oil industry.
As one of the world’s largest oil producers, Iran has proven crude oil reserves totaling about 157 billion barrels, according to OPEC. Trump’s move is expected to lead to the introduction of sanctions targeting Iran’s oil sector and subsequently oil shortages in the global markets.
The JCPOA was signed on July 14, 2015 by the European Union and the P5+1 group of countries – China, Germany, France, Russia, the US and the UK.
The deal envisages a gradual lifting of anti-Iranian sanctions in exchange for Tehran curbing its nuclear program and allowing inspections to ensure that the nature of the program is peaceful.
The European Union has moved to protect the interests of its companies that do business in Iran, following the United States decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal.
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As AP reports, in the federal election, Prime Minister Najib Razak’s National Front is lagging behind the opposition, which campaigned on a platform of saving Malaysia from a corrupt elite after a multibillion-dollar corruption scandal at a state investment fund set up by Najib.
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George Webb explains Uranium One
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From rumbling robots to hypersonic missiles: Russia celebrates it 73rd Victory Day parade. . . (many photos and a video)