A South Korean delegation asks Washington for nuclear weapons

A photo distributed on Sept. 3 by the North Korean government shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, second from right, at an undisclosed location. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via Associated Press)

 

The heated debate in South Korea over redeploying U.S. nuclear weapons on its territory has now reached Washington. A senior delegation of South Korean lawmakers is in town making the case to the Trump administration and Congress that such a move is needed to confront North Korea’s growing nuclear capability and place more pressure on China.

“We are here to ask for redeployment of tactical nuclear warheads in South Korea,” Lee Cheol Woo, the head of the intelligence committee of South Korea’s National Assembly, told me Thursday morning. Continue reading

Liberal Billionaire George Soros Will Spend More on the 2018 Midterm Race Than Ever Before

Billionaire liberal donor George Soros

 

Controversial billionaire George Soros will spend more on the 2018 midterm elections than in any previous one.

In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that corporations, unions, and certain nonprofits should be allowed to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to advocate for and against political candidates.

Since then, Soros has raised $5 million for Democratic politicians in midterm elections.

Specifically, Soros took advantage of this ruling by using his Open Society Foundation (OSF) as a major contributor hub for the politicians and legislative proposals he liked best.

Continue reading

Iran Caught Shipping Soldiers to Syria on Commercial Flights in Violation of Nuclear Deal

 

Congress demands investigation, imposition of new sanctions

New photographs obtained by congressional leaders show Iran shipping militant soldiers to Syria on commercial airline flights, a move that violates the landmark nuclear agreement and has sparked calls from U.S. lawmakers for a formal investigation by the Trump administration, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.

Photographs published by a Washington, D.C., think-tank and provided to Congress show Iran using its flagship commercial carrier, Iran Air, to ferry militants to Syria, where they have joined the fight against U.S. forces in the region. Continue reading

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve Is Slowly Dying

 

Forty years ago, in the wake of the Arab oil embargo that made the United States acutely aware of just how dependent its economy was on imported crude, the government set up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in a bid to make sure there were no repeats of the painful shortages the embargo caused.

Now, there are about 700 million barrels in the SPR. The U.S. is producing 9.42 million barrels daily, as of the week ending August 4th, a figure that is set to continue rising as shale producers keep on pumping more. Imports as of last week averaged 7.8 million barrels daily, with the four-week average at 8 million bpd. This means that the SPR holds crude oil equal to 40 days of local production plus imports. Continue reading

Russia Eyes Rapid Middle East Energy Expansion

Graph 1. Russian Participation within the framework of the Iran Petroleum Contract.

 

Having battled through the travails of an ever-tightening sanctions regime and a prolonged economic downturn, which in most cases led to a freezing up or lowering of expenditures and the adoption of a very risk-averse investment strategy, Russian companies are now destined to embark upon a new expansion, this time in the Middle East. With the recently imposed U.S. sanctions further impacting Russia’s ability to form partnerships with Western majors, Iran, Iraq and possibly even Syria will become the new hub of Russian oil-related investments. Immensely rich in oil, yet lacking the funds necessary to exploit it, virtually unsanctionable for any potential cooperation with Russian companies (even sanctions vis-à-vis Iraq are implausible given the ongoing fight against the Islamic State) and brought ever closer together politically on the back of recent developments in the region, the Middle East-Russia axis is bound to get stronger with time. Continue reading

EU “Sounds Alarm” Over New US Sanctions On Russia; Germany Threatens Retaliation

Late on Friday, Congressional negotiators reached a deal to advance a bill that would punish Russia for its interference in the 2016 election and restrict the president’s power to remove sanctions on Moscow, according to the WSJ. The measure, if signed into law, will also give Congress veto powers to block any easing of Russian sanctions by the president. And while it remained unclear if President Donald Trump would sign the bill if it reaches his desk, which is now likely, the loudest complaint about the bill to date has emerged noe from the Oval Office, but from Brussels, after the EU once again urged (and warned, and threatened) US lawmakers to coordinate their anti-Russia actions with European partners, or else. Continue reading

‘I’ve seen America, it’s lousy’: Duterte vows never to visit US

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte © Romeo Ranoco / Reuters

 

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has fired back at US senators who criticized abuses during his ‘war on drugs.’ While the US lawmakers opposed any possible trip by Duterte to America, the leader said he had no intention of visiting the “lousy” country.

“There will never be a time that I will go to America during my term, or even thereafter,” Duterte said on Friday, as quoted by Reuters. Continue reading

“Financial Crisis” Coming By End Of 2018 – Prepare Urgently

Source: Financial Times

 

“Financial Crisis Of Historic Proportions” Is “Bearing Down On Us”

John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics latest research note, Prepare for Turbulence, is excellent and a must read warning about the coming financial crisis. Mind refreshed from what sounds like a wonderful honeymoon and having had the time to read some books outside his “comfort zone” he has come to the conclusion that we are on the verge of  a “major financial crisis, if not later this year, then by the end of 2018 at the latest.” Continue reading

Yellen’s Shocking Announcement: The $USD is TOAST

 

Fed Chair Janet Yellen just announced that the Fed will be kicking the $USD off a cliff.

She didn’t use those words, but the words she did use weren’t all that different.

But first a little context… Continue reading

As U.S. balks at rebuilding infrastructure, China advances ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ strategy to dominate Eurasia, Africa

 

On May 14-15, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) hosted the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. The Beijing meeting attracted 29 heads of state (including Russian President Vladimir Putin) and representatives of 130 other countries (including the U.S.), plus the leaders of 70 international organizations, including UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

Chinese President Xi Jinping gave the keynote address heralding the “One Belt, One Road” initiative (BRI) as a top priority. And well it should be, given that its goal is nothing less than to establish Chinese preeminence (even hegemony) over Eurasia and Africa. Continue reading

U.S. Military has ‘No Defense’ against Russian Nuclear Missiles, Top General Says

Air Force Gen. John Hyten, who was the chief commander of the U.S. missile and nuclear warhead arsenal, told members of Congress Tuesday that Moscow’s deployment last month of at least two battalions of the SSC-8 cruise missile, also called the RK-55 Relief, violated a 1987 arms treaty and put most of Europe at risk. Hyten told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Moscow’s latest move left the U.S. and its NATO allies off guard.

We have no defense for it, especially in defense of our European allies,” Hyten told the Senate Armed Services Committee, according to the Agence France-Presse. “That system can range and threaten most of the continent of Europe depending on where it is deployed. … It is a concern and we’re going to have to figure out how to deal with it as a nation.” Continue reading

Wanda Faces Hurdles in Closing Dick Clark Prods. Deal (EXCLUSIVE)

As an update from an earlier post, we see Donald Trump stepping in to save what little American industry remains.

For additional information on the Chinese invasion and infiltration of Hollywood, see the following previous posts:

Paramount Gets China Infusion: $1 Billion, 3-Year Slate Co-Financing Deal With Shanghai Film Group & Huahua Media

Chinese conglomerate to buy stake in Hollywood studio: reports

China Invading Hollywood

 

Sources close to the situation still expect Wanda to close the acquisition sometime in February, and say that the only speed bump has been that some details are still being worked out. With the Chinese New Year holiday beginning on Saturday, work is expected to be halted for at least the next week.

One person said that work on the deal also came to a standstill a few weeks ago, amid concerns that the nationalistic focus of the new Trump administration might mean greater scrutiny to big investments in the U.S. by Wanda, Alibaba and the new breed of Sino mega conglomerates. The Dick Clark Prods. transaction was only the most recent mega-acquisition for Wanda, which also bought Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion last year and AMC Theaters for $2.6 billion in 2012. Wanda’s buying spree has caught the attention of members of both parties in Congress, who worry that they could mark a strategic extension of Chinese “soft power.” Continue reading

U.S. Sent $221 Million to Palestinians in Obama’s Last Hours

FILE – In this Jan. 15, 2017 file-pool photo, Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with the media in Paris. Defying Republican opposition, officials say the Obama administration in its waning hours quietly released $221 million to the Palestinian Authority that GOP members of Congress had been blocking. The official said John Kerry had informed some lawmakers of the move shortly before he left the State Department for the last time on. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool, File)

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Officials say the Obama administration in its waning hours defied Republican opposition and quietly released $221 million to the Palestinian Authority that GOP members of Congress had been blocking.

A State Department official and several congressional aides said the outgoing administration formally notified Congress it would spend the money Friday morning. The official said former Secretary of State John Kerry had informed some lawmakers of the move shortly before he left the State Department for the last time Thursday. The aides said written notification dated Jan. 20 was sent to Congress just hours before Donald Trump took the oath of office. Continue reading

China Seen Readying for Trade War During Trump Presidency

“In the event of a trade war with the United States, China’s response would go well beyond tariff increases,” said Mark Williams, Chief Asia Economist for Capital Economics. “U.S. companies would find their products and operations in China subject to tighter regulation that hampered their capacity to do business there.”

“U.S. exports of cars and aircraft would be in the firing line,” he said. China might also subject U.S. companies to tighter regulation that hampers their capacity to do business. Beijing may also encourage its exporters by offering tax rebates to overcome any reduction in export demand in the U.S., Williams said. Continue reading

Make Europe Great Again

WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) – Foreign policy experts are calling for the EU’s concerted effort in opposition to a future USA governed by Donald Trump. According to the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), a unified European stance is necessary to increase “leverage” over Washington. If the US President-elect ignores Europe’s interests, Europe should consider going its own way in global policies, writes a German author in the leading US foreign policy periodical. It may be necessary “to consider whether to develop a European nuclear umbrella.” These demands began to be heard after liberal Western media and members of the foreign policy establishment had declared Merkel the new “leader of the free world,” and characterized outgoing US President Barack Obama’s visit to Germany as “passing the baton” to Berlin. The Federal Republic of Germany is setting out to take on “America’s status as torchbearer of liberal democracy.” “It is befitting for Merkel to speak in the name of what we have been calling the West, for the past seven decades,” according to the business press. Journalists describe the predominant attitude in Berlin already as being “the guardians of the international post-war order.” Continue reading