U.S. to ban travel to N. Korea: Embassy urges Americans to exit ‘immediately’

The North Korea Travel Control bill, introduced in Congress in May, seeks to cut off the foreign currency the Kim Jong-Un regime earns from American tourists.

 

 

The Trump administration is advising all U.S. nationals in North Korea to leave “immediately” as the State Department said it will soon issue a ban on American tourism to the communist nation.

Koryo Tours and Young Pioneer Tours, who both operate in North Korea, said on July 21 that they had been told of the upcoming ban by the Swedish embassy, which acts for the U.S. as Washington has no diplomatic relations with Pyongyang. Continue reading

‘Anything is better than the status quo’: Guam eyes end to American colonial rule

A beach on Guam. Photo: AFP

 

As Guam prepares to celebrate Liberation Day this week, political leaders on the Pacific island say it is time to decide whether to remain a US colony or become an independent nation.

Debate about independence has raged for decades but legal complications mean plans to take the issue to a vote have stalled several times.

Former senator Eddie Duenas said a self-rule plebiscite was long overdue and should be held during a gubernatorial election expected next year.

“We have been driving but we don’t know where we’re driving to and how far we will go,” he told a recent meeting of Guam’s decolonisation commission in the capital Hagatna. Continue reading

Japan wants a massive trade deal without the US — but these countries stand in its way

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe next to a map of the original Trans-Pacific Partnership participating countries. [TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA / AFP / Getty Images]

 

  • Negotiators from the 11 remaining TPP countries are holding talks this week on how to ink a deal without Washington, but internal divisions are a key obstacle
  • Vietnam and Malaysia, in particular, are looking to re-open discussions on certain provisions, complicating Japan’s desire to cement an agreement

As the 11 remaining Trans-Pacific Partnership countries continue talks without Washington this week, certain member states now need convincing to stay on board with the massive trade deal. Continue reading

Report: Democrats colluded with Russians to defeat Trump, damage his administration

Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff read from the discredited Christopher Steele dossier extensively at a March hearing of the House Intelligence Committee.

 

While the major media continues to hunt for the tiniest scrap of evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, Democrats openly tried to derail Donald Trump’s campaign and, when that proved unsuccessful, his agenda as president, using a phony dossier whose author got his disinformation from – Russia.

Democrats have widely circulated the discredited dossier by ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, who was paid by the Democrat-funded opposition research firm Fusion GPS with money from a Hillary Clinton supporter.

“If anyone colluded with the Russians, it was the Democrats,” a former Trump campaign adviser who asked not to be identified because of the pending investigations, told Rowan Scarborough in a July 11 report for The Washington Times. Continue reading

China’s Intelligence Networks in United States Include 25,000 Spies

Guo Wengui

Guo Wengui

 

Dissident reveals up to 18,000 Americans recruited as Chinese agents

Beijing’s spy networks in the United States include up to 25,000 Chinese intelligence officers and more than 15,000 recruited agents who have stepped up offensive spying activities since 2012, according to a Chinese dissident with close ties to Beijing’s military and intelligence establishment.

Guo Wengui, a billionaire businessman who broke with the regime several months ago, said in an interview that he has close ties to the Ministry of State Security (MSS), the civilian intelligence service, and the military spy service of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

“I know the Chinese spy system very, very well,” Guo said, speaking through an interpreter, in his first American interview. “I have information about very minute details about how it operates.” Continue reading

The ‘Deep State’ war on the Trump revolution, Part II

The resignation of Mike Flynn was the ‘culmination of a secret, months-long campaign by former Obama administration confidantes to handicap President Donald Trump’s national security apparatus.’ / Reuters

 

The “Deep State”, as networked centers of bureaucratic-media power in Washington has come to be known,  harnesses so much power and comprehensive data on persons of interest in the Unites States that it can easily remove any obstacles threatening that power, analysts say.

One window into that world is provided by a confidential memo David Brock, of the George Soros-funded American Bridge, wrote in the weeks after the shocking election of Donald Trump:

“With 20,000 hours of video, 289 candidate research books, and the largest available archive of Trump research in the Democratic Party, we are uniquely prepared to take on the Trump administration, defeat Republicans who enable it, and rebuild progressive power in the states. Our new Trump War Room, launched within weeks of the election, is already scrutinizing the presidential transition and will vigilantly watchdog the personnel, policies, and practices of the administration. Our purpose is to keep Trump unpopular and make it more difficult for candidates who support him to get elected in 2018.” Continue reading

Russia and NATO War Games in Europe see New Player: China

A Chinese soldier waves farewell to Russian fleets as the Chinese-Russian joint naval drill concludes in Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province, China, September 19, 2016. Russia and China, which trail behind only the U.S. in military power, have sought greater cooperation in recent years and have begun joint naval drills in the highly contested Baltic Sea, where NATO has raised its defenses. STRINGER/REUTERS

 

Russia and China have begun naval exercises in the Baltic Sea, the most significant sign of military cooperation between the two major powers in a region seen as a flashpoint for Moscow’s rivalry with Western military alliance NATO.

Russia’s ambassador to China Andrei Denisov acknowledged Friday that the joint drills conducted by Russian and Chinese armed forces were unique, especially in the increasingly militarized Baltic region, but denied that the nations were “scaring off” rival powers. The Baltics have become a major point of contention between Russia and U.S.-led NATO, which have both devoted extensive military resources toward fortifying the region’s borders. The two factions accuse one another of instigating a European arms race, but Denisov dismissed Western concerns Friday. Continue reading

How Russia and others use cybercriminals as proxies

Employees watch electronic boards monitoring possible ransomware cyberattacks at the Korea Internet and Security Agency in Seoul. (Yun Dong-jin/Yonhap/AP)

 

US adversaries are offering cyber criminals a bargain: Use your talents for spy agencies, in exchange for legal immunity. One such cybercriminal was involved in the 2016 US election interference.

JUNE 28, 2017 It had taken American prosecutors a long time to hand down the indictment, but finally they had their man. In 2013, authorities had tracked down Alexsey Belan, a notorious Russia-linked cyber criminal, and were getting ready to extradite him to the United States.

But Mr. Belan, a Latvian-born hacker wanted by the FBI for launching assaults on US networks using thousands of hacked computers, slipped from the clutches of European law-enforcement agents. Continue reading

The Little Putsch That Could Beget a Great Big Coup

 

So let’s start with two obvious points about the whole Russia fiasco…

Namely, there is no “there, there.” First off, the president has the power to declassify secret documents at will. But in this instance he could also do that without compromising intelligence community (IC) “sources and methods” in the slightest.

That’s because after Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013, the whole world was put on notice — and most especially Washington’s adversaries — that it collects every single electronic digit that passes through the worldwide web and related communications grids. Continue reading

Report: Opposition research firm that funded Trump ‘dossier’ has extensive ties to Democrat Party

Ex-British spy Christopher Steele

 

Fusion GPS, the firm which financed the discredited “dossier” by a former British spy that fueled the investigations into alleged Trump-Russia collusion, is packed with Democrats who supported Hillary Clinton in 2016, a report said.

Fusion GPS describes itself as a “research and strategic intelligence firm” founded by “three former Wall Street Journal investigative reporters,” author Paul Sperry wrote for the New York Post on June 24. Continue reading

First Russian base for SE Syria – near US garrison

 

The Russian engineering corps has started building a new base in southeastern Syria at a small village called Khirbet Ras Al-Wa’r in the Bir al-Qasab district. Until now, Moscow adhered to a policy of restricting its military presence to the western part of the country along the Mediterranean coast; no Russian troops were based further east than Palmyra. Continue reading

Future of Iraq

WASHINGTON/BERLIN/BAGHDAD (Own report) – A strategy paper prepared by the US Atlantic Council think tank – with the assistance of Germany’s CDU-affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation – is proposing measures for Western powers to take to insure their continued influence in Iraq following the fall of Mosul. According to the paper, published a few days ago, US military forces should remain in Iraq for the foreseeable future, train and equip Iraqi forces to prevent IS from regrouping and recovering after its expected defeat. To push back Iran’s influence, measures should also be taken to help the country’s economic development. In Baghdad, a government “strongly inclined to cooperate closely with the United States” is needed, the paper states, and calls for US allies – particularly European countries – to engage in Iraq to “tackle sensitive areas in which the United States is not seen as neutral.” Berlin is already using this opportunity to build its own base of influence in Iraq and is supporting the reconstruction of towns recaptured from the IS. Insuring western control of Iraq is considered all the more urgent, since Russia could successfully obtain major influence in Damascus following the anticipated end of the Syrian war.

Continue reading

Can a Divided America Survive?

Torn sign at a pro-Trump rally in Portland, Ore., June 4, 2017. (Reuters photo: David Ryder)

 

History has not been very kind to countries that enter a state of multicultural chaos.

The United States is currently the world’s oldest democracy.

But America is no more immune from collapse than were some of history’s most stable and impressive consensual governments. Fifth-century Athens, Republican Rome, Renaissance Florence and Venice, and many of the elected governments of early 20th-century Western European states eventually destroyed themselves, went bankrupt, or were overrun by invaders. Continue reading

Coming Soon: The Mother Of All Debt Ceiling Crises

 

[Urgent Note: The nation’s future and a massive debt ceiling hangs in the balance as Trump pushes beyond the Comey hearings. That’s why I’m on a mission to send my new book TRUMPED! A Nation on the Brink of Ruin… and How to Bring It Back to every American who responds, absolutely free. Click here for more details.]

While the Imperial City is frozen in the Second Coming of Comey, it doesn’t mean that the Washington spending machine is on pause. In fact, the Treasury’s cash balance yesterday stood at only $153 billion — down by $130 billion just since the tax season peak was reached on April 25th.

Uncle Sam has been burning cash at a rate of $3.2 billion per calendar day since then and has no more room to borrow. That’s because the public debt ceiling is frozen at its March 15th level ($19.808 trillion) and the mavens at the Treasury Building have run out of borrowing gimmicks.

The countdown to the mother of all debt ceiling crises is now well underway — with the nation’s net debt sitting at $19.69 trillion. That figure, in turn, is up nearly $500 billion since FY 2016 ended on September 30 with the net debt at $19.22 trillion.

Continue reading

A Giant Russian Exercise Will Soon Put 100,000 Troops on NATO’s Border. Then What?

Russian soldiers dressed in a new field uniform marched along the Red Square last month during the Victory Day military parade to celebrate 72 years since the end of WWII. (Yuri Kochetkov/AP)

 

As Russia and Belarus prep for their quadrennial fight-the-West wargame, NATO’s Baltic states are watching more than a bit nervously.

For the Baltic countries on NATO’s northeastern flank, carefully monitoring Russia’s various defense investments and activities is nothing new. Like brushing your teeth, it’s just a matter of staying healthy, Estonia’s defense minister told a small group of reporters while visiting the U.S. last week. Observing Russian military activity is that routine, “but we do it even more often,” he said.

Continue reading