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Fri, 26 Apr 2019
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Pirates

Brussels denies access to details of secret Brexit talks featuring Blair and Soros at Davos

Blair Farage
© Hannah McKay / Reuters
(L) Former Prime Minister Tony Blair Mike Blake (R), ex-leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage
Mr Blair, a prominent second referendum campaigner, met the European Commission's first vice-president Frans Timmermans and the bloc's tax and finance chief Pierre Moscovici with Britain's EU divorce on the table each time. Billionaire Hungarian philanthropist George Soros, who has helped fund anti-Brexit groups, also met Mr Moscovici at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos. Details of the French commissioner's meetings with Mr Blair and Mr Soros, in a document titled "Quick readout of a day and a half of sub-zero speed-dating in Davos", have been heavily redacted by Brussels officials.

In a "readout" of Mr Moscovici's discussions, meant for his most senior aides, the meeting is described as talks with "Soros and Blair: discussions with the two earliest backers of a 'People's Vote'."

Comment: Unelected miscreants and meddlers like Blair and Soros are part of the reason people voted to leave the EU in the first place, and so it's no wonder they want to keep their skullduggery under wraps: Also check out SOTT radio's: NewsReal #26: Globalization vs Nationalism - The Hidden Causes of The Yellow Vest Protests in France


Gold Seal

US Amb. to Russia says deployment of two carrier groups to Med is 'message to Russia' - Russian Foreign Ministry delivers mother-of-all-comebacks

putin hypersonic missile
US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman earlier characterised the deployment of two carrier groups in the Mediterranean Sea as a signal to Russia, saying the warships represented "100,000 tonnes of international diplomacy" amid alleged Russia's "destabilising activities around the world."

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has commented on Ambassador Huntsman's remarks, advising the envoy to study history.

"I would like to remind the Ambassador that Russia, throughout its centuries-long history, has repeatedly encountered such threats, issued as recommendations, and has repeatedly demonstrated their worthlessness... Perhaps the Ambassador would like for Russia to have one more holiday to celebrate? To be honest, we didn't have any such plans", Zakharova said, apparently referring to the upcoming Victory Day holiday, which Russia celebrates annually on 9 May in honour of the victory over Nazi Germany in WWII.

Zakharova also lamented that the language of threats and sanctions seems to have become the calling card of US diplomacy.

Comment: The US is stuck in the 19th century, when 'gunboat diplomacy' actually meant something.

In the 21st century, unstoppable missiles render all that hulking metal useless...


Umbrella

The Kim-Putin summit: What talks in Russia imply for the US after Trump's Hanoi fiasco, UPDATES

Kim Jong-un
© Sputnik/Vitaly Ankov
Kim Jong-un in Vladivostok, Russia
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin is shrouded in the veil of political uncertainty, but analysts believe it could be a roundabout way to reboot denuclearization talks with the US.

The meeting is taking place in Vladivostok, 129 kilometers from the border Russia shares with North Korea. It is Russia's shortest international border, only 17km along the Tyumen River. Since the demise of the Soviet Union, North Korea has figured little in Moscow's geopolitical calculus, as Russia sided with the West in backing UN sanctions against Pyongyang.

The collapse of denuclearization talks between Kim and US President Donald Trump in Hanoi back in February, however, appears to have pushed Pyongyang and Moscow closer together. What does that mean for Washington?

Being a neighbor of North Korea, Russia has a natural stake in its stability, journalist and author Mary Dejevsky told RT. The summit will be a signal to Trump that Pyongyang has other countries to turn to, she said, but it's not something that he should take as a personal affront. "He might possibly tweet some supposedly horrified reaction, but actually he would understand exactly why [the summit] happened," Dejevsky said.

Comment: UPDATES: 5/25/2019
A Putin welcome and handshake:
Putin/Kim
© RIA Novosti/Valery Melnikov
Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un during their meeting on Russky Island, Vladivostok.
Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the main subject of the Kim-Putin summit, but there will also be talks about bilateral relations, trade, and humanitarian aid.


Kim Putin
© REUTERS/Alexander Zemlianichenko
North Korean Leader Kim and Russian President Putin: First handshake
The much-anticipated meeting of the two leaders has drawn huge media attention. About 300 accredited journalists flooded the venue, the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) campus, to cover the historic summit. Earlier, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the first one-on-one meeting between Kim and Putin would last no longer than an hour and would be followed by consultations featuring officials from both countries.


Like minds, like gifts:

Kim Jong-un spoke about his country's "strength" as he exchanged weapons as presents with Vladimir Putin. The Russian president led his North Korean counterpart through the traditional gift-giving ceremony that accompanies landmark international summits, first offering him a set of handmade gilded glasses. But the highlight was a Russian curved saber that Putin unsheathed as he offered it to the North Korean leader.

As is customary when gifting blades, to avoid bad luck the Russian president included a coin with the sword, which Kim then 'paid back' to him. Kim Jong-un then did the reverse, presenting a traditional straight Korean sword to the Russian president, with a coin of his own. "It represents strength, it represents the soul - mine and that of our people, who support you," said the North Korean leader.

Kim-Putin coin
© RT
"It represents strength, it represents the soul - mine and that of our people, who support you," said the North Korean leader.

Putin to Trump: 'We have no secrets from US'
KimPutin
© Sputnik/Valery Sharifulin
"I got the impression that Kim Jong-un is interested in denuclearization, all North Korea needs is guarantees of its security and sovereignty." Putin insisted that the only means for such guarantees is to ensure that international law triumphs over "rule of strength," though noted that it was too early for specifics on how the denuclearization process would be structured.

We are going to discuss the situation with the US. Russia is always open on this - there are no conspiracies. More than that Kim Jong-un personally asked us to inform Washington of his position and the issues he wants to ask about.

But asked if Kim is ready to make more concessions after his last talks with Trump ended in a stalemate, Putin said: "I believe there is no other way, but what he is or isn't ready to give up - you have to ask him that."

Highlights included a lavish dinner and reception before farewell:


See also:


Russian Flag

The news conference subsequent to Russian-North Korean talks

Putin press conf
© President of Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin at the news conference following Russian-North Korean talks.
Following his talks with Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Kim Jong-un, Vladimir Putin answered media questions.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon,
I suggest that we go straight to questions and answers. I will try to answer your questions. Go ahead, please.

Question: Mr President, this was your first meeting with Kim Jong-un. There is significant interest towards him as a person around the world. Could you share with us your impressions about him as a person and a politician, and whether you are satisfied with the outcomes of the talks?

Vladimir Putin: Yes, my colleagues and I are all satisfied with the outcomes of the talks. Chairman Kim Jong-un is quite an open person and speaks freely. We had a very detailed conversation on all items on our agenda and discussed them in various aspects, including bilateral relations, sanctions, United Nations, relations with the United States, and, of course, the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, which is the main subject. I can confirm that he is quite an interesting and substantive interlocutor.
Putin and Press
© President of Russia

Propaganda

They all were lying

TrumpBL
© American Free Press
Over half a million articles were published about Russiagate, and few of them offered any proof at all to support their conclusions about Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.

A dear friend the other day accused me of defending Trump. I don't, and never have, but it made me think that if she says it, probably others say and think the same; I've written a lot about him. So let me explain once again. Though I think perhaps this has reached a "you're either with us or against us' level.

What I noticed, and have written a lot about, during and since the 2016 US presidential campaign, is that the media, both in the US and abroad, started making up accusations against Trump from scratch. This included the collusion with Russia accusation that led to the Mueller probe.

There was never any proof of the accusation, which is why the conclusion of the probe was No Collusion. I started writing this yesterday while awaiting the presentation of the Mueller report, but it wouldn't have mattered one way or the other: the accusation was clear, and so was the conclusion.

Even if some proof were found though other means going forward, it would still make no difference: US media published over half a million articles on the topic, and not one of them was based on any proof. If that proof had existed, Mueller would have found and used it.

And sure, Trump may not be a straight shooter, there may be all kinds of illegal activity going on in his organization, but that doesn't justify using the collusion accusation for a 2-year long probe. If Trump is guilty of criminal acts, he should be investigated for that, not for some made-up narrative. It's dangerous.

Attention

Pompeo's disturbing, but honest CIA admission: 'We lied, we cheated, we stole'

Pompeo
© Attila Kisbenedek/Pool via Reuters
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
In a rare moment of honesty, Mike Pompeo admitted to an audience that the CIA trains employees to "lie, cheat and steal." While he seemed to find the whole thing funny, not everyone is amused, as RT found out.

The CIA often asks American citizens and international leaders to believe some extraordinarily high-stakes claims. From warning countries around the world not to invest in Huawei technology 'compromised' by Chinese state security funding to asserting that Moscow meddled in the elections and pushing Trump to expel Russian diplomats, it would seem that maintaining integrity and confidence would be a high priority for the intelligence agency.

According to former CIA director and current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, however, that notion is laughable. "I was a CIA director, we lied, we cheated we stole... like, we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment," Pompeo told an audience in College Station, Texas earlier this month amid self-amused chuckles.

While his audience seemed to get a rise out of the secretary's comment, RT interviewed a few Americans who found it less funny and more disturbing. Predictably, that sentiment was shared by people from other parts of the world as well, who saw Pompeo's claims about the "glorious American experiment" as little more than "bulls**t."


Comment: Paul offers commentary on Pompeo's 'admission' and a broader discussion on Iran and US neocons with cohost Daniel McAdams:




Calendar

Scotland's First Minister Sturgeon: Plans for Scottish #indyref2 to 'avoid worst damage of Brexit'

Sturgeon/Crowd
© Reuters/Dylan Martinez
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon • Scottish campaigners at a 'yes' rally in Glasgow.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has revealed she intends to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence by the end of May 2021, insisting it's the route to safeguard against the damaging effects of Brexit.

Sturgeon told lawmakers in Edinburgh on Wednesday that a follow-up vote to the 2014 referendum should be offered to the people of Scotland if her nation is taken out of the EU.
"If Scotland is taken out of the EU, the option of a referendum on independence within that time scale must be open to us. That would be our route to avoiding the worst of the damage Brexit will do."
Signaling the seriousness of her plans, Sturgeon promised to bring forward legislation later this year to pave the way for a second referendum that she wants to be held "in the lifetime" of the current Scottish Parliament - due to end in May 2021. "The case for independence is even stronger now given the profound changes that have taken place in the UK since 2014."

Sturgeon argued that Brexit has exposed "the deep democratic deficit" in the way Scotland is governed and its interests have been "disregarded time and time again" by those in power in Westminster.


Attention

Rouhani: 'Lift sanctions and apologize if you want to talk'; Pompeo: Max pressure, no exceptions

TehranProtest
© Reuters/Tasnim News Agency
A protest against US foreign policy, in Tehran, Iran, May 2018.
The US should first drop sanctions and apologize, if it wants to sit down for negotiations, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said, after Washington stepped up "maximum pressure" on Tehran.

"Negotiation is only possible if all the pressures are lifted, they apologize for their illegal actions and there is mutual respect," Rouhani said on Wednesday. He stated that Tehran is open to talks with Washington, but the US is simply "not ready for any dialogue" and only seeks to "subdue the people of Iran."

Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, meanwhile, said that the country will thwart any attempts of the US to block its oil trade.
"The efforts to boycott the sale of Iran's oil won't get them anywhere. We will export our oil as much as we need and we intend," Khamenei wrote on Twitter. "They should know that their hostile measure won't be left without a response."

Comment: See also:
Rouhani: Iran will only negotiate with Washington if US lifts pressure and apologizes


Red Flag

Russian UN envoy: White Helmets working on a new false-flag chemical attack in Idlib province, Syria

White Helmets
© Global Look Press/ZUMAPRESS.com/Muhmmad Al-Najjar
Members of the White Helmets ‘civil defense group’ in Douma, Syria, January 20, 2018
The White Helmets, a controversial Western-backed 'civil defense' group, is readying a new provocation that will see them using toxic agents on civilians to frame the attack on Damascus, Russia's deputy UN ambassador has said.

Speaking at the UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday, Russia's Deputy UN representative Vladimir Safronkov said the new false-flag attack is being prepared in the rebel-controlled Idlib province.

"The pseudo-humanitarian personnel of the White Helmets continues to prepare ever new provocations in order to accuse the lawful authorities of using toxic agents," Safronkov said. "We see what is going on."

Safronkov said that despite the Syrian army's advances, Idlib remains a hotbed of terrorism. An Al-Qaeda offshoot in Syria, Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham - the rebranded Al-Nusra terrorist group - continues to carry out indiscriminate attacks on government-controlled areas, he added. "They strike indiscriminately and that includes strikes on civil infrastructure, and the civilians are dying."

Earlier, Maj. Gen. Viktor Kupchishin, head of the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria, claimed that foreign media appears to have filmed a staged killing of a Syrian family in a "chemical attack" that is to be blamed on Damascus. He said the filming took place in the Hama province, but has not provided any further details.

Comment: See also:


Stop

Bolsonaro terminates investigation teams tasked with identification of dictatorship victims

Bolsonaro/PerusWG
© Andre Coelho/Bloomberg News/ICRC/CRUPPE, Marizilda/KJN
"More than burying the disappeared, the government is imploding a whole system aimed at justice," Prosecutor Eugenia Gonzaga told local media.

Brazil's government last week ordered the closure of two working groups responsible for finding and identifying the bodies of people forcibly disappeared during the country's military dictatorship.

By order of Decree 9,759, President Jair Bolsonaro's administration shut down the work of Perus Working Group (PWG), responsible for identifying over a thousand bones found in a mass, clandestine grave in Perus, west of São Paulo. The remains had been buried during the military dictatorship (1964-1985).

The Araguaia Working Group (AWG), responsible for the search and identification of remains of Araguaia guerrilla fighters who battled the dictatorship in the Amazon rainforest between the states of Para and Tocantins in the 1970s, has also been closed down.

"More than burying the disappeared, the government is imploding a whole system aimed at justice," Prosecutor Eugenia Gonzaga, who chairs the commission, told O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper Monday.

Comment: Bolsonaro's unexpected action to shut down the research and identification of 'disappeared' victims, suggests a cover-up. Is it a favor to the US, which supported the Brazilian coup d'état, and has something to hide?

See also: