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Tillerson offers wobbly 'no war' assurance

© The Hill/KJN
It doesn't inspire confidence when US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attempted to give assurances that the American government is not seeking war with North Korea.

After weeks of numerous menacing messages from President Donald Trump warning the "total destruction" of North Korea, the White House's top diplomat was obliged to go public and calm growing concerns about a war breaking out. Tillerson told American news outlet CNN: "President Trump wants to avoid violence... He is not seeking to go to war."

He said Trump was committed to diplomacy, contrary to recent comments made by the president saying that Tillerson was "wasting his time" in pursuing diplomatic efforts with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Following that earlier snub to his top diplomat, Trump then added that "only one thing will work!"

Rex Tillerson's assurances of no war plans are not very convincing. With a curious choice of words, he said at one point in his interview with CNN: "Those diplomatic efforts will continue until the first bomb drops."

Those cryptic words "... until the first bomb drops," strongly suggest that there are indeed concrete plans for military action by the US against North Korea; and that the diplomacy - the little of it there is up to now - is but a prelude for eventual war.

Comment: Peace is not absence of conflict (Trump), it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means (Tillerson).


Eye 2

Declassified docs reveal US had detailed knowledge and actively supported Indonesia's mass killings in 1960s

© Wikipedia
Major General Suharto attended the funeral of five generals assassinated during the failed coup that sparked the massacre
Newly declassified documents reveal not just the US government's "detailed knowledge" of the Indonesian Army's mass killings of members of the Communist Party (PKI), but its "active support" of the slaughter.

The documents, posted Tuesday by the National Security Archive at the George Washington University in Washington, DC, show that US officials "actively supported Indonesian Army efforts to destroy the country's left-leaning labor movement," according to the independent research and archival institution.

The 39 new documents, from a cache of some 30,000 pages of daily record files taken from the US Embassy in Indonesia's capital from 1964-1968, were declassified and digitized in collaboration with the National Declassification Center. The move came following a growing number of requests from US and Indonesian human rights groups.

The files include State Department letters, telegrams, situation reports and confidential communications between US consulates and the US embassy. However, the cache does not include any CIA documents, which remain classified. Human Rights Watch has called for all remaining files to be unclassified.

Beaker

Russia presses US to expedite elimination of its chemical weapons

© The Hill
A senior Russian diplomat has urged the US and other nations to follow Russia's example and decommission their chemical arsenals. "We have inherited the world's largest arsenal of such weapons of mass destruction, and we carried out a plan for its elimination in good faith," said Vladimir Yermakov, deputy head of the Foreign Ministry's Department for Weapons Control and Non-Proliferation.

Speaking before a session of the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, the diplomat reaffirmed Russia's commitment to honoring its obligations under international agreements. "We call upon all nations that still possess chemical weapons to immediately follow Russia's example," said Yermakov.

"This concerns primarily the state that had initiated the convention and has always been the promoter of its ideas and now for some reason remains the owner of the largest stocks of chemical weapons," he added, apparently referring to the US. He also expressed bewilderment at the fact that the US, while possessing the world's largest chemical-weapons arsenal, had attempted "to cast a shadow on the great achievements of other countries, such as Syria."

Yermakov also thanked several nations that had financially contributed to the Russian chemical weapons destruction program, such as the US, the UK, Italy, Poland Germany and France.

Russia destroyed the last of its chemical-weapon stockpiles in late September. President Vladimir Putin personally monitored this process via TV link and called it a historic event. On October 9, Putin ordered the dissolution of the State Commission on Destruction of Chemical Weapons, as this body no longer had a purpose to serve.

In late September, the US announced plans to destroy their own stockpiles of chemical weapons by late 2023.

Comment: The US has portable decontamination centers that destroy chemical weapons in bulk with destruction efficiency of 99.9% and up to 25 metric tons per day. Why wouldn't the US follow suit, unless it is going to 1) use them, 2) sell them, or 3) it has so many it will actually take six years to complete destruction.


Passport

Normalizing a police state: France approves restrictive anti-terrorism law to replace 2-year state of emergency

© Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters
The French parliament has approved a new controversial anti-terrorism law, replacing the soon-to-expire two-year state of emergency. The new legislation has prompted fears it will severely limit civil liberties.

The French senate approved the new anti-terrorism law on its second reading on Wednesday. The new law, set to increase law enforcement powers in the fight against terrorism, was supported by 244 senators, with only 22 voting against it. The bill was overwhelmingly approved by the lower chamber of parliament earlier in October.

The state of emergency was imposed in France to combat terrorism in the wake of the deadly 2015 Paris terrorist attacks, and has been extended six times since. It is set to finally expire on November 1.

Its key points include allowing the authorities to search homes of those suspected of terrorist links, while holding them for up to four hours and seizing data, items and documents. It also allows the authorities to confine suspects to their town or city for up to a year and have them report to police every day. Any movement beyond that requires them to wear a tracking bracelet.

Top regional officials will be allowed to shut down places of worship for up to six months, if they deem preachers have incited attacks or glorified terrorism. This can be done without any hard proof obtained by police, but simply on the basis of "ideas and theories" shared by the preachers' devotees.

Police are also granted the authority to stop and search people at vulnerable areas such as borders, train stations and airports.

Comment: Normalization of Emergency Powers: French parliament adopts tough new anti-terror bill


Yoda

Putin on Catalan crisis: EU triggered rise of separatism by supporting Kosovo independence

© Grigoriy Sisoev / Sputnik
EU countries bolstered separatist sentiment in Europe when they bowed to US pressure and supported Kosovo breaking away from Serbia. They now face such consequences as the Catalan crisis,Russia's President Vladimir Putin says.

"As for the situation with Catalonia, we have seen a unanimous condemnation of the independence supporters by the EU and a number of other states," Putin said. "Regarding that, I have to say - you should have thought about it earlier."

"Did they not know about centuries-old contradictions of this nature in Europe? They knew, didn't they? But at the time they de facto welcomed the disintegration of a number of states in Europe, with undisguised relish," he added.

Vader

Tillerson blames Myanmar military for humanitarian crisis

© Zohra Bensemra / Reuters
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is blaming the Myanmar military for the humanitarian crisis that has caused more than a half-million refugees to flee the country. Lawmakers are urging "meaningful steps" be taken against military leaders.

Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC on Wednesday, Tillerson said that the US is "extraordinarily concerned" by the "incredible humanitarian crisis" occurring in Myanmar, also known as Burma.


Comment: When a top US government official declares a humanitarian crisis somewhere in the world, you can bet that not far behind that will be attempts by the US Empire to change the regime of the country where it's located. They'll claim they can't just "stand by" and not do anything, but that's all rhetoric for the masses. The US is surely fine with atrocities occurring, as long as the countries that do them are beholden to the US Empire. The real purpose of going in to Myanmar is to destabilize the region around China and Russia.


Tillerson said that he's been in contact with the civilian side of Myanmar's government, led by Nobel laureate and former dissident Aung San Suu Kyi, and blamed the military side of the power-sharing government for the crisis.

"We really hold the military leadership accountable for what's happening with the Rakhine area," Tillerson said, adding that the US cannot "just stand idly by and be witness to the atrocities."

Bomb

The liberation of Raqqa: ISIS is no longer terror state

© BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images
Tuesday was a landmark day in the war against the Islamic State, as both the ISIS capital of Raqqa in Syria and its Philippine stronghold of Marawi were liberated.

Analysts caution that ISIS has not been destroyed, but with these twin defeats, it has been broken down from a terror state back into a terrorist organization.

The value of ISIS' former status as a terror state was enormous. Islamic State recruiting pitches were filled with boasts about its prowess as a conqueror of territory, from easily routing the Iraqi military at Mosul to carving a bloody swath across Syria. The Islamic State declared a "caliphate," or Islamic nation. Its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was the "caliph." Other terrorist gangs swore vows of fealty to Baghdadi on that basis. His continued survival is a matter of debate, but if he no longer holds a caliphate, he can hardly claim to be a conquering caliph anymore.

Chess

Putin: If Washington imposes restrictions on Russian media Moscow will act swiftly

Russia will swiftly implement tit-for-tat measures if the US imposes restrictions on Russian media, President Vladimir Putin said.

"We will act only symmetrically and quite swiftly," Putin said. "As soon as we see concrete steps limiting the activities of our mass media [in the US], a tit-for-tat response will follow immediately."

The Russian leader made the comments at the Valdai forum in Sochi, while responding to a question from Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of RT and Sputnik, about the US pressure on the Russian media.

Comment: Russian senators have presented a list of 5 U.S. media outlets that could be restricted in response, including CNN.
A source in the Federation Council, Russia's upper house of parliament, told the RBC business outlet that its committee on state sovereignty has blacklisted at least five US media organizations.

The list includes CNN, Voice of America and Radio Liberty, the source said. The names of the two other outlets have not been disclosed.

State sovereignty committee member Oleg Morozov told RBC that the list includes outlets that "receive foreign funding" and "interfere in Russia's domestic policy."

Morozov said the measures would reciprocate steps taken against Kremlin-funded RT and Radio Sputnik in the US, including limiting broadcasts and terminating existing contracts.

"If they take control of Russian employees' personal data, we will take control of the corresponding foreign media employees' personal data," he added.

The news comes a week after senators reportedly proposed to cut US media organizations to equal the number of Russian outlets in the US.

Federation Council state sovereignty committee head Andrei Klimov named CNN, Radio Liberty and Voice of America as likely targets to face the axe in Russia.

Other outlets at risk are The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Radio Liberty's Crimean project, according to diplomatic sources cited by the pro-Kremlin Izvestia daily.



Yoda

Putin prolongs salary cuts for himself and Russia's other top officials

© Kremlin Pool / Global Look Press
Russian President Vladimir Putin has prolonged the duration of his 2015 order by which he cut the salary for himself, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and a number of country's other top officials by 10 percent.

The civil servants who fall under the salary cut under the decree include the Prosecutor General, the head of the Investigative Committee and the head of the Russian Audit Chamber. Under the new decree, the 10 percent cut in their salaries will remain in place until the end of 2018.

In March 2015, Putin issued the first order to reduce the wages of senior Russian officials, explaining the move as a result of economic hardships experienced by the country. Shortly before that, Putin also ordered salary cuts of 10 percent for all members of the presidential administration.

2 + 2 = 4

Hillary Clinton: Career criminal




Comment: NB: @RexTilllerson is not Rex Tillerson's Twitter account.


Hillary Clinton will NEVER be President of the United States. She's the ONLY 1st Lady to come under FBI investigation while 1st lady.
All the scandals plaguing Bill Clinton's Arkansas Governorship & his United States Presidency, inevitably lead back to Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton hired private investigators to follow & intimidate Bill's sexual assault victims Kathleen Willey, Gennifer Flowers...