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Creating confusion in Syria is a step towards ‘regime change’ in US

The so-called Resistance is going all out – à outrance – both to discredit Trump politically before the mid-term elections, and to discredit, and to demonise Russia (with the UK – as usual – doing its supporting act by indicting two Russians in the Skripal case). 

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The US administration has stopped the dithering, David Ignatius wrote on 30 August: It now insists that it has ‘enduring interests’ in Syria, beyond killing Islamic State terrorists — and “that it isn’t planning to withdraw its Special Operations forces from northeastern Syria, anytime soon”.

“Right now”, one administration official told Ignatius, “our job is to help create quagmires [for Russia and the Syrian regime], until we get what we want”.

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The US, it seems, switched policy in mid-August, (away from the Helsinki understandings of July, reached between Presidents Trump and Putin), to a quest for somehow retrieving maximum leverage over the ultimate stages of the Syrian civil war.

It represents, apparently, a last-ditch attempt to impose the US will over the Syrian warscape – through keeping the jihadist ‘card’ in Idlib in play, as leverage over any political transition; and similarly, by holding on to the Kurdish ‘PKK stick’ in north-east Syria, as leverage over Turkey and to contain Iran.

We are, indeed, seeing a 180° degree turn: Pompeo’s new Syria envoy, James Jeffry, has made that crystal clear: “Now”, he said, “the United States will not tolerate ‘an attack – Period”. (Referring to the imminent offensive on the Jihadi enclave, in Idlib Province.)

“Any offensive is to us objectionable as a reckless escalation” he said. “You add to that, if you use chemical weapons, or create refu­gee flows or attack innocent civilians … the consequences … are that we will shift our positions”… Asked whether potential U.S. retaliation for any offensive in Idlib, with or without chemical weapons, would include airstrikes, Jeffrey said, “We have asked repeatedly for permission to operate,” and “that would be one way” [to respond].

The objective is to drive Iran from Syria; to inflict a humiliating strategic slap to the Islamic Republic to compound the economic ‘diet’ imposed on its economy; to lever a political transition, in which President Assad is ousted; and above all, to avoid conceding any appearance of US strategic weakness.

Russia’s leadership was already wary that the US was intending to derail the last major coalition operation to conclude the Syrian conflict. This is now confirmed. A senior Kremlin official told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, that American officials want to play spoiler, big time: “They are angry that we’ve gotten an upper hand in dealing with this crisis, and now they want to put their spokes into every wheel we are trying to make roll”.

It goes further than that: with the Jeffrey language of ‘no attacks, period’; with the State Department language hinting at further economic sanctions, as leverage; and the threats against Iran, are provocations and effectively ultimata against Russia and Iran.

This is a grave ‘turn’ of events. We do not know why Trump should have turned his back on his Helsinki ‘understandings’ so emphatically – except for the extraordinary political and psychological pressures that Trump is under: The funeral ‘apotheosis’ of McCain as the essence of ‘American virtues’, the seditionist New York Times op-ed by a ‘senior’ WH staff member of the ‘Resistance’, which specifically claimed success in sabotaging Trump’s policy of détente with Russia; the Woodward book ridiculing the President; and now with Obama having joined this chorus on Friday with an obvious insinuation that Trumpism somehow is feeding Nazi-ism.

It is now 60 days until the mid-term elections. And, as Tom Luongo writes, “the fear of loss by the Deep State is palpable … And what is clear to me now, is that the Deep State is done whipping the progressive Left into a frenzy over Donald Trump. They are now openly handing them pitchforks and mustering for a hostile takeover of the Oval Office”.

This is the point. ‘No more dithering’ (as Ignatius put it). The so-called Resistance is going all out – à outrance – both to discredit Trump politically before the mid-term elections, and to discredit, and to demonise Russia (with the UK – as usual – doing its supporting act by indicting two Russians in the Skripal case).

Europe has ‘come into play’ politically as a result of Trump’s trade wars, his disdain for NATO, and his contempt for the EU’s ‘liberal’ globalist élite. The self-appointed ‘Resistance’ is ready therefore ‘to go all out’ – not only domestically against Trump, but against Russia, too, to ensure it – and its huge consumer market – cannot slip away into the Russian-Chinese sphere. Russia must be blackened as the ‘enemy’ with whom any alliance is unthinkable.

Are ‘these people’ really ready to taunt Russia and Iran, to the point of facing-off against them, militarily? It seems so: James Jeffrey said just such, to the Washington Post: “In some respects, we are potentially entering a new phase, where you have forces from the different countriesfacing each other, rather than pursuing their separate goals”, he said, listing Russia, the United States, Iran, Turkey and Israel. In other words, the ‘Resistance’ will ‘go all out’ in the lead up to November, both domestically against Trump, and externally, by trying to provoke, to taunt Russia into some act that will enable the ‘Resistance’ to portray Russia as ‘new wine in an old USSR bottle’.

James Jeffrey warns Russia ‘no (Idlib) offensive – period’ in order to finish off the last abscess of hardline jihadists. But the offensive has already begun. What then happened at Friday’s Tehran summit meeting between Erdogan, Putin and Ruhani? Commentators are saying that no agreement was reached on the Idlib offensive – that the US succeeded: Its tough stance against the attack on the jihadists brought the offensive to a holt. But in fact, the key agreement already was struck before the summit, rather than at it – Turkey put HTS (also known as an-Nusra, or al Qa’eda) on its list of terrorists. This was the key -– the significant outcome.

Erdogan is a politician, a consummate politician. He has been patron to these insurgents. He sees himself as a Sunni leader, an Ottoman, the ‘guide’ to the global Muslim Brotherhood. He was vitally instrumental in the Syria insurgency – the cause of it, as it were. But now the jihadi continuing presence in Idlib is unsustainable (even for Turkey), yet how can he – politically – disavow these insurgents, whom Turkey so carefully nurtured? What might be the consequences in terms of security (bombings in Istanbul?) of publicly siding with their destruction? What would be the damage to his cultivated image as an upholder of Sunnism?

What was needed was a platform on which a politician’s needs to attend his various constituencies were seen publicly – and on television – to have been met. And this is what happened.

Erdogan stood up for them. He argued his position – as representative of one powerful state to other powerful states – underlining his (political) interest. Yes, he ‘grandstanded’. Why else would Putin and Rouhani have permitted such a seemingly sloppy performance of the principals apparently arguing amongst themselves – and before the cameras – unless it was understood that Erdogan needed to ‘grandstand’?

Turkey has already designated an-Nusra as terrorists. The offensive will continue (and civilian casualties will inevitably occur, as the jihadists are merged into Idlib’s civilian population — as indeed happened when the US, the UK and France bombed Raqqa to rout out ISIS in 2017 with “more artillery shells launched into Raqqa than anywhere since the end of the Vietnam war”).

And the Americans probably will do their own ‘grandstanding’ – possibly with Tomahawks – to show Russia and Syria as ‘inhuman monsters’.

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madhatterdrummerJohn Nolanjohn vieiraYou can call me AL Recent comment authors
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Donna
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Donna

And yet, there are reports that Turkey continues to arm the jihadis in Idlib.

madhatter
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madhatter

The US and Israel are trying to save the jihadists in Idlib, for use as a proxy army to harass Syria and Russia. They will stage another false flag gas attack as an excuse to pummel Syria again for no reason (for Israel). Has any tiny nation ever dominated a world power, like Israel does the US? Will the US ever declare independence from Israel?

Richard Steven Hack
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Richard Steven Hack

What Erdogan will do is very simple. He will play the double game again – this time against the insurgents in Idlib. He will supply them with weapons to make the SAA operation expensive. But then when the SAA and Russia win anyway, he will turn on the insurgents with the Turkish military in Idlib and finish them off so they can not come back to Turkey and cause problems.

Erdogan will see this as a win-win.

Erdogan won’t use Turkish forces to engage the SAA in Idlib because that would piss off Putin and Erdogan can’t afford that.

You can call me AL
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You can call me AL

I think that is a very good analysis.

john vieira
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As you sow, so shall you reap!!! These reckless incursions undertaken by the “west” after the demise of the USSR are coming home to roost. That is why from Jimmy to Obama are circling the wagons against Trump….fully endorsed by the mainstream media which has been complicit from day one. They are terrified of a Trump leaning congress and what that implies. Trump appears to be buying into the bovine excreta of the deep state which does not bode well for the ending of this “illegal” conflict, the continued suffering of the Syrian people… and the end result could be… Read more »

John Nolan
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John Nolan

Unfortunately, for the citizens of this worn, weary, mutilated, trashed planet, what we are witnessing is those who have illegally stolen our money, destroyed our humanity,implementing their final, spiteful act, as they realize they, and their evil master, have lost the game. There still are three and an half years, where the Word goes back to true Israel, to call out the 144,000, but the Gentile dispensation is finished then. That is what is referred to as the Tribulation, and few have any idea just how evil this place will become, as satan takes full control, for this short time.… Read more »

drummer
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drummer

The main reason the US is in Syria is to get a settlement that cuts Syria into pieces for Israel. Israel wants to be the only “intact” nation in the ME (well, and their Saudi buddies, too). The Greater Israel Project seeks to increase Israel’s size several times over by a land-grab from several nations. In it’s most expansive form, Israel will stretch from the Euphrates to the Nile. This explains the Iraq and Syria wars, and baffling continued presence of the US, which is under no attack or even danger from any ME nation. Of course Israel will eventually… Read more »

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Skripal and Khashoggi: A Tale of Two Disappearances

Two disappearances, and two different responses.

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Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Two disappearances, and two very different responses from Western governments, which illustrates their rank hypocrisy.

When former Russian spy Sergei Skripal went missing in England earlier this year, there was almost immediate punitive action by the British government and its NATO allies against Moscow. By contrast, Western governments are straining with restraint towards Saudi Arabia over the more shocking and provable case of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The outcry by Western governments and media over the Skripal affair was deafening and resulted in Britain, the US and some 28 other countries expelling dozens of Russian diplomats on the back of unsubstantiated British allegations that the Kremlin tried to assassinate an exiled spy with a deadly nerve agent. The Trump administration has further tightened sanctions citing the Skripal incident.

London’s case against Moscow has been marked by wild speculation and ropey innuendo. No verifiable evidence of what actually happened to Sergei Skripal (67) and his daughter Yulia has been presented by the British authorities. Their claim that President Vladimir Putin sanctioned a hit squad armed with nerve poison relies on sheer conjecture.

All we know for sure is that the Skripals have been disappeared from public contact by the British authorities for more than seven months, since the mysterious incident of alleged poisoning in Salisbury on March 4.

Russian authorities and family relatives have been steadfastly refused any contact by London with the Skripal pair, despite more than 60 official requests from Moscow in accordance with international law and in spite of the fact that Yulia is a citizen of the Russian Federation with consular rights.

It is an outrage that based on such thin ice of “evidence”, the British have built an edifice of censure against Moscow, rallying an international campaign of further sanctions and diplomatic expulsions.

Now contrast that strenuous reaction, indeed hyper over-reaction, with how Britain, the US, France, Canada and other Western governments are ever-so slowly responding to Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi case.

After nearly two weeks since Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, the Saudi regime is this week finally admitting he was killed on their premises – albeit, they claim, in a “botched interrogation”.

Turkish and American intelligence had earlier claimed that Khashoggi was tortured and murdered on the Saudi premises by a 15-member hit squad sent from Riyadh.

Even more grisly, it is claimed that Khashoggi’s body was hacked up with a bone saw by the killers, his remains secreted out of the consulate building in boxes, and flown back to Saudi Arabia on board two private jets connected to the Saudi royal family.

What’s more, the Turks and Americans claim that the whole barbaric plot to murder Khashoggi was on the orders of senior Saudi rulers, implicating Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The latest twist out of Riyadh, is an attempt to scapegoat “rogue killers” and whitewash the House of Saudi from culpability.

The fact that 59-year-old Khashoggi was a legal US resident and a columnist for the Washington Post has no doubt given his case such prominent coverage in Western news media. Thousands of other victims of Saudi vengeance are routinely ignored in the West.

Nevertheless, despite the horrific and damning case against the Saudi monarchy, the response from the Trump administration, Britain and others has been abject.

President Trump has blustered that there “will be severe consequences” for the Saudi regime if it is proven culpable in the murder of Khashoggi. Trump quickly qualified, however, saying that billion-dollar arms deals with the oil-rich kingdom will not be cancelled. Now Trump appears to be joining in a cover-up by spinning the story that the Khashoggi killing was done by “rogue killers”.

Britain, France and Germany this week issued a joint statement calling for “a credible investigation” into the disappearance. But other than “tough-sounding” rhetoric, none of the European states have indicated any specific sanctions, such as weapons contracts being revoked or diplomatic expulsions.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “concerned” by the gruesome claims about Khashoggi’s killing, but he reiterated that Ottawa would not be scrapping a $15 billion sale of combat vehicles to Riyadh.

The Saudi rulers have even threatened retaliatory measures if sanctions are imposed by Western governments.

Saudi denials of official culpability seem to be a brazen flouting of all reason and circumstantial evidence that Khashoggi was indeed murdered in the consulate building on senior Saudi orders.

This week a glitzy international investor conference in Saudi Arabia is being boycotted by top business figures, including the World Bank chief, Jim Yong Kim, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon and Britain’s venture capitalist Richard Branson. Global firms like Ford and Uber have pulled out, as have various media sponsors, such as CNN, the New York Times and Financial Times. Withdrawal from the event was in response to the Khashoggi affair.

A growing bipartisan chorus of US Senators, including Bob Corker, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham and Chris Murphy, have called for the cancellation of American arms sales to Saudi Arabia, as well as for an overhaul of the strategic partnership between the two countries.

Still, Trump has rebuffed calls for punitive response. He has said that American jobs and profits depend on the Saudi weapons market. Some 20 per cent of all US arms sales are estimated to go to the House of Saud.

The New York Times this week headlined: “In Trump’s Saudi Bargain, the Bottom Line Proudly Stands Out”.

The Trump White House will be represented at the investment conference in Saudi Arabia this week – dubbed “Davos in the Desert” by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. He said he was attending in spite of the grave allegations against the Saudi rulers.

Surely the point here is the unseemly indulgence by Western governments of Saudi Arabia and its so-called “reforming” Crown Prince. It is remarkable how much credulity Washington, London, Paris, Ottawa and others are affording the Saudi despots who, most likely, have been caught redhanded in a barbarous murder.

Yet, when it comes to Russia and outlandish, unproven claims that the Kremlin carried out a bizarre poison-assassination plot, all these same Western governments abandon all reason and decorum to pile sanctions on Russia based on lurid, hollow speculation. The blatant hypocrisy demolishes any pretense of integrity or principle.

Here is another connection between the Skripal and Khashoggi affairs. The Saudis no doubt took note of the way Britain’s rulers have shown absolute disregard and contempt for international law in their de facto abduction of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. If the British can get away with that gross violation, then the Saudis probably thought that nobody would care too much if they disappeared Jamal Khashoggi.

Grotesquely, the way things are shaping up in terms of hypocritical lack of action by the Americans, British and others towards the Saudi despots, the latter might just get away with murder. Not so Russia. The Russians are not allowed to get away with even an absurd fantasy.

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US-China trade war heats up as surplus hits record $34 Billion (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 136.

Alex Christoforou

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According to a report by the AFP, China’s trade surplus with the United States ballooned to a record $34.1 billion in September, despite a raft of US tariffs, official data showed Friday, adding fuel to the fire of a worsening trade war.

Relations between the world’s two largest economies have soured sharply this year, with US President Donald Trump vowing on Thursday to inflict economic pain on China if it does not blink.
The two countries imposed new tariffs on a massive amount of each other’s goods mid-September, with the US targeting $200 billion in Chinese imports and Beijing firing back at $60 billion worth of US goods.

“China-US trade friction has caused trouble and pounded our foreign trade development,” customs spokesman Li Kuiwen told reporters Friday.

But China’s trade surplus with the US grew 10 percent in September from a record $31 billion in August, according to China’s customs administration. It was a 22 percent jump from the same month last year.

China’s exports to the US rose to $46.7 billion while imports slumped to $12.6 billion.

China’s overall trade — what it buys and sells with all countries including the US — logged a $31.7 billion surplus, as exports rose faster than imports.

Exports jumped 14.5 percent for September on-year, beating forecasts from analysts polled by Bloomberg News, while imports rose 14.3 percent on-year.

While the data showed China’s trade remained strong for the month, analysts forecast the trade war will start to hurt in coming months.

China’s export jump for the month suggests exporters were shipping goods early to beat the latest tariffs, said ANZ’s China economist Betty Wang, citing the bounce in electrical machinery exports, much of which faced the looming duties.

“We will watch for downside risks to China’s exports” in the fourth quarter, Wang said.

Analysts say a sharp depreciation of the yuan has also helped China weather the tariffs by making its exports cheaper.

“The big picture is the Chinese exports have so far held up well in the face of escalating trade tensions and cooling global growth, most likely thanks to the competitiveness boost provided by a weaker renminbi (yuan),” said Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics.

“With global growth likely to cool further in the coming quarters and US tariffs set to become more punishing, the recent resilience of exports is unlikely to be sustained,” he said.

According to Bloomberg US President Donald Trump’s new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement isn’t that different from the North American Free Trade Agreement that it replaced. But hidden in the bowels of the new trade deal is a clause, Article 32.10, that could have a far-reaching impact. The new agreement requires member states to get approval from the other members if they initiate trade negotiations with a so-called non-market economy. In practice, “non-market” almost certainly means China. If, for example, Canada begins trade talks with China, it has to show the full text of the proposed agreement to the U.S. and Mexico — and if either the U.S. or Mexico doesn’t like what it sees, it can unilaterally kick Canada out of the USMCA.

Although it seems unlikely that the clause would be invoked, it will almost certainly exert a chilling effect on Canada and Mexico’s trade relations with China. Forced to choose between a gargantuan economy across the Pacific and another one next door, both of the U.S.’s neighbors are almost certain to pick the latter.

This is just another part of Trump’s general trade waragainst China. It’s a good sign that Trump realizes that unilateral U.S. efforts alone won’t be enough to force China to make concessions on issues like currency valuation, intellectual-property protection and industrial subsidies. China’s export markets are much too diverse:

If Trump cuts the U.S. off from trade with China, the likeliest outcome is that China simply steps up its exports to other markets. That would bind the rest of the world more closely to China and weaken the global influence of the U.S. China’s economy would take a small but temporary hit, while the U.S. would see its position as the economic center of the world slip into memory.

Instead, to take on China, Trump needs a gang. And that gang has to be much bigger than just North America. But most countries in Europe and East Asia probably can’t be bullied into choosing between the U.S. and China. — their ties to the U.S. are not as strong as those of Mexico and Canada. Countries such as South Korea, Germany, India and Japan will need carrots as well as sticks if they’re going to join a U.S.-led united trade front against China.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the escalating trade war between the United States and China, and the record trade surplus that positions China with a bit more leverage than Trump anticipated.

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Via Zerohedge Trump Threatens China With More Tariffs, Does Not Seek Economic “Depression”

US equity futures dipped in the red after President Trump threatened to impose a third round of tariffs on China and warned that Chinese meddling in U.S. politics was a “bigger problem” than Russian involvement in the 2016 election.

During the same interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes”, in which Trump threatened to impose sanctions against Saudi Arabia if the Saudis are found to have killed WaPo reported Khashoggi, and which sent Saudi stock plunging, Trump said he “might,” impose a new round of tariffs on China, adding that while he has “great chemistry” with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and noting that Xi “wants to negotiate”, he doesn’t “know that that’s necessarily going to continue.” Asked if American products have become more expensive due to tariffs on China, Trump said that “so far, that hasn’t turned out to be the case.”

“They can retaliate, but they can’t, they don’t have enough ammunition to retaliate,” Trump says, “We do $100 billion with them. They do $531 billion with us.”

Trump was also asked if he wants to push China’s economy into a depression to which the US president said “no” before comparing the country’s stock-market losses since the tariffs first launched to those in 1929, the start of the Great Depression in the U.S.

“I want them to negotiate a fair deal with us. I want them to open their markets like our markets are open,” Trump said in the interview that aired Sunday. So far, the U.S. has imposed three rounds of tariffs on Chinese imports totaling $250 billion, prompting China to retaliate against U.S. products. The president previously has threatened to hit virtually all Chinese imports with duties.

Asked about his relationship with Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin’s alleged efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, Trump quickly turned back to China. “They meddled,” he said of Russia, “but I think China meddled too.”

“I think China meddled also. And I think, frankly, China … is a bigger problem,” Trump said, as interviewer Lesley Stahl interrupted him for “diverting” from a discussion of Russia.

Shortly before an audacious speech by Mike Pence last weekend, in which the US vice president effectively declared a new cold war on Beijing (see “Russell Napier: Mike Pence Announces Cold War II”), Trump made similar accusations during a speech at the United Nations last month, which his aides substantiated by pointing to long-term Chinese influence campaigns and an advertising section in the Des Moines Register warning farmers about the potential effects of Trump’s tariffs.

Meanwhile, in a rare U.S. television appearance, China’s ambassador to the U.S. said Beijing has no choice but to respond to what he described as a trade war started by the U.S.

“We never wanted a trade war, but if somebody started a trade war against us, we have to respond and defend our own interests,” said China’s Ambassador Cui Tiankai.

Cui also dismissed as “groundless” the abovementioned suggestion by Vice President Mike Pence that China has orchestrated an effort to meddle in U.S. domestic affairs. Pence escalated the rhetoric in a speech Oct. 4, saying Beijing has created a “a whole-of-government approach” to sway American public opinion, including spies, tariffs, coercive measures and a propaganda campaign.

Pence’s comments were some of the most critical about China by a high-ranking U.S. official in recent memory. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo got a lecture when he visited Beijing days later, about U.S. actions that were termed “completely out of line.” The tough words followed months of increases tit-for-tat tariffs imposed by Washington and Beijing that have ballooned to cover hundreds of billions of dollars in bilateral trade.

During a recent interview with National Public Radio, Cui said the U.S. has “not sufficiently” dealt in good faith with the Chinese on trade matters, saying “the U.S. position keeps changing all the time so we don’t know exactly what the U.S. would want as priorities.”

Meanwhile, White House economic director Larry Kudlow said on “Fox News Sunday” that President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will “probably meet” at the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires in late November. “There’s plans and discussions and agendas” being discussed, he said. So far, talks with China on trade have been “unsatisfactory,” Kudlow said. “We’ve made our asks” on allegations of intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers, he added. “We have to have reciprocity.”

Addressing the upcoming meeting, Cui said he was present at two previous meetings of Xi and Trump, and that top-level communication “played a key role, an irreplaceable role, in guiding the relationship forward.” Despite current tensions the two have a “good working relationship,” he said.

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BREAKING: Explosion in Crimea, Russia kills many, injuring dozens, terrorism suspected

According to preliminary information, the incident was caused by a gas explosion at a college facility in Kerch, Crimea.

The Duran

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“We are clarifying the information at the moment. Preliminary figures are 50 injured and 10 dead. Eight ambulance crews are working at the site and air medical services are involved,” the press-service for the Crimean Ministry of Health stated.

Medics announced that at least 50 people were injured in the explosion in Kerch and 25 have already been taken to local hospital with moderate wounds, according to Sputnik.

Local news outlets reported that earlier in the day, students at the college heard a blast and windows of the building were shattered.

Putin Orders that Assistance Be Provided to Victims of Blast in Kerch – Kremlin Spokesman

“The president has instructed the Ministry of Health and the rescue services to take emergency measures to assist victims of this explosion, if necessary, to ensure the urgent transportation of seriously wounded patients to leading medical institutions of Russia, whether in Moscow or other cities,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitriy Peskov said.

The president also expressed his condolences to all those affected by the tragic incident.

Manhunt Underway in Kerch as FSB Specialists Investigate Site of Explosion – National Anti-Terrorist Committee

The site of the blast that rocked a city college in Kerch is being examined by FSB bomb disposal experts and law enforcement agencies are searching for clues that might lead to the arrest of the perpetrators, the National Anti Terrorism Committee said in a statement.

“Acting on orders from the head of the NAC’s local headquarters, FSB, Interior Ministry, Russian Guards and Emergency Ministry units have arrived at the site. The territory around the college has been cordoned off and the people inside the building evacuated… Mine-disposal experts are working at the site and law enforcement specialists are investigating,” the statement said.

Terrorist Act Considered as Possible Cause of Blast in Kerch – Kremlin Spokesman

“The tragic news that comes from Kerch. Explosion. The president was informed … The data on those killed and the number of injured is constantly updated,” Peskov told reporters.

“[The version of a terrorist attack] is being considered,” he said.

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