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Very dangerous escalation in Syria

Reckless US sponsored attacks on Russian forces in Syria risk a dangerous clash

The Saker

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Republished with permission; this article was first published by The Saker

By now many of you must have heard the news: a Russian Lieutenant-General, Valery Asapov, and two Colonels have been killed in what appears to be a very precisely targeted mortar attack.  Just as in the case of the Russian military police unit recently attacked near Deir ez-Zor, the Russians are accusing the Americans of being behind this attack.  To make things even worse, the Russians are now also officially accusing the Americans of actively collaborating with ISIS:

US Special Operations Forces  units enable US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces units to smoothly advance through the ISIS formations.  Facing no resistance of the ISIS militants, the SDF units are advancing along the left shore of the Euphrates towards Deir-ez-Zor.  The aerial photos made on September 8-12 over the ISIS locations recorded a large number of American Hummer vehicles, which are in service with the America’s SOF.  The shots clearly show the US SOF units located at strongholds that had been equipped by the ISIS terrorists. Though there is no evidence of assault, struggle or any US-led coalition airstrikes to drive out the militants.  Despite that the US strongholds being located in the ISIS areas, no screening patrol has been organized at them. This suggests that the US troops feel safe in terrorist controlled regions.

These are the maps and aerial photos provided by the Russians (for higher resolution, click here)

What this all seems to point to is that the Pentagon has now apparently decided to attack Russian forces directly, albeit unofficially.   From the Pentagon’s point of view, this (almost) makes sense.

First, by now it is pretty darn clear that the “good terrorists” and the “bad terrorists” have lost the civil war in Syria.  Simply put, the USA has been defeated, Syria, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah have won and the Israelis are now freaking out.

Second, the American plan to use the Kurds as foot-soldiers/canon-fodder has failed.  The Kurds are clearly too smart to be pulled in such a losing proposition.

Third, the American plan-B option, the partition of Syria, is now itself directly threatened by the Syrian military successes.

Last and not least, the Americans by now are deeply humiliated and enraged at the Russian success in Syria.

Lieutenant-General Valery Asapov

Hence they have now apparently taken the decision to directly target Russian military personnel and they are using their considerable reconnaissance capabilities combined with US Special Forces on the ground, working side by side with “good” and “bad” terrorists, to target and attack Russian military personnel.

This is not the first time, by the way.  There is pretty good evidence that a Russian hospital near Aleppo was targeted using means not available to the local Daesh franchise.  This time, however, the Americans are not even trying to hide.  The message seems to be this all-time American favorite “watcha gonna do about it?“.

There is a lot the Russians could do about it, in fact.  I wrote about this in my article “Using plausible deniability against a systematically lying adversary“.  If the folks at CENTCOM really believe that their generals are all safe and out of reach they are deeply mistaken.  Unlike the Russians and, even more so, the Iranians, US Generals are mostly risk averse and hard to get to in Syria.  But who said that Russia would have to retaliate in Syria?  Or, for that matter, that Russia would have to use Russian forces to retaliate.  Yes, Russia does have special units trained in the assassination of high-value targets in hostile countries, but that does not at all mean that they would decide to use them.  Accidents can happen anywhere and the roads are notoriously dangerous in the Middle-East.  Why do I mention that?  To illustrate that Russia does have options short of overtly going to war.

Of course, the Russians could simply fire a volley of Kalibr cruise missile at any of the ISIS positions shown in the photos above and then go “oops, you had personnel embedded with these al-Qaeda types?  Really?  We had no idea, no idea at all“.  Syria also have a pretty solid arsenal of tactical ballistic missiles.  The Syrians could mistakenly hit any such ISIS+US positions and express consternation at the presence of US military personnel in the midst of terrorists.  There is also Hezbollah who, in the past, has even seized Israelis soldiers in raids across the border and who could decide to capture themselves some US SOF types.    And let’s not forget the Iranians who have not had such an golden opportunity to finally get their hands on US military personnel since many years.

The three key weakness of the US force posture in Syria are: first, their own force in Syria is too small to make a difference, but big enough to represent a lucrative target and, second, all the boots on the ground which matter are against them (Syrians, Iran, Turkey, Hezbollah and the Russians).  Finally, the only two real US allies in the region are too afraid to put boots on the ground: Israel and the Saudis.

The bottom line is that if the Americans think that the Russians and their allies don’t have options they are deeply mistaken.  They also should seriously consider the consequence of having US SOF operating in forward positions.  The Syrians are closing the distance fast and this might not be the best time to hunt Russian military personnel.

So far the Russians have only limited themselves to protests and expressions of disgust.  This has clearly not been an effective strategy.  The Russians apparently don’t realize that very few people care and that the more the complain, the less credible their warnings sound.  This is not a sustainable approach and the Russians will so “have to do something about it”, to use the American expression.

Things might become very dangerous, very fast and very soon.

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Pedja
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Terry Ross
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Terry Ross

That definitely has ratchetted up the pressure on the US to pull back.
I cannot see Russians and Syrians stopping their advance at this stage.

colum
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colum

It would be defeat from the jaws of victory if they did. Militarilly and Politically they need the coup de grace as soon as possible to put this mess beyond doubt.

Gonzogal
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Gonzogal
BobValdez
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BobValdez

“The Russians apparently don’t realize that very few people care and that the more the complain, the less credible their warnings sound. ” What kind of stupid shit is this, from the saker, no less? The Russian DO realise no-one gives a shit about them or their military casualties, and they WILL retaliate, asymmetrically and under the radar. It is VITALLY inportant for Russia to make official complaints about the us and it’s terror tactics, so that when the whining seppos start bitching about Russia killing their terror troops on the ground, no-one will give a fuck then, either. I… Read more »

Norman
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Norman

Absolutely

Great Expectations
Guest
Great Expectations

Having read the entire article, I take a less literal interpretation of that sentence. In the context of the piece, that final sentence doesn’t seem to be a criticism of the Russians’ self-awareness, but perhaps a suggestion that they need to (and possibly will) turn the screw a tighter to counter US aggression. If there is one thing the Russians are meticulous about, it’s not giving the US and its allies the slimmest opportunity to condemn any Russian actions. So it seems that every step taken by the the Russians is signposted in huge neon lights, to cover every propaganda… Read more »

Suzanne Giraud
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Suzanne Giraud

Bingo!

Putin's baby
Guest
Putin's baby

Americans always, always underestimate their many enemies…. Russian will do something. In fact not too long ago, they fired some cruise missiles which killed us, British and yidreali officers…

Le Ruse
Guest
Le Ruse

But…But… They did win in Grenada ?? Didn’t they ??

PhoebeDHarry
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PhoebeDHarry

Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
On tuesday I got a brand new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
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Le Ruse
Guest
Le Ruse

SamanthaDFujiwara only cheap two bit Ho are making home porn for $97 an hour ??

mnedes
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mnedes

The US doesn’t have to win wars, we just have to foment chaos. Be evil.

Le Ruse
Guest
Le Ruse

Chaos ?? & we know, who started it ? A doctor, an engineer, a rabbi and a lawyer were debating who was the world’s first professional. The Doctor said, “It must have been a doctor. Who else could have helped with the world’s first surgery of taking a rib from Adam to create Eve, the first woman?” “No,” said the rabbi. “It must have been a rabbi, since the Lord needed someone to help preach his message to Adam and the world.” “Wait,” said the engineer. “The world was created in 6 days from nothing. Do you know what a… Read more »

Gavin Allen
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Gavin Allen

More pathetic propaganda from the Duran. Never happened.

Norman
Guest
Norman

You smell really bad

Ray Joseph Cormier
Guest

I believe this is True, “First, by now it is pretty darn clear that the “good terrorists” and the “bad terrorists” have lost the civil war in Syria. Simply put, the USA has been defeated, Syria, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah have won and the Israelis are now freaking out.” As for American behaviour these Days, I see the US is acting out these Projections from 1976; On September 13, 1976, the major daily THE KANSAS CITY TIMES published this Vision of the FUTURE: “He came to town for the Republican National Convention and will stay until the election in November… Read more »

dago dingo
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dago dingo

Would love nothing more than watching the Kalibr’s rain down on ISIS/U.S positions anywhere in Syria or Iraq, would also love to see some scum Israeli fighter jets blown out of the sky so as to send a very clear message to these thugs & their controllers in the deep state.

Woodshedding
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Woodshedding

Everyone keeps talking as though war with Russia weren’t the BIGGEST GOAL of the powers that be.

Robert Ferguson
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Robert Ferguson

“Powers that be” = Zionist Jews

john vieira
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john vieira

The script is being played out. Trump’s U turn after Merkel’s visit, the false flag gas attack, cruise missile shots into Syria and bellying up to the Brussels ‘bar’ to ‘derail’ Le Pen…and the deflection with Kim to cover their continued aiding and abetting of ISIS…Pity the Germans did not ‘oust’ Merkel…

Bong
Guest
Bong

RUSSIAN SHOULD KILL ALL FUCKING AMERICA AND THEIR COUNTER PARTIES IN SYRIA IN LAND OR OFF SHORE. BLOW ALL FUCKING US NAVY VESSEL TO THE BOTTOM OF THE ATLANTIC WITH ALL ON BOARD AND EQUIPMENT.

Pete Mangum
Guest
Pete Mangum

guys like Ron Paul have been warning about this for decades, all to no avail. American boobus are about to learn a hard lesson for not listening to him!

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

” The Russians apparently don’t realize that very few people care and that the more the complain, the less credible their warnings sound. ” Must admit to being a little surprised to see Saker taking a PCR line, and assuming that he knows more and better than the leaders in the Kremlin. Putin, and following him his hand picked team, have taken a cautious, calculated approach. There is a saying in Russia “you never hurry unless catching fleas”. Well, we might think of Yanks that way morally – yes they are fleas – but in truth, taking them on in… Read more »

tomo stojanovic
Guest
tomo stojanovic

I think you are right – Eastern Europeans have different mentality – in Serbia where I am from people try to do their best and they don’t worry at all what others will think about them. The first story I remember being taught in primary school was from I think the 1001 Nights by Scheherazade – called You cannot please Everyone or something like that. A man rides a donkey and his son pulls the donkey. They bump into a guy who tells the father to swap positions with his son, the other one later tells them that nobody should… Read more »

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

Very true re the story of the man, boy and donkey tomo. Something we have to learn early in life – impossible to please everyone. You just have to work out if what you are doing is right, and you are doing your best and not hurting anyone if it can helped, and then let others make of it / you what they will. It never ceases to amaze me the extent so many people, Anglos’ especially, will let their concern of what others think influence them. I knew one lady who fell in love with a beautiful outfit of… Read more »

Thomas
Guest

Let’s hope and pray a sea of American General rank officers and CIA types are spilled rather quickly to allow the world to watch the yellow streak the runs down their spines come to bloom when Push has turned into Shove.

Suzanne Giraud
Guest
Suzanne Giraud

Patience: just give the CIA/MOSSAD possessed soup of brands enough rope for the world to see WHO is the aggressor. And then, the legally-present and allied Justice can be released with full fury.

Keith Smith
Guest
Keith Smith

it seems that americans are monitoring the movement of all SAA and Russian military activites with drones and satelites, and reporting information to ISIS

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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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