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Top Brexit official resigns, triggering upheaval in London

Brexit secretary David Davis resigns, citing exceptional weakness of PM Theresa May’s wish for “soft exit” that ties the UK to the EU

Seraphim Hanisch

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Fox News and The UK Daily Mail are among the news outlets reporting the resignation of Brexit secretary David Davis from his post. The conservative secretary resigned over his frustration with a negotiated deal by PM Theresa May for a “soft” UK departure from the European Union.

Reports that a new secretary, Conservative Dominic Raab, has been appointed to the vacated post by Prime Minister Theresa May.

Fox News reports:

Britain’s most senior official in charge of negotiating the country’s exit from the European Union resigned Sunday, two days after Prime Minister Theresa May announced she had finally united her quarrelsome government behind a plan for Brexit.

In a blow to the beleaguered prime minister, Brexit Secretary David Davis told May in a letter that the government’s proposals for future trade ties with the bloc “will leave us in at best a weak negotiating position, and possibly an inescapable one.”

Davis’s late-night resignation undermined May’s already fragile government, which has lost several ministers in the past year over sexual misconduct allegations and other scandals. Davis was a strong pro-Brexit voice in a Cabinet divided between supporters of a clean break with the bloc and those who want to keep close ties with Britain’s biggest trading partner.

Jenkyns said Steve Baker, a junior minister in the Brexit department, had also quit. There was no immediate comment from Baker.

Less than nine months remain until Britain leaves the bloc on March 29, 2019, and the EU has warned Britain repeatedly that time is running out to seal a divorce deal.

On Friday, Davis and the rest of May’s fractious Cabinet finally agreed on a plan for future trade ties with the EU.

May is due to brief lawmakers Monday on the plan hammered out during a 12-hour meeting at Chequers, the prime minister’s country retreat. It seeks to keep the U.K. and the EU in a free-trade zone for goods, and commits Britain to maintaining the same rules as the bloc for goods and agricultural products.

Some Brexit-supporting lawmakers are angry at the proposals, saying they will keep Britain tethered to the bloc and unable to change its rules to strike new trade deals around the world.

In his resignation letter, Davis said the “‘common rule book’ policy hands control of large swathes of our economy to the EU and is certainly not returning control of our laws in any real sense.”

RT noted further:

Following his late night resignation, Davis said it would not be “plausible” for him to carry on spearheading Brexit negotiations given his public concerns about May’s policy.

“In my view, this policy has got a number of weaknesses. I would be front and centre in delivering this policy, explaining it to the House, persuading the House it is right, and then going out and delivering it with the EU,” he told the BBC’s Today program on Monday morning.

The United Kingdom has been on a path to withdrawal from the European Union since a referendum taken on June 23, 2016. At issue at the time of the referendum were these three issues, here briefly excerpted from this article in Forbes Magazine dated July 5, 2016:

Economics: Opponents of the EU argued that it is a dysfunctional economic entity. The EU failed to address the economic problems that had been developing since 2008… for example, 20% unemployment in southern Europe.

The difference between the lives of southern Europeans and Germans—who enjoy 4.2% unemployment—is profound. Europe as a whole has stagnated economically.

The argument for remaining in the EU was that the alternative was economic disaster. However, staying in a stagnated organization to solve British problems seemed shortsighted and made little sense to opponents…

Sovereignty: The second reason for Brexit is the rise of nationalism across the world.

There’s a growing distrust of multinational financial, trade, and defense organizations created after World War II. The EU, the IMF , and NATO are good examples of this.

Many who oppose the EU believe these institutions no longer serve a purpose. Not only that, these organizations take control away from individual nations. Mistrust and fear of losing control made Brexit a reasonable solution to them.

The immigration crisis in Europe was a trigger. Some EU leaders argued that aiding the refugees was a moral obligation. But EU opponents saw immigration as a national issue, as it affected the internal life of the country. Steering clear of this issue was an important driver for the “leave” vote.

The EU doesn’t understand the power of nationalism. It attempts to retain nationality as a cultural right. On the other hand, it deprives individual nations of the power to make many decisions.

This may have worked before 2008, but it has become increasingly difficult to accept.

Political Elitism: Finally, the political leadership of Britain faced a profound loss. The “leave” voters rejected both the Conservative and Labour parties. Both parties had endorsed remaining with the EU and saw many of their members go into opposition on the issue.

Ultimately, it was a three-way struggle. Two established parties wanted to remain in the EU, and a third faction, drawn from both parties, opposed it. People in this third group saw both of the establishment parties as hostile to their interests.

This should be considered in the broader sense.

The possibility of Brexit frightened financial markets. They said so loudly. What they did not grasp was the degree to which they had lost legitimacy in 2008.

Most “leave” supporters believed that the financial industry’s recklessness and incompetence had created a disaster for many. Besides, they saw no benefit to themselves in the success of the financial industry… even though it wasn’t true.

It’s vital to understand that Brexit was a vote against the British elite. Voters thought politicians, business leaders, and intellectuals had lost their right to control the system.

Voters thought the elite had contempt for their values—for their nationalism and interests.

This is not a new phenomenon in Europe. This is not a British phenomenon, either. It is something that is sweeping Europe and China. And with the rise of Donald Trump, it’s also present in the United States.

Trump’s entire strategy is to attack both the Democratic and Republican leadership… and the elite who have contempt for the nationalism and moral principles of those beneath them.

It is as yet unclear what the effect on the present makeup of the British government will be. However, strong speculation exists that PM Theresa May is in trouble. According to the Daily Mail:

The Davis-led Brexit rebellion will throw negotiations into chaos and leaves Mrs May in a perilous position as she faces the House of Commons and then a potentially stormy meeting of Tory MPs on Monday.

The PM insists she has chosen the ‘right Brexit for Britain’ and is ‘no sell-out’ as she tries to quell a backbench revolt despite being accused by some Tory MPs of trying to deliver a ‘soft Brexit’ which would keep Britain tied to EU rules.

The Prime Minister secured Cabinet backing for her strategy in a marathon meeting at Chequers on Friday and was set to urge the Conservative Party to ‘stand united’ behind her in a showdown meeting with backbenchers tonight.

But Eurosceptics plotting against the Prime Minister earlier claimed MPs have begun sending no-confidence letters, which will trigger a leadership contest if 48 are received.

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Terrorism

Possible terror attack at California mall thwarted by anti-jihad activist

Angry Muslim women and a shady Muslim man’s carefully-placed backpack were all part of the terrorism scene at the LA shopping mall on July 7.

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Los Cerritos Center, Los Angeles. Photo: losangeles.cbslocal.com

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office and the Los Cerritos Shopping Center are hush hush for now. It’s not yet clear if it was an attempted terror attack or just a dry run, but what is clear enough is that an observant anti-jihad activist thwarted the plans of some ill-intentioned Muslims on Saturday, July 7.

According to Big League Politics, Steve Amundson, the founder of the Counter Jihad Coalition (CJC), trained to detect security threats, noticed several alarming clues that led him to believe a terror attack was underway.

The last straw was when an angry Muslim carefully placed his backpack under the CJC’s table outside the Los Cerritos Shopping Center and walked away, later refusing to retrieve it.

Amundson was on the street that day with a pastor colleague, passing out literature about Islam and the threat it poses to America and other Western nations. An unidentified Muslim man wearing a backpack approached the pastor and began furiously arguing with him.

“Before leaving the table, Amundson says he witnessed the Muslim man strategically place his backpack underneath the CJC booth and walk away,” Laura Loomer writes for Big League Politics.

Amundson asked the pastor if he knew the Muslim man. When he said no, Amundson immediately reported the incident to mall security.

Loomer lays out the events and “red flags” leading up to mall security being called:

The events that unfolded next are shocking, and quite disturbing. Amundson told Big League Politics that after he alerted mall security, they approached the man and asked him if the backpack was his. The man said the backpack did belong to him, but he then refused to retrieve his backpack that he had placed underneath the CJC booth before walking away.

After a discussion with security, the Muslim man walked away with security, and security carefully took the backpack.

Over the past six months that Amundson and his colleagues have been tabling, he has experienced an increase in physical attacks against himself and his booth. For this reason, Amundson says he and his colleagues are trained to detect security threats and what they call “red flags”. While passing out literature on Saturday, Amundson says he witnessed and documented several red flags at the Los Cerritos Shopping Center.

The first red flag occurred when two Muslim men inside the mall began snapping pictures of the CJC booth and making phone calls shortly after. Amundson witnessed this and recognized it as “red flag one.”

bigleaguepolitics.com

The second red flag occurred when two Muslim women approached the booth and began cursing at the CJC’s booth operators, calling them liars. Mall security observed the hostile interaction and began speaking to the two women. It was at that moment when the two Muslim women distracted security that a white haired Muslim male walked over to the booth and slid his backpack under that table.

Mall security has thus far declined to confirm if the Muslim man was arrested or if the bomb squad had been called. Thus, it remains unclear if this was a dry run or the real deal.

The report continues:

Amundson’s experience at the shopping center is disturbing and concerning for many reasons, primarily because it appears as though the mall security and Sheriff’s Office are actively working to keep the public and Amundson in the dark about what appears to be a dry run of a jihadi attack. What happened to Amundson at the shopping center is a very serious incident the needs to be further investigated and disclosed to the public to ensure that people are aware of the threat that is clearly present within their own community.

Amundson applied to have another CJC booth at the same mall on July 21, which mall security rejected, citing safety concerns: “While we understand your organization’s right to engage in free speech subject to reasonable time, place and manner rules, we must consider the safety of the Center’s patrons.”

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Maria Butina, her crime: A love of the NRA and being Russian (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 61.

Alex Christoforou

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has communicated to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Russian national Maria Butina must be set free and allowed to return to Russia, after she was arrested by US officials on dubious spy charges.

Lavrov said that the US should immediately release the Russian gun activist, who is being held in the US on espionage charges, after a phone conversation with his US counterpart.

Lavrov called the charges levied against Butina “fabricated.”

In his conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday, “Lavrov stressed that the actions of the US authorities that arrested Russian citizen Butina on fabricated charges are unacceptable.”

In an official statement the Russian Foreign Ministry called for her “immediate release.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine the oddly timed, out of the blue arrest of Maria Butina, who is being held by US authorities for what they claim to be a violation of the FARA act.

In reality Maria Butina’s crime is much more troubling than simply failing to register as a foreign agent.

Maria made the double mistake of being in the United States of America as a Russian citizens who loves guns, at a time when racism and bigotry against Russians and NRA supporters is surpassing McCarthyite levels.

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Via RT

The Foreign minister raised the issue during phone conversations that were made at the request of the US and aimed at “further normalization of the US-Russian relations” following the summit between the US President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. Lavrov and Pompeo also discussed the process of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, as well as the situation in Syria.

The 29-year-old Russian student and a gun activist was arrested in the US about a week ago and charged with acting as a foreign agent without registering her activities with the authorities. Butina has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

On July 16, a DC Federal Court rejected Butina’s bail plea and ordered her to be placed in custody pending trial over fears that she could flee or contact Russian intelligence officials. Her lawyer says the trial is being politicized and Russian embassy staff were only allowed to visit her in jail on Thursday.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has called Butina’s arrest politically motivated, adding that it could have been aimed at disrupting the Helsinki summit between Putin and Trump. On Thursday, the ministry also launched a campaign hashtagged #FreeMariaButina on Twitter to raise awareness of her case.

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Ugly breakup at FBI: Lisa Page throws ex-lover, Peter Strzok, under the bus (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 60.

Alex Christoforou

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While Peter Strzok’s testimony put a face on the deceptive and secretive Deep State, GOP lawmakers who were present at Lisa Page’s closed-door deposition said they learned a lot of new information from the ex-FBI lawyer, and ex-lover of Peter Strzok.

Lisa Page confirmed to GOP lawmakers that the text messages sent between her and her lover Strzok “meant exactly what they said,” contrary to Strzok’s testimony.

According to The Gateway Pundit, one damning text message in particular sent from Strzok on May 19th, 2017, just two days after Robert Mueller was appointed Special Counsel, intrigued investigators and the public alike.

“There’s no big there there,” Strzok texted.

According to investigative reporter, John Solomon, Lisa Page confirmed that text from Peter Strzok did indeed refer to the Trump-Russia case.

Strzok knew it was a nothing-burger yet he forged ahead.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou, RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle, and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how Peter Strzok’s testimony has undoubtedly contradicted Lisa Page’s cooperative deposition, as the ex-FBI lawyer is preparing to save herself, while throwing her ex-lover under the bus.

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Via The Epoch Times

Representatives John Ratcliffe and Louie Gohmert of Texas recently shared their observations of the closed-door testimony of former high-ranking FBI lawyer Lisa Page, which concluded on July 16.

One of the major questions regarding the testimony was whether it would match the one given by FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok.

But while Ratcliffe said he found a mismatch, Gohmert wouldn’t go so far.

Page and Strzok played major roles in the investigations on both 2016 presidential candidates: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia. During the same period, Page and Strzok had an affair and exchanged thousands of text messages expressing a strong bias against Trump and in favor of Clinton.

“When I questioned Lisa Page on Friday about the anti-Trump text messages that were sent between herself and Peter Strzok, there were significant differences in her testimony and Strzok’s as it relates to what she thought some of these text messages meant,” Ratcliffe said in a July 16 tweet, shortly before the second round of questioning.

“Page gave us new information that Strzok either wouldn’t or couldn’t, confirming some of the concerns we had about these investigations and the people involved in running them,” he wrote.

On July 17, Ratcliffe expanded on his further statements about Page’s testimony. Radcliffe told Fox News…

“There are differences in their testimony.”

“In many cases, she admits that the text messages mean exactly what they say, as opposed to agent Strzok, who thinks that we’ve all misinterpreted his own words on any text message that might be negative.”

Via The Epoch Times

In one of the texts, Strzok vowed to “stop” Trump from becoming president. In another, the two discussed having an “insurance policy” in the “unlikely” event that Trump would win the election.

Strzok, who gave a closed-door testimony on June 27 and a public one on July 12, said the first message meant he and the American people would stop Trump. The second, he said previously, meant he wanted to pursue the Russia investigation aggressively, in case Trump won.

GOP lawmakers were furious with Strzok’s attitude and unwillingness to answer questions. In a scathing monologue, Gohmert even linked Strzok’s credibility to the fact that he was unfaithful to his wife.

President Donald Trump repeatedly called Strzok’s testimony a “disgrace.”

The lawmakers said Page was comparatively more cooperative.

“There were times the FBI lawyers would be reaching to the button to mute her comment, and she would answer before they could mute her comment,” Gohmert told Fox News.

He said Page didn’t contradict Strzok “so much,” but “has given us insights into who was involved in what.”

“I think she’ll be a good witness,” he said.

Page ditched her first testimony appointment on July 11, prompting GOP lawmakers to threaten her with contempt of Congress. She then agreed to appear on July 13, which gave her the opportunity to review Strzok’s public testimony before giving hers.

The lawmakers are probing the FBI’s and Justice Department’s decisions before the election, suspecting they were influenced by political considerations.

Texts between Strzok and Page suggest that the FBI initiated an offensive counterintelligence operation against the Trump campaign as early as December 2015.

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