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UK supports Saudi led bloodbath in Yemen, strikes trade deal

Meanwhile, other nations are given ultimatums about handling their alleged human rights violations before any talks take place

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The Saudi led military campaign against the Houthis in Yemen has already led to the loss of nearly 10,000 lives, 50,000 wounded, and the worst Cholera outbreak in history. Domestically, Saudi Arabia has been home to a host of human rights violations, many of which are still ongoing, despite some reforms.

But all of this not particularly important to the British government, which is presently in a pinch to secure new trade deals as its participation in the EU comes to a close. The New Arab reports:

The foreign minister of Britain has defended the brutal Saudi-led military intervention in neighbouring Yemen, which has killed more than 9,300 people and wounded more than 50,000.

“Britain supports Saudi Arabia’s right to defend its national security against missile attacks from Yemen, many of which have targeted the Kingdom’s cities, including Riyadh,” Boris Johnson said.

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson made the remarks in a statement on Thursday, as the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman makes a controversial visit to the UK.

Britain and Saudi Arabia have meanwhile agreed to strengthen inspections for shipments to Yemen to allow humanitarian aid to reach the war-torn country.

“Today we have agreed to strengthen the UN inspection of shipping in order to ensure that all Yemeni ports remain open to the humanitarian and commercial supplies that Yemen’s people so desperately need,” Johnson said.

Saudi Arabia and its allies launched a military intervention in Yemen in 2015 with the aim of rolling back Houthi rebels who had seized the capital and restoring the government to power.

Foodstuff imports have been restricted for months after Saudi Arabia and its allies blockaded Yemen’s ports, accusing Iran of supplying the rebels with ballistic missiles.

Prince Mohammed is on a three-day visit to Britain, which began with a lunch with Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday, and will see him hold the second of two meetings with Prime Minister Theresa May later Thursday.

Around 200 demonstrators lined up outside the gates of Downing Street on Wednesday evening to condemn Riyadh’s involvement in the brutal war in Yemen.

“Bin Salman is a war criminal,” the crowd shouted while holding up placards saying: “Hands off Yemen” and “Stop Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia and UAE”.

The UK has licensed £4.6 billion ($6.3 billion) worth of arms to Saudi Arabia since it began the intervention in neighbouring Yemen.

Meanwhile, the Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman is in the midst of historic meetings with Queen Elizabeth, and also with Prime Minister Theresa May.

As the queen met with bin Salman, a heated argument went down in the British parliament, spearheaded by Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition, just prior to May’s own meeting with the crown prince to secure a 65 billion pound trade agreement. Which meeting seems to demonstrate that trade deals and profits are far more important than human lives, especially when they’re not British lives. France24 reports:

Prime Minister Theresa May defended Britain’s links to security ally Saudi Arabia on Wednesday as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met Queen Elizabeth for lunch on a high-profile visit that drew protests over Riyadh’s human rights record.

A fiery exchange in parliament between May and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn underlined tension in Britain over Prince Mohammed’s trip, which was aimed at building a broader economic partnership between the two countries, but has sparked anger about alleged human rights abuses and the war in Yemen.

“The link that we have with Saudi Arabia is historic, it is an important one, and it has saved the lives of potentially hundreds of people in this country,” May said, pausing her answer briefly as opposition lawmakers cried “Shame!”. She was alluding to intelligence-sharing on Islamist militant suspects.

The debate took place as Prince Mohammed lunched with the British monarch on the first leg of a trip packed with displays of diplomatic affection designed to help widen long-standing defence ties into a more far-reaching partnership.

May later met Prince Mohammed at her Downing Street office, extending a warm diplomatic welcome to the conservative kingdom’s heir apparent and agreeing a 65 billion pound ($90.29 billion) trade and investment target.

Britain is looking for trading partners as it exits the European Union, and energy powerhouse Saudi Arabia needs to convince sceptical investors about its domestic reforms.

“This is a significant boost for UK prosperity and a clear demonstration of the strong international confidence in our economy as we prepare to leave the European Union,” a spokeswoman from May’s office said after the meeting.

But demonstrators gathered outside May’s office amid a heavy police presence to protest at both countries’ role in Yemen, where war has killed around 10,000 people. A Saudi-led coalition intervened militarily in Yemen in 2015 and critics say Riyadh has been using British-supplied weapons in devastating strikes.

“I don’t believe that someone like Mohammed bin Salman should be welcomed in Britain,” said Hassan Yassine, a 25-year-old customer service worker from London. “It is definitely not ethical, bearing in mind what is going on in Yemen every single day, every single second, even as we speak.”

Corbyn said British military advisers were “directing the war” in Yemen. May’s spokesman said British personnel had no role in carrying out coalition air strikes, and were not involved in Saudi targeting decisions.

Strategic partnership

Police said a man was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage after an egg was thrown at a police vehicle as bin Salman’s motorcade arrived in Downing Street.

Wednesday’s first official engagement was a trip to Buckingham Palace to see Queen Elizabeth – a rare honour usually reserved for heads of state.

The Saudi delegation then met May at her offices to launch a UK-Saudi Strategic Partnership Council.

The meeting set out the mutual trade and investment target, which would include direct investment in Britain and new Saudi public procurement with British companies. This would be spread across sectors including finance, education, healthcare, renewable energy and defence, May’s office said.

Britain is vying to land the stock market listing of state oil firm Saudi Aramco, but no decision is expected this week.

“We would like the Aramco share option to be issued in the United Kingdom and we will continue to suggest the City would be the best place for it,” junior foreign office minister Alistair Burt told parliament.

Later this month Prince Mohammed visits the United States, which also wants the lucrative listing, although sources said both countries might miss out.

British officials were privately delighted at the decision by Prince Mohammed, 32, to choose Britain as the major Western destination on his first foreign trip since becoming heir to the Saudi throne last year.

The British government is keen to develop a two-way trade and investment relationship, eyeing both an expanded market in Saudi Arabia for service sector exports, and attracting Saudi cash to finance domestic projects.

For his part, Saudi Arabia’s ambitious heir wants to show that “shock” reforms have made his country a better place to invest and a more tolerant society.

Photographs posted online showed London taxis displaying advertising graphics welcoming Prince Mohammed, and electronic billboards around the capital promoted pro-Saudi messages with the hashtag #anewsaudiarabia.

Business deals are possible with British defence group BAE Systems and European weapons maker MBDA, and initial agreements could be concluded on gas exploration, petrochemicals and other industries, according to British and Saudi sources.

Royal treatment

The three-day visit will include a second Royal audience – dinner with Prince Charles and Prince William on Wednesday – and a prestigious visit to May’s country residence on Thursday.

The prime minister intends to use the private dinner at Chequers, a 16th-century manor house 40 miles (60 km) northwest of London, to further press her concerns over the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, her spokesman said.

The Saudi-led coalition is fighting the Iran-allied Houthi movement in Yemen in a campaign to restore its internationally recognised government, generating what the United Nations said in January is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Demonstrators are protesting against Britain for licensing 4.6 billion pounds of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia since 2015.

May said all arms sales were strictly regulated, that Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the conflict was backed by the U.N. Security Council and her government supported it.

“The prime minister and crown prince agreed on the importance of full and unfettered humanitarian and commercial access, including through the ports, and that a political solution was ultimately the only way to end the conflict and humanitarian suffering in Yemen,“ the statement from May’s office said.

Meanwhile, other nations are given ultimatums about handling their alleged human rights violations before any talks take place, whether it be Iran, North Korea, Syria, etc, but not the Saudis. Any time they feel that their regime could be facing a threat, whether real or imagined, they are justified in whatever actions they take.

If it’s a nation that UK leaders don’t have the fondest relations with, they are not allowed to defend their sovereignty, they are bad guys, and a change in regime would be utterly fantastic, as we saw in Syria. If NATO claims that they support terrorists, then there is another reason to invade or blockade, but when NATO’s friends do it, well, just don’t pay attention to that.

This sort of behaviour leads to the conclusion that the concerns about human rights that some western nations yell so loudly about, even as an excuse to invade and topple regimes, is more of a political stunt to reshape the map in their favour than a peace keeping organization, or force for the protection of human life and liberty.

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Putin, Trump meet in Helsinki for first bilateral summit

The Helsinki summit is the first ever full-fledged meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. Their previous encounters were brief talks on the sidelines of the G20 and APEC summits in 2017.

Vladimir Rodzianko

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump are meeting in the Finnish capital of Helsinki for their first bilateral one-on-one meeting.

Trump arrived in the Finland capital a day early, while the jet of Putin, who wrapped up his nation’s hosting of the World Cup Sunday, touched down around 1 p.m. local time and the Russian president’s motorcade whisked him straight to the palace where the two world leaders are meeting.

Trump signed an August 2017 law imposing additional sanctions on Russia. The law bars Trump from easing many sanctions without Congress’ approval, but he can offer some relief without a nod from Congress.

Almost 700 Russian people and companies are under U.S. sanctions. Individuals face limits on their travel and freezes on at least some of their assets, while some top Russian state banks and companies, including oil and gas giants, are effectively barred from getting financing through U.S. banks and markets.

The agenda of the summit hasn’t been officially announced yet, though, the presidents are expected to discuss global crises, such as the Syrian conflict and Ukraine, as well as bilateral relations.

Stay tuned for updates…

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“Foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails (Video)

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx): Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails was hacked by foreign actor, and it was not Russia.

Alex Christoforou

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A stunning revelation that hardly anyone in the mainstream media is covering.

Fox News gave Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) the opportunity to explain what was going on during his questioning of Peter Strzok, when the the Texas Congressman stated that a “foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Aside from this segment on Fox News, this story is not getting any coverage, and we know why. It destroys the entire ‘Russia hacked Hillary’ narrative.

Gohmert states that this evidence is irrefutable and shows that a foreign actor, not connected to Russia in any way, intercepted and distributed Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Via Zerohedge

As we sift through the ashes of Thursday’s dumpster-fire Congressional hearing with still employed FBI agent Peter Strzok, Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller plucked out a key exchange between Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) and Strzok which revealed a yet-unknown bombshell about the Clinton email case.

Nearly all of Hillary Clinton’s emails on her homebrew server went to a foreign entity that isn’t Russia. When this was discovered by the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG), IG Chuck McCullough sent his investigator Frank Ruckner and an attorney to notify Strzok along with three other people about the “anomaly.”

Four separate attempts were also made to notify DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to brief him on the massive security breach, however Horowitz “never returned the call.” Recall that Horowitz concluded last month that despite Strzok’s extreme bias towards Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump – none of it translated to Strzok’s work at the FBI.

In other words; Strzok, while investigating Clinton’s email server, completely ignored the fact that most of Clinton’s emails were sent to a foreign entity – while IG Horowitz simply didn’t want to know about it.

Daily Caller reports…

The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found an “anomaly on Hillary Clinton’s emails going through their private server, and when they had done the forensic analysis, they found that her emails, every single one except four, over 30,000, were going to an address that was not on the distribution list,” Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said during a hearing with FBI official Peter Strzok.

Gohmert continued..

“It was going to an unauthorized source that was a foreign entity unrelated to Russia.”

Strzok admitted to meeting with Ruckner but said he couldn’t remember the “specific” content of their discussion.

“The forensic examination was done by the ICIG and they can document that,” Gohmert said, “but you were given that information and you did nothing with it.”

According to Zerohedge “Mr. Horowitz got a call four times from someone wanting to brief him about this, and he never returned the call,” Gohmert said – and Horowitz wouldn’t return the call.

And while Peter Strzok couldn’t remember the specifics of his meeting with the IG about the giant “foreign entity” bombshell, he texted this to his mistress Lisa Page when the IG discovered the “(C)” classification on several of Clinton’s emails – something the FBI overlooked:

“Holy cow … if the FBI missed this, what else was missed? … Remind me to tell you to flag for Andy [redacted] emails we (actually ICIG) found that have portion marks (C) on a couple of paras. DoJ was Very Concerned about this.”

Via Zerohedge

In November of 2017, IG McCullough – an Obama appointee – revealed to Fox News that he received pushback when he tried to tell former DNI James Clapper about the foreign entity which had Clinton’s emails and other anomalies.

Instead of being embraced for trying to expose an illegal act, seven senators including Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca) wrote a letter accusing him of politicizing the issue.

“It’s absolutely irrelevant whether something is marked classified, it is the character of the information,” he said. Fox News reports…

McCullough said that from that point forward, he received only criticism and an “adversarial posture” from Congress when he tried to rectify the situation.

“I expected to be embraced and protected,” he said, adding that a Hill staffer “chided” him for failing to consider the “political consequences” of the information he was blowing the whistle on.

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Donald Trump plays good cop and bad cop with a weak Theresa May (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 55.

Alex Christoforou

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US President Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK was momentous, not for its substance, but rather for its sheer entertainment value.

Trump started his trip to the United Kingdom blasting Theresa May for her inability to negotiate a proper Brexit deal with the EU.  Trump ended his visit holding hands with the UK Prime Minister during a press conference where the most ‘special relationship’ between the two allies was once again reaffirmed.

Protests saw giant Trump “baby balloons” fly over London’s city center, as Trump played was his own good cop and bad cop to the UK PM, outside London at the Chequers…often times leaving May’s head spinning.

Even as Trump has left London, he remains front and center in the mind of Theresa May, who has now stated that Trump advised her to “sue” the European Union to resolve the tense negotiations over Brexit.

Trump had mentioned to reporters on Friday at a joint press conference with Theresa May that he had given the British leader a suggestion that she found too “brutal.”

Asked Sunday on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show what that suggestion was, May: “He told me I should sue the EU. Not go into negotiation, sue them.” May added…

“What the president also said at that press conference was `Don’t walk away. Don’t walk away from the negotiations. Then you’re stuck.”‘

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris summarize what was a state visit like no other, as Trump trolled the UK PM from beginning to end, and left London knowing that he got the better of a weakened British Prime Minister, who may not survive in office past next week.

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Via CNBC

It wasn’t exactly clear what Trump meant. The revelation came after explosive and undiplomatic remarks Trump made this week about May’s leadership — especially her handling of the Brexit negotiations — as he made his first official visit to Britain.

In an interview with The Sun newspaper published Thursday — just as May was hosting Trump at a lavish black-tie dinner — Trump said the British leader’s approach likely “killed” chances of a free-trade deal with the United States. He said he had told May how to conduct Brexit negotiations, “but she didn’t listen to me.”

He also praised May’s rival, Boris Johnson, who quit last week as foreign secretary to protest May’s Brexit plans. Trump claimed Johnson would make a “great prime minister.”

The comments shocked many in Britain — even May’s opponents — and threatened to undermine May’s already fragile hold on power. Her Conservative government is deeply split between supporters of a clean break with the EU and those who want to keep close ties with the bloc, Britain’s biggest trading partner.

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