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Donald Trump beats Hillary Clinton conclusively in second Presidential debate

In the second Presidential debate Donald Trump gave a clear and coherent picture of his realist foreign policy in contrast to Hillary Clinton’s incoherent and belligerent warmongering.

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There were precious few moments of substance in Second Debate of the US Presidential election, so few that one struggles to see the point of having a third debate.

US Presidential elections are a long process and more often than not, a long winded process.

With less than a month away from polling day, a feeling of intellectual exhaustion is palpable in the air.

But for the wider world, the election is more important than ever and the race is far from a foregone conclusion, especially after tonight.

Here are the key points on foreign affairs.

Refreshingly, the few moments of substance in the debate revolved around the most important issue of the election and indeed the most important issue for the wider world: the war against Islamic terrorism in Syria, Iraq and Libya.

Here Donald Trump remains the clear winner. His position has not changed, and he would not be drawn on Hillary Clinton’s pathological loathing of Russia.

Early in the debate Donald Trump summarised the absurdity of the election where an audio tape of Donald Trump moaning about not being able to have sex with a woman has become more important than the issue of Islamic terrorism.

Trump made reference to some of the worst crimes of ISIS, correctly calling them barbaric and medieval.

He asked why at a time when the world is facing this threat a frivolous tape is making headlines? The implied answer is that the mainstream media have willed it thus and in doing so are putting lives in danger.

In the last quarter of the debate, when Hillary Clinton was against the ropes over her email scandal, she predictably blamed Russia and specifically President Putin for hacking the infamous DNC emails.

She went even further by naming Wikileaks as an agent of Russia.

This may possibly be the most absurd statement in a campaign in which absurdity is more abundant than nitrogen in earth’s atmosphere.

If there was a moment when Trump won the debate on behalf of the wider world, it was when he said that it would be good if America and Russia had good relations and it would be even better if America could work with Russia in the battle against Islamic terrorism in Syria.

Rather than nit-pick over qualms about Trump’s personal habits or flamboyant rhetoric, the wider world – if it cares about its own survival – ought to see Trump as a champion of moderate common sense vis-à-vis Hillary Clinton’s perpetual war mongering.

From Hillary Clinton’s perspective ‘Assad must go’.  From Donald Trump’s perspective, Assad is not the problem.

Furthermore, Trump said that it is logistically mad to fight two sides in the same war simultaneously and expect to gain anything meaningful let alone tangible. 

Hillary Clinton struck back by saying she would support a no-fly zone which even Obama and Kerry seem to have given up on, at least temporarily.

She said she’d investigate Russia for ‘war crimes’ and that she would have to ‘leverage’ Russia.

Just what she means by ‘leverage’ Russia is something of a mystery, but in this particular context it sounded like a threat.

If anyone who is voting in the election wants war between America and Russia, you’ve never had a better candidate than Hillary Clinton.

The choice for Trump is clear, but the lack of knowledge in respect of foreign affairs among many prominent American politicians and far too many American voters threatens to put a war monger in the White House.

Some appear to be less concerned about the dangers of a war hungry individual who publicly salivates at the thought of having her finger on the little red button attached to nuclear missiles, than a man who years ago talked about his desire to have his finger on a little red button which forms part of the female genitalia.

If America was a small and insignificant third world country with no air force, no ships and a few rusty tanks, this election would be highly insignificant.

At times, the bitter personal arguments between the two candidates made them appear to be vying for control of a banana republic.

But America is a nuclear superpower and because of this foreign policy must take precedence over all else.

Donald Trump wins easily here, and he made his points very clearly in a debate which however dirty he won.

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Zero Hedge, LiveLeak blocked, sharers warned of jail as NZ censors crack down on mosque attack video

Under the objectionable material laws, corporations can be fined up to NZ$200,000 (US$173,000) for sharing the video or any related content.

RT

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Via RT…


New Zealand police are warning citizens they’ll face 10 years in prison for sharing the Christchurch mosque attack video, and a host of websites have been blocked as censors scrub the shooter’s manifesto from the internet.

Video footage of killer Brenton Tarrant’s shooting spree at a Christchurch mosque on Friday – which left 50 worshippers dead – was pulled from Facebook immediately after the massacre. With the footage proliferating on several hosting platforms afterwards, the Kiwi authorities have already charged an 18-year-old man for sharing the video, as well as for posting other “objectionable” comments days before the shooting.

The teenager faces up to ten years in prison, under New Zealand’s ‘objectionable and restricted material’ laws. Police have meanwhile issued an overt threat to anyone else looking for the video.

“Do not download it. Do not share it. If you are found to have a copy of the video or to have shared it, you face fines & potential imprisonment,” read a statement from the police via local news source Wellington Live.

Under the objectionable material laws, corporations can be fined up to NZ$200,000 (US$173,000) for sharing the video or any related content. Unsurprisingly, New Zealand’s Internet Service Providers rushed to ban websites suspected of sharing the shooting-related materials since the tragedy.

Reports from internet users across New Zealand say that 8chan – the site on which Tarrant announced his attack and posted links to his white nationalist manifesto – has been banned. Social discussion service Dissenter has also been banned, as has content sharing platform Bitchute. In neighboring Australia, ISPs have reportedly banned “cesspool of the internet,” 4chan.

Trolls and memers attempting to access Bitchute and 4chan were greeted with an Interpol notice warning that the sites in question are “distributing child sexual abuse material.”

Popular video sharing site LiveLeak has also been reportedly blocked – although its moderators explicitly said in a statement that they would not allow the live video of the shooting to be shared there.

Even the anti-establishment blog and economic news site Zero Hedge was roped in, and has been reportedly banned by some New Zealand ISPs. While the reason was not immediately clear, the popular anonymous news source has extensively covered the Kiwi censorship efforts in wake of the shooting and posted excerpts from Tarrant’s manifesto – but so did a host of other Anglophone media, including the Daily Mail, quoted in several Zero Hedge articles.

The 80-page manifesto – a violent invective against Muslim immigration littered with internet memes and 4chan insider jokes – has been scrubbed from multiple file-hosting sites, including Scribd and Pastebin.

The crackdown extends beyond New Zealand too. Far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos was banned from entering Australia after the shootings, for a Facebook post in which he called Islam a “barbaric, alien” religious culture. Yiannopoulos had already been engaged in a protracted legal battle with the Australian government for almost a year to bring his controversial speaking tour to the country. While in the UK, police arrested a man in Oldham on Saturday for alleged social media posts “making reference and support for the terrible events in New Zealand.”

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Macron cuts ski holiday short, vowing crack down on Yellow Vests (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 109.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the 18th consecutive week of Yellow Vests protests in Paris. Following last weeks lower participation, Saturday’s Yellow Vests in Paris gathered larger crowds, with various outbreaks of violence and rioting that has been blamed on extreme elements, who French authorities claim have infiltrated the movement.

“Act XVIII” of the protests has shown that the Yellow Vests have not given up. France’s Champs-Élysées boulevard was where most of the violence occurred, with the street being left in a pile of broken glass and flames.

One day after Paris was set ablaze, French President Emmanuel Macron cut his ski holiday short, returning to Paris and vowing to take “strong decisions” to prevent more violence.

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Via Zerohedge


Paris awoke on Sunday to smouldering fires, broken windows and looted stores following the 18th consecutive Saturday of Yellow Vest protests.

Around 200 people were arrested according to BFM TV, while about 80 shops near the iconic Champs Elysees had been damaged and/or looted according to AFP, citing Champs Elysees committee president Jean-Noel Reinhardt.

The 373-year-old Saint Sulpice Roman Catholic church was set on fire while people were inside, however nobody was injured. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

The riots were so severe that French President Emmanuel Macron cut short a vacation at the La Mongie ski resort in the Hautes-Pyrénées following a three-day tour of East Africa which took him to Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Macron skied on Friday, telling La Depeche du Midi “I’m going to spend two-three days here to relax, to find landscapes and friendly faces,” adding “I’m happy to see the Pyrenees like that, radiant, although I know it was more difficult at Christmas” referring to the lack of snow in December.

In response to Saturday’s violence, Macron said over Twitter that “strong decisions” were coming to prevent more violence.

Macron said some individuals — dubbed “black blocs” by French police forces — were taking advantage of the protests by the Yellow Vest grassroots movement to “damage the Republic, to break, to destroy.” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Twitter that those who excused or encouraged such violence were complicit in it. –Bloomberg

The French President has family ties in the Hautes-Pyrénées, including Bagnères de Bigorre where his grandmother lived. He is a regular visitor to the region.

Emmanuel Macron (2ndL), head of the political movement In Marche! (Onwards!) And candidate for the 2017 presidential election, and his wife Brigitte Trogneux (L) have lunch April 12, 2017 (Reuters)

 

 

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Vesti calls out Pompeo on lying about Russia invading Ukraine [Video]

Secretary Pompeo displayed either stunning ignorance or a mass-attack of propaganda about what must be the most invisible war in history.

Seraphim Hanisch

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After the 2014 Maidan revolution and the subsequent secessions of Lugansk and Donetsk in Ukraine, and after the rejoining of Crimea with its original nation of Russia, the Western media went on a campaign to prove the Russia is (/ was / was about to / had already / might / was thinking about / was planning to … etc.) invade Ukraine. For the next year or so, about every two weeks, internet news sources like Yahoo! News showed viewers pictures of tanks, box trucks and convoys to “prove” that the invasion was underway (or any of the other statuses confirming the possibilities above stated.) This information was doubtless provided to US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Apparently, Secretary Pompeo believed this ruse, or is being paid to believe this ruse because in a speech recently, he talked about it as fact:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine an attempt to gain access to Ukraine’s oil and gas reserves.

He stated this at IHS Markit’s CERAWeek conference in Houston, the USA, Reuters reports.

Pompeo urged the oil industry to work with the Trump administration to promote U.S. foreign policy interests, especially in Asia and in Europe, and to punish what he called “bad actors” on the world stage.

The United States has imposed harsh sanctions in the past several months on two major world oil producers, Venezuela and Iran.

Pompeo said the U.S. oil-and-gas export boom had given the United States the ability to meet energy demand once satisfied by its geopolitical rivals.

“We don’t want our European allies hooked on Russian gas through the Nord Stream 2 project, any more than we ourselves want to be dependent on Venezuelan oil supplies,” Pompeo said, referring to a natural gas pipeline expansion from Russia to Central Europe.

Pompeo called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an attempt to gain access to the country’s oil and gas reserves.

Although the state-run news agency Vesti News often comes under criticism for rather reckless, or at least, extremely sarcastic propaganda at times, here they rightly nailed Mr. Pompeo’s lies to the wall and billboarded it on their program:

The news anchors even made a wisecrack about one of the political figures, Konstantin Zatulin saying as a joke that Russia plans to invade the United States to get its oil. They further noted that Secretary Pompeo is uneducated about the region and situation, but they offered him the chance to come to Russia and learn the correct information about what is going on.

To wit, Russia has not invaded Ukraine at all. There is no evidence to support such a claim, while there IS evidence to show that the West is actively interfering with Russia through the use of Ukraine as a proxyWhile this runs counter to the American narrative, it is simply the truth. Ukraine appears to be the victim of its own ambitions at this point, for while the US tantalizes the leadership of the country and even interferes with the Orthodox Church in the region, the country lurches towards a presidential election with three very poor candidates, most notably the one who is president there now, Petro Poroshenko.

However, the oil and gas side of the anti-Russian propaganda operation by the US is significant. The US wishes for Europe to buy gas from American suppliers, even though this is woefully inconvenient and expensive when Russia is literally at Europe’s doorstep with easy supplies. However, the Cold War Party in the United States, which still has a significant hold on US policy making categorizes the sale of Russia gas to powers like NATO ally Germany as a “threat” to European security.

It is interesting that Angela Merkel herself does not hold this line of thinking. It is also interesting and worthy of note, that this is not the only NATO member that is dealing more and more with Russia in terms of business. It underscores the loss of purpose that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization suffers now since there is no Soviet Union to fight.

However, the US remains undaunted. If there is no enemy to fight, the Americans feel that they must create one, and Russia has been the main scapegoat for American power ambitions. More than ever now, this tactic appears to be the one in use for determining the US stance towards other powers in the world.

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