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FINALLY: Russian doping case FAILS in court. Time to revisit Russia-gate?

What would happen if all the lies of our age were put to trial?

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It happened…Pandora’s Box was torn open, and out came Russia-gate, the Syrian Crisis, The Ukraine Crisis, and so much more, including the Russian Olympic doping scandal. By an odd turn of fate, however, it may be the resolution of the doping scandal, which brings hope for the other greater issues. Evidence for the Russian Olympic doping scandal, including the key testimony of Grigory Rodchenkov, was finally tried with fire – and found severely lacking. According to RT:

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has published two reasoned awards in the matter of 39 Russian athletes accused of doping, describing Grigory Rodchenkov’s evidence as “hearsay with limited probative value.”

Grigory Rodchenkov was, of course, the erstwhile head of Russia’s anti-doping lab, before resigning under shame, and fleeing to the US, where he made his accusations of “state-sponsored doping” against the Russian Olympic committee.

Pandora’s Box

It is ironic that the Olympics began in Ancient Greece, because the Doping scandal – along with the rest of Russia-gate, and many events going back to Maidan in Ukraine, opened Pandora’s box. It is fitting in more ways than one, to draw this analogy, because Pandora’s box, was in fact, more accurately a jar, which contained the evils of the world, perhaps not unlike the vials that contained the doping samples.

Rodchenkov (left) with his…samples…yeah…I…I want Pandora back

When Pandora’s box was opened, according to myth and song, all the evils were released, but they were not the only thing contained within. There was also hope, which was sealed back inside, but as the Russian saying goes “Hope dies last”. If that is true, let’s hope it can outlast evil.

Never the less, the resolution of the Rodchenkov case may just have reopened Pandora’s box, releasing hope that Russia will have her justice, even if this is a story the corporate media will never tell.

Rodchenkov’s slander came crumbling down, and he even withdrew a major part of his testimony against Russian athletes. Russian officials and people are now hoping this will begin to change rulings made against athletes based on false evidence. Sputnik quoted Putin’s Press Secretary Peskov as saying:

“Now the fact that the man [Rodchenkov] is confused in his testimony is obvious. The fact that he actually confirms that he lied and that his previous words were groundless. Of course, we hope that this situation will force various organizations to very seriously look at the all reasons behind the decisions taken against our athletes again,” Peskov said.

RT further quoted Peskov as saying:

“It’s clear Rodchenkov is mixing up his stories, and his new testimony is evidence that the previous ones were fabrications,” said Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s press secretary.

RT also quoted Igor Lebedev, the deputy chairman of the Russian Duma, speaking in a similar light saying:

“Rodchenkov lied about doping in our country, which was to be proved. I recommend that a commission is assembled that would gather all false publications about Russian athletes in the Western media, and sue them for defamation.”

It’s clear Russians have been roused by the court’s just ruling. RT has a great in-depth article about Rodchenkov, and the doping case here, which goes into further detail than I, because this article is dedicated to something far bigger than Rodchenkov. Still, the RT article spoke on how this story was received in the West with a media blackout:

A polite silence. Aside from specialist websites writing about Olympic sport, no major Western outlet has covered the story.

This is particularly telling in view of the fact that the entire doping scandal was not started by investigators, but German documentary makers from ARD, who managed to create the biggest Olympics upheaval since the fall of the Soviet Union with the help of little more than interviews with two other runaway Russian insiders, the Stepanovs.

Since then, there has been a consistent barrage of accusations, all of them reported without question within the wider context of Moscow’s new image of an international rogue state, from Crimea to the US voting booths to the running track.

It is that media silence, which is worth our discussion. We should be happy that the court revealed the truth, but this story is bigger than just doping.

It’s time to ask a major question.

What if all slander was tried by such fire?

The Rodchenkov case, Dear Reader, represents a precedent, a microcosm, but microcosms are important models. It allows us to pose a powerful rhetorical question, but one with an even greater and more scandalous suggestion.

If the Rodchenkov case was the West’s strongest evidence against Russia in the doping scandal, and it not only failed to stand up in court, but was utterly demolished, what would happen if all accusations against Russia were put under the same judicial scrutiny, and tried beneath such a titanic tribunal.

What would happen if Russia-gate, The Ukraine Crisis, Maidan, and MH17, along with the Skripal case, and all the scandals against Russia were examined, cross-examined, and tried in a court of law by the same Promethean flame?

What would happen if Russia was finally given the due-process afforded to every human being according to the basic international law – would all the false narratives from Russia-gate to Maidan melt like wax before the fire, like dew before the sun?

The accusations against Russia are never based on evidence

Russia is never afforded such justice, but it only further proves the lies of the stories against her. It is interesting that in the Old Slavic language, is it is difficult to make a distinction between the words “Truth”, “Law” and “Right”, hence why the ancient 11th century Russian code of laws, which were more progressive than those in some countries today, which even banned capital punishment was called Russkaya Pravda.

This can be translated either as Russian law, The Russian Right, or Russian truth, as unlike in the west, it is difficult for the Russian soul to imagine a law can be false, and if something is not Right, it can not possibly be the law, and must be based on lies.

But accusations against Russia, such as Russia-gate are not only based on lies, they are based on the belief that people will accept the testimony of western officials without any real, irrefutable evidence.

Think of most major western accusations, and controversial actions, even beyond the scope of Russia, including the invasion of Iraq, the Vietnam War, the events in modern Syria including the chemical attacks.

Whenever the West presents “evidence” – if at all – what actually is this evidence? Actually think about it, aside from what they claim, or you heard on TV, how can you independently varify?

Is the evidence presented to an international body, an unbiased court in which chain of custody is observed, and the highest standards of fair scrutiny are applied to all evidence? No. Never!

In many cases, the evidence is based on “anonymous sources” or the testimony of “intelligence agencies” (part of whose job is literally subterfuge). Sometimes the evidence is simply “We said so. Trust us.” and those journalists, lawyers, or citizens who question more are treated like unpatriotic criminals, traitors, or foreign agents. Evidence samples are never given to a third party, much less the accused party, to test, just like when the UK refused to give Russia a sample of the Skripal nerve agent.

It does not matter the case, whatever the situation, the answer, and narrative is the same, and looks something like this:


“Russia/Assad/Iraq/China/[insert victem] did it.”

Reporter: “Can you present some evidence?”

“Evidence! Of course we have evidence, don’t worry, our experts proved it.”

Reporter: And those experts would be who? How can we reach them?

“Well, they’re mostly annonymous to protect them…you know, from [insert accused party], because they totally did it. But don’t worry, 17 different intelgence agencies proved they did it. And this lab in an allied country.”

Reporter: We are unable to independently verify that, is it possible you can share a sample of the evidence with several of these highly respected international bodies, accepted by all parties as being unbiased? We really need a clear, transparent investigation to prove guilt.

What do you mean? Didn’t you just hear? They did it! We said so!


That is essentially the level of evidence presented in these situations – and once again – that’s even if you consider the testimony of the accusing parties intelligence agencies to be substantial evidence. From Iraq WMDs, to Syria, and the Ukraine Crisis, to this doping scandal, whatever the situation, we hear the same anonymous sources present evidence that amounts to “They did it because we said so.”

For those who don’t remember, Colin Powell is actually holding up a vial they claimed was anthrax. The Mythical Iraq WMDs. From Pandora’s Box to the Doping Scandal, what is it with vials containing the vile evils of the world

What is even worse, is this ridiculous standard of evidence was even understood to be a logical fallacy in the classical world!

Ipse Dixit

The Great Roman Writer Cicero himself coined the Latin term Ipse Dixit, which essentially means “He said it himself”, but has come to mean when someone defends an argument, or event as being fact, purely on the basis of the dogmatic opinion of the “expert testimony”. Ipse Dixit is essentially saying “It’s true because X said so. It’s a fact, and it’s not up for negotiation.”

Ipse Dixit is exactly the core argument the West uses in all these examples against Russia, but US law has on two separate occasions set a clear precedent, upholding the understanding that Ipse Dixit alone is NOT conclusive. In National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association, Inc. v. Brinegar, 491 F.2d 31, 40 (D.C. Cir. 1974), Circuit Judge Wilkey found that the US Secretary of Transportation’s:

“Statement of the reasons for his conclusion that the requirements are practicable is not so inherently plausible that the court can accept it on the agency’s mere ipse dixit

Moreover, according to this log from Cornell University, the Supreme Court of the United States clearly stated in 1997 that:

“Nothing in either Daubert or the Federal Rules of Evidence requires a district court to admit opinion evidence which is connected to existing data only by the ipse dixit of the expert.”

What must be understood here is that no one is saying the testimony of an expert means nothing, only that the testimony of one expert alone is not enough to substantiate such serious accusations. When we are dealing with States, and their Intelligence Agencies, we must recognize that it does not matter if 6 or 66 of them gave testimony, the agents of a state actor are obviously biased towards their own state.

It’s actually not unreasonable to accept this. World leaders, military and state officials, and civil servants take oaths to their nations. Because of this, however, it is also not unreasonable to require additional third-party expert testimony, or call into scrutiny what was heard, if all the “experts” are agents of the same country, or its allies, accusing another country.

The Media Blackout – The Main Stream Media must also be questioned

Of course, a key requirement of ipse dixit to work, is for the general populous to NOT be experts, able to examine the evidence, or at the very least, to not be well informed, as there is so much misinformation and fake news out there.

Just as we can’t assume agents of the accusing country are unbiased, even if 17 intelligence agencies say the same thing, we can likewise not assume that just because 17 news agencies say the same thing, it makes it true.

The reality is people don’t realize how much news organizations from the highest echelons to the smallest websites rely on one another’s reporting. Sometimes even if it isn’t copied, if the same story is broken at once place, it will simply be mirrored by other agencies relying on the same original sources. So you can have 50 stories, but all backed by the same evidence. That is not completely bad, provided the evidence was solid, but it can give the illusion that all 50 stories were based on 50 separate sources.

For example, one news agency can say “Assad is doing x”, and then another says “According to [origonal source] Assad just did x” and then like a massive game of telephone, an uncorroborated story, possibly based on complete lies, becomes accepted as fact.

Even well-intentioned people who are not informed can believe it, simply because of the volume (in every sense of the word) of the reporting. If you hear it one hundred times, it must be correct, right? Inexperienced people can also simply assume that the “reputation” of these “established” news sources and Intelligence agencies is proof alone. They’d be surprised how very amateurish and unprofessional the mainstream media can be. Case in point, major MSM sources actually thought that acclaimed Syrian Journalist #SyrianGirl is a robot.

No, they did not mean they think she is lying, they actually thought her social media accounts were simply bots, and she was not real. In other words, they did not perform any professional fact checking such as the secret art of sending her a private message or an email, or noticing her account had the “verified” checkmark. These are the “experts”, Dear Readers.

This is the danger of Ipse Dixit, misinformed or possibly misleading “expert testimony” can be passed off and circulated to the extent it seems like a fact, especially to untrained eyes.

But you don’t have to be an expert to notice an obvious truth before your eyes, it simply needs to get past the media blackout.

A perfect example is this video, in which the White Helmets, a UK/UK backed group in Syria touted by the West as being heroes, use children in false flag attacks.

The White Helmets, know that the only thing that can save their terrorist allies losing the war in Syria, is a Western-backed intervention, the kind which a chemical attack committed by the Government could trigger. As a result, they despicably train children who can’t even understand what is happening, to help them fake chemical attacks, which they blame on the Government.

UK behind false flag chemical attack in Syria, evidence shows

These false flag attacks provide very weak evidence – the only kind needed or wanted for that matter, in order for the West to justify attacking Syria. There is never any critical examination of evidence, neither of the chemical attack itself, or of this video demonstrating the White Helmets faking chemical attacks. Instead, they simply say “There was a chemical attack. Assad did it. Ipse Dixit, the White Helmets said so, and our intelligence – which we won’t share – proved it.”

There is no response to refutation – no accountability

The West seldom even responds to evidence such as that video. Take note, this is not to say they respond and claim it is fake, but very often, they simply don’t respond at all. Real evidence never makes it past the media blackout, and the narrative continues onward as if no evidence to the contrary was ever presented. When it is presented, it is most often ignored, as if it doesn’t exist.

This insanity can inspire in a reasonable individual the incredible frustration which men like Galileo must have felt, when he was desperately trying to explain the world was NOT flat. It is maddening having to explain to so-called experts, that two plus two does NOT equal 17 intelligence agencies.

The sad thing is, it does not even matter to the West when clear as day evidence is brought forward. There is no accountability. Even when videos like the one above come forward, or when someone actually goes boots on the ground, and speaks to the real people on the scene, it does not change anything. They keep peddling the same narrative, and no one is held responsible even if it is revealed, and becomes accepted as mainstream knowledge that the narrative is false.

Syrian children should be seen, not heard

In the link above, you will find accounts of actual Syrians which don’t matter to the West. Likewise, the fact that Russia is not even one of the top five countries known for doping also is ignored.

That is why this issue is bigger than just the Doping, or even Russia-gate, the Syrian War, and the Ukraine Crisis, because this issue – the lack of accountability and evidence is what allows for all of this.

How many people are actually discussing this issue? The sad truth is, for all this discussion, the west will soon forget about this, about all of this. All evidence will be ignored, and new “evidence” will be invented. Most people won’t even be aware of this. To this sad and cynical reality of our world, RT quoted Nikolay Durmanov, the ex-chief of the Russian anti-doping agency, regarding the Rodchenkov case saying:

“This will change nothing.Yes we can enjoy some moral satisfaction, but in the eyes of the world Russian sport has been painted a rich black color, and there is nothing we can do to wash that reputational stain off this generation. This was an information war waged against us.”

If that upsets you, then spread the word. The reality of life is often different than what should be, but it does not mean that this grim fate is what must be, for the future. That is up to all humanity to purpose a better future, and God to dispose in his own season.

The Tide is Changing

This is the world we live in, we can not change the past, but it is within our power to leave our children a world in which truth and human life matters.

We have seen from the Rodchenkov doping case that it is possible for the truth to prevail. All that is necessary, is for the truth to be presented to stand on its own merits. Too often the issue is not a lack of clear truth, merely that there is never any actual debate. Accusations are made, and actions are taken extra-judicially.

In the Rodchenkov case, we have seen that it’s easy to make unsubstantiated claims in the court of public opinion, but such delusions fall apart quickly under actual investigation. Just imagine what would happen if a serious investigation was opened into Russia-gate, The Ukrainian Crisis, and the events in Syria alone.

In all of those situations, it was those who lied, who opened Pandora’s box, releasing evil upon the world and allowing millions to die. The Box has already been opened. Now, we can only hope that Pandora’s Box will be reopened…but this time…in place of evil…something good will come out.

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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.

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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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