Between US, Russia & China, Is it Cold War-II already? (Source thequint.com) Mother of All Bombs (MOAB) strike by the United States on ISIS terrorists in Afghanistan has triggered suggestions that a second round of the Cold War is set to begin. Particularly as the new US President, Donald Trump, seems to be brash, abrasive and capable of taking action without thinking of consequences. In fact, the Second Cold War, or Cold War-II, has been in the making due to the rise of Islamic terrorism from Pakistan and Afghanistan to the Middle East, drawing inevitable military interventions by the major powers. Then there is Russia’s anger at the US-led bombings in Syria where it wants President Bashar Assad to stay, and China’s attempts to annex most of the South China Sea and also the acquisition of Pakistan’s Arabian Sea port of Gwadar for 40 or more years, as a strategic naval base with its operational Command and Control lying with Beijing.
Trump Changes Mind On NAFTA, Decides Not To Terminate Treaty; Loonie, Peso Soar (Source Zero Hedge)
President Trump assured a sleepless night for currency traders when in the span of just a few hours, he appeared to change his mind on NAFTA by 180 degrees, and shortly after White House officials disclosed that the president was contemplating an executive order to exit NAFTA, perhaps in days, late on Wednesday Trump told the leaders of Canada and Mexico on Wednesday that he will not terminate the NAFTA treaty at this stage, but will move quickly to begin renegotiating it with them, a White House statement said.
REVEALED: How Vladimir Putin will bring down Trump and END war with US (Source dailystar.co.uk) Relations between Moscow and Washington have turned sour since Trump launched a missile strike on a Syrian airbase last month. It was thought their relationship may improve after Trump appeared to be cosying up to Vladimir Putin. But the honeymoon was over after Moscow warned of “grave consequences” for “global security” if Trump signs off more military action in Syria. Now a Kremlin official has revealed how Russia intends to bring an end to US “aggression around the world”. Sergey Glazyev told TASS that Russia and China could bring the US military to its knees if it ditched the dollar. He said: “The more aggressive the Americans are, the sooner they will see the final collapse of the dollar and by getting rid of the dollar this would be the only way for victims of American aggression to stop this onslaught. “As soon as we and China dump the dollar, it will be the end of the US’ military might. Mr Glazyev claims that Trump is being used as a puppet by the ruling elite.He said: “I had no illusions about him, that he would change policy.“First, America’s aggression around the world is rooted in the aspiration to preserve America’s hegemony in a situation when they have already ceded leadership in the economy to China.”
Russian Navy reveals world’s BIGGEST nuclear submarine with TWENTY missile launchers (Source express.co.uk)
The war ship, named Belgorod or Project 09852, will outperform the nuclear-powered Typhoon missile cruiser Project 941, which is currently the largest nuclear submarine in the world.
Belgorod is equipped with 20 launchers for ballistic missiles, each with 10 nuclear warheads. The submarine Project 09852 will be made to carry out research missions and to carry uninhabited deep-sea vehicles as well as specialist scientific equipment.
Its mission will be to study the bottom of the Russian Arctic shelf, searching for minerals and laying underwater communications.
Professor Vadim Kozyulin, of the Academy of Military Sciences, said: “It will transport and install autonomous nuclear submarine modules designed to charge uninhabited submarines on the seabed.
“The submarine will ensure the deployment of a global underwater monitoring system, which the military is building on the bottom of the Arctic waters.”IGG
Russia Is Deploying Special Anti-Aircraft Missiles to the Arctic (Source nationalinterest.org)
In yet another reminder how close the North Pole is to becoming a battleground, Russia is beefing up its military capabilities in the Far North, including a special Arctic antiaircraft missile system.
Russian media prominently announced that Arctic-modified weapons will be displayed at the May 9 Victory in Europe Day parade.
“Arctic military equipment will participate in the parade for the first time,” Russian ground forces commander Colonel-General Oleg Salyukov said earlier this month. “The general public will for the first time be able to see such air defense weapons as Tor-M2DT and missile, artillery system Pantsir-SA and support vehicles.”
“Also, we may present upgraded configurations of the well-known models of tanks, possibly, T-72B3M,” Salyukov said. He added that “the military equipment he mentioned was capable of maintaining Russia’s security in the rigorous Arctic climate in rugged roadless terrain far away from logistic facilities,” according to TASS.
Tor M2-DT is the Arctic version of the today.com/missilTor M2 (NATO code name SA-15 Gauntlet), a short-range, self-propelled surface-to-air missile system with a missile range of about eight miles. A collaboration between missile manufacturer Kupol and engineering firm Vityaz, the Tor M2-DT is mounted on the DT-30PM-T1 two-section tracked prime mover. “This year, the upgrade of the S-300V4 complex and the adaption of the Tor anti-aircraft missile system for Arctic applications will be completed. Work is in full swing to develop an advanced antiaircraft artillery complex,” Russian air defense force chief Lieutenant-General Alexander Leonov announced, according to TASS.
The Russian military is portraying the polar buildup as part of an overall strategic regrouping. “The General Staff concentrates the basic efforts on increasing combat capabilities, the capabilities of the Armed Forces, deploying and reinforcing the groupings of forces in the western, south-western and Arctic strategic directions,” said Sergei Rudskoi, head of the General Staff’s Main Operations Department, according to
Louise Mensch Has A List Of Suspected Russian Agents (Source buzzfeed.com) Since last November’s election, the former British politician Louise Mensch has transformed herself into the leader of a wide-ranging internet investigation into Russian espionage and influence in American politics, media, and business. Every day, Mensch and her network of online detectives unravel what they claim is a massive conspiracy linking the Kremlin, the Republican Party, armies of internet trolls, and moneyed puppet masters around the world. Mensch, who sometimes tweets hundreds of times a day, has claimed or implied that targets ranging from top government officials to journalists to teenagers to anonymous Twitter users are in thrall to Vladimir Putin. Just since Inauguration Day, according to an extensive review of her tweets, the New York–based Mensch has accused at least 210 people and organizations of being under Russian government influence.
Border Lawmakers Balk at Donald Trump’s Wall Request(Source americasvoice.org)
Not a single member of Congress who represents the territory on the southwest border said they support President Donald Trump’s request for $1.4 billion to begin construction of his promised wall, according to a Wall Street Journal survey, testing the administration’s ability to reach a deal on government funding next week.
Most lawmakers representing the region—both Democrats and Republicans—said they are opposed and many said they have unanswered questions. A few were noncommittal, but not a single member of the House or Senate representing the region said they supported the funding request. That includes nine members of the House and eight senators across four states: Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. The question is increasingly urgent as Congress and the White House scramble to agree on a spending bill needed to keep the government open. Existing funding for the government expires on April 28, and the White House says it wants funding for the border wall as part of the package.
Senior congressional Republicans have long indicated that they prefer to leave it out. That is partly because Senate Democrats are opposed, and their votes will be needed because most legislation requires 60 votes to clear the chamber, where Republicans hold 52 seats. Congressional Republicans have said they don’t want to risk the partial government shutdown that such a showdown could trigger.
Sharjah(city in UAE) looks to build new relations with China and Russia (Source oxfordbusinessgroup.com)
The past decade has seen substantial changes in the global economy and geopolitics, with the rise of China and Russia’s re-emergence on the global stage being two particularly important trends. These developments are creating new opportunities for GCC member states as they look to diversify their economies and trade, seek investment opportunities in emerging markets, and forge partnerships for regional peace and stability.
At the G20 summit in the Chinese city of Hangzhou in September 2016, Saudi Arabia and China signed a raft of agreements covering sectors ranging from construction to energy. Saudi officials said that the two countries have mutual interests, particularly on the topic of security. China’s dependence on oil imports makes security in the Middle East and its shipping lanes significantly important to Beijing, while both nations are committed to battling forms of extremism and terrorism. The two countries have set a time frame of one year to finalise deals laid out in more than a dozen memorandums of understanding that form part of a five-year programme of mutual investments, as well as joint funding of projects in as yet unspecified third nations. The Saudis and the Chinese have also found mutual interests in their own development programmes, China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) and Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. Some proposed projects include a Saudi-built oil storage facility in China that would enhance China’s energy security, and Chinese construction of homes in Saudi Arabia that could help ease the kingdom’s chronic housing shortage
Bilateral trade between Russia and Saudi Arabia is currently worth $1bn-2bn annually. In September 2016 the two nations agreed to a joint working group on monitoring the global oil market and drafting recommendations for stabilising prices. The partnership immediately buoyed oil prices and is seen as particularly significant after a period in which Riyadh was reluctant to curb production as Saudi Arabia looked to secure market share. K TO THE FUTURE: Despite the slowdown in the Chinese economy in recent years, trade and investment ties between China and the GCC are likely to continue to grow. China’s need for energy imports makes the resource-rich Gulf countries important partners, but cooperation goes beyond selling oil and gas; GCC-based companies are also investing in energy infrastructure in China that should help secure market share in the longer term, while developing Gulf contractors’ international capacity. The OBOR strategy has become a key theme of bilateral relations, and could also create opportunities for partnerships in the many promising emerging markets between the Gulf and China.
Relations with Russia are also positive for many GCC states that see opportunities in the Russian market and the potential for partnership with Russian energy firms that are seeking technological development and marketing partners beyond Europe. Differences in approach on Syria and other regional conflicts are becoming less stark as the importance of finding a peaceful solution becomes ever more urgent, and Russia looks to rebuild its historical and political ties within the Middle East.
Assad moves warplanes to Russian airbases after crippling US strikes (Source ibtime.co.uk)
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had moved most of his combat aircraft to Russian airbases in an attempt to protect them from a further US attack, say reports. The move follows the crippling US east-4-syrian-soldiers-killed-us-missile-attack-observer-group-saysAt least 4 Syrian soldiers killed in US missile attack, observer group says assault on the Shayrat airbase two weeks ago which destroyed around 20% of the regime’s operational warplanes, according to US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis. The US cruise missile strike was in retaliation for a suspected sarin attack that was unleashed on the”http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/heartbroken-syrian-father-pictured-cradling-twins-lost-25-relatives-idlib-gas-attack-“Heartbroken Syrian father pictured cradling twins lost 25 relatives in Idlib gas attack rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun on Tuesday (4 April) that killed 89 people. The Syrian government has repeatedly denied involvement in the alleged dropping of nerve gas on the rebel-held town in Idlib.
However, the US administration has affirmed that the 59 Tomahawks fired at the base was the correct response to the alleged chemical attack, and has reiterated that they may do the same again in the face of a further chemical attack. Fearing such further strikes, the Syrian regime have now moved many of their working combat aircraft to the Hmeimim airbase and the nearby Bassel al-Assad international airport in Latakia, reports The Times. The base, in a coastal Assad stronghold, is one of many used by Russians for their operations in the country targeting Isis and rebels, a US official told CNN.
Florida’s First Black State Attorney Received A Noose In The Mail (Source huffingtonpost.com)
As the first African-American elected to state attorney in Florida and a controversial prosecutor ― known for her HYPERLINK “http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/aramis-ayala-death-penalty_us_58caf6b4e4b00705db4d9a02” refusal to seek the death penalty in an aggressive capital punishment state ― she’s had to field plenty of racist and ugly rhetoric from her neighbors.
But Ayala, who serves Osceola and Orange counties, doesn’t back down when she’s the victim of a crime. In March, she received two racist letters over two weeks, one of which contained a noose made of twine, her office confirmed to The Huffington Post. Calling the package a hate crime, Ayala forwarded the letters to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, which launched an investigation, HYPERLINK “http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-aramis-ayala-noose-mail20170420-story.html” \t “_blank” according to the Orlando Sentinel. An incident report obtained by the paper stated that Ayala “believes the hangman’s noose was meant as a threat to her as a public official.” Deputies are reportedly working with the U.S. Postal Service to find a suspect. A spokesperson in Ayala’s office said the author of the letters didn’t leave a name.