Virtually dictatorial’: Trump has ‘secret’ powers nobody knows about, experts reveal

Virtually dictatorial’: Trump has ‘secret’ powers nobody knows about, experts reveal

(Source independent.co.uk)

The moment the president of the US declares a national emergency, powers obscured to the public become available to them – a series of far-reaching authoritarian measures that legal analysts fear could justify mass arrests and federal troops patrolling American streets. If invoked, so-called “secret powers” could supersede constitutional protections and set an authoritative precedent that legal scholars and analysts fear would effectively erase American democracy. Adding the caveat that it’s unlikely or uncertain that a sitting president could wage such drastic threats against civil protections without protracted political battles, legal and constitutional scholars have issued worst-case scenario outlooks ahead of crucial 2020 elections, as Donald Trump and his allies lay the groundwork to undermine voting confidence and amplify misinformation targeting other Americans.

On 12 March, amid speculation that the president would invoke the Stafford Act to direct an emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Trump told reporters: ”I have the right to do a lot of things that people don’t even know about.”

Those authorities are intended “to implement extraordinary presidential authority in response to extraordinary situations.” While those measures themselves remain secret, unclassified documents reveal that as many as 60 of them had been drafted, the Brennan Centre found. “When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total, and that’s the way it’s got to be,” the president said on 14 April. “It’s total … The authority of the president of the United States, having to do with the subject we’re talking about, is total.” On 23 June 2019, the president declared that the Constitution gives him “the right to do whatever I want as president.”

Will Fed Created Digital Currency Become Part of the Elitist ‘Great Reset’?

Will Fed Created Digital Currency Become Part of the Elitist ‘Great Reset’?

(Source economicpolicyjournal.com)

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester said that different parts of the Fed are researching how the central bank could offer its own full electronic currency, and that these efforts have come under greater focus due to COVID-19. “The demand for and use of such instruments need further consideration in order to evaluate whether such a central bank digital currency would allow for quicker and more ubiquitous payments in times of emergency and more generally,” she said. “A range of potential risks and policy issues surrounding central bank digital currency need to be better understood, and the costs and benefits evaluated.” “Legislation has proposed that each American have an account at the Fed in which digital dollars could be deposited, as liabilities of the Federal Reserve Banks, which could be used for emergency payments. Other proposals would create a new payments instrument, digital cash, which would be just like the physical currency issued by central banks today, but in a digital form and, potentially, without the anonymity of physical currency,” she said. The Board of Governors has a technology lab that has been building and testing a range of distributed ledger platforms to understand their potential benefits and tradeoffs. Staff members from several Reserve Banks, including Cleveland Fed software developers, are contributing to this effort. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston is also engaged in a multiyear effort, working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to experiment with technologies that could be used for a central bank digital currency. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has established an innovation center, in partnership with the Bank for International Settlements, to identify and develop in-depth insights into critical trends and financial technology of relevance to central banks. Bottom line: A Federal Reserve digital currency is on the drawing board.

Almost 40 Chinese warplanes breach Taiwan Strait median line;

Almost 40 Chinese warplanes breach Taiwan Strait median line; Taiwan President calls it a ‘threat of force’ (Source cnn.com) Taiwan’s President has accused Beijing of purposefully inflaming tensions in East Asia, after Chinese warplanes crossed the sensitive median line across the narrow strait that separates the mainland and the self-governing island almost 40 times on Friday and Saturday. Taken together, the repeated incursions, which came from multiple directions and involved a combination of sophisticated fighter jets and heavy bombers, is without modern precedent and marks a significant escalation in cross-strait tensions.” What we are seeing now is not just a situation across the Taiwan Strait, but a regional situation. China’s recent military activities, especially in the past few days, clearly constitute a threat of force, which is part of their verbal attacks and military threats (against Taiwan),” President Tsai Ing-wen told reporters Sunday. The uptick in Chinese military activity came as Keith Krach, the United States under secretary of state for economic, energy and environmental affairs, held meetings in the island’s capital Taipei, ahead of a memorial service on Saturday for former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui. The three-day visit to the island was denounced by Beijing, with a spokesman for the country’s Foreign Ministry demanding the two sides “immediately stop” official exchanges. China has reacted with increasing anger at warming ties between Taipei and Washington, and has ramped up military drills in the waters around the island which Beijing continues to view as an inseparable part of its territory despite the two sides have been governed separately for over seven decades.

NEW COLD WAR!

Is the world entering a new Cold War? (Source bbc.com) Multilateralism is in serious disarray, as the former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has observed. President Donald Trump’s America First foreign policy has seen the US thumb its nose at multilateral agreements from the Paris Climate accord to the Iran nuclear deal, while China is visibly positioning itself as the new supporter of the United Nations. But growing Chinese influence comes at a price, and if Beijing is devoting more money to fund UN agencies like the World Health Organization then it will want more say as a result. The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres spoke of a foundational moment facing the UN – those who built the United Nations knew the value of unity, he noted, since they had lived through war and an earlier pandemic. Anxieties about what the US China rivalry means for global stability abounded at this remote gathering of world leaders. There was no disguising the urgency of French President Emmanuel Macron’s tone, as he said in his pre-recorded remarks that today’s world can’t be left to the rivalry between China and the US. That rivalry, which has seen the two countries lock horns on everything from trade to technology, is becoming increasingly acrimonious – and President Trump dialled up the rhetoric, using his platform on the world stage to rail against what he called the China virus.

Russia rejects U.S. terms, sees ‘minimal’ chance to extend New START nuclear pact

Russia rejects U.S. terms, sees ‘minimal’ chance to extend New START nuclear pact (Source Reuters)

Russia sees minimal chances of extending the New START treaty with the United States – their last major nuclear arms pact – as it does not accept conditions set out by Washington, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying. Marshall Billingslea, the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control, told a Russian newspaper that Moscow must accept a joint agreement with Washington on extending the treaty before the U.S. presidential election in November. “I suspect that after President Trump wins re-election, if Russia has not taken up our offer, that the price of admission, as we would say in the U.S., goes up,” Billingslea told Kommersant newspaper in an interview. Ryabkov said that position constituted an ultimatum and lowered the chances of reaching any kind of agreement to extend the deal, which expires in February next year. “We cannot talk in this manner,” TASS news agency quoted Ryabkov as saying. Another news agency, RIA, quoted him as saying the chances of a treaty extension were “minimal”. The New START accord, signed in 2010, limits the number of strategic nuclear warheads that Russia and the United States can deploy. Failure to extend it would remove the main pillar maintaining the balance of nuclear arms between the two countries, adding yet another element of tension to their already fraught relationship.

The Trump campaign is reportedly ‘discussing contingency plans to bypass election results’

The Trump campaign is reportedly ‘discussing contingency plans to bypass election results’

(Source theweek.com) President Trump’s campaign is discussing “contingency plans” that would involve bypassing the result of November’s election, reports The Atlantic. The report delves into possible scenarios if Trump apparently loses the 2020 presidential election but doesn’t concede, noting that although we’re used to electors being selected based on the popular vote, “nothing in the Constitution says it has to be that way.” Citing Republican Party sources, The Atlantic says that Trump’s campaign is “discussing contingency plans to bypass election results and appoint loyal electors in battleground states where Republicans hold the legislative majority.”  The campaign would reportedly assert that this step was necessary due to claims of supposed voter fraud, which experts have noted is extraordinarily rare, ahead of the “safe harbor” deadline to appoint 538 electors on Dec. 8. “Trump would ask state legislators to set aside the popular vote and exercise their power to choose a slate of electors directly,” The Atlantic reports. “The longer Trump succeeds in keeping the vote count in doubt, the more pressure legislators will feel to act before the safe-harbor deadline expires.” A Trump campaign legal adviser who spoke to The Atlantic said that in this scenario, “the state legislatures will say, ‘All right, we’ve been given this constitutional power. We don’t think the results of our own state are accurate, so here’s our slate of electors that we think properly reflect the results of our state.” Lawrence Tabas, chair of the Pennsylvania Republican Party, also told The Atlantic he has discussed the direct appointment of electors with the Trump campaign, saying, “I’ve mentioned it to them, and I hope they’re thinking about it too.” The Trump campaign said it is “fighting for a free and fair election.” This potential scenario is just one part of the broader piece in which experts warn “conditions are ripe for a constitutional crisis.

Europe Needs China to Become an Independent Global Power

Europe Needs China to Become an Independent Global Power (Source globalresearch.ca)
For China, a strategic alliance with the EU will further develop the Belt and Road Initiative across the vast expanse of Eurasia. For the EU, China can help “the Old Continent” once again become a major global political and economic center as it once was before the rise of the US in the “New World.” At the virtual summit held on September 14 between Chinese President Xi Jinping, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Council President Charles Michel and the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the necessity to “accelerate negotiations on an investment agreement between China and the EU and close the deal this year” was emphasized. However, there are many problems they face – the trade war with the US, EU tensions with Turkey, and more importantly, the differences on economic, political and diplomatic issues.

For China, the European market is vital due to the volume and quality of its consumption. Expanding the Belt and Road Initiative into Europe is one of the main pillars of China’s 21st century foreign policy.

Moscow will also benefit from strong relations between the EU and China since much of the Belt and Road Initiative will pass through Russian territory, serving as a connection between East Asia and Western Europe.

CIA INTERCEPTS SUGGEST U.S. LIED ABOUT BIOLOGICAL WEAPON USE DURING ITS WAR ON KOREA

CIA INTERCEPTS SUGGEST U.S. LIED ABOUT BIOLOGICAL WEAPON USE DURING ITS WAR ON KOREA(Source blacklistednews.com)

During the early 1950s War on Korea the U.S. used biological weapons against North Korea and China. Bombs designed to spread leaflets were filled with plague infested rats and dropped on Korean towns. Various infecting insects were released. Leaflets were contaminated with small pox and then distributed. Several local epidemics were caused by these attacks. The program was a continuation of one which a special unit of the Imperial Japanese Army had developed during the second world war. Unit 731 and its leaders were not indicted for the war crimes they had committed during the war but integrated into the U.S. biological warfare program.

The Soviet Union and China made political noise about the use of biological weapons but the U.S. stoically denied that it ever used such weapons. U.S. pilots, shot down and imprisoned by the North Korean forces, admitted that they had dropped such bombs. The U.S. then falsely alleged that the pilots had been tortured and must have lied. The Chinese and Soviets sponsored the International Scientific Commission (ISC) headed by one of the foremost British scientists of his time, Sir Joseph Needham, to investigate the use of biological weapons during the war. For a long time the commission’s report and its appendices with the witness statements were suppressed and not available online. Jefferey Kay, a psychologist and author living in northern California, dug them up and recently published them on the web for the first time. Now Jeffrey Kaye has dug up additional documents which confirm the other reports of U.S. germ attacks on North Korea and China. Interestingly these documents are from the CIA.

TikTok and WeChat will be banned from US app stores on Sunday

TikTok and WeChat will be banned from US app stores on Sunday (Source engadget.com)

TikTok and WeChat will be banned from US app stores starting on Sunday, September 20th, the US Department of Commerce (DOC) has announced. The Chinese-owned apps from Tencent and ByteDance will not only be banned from the iOS App Store and Google’s Play Store on Sunday, but companies will be barred from hosting them in the US starting on November 12th. The move was taken “at the President’s direction,” according to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. “Today’s actions prove once again that President Trump will do everything in his power to guarantee our national security and protect Americans from the threats of the Chinese Communist Party,” he said in a statement. “The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has demonstrated the means and motives to use these apps to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and the economy of the US.” The app ban has come despite a possible partnership between Oracle and ByteDance. Yesterday, Trump said that he didn’t like that deal, according to Bloomberg, while adding that he was “not prepared to sign off on anything.” The DOC’s wording makes clear that it wants the apps to disappear in the US. It has not only banned the apps, code and updates, but any payments associated with WeChat. By November 12th, it will also prohibit.

TikTok has 100 million users in the US, while WeChat has 19 million daily active users, according to Reuters. The order doesn’t prevent companies from hosting WeChat and TikTok outside the US, nor does it affect other Tencent games and apps.

WHO warns of ‘very serious situation’ in Europe

WHO warns of ‘very serious situation’ in Europe, with ‘alarming rates’ of virus transmission

(Source cnn.com) The World Health Organization 

(WHO) has warned that coronavirus cases are surging alarmingly in Europe, as a “very serious situation” unfolds across the continent. As Covid-19 infections spike to record numbers, European governments are imposing strict local measures and weighing up further lockdowns in a bid to halt a second wave of the pandemic.

But WHO regional director Hans Kluge said at a Thursday news conference that the increase in cases should serve as a warning of what is to come.

“Weekly cases have now exceeded those reported when the pandemic first peaked in Europe in March,” Kluge said. “Last week, the region’s weekly tally exceeded 300,000 patients.”