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Interior minister: Algeria facing security threats

September 3, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The Algerian Minister of Interior and Local Government, Noureddine Bedoui, warned that “his country is going through serious period characterised by a range of security risks surrounding the country.” Speeking to Al-Shorouk TV channel, Bedoui called on “all Algerians to be highly vigilant and cautious and to assist the different security services in their mission to maintain Algeria’s security and stability.” He added, “We are currently  surrounded by security risks.” Bedoui stressed that “the state is determined to eliminate the alien and dangerous phenomenon of terrorism” and “to raise civil and political awareness so to ensure both security and stability, as they are prerequisites for development”. On Thursday a terrorist, carrying a firearm and an explosive charge, attacked the entrance of […]

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“Self Drive Act” Passes House Committee 54-0: Safety Standards Scrapped, 25,000 Driverless Cars Coming Right Up

September 3, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk.com,
Many contend that self-driving trucks and cars will not happen anytime soon for numerous reasons (most of them easily refuted).
One of the reasons is of lack of approval from Congress.
That argument will…

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Obama’s Inauguration Day Letter To Trump Leaked: “Leave The Instruments Of Democracy Intact”

September 3, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Eight months after former President Barack Obama’s last day in office, a CNN source has leaked the letter Obama left for his predecessor on Inauguration Day – an American tradition when power passes from one leader to the next. Trump famously acknowledged receiving the letter, but refused to share its contents with the press.

The contents isn’t too exciting, until the fifth paragraph where, nestled among the platitudes and boilerplate, Obama leaves a warning for his successor:  

“Third, we are just temporary occupants of this office. That makes us guardians of those democratic institutions and traditions – like rule of law, separation of powers, equal protection and civil liberties – that our forebears fought and bled for. Regardless of the push and pull of daily politics, it’s up to us to leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them.”

The warning is perhaps a manifestation of liberal anxieties that the Trump administration will “break” the presidency and forever tarnish its democratic institutions.

Read the full text below:

Dear Mr. President –

 

Congratulations on a remarkable run. Millions have placed their hopes in you, and all of us, regardless of party, should hope for expanded prosperity and security during your tenure.

 

This is a unique office, without a clear blueprint for success, so I don’t know that any advice from me will be particularly helpful. Still, let me offer a few reflections from the past 8 years.

 

First, we’ve both been blessed, in different ways, with great good fortune. Not everyone is so lucky. It’s up to us to do everything we can (to) build more ladders of success for every child and family that’s willing to work hard.

 

Second, American leadership in this world really is indispensable. It’s up to us, through action and example, to sustain the international order that’s expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War, and upon which our own wealth and safety depend.

 

Third, we are just temporary occupants of this office. That makes us guardians of those democratic institutions and traditions – like rule of law, separation of powers, equal protection and civil liberties – that our forebears fought and bled for. Regardless of the push and pull of daily politics, it’s up to us to leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them.

 

And finally, take time, in the rush of events and responsibilities, for friends and family. They’ll get you through the inevitable rough patches.

 

Michelle and I wish you and Melania the very best as you embark on this great adventure, and know that we stand ready to help in any ways which we can.

 

Good luck and Godspeed,

 

BO

According to CNN, Obama didn’t disclose the content even to his closest aides. Since then, however, Trump has shown the letter to visitors in the Oval Office or his private White House residence. CNN said it obtained its copy from someone Trump showed it to.

Upon reading Obama’s letter on Inauguration Day, Trump reportedly attempted to call the former president to express his gratitude… but Obama wasn’t available to take the call.

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Mattis: North Korea Threats To US, Allies “Will Be Met With Massive Military Response”

September 3, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

With the rest of the world once again seeking a peaceful solution to the escalating North Korean crisis, and having scheduled yet another United Nations Security Council emergency meeting for 10am on Monday to achieve some diplomatic breakthrough…

We along w/Japan, France, the UK and S.Korea have called for an emergency Security Council meeting on N.Korea in the open tomorrow at 10am

— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) September 3, 2017

… US defence secretary Jim Mattis was somewhat less diplomatic moments ago when speaking to reporters in front of the White House, when he warned that “any threat to the US or its territories including Guam or our allies will be met with a massive military response” and said that while the US is “not looking to the total annihilation” of North Korea, it has “many options to do so.”

Mattis also said that President Trump “wanted to be briefed on the many military options available to the US in response to the North Korean provocation”, suggesting that Trump will likely end up picking one.

The full White House statement on the 6th North Korean nuclear test, as delivered by Mattis shortly after 3pm ET, is below:

Any threat to the US or its territories including Guam or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming. Kim Jong Un should take heed in the United Nations’ Security Council’s unified voice. All members unanimously agreed on the threat North Korea poses and they remain unanimous in their commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea, but as I said we have many options to do so.”

#BREAKING: Mattis: ‘Any threat to the US or its territories including Guam or our allies will be met with a massive military response’ pic.twitter.com/qe51bGdKt5

— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) September 3, 2017

It wasn’t only the US which condemned Kim’s actions: earlier on Sunday China also strongly criticized the nuclear test, slamming Pyongyang for ignoring international condemnation of its atomic weapons programme. North Korea “has ignored the international community’s widespread opposition, again carrying out a nuclear test. China’s government expresses resolute opposition and strong condemnation toward this,” the foreign ministry said in a statement on its website.

“We strongly urge the DPRK (North Korea) to face the strong will of denuclearisation from the international community, earnestly abide by the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council, stop taking mistaken actions which worsen the situation and are also not in line with its own interests, and effectively return to the track of solving the problem through dialogue,” it added.

Of course, the paradox here is that Beijing is North Korea’s main diplomatic ally and economic supporter and is seen as playing a crucial role in efforts to get Pyongyang to curb its weapons programme. The test came just hours before Chinese President Xi Jinping was scheduled to open a summit of BRICs nations in southern China.

According to AFP, North Korea’s actions create a potentially embarrassing situation for Xi, who is preparing for a politically sensitive gathering of the ruling Communist Party in October, at which he aims to further consolidate his power.

The leader chose not to address the test during his more than 40-minute address to the assembled leaders of Russia, India, South Africa and Brazil. It was the second time this year that North Korea has timed a weapons test to coincide with a major international political gathering in China.

In May Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile as leaders from 29 nations gathered in Beijing for a summit touting China’s new Silk Road project.

It is almost as if Kim Jong Un is begging for deadly retaliation not only from Washington, but Beijing as well. One of these days, he will surely get his wish.

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US will launch ‘massive military response’ to North Korea threats: Mattis

September 3, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
AFP
Sun, 2017-09-03 22:46
ID: 
1504468195321321700

WASHINGTON: The United States will launch a “massive military response” to threats from North Korea, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said Sunday.
He spoke after President Donald Trump met with his national security advisers following a test of what Pyongyang said was a hydrogen bomb able to fit atop a missile.
“Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam, or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming,” Mattis said.
He added: “Kim Jong-Un should take heed of the United Nations Security Council’s unified voice. All members unanimously agreed on the threat North Korea poses and remain unanimous in their commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
“We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea, but as I said, we have many options to do so.”
His comments came after Trump warned the time for “appeasement” was over and threatened drastic economic sanctions.
The unexpectedly powerful test Sunday was said to exceed in magnitude the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan — the resultant shock caused momentary panic in parts of China — and Trump slammed it as “very hostile and dangerous to the United States.”

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Cohn “Fed Chair” Odds Plunge In Prediction Markets

September 3, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Via Global Macro Monitor,
Odds that Gary Cohn will replace Yellen are dropping like a stone on PredictIt.  Putting Cohn behind Warsh and Yellen…

If tax reform looks stalled, and we should find out in the next few weeks, is there any reason for …

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Turkey should not become EU member, Merkel tells TV debate

September 3, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
AFP
Sun, 2017-09-03 22:28
ID: 
1504467845831283900

BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday that she would ask the European Union to call off membership talks with Turkey, amid escalating tensions between Berlin and Ankara.
“I don’t see them ever joining and I had never believed that it would happen,” she said during a televised debate with Martin Schulz, her Social Democratic rival in elections later this month.
She added that she would speak with her EU counterparts to see if “we can end these membership talks.”
Merkel’s tough stance came after Turkey arrested two more German citizens this past week “for political reasons,” infuriating Berlin.
The arrests brought the number of German political prisoners in Turkish custody to 12, at a time when ties between the two NATO allies were already at an all-time low.
The plunge in relations began after Berlin sharply criticized Ankara over the crackdown that followed last year’s failed coup attempt.
The arrest of several German nationals, including the Turkish-German journalist Deniz Yucel, the Istanbul correspondent for the Die Welt newspaper, further frayed ties.
Yucel has now spent 200 days in custody ahead of a trial on terror charges.
German journalist Mesale Tolu has been held on similar charges since May, while human rights activist Peter Steudtner was arrested in a July raid.
After Steudtner’s arrest, Germany vowed stinging measures impacting tourism and investment in Turkey and a full “overhaul” of their troubled relations.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for his part, has also sparked outrage after charging that Germany is sheltering plotters of last year’s coup, as well as Kurdish militants and terrorists, and demanded their extradition.
Erdogan added to the tensions this month when he urged ethnic Turks in Germany to vote against Merkel’s conservatives and their coalition partners, the Social Democrats, in September 24 elections.
The escalating tensions have split the Turkish community in Europe’s top economy, the largest diaspora abroad, which is a legacy of Germany’s “guest worker” program of the 1960s and 70s.

 

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Turkey urges global action on Rohingya Muslims

September 3, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
MENEKSE TOKYAY | Special to Arab News
Mon, 2017-09-04 01:35
ID: 
1504467374021209600

ANKARA: Turkey has called on the international community to put pressure on Myanmar’s government to stop the killing and displacement of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Saturday said Turkey has so far delivered more than $70 million in humanitarian aid to the Rohingya, but delivering aid is not enough.

“In two weeks, we need to hold a meeting in New York with the UN secretary-general, leaders of Muslim countries, international organizations, the head of the UN Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, Kofi Annan, and other leaders to solve this issue,” he said.

“We’ve called upon the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). We’ll organize a summit this year on the issue. We have to find a definitive solution to this problem.”

Cavusoglu also urged the Bangladeshi government to “open its doors” to Rohingya Muslims, and pledged to cover all costs to accommodate them.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has accused Myanmar of “genocide” against the Rohingya, continued his telephone diplomacy with the leaders of Senegal, Nigeria and Kazakhstan, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

He is expected to discuss the crisis on the phone with the leaders of Pakistan, Iran, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Azerbaijan and Bangladesh this week. Meanwhile, Cavusoglu spoke with former UN Secretary-General Annan.

Dr. Altay Atli, a research associate at Sabanci University’s Istanbul Policy Center, said Turkey can draw global attention to the tragedy and facilitate multilateral steps to resolve the issue.

“I see, however, two obstacles in this respect,” Atli told Arab News. “One is related to what I call ‘democracy illusion’ in Myanmar. There’s a democratic transition, the junta has left, there were elections, but democratization takes time.”

With the international community buying into this “democracy illusion,” it turned a blind eye to ongoing undemocratic practices, including the situation of ethnic minorities, he said.

Furthermore, Western countries want to access Myanmar’s natural resources and counterbalance China’s influence there, Atli added.

“The second problem relates to the OIC’s inability to act in unison, make binding decisions and enforce them,” he said.

Talip Kucukcan, a lawmaker from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party, said Ankara has taken the lead in raising awareness about the plight of the Rohingya, and calls on the international community to take effective steps to prevent a humanitarian disaster.

“A humanitarian tragedy is unfolding, while the international community pays lip service to the slaughter and forced migration of Muslims,” he told Arab News.

“The lack of response around the world indicates that UN and other agencies are becoming useless entities,” he said.

“Ankara couldn’t remain silent over the plight of Rohingya Muslims, not because Turks belong to the same religion, but due to Turkey’s emphasis and investment in humanitarian assistance worldwide.”

Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees in the world, and provides humanitarian assistance in more than 100 countries regardless of religion or ethnicity, said Kucukcan.

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