Friday, August 12, 2016

Grim Reality Of Trump on ISIS and Russian Rule: CRIMEa Flexing Military Muscles

Some areas of the U.S. were hit especially hard by China’s rise, partly because those areas had lots of jobs in industries where imports surged the most...

Donald Trump refused to back down from his false claim that Barack Obama was “the founder of Isis” on Thursday, insisting: “He was the founder ... The way he got out of Iraq was the founding of Isis.”

The Republican presidential candidate was speaking to conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, who had attempted to reframe his remark, telling him: “I know what you meant – you meant that he created the vacuum, he lost the peace.”

But Trump disagreed. “No, I meant that he’s the founder of Isis, I do,” he said. “He was the most valuable player – I gave him the most valuable player award. I give her too, by the way,” he added of his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
Trump did acknowledge that the root of his argument was that if Obama “had done things properly, you wouldn’t have had Isis”, but he repeated: “Therefore, he was the founder of Isis.”
And he doggedly pursued that line of thought in a later speech to homebuilders in Miami on Thursday, now suggesting it was Clinton who would be given “the most valuable player award” by Islamic State. “Her only competition is Barack Obama,” he said, adding of Clinton: “Oh boy, is Isis hoping for her.”

Given a chance by radio host Hugh Hewitt to clarify his
comments, Trump doubles down on litera interpretation 
and calls him Isis’s ‘most valuable player’
Trump reiterates he literally believes Barack Obama is the 'founder of Isis'

A week that ends with the focus on the continuing military crisis in Ukraine could see attention turn to Russia’s use and abuse of its clout in the energy sector ...

Russia said the deaths of its servicemen in Crimea wouldn’t go “without consequences” and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko put his troops near the peninsula and in the country’s easternmost regions on “high alert,” warning that Vladimir Putin is seeking to reignite the conflict in the disputed territories.

The Foreign Ministry in Moscow ratcheted up the threat of retaliation a day after the Russian president vowed to respond with “very serious” measures and said Ukrainian agents had engaged in “terror” tactics on the Black Sea peninsula, which he seized in 2014. Poroshenko dismissed the accusations as “fiction” that could be an “excuse for further military threats” by Russia. He ordered the armed forces, national guard and border troops to go on high alert Thursday and urged police to step up security to prevent potential terrorist attacks, according to a statement on his website Russia warns of consequences after deaths as Ukraine on alert

Tensions are reportedly high among residents of northern Crimea as long convoys of heavy Russian weaponry continue to be sighted not far from the occupied peninsula's border with the Ukrainian mainland. Crimean Tatar activists have reported armed checkpoints being erected at scattered sites around the peninsula, and unusually large concentrations of Russian hardware in northern regions. The border crossing between Ukraine proper and the Russian-annexed peninsula had been shut for several hours on August 7, causing long backups of traffic.

Photos and videos posted on the website of the Crimean Human Rights Group, a local nongovernmental organization, showed Russian military trucks being transported on trains on August 6 near Kerch, an eastern port town that is opposite Russia's Stavropol territory. Vadim Skibitsky, a representative of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry's military intelligence division, told the online news portal Ukrayinska Pravda that the movement of troops and equipment appeared related to upcoming a major Russian military exercise called Kavkaz 2016 slated to begin next month. He also tried to play down any immediate danger to local inhabitants. Russia seized Crimea in March 2014 in the aftermath of the so-called Euromaidan protests in Kyiv, that forced President Viktor Yanukovych to flee. Moscow later declared it had annexed the peninsula, a move that has been rejected across the globe. Its naval base at Sevastopol is the home for the Russian Black Sea Fleet Google on Crimea ...

 Putin reshapes his inner circle FT (Paywall)

The provocation in Crimea and the threat of world war

The Report is an academic policy study by leading researchers in both Australia and China. It draws policy conclusions to guide the development of bilateral economic relations that include an Australia–China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for Change, an Australia–China Commission, and an Australia–China Basic Treaty of Cooperation.