News   Feb 14, 2020
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News   Feb 14, 2020
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President Donald Trump's United States of America

W. K. Lis

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Well, it seems the Iranian's did not secure the site and/or have messed around with it - that's highly dubious (but by no means unique)


If so, I find that a far bigger matter than an accidential downing of a civilian aircraft.

AoD
Scavengers Are Taking Evidence From the Iran Plane Crash Site, CBS Reports

From link.

Scavengers are being allowed access to the site of Wednesday’s plane crash in Iran to take away pieces of evidence, CBS News reports. The network’s foreign correspondent Elizabeth Palmer was able to enter the site before being told to leave by Iranian security officials. She reported that “apparent scavengers” were scouring through what debris is left from the crash and looking for pieces of the plane to take away. Palmer also reported that witnesses told her a truck arrived on Thursday to take the vast majority of the wreckage, but Iran has not said where it was taken. The jet’s fuselage and nose had been removed, and witnesses said the relocation of the wreckage started on the day of the crash. Ukrainian investigators have not visited the site, and will now find a largely empty area. Palmer wrote on Twitter: “No security. Not cordoned off. No sign of any investigators.”
 

W. K. Lis

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WSJ: Trump said he ordered strike on Iranian general to help with impeachment

From link.

The Trump White House has maintained the strike on Iranian General Soleimani came as a result of intelligence showing he posed an “imminent” threat to the United States.

But so far the administration has been unable to show any intelligence or evidence to back up that claim. Even Republican senators have been left fuming over the lack of evidence, with one calling it “absolutely insane”.

One claim they furiously denied: it was an attempt to distract from the impeachment trial.

Except, the Wall Street Journal confirms that impeachment was at the top of his mind when Trump ordered the drone strike.

Its long story published Thursday on events surrounding the strike contains this line:

Mr. Trump, after the strike, told associates he was under pressure to deal with Gen. Soleimani from GOP senators he views as important supporters in his coming impeachment trial in the Senate, associates said.
In other words, Trump ordered the strike to bolster support from wavering GOP allies.

Worth noting, the claim is being made in a pro-Trump newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch. It speaks for itself.
 

Admiral Beez

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salsa

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Trump is and never was at any risk of removal from office. Just as with Bill Clinton's impeachment, the Senate will not convict Trump.

If Trump wanted to use the strike to help his Nov 2020 election chances, he'd do it in October, not now. By November, this will be old news.
Trump reportedly admitted impeachment played a big role in his Soleimani decision

https://theweek.com/speedreads/888686/trump-reportedly-admitted-impeachment-played-big-role-soleimani-decision
 

lenaitch

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Not necessarily, depending on where it hit - the missiles often don't hit the target directly, but gets close enough and explodes - spraying out bits of metal that cuts through the target. That's also what happened with MH17. And if it is a missile hit of this sort, the physical evidence would be obvious (including the possibilty that those metal bits will be buried within corpses) - can't imagine the Iranians will be able to hide these physical evidence without destroying it en masse, which would be obvious as hell.

AoD
I saw some photos on another forum (don't remember the source) that show wreckage with 'shrapnel holes', including the vertical stabilizer (tail fin). Could be from an uncontained engine failure but also from detonation by a proximity fuse.

It depends what size of missile.

In 2003 a DHL Airbus A300 was hit by an anti-air missile after taking off from Baghdad and managed to turn back to the airport and make a very perilous but ultimately successful landing. But that was a shoulder launched SAM, not the Russian beasts the Iranians reportedly have.
I believe you are correct. The way I read it, it was a MANPAD and I don't know if they have proximity fuses. It was a direct hit to the wing which destroyed (drained) the hydraulic systems and part of the wing but left the engines intact.
 

AlbertC

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Maple Leaf CEO says the United States shares blame for Iran plane crash

The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, January 12, 2020 9:33PM EST

TORONTO -- The CEO of Maple Leaf Foods spoke out Sunday against the U.S. government, days after an Iranian missile accidentally shot down a jetliner, killing all 176 people on board -- including the family of a company employee.

Michael McCain said in a series of tweets that the time since Wednesday's crash has not quelled his anger over what he describes as a "needless, irresponsible series of events in Iran."

"U.S. government leaders unconstrained by checks/balances, concocted an ill-conceived plan to divert focus from political woes. The world knows Iran is a dangerous state, but the world found a path to contain it; not perfect but by most accounts it was the right direction," he wrote, saying he feels that "a narcissist in Washington" destabilized the region.

The tweets were sent from the packaged meat company's official account, though McCain characterized them as "personal reflections."

 

W. K. Lis

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U.S. Suffers Greatest Global Decline in Trust
Since 2016, the U.S. and the U.K. have experienced the greatest drops in global trust, while Canada continues to be seen as the most trusted.

From link.

The world’s trust in the United States, a country entering an election year with its impeached president facing trial in the Senate and stirring global alarm over the U.S. killing of an Iranian general, has dropped by more than 50% since 2016, the sharpest drop of any country assessed in the 2020 Best Countries report.

Additionally, the United Kingdom has experienced the second-greatest drop in the world’s trust since 2016, according to Best Countries data. Last December’s elections firmly entrenched Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his vow to push forward with Brexit and take the country out of the European Union.
By contrast, America’s neighbor to the north, Canada, is seen as the world’s most trustworthy country, according to the report, a position the nation has held since the annual global survey first released in 2016.
In 2016, the U.S. had a score of 33.5 on a 100-point scale. This year, the country’s score is 16.3, placing the country at No. 24 of the 73 countries assessed, just behind No. 23 Greece and barely ahead of No. 25 Israel. The U.K. ranks No. 14 for trustworthiness in 2020, but still outperforms the U.S. by nearly 50 points on a 100-point scale. Canada, meanwhile, has registered a perfect 100-point score for trustworthiness each year since the report’s 2016 debut.
“Trustworthiness” is one of 65 metrics that survey participants were asked how closely they associate that attribute with a nation. Canada was followed closely by Switzerland and Norway. Finishing last this year is Kenya, which drew a score of 0. The African country was just below Eastern European nations Serbia and Belarus.

In the U.S., young adult Americans – defined as people under 30 – are expressing less trust in individuals and institutions than their older counterparts, a Pew survey found last year.

The impeachment of President Donald Trump may be affecting the world’s view of America, as well. Last month the U.S. House of Representatives impeached the president on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in connection with a Ukraine pressure campaign. Trump is awaiting trial in the U.S. Senate.
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The president’s own actions on the world stage also may be shaping global public opinion. Early in 2019, reports emerged that Trump discussed withdrawing the U.S. from NATO. Later in the year he abruptly announced a U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria, a move that left Kurdish allies in the fight against terrorists in that country feeling abandoned. Trump last year also instigated more trade wars with countries and freely criticized various world leaders.

Those foreign policy moves only reinforced new global worries over U.S. foreign policy after Trump ordered the Jan. 3 killing of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani by a drone strike in Baghdad, a move that immediately drew criticism from U.S. opponents and concern from America’s allies. The reaction in the Middle East was immediate. Iraq’s Parliament called for the expulsion of all U.S. forces from the country and Iran, vowing to retaliate against the U.S., said it would abandon the 2015 nuclear deal.

The past year has witnessed a growing global pushback against Trump. Former Irish president Mary Robinson chastised Trump for showing poor global leadership. And 2019 closed with leaders of U.S. allies appearing to joke about the U.S. president at a NATO summit.

"His (Trump's) behavior has raised many eyebrows," says Karel Lannoo, CEO of the Centre for European Policy Studies, a nonpartisan think tank based in Brussels.

Statements by Trump had raised concern in Japan and South Korea, America's closest allies in East Asia. But it is clear now that Washington will remain highly engaged in the region, says Zhang Baohui, professor of political science and director of the Centre for Asian-Pacific Studies at Lingnan University in Hong Kong. "They understand that the new China policy of the U.S. should imply that Washington will not vacate the region," Zhang said in an email.
Canada Is Most Trusted Country

In Canada, elections last autumn revealed a divided country, as Justin Trudeau overcame a photo scandal from his past to remain the country’s prime minister. But despite the turbulence at home, the world’s view of Canada is positive, perhaps influenced by its foreign policy at a time of record numbers of displaced people around the world.

Canada welcomed more refugees in 2018 than any other country, according to the U.N., marking the first time since 1980 that the U.S. did not lead the world in accepting refugees.
 

AlbertC

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Trump reignites trade battle with Europe over digital tax

After securing a trade truce with China, the US president has now turned to the EU. Trump threatened car tariffs if European countries implement a digital tax. The EU says a new deal could come "in a few weeks."

 

AlbertC

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John Stumpf: Ex-Wells Fargo boss pays $17.5m to settle charges

24 January 2020

Former Wells Fargo chief executive John Stumpf is to pay $17.5m (£13.3m) to settle charges over the bank's fake accounts scandal.

He was also banned from working in the financial industry "in any manner" for life.

It's a rare example of a top banking executive being personally punished for failing to stop misconduct.

The charges came after it was revealed that millions of fake bank accounts had been set up to meet sales targets.

In August 2017, the lender said up to 3.5 million accounts may have been created for customers without their permission.

 

AlbertC

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Europe stands firm on tech tax in the face of Trump's tariff threats ... for now

PUBLISHED THU, JAN 23 2020 4:24 AM EST

Holly Ellyatt

  • European leaders appear to be standing firm on plans to impose digital services taxes on U.S. tech giants in the coming months, despite President Trump threatening to retaliate against the move.
  • How long that resistance against the U.S. can last amid the threat of retaliatory tariffs on Europe's lucrative (and vulnerable) car industry is yet to be seen.
 

AlbertC

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Pentagon says 34 US soldiers suffered traumatic brain injury in Iran strike
  • Trump downplayed injuries: ‘I heard they had headaches’
  • Expert calls president’s comment ‘insulting and disrespectful’
Julian Borger and Joanna Walters
Fri 24 Jan 2020 17.28 GMT

 

AlbertC

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Jeff Bezos, blackmail and the Saudi crown prince

By Diana Hodali

Amazon boss and WaPo owner Jeff Bezos' phone was reportedly hacked by the Saudi crown prince's regime. The UN wants an investigation; the allegations touch the highest echelons of US power and echo internationally.

 

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