Odds and Ends 

Twitter says it will restrict users from retweeting world leaders who break its rules

Twitter said it will restrict how users can interact with tweets from world leaders who break its rules. The social media giant said it will not allow users to like, reply, share or retweet the offending tweets, but instead will let users quote-tweet to allow ordinary users to express their opinions. The company said the move will help its users stay informed about global affairs, but while balancing the need to keep the site’s rules in check. Twitter asserts that it won’t ban Trump because he’s a world leader Read…

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Odds and Ends 

North Koreans Think Trump Admin Talks Are Sickening. So Should You.

If President Donald Trump is thinking a deal with his friend Kim Jong Un might distract from his troubles at home, hed better think again. The abrupt end of working-level firing of the hawkish John Bolton as Trumps national security adviser helped Kim think he could get what he wants, said Maxwell, the North Koreans at Stockholm yet again confirmed that Kim is not about to give up his precious nukes. The nuclear program was initiated by his grandfather, Kim Il Sung, perpetuated by his father, Kim Jong Il, and…

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Headlines 

Kim Jong-un invites Donald Trump to visit Pyongyang report

Letter from North Korean leader comes as talks between the men have stalled North Korean leader Kim Jong-un invited US president Donald Trump to visit Pyongyang in a letter sent in August, a South Korean newspaper reported on Monday, citing diplomatic sources. The letter pre-dates North Koreas latest last met at the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) between the two Koreas in June and agreed to restart working-level negotiations that had been stalled since an unsuccessful second summit between the two leaders in Vietnam in February. Last weeks round of short-range missiles…

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Headlines 

Why Trumps ‘maximum pressure’ foreign policy yields minimum results

The president is heading into 2020 with no major successes and looming crises so many expect him to attempt to reverse the trend with dramatic deals Donald Trump is heading into the 2020 elections with no clear-cut foreign policy successes, some dramatic failures and a string of looming crises around the world that could undermine his bid for re-election. For that reason, many expect the president to try to reverse the trend with dramatic interventions around the globe with uncertain outcomes which will make the next 16 months even more…

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Kim and Trump finally show their hands after nuclear talks in Hanoi

We now know where North Korea and US stand and the gaps that still need to be closed The Hanoi summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un may have Trump-Kim nuclear talks in Hanoi break down video report The summit was doomed because those proved to be delusions. Kim arrived with a clear game plan and was not going to be diverted from it under pressure at the last minute. The accounts of what happened in Hanoi and in the preceding months suggest that while the summit was premature, there…

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Headlines 

Kim Jong-un greets Moon Jae-in as inter-Korean summit starts

Leaders take part in highly choreographed opening to three days of talks in Pyongyang, North Korea Kim Jong-un has greeted the South Korean president to cheers from crowds assembled at North Koreas Pyongyang airport as the pair begin their third summit. The North Korean leader emerged from the airport building to raucous cheering and walked up to President Moon Jae-in. The two leaders embraced and flashed wide smiles. South Korean President Moon Jae-in hugs North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un Photograph: AP The highly choreographed meeting set to dramatic music provided…

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North Korea making ‘rapid’ upgrades to nuclear reactor despite summit pledges

Monitoring group says work shows why a denuclearisation deal rather than a statement of lofty goals is needed North Korea has continued to upgrade its only known nuclear reactor used to fuel its weapons program, satellite imagery has shown, despite ongoing negotiations with the US and a pledge to denuclearise. Play Video 4:03 according to an analysis by monitoring group 38 North of commercial satellite images taken on 21 June. The cooling system for the plutonium production reactor has been modified and at least two new non-industrial buildings have been…

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Donald Trump shrugs off Kim’s human rights record: ‘He’s a tough guy’

As Fox News host presses Trump over North Korean regime, president is dismissive: A lot of people have done bad things Donald Trump has dismissed concerns about the widely condemned human rights record of the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, praising him as a tough guy, a smart guy and a great negotiator. In an denuclearization summit with the North Korean leader, Trump declined to condemn the record of his interlocutor. International bodies have accused Kim of crimes against humanity including assassinations of political rivals, public executions and holding captive…

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Odds and Ends 

Trumps Negotiating Style Is Pure Art of the Moron

Im often on the receiving end of the Trumpentariats criticisms of Never Trump conservatives. Dont I get it? Dont I love how Trump is achieving the impossible, and soaring to heights to which no other president could aspire? Havent I gotten over the election yet?When, oh when, will I finally MAGA? I received an email Tuesday from a Trump fan asking why for once I couldnt congratulate Donald Trump for his work with North Korea. Leaving aside my usual critiques of Trump, which are, as you may have noticed, varied,…

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Headlines 

North and South Korean leaders promise ‘lasting peace’ for peninsula

Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in pledge denuclearisation and end to decades of hostility after summit The leaders of North and South Korea have promised after a landmark summit to bring lasting peace to the peninsula with a commitment to denuclearisation and to ending decades of hostilities. Speaking at the end of an extraordinary day that summit between Kim and Donald Trump. The US president, in his April 27, 2018 Speaking at the White House, Trump warned that the US was not going to be played by North Korea, later the…

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ECB’s Rimsevics Detained by Latvian Anti-Graft Bureau

Latvian central bank Governor Ilmars Rimsevics, a member of the European Central Bank’s governing council, was detained by the anti-graft bureau, in a flurry of actions by officials that ended early Monday with the financial regulator imposing payment restrictions on third-biggest lender ABLV Bank AS. The detention followed a search by authorities of the governor’s office and private property, state-owned LTV reported. Rimsevics’s lawyer, Saulvedis Varpins, said the governor considered the move against him as "clearly illegal." Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola said the detention would be explained on Monday and…

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Closer to Midnight: The Doomsday Clock and the Threat of Nuclear War

The accidental missile alert in Hawaii earlier this month made real for 38 terrifying minutes the vague, low-level dread that permeates American life today: Nuclear war seems closer and more real than it has in a generation. Even the pope—not exactly a fear-monger—said last week that the world now stood at “the very limit.” That existential fear was affirmed today by the organization of nuclear scientists who have spent seven decades trying to turn humanity away from nuclear weapons: The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved its Doomsday Clock 30 seconds…

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2018 Feels Ripe for Big Unexpected Crisis, Eurasia Group Says

This year could see a geopolitical crisis on the scale of the financial crash a decade ago, Eurasia Group warned in its annual outlook. Describing global political challenges as “daunting,” the New York-based political risk consultancy said that “if we had to pick one year for a big unexpected crisis — the geopolitical equivalent of the 2008 financial meltdown — it feels like 2018." The biggest uncertainty surrounds China’s move to fill a vacuum as U.S. influence continues to decline, stoking tensions between the two powers, it said. That’s likely to…

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North Korea Signals Olympics Truce, Seeks Talks With Seoul

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for urgent talks with South Korea to make the Winter Olympics next month a success even while repeating claims that he could strike the U.S. with a nuclear bomb if necessary. In an annual New Year’s day speech, Kim said that “we sincerely hope the games will be successful.” He said that both Koreas should seek to resolve problems among themselves rather than seek help from outside of the region. “It’s about time that the North and the South sit down and seriously…

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