Published Date: June 24th, 2019
IRANIAN TANKER FALSE FLAG, CHINA TRADE TALKS, DURHAM INVESTIGATION EXPANDS, US POWER OUTAGE PREDICTIONS
Trump Announces 2020 Re-Election Campaign, Top US Politicians Receive UFO Briefings, 1,000 Earthquakes Swarm CA, Managing Global Chaos Fears, ICE Deportation Orders, Facebook’s Secret Agent of Hate, Facebook’s Cryptocurrency
The evidence is far from conclusive, but on balance Iran probably is behind the attacks on four oil tankers in the Gulf last month and two more last Thursday. Those attacks carefully avoided human casualties, so if they were Iranian, what was its goal? If it was Iran, the answer is obvious. Iran would be reminding the United States that it may be utterly out-matched militarily, but it can do great damage to the tankers that carry one-third of the world’s internationally traded oil through the Strait of Hormuz.
After the US tightened its sanctions last month in an attempt to destroy all of Iran’s foreign trade, including the oil exports which are it’s economy’s lifeblood, Iran declared that if it could not export its oil, no other country (in the Gulf) would be allowed to export theirs. Other economies would be hurt too. There’s history here. Back in the mid-1980s, when the United States tried to strangle Iran’s Islamic Revolution in its cradle by encouraging Saddam Hussein’s Iraq to invade Iran, 543 ships were sunk or damaged in three years as each side tried to stop the other side’s oil exports. Another tanker war would be no fun at all.
But maybe the current pinprick attacks on tankers are just a general warning not to push Iran too hard. They would still be dangerous because people could get killed and the situation could easily spin out of control. But the opposite hypothesis – that the attacks are a ‘false flag’ operation – is much more frightening, because it would mean somebody is really trying to start a war.
WASHINGTON – The eyes of the world will be on Japan again when the Group of 20 summit kicks off in Osaka next week. As host, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will greet the leaders of the world’s 20 most powerful countries and use the opportunity to showcase Japan as an island of geopolitical stability.
The timing of the summit, just weeks before the Upper House election, amid swirling U.S.-China and Middle East tensions, offers Abe the chance to play the role of senior global statesmen. However, in true Japanese fashion, it’s unlikely Abe will try to hog too much of the spotlight. While he has talked about setting the agenda for a post-Osaka G20 world based on “human-centeredness” and “data free flow with trust,” the summit will likely produce multiple communiques where three important meetings there will set the tone and probably focus much of the world’s attention.
The meeting now set between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping will be the prime-time event of the G20. Nuance and speculation will follow on every aspect of the interaction including whether it’s a formal or informal bilateral summit or discussion to resolve the ongoing trade dispute or not. In addition to the actual bilateral meeting, informal encounters before and after facilitated by Abe will go a long way in showcasing his relations between both leaders and countries. While Abe will have little ability to shape the broader context for the meeting, its outcome will directly affect Japan.
Domestic problems for Trump stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller’s report and Russian interference in the 2016 election continue to paint a bleak picture for U.S.-Russian relations that also must deal with military interventions in Ukraine, Syria, and now in America’s own hemisphere with Venezuela. Despite this, Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have maintained a strong personal relationship and every time they meet they show good chemistry. Unlike Japan, which does not see Russia as a strategic rival, the U.S. does, and the history of the Cold War ensures that any bilateral meeting is significant.
Perhaps the least understood of the high-stakes meetings at the G20 will be that between Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose new Russian S-400 missile system arrives next month. The purchase is a significant affront to the U.S. and to NATO — not only is the system incompatible with NATO weapons systems, but it would undermine the stealth capabilities of the F-35 fighter jet and provide data on its vulnerabilities to Russia.
U.S. Attorney John Durham of Connecticut has met repeatedly with Attorney General William Barr since he was tasked last month with leading a review of the origins of the Russia investigation and the Justice Department’s and FBI’s conduct.
Sources tell Fox News that Durham is “very dialed in” and “asking all the right questions.”
One major focus of his review is the potential Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuse, which is the subject of a separate investigation by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz and is expected to conclude soon. British ex-spy Christopher Steele, whose unverified dossier was used in FISA applications to justify surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, has expressed a willingness to meet with Horowitz, but not with Durham.
During the 2016 election, Steele was working for the opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which received funding through the Perkins Coie law firm from the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. Steele’s Democratic benefactors were not revealed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
Should Durham find criminal activity during the course of his investigation, sources said he would take charge of any prosecutions.
Add the ever-increasing demand on our electrical system from the array of electronic devices we plug in, as well as the greater potential for extreme weather as a result of climate change, and blackouts could increase even more.
Knowing what to do during a power outage and taking steps to prepare before the lights go dark is key to staying safe. A plan by California’s biggest utility to cut power on high-wind days during the onrushing wildfire season could plunge millions of residents into darkness. And most people aren’t ready.
The plan by PG&E Corp. comes after the bankrupt utility said a transmission line that snapped in windy weather probably started last year’s Camp Fire, the deadliest in state history. While the plan may end one problem, it creates another as Californians seek ways to deal with what some fear could be days and days of blackouts.
Some residents are turning to other power sources, a boon for home battery systems marketed by Sunrun Inc., Tesla Inc., and Vivint Solar Inc. But the numbers of those systems in use are relatively small when compared with PG&E’s 5.4 million customers. Meanwhile, Governor Gavin Newsom said he’s budgeting $75 million to help communities deal with the threat.
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