The New York Times
Diplomacy Appears Stalled With North Korea, Despite Trump’s Declarations
WASHINGTON — The goal of a diplomatic meeting set for Thursday seemed simple: Nail down a plan for a second summit between President Trump and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.
But finalizing the meeting itself — between Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, and one of Mr. Kim’s top compatriots — proved harder than expected. The State Department announced early Wednesday that it had been canceled.
“Ongoing conversations continue to take place,” the statement said tersely.
The cancellation leaves little doubt that the diplomatic process between the United States and North Korea is now mired in quicksand after peaking in Singapore with the initial summit between the two leaders. There are mismatched demands and expectations on both sides, and the pitfalls have only gotten more obvious in recent weeks.
At the White House later Wednesday, Mr. Trump said the meeting would be rescheduled and insisted that “we’re very happy with how it’s going with North Korea.”
Trump Says He Will Not Meet Putin This Weekend, Contradicting the Kremlin
WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Wednesday that he will not meet with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia this weekend, contradicting the Kremlin, which said earlier in the day that the two would have a discussion while in Paris for an unrelated gathering of world leaders.
The on-again, off-again meeting has been the subject of confusion and conflicting reports in recent weeks. At one point last month, the two sides indicated that the presidents would meet in Paris, then Mr. Trump said earlier this week that they would probably not, then the Kremlin said Wednesday that they would at least meet briefly during lunch on Sunday.
At a news conference at the White House later Wednesday, Mr. Trump said that was not the case. They would both attend a lunch for world leaders scheduled on Sunday, he said, but were not set to have a conversation.
“I don’t think we have anything scheduled in Paris and I’m coming back very quickly,” the president said. “I don’t think we have time set aside for that meeting.”
In Bipartisan Pleas, Experts Urge Trump to Save Nuclear Treaty With Russia
Alarmed at what they see as disintegrating curbs on nuclear weapons, a bipartisan array of American nonproliferation experts has urged President Trump to salvage a Cold War-era treaty with Russia that he has vowed to scrap.
In letters sent to the White House this week that were seen by The New York Times, the experts said the pact, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, had reduced the risk of nuclear war.
Despite the treaty’s flaws, they said, the United States should renegotiate the accord, not walk away from it.
“The INF Treaty has prevented the unchecked deployment of nuclear missiles in Europe,” stated one of the letters, sent Wednesday to the White House. It was signed by more than a dozen prominent figures in arms control, including former Secretary of State George P. Shultz and former Senators Richard Lugar and Sam Nunn.
Jeff Sessions Is Forced Out as Attorney General as Trump Installs Loyalist
WASHINGTON — President Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday, replacing him with a loyalist who has echoed the president’s complaints about the special counsel investigation into Russia’s election interference and will now take charge of the inquiry.
Mr. Sessions delivered his resignation letter to the White House at the request of the president, who tapped Matthew G. Whitaker, Mr. Sessions’s chief of staff, as acting attorney general, raising questions about the future of the inquiry led by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.
Mr. Whitaker, a former college football tight end and United States attorney in Iowa, and a onetime Senate candidate in that state, has previously questioned the scope of the investigation. In a column for CNNlast year, he wrote that Mr. Mueller would be going too far if he examined the Trump family’s finances. “This would raise serious concerns that the special counsel’s investigation was a mere witch hunt,” Mr. Whitaker wrote, echoing the president’s derisive description of the investigation. Mr. Mueller has subpoenaed the Trump Organization for documents related to Russia.
Until now, Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, oversaw the investigation because Mr. Sessions recused himself in March 2017, citing his active role in Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump expects to meet Kim Jong-un next year as nuclear talks stall
The statement comes as a meeting between secretary of state Mike Pompeoand senior North Korean officials in New York scheduled for Thursday, was cancelled at the last minute, while Trump declared he was “in no rush” to advance talks.
“We are going to make it ... another day,” he told reporters in Washington. “But we’re very happy with how it’s going with North Korea. We think it’s going fine. We’re in no rush.”
Democrats got millions more votes – so how did Republicans win the Senate?
Constitutional law experts said more pressing concerns for Democrats could be found in a combination of gerrymandering and voter suppression tactics that might have prevented them from winning an even larger majority in the House and some key statewide elections.
“The rise of minority rule in America is now unmistakable,” said Laurence Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard University.
'The last free space': protesters find escape from Nicaraguan repression in church
Protest is outlawed in Nicaragua, as President Daniel Ortega seeks to stamp out any trace of the civil revolt that threatened to bring down his government earlier this year.
Facing such repression, protesters have retreated to the one place where police and paramilitary forces won’t pursue them.
“The church has become the last space where citizens can freely express themselves, and demand their rights,” said lawyer Martha Molina.
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigns at Trump's request
Sessions, who had recused himself from the Russia probe, asked to resign after Republicans lost control of Congress.
On Twitter, Trump thanked Sessions for his service and wished him well. He said Matthew G Whitaker, Sessions's chief of staff, would become the acting attorney general until a replacement is announced, which the president said would come at a later date.
The former senator was a key figure in implementing Trump's anti-immigration agenda.
He called the timing of Sessions's departure "very suspect", adding that it would spark a "constitutional crisis" if Trump forced out Sessions as a "prelude" to ending or limiting Mueller's investigation (Trump ties with Russia).
Threats, bipartisanship, and a CNN spat: Trump reacts to midterms
US president threatens Democrats while pledging to work with them on a number of issues in erratic press conference.
"If the Democrats think they are going to waste Taxpayer Money investigating us at the House level, then we will likewise be forced to consider investigating them for all of the leaks of Classified Information, and much else, at the Senate level. Two can play that game!" Trump wrote in the post.
Norwegian frigate collides with oil tanker off country’s coast, 8 injured (PHOTOS)
A Norwegian Navy frigate returning from a NATO exercise collided with an oil tanker off Norway’s coast. Eight people received light injuries in the incident while the warship started slowly sinking.
The early morning collision, which involved the frigate KNM Helge Ingstad and the tanker Sola TS, happened off Norway’s western coast near an island chain on which the municipality of Øygarden is located.
Unlike the warship, the tanker, which carries around 625,000 barrels of crude, was mostly undamaged in the incident and no signs of an oil spill were reported. The ship was still ordered to return to port for inspection.
The KNM Helge Ingstad got into trouble while returning from the Trident Juncture 18 live drills, which concluded on November 7. It was NATO’s largest exercise in decades, involving 50,000 troops, 10,000 combat vehicles, 65 vessels, and 250 aircraft. The next part – a command post exercise – will be held from November 14 to 24.
US tells world to steer clear of Iranian oil tankers
The US State Department has warned nations, allowing Iran’s shipping vessels into their territorial waters and ports, of potential risks connected to insurance liabilities amid the recently introduced sanctions.
“If Iranian tankers make calls to your ports or transit through your waterways, this comes at great risk,” Brian Hook, the State Department's special representative on Iran policy told journalists.
After global insurers withdrew coverage from Iranian vessels, the Islamic Republic will have to turn to domestic insurance corporations, which in turn won’t be able to meet the expense in case of maritime accidents that could run into billions of dollars, according to the top official.
In May, US President Donald Trump withdrew from the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA), an international nuclear deal clinched between Tehran and a broad alliance of world powers. Shortly after that the White House announced they would re-impose unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
China & India to drive the world’s nuclear power production growth – experts
Nuclear power production will grow by about 46 percent by 2040, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) which highlighted that more than 90 percent of the net increase will come from China and India. The two developing nations are now among the top consumers of energy in the world, as they pursue their national nuclear energy programs.
The nuclear industry’s research found that China added three new reactors to its fleet in 2017, bringing its total number of operating reactors to 41 — behind only the United States and France. The country has also reached its highest nuclear production, with the total output up by a whopping 18 percent, or 35 TWh.
Another top energy consumer, India, has the seventh-largest nuclear production fleet in the world, comprising of 22 nuclear reactors. India's total net electrical capacity of 6,255 MW lags behind China's 42,800 MW, but that could change soon as its largely indigenous nuclear program starts to open up.
Regular ferry line will soon link Russia and South Korea
As part of a plan to expand bilateral economic cooperation, Russia and South Korea aim to launch a regular ferry line, connecting their major port cities.
“A direct ferry line is to open soon between Pohang and Vladivostok. It will link these two cities with North Korea’s ports in the future, which will help ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula and help all countries develop mutually beneficial economic cooperation,” said South Korea’s Pohang Mayor Lee Kang-Deok at the first Russian-Korean Forum of Interregional Cooperation.
Kang-Deok said the organization of transport communication between the two ports will make it possible to deliver Russian coal to South Korean steelmaker POSCO, which is located in Pohang. It could also link the South Korean city with the Northeast Passage, the mayor said.
‘Go home!’ Ukrainian President Poroshenko calls for Russian Orthodox Church to be purged
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate, telling it to “go home” in fiery comments, which the Church dismissed as “absurd” and unconstitutional.
Is it normal when the Kremlin urgently gathers the Security Council, presided over by Putin, with the only issue on the table: How to protect the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine?” Poroshenko said on Tuesday. He added that “your church, your troops, your armaments” have no business in Ukraine, and urged them to “go home, back to Russia.”
Ukraine hosts three Orthodox Churches, yet only one of them – the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate – is recognized by other Churches.
US oil production is set to soar past 12 million barrels per day
US crude oil production reached a new monthly record of 11.3 million bpd in August 2018, exceeding 11 million bpd for the first time. Production in August was 290,000 bpd higher than expected in the October STEO, and it was this higher level that raised the baseline for the EIA’s forecast for production in 2019.
US production will be growing despite the current capacity constraints in the Permian, which have started to slow down growth and increase the discount for Permian WTI at Midland to WTI at Cushing. Yet, the majority of oil executives and analysts see those constraints as temporary and likely starting to ease in the second half next year.
The World Bank said at the end of October that oil price increases in 2019 will be modest as US production constraints ease. Brent prices are expected to increase to $74 a barrel next year from a projected $72 per barrel this year, before easing to $69 in 2020, the World Bank said in its October Commodity Markets Outlook. Permian bottlenecks “are likely to endure through 2019 until new pipeline capacity comes on line towards the end of next year, although progress on some new pipelines has been faster than expected,” according to the World Bank.
Ukraine’s neo-Nazis trained US white supremacists – FBI
The neo-Nazi Azov battalion in Ukraine has participated in “training and radicalizing” US-based white supremacists, the FBI said in a recent indictment of several California men involved in the Charlottesville violence.
Four members of the “Rise Above Movement” (RAM), described by the FBI as a “white supremacy extremist group” were indicted for conspiracy to riot over the August 2017 violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, among other things. In the affidavit, signed by FBI Special Agent Scott Bierwirth, 28-year-old Robert Rundo is said to have traveled to Germany, Italy and Ukraine in the spring of 2018.
Azov is by far the most notorious of the “volunteer battalions” established in 2014, after several regions of Ukraine refused to submit to the new government following a US-backed violent overthrow of the president in Kiev. While the US Congress tried in 2015 to outlaw providing any US aid to Azov, the Obama administration got rid of thatprovision in the 2016 defense bill. In any case, by that point the unit had already been officially incorporated into the National Guard. It is currently eligible for “lethal assistance”authorized by the Trump administration in December 2017.
Rechaza Rusia nuevos pretextos de EE.UU. para imponer sanciones
Rusia rechazó este jueves los nuevos pretextos de Estados Unidos para la posible aplicación de nuevas sanciones unilaterales en su contra, ahora, por la supuesta violación de leyes norteamericanas sobre control de armas químicas.
Más de 40 mil muertes anuales en África por tráfico de armas
La UA puntualizó que la investigación llevada a cabo por Small Arms Survey analiza el periodo de 2012 a 2017.
"En todo el continente, registramos 140 mil muertes y homicidios relacionados con los enfrentamientos armados al año, de los cuales la cifra ante mencionada -un tercio de los decesos violentos- son causados por el uso de armas de fuego", explicó Matthias Nowak, investigador en Small Arms Survey, un centro vinculado al Instituto de Altos Estudios y de Desarrollo en Ginebra.
Rusia trabaja para eliminar obstáculos en las relaciones económicas con Turquía
"Rusia está tratando de restablecer el equilibrio de poder a su favor y la oferta del presidente ruso, Vladimir Putin, ayuda a su homólogo turco, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, y las tentaciones ofrecidas por Putin a Turquía son principalmente económicas", dijo el director del Centro Cultural Ruso-Árabe en San Petersburgo, Shuito Mouslem, en el programa de “Diálogo de la Hora” transmitido por Al Mayadeen.