Vietnam has been preparing for Kim to arrive by train for the Feb. 27-28 summit in Hanoi, two sources with direct knowledge of security and logistics planning told Reuters on Wednesday. Kim's train will stop at the border station of Dong Dang where he will disembark and proceed 170 km (105 miles) to Hanoi by car, the sources said. Traffic on that route will be partially banned from 7 p.m. on Feb. 25 and fully banned from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 26, the ruling Communist Party's Nhan Dan paper reported, citing the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam.
‘I think it’s possible” that President Donald Trump is a Russian asset, disgraced former FBI acting director Andrew McCabe told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday. McCabe also said to The Atlantic that FBI brass felt “concern about the president and whether or not he posed a national-security threat that we should be investigating.”On Wednesday, Russian president Vladimir Putin addressed the Federal Assembly in Moscow. “Let me be loud and clear,” he told lawmakers near the Kremlin. “If the U.S. really is going to deploy missiles on the European continent, it will exacerbate the international situation and create a genuine danger for Russia, as there will be missiles with a 10–12-minute flight time to Moscow.” Putin lamented America’s February 1 withdrawal from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty and added: “We are ready for disarmament talks, but we are no longer going to knock on a closed door.”McCabe’s bizarre comments perfectly echo the Trump-hating Left’s exhausted yet unsinkable theory that the president of the United States secretly works for Russia, Russia, Russia, and that he and Putin somehow swiped the White House from Hillary Clinton, who had waited her turn patiently to become America’s commander-in-chief.But only a thoroughly rotten Russian asset would create genuine danger for the Kremlin and close doors to Moscow. Indeed, President Trump routinely gives Putin ulcers.A Russian asset worth his borscht would work quietly to erode America’s military. Instead, Pentagon spending has soared from Obama’s final $521 billion allocation to Trump’s $634 billion in outlays for 2017 (up 21.7 percent) and another $716 billion last August (up 12.9 percent).Not satisfied simply to bolster the U.S. armed forces, Trump has pressured America’s NATO allies to do the same. Some criticize Trump for supposedly abusing our European partners. Actually, he has lavished them with tough love.“By the end of next year, NATO allies will add $100 billion extra toward defense,” NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said January 27 on Fox News Sunday. “So we see some real money and some real results. And we see that the clear message from President Donald Trump is having an impact.” Stoltenberg added: “NATO is united because we are able to adapt to deliver. North America and Europe are doing more together now than before.”None of this makes Vladimir Putin smile.Putin must have groaned last October when President Trump persuaded German chancellor Angela Merkel to spend $576 million on a terminal to receive U.S. liquefied natural gas. The Wall Street Journal called this “a key concession to President Trump as he tries to loosen Russia’s grip on Europe’s largest energy market.” This promises less revenue and leverage for Moscow and more profits and employment for American gas exporters.Adjacent to Russia, Trump restored Poland’s purchase of U.S. Patriot air-defense missiles (which Obama canceled to appease Moscow). Trump also shipped Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine.Last June, and in January 2017, Trump imposed financial sanctions and travel restrictions on Russian companies and oligarchs. This was payback for Moscow’s invasions of Ukraine and Crimea and its interference in U.S. political campaigns. As Trump said: “We must unite as Americans to protect the integrity of our democracy and our elections.”If anyone behaved like a Russian asset, it was Obama. Trump’s predecessor launched the soft-on-Moscow “Russian Reset.” He was caught on a hot mic in March 2012 whispering to Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev: “This is my last election,” Obama said at a conference in Seoul. “After my election I have more flexibility,” especially on matters like anti-ballistic missiles in Europe, on which Russia frowned. “I understand,” Medvedev replied. “I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”As The Weekly Standard recalled, “the Obama administration removed a group of missile launchers from near the Russian border with Poland after Moscow objected to their placement.” Obama refused to arm Ukraine’s anti-Putin fighters. Obama’s first secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, said in March 2010: “Our goal is to help strengthen Russia.” This apparently included encouraging Cisco Systems, Google, and Intel to open shop at Skolkovo, a sort of Russian Silicon Valley. The Pentagon and FBI eventually learned that the entire project was a giant technology-theft scam.Strengthening Russia also involved greenlighting Moscow’s purchase of Uranium One Inc. and its 20 percent share of U.S. uranium reserves. This company’s top investors donated $145 million to the Clinton Foundation. What a coincidence.Alas, fact-o-phobic Trump haters like Andrew McCabe consider him a pro-Moscow mole even as they wink at Obama’s and Hillary’s Russophilia.Michael Malarkey furnished research for this opinion piece.
A high stakes bid by the Venezuelan opposition to transport aid into the country turned deadly on Friday as government forces opened fire on a group of indigenous volunteers, killing at least one woman and injuring 12. Members of the indigenous community in the southern town of Kumarakapay, bordering Brazil, on Friday night took the commander of the Venezuelan national guard prisoner in retaliation. Jose Miguel Montoya Rodriguez was being detained by members of the Pemon tribe, following the death of Zoraida Rodriguez in the clashes. The violence cast an ominous shadow over the massive aid delivery planned for Saturday, with hundreds of tonnes of medical supplies destined to be brought across the border from Brazil and Colombia. Juan Guaido, the self-declared “interim president” who has marshalled the hugely symbolic aid delivery, condemned the killing of Rodriguez, and promised to bring the perpetrators to justice. On Friday night, following a fundraising concert on the border organised by Sir Richard Branson, thousands of volunteers were preparing to bring the aid into Venezuela, in spite of the threats from President Nicolas Maduro that he would not allow it to pass. Organisers of the show, held on the Tienditas bridge, worked through the night to clear the bridge ahead of the aid caravan. Mr Maduro promised a rival concert on the other side of the bridge, and was reportedly offering $7 million to artists to perform, but by Friday night there was no sign of the show and musician after musician issued statements confirming they had been approached to perform, but turned it down. A caravan of trucks fanned out across Venezuela this week, destined for the border with the intention of loading the aid for distribution at the border points. Four processions will be met on the Venezuelan side by four people appointed by Mr Guaido, whose identity he has kept secret for their own safety. Mr Guaido himself set out from Caracas on Thursday in a procession of lorries towards the border, ready to collect the aid. Gaby Arellano, a 33-year-old opposition MP leading one of the convoys of aid was on Friday defiant about the risks of violence as she prepared to cross the border from the Colombian town of Cucuta. “You know what really frightens me?” she told The Telegraph,. “The fact that my children will continue to suffer. That’s far more terrifying a thought than anything that could happen on the bridge.” Russia, which along with Cuba and China continues to provide a crutch to Mr Maduro’s teetering regime, accused the United States on Friday of using the aid deliveries as a ploy to carry out military action against Mr Maduro's government. Maria Zakharova, spokesman for the Russian foreign ministry, said Mr Guaido's plans to try to bring the aid across the border are aimed at provoking clashes to provide "a convenient pretext for conducting military action". Cucuta has four bridges crossing into Venezuela, and the volunteers, told to dress in white, will set out at 9am (2pm GMT) – “not smugglers in the night,” said Jose Manuel Olivares, a 33-year-old doctor-turned-politician, who will on Saturday lead one of the columns. “We will do it by the light of day, with full transparency, because we have nothing to hide.” Freddy Superlano, a deputy for the Chavez family state of Barinas, added: “We’ve thought it all through, with the aid. It’s much more than politics. It’s the survival of the nation.” Mr Guaido insisted that the aid must be allowed to pass, and issued another plea to the soldiers to allow its safe passage. “You must decide on which side you stand, at this decisive hour,” he tweeted on Friday night. “To the soldiers, between tonight and tomorrow you must decide how you want to be remembered. We know you stand with the people. Tomorrow you must show it.”
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The day began with an African woman telling an extraordinary gathering of Catholic leaders that her priestly rapist forced her to have three abortions over a dozen years after he started violating her at age 15. It ended with a Colombian cardinal warning them they could all face prison if they let such crimes go unpunished.
The North Carolina Board of Elections voted unanimously to hold a new election in the state’s 9th District after overwhelming evidence of vote tampering.
Google-owned YouTube said Thursday it was taking action to close a loophole that enabled users to share comments and links on child pornography over the video-sharing service. The response came after a YouTube creator this week revealed what he called a "wormhole" that allowed comments and connections on child porn alongside innocuous videos. "Any content -- including comments -- that endangers minors is abhorrent and we have clear policies prohibiting this on YouTube," a spokesman said in an email to AFP.
Three of the world’s biggest airlines have admitted some of their planes have cameras installed on the backs of passenger seats. American Airlines, United Airlines and Singapore Airlines have new seat-back entertainment systems that include cameras. Companies that make the entertainment systems are fitting them with cameras to offer passengers options such as seat-to-seat video conferencing, according to an American Airlines spokesman.
Southwest temporarily grounded flights early Friday due to a computer glitch. The airline has been plagued by flight cancellations this week.
The congresswoman has hit back at an attack billboard
Pakistan has re-instated a ban on two charities linked to the founder of an Islamist militant group that has carried out attacks in India, the interior ministry said on Friday. The ban comes as Pakistan faces international pressure to act against militant groups, amid escalating tension with its nuclear-armed neighbor, India, following a suicide bomb attack on Indian police in the disputed region of Kashmir. The attack, in which 40 Indian paramilitary troops were killed, was claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant group.