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Trump: U.S. to withdraw from arms treaty with Russia

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President Donald Trump confirmed Saturday that the U.S. would be abandoning a Cold War-era arms treaty, arguing that Russia has defied the terms of the decades-old agreement.

“They have been violating it for many years,” Trump said after a rally in Elko, Nevada, according to a White House readout, referring to the Kremlin’s cooperation with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

“We’re not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons and we’re not allowed to,” Trump said.

Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev brokered the pact in 1987 to halt the proliferation of nuclear and conventional missiles.

“We’ll have to develop those weapons,” Trump said, adding: “We’re going to terminate the agreement and we’re going to pull out.”

White House National Security Adviser John Bolton, who departed this weekend for a trip to Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia, was scheduled to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Saturday.

Source: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/10/20/trump-russia-nuclear-agreement-withdraw-920043

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Russia & China preparing to ditch dollar for national currencies in trade – top official

Preview Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development said on Thursday that Moscow and Beijing are working on an inter-governmental agreement to boost the use of the ruble and yuan in mutual trade settlements.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Source: https://www.rt.com/business/441641-russia-china-national-currencies-payment/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

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Russia liquidates nearly all its holdings of US debt & invests money in gold

Preview The Central Bank of Russia has continued getting rid of US Treasury bonds in August. The share of Russian investments in American debt is getting close to zero.

Read Full Article at RT.com

Source: https://www.rt.com/business/441615-russia-liquidates-us-debt/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

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Massive Twitter data release sheds light on Russia’s Trump strategy

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Twitter on Wednesday released a trove of 10 million tweets it says represents the full scope of foreign influence operations on the platform dating back nearly a decade — including Russia’s consistent efforts to disparage Hillary Clinton and an initially erratic approach to Donald Trump that eventually settled on a concerted pro-Trump message during the 2016 campaign.

The huge data cache consists of tweets from some 3,400 accounts tied to the Kremlin troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency and 770 others linked to Iran. It also includes some two million gifs, videos and other visual content. Twitter said it’s making the information available to “enable independent academic research and investigation,” according to a company blog post.

The Russian tweets around the 2016 presidential election showed distinct patterns when it came to Clinton and Trump, according to researchers at the non-partisan Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, which has been scouring the data since late last week.

While the Clinton animus was clear from the start, it took the IRA a while to settle on its Trump strategy, as the Republican primary played out.

“Literally from the day Clinton announced her candidacy they were attacking her,” Ben Nimmo, an information defense fellow at the lab, told POLITICO. “But on the Republican side, in the early days, they seemed to be backing more than one horse.”

He described “peaks and troughs — a lot of pro-Trump content and a lot of anti-Trump content” in 2015 and 2016, adding that Trump’s GOP rival Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) got a similar mixed treatment while former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was the target of negative content. But Nimmo said the messaging around Trump turned decidedly in his favor around the time the reality show star began locking up the Republican nomination.

That period of time is said to be of interest to investigators with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, which is looking into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election — including a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Trump campaign officials and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

Nimmo said the Atlantic Council’s research into the data is still in its early stages, but he said it’s clear that much of the U.S.-focused tweeting was aimed at simply fomenting discord around political and social issues, a dynamic similar to what’s already been identified in Facebook ads and highlighted in Mueller’s indictment of Russian nationals and entities over 2016 election interference.

“There was a lot of stuff that was just plain divisive, that were just attempts to inflame,” Nimmo said. “They had Black Lives Matter accounts and Blue Lives Matter accounts. There was a lot of sticking fingers in painful wounds.”

Twitter and Facebook have been widely criticized since the 2016 election for not doing more to stem the abuse of their platforms by Russians and other foreign actors hoping to manipulate the American political landscape. Some lawmakers on Capitol Hill say the companies have failed to do proper postmortems of that interference, including via digging into the enormous stores of online data they alone hold.

The newly released Twitter data may eventually shed light on the style as well as substance of foreign campaigns.

Russian accounts appeared to be particularly good at building personality into their tweets, such as those published by accounts like @TEN_GOP and @Jenn_Abrams, the Atlantic Council researchers found. By comparison, the Iranian operation was “much clumsier and clunkier and less engaging,” focused mostly getting users to click on government propaganda, Nimmo said.

The Twitter database is not limited to U.S. influence operations. Many of the Kremlin-linked tweets are in Russian and appeared aimed at shaping politics in Russia and Ukraine, according to Nimmo.

While aspects of social media foreign influence operations have been disclosed in bits and pieces, he said, “the massive value of this Twitter dump is now it looks like we’ve got the lot.”

Source: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/10/17/twitter-foreign-influence-operations-910005

#Headlines, #Military, #Russia, #TheNewz, #WorldNews

‘No warplane to take off’: Russia’s S-700 missile system can cover entire planet – party leader

Preview A leading Russian politician may have just revealed the biggest Russian military secret. Or just invented a non-existent weapon system while ranting about how powerful the country is during a political talk show.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Source: https://www.rt.com/politics/441331-s-700-zhirinovky-rant/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

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China, Russia, North Korea call for adjusted sanctions ahead of denuclearization

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This story is being published by POLITICO as part of a content partnership with the South China Morning Post. It originally appeared on scmp.com on Oct. 10, 2018.

Chinese, Russian and North Korean deputy foreign ministers have met in Moscow to coordinate a trilateral approach to the denuclearization process on the Korean peninsula, and called on the U.N. Security Council to “adjust” the current sanctions regime against Pyongyang.

This is in contrast to the Trump administration’s declaration that tough sanctions would remain on North Korea until its complete denuclearization.

“It is time to start considering the adjustment of the U.N. Security Council’s sanction regime against the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea]. The three parties also oppose unilateral sanctions,” the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement released on Wednesday, a day after the working-level talks in Moscow.

China’s foreign affairs vice-minister, Kong Xuanyou, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Igor Morgulov and North Korea’s foreign vice-minister, Choe Son-hui, discussed the three countries’ cooperation during the denuclearization process.

China and Russia supported Pyongyang’s favored “phased and synchronized measures,” to ensure it receives compensation from the international community during the process, rather than waiting for complete denuclearization.

All parties concerned should maintain the momentum of dialogue and take corresponding measures to move in the same direction, the statement said. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that his next summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would not occur until after next month’s U.S. midterm elections.

Woo Jung-yeop, a research fellow at the Sejong Institute in Seoul, said a friendly North Korea would enhance Chinese interests in the long-term.

“China is showing off its improving bilateral relations with the North … as China may now view North Korea as a strategic interest, not a strategic burden,” he said.

“The North Korean issue has become an important factor of the U.S.-China conflict.

“China is trying to influence the situation on the Korean peninsula, so that the US will need China’s help to solve the North Korean nuclear problem.”

“The three parties agreed that all issues on the Korean peninsula should be resolved through peaceful political diplomacy … The three parties also discussed the need to establish a peace mechanism on the peninsula through bilateral and multilateral cooperation,” the statement said.

Trump last month said that he and Kim Jong-un “fell in love” in recent months and called his relations with Kim a “great relationship”. He also said his friendship with Chinese President Xi Jinping may be over amid the worsening China-U.S. relations.

North Korean state media said Pyongyang officials had positive talks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday.

Source: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/10/10/china-russia-north-korea-sanctions-891640