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Journal Archives

Anthony Scaramucci Out As White House Communications Director

By JOHN SANTUCCI ADAM KELSEY Jul 31, 2017, 2:35 PM ET

White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci has offered his resignation, ABC News has learned.

The news comes only days after Scaramucci's hiring earlier this month. Since then, the White House has faced the resignations of press secretary Sean Spicer and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

A day prior to Priebus' announced departure last week, Scaramucci made headlines for delivering a scathing, profanity-laced critique of the chief of staff to a reporter with The New Yorker.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/anthony-scaramucci-white-house-communications-director/story?id=48952277

What a clusterfuck!!!

Putin Shows Off Russia's Naval Might With Major Parade

July 30, 2017



Saint Petersburg (AFP) - President Vladimir Putin on Sunday oversaw a pomp-filled display of Russia's naval might as the Kremlin paraded its sea power from the Baltic Sea to the shores of Syria.

Some 50 warships and submarines were on show along the Neva River and in the Gulf of Finland off the country's second city of Saint Petersburg after Putin ordered the navy to hold its first ever parade on such a grand scale.

"Today much is being done to develop and modernise the navy," Putin told servicemen after surveying the military hardware from his presidential cutter.

"The navy is not only dealing with its traditional tasks but also responding with merit to new challenges, making a significant contribution to the fight against terrorism and piracy."

MORE...

https://www.yahoo.com/news/putin-shows-off-russias-naval-might-major-parade-085242851.html

US, Allies Prepared To Use 'Overwhelming Force' In North Korea, General Says

The U.S. and its allies are prepared to use “rapid, lethal and overwhelming force,” if necessary, against North Korea, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Air Forces warned Saturday night.

The statement from Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, U.S. Pacific Air Forces commander, came after the militaries of the U.S., South Korea and Japan spent 10 hours conducting bomber-jet drills over the Korean Peninsula.

The training mission was a response to North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launches and nuclear program, and part of the U.S. regular commitment to defending its allies in the Asia-Pacific region, the general’s statement said.

“North Korea remains the most urgent threat to regional stability,” O’Shaughnessy said.

more...

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/07/30/us-allies-ready-to-use-overwhelming-force-in-north-korea-general-says.html

A Soyuz Space Capsule Carrying An American, A Russian And An Italian Blasts Off For The ISS

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (AP) -- A Soyuz space capsule has successfully blasted off for the International Space Station, carrying an American astronaut, a Russian and an Italian.

NASA's Randy Bresnik, Russia's Sergei Ryazansky and Italy's Paolo Nespoli lifted off from the Russia-leased launch pad in Kazakhstan at 21:41 p.m. Friday (1541 GMT, 11:41 a.m. EDT). They will travel six hours before docking at the space station.

The three will join NASA's Jack Fischer and Peggy Whitson as well as the veteran Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin.

Bresnik previously logged 10 days in space when he flew on a mission in 2009, performing two spacewalks.

more...

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_RUSSIA_SPACE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-07-28-11-52-55

Damn that old Soviet "junk" anyway...

U.S. Economy Expanded At Stronger 2.6 Percent Rate In Q2

Jul 28, 9:20 AM EDT
BY MARTIN CRUTSINGER

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. economy revved up this spring after a weak start to the year, fueled by a surge in consumer spending. But the growth spurt still fell short of the optimistic goals President Donald Trump hopes to achieve through tax cuts and regulatory relief.

The Commerce Department said Friday that growth in the gross domestic product, the economy's total output of goods and services, expanded at a 2.6 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter. That's more than double the revised 1.2 percent pace in the first quarter.

The improvement was powered in large part by robust consumer appetite for items such as clothing and furniture.

The 2.6 percent GDP gain came in close to economists' expectations.

"Consumers continue to drive the economy's growth, but firmer business investment is also a plus," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics. "Weaker housing construction was the only significant drag on growth in the quarter."

more...

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/APFN_US_ECONOMY_GDP?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-07-28-09-20-30

Muslim Prayers End Peacefully At Jerusalem Mosque

BY IAN DEITCH
ASSOCIATED PRESS

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque ended peacefully on Friday amid two weeks of unrest over security at a major holy site in Jerusalem, Israeli police said, but violence flared in the West Bank, where a Palestinian was killed after he attacked soldiers and another died in clashes along Gaza's border with Israel.

Tensions have been high since Arab gunmen killed two police officers in the Jerusalem compound on July 14, prompting Israel to install security devices at entrances to the site that is sacred to both Muslims and Jews.

The move outraged Muslims and sparked some of the worst street clashes in years, threatening to draw Israel into conflict with other Arab and Muslim nations. Under intense pressure, Israel removed the metal detectors this week and said it planned to install sophisticated security cameras instead.

Firas Dibs, an official from the Jordanian religious body that administers the sacred site, said tens of thousands attended Friday prayers.

more...

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/ML_ISRAEL_PALESTINIANS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-07-28-11-20-23

And the apartheid gov't of israel is deeply disappointed...

Russia Baiters and Putin Haters

Friday - July 14, 2017 at 12:31 am
This post was viewed 16,790 times.
By Patrick J. Buchanan

“Is Russia an enemy of the United States?” NBC’s Kasie Hunt demanded of Ted Cruz. Replied the runner-up for the GOP nomination, “Russia is a significant adversary. Putin is a KGB thug.”

To Hillary Clinton running mate Tim Kaine, the revelation that Donald Trump Jr., entertained an offer from the Russians for dirt on Clinton could be considered “treason.”

Treason is giving aid and comfort to an enemy in a time of war.

Are we really at war with Russia? Is Russia really our enemy?

“Why Russia is a Hostile Power” is the title of today’s editorial in The Washington Post that seeks to explain why Middle America should embrace the Russophobia of our capital city:

“Vladimir Putin adheres to a set of values that are antithetical to bedrock American values. He favors spheres of influence over self-determination; corruption over transparency; and repression over democracy.”

Yet, accommodating a sphere of influence for a great power is exactly what FDR and Churchill did with Stalin, and every president from Truman to George H. W. Bush did with the Soviet Union.

When East Germans, Hungarians, Czechs, Poles rose up against Communist regimes, no U.S. president intervened. For those nations were on the other side of the Yalta line agreed to in 1945.

Bush I and James Baker even accused Ukrainians of “suicidal nationalism” for contemplating independence from Russia.

When did support for spheres of influence become un-American?

As for supporting “corruption over transparency,” ex-Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili resigned in disgust as governor of Odessa in November, accusing Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, our man in Kiev, of supporting corruption.

As for favoring “repression over democracy,” would that not apply to our NATO ally President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, our Arab ally Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi of Egypt, and our Philippine ally Rodrigo Duterte? Were U.S. Cold War allies like the Shah of Iran and Gen. Augusto Pinochet of Chile all Jeffersonian Democrats? Have we forgotten our recent history?

The Post brought up the death in prison of lawyer-activist Sergei Magnitsky in 2009. Under the Magnitsky Act of 2012, Congress voted sanctions on Russia’s elites.

Yet China’s lone Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Liu Xiaobo, sentenced to 11 years in prison for championing democracy, died Thursday of liver cancer, with police in his hospital room. Communist dictator Xi Jinping, who makes Putin look like Justin Trudeau, would not let the dying man go.

Will Magnitsky Act sanctions be slammed on China? Don’t bet on it. Too much trade. Congress will do what comes naturally — kowtow. Yet our heroic Senate voted 98-2 to slam new sanctions on Russia.

What are the roots of this hostility to Russia and hatred of Putin, whom a Fox analyst called “as bad as Hitler”?

During the Cold War, every president sought detente with a USSR that was arguably the most blood-soaked regime of the century.

When the Cold War ended in December 1991, the Soviet Union had dissolved into 15 nations. Moscow had given up her empire, a third of her territory, and half the population of the USSR. Marxist-Leninist ideology was dead. An epochal change had taken place.

Yet hostility to Russia and hatred of Putin seem to exceed anything some of us remember from the worst days of the Cold War.

Putin’s Russia is called imperialist, though Estonia, next door, which Russia could swallow in one gulp, has been free for 25 years.

Russia invaded Georgia. Well, yes, after Georgia invaded the seceded province of South Ossetia and killed Russian peacekeepers.

Russia has taken back Crimea from Ukraine. True, but only after a U.S.-backed coup in Kiev replaced the elected pro-Russian regime.

Russia has intervened to back Bashar Assad in Syria. Yes, but only after our insurgent allies collaborated with al-Qaida and ISIS to bring him down. Is Russia not allowed to support an ally, recognized by the U.N., which provides its only naval base on the Med?

Russia has meddled in our election. And we have meddled in the affairs of half a dozen nations with “color-coded revolutions.” The cry of “regime change!” may daily be heard in the U.S. Capitol.

Putin is not Pope Francis. But he is not Stalin; he is not Hitler; he is not Mao; and Russia today is not the USSR. Putin is an autocrat cut from the same bolt of cloth as the Romanov czars.

His cooperation is crucial to the peace of the world, the freedom of the Baltic States, an end to the Syrian civil war, tranquility in the Persian Gulf, and solving the North Korean crisis.

While our tectonic plates may rub against one another, we are natural allies. The Russia of Tolstoy, Pushkin, Solzhenitsyn and the Orthodox Church belongs with the West.

If America stumbles into a war with Russia that all our Cold War presidents avoided, the Russia baiters and Putin haters will be put in same circle of hell by history as the idiot war hawks of 1914 and the three blind men of Versailles in 1919.

Share Pat's Columns!

http://buchanan.org/blog/russia-baiters-putin-haters-127344

Iran Reports Successful Launch of Missile as U.S. Considers New Sanctions

TEHRAN — Iran successfully launched a missile into space on Thursday, state media reported, two days after the United States House of Representatives approved a bill that would impose additional sanctions against the country, and Russia and North Korea.

Such tests of what are essentially carrier rockets are not prohibited under the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and a group of six world powers including the United States. That agreement eased existing economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for the country’s verifiable promises to restrict its nuclear program to peaceful purposes.

President Trump has called the 2015 agreement a “very bad deal” for the United States and a disastrous giveaway to Iran. He suggested during the presidential campaign that he would end the deal. But the other parties to the agreement — Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia — do not share Mr. Trump’s objections, and a withdrawal by the Trump administration would leave the United States isolated on the issue.

The International Atomic Energy Agency of the United Nations has repeatedly found Iran to be in compliance with the agreement, despite Mr. Trump’s assertions that it is not adhering to “the spirit” of the deal. His administration is now pushing for inspections of suspicious Iranian military sites in an effort to test the strength of the deal, which Iran has repeatedly said it is following. In June, it launched six missiles aimed at what it said were Islamic State terrorists in Syria.

Last week, the Trump administration announced new Iran-related sanctions it said were meant to show its toughened stance toward the country despite having grudgingly affirmed its compliance with the nuclear deal.

more...

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/27/world/middleeast/iran-reports-successful-launch-of-missile-as-us-considers-new-sanctions.html

Trump Could Seek 'Tougher' Russia Sanctions; Putin Threatens Retaliation


By Patricia Zengerle and Denis Pinchuk
ReutersJuly 27, 2017

By Patricia Zengerle and Denis Pinchuk

WASHINGTON/SAVONLINNA, Finland (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump could veto pending legislation that would slap new sanctions on Russia in order to push for a tougher deal, a top White House aide said on Thursday, as Moscow warned of retaliation if Washington went ahead with the measure.

But the idea of Republican Trump wanting to strengthen the sanctions drew skepticism in Congress because his administration had spent weeks lobbying for a weaker bill. The sanctions, which the U.S. House of Representatives has approved, need to pass in the Senate too before going to Trump's desk to sign or veto.

Trump's concerns include a provision letting Congress stop any effort to ease existing sanctions on Russia. But White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci suggested Trump in fact wanted stronger sanctions.

"He may sign the sanctions exactly the way they are or he may veto the sanctions and negotiate an even tougher deal against the Russians," Scaramucci told CNN.

...clip
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has repeatedly denied meddling in the election, said Moscow would only decide on how to retaliate once it had seen the final text of the proposed law.

more...

https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-could-seek-tougher-russia-sanctions-putin-threatens-173910695.html

Meet Tally: The Grocery Stocking Robot About To Eradicate 1,000's Of Minimum Wage Jobs

by Tyler Durden
Jul 27, 2017 3:05 AM

So, grocers have a choice: (i) adapt to the technological revolution that is about to transform their industry or (ii) face the same slow death that ultimately claimed the life of Blockbuster.

As such, as the the St. Louis Post-Dispatch points out today, the relatively small Midwest grocery store chain of Schnucks has decided to roll out the first of what could eventually be a large fleet of grocery stocking robots.

A slender robot named Tally soon will be roaming the aisles at select Schnucks groceries, on the lookout for out-of-stock items and verifying prices.

Maryland Heights-based Schnuck Markets, which operates 100 stores in five states, on Monday will begin testing its first Tally at its store at 6600 Clayton Road in Richmond Heights. The pilot test is expected to last six weeks. A second Tally will appear in coming weeks at Schnucks stores at 1060 Woods Mill Road in Town and Country and at 10233 Manchester Road in Kirkwood.

The robots are the first test of the technology in Missouri and could ultimately be expanded to more Schnucks stores.

Each 30-pound robot is equipped with sensors to help it navigate the store’s layout and avoid bumping into customers’ carts. When it detects product areas that aren’t fully stocked, the data is shared with store management staff so the retailer can make changes, said Dave Steck, Schnuck Markets’ vice president of IT and infrastructure.

Tally, created by a San Francisco-based company named Simbe, is also being tested at other mass merchants and dollar stores all across the country.

more...

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-26/meet-tally-grocery-stocking-robot-about-eradicate-1000s-minimum-wage-jobs
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