Trump Says He Instructed Treasury to 'Substantially Increase' Sanctions on Iran

US President Donald Trump has stated that he has instructed his administration to ratchet up sanctions on Iran.

"I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase Sanctions on the country of Iran!" Trump said via Twitter.

The sanctions appear to be part of Trump's response to Iran's alleged involvement in the weekend attacks on Saudi oil facilities.

The statement comes after Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on 17 September that oil production had returned to the previous levels.

Prior to that, Saudi Aramco had to close two of its compounds, the Abqaiq and Khurais facilities, after they were hit by drones and caught fire. The incident led to a cut in oil production totalling 5.7 million barrels per day - about half of Saudi Arabia’s daily oil output. The closure of the facilities triggered a surge in oil prices worldwide.

US officials, including Trump, have accused Iran of being responsible for 14 September's attacks. Tehran has strongly denied the accusations. The Houthi movement, against which Riyadh and its allies have waged a four-year war, claimed responsibility for the attack and promised more strikes.

Tensions between Iran and the United States have escalated recently. Relations substantially worsened last year after US President Donald Trump withdrew his country from the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran and began re-imposing sanctions. In May and June, Washington blamed Iran for a series of security incidents, including attacks on tankers in the Gulf of Oman, and built up its military presence in the Middle East. Iran has rejected the allegations and accused the United States of trying to find a pretext for conflict.

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Trump delays tariff hikes on Chinese goods

Washington, Sep 12 (Prensa Latina) President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that a 25% to 30% tariff hike on US$250 billion of Chinese goods will be postponed from October 1 to 15.

This decision took place at the request of China's Vice Premier Liu He, who leads for his country negotiations for a possible bilateral trade agreement, the US president posted on Twitter.

Trump also said that China will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic on October 1.

China released on Wednesday the first 16 US products that could be imported during the following year without facing additional tariffs, adopted amid the commercial war between the world's two largest economies, as a gesture of goodwill.

The Customs Tariffs Commission of the State Council, China's cabinet, said that the exemption will take effect on September 17 and it will also offer refunds to 12 previously taxed goods, including shrimp, lubricants and linear accelerators for anti-cancer therapies. Trump stated that he will continue granting dispensations to importers who face difficulties in replacing certain US goods, as he takes into account the severe economic damages that entrepreneurs, the negative impact on the development of industries, employment, environmental protection and social welfare will suffer.

From September 2 to October 18, the commission collects the requests of more national firms, associations and chambers of commerce that will need this benefit.

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Stephen King says Trump is an ‘incompetent dumbbell’ in scathing interview

Stephen King has described Donald Trump as an “incompetent dumbbell”.

The revered horror novelist told The Guardian that the US President’s policies on immigration did not have an affect on his new book The Institute, explaining: “Trump’s immigration policies didn’t impact the book, because it was written before that incompetent dumbbell became president.

He added: “Children are imprisoned and enslaved all over the world. Hopefully, people who read The Institute will find a resonant chord with this administration’s cruel and racial policies.”

King’s new novel revolves around a group of youngsters with telekinetic and telepathic powers, who are abducted from their homes by men in black SUVs and sent to a sinister boot camp known as The Institute.

King has regularly mocked Trump on social media since the beginning of his presidency, most notably in 2018 when Trump threatened to shut down the US government unless he was given funding for his border wall – despite repeatedly claiming that Mexico would themselves pay for it.

“Wait a minute, wait! Wasn’t… um, Mexico going to pay for Trump’s useless, just-tunnel-under-it wall?” the best-selling author asked on Twitter.

King's It: Chapter Two starring James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain, which is set 27 years after the events depicted in the first film, is out now.

  • Published in Culture

United States-2020: How is the Election Process Going?

Although the most widespread opinion estimates that Donald Trump is sure to be reelected in 2020, other assessments support this.


Republicans have now an advantage of 53 against 47.


But, if there is a 50-50 equality, the vice president would break the tie.

An Associated Press (AP) journalist, Nicholas Riccardi, covering the elections believes the Democratic Party faces a geographical dilemma to win both the Senate and the White House.


He warns, this could hinder the chances to win in the upper chamber.


Besides it conditions the democratic triumph if they obtain victory in the industrial northwest, whose white working class has diminished their support.


As for the Senate, Riccardi warns, they are obliged to win the vote on what represents the future of the party.


Who? Professional sectors that reside in the suburbs, youth, and minorities.

Together, it’s estimated, they could reach a majority in the states of Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, and North Carolina.


Experts believe Democrats gained ground in the West as well in southern states, but neglected their activism in the industrial belt of the northeast.


"They are stranded between the past and the future," said William Frey, a demographer from the Brookings Institution in Washington.


In such a scenario it’s more difficult to select candidates for the Senate.

Observers associate the White House-Senate brawls with the fact that applicants seldom win a position if the presidential candidate loses in his state.


"There’s no doubt that the Sun Belt (the south) will be vital for the Democrats," said Simon Rosenberg, a spokesman for a partisan organization that demographic changes benefit the Democrats.

The latter are obliged to add four benches to reach the senatorial majority.

The far right almost celebrates Trump's success in 2020, but it would be more rational to await the development of events.

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‘You’re fired!’ Trump cuts loose of his dog of war (by George Galloway)

The blowing up of Donald Trump's attempt to end the 18-year Afghan War was the straw which broke the camel’s back for the US president, who on Tuesday fired his national security adviser John Bolton.

Trump's attempt to bring to a close the longest war in US history – longer, in fact, than their direct involvement in WWI, WWII and the Vietnam War put together – was to be his own "Camp David moment." It would have mimicked both Carter and Clinton's "triumphs" there with Arafat and Begin and Arafat and Rabin (neither of which have in fact turned out to be triumphs but were wonderful photo-ops).

Bolton's rearguard action and the Taliban's killing of a single US soldier there in the week of the summit brought the Camp David caper crashing down, much to the president's fury, and prompted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to boast that the US had killed a thousand Taliban in the previous 10 days.

Also on rt.com Bolton out: Trump ditches hawkish adviser he kept for 18 months despite ‘disagreements’...

But it was not one damn thing, but one damned thing after another, which has caused the final forking of the "bureaucratic tape-worm" John Bolton, who has slithered through every right-wing administration in living memory.

Bolton caused the implosion of the Hanoi summit between Trump and Kim Jong-un, which put US-Korean relations in the toilet just when they seemed headed for the bridal suite. His mad-cap carry-on in Venezuela was another typical Bolton Blunder. Working with his henchman – the doctors of death in Central America in the 1980s were Bolton and Elliott Abrams – he led the president into the recognition of a man in the street in Caracas, Juan Guaido, who claimed he was the rightful president of the oil-rich country and was capable of a coup to prove it.  

READ MORE: US National Security Adviser John Bolton resigns

What followed was a comic-opera coup which could have been a "Carry-On Up the Amazon"  Ealing Comedy circa 1972. Before the day was out, the main coup leaders were hiding out in foreign embassies or – in the case of Guaido – wandering around telling the fewer and fewer who would listen to him that he had once been the president...

Bolton did his damned best to undermine Trump's troop withdrawals from Syria too, another disastrous foreign imbroglio Trump inherited from the Obama-Clinton gang. Despite his campaign promises, he has been quite unable to extricate himself from it, despite it being plain to everyone else in the world that Assad Must Go Nowhere and the gang of cut-throat foreign mercenaries sent in to destroy Syria had completely, abysmally, failed leaving the perennially under-estimated President Bashar Assad the most – perhaps the only – popular head of state in the Arab world.

I have maintained from the start that President Trump did not want war against Iran. But that John Bolton – on his way to a slot on Fox News as I write – surely did. Trump wanted to treat the Iran "negotiations" like the North Korean ones: A blizzard of blood-curdling threats and economic sanctions, culminating in a bear-hugging personally brokered "deal" on prime-time with the Iranian leadership.

Also on rt.com John Bolton, welcome to #Resistance? Media, Democrats lament Trump firing national security hawk....

Belatedly – maybe too late – he discovered that Bolton was not playing games, but wanted the whole nine yards, the kind of creative chaos he ceaselessly advocated for in Iraq with the region on fire.

John Bolton, like so many others, was a "chicken-hawk," always ready to fight to the last drop of somebody else's blood. He evaded the draft during the Vietnam War because as he said himself "I didn't want to die face down in a South East Asian rice paddy."

Nothing wrong with that, if he hadn't continued to "support" the war and wave off to the paddy-fields the 58,000 Americans who did die, face-down, in the war he dodged.

So, farewell then, John Bolton. You killed a lot of folks. Thanks to God and President Trump you will kill no more.

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US National Security Adviser John Bolton resigns

National Security Advisor John Bolton, one of the most prominent war hawks in Donald Trump’s administration, has handed in his resignation, the US president has announced.

“I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House… I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning,” Trump tweeted. The president said that he and others in the administration “strongly” disagreed with many of Bolton’s decisions.

@realDonaldTrump I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore....

@realDonaldTrump ..I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning. I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new National Security Advisor next week.

Bolton gave a different account of events, however, implying on Twitter that his resignation wasn’t a completely done deal yet, or at least he had not been informed about it.

@AmbJohnBolton I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, "Let's talk about it tomorrow."

Trump made the announcement just 90 minutes before Bolton was to appear at a joint press-conference with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
 
Also on rt.com ‘Russian trolls run Trump’s Twitter account?’ Moscow ridicules Bolton’s disinformation claims....

Bolton was appointed national security advisor on April 9, 2018, and proceeded to do everything to live up to his reputation as a staunch war hawk. He advocated the use of force and regime change in Syria, Venezuela, North Korea and Iran. The 70-year-old also strongly supported the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Tehran and the termination of non-proliferation agreements with Russia.

Trump recently kept Bolton sidelined from his key international meetings as he was looking for opportunities to reinvigorate dialogue with Iran and North Korea. The president had previously complained that the advisor was too eager to get the US into another war.

Also on rt.com John Bolton being sidelined by Trump allows the world to breathe easier

 

 
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United States: "Sins" that God will Never Forgive



The New York Times made a revelation that amazes millions of people.


The Trump Administration decided to expel many seriously ill immigrants from the country who were receiving medical care.

They had requested that, at least, they were moved until the end of their treatments, but they failed.


In a palliative attempt, officials announced that they will only reopen "some" of those requests.


Early last August, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) reported that it was stopping the deportation of immigrants or their relatives assisted with decisive medical care.

The mentioned agency belongs to the Department of Homeland Security, and sent letters to those who requested relief against expulsion, a step that can be taken every two years.

In these letters, the USCIS warned two things: they would not extend what was requested, and they had to leave the United States within 33 days.

Otherwise, it pointed out, they would be deported, a threat that generated heavy opinions and criticism from medical experts, said the Times.

However, the USCIS reported in a statement that it considers "appropriate" how to limit the program.


The newspaper estimated that the abrupt decision has been executed at a time when Trump takes controversial steps against illegal and legal immigration.

A week ago, 130 senators and Democratic representatives wrote a letter to the interim secretary of National Security, Kevin McAleenan, where they described the measure as "cruel and inhuman."


What are the sufferings of people damaged by Trump's decision?

Cancer, epilepsy, brain palsy, muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis, according to their medical records.

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Russia offered to sell Trump hypersonic weapons – Putin

Moscow offered Washington the chance to purchase Russian hypersonic weapons instead of developing its own, Vladimir Putin has revealed. The US, however, is seeking to create analogues.

The bombshell revelation was made by Russia’s president on Thursday, as he was speaking at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok.

“I’ve told Donald [Trump]: Do you want us to sell it [hypersonic weaponry] to you? And we would balance everything by that,” Putin said when asked how new Russian weaponry might fit into existing arms-control agreements.

 
It remains unclear if the US president has considered the offer, as Washington is seeking to create hypersonic weapons of its own.

“Well, maybe they will. But why spend money when we’ve already spent it and could have got something in return without hurting our own security and for the sake of creating balance?” Putin added.

It was not immediately clear if Russia’s president was serious about his offer or if it was an example of very high-profile trolling, since Moscow – just as anybody else – has always been quite reluctant  to sell the newest weapons abroad or, at least, created special export versions of them. The hypersonic missiles can achieve very high speeds which make them more difficult – if not impossible – to intercept with existing systems designed to counter their slower counterparts.

A whole bunch of new weapons, including hypersonic missiles, lasers, cruise missiles and underwater drones with nuclear power engines, were unveiled by Russia’s president in March 2018. Some of the weapons, such as an air-launched hypersonic Kinzhal missile, have already been shown in action to the general public. Other systems, namely the Peresvet ‘combat laser complex’ are veiled in mystery and their exact purpose and capabilities remain unknown.

Also on rt.com Pentagon plans to spend $2.6 billion on developing hypersonic weaponry

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