U.S. Filmmaker Michael Moore to Premiere Documentary about Trump

Washington, Aug 11 (Prensa Latina) U.S. filmmaker Michael Moore will premiere his critical documentary Fahrenheit 11/9 about President Donald Trump on September 6 at the Toronto International Film Festival, according to newspaper reports.

The work, which will reach cinemas for the first time 15 days after the debut, follows the Republican leader's life and career and questions the American political system.

Moore posted a preview of the audiovisual creation, whose title refers to the day after which Trump won the presidential elections in 2016.

The name is related to another Moore´s work in 2004, Fahrenheit 9/11, focused on the former president George W. Bush and the consequences of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in the United States.

That documentary became the biggest box-office hit in history and grossed 222.4 million dollars worldwide, recalled the press.

According to Moore, Fahrenheit 11/9 'is the result of my anger and love for what may still be possible for the United States and the democracy we never really had.'

  • Published in Culture

Russia to treat further US sanctions as an open declaration of economic war – PM

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has warned the US that any sanctions targeting Russian banking operations and currency trade will be treated as a declaration of economic war and retaliated against by any means necessary.

“If they introduce something like a ban on banking operations or the use of any currency, we will treat it as a declaration of economic war. And we’ll have to respond to it accordingly – economically, politically, or in any other way, if required,” Medvedev said during a trip to the Kamchatka region.

"Our American friends should make no mistake about it,” he emphasized.

 

Medvedev noted that Russia has a long history of surviving economic restrictions and never caved in to the pressure in the past. “Our county had been living under constant pressure through sanctions for the last hundred years,” Medvedev said, accusing the US and its allies of employing sanctions to undercut global competition. “Nothing has changed.”

The prime minister said that by targeting Russia’s gas exports to Europe, Washington wants to push its own LNG shipments to the continent. “It’s an absolutely nonmarket anti-competition measure aimed at strangling our capabilities.”

Medvedev pointed out that the US is simultaneously imposing tariffs on China. “The Chinese, obviously, don’t like it. No one does. And our goal is to resist all these measures.”

On Wednesday, the US State Department announced a new round of sanctions targeting Russian exports of dual-purpose electronics and other national security-controlled equipment, which will come into effect on August 22.

The stated reasoning behind latest punitive actions are accusations levelled against Russia over the Sergei and Yulia Skripal poisoning back in March, which the UK and its allies pinned on Moscow without due investigation. Washington subsequently accused Moscow of breaking the 1991 international law against chemical and biological warfare.

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied the allegations, while the UK authorities have provided no proof of Russia’s involvement in the case. Furthermore, Moscow eliminated all stockpiles of its chemical weapons under international obligations, unlike the US, which has still to honor its commitment.

While Russia reserved the right to retaliate against new trade restrictions, the US threatened to intensify sanctions within three months, by potentially cutting off nearly all exports and imports and banning the Russian airline Aeroflot from flying to the US.

To avoid further pressure, Washington demands that Moscow confess and provide “reliable assurances” that Russia will not use chemical weapons in the future. The US also seeks to have “on-site inspections” of alleged chemical production facilities, which Russia has already shut down.

  • Published in World

Russia, China object to U.S. proposal to blacklist Russian bank at U.N.: diplomats

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russia and China on Thursday objected to a U.S. proposal to add a Russian bank, Moscow-based North Korean banker and two other entities to a U.N. Security Council blacklist, diplomats said.

The list of proposed designations mirrors new sanctions announced by the U.S. Treasury last week.

The United States made the proposal to the 15-member U.N. Security Council North Korea sanctions committee, which operates by consensus.

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Russia objected to the designations because it said the U.S. proposal was not “adequately substantiated by sufficient information,” diplomats said. China gave no reason for its objections.

Russia and China have suggested the Security Council discuss easing sanctions after U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met for the first time in June and Kim pledged to work toward denuclearization.

The United States and other council members have said there must be strict enforcement of sanctions until Pyongyang acts.

Last week, Washington imposed sanctions on Moscow-based Agrosoyuz Commercial Bank, North Korean banker Ri Jong Won, China-based Dandong Zhongsheng Industry & Trade Co Ltd and North Korea-based Korea Ungum Corporation.

The U.S. Treasury Department said Agrosoyuz Commercial Bank had conducted “a significant transaction” for North Korean banker Han Jang Su, who had been blacklisted by Washington. Han is the Moscow-based chief representative of Foreign Trade Bank (FTB), North Korea’s primary foreign exchange bank.

The Security Council blacklisted FTB in August last year. Ri is FTB’s deputy representative in Moscow.

The U.S. Treasury said Dandong Zhongsheng Industry & Trade and Korea Ungum Corporation were FTB front companies.

The U.N. blacklist would impose a global travel ban and asset freeze on those designated.

Russia and China last month delayed a U.S. push for the Security Council sanctions committee to order a halt to refined petroleum exports to North Korea, asking for more detail on a U.S. accusation that Pyongyang breached sanctions, diplomats said.

Sanctions by the United States and the U.N. Security Council, which include a ban on exports of coal, iron, lead, textiles and seafood from North Korea, and caps on imports of oil and refined petroleum products, are aimed at choking off funding for Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

 

  • Published in World

Cost of Syria War Destruction Hits US$388 Billion: UN

The figure does not include "human losses resulting from deaths or the loss of human competences and skilled labor due to displacement."

Seven years of relentless conflict in Syria have wreaked destruction that the United Nations said Wednesday has cost the country close to US$400 billion.

RELATED: Syrian Kurds: Damascus Agrees Roadmap For Decentralization

The figure was released after a two-day meeting of more than 50 Syrian and international experts in neighboring Lebanon, hosted by the UN's Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).

ESCWA said the "volume of destruction in physical capital and its sectoral distribution" had been estimated at more than US$388 billion.

More than half of Syria's pre-war population has fled the country or been displaced internally over the past seven years.

ESCWA said a full report on the impact of the war was due out in September and that the updated estimates reached this week would help inform ongoing discussions on post-conflict Syria.

On the same day, Jordan warned that a severe financial shortfall facing a United Nations agency that helps Palestinian refugees could have a "catastrophic" impact on the lives of millions of refugees in the region.

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said after meeting visiting U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl the budget crisis facing the agency could deprive refugees of core education, healthcare and food security service that would only "deepen their humanitarian plight."

UNRWA has faced a cash crisis since the United States, long its biggest donor, slashed funding to the agency, providing just $60 million of a promised $365 million this year.

U.S. President Donald Trump withheld the aid after questioning its value and saying Washington would only provide more assistance if the Palestinians agreed to renew peace talks with Israel.

Jordan, which hosts the largest number of Palestinian refugees in the Middle East outside Palestinian territories, was engaged in intensive lobbying with donors.

  • Published in World

Chinese newspaper mocks Trump's claim of winning trade war as 'wishful thinking'

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese state media kept up their criticism of U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade policies, with a newspaper on Tuesday describing as “wishful thinking” Trump’s belief that a fall in Chinese stocks was a sign of his winning the trade war.

As the world’s two biggest economies remained locked in a heated tariff dispute, Beijing and Washington have kept up a blistering rhetoric with threats and counter-threats of more punitive trade measures.

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The editorial in the official China Daily underscored an increasingly aggressive stance adopted by Chinese state media against Trump, a shift from their previous approach of tempering any direct criticism against the U.S. president.

On Monday, the overseas edition of the Communist Party’s People’s Daily newspaper singled out Trump, saying he was starring in his own “street fighter-style deceitful drama of extortion and intimidation”.

China proposed retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods ranging from liquefied natural gas (LNG) to some aircraft on Friday, following the Trump administration’s plan for a higher 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

https://s4.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20180807&t=2&i=1290943644&r=LYNXMPEE7601U&w=1200FILE PHOTO: Shipping containers are seen on a cargo vessel at the Dachan Bay Terminals in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China July 12, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

The China Daily referred to a Saturday Tweet by Trump which said “Tariffs are working far better than anyone anticipated. China market has dropped 27 percent in last four months.”

China’s stock market was performing poorly before the U.S. administration imposed tariffs, said the English-language newspaper, asserting that the downturn was partly due to Beijing’s attempts to cut corporate debt.

The paper said Trump’s claim that “tariffs are working big time” was undermined by data showing the U.S. trade deficit climbed $3 billion to $46.3 billion in June, the first increase in four months.

The China Daily is often used by the government to communicate its message to an international audience.

Trump has repeatedly criticized China for its trade deficit with the United States, saying it showed Beijing was engaging in unfair trade practices.

Chinese state media has also been promoting the message that the country’s economy is strong enough to ride out the trade war.

https://s4.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20180807&t=2&i=1290943643&r=LYNXMPEE7601V&w=1200FILE PHOTO - Shipping containers are seen at the port in Shanghai, China April 10, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

In a separate commentary, in the People’s Daily overseas edition, a researcher at the Commerce Ministry reiterated this stance, saying China was strong and resilient enough to weather the trade dispute.

“We absolutely have reason to believe that during this complex trade friction, and relying on the domestic market, China can continue to enhance its leading position in the global economic and industrial system,” researcher Mei Xinyu wrote.

Despite the U.S. tariffs, a Reuters poll of economists forecast China’s exports to have grown in July, though many see a deteriorating outlook for shipments especially if Trump goes ahead with his threats to slap more punitive duties on Chinese imports

Recent data showed growth in the world’s second largest economy has already started to cool. The government has responded by releasing more liquidity into the banking system, encouraging lending and promising a more “active” fiscal policy.

  • Published in World

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro Survives Drone Attack

Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez confirmed the attack late Saturday, shortly after video of the incident began surfacing on social media.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has survived an apparent attack on his life during a military parade celebrating the 81st anniversary of the Bolivarian National Guard in the capital, Caracas.

RELATED: Venezuela's Constituent Assembly Marks One-Year Anniversary

Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez confirmed the attack – involving several drones packed with explosives – at a press conference late Saturday, shortly after video of the incident began surfacing on social media.

https://pbs.twimg.com/ext_tw_video_thumb/1025867175234621440/pu/img/egwjF6AduH8whPBq?format=jpg&name=small

"President Nicolas Maduro asked me to inform the country about what is happening and extend peace to everyone," Rodriguez said.

"When we were at the military parade 81st anniversary, at the end of the event in Bolivar Avenue in Caracas, at 5:41 p.m. there was an explosion.

"An investigation has already been launched. Several flying objects, like drones, containing explosives were detonated close to the presidential platform and in some locations along the parade.   

"The investigation has already produced evidence that this was an attempt against the life of President Nicolas Maduro, but he is completely unharmed."

@NTN24ve [] En cadena nacional, se observó el momento en que el Jefe de Estado y la primera Dama, Cilia Flores, reaccionan a la explosión y luego aparecen las imágenes de todos los militares en formación que corren ante el hecho irregular. https://bit.ly/2MkvHBd

Seven military personnel were reportedly injured in the explosion, but Maduro "has already returned to his normal job," Rodriguez said, adding: "They have failed and they will continue to fali."

Maduro' speech was cut short during the event on Saturday and soldiers were seen running before the televised transmission was cut off.

https://pbs.twimg.com/card_img/1025883485209280513/vQzIo6if?format=jpg&name=280x280

While Maduro was speaking about Venezuela’s economy, the audio suddenly went. He and others on the podium suddenly looked up, startled.

The camera then panned to scores of soldiers who started running, before the transmission was cut.

  • Published in World

US used Hiroshima atomic bomb victims as ‘guinea pigs’, survivor tells RT

Survivors of the Hiroshima atomic bomb were used as lab rats for US research, and the post-war occupation forces censored media reports attempting to shed light on the atrocity, a survivor of the nuclear attack told RT.

Setsuko Thurlow, a nuclear weapons disarmament activist and survivor of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, told RT’s Sophie Shevardnadze that US forces occupying Japan after the end of World War Two were more interested studying the effects of nuclear warfare than they were in helping victims of the attack.

 

Hidehiko Yuzaki, governor of Japan’s Hiroshima Prefecture

“The United States established an institution called ABCC (Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission) and people were very happy that finally we got some medication, medical experts who knew what this was all about, who would help Japanese doctors who were at a loss,” Thurlow said while speaking on Shevardnadze’s SophieCo program.

“But the sole purpose of the ABCC was to study the effects of radiation on human bodies, not to help the people sick because of the radiation. The survivors felt they were used as guinea pigs twice: first time as a target, second as a subject for research.”

To make matters worse, the US occupation forces did all they could to suppress media coverage about the deadly attack and its horrific aftermath, Thurlow said.

“Occupational forces didn’t want the media, newspapers to write anything that could be seen as disadvantageous to occupational forces. And if a newspaper writes something about the destruction and especially human suffering in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, this would be considered disadvantageous, this would have stop. So they censored and forced some media companies to close the shop. This is not exactly a democratic thing to do.”

According to Thurlow, tens of thousands of personal items such as diaries, photographs and even haiku – Japanese poetry – were confiscated by the US authorities in order to prevent the world from understanding the full consequences of nuclear war.

“The scientific triumph of the United States of producing the atomic bombs was okay, the world could find out. But the human suffering these bombs caused - this was not to be found out by the world. That was the reason why [these things were confiscated].”

  • Published in World

China Threatens New Tariffs On $60 Billion Worth Of US Goods

Beijing: Beijing warned Friday it was prepared to impose new tariffs on $60 billion worth of US goods if Washington ups the ante in the escalating US-China trade war.

The commerce ministry issued a statement saying the new duties would be applied if Washington pulled the trigger on President Donald Trump's threat to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

The Chinese reaction is sure to ratchet up tensions with the Trump administration at the end of a week that saw stock markets rattled by the intensifying trade battle.

"China always believes that consultation on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit is an effective way to resolve trade differences," the commerce ministry said.

"Any unilateral threat or blackmail will only lead to intensification of conflicts and damage to the interests of all parties."

The statement said the date of implementation of the taxes will depend on the "actions of the US side" and China reserves the right to apply "other countermeasures".

The threat came a day after Chinese officials appealed for dialogue based on "mutual respect", with Foreign Minister Wang Yi urging the United States on Thursday to remain "cool-headed".

The commerce ministry threat came after Wang met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Singapore on Friday.

Washington and Beijing are locked in battle over American accusations that China's export economy benefits from unfair policies and subsidies, as well as theft of American technological know-how.

Trump has threatened to slap tariffs on virtually all of China's exports to the United States in the tit-for-tat trade conflict.

Defend China's 'Dignity'

The US already imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods in early July, with another $16 billion to be targeted in coming weeks, drawing an in-kind retaliation from China.

Days later, Washington unveiled a list of another $200 billion in Chinese goods, from areas as varied as electrical machinery, leather goods and seafood, that would be hit with 10 percent import duties.

But Trump raised the stakes this week by asking the US Trade Representative to consider increasing the proposed tariffs on the $200 billion worth of goods to 25 percent.

The Chinese commerce ministry blamed the United States for escalating the situation.

"China to take necessary countermeasures to defend the country's dignity and the interests of the people, defend free trade and the multilateral system, and defend the common interests of all countries in the world," the statement said.

  • Published in World
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