John Hayward

John Hayward

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Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin

7 Ways President Trump Has Been Tough on Russia Despite Wild Charges of ‘Treason’

Hysterical overreactions to the Trump-Putin summit are predicated on the idea that Trump is a hapless victim of Putin’s sinister manipulation, if not an outright agent of the Kremlin, a veritable Manchurian candidate. Those allegations are difficult to stomach when looking at Trump’s actions towards Russia. His administration has been quite hard on them.

President Donald Trump (L) met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Finland, taking the strongman at his word that Moscow did not interfere in the 2016 US presidential vote

Trump Says Russia ‘Agreed to Help with North Korea’ but Envoy Wants Sanctions Lifted

President Donald Trump said on Wednesday morning that one important outcome of his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki is that Russia “has agreed to help with North Korea.” On the very same morning, Russia’s envoy to North Korea called on the U.N. Security Council to relax sanctions against Pyongyang, even though the United States is pushing for even tougher sanctions on oil.

Centrifuges at heart of 2015 Iran nuclear deal

Iran Builds Nuclear Centrifuge Factory, Prepares to Enrich Huge Stockpile of Uranium

Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, announced on Wednesday that a new factory capable of producing 60 nuclear centrifuge rotors per day is completed and ready to go online if the nuclear deal collapses. He also said Iran has been steadily acquiring uranium despite the “denuclearization” agreement and now has 950 tons of uranium ready to enrich.

Iran possesses the second largest gas reserves on the planet, after Russia, and the fourth largest oil supplies

China Could Ramp Up Iranian Oil Purchases to Blunt U.S. Sanctions

The Wall Street Journal noted on Tuesday that the Trump administration’s plan to pressure Iran with renewed sanctions might have one big flaw: China. The Chinese are in a position to buy so much Iranian oil that the effect of isolating Iran from U.S. and European markets will be greatly diminished.

Hong Kong enjoys freedoms unseen on the mainland but concern is growing those rights are under threat from an assertive China under President Xi Jinping

Pro-Independence Party Threatened with Ban in Hong Kong

The Associated Press reports an official from the territorial security bureau wrote to 27-year-old Hong Kong National Party leader Andy Chan to inform him a decision has been made to dissolve his party as a threat to “public safety” and “public order” under a national security law that was last invoked against a political party in 1997. The HKNP has only been around since 2016, formed in protest of Beijing’s growing influence over semi-autonomous Hong Kong.

Poroshenko says the Nord Stream 2 project is "political bribe money for loyalty to Russia"

Poroshenko: Ukraine ‘Ready to Defend Our Land Even if We Must Do It Alone’

Ukraine was clearly following the summit in Helsinki between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin closely and with some anxiety. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko registered his disapproval by vowing that his country is prepared to defend itself against Russia “alone, without international support” if necessary, while the leader of the pro-Russian Ukrainian Choice movement said the Trump-Putin summit “should become a wake-up call for the Ukrainian authorities.”

Former U.S. President Barack Obama, left, delivers his speech at the 16th Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday, July 17, 2018. In his highest-profile speech since leaving office, Obama urged people around the world to respect human rights and other values under threat …

Hayward — Obama in South Africa: 9/11, Rise of Putin Were ‘Backlash’ Against Globalization

Former President Barack Obama told an audience at a Nelson Mandela Foundation event in South Africa Tuesday marking the 100th anniversary of Mandela’s birth that income inequality and other disruptions caused by a “backlash” against globalization and liberalization were factors in the 9/11 attacks, the resurgence of populism, Chinese aggression, and the rise of President Vladimir Putin in Russia.

PODGORICA (Reuters) - Perched atop massive cement pillars that tower above Montenegro’s picturesque Moraca river canyon, scores of Chinese workers are building a state-of-the-art highway through some of the roughest terrain in southern Europe.

China’s Debt Imperialism Behind Montenegro’s ‘Highway to Nowhere’

Chinese companies are hard at work on building a road through the mountains to connect Montenegro’s port city of Bar with Serbia. The project is incredibly expensive, leaving Montenegro struggling to pay off titanic debt to Chinese financiers. Critics call it another example of Chinese debt imperialism: the slow-motion conquest of smaller countries through the “Belt and Road” infrastructure initiative by suckering them into taking loans from Beijing they will never be able to repay.

A sign marks the location of a former Civil Defense fallout shelter in Washington, one of dozens built during the Cold War as the United States braced for the possibility of a nuclear attack

7 Times America Kept Talking to Russia After Severe Provocations

President Donald Trump has been roundly criticized for holding a diplomatic summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin after Russia’s ostensibly unforgivable “attack on democracy” by “hacking” the 2016 election. Leaving aside that Russia’s influence on the election is hysterically overestimated by the critics and very little actual “hacking” was involved, the simple fact is that American presidents of both parties have conducted diplomacy with Russia after far worse and more obvious provocations.

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin

Putin at Trump Summit: U.S., Russia Should ‘Act Proactively’ in Syria

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated at their joint press conference on Monday that Syria was discussed in detail at their Helsinki summit meeting. Both were optimistic that cooperation between the United States and Russia could help rebuild the war-torn country and ease the plight of its civilians.

Xi Jinping

Taiwanese Opposition Meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping met on Friday with a delegation of Taiwanese that included Lien Chan, the former chairman of the Kuomintang party (KMT), which is currently the opposition but ran the country until the year 2000. Supporters of the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) complain that the trip to China undermines President Tsai Ing-wen, whose election two years ago enraged mainland China and prompted it to begin an aggressive campaign of diplomatic and economic isolation against Taiwan.

Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia shown in October 22, 2002. Liu Xia was put under house arrest after her husband won the Nobel Peace Prize and their supporters often say she is guilty of nothing but the 'crime' of being Liu Xiaobo's wife

Liu Xiaobo’s Widow Avoids Berlin Memorial as China Holds Her Brother Hostage

The good news for Chinese human rights activists this week is that Liu Xia, widow of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, was finally released after eight years of completely unjustified house arrest and allowed to leave China. The bad news is that China is still controlling her by keeping her brother as a hostage.

Passengers aboard Air China flight CA106 from Hong Kong on Tuesday night found themselves plunging 25,000 feet in ten minutes because their co-pilot was smoking an e-cigarette in the cockpit and hit the wrong switch when he attempted to keep the vapors from wafting into the passenger area.

Air China Co-Pilot Causes 25,000-Foot Plunge by Vaping in Cockpit

Passengers aboard Air China flight CA106 from Hong Kong on Tuesday night found themselves plunging 25,000 feet in ten minutes because their co-pilot was smoking an e-cigarette in the cockpit and hit the wrong switch when he attempted to keep the vapors from wafting into the passenger area.

In this photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official web site on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, a Russian Tu-95 strategic bomber on a cruise missile attack mission on targets in Syria. The Russian Defense Ministry said Thursday long-range bombers dispatched from Russia fired cruise missiles at …

Russian Bombers Violate South Korean Air Defense Zone

Two Russian military aircraft believed to be Tu-95 bombers violated South Korea’s air defense zone on Friday, entering and leaving the area four times while South Korean ground controllers and intercept fighters warned them away.

US soldiers on a Black Hawk helicopter in Rotterdam harbour

China Suggests Trump Resolve NATO Dispute by Cutting Defense Budget

China’s state-run Global Times was very taken with President Donald Trump’s declaration on Twitter that “NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS” because the current situation is “very unfair!” The United States spending less on defense sounds like a fabulous idea to aggressive expansionist China.

Betting on youth: Nelson Chamisa, president of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)

Zimbabwe: Opposition Candidate Alleges Russian Interference in Election

As Zimbabwe prepares for its first Mugabe-free election in four decades at the end of July, opposition candidate Nelson Chamisa and his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party are already alleging election fraud by incumbent interim president Emmerson Mnangagwa and the ruling Zanu-PF party.

China's President Xi Jinping (L) and US President Donald Trump attend a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 9, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / FRED DUFOUR (Photo credit should read FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)

China Instructs State Media Not to Provoke Trump During Trade Dispute

Reuters contended on Wednesday that Chinese media coverage of the trade dispute with America has been relatively muted, and it was by design because the government has instructed its media outlets not to say anything that would enrage U.S. President Donald Trump.

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian military and police forces fly their national flags on a damaged building and hold a picture of Syrian President Bashar Assad, in the Hajar al-Aswad neighborhood, southern Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, May 22, 2018. Syrian state TV said Tuesday …

Assad Pushes into Southern Syria, Rebels Negotiate Surrender

The forces of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad pushed hard into the southern region of the country over the past two weeks and captured most of Deraa, the province where the uprising against Assad’s regime began seven years ago. Besieged rebel forces are reportedly negotiating terms of surrender with Assad’s Russian allies.

Greece's northern province of Macedonia was the cradle of Alexander the Great's empire and is a source of intense pride for modern-day Greeks

Greece, Russia Expel Diplomats over Macedonia Controversy

A Greek diplomatic source told Reuters on Wednesday that Greece will expel two Russian diplomats “suspected of meddling in the politically sensitive issue of Macedonia.” Greek media later said that up to four people might be expelled. Russia has threatened to retaliate in kind, creating one of the most serious breaches to date between the two countries.

North Korea's state media implied Kim Jong Un may have been too busy visiting a potato farm to meet the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Kim Jong-Un Pays ‘Economic Visit’ to Chinese Border

North Korean media reported on Tuesday that dictator Kim Jong-un paid a visit to Samjiyon County on the Chinese border, where he dispensed “field guidance” to the local agriculture and tourism industries. His sage advice included telling architects to build houses that don’t fall off the side of Mount Paektu and telling factory workers to “ensure the quality of processed potato foods in production and thus raise the quality of potato production.”

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte sparked outrage on a recent trip to South Korea by kissing a woman on the lips during an event

Duterte’s Poll Numbers Crash After ‘God Is Stupid’ Tirade

The question of whether Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s popularity could survive anything the colorful chief executive says appears to have been answered, as a survey by independent pollster Social Weather Stations published on Tuesday found Duterte sinking to his lowest approval rating since he assumed the office in 2016.

Mike Pompeo, Kim Jong Un

China Slams Pompeo’s Trip to North Korea

China’s state-run Global Times firmly took the North Korean regime’s side against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in editorials on Sunday and Monday, supporting Pyongyang’s denunciation of the message from Washington as a “unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization.”

Rodrigo Duterte

Philippine Bishops Call for Three-Day Fast After Duterte Says God Is a ‘Stupid Son of a Bitch’

The uneasy relationship between the Catholic Church and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte took a turn for the worse on two weeks ago when the notoriously foul-mouthed Duterte referred to God as a “stupid son of a bitch.” On Monday, the association of Philippine bishops called for three days of fasting and prayer in response to not only Duterte’s remarks but also the extreme violence of his drug war.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold is one of two warships to have entered the Taiwan Strait

U.S. Destroyers Sail Through Taiwan Strait, China Denounces ‘Psychological Game’

Two American guided missile destroyers pass through the Taiwan Strait on Saturday. Their passage was described as a “routine transit through international waters” by the U.S. Navy, but Chinese media denounced it as a “provocation” and part of America’s “psychological game” with China over the fate of Taiwan.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, center is greeted by Chief of Staff Abdul Salam Rahimi, center right, as he arrives at Gul Khanna in the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, July 9, 2018. Pompeo is on a trip traveling to North Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Abu Dhabi, and Brussels. …

Pompeo Makes Surprise Visit to Afghanistan

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Monday while returning from his trip to Asia. At a news conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Pompeo stressed that Kabul must take the lead in peace talks with the Taliban.