Tag Archives: Showdown

Pence says he hopes for orderly Brexit amid showdown

Pence says he hopes for orderly Brexit amid showdownU.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Wednesday he hoped Great Britain and the European Union would reach a deal for an orderly UK exit from the bloc, commenting on the issue that has convulsed British politics for months and reached a crescendo this week. Pence, who is due to meet UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday, told reporters during a visit to Iceland that the United States stands with the UK in its decision to leave the EU.



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Russia denies apologising to South Korea as tensions continue over aerial showdown

Russia denies apologising to South Korea as tensions continue over aerial showdownMoscow has denied that it apologised to Seoul as tensions continue to rise after South Korean fighter jets fired hundreds of warning shots at a Russian military plane.  On Wednesday a South Korean presidential spokesman said a Russian official had expressed “deep regret” that an A-50 observation plane had violated its airspace the day before near the disputed Dokdo islands. The aircraft had been accompanying four strategic bombers in Russia and China's first ever joint bomber flight over the Sea of Japan.  The Russian official had blamed the intrusion on a “technical glitch” and promised it would be investigated, the spokesman added. But the Russian embassy to South Korea said these statements “did not correspond to reality”.  “The Russian side has not made any official apologies,” it said.  The South Korean spokesman later said Russia had “altered” its account, sending a document that said its planes had not violated any country's airspace and would retaliate if confronted again. China has made similar denials.  On Tuesday, Moscow gave a note to South Korea's military attache protesting the Korean pilots' "aerial hooliganism". Seoul's defence ministry has accused Moscow of “distorting the truth”. Reuters reported that the two sides could hold working-level talks in Seoul on Thursday.  John Bolton speaks with South Korean Defence Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo in Seoul on Wednesday Credit: Handout via Reuters South Korean jets had to fire 360 machine gun rounds and 20 flares to drive off the Russian A-50 that twice violated its airspace, according to Seoul.  The incursion came hours before Donald Trump's security advisor John Bolton arrived in Seoul to try to mend South Korea's relations with Japan, which also claims the Dokdo islands. He and his South Korean counterpart said they would hold close consultations on any further such confrontations. The incident highlighted growing military ties between China and Russia, which held their latest joint naval and aerial exercises in the East China and Yellow seas in May, as well as their more assertive defiance of the United States and its allies in the region.  A Chinese defence ministry white paper on Wednesday accused the United States of “undermining the regional strategic balance” by deploying the THAAD missile defence system to South Korea.  China boycotted South Korea tourism in 2017 in response to Seoul's decision to allow the US to deploy the system.  The white paper also said China was “ready to go to war” to prevent the independence of Taiwan, which receives weapons from Washington. Meanwhile, South Korea is planning to launch its first light aircraft carrier by the late 2020s so as not to fall behind China and Japan's strides in naval aviation. The vessel will reportedly deploy US-made vertical-landing F-35B stealth fighters. South Korea has tried to placate both its security ally, the US, and top trading partner, China. As China amasses economic and military power, it has challenged American dominance in other parts of Asia, offering investment to allies and economic punishment to political foes.



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Shutdown Showdown: How the Strait of Hormuz Factors into the U.S.-Iran Crisis

Shutdown Showdown: How the Strait of Hormuz Factors into the U.S.-Iran CrisisThe recent mining of two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, attributed to Iran by the United States, offers an important window into the strategic thinking of Iran and similarly situated regional powers. The incident is notable because the act of mining a limited number of vessels makes relatively little sense when viewed through the lens of traditional patterns of coercive behavior. Limited coercive acts typically have little value with regards to gaining concessions from a determined opponent. Generally, these acts may serve as a visible demonstration of a state’s willingness to enact some other, more substantial threat, such as shutting down the Strait of Hormuz outright. However, this requires the state making the threat to have the capacity to make good on its more substantial threats and for its opponents to believe that it is willing to incur the risks entailed. Iran, however, could not shut down the Strait of Hormuz for very long even if it wished to—something noted by President Donald Trump—and is unlikely to incur the substantial risks that an attempt would entail. Iran’s opponents, then, clearly don’t see its limited provocations as harbingers of something worse.



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Harris vs. Biden showdown was most-watched Democratic primary debate in history

Harris vs. Biden showdown was most-watched Democratic primary debate in historySen. Kamala Harris sparring with former vice president Joe Biden apparently made good TV.



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Is Iran Close to Collapse? Three Things You Need To Know about the U.S.-Iran Showdown.

Is Iran Close to Collapse? Three Things You Need To Know about the U.S.-Iran Showdown.Iran and the United States are as close to direct conflict as they have been for three decades, since Operation Praying Mantis in 1988 which was, at the time, the largest surface naval engagement since World War II.A lot of ink has been spilled and oxygen expended discussing the matter, some of it good and some of it simplistic. Here a few thoughts, informed by being lucky enough to spend close to seven months studying in the Islamic Republic while finishing a doctorate in philosophy on Iranian history. I worked on the Iran desk at the Pentagon during the George W. Bush administration, frequently visit the Persian Gulf, and have followed Iran almost continuously for a quarter century.



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Obama warns progressives to avoid 'circular firing squad' as Democrats prepare for 2020 showdown

Obama warns progressives to avoid 'circular firing squad' as Democrats prepare for 2020 showdownBarack Obama has urged progressives in the US to avoid becoming part of a “circular firing squad” that takes aim at people who do not share all their views.In what will be interpreted as a comment about the nature of the rivalry between different factions within the Democratic Party, the former president stressed the need for compromise.“The way we structure democracy requires you to take into account people who don’t agree with you,” he said at an event in Berlin hosted by the Obama Foundation. “And that, by definition, means you’re not going to get 100 per cent of what you want.”According to The Hill, he added: “One of the things I do worry about sometimes among progressives in the United States….is a certain kind of rigidity where we say, ‘Uh, I’m sorry, this is how it’s going to be’, and then we start sometimes creating what’s called a “circular firing squad”, where you start shooting at your allies because one of them has strayed from purity on the issues. “And when that happens, typically the overall effort and movement weakens.”The 2016 Democratic presidential primary was marked by often bitter hostility between the camps of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Supporters of the Vermont senator considered her a Wall Street sell-out, while many of those backing the former secretary of state believed Mr Sanders was out of touch and campaigned for unrealistic policies.As Democrats prepare to select a challenger to Donald Trump for 2020 – congressman Tim Ryan announced on Saturday he was joining the already crowded field – different factions are already becoming clear. Progressives such as Elizabeth Warren and Mr Sanders support policies such as Medicare for All and the Green New Deal.Others, such as Beto O’Rourke and Cory Booker have adopted a more centrist position. With perhaps as many as 20 Democratic candidates running in 2020, there is already a energetic fight underway for supporters and donations, something that will intensify as the contest progresses. At the same time, Mr Obama said it was important for candidates to know what they stood for. “You should take some time to think in your own mind and continually refine and reflect, ‘What are my core principles’,” he said. “Because the danger is if you don’t know what your principles are, that’s when you compromise your principles away.”He added: “You can’t set up a system in which you don’t compromise on anything, but you also can’t operate in a system where you compromise on everything.”



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Trump showdown with Democrats escalates over Russia probe

Trump showdown with Democrats escalates over Russia probeDonald Trump and other Republicans demanded the ouster of a senior congressional Democrat on Thursday for repeatedly claiming collusion between by the president’s campaign and Russia. “Congressman Adam Schiff, who spent two years knowingly and unlawfully lying and leaking, should be forced to resign from Congress!” Trump tweeted about the House Intelligence Committee chairman. Schiff has continued his accusations after Attorney General Bill Barr announced Sunday that a nearly two-year investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller had cleared the president of collusion with Russia.



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Two killed as Venezuela aid showdown turns violent

Two killed as Venezuela aid showdown turns violentUreña (Venezuela) (AFP) – A high-risk operation to get humanitarian aid into Venezuela descended into deadly chaos Saturday after President Nicolas Maduro’s security forces fired on demonstrators and aid trucks were set ablaze. Two people, including a 14-year-old boy, were killed in clashes with security forces that left more than 300 people wounded at various border crossings. Despite a blockade by Maduro, opposition leader Juan Guaido had set a Saturday deadline for the delivery of food and medical aid stockpiled in Colombia and Brazil.



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Venezuela Army Trucks Block Guaido's Travels as Showdown Looms

Venezuela Army Trucks Block Guaido's Travels as Showdown LoomsEarlier today, three buses carrying about 40 lawmakers sympathetic to Guaido left Venezuela’s capital heading for the frontier. The National Assembly president was traveling separately for security reasons and was unable to cross the tunnel, said Edward Rodriguez, his press team coordinator.



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House Democrats gear up for showdown over Mueller report

House Democrats gear up for showdown over Mueller reportWASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats are stepping up their efforts to investigate President Donald Trump and his associates, hiring new lawyers and staff as they take on oversight responsibility and prepare for a showdown over access to special counsel Robert Mueller's final Russia report.



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