Friday, May 3, 2019




President Trump spoke with Russia's president Vladimir Putin for 90 minutes on Friday.

He tweeted in part that it was a:

"long and very good conversation"

Topics from arms control to the Mueller report to Venezuela were discussed.

President Trump's conversation with Putin came after word that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov next week in Helsinki, Finalnd.    Both men in the Finnish capital Tuesday and Wednesday for the Arctic Council meeting.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports more than 120 airstrikes by Russian and Syrian aircraft Friday in northern Hama and southern Idlib provinces.

Syria's "Al-Watan" newspaper claims the airstrikes are preparation for a ground operation by Syrian government forces against jihadists in the area, near the border with Turkey.

More protests in Venezuela set for Saturday with those killed and wounded being remembered on Sunday.     Protesters will begin to concentrate at various points in the capital city of Caracas at 10 am local time Saturday,  also 10 am Eastern time in the US.

From Venezuela Friday word of the death of a 15-year old protester shot by security forces loyal to Nicolas Maduro this week.

At least 4 killed and 300 wounded by the Maduro forces during protests against his government this week by supporters of Interim President Juan Guaido.

The Catholic Church in Venezuela condemning the violence in general and specifically the attack by Maduro's security forces on a church in San Cristobal this week.

North Korea testing short range missiles off its eastern coast Saturday morning.   They traveled up to 125 miles.

The launches occurred between 906 and 927 am local time (706 and 727 pm Eastern US Time Friday).

That word from South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff.

More from Japan's Kyodo News Agency.......LINK

US Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan warned Turkey Friday to back away from getting Russia's S-400 air defense system.

Shanahan said that manufacturing in support of the F-35 aircraft program will be moved out of Turkey unless Turkey backs away from buying the Russian air defense system.

The US says that Turkey's purchase of the S-400 would pose a threat to the F-35 and endanger NATO, which Turkey is a member of.

Saying that "It is a moral duty" the fiancee of the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is coming to the United States later this month seeking to meet members of Congress and President Trump.

Hatice Cengiz told the "New York Times":

"I am not a politician, but I can talk about what is moral.    I don't know if I can change the mind of a president"

While many in Congress see Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman as the ultimate decision maker in Khashoggi's murder at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey last October 2nd,  President Trump has rejected the notion.

An attempt by Congress to send a message to the Saudis by cutting off US military aid to the Saudi led war in Yemen was rebuffed by President Trump with a veto, sustained by the US Senate earlier this week.     More on this from the pro-government Turkish newspaper "Yeni Safak"....LINK


"Get May out"

"I'd rather poo in my hands and clap than vote for this lot"

"Brexit betrayal"


Those messages and more written on some ballot papers in the local government elections in the UK Thursday.    The spoiling of the ballot papers makes them invalid.

But as far as the ballot papers filled out, they showed a resounding defeat for Prime Minister  Theresa May's Conservative Party over her Brexit policy and a smaller setback for the Labor Party, whose leader Jeremy Corbyn is working with May to cut a deal on her controversial treaty with the European Union.

The Conservatives losing more than 1,300 council seats of the 8,700 contested and Labor dropping by just over 300 seats.    

May calls her plan "Brexit" but supporters of the victorious Leave vote in the 2016  Brexit referendum call it "fake", a "sellout" and "treason" among other things.

Now that the local elections are over we may be entering a window where the two major parties in the UK cut a deal to force May's plan through Parliament.

That would cancel next elections, those for the European Parliament on May 23rd, where her Conservatives and Corbyn's Labor Party are facing defeat at the hands of the new Brexit Party led by Nigel Farage.

After being heckled during a speech in Wales Friday:

"Why don't you resign?  We don't want you"

Prime Minister Theresa May claimed the elections results mean:

"Just get on and deliver Brexit"

For the second day in a row,  Tommy Robinson has been attacked as he campaigns for the seat in the European Parliament.     Link to pictures....HERE   The Thursday attack involved a milkshake but his supporters say the raging hatred of his opponents threatens a violent attack with a weapon.

Supporters of Robinson note that the assassination of anti-Islamization Dutch politician Pym Fortuyn in 2002 came after the kind of attacks now taking place on Robinson.

France's Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said Friday he should not have used the word "attack" to describe the actions of protesters at a Paris hospital on May Day.

After 32 arrests and a judicial probe, all were released from custody.

Those arrested had evidence including videos of their flight from police charges and tear gas to prove they were seeking refuge from the attacking police in the hospital.

Week 25 of the Yellow Vests protests in France Saturday with our Breaking News post at the link.....

Italy's Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini, leader of The League Party, visiting Hungary and seeing the barrier at the country's southern border with the like minded Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Salvini told the media of his vision for a "new Europe" following the European Parliament elections later this month, a Europe where:

"You can only enter Italy, Hungary and Europe if you have permission"

More from the ANSA news agency......LINK

The family of an Australian woman shot and killed in 2017 by a former police officer has settled with the City of Minneapolis.

Justine Damond's family to receive 20 million dollars.    Her full name Justine Ruszcyzk Damond.

Earlier this week the former officer, Mohamed Noor, convicted of third degree murder and manslaughter charges in connection with her death.

There's word that two million dollars of the 20 million will be donated to a "gun violence organization".

A three judge panel of federal district judges from the Southern District of Ohio ruled Friday that Ohio's congressional district map of 2012 is gerrymandered in favor of Republicans.   It said that district lines must be redrawn for the 2020 elections.

A Boeing 737 charter plane flying into Jacksonville from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba slid off a runway after it landed during a thunderstorm.   The plane skidded into the nearby St. John's river.   At least 20 people treated for minor injuries.

This case expected to go to the US Supreme Court which will rule on other gerrymandering cases next month.

The lowest unemployment rate in the US in 50 years.   The rate for April announced Friday was 3.6 percent.

Also CNN reporting polling data in recent days showing a 56 percent approval rating for President Trump on his handling of the economy.

And that's the way it really is on this Newsdump Saturday morning May 4th, 2019.

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