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FILE PHOTO: Argentine presidential candidate Alberto Fernandez of the Unidad Ciudadana next to his vice president candidate and former President, Fernandez de Kirchner, during a rally in Merlo, in Buenos Aires
FILE PHOTO: Presidential candidate Alberto Fernandez of the Unidad Ciudadana (Citizen Unit), gestures to supporters, next to his Vice President candidate, Argentina’s former President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, and Merlo’s Mayor, Gustavo Menendez, during a rally in Merlo, in Buenos Aires, Argentina May 25, 2019. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian/File Photo

May 26, 2019

By Maximilian Heath

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentine Peronist Alberto Fernandez´ bid to run for president with ex-president Cristina Fernandez as his running mate would come close to clinching victory in a first round vote, according to a poll published on Sunday by local left-leaning newspaper Pagina 12.

The Pagina 12 newspaper, which has close ties to the wing of the Peronist party that favors Cristina Fernandez, said the results suggest the Fernandez-Fernandez ticket could take the election in the first round.

The poll, conducted by consultancy CEOP, comes one week after Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner – a former president who has an ardent support base but a chilly relationship with investors – announced she would run as vice president alongside the more moderate Alberto Fernandez, a veteran political operator who has both backed and criticized her in the past. They are not related.

According to the poll, the Fernandez-Fernandez ticket would nab 39.3 percent of the Oct. 27 first round vote, while incumbent President Mauricio Macri, who is seeking reelection, would receive 29.7 percent.

To avoid a run-off vote in Argentina, a candidate must take at least 45 percent of the first round vote, or a minimum of 40 percent of the vote but win by at least a 10 percentage point margin.

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s decision to run with the more moderate Alberto Fernandez was a surprise move by the firebrand former leader, who had been widely expected to be the main challenger to President Mauricio Macri.

Economists said the move could temper the self-styled populist’s more contentious policies, even as many saw it as a clever ploy to return to power after struggling to win over the more moderate wing of the broad Peronist opposition.

According to Pagina 12 newspaper, the poll published on Sunday was based on 1,000 telephone interviews conducted throughout Argentina.

(Reporting by Maximilian Heath; Writing by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

Source: OANN

An aerial view shows a landslide caused by a quake in Yurimaguas
An aerial view shows a landslide caused by a quake in Yurimaguas, in the Amazon region, Peru May 26, 2019. REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo

May 26, 2019

LIMA (Reuters) – Peruvian authorities were scrambling to assess the damage after an earthquake with a magnitude as high as 8.0 rocked the Peruvian Amazon region in the early hours of Sunday morning, leaving at least one person dead.

Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra left Lima early this morning to survey the damage following the strong quake that struck the Loreto region of northern Peru.

“This is a quake of great magnitude, the biggest in 12 years, since 2007,” Vizcarra told reporters.

At least one person in the Cajamarca region was killed after a boulder struck his home, emergency officials said. Peru´s National Emergency Center(COEN) said there were at least 11 people injured and more than 50 homes destroyed. Several schools, churches, hospitals and clinics also reported damages.

The quake, rated as one of “intermediate depth” at around 110 kilometers, was felt around the country, and as far off as Colombia and Ecuador.

Intermediate depth quakes typically cause less surface damage than shallower tremors. Peru sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where the majority of the world’s seismic activity occurs.

The earthquake was around 75 km SSE of Lagunas and 180 km east of the town of Moyobamba, the USGS said.

There were local reports of electric power cuts in the cities of Iquitos and Tarapoto, Amazonian towns in the Loreto region of the country. Pictures and videos online also showed some cracked and damaged walls, homes shaking and a collapsed bridge.

In neighboring Ecuador, the quake was strongest near Yantzaza, in that country´s remote and sparsely populated Amazon region, causing momentary power outages.

Ecuadorian officials reported at least seven people injured, as well as mudslides and minor damage to homes. The country´s oil and mining infrastructure was operating normally, Ecuadorian Vice President Otto Sonnenholzner said on Twitter.

(Reporting by Marco Aquino in Lima; Writing by Adam Jourdan and Dave Sherwood; Editing by Keith Weir and Phil Berlowitz)

Source: OANN

An aerial view shows a landslide caused by a quake in Yurimaguas
An aerial view shows a landslide caused by a quake in Yurimaguas, in the Amazon region, Peru May 26, 2019. REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo

May 26, 2019

LIMA (Reuters) – Peruvian authorities were scrambling to assess the damage after an earthquake with a magnitude as high as 8.0 rocked the Peruvian Amazon region in the early hours of Sunday morning, leaving at least one person dead.

Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra left Lima early this morning to survey the damage following the strong quake that struck the Loreto region of northern Peru.

“This is a quake of great magnitude, the biggest in 12 years, since 2007,” Vizcarra told reporters.

At least one person in the Cajamarca region was killed after a boulder struck his home, emergency officials said. Peru´s National Emergency Center(COEN) said there were at least 11 people injured and more than 50 homes destroyed. Several schools, churches, hospitals and clinics also reported damages.

The quake, rated as one of “intermediate depth” at around 110 kilometers, was felt around the country, and as far off as Colombia and Ecuador.

Intermediate depth quakes typically cause less surface damage than shallower tremors. Peru sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where the majority of the world’s seismic activity occurs.

The earthquake was around 75 km SSE of Lagunas and 180 km east of the town of Moyobamba, the USGS said.

There were local reports of electric power cuts in the cities of Iquitos and Tarapoto, Amazonian towns in the Loreto region of the country. Pictures and videos online also showed some cracked and damaged walls, homes shaking and a collapsed bridge.

In neighboring Ecuador, the quake was strongest near Yantzaza, in that country´s remote and sparsely populated Amazon region, causing momentary power outages.

Ecuadorian officials reported at least seven people injured, as well as mudslides and minor damage to homes. The country´s oil and mining infrastructure was operating normally, Ecuadorian Vice President Otto Sonnenholzner said on Twitter.

(Reporting by Marco Aquino in Lima; Writing by Adam Jourdan and Dave Sherwood; Editing by Keith Weir and Phil Berlowitz)

Source: OANN

Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign stop in Philadelphia
Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign stop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., May 18, 2019. REUTERS/Mark Makela

May 26, 2019

(Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agree on their assessment of former Vice President Joe Biden, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Sunday.

North Korea’s state-run news agency issued a blistering attack last week on Biden, who has been critical of the reclusive communist state in the past.

“I think they agree in their assessment of former Vice President Joe Biden,” Sanders said of Trump and Kim. She was speaking from Japan during a state visit by Trump.

“The president doesn’t need somebody else to give him an assessment of Joe Biden. He’s given his own assessment a number of times.”

Trump, a Republican, referenced the criticism in a Twitter post on Saturday in which he mentioned Biden, a Democrat who is running for president, initially misspelling his name as Bidan and taking pleasure in the North Korean leader’s sharp rhetoric about a fellow American.

Trump said in a subsequent corrected tweet that he smiled when Kim “called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?”

Trump on Sunday dismissed concerns about recent missile launches from North Korea and said he was confident that Kim would keep promises that he had made.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu in Washington; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

Source: OANN

In an apparent contradiction of his national security adviser, President Donald Trump on Sunday downplayed recent North Korean missile tests, tweeting from Tokyo that they’re not a concern for him in comments sure to unnerve Japanese leaders.

Trump also said North Korea’s Kim Jong Un’s criticism of one of his Democratic rivals, former Vice President Joe Biden, had made him smile.

The remarks were the latest example of Trump’s willingness to publicly undermine senior advisers, flout democratic norms and side with totalitarian leaders, even on the world stage. He did so this time during a four-day state visit to Japan where he’ll become the first leader to meet with the country’s new emperor.

“North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me,” Trump tweeted in one of a flurry of early morning messages that suggested he’d spent little time sleeping after the lengthy flight to Asia.

“Some” of his “people” appear to include national security adviser John Bolton, who told reporters at a briefing Saturday ahead of Trump’s arrival that a series of short-range missile tests by North Korea earlier this month were a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

“In terms of violating U.N. Security Council resolutions, there is no doubt about that,” said Bolton, responding to the May 4 and 9 tests that ended a pause in launches that began in late 2017. Trump ignored a shouted question Sunday about whether he agreed with Bolton’s assessment.

Trump and other administration officials have sought to downplay the significance of the tests, insisting they do not violate an agreement Trump reached with Kim for a moratorium on launches.

“The moratorium was focused, very focused, on intercontinental missile systems, the ones that threaten the United States,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a recent television interview. That raised alarm bells in Japan, where short-range missiles pose a serious threat because of the country’s proximity to North Korea.

Unlike several other leaders in the region, Abe has yet to meet with Kim, leaving Japan to rely on the U.S. as an intermediary and advocate with North Korea. Abe recently offered to meet Kim without preconditions in an effort to restore diplomatic ties.

Trump in his tweet said he had “confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me,” while at the same time embracing Kim’s recent attacks on Biden, whose name he misspelled

Trump said he “smiled” when Kim “called Swampman Joe Bidan a low IQ individual, & worse.”

“Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?” Trump asked.

Trump later offered a new tweet with the correct “Biden” spelling.

North Korea this week labeled Biden a “fool of low IQ” and an “imbecile bereft of elementary quality as a human being” after the U.S. presidential hopeful accused Trump of cozying up to “dictators and tyrants” like Kim and Russian President Vladimir Putin during his campaign launch speech.

Biden’s campaign would not comment on the record Sunday, but a spokesman for his campaign, Andrew Bates said Wednesday that, “Given Vice President Biden’s record of standing up for American values and interests, it’s no surprise that North Korea would prefer that Donald Trump remain in the White House.”

The tweet came early Sunday before Trump left his hotel for a round of golf with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He’ll also be attending a sumo wrestling match and handing out a “President’s Cup” to the winner as part of a visit meant to showcase the close ties between the nations.

Source: NewsMax Politics

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Primarily through his son Hunter, former vice president and now 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden has been “offshoring” corruption, contends investigative journalist and author Peter Schweizer.

He explains in the first episode of a new series called “The Drill Down with Peter Schweizer” that bank documents entered in a court case “shed light on just how much money [foreign] oligarchs were sending to the Biden family while he was vice president.”

As WND reported in an interview story, Schweizer’s 2018 bestselling book “Secret Empires: How Our Politicians Hide Corruption and Enrich Their Families and Friends” spells out the financial deals Hunter Biden’s private equity firm secured in Ukraine and China while his father, as vice president, was negotiating U.S. foreign policy with those countries.

Schweizer’s book centers on what he calls “corruption by proxy,” in which family and friends of powerful political figures position themselves as middlemen, creating “previously unimaginable pathways to wealth.”

Regarding the Bidens, the records of just one bank account show $3.1 million from the Ukrainians flowed in over an 18-month period, Schweizer said.

“There was $142,000 that showed up from a Kazakh oligarch, and then there was a mysterious $1.2 million from a limited liability company that nobody seems to know where it exists [and] that funneled the money to a small Swiss bank that has been implicated in international money laundering,” Schweizer said.

Flowing out of the account, he said, is “hundreds of thousands of dollars into the personal banking accounts of Hunter Biden himself.”

Read more at https://www.wnd.com/2019/05/biden-money-trail-exposed-in-court-documents/#zwiLlZRsRRdDYVwP.99

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Primarily through his son Hunter, former vice president and now 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden has been “offshoring” corruption, contends investigative journalist and author Peter Schweizer.

He explains in the first episode of a new series called “The Drill Down with Peter Schweizer” that bank documents entered in a court case “shed light on just how much money [foreign] oligarchs were sending to the Biden family while he was vice president.”

As WND reported in an interview story, Schweizer’s 2018 bestselling book “Secret Empires: How Our Politicians Hide Corruption and Enrich Their Families and Friends” spells out the financial deals Hunter Biden’s private equity firm secured in Ukraine and China while his father, as vice president, was negotiating U.S. foreign policy with those countries.

Schweizer’s book centers on what he calls “corruption by proxy,” in which family and friends of powerful political figures position themselves as middlemen, creating “previously unimaginable pathways to wealth.”

Regarding the Bidens, the records of just one bank account show $3.1 million from the Ukrainians flowed in over an 18-month period, Schweizer said.

“There was $142,000 that showed up from a Kazakh oligarch, and then there was a mysterious $1.2 million from a limited liability company that nobody seems to know where it exists [and] that funneled the money to a small Swiss bank that has been implicated in international money laundering,” Schweizer said.

Flowing out of the account, he said, is “hundreds of thousands of dollars into the personal banking accounts of Hunter Biden himself.”

Read more at https://www.wnd.com/2019/05/biden-money-trail-exposed-in-court-documents/#zwiLlZRsRRdDYVwP.99

A flood of laws banning abortions in Republican-run states has handed Democrats a political weapon heading into next year’s elections, helping them paint the GOP as extreme and court centrist voters who could decide congressional races in swing states, members of both parties say.

The Alabama law outlawing virtually all abortions, even in cases of rape or incest, is the strictest so far. Besides animating Democrats, the law has prompted President Donald Trump, other Republican leaders and lawmakers seeking reelection next year to distance themselves from the measure.

Their reaction underscores that Republicans have risked overplaying their hand with severe state laws that they hope will prod the Supreme Court, with its ascendant conservative majority, to strike down Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion. It also illustrates the way that those statutes are forcing the GOP to struggle over how to satisfy its core anti-abortion supporters without alienating the vast majority of voters averse to strictly curbing abortion.

The Alabama law is “a loser for Republican candidates in Colorado, without question, and in many other swing parts of the country, because it’s extreme,” David Flaherty, a Colorado-based Republican consultant who’s worked on congressional races around the country. “It’s only going to widen the gender gap.”

Brian Fitzpatrick, a Vanderbilt Law School professor and former aide to Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said there are many “women, moderate women who are going to be scared that this right that they thought they had for the last 40-some years is going to be shelved” and they will be motivated to vote.

GOP Sens. Joni Ernst of Iowa and Susan Collins of Maine, both seeking reelection next year, said the Alabama ban goes too far by eliminating exceptions for pregnancies involving rape or incest. A 2005 survey by the Guttmacher Institute, which backs abortion rights, found about 1% of women said they had abortions because of rape or incest.

Democrats see the statutes as a way to weave a broader message about Republicans.

“You use it as an example of what they do when they’re unchecked,” said Rep. A. Donald McEachin, D-Va., a leader of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, House Democrats’ campaign organization. “I think it drives moderate Republicans away from their party.”

Democratic presidential contenders are competing to lambast the Alabama law, which allows exceptions when the mother’s health is endangered. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., called it an “existential threat to the human rights of women,” while former Vice President Joe Biden said GOP hopes of striking down Roe v. Wade are “pernicious and we have to stop it.”

Campaign Facebook and Twitter accounts of Democrats seeking reelection next year, such as Sens. Doug Jones of Alabama and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, are littered with posts attacking the harsh restrictions. “The people of Alabama deserve to be on the #rightsideofhistory — not the side of extremists,” Jones tweeted.

Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Ohio have enacted or neared approval of measures barring abortion once there’s a detectable fetal heartbeat, which can occur in the sixth week of pregnancy, before a woman may know she is pregnant. Missouri lawmakers approved an eight-week ban.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that of the country’s 638,000 abortions in 2015, almost two-thirds were performed within the first eight weeks of pregnancy. About 1% were performed during or after the 21st week.

Spotlighting the perilous political territory Republicans are navigating, an April poll by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation found that Americans support Roe v. Wade by 2-1. A Gallup poll last year found that 57% of adults who described themselves “pro-life” nonetheless said abortion should be legal if the pregnancy results from rape or incest.

The focus on the state measures has also stolen GOP momentum on abortion. Until now, congressional Republicans had spent much of this year forcing Democrats onto the defensive, goading them into blocking bills aimed at curbing the rare abortions performed late in pregnancies and misleadingly accusing them of supporting infanticide.

“Obviously, the attention has shifted,” said Sarah Chamberlain, president of the Republican Main Street Partnership, which represents dozens of moderate GOP lawmakers. She said while her group doesn’t think Democrats’ focus on the harsh laws has gained traction, “We are talking about that and how it’s going to play in our districts.”

Some Republicans say the Democratic drive will have minimal impact because the abortion issue drives relatively few voters from each party. Others say GOP candidates should accuse Democrats of extremism by opposing bills restricting abortions late in pregnancy and, if they wish, cite their support for exempting rape and incest victims.

Democrats have “never seen an abortion they don’t like,” said David O’Steen, executive director of the National Right to Life Committee.

Added Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., who heads the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Senate GOP campaign arm: “We’re not Alabama state representatives, we’re United States senators. And each of us has to make our positions known.”

Yet the laws have generated energy among abortion-rights groups, which held more than 500 demonstrations and other events this past week. “We will power this movement into 2020. There will be political consequences,” said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., distanced themselves early last week from the Alabama statute. They were joined Wednesday by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who told The Associated Press, “My position remains unchanged for 25 years. I’m opposed to abortion except in cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother” being in jeopardy.

Source: NewsMax Politics

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar speaks in Minneapolis
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar declares her candidacy for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., February 10, 2019. REUTERS/Eric Miller/File Photo

May 25, 2019

By Humeyra Pamuk and Ginger Gibson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic presidential hopeful Amy Klobuchar on Saturday called for revamping the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rules governing how refineries use ethanol in gasoline products, a proposal aimed at the politically critical state of Iowa.

    Part of a series of farm policies that also addressed access to capital and bankruptcy assistance, Klobuchar, a U.S. senator, said the EPA’s waivers that allow refineries to avoid the requirements are “misguided” and said financial institutions are manipulating the biofuels credit trading market.

She called for new compliance standards and additional oversight.

Klobuchar is one of more than 20 Democrats vying for her party’s presidential nomination. If she is going to be successful, her campaign needs to galvanize support in the heavily-agriculture state of Iowa, which holds the first primary contest in the nation. Iowa grows most of the nation’s corn, which is used to produce ethanol.

Klobuchar, who represents Minnesota, another heavily agriculture state which borders Iowa to the north, in the U.S. Senate, has been trailing in polls on the Democratic presidential field.

In a Reuters/Ipsos poll https://tmsnrt.rs/2LeoO8z earlier this month, she garnered support of only 1% of respondents. Former Vice President Joe Biden led the poll, with 29% of Democrats and independents saying they would vote for him in the state nominating contests that begin next winter.

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program that mandates ethanol use is a more than decade-old regulation aimed at helping farmers and reducing U.S. dependence on oil. The policy has helped farmers by creating a huge market for ethanol and other biofuels, but oil refiners say compliance is prohibitively expensive.

    Under the program, refiners are required to blend biofuels into the nation’s gasoline pool or purchase credits from those that do, but smaller refineries with a capacity of less than 75,000 barrels per day (bpd) can obtain a “hardship waiver” if they prove that compliance with RFS would cause them significant financial strain.

    The Trump administration made extensive use of such waivers in the last two years, saving refiners money but angering the corn lobby, particularly after major companies like Exxon Mobil Corp received exemptions for certain facilities.

    Ethanol mandates have opened a war between the oil and corn industries. The ethanol industry claims the exemptions have been over-used, threatening demand for corn-based ethanol at a time when farmers are already struggling.

    The policy has helped farmers by creating a 15-billion-gallon-a-year market for corn-based ethanol, but oil refiners have increasingly complained about the expense – particularly when prices are high and volatile.

    RFS and the small refinery waiver program have increasingly emerged as one of the key policy areas that several Democratic presidential hopefuls have raised.

    U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren earlier this month in a letter to the EPA questioned the agency’s decision to grant a small refinery waiver to an oil refinery owned by billionaire Carl Icahn, who is a former adviser to President Donald Trump. She said waivers undermine the renewable program.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Ginger Gibson; Editing by Leslie Adler)

Source: OANN

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When Politico Playbook reported Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s recent dinner with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, the California lawmaker’s office declared the meeting was “arranged in consultation with the State Department.

But a State Department official told the newsletter that’s not true.

Feinstein’s office had said it “was in touch with State in advance of the meeting to let them know it was happening and to get an update on U.S.-Iran activity.”

Politico Playbook noted the United States and Iran “are in the middle of a high-wire diplomatic and military staring contest.”

The United States, which has moved additional military resources into the region, says it has intelligence that the Iranians were preparing to attack American interests in the region.

Politico observed it’s “a bit unusual that Feinstein, the former chair and vice chair of the Intelligence Committee and a member of the Senate minority, is dining with the foreign minister of an adversary.”
Read more at https://www.wnd.com/2019/05/state-department-we-didnt-ok-feinsteins-meeting-with-iranian-minister/#Y8byu4LEVEtIgEKi.99

Read more: https://www.wnd.com/2019/05/state-department-we-didnt-ok-feinsteins-meeting-with-iranian-minister/#Y8byu4LEVEtIgEKi.99

Image Credit: Getty


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