1. Tillerson blames Russia for defending chemical attacks and says perpetrators will face “Day of Reckoning”
Speaking in France at the launch of the “International Partnership Against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons,” Sec. Tillerson reiterated the well-rehearsed lines about chemical attacks in East Ghouta and elsewhere, claiming that Bashar al-Assad was responsible, an assertion that has many detractors.
He went one step further, putting the blame squarely at the feet of Vladimir Putin and Russia.
“There is simply no denying that Russia, by shielding its Syrian ally, has breached its commitments to the United States as a framework guarantor. It has betrayed the Chemical Weapons Convention and UN Security Council Resolution 2218, and on these occasions has twice vetoed UN Security Council resolutions to enforce the Joint Investigative Mechanism and continue its mandate.”
State Dept. Spokesperson Heather Nauert went even further in her Tweets.
Secretary Tillerson: This initiative puts those who ordered and carried out #ChemicalWeapons attacks on notice. You will face a day of reckoning for your crimes against humanity, and your victims will see justice done. #NoImpunity
— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) January 23, 2018
With Turkey already engaged in “Operation Olive Branch” in Afrin, where hundreds of casualties have been claimed on both sides, and the US maintaining its UAV flights over the area while planning to activate up to 30,000 new combatants in the region, the area is already a powderkeg.
Rumors that Russia is moving S-400 anti-air emplacements into Syria only add to the tension.
Russia has already slapped back.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, “We categorically disagree with the approach of the Americans, who are following the path of derailing real international investigations of previous cases, and prefer to stick labels groundlessly,” Peskov told local press.
2. TPP deal reached among 11 Pacific nations
A year after the US announced it was, thankfully, pulling out of the TPP negotiations 11 remaining nations have hammered out a deal for reducing trade barriers between them. Seen as a win for the Globalist movement, the pact is likely to be a topic this week in Davos at the World Economic Forum.
While details are yet scarce, Canada had been the final holdout, looking to protect its cultural goods from the new “free trade” rules.
Pres. Donald Trump will be arriving in Davos on Thursday and giving a keynote address on Friday. He has been praised by world business leaders for the recent US corporate tax cuts, but we still await reactions to the newly announced tariffs on solar panels and heavy washing machines.
3. Alabama votes to end “Special Elections”
With the memory of the Doug Jones victory over Roy Moore in the Alabama special election to fill AG Jeff Sessions’ vacated Senate seat still fresh, Alabama House of Representatives voted last night to end the special elections going forward, citing costs of running an extra election.
On a 67-31 largely party-line vote, the House changed the language to keep the person appointed by the Governor in office until the next statewide election. The bill now moves to the State Senate.
4. Save the Children office in Afghanistan attacked, 2 killed
One police officer and one civilian were killed in an attack on the Jalalabad office of British-NGO Save the Children. It is unclear at this time who is responsible for the attack, but the Taliban denies any involvement.
A heavy military presence was noted, including Afghan Special Forces.
Save the Children has faced much controversy over its ties to big business and its award of their “global legacy award” to Tony Blair.
#Nangarhar – gunshots ring out as clashes continue between insurgents and security forces after militants launched an attack on the #SaveTheChildren organization in #Jalalabad city #Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/sqCYDbmHEg
— TOLOnews (@TOLOnews) January 24, 2018
5. Congress wants to investigate those who spread the “Release the Memo” hashtag
Yesterday, Rep. Adam Schiff and Sen. Diane Feinstein sent a letter on Congressional letterhead to Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook and Jack Dorsey of Twitter expressing concerns over the use of the “Release the Memo” hashtag popularized by the “Storm is Coming” crowd, originating from a series of “info drops” on 8chan in recent months.
The memo is a 4-page document prepared by Rep. Devin Nunes and his associates describing inconsistencies and improprieties concerning the use of information gathered though wiretaps of Donald Trump, both during his campaign and during the transition period.
The 99-page document on which this memo is based has been available for months.
The letter from the Congresspeople states this hashtag is evidence that Russian state actors are involved in manipulating opinions and they ask that Facebook and Twitter investigate which accounts using the tags are linked to the Kremlin.
NEW: Sen. Feinstein, Rep. Schiff urge Facebook and Twitter to investigate involvement of Russian bots in pushing "Release the Memo" campaign: "If these reports are accurate, we are witnessing an ongoing attack by the Russian government through Kremlin-linked social media actors." pic.twitter.com/SkAci5NefK
— ABC News (@ABC) January 23, 2018