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Putin Says He Won’t Renew The Grain Deal Until The West Meets His Demands. The West Says It Has

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that a landmark agreement allowing Ukraine to safely ship grain over the Black Sea during the war will not be restored unless the West satisfies Moscow’s demands on its agricultural exports.

Ukraine and its Western allies have dismissed Moscow’s demands as a ruse to achieve its interests.

Nonetheless, Putin’s statements shattered expectations that his meetings with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would resurrect a critical deal for global food supplies, particularly in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

Russia refused to prolong the pact in July, claiming that a parallel accord promising to ease barriers to Russian food and fertilizer exports had yet to be honored. It said that shipping and insurance constraints harmed agricultural commerce despite shipping record amounts of wheat since last year.

Putin reaffirmed his criticisms Monday, telling reporters that if the pledges were met, Russia could return to the agreement “within days.”

Erdogan also expressed optimism that a breakthrough would be reached soon. He stated that Turkey and the United Nations-brokered the initial agreement and had put together a new set of suggestions to resolve the matter.

“We believe we will reach a solution that meets expectations in a short period of time,” Erdogan said during a news conference with Putin in the Russian resort of Sochi.


Earlier, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock slammed Putin’s “game with the grain agreement,” calling it “cynical.”

“It’s only because of Putin that the freighters don’t have free passage again,” she told reporters in Berlin.

A lot is riding on the outcome of the negotiations. Ukraine and Russia are key providers of wheat, barley, sunflower oil, and other commodities to emerging countries.

According to data from the Joint Coordination Centre in Istanbul, which organized exports under the agreement, 57% of the grain from Ukraine went to developing countries, with China being the leading destination.

Grain prices rose after Russia backed out of the arrangement but have since fallen, showing there isn’t a major supply shortage in the market.

However, failure to resurrect the agreement will have “dramatic consequences” in countries such as Somalia and Egypt that rely significantly on Black Sea grain, according to Galip Dalay, an associate fellow at the London-based Chatham House think tank.

Putin is seeking relief from sanctions while also fighting a “war of narratives,” according to Dalay because the Russian leader “doesn’t want to come across as the bad guy in the eyes of the global south as a result of this food insecurity.”


Ukraine and its supporters have frequently pointed out that Putin’s decision left many poor countries in the lurch, given that so many were beneficiaries of the grain.

Putin stated Monday that Russia was close to finalizing an agreement to send free grain to six African countries, possibly in response to that accusation. Last month, he pledged shipments to Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia, Eritrea, and the Central African Republic.

The Russian president also stated that his country will transport 1 million metric tonnes (1.1 million tonnes) of cheap grain to Turkey for processing and distribution to needy countries.

In addition to withdrawing from the grain deal, Russia has regularly bombed the Odesa region, home to Ukraine’s main Black Sea port. The Kremlin’s military began a second barrage on the region just hours before the conference in Sochi. The Ukrainian Air Force says it intercepted 23 of 32 drones that were targeting the cities of Odesa and Dnipropetrovsk. It did not describe the extent of the harm caused by those who got through.

Russia may be attempting to leverage its influence over Ukraine’s Black Sea exports as a negotiation tool to decrease Western economic sanctions.

Because of the sanctions, some companies have been leery of doing business with Russia despite assurances from Western friends that food and fertilizer are exempt. Moscow still needs to be satisfied.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba urged Moscow on Monday to return to the pact, saying “there were no legal and political grounds for Russia to withdraw from the agreement.”


The meetings on Monday took place against the backdrop of Ukraine’s recent counteroffensive against Kremlin invasion forces.

On Sunday, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov would be replaced this week. The job necessitates “new approaches,” Zelenskyy stated flatly. Reznikov tweeted a photo of his resignation letter on Monday.

Putin and Erdogan, both authoritarian presidents in power for more than two decades, are thought to have a tight relationship, which was cultivated in the aftermath of a failed attempt against Erdogan in 2016 when Putin was the first major leader to offer his support.

The Turkish president has maintained those throughout the 18-month conflict in Ukraine. Following its invasion, Turkey did not join Western sanctions against Russia, instead emerging as a major business partner and logistical base for Russia’s overseas trade.

At the same time, a NATO member, Turkey, has backed Ukraine, sending armaments, meeting Zelenskyy, and supporting Kyiv’s ambition to join the Western alliance.

Meanwhile, Russia has made moves to enhance military ties with North Korea. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, who visited Pyongyang in July, stated Monday that the two countries may conduct joint military exercises.

According to US National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson, Shoigu attempted to urge North Korea to sell artillery ammo to Russia during his visit.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un “expects these discussions to continue” and “to include leader-level diplomatic engagement in Russia,” according to Watson.

Another US official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the topic and spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the US expected Kim to visit Russia within the month. The insider said the US is still determining where or when the meeting will occur, but given its proximity to North Korea, the Pacific port city of Vladivostok would be a plausible option.

According to data obtained by the White House last week, Putin and Kim exchanged letters following Shoigu’s visit. The letters were “more on the surface level,” according to National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, but Russian and North Korean talks on a weapons transfer were progressing.



Judge Rules Donald Trump Defrauded Banks And Insurers While Building Real Estate Empire

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NEW YORK — On Tuesday, a judge ruled that Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to prominence and the presidency, and he ordered that some of the former president’s companies be removed from his control and dissolved.

In a civil lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that Trump and his company deceived banks, insurers, and others by grossly overvaluing his assets and inflating his net worth on documents to secure agreements and loans.

As punishment, Engoron ordered that some of Trump’s business licenses be revoked, making it difficult or impossible for them to conduct business in New York, and he stated that an independent monitor would continue to supervise Trump Organisation operations.

Without a successful appeal, the order would revoke Trump’s authority to make strategic and financial decisions regarding several of his most valuable properties in the state.

Trump railed against the decision in several statements, labeling it “un-American” and part of an ongoing plot to harm his reelection campaign.

He wrote on his Truth Social site, “My civil rights have been violated, and a federal or state appellate court must reverse this horrible, un-American decision.” He asserted that his company had “done a magnificent job for New York State” and “conducted business flawlessly,” describing the event as “A very sad day for the New York State System of Justice!”


On Tuesday, a judge ruled that Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to prominence and the presidency.

His attorney, Christopher Kise, stated that an appeal would be filed, labeling the decision “completely disconnected from the facts and governing law.”

A few days before starting a non-jury trial in James’ lawsuit, Engoron’s ruling is the strongest rejection of Trump’s carefully manicured image as an affluent and intelligent real estate magnate turned political powerhouse.

Engoron discovered that Trump, his company, and key executives repeatedly lied about his wealth in his annual financial statements, garnering benefits such as favorable loan terms and reduced insurance premiums.

The judge stated that these tactics crossed the line and violated the law, refuting Trump’s argument that a disclaimer on the financial statements absolved him of wrongdoing.

“In the world of the defendants, rent-regulated apartments are worth the same as unregulated apartments; restricted land is worth the same as unrestricted land; restrictions can vanish into thin air; a disclaimer by one party casting blame on another party exonerates the other party’s lies,” Engoron wrote in his 35-page ruling. This is a fantasy world, not the actual universe.


On Tuesday, a judge ruled that Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to prominence and the presidency.

Manhattan prosecutors considered filing criminal charges for the same conduct but ultimately decided against it, leaving James no choice but to sue him and seek penalties designed to impede his and his family’s ability to conduct business.

The summary judgment rendered by Judge Engoron resolves the primary claim in James’ lawsuit, but several others remain. In a trial beginning on October 2, he will deliberate on these claims and James’ request for $250 million in penalties. Trump’s attorneys have requested a postponement from the Court of Appeals.

“Today, a judge ruled in our favour and found that Donald Trump and the Trump Organisation engaged in years of financial fraud,” James said in a statement. “We look forward to presenting the rest of our case at trial.”

In their motion for summary judgment, Trump’s attorneys argued that there was no evidence that their client’s actions had injured the public. They also argued that the statute of limitations prohibited many of the lawsuit’s allegations.

Noting that he had previously rejected these arguments, Engoron compared them to the narrative of the film “Groundhog Day.” He fined five defense attorneys $7,500 each as punishment for “engaging in repetitive, frivolous” arguments but denied James’ request to sanction Trump and other defendants.

James, a Democrat, filed a lawsuit against him and the Trump Organisation a year ago, alleging them of routinely inflating the value of his assets, including skyscrapers, golf courses, and his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, by billions.

Engoron discovered he consistently overvalued Mar-a-Lago, exaggerating its value by up to 2,300% on one financial statement. Additionally, the judge reprimanded Trump for misrepresenting the size of his Manhattan apartment. Trump asserted that his three-story Trump Tower penthouse was nearly three times larger than it was and valued it at $327 million.


On Tuesday, a judge ruled that Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to prominence and the presidency.

“A disparity of this magnitude, by a real estate developer calculating his own living space over decades, can only be considered fraud,” wrote Engoron.

Eric Trump insisted on X following the ruling that his father’s claims about Mar-a-Lago were accurate, writing that the Palm Beach estate is “estimated to be worth well over a billion dollars, making it arguably the most valuable residential property.” He described the decision and the lawsuit as “an attempt to destroy my father and evict him from New York.”

Under the terms of the ruling, the limited liability companies that control some of Trump’s most valuable properties, such as 40 Wall Street, will be dissolved, and a receiver will assume control over their operations. Trump would lose the authority to recruit or fire employees, rent office space, and make other crucial decisions.

Kise stated after the decision, “The decision seeks to nationalise one of the most successful corporate empires in the United States and seize control of private property despite the fact that there is no evidence of any default, breach, late payment, or complaint of harm.”

The presumptive Republican nominee for next year’s election faces several legal issues, including James’ suit. In the past six months, he has been indicted four times: in Georgia and Washington, D.C., for conspiring to overturn his 2020 election loss, in Florida for stockpiling classified documents, and in New York for falsifying business records related to hush money paid on his behalf.

In a separate criminal case last year, the Trump Organisation was convicted of tax fraud for assisting executives to evade taxes on perks such as apartments and vehicles. The company received a $1.6 million sanction. Allen Weisselberg, Trump’s longtime finance chief, pled guilty and served five months in prison.

James’ office previously charged Trump with misusing his charitable foundation to advance his political and business interests. As a penalty, Trump was ordered to donate $2 million to charity, while his charity, the Trump Foundation, was dissolved.


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Trudeau Liberals Hold Late-Night Meeting On Fighting Back

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When Trudeau calls a late-night caucus meeting, things could be better.

According to an invitation obtained by the Toronto Sun, on Tuesday, the Trudeau Liberals gathered their caucus for an “information session.”

Brad Redekopp, a member of the Conservative Party, posted a photo of government vehicles waiting outside West Block to transport ministers home after the event.

To comprehend how peculiar this is, one must comprehend the tempo of Official Ottawa. This late-night meeting is uncommon, particularly the night before the routinely scheduled weekly caucus meetings.

House Speaker Anthony Rota resigned due to the invitation and recognition of 98-year-old Yaroslav Hunka during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s address to the Ukrainian Parliament. As is now common knowledge, Hunka served in a Nazi SS division during World War II.

His presence in the audience has caused Canada and Ukraine interminable humiliation. Vladimir Putin’s Russia has justified its invasion of Ukraine by claiming that there are Nazis who must be eradicated. Zelenskyy’s support for an SS division member has provided Putin with the propaganda tools he desires.

The Russian government is already circulating false rumors that the Ukrainians have issued a commemorative stamp for Hunka.

When Trudeau calls a late-night caucus meeting, things could be better.

As of Tuesday evening, the PMO verified that he and Zelenskyy had not spoken since the Parliament incident. While it is understandable that Trudeau would not want to apologize to Canadians in front of the cameras, it is shocking that he has not contacted his “good friend” Zelenskyy since the story broke.

Ukraine is not the only issue currently plaguing the leader and his team.

India’s foreign minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, indirectly accused Canada of harboring militants during a speech at the United Nations. In a subsequent interview, he reiterated that the Trudeau administration has provided no proof or evidence to substantiate its claim that India was involved in the June execution of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, British Columbia.

The Modi administration has utilized Indian media as a weapon against Trudeau domestically and internationally. In a conflict of public relations, Trudeau and, by extension, Canada are losing.

The Hindu Forum of Canada’s attorney sent a letter to the government on Tuesday, expressing safety concerns and requesting that Nijjar ally Gurpatwant Singh Pannu be denied entry into the country. At approximately the same time, the Muslim Association of Canada criticized Trudeau for his remarks regarding parental demonstrations over gender issues in schools last week. MAC condemned Trudeau’s stance.


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2023: Travis King In US Custody After North Korea Expulsion

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King is in custody. In a statement, Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder thanked the Swedish and Chinese governments for their assistance in securing the release of Pte. King.

As there are no diplomatic ties between the United States and North Korea, the Swedish embassy in Pyongyang has traditionally negotiated on behalf of the United States.

During the King case, a Swedish embassy spokesman confirmed that Sweden acted “within its role as a protective power” for the United States in North Korea.

The US Department of State and the White House did not comment on the matter immediately.

According to Reuters, a spokesman for the King family stated that “no substantive comment” was expected at this time.

His relatives have previously informed US media that he faced discrimination while serving in the United States military.

According to reports, his mental health deteriorated during his time in South Korean custody.


Travis King In US Custody After North Korea Expulsion.

Claudine Gates, the mother of Pte. told the Associated Press last month that her son had “so many reasons to come home.”

She stated, “I cannot imagine him ever wanting to stay in Korea when he has family in the United States.”

Pte King’s release by North Korea after 71 days is rapid compared to other Americans the country has previously detained.

Analysts hypothesized that Pyongyang may have used the American soldier as a diplomatic bargaining tool.

Mick Mulroy, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense and CIA paramilitary officer, told the BBC that Pte King’s return to US custody is “a good thing,” even though he “is a young man who made mistakes.”

Mr. Mulroy continued, “He is an American soldier, so it was imperative that we did everything possible to bring him home.”



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