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Guerrilla artist known for grotesque take on American politicians casts eye on Trump Administration

by admin   |   Posted on Friday, October 19th, 2018

“Bully, Culprit” by Artist Robbie Conal | REUTERS

 

A series of politically-charged portraits of U.S. President Donald Trump and his inner circle have been appearing on the streets of Los Angeles.

The works, usually seen plastered onto walls and bus stops, are the brainchild of acclaimed guerrilla street poster artist Robbie Conal and depict everyone from Trump himself to key members of his cabinet and his most senior advisors, always in an unflattering light and with a biting caption of political commentary.

With the U.S. ready to go to the polls on Nov. 6, Conal brought his street portraits together for an exhibition entitled “Cabinet of Horrors” at downtown LA’s Track 16 gallery.

“I thought well the election is coming up, let’s have a show of all of them and call it the cabinet of horrors,” said Conal, 74, who was born in New York City and now lives along the central California coast.

Aside from Trump, who in one portrait is depicted in a Russian military hat, Conal also takes aim in this current series at everyone from Vice President Mike Pence to former advisor Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway who is depicted with a Pinocchio nose.

Conal has previously lampooned Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Supreme Court justices and even Mahatma Gandhi and the Dalai Lama.

Conal’s art is normally put up around cities under the cover of darkness to evade authorities.

“It’s supposed to be in a place where it is not supposed to be and to kind of surprise people and tickle them when they are on their way to work or whatever they’re doing in their daily lives into thinking about these people who I think have abused their power and our name,” he explains.

“Robbie Conal’s Cabinet of Horrors” runs until December 8, 2018. — Reuters

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Trump: China “broke the deal” in U.S.-China trade talks

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, May 9th, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday (May 8) that he would be happy to keep tariffs on Chinese imports as the two countries prepare for new talks to try to rescue a faltering trade deal amid a sharp increase in U.S. duties as he charged China with “breaking the deal.”

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office announced that tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods would increase to 25 percent from 10 percent at 12:01 a.m. ET (0401) GMT on Friday (May 10), right in the middle of two days of meetings between Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and Trump’s top trade officials in Washington.

Beijing announced it would retaliate if tariffs rise.

“The Chinese side deeply regrets that if the U.S. tariff measures are implemented, China will have to take necessary countermeasures,” China’s Commerce Ministry said on its website, without elaborating.

The world’s two largest economies have been embroiled in a tit-for-tat tariff war since July 2018 over the U.S. demands that the Asian powerhouse adopt policy changes that would, among other things, better protect American intellectual property and make China’s market more accessible to U.S. companies.

Expectations were recently riding high that a deal could be reached but a deep rift over the language of the proposed agreement opened up last weekend.

Reuters, citing U.S. government and private-sector sources, reported on Wednesday that China had backtracked on almost all aspects of a draft trade agreement, threatening to blow up the negotiations and prompting Trump to order the tariff increase.

Trump, who has embraced largely protectionist policies as part of his “America First” agenda, warned China on Wednesday that it was mistaken if it hoped to delay a trade deal until a Democrat controlled the White House.

The United States is demanding that Beijing make sweeping changes to its trade and regulatory practices, including protecting U.S. intellectual property from theft and forced transfers to Chinese firms, curbs on Chinese government subsidies and increased American access to China’s markets.

Trump also has sought massive hikes in Chinese purchases of U.S. farm, energy, and manufactured products to shrink a gaping U.S. trade deficit with China.

Sources familiar with the talks said China’s latest demands for changes to a 150-page document that had been drafted over several months would make it hard to avoid the U.S. tariff hike on Friday.

That increase would affect Chinese imports from computer modems and routers to vacuum cleaners, furniture, lighting, and building materials. (REUTERS)

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Trump: US-China trade deal could be reached in weeks

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, April 5th, 2019

United States President Donald Trump (Reuters file photo)

United States President Donald Trump said a trade deal with China is getting very close and could be reached in about four weeks.

Trump spoke at a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, who is in Washington for trade talks.

Liu said there has been great progress in the negotiations.

“Because of your direct involvement, we do have a great progress. Although we still have some remainings, but I think hopefully, we get a good result,” Liu said.

“We have a number of things, but we also we’ve agreed to far more than we have left to agree to. And, in fact I would say, I think I can say that some of the toughest things have been agreed to. We have some things that are actually easier right now that we’re, we’re doing. But it’s a very, very – I am using a word that I don’t like using too often – but it’s a very, very comprehensive deal,” Trump said.

China and the US are in the middle of intense negotiations to end a months-long trade war that has rattled global markets.

Washington wants sweeping changes to China’s economic and trade policies, while Beijing wants Trump to lift expensive sanctions on Chinese goods.

Trump also lamented about the amount of money that the US, China and Russia spend on weapons production, including nuclear weapons, and suggested that such money could be better spent elsewhere.

Trump floated the idea of following up on a potential trade deal with China with a second deal that addressed the issue of military spending and arms production.

“But as you know China is spending a lot of money on military, so are we, so is Russia, and those three countries [U.S.] I think can come together and stop the spending, and spend on things that maybe are more productive toward long term peace,” Trump said. REUTERS

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Trump signs directive in move to create a U.S. Space Force

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump presents newly signed Space Policy Directive 4 | Image captured from a Reuters video footage

(REUTERS) U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday (February 19) took a step towards creating a U.S. Space Force, a new branch of the military dedicated to handling threats in space.

Trump signed Space Policy Directive 4, which puts in place the foundation for a legislative initiative that could establish a Space Force as a new military service comparable to the U.S. Marines.

In an oval office signing ceremony, Trump said the Space Force is a national security priority.

“Today, I’m thrilled to sign a new order taking the next step to create the United States space force, so important. When you look at defense when you look at all of the other aspects of where the world will be some day, I mean this is the beginning is a very important process,” said Trump.

Trump also said that the U.S. has to be prepared against its adversaries and the Space Force is going to be a very big part of where the defense of the nation.

“Let’s say that defense of our nation is going to be America must be fully equipped to defend our vital interests, our adversaries are training forces and developing technology to undermine our security in space. And they’re working very hard at that, that’s why my administration has recognized space as a war fighting domain and made the creation of the Space Force a national security priority,” he added.

The memo directs the Department of Defense “to marshal its space resources to deter and counter threats in space,” through the establishment of the force that would be part of the Air Force, according to a draft seen by Reuters.

“We’re investing in new space capabilities to project military power and safeguard our nation’s interests especially when it comes to safety and defense. This directive calls on the Secretary of Defense to develop a legislative proposal that will establish the structure and authority of the Space Force as the sixth branch of the United States armed forces. That would mean a high ranking, the highest ranking person there would go on to be joint chiefs of staff, so it’s a very, very important deal,” Trump said.

According to Trump, the Space Force will organize, equip and train the next generation of warriors to deter aggression and defend the nation, its allies and American interests against hostile actions in the form of space and taking place in space.

“So we have a lot of things on the books, we have a lot of new defensive weapons and offensive weapons designed specifically for this and now we’re going to start taking advantage of. This is something they could have done sooner, but they decided to wait, and here I am and we’re going to do it and I’m very proud that during my administration we’re doing so much in space,” he noted.

Establishing the Space Force will require Congressional approval.

In August 2018, the Trump Administration announced an ambitious plan to usher in the force as the sixth branch of the military by 2020.

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