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TORNADO WARNING Florida: Gadsden, Grady, Leon Counties

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Tornado Warning for Gadsden, Grady, and Leon Counties until 1:30 p.m.

The National Weather Service of Tallahassee FL provided this information at 1:03 p.m. on Saturday July 21, 2018:

  • Gadsden County
  • Grady County
  • Leon County

Take Action. A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar.

Avoid windows. Go to the lowest floor, small center room (like a bathroom or closet), under a stairwell, or in an interior hallway with no windows. Crouch as low as possible to the floor, facing down; and cover your head with your hands.

Source: www.wtxl.com

Original story:

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for northeast Gadsden and northern Leon counties.

The warning is in effect until 1:30 p.m. and includes Bradfordville. It’s about 12 miles south of Cairo, Georgia, and moving at about 40 mph. The radar indicates rotations and there is a possibility of quarter-size hail.

Source: tallahassee.com

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Russia is no longer targeting US

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On a meeting of the US President Trump’s Cabinet on Wednesday, an interesting question rose from one of the reporters. The question was – is Russia still “targeting” the United States? President Trump quickly responded “Thank you very much. NO!”

This question, of course, refers to the cyber-attacks that Moscow has allegedly launched against the US, and as it seems, POTUS somehow managed to stop them. According to the White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders it appears that Trump was saying “no” to some other questions, and actually did not answer this specific question about Russia. If you followed the clip to the end, the president really did keep talking to reporters at the Cabinet meeting and he managed to praise himself as a first president who has been really tough on Russia. According to Mr. Trump, “President Putin knows that better than anybody, certainly a lot better than the media.”

What is a bit peculiar in this situation is the fact that members of the president’s cabinet are a bit confused and don’t have their thoughts in line. According to Dan Coats’, Trump’s director of national intelligence, statement from last Monday we heard that – “We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy.” Last Friday, on the other hand, Mr. Coats changed the tune and said “The warning lights are blinking red again. Today, the digital infrastructure that serves this country is literally under attack.” He basically compared Russia’s current cyber efforts to warning signs that emerged before the 9/11 attacks.

The other interesting thing that came in is the second round of comments President Trump made (and these followed his praise of firm hand over Russia) in which he states “My administration has and will continue to move aggressively to repeal any efforts — and repel — we will stop it, we will repel it — any efforts to interfere in our elections,” on Tuesday in front of members of Congress. He also added, “We’re doing everything in our power to prevent Russian interference in 2018.” If he actually believes that there is no more Moscow’s meddling in the US and no more attacks, what exactly will his administration be doing on that matter? Wait, we know! Nothing! You also need to know that President Trump’s comments about the threat of current and future Russian interfering were basically drowned by his ability to reverse a basic fact about prior meddling – Did it happen at all?

You recall the Helsinki Summit? In Helsinki Trump openly said that he sees no reason why it would have been Russia who interfered. A pretty bold statement given the fact that every intelligence agency in the US confirmed that it was, in fact, Russia. Of course, something had to be done on this matter, which is why we all saw POTUS on Tuesday holding a press conference on which he read from a prepared statement that said that he accepted their (agencies’) conclusion that there was meddling in the 2016 presidential election. But, this wouldn’t be president Trump if he didn’t add a thing of his own like “it could be other people also. Lots of people out there.”

On the famous Monday press conference that Putin and Trump held in Helsinki, we saw something that shocked us all. Basically, POTUS played along with his Russian colleague denial of their election meddling and made them a priority instead of the conclusions reached by his own intelligence agencies. He tried to explain it by saying that Dan Coats, his director of national intelligence, said that “they think it’s Russia” but then Trump said “I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be.” This was definitely outrageous, and Trump had to find his way around this mess, which is why he claims that he misspoke in Helsinki and that he had, in fact, meant to say he didn’t see “any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia,” indicating that he gave the benefit of the doubt to his own people, and not to Russia’s president.

On Wednesday, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who is a frequent and harsh critic of the president, stated that he was cheered by Trump’s claim that he had misspoken. He also said that the US president’s trip to Europe “wasn’t perfect,” and added “obviously what happened in Helsinki was especially non-perfect. But I thought yesterday was a step forward and I’m glad it occurred.”

Source: cnbc.com

America First is All That’s Left to Donald Trump

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How much can you harm the United States as its president in a time span of one week? Donald Trump had a lot of work to do, and he took us on a tour of diplomatic destructions, which was shocking, but not that much surprising as one is led to believe.

First of all, POTUS humiliated the NATO allies. He obviously has an issue to differentiate a friend from a foe and this behavior towards our long-time partners is inexplicable. Secondly, Trump met with the Russian President Vladimir Putin and missed the opportunity to criticize him for the involvement of Russian hackers in the US elections and thus defend the Constitution of the United States and do his job for once.

With performance at the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium and his meeting with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, the US president showed the world that he no longer wants to wait in his deconstruction of the US foreign policy. And no matter what the others around him do, stopping the man at the helm of the most powerful country of the world from wreaking havoc is a mission impossible.

Source:wctrib.com

From the presidential election and the Trump’s inauguration, we could have assumed what lied in store for the American people. Trump’s presidency is a big stress test for everyone involved, especially the leadership of the country. So far, the US policy was to advance the American interests in a global environment in which the United States, together with its allies and like-minded nations could prosper. However, with the arrival of the new president, there has been a slight change of plans.

According to Trump, the system the United States has constructed, something that previous presidents worked on diligently, is harming the country itself. Now he wants to demolish the system he doesn’t like and create a new one which will be more beneficial to the US. However, what has guided his diplomacy up to this point are his unassailable faith in deal-making abilities and the admiration he has for himself. These are all ingredients for defeat.

Currently, US military cooperation with NATO is as robust as at any time since the Cold War ended. There still hasn’t been a meaningful diplomatic reconciliation with Russia which is under heavy sanctions. In fact, the US and NATO presence have been strengthened in Eastern Europe. Meanwhile, POTUS wanted to withdraw the US forces from Afghanistan and South Korea, but luckily, he has been dissuaded, at least temporarily. On top of that, as the time passes, Trump is more prone to making foolish decisions.

Source:foreignpolicy.com

He keeps reverting to his instincts no matter what the issue is – from the Iran nuclear deal to trade tariffs. He tries to approach Russia whereas he constantly bashes the US allies, without even thinking how this could backfire. Furthermore, he is no longer relying on his aides as much as before and even Secretary of Defense James Mattis is out of favor, according to several reports.

But Trump criticizing his allies and praising the dictator of a county is not something that happens for the first time. Now it is the NATO and Putin, and POTUS also had a shameful display at the G-7 summit recently, after which he praised a tyrant Kim Jong-un, North Korean dictator. With this foreign policy, Donald Trump is slowly but surely burning down the bridges until America remains stranded. Sure, America First policy is an option and the path this administration chose to follow, which many people have nothing against, but the way things are handled gives us a reason to worry. The US foreign policy could endure four years under Trump, with repairs required after that. However, eight years of such policy would force the next president to go with America First (Only) approach. Eight years is a long time, but now, even 2021 seems out of reach.

Source: bloomberg.com

The 2018 Helsinki Summit brings warmer relations between US and Russia

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The entire world revolved around Finland and its capital Helsinki, these past days. Finally, the talking point happened, and we bring you the latest news.

Both the US and Russia presidents agreed yesterday to improve the relationship between these two superpowers and that there is no more need for tensions. This news is something that brings, at least a bit of, ease of mind to everyone since we all know just how the US and Russian policies differ and clashed quite often.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=We5vSlR9Krs

Finish capital Helsinki was the place where the two presidents met and discussed “everything from trade to military to missiles to China.” During the press conference, Putin stated that “There are no objective reasons for difficulties (between Russia and the US). The Cold War is a thing of the past, the situation in the world has drastically changed.” On the other side, just before the summit, Donald Trump pretty much blamed his own country for, as he said, “foolishness and stupidity” that drove a wedge between these two countries.

At the same press conference, after the talks, Trump had words of praise for Putin and his “direct, open and deeply productive dialogue.” He also said that there should be a lot more emphasis on these types of meetings instead of confrontations that do not benefit anyone. He stated, “A productive dialogue is not only good for the United States and good for Russia, but it is good for the world.” Trump continued by saying “Our relationship has never been worse than it is now, however that changed as of about four hours ago… To refuse to engage would not accomplish anything.”

The two presidents spoke on the topic of international security as well, and the overall agreement, according to what Putin said, is that these two countries have to work together to cope with challenges such as terrorism, international crime, the economy and the environment. He also pointed out counterterrorism and cybersecurity as two areas where these two superpowers are already making huge progress. Putin stated: “As major nuclear powers, we bear special responsibility for maintaining international security.” He also pointed out that Russia, together with the US, could “establish peace and reconciliation” in Syria. Trump added that by doing so, they could also “save hundreds of thousands of lives.” They also reached another agreement and it is to secure Israel’s border with Syria in accordance with the 1974 Agreement on Disengagement between Israel and Syria.

The big topic that should rise during the talks of the two presidents is the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential campaign in the US. On the press conference, Putin once again denied the alleged Russian meddling into the democratic process in America and stated: “The Russian state has never interfered and is not going to interfere in internal US affairs.” He openly offered readiness to analyze any findings together with Washington.

Source:thenational.ae

Trump was not holding back as well, and clearly criticised the ongoing US investigation of the accusations and categorized it as a “disaster.” He said, “If they had (evidence), it would have been out long ago.”

According to the two presidents the Helsinki Summit was a very important first step towards better and warmer relations between the US and Russia. “We were not able to clear all the backlog, but I think we made a first important step in this direction” Putin stated. Apparently, just before the start of the summit, Putin told Trump that “the time has come to talk thoroughly about bilateral relations, as well as various hotspots in the world.”

On the other side, the US Congress, including some Republicans were not satisfied with where the summit went and openly criticised Trump and his comments. According to Senator McCain, the press conference is “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.” Arizona Republican basically said that the Helsinki Summit was a big mistake and that POTUS willingly decided to “defend a tyrant.” Others like House Speaker Paul Ryan still clinch for what they believe, and that is that there’s “no question” that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. Ryan continued by stating “The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally” and continued by saying that Moscow “remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals.”

The high-ranking Republicans also continued to show their dismay, and one of them was Senator Jeff Flake who Tweeted “I never thought I would see the day when our American president would stand on the stage with the Russian president and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression. This is shameful.”

Source: aljazeera.com

Helsinki summit – Putin and Trump one on one!

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Well, the US President Donald Trump has landed in Finland on Sunday night, and the long-awaited Helsinki summit has finally started. What is a bit surprising is that Trump fell under a lot of criticism from his own government because he failed to address and condemn the alleged Russian hacking that took place in the 2016 elections. But, since that is sort of “old news,” everyone is preparing for the meeting the two of the most powerful world leaders are going to have today.

This summit has been long overdue, and it comes right after the end of what turned out to be a truly tough diplomatic week over in Europe where POTUS openly criticised NATO military allies and Britain’s prime minister. All of this, of course, made Washington very concerned about the way that Trump will treat Putin during their talks, especially since we all know that he is a bit of a loose cannon. What really stuck in everyone’s ear is the fact that on Sunday Trump openly called their longstanding allies in the EU a “foe.”

As you already know, POTUS very openly categorized all the allegations of Russian intervening in the election and collusion with his campaign as a “witch hunt” but he also promised that he would ask Putin to extradite 12 Russian military intelligence officers, who were accused by US prosecutors of hacking Hillary Clinton’s campaign emails. Thanks to the fact that these indictments came on Friday just before this summit, we now have a huge pressure on the US president to criticize his Russian colleague right there in Helsinki.

Source:edition.cnn.com

The interesting thing happened this morning just before the meeting of these two presidents, and it was the fact that Trump basically blamed the former US president Obama for the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, where he won over Hillary Clinton. Trump went to Twitter and stated “President Obama thought that Crooked Hillary was going to win the election, so when he was informed by the FBI about Russian Meddling, he said it couldn’t happen, was no big deal, & did NOTHING about it. When I won it became a big deal and the Rigged Witch Hunt.” Of course, this Tweet brought a huge mess right onto Washington’s front door which is exactly why the US lawmakers have suggested the US president should cancel the summit. The Russians, on the other hand, defend themselves by stating that the allegations were unfounded and basically were a political tool with which the US government is trying to derail the bilateral talks.

CBS approached president Trump and asked him to comment on his “biggest foe globally right now,” and surprisingly right beside Russia and China (who are on this list for years), somehow EU made it as well. Trump said “The EU is a foe, what they do to us in trade . . . Russia is foe in certain respects. China is a foe economically, certainly they are a foe. But that doesn’t mean they are bad.” John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser, confirmed for us that the president has been briefed about the indictments of the Russian intelligence agents and stated: “I think the president can put this on the table and say, this is a serious matter that we need to talk about.”

Bolton also stated that it is “hard to believe” that Putin and his state had nothing to do with the 2016 election and that this issue will be something that Trump will raise directly. He continued by saying “That’s what one of the purposes of this meeting is, so the president can see eye to eye with President Putin and ask him about it.” He continued by adding that he does not expect that anything will be resolved with these talks and that they will be basically “unstructured.”

There is also another reason for this summit, and it is hidden behind the fact that both of these superpowers are trying to restart their bilateral exchanges in any form possible, with talks on Syria, Ukraine and arms control, but most of the world (unfortunately) has its expectations set pretty low.

US ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, went on as much to claim that it is even wrong to categorize this meeting of the leaders as a summit. Nevertheless, what everyone is talking about, this meeting is definitely a win in Russia’s books, especially when we think about the fact that the relations between US and Russia have hit the all-time worse and the fact that some European countries are trying to diplomatically isolate Moscow.

Trump’s trip to Europe: “America First” is “America Alone”?

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US President Donald Trump arrived in Brussels for NATO summit with a message that it is time for America to stops paying Europe’s bills. Even though his complaint is not new to the European leaders, it is becoming quite disturbing.

Before flying to Europe to attend NATO summit, which will start on Wednesday, he tweeted:

“Getting ready to leave for Europe. First meeting – NATO. The U.S. is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them. Not fair to the U.S. taxpayer. On top of that we lose $151 Billion on Trade with the European Union. Charge us big Tariffs (& Barriers)!”

And later,

“NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS. Very Unfair!”

Trump’s irritation with the alliance and inability of many NATO’s members to set their military budgets to the 2 percent of the gross domestic product will shadow the summit completely.

Europeans are concerned about Trump connecting the two issues, a position where he is misunderstanding how the alliances work. Stefano Stefanini, a former Italian ambassador to NATO, noted that “if it is really a threat linking security to trade, that can destroy the basis of NATO.”

The Washington Post’s editorial board wrote that “it is not only the fear that Trump will spoil the “unity” of the summit, before flying to a rather friendlier meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but that he is prone on wrecking a multilateral organisations he considers outdated.”

We could already see POTUS refusing to cooperate with the U.S. allies on issues including climate change, trade, and the Iran deal. Among those are French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Trump’s tariffs on European steel and aluminum, are most likely to cause a trade war.

Source:bbc.com

Before going to Helsinki, for his first formal meeting with Putin, Trump will travel to Britain for a meeting with Theresa May, the British Prime Minister.

Even though Trump’s administration insists that “America First” doesn’t mean “America Alone,” progressively it is.

Thinking that NATO summit will only be POTUS’ stop before his meeting with Putin, which he considers “the easiest of them all,” Rachel Rizzo of the Center for New American Security in Washington wrote:

“Because the meeting occurs after the NATO summit, any achievements in Brussels could be easily wiped out by promises Trump makes to Putin on a whim. Given Trump’s negotiating style, allies are rightly concerned that he may tell Putin that he will remove some U.S. troops from Eastern Europe, or halt U.S. participation in NATO exercises as a sign of good will. This would send European allies into a frenzy.”

A senior NATO diplomat told Birnbaum that there is a fear Trump could recognize Russian’s annexation of Crimea and the issue would make valid some other action, which is a scary thing if you think about it.

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, said that allies started to increase national defense spending, and Europe is doing more for its own security. It is not a secret that there are differences between European countries about trade, climate change, and Iran nuclear deal, but they are still united and like that, stronger.

Source:rferl.org

Some analysts believe that Europe’s effort to strengthen its defenses will never satisfy Trump and that he will always ask for more. He doesn’t even think America should defend Europe so why paying them at all?

Donald Tusk, European Council President, in his speech on Tuesday, addressed to Trump saying “America does not and will not have a better ally than Europe,” noting that EU is spending more on defense than Russia or China and that POTUS should think better who is a strategic friend and who is a strategic problem.

Source: washingtonpost.com

Erdogan Adviser Discloses US-Russia Plans for Syria

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A senior adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that both USA and Russia want the Assad regime to survive. Furthermore, they want to make sure Kurdish groups gain power in a new security structure. According to the sources close to Bashar al-Assad’s government, the two world leaders want to include Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the Syrian army. When added, these forces would oversee the eastern part of the country, as reported in Turkey’s Daily Sabah newspaper.

It is possible for a YPG official to get the post of Syria’s oil minister, allowing the United States to have a permanent presence in the western part of the country. Turkey invaded the country in order to fight the YPG, that is allied with the United States and that fight against the ISIS, but they are also affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party known as PKK. They are an armed group in Turkey prone to terrorist acts and recognized as terrorists by the United States and the European Union.

Source:foreignaffairs.com

Assad family has supported the PKK, which is nothing unusual and its leader Abdullah Ocalan was kept safe in Damascus. However, he was later arrested by the Turks in Kenya and Turkey is disappointed to see Russia and the USA agreeing in this policy, to keep Assad on the seat of power.

“If this is the case, then it is quite clear that the U.S. has had a change of heart and is no longer pushing for a solution in Syria without the Assad regime, which has murdered nearly 1 million of its own citizens,” Ilnur Cevik, the man who wrote the article for Turkey’s Daily Sabah said. “Does Washington agree with a solution that disregards the massive opposition in Syria who are against the murderous Assad regime?”

“If this is the endgame, then all sides need to address Turkey’s legitimate security concerns… The PKK remains a threat to Turkey as it uses the area to launch terrorist attacks targeting Turkish soil. Any solution in Syria must secure all of Turkey’s southern borders, not just the area east of the Euphrates.”

Source:dailysabah.com

“Solutions that include the PKK in a future peace for Syria will only lead to further chaos,” Çevik added. “Turkey has brought relative peace to Syria by cooperating with Russia and Iran. Astana has been successful in providing this peace and remains the only hope for any future solution to the Syrian issue.”

Source: ahvalnews.com

Capital Gazette Shooter – Jarrod Ramos

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Latest reports from Laurel police department suggest that Jarrod W. Ramos, 38, is being held as the suspect in the attack on Capital Gazette. The deadly shooting happened on Thursday, and according to court records that are accessible online, Ramos has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder. A bail review hearing is set for Friday at 10:30 a.m. in Annapolis and at the moment, there is no attorney listed for the shooter.

Both police and federal agents were involved in the investigation, and Rich McLaughlin, chief of the Laurel police department, stated that Laurel law enforcement members were part of the investigation in the shooting.

While the motive for Capital Gazette attack isn’t confirmed we did get the info that Ramos had a long-running feud with them. In 2011 article about a harassment charge against Ramos was published and in 2012 he decided to file a defamation lawsuit against both journalist and paper. The lawsuit was filed against Eric Hartley who wrote the article, and Thomas Marquardt who was publisher and editor. Both of these men are no longer with Capital Gazette.

Ramos went so far and created a Twitter page that had Hartley as avatar while Marquardt and Philip Merrill were on banner image. The bio of the page says: “Dear reader: I created this page to defend myself. Now I’m suing the s— out of half of AA County and making corpses of corrupt careers and corporate entities.”

Unfortunately, Marquardt already warned about the possibility that something like this could happen as Ramos threatened him and other employees of the paper. “I was seriously concerned he would threaten us with physical violence,” Marquardt said from his retirement home in Florida. “I even told my wife, ‘We have to be concerned. This guy could really hurt us.’ ”

Marquardt also added that he informed Anne Arundel County police in 2013 regarding the threats, but nothing happened. “I remember telling our attorneys, ‘This is a guy who is going to come in and shoot us,’ ” he added.

We also contacted Ramos’ aunt Vielka Ramos, 59, and she couldn’t believe that he would do such a thing. She talked about his childhood and that everything was just fine with him growing up in Severn saying that “He was very intelligent. He would try to communicate with people but he was a loner.”

The column that was written by Hartley centered around online relationship and harassment of Ramos when he contacted one of his high school classmates. According to the article, Ramos sent a friend request to the woman and this, later on, turned into a true nightmare for her. This case went to court, and he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor harassment charge, and everything was characterized as “rather bizarre” by the judge.

Defamation suit against Capital Gazette was finally concluded in 2015 after the state’s second-highest court confirmed the previous ruling and dismissed the case.

Source: baltimoresun.com

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