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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 66)

At Chemical Plant Under Construction, Trump Builds List of Grievances

MONACA, Pa. — President Trump’s appearance on Tuesday at the site of a multibillion-dollar chemical plant under construction here was ostensibly about energy policy.

Instead, the crowd of mostly white, male workers in bright orange and yellow construction vests was the audience for a 67-minute speech that was nearly indistinguishable from something that Mr. Trump would deliver at one of his campaign rallies.

Mr. Trump railed against China, President Barack Obama, the lawsuits he is facing, the money he claims being president has cost him, Hillary Clinton, Democrats running against him and, as always, his news coverage.

The president occasionally touched on energy policy as he claimed credit for one of the largest active construction projects in the United States, the Shell Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex. The plans for the complex, which will convert natural gas into plastics, were in fact announced in 2012, while Mr. Obama was in office.

Still, Mr. Trump insisted that the state had the best “numbers” in its history, although he did not specify which numbers. “This would’ve never happened without me” and his voters, the president told the crowd.

“I’m going to speak to some of your union leaders to say, I hope you are going to support Trump,” he said. “O.K.? And if they don’t, vote them the hell out of office because they are not doing their job. It’s true. Vote them out of office.”

He talked about his time as a real-estate developer and said he enjoyed working with the Teamsters union. He applauded Rick Perry, the secretary of energy, and Andrew Wheeler, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, both in the audience, for dismantling the obstacles that can stop projects similar to the one under construction in Pennsylvania. Mr. Trump also praised fossil fuels and attacked those he said were trying to curtail their use.

In spite of “all of this exceptional progress, however, some politicians in this country still want to keep America’s vast energy treasures buried deep underground, let other nations take advantage of our country,” the president said. “Not happening anymore.”

At another point, he said, “Democrats in Congress are pushing hard for the Green New Deal,” referring to the congressional resolution that lays out a grand plan for tackling climate change that Republicans have denounced.

“How about that one?” he said. “Where it puts everyone in this room out of work, I hate to tell you, a lot more people. Everybody out of work.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_159238893_b1180c42-3176-4a72-8654-6dff7209888a-articleLarge At Chemical Plant Under Construction, Trump Builds List of Grievances Water Pollution United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Pennsylvania natural gas Labor and Jobs Green New Deal Factories and Manufacturing

Mr. Trump touring the facilities in what is his 13th visit to the state, which will be critical for him to win in the 2020 presidential election.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Mr. Trump singled out former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, two of the Democratic contenders for the 2020 presidential nomination who are leading polls in the primary, and said: “I don’t think they give a damn about western Pennsylvania. Do you? I don’t think so.”

“They want to wipe out our oil,” he added. “They want to wipe out our natural gas industry as well. Allowing other countries to steal our jobs.”

The president praised the jobs the Royal Dutch Shell plant would create — about 600 full-time workers will be needed to operate it when it is complete and more than 6,000 workers will build it — along with the benefits that would be offered.

Once construction is complete, the 386-acre ethane cracker plant will produce more than a million tons of plastic. Shell says the plastic from the plant can be used to create fuel-efficient cars and medical devices.

Still, protesters argued that the plant was a threat to the environment and to people’s health. Several groups gathered at the Beaver County Courthouse before the president’s remarks to express their concerns that the plant will produce more than a million tons of plastic, in the form of tiny pellets, at a time when there is increasing concern about plastic debris in the oceans and recycling continues to falter in the United States.

“The Shell plant you are visiting today will erase 30 years’ worth of air quality improvements if it begins operating,” a number of environmentalist and activist groups wrote in a letter to Mr. Trump urging that he stop supporting the plant and the industry as a whole.

Asked by reporters earlier in the day about plastic pollution, the president said that much of it is entering into the ocean from Asia.

He also told reporters it was simply “a retweet” when he highlighted on Twitter an unfounded conspiracy theory that suggested that Bill and Hillary Clinton, the former president and first lady, were linked to the death of Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted pedophile. Mr. Epstein was found dead on Saturday of an apparent suicide in a federal prison in Manhattan as he awaited new charges.

“I have no idea,” Mr. Trump said, when asked whether he truly believed that the Clintons had something to do with the death of Mr. Epstein, who was once a friend of both Mr. Trump and Mr. Clinton.

The trip was the president’s 13th visit to Pennsylvania, which was a critical state for Mr. Trump in 2016 and will be again in 2020. David Urban, a senior adviser to Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign who was instrumental in helping him win Pennsylvania, was spotted on Air Force One when Mr. Trump arrived in Pittsburgh from his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., where he is on vacation.

The president was supposed to visit the plant last week but did not because of the two mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Chris Cuomo’s ‘nuts,’ Curt Schilling’s a ‘patriot’ and more from Trump's day on Twitter

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Chris Cuomo’s ‘nuts,’ Curt Schilling’s a ‘patriot’ and more from Trump's day on Twitter
CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Chris Cuomo’s ‘nuts,’ Curt Schilling’s a ‘patriot’ and more from Trump's day on Twitter

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo got into a heated exchange with a heckler after being called “Fredo.” USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has had a busy day — on Twitter.

While the president is on vacation at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, he has repeatedly tweeted on a number of topics from the protests happening in Hong Kong to criticizing CNN anchor Chris Cuomo after the journalist was captured on video threatening a heckler.

Trump only took a short break from Twitter while he spoke at the soon-to-be-completed Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex in Monaca, Pa. But after his speech, which lasted a little over an hour, the president went back to his favorite social media platform.

Trump has tweeted or retweeted posts over 30 times so far on Tuesday — to his roughly 63 million followers on Twitter.

More: Trump campaign site sells ‘Fredo Unhinged’ shirt following viral Chris Cuomo video

Here is a roundup of some of the things Trump has tweeted about Tuesday:

Arizona politics and Curt Schilling

One of Trump’s first tweets of the day was about Curt Schilling, a former pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks and an outspoken conservative.

In a statement to the Arizona Republic, which is part of the USA TODAY Network, Schilling said that he is “absolutely considering” running for Congress in Arizona against one of the state’s five House Democrats.

Although Schilling did not say in which district he might run, Trump wrote on Twitter that it would be a “terrific” idea if he did.

“Curt Schilling, a great pitcher and patriot, is considering a run for Congress in Arizona. Terrific!” Trump wrote.

Chris Cuomo and CNN

Trump repeatedly slammed Cuomo on Twitter on Tuesday, as well as CNN, the network he works for.

Cuomo was videotaped during a heated exchange with an unidentified man who called him “Fredo.” Cuomo described the term as a racist slur toward Italian Americans. It’s a reference to a character in the 1972 film “The Godfather,” Fredo Corleone, who Cuomo said is “a weak brother.”

“I thought Chris was Fredo also. The truth hurts. Totally lost it! Low ratings” Trump wrote in a tweet.

The president later tweeted: “Would Chris Cuomo be given a Red Flag for his recent rant? Filthy language and a total loss of control. He shouldn’t be allowed to have any weapon. He’s nuts!”

Trump has repeatedly criticized CNN throughout his tenure as president and even while on the campaign trail for the 2016 election. He often calls media outlets he dislikes “fake news.” At the president’s rallies, chants of “CNN sucks” have broken out and CNN journalists at Trump rallies have been heckled.

Trump later retweeted a post from his son, Donald Trump Jr., who wrote that YouTube had taken down the video of Cuomo yelling at the unidentified man. The video is currently still active on YouTube; it’s unclear if it was perhaps taken down temporarily.

“Put it back up. We are living with a Rigged & Fake Media!” Trump tweeted

He went on to repost several tweets from Trump allies, such as Diamond and Silk, criticizing Cuomo. His re-election campaign also criticized Cuomo, which Trump retweeted.

Throughout the day, Trump continued to knock Cuomo and CNN. He also retweeted several posts criticizing the New York Times.

‘Make sure we win’: Donald Trump mixes 2020 politics into Pennsylvania energy speech

“It always happens! When a Conservative does even a fraction of what Chris Cuomo did with his lunatic ranting, raving, & cursing, they get destroyed by the Fake News,” he wrote in a tweet. “But when a Liberal Democrat like Chris Cuomo does it, Republicans immediately come to his defense. We never learn!”

Nearly 20 minutes later, Trump replied to a tweet claiming without evidence that a majority of the viewers of Cuomo’s CNN show are “unwilling passengers at the airports.”

“True! Without being stuck at an airport, where CNN buys (at a big price) an uninterested audience, they’ve got nothing going,” Trump wrote. “@CNN is BAD for America!”

Hong Kong protests

After being asked by reporters about clashes between riot police and pro-democracy protesters at Hong Kong’s airport, Trump told reporters that it was “tricky” situation and that he hoped it would resolve itself.

But after speaking to reporters, Trump took to Twitter to question why he was being blamed for the clash.

“Many are blaming me, and the United States, for the problems going on in Hong Kong,” Trump wrote in a tweet. “I can’t imagine why?”

More: Trump saves Christmas? Tariffs on some Chinese goods delayed until December

Democratic lawmakers have criticized Trump for being slow to speak out against the clashes, and Republican lawmakers have taken a more aggressive position on the situation, saying China shouldn’t be cracking down on protesters. 

Several minutes after Trump’s tweet about being blamed, he followed up with: “Our Intelligence has informed us that the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong. Everyone should be calm and safe!”

2020 Democratic candidates

Trump also slammed several of the Democratic presidential candidates in a series of retweets.

Trump retweeted a post from Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who criticized Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., for her stance on providing health care coverage.

“Kamala Harris isn’t fooling anyone on health care,” McDaniel tweeted. “Here’s one of Iowa’s seniors calling her out for her socialist plan.”

The president also tweeted a post from his son, Trump Jr., making fun of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s crowd size.

Trump Jr. tweeted three laughing emojis, along with “Bill de Blasio draws 15-person crowd in Iowa” and linking to an article that shared that headline. President Trump has repeatedly bragged about his crowd size throughout the 2016 election and his presidency.

More: California, other states sue Trump administration over replacement of Obama’s Clean Power Plan

Trump also reposted another tweet from McDaniel, this time targeting Julián Castro, the former Obama Housing and Urban Development secretary. The tweet criticized Castro for not denouncing a tweet his twin brother wrote condemning Texas donors to Trump’s re-election campaign.

“2020 Democrat Julian Castro says he’s ‘very proud’ of his brother’s target list of @realDonaldTrump supporters,” McDaniel wrote. “Castro has no business being president and – if you look at the polls – nearly every American agrees.”

Contributing: David Jackson and John Fritze

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‘Hong Kong Thing’ Is ‘Very Tough,’ but Trump Doesn’t Criticize China

WASHINGTON — President Trump, presenting himself as a neutral observer of the mass protests in Hong Kong, offered lukewarm support on Tuesday for pro-democracy demonstrators there but stopped short of criticizing the government in Beijing.

In comments to reporters and in a series of afternoon tweets, Mr. Trump took no strong position on the demonstrations that have gripped Hong Kong for weeks and have drawn an increasingly brutal response from local security forces. He echoed none of the defenses of freedom and democracy coming from both Democrats and Republicans.

“The Hong Kong thing is a very tough situation. Very tough,” Mr. Trump told reporters as he left New Jersey for an official event in Pennsylvania. “We’ll see what happens. But I’m sure it’ll work out.” He added: “I hope it works out for everybody, including China. I hope it works out peacefully. I hope nobody gets hurts. I hope nobody gets killed.”

The president later tweeted that intelligence reports indicated that China’s government “is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong.”

“Everyone should be calm and safe!” he added.

Critics and allies alike said that the combination of Mr. Trump’s relative disinterest in human rights and his narrow focus on America’s economic relationship with China leave him with little appetite for taking sides in the escalating showdown between China’s government and the protesters in Hong Kong. But some warned that he was tacitly approving what many fear could be the most brutal suppression of democratic dissent in China in nearly 30 years.

In his comments to reporters, Mr. Trump did allow that he “hopes it works out for liberty,” without explaining what he meant. He did not offer any opinions about the protesters’ demands for more political freedom and protection from mainland China’s growing influence in the former British colony.

This month, Mr. Trump echoed Chinese state media by calling the demonstrations “riots” and said, “That’s between Hong Kong and that’s between China, because Hong Kong is a part of China.”

Democrats have been sharply critical of Mr. Trump, painting him as weak and equivocal in the face of a threat to fundamental American values.

“This is not foreign policy,” Senator Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, responded on Twitter to Mr. Trump’s tweets. On Monday, Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat who is running for president, tweeted that the people of Hong Kong “deserve our support and the support of the world.”

Michael Pillsbury, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute who advises the Trump administration on China policy, said the president was almost exclusively animated by the economic relationship between the United States and China and saw human rights violations as a diversion.

“The regime has to change its economic model and its trade misconduct and World Trade Organization violations,” Mr. Pillsbury said. “That’s his focus.”

Mr. Trump has bashed China’s economic policies for decades, including in several of his books. But one of them, “The America We Deserve,” published in 2000, also condemned China’s political system and praised his own “unwillingness to shrug off the mistreatment of China’s citizens by their own government.” Mr. Trump branded China “an oppressive regime,” adding, “Let’s not pretend we’re dealing with anything less.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_159231759_bd13a057-9733-4be5-abf1-f8edae267f67-articleLarge ‘Hong Kong Thing’ Is ‘Very Tough,’ but Trump Doesn’t Criticize China United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Pillsbury, Michael (1945- ) Human Rights and Human Rights Violations Hong Kong Demonstrations, Protests and Riots China Bannon, Stephen K

“I hope it works out for everybody, including China,” Mr. Trump told reporters as he left New Jersey for an official event in Pennsylvania.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Today, Mr. Trump’s willingness to look the other way has made him an outlier in his own party.

On Monday, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, tweeted a warning that a violent crackdown on the protests “would be completely unacceptable,” adding, “The world is watching.” And Mr. Trump’s State Department took a notably more supportive line toward the demonstrators than the president did.

“We condemn violence and urge all sides to exercise restraint, but remain staunch in our support for freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly in Hong Kong,” the department said in a statement. “Freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly are core values that we share with Hong Kong; these freedoms must be vigorously protected.”

Some foreign policy experts noted that Mr. Trump once spoke with seeming admiration of China’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators at Tiananmen Square in 1990, telling Playboy magazine: “They were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength.”

Thomas Wright, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who has focused on the struggle between democracy and authoritarianism, said Mr. Trump was making a grave mistake by signaling to Beijing an indifference about a potential crackdown on the protests.

“It basically gives a green light to Beijing to do whatever they want to do, and when read in the context of his general support for authoritarians I think the message the White House has sent is pretty clear, which is that this is purely a matter for the regime internally,” Mr. Wright said.

Mr. Trump’s comments came on a day when he announced the delay of planned tariffs on Chinese goods in the midst of a larger trade showdown with Beijing that poses risks to the global economy ahead of the 2020 election.

Stephen K. Bannon, a former Trump White House adviser who strongly supports the protests, said Mr. Trump was probably exercising caution for fear of destabilizing China and endangering its president, Xi Jinping, with whom he has cultivated a relationship.

“I think Trump is throwing Xi a lifeline,” Mr. Bannon said. “One tweet, one comment from Trump can cause the whole thing to go in a certain direction. I think he’s being very careful about unintended consequences.”

Mr. Bannon, who views the United States as locked in mortal combat with China, made his own view unmistakably clear. “The young Hong Kong protesters are like the patriots of 1776,” he said. “We must have their back.”

Mr. Trump also seemed sensitive on Tuesday to accusations from Beijing that the United States had fomented the uprisings in Hong Kong, including one made on Monday by a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry.

“Some senior U.S. politicians and diplomatic officials met and engaged with anti-China rabble-rousers in Hong Kong, criticized China unreasonably, propped up violent and illegal activities, and undermined Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” the spokesman, Hua Chunying, said in comments posted on the Foreign Ministry’s website. “These facts are only too obvious.”

An editorial on Tuesday in the nationalist Chinese newspaper The Daily Times, which is often seen as a mouthpiece for government hard-liners, echoed the charge, saying that the protests could “lead to long-term turmoil in Hong Kong, thereby increasing China’s political and economic burden.”

“This is what some American and Western forces want to see,” the editorial continued.

Mr. Trump appeared to respond to such charges in one of his tweets on Tuesday. “Many are blaming me, and the United States, for the problems going on in Hong Kong,” he wrote. “I can’t imagine why?”

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Debra Messing reignites feud with Susan Sarandon over Trump: 'Liking the revolution?'

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Debra Messing reignites feud with Susan Sarandon over Trump: 'Liking the revolution?'
CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Debra Messing reignites feud with Susan Sarandon over Trump: 'Liking the revolution?'

At the premiere of new mini-series “Feud: Bette and Joan,” Susan Sarandon discusses her reaction to Donald Trump’s first speech to Congress. (March 2) AP

Debra Messing and Susan Sarandon are back at it. 

The “Will & Grace” actress, 50, reignited a years-long Twitter feud Monday with political foe Sarandon, 72, that dates back to the 2016 presidential election.

Messing, who supported Hillary Clinton, and Sarandon, who backed Bernie Sanders, first squabbled in March 2016 after Sarandon suggested that she would vote for Donald Trump in hopes that his presidency would “bring the revolution immediately.”

“If (Trump) gets in, then things will really explode,” Sarandon said on MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes.”

On Monday, Messing took another hit at the Oscar winner, tweeting, “Hey Susan Sarandon, how are you liking the revolution?”  

More: Beef between Susan Sarandon and ‘self-righteous’ Debra Messing explodes on Twitter

Although Messing didn’t tag Sarandon, it wasn’t long before they were back to sparring.

Sarandon replied, “Happy so many ideas labeled impossible/radical in 2016 like Medicare 4 All, fighting climate change, $15 min wage & tuition free college are now mainstream & supported by majority. Racial, economic & social injustice must be addressed with systemic change.”

The “Dead Man Walking” star included a picture of a smiling Sanders in her message, which she concluded with an olive branch to Messing: “You’re welcome to join.”

This is far from the first (or second) political exchange between the two actresses. 

In September 2018, Messing tweeted “STFU SUSAN” after Sarandon told Variety that Trump unintentionally “energized” more women and minorities to run for office.

“This is a revolution; it may not seem like one,” Sarandon told Variety at the time. “Maybe things had to get so bad before for real change could actually happen.”

2018’s explosive celeb feuds: Debra Messing versus Susan Sarandon

Messing continued, “You were dead WRONG running around bellowing that (Clinton) was more dangerous than Trump. Only a self righteous, narcissist would continue to spout off and not – in the face of Americans’ pain and agony -be contrite and apologize for your part in this catastrophe. But, you do you, Susan.” 

In response, Sarandon tweeted to her fellow actress, “Debs, before you get yourself all self-righteous, try clicking on the video and listening to what I actually say, not @Variety’s clickbait headline, which btw has no quotation marks. That’s a clue…”

The two eventually resorted to retweeting negative messages about each other until their heated back-and-forth finally died down. But not for long. 

Contributing: Erin Jensen

More: Susan Sarandon among 575 people arrested at protest against Trump immigration policy

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At Chemical Plant Under Construction, Trump Builds List of Grievances

MONACA, Pa. — President Trump’s appearance on Tuesday at the site of a multibillion-dollar chemical plant under construction here was ostensibly about energy policy.

Instead, the crowd of mostly white, male workers in bright orange and yellow construction vests was the audience for a 67-minute speech that was nearly indistinguishable from something that Mr. Trump would deliver at one of his campaign rallies.

Mr. Trump railed against China, President Barack Obama, the lawsuits he is facing, the money he claims being president has cost him, Hillary Clinton, Democrats running against him and, as always, his news coverage.

The president occasionally touched on energy policy as he claimed credit for one of the largest active construction projects in the United States, the Shell Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex. The plans for the complex, which will convert natural gas into plastics, were in fact announced in 2012, while Mr. Obama was in office.

Still, Mr. Trump insisted that the state had the best “numbers” in its history, although he did not specify which numbers. “This would’ve never happened without me” and his voters, the president told the crowd.

“I’m going to speak to some of your union leaders to say, I hope you are going to support Trump,” he said. “O.K.? And if they don’t, vote them the hell out of office because they are not doing their job. It’s true. Vote them out of office.”

He talked about his time as a real-estate developer and said he enjoyed working with the Teamsters union. He applauded Rick Perry, the secretary of energy, and Andrew Wheeler, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, both in the audience, for dismantling the obstacles that can stop projects similar to the one under construction in Pennsylvania. Mr. Trump also praised fossil fuels and attacked those he said were trying to curtail their use.

In spite of “all of this exceptional progress, however, some politicians in this country still want to keep America’s vast energy treasures buried deep underground, let other nations take advantage of our country,” the president said. “Not happening anymore.”

At another point, he said, “Democrats in Congress are pushing hard for the Green New Deal,” referring to the congressional resolution that lays out a grand plan for tackling climate change that Republicans have denounced.

“How about that one?” he said. “Where it puts everyone in this room out of work, I hate to tell you, a lot more people. Everybody out of work.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_159238893_b1180c42-3176-4a72-8654-6dff7209888a-articleLarge At Chemical Plant Under Construction, Trump Builds List of Grievances Water Pollution United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Pennsylvania natural gas Labor and Jobs Green New Deal Factories and Manufacturing

Mr. Trump touring the facilities in what is his 13th visit to the state, which will be critical for him to win in the 2020 presidential election.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Mr. Trump singled out former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, two of the Democratic contenders for the 2020 presidential nomination who are leading polls in the primary, and said: “I don’t think they give a damn about western Pennsylvania. Do you? I don’t think so.”

“They want to wipe out our oil,” he added. “They want to wipe out our natural gas industry as well. Allowing other countries to steal our jobs.”

The president praised the jobs the Royal Dutch Shell plant would create — about 600 full-time workers will be needed to operate it when it is complete and more than 6,000 workers will build it — along with the benefits that would be offered.

Once construction is complete, the 386-acre ethane cracker plant will produce more than a million tons of plastic. Shell says the plastic from the plant can be used to create fuel-efficient cars and medical devices.

Still, protesters argued that the plant was a threat to the environment and to people’s health. Several groups gathered at the Beaver County Courthouse before the president’s remarks to express their concerns that the plant will produce more than a million tons of plastic, in the form of tiny pellets, at a time when there is increasing concern about plastic debris in the oceans and recycling continues to falter in the United States.

“The Shell plant you are visiting today will erase 30 years’ worth of air quality improvements if it begins operating,” a number of environmentalist and activist groups wrote in a letter to Mr. Trump urging that he stop supporting the plant and the industry as a whole.

Asked by reporters earlier in the day about plastic pollution, the president said that much of it is entering into the ocean from Asia.

He also told reporters it was simply “a retweet” when he highlighted on Twitter an unfounded conspiracy theory that suggested that Bill and Hillary Clinton, the former president and first lady, were linked to the death of Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted pedophile. Mr. Epstein was found dead on Saturday of an apparent suicide in a federal prison in Manhattan as he awaited new charges.

“I have no idea,” Mr. Trump said, when asked whether he truly believed that the Clintons had something to do with the death of Mr. Epstein, who was once a friend of both Mr. Trump and Mr. Clinton.

The trip was the president’s 13th visit to Pennsylvania, which was a critical state for Mr. Trump in 2016 and will be again in 2020. David Urban, a senior adviser to Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign who was instrumental in helping him win Pennsylvania, was spotted on Air Force One when Mr. Trump arrived in Pittsburgh from his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., where he is on vacation.

The president was supposed to visit the plant last week but did not because of the two mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

At Chemical Plant Under Construction, Trump Builds List of Grievances

MONACA, Pa. — President Trump’s appearance on Tuesday at the site of a multibillion-dollar chemical plant under construction here was ostensibly about energy policy.

Instead, the crowd of mostly white, male workers in bright orange and yellow construction vests was the audience for a 67-minute speech that was nearly indistinguishable from something that Mr. Trump would deliver at one of his campaign rallies.

Mr. Trump railed against China, President Barack Obama, the lawsuits he is facing, the money he claims being president has cost him, Hillary Clinton, Democrats running against him and, as always, his news coverage.

The president occasionally touched on energy policy as he claimed credit for one of the largest active construction projects in the United States, the Shell Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex. The plans for the complex, which will convert natural gas into plastics, were in fact announced in 2012, while Mr. Obama was in office.

Still, Mr. Trump insisted that the state had the best “numbers” in its history, although he did not specify which numbers. “This would’ve never happened without me” and his voters, the president told the crowd.

“I’m going to speak to some of your union leaders to say, I hope you are going to support Trump,” he said. “O.K.? And if they don’t, vote them the hell out of office because they are not doing their job. It’s true. Vote them out of office.”

He talked about his time as a real-estate developer and said he enjoyed working with the Teamsters union. He applauded Rick Perry, the secretary of energy, and Andrew Wheeler, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, both in the audience, for dismantling the obstacles that can stop projects similar to the one under construction in Pennsylvania. Mr. Trump also praised fossil fuels and attacked those he said were trying to curtail their use.

In spite of “all of this exceptional progress, however, some politicians in this country still want to keep America’s vast energy treasures buried deep underground, let other nations take advantage of our country,” the president said. “Not happening anymore.”

At another point, he said, “Democrats in Congress are pushing hard for the Green New Deal,” referring to the congressional resolution that lays out a grand plan for tackling climate change that Republicans have denounced.

“How about that one?” he said. “Where it puts everyone in this room out of work, I hate to tell you, a lot more people. Everybody out of work.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_159238893_b1180c42-3176-4a72-8654-6dff7209888a-articleLarge At Chemical Plant Under Construction, Trump Builds List of Grievances Water Pollution United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Pennsylvania natural gas Labor and Jobs Green New Deal Factories and Manufacturing

Mr. Trump touring the facilities in what is his 13th visit to the state, which will be critical for him to win in the 2020 presidential election.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Mr. Trump singled out former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, two of the Democratic contenders for the 2020 presidential nomination who are leading polls in the primary, and said: “I don’t think they give a damn about western Pennsylvania. Do you? I don’t think so.”

“They want to wipe out our oil,” he added. “They want to wipe out our natural gas industry as well. Allowing other countries to steal our jobs.”

The president praised the jobs the Royal Dutch Shell plant would create — about 600 full-time workers will be needed to operate it when it is complete and more than 6,000 workers will build it — along with the benefits that would be offered.

Once construction is complete, the 386-acre ethane cracker plant will produce more than a million tons of plastic. Shell says the plastic from the plant can be used to create fuel-efficient cars and medical devices.

Still, protesters argued that the plant was a threat to the environment and to people’s health. Several groups gathered at the Beaver County Courthouse before the president’s remarks to express their concerns that the plant will produce more than a million tons of plastic, in the form of tiny pellets, at a time when there is increasing concern about plastic debris in the oceans and recycling continues to falter in the United States.

“The Shell plant you are visiting today will erase 30 years’ worth of air quality improvements if it begins operating,” a number of environmentalist and activist groups wrote in a letter to Mr. Trump urging that he stop supporting the plant and the industry as a whole.

Asked by reporters earlier in the day about plastic pollution, the president said that much of it is entering into the ocean from Asia.

He also told reporters it was simply “a retweet” when he highlighted on Twitter an unfounded conspiracy theory that suggested that Bill and Hillary Clinton, the former president and first lady, were linked to the death of Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted pedophile. Mr. Epstein was found dead on Saturday of an apparent suicide in a federal prison in Manhattan as he awaited new charges.

“I have no idea,” Mr. Trump said, when asked whether he truly believed that the Clintons had something to do with the death of Mr. Epstein, who was once a friend of both Mr. Trump and Mr. Clinton.

The trip was the president’s 13th visit to Pennsylvania, which was a critical state for Mr. Trump in 2016 and will be again in 2020. David Urban, a senior adviser to Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign who was instrumental in helping him win Pennsylvania, was spotted on Air Force One when Mr. Trump arrived in Pittsburgh from his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., where he is on vacation.

The president was supposed to visit the plant last week but did not because of the two mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso.

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Lara Trump: Dems using white-supremacy accusations to deflect from economy

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6072586306001_6072594946001-vs Lara Trump: Dems using white-supremacy accusations to deflect from economy Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 61e41e71-d524-57e7-a923-033425b7f96d

Trump 2020 senior adviser Lara Trump appeared on “The Story with Martha MacCallum” on Tuesday and dismissed accusations that the president, her father-in-law, is racist. She said the claim is a way to deflect from his success.

“I don’t know how many times a president has to denounce white supremacy and say that he does not agree with it.  And that it is horrific and that he doesn’t stand for any type of racism,” Trump told MacCallum.

AOC SAYS CALLING PEOPLE ‘COMMUNIST’ HAS A ‘RICH HISTORY’ IN ‘WHITE SUPREMACY’

“Of course this president does not support white supremacy. That is a ridiculous talking point.”

Since former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony last month, conservative pundits have accused Democrats of shifting the narrative to racism and have accused President Trump of inflaming white supremacy.

More from Fox News Media

Trump argued that “the left” is using racism to deflect from a booming economy.

“It continues to be pushed by the left because when that talk … about what this president has been able to do in two and a half years in this country, Martha, it is so hard to fight against it when you have the best economy that we’ve seen in decades, almost ever in this country,” Trump said.

Trump also ripped Democrats for their border policies.

“They know they have someone looking out for them on our southern border, as opposed to all the Democrats who want open borders. That is very hard for them to fight against,” Trump said.

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“So what do you do?  You call someone a racist, you call someone a white supremacist or say they support white supremacy,” Trump added.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6072586306001_6072594946001-vs Lara Trump: Dems using white-supremacy accusations to deflect from economy Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 61e41e71-d524-57e7-a923-033425b7f96d   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6072586306001_6072594946001-vs Lara Trump: Dems using white-supremacy accusations to deflect from economy Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 61e41e71-d524-57e7-a923-033425b7f96d

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The Subject Was Supposed to Be Energy, but Trump’s Visit to a Chemical Plant Seemed More Like a Rally

MONACA, Pa. — President Trump’s appearance on Tuesday at the site of a multibillion-dollar chemical plant under construction here was ostensibly about energy policy.

Instead, the crowd of mostly white, male workers in bright orange and yellow construction vests was the audience for a 67-minute speech that was nearly indistinguishable from something that Mr. Trump would deliver at one of his campaign rallies.

Mr. Trump railed against China, President Barack Obama, the lawsuits he is facing, the money he claims being president has cost him, Hillary Clinton, Democrats running against him and, as always, his news coverage.

The president occasionally touched on energy policy as he claimed credit for one of the largest active construction projects in the United States, the Shell Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex. The plans for the complex, which will convert natural gas into plastics, were in fact announced in 2012, while Mr. Obama was in office.

Still, Mr. Trump insisted that the state had the best “numbers” in its history, although he did not specify which numbers. “This would’ve never happened without me” and his voters, the president told the crowd.

“I’m going to speak to some of your union leaders to say, I hope you are going to support Trump,” he said. “O.K.? And if they don’t, vote them the hell out of office because they are not doing their job. It’s true. Vote them out of office.”

He talked about his time as a real-estate developer and said he enjoyed working with the Teamsters union. He applauded Rick Perry, the secretary of energy, and Andrew Wheeler, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, both in the audience, for dismantling the obstacles that can stop projects similar to the one under construction in Pennsylvania. Mr. Trump also praised fossil fuels and attacked those he said were trying to curtail their use.

In spite of “all of this exceptional progress, however, some politicians in this country still want to keep America’s vast energy treasures buried deep underground, let other nations take advantage of our country,” the president said. “Not happening anymore.”

At another point, he said, “Democrats in Congress are pushing hard for the Green New Deal,” referring to the congressional resolution that lays out a grand plan for tackling climate change that Republicans have denounced.

“How about that one?” he said. “Where it puts everyone in this room out of work, I hate to tell you, a lot more people. Everybody out of work.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_159238893_b1180c42-3176-4a72-8654-6dff7209888a-articleLarge The Subject Was Supposed to Be Energy, but Trump’s Visit to a Chemical Plant Seemed More Like a Rally Water Pollution United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Pennsylvania natural gas Labor and Jobs Green New Deal Factories and Manufacturing

Mr. Trump touring the facilities in what is his 13th visit to the state, which will be critical for him to win in the 2020 presidential election.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Mr. Trump singled out former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, two of the Democratic contenders for the 2020 presidential nomination who are leading polls in the primary, and said: “I don’t think they give a damn about western Pennsylvania. Do you? I don’t think so.”

“They want to wipe out our oil,” he added. “They want to wipe out our natural gas industry as well. Allowing other countries to steal our jobs.”

The president praised the jobs the Royal Dutch Shell plant would create — about 600 full-time workers will be needed to operate it when it is complete and more than 6,000 workers will build it — along with the benefits that would be offered.

Once construction is complete, the 386-acre ethane cracker plant will produce more than a million tons of plastic. Shell says the plastic from the plant can be used to create fuel-efficient cars and medical devices.

Still, protesters argued that the plant was a threat to the environment and to people’s health. Several groups gathered at the Beaver County Courthouse before the president’s remarks to express their concerns that the plant will produce more than a million tons of plastic, in the form of tiny pellets, at a time when there is increasing concern about plastic debris in the oceans and recycling continues to falter in the United States.

“The Shell plant you are visiting today will erase 30 years’ worth of air quality improvements if it begins operating,” a number of environmentalist and activist groups wrote in a letter to Mr. Trump urging that he stop supporting the plant and the industry as a whole.

Asked by reporters earlier in the day about plastic pollution, the president said that much of it is entering into the ocean from Asia.

He also told reporters it was simply “a retweet” when he highlighted on Twitter an unfounded conspiracy theory that suggested that Bill and Hillary Clinton, the former president and first lady, were linked to the death of Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted pedophile. Mr. Epstein was found dead on Saturday of an apparent suicide in a federal prison in Manhattan as he awaited new charges.

“I have no idea,” Mr. Trump said, when asked whether he truly believed that the Clintons had something to do with the death of Mr. Epstein, who was once a friend of both Mr. Trump and Mr. Clinton.

The trip was the president’s 13th visit to Pennsylvania, which was a critical state for Mr. Trump in 2016 and will be again in 2020. David Urban, a senior adviser to Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign who was instrumental in helping him win Pennsylvania, was spotted on Air Force One when Mr. Trump arrived in Pittsburgh from his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., where he is on vacation.

The president was supposed to visit the plant last week but did not because of the two mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso.

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‘Juul-alikes’ Are Filling Shelves With Sweet, Teen-Friendly Nicotine Flavors

The purveyors of Strawberry Milk, Peach Madness and Froopy (tastes like Froot Loops) e-cigarette pods are having a very good year.

After Juul Labs, under pressure from the Food and Drug Administration, stopped selling most of its hugely popular flavored nicotine pods in stores last fall, upstart competitors swooped in to grab the shelf space. Trumpeting their own fruity and candy-flavored pods as compatible with Juul devices, they have seen their sales soar.

The proliferation of “Juul-alikes” is not only complicating Juul’s efforts to clean up its tarnished image, but also shows just how entrenched the youth vaping problem has become and that voluntary measures are unlikely to solve it.

When Juul agreed to discontinue store sales of its fruit and dessert flavors, it said it would continue selling them online and strengthen the age verification process on its website.

“If Juul’s voluntary actions were working, youths would not still be using their products at epidemic rates,” said Chris Bostic, deputy director for policy of Action on Smoking & Health. “We can’t rely on the companies alone to self-regulate. That’s where the government needs to step in.”

Exactly how willing the Trump administration is to step in is up in the air. In the last few weeks of his tenure at the F.D.A., the former commissioner Scott Gottlieb issued a proposal requiring that stores sequester flavored e-cigarettes, except menthol, mint and tobacco, to areas off limits to minors. Retailers, among them convenience stores and gas stations, would be expected to verify the age of their customers.

But the details of the proposal were vague, and with Dr. Gottlieb’s departure, it’s unclear how federal policy might change, although Acting Commissioner Norman E. Sharpless has said he is working on finalizing the plan and supported Dr. Gottlieb’s e-cigarette crackdown.

Juul has filed numerous lawsuits, and complaints with the International Trade Commission, seeking to beat back the cheaper copycat devices and pods.

“If the box isn’t around, the parent would say it’s a Juul pod, but it’s not us,” said Matthew Hult, a Juul lawyer. “It injects confusion and tarnishes the Juul brand.”

The company is also targeting sellers of counterfeit vaping devices and pods sold under the Juul name, and training federal customs officials to catch them at ports of entry.

Juul said its concern was less about losing market share than about further damaging its reputation at a time when the company is trying to convince the public that it really does not want minors to vape, and that it is working to prevent them from doing so.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158446533_b8978d6d-6696-403b-84de-fa08b9c1f798-articleLarge ‘Juul-alikes’ Are Filling Shelves With Sweet, Teen-Friendly Nicotine Flavors Ziip Youth Vapor4Life United States International Trade Commission Teenagers and Adolescence Smoking and Tobacco Shopping and Retail Nicotine Juul Labs Inc Inventions and Patents Healey, Maura (1971- ) Eonsmoke E-Cigarettes Counterfeit Merchandise

James Monsees, a Juul co-founder and chief product officer, testifying before a House subcommittee last month.CreditSusan Walsh/Associated Press

In the past few months, Juul has spent millions of dollars to run numerous full-page advertisements in newspapers — including The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal — and digital news organizations like Politico and Axios. The somber black and white, text-only displays blast messages like, “IT’S TIME TO RAISE THE LEGAL AGE TO PURCHASE TOBACCO PRODUCTS, INCLUDING VAPOR, FROM 18 TO 21.”

But as the company pushes back against other companies’ flavor pods, Juul says it still has the legal right, under F.D.A. rules, to bring back dozens of its own sweet flavors that it once sold in very limited release. They include varieties of watermelon, strawberry and melon, which competitors are already selling, as well as specially designed concoctions: Coconut Bourbon, Elderflower Fizz, Mimosa and Thai Tea, and others.

In April, Juul told Congress it had no intention of bringing those flavors back in the United States.

Juul’s vaping products have been on the market only since 2015, but the sleek devices, sometimes called “the iPhones of e-cigarettes,” have become so popular, particularly with young people, that the company now has more than 70 percent of the e-cigarette market. Many public health and school officials believe Juul’s early marketing campaigns, which highlighted the “coolness” of the devices, helped make them fashionable with teenagers and led to rising nicotine addiction among young people who had never smoked. The F.D.A. and some state attorneys general are investigating the company’s marketing practices.

The company has filed patent infringement claims against 21 manufacturers and sellers of copycat devices and pods.

Most of those companies agreed to stop selling their similar products, but three did not, according to Juul: Eonsmoke, based in New Jersey, which uses factories in China; Ziip, based in China; which makes many different brands of nicotine pods and devices; and Vapor4Life, an Illinois-based seller of pods, devices and other goods.

“We are taking aggressive actions against counterfeit and compatible products because they are a direct threat to our plan to combat youth usage,” said Joshua Raffel, a Juul spokesman.

Mr. Raffel said that Juul had participated in raids on factories making counterfeit Juul products. He said United States Customs had made 37 seizures of counterfeit Juul products that they are aware of, so far this year.

He also said that Juul had sent 278 cease-and-desist letters related to counterfeit or illegal products.

Eonsmoke is one of Juul’s growing rivals. Juul’s removal of its creme, cucumber, fruit and mango flavors from stores gave Eonsmoke’s fortunes a big boost. In 2018, Eonsmoke generated an estimated $5.3 million in revenue based on sales tracked by Information Resources Inc., which analyzes retail spending. This year, the company’s business has soared, with an estimated $43.6 million in tracked sales as of mid-July.

Stephen Lobbin, an Eonsmoke lawyer, said the company’s nicotine pods are designed for adults, and that people under 18 are not permitted to buy them in stores or online.

“There are things that may harm you and we allow that in our society, because we favor personal responsibility over the nanny state,” he added.

Ziip and Eeonsmoke products in a Manhattan vape shop.CreditBrittainy Newman/The New York Times

But teenagers are still getting their hands on them.

Phillip Fuhrman, a 16-year-old New Yorker whose mother is a co-founder of Parents Against Vaping e-cigarettes, said Eonsmoke’s wide range of flavors was a big draw for minors.

“A lot of my friends use the blueberry,” Phillip said in an interview. “People use the mango because it’s somewhat similar to the Juul mango.”

Aside from being cheaper than Juul’s products and available in more flavors, Eonsmoke also offers another attraction, Phillip said — some of the company’s pods come with levels of nicotine higher than any Juul sells.

“Some of my friends use Eon pods because they have a higher nicotine percentage, because they want a bigger head rush,” Phillip said. “If you’re Juuling every single day, you aren’t going to get as much of a head rush.”

Eonsmoke is under investigation by both the F.D.A. and the attorney general of Massachusetts.

In May, the Massachusetts attorney general, Maura Healey, filed suit against Eonsmoke, accusing it of targeting its vaping products to young people through marketing and advertising intended to appeal to youth. The state also alleged that Eonsmoke failed to verify the ages of its online buyers. As a result of a cease-and-desist letter sent in September 2018, Eonsmoke no longer sells its products online to Massachusetts residents.

Eonsmoke and the other companies deny targeting minors.

Eonsmoke argues that Juul’s patents are invalid. “Juul has tweaked some very simple standard ways to basically heat up and vaporize a liquid and puff on it,” Mr. Lobbin said. “They haven’t figured out a way to get to Mars.”

Ziip, which designs and manufactures dozens of different flavor pods and devices is also under investigation by the F.D.A., which said that it, like Eonsmoke, might have products on the market illegally.

Like Eonsmoke, Ziip claims that Juul’s technology is either the same or very close to what was previously invented, invalidating its patents.

“Juul is trying to gain a virtual monopoly over the e-cigarette industry in the United States,” said Steven Susser, a lawyer for Ziip. He also blamed Juul’s marketing practices for putting the industry under a microscope.

“All Ziip wants to do is to offer a less expensive, and what it believes to be a better quality, alternative,” he said. Ziip sells dozens of Juul-compatible flavors including Froopy, Iced Pina Colada, Cinnamon Roll and Strawberry Lemonade.

In documents filed with the trade commission, Juul called its vaping system “a runaway success” and said that the devices and nicotine pods manufactured and sold by the accused companies were based on stolen intellectual property. Juul also raised questions about its competitors’ quality control, although in an interview it did not give any specific examples of problems.

Melanie Milin, co-founder of Vapor4Life, said her company had always told prospective customers not to start vaping if they don’t already smoke. The company offers products in a range of nicotine levels to encourage people who vape to taper off and quit.

The showdown has stirred up mixed feelings among the tobacco-control crowd.

“It is hard to root for Juul in a corporate fight about who profits from nicotine addiction,” Mr. Bostic said. “But from a purely public health perspective, an I.T.C. decision in their favor would at least get some products aimed at children off the market. All of these should be banned, and a growing number of jurisdictions are doing just that.”

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Kremlin Keeps Quiet On Blast At Secretive Nuclear Test Site Inside Arctic Circle

Westlake Legal Group 5d532c462400009a01b78674 Kremlin Keeps Quiet On Blast At Secretive Nuclear Test Site Inside Arctic Circle

An explosion rocked a secretive Russian nuclear test site inside the Arctic Circle last week. At first, Russian officials denied that the blast produced any radioactive activity. They also denied any evacuations would be needed. 

But then authorities in a village near the explosion advised locals to vacate the town for several hours on Wednesday. Greenpeace reported that background levels of radiation in the area had spiked to 20 times normal levels. And the explosion killed at least five people, with Russia’s state atomic energy corporation finally admitting it occurred at a small nuclear reactor. 

The incident is the second time in two months that the Kremlin has kept a tight seal on information on disasters involving nuclear projects ― a fire aboard one of the nation’s nuclear submarines killed 14 sailors in early July. The incidents have fueled speculation about Russia’s military activities and raised alarm among arms control experts, who are concerned by the secretiveness displayed by one of the world’s premier nuclear powers about mishaps with humanity-threatening technology. 

Luckily, international protocols have evolved significantly since 1986′s infamous disaster at Chernobyl, which the Soviet Union tried to minimize until widespread radiation spikes and international measurements destroyed the government’s cover story. 

“It’s not like the 1980s when Chernobyl exploded and there was this really long gap,” said Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Non-Proliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Vermont. “It would be extremely, extremely hard to hide a nuclear disaster today.”

The new fatal blast is believed to have happened at the Nyonoksa test range in northern Russia on Aug. 8 and involved a failed test of a nuclear-powered “Burevestnik” cruise missile designed to evade missile defense systems and reach anywhere in the world, according to U.S. officials and nuclear experts. 

Thanks to technological safeguards against undisclosed nuclear releases, the reality of the accident was almost immediately apparent. The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization, for example, maintains sensor stations across the globe monitoring radionuclides for spikes in radiation levels. It also has methods of measuring sound waves and seismic activity to detect clandestine nuclear tests.

“It would be extremely, extremely hard to hide a nuclear disaster today.” Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Non-Proliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

Monitors also check social media after a nuclear event for information, Lewis said, including the accounts of the scientists or armed forces who are reported to have been killed. Extensive satellite imagery can look at the area around reported nuclear tests and organizations check open-source data for any movements related to an event. 

Lewis and his team, for instance, quickly found that a Russian ship used for nuclear fuel transport was in the area of the test site when last week’s explosion took place.

More information on just how much radiation the blast released is expected to come out in the next few days. 

Aside from these technological monitors, governments are supposed to use diplomatic channels to notify the global community about accidents ― though Russia has taken advantage of some loopholes in these agreements.

The Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident, ratified following the Chernobyl disaster, makes it obligatory for states to extensively report the release of radioactive material or the potential for it to be released, such as when Mexico lost a truck full of radioactive medical material in 2013. But the treaty does not have the same mandatory reporting rules for military nuclear projects, and states are far more hesitant to disclose information on nuclear weapons programs.  

Radiation releases from “a hospital source for cancer treatment is one thing and a developmental secret weapon is quite another,” said Cheryl Rofer, a retired scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and nuclear expert. “Russia certainly has not been very forthcoming on this latest accident.” 

It appeared to stonewall the International Atomic Energy Agency, which contacted the Russian government about last week’s explosion but got a comically sparse explanation. An IAEA spokesperson told HuffPost that Russian officials replied only that radiation levels were normal in the area and “this facility does not belong to the facilities for the peaceful use of nuclear energy.” 

The Kremlin’s repeated celebration its purported missile advancements is a likely reason for its sensitivity about the accident.

Russian President Vladimir Putin showed a video simulation last year of the “Burevestnik” missile’s ability to strike Florida. The country’s missile projects have spurred debate over whether a new arms race will emerge between the U.S., Russia and China. President Donald Trump has done little to dispel that fear, boasting on Monday that the U.S. missile program was superior to its Russian counterpart. 

“The United States is learning much from the failed missile explosion in Russia,” Trump tweeted. “We have similar, though more advanced, technology.“

Diplomatic conditions aimed at creating transparency involving nuclear accidents are likely to deteriorate. Trump’s tweet started a missile-measuring contest between Washington and Moscow, with Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov claiming on Tuesday that Russia’s missiles surpassed other countries’ capabilities. The U.S. and Russia also have both been walking back from arms control measures as they pursue new military technology.

Trump earlier this month withdrew the U.S. from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces treaty that banned certain types of cruise missile and had been in effect since 1987. The New START treaty, which puts limits on nuclear weapons, is set to expire in 2021 and Trump national security adviser John Bolton has called its renewal “unlikely.”

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