Tyler Durden


Just 18 years after the terrible events of September 11, 2001, The FBI has agreed to provide a key piece of new information about alleged official Saudi involvement following intense efforts by the victims families.

While the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, remains at Guantamo Bay (trial date set for January 2021!), he opened the door in July to helping victims of the attacks in their lawsuit against Saudi Arabia if the U.S. government spares him the death penalty.

And, as The Wall Street Journal reports, victims’ families have urged the government to make more information public, telling President Trump in a letter recently that it would help them “finally learn the full truth and obtain justice from Saudi Arabia.”

The families had sought an unredacted copy of a four-page 2012 summary of an FBI inquiry into three people who may have assisted two of the hijackers in California in finding housing, obtaining driver’s licenses and other matters.

Two of the people, Fahad al-Thumairy and Omar al-Bayoumi, were linked to the Saudi government, according to FBI and congressional documents. The third person, whose name is redacted, is described in the summary as having tasked the other two with assisting the hijackers.

As a reminder, most of the attackers were from Saudi Arabia; Riyadh has denied complicity in the attacks.

In an odd admission, that appears to suggest they are withholding even more evidence, The FBI, citing the “exceptional nature of the case” said it would provide the name of one Saudi official the families’ had most wanted, but wouldn’t release any other information they sought.

Of course, this decision puts President Trump back in an awkward position of maintaining ties with his petrodollar partners who are buying all those arms while being forced to face realities about the Saudis’ behaviors.

Author: Tyler Durden

Source: Zero Hedge: FBI Finally Agrees To Name Saudi Official Who Helped 9/11 Attackers

Last night, we reported that President Trump had decided to delay a 5% increase in tariffs on Chinese goods by two weeks, supposedly out of respect for Beijing and its celebration of 70 years of Communist Party rule on Oct. 1. Trump’s decision came less than a day after China waived 25% tariffs on 16 types of US goods to try and “sweeten” the deal ahead of trade talks next month.

Now, in the latest tit-for-tat deescalation of trade tensions, Bloomberg reports that Beijing is considering whether to permit imports of American agricultural products including soybeans and pork, a move that would further alleviate trade tensions while bolstering support for Trump in the midwestern farm states that comprise a sizable chunk of his base. Foodstuffs and farm products were notably not included in the 16 goods exempted from tariffs earlier this week. According to the Ministry of Commerce, Chinese companies have started asking about prices for US soybeans and pork, a sign that they could restart imports in the near future.

Reopening the door to US soybean imports would come at a critical time for Beijing, which this week announced that it would start allowing imports of soy meal from Argentina to offset the drop in US raw soybeans. China halted imports of US farm products in August as trade talks broke down and President Trump ordered more tariffs on Chinese goods.

As fallout from the trade war hits the US and Chinese economies, pressure for a deal is rising.

Chinese officials welcomed Trump’s decision to postpone US tariffs, Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said at a press briefing on Thursday. Gao noted that mid-level teams of trade negotiators will soon meet to prepare for higher level talks.

China has been struggling with a weak yuan, factory-price deflation and falling exports. Meanwhile, in the US, factory activity unexpectedly contracted in August for the first time in three years, highlighting the impact of slowing global growth and the trade war.

“Trump’s goodwill gesture suggests that the trade war is starting to bite and the US may be more eager to close a deal,” said Chua Hak Bin, an economist at Maybank Kim Eng Research Pte. in Singapore. “The clock is ticking and Trump’s approval ratings are sliding, with manufacturing now in recession.”

Still, despite the latest round of goodwill gestures, the two sides remain far apart on fundamental issues: Beijing insists that the US must drop all trade war tariffs as part of any deal, while Washington is demanding concessions on IP and state subsidies that Beijing has so far refused.

WSJ reported Thursday morning that Beijing is hoping to narrow the scope of negotiations with the US to only focus on trade matters, and put thorny national security issues on a separate track. Senior Chinese officials hope this approach will offer a path out of the current impasse, before a team of mid-level Chinese officials heads to Washington next week to prepare for the next round of high-level talks.

Will these ‘goodwill’ gestures lead to a breakthrough toward a deal? Or will they prove to be the latest in a series of false starts as the trade war nears the 18th month mark?

Author: Tyler Durden

Source: Zerohedge: Beijing Considers Re-Authorizing Imports Of US Agricultural Products In Latest ‘Goodwill’ Gesture

President Trump on Friday said that his administration would begin rounding up illegal immigrants for mass deportation “fairly soon,” after the operation was postponed last month due to someone leaking the date.

“I don’t call them raids. I say they came in illegally and we’re bringing them out legally. They’ll be starting fairly soon. We’re removing people that have come in, all of these people over the years that have come in illegally, we are removing them and bringing them back to their country,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) last month said operations would target recently-arrived undocumented migrants in a bid to discourage a surge of Central American families at the southwest border.

ICE said in a statement its focus was arresting people with criminal histories but any immigrant found in violation of U.S. laws was subject to arrest.Reuters

The new sweep comes after migrant apprehensions on the southwest border hit a 13-year high in May, only to dramatically drop in June after Mexico deployed their National Guard stem the flow of mostly Central American migrants into the United States.

According to documents published this week by migrant rights groups, ICE has previously made more so-called “collateral” arrests of non-criminal migrants (aside from residency) than the criminals they were targeting. The rights groups say that the US government’s ‘generalized threat’ against illegals is harmful to the US economy, as it forces adults to miss work and children to skip school if they feel they may be at risk of arrest.

We have to be ready, not just when Trump announces it, because there are arrests every day,” said New Mexico migrant rights organizer Elsa Lopez, who works for Somos Un Pueblo Unido. The organization helps migrants enter the United States; advising them on their civil rights, and connecting them to a phone network that will send alerts if ICE agents are in their neighborhood.

A rising number of migrants are coming from outside Central America, including India, Cuba and African countries. The Del Rio, Texas, Border Patrol sector on Friday reported the arrest of over 1,000 Haitians since June 10. –Reuters

Between the Mexican national guard and the looming threat of being tossed in a detention facility while awaiting deportation, we wonder how many migrants have recently decided against the already-dangerous trek into the United States?

Author: Tyler Durden

Source: Zero Hedge: Trump: Immigration Raids Coming ‘Fairly Soon’

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