US intelligence officials believe Russian hackers planted a false news story that prompted Saudi Arabia and several allies to sever relations with Qatar, according to CNN.FBI experts visited Qatar in late May to analyse an alleged cyber breach that saw the hackers place the fake story with Qatar’s state news agency, the US broadcaster said.Saudi Arabia then cited the false report as part of its reason for instituting a diplomatic and economic blockade of Qatar, the report said. The blockade was joined by several other Gulf states and has spiralled into the worst diplomatic crisis for the region in decades.
An example is a proposal for sale of four frigates (called multi-mission surface combatant vessels) to the Royal Saudi navy. This proposal was first reported by the State Department in 2015. No contract has followed. The type of frigate is a derivative of a vessel that the U.S. Navy uses but the derivative doesn’t actually exist yet. Another piece is the Terminal High Altitude Air Defense system (THAAD) which was recently deployed in South Korea. The Saudis have expressed interest in the system for several years but no contracts have been finalized. Obama approved the sale in principle at a summit at Camp David in 2015. Also on the wish list are 150 Black Hawk helicopters. Again, this is old news repackaged. What the Saudis and the administration did is put together a notional package of the Saudi wish list of possible deals and portray that as a deal. Even then the numbers don’t add up. It’s fake news.
Russian police have detained a 45-year-old Muscovite, suspected of shooting multiple people to death in a village northwest of the capital. The man allegedly got into an argument with his companions while drinking.
Trump’s claim that India was seeking “billions and billions and billions” was also typical of the hyperbolic falsehoods he often indulges in. Total foreign aid to India in 2015 was only $ 3.1 billion, with US aid to India only around $ 100 million. This is being whittled down to $34 million in 2018, pocket change for India which now itself gives out $ 1.6 billion in foreign aid, mostly to neighboring countries.
Still, it is likely that none of the G-7 heads of state and government expected the primitive brutality Trump would stoop to when announcing his withdrawal from the international community. Surrounded by sycophants in the Rose Garden at the White House, he didn’t just proclaim his withdrawal from the climate agreement, he sowed the seeds of international conflict. His speech was a break from centuries of Enlightenment and rationality. The president presented his political statement as a nationalist manifesto of the most imbecilic variety. It couldn’t have been any worse.
Comparing hackers to artists, Putin says they may have been inspired by patriotism.
The man in the white house sits, naked and obscene, a pustule of ego, in the harsh light, a man whose grasp exceeded his understanding, because his understanding was dulled by indulgence. He must know somewhere below the surface he skates on that he has destroyed his image, and like Dorian Gray before him, will be devoured by his own corrosion in due time too. One way or another this will kill him, though he may drag down millions with him. One way or another, he knows he has stepped off a cliff, pronounced himself king of the air, and is in freefall. Another dungheap awaits his landing; the dung is all his; when he plunges into it he will be, at last, a self-made man.
During meetings with EU leaders, US President Donald Trump threatened to halt the sale of millions of German cars in the US. In comments leaked to German press he said Germany was acting in a “bad” or “nasty” way.