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Conservative columnist pounds bungling Trump for driving North Korea’s Kim into Putin’s arms

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In a harsh column in the New York Times, conservative columnist Bret Stephens hammered President Donald Trump for his ham-handed negotiations with North Korean strongman Kim Jong-un who is currently buddying up to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Stephens started out with a brutal smackdown of Trump’s storied incompetence as a negotiator — despite Trump’s claims to the contrary.

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“As deal-making goes, Donald Trump’s approach to negotiating with North Korea has resembled nothing so much as his purchase, in 1988, of New York’s Plaza Hotel: Rely on personal chemistry, ignore the advice of experts, neglect due diligence and then overpay for an investment that delivers no returns,” he began before adding, “As with the Plaza, the result is about the same: a fiasco.”

According to the columnist, Trump’s bungling of negotiating has opened the door for Putin to act as a middleman where he can serve his own best interests first.

“It’s too soon to say whether Putin’s gambits will succeed. But it’s a measure of the scale of the administration’s failure that the Russian is in a strong position to try,” Stephens wrote. “At his February summit with Kim in Hanoi, Trump failed to get the deal that he unwisely hankered for, which was all-too predictable given the history and ambitions of the North Korean regime.”

“Trump then followed up that failure by continuing to coddle and flatter Kim. In March, he suspended large-scale military exercises with the South. Then he publicly canceled a package of tough North Korea-linked sanctions proposed by his own administration,” the columnist continued before getting to the point about Trump’s dangerous gambit.

“The result is a visible series of gaps, all of them exploitable by America’s adversaries: the gap between the president and his advisers; between Washington and Seoul; between the existing sanctions regime and the will to enforce them,” he wrote, adding, “Also, the gap between Trump’s fantasies and the facts.”

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Noting, “Meanwhile, the dictator that Trump can’t stop praising is the same man who had his half-brother murdered in plain sight and demanded a $2 million payment for the “medical care” of the late Otto Warmbier, the young American who was released from North Korea in a vegetative state. The right word for such behavior is evil,” Stephens warned that Trump is playing a dangerous game.

“There may be no good answer to the challenge of North Korea, but there are plenty of bad ones. Trump seems eager to grasp them all. And unlike the bomb that was the Plaza deal, these ones could detonate,” he cautioned.

You can read more here.

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The Arab uprisings were weakened by online fakes

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The Arab uprisings a decade ago were supercharged by online calls to join the protests -- but the internet was soon flooded with misinformation, weakening the region's cyber-activists.

When Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled the country in January 2011, rumours and uncertainty created "panic and hysteria", said ex-activist and entrepreneur Houeida Anouar.

"January 14 was a horrible night, so traumatic," she said. "We heard gunfire, and a neighbour shouted 'hide yourselves, they're raping women'."

As pro-regime media pumped out misinformation, the flood of bogus news also spread to the internet, a space activists had long seen as a refuge from censorship and propaganda.

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Dr. Fauci warns of post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 surge in US

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The United States is the worst-affected country, with 266,074 Covid-19 deaths, and President Donald Trump's administration has issued conflicting messages on mask-wearing, travel and the danger posed by the virus.

"There almost certainly is going to be an uptick because of what has happened with the travel," Fauci told CNN's "State of the Union."

Travel surrounding Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday made this the busiest week in US airports since the pandemic began.

"We may see a surge upon a surge" in two or three weeks, Fauci added. "We don't want to frighten people, but that's the reality."

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Sidney Powell’s new election lawsuit cites election experts she won’t even name: legal expert

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President Donald Trump's former election lawyer, Sidney Powell, has filed her lawsuit in Georgia suing Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) for what she says is a fraudulent election.

But lawyer Mike Dunford explained that it doesn't exactly work that way. Reading through Powell's court document "Emergency Motion for Declaratory, Emergency, and Permanent Injunctive Relief and Memorandum in Support Thereof."

"If you want emergency relief it is very helpful to be as clear and concise as humanly possible," he explained. "Pointing the court back to your 100+ page complaint with its 29 exhibits isn't how that is best done. To put it very mildly."

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