COMEDY LEGEND JERRY LEWIS DEAD AT 91

LAS VEGAS, NV — Entertainment icon Jerry Lewis has died, the famous comedian’s spokesperson has confirmed.

“He passed away at 9:30 this morning at home, peacefully with family and close friends by his side after a brief illness. They are devastated,” Candi Cazau said in a statement.

He was 91.

Lewis, best known for his quintessential roles in comedies such as “The Bellboy” (1960) and “The Nutty Professor” (1963), is also know for the millions of dollars he raised millions for charities and as chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The “King of Comedy” hosted a live Labor Day broadcast of the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon for 44 years.

Lewis “had a heart of gold,” said Cazau. “He still had things he wanted to do. We had performance dates set up for him in the future. He was always like the energizer bunny.”

“He had a great life. He was a huge inspiration to so many people. It’s a huge loss,” she added.

Lewis first gained fame for his one of a kind comedy-and-music act with singer Dean Martin. When the pair parted ways in the mid-1950s, Lewis went solo where he went on to legendary status in the industry.

News of Lewis’ passing spread like wild fire on social media and celebrities and fans alike were quick to share their shock and grief.

“Jerry Lewis! Oy! Another comic legend gone. What an amazing talent and philanthropist. A long, well lived life!#RIPJerryLewis,” tweeted SNL alumni John Lovitz.

“Jerry Lewis loved his country & helped it enormously. I occasionally spoke with him about policy-he was on it, very engaged despite his age,” tweeted conservative news personality Bill O’Reilly.

“Jerry Lewis was an angel to me. Loved him & will never forget what he did for me during one of the worst times in my life. RIP, Love Roe,” tweeted fellow Hollywood icon Rose Marie.

“I believe, in my own way, that I say something on film. I’m getting to those who probably don’t have the mentality to understand what … ‘A Man for All Seasons’ is all about, plus many who did understand it,” Lewis wrote in his 1971 memoir, “The Total Film-Maker”. “I am not ashamed or embarrassed at how seemingly trite or saccharine something in my films will sound. I really do make films for my great-great-grandchildren and not for my fellows at the Screen Directors Guild or for the critics.”

Married twice, Lewis leaves behind a wife, SanDee Pitnick, and 6 children, including musician Gary Lewis. His son Joseph died in 2009.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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HISTORY UNDER ATTACK: Black activist calls for removal of Washington, Jackson monuments

Chicago, Illinois — A Chicago black rights activist has called for the removal of two presidential monuments on the city’s south side on the grounds that the memorials are offensive to blacks.

A bronze statue of George Washington on horseback stands at the northwest entrance to Washington Park, where the park was dedicated on December 6, 1879.

Bishop James Dukes, pastor of Liberation Christian Center, said he wants the statue taken out, and wants George Washington’s name removed from the park. Dukes also says President Andrew Jackson’s name should be removed from nearby Jackson Park, because, like Washington, he too was a slave owner.

“When I see that, I see a person who fought for the liberties, and I see people that fought for the justice and freedom of white America, because at that moment, we were still chattel slavery, and was three-fifths of humans,” Dukes told CBS 2 Chicago (http://chicago.cbslocal.com/video/category/news-local-news/3715388-pastor-wants-washington-jackson-parks-renamed-over-presidents-ties-to-slavery/). “Some people out here ask me, say ‘Well, you know, he taught his slaves to read.’ That’s almost sad; the equivalent of someone who kidnaps you, that you gave them something to eat.”

Dukes says it’s “unfair” that a monument would be put up to honor the nation’s first president while there have been no monuments erected to commemorate the lives of black activists such as Malcom X.

“There’s no way plausible that we would even think that they would erect a Malcolm X statue in Mount Greenwood, Lincoln Park, or any of that. Not that say Malcolm X was a bad guy; they just would not go for it,” he said. “Native Americans would not even think about putting up a Custer statue, because of the atrocities that he plagued upon Native Americans. And for them to say to us ‘just accept it’ is actually insulting.”

Dukes said he is not “trying to erase history” but that whites should have no say in monuments erected in neighborhoods that are homes to blacks.

“I think we should be able to identify and decide who we declare heroes in or communities, because we have to tell the stories to our children of who these persons are,” he said.

In an open letter published to Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/bishopjames.dukes?fref=nf), Dukes called on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Park District to make it happen.

“I am feeling ambivalent that I would have to walk my child, attend a parade or enjoy a game of softball in a park that commemorates the memory of a slave owner,” he wrote. “Therefore, I call on the immediate removal of President George Washington and President Andrew Jackson names from the parks located on the southeast side of Chicago. They should not have the distinct honor of being held as heroes when they actively participated in the slave trade.”

Calls for comment to Mayor Emanuel have not yet been returned.

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FEDS EYE CLINTON: FBI reopens probe of Lynch/Clinton meeting

Washington, D.C. — The FBI has reconsidered it’s stance on a request for records relating to the now infamous tarmac meeting between former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former president Bill Clinton, says American Center for Law and Justice President Jay Sekulow.

Sekulow reveled the new developments in the case while appearing Wednesday on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” (http://video.foxnews.com/v/5542555329001/?#sp=show-clips) confirming that the FBI sent him a letter saying it had reopened his Freedom of Information Act request for documents related to the June 2016 meeting in Arizona.

The tarmac meeting outraged Republicans who alleged that Lynch’s meeting with Clinton, who’s wife Hillary was at the time the subject of an ongoing criminal probe into her use of a private server to store and send classified emails, was inappropriate.

One week after the meeting, then-FBI Director James Comey called out Clinton’s actions as “extremely careless” but declined to recommend charges. The criminal investigation was closed shortly thereafter. Both Lynch and Clinton claimed at the time that the meeting on the tarmac of a Phoenix airport was coincidental and that the criminal probe into the former Secretary of State was not discussed.

“While we appreciate that the FBI has ‘reopened’ the case file and is now ‘searching’ for documents responsive to our duly submitted FOIA request from more than a year ago, it stretches the bounds of credulity to suggest that the FBI bureaucracy just discovered that ‘potentially responsive’ records ‘may exist’ on its own accord,” Sekulow said in a released statement (https://aclj.org/government-corruption/breaking-fbi-reopening-aclj-foia-request-on-clinton-lynch-meeting-after-being-caught-in-a-lie).

“The FBI’s letter – dated one week after we publicly excoriated the FBI for lying to us when the Comey-led FBI told us last October that it had “no” records responsive to our request – now states that “records potentially responsive to your request may exist,” the statement continues.

“It is unbelievable that the FBI bureaucracy still only admits that some documents “may exist. We know they exist,” the statement went on.

Sekulow, said the ACLJ will continue to “press on in our legal fight to ensure that the details of the secret Clinton-Lynch meeting and the subsequent cover-up and withholding of information from the public comes to light.”

He added that his organization will continue to “legally hold the FBI’s feet to the fire” and that he is “willing to go to court to get (the records) if necessary.”

Upon being fired by President Trump partly due to his handling of the Clinton investigation, Comey told a congressional panel that Lynch directed him to describe the email probe as a “matter” and not an “investigation” and that the tarmac meeting was a “deciding factor” in his decision making in regard to the case.

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VIDEO AND FULL TRANSCRIPT: PRESIDENT TRUMP COMMENTS ON CHARLOTTESVILLE; VOWS FEDERAL RESPONSE

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Trump on Monday issued statement from the White House about the violence that occurred in Charlottesville, Va. last weekend after white nationalists clashed with counterprotesters, resulting in one death and dozens of injuries.

Following is the complete transcript of his remarks:

PRESIDENT TRUMP:

“Thank you.

I’m in Washington today to meet with my economic team about trade policy and major tax cuts and reform. We are renegotiating trade deals and making them good for the American worker. And it’s about time.

Our economy is now strong. The stock market continues to hit record highs. Unemployment is at a 16-year low and businesses are more optimistic than ever before. Companies are moving back to the United States and bringing many thousands of jobs with them. We have already created over one million jobs since I took office. We will be discussing economic issues in greater detail later this afternoon.

But based on the events that took place over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, I would like to provide the nation with an update on the ongoing federal response to the horrific attack and violence that was witnessed by everyone. I just met with F.B.I. Director Christopher Wray, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation into the deadly car attack that killed one innocent American and wounded 20 others.

To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held fully accountable. Justice will be delivered. As I said on Saturday, we condemn, in the strongest possible terms, this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence. It has no place in America.

And as I have said many times before, no matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws. We all salute the same great flag, and we are all made by the same almighty God.

We must love each other, show affection for each other and unite together in condemnation of hatred, bigotry and violence. We must rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty, that bring us together as Americans.

Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the K.K.K., neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.

We are a nation founded on the truth that all of us are created equal. We are equal in the eyes of our creator. We are equal under the law. And we are equal under our Constitution.

Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America. Two days ago, a young American woman, Heather Heyer, was tragically killed. Her death fills us with grief and we send her family our thoughts, our prayers and our love.

We also mourn the two Virginia state troopers who died in service to their community, their commonwealth and their country. Troopers Jay Cullen and Berke Bates exemplify the very best of America and our hearts go out to their families, their friends and every member of American law enforcement.

These three fallen Americans embody the goodness and decency of our nation. In times such as these, America has always shown its true character. Responding to hate with love, division with unity and violence with an unwavering resolve for justice.

As a candidate I promised to restore law and order to our country and our federal law enforcement agencies are following through on that pledge. We will spare no resource in fighting so that every American child can grow up free from violence and fear.

We will defend and protect the sacred rights of all Americans, and we will work together so that every citizen in this blessed land is free to follow their dreams, in their hearts, and to express the love and joy in their souls.

Thank you. God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you very much.”

Click link below for full video of the president’s speech courtesy Associated Press:

https://static01.nyt.com/video/players/offsite/index.html?videoId=100000005363413

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MORE TO COME: WHITE NATIONALISTS SAY CHARLOTTESVILLE ‘JUST THE BEGINNING’

BIRMINGHAM, AL — Organizers behind last weekend’s White Nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia say the event, which led to rioting, one death and dozens more injured, was just the beginning and that they have plan on pulling back their efforts, despite President Trump’s call on Monday for a federal crackdown.

The University of Florida confirmed on Monday that “white rights” leader Richard Spencer has sought permission to speak there next month. Also on Monday, white nationalist Preston Wiginton said he is planning a “White Lives Matter” rally at Texas A&M University to be held sometime in September.

“We’re going to be more active than ever before,” Matthew Heimbach, a leader in the white nationalist movement, said Monday.

Violence at the event erupted on Saturday after James Alex Fields Jr. was charged with killing a woman by driving his car into a group of counter-protesters at the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Fields, 20, was held without bail on murder charges. Before the attack Fields was photographed at the rally wearing a shield bearing the emblem of the white nationalist Vanguard America, though the group has denied that he was a member.

“It was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Robert Armengol, who was on scene for a live podcast he hosts with students at the University of Virginia. “After that it was pandemonium. The car hit reverse and sped and everybody who was up the street in my direction started running.”

Speaking at the White House, President Donald Trump on Monday condemned the violence and vowed “swift” federal response.

“Racism is evil,” Trump said at the White House. “And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”

“I just met with FBI director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The Department of Justice has opened a civil-rights investigation into the deadly car attack that killed one innocent American and wounded 20 others,” the president added. “To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held accountable. Justice will be delivered.”

Despite the president’s condemnation of the event, Jeff Schoep, director of the White Nationalist movement said Charlottesville praised the efforts of the protesters, but also condemned the violence that occurred at the rally. “Any time someone loses their life it’s unfortunate,” he said.

Schoep went on to say that inadequate police protection and counter-demonstrators were to blame for the violence and that white nationalists will not be deterred from planning future demonstrations or their efforts to preserve their southern heritage.

“It’s an assault on American freedoms. Today it’s Confederate monuments. Tomorrow it may be the Constitution or the American flag,” Schoep said.

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JUSTICE FOR JOE? TRUMP ‘SERIOUSLY CONSIDERING’ PARDON FOR ARPAIO

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Embattled former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio may soon be off the hook on charges of defying a court order courtesy President Donald Trump.

According to a report published Monday by Fox News (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/08/14/trump-seriously-considering-pardon-for-sheriff-joe-arpaio.html) the president is “seriously considering” pardoning the tough talking 85 year old.

“I am seriously considering a pardon for Sheriff Arpaio,” the president said during an interview at his New Jersey club. “He has done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration. He’s a great American patriot and I hate to see what has happened to him.”

Arpaio, who was found in contempt of court late July for continuing to question Hispanics about their legal status during traffic stops after being ordered not to do so, now faces up to six months behind bars. He is best known for his no nonsense approach to law enforcement during the 24 years he served as Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, where inmates under his supervision were ordered to wear pink and sleep in outdoor tents in the often brutal Arizona heat.

Unapologetic for his tough stance toward criminals, Arpaio also banned inmates from possessing “sexually explicit material” including Playboy magazine, reinstituted chain gangs and was known to feed his prisoners a bland diet of bread and water.

“This is jail. Not a country club I’m running,” Arpaio once said.

President Trump said he disagrees with the conviction of Arpaio, who was simply trying to uphold the immigration laws of the land

“Is there anyone in local law enforcement who has done more to crack down on illegal immigration then Sheriff Joe?” Trump asked of Arpaio. “He has protected people from crimes and saved lives. He doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.”

As for when a pardon could be expected, Trump wouldn’t say, but indicated that he may move swiftly to pardon the former sheriff. “I might do it right away, maybe early this week. I am seriously thinking about it,” he said.

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COUNTRY MUSIC ICON GLEN CAMPBELL DEAD AT 81

NASHVILLE, TN — Country music pioneer Glen Campbell has died, the singer’s family has confirmed. He was 81.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81, following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease,” the family announced in a released statement on Tuesday.

Campbell, best known for his hits “Southern Nights” and “Rhinestone Cowboy”, won five Grammys, sold more than 45 million records, had 12 gold albums and recorded 75 chart topping hits over the course of his career.

News of the country star’s passing resulted in an outpouring of heartbreak on social media from celebrities who considered Campbell a legend in the country music industry.

“Thank you Glen Campbell for sharing your talent with us for so many years
May you rest in peace my friend. You will never be forgotten,” Charlie Daniels wrote on Twitter.

“Very sad day as one of the world’s greatest voices has fallen silent this side of heaven. Thank you Glen Campbell for the gift you gave us,” tweeted Steven Curtis Chapman.

“Glen Campbell was one of the greatest voices of all time. I will always love you, Glen!” Dolly Parton said in a video uploaded to her Twitter and Facebook page.

In an interview in April, Campbell’s wife Kim spoke of his faith, which he had developed after years of battling drugs and alcohol. “Faith has always been the central part of our relationship. I’m so pleased that as Glen has entered the later stages of this illness, it’s evident that he has retained his awareness of God. That really comforts me to know that he has that sense of God’s presence in his life, that he’s not alone,” she said.

Campell is survived by his wife, Kim, and their three children, Cal, Shannon and Ashley; his children from previous marriages, Debby, Kelli, Travis, Kane, and Dillon; 10 grandchildren, great and great-great-grandchildren; sisters Barbara, Sandra, and Jane; and brothers John Wallace “Shorty” and Gerald.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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TRUMP EFFECT: US JOB OPENINGS SURGE TO RECORD HIGHS, SAY REPORTS

WASHINGTON, D.C.– The U.S. labor market has hit a record high under the first six months of the Trump administration, according to a report by the labor department issued on Tuesday.

According to the July Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, job vacancies rose by 461k, the most for a single month’s time in almost two years, to 6.16 million with a majority of the jobs in demand being in the health care and social assistance industry and for professional and business services. Further, in the per annum through June, the economy created a net 2.3 million jobs, representing 63.4 million new hires.

July figures released last week document also documented that payrolls increased more than forecast while the unemployment rate matched a 16-year low.

Indeed, as the surge of employers pleased with the incentives offered by the Trump administration again begin recruiting after years of hiring freezes, the danger shifts, say experts, from a slumping job market to too many jobs and not enough vacancies to fill them.

“Companies are running out of workers to hire to do the job or even train to do the work, and this is a ticking time bomb for economic growth,” Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York told Reuters (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-jobs-idUSKBN1AO1OP).

Coinciding with the JOLTS report, a July National Federation of Independent Business report showed showed job openings at a 16-year high. Economists excited over the latest trend say they have every reason to believe the surge in job creation to continue under the Trump administration.

“The JOLTS report continues what has been a reasonably strong run for the labor market data, and we expect continued improvement in the job market to keep upward pressure on wages,” Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan in New York told Reuters.

Even critics of the Trump administration have come forward to praise the most recent job numbers.

“Kind of an all-around strong headline number,” said Tony Bedikian, head of global markets at Citizens Bank told MSNBC (https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/04/us-nonfarm-payrolls-july-2017.html). “More people are coming into the labor force and finding jobs. It’s difficult to find anything really negative in the report.”

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NORTH KOREA ‘READY FOR WAR’ WITH UP TO 60 NUKES CAPABLE OF REACHING US

WASHINGTON, D.C. — North Korea has developed an arsenal of up to 60 nuclear weapons capable of reaching the U.S., say latest intelligence reports.

The rogue state has lashed out at the United States over the last week in response to tough new sanctions imposed by the United Nations over it’s refusal to disarm it’s forbidden nuclear program.

A July assessment by the Defense Intelligence Agency found North Korean military leaders have already developed a compact nuclear warhead that can be placed inside one of its advanced missiles, which intelligence officials say are capable of reaching approximately half of the United States.

“The [intelligence community] assesses North Korea has produced nuclear weapons for ballistic missile delivery, to include delivery by ICBM-class missiles,” an excerpt of the DIA analysis reads.

The DIA assessment coincides with a report published on Tuesday by the Japan defense ministry which documents similar findings.

“It is conceivable that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program has already considerably advanced and it is possible that North Korea has already achieved the miniaturization of nuclear weapons into warheads and has acquired nuclear warheads,” the Japanese white paper reports (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/08/north-korea-nuclear-miniaturised-warhead-advanced-considerably-japan).

The threat of impending war between North Korea and the U.S. have led to mandatory emergency disaster drills being carried out by the Japanese government due to the geographical proximity of North Korea to Japan’s north west (http://kotaku.com/japan-preparing-for-north-korean-missile-strikes-with-d-1797626196).

Last week, US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said Washington would not seek UN Security Council action following North Korea’s latest missile test, because “the time for talk is over”.

On Saturday the UN Security Council voted unanimously to approve new sanctions against North Korea that included a ban on coal and other exports worth more than $1bn. North Korea responded by blaming the Trump administration for the sanctions and claimed the U.S. teetered “on the knife’s edge of life and death”.

“We are ready to retaliate with far bigger actions to make the US pay a price
for its crime against our country and people,” said the official Korean Central News Agency, adding it would send “packs of wolves” to “strangle” any nation who opposes North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Reactions to Tuesday’s disturbing developments were swift, with former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton tweeting, “We’ve been playing the diplomatic game for a long time with #NorthKorea and it’s only given them time to advance their weapons program. North Korea’s rhetoric is always over-the-top, but we need to continue to prepare against possible provocative or hostile action.”

President Trump also took to Twitter to address the American people on the ever growing danger over North Korea, tweeting,”After many years of failure,countries are coming together to finally address the dangers posed by North Korea. We must be tough & decisive!”

In an interview broadcast Saturday on MSNBC’s Hugh Hewitt Show, national security adviser H.R. McMaster said the concept of a North Korea armed with nuclear-tipped intercontinental weapons would be “intolerable, from the president’s perspective.”

“We have to provide all options . . . and that includes a military option,” he said.

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NORTH KOREA THREATENS US WITH NUCLEAR STRIKE IN WAKE OF TOUGHER SANCTIONS

WASHINGTON, D.C. — North Korea said on Monday that it’s ready to give the United States a “severe lesson” in the wake of stricter sanctions imposed upon the rogue state by the United Nations.

The statement came after the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to approve tough new U.S.-drafted sanctions last Saturday, which included a ban on coal and other exports worth over $1 billion.

Speaking at the ASEAN Regional Forum on Monday, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho blamed the Trump administration for the UN crackdown and said it’s ready to give the United States a “severe lesson” if met with military force to surrender it’s nuclear weapons.

“We will, under no circumstances, put the nukes and ballistic rockets on the negotiating table,” North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told the ASEAN Regional Forum on Monday.

Yong Ho’s comments coincided with a statement released by North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency in which North Korean officials accused the United States of “trying to drive the situation of the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war, running amuck to conduct missile drill against the DPRK and deploying massive strategic equipment to the peninsula.”

“(North Korea) will make the US pay dearly for all the heinous crimes it commits against the state and people of this country,” KCNA said.

In response, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the new UN measures were necessary to send a message to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that the international community is united in its efforts to disarm North Korea of it’s nuclear weapons.

“We hope again that this ultimately will result in North Korea coming to a conclusion to choose a different pathway, and when the conditions are right that we can sit and have a dialogue around the future of North Korea so that they feel secure and prosper economically,” Tillerson said.

When asked about a time frame while speaking at the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting in Manila, Tillerson said America’s patience is wearing thin but that the Trump administration is doing everything it can to avoid bloodshed by first taking the strategic route.

“We’re not going to give someone a specific number of days or weeks,” Tillerson said. “This is not a ‘give me 30 days and we are ready to talk.’ It’s not quite that simple. So it is all about how we see their attitude toward approaching a dialogue with us.”

“The best signal that North Korea could give us that they’re prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches,” Tillerson added.

However, according to a White House statement, during a phone call between President Trump and South Korean president Moon Jae-in on Sunday, the leaders “affirmed that North Korea poses a grave and growing direct threat to the United States, South Korea and Japan, as well as to most countries around the world.”

Chinese state media on Monday said it agreed that North Korea must be punished for its missile tests, but criticized the U.S. for its “arrogance”. China, the second largest foreign creditor of the United States behind Japan, is North Korea’s most important ally.

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