TRUMP ORDERS ADDITIONAL AIRCRAFT CARRIERS SENT TO KOREAN PENINSULA AS KIM JUNG-UN REMAINS DEFIANT

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump on Monday ordered two additional aircraft carriers deployed to the Korean peninsula as tensions between the U.S. and North Korea continue to mount.

South Korea’s primary news outlet, Yonhap, reports that in addition to the already deployed U.S.S. Carl Vinson, which is expected to arrive off the South Korean coast on April 25, the CVN. Ronald Reagan and the CVN-68 Nimitz will enter the Sea of Japan next week.

A source close to the Trump administration says the move is meant to show North Korean leader Kim Jung-Un, who attempted a missile launch early Sunday local time that failed “almost immediately”, that America’s new leader does not draw imaginary red lines in the sand.

“We expect it to be completely different from the previous administration,” said the source.

Trump, who was briefed on the launch while visiting his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, this weekend, has said that his administration has no qualms about using military action against the rogue leader, if necessary.

“The president and his military team are aware of North Korea’s most recent unsuccessful missile launch. The president has no further comment,” Secretary of Defense James Mattis said in a statement Saturday night.

Shin In-kyun, President of Korea Defense Network, a civic group specializing in military affairs, said that submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) that was likely launched by the North Koreans, told NBC News (http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/north-korean-missile-launch-fails-almost-immediately-u-s-military-n747006) that although this most recent test launch was a failure, the idea that Jung-un has developed this type of capability to begin with should be a matter of grave concern.

“SLBMs are more threatening than any other type of missile of the same range because it can evade radar detection, including the THAAD,” Shin said of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system provided to South Korea by the U.S. “If North Korea [can] complete building 3,000-ton submarine, they can then attack Guam, Hawaii and even Alaska with an SLBM.”

Vice President Mike Pence, in a rare trip to South Korea, put North Korea on notice saying that recent US military strikes in Syria and Afghanistan showed that Trump’s patience should not be tested.

“Just in the past two weeks, the world witnessed the strength and resolve of our new president in actions taken in Syria and Afghanistan,” Pence said in a joint press conference with South Korean acting president Hwang Kyo-ahn on Sunday.
“North Korea would do well not to test his resolve or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region.”

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‘A MONSTER’: MANHUNT UNDERWAY FOR CLEVELAND MAN ACCUSED OF BROADCASTING MURDER TO FACEBOOK

CLEVELAND, OH — In a crime that shocked the nation, a Cleveland man is accused of murdering an elderly stranger and uploading the event to Facebook.

On Sunday, police initially said Steve Stephens had “broadcast the killing on Facebook Live,” but a spokesperson for the social media site later confirmed that the video was recorded and uploaded.

Stephens is considered armed and dangerous, police said, and, if seen, should not be approached.

The horrific video, which has since been taken down, allegedly shows Stevens killing an elderly man and bragging to the camera about how many other murders he has committed.

In the video, Stephens can be seen getting out of a car in a residential area. He turns to the camera and says, “Here’s somebody I’m about to kill. I’m about to kill this guy right here. An old dude.”

Stephens then approaches an elderly man on the street and can be seen talking to him.

Stephens: “Hi. Can you do me a favor? Can you say Joy Lane?”
Godwin: “Joy Lane?”
Stephens: “Yeah, she’s the reason this is about to happen to you.”

The video then shows a gun pointed at the elderly man’s head. The gun is fired and the victim falls to the ground. He was later pronounced dead.

An aggravated murder warrant was issued for Stephens’ arrest, and police said early Monday that he may have fled Ohio. Police have asked residents of nearby states, including Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana and Michigan, to be on the lookout and to alert authorities immediately if Stephens is spotted.

Police say they still don’t know what drove Stephens to target the victim, who has been identified as Robert Godwin, 74, but investigators say the attack appears to be random.

“He’s a monster,” a member of the victim’s family told the press of Stephens before dissolving into tears.

In series of posts on Sunday to what authorities say was Stephens’ Facebook page, the suspect complained that he had “lost everything” to gambling.

“I killed 12 people today” wrote Stephens, who shared a list of people that he said he needed to make contact with.

In a second, updated post, Stephens wrote: “I killed 15 today because of Joy Lane (a woman who has since been identified as Stephens’ former girlfriend.” The suspect said his “Easter day slaughter” wouldn’t stop until he could speak to his mother and to Lane.

In a statement, Lane said, “Steve really is a nice guy. He is generous with everyone he knows. He was kind and loving to me and my children. This is a very difficult time for me and my family.”

“It’s senseless,” Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said at a news conference. Asked if there were more victims, Williams said: “There are no other victims that we know of.”

Authorities described Stephens as a black man, standing 6 feet, 1 inch tall, weighing 244 pounds. He is bald and has a full beard. He was last seen wearing a black or dark blue and gray striped polo shirt and was driving a white Ford Fusion with Ohio temporary tag number E363630.

A $50,000 reward has been issued for information leading to Stephens’ arrest.

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TRUMP STRIKES BACK: U.S. DROPS ‘MOTHER OF ALL BOMBS’ ON ISLAMIC STATE AFTER MARINE IS KILLED FIGHTING ISIS

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Donald Trump ordered the drop of the largest non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. military’s arsenal on Thursday in response to the death of a U.S. Marine.

The The MOAB — Massive Ordinance Air Blast — also known as the “Mother of All Bombs” was dropped on an ISIS tunnel complex in Nangarhar Province after a Green Beret was killed fighting ISIS there, a U.S. defense official has confirmed.

It was the first time the a 21,000-pound bomb had been utilized since it’s development in 2003.

“The strike was designed to minimize the risk to Afghan and U.S. Forces conducting clearing operations in the area while maximizing the destruction of ISIS-K fighters and facilities,” the Pentagon said in a statement, referencing the term for the Islamic State’s Afghanistan branch.

In a statement from the White House, press secretary Sean Spicer said the strike targeted a “system of tunnels and caves that ISIS fighters used to move around freely.” Spicer added that the U.S. “took all precautions necessary” to minimize civilian casualties.

Gen. John Nicholson, commander of US forces in Afghanistan, signed off on the use of the bomb at Trump’s direction, according to the sources.

Trump, during his presidential campaign, had famously vowed to “bomb the sh-t” out of ISIS if elected.

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‘PREPARE’: KIM JONG-UN ORDERS ‘IMMEDIATE EVACUATION’ OF CAPITAL CITY AS NORTH KOREA WARNS U.S OF ‘BIG EVENT’

PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA — North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has ordered the immediate evacuation of the country’s capital Pyongyang, sparking further speculation that he may be preparing for war.

Further, the communist leader has warned foreign journalists to be prepared for a “big event” on North Korea’s biggest national celebration, the ‘Day of the Sun’, to be held on Saturday.

A Russian newspaper, Pravda Report, is reporting that more than 600,000 people – around one quarter of the city’s population – are being urgently evacuated, as tensions between North Korea and the United States reach a fever pitch (http://www.pravdareport.com/hotspots/conflicts/12-04-2017/137480-pyongyang_evacuation-0/).

North Korean monitoring service 38 North said Wednesday that the country’s Punggye-ri nuclear site is “primed and ready” for a sixth nuclear test.

The announcement comes as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday that North Korea has likely developed the capability to deliver missiles equipped with sarin nerve gas.

Jong-un has openly stated that his military’s “nuclear sight” is focused on both American-allied military bases in the region, and on “the U.S. mainland.”

In response, U.S. officials attempted to stare down the rogue leader’s threat, saying they believe Jong-un’s comments to be all talk.

“I think there is no evidence that North Korea has that capability at this time,” press secretary Sean Spicer said on Tuesday. “Threatening something that you don’t have the capability of isn’t really a threat.”

Spicer followed up his comments with the assertion that president Trump had put North Korea on notice that the United States military will not cease to act at the first sign of aggression toward U.S. interests.

Earlier this week it was announced that president Trump, in response to North Korea’s tough talk, had ordered a warship deployed to the Korean peninsula in a show of force.

“We are sending an armada. Very powerful,” Trump told Fox Business Network. “We have submarines. Very powerful. Far more powerful than the aircraft carrier. That I can tell you.”

Referring to Jong-un’s recent threats against the U.S., Trump said: “He is doing the wrong thing” Asked if he thought Kim was mentally ill, Trump replied: “I don’t know. I don’t know him.”

In yet another disturbing development, an expert on foreign relations, Professor Rudiger Frank, has warned that China and Russia may be joining forces in an effort to take down the United States.

Franks’s comments come after a week of escalating tensions between the United States and Russia over Russia’s support of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, who U.S. intelligence officials say ordered a deadly gas strike upon his own people in northern Syria.

“The Americans have been able to drive a wedge between the then Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China since the 1970s,” Frank told the U.K.’s Express (http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/791638/north-korea-russia-china-united-states-nuclear-war-kim-jong-un-putin-donald-trump). “But now the US is facing both countries relatively aggressively. Russia and China have a common opponent who unites them.”

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SESSIONS WARNS ILLEGALS: ‘THIS IS THE TRUMP ERA…THE BORDER IS CLOSED. GO HOME.’

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has a message to those who still seek to come to the United States illegally…there’s a new sheriff in town.

That was the message Sessions sent while appearing Tuesday on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity,” where the AG boasted of the change in status since president Trump’s inauguration.

“Can you believe that we have had the lowest number of entrances at the border in 17 years? This is the direct result of Donald Trump’s strong, clear leadership,” said Sessions.

“It has an impact. The most important thing for us is to send a message to the world that the border is not open. Please don’t come. You will be apprehended if you do come, and you will be deported promptly. And if you’re a criminal, you’ll be prosecuted. And if you assault our officers, we’re going to come at you with a ton of bricks,” he warned.

“This is the kind of message we need to send It is already being sent,” added Sessions. “It is having a dramatic effect so far. I knew strong presidential leadership unlike the wishy-washiness we’ve seen in the past would impact the flow, but not as much as we’ve seen already. The numbers are down 70 percent since President Obama left office. It is really a remarkable achievement.”

Sessions, who toured the U.S.-Mexico border Tuesday, said during a press conference after the tour that he believes Trump’s get-tough approach to immigration prosecutions will help to clean up a lot of the “filth” brought into the U.S. by Mexican drug cartels.

“This is a new era. This is the Trump era,” he said. “The lawlessness, the abdication of the duty to enforce our immigration laws, and the catch and release practices of old are over.”

Speaking of the soon-to-begin construction of Trump’s border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, Sessions said the wall will only aid in the war on drugs and crime.

“The barrier, the wall, will have a great and positive impact and will continue our ability to follow through on a commitment to end the lawlessness,” he said.

Critics blasted the initiatives touted by Sessions as racist fear-mongering and baseless in fact.

“Once again, Attorney General Sessions is scaring the public by linking immigrants to criminals despite studies showing that immigrants commit crimes at lower rates than the native born. He and President Trump are wasting more federal taxpayer dollars going after illegal border crossers instead of protecting the American public,” said Gregory Z. Chen, director of government relations for the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Undeterred, Sessions said the tough new stance on illegal immigration will continue.

“When we talk about MS-13 and the cartels, what do we mean? We mean international criminal organizations that turn cities and suburbs into war zones, that rape and kill innocent civilians, and who profit by smuggling poison and other human beings across our borders,” Sessions said. “It is here on this very sliver of land—on this border—that we take our stand. It is a direct threat to our legal system, peace and prosperity.”

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PUTIN CAVES: RUSSIAN LEADER MEETS WITH TILLERSON IN ‘TENSE’ EXCHANGE DESPITE EARLIER REFUSAL

MOSCOW, RUSSIA — Russian president Vladimir Putin met with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson today in an apparent about face.

Putin, who had earlier in the week refused to meet with Tillerson amid tensions over the American strike on Syria, spoke with Tillerson in Moscow for nearly two hours, a U.S. Embassy spokesperson has confirmed.

The meeting comes after harsh words by president Trump toward Russia, who he claims assisted Syria in a deadly chemical strike on Syrian civilians that killed dozens of people.

“If Russia didn’t go in and back this animal (Syrian president Bashar al-Assad), you wouldn’t have a problem right now,” said Trump.

Sources with close knowledge of the meeting said that Tillerson pushed Putin to cooperate with the United States in helping to bring Syria under control. Despite a long standing friendship between Tillerson and Putin, the meeting was described as “tense”.

During the 24 hour period leading up to Tillerson’s landing in Moscow, the White House accused the Russian government of hiding evidence that proved al-Assad was responsible the gassing of his own people, launched from a base where Russian troops are operating.

In a statement, an angry Putin shot back that the charge was fabricated and accused President Trump, who American media claimed had collaborated with Putin to manipulate the outcome of the 2016 election, of fabricating the evidence to create a fake confrontation.

“This reminds me very much of the events of 2003, when U.S. representatives in the Security Council showed alleged chemical weapons discovered in Iraq,” said Putin, referring to intelligence that Mr. Trump has also cited in recent months. “The exact same thing is happening now,” he argued.

Sean Spicer, when asked about to expect in regard to the meeting between Tillerson and Putin on Wednesday, said Tillerson was expected to focus on the mutual interests of the United States and Russia but that Tillerson would also put Putin on notice that the U.S. will not tolerate further acts of aggression by Russia or their Syrian ally.

“I think there is a shared interest in defeating ISIS in the region that we have a national security concern that should align with their national security concern,” he said. “Russia right now is an island. It’s Russia, North Korea and Iran … Russia is among that group the only non-failed state.”

Russia is only “isolating” itself by standing by Assad, he added.

The Kremlin had said earlier in the week that Putin would not meet with Mr. Tillerson upon his arrival, but on Wednesday the Russian leader’s spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, said Putin would “consider” meeting with Tillerson at some point “depending on how Tillerson’s other talks” went.

As a matter of protocol, Russian leaders have greeted virtually all new secretaries of state since the end of World War II, and the initial refusal was considered to be a major snub to U.S. Russian relations and was cited by many political experts as a an effort by Mr. Putin to show Tillerson that just who was in control.

Before heading back behind closed doors, Putin and Tillerson shared a stiff handshake and made no eye contact.

Russia has said that despite U.S. concerns, they will continue to back their Syrian ally and will do “whatever it takes” to ensure that al-Assad has the military backing necessary to thwart off another U.S. attack.

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MAD DOG TO SYRIA: DON’T RATTLE OUR CHAIN; MATTIS WARNS SYRIA ON ‘CONSEQUENCES’ OF FUTURE ACTS

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Defense Secretary Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis warned the Syrian government on Tuesday that it will pay a “very, very stiff price” for future chemical attacks.

Speaking during a joint press conference with Army Gen. Joseph Votel at the Pentagon, Mattis said there is “no doubt” that the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was behind last week’s gas attack that killed dozens of Syrian civilians.

“Last Tuesday, on the 4th of April, the Syrian regime attacked its own people using chemical weapons,” Mattis said. “I have personally reviewed the intelligence and there is no doubt the Syrian regime is responsible for the decision to attack and for the attack itself.

“In response to the attack, our government began a deliberate process led by the National Security Council to recommend diplomatic and military options to the president,” Mattis said. “We met over several days and I spoke with some of our allies. The National Security Council considered the near century-old international prohibition against the use of chemical weapons.”

Referencing the air attack upon a Syrian airbase last week at the order of president Trump, Mattis said the United States is prepared to take whatever action is necessary to ensure that such atrocities do not occur again.

“The Syrian regime’s repeated violation of that international law and inexplicably ruthless murders the regime had committed, we determined that a measured military response could best deter the regime from doing this again,” he said.

“This military action demonstrates that the United States will not passively stand by while Assad blithely ignores international law and employs chemical weapons he had declared destroyed,” said Mattis. “The Syrian regime should think long and hard before it again acts so recklessly in violation of international law against the use of chemical weapons.”

When asked about Russian president Vladimir Putin’s angry response over the airstrike, said the United States was deliberate in their maneuver and “took appropriate actions to ensure no Russians were injured in the attack.” When pressed by a reporter who asked more specifically what, if any, involvement Russia may have had in helping it’s ally in planning the chemical assault, Mattis was evasive.

“We have gone back through and looked at all the evidence we can and it’s very clear who planned this attack, who authorized this attack and who conducted this attack itself.” he said. “The Assad regime planned it, orchestrated it and executed it. And beyond that, we can’t say right now. We know what I just told you. We don’t know anything beyond that.”

Mattis said that, despite Russia’s insistence that there is no proof that Assad ordered the chemical strike upon his own people, the strike ordered by Trump was necessary to “stop the cycle of violence into an area”.

“Even in World War II chemical weapons were not used on battlefields. Even in the Korean War, they were not used on battlefields,” he said.

How much advanced knowledge Russia had of the chemical attack in Syria remains a subject of debate. On Monday, the Associated Press quoted a senior U.S. official who asserted that Russia knew of the chemical attack before it occurred (http://bigstory.ap.org/article/19772be1238e49fbb62c509a5b659b3d/official-us-military-takes-extra-precautions-syria). However, during a daily press briefing from the White House, press secretary Sean Spicer said there is no evidence to back up the official’s claim.

Defense Secretary James Mattis and Army Gen. Joseph Votel, brief the media at the Pentagon