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Beltway Insider: US, UK, Allies Unite Expel USSR Diplomats; Cold War Revisited; Kemerovo; Roseanne Reboot

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Beginning one week ago, President Donald Trump ordered the expulsion of dozens of Russian diplomats and the closure of the Russian Consulate in Seattle in response to the use of military grade chemical weapons on British soil.

According to Gallup, President Trump job approval, over the past week, remained constant at 40% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President also remained constant at 55%.

US, UK, Allies Unite Expel Russian Diplomats

Allies of The United Kingdom continued to expel Russian diplomats in what has become an unprecedented fall out over the use of military grade chemical weapons against a former soviet double agent, Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.

"Today's actions make the United States safer by reducing Russia's ability to spy on Americans and to conduct covert operations and threaten America's national security.  With these steps, the U.S. and our allies and partners around the world make clear to Russia that actions have consequences," Raj Shah, principal Deputy Press Secretary said. .

Officials have said the pair were exposed to the chemical agent at the front door of the home where they were living in the quiet city of Salisbury, England. The pair were found slumped over in on a park, unconscious, but alive.

In the month since the two were discovered and subsequently the shocking discovery they were poisoned by a chemical weapon developed by the soviets in 1970's, and that Putin once again violated the territorial sovereignty of a nation, this time the United Kingdom, to carry out the murder of a KGB Double agent.

After sufficient investigation and consultation with allies, Prime Minister Theresa May issued a deadline to which Putin ignored and sent back a list of questions meant to defer decisions and deflect.


Beltway Insider: March For Our Lives; France Attack; Russian Fire; UK/US Plan Russian Expulsion


On Monday, March 26, the White House announced President Trump had expelled 60 Russian diplomats and closed the Seattle Russian Consulate. The United Kingdom expelled 123 diplomats. The expulsion resulted in a similar response by Moscow.

"After Britain expelled 23 Russians it said were spies working under diplomatic cover, Russia followed by throwing out 23 British diplomats. The United States and other Western countries, including most member states of the European Union and NATO, expelled over 100 diplomats," CNBC reported.

President Trump and Prime Minister May "agreed on the importance of dismantling Russia's spy networks in the United Kingdom and the United States to curtail Russian clandestine activities and prevent future chemical weapons attacks on either country's soil," the White House said in a released statement.

The Cold War Revisited

The Cold War, an era of tense political relationships between the Soviet Union and the United States, The U.K. and other major global powers, which lasted officially until 1991. Putin, with his continued actions, not only the recent use of military chemical weapons, but also invading the Ukraine and forcing the cession of the Crimean peninsula. Those actions resulted in his expulsion from the G8. While he has not been privy to the G8 Summits, he has remained active in global state hosting activities.

"The poisoning in the UK that has kind of led to these actions was very brazen  It was a reckless action.  It endangered not just two individuals who were poisoned, but many civilians, many innocent civilians.  And this is not the type of conduct that the United States or allies can accept.  But the President still remains open to working with the Russians on areas of mutual concern, counterterrorism, for example, and others.  But, you know, that's really up to the Russians to decide," Deputy Press Secretary Shah said.

To date twenty nations have aligned themselves with the actions of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, France, and Germany and expelled any number of Russian diplomats and also closed embassy's. Eighteen European Union nations have from Belgium to Croatia and Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Romania, Poland, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Sweden, Moldova, Norway, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Czech Republic, Australia, Ireland and Baltic Nations, Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro. Other allied nations and all member nations of the G8 are expected to join and expel diplomats.

"Russia's action today to expel American diplomats marks a further deterioration in the United States-Russia relationship.  The expulsion of undeclared Russian intelligence officers by the United States and more than two dozen partner nations and NATO allies earlier this week was an appropriate response to the Russian attack on the soil of the United Kingdom.  Russia's response was not unanticipated," Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said.

Sanctions

Two debates have risen in the developing Foreign Policy issue, that of applying additional pressure on Putin and the Kremlin and allowing he United Kingdom to lead in the response options.

The general belief is the United States will allow Prime Minster Theresa May to lead and support the decisions of the Allies which may lead to sanctions.

The United States is already and continuously engaged in sanction on, "key Russian oligarchs in response to the meddling in the 2016 election," Shah said.

Enhancing or expanding those sanctions to include others involved is a unilateral decision based on the lead of the British government along with consultation from allies, Canada France, Germany and the U.S.

The White House has not closed down any option and will continue to address the issues as they arise. Should additional action be needed president Trump is prepared to act.

Kemerovo Mall Fire Blamed on Criminal Negligence; Governor Resigns

Flags were ordered at half-staff, a National Day of mourning brought crowds into the streets across Russia holding candles, mourning, sharing the shock and grief with a city most had never heard of until Sunday's horrific news shattered reality.

It's been nearly one week since a fast moving inferno swept through the Russian Winter Cherry Entertainment complex in Kemerovo, killing 63, including 41 children some of whom were celebrating the first day of Easter break.

One week before the world media, along with unquenchable sorrow, descended upon this Siberian city now busying themselves with the details of death. The heartache of final goodbyes, of children chronicling their final moments on social media as locked doors in a theatre kept them from escaping the wall of fire and heavy smoke on the fourth floor.

The anguish of identifying remains from red boots or pink hats and then the funerals. Burying family is never easy. Final goodbyes for a life lived is still challenging. The heartache of losing a mother at 70, a father, siblings and for those saying final goodbyes to children lost due to lapses in fire safety and unfathomable decisions to impeded exit just to stop kids from sneaking into the movie without a ticket the suffering, pain and torment is beyond words.

Arrests, of course, have been made. Someone or a few will be criminally charged. The shock for residents who didn't suffer a direct hit, will gradually wear off. Spring will come, a short lived summer, with winter too quickly descending upon the region again. The pain will become a numb void.

Governor Resigns

Deep in Siberia, some 1900 miles from Moscow and the current international problems that are plaguing the newly re-elected president, in coal producing country is the city of Kemerovo. With about 500,000 residents the city is the largest in the region.

Suddenly Kemerovo has come under the spotlight of the Kremlin and international media as the world is also wanting answers to clear violations in safety and procedure that killed, murdered 64, including 41 children.

The fall out over the Winter Cherry Entertainment Complex fire has claimed another victim as the long-term governor GovernorAmen Tuleyev, resigned over mounting criticism of his handling in the aftermath of the inferno which included capping the death totals.

Despite lists compiled of still missing residents, Tuleyev, who has served the region since 1997, stopped the addition of the names of the missing and presumed dead.

Tuleyev, who also lost a loved one in the blaze, criticized those who suffered loss and were speaking to the media as politicizing for public gain the tragedy. Granted an old school statesman, Tuleyev, has been long under the suffer in silence regime of Soviet politics.

His attempt to silence or insult the intelligence of the people who see, who've experienced resulted in continued unrest, protests which gripped the region and spread further throughout the nation, bringing the old, those aligned to Stalin and Communism, and the young, the progressive Russian, westernized, to a place of unity.

Some victims lost all family members, wives accompanying children to an afternoon cinema, friends on a playdate, class mates celebrating spring break, survivors saved in a last brave moment by family members who couldn't make it out. The stories are horrendous, each equally heart-wrenching and without end.

With deepest sympathies the American people extend our sincerest condolences to the Russian people and the families of those who lost their lives and were injured in the fire. May God extend comfort.

Roseanne Reboot Ratings Skyrocket

In the wake of what the Walt Disney Television Company is calling its post-election Heartland Strategy, Roseanne, the colossal hit of the 1990's, has been relaunched back into primetime restarting its television life March 27, 2018.

Roseanne starring Roseanne Barr the formidable comic with a rapier wit and stinging sarcasm, has during the nearly twenty year hiatus has launched her own run for President, and enjoyed life in Hawaii. John Goodman, her everyman husband, has been seen in movies and television.

The premise behind the reboot, of course, is the election of Donald Trump, whom Roseanne appears to have supported, clearly on the sitcom and apparently in real life. Her sister, played by Lady Bird's, Laurie Metcalf, a staunch Hillary supporter. With each sister drawing proverbial battle lines, the estrangement is difficult for all.


Horror Stories Emerge from Russian Mall Inferno; Putin Visits; Officials Underestimate Deaths


With ratings for the reboot making history, a stunning 18.44million viewers, some of which were in diapers during the Roseanne series finale. Roseanne has been picked up for an historic 11th season after three episodes of the limited tenth season aired.

President Donald Trump called the outspoken Republican supporter to congratulate her on her win which in reality is the underlying current of the show. The success of the reboot is not only the team effort of the writers and talents, it is the ability to capture the mood of the country outside the bubble of Hollywood and the machine that genuinely wants to dictate the mindset and mood of the population.

Roseanne, with twenty years in hiatus, had to fast forward her family. The original siblings, Sara Gilbert, Michael Fishman and Lecy Goranson, are now reflective of the lives and lifestyles of many middle class families. Outspoken, politically active, with financial difficulties. Both marriage and divorces, death of a spouse, unexpected life moments that leave you numb.

The unbelievable ratings of the Roseanne reboot proves this family (and the hidden team of writers willing to reach into the mind of middle America) has got staying power. Expect as everyone settles in for more politically charged storylines and challenging conventional wisdom which reflects the deep divisions Americans are facing now. The show airs Tuesdays on ABC.

Rape Allegations Reach Royal-in-Laws

David Matthews, 74, the father-in-law of Pippa Middleton, the sister to Catherine Middleton, Her Royal Highness Duchess of Cambridge, has been charged in Paris over the allegation of raped of a minor on two separate occasions in the 1990's.

Matthews, who has denied the allegations, was arrested as he entered Paris on his way to the South of France. After being held and processed Matthews was released on bail. The prosecutor now has six months to determine if sufficient evidence is present to proceed with trial.

A self-made multi-millionaire, Matthews owns the Eden Rock luxury hotel on the French island of St. Bart's where suites range in the $5,000 USD per night. One of the alleged attacks occurred at this hotel and the other in Paris in 1999.

Matthews and his wife, Jane, have lived on the island paradise since 1995.

For more information on President Donald Trump: www.whitehouse.gov

Sources: Whitehouse.gov, Wikipedia.com

 

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