Trump, at UN General Assembly, signs major trade deal with South Korea, reveals possible Kim Jong Un meeting ‘soon’

President Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in signed a major agreement of Trump’s trade agenda Monday, on a busy day at the U.N. General Assembly during which Trump also revealed he’d meet again with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “quite soon.” The U.S. and South Korean presidents signed an update to an existing U.S.-South Korea free-trade agreement. Trump called it a “very big deal” and said the new agreement would make significant improvements to reduce the trade deficit between the countries and create new opportunities to export American products to South Korea. “This agreement will reduce bureaucracy and increase prosperity in both of our countries. Workers in South Korea and America will find new customers and new opportunities to expand and grow,” Trump said. “Our teams will be working hard to ensure that the terms of the deal are fully implemented.” He said U.S. automobiles, pharmaceuticals and agricultural products will gain better access to Korean markets. “I think our farmers are going to be extremely happy. It was very limited as to what they could do and what they could send, and now it’s an open market,” Trump added. “That makes me feel very good. I love our farmers.” Moon said companies from both countries will be able to do business under more stable conditions. The South Korean leader also said he hopes the revised agreement with the U.S. will help solidify their cooperation in other areas. Moon said: “I’m hopeful that this will provide us with a platform, upon which our bilateral economic ties will be elevated to a higher level, in a freer, fairer and more mutually beneficial direction.” During his appearance with Moon, Trump also raised hopes at the United Nations on Monday that a second meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un could happen soon, striking a conciliatory tone one year after he used his debut at the U.N. to deride the autocrat as “Little Rocket Man” and threaten to “totally destroy North Korea.” Trump praised Kim as “very open” and “terrific,” despite the glacial pace of progress toward denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula. The softer tone toward the erstwhile pariah state of North Korea — once threatened with “fire and fury” — has been replaced by rosy optimism, with Trump reserving tough rhetoric for another potential nuclear aspirant and strategic foe: Iran. “It was a different world,” Trump said Monday of his one-time moniker for the North Korean leader. “That was a dangerous time. This is one year later, a much different time.” Trump also praised Egypt for doing an “outstanding job” in the fight against terrorism. Trump told Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi on Monday that the fight is “not easy,” but his country is “at the forefront.” El-Sissi replied that Egypt will be able to eliminate terrorism with Trump’s support. El-Sissi said it’s an obligation Trump has made clear. Trump told el-Sissi, “We will work with you, and we will go all the way.”

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: Dinner with Trump About North Korea, Trade ‘Very Constructive’

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, visiting New York on the occasion of the United Nations General Assembly meeting, told reporters on Sunday that his dinner with U.S. President Donald Trump that night was “very constructive” and ranged from sharing opinions about North Korea to securing mutually beneficial trade agreements. Trump made dinner with Abe his first appointment for the General Assembly week. The two heads of government share a close relationship; Abe was the first world leader to visit Trump personally following his election in 2016. On this occasion, Abe greeted Trump on the heels of an overwhelming election victory to remain the head of his right-leaning Liberal Democratic Party, ensuring that Abe will remain prime minister for the next three years. “We had a very constructive discussion on trade and investment between Japan and the United States,” Abe told reporters, according to the Japan Times. “We agreed to make the momentum created in the historic U.S.-North Korea summit in June even stronger and to continue to coordinate closely toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” He noted the two met for two-and-a-half hours and that Abe made advocating for the rights of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea a priority in negotiating with the communist rogue state. Abe added that Trump appeared caring and attentive in listening to his concerns. North Korea implemented a policy of kidnapping Japanese citizens in the 1970s, using them to train would-be spies on Japanese language and culture. North Korea denied the policy for decades until 2002, then claimed it had only abducted 13 Japanese nationals. Tokyo estimates that up to 800 missing Japanese citizens were abducted and remain in North Korea. Japan has played a key role in negotiations regarding North Korea. Trump met with Abe shortly before his scheduled meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, which is expected to occur on Monday. Moon is also in New York for the U.N. General Assembly and makes his arrival shortly after his first-ever trip to Pyongyang. Upon returning from North Korea, Moon claimed that communist dictator Kim Jong-un had given him a personal message to deliver to Trump that he would not disclose publicly. Trump invited Abe to dinner and announced Sunday they would discuss “military and trade.” The two are reportedly scheduled to meet once again on Monday evening. On the issue of trade, the president said on Twitter that he hoped “to see more of a reciprocal relationship” with Japan, expressing hope “it will all work out!” Following the first dinner, Abe told reporters, “I will continue discussions on trade with him in our summit after economy minister Motegi and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer meeting,” according to Japan’s Asahi Shimbun. Abe did not elaborate on any specifics regarding discussions on trade. Abe arrived in New York emboldened by a significant electoral victory last week. He is set to become the first Japanese prime minister to serve for three terms, defeating a challenge within his own Party from fellow lawmaker Shigeru Ishiba. Abe is expected to use his comfortable position to negotiate trade and push for changes to Japan’s Constitution to allow the nation greater self-defense abilities. The post-World War II Constitution does not allow Japan to maintain a standing military, only “self-defense forces” that cannot be used preemptively. In light of growing threats from North Korea and its patron state, China, Abe has pushed for allowing Japan greater military leverage. “I will finally embark on constitutional revision, which has never been achieved in the 70 years since the end of the war, and start building a new nation as we look to the future,” Abe said last week after his re-election.

Limbaugh: GOP Must Confirm Kavanaugh or Kiss Midterms Goodbye

So Chairman Grassley has a job to do here, because, if he gives Democrats enough time, they’ll produce a woman claiming to be Kavanaugh’s secret Russian wife who Trump paid to urinate on that bed in Moscow. If Grassley waits long enough, the Democrats will come up with the woman claiming to be Kavanaugh’s secret Russian wife. — he’s a bigamist, too, don’t you know — and Trump paid Kavanaugh’s second wife to hire a bunch of prostitutes to urinate on the bed Obama slept in while in Moscow. If Grassley doesn’t get a handle on this and just do — and I’ll tell you something else, which everybody also knows. If the Republicans do not get this vote taken and have Kavanaugh confirmed, you can kiss the midterms goodbye. You can kiss goodbye holding the House and you can kiss goodbye holding the Senate. Because whatever the Democrats think of their base, the one thing I know that if you guys fold on this and cave and keep bending over backwards… You’ve done that enough. You’ve demonstrated that you don’t hate women. You’ve demonstrated that you’re open minded. You’ve demonstrated that you’re gonna hear from her. You’re never gonna hear from her! She’s never gonna show up. She’s not telling a story that can be verified, Senator Grassley. She’s not gonna show up. If you guys don’t conduct this vote in defiance of all this and if Avenatti gets one foot in the door to a Senate committee to start telling his story, then you can kind of kiss good-bye Republican chances in the midterms in November. Because people are gonna logically say, “What good does it do?”

Agreed!  Worse..  If Judge Kavanaugh is not confirmed, Republican voters will sit out the midterms altogether, and that so-called “blue wave” will come to fruition.  The “silent majority” voted for Donald Trump so that he could fix the economy and put conservative judges on the Supreme Court and other federal courts.  If this supremely (pun intended) qualified jurist with decades of experience and an impeccable record isn’t confirmed, Senate Republicans will face the wrath of their voter base…and rightly so.  Thanks to Rush Limbaugh for saying what needs to be said.  Dittos Rush!!

National Coffee Day 2018: Where to get free java

Though true java lovers know that the dreamy drink is worthy of celebration 365 days a year, National Coffee Day is nearly upon us once again. On September 29, coffee shops across the country will mark the occasion by giving out free (or discounted) cups of joe. Various chains are brewing up tons of deals and steals at participating stores – so get ‘em while they’re hot. Click here to see our list:

🙂

The new BFR: How SpaceX’s giant rocket-spaceship combo for Mars has changed

SpaceX’s Mars-colonizing Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) spaceflight system just went through a growth spurt. The reusable rocket-spaceship duo will stand 387 feet (118 meters) tall at launch, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said Monday (Sept. 17) during a webcast event at the company’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California. That’s 11 percent taller than the previous design iteration, which the billionaire entrepreneur laid out in September 2017. Most of that increase comes courtesy of the BFR spaceship, whose length jumped from 157.5 feet to 180 feet (48 to 55 m). And the spaceship has changed in other important ways as well. For example, the 2017 iteration featured six Raptor engines, four of which were big-nozzled vacuum versions optimized for in-space use. But now, SpaceX envisions placing seven Raptors on the ship, all of which will be the same “sea-level” engines that power the huge BFR rocket. In addition, the 100-passenger BFR ship will now feature two movable fins near its nose and two larger ones near its tail — changes thath will help the vehicle maneuver its way to safe landings on worlds with atmospheres, such as Earth and Mars. (The ship will fall like a skydiver rather than fly like an airplane during its landings, however. It will touch down vertically after slowing its descent via engine firings, as the first stages of SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets do now. Such propulsion-based systems are needed for spacecraft to land on airless bodies like the moon, Musk stressed.) Those two rear “actuated” fins will also serve as landing pads, as will a leg back there that’s styled to look like a fin for symmetry and aesthetic purposes, Musk said. The 2017 version of the BFR spaceship didn’t have any front fins, and it sported just two rear “delta wings,” which weren’t part of the landing-leg system. “I think this design is probably on par with the other one,” Musk said during Monday night’s event. “It might be better. It’s slightly riskier technically, because of coupling legs and sort of the actuating wing-fin flaps . But I think it’s the right decision overall. I think it looks beautiful.” He also cited the new design’s resemblance to the rocket used by the comic-book character Tintin in the 1954 adventure “Explorers on the Moon.” “I love the Tintin rocket design, so I kind of wanted to bias it towards that,” Musk said. “If in doubt, go with Tintin.” Despite its recent growth, the BFR is still smaller than it was at birth, when it was known as the Interplanetary Transport System (ITS). Musk unveiled the ITS architecture at a conference in Mexico in September 2016, announcing that the vehicle would stand 400 feet tall (122 m) and be 40 feet (12 m) wide. That girth was scaled down to 30 feet (9 m) in the 2017 update and remains the same today. Indeed, there shouldn’t be many big changes to the booster or spaceship going forward, Musk said Monday night. “I feel like this is the final iteration in terms of broad architectural decisions for BFR, BFS [Big Falcon Spaceship],” he said (though he did later add that the next version of the spaceship will probably also feature some vacuum Raptors). The architecture update was a bit of a sidelight Monday night. The main point of the event was to introduce Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa as the person who bought a round-the-moon flight aboard the BFR that could launch as soon as 2023, if development and testing of the vehicle go smoothly. Maezawa said he plans to take six to eight artists with him on the mission, which he is calling #dearMoon. He expects the works they create after returning to Earth to be transformative. “These masterpieces will inspire the dreamer within all of us,” Maezawa said. Musk praised Maezawa’s bravery and said his purchase (the cost of which was not disclosed) will help the development of the BFR significantly. SpaceX envisions the BFR eventually ferrying people to the moon, Mars and other worlds on a regular basis, helping humanity extend its footprint into the solar system. “The BFR is really intended as an interplanetary transport system that’s capable of getting from Earth to anywhere in the solar system, as you establish propellant depots along the way,” Musk said.

Very cool!!   Go SpaceX!   🙂

Missouri Six Flags holds ‘Coffin Challenge’ requiring guests to stay in coffin for 30 hours

Six Flags amusement park in Eureka, Mo., is holding a morbid contest for the brave – and not claustrophobic. The theme park has announced a competition inviting guests to stay in a tight coffin for nearly 30 hours straight. The Fright Fest 30-Hour Coffin Challenge will take place on Saturday, October 13 and reward those who make it through the night with more than just bragging rights. The prizes include two 2019 Gold Season Passes, a Fright Fest prize package, two VIP Haunted House passes and a ticket for two to ride the Freak Train for Freak Unleashed. The winner will also be entered in a drawing for a $300 prize. Six Flags will provide “six, deluxe, 2’ x 7’, slight used coffins,” as well as “meals, snacks and drinks in bed,” as well as a six-minute bathroom break every hour. The coffin is also available to take home if the winner desires. The competitors are allowed to bring a friend during the operating hours, but once the park closes, coffin dwellers must go it alone. However, Six Flags assures its guests they won’t be completely alone. “Well, not exactly alone, some of our Fright Fest Freaks will be lurking about in the darkness.”

As a kid growing up in St. Louis, I used to have season passes to this particular Six Flags just west of St. Louis.    🙂

Border Wall Construction Begins in El Paso, Texas

Border Patrol officials in the El Paso Sector announced that construction of a new section of border wall began on Saturday. The new four-mile section of road will replace existing fencing near downtown El Paso. “This new wall will be far more durable and far more effective in deterring would-be illegal entrants,” El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Aaron A. Hull said in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. Chief Hull said crews will build a “bollard-style” design that will make the barrier more durable and harder to breach. West Point Contractors from Tucson, Arizona, won the contract to build this newest section of international border barrier for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The new wall will begin just west of the Paso Del Norte international bridge and extend about four miles to the east. Plans include removing the existing fencing and replacing it with an 18-foot high bollard wall. The project is expected to cost about $22 million and will be completed in late April 2019, officials stated. A crucial feature of the bollard-style wall is the ability for Border Patrol agents to see through the wall. “The bollard design wall has proved beneficial to the Border Patrol to detect illegal entries and the smuggling of narcotics into the United States by providing situational awareness of activity south of the wall,” officials stated. “U.S. Border Patrol agents are the most frequently assaulted and most frequently injured federal law enforcement officers,” Hull stated. “We’ve seen time and time again that the addition of serious infrastructure creates a safer environment for our people to operate. It also creates a safer community on both sides of the border.” El Paso Sector agents have been assaulted 54 times so far this fiscal year, officials reported. “It’s going to be harder to get over, harder to get through, harder to get underneath,” Hull explained. “It’s going to have a five-foot scaling plate at the top which will make it very tough for entrance — even if you can get to the top, to get over the top. It will deter all but the most determined of illegal entrants from entering the United States here.” “It’s going to make it harder to cross for illegal aliens,” the chief continued. “It’s going to make it harder for smugglers and border criminals to move freely between the two countries as they can now.” Hull said it will enable his sector to make more efficient use of its agents in this area and in other areas of the El Paso Sector. The El Paso Sector continues to experience a high number of illegal border crossings and apprehensions of illegal aliens. The August Southwest Border Migration Report revealed that El Paso Sector agents apprehended a total of 3,587 illegal aliens — including 1,884 Family Unit Aliens and 529 Unaccompanied Alien Children. In year-to-date numbers, the El Paso Sector reports a 16 percent increase in family units and 35 percent increase in unaccompanied minors. At least five illegal aliens have lost their lives during attempts to illegaly enter the U.S. this year, according to the Missing Migrant Project. The El Paso Sector wall is being built under the authority of President Donald Trump’s Executive Order 13767.

Finally!!!  The wall is being built, folks!!  It won’t happen overnight, of course.  But, this is a great first step!  Excellent!!    🙂