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Showing posts from February 25, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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Canada's Trudeau pressured to tackle problem of asylum-seekers

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[Canada's policy under a Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement is to turn back refugees if they make claims at border crossings. *RON*]

Andrea Hopkins &David Ljunggren, Reuters, 23 February 2017

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came under increasing pressure on Thursday to deal with asylum seekers illegally crossing into Canada from the United States to avoid a crackdown by the administration of President Donald Trump.

Trudeau, who stresses that Canada welcomes refugees, has so far avoided political fallout with Trump. The two talked on the phone about the border and other issues on Thursday but neither government gave many details of the conversation.

The Meaning of Kim Jong Nam's Murder

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[If he was responsible for killing his half-brother, Kim Jong Un may have unwittingly underlined the fact to his people that the Kims are mere mortals, too - puncturing the myth of the Kims' holy bloodline. *RON*]

Suki Kim, The Atlantic, 24 February 2017

As the first son of Kim Jong Il, the late leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kim Jong Nam always posed a threat to Kim Jong Un, his half brother and North Korea’s current leader. Before falling out of favor with his father and going into exile soon after, paving the way for Kim Jong Un’s ascent, Kim Jong Nam was the heir apparent. With the execution in 2013 of Jang Sung Tak, the second in command and the eldest son’s staunchest supporter, Kim Jong Nam was unprotected, with little hope of ever returning home.

Israel says no more visas for 'biased' HRW staff

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[Israeli authorities reject Human Rights Watch request for work permit, accusing it of having a 'pro-Palestinian' agenda. *RON*]

News Agencies, Al Jazeera, 24 February 2017

Israeli has refused to issue a visa for a senior Human Rights Watch staff member, accusing the US-based rights group of pro-Palestinian bias and saying it will no longer grant visas to its staff.

HRW said on Friday that its Israel and Palestine Director Omar Shakir, a US citizen, had received a rejection letter on February 20, months after an application for the permit was submitted by the group on his behalf.

The Israeli foreign ministry said that the organisation was "not a real human rights group", with a foreign ministry spokesman calling it "fundamentally biased" with a "hostile agenda".

Conservatives predict 'real war' with environmentalists

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[Alt-reality. They're talking about the religion of environmentalism and the cult of recycling, that the government is full of fake statistics and the media full of fake news. "They are the scumbags. We are the good guys. Thank goodness, thanks to Donald Trump, the tide's turned, and we are about to witness that." *RON*]

Amanda Reilly, E&E News, 23 February 2017
People who question the science of climate change today told conservative activists they were looking forward to using their bigger platform during the Trump administration to roll back U.S. EPA regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.

At the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, a panel of prominent global warming skeptics said one of their top targets was the Obama administration's 2009 endangerment finding, the basis for EPA's greenhouse gas regulations.

A German Clash over Trump's NATO Demands

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[Trump's demand that NATO member states pay their fair share has turned into a political hot potato ahead of this year's German elections. But the debate ignores an interesting fact: The German military is in a terrible state. *RON*]

Konstantin von Hammerstein, Spiegel, 24 February 2017
It was really nothing more than a test. Sigmar Gabriel was standing at the lectern inside the Bayerischer Hof hotel in Munich for his first appearance at the Munich Security Conference in his new role as German foreign minister. And he looked terrible. He was sick and had cancelled many of his appointments, but nevertheless decided not to forego his speech and the Security Conference. He wanted to toss a fly into the NATO soup.