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4/30/19

BRITAIN-BREXIT: Tony Blair predicts future of Britain once they get rid of Brexit

The Netherlands: WW2 - Former Dutch Queen Wilhelmina tried to make a deal with Nazis to swap Nazis for Belgian Royals


Dutch WW2 Queen 'considered Nazi swap for Belgian royals'

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EU - Canada relations: courts rule in favour of Canada's free-trade deal with bloc

EU court rules in favour of Canada's free-trade deal with bloc

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Venezuela: Opposition leader calls for military uprising to oust Maduro - his days could be numbered

Venezuela's opposition leader calls for military uprising to oust president

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USA: What will it take for Trump to get his due?

4/29/19

Iran Nuclear deal: EU and Japan back Iran nuclear deal despite US

Despite the US decision to withdraw, the European Union and Japan reiterated on Thursday their support for the Iranian nuclear non-proliferation deal reached at UN-level in 2015. At a summit in Brussels, Japan's prime minister Abe and EU presidents Juncker and Tusk also committed to further develop the EU-Japan economic partnership agreement. It entered into force on 1 February bringing a third of the world's Gross Domestic Product together.

Read more: EU and Japan back Iran nuclear deal despite US

ECB - European Economy: ECB braces for more money printing

The European Central Bank is prepared to resume its money-printing programme, according to its vice-president Luis de Guindos.

Meanwhile, the euro tumbled to 22-month lows against the dollar late last week, as US growth data remains robust both in terms of capital goods investment and real wage growth.

With decelerating growth and inflation in the Eurozone, de Guindos reignited speculation about the continuation of a €2.6 trillion bond-buying programme that officially ended in December 2018. Meanwhile, the forthcoming European elections in May are weighing negatively on the Eurozone’s economy, as markets expect a surge in euro-critical movements.

“Quantitative easing is something that we can use again if needed,” de Guindos told an audience in New York, although he made clear that the resumption of bond-purchases beyond the current levels has not yet been discussed. Officially, the ECB projects a rebound in Eurozone growth during the second half of 2019, but De Guindos’ announcement consolidates the overall impression that a prolonged period of subdued growth may be ahead.

Read more: ECB braces for more money printing

Capitalism: Dare to declare capitalism dead – before it takes us all down - by George Monbiot

or most of my adult life I’ve railed against “corporate capitalism”, “consumer capitalism” and “crony capitalism”. It took me a long time to see that the problem is not the adjective but the noun. While some people have rejected capitalism gladly and swiftly, I’ve done so slowly and reluctantly. Part of the reason was that I could see no clear alternative: unlike some anti-capitalists, I have never been an enthusiast for state communism. I was also inhibited by its religious status. To say “capitalism is failing” in the 21st century is like saying “God is dead” in the 19th: it is secular blasphemy. It requires a degree of self-confidence I did not possess.

But as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to recognise two things. First, that it is the system, rather than any variant of the system, that drives us inexorably towards disaster. Second, that you do not have to produce a definitive alternative to say that capitalism is failing. The statement stands in its own right. But it also demands another, and different, effort to develop a new system.

Capitalism’s failures arise from two of its defining elements. The first is perpetual growth. Economic growth is the aggregate effect of the quest to accumulate capital and extract profit. Capitalism collapses without growth, yet perpetual growth on a finite planet leads inexorably to environmental calamity.

Those who defend capitalism argue that, as consumption switches from goods to services, economic growth can be decoupled from the use of material resources. Last week a paper in the journal New Political Economy, by Jason Hickel and Giorgos Kallis, examined this premise. They found that while some relative decoupling took place in the 20th century (material resource consumption grew, but not as quickly as economic growth), in the 21st century there has been a recoupling: rising resource consumption has so far matched or exceeded the rate of economic growth. The absolute decoupling needed to avert environmental catastrophe (a reduction in material resource use) has never been achieved, and appears impossible while economic growth continues. Green growth is an illusion.

Read more: Dare to declare capitalism dead – before it takes us all down with it | George Monbiot | Opinion | The Guardian

Britain-Brexit: British Government looking at charging the EU students in Britain more if Brexit materializes

4/28/19

Ukraine: new president snubs Putin offer and offers Russians citizenship who want to get away from Russian oppression

Spain: Socialists win: "we will form a pro-Europen Government says Sanchez leader of the Socialists

'We will form a pro-European government': Sanchez's Socialists win in Spain 

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White Nationalism: Born in America is now a global terror threat

WHITE SUPREMACY BECOMING A MAJOR US AND EUROPEN PROBLEM

AVIATION industry: US pilots demand better training if Boeing wants to rebuild trust in 737 Max

U.S. pilots demand better training if Boeing wants to rebuild trust in 737 MAX

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4/26/19

USA - weapons industry: Long live the US weapons industry as Donald Trump withdraws from the UN Arms Treaty

Trump withdraws from UN arms treaty as NRA crowd cheers in delight

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France - weapons industry: Classified report shows France selling sophisticated weapons to Saudi Arabia used in their war against Yemen

French intelligence summons journalists after release of classified report on arms in 
Yemen Three journalists face questioning next month by France’s domestic intelligence agency after releasing a classified report detailing French weapons being used in Yemen. 

In a statement on Thursday, 37 news outlets voiced support for their colleagues.

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Italy: Tourist turning up their noses at city's decay - by Angela Giuffrida

Romans revolt as tourists turn their noses up at city’s decay. Rubbish, potholes and metro closures contribute to anger among visitors and citizens.

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France: Mixed reactions to French President Macrons €5bn  tax cuts

Mixed reactions after Emmanuel Macron promises €5bn in tax cuts

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North KOREA-RUSSIA RELATIONS: Putin meets with Kim as Kim says he will need security guarantees to give up Nukes

Putin meets with Kim, says North Korea will need security guarantees to give up nukes
Putin says he will contact Washington and discuss with his buddy Donald Trump.

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4/25/19

European Union: Press freedom and the EU elections - by Christophe Deloire

Almost one person in two in the world does not have access to freely reported news and information.

As Europeans, we can count ourselves lucky that we enjoy "this freedom that allows us to verify respect for all the other freedoms".

In the World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), our continent is by far the one where freedom of the press is the most widely observed.
But let us not turn a blind eye on the fact that, in recent years, a dam has burst and this cornerstone of our democracy has been seriously damaged.

The murder of the Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul made us aware of the sometimes-horrifying violence inflicted by some countries on journalists.

However, Europe is not immune.

In Malta, Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered because of her investigations into a money laundering scam.

In Slovakia, Jan Kuciak was killed because he was investigating a large-scale tax evasion scheme. These murders are among the most serious attacks on press freedom. They are also the symptom of a deep-rooted problem.

Journalism in Europe has been weakened by relentless, and often hyped-up, anti-media rhetoric by some political leaders, either in power or hoping to get there.

Coverage of the 'yellow vest' protests in France has provoked a profound dislike of journalists, sometimes going as far as rape threats directed at reporters.

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban has used similar distrust to his advantage when he recites the "fake news" argument to justify his refusal to speak to media outlets that do not support his own party.

We cannot resign ourselves to this situation.

Read more: Press freedom and the EU elections

EU-Caribbean Relations: Closer EU-Caribbean ties mean greater prosperity for all - by Bocchit Edmond

 This month ministers and officials from across the Caribbean assembled in Jamaica to discuss the future of our collective relationship with the European Union.

This was the latest in a series of forums that have taken place in the past eighteen months, all with the aim of working toward a bolstered agreement that will further integrate our political and economic interests.

The current African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) agreement with the EU was signed in 2000 in Cotonou, Benin.

The eponymous agreement was designed to establish a comprehensive partnership, focused on three pillars: development cooperation, political cooperation, and economic and trade cooperation.

It has been successful in many areas, but the time has come to renew its purpose and for fresh engagement among our nations.

Much has changed over the past two decades for Caribbean nations as well as the EU.

While in 2000 there were only nine member states of the EU, there are now 28, which has radically changed the dynamic of the Union's influence in the world.

The global threats we share have also shifted.

Climate change, for example, which poses unmeasurable risk to the Caribbean, is a fight which is more urgent now than ever before.

Reasd Closer EU-Caribbean ties mean greater prosperity for all

EU Airline industry - Germany:Lufthansa Promotes European Elections and unity

 German flag-carrier Lufthansa is sending a special message to voters in the lead-up to this year’s European elections. It has rebranded one of its Airbus A320s, D-AIZG (c/n 4324) with the slogan “Say yes to Europe” in large letters across the upper fuselage in place of the usual Lufthansa branding. The slogan will see across the carrier’s network in the four weeks leading up to the elections, which are taking place between May 23-26. Through the initiative, Lufthansa says it’s actively promoting a higher voter turnout.

The custom-designed aircraft is part of a larger initiative to persuade Germans to take part. Research has shown that more than half of eligible people in Germany have not exercised their right to vote in previous elections for the European Parliament. For this reason, the airline, other companies and public figures are joining forces to motivate the population to vote again.

Carsten Spohr, the airline’s CEO, remarked: “With their vote in May, the citizens of Europe will decide the future of the European community. Now more than ever, it is a question of taking a stand, taking responsibility and strengthening the idea of a united and free continent.

As a genuine European company with roots in several countries in the heart of Europe, our airlines connect the continent’s nations with each other as well as connecting Europe with the world. For this reason, Europe is very close to our hearts.”

Lufthansa has also announced the standard livery of all its aircraft will also be changing with the addition of the European flag placed next to the German flag as part of the aeroplane’s registration on the rear fuselage.

 Read more at: Lufthansa Promotes European Elections | Airliner World

US Presidential Elections 2020: Joe Biden 2020: How he could win. And why he might not - by Jonathan Tamari

 Former vice president Joe Biden joined the Democratic presidential primary campaign Thursday as the consensus frontrunner, based on early polling.

Still, history and the changing Democratic Party suggest that Biden still faces obstacles in his attempt to win the nomination. Here are three reasons why Biden might win the primary and the right to challenge President Donald Trump, and three reasons why one last campaign might fall short.

How he could win: Early lead: It helps to have eight years as vice president to a president who remains hugely popular among Democrats. After his stint alongside Barack Obama, Biden has nearly universal name recognition, giving him an immediate advantage over many of his rivals, and 75 percent of Democratic voters view him favorably, according to the latest Morning Consult poll.

How he could lose: A changing party: For all the fond memories Democrats have of the Obama years, many want to see new, younger voices, and leaders who reflect the party’s increasing reliance on women and people of color. At age 76, and with nearly five decades in public life behind him, Biden hardly represents change.

Some voters say he’s simply too old to be president, even if they like him.

Past stumbles: Biden has tried this twice before, without much success.

Read more at: Joe Biden 2020: How he could win. And why he might not.

4/24/19

USA -Trump's Foreign Policy: It is all about RealPolitiek and the EU better get their act together

Otto Eduard
 Leopold von Bismarck
While the US and most of the foreign Press is focused on Trumps twitters and the Mueller report, there has been a major shift in US foreign policy. 

Trump has embraced the law of the jungle, which political scientists and historians define as RealPolitik.

The term “RealPolitik” is widely used today as a synonym for “power politics” and understood as the realist approach to foreign policy, a venerable tradition that stretches from Machiavelli and Bismarck to scholar-diplomats of the postwar era such as George Kennan and Henry Kissinger.

RealPolitik can also be seen as the political approach of self-sufficiency. Decisions on public policy, when approached from a position of RealPolitik, are not afforded time for sympathy or compassion. Rather, RealPolitik is an approach of shrewd pragmatism solely on the basis of political expedience. 

Case in Point: In the Middle East the US Trump Administration has chosen three principal partners: Israel - the only nation in the Middle East with a nuclear arsenal - Saudi-Arabia, the number one oil producer in the world and Egypt , the country with the largest army in the Middle East.These countries have developed a very close relation with the US over the years and importantly to the US, do what they are told to do by the US. 

Realpolitik has played a huge role in this case, as it allowed Israel’s Prime Minister, Netanyahu, to successfully outplay the Iranians in most encounters, as proven by the recent Israeli attacks on Iranian military bases in Syria. Moreover, it allowed Israel to develop close relationships with Arab states that were previously aggressive towards the Israeli cause, a thing that was deemed close to impossible a couple of decades ago.

In Europe, the US Trump Administration considers Russia, not the EU, as the most important power, and developed a "cloaked", but nevertheless close relationship with them.It is no secret, except it seems to the EU Commission, that the US Trump Administration would like nothing better than seeing the EU break apart.

The EU has been engulfed in a state of political instability that seems to have no end in sight. Cohesion between member states is at a historical low, populists are gaining traction at a pace never seen before and a constant state of fear and paranoia has characterized the European population ever since the migration wave has hit the continent four years ago.

At present it seems that pragmatism and self-interest is what characterizes Western Europe the most and a fracture has appeared between the underprivileged East and the heavily industrialized West.

The recent emergence of the populist parties have made this very clear and now the European continent finds itself for the very first time with countries that have elected far-right or Eurosceptic political parties, as seen in the cases of Italy, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Romania and the Czech Republic. Realpolitik dictates that the ideology doesn’t matter anymore, but what happens when the two ideas are applied at the same time?

If Britain does not come to its senses about Brexit and holds a second referendum to stay in the EU,  it is very well possible Britain could become one of the poorest nations in Europe within a period of ten years, specially if Scotland votes to become an independent nation and joins the EU.

In the Far East it is quite obvious that the US Trump Administration considers China not only as the major power in the Region, but certainly a long term dangerous rival.

Both sides have fought a trade war over the past year with damaging consequences for the global economy.

Issues around technology transfer have been key during trade talks between the world's two largest economies in recent months.

"Every country now correctly recognizes that their prosperity, their wealth, their economic security, their military security is going to be linked to keeping a technological edge," says Stephen Olson, research fellow at global trade advisory body Hinrich Foundation.

But many also say their dispute goes well beyond trade - it represents a power-struggle between two very different world views.

Unfortunately, deal or no trade deal, that rivalry is only expected to broaden and become more difficult to resolve.

"We have entered into a new normal in which US-China geopolitical competition has intensified and become more explicit," says Michael Hirson, Asia director at consultancy firm Eurasia Group.

Realpolitik is now at play also between China and the US, at the highest level possible/

The upcoming years are not only going to be very interesting in the eyes of the people that pay close attention to what is happening in the world, but also quite dangerous as the status quo that has kept the world in a state of peace is slowly disintegrating, leaving place to a wasteland of ideologies, interests and individuals at play that will do everything to get into power. 2019 is the year that marks the real return of ReaPpolitik, on a state never seen before.

This isn’t the Cold War whatsoever, this is a completely different world. One based on economic factors, international political bullying and a shock factor never seen before.

Welcome to Earth, which side are you on?

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Scotland: if Brexit becomes a reality Scotland wants another independence referendum

Scotland must have second independence referendum by 2021 if Brexit goes ahead, says FM Sturgeon

POPULISM: Beware of the simplistic nonsense Populist Rightwing Nationalistic politicians are telling you

4/23/19

A Global Green Deal? Time to unite around an International Green Deal

USA: Democrats are warned that trying to impeach Trump too soon would boomerang on themselves

'You can't impeach,' Trump says. Don't expect Democrats to try to prove him wrong.

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Middle East - Egypt: Egyptians approve reform allowing him to be President until 2030

Egyptians approve reform allowing Sisi to remain president until 2030 Nearly 90 percent of Egyptians who voted in a constitutional referendum backed amendments that could see President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi stay in power until 2030, the election commission announced Tuesday.

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MIDDLE EAST - SAUDI - ARABIA: The hardline intolerance of Saudi Arabia weakens its Islamic Leadership say Islamic authorities

Middle East - Israel: Netanyahu wants new settlement in Golan Heights named after Donald Trump

Golan Heights: Israeli PM Netanyahu wants new settlement in disputed territory named after Trump

United Nations: one million species at risk of extinction due to human actions UN report says


One million species at risk of extinction due to human actions, UN report says Up to one million species face extinction due to human influence, according to a draft UN report obtained by AFP that painstakingly catalogues how humanity has undermined the natural resources upon which its very survival depends.

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4/22/19

Iran - Pakistan Relations: the two countries will set up a joint reaction force to patrol the borders

Iran, Pakistan agree to joint border 'reaction force'

The Netherlands: when the Easter weekend ends this Monday in Europe, over one million tourists will have visited the country this sunny Easter weekend

IRAN OIL EXPORTS: US TO END SANCTIONS EXEMPTIONS. FOR MAJOR COUNTRIES

IRAN OIL Exports: US to end sanctions exemptions for major importers

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USA Weapons Exports: Countries buying the most weapons from the US government

 The US is the worlds largest exporter of weapons and sells these weapons to some 98 countries around the globe.

Read more: Countries buying the most weapons from the US government

4/21/19

Ukraine: Comedian Zelensky wins presidential vote with over 70% margin

Ukraine's Poroshenko concedes defeat to comedian rival Zelenskiy in presidential vote

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USA - democracy - danger signals: Armed militias raising their head in America

FBI arrests leader of armed militia stopping migrants at U.S.-Mexico border, as Mexico cries alarm. 

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SRI LANKA: MENTALLY DISTURBED TERRORISTS KILL MORE THAN 200 INNOCENT CIVILIANS IN SRI LANKA

More than 200 killed as blasts hit Sri Lankan churches, hotels on Easter Sunday A series of eight devastating bomb blasts ripped through high-end hotels and churches holding Easter services in Sri Lanka on Sunday, killing at least 207 people, including dozens of foreigners.

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Liberal democracy in decline, should you be worried?

As the world looks on in awe and with huge admiration at the greatest democracy on the planet going to the polls, why should anyone be worried about the decline of liberal democracy? Shouldn’t the sight of 900 million people in India electing their politicians provide reassurance to those who believe that we stand on the precipice of an existential crisis? The unfortunate fact is that in many countries, liberal democracy is at the point of collapse and authoritarianism is appearing as a real alternative. This is an immense ideological and strategic challenge. In a bracing new book, the greatly admired former US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, even warns of the revival of fascism.

Those who have benefited from the post 1945 settlement and the development of democratic institutions have become complacent about liberal democracy, losing interest in its ideals and forgetting how to defend its values. When it’s around us we take it for granted. It’s rather like the old story of two fish swimming together, when an older fish swims by and says “Morning, boys, how’s the water?” After the old fish swims away, one says to the other, “What the hell is water?”

One problem is that many don’t really know precisely what liberal democracy is. In numerous books and articles on the subject, authors seem to speak past each other or go around in circles because they are using different definitions of the terms. A common mistake is to conflate liberalism with democracy. The two subjects are not synonyms. “Democracy” is derived from a Greek word meaning “rule by the people”, while “liberal” and “liberalism” derive from the Latin word meaning “free”. Confusingly, some writers use the word “democracy” as a shorthand for “liberal democracy”, thus incorporating such features as the rule of law, freedoms of speech, assembly, religion and the press, which are more properly categorised as liberal. In short, “democracy” is an answer to the question of who rules. By contrast, “liberalism” prescribes not how rulers are chosen but what are the limits to their power once in office.

The election of Donald Trump, despite losing the popular vote by three million, has tested the limit of people’s faith in democracy. Many have asked if the result was warped by overseas interference, questionable activity as listed in the Mueller report, or by unaccountable tech companies. There is a growing consensus that American democracy is at risk; the Economist’s index even categorises the United States as a “flawed democracy”.

Following the Brexit referendum, a deeply worrying recent development in Britain is the language of autocrats, casting sceptics of the result as “enemies of the people”. The questioning of democracy is polarising politics and taking debate beyond healthy bounds. Efforts to delegitimise the referendum result are based on the premise that politicians lied and misled, leaving voters to choose on the basis of either poor or wrong information. An old joke is being resurrected: Question, “How do you know when a politician is lying?” Answer, “When his mouth is open.”

Elsewhere in Europe, democratically elected leaders are challenging liberalism. Hungary’s Prime Minister, Victor Orban, even proudly boasts of creating an “illiberal democracy”. Orban’s close friend in neighbouring Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, also panders to nationalist sentiment. They have much in common. Both are strongmen of roughly the same generation, with little interest in checks and balances, free media or even free speech. 

Both entered politics in the turbulent era of the crumbling of the communist bloc. These two men matter in Europe. Orban’s Hungary is a magnet for the far right elsewhere on the continent, while Serbia holds the key to the stability of the Balkans, a region which forms Europe’s strategic, vulnerable underbelly. Winston Churchill once described this region as “producing more history than it can consume”.

Strong men with nationalistic characteristics are a sure sign of danger to liberal democracy. In Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party is in pole position to form a coalition with the smaller hard right-wing parties. Democracy certainly, but not liberal democracy; just ask the Israeli Arabs or the Palestinians. In Brazil, last October’s victory by Jair Bolsonaro promises illiberalism on a grand scale.

Turkey under Recep Erdogan has become a textbook example of illiberal democracy, closely followed by Honduras, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Iran. The basket cases are, of course, North Korea, China and the Gulf States, which are neither democratic nor liberal. Russia moved towards a period of democracy in the early 1990s, only to retreat from 2004 onwards. Elections remain in place in Russia but they are phony, as state control of the media is almost complete and opposition is not welcomed by President Vladimir Putin.

Why does this matter? The collapse of liberal democracy leads to autocracy and history tells us that autocracy frequently leads to war. World War I was very much a war between liberalism and authoritarianism. When President Woodrow Wilson took the United States to war in 1917 in the hope of making the world “safe for democracy”, it was to defend the “liberal” Atlantic Community against the illiberal ideology of Germany. The rise after the war of two even greater challenges to liberalism, Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, marked the failure of the interwar hope. Their defeat in World War II, in which 87,000 troops from the Indian subcontinent were sacrificed, gave liberalism a new birth.
All this is now in danger. We ignore the demise of liberal democracy at our peril.

4/20/19

U.S. and Israel Both Decline on Press-freedom Index - U.S. Now "Problematic"

For the third time in three years, the United States’ standing in an annual index of press freedom declined, a result the report’s authors attributed to President Trump’s anti-press rhetoric and continuing threats to journalists.

Reporters Without Borders, the international group that compiles the World Press Freedom Index, ranked the United States 48th among 180 nations and territories it surveyed. The U.S. ranking fell three spots from 2018, continuing a downward trend that began in 2016.

The United States finished just above Senegal and just below Romania on this year’s list/ The United States finished just above Senegal and just below Romania on this year’s list. It also fell into the ranks of countries whose treatment of journalists is considered “problematic,” the first time the United States has been so classified since the organization began the index in 2002.

The top ranks were dominated once again by European countries: Norway ranked first for the third time in a row, followed by Finland, Sweden, Netherlands and Denmark. The bottom of the list included, in descending order, Vietnam, China, Eritrea, North Korea and Turkmenistan.

Read more at:
https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/u-s-and-israel-both-decline-on-press-freedom-index-1.7138187

Canada: Freedom of Religion and democracy: Ahead of federal elections Imams at 69 Canadian mosques urges their congragations to vote

Ahead of federal elections, Imams at 69 Canadian mosques deliver message that every vote counts.

Note EU-Digest: Proof that Democracy and Islam can co-exist, if only Democracy could be the norm for countries where Islam is misused to suppress Democracy and Human Rights.

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Britain - Brexit bad for the Environment?

Is Brexit bad for the environment? Theresa May has same CO2 output as 126 Brits or 2,600 Kenyans

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CLIMATE CHANGE : Sir David Attenborough warns of Catastrophe to mankind

Climate change: Sir David Attenborough warns of 'catastrophe'

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4/19/19

European Union - the benefits of being a member state of the EU: Ten EU policies that have changed Europeans' day-to-day lives

Eurosceptics frequently lambast the EU by portraying it as a bureaucratic monolith that pays little attention to the concerns of ordinary citizens, as it interferes needlessly in petty affairs. However, the decisions taken in Brussels and the laws passed by the European Parliament in Strasbourg have concrete effects on Europeans’ day-to-day lives.

Here is an overview of ten such EU policies put in place over the past five years making a key difference to the lives of every citizen of its member states. :

Getting rid of plastic bags

In France, single-use plastic shopping bags have been banned since July 2016, whether they are free or paid for. Instead, bags must either be made of paper or reusable and thicker than 50 micrometres. Since the start of 2017, this ban has been extended to “fruit and vegetable bags”. Thus, only biodegradable or paper bags can now be used.

These French laws are a direct product of a 2015 EU directive that imposed new rules to limit the consumption of plastic bags and reduce the amount of packaging on goods. MEPs aim to reduce the average number of lightweight plastic bags used, from 90 per person over the course of the year in 2019 to 40 per person by 2025.

The right to be forgotten

As well as acting on environmental concerns, Brussels is also focused on the protection of personal data. In a 2014 decision, the European Court of Justice ruled that EU data protection law applies to search engines. This means that people can get companies to take down any links that violate their privacy, according to the conditions set out in the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights. So far Google has reviewed 91,000 removal requests, for a total of 328,000 links.

Banning roaming charges

MEPs have taken legal steps to prohibit mobile phone companies from forcing customers to pay extra when they travel from European country to another. This applies to all mobile and landline phone calls, SMS messages and the use of data services abroad.

Cheap flights and compensation for overbooking

By imposing competition laws to stop airlines from restricting fares and schedules, the EU has allowed new companies to spring up and disrupt the industry, with their “low cost” and “no frills” flights undercutting established players and forcing them to reduce prices.

Food safety

The well-known “E numbers” – preservatives, dyes, antioxidants and flavourings listed as part of food products – are subject to strict standards and tightly regulated by the EU. Before being placed on the market, any additive is rigorously scrutinised by the European Food Safety Authority to ensure that it does not present a health hazard.

In addition, the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed has been set up to take any food that constitutes a health risk off the market as quickly as possible. It responds to thousands of alerts every year to deal with immediate risks, often detected in meat and fish.

Sport broadcast free of charge

EU legislation ensures that sport matches considered to be of major importance for society must be broadcast on free TV channels.

Putting more snow on ski slopes

Seeing as it’s quite a prerequisite for skiing, it’s rather a shame that snow is not always abundant on Europe’s ski slopes. The EU’s Horizon 2020 programme is funding research on snow production that includes a new snow gun that uses 15 percent less energy to produce 8 percent more snow and is also less noisy. Brussels is also supporting a project to create a weather forecasting system for the ski industry to predict the amount of snow from a week to several months in advance.

Free wifi in public areas

There are few things more frustrating than being out and about and finding it impossible to connect to the Internet. However, the EU’s WIFI4EU programme provides support to local authorities to help them provide free wifi to people passing through open-air spaces, public buildings, libraries or hospitals.

Protecting online shoppers’ rights

The EU ensures that products can be ordered without customs duties and additional taxes from other European countries and allows customers to return any product they have purchased within 14 days, without justification.

New EU rules should also come into effect over the coming years – for example, prohibiting online vendors from automatically redirecting customers to another site (on which prices are often higher), and the reduction of sometimes hefty delivery costs.

Funding films

Half of all European films were partly financed by the European Union Media Program. In 2014, seven of the 18 films competing for awards at the Cannes Film Festival benefited from this scheme, including “Two Days, One Night” by the Dardennes brothers and Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s “Winter Sleep”, winner of the 2014 Palme d’Or.

The EU also has the Creative Europe 2014-2020 programme to support culture across the continent. With a budget of €1.5 billion, this fund will support cinema, TV, music, literature, heritage and the performing arts in 38 countries and will fund 250,000 people in the culture industry.

Ten EU policies that have changed Europeans' day-to-day lives

Britain - Brexit: European Parliamentary elections in Britain could be a turning point for Brecit

 Could it all be a question of perception?

Middle East - Libya: back to square one as Trump cozies up to strongman Haftar

Freedom of the press: hatred whipped up by populists and authoritarian leaders is fueling violence against Reporters

Hatred fuels violence against journalists, warns Reporters Without Borders Hatred of journalists whipped up by populist and authoritarian leaders is degenerating into violence across the world, media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) warned Thursday.

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USA-MUELLER REPORT: Result worse for Trump than Barr let on-but probably will not lead to him being impeached

Mueller's report is worse for Trump than Barr let on — but likely not as ruinous as Trump feared

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4/18/19

Canada - EU pushing back on controversial US law over seized Cuban properties

Canada pushes back after U.S. clears the way for lawsuits over seized Cuban property
 
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France - Notre Dame -Donations: As donations flow in with record speed, controversy sparks

Notre-Dame fire donations pour in, spark controversy Monday’s calamitous fire at Notre-Dame elicited an unprecedented outpouring of generosity from donors near and far, great and small. But as the embers cooled, so have cracks appeared in the initial √©lan of unity and controversy flared over funds.

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France - Notre Dame: Climate Cartoon goes viral questioning Corporate Notre Dame donations

Viral climate cartoon uses satire to question Notre Dame donations | #TheCube

Bangladesh - Islam: Nusrat Jahan Rafi burned to death for reporting sexual harasment

Nusrat Jahan Rafi: Burned to death for reporting sexual harassment

USA: The Mueller report released and Trump claims once again: no collusion - reality check, however, shows, Trumps problems are now only really beginning

Mueller Report : a can of worms has been opened for Donald Trump

4/17/19

MIDDLE EAST - IRAN: Dispute Flares up among US officials over Trump Administration Arms Control Report

Britain-Brexit: A question of identity, but more about the fact that Democracy can't be a bad thing

EU Parliament: More Border Guards Called For By EU Parliament

European Parliament calls for more EU border guards

Turkey - Municipal electioms: Oppostion candidate also declared winner of Istanbul vote and becomes another important win as the party's winning streak now spans all Turkish major coastal cities and many others

Turkish opposition candidate declared winner of disputed Istanbul vote.

Turkey's main opposition candidate was declared Istanbul's mayor Wednesday after election recounts were completed, despite an appeal still pending by President Tayyip Erdogan's party to re-run the vote.

US - Cuba - EU relations: New US policy on seized property in Cuba threatens ties with EU

New US policy on seized property in Cuba threatens EU ties

Note EU-Digest: This "new" Trump policy obviously must also be seen as part of Trump's 2020  reelection campaign strategy, in getting the Florida Cuban/Latino population into his camp .

However, given his controversial financial aid withholding policies against El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. This, in addition to his empty threats against the Maduro regime in Venezuela don't carry much weight.

It is obvious that Mr. Trump's latest declaration on Cuba must once again be classified as the President "talking the talk, but not walking the walk"  

EU: Freedom of the Press: Whistle-blowers in the EU have been given more legislative protection

Whistle-blowers across Europe now have more protection, but Assange divides opinion

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4/16/19

USA: Trump vetoes measure to end US involvement in Yemen war and giving military support to Saudi-Arabia

Birds of a feather flock together
President Donald Trump has vetoed a bill Congress passed to end US military assistance in the Saudi Arabia led war in Yemen.

In a break with the president, Congress voted for the first time to invoke the War Powers Resolution to try and stop US involvement in a foreign conflict.

But Trump vetoed the measure with the Congress lacking the votes to override him.

"This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future," said Trump in a statement.

House approval of the resolution came earlier this month on a 247-175 vote. The Senate vote last month was 54-46.

Congress has grown uneasy with Trump's close relationship with Saudi Arabia as he tries to further isolate Iran, a regional rival.

Many lawmakers also criticized the president for not condemning Saudi Arabia for the killing of a Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi, who had been critical of the kingdom.

Read more at: Trump vetoes measure to end US involvement in Yemen war | Trump News | Al Jazeera

EU - US relations: EU overrules France and green lights talks with US

Amid trade war fears, EU overrules France and green lights talks with USA European Union countries on Monday overruled France and gave the green light for Brussels to open trade talks with Washington as soon as possible and defuse trans-Atlantic tensions.

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The Netherlands : Large number of tourists causing Amsterdam floating flower market closure

France: President Emmanuele Macron of France ltwants Notre-Dame rebuilt in 5 years

French president wants to see fire-ravaged Notre-Dame Cathedral rebuilt within 5 years

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Turkey - unemployment climbing rapidly in Turkey during Erdogan's AKP Regime

4/15/19

France - Paris: Historic Notre Dame goes up in flames: Huge fire underway at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Notre Dame, Paris France
A "significant fire" broke out at the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in central Paris at 7 pm local time,
according to the national police.

Smoke could be seen billowing out from the top of the medieval cathedral, as flames leapt out beside its two bell towers.

French fire services said they are "not sure" if the fire can be stopped, according to AFP.
 
Both the spire and roof of the cathedral have now collapsed.

Footage from the scene showed flames inside one of the building's two towers.

Notre Dame Cathedral is considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture and is perhaps the most famous church in the world. It is the cathedral of the Catholic Archdiocese of Paris and work was begun in 1163 and completed in 1345.  During the French Revolution, the cathedral was rededicated to the Cult of Reason, and then to the Cult of the Supreme Being and many of the treasures of the cathedral were either destroyed or plundered

WATCH MORE: Moment Notre Dame Cathedral's spire comes crashing down amid fire

Live updates: Huge fire underway at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris | Euronews

US Economy: The dollar is on a downward spiral as US policies turn countries against the greenback - by Garry White

The dollar is the most important currency in the world because of Saudi Arabia. In the Seventies, the world’s largest oil producer agreed to sell its crude in the US currency and the “petrodollar” was born.

The move boosted global demand for the dollar, cementing its status as the globe’s reserve currency. However, the US’s current aggressive treatment of rivals and allies alike means many countries are questioning whether the use of the dollar is now in their own interests.

The Trump regime’s belligerence is resulting in countries turning their backs on the buck – and Russia is leading the de-dollarisation trend.

Read more: The dollar is on a downward spiral as US policies turn countries against the greenback

GDP - a questionable measurement: 5 ways GDP gets it totally wrong as a measure of our success - by David Pilling

The beauty of gross domestic product is its single figure. It squishes all of human activity into a couple of digits, like a frog jammed into a matchbox. As this image of an unfortunate amphibian suggests, this condensing is also GDP’s flaw. How can the sum total of everything we do as human beings be so compacted? How can our activity be conflated with something as complex, nuanced and contested as our wellbeing?

GDP's inventor Simon Kuznets was adamant that his measure had nothing to do with wellbeing. But too often we confuse the two. For seven decades, gross domestic product has been the global elite’s go-to number. Fast growth, as measured by GDP, has been considered a mark of success in its own right, rather than as a means to an end, no matter how the fruits of that growth are invested or shared. If something has to be sacrificed to get GDP growth moving, whether it be clean air, public services, or equality of opportunity, then so be it.

GDP is how we rank countries and judge their performance. It is the denominator of choice. It determines how much a country can borrow and at what rate. But GDP is well past its sell-by date, as people are starting to realise. However brilliant the concept, a measure that was invented in the manufacturing age as a means of fighting the Depression is becoming less and less capable of imparting sensible signals about complex modern economies.

Pointing out the defects of GDP and even tentatively suggesting alternatives is no longer controversial. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy commissioned a panel led by Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel economist, to examine the issue. It was creating a dangerous “gulf of incomprehension”, Sarkozy said, between experts sure of their knowledge and citizens “whose experience of life is completely out of sync with the story told by the data”.

GDP is a gross number. It is the sum total of everything we produce over a given period. It includes cars built, Beethoven symphonies played and broadband connections made. But it also counts plastic waste bobbing in the ocean, burglar alarms and petrol consumed while stuck in traffic.

Kuznets was uneasy about a measure that treated all production equally. He wanted to subtract, rather than add, things he considered detrimental to human wellbeing, such as arms, financial speculation and advertising. You may disagree with his priorities. The point is that GDP makes no distinction. From the perspective of global GDP, Kim Jong-un’s nuclear warheads do just as well as hospital beds or apple pie.

Read more at: 5 ways GDP gets it totally wrong as a measure of our success | World Economic Forum

US and EU economies: Income inequality getting worse

Global income inequality has worsened over the past four decades, a report finds, with the wealthiest 1% of the world's population capturing twice as much income growth as the bottom half.

The world's middle class, made up mostly of people in North America and Europe, has by some measures fared the worst. Globalization has boosted incomes for hundreds of millions of people in developing countries, particularly China and India. And it has lowered pay for manufacturing workers and other middle-income employees in the developed world.

TURKEY- Municipal Elections: Sore loser AKP leader Erdogan creates excuses not to accept Istanbul loss

The pot is declaring the kettle black. Turkey's Erdogan decries vote 'theft'

4/14/19

AVIATION: World’s biggest airplane takes flight for the first time ever

The world’s largest airplane took flight for the first time ever on Saturday morning. Stratolaunch, a 500,000-pound plane with a 385-foot wingspan that is built to send rockets into orbit around the Earth, lifted off shortly after 10AM ET from Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California.
The inaugural flight is expected to last a few hours. It comes just three months after Stratolaunch Systems, the company behind the effort, laid off “more than 50” employees and canceled efforts to develop its own rockets. The change in plans was reportedly sparked by the death of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who started Stratolaunch Systems in 2011.

The duel-fuselage Stratolaunch is designed to fly to an altitude of 35,000 feet, where it can drop rockets that ignite their engines and boost themselves into orbit around the planet. The company has already signed at least one customer in Orbital ATK, which plans to use Stratolaunch to send its Pegasus XL rocket into space.

Read more at: World’s biggest airplane takes flight for the first time ever

US Presidential Elections: Democrat Pete Buttigieg could be anti-dote to Trump

Democrat Pete Buttigieg, the Midwest mayor who could be the 'antidote to Trump' Were Pete Buttigieg to win the 2020 US presidential election, the intellectual Democrat would become the youngest person ever, and first gay man, to hold the office. The mayor of South Bend has the media’s attention and hopes the polls will follow.
 
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Israel elections : Changing the face of Israel

4/12/19

EU - Netherlands - global warming: EU the logical place to fight global warming, says Greens frontrunner Parliamentary candidate Bas Eickhout

Watch: EU 'logical place' to fight global warming, says Greens' spitzenkandidat Bas Eickhout.

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Britain: Nigel Farage, Populist, friend of Donald Trump and proponent of Brexit, Britains historic political disaster launches new Brexit party

'No more Mr Nice Guy,' says Farage as he launches new Brexit party

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India - elections: Millions head to the polls also seen as referendum on PM Modi

India votes: Millions head to polls in election seen as referendum on PM Modi (Part 1) Tens of millions of Indians joined queues nationwide on Thursday to vote in the world's largest election, choosing representatives for India's parliament and issuing a verdict on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Read  more at : 

Global Warming: Artic is warmest it has been in 10.000 years

Arctic is warmest it's been in 10,000 years, study suggests

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Free Speech: Julian Assanges charges are a direct assault on Press freedom experts warn

Julian Assange's charges are a direct assault on press freedom, experts warn

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EU-US Relations:EU executive eyeing retaliation against U.S. over aircraft subsidies - by Philip Blenkinsop

 The European Commission has begun preparations for possible retaliation against Boeing subsidies, the EU executive said on Tuesday, a day after Washington drew up a list of EU imports to hit with tariffs over subsidies given to Europe's Airbus.

"The Commission is starting preparations so that the EU can promptly take action based on the arbitrator's decision on retaliation rights in this (Boeing) case," a Commission spokesman said.

"The European Union remains open for discussions with the United States, provided these are without preconditions and aim at a fair outcome," he continued.

 Read more at: EU executive eyeing retaliation against U.S. over aircraft subsidies

4/11/19

EU-China Relationship: EU, China hail 'breakthrough' trade agreement that contrasts Trump's 'America First' agenda


Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has promised the European Union Beijing will no longer force foreign companies to share sensitive know-how when operating in China, and it is ready to discuss new global trading rules on industrial subsidies.

Key points:

  • China said it is ready to open up to foreign companies and end demands for trade secrets
  • EU and Chinese negotiators agreed on a final communique of cooperation
  • The two sides agreed to intensify talks on subsidies and pledged a deal by 2020

Marking a significant shift, Mr Li's pledge at the annual EU-China leaders' meeting last night follows similar offers to the United States, and potentially signals an opening for which European companies have long lobbied.

"European companies will enjoy equal treatment," Mr Li told a news conference following the three-hour summit in Brussels, offering to set up a disputes mechanism to handle complaints.

Summit chair Donald Tusk talked of a major turning point in the relationship between the EU and China. "It is a breakthrough", he said. "For the first time, China has agreed to engage with Europe on this key priority for WTO [World Trade Organisation] reform."

Read more at: EU, China hail 'breakthrough' trade agreement that contrasts Trump's 'America First' agenda - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Britain - Brexit: May defends Brexit delay and hints at customs union compromise-by Irene Kostaki

While defending her decision to delay the Brexit date to hostile MPs in the House of Commons, UK Prime Minister Theresa May simultaneously kept the door open for more talks with the opposition Labour party in the hope that the two can find a compromise over the customs union despite calls from her own Conservative backbenchers that she needed to resign.

Hours after the EU-27 granted May a six-month delay for Brexit, which includes an early exit clause, May admitting that “reaching an agreement will not be easy because to be successful it will require both sides to make compromises”.

May threw her support behind the EU-27’s Brexit delay after marathon talks in Brussels that was a part of an extraordinary summit focused on finding a way forward in the Brexit process. May’s statement on the decision to delay Britain’s EU exit for a second time brought an angry reaction from hardline Brexiteers from her own party. Conservative eurosceptic Bill Cash described the decision as “abject surrender”.

Along with Conservative Brexiteers, opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, with whom May is trying to negotiate a compromise on the future relationship with the bloc, said that “this second extension in the space of a fortnight represents not only a diplomatic failure but is another milestone in the government’s mishandling of the entire Brexit process”.

May and Corbyn have continued their talks, with the former saying she thought, “Reaching an agreement will not be easy, because to be successful it will require both sides to make compromises,” while adding, “However challenging it may be politically, I profoundly believe that in this unique situation where the House is deadlocked, it is incumbent on both front benches to seek to work together to deliver what the British people voted for. And I think that the British people expect their politicians to do just that when the national interest demands it.”

May claims that the Tories and Labour are relatively close to an agreement on the customs union, but that they still need to work on the wording of their position.

Read more: May defends Brexit delay and hints at customs union compromise

USA: Is America Becoming Trump’s Banana Republic? - by Susan B. Glasser | The New Yorker

Interrupting a previously scheduled “Briefing on Drug Trafficking on the Southern Border,” President Trump called reporters into the Oval Office on Wednesday following the Boeing disasters and personally announced the grounding of every Boeing 737 Max in America.

The move surprised White House advisers, two of whom told the Washington Post that Trump had earlier agreed to allow the Federal Aviation Administration, which has the legal authority to ground the planes, to make the announcement. Why was the United States acting so long after other countries had ordered the planes out of the sky, following a deadly crash in Ethiopia?

Is this really how America’s air-safety decisions are supposed to be made? Nobody seemed to know. But one thing was apparent: Trump—a self-styled aviation expert, who cites his ownership of a Boeing 757 and his brief time running the Trump Shuttle airline, which went bust, in 1992, as the basis of his expertise—had once again inserted himself where he loves to be, right in the middle of a big story.

A few minutes after Trump’s announcement, I began a previously arranged conversation with one of the President’s most acerbic Republican critics, George Conway, who is also, as much of America now knows, the husband of Trump’s White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway. George Conway, a successful conservative lawyer, who turned down a top job in Trump’s Justice Department, has, in the past year, become an unlikely social-media celebrity, and his frequent tweets skewering the President whom his wife serves has made their home life a staple of late-night-television jokes.

Conway recently made a rare public appearance, at a Georgetown University conference devoted to threats to the rule of law under Trump, where he warned that the country risked becoming a “banana republic.” I wanted to know more about what Conway meant, but, in the meantime, Trump’s decision to ground the planes had caught the attention of both of us.

Was it a distraction? A scandal? An example of Trump doing the right thing? On the merits, no one seemed to disagree with the move. And yet the announcement in the Oval Office, followed by a lengthy rant about there being “no collusion” with Russia and about the border wall that the President says he is building, even though he isn’t, seemed so Trumpy.

“You have to look at everything through the prism of his narcissism,” Conway told me. “This is all about him exercising his authority and power to be at the center of attention, and, for whatever reason, he’s decided he’s going to get the most juice out of exercising this decree on this day in this way. That’s the way he makes himself important and special; there’s an arbitrariness to it.” Isn’t that pretty much the definition of a “banana republic”? I asked.

“Yes,” Conway responded. “It would make it a banana republic.” But he went on to offer an important caveat to the remarks he made at Georgetown. “If it were not for the inherent checks and balances of the U.S. Constitution,” Conway said, “we would have a banana republic. But that also makes him an inherently weak President, because the office requires you to have the power to persuade.

Ultimately, you become a powerful President only if you are able to persuade others to go along with you. His narcissism means he has to retreat to the people who worship him. He cannot reach out and persuade, like every other President tries to do. His narcissism causes him to be a weak President, and the checks and balances mean he is a weak President. And that’s why we don’t have a banana republic.”

Read more: Is America Becoming Trump’s Banana Republic? | The New Yorker

Freedom of the Press: You Don’t Have to Like Julian Assange to Defend Him - by James Ball

You do not have to spend a long time in a room with Julian Assange to realize that he will be difficult. It takes a little longer, though, to realize just how difficult dealing with him can be. This was the lesson I learned in 2010, working first with Assange, and then for him at WikiLeaks, as we published tranche after tranche of bombshell material, leaked by Chelsea Manning.

That was the year Assange—and the whistleblowing website he runs—came to the world’s attention. First it published the dynamite “Collateral Murder” video, showing an attack on a group of people, including two Reuters journalists, by American military helicopters in Iraq.

Though few knew it at the time, this was the first in a series of ever-larger and more dramatic leaks of classified documents, shedding unprecedented light on how the United States conducted its wars, its diplomacy, and its detentions: the Afghan and Iraq war logs, the American diplomatic cables, and the Guantanamo Bay files. These were published in partnership with some of the world’s biggest news outlets, including The New York Times, The Guardian, and Le Monde. These organizations quickly learned Assange was not the kind of person they were used to dealing with.

On a personal level, the editors and reporters did not warm to him. He would turn up in their newsrooms wearing a stab vest and no shirt, tell lewd jokes, and make high-handed demands.

They complained—sometimes in public. Yet these irritants were the least of their problems: News outlets quickly ran into serious ideological issues with Assange, primarily over handling of material and how it would be redacted.

Read more: You Don’t Have to Like Julian Assange to Defend Him

WIKILEAKS: Julian Assange arrested, as Trump claims he knows nothing about him

4/10/19

Britain-Brexit-Delay:Trick or treat? EU, UK agree to delay Brexit until Halloween - by Jill Lawless and Raf Casert

European Union leaders and Britain on Thursday agreed to a Brexit extension that will allow the U.K. to delay its EU departure date until Halloween.

Leaders of the 27 remaining EU member states met for more than six hours before agreeing after midnight to postpone Brexit until Oct. 31.

European Council President Donald Tusk presented the offer to May, who had asked for a delay only until June 30.

Tusk said in a tweet that the British leader had agreed to the longer “flexible” extension, which means Britain can leave before October if it ratifies a withdrawal deal with the EU.

“This means additional six months for the UK to find the best possible solution,” Tusk wrote.

May’s future, meanwhile, is uncertain.

She has previously said that “as prime minister” she could not agree to let Britain stay in the EU beyond June 30, and she has also promised to step down once Brexit is delivered.

Many Conservative Party lawmakers would like her to quit now and let a new leader take charge of the next stage of Brexit. But they can’t force her out until the end of the year, after she survived a no-confidence vote in December.

Read more: Trick or treat? EU, UK agree to delay Brexit until Halloween

Middle East - Iran: US is ‘leader of world terrorism’, says Iran President Rowhani after Donald Trump calls Republican Guard ‘terrorists’ | South China Morning Post

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani on Tuesday accused the United States of being the real “leader of world terrorism”, hitting back after Washington blacklisted Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as terrorist organisation
.
Tehran was quick to retaliate on Monday by declaring US troops “terrorists” following Washington’s move, which was welcomed by Iran’s regional arch-rivals Israel and Saudi Arabia.

It was the first time Washington labelled part of a foreign government a terrorist group, meaning anyone who deals with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard could face prison in the US.

“Who are you to label revolutionary institutions as terrorists?” an angry Rowhani demanded in a speech broadcast live on television.

Rowhani hailed the Guards for fighting terrorism since their creation in 1979 and accused US forces of having always been involved with terrorist groups or acts of terrorism.

Read more at: US is ‘leader of world terrorism’, says Iran President Rowhani after Donald Trump calls Republican Guard ‘terrorists’ | South China Morning Post

Middle East -Israel: Netanyahu wins re-election with a parliamentary majority, despite of the fact that he is under investigation

"Israel's Netanyahu wins re-election with parliamentary majority: tally" -

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Britain - Britain: Theresa May her Hope's dashed as EU targets delay of one year

Netherlands: Electric Car Share Jumps To 7.3% - by Zachary Shahan

The Netherlands has long been one of the top plug-in vehicle markets. Norway far and away wins the prize for highest market share (Tesla alone accounted for 31% of new vehicle sales in March and all fully electric vehicles combined accounted for 58.5% of sales), but the Netherlands is perhaps the country most closely following Norway’s lead.

In March, 10% of new vehicle sales were sales of fully electric cars, and the Tesla Model 3 was the top selling vehicle of any type, with nearly double the sales (deliveries/registrations) of the #2 Ford Focus (2,195 versus 1,187). In the first quarter as a whole, fully electric cars had 7.32% market share, up from 3.15% in the first quarter of 2018.

It’s been a little more than a year since I was in Amsterdam. It seemed like electric vehicles, especially Teslas, were every where at that time. I can’t imagine how much more that’s the case today and will be by the end of the year.


Read more at: Netherlands Electric Car Share Jumps To 7.3%, Fastned Revenue Triples | CleanTechnica