TRUMP’S WAR ON THE PRESS REACHES DANGEROUS LEVELS

BY ALEXANDER NAZARYAN – Newsweek

TRUMP’S WAR ON THE PRESS REACHES DANGEROUS LEVELS AS REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE CHARGED WITH ASSAULTING REPORTER

The demonization of the free press by the right did not begin with Donald Trump. Richard Nixon once called the press “the enemy,” after all, in seeming awareness of who would bring about his eventual, inevitable downfall. For that matter, The Boston Globe complained in 1997 that Bill Clinton’s “relationship with the news media… has deteriorated to a level not seen in the White House in more than 20 years,” i.e. since Nixon. In that case, too, there was good reason to fear and disdain those for whom truth-telling is a professional obligation.

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Surprise, surprise: Trump’s budget punishes the sick and the poor while rewarding the wealthy

Editoral Board  – Los Angeles Times

President Trump has set one goal that all Americans can get behind, and that’s making the sluggish U.S. economy grow faster. Yet key parts of the $3.8-trillion budget he proposed Tuesday abandon that goal, seeking instead to cut federal spending at the expense of the long-term strength of the economy and the American people. That’s particularly evident in the cynical and counterproductive approach the administration is taking toward the poor.

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Mideast: Growing Urbanisation Worsens Water Scarcity, Food Imports

By Baher Kamal

ROME, May 24 2017 (IPS) - Conflict and insecurity remain the key barriers to development progress in the Middle East and North Africa. In Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen, about half the population—around 40 million people—require humanitarian assistance. Across the region, countries depend heavily on food imports. As their populations urbanise and grow, the need for imports will increase.

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Will the next FBI director be a J Edgar Hoover-like figure?

Harrison Rudolph – The Guardian

The Senate must ensure that Donald Trump’s nominee is independent from the White House – and doesn’t pledge loyalty to the president

The country is still reeling after the bombshell report that Donald Trump asked the former FBI director James Comey to shut down the bureau’s investigation into Michael Flynn. Did the president fire Comey to slow down the FBI Russia investigation? Did Trump obstruct justice?

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“Horrific” Increase in Worldwide Displacement

By Tharanga Yakupitiyage

UNITED NATIONS, May 23 2017 (IPS) – Over 30 million people were newly internally displaced in 2016 by conflict and disasters, according to a new report.

In examining trends around the world for its annual Global Report on Internal Displacement, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) found “horrific” and high levels of new displacement.

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Reflections on Rouhani’s Landslide Reelection

By Trita Parsi – Lobelog

The Iranian population’s political sophistication continues to impress. Despite a highly flawed political system where the elections are neither fair nor free, they overwhelmingly majority chose a non-violent path to bring about progress. They massively participated in the elections with a 75% turnout – compare that to the turnout in the U.S. elections in 2016, 56% – and handed the incumbent moderate President Hassan Rouhani a landslide victory with 57% of the vote.

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Trump’s speech to the Muslim world was filled with hypocrisy and condescension

Robert Fisk – The Independent 

Despite claiming he wouldn’t give a lecture, the President did just that, displaying a blatant anti-Iran bias intended to appease the nation with whom he’d just signed a multi-billion dollar arms deal at the expense of the truth

So after inventing “fake news”, America’s crazed President on Sunday gave the world’s Muslims a fake speech. Donald Trump said he was not in Saudi Arabia to “lecture” – but then told the world’s Islamic preachers what to say, condemned “Islamist terrorism” as if violence was a solely Muslim phenomenon and then announced like an Old Testament prophet that he was in “a battle between good and evil”.

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UNDER TRUMP, EVERYTHING IS WRONG IN WASHINGTON

BY NINA BURLEIGH – Newsweek

It’s time to admit that Washington is Baghdad on the Potomac. The branches of government are at war with one another, and no one knows where the Green Zone is.

On Monday night, a reporter in the White House tweeted that there was shouting coming from inside the Cabinet meeting room, where grim-faced presidential adviser Steve Bannon, Press Secretary Sean Spicer, Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Communications Director Michael Dubke had gathered.

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Agony of Mother Earth (II) World’s Forests Depleted for Fuel

By Baher Kamal

This is the second of a two-part series on how humankind has been systematically destroying world’s forests—the real lungs of Mother Earth. Part I dealt with the relentless destruction of forests.

ROME, May 19 2017 (IPS) – Humankind is the biggest ever predator of natural resources. Just take the case of forests, the real lungs of Mother Earth, and learn that every 60 seconds humans cut down 15 hectares of trees primarily for food or energy production. And that as much as 45,000 hectares of rainforest are cleared for every million kilos of beef exported from South America.

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Agony of Mother Earth (I) The Unstoppable Destruction of Forests

By Baher Kamal

This is the first of a two-part series on how humankind has been systematically destroying world’s forests—the real lungs of Mother Earth. Part II will deal with forest depletion for wood-fuel.

ROME, May 18 2017 (IPS) – The world’s forests are being degraded and lost at a staggering rate of 3.3 million hectares per year. While their steady destruction in many Asian countries continues apace, deforestation of the world’s largest tropical forest – the Amazon – increased 29 per cent from last year’s numbers. And some of the most precious ecosystems in Africa are threatened by oil, gas and mineral exploration and exploitation.

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Strengthening the UN and its Creative Evolution into the Future

By Ramesh Jaura

Interview with Soka Gakkai International (SGI) President Dr. Daisaku Ikeda

BERLIN | TOKYO (IDN-INPS) – Why is it important to highlight the role of young people in ushering in a New Era of Hope? Will the landmark UN Conference to negotiate “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination” succeed? How can UN Secretary-General António Guterres ensure sufficient support from the international community for implementing the SDGs and the Paris Climate Change Agreement?

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Russia’s Cold War Habit

By VLADISLAV INOZEMTSEV* 

A few weeks ago, Mikhail Gorbachev – the last leader of the Soviet Union and the man who did more than anyone to end the Cold War – told the German newspaper Bild that it is possible “to recognize all the features of a new cold war in today’s world.” The United States “has already dragged” Russia into it, Gorbachev has said, in an effort “to realize its general triumphalist idea.” 

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Truth or Delusion?

Robert J. Burrowes* 

One inevitable outcome of the phenomenal violence we all suffer as children is that most of us live in a state of delusion throughout our lives. This makes it extraordinarily difficult for accurate information, including vital information about the endangered state of our world and how to respond appropriately, to penetrate the typical human mind.

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Bragging about our intel to Russia? Trump is too needy to be president

Richard Wolffe – The Guardian

So desperate is Trump to impress the Russians, it seems he’s giving away our most classified information. The only winner here is Vladimir Putin

There is nothing Donald Trump loves more than a great superlative. He builds the tallest hotels. He is the most successful businessman. His inaugural crowds were the biggest ever. None of these claims are remotely true, no matter how exaggerated the adjective nor how emphatic the delivery.

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Judas, Tax Cuts and the Great Betrayal

Paul Krugman

The denarius, ancient Rome’s silver coin, was supposedly the daily wage of a manual worker. If so, the tax cuts that the richest 1 percent of Americans will receive if the Affordable Care Act is repealed — tax cuts that are, obviously, the real reason for repeal — would amount to the equivalent of around 500 pieces of silver each year.

What inspired this calculation? The spectacle of Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, and Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House, defending Donald Trump’s firing of James Comey.

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