The Washington Post
THE HANDOFF | This is part of a series examining the foreign policy challenges President-elect Donald Trump will inherit and how he might approach them :
By Boima Rogers * – The Guardian
| 20 January 2017 | Donald Trump in the White House, the most powerful position in the world is an alarming prospect. His proposals and actions since his election are unprecedented and frightening. Never before have we seen a president-elect trying to assume power even before taking the oath of office and doing so in a manner that is totally unfit for the job.
By Thalif Deen
UNITED NATIONS, Jan 19 2017 (IPS) – The 193-member UN General Assembly has been dragging its feet on a proposal that has been kicked around the corridors of the United Nations for over 10 years: a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) providing journalists the “right to information” in a sprawling bureaucracy protective of its turf.
Ironically, nearly 100 countries – all of them UN member states – have approved some form of national legislation recognizing the right to information (RTI) within their own borders but still seem unenthusiastic in extending it to the press corps at the United Nations.
By Vijay Prashad / AlterNet
Secretary of Defense James Mattis and his National Security Advisor Mike Flynn have a bizarre obsession with Iran.
Gunfire broke out in Tehran, Iran’s capital, on Monday. A drone flew over the city and provoked anti-aircraft fire. Deputy of Air Defense Alireza Elhami said that the drone left the restricted area after the firing.
It is likely that this episode is harmless.
By Baher Kamal
Article I of a three-part series focuses on the alarmingly deepening inequality. Part II deals with the staggering impact of inequality on women, and Part III with the future and quality of jobs.
ROME, Jan 16 2017 (IPS) – Just eight men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity, according to a major new report by an international confederation of 19 organisations working in more than 90 countries.
Oxfam – Published: 18 January 2016
The Oxfam report An Economy for the 1%, shows that the wealth of the poorest half of the world’s population has fallen by a trillion dollars since 2010, a drop of 38 percent. This has occurred despite the global population increasing by around 400 million people during that period. Meanwhile, the wealth of the richest 62 has increased by more than half a trillion dollars to $1.76tr. The report also shows how women are disproportionately affected by inequality – of the current ‘62’, 53 are men and just nine are women.
Although world leaders have increasingly talked about the need to tackle inequality, and in September agreed a global goal to reduce it, the gap between the richest and the rest has widened dramatically in the past 12 months. Oxfam’s prediction, made ahead of last year’s Davos, that the 1% would soon own more than the rest of us, actually came true in 2015 – a year earlier than expected.
The Following three pieces, published in Project Syndicate, bring the insights of three high caliber scholars on the global economic challenges of this Trumpian era we are now entering.
Michael Krieger – Liberty Blitzkrieg blog
DAVOS MAN: “A soulless man, technocratic, nationless and cultureless, severed from reality. The modern economics that undergirded Davos capitalism is equally soulless, a managerial capitalism that reduces economics to mathematics and separates it from human action and human creativity.”
Other News brings you two stories that highlight the growing connections among Far-Right forces in Europe and the US: Some are in power, others aspire to it, are we witnessing an Alt-Right International in the making?
Other news brings you three perspectives on the issue of a guaranteed basic income: “Guaranteed annual income – a Big Idea whose time has yet to arrive” by Glen Hodgson in iPolitics; “An Unconditional Citizen’s Income” by Ursula Huws in Socialist Project; “Universal Basic Income and Radical Populism: Making the Link” by Jay Ogilvy from Stratfor and “Some thoughts about basic or citizenship income” by Gerry Rodgers.
By Baher Kamal
ROME, Jan 2017 (IPS) – When pro-nuclear disarmament organisations last October cheered the United Nations decision to start in 2017 negotiations on a global treaty banning these weapons, they probably did not expect that shortly after the US would elect Republican businessman Donald Trump as their 45th president. Much less that he would rush to advocate for increasing the US nuclear power.
The Independent Online
Economics is driven by ideology – it is ideology, not science, which drives them to assert that bank bailouts are tolerable but policies that protect the poor aren’t. Unsurprisingly, these flawed theories and models are a great comfort to financial elites – which is why so many economists are hired and funded by big banks, corporations and the wealthy
He had opportunities to help the working class, and he passed them up.
By Matt Stoller*
During his final news conference of 2016, in mid-December, President Obama criticized Democratic efforts during the election. “Where Democrats are characterized as coastal, liberal, latte-sipping, you know, politically correct, out-of-touch folks,” Obama said, “we have to be in those communities.” In fact, he went on, being in those communities — “going to fish-fries and sitting in VFW halls and talking to farmers” — is how, by his account, he became president. It’s true that Obama is skilled at projecting a populist image; he beat Hillary Clinton in Iowa in 2008, for instance, partly by attacking agriculture monopolies .
European Politics and Policy Blog
The release of an intelligence report on Russian interference in the US presidential election, alongside allegations of links between Donald Trump and the Kremlin, have strained US-Russia relations. Andrei P. Tsygankov* argues that there remains a deep-rooted fear of Russia within the American establishment, but that Donald Trump’s election provides an opportunity for the two countries to normalise their relations
Saudi Arabia’s military pressure on Assad served only to make him seek more help from Russia, precipitating intervention which the US was not prepared to oppose
By Sebastian Strangio,
Los Angeles Review of Books
THE NATION OF BURMA was born under a dark star. At 20 past four in the morning, on January 4, 1948 — the specific time was determined by astrologers — Burmese and British colonial troops assembled in the tropical gardens of the Secretariat, the headquarters of the colonial government in Rangoon. In a short ceremony, they ran down the Union Jack and hoisted in its place the new six-starred flag of independent Burma. As nearly a century of British rule came to a close, Burmese troops broke into patriotic anthems in their barracks.
By Mario Dujisin
Lisbon (OTHER NEWS) – The death of Mario Soares, former Portuguese prime-minister, president, and historic leader of Lusitanian socialism, demonstrated just how united the Portuguese are with regards to his past and his historical projection.
By Baher Kamal
ROME, Jan 2017 (IPS) – When British naturalist Charles Darwin published in 1859 his theory of evolution in his work On the Origin of Species, he most likely did not expect that robots, not nature, would someday be in charge of the selection process.
The New York Times
Is American democracy broken?
There are precedents around the world for the kind of political jolt the United States experienced in November. They usually include a political firebrand who promises to sweep away a system rigged to serve the powerful rather than the interests of ordinary people. They usually end badly, when the popular champion decides to read electoral victory as an invitation to bend the institutions of democracy to the force of his will.
Washington’s long-awaited, deeply disappointing assessment of alleged meddling by the Kremlin
The Moscow Times
U.S. officials released a declassified intelligence report on Friday repeating the monumental accusations against the Kremlin that have been circulating in the American media for months.