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Ocasio-Cortez leads critics of video showing Ivanka Trump G20 chat

Related thread in GD: AOC says Ivanka Trump not 'a qualified diplomat' in tweet about first daughter's involvement at G-20


Source: The Guardian

Ocasio-Cortez leads critics of video showing Ivanka Trump G20 chat

• First daughter attempts to talk with May, Macron and more
• New York Democrat laments damage to ‘diplomatic standing’

Martin Pengelly
Sun 30 Jun 2019 17.03 BST Last modified on Sun 30 Jun 2019 19.20 BST

The French government on Saturday released a brief clip of a discussion at the G20 summit in Osaka involving four world leaders – and Ivanka Trump.

In the 19 seconds of footage, Donald Trump’s daughter appears to attempt to join a conversation between French president Emmanuel Macron, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, International Monetary Fund director Christine Lagarde and British prime minister Theresa May.

Among widespread reaction on social media, most of it critical of the first daughter, the New York Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said such behaviour “hurts our diplomatic standing”.

Trump has been criticised before for appearing to stand in for her father at international summits, for example during a discussion on health and migration in Africa at the 2017 G20 in Hamburg.

In the video released by the Elysée Palace, Macron can be heard to make a point about “social justice”, to which Trump, standing to his right, says either “it’s on” or “it’s all”.


Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/30/ivanka-trump-g20-leaders-video-alexandria-ocasio-cortez


Sand dunes at Trump golf course set to lose protected status after Scottish government says resort '

Source: The Independent

Sand dunes at Trump golf course set to lose protected status after Scottish government says resort ‘destroyed’ ecosystem

US president's business claims move is 'politically motivated' and a 'stitch-up'

Tom Embury-Dennis @tomemburyd
4 hours ago

Sand dunes at Donald Trump's Aberdeenshire golf resort are set to lose their status as a protected wildlife site after experts said the course had "destroyed" the ecosystem, causing permanent habitat loss.

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), a government watchdog, said there is no longer a reason to protect the dunes at Menie as they do not include enough of the special features for which they were designated a site of special scientific interest (SSSI).

The Trump Organisation, which was granted permission to build the course despite concerns over environmental damage, branded the move an "utter disgrace" and said it was "politically motivated".

he SSSI designation is given to areas with rare species of fauna or flora, or with important geological or physiological features.

Two years ago, SNH concluded Mr Trump's family business had partially destroyed the protected sand dunes by building the Trump International Golf Links, which opened in 2012.


Read more: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/trump-international-golf-links-sand-dunes-protected-status-scotland-aberdeenshire-a8978896.html

Despite new law, Trump administration has not given Puerto Rico emergency food stamp aid

Related GD thread: Trump administration has not given Puerto Rico emergency food stamp aid


Source: Washington Post

Despite new law, Trump administration has not given Puerto Rico emergency food stamp aid

By Jeff Stein and Arelis R. Hernández June 24 at 12:32 PM

The Trump administration has not yet given Puerto Rico $600 million in food stamp aid more than two weeks after the president signed the emergency funding into law, according to federal and territory officials.

Puerto Rico does not expect to be able to spend the emergency food stamp funding until September, most likely, six months after food stamp cuts began for the more than 1 million island residents who rely on the program, said Glorimar Andújar Matos, executive director of the Departamento de la Familia, the Puerto Rico government agency that administers the program.

While the reason for it was not immediately clear, the unexpected delay to Puerto Rico’s food stamp aid reflects the ongoing dysfunction in securing the release of federal funding for the U.S. territory that is still struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria in fall 2017.

Emergency food stamp money for Puerto Rico ran out in March, starting widespread reductions in benefits, and funding renewal was delayed by several months amid an impasse among federal lawmakers and opposition to additional funding for Puerto Rico from the Trump administration.

Puerto Rican officials said they have unsuccessfully sought clarity from the Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service for how to swiftly secure the food stamp funding.


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/06/24/despite-new-law-trump-administration-has-not-given-puerto-rico-emergency-food-stamp-aid/

Migrants describe overcrowded Mexican detention centers as Trump ratchets up pressure

Source: Reuters


Migrants describe overcrowded Mexican detention centers as Trump ratchets up pressure

Delphine Schrank

TAPACHULA, Mexico (Reuters) - Mexico’s immigration centers are becoming increasingly squalid and overcrowded as authorities step up the detention of migrants headed for the United States, with inmates languishing for weeks amid medical neglect, according to detainees, lawyers and rights groups.

Reuters spoke to more than a dozen recent detainees at the Siglo XXI detention center, the country’s largest. They described being held in the facility in Chiapas state on Mexico’s southern border for long periods without information about their cases.

The detainees reported severe overcrowding, sparse water and food, and limited healthcare.

Their accounts were supported by two lawyers representing 26 other inmates, as well as the migration ombudsman at Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission and reports from two migrant rights groups: Fray Matias de Cordova and the Human Rights Observation Mission for the Refugee and Humanitarian Crisis in Southeast Mexico, a collective of 24 aid groups.

Twelve of the detainees told Reuters they were held for at least three weeks in the center, meant to hold people for a maximum of 15 days until their cases are processed.


Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-immigration/migrants-describe-overcrowded-mexican-detention-centers-as-trump-ratchets-up-pressure-idUSKCN1TO0DF

Trump Takes 'VA Choice' Lie To Next Level With Bonus Lie That McCain Failed To Pass It

Source: Huffington Post

POLITICS 06/20/2019 06:31 pm ET Updated 1 hour ago

Trump Takes ‘VA Choice’ Lie To Next Level With Bonus Lie That McCain Failed To Pass It

In fact, McCain was a sponsor of the legislation and successfully pushed for the one feature Trump constantly takes credit for. Obama signed it into law in 2014.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump often fabricates accomplishments for himself and at times falsely strips them from others, but a new lie manages both: Claiming credit for a veterans program that his late nemesis Sen. John McCain actually did help create.

“The vets — the VA was in horrible shape. Now, they have choice. And nobody could get choice,” he told ABC News recently. “John McCain couldn’t get it. Nobody could get it. They tried for years. They couldn’t get it. I got choice for the vets.”

In fact, the provision of the law that Trump touts most often — the ability of veterans to get private medical care if VA waitlists were too long — was something that McCain specifically pushed for and eventually won in his negotiations with then-Veterans’ Affairs Committee chairman, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

“He has no ethics of any kind,” said Mark Salter, a former speechwriter to McCain, the longtime Republican senator from Arizona who died last year of brain cancer. “Nothing is too outlandish or dishonest.”


Read more: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/trump-mccain-lie_n_5d0bf70ce4b0aa375f49d27c

Britain broke law in allowing arms exports to Saudis: court

Source: Reuters


Britain broke law in allowing arms exports to Saudis: court

Paul Sandle, Guy Faulconbridge

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain broke the law by allowing arms sales to Saudi Arabia that might have been deployed in the war in Yemen, an English court ruled on Thursday after activists said there was evidence the weapons had been used in violation of human rights statutes.

While the court’s decision does not mean Britain must immediately halt arms exports to Saudi Arabia, it does mean that there is a stay on the granting of new export licenses to sell arms to the kingdom - Britain’s biggest weapons purchaser.

The United Nations has described the conflict in Yemen, which has killed tens of thousands of people including thousands of civilians, as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

“The Court of Appeal has concluded that the process of decision-making by the government was wrong in law in one significant respect,” said Terence Etherton, England’s second most senior judge.


Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-britain/britain-broke-law-in-allowing-arms-exports-to-saudis-court-idUSKCN1TL0YP

'Joints will be separated': Jamal Khashoggi's murder, retold

Source: Associated Press

‘Joints will be separated’: Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, retold

June 19, 2019

GENEVA (AP) — The gathering on the second floor of the Saudi consulate featured an unlikely collection: a forensic doctor, intelligence and security officers, agents of the crown prince’s office. As they waited for their target to arrive, one asked how they would carry out the body.

Not to worry, the doctor said: “Joints will be separated. It is not a problem,” he assured. “If we take plastic bags and cut it into pieces, it will be finished. We will wrap each of them.”

Their prey, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, would not leave the consulate in Istanbul alive. And on Wednesday, more than eight months after his death, a U.N. special rapporteur revealed new details of the slaying — part of a report that insisted there was “credible evidence” to warrant further investigation and financial sanctions against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The report brought the grisly case back into the spotlight just as the prince and his country appeared to be emerging from the stain of the scandal. But it contained no smoking gun likely to cause President Donald Trump to abandon one of his closest allies — and none likely to send the crown prince before a tribunal.

And yet the details of the Oct. 2 killing were so chilling, and now so public, that it’s hard to fathom that there won’t be repercussions.


Read more: https://apnews.com/fb852a09bc8f46b0b591dc615530b399

Nuclear weapons: experts alarmed by new Pentagon 'war-fighting' doctrine

Source: The Guardian

Nuclear weapons: experts alarmed by new Pentagon 'war-fighting' doctrine

US joint chiefs of staff posted then removed paper that suggests nuclear weapons could ‘create conditions for decisive results’

Julian Borger in Washington
Wed 19 Jun 2019 19.21 BST Last modified on Wed 19 Jun 2019 19.50 BST

The Pentagon believes using nuclear weapons could “create conditions for decisive results and the restoration of strategic stability”, according to a new nuclear doctrine adopted by the US joint chiefs of staff last week.

The document, entitled Nuclear Operations, was published on 11 June, and was the first such doctrine paper for 14 years. Arms control experts say it marks a shift in US military thinking towards the idea of fighting and winning a nuclear war – which they believe is a highly dangerous mindset.

“Using nuclear weapons could create conditions for decisive results and the restoration of strategic stability,” the joint chiefs’ document says. “Specifically, the use of a nuclear weapon will fundamentally change the scope of a battle and create conditions that affect how commanders will prevail in conflict.”

At the start of a chapter on nuclear planning and targeting, the document quotes a cold war theorist, Herman Kahn, as saying: “My guess is that nuclear weapons will be used sometime in the next hundred years, but that their use is much more likely to be small and limited than widespread and unconstrained.”

Kahn was a controversial figure. He argued that a nuclear war could be “winnable” and is reported to have provided part of the inspiration for Stanley Kubrick’s film Dr Strangelove.


Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/19/nuclear-weapons-pentagon-us-military-doctrine

US joins four rogue countries seen as likely forces for bad, poll finds

Source: The Guardian

US joins four rogue countries seen as likely forces for bad, poll finds

Russia, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iran and the US are also seen as less likely to use their influence for good than they were 10 years ago

Patrick Wintour diplomatic editor
Thu 20 Jun 2019 00.00 BST Last modified on Thu 20 Jun 2019 00.25 BST

The United States has joined Russia, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Iran in a rogue’s gallery of countries perceived as likely to use their influence for bad. All five countries are also seen as less likely to use their influence for good than they were 10 years ago.

The findings showing that Canada, Germany and the UN are seen as mostly likely to use their international influence for good. The findings are being published to accompany a major speech by the former British foreign secretary David Miliband who argues that international relations are now governed by a new age of impunity in which war crimes and attacks on humanitarian workers are typically left unpunished.

Miliband, currently president of the International Rescue Committee, will argue that a long retreat of liberal democracy has ushered in a new divide in which some states abide by the rules ushered in after the second world war, and other states regard such international law as “for suckers”.

He will say “the image of President Putin and Crown Prince bin Salman exchanging a high five at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires last November epitomised the new order, with domestic opponents dead and foreign policy interests pursued outside international law”.

The poll was conducted amongst 17,000 adults around the world conducted by Ipsos Mori in 24 countries on behalf of Policy Institute at Kings College London.


Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jun/19/us-russia-saudi-arabia-israel-iran-forces-for-bad-poll-finds

Murder of James Reeb: NPR Identifies 4th Attacker In Civil Rights-Era Cold Case

Source: NPR

NPR Identifies 4th Attacker In Civil Rights-Era Cold Case

June 18, 2019 12:00 AM ET
Heard on Morning Edition

An NPR investigation has uncovered new evidence in a prominent unsolved murder case from the civil rights era, including the identity of an attacker who admitted his involvement but was never charged.

The murder of Boston minister James Reeb in 1965 drew national attention at the time and spurred passage of the Voting Rights Act, which outlawed the Jim Crow voting practices that had disenfranchised millions of black Americans.

The case remains officially unsolved. Three men charged in 1965 with attacking Reeb and two other ministers on a street corner in Selma, Ala., were acquitted by an all-white jury.

But a four-year NPR investigation, led by Alabama-based reporters Chip Brantley and Andrew Beck Grace, found an eyewitness to the attack who has never spoken publicly about what she saw. She said the three men acquitted in the case — Elmer Cook, William Stanley Hoggle and Namon O'Neal "Duck" Hoggle — were, in fact, the men who attacked Reeb.

That witness, Frances Bowden, also described the participation of another man, William Portwood. In an exclusive interview with NPR, Portwood confirmed his participation in the 1965 assault.


Read more: https://www.npr.org/2019/06/18/733401736/npr-identifies-fourth-attacker-in-civil-rights-era-cold-case

William Portwood, who died less than two weeks after NPR confirmed his involvement in the 1965 murder of Boston minister James Reeb, poses for a photograph in front of his home in Selma, Ala.
Chip Brantley/NPR

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