North America

IMF downgrades UK and US growth forecasts

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The UK and US economies will expand more slowly in 2017 than previously predicted, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). BBC It said “weaker-than-expected activity” in the first three months of the year meant the UK would grow by 1.7%, compared with an earlier 2% forecast. The IMF also revised down its US growth forecast from 2.3% to 2.1%. However, its overall global economic predictions – of 3.5% growth in 2017 and… IMF downgrades UK… Read More »

Human trafficking victims found dead in Texas truck

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Nine people dead and more than 20 critically injured in what police are calling a horrific case of immigrant smuggling. AlJazeera – News agencies At least nine people died after being crammed into a sweltering tractor-trailer found parked outside a Walmart in the midsummer Texas heat, authorities said on Sunday in what they… The driver was arrested, and nearly 20 others rescued from the rig were hospitalised in dire condition, many with extreme dehydration and… Human trafficking victims… Read More »

America’s Future Is with India and Israel

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The winds of change are blowing not from Beijing, but from Delhi. Trump should seize the initiative. James Jay Carafano International Crisis Group From the Indo-Pacific to the Mediterranean, a diplomatic transformation is underway. The winds of change are blowing not from Beijing, but from Delhi. President Donald Trump has an opportunity to harness some of that power to help fill the sails of America’s global… Times are Changing The White House is expected to unveil its… America’s Future Is… Read More »

Turkey Sees Foes at Work in Gold Mines, Cafes and ‘Smurf Village’

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LONDON — Akin Ipek, one of Turkey’s richest men, was staying in the Park Tower Hotel in London when the police raided his television network in Istanbul. DAVID SEGAL The New York Times The raid was national news, so Mr. Ipek opened his laptop and watched an unnerving spectacle: an attack on his multibillion-dollar empire, in real time. It was an oddly cinematic showdown. Through a combination of shouting and persuasion, the network’s news editor convinced the officers that they ... Read More »

Philippines’ Duterte says will never visit ‘lousy’ United States

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte hit back on July 21 at U.S. lawmakers opposed to the prospect of his visiting the White House, saying he would never go to the United States, which he called a… MANILA – Reuters Hurriyet Duterte was responding to remarks by Massachusetts Congressman James McGovern, who told a hearing of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission that he… The commission, made up of members of the U.S. House of Representatives, convened on… Philippines’ Duterte says… Read More »

Why the US doesn’t understand Chinese thought – and must

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The need for the U.S. to understand China is obvious. The Chinese economy is on track to become the largest in the world by 2030, Chinese leadership may be the key to resolving the nuclear crisis with North Korea and China has military and economic ambitions in the South China Sea and… Bryan W. Van Norden The Conversation Meanwhile, the Trump administration has shown (repeatedly) that it’s not even clear on the difference between the People’s Republic of China (the ... Read More »

Chomsky: Trump is a Distraction, Used by the Deep State to ‘Systematically Destroy’ America

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Smashing the two party paradigm Noam Chomsky called out deep state democrats and republicans alike for using Trump as a distraction to destroy America. Jay Syrmopoulos The Free Thought World-renowned intellectual giant and respected academic, MIT professor Noam Chomsky recently sat down for an interview called ‘A Continuing Conversation with Geographers’. In the interview, he clearly makes his thoughts known regarding the… Chomsky: Trump is… Read More »

Trumpcare Is Dead. “Single Payer Is the Only Real Answer,” Says Medicare Architect.

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Thanks to a pair of defections from more GOP senators late yesterday, the Republican plan to repeal and replace or simply repeal the Affordable Care Act is dead — for now. Zaid Jilani The Intercept But the health care status quo is far from popular, with 57 percent of Americans telling Gallup pollsters in March that they “personally worry” a “great deal” about health care costs. Many health care activists are now pushing to adopt what is called a “single… ... Read More »

The Summer of Misreading Thucydides

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There’s a delicious irony in the Trump team’s affection for the historian—who repeatedly shows how populists lead societies to… Kori Schake The Atlantic This year is the 50th anniversary of the “Summer of Love,” those months in 1967 when a hundred thousand hippies convened in Haight… Flower children held a Human Be-In in Golden Gate Park, and Timothy Leary coined the phrase “turn on, tune in, drop… It was the heyday of the counterculture, now enjoying… The Summer of… Read More »

US calls for smaller deficits in new NAFTA talks

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The US government says trade deficits and market access will top the agenda as it renegotiated trade terms with Mexico and Canada. BBC US President Donald Trump has described the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as a “disaster” and ordered fresh talks earlier this year. The objectives have been released in advance of the start of meetings with Canada and Mexico next month. Economists have warned that reaching the goals might be… US calls for… Read More »

Diplomats to Tillerson: don’t eliminate state department’s refugee office

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National security officials are arguing the elimination the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration would have ‘profound and negative implications’ Reuters in Washington The Guardian Forty former US diplomats and national security officials urged the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, not to eliminate the state department office that handles refugees, in a letter seen by Reuters on Monday. The letter argued that a Trump administration proposal to transfer the… Diplomats to Tillerson… Read More »

Exclusive: Iran’s Foreign Minister Warns Donald Trump That Tehran Can Abandon the Nuclear Deal

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TNI’s Jacob Heilbrunn just sat down with Tehran’s top diplomat—and he was not happy with the Trump administration. Mohammad Javad Zarif The National Interest Jacob Heilbrunn, editor of the National Interest, spoke with Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister in an interview in New York on Monday, July 17, 2017. The following is a lightly… Jacob Heilbrunn: Yesterday you were on Fareed Zakaria’s show. And if, as you alleged, the Trump administration is indeed violating the… Exclusive: Iran’s Foreign… Read More »

Will the Americans Abandon Us?

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Our Senior Analyst for Syria Noah Bonsey visits the north east of the country to meet a Syrian Kurdish organisation that has made the region relatively secure, yet knows that it still has far to go in its… Noah Bonsey ICG QAMISHLI, Syria ­– Abd al-Menaam picks me up as usual from the customs shed on the Syrian bank of the Tigris… As we drive west toward the town of Qamishli, we pass beneath a hilltop command centre bombed by ... Read More »

Secretary of State Tillerson has been in over his head from the get-go

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We were not alone in criticizing the pick of Rex W. Tillerson as secretary of state. Jennifer Rubin Miami Herald He had no government experience, no feel for human rights or the values that (should) underlie American foreign policy and no deep knowledge of the world beyond that of an oil company executive accustomed to transactional… With an experienced and sophisticated president, a Tillerson might have been effective; with President Trump, Tillerson has proven… Secretary of State… Read More »

Trump and Macron, once cast as adversaries, show they have much in common

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PARIS — For dinner on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron chose to dine with President Trump at Le Jules Verne, an opulent restaurant nestled in the Eiffel Tower that has earned a… By Jenna Johnson and James McAuley The Washington Post The extravagant meal capped off a day filled with frequent backslaps, handshakes, toothy smiles, knee pats, photo ops and a shared determination to… Up until now, the relationship between these two world leaders has been largely… Trump and Macron… Read More »

Why Can’t the U.S. Left Get Venezuela Right?

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As Venezuela’s fascist-minded oligarchy conspires with U.S. imperialism to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nicolas Maduro, few in the… Shamus Cooke CounterPunch Instead of denouncing rightwing violence that aims at regime change, many on the U.S. left have stayed silent, or opted to give an evenhanded analysis that supports neither the Maduro government nor the oligarchy trying to… Rather, the left prioritizes its energy on lecturing on… Why Can’t the… Read More »