North America

China’s ‘Period of Strategic Opportunity’ in Mexico

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Beijing is looking to cash in on Trump’s rhetoric against Mexico and NAFTA As the Trump administration contemplates border wall prototypes and dissolving the decades-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), China is taking a decidedly different approach to relations with Mexico. Margaret Myers Ricardo Barrios In recent months, Beijing has launched an unprecedented charm offensive south of the Rio Grande. The National Interest In addition to a series of new investments, and renewed talk of a bilateral trade pact, ... Read More »

Social media reaction: Arabs helpless and hopeless

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After US President Donald Trump ignored warnings from the international community and formally recognised Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, some Twitter users focused on how Arabs contributed in the loss of Jerusalem. AlJazeera The status of the holy city is an extremely sensitive aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While Israel claims the whole city its capital – following the occupation of East Jerusalem in the 1967 war with Syria, Egypt and Jordan – Palestinians have long seen East Jerusalem as the capital of their future… ... Read More »

Counting the Costs of U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

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President Donald J. Trump on 6 December 2017 declared U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, breaking decades of precedent even while saying the U.S. was not “taking a position of any final status issues”. ICG In this Q&A, Ofer Zalzberg and Nathan Thrall, Senior Analysts for Israel/Palestine, examine what the decision means for Israelis, Palestinians and the future of their conflict. Has President Trump endorsed Israel’s position on the status of Jerusalem? Not precisely, although many are understanding it ... Read More »

Palestinians recognize Texas as part of Mexico

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JERUSALEM – In response to US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, the Palestinian National Authority has announced that it will recognize Texas as a state of Mexico since it was violently annexed by the United States in the… ALEX HUNTLEY The Beaverton “The territory north and east of the Rio Grande is very important to the Mexican people,” explained a PNA spokesperson. “Before American settlers showed up and implemented slavery, Mexico oversaw this land. Then, President Polk sent his ... Read More »

Trump travel ban: Supreme Court lets restrictions take full effect

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The US Supreme Court has ruled President Donald Trump’s travel ban on six mainly Muslim countries can go into full effect, pending legal challenges. BBC The decision is a boost for Mr Trump’s policy against travellers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. The ruling covers the third version of the directive that the president has issued since taking office. Seven of the nine justices lifted injunctions on Monday imposed by lower courts against the policy. Only liberal Justices ... Read More »

America Can’t Win the Drug War in Afghanistan

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Twenty-four of Afghanistan’s thirty-four provinces now are directly involved in illicit drug production. Ted Galen Carpenter  As if the United States needed more evidence that its sixteen-year mission in Afghanistan is an exercise in futility, a new United Nations report provides an additional reason for depression. The National Interest The 2017 Afghanistan Opium Survey from the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime, released on November 15, confirms that Washington’s effort to curb illicit narcotics trafficking in the country has failed. Almost every ... Read More »

Yes, the President Can Obstruct Justice

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You know you have a problem when you’ve been president for less than 11 months and you’re already relying on Richard Nixon’s definition of what’s legal. The Editorial Board The New York Times On Monday morning, Axios reported that Mr. Trump’s top personal lawyer, John Dowd, said in an interview that the “president cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer” under the Constitution and “has every right to express his view of any case.” This will come as news ... Read More »

Geopolitics of Syrian Kurds and military cooperation with the US

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The survival and development of the revolutionary process in Rojava, i.e. of a new democratic perspective, has the big potential to change the mindsets of dozens of millions of people in Middle East. ERCAN AYBOĞA ANF How did the US end up supporting the Kurds in Rojava? Since October 2014 the Syrian Kurds and their non-Kurdish Allies have discussed military cooperation with the US-led Global Coalition against the “Islamic State” (IS). Towards the end of 2014, the mainly Kurdish People’s/Women’s ... Read More »

The Cost of Devaluing Women

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My first job out of college in the late 1980s was at Salomon Brothers, a trading house of cigar-smoking, expletive-spewing strivers. SALLIE KRAWCHECK The New York Times One day, I leaned over a colleague’s desk to work on a spreadsheet, and heard loud laughter from behind me; one of the guys was pretending to perform a sex act on me. Almost every day, I found a Xerox copy of male genitalia on my desk. I was not alone in being ... Read More »

Flynn Pleads Guilty to Lying About Trump Sabotage of Security Council Resolution Against Israel Settlements

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This morning, former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn plead guilty to lying to the FBI about his efforts with Jared Kushner to torpedo a United Nations Security Council resolution criticizing Israeli settlements. Richard Silverstein CounterPunch These included lobbying the Russian ambassador to help in this campaign by delaying or cancelling a vote on the matter. Earlier today, I published a new column in Middle East Eye (MEE) which outlined the case against Kushner. Here’s how the Times laid out the… ... Read More »

Flynn’s Plea Raises New Questions About Whether Trump Obstructed Justice

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Before firing then-FBI Director James Comey, the president reportedly asked him not to prosecute the former national-security adviser. Adam Serwer The Atlantic  Former National-Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s plea deal in the Russia investigation raises new questions about whether the president sought to obstruct justice when he fired former FBI Director James Comey. “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy,” President Trump told Comey in February, according ... Read More »

Would ‘Rexit’ Mean First Step Toward War With Iran?

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There’s no counterweight to Kushner, Neocons or other hawks in White House. Robert W. Merry The American Conservative If reports are correct that Rex Tillerson is going to be fired as U.S. Secretary of State, to be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo, with Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton taking Pompeo’s old job, then prospects for war with Iran become significantly greater. Tillerson has been less bellicose in his attitude toward Iran than either Pompeo or Cotton, who are both fervid ... Read More »

Will GOP finally take down Obamacare with a tax bill?

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After spending nearly a year on a failed effort to repeal Obamacare, Republicans on Capitol Hill are on the verge of repealing the law’s individual mandate as a footnote to their rewrite of the American tax system. JENNIFER HABERKORN Politico At least two of the three Senate Republicans who blocked the repeal effort over the summer have no problem undoing the requirement that nearly all Americans carry insurance — a provision Democrats say is vital to keeping the Affordable Care ... Read More »

The president of the United States is unwell

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Scott Gilmore on the increasingly erratic behaviour and bizarre lies of Donald Trump. And why this is no longer a laughing matter. Scott Gilmore MACLEAN’S It is an easy joke to make. “The president has lost his mind.” In fact, I suspect not a week has passed in the last 50 years when one wag or another didn’t suggest the leader of the day is nuts, or insane or crazy. The joke is even easier to make with the current U.S. ... Read More »

America the Banana Republic

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Thanks to Trump the tinhorn dictator and those who elected him, this country is no longer a beacon of freedom, but a laughingstock. Neal Gabler Moyers & company When people call Donald Trump an authoritarian, it almost gives him more credit than he deserves. You don’t think favorably of authoritarians; they are despicable. But you do think of them as monstrously large, grievously terrifying, as somehow taking the measure of the polity they control and drawing on its stature to ... Read More »

The Unyielding Paranoia of Recep Tayyip Erdogan

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A major sanctions case could further imperil an already fraught relationship between Washington and Ankara, and reveal the Turkish president’s illicit dealings Diego Cupolo The Atlantic A key defendant in an Iranian sanction-busting case has now become its “most important witness.”Following weeks of speculation, Reza Zarrab, a Turkish-Iranian businessman, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges of helping Iranian entities evade U.S. sanctions through his international network of businesses, possibly with the help of Turkish banks and government officials. Today, Zarrab ... Read More »