North America

Brazil swears in far-right President Jair Bolsonaro

Brazil has sworn in former army captain President Jair Bolsonaro, amid tight security. The far-right politician, an admirer of the country’s former military dictatorship, pledged to rid the country of “ideological ties.” DW Bolsonaro was sworn in as at president on Tuesday, promising to overhaul the country’s economy and bring about sweeping social change. An aficionado of US President Donald Trump, Bolsonaro rose to power on a pro-gun, anti-corruption agenda. Speaking in an address to the nation on Tuesday, Bolsonaro said, now ... Read More »

Find parenting tough? Be glad you’re not American

I have a news flash: being a grandad beats being a parent. Parenting is now a much tougher gig, whereas grandparenting is all care and no responsibility. And it’s a lot cheaper. Ross Gittins The Age These thoughts are prompted by an article in the New York Times, in which Claire Cain Miller writes that parenthood in the United States has become much more demanding than it used to be. “Over just a couple of generations,” she writes, “parents have greatly ... Read More »

Departing chief of staff John Kelly paints a dim portrait of Trump

Washington: A few months ago, a senior Trump administration official wrote a controversial anonymous oped in the New York Times that said forces within the administration were working to rein in President Donald Trump’s potentially damaging whims. Aaron Blake WAtoday / The Washington Post In an interview, Trump’s departing chief of staff, John Kelly, basically confirmed that’s exactly what has happened for the past two years. “In the phone interview [on] Friday, Kelly defended his rocky tenure, arguing that it is best measured ... Read More »

Australia’s unwanted refugees are living with ‘nightmares’ while building new lives in the US

While a passport seems like a commodity most of us take for granted, Faisal Parvez never had one — or a citizenship. Tasha Wibawa ABC He was born stateless as a persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar. “The biggest dream I have in my life is to become a citizen anywhere on the planet,” he told the ABC. Mr Parvez is one of more than 445 refugees from Manus Island and Nauru who have been resettled in the United States ... Read More »

Intensely private social worker, who duct-taped his shoes, left surprise $15m to kids

Seattle: Alan Naiman was known for an unabashed thriftiness that veered into comical, but even those closest to him had no inkling of the fortune that he quietly amassed and the last act that he… Sally Ho The Sydney Morning Herald The Washington state social worker died of cancer this year at age 63, leaving most of a surprising $US11 million ($15.6 million) estate to children’s charities that help the poor, sick, disabled and… The amount baffled the beneficiaries and ... Read More »

Turkey would not allow US to inspect Russian S-400 missile systems: Official

A senior Turkish official says Ankara would not provide the United States with the opportunity to study the advanced Russian-built S-400 air defense missile system, regardless of strong opposition from Washington and… PressTV “Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has assured Russian Ambassador to Ankara Alexei Yerkhov that there are no talks that Turkey will give the United States the chance to inspect S-400 air… English-language Bloomberg news network, citing two sources, recently reported that Turkey had offered the US to survey the S-400 air ... Read More »

Arizona Attorney General Argues BDS Seeks to ‘Strengthen’ Terror-Supporting Palestinian Groups

A brief filed last week by Arizona’s attorney general maintains that the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel aids terrorists — potentially marking the first time a US government official has formally taken such a… Shiri Moshe Algemeiner In an opening argument submitted to the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich wrote that legislation enacted by his state in 2016 that bars public bodies from contracting with companies that… The law, passed with bipartisan super-majorities, was blocked by a federal court in ... Read More »

Trump’s Syria Withdrawal Hinges on Turkey

Whether pulling the remaining U.S. troops from Syria turns out to be a bold and beneficial move or a stupid, harmful one depends on what Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will do. Angelo M. Codevilla American Greatness That, in turn, depends in no small part on what constraints he senses from President Trump—as well as from Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Here, to the best of my understanding, are the circumstances and the possible consequences of the president’s decision to withdraw from Syria. ... Read More »

Turkey says the US just agreed to more of its demands as Ankara sees expanded power in Syria

President Donald Trump’s administration may have just handed Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan another win. Natasha Turak CNBC Less than a week after Trump’s abrupt decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, Turkey’s foreign minister said Tuesday the U.S. has agreed to complete its previously established “roadmap” to remove all Kurdish militia fighters from the Northern Syrian town of… Ankara has been waiting for this guarantee for a while, complaining since its agreement in June that Washington was dragging its ... Read More »

US stocks endure worst Christmas Eve on record

Not even the truncated Christmas Eve session could halt the US market rout that’s gripped investors for three months. Elena Popina Brisbane Times The S&P 500 plunged almost 3 per cent to end at a 20-month low, in what was the worst final session before the Christmas holiday on record in the US, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It was the busiest Christmas Eve since 2010, with more than 1.7 billion shares changing hands in the truncated session. “The ... Read More »

Trump’s New Embrace of Turkish President Erdogan Decried by Top US Jewish Leaders

Two prominent American Jewish leaders expressed strong concern on Monday over US President Donald Trump’s declaration of faith in Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as part of his sudden decision to withdraw the… Ben Cohen The Algemeiner “This most recent embrace of Turkey as a strategic partner in this ‘new’ US policy — relating to ISIS, Syria, the Kurds — should raise serious alarm bells in Israel and in the… Rabbi Abraham Cooper — associate dean of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal ... Read More »

Trump Sows Chaos On Day 3 Of His ‘I Want A Wall’ Christmas Shutdown

The president has been all over the map on what his wall (which he promised Mexico would pay for) even means, exactly. S. V. Date HuffPost WASHINGTON — Maybe President Donald Trump cannot get his “great, great” concrete border wall because Congress refuses to pay for it, despite candidate Trump’s repeated promises that he would make Mexico do so. Or wait: It seems Trump has already built big sections of the wall, thanks to some $5 billion Congress has already ... Read More »

What if Donald Trump did fire the Federal Reserve chairman?

Reports that US President Donald Trump discussed whether he could fire Federal Reserve board chairman Jerome Powell with his advisers have produced widely differing opinions of what would happen if he did. Stephen Bartholomeusz The Age The reports elicited a peculiar response from the White House. While Trump himself remained silent, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin tweeted on his behalf. “I totally disagree with Fed policy. I think the increasing of interest rates and the shrinking of the Fed portfolio is ... Read More »

Trump says Fed is ‘the only problem’ of US economy

President Donald Trump has lashed out at the US central bank for stock market turmoil, saying the American economy’s only problem is the Fed itself. BBC In a tweet, Mr Trump said the Federal Reserve lacks understanding of markets and “necessary trade wars”. The salvo came as Mr Trump’s treasury secretary scrambles to calm nervous investors. The Dow Jones fell 400 points on Monday, before recovering slightly. Last week was its worst in a decade. The sharp decline comes amid ... Read More »

Australian troops to stay in Middle East despite US pullout: Morrison

Australian troops will remain in the Middle East despite US President Donald Trump announcing the withdrawal of thousands of soldiers from Syria and Afghanistan in a… Eryk Bagshaw Brisbane Times Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia’s presence “will remain” in the region, where more than 600 troops continue to conduct operations and train local troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. “We have to be conscious of the potential for a resilient and a resurgent [Islamic State],” he said.  “We’re in regular ... Read More »

Incoming US Secretary of Defense Shanahan has ties to US-Turkey arms trade

United States Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, who will take over for ousted Secretary of Defense James Mattis in January, has significant ties to the U.S.-Turkey arms trade— a… Meghan Bodette The Region “I am pleased to announce that our very talented Deputy Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan, will assume the title of Acting Secretary of Defense starting January 1, 2019. Patrick has a… Shanahan joined Boeing in 1986, and worked there for over 30 years. He had no previous ... Read More »