North America

Putting Trump’s Trade Bombast to the Test

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President Trump’s recent threat to escalate his trade skirmish with China into a full-scale trade war is a foolish gambit with little historical precedent. Editorial Board The New York Times It is also hard to take seriously, given how quickly Mr. Trump changes his mind and how rarely and clumsily he tends to follow through on tough talk. Mr. Trump said on Thursday that he wants to slap tariffs on an additional $100 billion in Chinese imports in response to Beijing’s plan ... Read More »

Could America’s Big Tech Industry Create Free Speech Problems?

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The courts or Congress should clarify that the legislation amends Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act cannot be used to restrict political speech. Mark Epstein The National Interest Last week, the Senate passed the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act. The legislation amends Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act, which holds that online platforms cannot be responsible for their users’ content, to exclude sex trafficking. Big tech companies warned that the bill could inadvertently ... Read More »

Addressing the Migration Bottleneck in Southern Mexico

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Mexico is not doing “nothing” to curb northward migration, as U.S. President Donald Trump claims. Ivan Briscoe ICG In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Latin America & Caribbean Program Director Ivan Briscoe says Washington should help Mexico meet the challenge of migrant and refugee flows from Central America, which are now concentrated in its… What is the migration crisis in Mexico? Poverty and violence in the Northern Triangle of Central America (comprising El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras) are forcing hundreds of ... Read More »

Why China prefers its own ideology to US-style democracy

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Western pundits, particularly those in the US, have it all wrong when they assume that allowing China into the global economic or trading system would eventually lead the country to become “one of us.” Ken Moak Asia Times The fact of the matter is that China has never wanted to  adopt Western democracy. In view of more than 80% popular support according to US-based Pew and Gallup Polls and China’s ability to deliver on most of its promises (such as improving ... Read More »

Russophobia in the New Cold War

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Several factors make this US-Russian Cold War more dangerous than its predecessor—is “Russo-madness” one of them? Stephen F. Cohen The Nation Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian Studies and Politics at NYU and Princeton, and John Batchelor continue their (usually) weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments, now in their fourth year, are at… Cohen has previously explained why the new Cold War is potentially even more dangerous than was its 40-year predecessor, citing factors such ... Read More »

How the message of Martin Luther King’s ‘dream’ got lost

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Martin Luther King Jnr cast an enormous shadow in my childhood. By Matter of Fact host Stan Grant ABC It was a presence that outlived his death — indeed his assassination added potency to his leadership of a black struggle that mirrored our own. This wasn’t the acceptable Dr King as Santa Claus — as one black scholar remarked this week — our Dr King was a man of righteous anger who spoke with moral urgency to an American nation ... Read More »

Space war is coming — and the U.S. is not ready

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‘We are now approaching a point where “Star Wars” is not just a movie,’ one government adviser warns. By BRYAN BENDER and JACQUELINE KLIMAS Politico War is coming to outer space, and the Pentagon warns it is not yet ready, following years of underinvesting while the military focused on a host of threats on Earth. Russia and China are years ahead of the United States in developing the means to destroy or disable satellites that the U.S. military depends on for everything from ... Read More »

What King, Kennedy, Obama’s great speeches have in common

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Two of history’s great rhetoricians – Martin Luther King, Jr and Robert F Kennedy – were assassinated 50 years ago. Their words have resonance today, writes Benjamin Ramm. Benjamin Ramm BBC Popular volumes of great speeches celebrate the mastery of the art of persuasion. These tomes are full of rhetorical flourishes, of stirring appeals to universal ideals, with elevated cadences and effortless assurances. But two of the most significant rhetoricians of the 20th Century, both of whom were assassinated 50 ... Read More »

White House criticises China for $3bn tariffs on US imports

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The White House has criticised China after it imposed retaliatory tariffs against the US on a range of goods including pork and wine. BBC Beijing has introduced duties of up to 25% on 128 American imports following President Donald Trump’s decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminium. China said the move was intended to safeguard its interests and balance losses caused by the new tariffs. US stocks plunged and Asian shares opened lower as trade war fears mount. On Wall ... Read More »

China slaps US with up to 25% bigger import tariffs in trade war retaliation

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Beijing is hiking up tariffs on more than 128 US imports, including fruit and pork, as part of a tit-for-tat response to US President Donald Trump’s $60 billion package of tariffs imposed against China. RT The additional fares, which range from 15 to 25 percent, are taking effect on Monday, the Chinese Finance Ministry said on their website. It added that the measure, aimed at “safeguarding China’s interests,” was in response to Washington’s package of tariffs targeting more than 100 types of Chinese goods, ... Read More »

Weaponizing Hydrocarbons: It Was Obama’s Idea to Flood EU With US LNG

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According to some estimates, the US is likely to emerge as one of the major LNG exporters by 2020. Sputnik However, it appears that Washington is seeking to use its liquefied hydrocarbons as an economic weapon in the fight with its geopolitical rivals, Russia and China. Washington has weaponized its liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies to kill two birds with one stone — expel Russia from the European energy market and win a “trade war” with China. Following the 2014 February coup in Ukraine and Crimea’s ... Read More »

Towards “NATO-Exit”?

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Shift in the Structure of Military Coalitions. Turkey’s Alliance with Russia, China and Iran? By Prof Michel Chossudovsky Global Research Reminiscent of World War I, shifting alliances and the structure of military coalitions are crucial determinants of history. Today’s military alliances, including “cross-cutting coalitions” between “Great Powers” are equally dangerous, markedly different and exceedingly more complex than those pertaining to World War I. (i.e  the confrontation between “The Triple Entente” and “the Triple Alliance”). Contemporary developments point to a historical shift in the… Towards ... Read More »

Ann Coulter to Donald Trump: Beware the Former Trumpers

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Donald Trump has a boatload of problems. Ann Coulter, the author of a 2016 book titled “In Trump We Trust,” is now one of them. Frank Bruni The New York Times A week ago, when he signed a $1.3 trillion spending bill with nothing for his promised border wall, her frustrations with him, expressed frequently in her syndicated columns, turned into fury. “Congratulations, President Schumer!” she tweeted to more than 1.9 million followers. She also fantasized on Twitter about his ... Read More »

America Must Drop Its Delusions about Dealing with Russia

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It’s time to part with illusions. Otherwise, the United States cannot develop and execute a sustainable policy towards Russia. Nikolas K. Gvosdev The National Interest It’s time to part with illusions. For too long, the U.S. national-security community has oscillated in its assessment of the Russian Federation, swinging between viewing Moscow as the country’s number one geopolitical threat to dismissing the challenge of a nation whose per capita GDP equals that of Portugal. This has led… America Must Drop… Read More »

How the Taiwan Travel Act Could Start a U.S.-China War

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On March 16, 2018, President Donald Trump signed into law the Taiwan Travel Act, which encourages “officials at all levels of the United States Government” to visit and meet with their Taiwan counterparts and to “allow high-level officials of Taiwan” to enter the United States and… Paul Smith The National Interest The Chinese government has criticized the new law, describing it as a “mistake” and a violation of the One-China Policy. Chinese President Xi Jinping declared that “any actions and ... Read More »

Spy Attack Widens Turkey’s Split With U.S.

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As U.S. and European allies form a diplomatic front against Russia, Turkey’s coziness with the Kremlin is testing its crucial defense ties with the U.S. and its military alliance with NATO. Selcan Hacaoglu Bloomberg Businessweek The U.S., Canada and several European nations expelled more than 100 Russian diplomats on Monday to punish President Vladimir Putin’s government for the nerve-agent attack on a former Russian spy in the U.K. Turkey, which has grown closer to Russia in recent years, stayed out ... Read More »