North America

NATO Is a Goldmine for US Weapons’ Industries

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Countries of the NATO military alliance have been ordered by President Trump to increase their spending on weapons, and the reasons for his insistence they do so are becoming clearer. Brian Cloughley Strategic Culture Foundation It’s got nothing to do with any defence rationale, because, after all, the Secretary General of the US-NATO military alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, has admitted that “we don’t see any imminent threat against any NATO ally” and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute recorded in its 2018 ... Read More »

Rightwing UK thinktank ‘offered ministerial access’ to potential US donors

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A rightwing thinktank has been offering potential US donors access to government ministers and civil servants as it raises cash for research to support the free-trade deals demanded by hardline Brexiters, according to an… Robert Booth The Guardian The director of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) was secretly recorded telling an undercover reporter that funders could get to know ministers on first-name terms and that his organisation was in “the… Mark Littlewood claimed the IEA could make introductions to ... Read More »

Iran’s currency plunges to record low as US sanctions loom

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Rial has lost half its value since April amid weak economy and big demand for dollars by Iranians fearful of sanctions. AlJazeera Iran’s currency has plunged to another record low, dropping past 100,000 rials to the US dollar, as Iranians brace for August 7 when the United Statesis due to reimpose the first batch of sanctions on their economy. In May, Washington pulled out of a landmark 2015 deal between world powers and Tehran under which international sanctions on Iran were lifted in ... Read More »

Supreme Court fight becomes battle for Kavanaugh’s papers

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The Senate fight over documents related to President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court is boiling over. By JORDAIN CARNEY The Hill Trump pick Brett Kavanaugh, a circuit judge since 2006 who previously worked for President George Bush’s administration and Kenneth Starr’s investigation, has a voluminous paper trail that lawmakers estimate tops a million pages. Democrats want to see as many of those papers as they can, while Republicans seeking to confirm Kavanaugh before the midterm elections favor a… Supreme Court fight… Read More »

Trump seeks to revive ‘Arab NATO’ to confront Iran

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The Trump administration is quietly pushing ahead with a bid to create a new security and political alliance with six Gulf Arab states, Egypt and Jordan, in part to counter Iran’s expansion in the… WASHINGTON – Reuters Hurriyet The White House wants to see deeper cooperation between the countries on missile defense, military training, counter-terrorism and other issues such as strengthening regional economic and… The plan to forge what officials in the White House and Middle East have called an “Arab NATO” of ... Read More »

Judge in migrant reunification case says government at fault for ‘losing several hundred parents’

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A federal judge commended the Trump administration on Friday for the progress made reuniting families separated by the Department of Homeland Security’s zero-tolerance immigration policy, but blamed the… John Bowden The Hill U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw said that the Trump administration was “at fault” for deporting more than 400 parents while their children remained in custody, according to CBS News. “The government is at fault for losing several hundred parents in the process and that’s where we go next” in ... Read More »

Grieving whale mother carries her dead calf for days as orcas become more endangered

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A mother killer whale’s grief has left her carrying her dead calf for four days and separated from the rest of her pod. Simon Rushton iNews The calf – born to a Southern Resident orca called J35 – was alive for just a few hours before it became another grim sign of how endangered this whale species is. A research team for the Center for Whale Research sailed to the pair, off the Victoria shoreline in British Columbia, Canada, but ... Read More »

A 6-Year-Old Girl Was Sexually Abused in an Immigrant-Detention Center

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Separated from her mother by Trump’s zero-tolerance policy, the child was forced to sign a statement confirming that she understood it was her responsibility to stay away from her abuser. Ari Honarvar The Nation According to immigrant-rights advocates, a 6-year-old girl separated from her mother under the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy was sexually abused while at an… The child was then made to sign a form acknowledging that she was told to maintain her distance from her alleged abuser, ... Read More »

Trump Thought Turkey’s Erdogan Was His Friend. Now He’s Mad.

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President Trump has often touted his personal chemistry with leaders like Xi Jinping of China or the royal family of Saudi Arabia as the key component of his foreign policy approach. Joshua Keating Slate He has described his handshake with Kim Jong-un in Singapore as more important than the terms of the agreement they signed. He has suggested that if Vladimir Putin were readmitted to the G-8, he could ask the Russian leader to “do me a favor” by withdrawing forces from ... Read More »

MoviePass stopped working because it ran out of money

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Subscription movie service MoviePass made a name for itself by practically handing out money. The popular service, owned by parent company Helios and Matheson, charges $9.95 a month to see up to one regular 2D movie in theaters a day—including in markets like New York, where a… Alison Griswold Quartz MoviePass pays the theaters full price for each ticket. How fast has the money gone? In May, MoviePass reported spending $40 million more in cash than it brought in. For ... Read More »

EU trade war OVER? Trump and Juncker thrash out deal – Brussels agrees to ZERO tariffs

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STOCK markets across the world have rallied after the United States and European Union agreed to measures to avert a full-scale trade war. By HARVEY GAVIN Express President Trump said both sides had agreed to “work together towards zero tariffs”. And he announced the EU had agreed to increase American exports of liquefied natural gas and soybeans to Europe. Mr Trump’s comments came after he met with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker today. MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained ... Read More »

Goodbye Plato and Jefferson, Hello Lenin!

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Both Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin would be pleased if they could see how their doctrines have been realized in the United States. Walter Clemens CounterPunch As I learned at Moscow State University in the 1950s, dialectical materialism (“diamat”) holds that the economic base—who owns what—determines the political, social, and cultural superstructure. The superstructure spawns a false ideology—an illusion that the present arrangement between haves and have-nots is inevitable and as good as it gets. The superstructure creates an educational ... Read More »

Pennsylvania teacher slammed for Nazi wrestler persona

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A US school teacher has been censured for his extracurricular hobby: masquerading as a German Nazi as a part of his amateur wrestling persona. BBC Kevin Bean, 36, teaches fifth and sixth grade students in Pennsylvania, local media say. He also wrestles under the name “Blitzkreig, the German Juggernaut”. Video of Mr Bean doing a Nazi salute during his entrance into the ring caused an uproar on social media. Mr Bean himself has not replied to requests for comment from US ... Read More »

Mexican anti-poverty program targeting poor women may help men most, study finds

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Economic empowerment programs that target women may have an unintended effect: They help men instead. Nora Haenn The Conversation A growing number of economic development programs worldwide provide cash specifically to women in poor communities. Giving women access to money empowers them, the theory goes. And empowered women – especially mothers – can lift entire families out of poverty. Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for launching a microloan program just for women. Nine Indian states ... Read More »

WSU Researchers see positive policing changes after cannabis legalization

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Clearance rates improve for burglaries, vehicle thefts Washington State University EurekAlert! PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University researchers have found that marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington has not hurt police effectiveness. In fact, clearance rates for certain crimes have improved. Clearance rates — the number of cases solved, typically by the arrest of a suspect — were falling for violent and property crimes in the two states before they authorized retail sales of marijuana late in 2012. The rates ... Read More »

I traced missile casings in Syria back to their original sellers, so it’s time for the west to reveal who they sell arms to

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I don’t think either Nato or the EU has the slightest interest in chasing the provenance of weapons in the hands of Islamist fighters in Syria or anywhere else in the Middle East Robert Fisk Independent Readers, a small detective story. Note down this number: MFG BGM-71E-1B. And this number: STOCK NO 1410-01-300-0254. And this code: DAA A01 C-0292. I found all these numerals printed on the side of a spent missile casing lying in the basement of a bombed-out ... Read More »