‘You Will Not Destroy America’: A Trump Battle Is No Longer One-Sided

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WASHINGTON — Usually, top intelligence and law enforcement officials withdraw to lives of tight-lipped relative anonymity after their careers end. (Suffice it to say, they are not exactly known for viral Twitter battles.) Katie Rogers The New York Times But as President Trump has voiced his grievances against the F.B.I. with a series of insult-laden tweets, his targets have responded nearly in kind, turning a conflict that would in the past have stayed behind closed doors into a brawl for ... Read More »

Developing countries at risk from US rate rise, debt charity warns

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Jubilee Debt Campaign says 126 nations spend more than 10% of revenues on interest Larry Elliott The Guardian The expected rise in US interest rates will increase financial pressures on developing countries already struggling with a 60% jump in their debt repayments since 2014, a leading charity has warned. The Jubilee Debt Campaign said a study of 126 developing nations showed that they were devoting more than 10% of their revenues on average to paying the interest on money borrowed – the ... Read More »

The only thing keeping Maduro in power is the opposition

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If Venezuela’s opposition really wants to remove Nicolas Maduro, it must unite behind renegade candidate Henri Falcon. Asa Cusack Al Jazeera Can anyone win in an illegitimate election? This is the big question in Venezuela today, as commentators and citizens alike debate whether to participate or abstain in upcoming elections, where one candidate, Henri Falcon, has defied the opposition coalition’s decision not to take part. In short, the answer is “yes”. Paradoxically, the very lack of legitimacy that undermines these elections has ... Read More »

Somalia clans secure peace with death sentences and hefty fines

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Two rival Somali clans have signed up to a groundbreaking peace deal which aims to end the cycle of revenge killings. Will Ross BBC Following three weeks of mediation, the rival Sa’ad Yoonis and Ba’iido clans in the disputed Sanaag region reached an agreement on harsh new rules. Now, anyone found guilty of carrying out a revenge killing or vendetta will face a death sentence. The family of the perpetrator will also have to pay fine a $100,000 (£72,000). There ... Read More »

Philippines’ Duterte urges other nations to quit ICC

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday urged other nations to follow his move to quit the International Criminal Court, which is examining his deadly drug war. Journal du Cameroun Duterte lashed out at the war crimes tribunal days after his government notified the United Nations of his decision to withdraw the Philippines from the Rome Statute which set up the court. “I said withdraw simply because to announce to the world, and I will convince everybody now who (is) under ... Read More »

‘Testilying’ — a Stubborn Police Problem

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Police lying persists, even amid an explosion of video evidence that has allowed the public to test officers’ credibility. Joseph Goldstein The New York Times Officer Nector Martinez took the witness stand in a Bronx courtroom on Oct. 10, 2017, and swore to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help him God. There had been a shooting, Officer Martinez testified, and he wanted to search a nearby apartment for evidence. A woman stood in ... Read More »

UN backs ‘free, fair, credible’ July elections in Zimbabwe

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Vote will be the first big test for Emmerson Mnangagwa who became Zimbabwe’s president in November. Al Jazeera The United Nations has voiced its support for a plan to hold elections in Zimbabwe  in July. The elections, which have not yet received a specific date, will be the first big test of President Emmerson Mnangagwa who became Zimbabwe’s president in November after the military ousted Robert Mugabe, 93, who ruled for 37 years. A statement by UN Development Programme administrator Achim Steiner… UN backs ‘free… Read More »

Newsnight denial falls on deaf ears as BBC accused of ‘extreme bias’ over Russian Corbyn image

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The BBC has been accused of “extreme bias” after it featured a “Photoshopped” image of Jeremy Corbyn against the Kremlin skyline during a segment about escalating tensions between the UK and Russia on Newsnight, despite presenter Evan Davies’ attempts to justify its use. Jenn Selby BBC The Labour leader was apparently depicted wearing a Russian Bolshevik cap against a red-tinted backdrop of the St. Basil’s Cathedral while Ayesha Hazarika, former special advisor to Ed Milliband, and Corbyn ally Chris Williamson ... Read More »

Berlin 24/7: Why Berlin is so dirty

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Rotting food, cigarette butts, old furniture: these items litter the streets of Berlin — and reflect the mentality of the inhabitants of the German capital, thinks Gero Schliess. City cleaning efforts are laughable. Gero Schliess (ad) DW Each time when American friends of mine visit me in Berlin, they actually praise the city for its cleanliness. That’s when I start to pity my pals. If they seriously think that Berlin is clean and neat, what on earth do the streets look like in ... Read More »

Turkey Slams Europe Over Calls to End Syria Offensive

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ISTANBUL — Turkey has reacted furiously to the European Parliament’s motion calling for an end to Ankara’s military offensive in Syria’s Afrin enclave against a Kurdish militia. Dorian Jones VoA The motion cited concerns for the hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped in Afrin city under siege by Turkish forces for almost two months. But beyond the diplomatic haranguing, both the European Union and Ankara appear anxious to continue to work to rebuild relations. Speaking at his presidential palace, Turkish President ... Read More »

Australian Refugee Groups Slam Plan To ‘Cherry Pick’ White South Africans

Asylum-seekers look through a fence at the Manus Island detention centre in Papua New Guinea March 21, 2014. Eoin Blackwell/AAP/via Reuters/File Photo ATTENTION EDITORS - FACES PIXELLATED AT SOURCE. THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. AUSTRALIA OUT. NEW ZEALAND OUT.?

‘If we were going to take in any for a fast-tracked program, we’d take in Rohingyans or Syrians.’ Josh Butler HuffPost Refugee agencies have slammed the Australian immigration minister Peter Dutton’s eagerness to offer fast-tracked humanitarian assistance to white South African farmers, saying Australian has ignored asylum seekers and human rights abuses in its own backyard for years. Dutton, whose Home Affairs ministry includes oversight of immigration and refugees, floated the idea of “special attention” for white South African farmers, ... Read More »

Goldman Sachs reveals 56% UK gender pay gap and bonus gap of 72%

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Women account for just 17 per cent of all the jobs in the highest pay quartile Josie Cox The Independent Goldman Sachs has become the latest bank to publish a yawning gender pay gap, underscoring just how male dominated the world of finance still is – especially at the most senior level. The company, which employs around 6,000 people in the UK, on Friday reported a mean gender pay gap in Britain for its international business of 55.5 per cent and a mean ... Read More »

Getting smarter, knowing less

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To work out what matters, we need the cognitive equivalent of decluttering guru Marie Kondo Robert Armstrong Financial Times Erik Hagerman is my new hero. Sadly, reports of my admiration will never reach him. Hagerman — subject of a recent New York Times profile — decided to block out all news after the election of Donald Trump. Living in rural Ohio, the former corporate executive reads no newspapers and watches only basketball on TV. He takes in the games without ... Read More »

Aung San Suu Kyi: lawyers seek prosecution for crimes against humanity

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Australian lawyers file private case against Myanmar leader over treatment of Rohingya while she attends summit in Sydney Ben Doherty The Guardian Lawyers in Melbourne have filed a private prosecution application against Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, who is in Australia, on charges of crimes against humanity. The private prosecution application faces significant barriers to proceeding – a universal jurisdiction prosecution in Australia requires the consent of the attorney general. Aung San Suu Kyi, who is state counsellor and ... Read More »

Men fined $17,000 after dead green turtles, dugong found in boat

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Two men have been fined $17,000 after park rangers found two dead green turtles and a dead dugong in their boat off Hervey Bay last year. Amy Mitchell-Whittington Brisbane Times Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers found the dead turtles and dugong, both protected species, in a boat in the Great Sandy Marine Park in October. The men told rangers they had been given permission by Aboriginal elders to hunt and kill the animals for ... Read More »

Friday essay: in defence of beauty in art

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Art critics and historians have a difficult time dealing with beauty We are trained from early on that the analysis of a work of art relies on proof, those things that we can point to as evidence. Robert Wellington The Conversation The problem with beauty is that it’s almost impossible to describe. To describe the beauty of an object is like trying to explain why something’s funny — when it’s put into words, the moment is lost. Works of art ... Read More »