In Digest

New Cold Information Bulletin, Vol 2 #22, Feb 6, 2017

* Kremlin says it wants apology from Fox News over Putin comments
, Reuters, Feb 6, 2017

In pictures: Aftermath of Ukrainian shelling of Kievskiy district of Donetsk during night of Feb 2-3, 2017, Donetsk News Agency

Turkey-Syria-Middle East and Caucasus:
Israel hits Gaza as Turkish minister arrives in Tel Aviv after seven-year gap
, Turkish Minute, Feb 6, 2017

Minister says 90-95 per cent of Turkey says ‘yes’ to executive presidency, Turkish Minute, Feb 6, 2017

Yemen’s Houthi fighters say they fired ballistic missile at military base in Saudi capital of Riyahd, Press TV, Feb 6, 2017

United States:
100 top companies in the U.S. submit legal brief against Trump’s anti-Muslim travel ban, Reuters, Feb 6, 2017

Tech companies’ opposition to Trump propelled by employees, not executives, by David Streitfeld, New York Times, Feb 6, 2017

How U.S. believes impossible things, by William Blum, published in his Anti-Empire Report, Feb 4, 2017  (also appearing in Consortium News, Feb 5, 2017)

Over many decades, the U.S. establishment has become practiced at putting out claims that are completely false or that leave out key details to mislead the public. Now come complaints about “fake news”.

Donald Trump moves to roll back Obama-era financial regulations that curbed banks and protected consumers after credit crisis, Rachael Revesz, The Independent, Feb 4, 2017

Donald Trump’s executive order will let private equity funds drain your 401(k) pension plan, by David Dayen, The Intercept, Feb 6, 2017

Donald Trump’s February 3 executive order enabling financial advisers to continue ripping off their clients could prove a lifeline for a surprising beneficiary: the private equity industry.

White House pulls back from bid to reopen CIA  ‘black site’ prisons, by Charlie Savage, New York Times, Feb 4, 2017

… The draft order retains other parts of the original that focus on making greater use of the military’s Guantánamo Bay prison…

The lonely fight to save Guantanamo’s prisoners — and America’s soul, by Michelle Sheppard, national security reporter, Toronto Star, Feb 5, 2017

Lawyers for accused 9/11 plotters at Guantanamo Bay have endured much to defend their clients. Now, they’re worried about their new president.

Building the realm of alternative facts: Trump’s lies are enabled by years of right-wing media, by Heather Digby Parton,, Feb 6, 2017

After decades of Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and Breitbart, conservatives can no longer tell fact from fiction

… Former conservative talk-radio show host Charlie Sykes wrote a courageous op-ed for The New York Times over the past weekend that took a hard look at how so many people came to believe Trump’s lies and why they are so willing to accept what presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway has called “alternative facts.” Sykes put the blame squarely on the right-wing propaganda machine, which he was a part of for many years.

Related: Why nobody cares the President is lying, op-ed by Charles J. Sykes, New York Times, Feb 4, 2017

Speaker of UK Parliament says Trump won’t be invited to speak there if he visits Britain
, The Independent, Feb 6, 2016

China assails U.S. pledge to defend disputed islands controlled by Japan, by Jane Perlez, New York Times, Feb 4, 2017

China reacted with strong displeasure on Saturday to a promise by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis that the United States would defend two uninhabited islands in the East China Sea that Japan controls but China also claims as its own.

Mr. Mattis, the first member of President Trump’s cabinet to visit East Asia, had told Japanese officials earlier Saturday that America’s defense obligations to Japan extended to the disputed rocky outposts, known in China as the Diaoyu and in Japan as the Senkaku…

The U.S. military’s stats on deadly airstrikes are wrong. Thousands have gone unreported, by Andrew deGrandpre and Shawn Snow, Military Times, Feb 5, 2017

The American military has failed to publicly disclose potentially thousands of lethal airstrikes conducted over several years in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, a Military Times investigation has revealed. The enormous data gap raises serious doubts about transparency in reported progress against the Islamic State, al-Qaida and the Taliban, and calls into question the accuracy of other Defense Department disclosures documenting everything from costs to casualty counts.

In 2016 alone, U.S. combat aircraft conducted at least 456 airstrikes in Afghanistan that were not recorded as part of an open-source database maintained by the U.S. Air Force, information relied on by Congress, American allies, military analysts, academic researchers, the media and independent watchdog groups to assess each war’s expense, manpower requirements and human toll. Those airstrikes were carried out by attack helicopters and armed drones operated by the U.S. Army, metrics quietly excluded from otherwise comprehensive monthly summaries, published online for years, detailing American military activity in all three theaters…

About 2,000 migrants rescued by Italian coast guard in Mediterranean, by Reuters, Feb 5, 2017

Asylum-seekers were travelling on about a dozen boats

More refugees died in Mediterranean Sea by October 2016 than all of 2015, report by UNHCR, Oct 25, 2016

UNHCR reported that 3,740 lives had been lost so far in 2016, just short of the 3,771 reported for the whole of 2015

2015 was record year for migrants dying while crossing Mediterranean, One World News, Jan 1, 2016

Left-behind explosives taking deadlier toll on Afghan children, says UN, by Mujib Mashal, New York Times, Feb 6, 2017

French police brutality in spotlight again after officer charged with rape, by Angelique Chrisafis, The Guardian, Feb 6, 2017

Anti-corruption protests rock pro-NATO gov’t in Romania, pictured is protest of 200,000 in Bucharest on Feb 5, 2017 (Alex Fraser, Reuters)

Romania scraps decree decriminalising corruption as mass protests persist, Reuters, Feb 5, 2017

Romanian government appeals for calm after graft U-turn, Reuters, Monday, Feb 6, 2017

Romania’s Social Democrat-led government on Monday urged an end to what it called “this tense state” as it braced for further mass protests despite its withdrawal of a decree widely condemned as reversing the country’s anti-corruption drive. Following the largest demonstrations since the fall of communism in 1989, the government on Sunday rescinded the decree, which would have shielded dozens of politicians from prosecution.

Political analysts said the government – in power for barely a month – now faced an uphill task restoring shattered public confidence. Even after its embarrassing U-turn, some 250,000 protesters chanted late on Sunday: “We don’t believe you, we won’t give up.” …

Why Canada’s military spending is about to increase — a lot, by Alan Parker, columnist at Toronto Sun, Feb 4, 2017

NATO country defense spending (Daily

When Canada’s Defence Minister, Harjit Sajjan, visits Washington on February 6 to meet with U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, don’t expect an easy go of things, despite the fact that the two men both served in Afghanistan and know each other. Top of the list of U.S. complaints will be Canada’s failure to live up to its NATO commitment to spend at least 2% of our GDP on defence…

Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan will be in Washington February 6 to meet with U.S. Secretary of Defence James Mattis, by Peter Zimonjic, CBC News, Feb 3, 2017  (related news: Canada ‘looking at all options’ for improving support to Ukraine, Sajjan says, Canadian Press, Feb 1, 2017)

Child sex abuse royal commission in Australia: Data reveals extent of Catholic allegations, by Clare Blumer, Rebecca Armitage and Simon Elvery, ABC News, Feb 6, 2017

The Australian Catholic Church has released “grim” data revealing 7 per cent of priests, working between 1950 and 2009, have been accused of child sex crimes.

Global warming:
Republicans hurry to slash oil and gas rules, ending industries’ eight-year wait
, by Eric Lipton, New York Times, Feb 4, 2017

Call to unravel basic climate change, by Tim Radford, Climate News Network, Feb 5, 2017

A group of distinguished climate scientists has called for a massive international co-operation to understand absolutely basic climate change

There is no doubt that human action has set off a process of accelerating climate change, by clearing the forests, changing the natural cycles of the terrestrial landscape and by excavating and burning colossal quantities of fossil fuels to release rising proportions of carbon dioxide into the Earth’s atmosphere. But within that global understanding there remain three profound questions that have yet to be answered in the kind of detail that would permit accurate prediction…

Rising seawaters dent world’s rice production in delta areas, by Paul Brown, Climate News Network, Feb 4, 2017

Oil’s methane emissions higher than feared, by Alex Kirby, Climate News Network, Feb 6, 2017

New Cold Information Bulletin is posted daily (or every several days) to the New Cold website as a complement to the feature articles published or re-produced in full. It is included in the daily newsletter emailed to website subscribers. As of Nov 22, 2016, the ‘search’ function on the website will be needed by readers to find many of the items by published title or author. Articles that are published exclusively on New Cold will continue to be published in their entirety and tagged in the relevant subject category. Comments in square brackets [ ] are those of New Cold editors. Comments and suggestions welcome; find email address under ‘Contact’ on main website page.


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