In Digest

New Cold War.org Information Bulletin, Vol 2 #29, Feb 16, 2017

Ukraine-Russia-Europe:  
Vladimir Putin speaks to annual, expanded meeting of Russia’s Federal Security Service, text of V Putin’s remarks to the FSB meeting published on the website of the President of Russia, Feb 16, 2017

‘… At the NATO summit last July in Warsaw, Russia was declared the main threat to the alliance for the first time since 1989, and NATO officially proclaimed containing Russia its new mission. It is with this aim that NATO continues its expansion. This expansion was already underway earlier, but now they believe they have more serious reasons for doing so. They have stepped up the deployment of strategic and conventional arms beyond the national borders of the principal NATO member states.

They are provoking us constantly and are trying to draw us into confrontation. We see continued attempts to interfere in our internal affairs in a bid to destabilise the social and political situation in Russia itself.

We also see the recent serious flare-up in southeast Ukraine. This escalation pursues the clear aim of preventing the Minsk Agreements from going ahead. The current Ukrainian authorities are obviously not seeking a peaceful solution to this very complex problem and have decided to opt for the use of force instead. What is more, they speak openly about organising sabotage and terrorism, particularly in Russia. Obviously, this is a matter of great concern…’

Black Sea buzz—the U.S. Navy waits four days then sends SOS to President Trump, by John Helmer, published on his website Dances With Bears, Feb 16, 2017

The U.S. nuclear-armed missile destroyer, USS Porter, was steaming full-speed across the Black Sea in the direction of the Russian coastline, its Tomahawk firing radars activated, when a Russian airborne signals reconnaissance aircraft and three SU-24 fighter-bombers arrived in three waves. The U.S. European Command headquarters in Stuttgart announced that the incidents had occurred on Tuesday, February 14, calling the Russian flights “unsafe and unprofessional”, putting the vessel and the militaries of the US and Russia at risk of “accident or miscalculation.”  The Pentagon repeated the exact words after daylight broke on the same day in Washington. But that was four days after the incidents had actually taken place on Friday, February 10…

‘Productive’ first meeting between Lavrov and Tillerson discusses Syria and Ukraine but not sanctions, RT.com, Feb 16, 2017

Turkey-Syria-Middle East and Caucasus:
Turkey urges Mattis to cut U.S. support for Syrian Kurds
, by Richard Sisk, Military.com, Feb 16, 2017

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was urged by Turkey Wednesday to cut off U.S. support for the Syrian Kurdish militia known as the YPG, which is closing on the ISIS stronghold of Raqaa. On the sidelines of a NATO defense ministerial in Brussels, Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik met with Mattis to underline the long-standing position of his government that the YPG (People’s Protection Units) was a terrorist offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has been labeled a terror group by the U.S. …

Syria analyst warns of Turkey’s possible betrayal of Astana talks, FARS news agency, Feb 16, 2017

United States:   (* denotes also published in full on New Cold War.org)
* Coming soon to a U.S. city near you: military policing, by John W. Whitehead, published in his weekly column on The Rutherford Institute, Feb 13, 2017

After election, Trump’s professed love for leaks quickly faded, by Michael D. Shear, New York Times, Feb 15, 2017

Trump tax cuts could boost profit $12 billion at big U.S. banks, by Yalman Onaran, Bloomberg News, Feb 16, 2017

Big U.S. banks to push for easing of money laundering rules, Reuters, Feb 16, 2017

Top U.S. bank executives optimistic heading into 2017, Reuters, Jan 13, 2017

The Willacy County Correctional Center in Raymondville, Texas, closed after inmates set fire to the complex in 2015 in protest of poor conditions (Jenny Jarvie, Los Angeles Times)

There is a Trump infrastructure project already underway: Building for-profit prisons for immigrants, by Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine (NY Mag.com), Feb 16, 2017

There’s a real-live boom under way for private prison companies thanks to Trump’s early executive order calling for an expansion of detention centers for undocumented immigrants near the U.S.-Mexico border.

Overshadowed by the chaotically implemented and soon-stalled travel ban, Trump’s border-enforcement order is being implemented. And among other things, that’s meant happy days are here again for private prisons, as explained by Jenny Jarvie of the Los Angeles Times, who went to South Texas and felt the excitement…

This industry stands to benefit from Trump’s crackdown on the border, by Jenny Jarvie, LA Times, Feb 16, 2017

Stocks for private prison companies have surged in the two weeks since President Trump signed an executive order calling for expansion of immigrant detention facilities at or near the border with Mexico, specifically authorizing the use of private contractors “to construct, operate, or control facilities” in what is expected to be a substantial ramp-up of the massive detention system that thrived under the Obama administration…

Trump official obsessed over nuclear apocalypse, men’s style and fine wines in 40,000 posts on fashion site, by Peter Maass, The Intercept, Feb 16, 2017

World:
German intelligence service clears Russia on interference, by Ray McGovern, Consortium News, Feb 15, 2017

Mainstream U.S. media only wants stories of Russian perfidy, so when German intelligence cleared Moscow of suspected subversion of German democracy, the silence was deafening

Netanyahu’s ‘no-way’ to a peace deal with Palestinians, by Alon Ben-Meir, Consortium News, Feb 16, 2017

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu tried to sound reasonable in his first meeting with President Trump, but he will never agree to a reasonable peace deal with the Palestinians, writes Alon Ben-Meir.

Netanyahu’s Trump predicament, by Omar Karmi, The Electronic Intifada, Feb 13, 2017

Two years into Yemen war, U.S. ramps up refueling of Saudi jets, by Oriana Pawlyk, Military.com, Feb 15, 2017

Schools in southwest Ontario cancel field trips into U.S., CBC News, Feb 10, 2016  And listen to interview with Jessica Sartori, school trustee of Greater Essex County District School Board (audio and transcript of interview here; for audio, click on ‘Part one’ and then click at ten-minute mark.)

The centre cannot hold: Canada faces a populist eruption, by Susan Delacourt, iPolitics.ca, Feb 14, 2017

A new, international “trust index” released today contained some troubling news for the prime minister and his Liberal brand: Canadians’ trust in government has eroded profoundly since Trudeau took power 15 months ago…

According to the index, one in two Canadians fears that newcomers to the country are “damaging our economy and national culture.” A full 80 per cent agreed that elites were “out of touch” with regular people and 40 per cent agreed that they were being unfairly denied access to the education and opportunities they needed to get ahead. Nearly two-thirds of respondents — 61 per cent — said they didn’t have confidence in the country’s leaders to address the challenges facing the nation…

Trudeau prepares to cede Canadian sovereignty to U.S. border officials, by John Baglow, Rabble.ca, Feb 15, 2017

Global warming and climate change:
Humans killed the Aral Sea, now it has come back to life
, by Charley Locke, Wired Magazine, Feb 14, 2017. Short essay accompanied by 15 photographs

‘The water is back—it’s like a fairytale,” says French photographer Didier Bizet, who documents the turnaround in his ongoing series Aral dreams

The Aral Sea springs back to life, by Didier Bizet, Al Jazerea, July 12, 2016

Successful recovery efforts have brought back the sea and new hope for devastated Aral Sea communities in Kazakhstan.

Fossil fuels bypass is not science fiction, by Tim Radford, Climate News Network, Feb 14, 2017

Air conditioning drains U.S. power supply, by Tim Radford, Climate News Network, Feb 14, 2017

It’s not just Oroville: Record rain is straining California’s whole flood control network, by Rong-Gong Lin II, Paige St. John, Matt Stevens and Corina Knoll, LA Times, Feb 16, 2017

Disappearing seagrass protects against pathogens, even climate change, scientists find, by Carl Zimmer, New York Times, Feb 16, 2017


New Cold War.org Information Bulletin is posted daily (or every several days) to the New Cold War.org 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 War.org will continue to be published in their entirety and tagged in the relevant subject category. Comments in square brackets [ ] are those of New Cold War.org editors. Comments and suggestions welcome; find email address under ‘Contact’ on main website page.

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