In Digest

New Cold War.org Information Bulletin, Vol 2 #30, Feb 17, 2017

Ukraine-Russia-Europe:   (* denotes also published in full on New Cold War.org)

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis and German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen pictured at the Pentagon in Feb 2017 (AFP photo)

U.S. defence secretary tells NATO countries to increase military spending, by The Associated Press, Feb 15, 2017

U.S. defense secretary calms European nerves over NATO at Munich Security Conference, The Guardian, Feb 17, 2017

U.S. pressures Germany to increase defense spending, by Konstantin von Hammerstein and Peter Müller, Spiegel Online International, Feb 17, 2017

Washington is threatening consequences if NATO member states don’t increase their defense spending. Germany is the primary focus of the demand. But the Defense Ministry in Berlin is already having trouble spending the money it currently has at its disposal.

Trudeau praises the EU in speech to European Parliament, doesn’t mention Brexit or Trump, by James Kantner, New York Times, Feb 16, 2017

* Donetsk and Lugansk republics announce humanitarian aid programme for occupied Donbass, Donetsk News Agency, Feb 17, 2017

Turkey-Syria-Middle East and Caucasus:
Turkey shrouded in fear with thousands arrested and claims of torture in wake of failed July 2016 coup
, by an ABC freelance contributor in Istanbul, ABC News, Feb 17, 2017

This week, some court clerks, librarians and computer experts were among the 4,500 “dangers to the state” who were sacked by the Turkish Government. It boosts the total to about 125,000 public servants already dismissed, and 40,000 arrested since last year’s failed coup.

I have reported from Turkey in easier times, and wanted to go behind the staggering statistics to find out what it means for people affected. The streets of Istanbul seem eerie. Secret police dot Taksim Square, once thronged by spirited crowds, and there is a chill as I head to meet an old contact..

Six years since start of Arab Spring, Libya is still absorbed in chaos with no signs of democracy, RT.com, Feb 17, 2017

Washington quietly rebuffs Turkish delegation’s anti-YPG efforts, by Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor, Feb 16, 2017

As Turkish leaders continue to make hawkish noises about Raqqa, a high-level delegation seeking to persuade the United States to exclude the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from a planned offensive to liberate the city from the Islamic State left Washington empty-handed, Al-Monitor has learned.

Delegation including international figures denied visit to jailed HDP co-chair Selhattin Demirtas, by Turkish Minute, Feb 17, 2017

United States:
White House denies report Trump is considering using National Guard troops for immigration roundups
, Associated Press, Feb 17, 2017

The Trump administration considered a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, including millions living nowhere near the Mexico border, according to a draft memo obtained by the Associated Press.

Staffers in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said they had been told by colleagues in two DHS departments that the proposal was still being considered as recently as Feb. 10. A DHS official described the document as a very early draft that was not seriously considered and never brought to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly for approval…

Here’s what could be in store for workers under Trump, by Sara Mojtehedzadeh, work and wealth reporter, Toronto Star, Feb. 16, 2017 Feb 15, 2017

Information on precarious workers rights is disappearing from the U.S. Dept. of Labor website.

Trump, battered in Washington, is buoyed at rally at Boeing plant in South Carolina, by Glenn Thrush, New York Times, Feb 17, 2017

… The visit came two days after Boeing workers in the state rejected an attempt by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers to unionize the production line.

Outside in America: How America counts its homeless – and why so many are overlooked, by Alastair Gee, ‘Outside in America’ editor in Los Angeles, Liz Barney in Honolulu and Julia O’Malley in Anchorage, The Guardian, Feb 16, 2017

In the first dispatch of the year-long series ‘Outside in America’, we explore the challenges facing the country’s street count of homeless people every two years

World:
Bill letting U.S. border guards detain Canadians on Canadian soil could face legal challenges
, by Amy Minsky, Global News, Feb 15, 2017

Liberal Party MP swamped by hate mail, sexist taunts and death threats over her proposed anti-Islamophobia motion in Parliament, by Alex Boutilier, Toronto Star, Feb 17, 2016

… The motion has been seized by far-right blogs, who call it an attack on freedom of expression and have whipped up concerns about Canada adopting Islamic sharia law. It does not change Canada’s hate speech laws, and does not remove Canadians’ right to free speech.

Latest, grim figures for drug overdose deaths in Canada, CBC News, Feb 17, 2017

[The coroner’s office of the province of British Columbia is reporting that in January 2017, 116 people died of drug overdoses in the province. It’s the third-highest, monthly overdose death toll on record. Drug overdoses now exceed car accidents as the largest source of accidental death in BC.

[The province of British Columbia has 13 per cent of the population of Canada. None of the latest deaths occurred in the province’s (and Canada’s) only safe injection site, located in downtown eastside Vancouver. For years, federal and provincial governments in Canada have refused to approve or fund safe injection sites. Now, due to intense public and professional pressure, more sites will be opened in most of Canada’s largest cities. That still begs the question of how to end drug overdose deaths. For that, an end to the ‘war on drugs’ (criminalization of drug use) is needed, accompanied by the provision of extensive health prevention and rehabilitation services. Canada’s rulers follow their U.S. counterparts in declining to take such steps.]

Canadian financial oversight agency refuses to divulge name of major bank fined for money laundering, by Robert Cribb and Marco Chown Oved, Toronto Star, and Bruce Livesey, National Observer, Feb 15, 2017

Global warming and climate change:
Mexico City, parched and sinking, faces a water crisis
, by Michael Kimmelman, photographs by Josh Haner, New York Times, Feb 17, 2017

Climate change is threatening to push a crowded capital toward a breaking point.

Canada’s glacial ice loss raises sea level, by Tim Radford, Climate News Network, Feb 17, 2017

Dramatic increase in ice loss from the Arctic glaciers of Canada’s northernmost archipelago is now a major contributor to sea level rise. The islands which make up Canada’s northernmost archipelago are home to a quarter of all the Arctic ice − second only to Greenland. The flow of meltwater there from what once were frozen rivers is now a major contributor to sea level rise.

Indigenous land rights could halt Australia’s largest coal mining project, by Maxine Newlands, The Ecologist, Feb 16, 2017

Ecologist special report: Ecological conservation in post-conflict Colombia, by Forest Ray, The Ecologist, Feb 10, 2017

Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines are climate disasters, press release by Oil Change International, Feb 15, 2017

Clash over the Bayou Bridge Pipeline ratchets up after Louisiana pipeline explosion, by Julie Dermansky, DeSmog Blog, Feb 14, 2017

Black snakes on the move: Pipeline expansion out of control, by Teressa Rose Ezell, published on Green Social Thought, Jan 27, 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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