In Digest

New Cold Information Bulletin, Vol 2 #31, Feb 19, 2017

Ukraine-Russia-Europe:   (* denotes also published in full on New Cold
* Vladimir Putin signs decree on recognition of documents of Donbass people, TASS Russian news agency, Feb 19, 2017

Turkey-Syria-Middle East and Caucasus:

Second round of Syria ceasefire talks took place in Kazakhstan on Feb 15, 16, 2017 (Astana Times photo)

Second round of Syria talks in Kazakhstan adopts mechanism to monitor ceasefire, by Aigerim Seisembayeva, Astana Times, Feb 17, 2017

… Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations, Bashar al-Jaafari, told the meeting that Turkey “cannot be fanning the flames of war in Syria and extinguishing them at the same time.” He accused Turkey of continuing to facilitate the entry of “tens of thousands of mercenaries” to Syria. The Astana talks ended without a final statement because of the late arrival of the Turkish delegation and the Syrian opposition…

Al-Jaafari also said that the upcoming Geneva meeting “needs to take into account the Astana-1 and Astana-2 results and resolutions so that they become a basis for the work in the upcoming meeting.”

Russian and Syrian MPs discuss latest peace talks in Kazakhstan, by Oleg Yegorov, Russia Beyond The Headlines, Feb 18, 2017

Teleconference between the two countries furthered mutual understanding.

Iran rejects ‘unconstructive’ claims delivered by Turkish foreign minister at Munich Security Conference, Press TV, Feb 19, 2017

In run-up to April referendum for more presidential powers, Turks can say anything but ‘no’, by Pinar Tremblay, Al-Monitor, Feb 19, 2017

The Turkish ruling party’s campaign to push through amendments to grant the president sweeping new powers is having absurd and sobering consequences.

Digital platform removes the movie ‘No’ from lineup, Turkish Minute, Feb 19, 2017

Turkish digital platform Digitürk has removed the movie ‘No’ from its catalogue. The movie tells the story of a plebiscite in Chile in 1988 on the removal of dictator Augusto Pinochet. Turkey is in the midst of preparations for a referendum vote on April 16 for constitutional amendments that will open the way to a switch from a parliamentary system of governance to an executive presidency…

Erdogan accuses referendum naysayers of ‘ignorance’, Turkish Minute, Feb 19, 2017

United States:
In Munich, Vice-President Pence says U.S. commitment to NATO is ‘unwavering’
, by Steve Erlanger and Alison Smale, New York Times, Feb 18, 2017

Pence demands member countries increase their NATO spending, blames Russia for Ukraine conflict

Bearing what he said was a message from President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence told anxious European political and security leaders on Saturday that “the United States of America strongly supports NATO and will be unwavering in our commitment to this trans-Atlantic alliance.” …

Donald Trump tells Florida rally the ‘media will never get away with lies’ and they are ‘part of corrupt system’, by Rachael Revesz, The Independent, Feb 18, 2017

After four weeks at the White House, Donald Trump was back in familiar territory. “I wanna be among my friends and among the people,” the President announced at his first campaign-style rally since taking office. He listed off the executive orders he had already signed and re-iterated campaign-style pledges, such as fighting Isis and investing in infrastructure…

‘Without MSM fake news filter’, Trump briefs Florida rally on U.S. security, NATO & Syria safe zones,, Feb 19, 2017

Trump appears to invent Sweden terror attack during Florida rally speech, by Jon Sharman, The Independent, Feb 19, 2017

Transcript of Donald Trump speech to rally in Melbourne, Florida on Feb 18, 2017, VOX News, Feb 18, 2017

Texas oil fields rebound from price lull, but jobs are left behind, by Clifford Krauss, New York Times, Feb 19, 2017

The industry is embracing technology and finding new ways to pare the labor force. But as jobs go away, what of presidential promises to bring them back?

Norma McCorvey, ‘Roe’ in Roe v. Wade, is dead at 69, by Robert D. McFadden, New York Times, Feb 18, 2017

Canada’s NATO contribution goes beyond spending, Trudeau says after meeting with Merkel
, Toronto Star, Feb 17, 2017

… [Trudeau] acknowledged the spending target agreed to in 2014 by the members of the 28-country transatlantic alliance — two per cent of GDP annually — but described Canada and Germany as principal NATO actors who do much of the “heavy lifting.”

“There are many ways of evaluating one’s contribution to NATO,” Trudeau said. Germany and Canada have “always been amongst the strongest actors in NATO,” he said, citing Canada’s leadership of a multinational NATO mission in Latvia aimed at strengthening its eastern flank against Russia.

He also said Canada is in the midst of “significant procurement projects” — fighter jets and shipbuilding, specifically — and working with NATO to ensure the alliance is being as effective as possible…

More than 160,000 march in Barcelona to demand Spain takes in more refugees, by Joseph Wilson, The Independent, Feb 19, 2017

Spain has accepted just 1,100 refugees of the over 17,000 it has pledged to take in

Another ghastly presidential election campaign in France, by Diana Johnstone, Counterpunch, Feb 17, 2017

Germany deported 80,000 refugees last year, Press TV, Feb 19, 2017

A top German official says Berlin has deported a record 80,000 refugees denied asylum last year and will set another record high in deportations in 2017. Peter Altmaier, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff, told Bild am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday that nearly half of the 700,000 asylum requests made in 2016 had been rejected. The official also stressed that the figure would rise again this year…

Refugee coordinator predicts record deportations in 2017, Deutsche Welle, Feb 19, 2017

Green Party unseats UKIP in local election in western England, The Independent, Feb 19, 2017

‘Like 9/11 all over again’: Canadians grow fearful of crossing the U.S. border, by Catherine Porter, New York Times, Feb 13, 2017

Related: 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.)

Global warming and climate change:
The push for diesel leaves London gasping amid record pollution
, by Kimiko de Freytas -Tamura, New York Times, Feb 17, 2017

London’s air pollution today is different from seven decades ago, and more insidious. No longer thick as “pea soup,” as it was traditionally described, the city’s air is now laced with nitrogen dioxide — a toxic gas mostly produced by vehicles with diesel engines. The pollution is linked to 23,500 deaths in Britain each year…

Some schools are considering handing out gas masks to pupils, saying children’s lungs are in danger of being stunted…

Omens, by Ross Pedersen, published on Aeon, Feb 25, 2013

The risks that keep philosopher Nick Bostrom up at night are those for which there are no geological case studies and no human track record of survival. These risks arise from human technology, a force capable of introducing entirely new phenomena into the world…

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.


EDITOR’S NOTE: We remind our readers that publication of articles on our site does not mean that we agree with what is written. Our policy is to publish anything which we consider of interest, so as to assist our readers in forming their opinions. Sometimes we even publish articles with which we totally disagree, since we believe it is important for our readers to be informed on as wide a spectrum of views as possible.

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