In Digest

New Cold Information Bulletin, Vol 2 #32, Feb 21, 2017

Ukraine-Russia-Europe:  (* denotes also published in full on New Cold
* UNICEF says one million Ukrainian children now need aid, number has doubled over past year, published on UN News Center, Feb 17, 2017

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg welcomes U.S. Vice President Mike Pence to NATO headquarters on Feb 20, 2017 (Reuters)

Mike Pence pledges ‘strong commitment’ to EU on Brussels visit, by Jennifer Rankin, The Guardian, Monday, Feb 20, 2017

The U.S. vice-president, Mike Pence, has attempted to mend fences with European leaders by pledging support for the EU, following hostile comments from Donald Trump and his supporters. On his first visit to Brussels since assuming office, Pence said on Monday the new administration wanted to work in partnership with the EU…

Mike Pence, on Europe trip, says Trump supports EU and NATO, by Gardiner Harris and James Kanter, New York Times, Feb 20, 2017

Germany to increase army strength as U.S. demands greater commitment from NATO members,, Feb 21, 2017

Germany has announced its plans to increase its army by 5,000 troops, with 500 extra reserves and 1,000 civilian posts, aiming to have a total manpower of 198,000 by 2024…

These new plans to boost the Bundeswehr would cost an extra 955 million euros (over a billion dollars) per year from 2024…

In January, Germany started moving a contingent of 1,200 soldiers to the Rukla military base in Lithuania, a mere 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the Russian border.

Poroshenko urges EU to tighten anti-Russian sanctions, TASS, Feb 21, 2017

The Ukrainian leader said that recognition by Russia of passports issued by the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics runs counter to the Minsk agreements

‘A back-channel plan for Ukraine and Russia, courtesy of Trump Associates’  [The New York Times published a bizarre construct on February 19, 2017 outlining the ideas of an extreme-right politician in Ukraine for reaching a political accord with Russia. The Guardian chimed in one day later with its own report reviewing the Times construct. The Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed the Times report when asked about it. The following is a Facebook comment on the issue by University of Ottawa researcher Ivan Katchanovski:

Another warmonger in the Ukrainian politics makes a turnabout. A member of the Ukrainian parliament has offered Trump a peace plan to end the war in Donbass, lease Crimea to Russia, make rapprochement with Russia and remove Poroshenko for his corrupt dealings. The New York Times in another stunning display of its misreporting about Ukrainian politics describes this politician as a part of the opposition “nurtured” by Paul Manafort, who advised the Party of Regions and then the Opposition Bloc created on the basis of the Party of Regions. In fact, Andrii Artemenko is a ‘Maidan’ politician linked to the far-right Right Sector and elected to the Ukrainian parliament from the semi-populist/semi-far-right Radical Party following the ‘Euromaidan.

Turkey-Syria-Middle East and Caucasus:
Seven million people face starvation in conflict-ridden Yemen says UN, report on Press TV, Feb 21, 2017

* The latest delusion of Sultan Erdogan: A protectorate in northern Syria, by Renato Velez, Al-Masdar News (Lebanon), Feb 21, 2017

* Five-month sentence given to jailed HDP co-chair Selhattin Demirtas over ‘insult’ charges, by Turkish Minute, Feb 21, 2017

[In a seperate development, the speaker of the Turkish Parliament has stripped HDP co-leader Figen Yuksekdag of her seat in Parliament.]

Will Turkey get its way in Raqqa?, by Metin Gurcan, Al-Monitor, Feb 20, 2017

The U.S. administration has tasked the Department of Defense with preparing, by Feb. 28, a comprehensive plan to defeat the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria. With only eight days left, it’s clear we’re entering the final phase of preparations for retaking Raqqa, the strategic heart of IS in Syria…

Why Moscow now sees value in Syrian local councils, by Anton Mardasov, Al-Monitor, Feb 20, 2017

Russia has come to realize that some opponents of the Syrian regime are actually moderates rather than terrorists and that a move to empower local governments could help resolve the conflict.

Turkish pianist Dengin Ceyhan arrested for insulting President Erdogan, Turkish Minute, Feb 21, 2017

‘Closer & deeper’: U.S. advisors fighting alongside Iraqi forces to retake western Mosul,, Feb 21, 2017

Canadian troops in Iraq mount pressure on ISIL at Syrian border as role shifts from defence to offence, by Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press, Feb 21, 2017

United States:
Scientists hold rally in Boston to protest threat to science
, by The Associated Press, Feb 19, 2017

‘A Day Without Immigrants’ protest shuts down businesses across U.S., by Errin Haines Whack, The Associated Press, Feb 16, 2017

Employees across U.S. fired after joining ‘Day Without Immigrants’ strike and protests, by Avalon Zoppo, NBC News, Feb 20, 2017

America gives Trump an earful at ‘Not My President’s Day’ rallies, by Trymaine Lee , Andrew Rafferty and Corky Siemaszko, NBC News, Feb 20, 2017

‘Not my President’s Day’ protests against Trump across U.S.,, Feb 20, 2017

Democratic Ex-Dove Proposes War on Iran, by Nicolas J.S. Davies, Consortium News, February 19, 2017 

The Democrats’ rush to rebrand themselves as super-hawks is perhaps best illustrated by the once-dovish Rep. Alcee Hastings proposing stand-by authorization for the President to attack Iran, reports Nicolas J S Davies.

No place like home: America’s eviction epidemic, by Matthew Desmond, The Observer (Guardian on Sunday), Feb 12, 2017

Soaring rents and low wages have hit the poorest families in the US hard. Harvard sociologist Matthew Desmond introduces an extract from his heartbreaking book about the crisis

Bodies of 74 migrants wash up on Libyan coast
, by Declan Walsh, New York Times, Feb 21, 2017

Global warming and climate change:
Last stand at Standing Rock, North Dakota as police prepare to evict pipeline opponents
, by Jihan Hafiz, The Intercept, Feb 21, 2017

… On Wednesday, Feb. 15, North Dakota governor Doug Burgum escalated tensions at the camp when he issued an emergency evacuation order.

As construction near Standing Rock restarts, pipeline fights flare across the U.S., by Alleen Brown, The Intercept, Feb 19, 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.


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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