In Digest

New Cold War.org Information Bulletin, Vol 2 #41, March 6, 2017

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

Residents of Yenakiieve in Kyiv-controlled Donetsk region protest the Ukrainian extremist rail blockade against Donetsk People’s Republic (Valentin Sprinchak, TASS)

Residents of Kramatorsk in Kyiv-controlled Donetsk protest against Donbass blockade, TASS, Monday, March 6, 2017

More than 500 residents of Kramatorsk, a city in the Donetsk region, got together in city center on Monday to protest against the transport blockade of Donbass, launched by radical activists on January 25, Ukrainian 5TV reports on Monday…

The Ukrainian authorities so far have failed to take effective measures to lift the blockade of Donbass. As a result, Ukraine has been facing a lack of coal while the DPR and LPR have announced their decision to nationalize local Ukrainian enterprises on March 1 so that they could continue to operate.

Five townships in south of Donetsk People’s Republic without power after Kyiv’s shelling, Donetsk News Agency, Mar 6, 2017

Turkey-Syria-Middle East and Caucasus:
* Kurds shed light on Russia-Damascus deal preventing Turkey’s attack on Manbij, Syria, Sputnik News, March 6, 2017  (and further related news enclosed, including ‘Situation report in eastern Aleppo countryside’, published by UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs on March 5, 2017)

* Canada reviews military support for Kurds in post-ISIL northern Iraq, while U.S. to boost intervention in northern Syria, news compilation on New Cold War.org, March 5, 2017

Geneva talks ‘outlined the way forward’ for Syrian settlement – Russian envoy, RT.com, March 4, 2017

Turkey completes wall that annexes Syrian land in Syrian province of Idlib, Al-Masdar News, March 5, 2017

Erdogan slams German towns for ‘aiding and abetting terror’ after Turkish rallies axed, RT.com, Mar 4, 2017

Erdogan says Germany is ‘aiding and abetting terrorism’, Kate Connolly, The Guardian, Mar 3, 2017

… Erdogan’s comments came after hours after Turkey’s justice minister, Bekir Bozdag, was prevented from holding a rally in the south-west German town of Gaggenau ahead of next month’s referendum on giving the Turkish president greater powers.

On Feb 26, the city of Cologne rejected a request by the Turkish economy minister, Nihat Zeybekci, to give a speech and it emerged on Friday that another planned appearance by the minister in the town of Frechen had been cancelled by local authorities. There have been widespread reports that Erdogan, who has campaigned in Germany before, is also planning a political rally in the country…

Erdogan says Germany’s refusal to allow ministers’ speech reminiscent of Nazi era, by Turkish Minute, Mar 5, 2017

Austria calls for EU-wide ban on Turkish referendum campaigning, by Turkish Minute, Mar 5, 2017

United States:
* Trump Administration dictates revised immigration executive order, report by Daniel Arkin and Hallie Jackson on NBC News, March 6, 2017

Trump’s military ambition: Raw power as a means and an end, by Max Fisher, The New York Times, March 4, 2017

President Trump’s vision of American power, something of a mystery during the campaign, has come into new focus after a week of speeches and budget plans hinting at his ambitions for the military. They reveal a president fascinated with raw military might, which he sees as synonymous with America’s standing in the world and as a tool to coerce powerful rivals, such as China and Iran, which appear to be his primary concern…

A short history of the Trump family, by Sidney Blumenthal, London Review of Books, issue of Feb 16, 2017

… Fred Trump, Donald’s father, was a king of Queens; the Donald became a joker in Manhattan. In search of fame and greater fortune in the big city, he set out from the family mansion with its 23 rooms, nine bathrooms and, at the front, four white columns adorned with a confected family crest. A Cadillac and a Rolls-Royce were parked in the driveway, guarded by two cast-iron jockeys. Even in Queens, it was a world apart. ‘“Be a killer,”’ Fred Trump, ‘who ruled all of us with a steel will’, told him. Then he said: ‘“You are a king.”’

Trump wasn’t looked down on in Manhattan because he was a parvenu, a dressed-to-kill bridge-and-tunnel bounder from an outer borough. New Yorkers hardly have a bias against aspiring newcomers. The musical Hamilton exalts a classic New York story of a brilliant young immigrant rising in a mercantile culture. (‘I hear it’s highly overrated,’ President-elect Trump tweeted last November after the cast addressed Vice President-elect Mike Pence, as he was leaving the theatre, calling on the new administration ‘to work on behalf of all of us’.) Walt Whitman sang in ‘Mannahatta’ of a city ‘liquid, sane, unruly, musical, self-sufficient’. Trump wished to be more than accepted in Manhattan: he wanted to be adored, there and only there, and came to despise it in all its diversity and cacophony when time and again he was rejected. ‘I want to wake up in a city that doesn’t sleep and find I’m king of the hill, top of the heap.’ The lyrics of Frank Sinatra’s standard ring out like a mocking chorus from the Yankee Stadium when the hometown wins. Poor Trump, who thought the song should be his anthem, could never shake his ‘little town blues’. His humiliation at his failure ‘to make it there’ is at the heart of his vengeful compulsion to wreak humiliation on those he fears will belittle him. The uncontrollable anger that unleashes a regular flood of insults derives from his profound feeling that he has been, is being and will be diminished. In a constant state of alert and hurt, he victimises others because he burns with the feeling that he is the true victim. Every time his outlandish behaviour turns him into the butt of a joke, especially at the hands of sources associated with New York, from Spy’s jibes to Alec Baldwin’s impersonation on Saturday Night Live, his rage is stoked. Portraying himself as the innocent party he lashes out, a narcissistic reflex but also a tactic he learned from Roy Cohn…

Another hatchet job on Edward Snowden, by Ray McGovern, Consortium News, March 3, 2017

The hatchet jobs against NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden keep on coming with the new book ‘How America Lost Its Secrets: Edward Snowden, the Man and the Theft’.

The U.S. government’s privacy watchdog is basically dead, emails reveal, by Jenna McLaughlin, The Intercept, Mar 3, 2017

There’s a little-known federal agency whose job is to ensure U.S. spy agencies protect privacy and other civil liberties even as they work to defeat terrorists and criminals, and to blow the whistle when that doesn’t happen. But the agency, known as the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, is down to just a single voting member — which means it has been stripped of nearly all its powers, according to emails obtained by The Intercept.

Mexico opens legal aid centers at dozens of U.S consulates, by Nikita Vladimirov, The Hill, Mar 4, 2017

World:
Canadian government re-examining participation in U.S. missile defense, by John Ivison, National Post, Mar 4, 2017

National Missile Defence in Canada, Wikipedia

On Feb 24, 2005, Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew announced Canada would not be joining the United States’ missile defense program…

Abortion pill rollout in Canada deeply flawed, by Heather Mallick, columnist, Toronto Star, March 6, 2017

If women wish to take this safe drug, let them. I refer not just to Canadian women but to Americans who may see abortion banned in the next four years, perhaps nationally, but more likely state by punitive state.

Canada weighs risks in its plans for an expeditionary force to Africa, report by Steven Chase and Robert Fife, Globe and Mail, Mar 6, 2017

A path forward on North Korea, by Ann Wright, Consortium News, March 5, 2017

Mainstream U.S. media depicts North Korean Kim Jong-Un as crazy and his country as an insane asylum, but there is logic in their fear of “regime change,” a fear that only negotiations can address.

Trump inherits a secret cyberwar against North Korean missiles, by David Sanger and William Broadmarch, New York Times, Mar 4, 2017

Somali president declares ‘national disaster’ over drought, Phys.org, Feb 28, 2017

Somali’s newly elected President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed on Tuesday declared a “national disaster” due to severe drought which aid agencies say has left some three million in crisis. The Horn of Africa nation is one of three countries—along with Yemen and Nigeria—on the verge of famine which has already been declared in South Sudan—an unprecedented food crisis…

Somalia drought crisis: 110 people dead from hunger in two days says country’s PM, RT.com, March 4, 2017

Over 100 people have died from hunger in a single region of Somalia in just 48 hours according to Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire. These are the first deaths attributed to the country’s severe drought since a “national disaster” was declared earlier this week. Khaire confirmed the deaths in the southwestern Somalia’s Bay region during a meeting with the Somali National Drought Committee on Saturday, according to Associated Press.

The drought-stricken country is on the brink of famine, with 6.2 million lives at risk, according to humanitarian agencies. Thousands of people have surged into the country’s capital Mogadishu, in search of food, forcing support agencies to speed up their response efforts…

Persistent drought leads to major food security crisis in Somalia, Phys.org, Feb 22, 2017

A failed 2016 rainy season linked to the climate phenomenon La Niña, combined with exceptionally warm sea surface temperatures in the western Pacific and eastern Indian Oceans, have led to extreme drought in the Horn of Africa and a more intense drought than that of 2010 in Somalia.

Indigenous youth suicide crisis in Brazil mirrors similar crisis in Canada, by Stephanie Nolen, Globe and Mail, March 4, 2017

Brazil’s Indigenous people are taking their own lives at a rate 22 times that of their fellow citizens – and it is almost entirely adolescents who are killing themselves. As Canada grapples with its own Indigenous suicide crisis, Stephanie Nolen and photographer Aaron Vincent Elkaim take an in-depth look at what is happening to the youth of the Guarani-Kaiowa

Northern Ireland Assembly election: Stormont in crisis as Sinn Fein destroys overall unionist majority for first time, by Siobhan Fenton, The Independent, Mar 4, 2017

Northern Ireland has experienced a political earthquake after an extraordinary election saw Sinn Fein surge and unionists lose their majority for the first time in history. A return to power-sharing is now questionable, as Sinn Fein has previously refused to rule along with the Democratic Unionists and now wields even more power at Stormont.

Sinn Fein now has 27 seats in the Northern Irish Assembly, just one fewer than the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which now has 28 seats…

Sinn Féin hails ‘watershed’ result of Northern Ireland election, BBC, March 4, 2017

Sinn Féin has hailed the assembly election as a “watershed” moment after the party came within one seat of drawing level with the Democratic Unionist Party. Only 1,168 first preference votes separated the two parties and, for the first time, unionists do not have an overall majority at Stormont.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said: “The notion of a perpetual unionist majority has been demolished.” The party’s leader in NOrthern Ireland, Michelle O’Neill, is to lead talks to restore power-sharing…

Left candidacies in the Northern Irish elections, The Clarion, Feb 17, 2017

Global warming and climate change:
Maldives prepares to abandon smaller islands to rising sea levels, sets course of intense capitalist development for larger, surviving islands, The Guardian, Mar 3, 2017

Evidence disproving tropical ‘thermostat’ theory: global warming can breach limits for life, Phys.org, Mar 3, 2017

New research findings show that as the world warmed millions of years ago, conditions in the tropics may have made it so hot some organisms couldn’t survive.

Longstanding theories dating to the 1980s suggest that as the rest of the earth warms, the tropical temperatures would be strictly limited, or regulated by an internal ‘thermostat.’ These theories are controversial, but the debate is of great importance because the tropics and subtropics comprise half of the earth’s surface area, greater than half of the earth’s biodiversity, as well as over half the earth’s human population. But new geological and climate-based research indicates the tropics may have reached a temperature 56 million years ago that was, indeed, too hot for living organisms to survive in parts of the tropics…

Brake and tire dust a serious threat to respiratory health, Phys.org, March 3, 2017

Though tailpipe emissions could fall in the years ahead as more zero-emission vehicles hit the streets, one major source of highway air pollution shows no signs of abating: brake and tire dust. Metals from brakes and other automotive systems are emitted into the air as fine particles, lingering over busy roadways. Now, researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology have shown how that cloud of tiny metal particles could wreak havoc on respiratory health. ..

Will Trump admin’s proposal to slash EPA budget harm Canada’s Great Lakes water quality?, by Sammy Hudes and Hina Alam, Toronto Star, Mar 4, 2017

The Trump administration plans to slash programs aimed at slowing climate change and improving water safety and air quality, while eliminating thousands of jobs, according to a draft of the administration’s Environmental Protection Agency budget proposal, obtained by The Associated Press. The move could compromise the protection of Canadian drinking water quality, critics in Canada warn.

It’s still uncertain whether the proposals contained within the leaked document could happen. U.S. budgets differ from Canadian budgets and the U.S. Congress could decide to ignore the president’s wishes. The proposal as written would all but eliminate funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a wide-ranging cleanup of the world’s largest surface freshwater system that has deep bipartisan support across the eight states adjacent to the lakes, from Minnesota to New York…

Scientists stunned by Trump plan to slash Great Lakes funding, by Doug Schmidt, Windsor Star, Mar 3, 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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