In Digest

New Cold War.org Information Bulletin, Vol 2 #52, March 26, 2017

Ukraine-Russia-Europe:

Anti-European Union march in Rome on March 25, 2017 (Alexey Vitvitsky, Sputnik)

Pro- and anti-EU protests in Rome on March 26 as Brexit overshadows bloc’s 60th anniversary, RT.com, March 26, 2017

Meeting Vladimir Putin on March 24, France’s Marine Le Pen calls for lifting of anti-Russia sanctions, Press TV, March 24, 2017

The conspiracy world of Western mainstream media, excerpt from March 25 column by Doug Saunders, senior columnist at the Globe and Mail, March 25, 2017  [emphasis added]

… [‘Russiagate’] involves the possibility that Mr. Putin, the autocratic Russian President [sic], used his connections to Mr. Trump’s presidential-election team and possibly to Mr. Trump himself to manipulate the outcome of last year’s U.S. election and possibly to change U.S. policy positions.

Maybe such a plot exists. There is an equally good chance it never did. We have not yet seen persuasive evidence one way or another.

There is credible electronic evidence suggesting that the e-mails stolen from the servers of the Democratic Party’s campaign office last year were passed to WikiLeaks from Russian sources. Those e-mails proved innocuous, but their existence probably contributed to a negative image of Hillary Clinton…

CNN’s big scoop this week, an unsourced report that Mr. Trump’s associates “communicated with suspected Russian operatives,” does not contain any information suggesting they were trying to manipulate the election, and quotes sources saying they have no such information

It’s sensible for U.S. agencies and legislators to investigate the possibility of a plot. But we should prepare ourselves for the very likely possibility that Russiagate won’t add up to much

[And so on it goes, to the grand finale]: “The larger Trump problem involves not control and manipulation, but influence and support. We should fear him not because of secret plots, but because he admires and imitates Mr. Putin’s ideas and strategies – right out in the open…”

And now read the next three news items:

A $54 billion military spending boost? This veteran calls bullshit, by Emily Yates, former U.S. army public affairs specialist, published in Truthout.org, March 24, 2017

Prepare, pursue, prevail! Onward and upward with U.S. Central Command, analysis of Trump military ambitions by Andrew J. Bacevich, published in TomDispatch, March 21, 2017

U.S. Marines are, for the first time, deploying to Syria (with more to come). There’s talk of an “enduring” U.S. military presence in Iraq, while additional U.S. troops are being dispatched to neighboring Kuwait with an eye to the wars in both Iraq and Syria.  Yemen has been battered by a veritable blitz of drone strikes and other air attacks.  Afghanistan seems to be in line for an increase in American forces.  The new president has just restored to the CIA the power to use drones to strike more or less anywhere on the “world battlefield” …

New U.S. sanctions target eight Russian companies, RT.com, March 25, 2017

Turkey-Syria-Middle East and Caucasus:

Rescuers pulling scores of bodies from apartment bldg in Mosul bombed by U.S. warplanes on March 23, 2017

Scores dead in U.S. airstrike against apartment building housing civilians fleeing fighting in Mosul, RT.com, March 24, 2017

Moscow dismisses West’s ‘rosy forecasts’ on Raqqa offensive, RT.com, March 25, 2017

Moscow has questioned the Western coalition’s optimism about soon recapturing Raqqa from Islamic State, saying only international cooperation can help liberate the city. It is precisely coordinated partnership on various fronts that is lacking…

Airstrike monitoring group overwhelmed by claims of U.S.-caused civilian casualties, by Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Washington Post,  March 24 , 2017  [Reference: Airwars]

Egypt’s toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak freed after six years in custody, by Ruth Michaelson, in Cairo, The Guardian, March 24, 2017

United States:
In major defeat for Trump, push to repeal health law fails
, by Robert Pear, Thomas Kaplan and Maggie Haberman, New York Times, March 24, 2017

Why the Republican healthcare bill was doomed, by Jessica Glenza, in New York, The Guardian, March 24, 2017

Canada’s largest school board, Toronto, cancels any new student field trips to the United States, The Canadian Press, March 23, 2017

Toronto region school board will keep the 24 U.S. trips already planned, but those, too, will be cancelled if students are turned away

Security, parking, garbage irk Ivanka Trump’s DC neighbors, by Ben Nuckols, Associated Press, March 25, 2017

World:
Canada pressured by UN official to add 600 soldiers to current total of 121 ‘peace support’ troops around the world
, CBC.ca, March 25, 2017

[The Canadian government has been sounding out sending an expeditionary force of 600 soldiers to Mali, Africa. It calls this ‘peace support’, a change from the ‘peacekeeping’ language of yore. But an upsurge in violence in Mali in 2016 plus the election of Donald Trump has prompted a ‘wait and see’. There are 11,000 ‘peacekeepers in Mali. More than 30 were killed in 2016 (Nov 2016 report on France 24.). Since their deployment in 2013, 124 police and soldiers of the UN’s ‘MINUSMA’ force have been killed.

[Canada emerged battered and bruised from its 13-year intervention into Afghanistan. When it ended in 2014, 159 Canadian soldiers had died. The first four of those were killed by a U.S. bomb in 2002. (Wikipedia). France has 5,000 soldiers across the Sahel region of northern Africa; the French government has specifically kept them out of any UN ‘peacekeeping ‘ umbrella. (Wikipedia)]

Fifty five economists from U.S. and ten other countries warn of danger of return to neoliberalism in Ecuador, open letter by 55 economists, published in Truthout.org, March 26, 2017

[The second round of a presidential election in Ecuador will take place on April 2, 2017. Wikipedia.]

Shinzo Abe and wife accused of giving cash to ultra-nationalist school, The Guardian, March 23, 2017

Two-time president of Haiti René Préval: Who he was and what he represented, by Kim Ives, Haiti Liberte (print weekly, in French, Kreyol and English), March 8, 2017

René Préval passed away on March 4, 2017 at the age of 74

Global warming and climate change:
Release of Arctic methane ‘may be apocalyptic’, study warns
, by Dahr Jamail, staff reporter, Truthout.org, March 23, 2017   [This article appears in Truthout.org‘s ‘Planet or Profit?’ feature.]

A scientific study published in the prestigious journal Palaeoworld in December issued a dire — and possibly prophetic — warning, though it garnered little attention in the media. “Global warming triggered by the massive release of carbon dioxide may be catastrophic,” reads the study’s abstract. “But the release of methane from hydrate may be apocalyptic.”

The study, titled “Methane Hydrate: Killer Cause of Earth’s Greatest Mass Extinction,” highlights the fact that the most significant variable in the Permian Mass Extinction event, which occurred 250 million years ago and annihilated 90 percent of all the species on the planet, was methane hydrate…

World’s reefs damaged beyond repair, by Tim Radford, Climate News Network, March 24, 2017

The Great Barrier Reef, one of the wonders of the Pacific Ocean, may never fully recover from the combined effects of global warming and an El Niño year, according to a new study in one of the world’s leading science journals.

And a second study, in a second journal, warns that increased sea surface temperatures have also caused both a major die-off of corals and the collapse of reef growth rates in the Maldives, in the Indian Ocean…

Trump administration approves Keystone XL pipeline, ending long and bitter fight, Associated Press, March 24, 2017

Climate denier Trump takes us into ‘unchartered territory’ with Keystone XL pipeline, by Andy Rowell, published on Oil Change International, March 24, 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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