New Cold War.org Information Bulletin, Vol 2 #55, March 31, 2017
Tillerson denounces Russia, reminds NATO allies on spending, by Giulia Paravicini, Politico.eu, March 31, 2017
First NATO visit for US secretary of state
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson used his first visit to NATO HQ in Brussels to denounce Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. “We want, obviously, to have a discussion around NATO’s posture here in Europe, most particularly in Eastern Europe in response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and elsewhere,” Tillerson told reporters Friday morning before a foreign ministers’ meeting.
He also told NATO allies to meet their spending commitments…
Germany balks at Tillerson call for more European NATO spending, Reuters, March 31, 2017
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reassured his nervous European counterparts over Washington’s commitment to NATO on Friday and pressed them again to spend more on defense, triggering a rebuke from Germany. Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said it was neither “reachable nor desirable” for Germany to spend the agreed NATO target of two percent of member states’ economic output on defense. NATO allies have until 2024 to do that.
“Two per cent would mean military expenses of some 70 billion euros. I don’t know any German politician who would claim that is reachable nor desirable,” Gabriel told the first meeting of NATO foreign ministers attended by Tillerson.
“The United States will realize it is better to talk about better spending instead of more spending,” he said, noting that humanitarian, development and economic aid [sic] to stabilize countries and regions should also count…
* Poland closes all consulates in Ukraine following rocket attack in Lutsk, western Ukraine and two earlier attacks in 2017 on Polish monuments, news compilation on New Cold War.org, March 29, 2017 (* denotes also published in full on New Cold War.org)
EU says no to free-trade talks with Britain until ‘progress’ on final terms of Brexit, by Jennifer Rankin and Daniel Boffey in Brussels, and Jon Henley and Rowena Mason, The Guardian, March 31, 2017
Donald Tusk rules out parallel talks – a key aim of Theresa May’s government – as he unveils draft EU negotiating guidelines
Turkey-Syria-Middle East and Caucasus:
Kurdish politicians including HDP co-chair to go on hunger strike in protest of prison conditions, by Turkish Minute, March 30, 2017 And reporting in Rudaw, here.
Kurdistan Region asks U.S. to end one-Iraq policy, KRG senior official, by Rudaw, March 30, 2017
Kurdish National Council drops out of Geneva V talks, citing exclusion of Kurdish issue, by Rudaw, March 30, 2017
Canadian troops operating in east Mosul as mission extended to June, by The Canadian Press, March 31, 2017
Canadian special forces have taken a more active role in the battle for Mosul, where weeks of bloody fighting have failed to dislodge the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. National Defence revealed the shift on Friday as the Liberal government announced it was extending the current mission in Iraq until the end of June.
Trump powers on despite health care setback, by Washington bureau chief Zoe Daniel and Roscoe Whalan, ABC.net.au, March 31, 2017
Trump’s changes to NAFTA revealed in letter circulating to Congress, Reuters, March 30, 2017
South Korea’s former president Park Geun-hye arrested over corruption allegations, ABC.net.au, March 30, 2017
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea reaffirms strategy to develop nuclear strike capability to foil U.S. ambitions, Xinhua News Agency, Friday, March 31, 2017
PYONGYANG – The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has reaffirmed its strategy to develop a nuclear strike capability to foil the U.S. ambition to annex it and “reduce all Koreans to modern-day slaves,” the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Friday…
Former Montreal mayor jailed one year for corruption, CBC.ca, March 30, 2017
Montreal police officials suspended for corruption, sexual harassment of female officers, CBC.ca, March 22, 2017
Executives of Canadian planemaker Bombardier get whopping raises after laying off thousands, receiving several billion in gov’t loan subsidies, report on CBC.ca, March 30, 2017
Global warming and climate change:
A new era dawns and it won’t be human-friendly, book review by Kieran Cooke, published on Climate News Network, March 31, 2017
Clive Hamilton’s book Defiant Earth – The Fate of Humans in the Anthropocene is not for the faint-hearted. Basically, its thesis is that the Earth – and us along with it – is going down the tubes. Our rampant, irrational use of the planet and its resources, including our exploitation of climate-changing fossil fuels, means we are interfering and upsetting the functioning of the Earth system that sustains us…
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