In Digest

New Cold Information Bulletin, Vol 2 #55, March 31, 2017


Meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels on March 31, 2017

Tillerson denounces Russia, reminds NATO allies on spending, by Giulia Paravicini,, 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, March 29, 2017  (* denotes also published in full on New Cold

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.

United States:
Trump powers on despite health care setback
, by Washington bureau chief Zoe Daniel and Roscoe Whalan,, 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
,, 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,, March 30, 2017

Montreal police officials suspended for corruption, sexual harassment of female officers,, 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, 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…

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. Text in [square brackets] is that of New Cold editors. The bulletin is included in the daily, Monday-Friday newsletter emailed to website subscribers. Subscribe at website home page. Comments and suggestions welcome, email to [email protected].



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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