In Digest

New Cold Information Bulletin, Vol 2 #68, May 3, 2017

Top U.S. general wants more troops in Europe to deter Russia
, by Ellen Mitchell, The Hill, May 2, 2017

The general in charge of U.S. military operations in Europe said Tuesday that the United States needs more troops in Europe to deter an increasingly aggressive Russia. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, head of U.S. European Command, told lawmakers that U.S. force posture — which includes two brigade combat teams and one rotational brigade in Europe — must increase over time.

Seven coal mines in Donetsk republic flooded because of Kyiv artillery, environment in danger, Donetsk News Agency (DAN News), May 3, 2017

Woman injured by Kyiv’s fire in Dokuchaevsk, Donetsk dies in hospital, DAN News, May 3, 2017

Environmental catastrophe is threatened in Donbass if Kyiv continues to shell region, DAN News, May 3, 2017

Greece will avoid default after bailout deal – but faces more austerity, by Helena Smith, The Guardian, May 2, 2017

Unions vow strike action after leftist-led government agrees to further slash pensions and cut tax breaks

Turkey-Syria-Middle East and Caucasus:

Presidents Erdogan and Putin meet in Sochi, Russia on May 3, 2017 (photo on website of the President of Russia)

Putin announces previously strained Turkish-Russian relations now normalized, by Turkish Minute, May 3, 2017

News conference following Putin-Erdogan talks in Sochi, Russia on May 3, texts of remarks by Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan following talks in Sochi, Russia, plus texts of questions and answers with assembled journalists, published on the website of the President of Russia, May 3, 2017

Turkey continues its foreign policy blunders, by Cengiz Çandar, Al-Monitor, May 2, 2017

Turkish authorities denied its citizens access to Wikipedia, and on the same day, US troops began to deploy along the Turkey-Syria border to prevent Turkey’s military from attacking the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the main US ally in Syria against the Islamic State (IS). There is no correlation between the two developments, but the irony is there: Turkey is keeping the West out, just as the West is keeping Turkey in…

On April 30, as reported by local Kurdish sources, Russia deployed troops near Afrin, Syria’s farthest northwest Kurdish canton, also to deter Turkish attacks. The Afrin front on the border had been witnessing intense artillery fire. Earlier, Russia had declared Turkey’s attacks on the Kurds in Syria “unacceptable.” On April 27, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said, “We are greatly disturbed by reports of Ankara’s operations.”…

Post-referendum, what’s next for Turkey’s EU bid?, by Semih Idiz, Al-Monitor, May 2, 2017

EU foreign ministers disappoint Turkey’s democratic opposition by declaring “respect” for referendum results that further empower President Erdogan.

The prisoners’ revolt in occupied Palestine, by Ramzy Baroud, CounterPunch, May 3, 2017

Seven states abstained from voting Saudi Arabia into UN women’s rights commission,, May 3, 2017

Seven countries abstained from voting to appoint Saudi Arabia to the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), with the absence of a ‘no’ option, the Swedish Foreign Ministry has revealed. The vote for membership in the CSW was held on April 19, leading to Saudi Arabia joining the 45-member body. Seven states abstained while another 47 voted ‘yes’ at the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Swedish Foreign Ministry told local media…

United States:
U.S. military spending still makes China, Russia look small
, Fiscal Times, May 1, 2017

The Trump administration is full of mind-boggling conflicts of interest, by Nomi Prints, The Nation, May 2, 2017

Donald Trump reads sinister poem about snake biting its host – and dedicates it to anti-immigration police, by Samuel Osborne, The Independent, May 1, 2017

Dianne Feinstein takes money from health-care lobby, rejects single-payer insurance, by Andrew Perez, Maplight, May 2, 2017 (Published jointly with International Business Times. MapLight is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that tracks money in politics.’)

Obama gets paid, by Margaret Kimberley, published on her ‘Freedom Rider’ blog on Black Agenda Report, May 2, 2017

Labour’s share
, by Michael Roberts, Marxist economist in the UK, April 30, 2017

Labour’s share

The leading Keynesian bloggers have been discussing the causes of inequality again.  In particular, they have highlighted the apparent decline in labour’s share of national income in most advanced capitalist economies since the early 1980s.

According to an ILO report, in 16 developed economies, labour took a 75% share of national income in the mid-1970s, but this dropped to 65% in the years just before the economic crisis. It rose in 2008 and 2009 – but only because national income itself shrank in those years – before resuming its downward course. Even in China, where wages have tripled over the past decade, workers’ share of the national income has gone down…

Trumps as selling points for ‘very special’ Philippines condo tower project, Washington Post, May 2, 2017

Japan’s anti-war constitution to be debated as North Korea tensions rise, by Michael Walsh,, May 2, 2017

Global warming and climate change:
Arctic sea ice keeps scraping the bottom of the barrel
, by Brian Kahn, Climate Central, May 3, 2017

The astounding transformation of the Arctic before our very eyes continues. Yet another month has passed with record low sea ice. This April merely tied April 2016 for the lowest extent on record, but it’s hardly reason to celebrate. The Arctic was missing 394,000 square miles of ice, with each day setting a record low or within 36,000 square miles of setting one.

That’s a sickly sign of the changes hitting the region. Temperatures averaged up to 14°F above normal in part of the Arctic last month, fueling the melt season. Scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center said the rate of ice loss was about average…

Humans better at rapid change than we think, by Alex Kirby, Climate News Network, May 3, 2017

A new study provides evidence that humans are capable of radically altering the world around us, and offers hope in the face of climate change

Surging seas, interactive feature on Climate Central, May 2017

Global warming has raised global sea level about 8 inches since 1880, and the rate of rise is accelerating. Rising seas dramatically increase the odds of damaging floods from storm surges. A Climate Central analysis finds the odds of “century” or worse floods occurring by 2030 are on track to double or more, over widespread areas of the U.S. These increases threaten an enormous amount of damage. Across the country, nearly 5 million people live in 2.6 million homes at less than 4 feet above high tide — a level lower than the century flood line for most locations analyzed. And compounding this risk, scientists expect roughly 2 to 7 more feet of sea level rise this century — a lot depending upon how much more heat-trapping pollution humanity puts into the sky.

Search or navigate our interactive tools to see maps of areas below different amounts of sea level rise and flooding, down to neighborhood scale, matched with area timelines of risk. The tool also provides statistics of population, homes and land affected by city, county and state, plus links to factsheets, data downloads, action plans, embeddable widgets, and more.

New Cold Information Bulletin is posted daily (or every several days) to the New Cold website as a supplement 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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