New Cold War.org Information Bulletin, Vol 2 #38, March 1, 2017
Ukraine-Russia-Europe: (* denotes also published in full on New Cold War.org)
* Extremists’ blockade of eastern Ukraine threatens to force issue at heart of civil war, by Fred Weir, Christian Science Monitor, Feb 28, 2017
* Donbass republics place Ukrainian industrial enterprises under their direct control, news compilation on New Cold War.org, March 1, 2017
Son of Nazi governor returns art stolen from Poland during second world war, by Uki Goñi, The Guardian, Sunday, Feb 26, 2017
Handover marks key moment in Poland’s long effort to regain its lost treasure, amid hopes other descendants of Nazi art thieves will follow example
An estimated half a million art objects were plundered from Poland by the occupying Nazi and Soviet forces during the second world war. Poland’s ministry of culture still keeps a vigilant watch for any that may turn up on the international art circuit. Unable to force their current holders to return them, Poland often finds itself having to buy the works at auction – sometimes from the descendants of those who stole them.
But Sunday marked a key moment in Poland’s decades-long effort to regain its looted treasure, one that hopefully will set an example for other descendants of Nazi art thieves. Horst Wächter, the fourth of the SS general’s six children, has spent years trying to return a painting taken by his parents from the Potocki Palace. On Sunday, he attended a ceremony in Kraków at which three stolen works were returned to the Polish government.
“This is probably the first time that the member of a family of one of the most important Nazi occupiers is giving back art that was stolen from Poland during the war,” said Ryszard Czarnecki, a vice-president of the European parliament and a member of the Polish Law and Justice party. Wächter, 78, returned three works that his mother stole: a painting of the Potocki Palace, a map of 17th-century Poland, and an engraving of Kraków during the Renaissance.
Turkey-Syria-Middle East and Caucasus:
Russia says vetoed UN Security Council resolution on sanctions against Syria is negative for peace talks in Geneva, Reuters, Feb 28, 2017
Turkey’s AKP scrambles to contain crisis ahead of key vote, by Mustafa Sonmez, Al-Monitor, Feb 28, 2017
Turkey’s domestic agenda is tied to the April 16 referendum on a set of constitutional changes, which the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has designed as a steppingstone to a one-man regime under the guise of a shift to an executive presidency…
Turkey downplays Barzani’s support for HDP, by Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor, Feb 28, 2017
Controversy continues to swirl after Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani’s visit to Turkey ended yesterday. Turkish government spokesman Numan Kurtulmus denied reports that the Iraqi Kurdish leader had appealed to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a Feb. 25 meeting to free prominent Kurdish politician Selahatttin Demirtas and his fellow lawmakers in the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) from jail…
Assault on freedom of expression’: Die Welt journalist’s arrest in Turkey condemned, The Guardian, Feb 28, 2017
Opposition and rights groups attack arrest of Deniz Yücel as German foreign ministry summons Turkish ambassador to Berlin
Angela Merkel urged to ban Erdogan from entering Germany due to German journalist arrested in Turkey, by Philip Oltermann, in Berlin, The Guardian, March 1, 2017
Turkey ‘on the road to autocracy,’ Venice Commission watchdog says, Deutsche Welle, March 1, 2017
* Trump announces ‘Victims of Immigration Crime’ Homeland Security program, TeleSUR, Wednesday, March 1, 2017 (also including: Donald Trump promises ‘historic’ increase in U.S. military budget; and Hoax? Trump says may open citizenship to millions of immigrants)
Trump’s war on immigrants has already reached the Supreme Court, by Bill Blum, contributor, Truthdig, Feb 27, 2017
Trump ordered the EPA to overturn clean water rule, by Grennan Milliken, Motherboard (VICE News), Feb 28, 2017
Only the rich will get richer from Trump’s new water rules, by Sarah Emerson, Motherboard, March 1, 2017
President Trump’s newest executive order could rewrite a powerful law that protects drinking water for 117 million people. The mandate aims to grossly reduce how, and how much, of our waterways the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule is allowed to regulate…
What’s certain is that without these federal protections, companies will find it easy to pollute waterways that supply clean water for humans, and key habitat for wildlife. But little evidence exists to suggest this will lead to economic growth or new jobs.
Donald Trump is making prison investments great again, by Bess Levin, Vanity Fair, Feb 28, 2017
China, Russia agree to strengthen opposition to U.S. THAAD missile system being installed in S Korea, RT.com, March 1, 2017
THAAD deployment ‘may result in China, S. Korea ripping up diplomatic relations’, Sputnik News, March 1, 2017
FARC begins disarmament despite bumpy peace process, TeleSUR, March 1, 2017
As HIV soars in Philippines, conservatives kill school condom plan, by Aurora Almendral, New York Times, Feb 28, 2017
Philippines moves closer to reinstating death penalty, by Felipe Villamor, New York Times, Mar 1, 2017
Will democracy survive big data and artificial intelligence?, by Dirk Helbing, Bruno S. Frey, Gerd Gigerenzer, Ernst Hafen, Michael Hagner, Yvonne Hofstetter, Jeroen van den Hoven, Roberto V. Zicari and Andrej Zwitter, Scientific American, Feb 25, 2017
Catholicism has done more harm to Australia than Islam. Where’s the outrage?, commentary by Kristina Keneally, in The Guardian, Feb 27, 2017
Timorese Australians given chance to vote in Timor-Leste elections, by Felicity James, ABC.au, March 1, 2017
Global warming and climate change:
Canadians are making a supersized gamble on climate and the economy, by Barry Saxifrage, National Observer, Feb 28, 2017
Did you know that:
- We Canadians are now one of the world’s largest extractors of climate pollution, per capita?
- We’re planning one of world’s biggest increases through 2030?
- Our relentlessly increasing extraction has become a supersized gamble that threatens both climate hope and our economic stability?
Well, I was certainly surprised by the extreme scale of what we’re doing when my spreadsheet spit out the initial numbers. So I asked around and spent weeks researching deeper. Here’s what I found out…
‘Sand Wars’: Documentary film by director Denis Delestrac, 52-minute documentary broadcast on The Knowledge Network(British Columbia, Canada), Feb 23, 2017 (you can watch the documentary online until April 2, 2017)
‘Most of us think of sand as a necessary ingredient for any beach vacation. Yet those seemingly insignificant grains of silica surround our daily lives. Every house, skyscraper and glass building, every bridge, airport and sidewalk in our modern society depends on sand. We use it to manufacture optical fiber, cell phone components and computer chips. We find it in our toothpaste, powdered foods and even our wine (both the glass and the wine, as a fining agent)! Is sand an infinite resource? Can the existing supply satisfy a gigantic demand fueled by construction booms? What are the consequences of intensive beach sand mining for the environment? Based on encounters with sand smugglers, corrupt politicians, unscrupulous real estate developers and environmentalists, this investigation by award-winning director Denis Delestrac takes us around the globe to unveil a new gold rush and a disturbing fact: the “sand wars” have begun.’
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