New Cold War.org Information Bulletin, Vol 2 #46, March 14, 2017
Ukraine-Russia-Europe: (* denotes also published in full on New Cold War.org)
* Update on false ‘Russia disinformation’ story promulgated by Canada’s foreign affairs minister, news update by New Cold War.org, March 13, 2017
* Poland seeking arrest, extradition of Minnesota resident and alleged Nazi commander Michael Karkoc, Associated Press, Monday, March 13, 2017
EU prolongs sanctions against Russian, Ukrainian individuals, TASS, March 13, 2017
Donetsk republic ombudswoman office finds 120 missing people in 2016, an estimated 468 still missing, DAN News, March 13, 2017
Landline connections 100 per cent operational after nationalization of Ukrtelecom in Donetsk republic, DAN News, March 13, 2017
Turkey-Syria-Middle East and Caucasus:
Death toll in Damascus twin bombing climbs to 74, news agency reports, March 12, 2017
Most of those who died in the March 11 attack were Iraqi pilgrims who had come to the Syrian capital to visit Shi’ite shrines in Damascus’s famed Old City.
Airwars group says more civilians killed by airstrikes in Mosul than in Aleppo yet media is downplaying Mosul casualties, RT.com, March 13, 2017
Rights groups in Turkey welcome March 10 UN report, urge international action, by Rebaz Anwar, Rudaw News Agency, March 13, 2017
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The United Nations’ report on human rights violations in Kurdish areas of Turkey should be taken seriously, say civil rights organizations in the country, though some note that the number of people affected by the conflict is larger than the number mentioned in the report and claim that there are efforts to conceal real figures.
In its latest report on Turkey [March 10, 2017, here], the UN said that more than 2,000 people were killed amid security operations by the Turkish government against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Kurdish areas in the southeast. Additionally, “The number of reported displaced persons (IDPs) in South-East Turkey is estimated between 355,000 to half a million people, mainly citizens of Kurdish origin,” the report stated, referring to the people affected as a result of curfews and military operations between July 2015 and December 2016…
Turkey plays migrant card amid strained tensions with European countries, Turkish Minute, March 13, 2017
A flawed UN investigation on Syria, by Gareth Porter, Consortium News, March 11, 2017
The March 1 report by the United Nations’ “Independent International Commission of Inquiry“ asserted that the bloody attack on a humanitarian aid convoy west of Aleppo City on Sept. 19, 2016, was an airstrike by Syrian government planes. But an analysis of the U.N. panel’s report shows that it was based on an account of the attack from the pro-rebel Syrian “White Helmets” civil defense organization that was full of internal contradictions.
The U.N. account also was not supported by either the photographic evidence that the White Helmets provided or by satellite imagery that was available to the commission, according to independent experts. Further undermining the U.N. report’s credibility, the White Helmets now acknowledge that rockets they photographed were not fired from n or Syrian planes but from the ground…
New evidence contradicts Pentagon’s account of Jan 29, 2017 Yemen raid, but top U.S. general closes the case, by Alex Emmons, The Intercept, March 9, 2017
Former Egyptian president and dictator Hosni Mubarak to be released, Reuters, March 13, 2017
House Intelligence Committee gives Trump March 13 deadline for proof of Obama wiretapping claim, by Deirdre Fulton, Common Dreams, March 13, 2017
Why won’t Trump declassify evidence of Obama’s wiretap? Sean Spicer’s response makes no sense, by Jon Schwarz, The Intercept, March 10, 2017
For the past several weeks, I’ve been asking the Trump White House (and nudging other reporters to ask) a simple question: Since presidents have the power to declassify anything, will President Trump use this power to make public any evidence that exists of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, including whether former President Obama ordered a wiretap on Trump Tower?
So far, the White House press office has not responded to my repeated inquiries. However, during the untelevised “press gaggle” this past Monday, NPR’s Mara Liasson engaged in this exchange with White House press secretary Sean Spicer:
LIASSON: You said that you pointed rightly to Clapper’s comments — nothing that he knows suggests there was any collusion between the campaign and Russia. But he also said that he didn’t know of any wiretap FISA order. … The thing I’m asking is that the President of the United States has unilateral authority to declassify anything that he wants. He said in his tweet, ‘I just learned of this.’ So he obviously had some kind of evidence. Why not declassify it?
SPICER: I think that’s — as I have made clear, there’s a reason that we want Congress, the intelligence committees to do their job in terms of making sure that there’s a separation of powers.
LIASSON: He’s afraid it would look like interference?
SPICER: I think that, again, I’m just going to leave it at that he thinks it’s appropriate for Congress to do this instead of trying to point to his own Department of Justice…
Republican plan would see 24 million lose health insurance in a decade, says Congressional Budget Office report, Reuters, March 13, 2017
How the Marine Corps’ widening nude photo scandal has spread throughout the military, by Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Washington Post, March 10, 2017
On labor and beyond, Trump is following Scott Walker’s playbook, by Dahr Jamail, columnist, Truthout.org, March 9, 2017
Girl Guides of Canada cancelling trips to the U.S., citing travel concerns, by Tania Mehta, CBC News, March 13, 2017 [Girl Guides of Canada has over 70,000 girl and young women members and more than 18,000 dedicated volunteers.]
Montreal students cancel class trip to U.S. over concern for peers, CTV News, March 13, 2017
The revolutionary force of stupidity: A conversation with Matt Taibbi, interview by Gregg LaGambina published in LA Review of Books, March 7, 2017
Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi was given a gift without a receipt in 2016: covering the campaign trail during one of the United States’s historic peaks of pure lunacy. His latest book, Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus, would have been a raucous good-time chuckle of a read had the ending not ruined the ride…
Thousands of Bernie Sanders supporters sign up to join Democratic Socialists of America, by Gus Bova, Texas Observer, March 10, 2017
* UN says world faces largest humanitarian crisis since 1945, by Edith M Lederer, Associated Press, March 10, 2017
Refugees fleeing violence in Central America hope for asylum in Mexico, by Alice Proujansky and Cora Currier, The Intercept, March 12, 2017
Scotland poised for another independence referendum, by Peter Geoghegan, The Irish Times, March 13, 2017
Bombardier employee arrested in Sweden, others questioned in Swedish bribery probe, CBC News, March 10, 2017
Note by New Cold War.org:
[Bombardier is one of Canada’s leading manufacturing firms, producing passenger aircraft and passenger rail transportation vehicles. Several billions of dollars of government subsidy have recently been lavished on the company, causing Brazilian aerospace competitor Embraer to launch an appeal to the World Trade Organization.
[In a feature article in the Globe and Mail on March 11, 2017 (available to Globe subscribers only), writers Mark MacKinnon, Shawn McCarthy and Sean Silcoff concoct a ‘Russian connection’ to the Bombardier corruption story by writing that one of the Russian railway officials with whom the arrested Bombardier employees in Sweden had dealings is “a long-time confidante of Russian President Vladimir Putin”.
[Bombardier is only the latest large, Canadian corporation to be swamped by corruption allegations. The Quebec-based engineering giant Lavalin Inc is facing corruption charges stemming from operations in Libya, while employees of TD Bank, one of Canada’s largest, have recently told investigative journalists that they routinely break the law in order to meet the bank’s performance targets for selling financial products.
[The Globe and Mail reported on March 11: “The Globe asked the office of [Canadian] Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains whether the government knew about the Swedish investigation when it pledged the money [$373 million] to Bombardier in February , but did not receive a specific reply.”]
Member of Canada’s appointed Senate uses position to lure teenager into sexual relations, report by Kevin Donavan, in Toronto Star, March 11, 2017
Don Meredith, a Pentecostal minister, was appointed by fundamentalist, then-PM Stephen Harper in 2010. His fellow members of the appointed Canadian Senate are “begging” him to resign, but he says he’s going nowhere.
Appointed Canadian Senator Lynn Beyak defends genocidal residential school policy, by Gloria Galloway, Globe and Mail, March 9, 2017
Canadian military police to review sex-assault cases, by Robyn Doolittle, The Globe and Mail, March 12, 2017
The Canadian military’s top police officer says his service will review all sexual assault cases that were dismissed as unfounded going back to 2010, making the Canadian Forces Military Police Group one of more than 50 forces to commit to similar audits in response to a Globe and Mail investigation…
A 20-month Globe and Mail investigation determined that, on average, Canadian police services are dismissing as “unfounded” one out of every five sexual-assault complaints, nearly twice the rate at which physical-assault allegations are classified as baseless….
Statue of Karl Marx, funded by China, will stand in Trier, German city of his birth after city council approval, by Melissa Eddy, New York Times, March 13, 2017
Global warming and climate change:
Carbon dioxide levels rose at record pace for 2nd straight year, report by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, March 10, 2017
Carbon dioxide levels measured at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Baseline Atmospheric Observatory in Hawaii rose by 3 parts per million to 405.1 parts per million (ppm) in 2016, an increase that matched the record jump observed in 2015. The two-year, 6-ppm surge in the greenhouse gas between 2015 and 2017 is unprecedented in the observatory’s 59-year record. And, it was a record fifth consecutive year that carbon dioxide (CO2) rose by 2 ppm or greater, said Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network.
“The rate of CO2 growth over the last decade is 100 to 200 times faster than what the Earth experienced during the transition from the last Ice Age,” Tans said. “This is a real shock to the atmosphere.”
Globally averaged CO2 levels passed 400 ppm in 2015 — a 43-percent increase over pre-industrial levels. In February 2017, CO2 levels at Mauna Loa had already climbed to 406.42 ppm…
Southern communities brace for the impact of Big Oil’s expansion plans, by Sue Sturgis, Truthout.org, Monday, March 13, 2017
President Donald Trump kicked off last week with a Monday morning tweet hailing — and seeming to wrongly take credit for — Exxon Mobil’s plan for a $20 billion expansion of its refineries, chemical plants and liquefied natural gas operations along the US Gulf Coast…
‘The Death and Life of the Great Lakes’, book review of The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by author Dan Egan (Norton, 2016, 384 pp), review by Eva Holland published in The Globe and Mail, March 11, 2017
… Egan is a Milwaukee-based newspaper reporter (and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist) who’s been covering the Great Lakes, and the abuse they endure at our hands, for several years. His book begins from a clear premise: that the Great Lakes, a relatively young and vulnerable ecosystem, were protected for centuries by natural barriers – the most notable being Niagara Falls… But the building of the St. Lawrence Seaway in the 1950s changed all that. And that’s where the trouble began… What follows is a series of increasingly harrowing chapters about the many invasive species that have since colonized the Great Lakes.
Trump administration’s proposal to gut Great Lakes clean-up ‘a challenge’ agrees Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Toronto Star, March 13, 2017
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