New Cold War.org Information Bulletin, Vol 2 #62, April 19, 2017
British Prime Minister Theresa May calls for snap election on June 8 to strengthen Brexit hand, ABC.net.au, April 18, 2017
Theresa May was so busy planning her general election surprise, she missed its major flaw, by Carlyn Harvey, The Canary, April 18th, 2017
Theresa May says she won’t take part in televised party leader debates in UK election, The Canary, April 18, 2017
Turkey-Syria-Middle East and Caucasus:
Chemical weapons watchdog confirms sarin or similar agent used in Khan Sheikhoun on April 4, TASS Russian news agency, April 19, 2017
The OPCW chief says the results of tests done by designated laboratories were “incontrovertible”. However, the agency has not been able to land an observer team at the town for more detailed study due to a lack of security.
New York Times mocks skepticism on Syria-sarin claims, by Robert Parry, Consortium News, April 18, 2017
Turkey arrests dozens over referendum protests, by Patrick Kingsley, New York Times, April 18, 2017
ISTANBUL — Dozens of members of Turkey’s political opposition were arrested in dawn raids on Wednesday as a crackdown began on those questioning the legitimacy of a referendum on Sunday to expand the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Mr. Erdogan has claimed a narrow 51.4 percent to 48.6 percent victory in the vote, but protesters in pockets of the country have marched in the streets every night since then to demonstrate against what they assert was a rigged election…
Videos fuel charges of fraud in Erdogan’s win in Turkey referendum, by Patrick Kingsley, New York Times, April 18, 2017
Turkey’s two main opposition parties have applied to Supreme Election Board (YSK) to cancel April 16 referendum on presidential powers, Turkish Minute, April 19, 2017
Palestinian hunger strike leader Marwan Barghouti moved to solitary confinement, by Peter Beaumont, The Guardian, April 18, 2017
Marwan Barghouti, the leader of a mass hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, has been moved to solitary confinement amid warnings by Israeli officials that they will not negotiate with the striking detainees. As the strike involving more than 1,100 prisoners in eight prisons entered its second day, the Israeli authorities moved swiftly to contain the protest, dispersing key figures to different prisons and ordering searches to prevent inmates sending messages…
Undaunted by oil bust, financiers pour billions into U.S. shale, by Ernest Scheyder, Reuters, April 17, 2017
HOUSTON – Investors who took a hit last year when dozens of U.S. shale producers filed for bankruptcy are already making big new bets on the industry’s resurgence. In the first quarter of 2017, private equity funds raised $19.8 billion for energy ventures – nearly three times the total in the same period last year, according to financial data provider Preqin.
… The shale sector has become increasingly attractive to investors not because of rising oil prices, but rather because producers have achieved startling cost reductions – slashing up to half the cost of pumping a barrel in the past two years. Investors also believe the glut will dissipate as demand for oil steadily rises…
Investing in solar and wind in a coal and oil moment, by Norm Alster, New York Times, April 15, 2017
Alternative energy investments like wind and solar power have not performed well in recent years. To make matters worse, the Trump administration has opted for a resurgence of coal and other carbon fuels, not an emphasis on alternative energy. Yet there is a reasonable argument that the outlook for investing in renewable energy may actually be quite good.
For one thing, wind and solar power have been rapidly winning market acceptance. Last year, the installed capacity of solar power in the United States nearly doubled. And wind is now being harnessed to produce 5.5 percent of America’s electricity, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Five states draw at least 20 percent of their electricity needs from wind. Kansas, for example, relied on wind for less than 1 percent of its electric power as recently as 2005. By 2016, wind produced 29.6 percent of its electric power, according to government figures…
Trump’s bluff: U.S. aircraft carrier wasn’t heading to North Korea as Trump administration originally suggested, by defence reporter Andrew Greene, ABC.net.au, April 18, 2017
A “very powerful” U.S Navy armada which the Trump administration said was heading towards the Korean Peninsula to deter the North from carrying out a nuclear test was actually carrying out exercises with the Royal Australian Navy thousands of kilometres away in the Indian Ocean, the ABC has confirmed…
Trump’s ‘armada’ sailing to Korea peninsula is, it turns out, sailing in the opposite direction, New York Times, April 18, 2017
Though the USS Carl Vinson and support ships are en route and will arrive off the Korean coast next week
Trump’s false assertion that ‘Korea used to be part of China’ is all the news in Korea, Quartz, April 18, 2017
Observers wonder if Trump somehow picked up the idea after his talks in Florida with Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier in April.
U.S. saturation bombing resulted in the destruction of every significant population center in northern Korea, resulting in several million deaths; why do Americans know so little about this? Answers to the question are published on Quora. One of the five answers:
One, the Korean War is in many respects a “forgotten war” in the U.S. It didn’t have the same pervasive effect as the Vietnam War on the American psyche. Two, extensive bombing campaigns are a hallmark of Western military strategy, so among Westerners, strategic bombing is expected and massive casualties par for the course. Western carpet-bombing isn’t considered scandalous in the West; of course, when you are on the receiving end, your perspective tends to change.
Omar Khadr’s criminal record in Canada shows ‘absolute ignorance,’ lawyer says, by Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press, April 17, 2017
Omar Khadr’s official criminal record in Canada contains oddities and errors that are at odds with how the federal government viewed him on his return from the notorious prison on the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The record, obtained by The Canadian Press, makes no reference to the fact that Khadr, 30, was convicted by an internationally condemned U.S. military commission for purported offences he committed as a 15-year-old in Afghanistan…
Ottawa police won’t protect access to abortion clinic in downtown core despite pleas, by Heather Mallick, columnist, Toronto Star, April 19, 2017
Trump targets ‘unfair’ Canadian dairy rules in fiery trade speech, CBC News, April 18, 2017
Trump takes aim at Canada’s ‘very unfair’ dairy industry, by Adrian Morrow and Steven Chase, The Globe and Mail, Apr. 18, 2017 (subscribers only)
‘Buy American’ dilemma: Move work to U.S. or lose business, by Barrie McKenna And Greg Keenan, The Globe and Mail, April 18, 2017 (subscribers only)
Canadian exporters face a stark choice in a “Buy American, Hire American” world: Shift production to the U.S. or lose the business.
Vancouver bus maker Grande West Transportation Group Inc. recently struck a deal to assemble its transit buses in Atlanta to meet strict U.S. rules on federally funded transit purchases. Those rules require that at least 60 per cent of the content and final assembly be done in the United States. “Whatever they need us to do we’ll do,” company spokesman John LaGourgue said.
Corporate decisions like this could become a lot more common in Canada as U.S. President Donald Trump toughens up protectionist purchasing rules. He signed an executive order Tuesday that directs government agencies to look for ways to boost the purchase of American products in federal contracts. The order also directs changes to the popular H-1B temporary visa program used to bring foreign workers to the United States to fill high-skilled jobs…
“Companies do not have time to wait for these issues to be resolved,” pointed out trade lawyer Dan Ujczo of Dickinson Wright in Columbus, Ohio. “They will set up shop in the U.S. if the contract is worth the effort, regardless of any additional inefficiencies.” …
Global warming and climate change:
Receding glacier causes immense Canadian river to vanish in four days, by Hannah Devlin, science correspondent, The Guardian, April 17, 2017
An immense river that flowed from one of Canada’s largest glaciers vanished over the course of four days last year, scientists have reported, in an unsettling illustration of how global warming dramatically changes the world’s geography.
The abrupt and unexpected disappearance of the Slims river, which spanned up to 150 metres at its widest points, is the first observed case of “river piracy”, in which the flow of one river is suddenly diverted into another.
Stop swooning over Justin Trudeau. The man is a disaster for the planet, commentary by Bill McKibben, published in The Guardian, April 17, 2017
Trump is a creep and a danger and unpleasant to look at, but at least he’s not a stunning hypocrite.
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