New Cold War.org Information Bulletin, Vol 2 #69, May 5, 2017
Russian-German trade sees robust growth despite sanctions, RT.com, May 5, 2017
Gazprom to begin Turkish Stream construction in next few days, RT.com, May 5, 2017
Kyiv forces violate ceasefire 339 times over week, fire 1,778 rounds at Donetsk republic, DAN News, May 5, 2017
In violation of Minsk-2, Ukraine is using drones to aim its artillery fire in Donbass, DAN News, May 4, 2017
Five killed in Ukraine’s deadliest 24 hours since April 1, 2017 truce, AFP, May 4, 2017
Over 100 witnesses to testify in Ukraine’s high treason case against ousted president Yanukovych, TASS, May 5, 2017
KYIV – More than 100 people, including former high-ranking officials, will testify at a hearing on a high treason case against former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, Military Prosecutor Ruslan Kravchenko said. Among the witnesses will be former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, ex-chief of the country’s Security Service Valentin Nalivaychenko and Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, the prosecutor told Channel Five…
Turkey-Syria-Middle East and Caucasus:
Iraqi forces gain foothold in northwest Mosul after surprise new push, by Isabel Coles, Reuters, May 5, 2017
‘Liars’: Survivors reject U.S. claims on airstrike that killed 100, CBS/Associated Press, May 2, 2017
Accounts from witnesses and survivors cast doubt on American suggestions that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was to blame for the deaths of more than 100 people taking refuge in a house hit by a U.S. airstrike earlier this year in Mosul, the deadliest single incident of the months-long campaign to retake the Iraqi city.
U.S. officials said soon after the March 17 strike that investigations could find that militants forced people into the building, booby-trapped it with explosives, then lured in the strike. None of that happened, according to seven witnesses and survivors who spoke to The Associated Press…
Australian Defence Force to begin releasing Syria, Iraq airstrike targets in fortnightly reports, ABC.net.au, May 1, 2017
Germany and Austria say Erdogan won’t be permitted to conduct a death penalty referendum on their soil, RT.com, May 5, 2017
[As with Canada, the actual operations of Australia in Iraq and Syria are shrouded in secrecy. There is little, direct antiwar pressure operating on the two governments.]
U.S. government smearing of Israel’s critics, by Lawrence Davidson, Consortium News, May 3, 2017
Israel’s pressure to conflate criticism of its treatment of Palestinians with the evils of anti-Semitism has stifled a needed debate in Western societies
Hillary Clinton blame-shifts her defeat, by Robert Parry, Consortium News, May 3, 2017
While admitting unspecified shortcomings in her campaign, Hillary Clinton blame-shifted her defeat primarily onto Russian President Putin and FBI Director Comey
Hillary Clinton’s explanation for her electoral defeat – putting much of the blame on Russian President Vladimir Putin – clashes with her own chronology of her campaign’s collapse in key Rust Belt states that put Donald Trump into the White House. In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour at the Women for Women International conference on Tuesday, Clinton stated that if the election had been held on Oct. 27, 2016, she would have won, but that her hopes were derailed on Oct. 28.
However, what happened on Oct. 28 wasn’t anything that Putin may or may not have done. It was FBI Director James Comey’s announcement that he was reopening the investigation into possible security violations related to Clinton’s use of a private email server as Secretary of State.
The GOP declares war on sick people: The moral depravity of Trumpcare’s passage, by Michael Corcoran, Truthout.org, May 5, 2017
House GOP just voted to slash Medicaid – which pays for 60 per cent of people in nursing homes, by Jon Schwarz, The Intercept, May 4, 2017
The American Health Care Act, which squeaked through the House of Representatives on Thursday, is terrible for many Americans in many ways. But what’s gotten almost no attention is the horrendous effect it could have on Americans in nursing homes…
This is not the health-care bill that Trump promised, by Philip Bump, Washington Post, May 4, 2017
Political theater: How a bill that nearly all opposed managed to pass the house, by Phil Galewitz , Kaiser Health News, May 5, 2017
Senate moves Obamacare repeal to slow lane after house vote, by Steven T. Dennis and Laura Litvan, Bloomberg News, May 5, 2017
ICE immigration arrests of noncriminals double under Trump, Washington Post, April 16, 2016
Immigration arrests rose 32.6 per cent in the first weeks of the Trump administration, with newly empowered federal agents intensifying their pursuit of not just undocumented immigrants with criminal records, but also thousands of illegal immigrants who have been otherwise law-abiding. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 21,362 immigrants, mostly convicted criminals, from January through mid-March, compared to 16,104 during the same period last year, according to statistics requested by The Washington Post.
Arrests of immigrants with no criminal records more than doubled to 5,441, the clearest sign yet that President Trump has ditched his predecessor’s protective stance toward most of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.
Advocates for immigrants say the unbridled enforcement has led to a sharp drop in reports from Latinos of sexual assaults and other crimes in Houston and Los Angeles, and terrified immigrant communities across the United States. A prosecutor said the presence of immigration agents in state and local courthouses, which advocates say has increased under the Trump administration, makes it harder to prosecute crime. “My sense is that ICE is emboldened in a way that I have never seen,” Dan Satterberg, the top prosecutor in Washington state’s King County, which includes Seattle, said Thursday. “The federal government, in really just a couple of months, has undone decades of work that we have done to build this trust.” …
‘Trump says we don’t have to let you in’: Human Rights Watch report says U.S. border officials are turning away asylum seekers, by Cora Currier , The Intercept, May 3, 2017
Three times this winter a Honduran woman named Alma went to U.S. officials at the border between Reynosa, Mexico, and Hidalgo, Texas, to ask for asylum for herself and her three children. She had fled Honduras because her other child had been killed by gang members, and she had brought documentation to prove it, but three times she was told by U.S. Customs and Border Protection that she would have to wait in Mexico. In February, the family was kidnapped.
Alma’s is one of the cases included in a report released today by Human Rights First, which alleges that officials at the U.S.-Mexico border have been routinely and illegally turning away asylum seekers. The report provides dozens of examples of officials providing false information about the law, asking misleading questions or pressuring people to take back statements about fearing persecution, and frustrating lawyers who try to facilitate claims…
North Korea, the U.S.-UK’s latest target?, by Paul Rogers, published on Open Democracy, May 4, 2017
… Will the UK respond positively to a request from President Trump for military assistance against North Korea? If not, why has the RAF been gaining the experience to work with Seoul and Washington in those exercises in South Korea?
‘Pacifist’ Japan might acquire cruise missiles to strike North Korea, Kyodo News Service, May 6, 2017
Maduro condemns violence as Venezuela death toll nears 40, by Ryan Mallett-Outtrim, Venezuela Analysis, May 5, 2017
China urges respect for Venezuela’s sovereignty, by Ryan Mallett-Outtrim, Venezuela Analysis, May 4, 2017
Ontario Human Rights Commission considers legal action over solitary confinement, by Jody Porter, CBC News, May 5, 2017
‘We really haven’t seen the commitment to change,’ Ontario’s chief human rights commissioner says
[A prison watchdog report commissioned by the Ontario government proposes lessening, not abolishing, solitary confinement even though the United Nations considers the practice to be a form of torture. The province’s human rights commission also stops short of outright condemning the practice. The UK and the United States are the other two countries delivering large-scale, anti-Russia ‘democracy’ to Ukraine via military missions to that country. The three ‘democracy promoting’ countries are leading practitioners of solitary confinement, aka torture…]
* Solitary confinement, Wikipedia
* How a chance message on Twitter revealed plight of young First Nations man being held for more than four years in solitary confinement in a Canadian prison, The Globe and Mail, April 20, 2017
If not for a mundane tweet, two forthcoming investigations into solitary confinement would likely never have been launched – and a young Indigenous man named Adam Capay might still be languishing in a prison cell surrounded by acrylic glass.
… [When a prison inspector found the man,] he had difficulty speaking because of a lack of human contact, and the presence of continuous artificial lighting made it hard for him to discern night from day. He had been in a cell surrounded by acrylic glass for more than four years. All while he was still awaiting trial on a murder charge…
In an application to have the charges against Mr. Capay dismissed, lawyers peg his total time in continuous solitary confinement at 1,636 days. During most of that stretch, he had minimal access to showers, reading materials, writing tools, cell radio, Indigenous services or canteen food…
* UK prisons ‘holding child inmates in solitary confinement against UN torture rules, by Siobhan Fenton, social affairs correspondent, The Independent, Feb 21, 2017
Investigation exposes serious allegations of international human rights breaches at young offenders institutions in the UK
* Entombed: Isolation in the U.S. federal prison system, 2014 report by Amnesty International (54 pages) on the unique role of the United States as a world leader in solitary confinement/torture
The USA stands virtually alone in the world in incarcerating thousands of prisoners in longterm or indefinite solitary confinement, defined by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment as “the physical and social isolation of individuals who are confined to their cells for 22 to 24 hours a day”…
Cuba says ‘no’ to transphobia and homophobia, Telesur, 3 May 2017
The Cuban government has launched a two-week-long assembly against sexual discrimination and bullying
Global warming and climate change:
Sandstorm leaves Beijing with yellow skies & ‘beyond index’ pollution, RT.com, May 4, 2017
Beijing hit by new air pollution crisis as huge sandstorm blows in, by Tom Phillips, The Guardian, May 4, 2017
… Li Shuo, Greenpeace’s Beijing-based climate campaigner, said the sandstorm was reminiscent of those witnessed about two decades ago before a large-scale reforestation campaign in northern China helped reduce the number of sandstorms reaching the capital…
“The peak point was in the late 1990s, early 2000s. Then, we could have not just one but several such episodes in the spring and they would be as severe or even worse than what we have seen today.” Li said Beijing’s latest “airpocalypse” would make it harder for China to meet its air quality targets and should serve as an alert that progress in the fight against air pollution appeared to be losing steam…
Stark warning on health of oceans, by Tim Radford, Climate News Network, May 4, 2017
A combination of acidification and global warming could be turning oceans toxic and threatens to destabilise the balance of marine life, say US marine scientists.
New Cold War.org Information Bulletin is posted daily (or every several days) to the New Cold War.org website as a supplement to the feature articles published or re-produced in full. Text in [square brackets] is that of New Cold War.org 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].