Friday, August 23, 2019

Democracy Now! Top US News & World Headlines — August 23, 2019

Opinion: Exclusive Interview: Honest Israeli Jew Tells the Real Truth about Israel (2014)

Miko Peled was born in Jersusalem into a famous and influential Israeli Zionist family. His father was a famous General in the Israeli Army, of which Miko also served his time. When Miko's niece was killed by Palestinian suicide bombers, you may have expected the family to put Palestinians at fault, but surprisingly they blamed the state of Israel, and their violent torturing and persecution for driving people to such sadness that they would take their own lives.

Through his father's deep knowledge of the Israeli war of terror, together with his own research, Miko Peled ruins the myths surrounding the Israel and Palestine situation, and delivers a truth so damning that many Jews and Israel supporters will not be able to bear it. He reveals facts such as the original expelled Jews are not the ones returning, and they are not their descendants either, covers the double standards regarding the right of return, which doesn't apply to Palestinians, and dispels the myth that there has been a conflict for ages by producing proof that it was peaceful up until 1947 when Israel launched their illegal attacks.

It is a true eye-opener for anyone who has for too long been blinded by the fake misinformation given by the mainstream media, and the truths come straight from the heartland where he has spent many years documenting the real story.

Why a Former Islamophobic Politician––Arnoud van Doorn––Accepted Islam

Digesting the President’s Absurdities as Allies Privately Worry | Deadline | MSNBC

Republican strategist Rick Wilson, Politico’s Nancy Cook, former managing editor at TIME Magazine Rick Stengel, Princeton University professor Eddie Glaude, and former White House aide Elise Jordan on Trump’s chaotic week as new reporting finds his allies are worried about his recent behavior

Ron Reagan on Trump’s Behavior: ‘It’s Only Going to Get Worse’ | Hardball | MSNBC

Rattled by the US economy, and his prospects for reelection, an unhinged President Trump is stumbling through a week of self-induced chaos.

President Donald Trump’s Actions Create Obstacles for Trump Campaign | The Last Word | MSNBC

Donald Trump has worried U.S. allies with comments he's made regarding trade, manufacturing, and foreign policy and it’s hurting his campaign too. Renee Graham and Rick Wilson discuss what's next for impeaching Trump now that 130 dems are now supporting an inquiry.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Ex-Advisers Worried about Trump's Behavior, NYT Reports

The New York Times reports that those who know President Trump are worried about his erratic recent behavior.

Rejected Trump Cancels State Visit to Denmark | DW News

US President Donald Trump has canceled an official state visit to Denmark because the Danish prime minister has refused to consider selling Greenland to the US, describing the proposal as "absurd". Greenland is an autonomous Danish territory rich in natural resources - and is also the world's biggest island, strategically located between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans.

Brexit: Macron Warns Johnson That Irish Backstop Is 'Indispensable'

On the face of it - there were all the signs of an Entente Cordiale between Boris Johnson and the French President Emmanuel Macron as the pair met in Paris for talks on Brexit - with smiles, handshakes and jokes about Mr Johnson putting his feet up on the Elysee furniture.

But behind all that bonhomie - a stern line from Mr Macron - who warned the Irish backstop was "indispensable" - telling the PM to set out his alternatives to the mechanism as soon as possible.

Psychiatrist on ‘The Essential Emptiness of President Donald Trump’ | The Last Word | MSNBC

Dr. Lance Dodes, one of the first mental health professionals who questioned Donald Trump's stability, discusses with Lawrence O'Donnell how Trump has devolved since the beginning of his presidency.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Trump Calls Danish Prime Minister's Statement 'Nasty'

Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his decision to cancel his trip to Denmark, saying that the Danish Prime Minister's comments this week were "nasty" and "inappropriate" while speaking to reporters at the White House.

Trump Cancels Denmark Trip as Greenland Says It’s Not for Sale

The Danish Prime Minister says she is "annoyed" that Donald Trump has cancelled his state visit to Denmark, after he was told that Greenland is not for sale.

Mette Fredriksen said the US is still a close ally, but last week described President Trump's proposal as "absurd". Today he said the Prime Minister's comment was "nasty".

THE GUARDIAN: Greenlanders on Trump: ‘We are neither for sale nor can be bought’ »

THE GUARDIAN: The Guardian view on Trump and Greenland: no sale » | Editorial

Former US Ambassador to Denmark: 'This Is Not the Way You Treat an Ally'

Former US Ambassador to Denmark Rufus Gifford lambasted President Donald Trump for his decision to cancel a trip to the country after its leader declined to discuss Trump's interest in purchasing Greenland during the visit, saying the move is "not the way you treat an ally."

Brexit: Merkel Gives Johnson 30 Days to Find Backstop Solution

Ahead of Boris Johnson's arrival in Berlin, the prospect of progress on a renegotiated deal had not looked great.

The EU has always insisted that the backstop is the only solution for avoiding a hard border in Ireland - and they had no intention of scrapping it as the Prime Minister had demanded.

Angela Merkel's suggestion that the issue can be solved in 30 days does not fly in the face of that - she says perhaps a long term solution to the border problem can be found. But its taken months to get to this point, will one more make a difference?

Joram van Klaveren: Why I Left the Far-Right

From extreme nationalism and far-right politics to compassion and empathy, watch the incredible transformation story of Joram van Klaveren, a former Dutch parliamentarian.

Joram van Klaveren is now the president of the Anthony Janszoon Association. The English translation of his book, Apostate, will be published towards the end of the year by 't Kennishuys.

From Critic to Convert | The Joram van Klaveren Story: From Islamophobe to Believer

Sidi Joram van Klaveren shares his remarkable personal journey as a former far-right Dutch lawmaker who had been fiercely critical of Islam and why he chose to became a Muslim in 2019 while he had been penning a book meant to be anti-Islam.

Joram van Klaveren was a lawmaker in the Party of Freedom, led by Dutch anti-Islam populist Geert Wilders, from 2010 to 2014. During that time, he advocated a burqa ban, a ban on masjid minarets and a ‘de-Islamization‘ of the Netherlands.

In February 2019, he announced his religious conversion to Islam. The Islamophobic polemic he had been penning morphed into a rousing defense the the faith.

In Denmark, Bewilderment and Anger Over Trump’s Canceled Visit

THE NEW YORK TIMES: ODENSE, Denmark — The astonishment in Denmark over President Trump’s apparent desire to buy Greenland turned to bewilderment and anger on Wednesday after the American leader abruptly scrapped a state visit because the Danes have no desire to sell.

The cancellation was a rare snub of Denmark’s head of state, Queen Margrethe II, who had extended the invitation to the president and would have hosted him and the first lady.

News that Mr. Trump is not coming “came as a surprise,” the Royal House’s communications director told the state broadcaster, adding, “That’s all we have to say about that.”

Others, however, had more to say. “Is this some sort of joke?” Helle Thorning-Schmidt, a former prime minister, wrote on Twitter. “Deeply insulting to the people of Greenland and Denmark.”

It was not a joke. A day earlier, Mr. Trump said on Twitter that Denmark was “a very special country with incredible people” but added that he was abandoning plans to visit because of the country’s refusal to sell Greenland, a semiautonomous part of the kingdom of Denmark. » | Martin Selsoe Sorensen | Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Phil Collins - Another Day in Paradise | Official Music Video

The Guardian View on Boris Johnson and the EU: He Cannot Be Serious

THE GUARDIAN: The PM’s letter to Donald Tusk is a reckless and detail-free approach to the new deal with Europe that he claims to want

If there is any fragile encouragement to be squeezed out of Boris Johnson’s letter to the European Union this week, it is perhaps the fact that he wrote it at all. After four weeks of acting as if the EU does not exist, the existence of the letter is at least an implied recognition that the relationship with the EU matters. For nearly a month, Mr Johnson’s government has also promoted the fiction that a no-deal Brexit is an acceptable prospect for Britain. So when Mr Johnson starts his letter by saying that he very much hopes the UK will be leaving with a deal, it is just about possible to muster some carefully guarded optimism that he may actually mean it.

Yet the content of what he wrote makes a mockery of any such conclusion. In fact it is difficult to see how Mr Johnson could have done less than he does in the letter to Donald Tusk. At the core of the letter is the statement that the Irish backstop is not viable. The letter then excoriates the backstop as undemocratic, a brake on UK trade and regulatory policy and a threat to the Northern Ireland peace process. In most respects, this is the opposite of the truth. In some ways it is downright mischievous. The letter is more like one of Mr Johnson’s fact-free and irresponsible newspaper concoctions than a serious diplomatic approach to solving an impasse that imminently threatens British economic stability, trade, jobs, constitutional cohesion and security. » | Editorial | Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Donald Trump’s UK Trade Promises Are Hot Air – His Aim Is Brexit Chaos

THE GUARDIAN: If Boris Johnson seriously believes the US will shower rewards on Britain after leaving the EU he is mistaken

As the UK races towards a potential no-deal Brexit, President Donald Trump is cheering it on. But Brexit – especially without a deal in place with the European Union – would be bad for the US-UK special relationship and would make the UK a much less important US ally.

The ramifications of Brexit – in particular without a deal with the EU that pleases everyone – could be explosive. It could hurt the UK economy at a time when Trump’s trade war and economic policies are increasing the risk of a global recession, and threaten the very integrity of the UK amid growing signals that Northern Ireland and Scotland would consider breaking away. Boris Johnson appears willing to drive Britain off this cliff come hell or high water, threatening a no-deal Brexit and saying that the UK will leave the EU by the end of October, “do or die”. Everyone hopes that the UK finds a way out of this mess, but the past few years haven’t provided much evidence to believe that it will end well. » | Michael H Fuchs | Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Donald Tusk Rejects Boris Johnson Request to Remove Backstop

THE GUARDIAN: European council president says call for removal without alternative proposal signals support for hard border

Donald Tusk has rejected Boris Johnson’s request to strip the backstop out of the Brexit deal, with a thinly-veiled message that the British government was refusing to admit the lack of realistic alternatives.

Tusk, the president of the European council, issued the EU’s first official response, after Johnson published his letter on Monday night, calling for the “undemocratic” backstop to be scrapped.

The EU response underscores the stalemate over the backstop, a policy intended to avoid the return of a hard border on the island of Ireland. The UK government agreed the backstop under Theresa May, but hardline Brexiters have long called for it to be scrapped or subject to a time limit.

Tusk wrote: “The backstop is an insurance to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland unless and until an alternative is found. Those against the backstop and not proposing realistic alternatives in fact support re-establishing a border. Even if they do not admit it.” » | Jennifer Rankin in Brussels | Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Monday, August 19, 2019

Brexit Curse in the Caribbean | DW Documentary

Great Britain is not the only country gripped with uncertainty over the outcome of Brexit. The Caribbean island of Anguilla, a British overseas territory and former British colony, would lose its status as an associate member.

Anguilla, a popular holiday destination, is 6,500 kilometers away from Britain, but just a 20-minute boat ride from the half-French, half-Dutch island of Saint Martin. Relations between both islands are like a smaller, Caribbean version of the EU-Brexit tugging war. ‘Saint Martin is our downtown, that’s where we go shopping, or see a doctor’, says the Premier of Anguilla, Victor Banks. ‘What will happen to my EU passport?’, worries DJ Hammer. He fears the consequences of Brexit will be even worse than Hurricane Irma, which devastated the island in 2017. Will theater director Felix Fleming still be able to visit his family - and his father’s grave - in Saint Martin without applying for a visa and queuing at the border each time? What will become of the turtles in the Marine Park, currently subsidized by EU funding? How has the Anguillan blogger Shellecia Brooks-Johnson been experiencing the mood in England since she moved to Cambridge six months ago? One thing is for sure: Although residents of Anguilla were not entitled to vote in the Brexit referendum, they will still suffer the consequences.

Brexit and its impact on the Caribbean: This film looks at Europe’s thorniest current issue from a more unusual perspective.

The Guardian View on Violence against Public Figures: The Threat Is Growing

THE GUARDIAN: Donald Trump’s hostility to the press is so far unmatched in the UK. But the targeting of Owen Jones and others by far-right activists is deeply concerning

Any unprovoked violent attack is disturbing. Thuggish behaviour is repellent, all the more so when an individual is targeted by a group. When a person is singled out because of their political beliefs, or due to their assailants’ hatred of a particular group or minority, the crime has additional significance. With a police investigation ongoing, it is too soon to draw conclusions about the motives of the men who attacked Guardian journalist and activist Owen Jones outside a London pub in the early hours of Saturday. But given that Jones has previously been accosted by far-right activists, targeted with threatening social media posts and subjected to homophobic abuse, there was already cause for concern. » | Editorial | Monday, August 19, 2019

Prince Andrew 'Appalled' by Epstein Sex Abuse Claims

THE GUARDIAN: Royal makes statement following release of video showing him in paedophile’s mansion in 2010

The Duke of York has said he is “appalled” by recent sex abuse claims surrounding his former friend Jeffrey Epstein. Prince Andrew released a statement after new footage emerged showing him inside the convicted paedophile’s Manhattan mansion in 2010.

The video, obtained by MailOnline, was reportedly shot on December 6 2010, around the time Andrew was photographed with the disgraced billionaire in New York’s Central Park. It shows the duke looking out from a large door of the mansion waving goodbye to a woman after Epstein leaves and enters a chauffeur-driven car.

A Buckingham Palace statement said: “The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes. His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent.” » | PA Media | Sunday, August 18, 2019

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Overthrow: 100 Years of US Meddling & Régime Change, from Iran to Nicaragua to Hawaii to Cuba (March 2018)

As special counsel Robert Mueller continues his probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, we take a look back at Washington’s record of meddling in elections across the globe. By one count, the United States has interfered in more than 80 foreign elections between 1946 and 2000. And that doesn’t count U.S.-backed coups and invasions. We speak to former New York Times reporter Stephen Kinzer, author of “Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq.”

Inside America's Meddling Machine: NED, the US-Funded Org Interfering in Elections Across the Globe (2018)

In this Grayzone special, Max Blumenthal attends a Capitol Hill gathering of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and explores the group's destabilizing global campaign to meddle in other countries' affairs. The report covers the NED's interference in foreign elections in Russia and Mongolia, its participation in coup attempts from Haiti to Venezuela to Nicaragua, and its escalating public relations efforts against China and North Korea.

Trump Starves Venezuela, Democrats Are Silent

The Trump administration is intensifying its economic warfare on the people of Venezuela with a crippling embargo -- and facing no resistance from the Democratic Party. Aaron Maté takes a look.

No Justice for Epstein Accusers as Queen Denies Ties – Galloway

As the news of Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest and death rocked the international media, his ties to the UK’s Prince Andrew came to the surface as photos of him with his arm around Virginia Giuffre, a then-underage Epstein accuser, entered public light. Former UK MP George Galloway shares his insights.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

A Trade Deal with Trump Will Change Britain for the Worse

THE OBSERVER: The EU has opposed brutal animal welfare and rampant tech monopolies. Post-Brexit Britain will be exposed to both

A trade deal with the US would be a defining moment for the UK. It is not an exaggeration to say it would reveal the country’s direction of travel more than any other decision in the aftermath of Britain quitting the European Union.

Amid the confusing array of government pledges – more police and more spending on the regions while also cutting taxes for the better off (mostly in London and the home counties) – it is the basics of any trade deal that will set Britain’s course for decades to come.

The most emotive questions apply to agriculture, and not just in the UK. It’s fair to say that American farmers can get very emotional about access to foreign markets, especially when they have put more time and effort into producing cheap food than probably anyone else in the world.

US policymakers have long understood that cheap food and cheap energy are the bedrocks of a flourishing economy. In the modern era, they are the keys to higher disposable incomes when wages are flat. They allow workers to maintain some semblance of their living standards from year to year while the producers and owners of capital walk off with the bulk of any gains. » | Phillip Inman | Saturday, August 17, 2019

'Friends, You're Going to Love Greenland. I Was There on 9/11'

THE GUARDIAN: Manhattan? I’d’ve got Staten Island too for half the guilders. Louisiana? Bum deal. But Alaska? I’m giving that back to Russia

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump tweeted today he had purchased Greenland from the Kingdom of Denmark for $15bn plus Kanye West and the state of Massachusetts.

Still, the announcement has been questioned abroad. Prime minister of Greenland Kim Kielsen, reached this morning before the sun set for the winter, commented: “Clearly, the president’s mind is melting faster than our ice sheet.”

Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen tried to strike a diplomatic note, saying: “May God deliver us from this delusional maniac.”

These comments did not stop the president taking a victory lap before an enthusiastic audience at a campaign-style rally in West Virginia. » | Lawrence Douglas and Nancy Pick | Saturday, August 17, 2019

Palestinian Lawmaker: Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib Were Kept Out to Hide Israeli Apartheid

Israel announced that it would bar Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib — the two first Muslim Congresswomen — from entering the country, sparking outcry from Democratic leaders and Palestinians. Mustafa Barghouti, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, says Israel blocked the two progressive politicians because their trip would have risked "exposing" Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands and what he calls "the worst apartheid ever, where racial discrimination is practiced against Palestinians in the worst possible way."

Alaska for $7m, Anyone?

Friday, August 16, 2019

Danish Politicians Mock Trump as Crazy over His Idea to Buy Greenland

Germany Will Urge EU Allies to Hold Firm on No-deal Brexit

THE GUARDIAN: Berlin prepared for UK to crash out as leak suggests Boris Johnson’s threat has fallen flat

Germany is ready for a likely no-deal Brexit and will encourage its fellow EU member states to hold their nerve and refuse to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement, according to a leaked German government paper.

The document prepared by officials for the German finance minister, Olaf Scholz, before talks in Berlin with the chancellor of the exchequer, Sajid Javid, suggests that the UK’s threats to leave without a deal are falling flat.

Boris Johnson, who is expected to visit Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Tuesday and Angela Merkel on Wednesday, has insisted it is vital for the UK to appear ready to crash out if it is to secure a new and better deal without the Irish backstop. The new prime minister has accused those who oppose that policy of collaborating with Brussels. He will also have phone calls with the Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, and Donald Tusk, president of the European council, EU sources said. » | Daniel Boffey in Brussels | Friday, August 16, 2019

No Thanks, We're Not For Sale, Aghast Greenland Tells Trump

THE GUARDIAN: Danish politicians dismiss US president’s apparent interest in island as ‘hopefully a joke’

Donald Trump may have expressed an interest in acquiring Greenland for the US, but Denmark thinks the idea is frankly insane and Greenlanders have pointed out their home is not actually for sale.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the US president has asked his aides and the White House counsel to look into the possibility of buying the world’s largest island, a largely autonomous country of the kingdom of Denmark.

The Greenland government was diplomatic, saying it had a good working relationship with the US and saw the inquiry as “an expression of general greater interest in investing in our country and its opportunities”. But it added firmly: “Greenland is obviously not for sale.”

In comments echoed in somewhat stronger terms by other politicians in both Greenland and Denmark, Ane Lone Bagger, Greenland’s foreign minister, confirmed the country was “open for business, but not for sale”. » | Jon Henley, Europe correspondence | Friday, August 16, 2019

Democracy Now! Top US News & World Headlines — August 16, 2019

George Galloway on Jeffrey Epstein: It Ain’t No Conspiracy Bruv!

'It ain't no conspiracy bruv!' George Galloway asks the questions you've all been thinking about Jeffrey Epstein.

Juden in Deutschland: „Kippa tragen auf deutschen Straßen ist gefährlich“

FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG: Bespuckt, beschimpft oder verletzt: In den letzten Wochen gab es mehrere antisemitische Angriffe in Deutschland. Gady Gronich, Generalsekretär der Europäischen Rabbinerkonferenz zeigt sich besorgt – und fordert Prävention an Schulen.

Herr Gronich, wie reagieren in Deutschland lebende Juden auf die steigende Zahl antisemitischer Angriffe?

Die Angst nimmt spürbar zu. Juden in Deutschland sind sehr besorgt, denn antisemitische Angriffe werden mehr und mehr zur Normalität. Wenn ein Gläubiger mit Kippa auf die Straße geht, muss er sich immer wieder umdrehen und schauen, ob ihn jemand verfolgt. Wer offen als Jude erkennbar ist, kann plötzlich in Gefahr geraten.

Ein Problem ist auch, dass die Angriffe Nachahmern Mut machen. Besonders, wenn sie sehen, dass die Strafen nur gering ausfallen. Viele Juden fühlen sich in Deutschland zuhause, doch was ihnen fehlt ist das Gefühl von Sicherheit und die Möglichkeit ihre Religion frei ausüben zu können. » | von Nadine Graf | Freitag, 16. August 2019

Trump Tweets, Then Netanyahu Bans Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from Israel

Jim Zogby and Phyllis Bennis discuss the Trump-Netanyahu dynamic, the diminishing power of AIPAC, and the political battle against Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib