TDB Top 5 International Stories: Friday 17th February 2017

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5: Glenn Greenwald on Flynn-Russia Leaks: Highly Illegal & Wholly Justified
4: A Timeline of Trump’s Long History with Russia
3: Blast hits Pakistan’s Lal Shahbaz Qalandar Sufi shrine
2: Trump press conference: president says team running ‘like fine-tuned machine’

5: Glenn Greenwald on Flynn-Russia Leaks: Highly Illegal & Wholly Justified

While congressional Democrats and some Republicans are pushing for probes into President Trump’s ties to Russia, Trump has focused largely on going after those who have leaked information to the press. On Monday, Trump’s national security adviser was forced to resign after The Washington Post reported on leaks of classified intelligence revealing that Flynn had engaged in talks with the Russian ambassador to the United States during the transition period, while Barack Obama was still president. In a tweet this morning, Trump wrote, “The spotlight has finally been put on the low-life leakers! They will be caught!” On Wednesday, he wrote, “Information is being illegally given to the failing @nytimes & @washingtonpost by the intelligence community (NSA and FBI?).Just like Russia.” We speak to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept.

Democracy Now

4: A Timeline of Trump’s Long History with Russia

Let’s sort out some simple, widely reported truths from eyelid-twitch-inducing “just asking questions” Medium posts.

Someday we will have all of this Russia stuff sorted out. There will come a time when documents will be unclassified, officials will spill the beans, and things that once were powerful secrets are just history. Truth has a way of worming its way out horribly into the light, inch by inch. But for now, it feels as if we know nothing, and learn less every day. Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s former national security advisor, has resigned, apparently because he talked to a Russian ambassador about sanctions then misled the rest of the administration about it. Members of Trump’s presidential campaign reportedly had contact with Russian intelligence officials, a notion that’s especially distressing because Russian hackers are widely assumed to have hacked and then leaked damaging emails written by Democrats, helping tip a close election to Trump.

Vice News

3: Blast hits Pakistan’s Lal Shahbaz Qalandar Sufi shrine

In Pakistan’s deadliest attack in more than two years, a suicide bomber has struck a crowded Sufi shrine, killing almost 100 people including women and children.

Hundreds of others were also wounded in Thursday’s attack as they performed a ritual at the famous Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in Sehwan in Sindh province.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group claimed responsibility for the blast via its Amaq propaganda website.

Khadim Hussain, deputy inspector-general of Hyderabad police, told Al Jazeera that at least 75 people were killed and more than 200 were injured in the attack.

At least 43 men, nine women and 20 children were among the victims.

The death toll was feared to rise.


2: Trump press conference: president says team running ‘like fine-tuned machine’

Donald Trump dismissed reports of chaos and conspiracy in his administration and claimed his team is running like “a fine-tuned machine” during an extraordinary press conference at which he tried to reset his beleaguered presidency.

In a boisterous and often bizarre session, he fired off numerous broadsides at the media as he skipped from topic to topic in what critics saw as an attempt to deflect attention from his alleged ties to Russia.

“I turn on the TV, open the newspapers and I see stories of chaos, chaos,” Trump scalded reporters. “Yet it is the exact opposite. This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine, despite the fact that I can’t get my cabinet approved.”

The Guardian 


A SENIOR OFFICIAL on President Trump’s embattled National Security Council warned in previously unreported comments that it is “inevitable” an Islamic terrorist group will carry out a successful nuclear attack against the United States, and that in its aftermath, the world “will regress hundreds of years politically.” The official, Michael Anton, laid out a dire scenario of multiple nuclear detonations on American soil, saying that terrorists “will, I think, wait until they can hit us with several blows at once, followed by a number of follow-on blows.”

Anton, appointed as the Trump administration’s senior director of strategic communications on the NSC, wrote in 2009 that he was “surprised it hasn’t happened yet” and predicted that once the attacks occur, “economies will collapse … the world will revert to a kind of localsim [sic] and warlordism.” He added, “If Chicago wakes up one morning and NY is simply not there any more, and some dude on Al Jazeera is saying, ‘Chicago you are next!’ I don’t see order lasting long.”

New York, he added, seems to be the most likely first target.

The Intercept


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Authorised by Martyn Bradbury, The Editor, TheDailyBlog, 5 Victoria St East/Queen St, CBD, Auckland, New Zealand.