TDB Top 5 International Stories: Thursday 27th October 2016

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5: As the House of Commons erupts over Brexit, May avoids one very important question

During Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) on 26 October, Bolton MP Yasmin Qureshi asked Theresa May to meet with her and hear about events in Kashmir. In the worst scenario, these events could lead to a nuclear war. But the PM didn’t seem to care. After spending most of her energy on an earlier response to Jeremy Corbyn’s dig over Brexit, she left just enough time to snub Qureshi.

The question was a request to discuss human rights abuses in the troubled region between India and Pakistan.

The Canary

4: Surviving Members of Angola 3 on Black Panther Legacy & Need to Free Remaining Imprisoned Panthers

Fifty years after the founding of the Black Panther Party, we focus on an overlooked part of its history: political prisoners. Many former members are still held in prison based on tortured confessions, while others were convicted based on questionable evidence or the testimony of government informants. We host an historic roundtable with four former Black Panthers who served decades in prison, beginning with two former members of the Angola Three who formed one of the first Black Panther chapters in a prison. Robert King spent 32 years in Angola—29 of them in solitary confinement. He was released in 2001 after his conviction was overturned. Albert Woodfox, until February of this year, was the longest-standing solitary confinement prisoner in the United States. He was held in isolation in a six-by-nine-foot cell almost continuously for 43 years at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, known as Angola prison. He was released on his 69th birthday.

Democracy Now

 

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3: At Hillary Clinton’s Favorite Think Tank, a Doubling Down on Anti-Iran, Pro-Saudi Policy

THE CENTER FOR American Progress hosted a sort of preview of Hillary Clinton’s Middle East policy on Tuesday, with a Clinton adviser and a Gulf state diplomat agreeing that the next president should double down on support for the Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, while ramping up action against Iran.

It is a signal that a future Clinton administration would overwhelmingly favor the Gulf states in their ongoing, Middle-East wide power struggle with Iran, implicitly rebuking President Obama, who has come under fire from Gulf states for mild criticism of their foreign policy and his nuclear deal with Iran.

The founder of the Center for American Progress, John Podesta, is the campaign chair for Clinton’s presidential bid; many of the candidate’s closest advisors are alumni of CAP and it is widely viewed as a launching pad for policy staff for Democratic presidents. The center is currently helmed by Clinton transition co-chair Neera Tanden.

Panelists at the event, titled “Strengthening U.S. Partnerships in the Middle East,” argued for what is essentially a supercharged anti-Iran, pro-Saudi posture, with little disagreement from CAP moderator Brian Katulis.

Former acting CIA director and Clinton foreign policy advisor Mike Morell called for escalation of sanctions “that bite” on Iran in response to their “malign behavior in the region.” And in what would be a dramatic escalation of U.S. power in the region, he called for intercepting Iranian vessels traveling to Yemen to supply weapons to Houthi rebels.

The Intercept

2: Air strikes kill school children in Syria’s Idlib

At least 26 civilians, including children, were killed when air strikes hit a school and the surrounding area in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, a monitoring group said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday that air strikes, believed to be carried out by Russian planes, targeted the village of Hass, including the school complex.

“The dead children are students and the planes are believed to be Russian,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based Observatory.

Aljazeera

1: Theresa May under fire for secret talk of Brexit fears

Theresa May has come under intense criticism from politicians across the UK and Europe after it emerged that she had warned of the dangers of Brexit in a private talk at Goldman Sachs a month before the referendum vote.

The prime minister was accused by a string of MPs, headed by Jeremy Corbyn, of ignoring her own concerns about the risks of leaving the single market, as revealed in her remarks to City bankers that were leaked to the Guardian on Tuesday night.

In Germany politicians from both governing parties accused May of failing to show leadership. They said her remarks demonstrated that it would be impossible to leave the European Union without economic consequences.

Corbyn attacked May for failing to set out her plan for Brexit to the British people as clearly as she had once expressed her beliefs to her elite audience. “The prime minister has given her private views on Brexit to Goldman Sachs bankers, but refuses to give the British people a clear plan for negotiations,” the Labour leader said. “It shouldn’t take a leaked tape for the public to find out what she really thinks.”

The Guardian