TDB Top 5 International Stories: Monday 12th December 2016




5: Mosul Dam collapse ‘will be worse than a nuclear bomb’

As Iraqi forces continue their military operation to take Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS), another equally important battle to save the Mosul Dam, located 60km north of Mosul, is under way.

After six months of frantic security and logistical preparations, an Italian company has kicked off the repair works to beef up the dam, under the protection of five hundred Italian soldiers and Kurdish Peshmerga forces.

The Italian company,TREVI, will have about 18 months to prevent the foundations of the dam from plunging deeper underground, averting an impending catastrophe. Experts warn that if the dam collapses, up to 11.11 billion cubic-metres of water known as Lake Dahuk, will submerge Mosul and create an inundation that will affect the lives of millions of people living along the banks of the Tigris river.

“I don’t know if it’s a race against time, but we have the know-how and the technology to make the dam safe for the time-being,” said a company source on the phone, on condition of anonymity for security reasons.



4: Trump Makes America Goldman’s Again! #MAGA

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IT’S NOW TIME for us, as a nation, to come together and congratulate the winner of the 2016 presidential election: Goldman Sachs.

Many Donald Trump voters likely believed his victory would be a loss for Goldman. At the Republican convention, a man who seemed to take Trump’s twitter attacks on Goldman seriously screamed “Goldman Sachs!” at Ted Cruz’s banker wife as she fled the convention floor. Trump’s own final campaign video declared that he would do battle against the “global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations” — as personified on screen by Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

But that was then. As Anthony Scaramucci, a hedge fund manager and top adviser to Trump, as well as a former Goldman Sachs banker himself, put it Thursday: “I think the cabal against the bankers is over.”

The Intercept


3: Intelligence figures fear Trump reprisals over assessment of Russia election role

Legislators overseeing the CIA and other intelligence agencies have told the Guardian they will be vigilant about reprisals from Donald Trump over an internal assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to ensure Trump’s victory.

Fears of retaliation rose within US intelligence agencies over a tense weekend that saw Trump publicly dismiss not only the assessment but the basic competence of the intelligence apparatus.

“When the president-elect’s transition team is attempting to discredit the entire intelligence community [IC], it has never been more important for the IC and Congress to guard against possible political pressure or retaliation against intelligence analysts,” Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, told the Guardian.

The Guardian 


2: Quarter of inmates could have been spared prison without risk, study says

A quarter of the US prison population, about 364,000 inmates, could have been spared imprisonment without meaningfully threatening public safety or increasing crime, according to a new study.

Analyzing offender data on roughly 1.5 million US prisoners, researchers from the Brennan Center for Justice concluded that for one in four, drug treatment, community service, probation or a fine would have been a more effective sentence than incarceration.

“The current sentencing regime was largely a knee-jerk reaction to crime, not grounded in any scientific rationale,” said Inimai Chettiar, director of the justice program. “While it may have seemed like a reasonable approach to protect the public, a comprehensive examination of the data proves it is ineffective at that task.”

The Guardian 


1: Can Sanctuary Campuses Really Protect Students from Trump?

Ever since Donald Trump was elected to be our next president, Andreé Franco Vasquez has carried her passport around Harvard College, where she’s a student. If Trump does decide to deport all undocumented immigrants, as he’s said he would do, she doesn’t want to be sent to the wrong country.

Franco Vasquez, who came to the United States from Guatemala 15 years ago, is currently protected from deportation under DACA or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. But Trump has promised to repeal DACA and other executive actions by President Obama, which is why she’s hoping Harvard will take additional steps to protect her and the other 40 undocumented undergraduate students who attend the Ivy League school by declaring it a “sanctuary campus.”

Vice News