TDB Top 5 International Stories: Saturday 31st December 2016

0
0

Screen-Shot-2016-09-09-at-9.47.34-am

5: Putin decides against expelling US staff

Russia will not expel anyone in response to US sanctions against the country and the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats from the US, the Kremlin is quoting President Vladimir Putin as saying in the statement.

Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, had earlier said he had proposed to Putin that Russia expel 35 US diplomats and ban US diplomatic staff from using two facilities in Moscow in retaliation for expulsions and sanctions imposed by the US.

However, Putin said he saw the US step to expel diplomats as a move to undermine relations between the two countries, according to RIA, the Russian state news agency.

Aljazeera

4: The Guardian’s Summary of Julian Assange’s Interview Went Viral and Was Completely False

JULIAN ASSANGE IS a deeply polarizing figure. Many admire him and many despise him (into which category one falls in any given year typically depends on one’s feelings about the subject of his most recent publication of leaked documents).

But one’s views of Assange are completely irrelevant to this article, which is not about Assange. This article, instead, is about a report published this week by The Guardian that recklessly attributed to Assange comments that he did not make. This article is about how those false claims — fabrications, really — were spread all over the internet by journalists, causing hundreds of thousands of people (if not millions) to consume false news. The purpose of this article is to underscore, yet again, that those who most flamboyantly denounce Fake News, and want Facebook and other tech giants to suppress content in the name of combating it, are often the most aggressive and self-serving perpetrators of it.

One’s views of Assange are completely irrelevant to this article because, presumably, everyone agrees that publication of false claims by a media outlet is very bad, even when it’s designed to malign someone you hate. Journalistic recklessness does not become noble or tolerable if it serves the right agenda or cause. The only way one’s views of Assange are relevant to this article is if one finds journalistic falsehoods and Fake News objectionable only when deployed against figures one likes.

The Intercept

 

3: Diana Buttu & Gideon Levy on Israeli Settlements, Kerry, Military Aid & End of Two-State Solution

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

Secretary of State John Kerry has blasted Israel’s government, saying in a major address on Wednesday that the relentless expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank threatens Israel’s democracy and has all but ended the prospect of a two-state solution with the Palestinians. “If the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or Democratic; it cannot be both,” Kerry said. “And it won’t ever really be at peace.” Kerry’s speech followed intense Israeli criticism of the U.S. for refusing to veto a Security Council resolution last week. The measure condemns Israel’s expansion of settlements as a flagrant violation of international law. The resolution passed in a 14-0 vote. The U.S. abstained. We speak to Palestinian attorney Diana Buttu and Israeli journalist Gideon Levy, a Haaretz columnist.

Democracy Now

2: Chinese Retail Is Obsessed with Donald Trump

Despite all his contentious campaign rhetoric, China has embraced Donald Trump in a big way.

Take the giant Trump-rooster statue just erected at a shopping mall in Taiyuan, the capital city of China’s Shanxi province, for example. The enormous effigy—to celebrate 2017, the Chinese Year of the Rooster, 2017—stands 32 feet tall, complete with the president-elect’s unmistakable quiff and hand gestures. In fact, Chinese retailers incorporate Trump’s “look” or name into their products frequently, including caricatured figurines, skincare items, condoms, and more.

“This is the first time we’ve had a president who is a brand, and it’s not unusual to see various markets try to co-opt brands for their own success,” said Greg Portell, lead partner for consumer industries and retail practice at global consulting firm A.T. Kearney. “But China, in particular, is trying to capitalize on the Trump brand.”

Vice News

 

1: Trump praises Putin for ‘very smart’ choice not to expel US diplomats

Vladimir Putin has refused to engage in tit-for-tat diplomacy after the US expelled 35 Russian diplomats amid a row over cyber-hacking.

Just hours after the Russian foreign minster said he was recommending a symmetrical response, Putin said his country had every right to make such a move but that he would not “drop to this level of irresponsible diplomacy”.

He said his government would instead wait to see how relations developed under the incoming president, Donald Trump, who later described the Russian leader in a tweet as “very smart”.

“We will make further steps to help resurrect Russian-American relations based on the policies that the administration of Trump will pursue,” the Russian president said in a statement on the Kremlin’s website.

The Guardian