TDB Top 5 International Stories: Thursday 16th March 2017

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5: New Zealand’s Whanganui River Has Just Been Granted Legal Status as a Person
4: David Cay Johnston Speaks Out About Receiving & Revealing 2 Pages of Trump’s 2005 Tax Returns
3: Trump Designating the Muslim Brotherhood as Terrorists Would Be a Massive Victory for Extremists
2: High turnout as Dutch vote in Europe’s far-right test
1: US Federal Reserve raises interest rates to 1% in bid to hold off inflation

5: New Zealand’s Whanganui River Has Just Been Granted Legal Status as a Person

In a landmark international case, the Whanganui river in New Zealand has just been granted legal status as a person.

The iwi of Whanganui have been fighting for generations to have the river granted personhood. The new law is designed to work like a charitable trust—with trustees for the river legally required to act in its best interest. Speaking to RNZ, Te Tai Hauāuru MP Adrian Rurawhe said some people might find the concept strange but it was completely normal for Māori.

“The river as a whole is absolutely important to the people who are from the river and live on the river.

“It’s not that we’ve changed our world view but people are catching up to seeing things how we see it.”

Mr Rurawhe told Te Manu Korohi that iwi had been fighting for over 160 years to get this recognition for their river.

“From a Whanganui viewpoint the wellbeing of the river is directly linked to the wellbeing of the people and so it is really important that’s recognised as its own identity,” he said.

Vice News

4: David Cay Johnston Speaks Out About Receiving & Revealing 2 Pages of Trump’s 2005 Tax Returns

Calls are growing for President Trump to release his full tax returns after part of his 2005 return was made public Tuesday. Two pages from Trump’s tax return were obtained by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist David Cay Johnston of DCReport, who appeared last night on “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC. The 2005 tax return shows Trump earned $153 million—or more than $400,000 a day. Trump paid out $36.6 million in federal income taxes, much of it in the form of what’s known as the alternative minimum tax, which Trump now wants to eliminate. On Wednesday morning, President Trump tweeted, “Does anybody really believe that a reporter, who nobody ever heard of, ‘went to his mailbox’ and found my tax returns? @NBCNews FAKE NEWS!” That’s despite the fact that the White House confirmed the authenticity of the documents Tuesday, after Maddow teased the scoop. For more, we speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist David Cay Johnston, who obtained part of Trump’s 2005 tax returns.

Democracy  Now

3: Trump Designating the Muslim Brotherhood as Terrorists Would Be a Massive Victory for Extremists

DONALD TRUMP’S ADVISERS are said to be arguing over whether to list the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) as a terrorist organization.

The Brotherhood is a broad social and political movement that advocates for democratization and Islamic law. It has long renounced violence, providing a moderate alternative to violent Islamist movements and Arab autocrats — and is seen by both of those groups as an enemy.

It has generally been the view of the United States that it is best to bring the Brotherhood into the political process rather than isolate and alienate it.

But for years, far-right anti-Muslim activists in the United States — including top White House adviser Steve Bannon — have promoted conspiracy theories claiming that the Brotherhood is controlling mainstream American Muslim organizations ranging from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to Muslim Student Association chapters as a part of a scheme for an Islamist takeover of America. In 2007, Bannon authored a film script that imagined an America where Muslims had taken over the country through cultural subversion. In the outline for that film, he dubbed the Muslim Brotherhood “the foundation of modern terrorism.”

The Intercept

2: High turnout as Dutch vote in Europe’s far-right test

The Netherlands’ main exit poll suggests Prime Minister Mark Rutte has won the Dutch elections, easily beating anti-Islam firebrand Geert Wilders.

For the two-time Prime Minister Rutte, the poll indicated an economic recovery and his hardline handling of a diplomatic dispute with Turkey over the past week had won him support.

The Ipsos polling company gave Rutte’s party 31 of the 150 seats in the lower house of parliament, compared to 19 seats for Wilders’ PVV.

“That is very bad news for Geert Wilders,” reported Al Jazeera’s Laurence Lee from The Hague.

Wilders vowed to play a prominent role in Dutch politics going forward, despite the dismal exit poll results.

“Thank you PVV Voters! We won seats!,” Wilders said in a tweet. “The first victory is in! And Rutte has not seen the last of me yet!!”

Aljazeera

1: US Federal Reserve raises interest rates to 1% in bid to hold off inflation

The US Federal Reserve has sought to head off rising inflation with a third interest rate rise since the 2008 financial crash and the second in three months, taking the base rate from 0.75% to 1%.

The central bank set aside concerns about the impact of higher interest rates on consumer spending to confirm analyst projections that it is prepared to increase rates several times this year to keep a lid on inflation as it rises above its 2% target level.

The Guardian 

 

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