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TDB Top 5 International Stories: Wednesday 5th April 2017

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5: Trump Might Make Tourists Hand Over Their Phones and Passwords
4: ‘Chemical attack’ in Syria draws international outrage
3: Full Interview: Noam Chomsky on Trump’s First 75 Days & Much More
2: Donald Trump’s Pick to Oversee Big Pharma Is Addicted to Opioid-Industry Cash
1: Bill O’Reilly faces new pressure as 12 companies pull ads from Fox News show

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5: Trump Might Make Tourists Hand Over Their Phones and Passwords

The White House is considering new “extreme vetting” measures for anyone who visits the US.

Donald Trump’s travel ban has been temporarily blocked not once but twice by federal judges, and his administration hasn’t stopped looking for sweeping, aggressive new ways to tighten security at the nation’s borders. This might mean going so far as to ask all visitors to the US for their phones, social media passwords, financial records, and more, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The amped-up screening protocol—which could potentially include grilling visitors about their ideology—might apply to people across the globe, even those from long-standing US allies like Australia, the UK, and France, whose citizens can travel fairly freely to America thanks to Visa Waiver Program.

Additionally, according to Trump administration officials who spoke to the Journal anonymously, the US might subject visa applicants to more stringent security reviews and require embassies abroad to spend more time conducting interviews with applicants.

“If there is any doubt about a person’s intentions coming to the United States, they should have to overcome—really and truly prove to our satisfaction—that they are coming for legitimate reasons,” Gene Hamilton, an adviser to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, told the Journal.

Trump has been preaching “extreme vetting” since he was a Republican primary candidate, but mostly he’s focused on refugees from the Middle East and undocumented immigrants who illegally crossed the southern US border. If the procedures described by the Journal’s reporting become reality, they will affect a much broader group of people, including many tourists—who already may be avoiding coming to America.

Vice News

4: ‘Chemical attack’ in Syria draws international outrage

A suspected chemical attack in Syria has drawn international condemnation, with the United States, France and Britain all pointing the finger at President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

At least 58 people, including 11 children, were killed in the rebel-held Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province on Tuesday, doctors and a monitor said.

The United Nations said it would investigate the bombing raid as a possible war crime, and an emergency Security Council meeting was scheduled for Wednesday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack caused many people to choke or faint, and some to foam from the mouth, citing medical sources who described the symptoms as signs that gas was used.

Local health workers said the death toll could rise and eventually reach 100. A member of the White Helmets, a rescue group that operates in rebel-held areas, told Al Jazeera that up to 300 people had been injured.

The Syrian National Coalition, an opposition group, accused government planes of carrying out the attack, and said they used a gas similar to sarin.


3: Full Interview: Noam Chomsky on Trump’s First 75 Days & Much More

Full 70-minute interview with Noam Chomsky on Democracy Now! today talking about Donald Trump’s first 75 days in the White House and much more.

Democracy Now

2: Donald Trump’s Pick to Oversee Big Pharma Is Addicted to Opioid-Industry Cash

NEWLY-RELEASED FINANCIAL disclosure documents show that Dr. Scott Gottlieb, President Trump’s nominee to the lead the Food and Drug Administration, has received significant payments from the opioid industry — while attacking attempts to deter the explosion of opioid pill mills.

The FDA has some of the most significant authority in the federal government to oversee manufacturers of prescription painkillers. Gottlieb is set to appear for his confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

Gottlieb’s disclosure statements, required under federal law, show that since the beginning of 2016 he has received almost $45,000 in speaking fees from firms involved in the manufacture and distribution of opioids.

“Our country is in desperate need of an FDA commissioner who will take on the opioid lobby, not one who has a track record of working for it,” said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, the co-director of Opioid Policy Research at Brandeis University, reacting to this information.

The Intercept

1: Bill O’Reilly faces new pressure as 12 companies pull ads from Fox News show

Bill O’Reilly’s top-rated Fox News show may be starting to feel a financial sting, with 12 firms taking action after allegations that he sexually harassed several women.

The automakers Hyundai, BMW and Mitsubishi, the financial firm T Rowe Price, the personal finance site Credit Karma, the insurer Allstate, the drugmakers Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, the pet food company Ainsworth, the men’s shirt seller Untuckit, and the online marketing firm Constant Contact said Tuesday that they had joined Mercedes-Benz in pulling their ads from the show.

The moves come after a weekend report in the New York Times that O’Reilly and his employer paid five women $13m to settle harassment or other allegations of inappropriate conduct by Fox’s star.

The Guardian 


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