TDB Top 5 International Stories: Monday 24th April 2017

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5: What France Would Look Like Under President Marine Le Pen
4: North Korea threatens to sink approaching US carrier
3: WHY THEY MARCH: “SCIENCE AND SCIENTISTS ARE NOW UNDER ATTACK”
2: As U.S. Preps Arrest Warrant for Assange, Glenn Greenwald Says Prosecuting WikiLeaks Threatens Press Freedom for All
1: Trump push for border wall threatens to cause government shutdown

5: What France Would Look Like Under President Marine Le Pen

For a few months now the polls in France have been pretty unanimous: Marine Le Pen will likely get through the first round of presidential elections. Those same polls say she’ll be defeated in the second round, but let’s imagine for a moment that the unthinkable happens. Let’s imagine that at 8PM on the 7th of May, Marine Le Pen is declared the winner of France’s presidential elections. What would that mean?

As the new resident of the Élysée Palace – where France’s presidents have lived since 1848 – she could turn the country upside down, not just by “restoring a proper musical education in schools” ( which is the 112th point on her 144-point manifesto for the country), but by making changes to the Constitution, having France leave the European Union, re-introducing a French currency and closing the borders. In other words, were Le Pen’s ideas actually implemented as they are, everything would change for the French people, French institutions, the European Union and the financial markets.

Vice News

4: North Korea threatens to sink approaching US carrier

North Korea threatened on Sunday to sink a US aircraft carrier cruising towards the tense Korean peninsula, and said it would strike Australia with nuclear weapons if it “blindly” followed its American ally.

The latest warnings from Pyongyang came as two Japanese navy ships joined the American supercarrier strike group for exercises in the western Pacific.

US President Donald Trump ordered the USS Carl Vinson to sail to waters off the Korean peninsula in response to rising tension over the North’s nuclear and missile tests, and its threats to attack the United States and its regional allies.

US Vice President Mike Pence said on Saturday it would arrive “within days” but gave no other details.

Aljazeera

3: WHY THEY MARCH: “SCIENCE AND SCIENTISTS ARE NOW UNDER ATTACK”

The March for Science is a response to the Trump administration’s distaste for science — or at least the kind that gets in the way of profit — but it is also a celebration of those among us who have devoted their lives to understanding how the world works. The thousands descending on the National Mall, on the first Earth Day under a regime that has taken a sharp knife to government science budgets, study stars and butterflies, barrier reefs and hedgehog reproduction, viruses and bird flight patterns.

Most days, they make and test their hypotheses in laboratories or perhaps in the Arctic Circle or the Australian Outback, in an anti-gravity chamber or a deciduous forest. But on this rainy April Saturday, they have come together in Washington, D.C, to make a point that feels more urgent than ever: Science matters, and we ignore its findings at our peril.

The Intercept

2: As U.S. Preps Arrest Warrant for Assange, Glenn Greenwald Says Prosecuting WikiLeaks Threatens Press Freedom for All

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald responds to reports that the Trump administration has prepared an arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Attorney General Jeff Sessions confirmed the report at a news conference Thursday. Last week, CIA chief Mike Pompeo blasted WikiLeaks as a “hostile intelligence service,” in a stark reversal from his previous praise for the group. Pompeo made the remarks last week at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in his first public address as CIA director. Pompeo went on to accuse WikiLeaks of instructing Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning to steal information. He also likened Julian Assange to a “demon” and suggested Assange is not protected under the First Amendment. It’s been nearly five years since Julian Assange entered the Ecuadorean Embassy in London seeking political asylum, fearing a Swedish arrest warrant could lead to his extradition to the United States. Greenwald’s story for The Intercept is “Trump’s CIA Director Pompeo, Targeting WikiLeaks, Explicitly Threatens Speech and Press Freedoms.”

Democracy Now

1: Trump push for border wall threatens to cause government shutdown

Looming above Washington as Congress and the White House attempt to avert a funding shutdown in only five days’ time, Donald Trump’s central campaign promise to build a wall on the Mexican border threatens to bring the US government to a halt this week in a national display of dysfunction.

On Sunday, even White House officials expressed uncertainty about whether the president would sign a funding bill that did not include money for a wall, which Trump has promised since the first day of his presidential campaign.

“We don’t know yet,” said the White House budget director, Mick Mulvaney, on Fox News Sunday. “We are asking for our priorities.”

The president himself waded into the negotiations on Sunday, holding out two sticks and no carrot. “ObamaCare is in serious trouble,” he tweeted. “The Dems need big money to keep it going – otherwise it dies far sooner than anyone would have thought.”

“The Democrats don’t want money from budget going to border wall despite the fact that it will stop drugs and very bad MS 13 gang members,” he continued, suggesting he would accuse Democrats of being soft on international crime.

But Trump also retreated from a related pledge to the American people: that he would “make Mexico pay” for the wall, which is estimated to cost billions.

“Eventually, but at a later date so we can get started early, Mexico will be paying, in some form, for the badly needed border wall,” the president tweeted, without offering a plan or timeline.

Without a deal, funding for the government will run out at midnight on 28 April, Trump’s 100th day in office. The secretary of homeland security, John Kelly, told CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday he suspected the president would push for the wall.

The Guardian 

 

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