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TDB Top 5 International Stories: Thursday 4th May 2017

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5: The Swamp Is Beating Trump
4: Macron, Le Pen clash in bad-tempered election debate
2: Up to 55,000 Haitians Face Deportation If Trump Refuses to Extend Temporary Protected Status
1: Steve Bannon’s giant to-do list revealed in photo with rabbi

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5: The Swamp Is Beating Trump

More and more, the president is looking like an everyday Republican. Sad!

Anyone who watches reality television knows that not a lot actually happens in any given episode. A single glass of chardonnay thrown in someone’s face at a pop-up shop opening will be teased for half the episode, and then replayed—in slow-motion, in black and white—before thorough analysis by each of the participants. A ten-second argument can be padded out to 15 minutes of content. The art of this wonderfully American format is to get people to tune in to an event in which almost nothing happens.

Whatever else is going on with Donald Trump, the guy knows how to make reality TV.

Vice News

4: Macron, Le Pen clash in bad-tempered election debate

Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron have clashed over France’s economy, security and Europe in an ill-tempered televised debate ahead of Sunday’s runoff vote for the presidency.

The two went into the only head-to-head debate before the election with opinion polls showing Macron, 39, maintaining a strong lead of 20 percentage points over the National Front’s Le Pen, 48, in what is widely seen as France’s most important election in decades.

The two candidates, seated opposite one another at a table in the television studios on Wednesday, mapped out diametrically opposed visions for France. Macron calls for liberal reforms to kickstart the French economy, while Le Pen rails against the loss of French jobs through off-shoring and would adopt protectionist trade measures.



U.S. OFFICIALS HAVE repeatedly (and falsely) claimed that North Korea is on the verge of having the capability to carry out a nuclear strike on U.S. soil. And the Trump White House has done little to tamp down media speculation about nuclear war, perhaps because the hype plays to its advantage.

In fact, President Trump’s rhetorical brinksmanship has some resemblance to the governing style of Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator whom Trump recently called “a pretty smart cookie.” A population that feels threatened by mass violence tends to line up behind its protector. Exaggerated beliefs about North Korea’s nuclear capabilities serve to justify America’s own provocations. These include Foal Eagle, a military exercise carried out on North Korea’s doorstep by U.S. and South Korean forces every spring since 2002.

The North Korean missile that’s drawn the most speculation is called the KN-08. It has only been tested twice. Both tests ended in failure. Nevertheless, NBC has offered advice on what Americans should do in case of a nuclear strike. Fox News reported on Hawaii’s “emergency attack plans.” Trump himself tweeted that North Korea is in the “final stages” of developing a nuclear weapon that could hit the United States. Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., the head of Pacific Command, told Congress last week that “Kim Jong-un is clearly in a position to threaten Hawaii today.” Those who watched the full hearing know that Harris also said that current missile defense systems are “sufficient.” But you wouldn’t know it from the headlines:

The Intercept

2: Up to 55,000 Haitians Face Deportation If Trump Refuses to Extend Temporary Protected Status

The Haitian-American community is now facing a looming deportation deadline. Up to 55,000 Haitians could be forcefully repatriated to their fragile, struggling homeland if the Trump administration refuses to extend a temporary protected status that has allowed them to legally reside and work in the U.S. after an earthquake devastated Haiti in 2010. Haitians’ temporary protected status, or TPS, is set to expire on July 22. Immigrant rights advocates say Haiti is still reeling from Hurricane Matthew, which, in October 2016, destroyed the country’s southwest peninsula. The hurricane killed more than 1,000 people and decimated villages and farmland. Haiti is also suffering from a devastating cholera epidemic that erupted after the earthquake. For more, we speak with Marleine Bastien, executive director of Haitian Women of Miami.

Democracy Now

1: Steve Bannon’s giant to-do list revealed in photo with rabbi

Before being hung out to dry in the halls of Congress or blocked by inconvenient federal judges, Donald Trump’s policy initiatives start as items written on a dry-erase board in chief strategist Stephen Bannon’s office, photos posted to social media this week suggested.

Then Bannon checks them off and … maybe gets lunch?

During a visit to Bannon to mark the 1948 declaration of Israeli independence, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a former Republican congressional candidate and reality star, posed for pictures prominently featuring Bannon’s to-do list.

The pictures were posted to Twitter as Trump made the case that his first 100 days in office have been among the most productive in US presidential history.

Yet many items on Bannon’s wall-sized list, which has been described previously by reporters but not publicly seen, have not yet been dispatched. Controversially, no doubt, for to-do list purists – some items with check marks next to them remain stubbornly incomplete.

Such items include “suspend immigration from terror-prone regions” and “suspend the Syrian refugee program”. Orders issued by Trump to suspend travel from certain Muslim-majority countries and to suspend the refugee program have been blocked in federal court.

Bannon’s top priority in the health care quadrant has similarly gone nowhere. “Repeal and replace Obamacare,” the white board reads. Republicans have failed to move legislation to that effect through the House of Representatives, despite their healthy voting majority and the president’s personal involvement.

The Guardian 


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