TDB Top 5 International Stories: Friday 9th June 2017

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5: Do New Zealand’s New Medical Marijuana Rules Actually Help Sick People?
4: Qatar ‘not ready to change foreign policy’
3: JAMES COMEY STATEMENT DESCRIBES UNSETTLING AND AWKWARD MEETINGS WITH TRUMP
2: Attackers in Tehran Kill 12 & Injure Dozens More as U.S. Deliberately Worsens Iran-Saudi Relations
1: Does Comey’s statement give grounds to impeach Trump? The experts’ view

5: Do New Zealand’s New Medical Marijuana Rules Actually Help Sick People?

It’s now legal for doctors to prescribe medical marijuana – but patients say the costs are prohibitive and supply’s not there.

Medical marijuana advocates rejoiced last week, as associate health minister Peter Dunne pledged to lift the restrictions on cannabidiol – a drug hailed around the world for treating a variety of illnesses and pain without psychoactive properties or serious side-effects.

It’s been a long time coming; around 80 percent of New Zealanders said marijuana should be decriminalised for pain relief in a study last year.

The new regime allows doctors to prescribe the drug, where patients previously had to get special approval from the Ministry of Health. It also reduces import controls for prescribers and wholesalers. But despite the restrictions slowly lifting, the new regime doesn’t subsidise the drug, and patients prescribed cannabidoil [CBD] are faced with limited supply and a bill of around $1400 a month.

Vice News

4: Qatar ‘not ready to change foreign policy’

Qatar is not ready to change its foreign policy to resolve a dispute with fellow Arab Gulf states and will never compromise, Qatar’s foreign minister has told Al Jazeera.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani made the remarks in Doha on Thursday, just days after Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and several other countries cut relations with Qatar.

They accuse Qatar of supporting armed groups and their regional rival, Iran. Qatar says the charges are baseless.

“We are not ready to surrender, and will never be ready to surrender, the independence of our foreign policy,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman said.

Aljazeera

3:  JAMES COMEY STATEMENT DESCRIBES UNSETTLING AND AWKWARD MEETINGS WITH TRUMP

FORMER FBI DIRECTOR James Comey offered the first glimpse of what President Donald Trump looks like through his eyes in a seven-page “statement for the record” previewing his live testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday. In the prepared remarks, released Wednesday, Comey narrates a pattern of encounters with Trump that he considered awkward and unsettling.

Most importantly, in Comey’s telling, is the threat that Trump posed to the independence of the FBI. The FBI has an ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, particularly those of Michael Flynn, who served as Trump national security adviser for the administration’s first 24 days. Comey’s statement suggests that Trump tried to quash that investigation in their meetings. Interference with the investigation could be considered obstruction of justice, a potentially impeachable offense, depending on how Congress interprets what transpired.

In his letter announcing Comey’s firing, Trump wrote that Comey had informed him “on three separate occasions” that he was not under investigation. Comey’s statement appears to verify Trump’s claim — though his version of events suggests a more complicated situation than the president’s letter let on. According to Comey, Trump was keenly interested in having the FBI director publicize that he was not under investigation.

The Intercept

2: Attackers in Tehran Kill 12 & Injure Dozens More as U.S. Deliberately Worsens Iran-Saudi Relations

A pair of attacks in Iran’s capital Tehran this morning left 12 people dead and dozens more injured. The attacks on the parliament building and the tomb of the republic’s founder, Ayatollah Khomeini, are the worst attacks in Tehran in decades. The attackers opened fire and took a number of hostages before all four attackers were killed by security forces. ISIS is claiming responsibility. We are joined by Trita Parsi, founder and president of the National Iranian American Council.
Democracy Now

1: Does Comey’s statement give grounds to impeach Trump? The experts’ view

Legal experts agreed that James Comey’s account of his nine conversations with Donald Trump earlier this year presented strong evidence of obstruction of justice and an attempt to bury an investigation into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Moscow.

 

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