The Emir of Kuwait, who has led mediation efforts to resolve the Gulf crisis, has cautioned that the dispute between Qatar and three fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members could lead to “undesirable consequences”.
Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah was quoted by Kuwait’s state news agency as saying on Monday that it was difficult for him to see the division among GCC member states.
DURING THE PRESIDENTIAL campaign, some imagined that the more overtly racist elements of Donald Trump’s platform were just talk designed to rile up the base, not anything he seriously intended to act on. But in his first week in office, when he imposed a travel ban on seven majority-Muslim countries, that comforting illusion disappeared fast. Fortunately, the response was immediate: the marches and rallies at airports, the impromptu taxi strikes, the lawyers and local politicians intervening, the judges ruling the bans illegal.
The whole episode showed the power of resistance, and of judicial courage, and there was much to celebrate. Some have even concluded that this early slap down chastened Trump, and that he is now committed to a more reasonable, conventional course.
That is a dangerous illusion.
It is true that many of the more radical items on this administration’s wish list have yet to be realized. But make no mistake, the full agenda is still there, lying in wait. And there is one thing that could unleash it all: a large-scale crisis.
Large-scale shocks are frequently harnessed to ram through despised pro-corporate and anti-democratic policies that would never have been feasible in normal times. It’s a phenomenon I have previously called the “Shock Doctrine,” and we have seen it happen again and again over the decades, from Chile in the aftermath of Augusto Pinochet’s coup to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
IN A LAWSUIT filed today, the attorneys general of the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia claim that by accepting millions of dollars and countless more perks from foreign governments, President Trump is at the center of an “unprecedented constitutional violation.” Whether it’s $270,000 in payments from a lobbying firm working for the Saudi government or praise from the Ambassador of Georgia (also a paying customer), Trump’s hotels and properties continue to rake it in from governments across the globe, from Turkey to Kuwait to India to Afghanistan to Qatar.
The attorneys general claim that “President Trump’s personal fortune is at stake,” whenever he makes a policy decision, whether it be about taxes, climate change, or foreign relations — a troubling notion, to say the least. According to the lawsuit, Trump’s continued entanglement in his business violates the constitutional emolument clause that, in theory, prevents the president from taking payments from foreign governments. The lawsuit is damning, saying, “never before has a President acted with such disregard for this constitutional prescription.”
Trump, of course, still profits directly from his business dealings, since he has not divested from his business holdings in any way.
Chelsea Manning had not planned to share government documents with the public until she saw how disengaged her fellow Americans were from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan during a two-week leave from her posting at a military base outside of Baghdad.
Manning left the base having illegally downloaded US military reports from both wars and unsure of how she would use the information, collected after spending hours as an intelligence official watching night-vision video and reading battle reports as bombs went off in the distance.
Theresa May has told a meeting of her Conservative backbenchers: “I got us into this mess, and I’m going to get us out of it.”
A senior MP at the meeting of the party’s 1922 Committee described the prime minister as “contrite and genuine but not on her knees” as she repeatedly apologised for the election result that cost her party its majority.
“There was was none of the Maybot,” added the MP, who said the Tory leader’s response had taken away the sense of a leadership battle.
Another MP leaving the committee room said: “She was very concerned about people who have lost their seats. The party is going to help them, some of them are in dire financial situations. She did say sorry, several times. She apologised for colleagues losing their seats, for making the call about the early election.”