TDB Top 5 International Stories: Tuesday 8th August 2017

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5: A Definitive Ranking of NZ Prime Ministers from Lamest to Coolest
4: Houston PD Chief: Trump’s Support of Police Brutality Reinforces View of Officers as “Neanderthals”
3: North Korea vows to teach US ‘severe lesson’
2: HOW DO CHICAGO POLICE TREAT MENTAL HEALTH? WITH SWAT RAIDS
1: US federal department is censoring use of term ‘climate change’, emails reveal

5: A Definitive Ranking of NZ Prime Ministers from Lamest to Coolest

The election is looming, which means politicians are being even more insufferable than usual. If you look out the window, at least one of them is probably erecting a giant billboard of their face on your lawn.

Some commentators will try to evaluate candidates’ actual policies, poring over healthcare costings and infrastructure investment and such. Don’t let all this deep and nuanced blather distract you from what really matters in a nation’s leader: Who would you like to crack a cold one with as you slap a steak on the barbie?

It is a well-known truism that those who cannot learn from the lameness of history are doomed to be uncool forever.

Vice News

4: Houston PD Chief: Trump’s Support of Police Brutality Reinforces View of Officers as “Neanderthals”

President Donald Trump continues to face widespread criticism from police chiefs across the country following a speech he gave to police officers in Long Island, New York, that appeared to openly endorse police brutality. Commenting on the need to crack down on gang members, Trump suggested that police officers have license to use excessive force on suspects. For more, we speak with Houston’s police chief, Art Acevedo.

Democracy Now

3: North Korea vows to teach US ‘severe lesson’

North Korea is ready to give the United States a “severe lesson” if Washington takes military action against Pyongyang, pledging it will “under no circumstances” put its nuclear weapons and ballistic programmes on the negotiating table, the country’s foreign minister has said.

“We will under no circumstances put the nukes and ballistics rockets on [the] negotiating table,” Ri Yong-ho said in a statement released on Monday in the Philippine capital Manila, where he was attending a regional meeting of the Association of the South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

“Neither shall we flinch even an inch from the road to bolstering up the nuclear forces chosen by ourselves unless the hostile policy and nuclear threat of the US against the DPRK [North Korea] are fundamentally eliminated.”

Aljazeera

2: HOW DO CHICAGO POLICE TREAT MENTAL HEALTH? WITH SWAT RAIDS

ON A BALMY DAY in February, Jedidiah Brown drove onto a busy expressway in the heart of Chicago, firearm in tow, with the intention of killing himself. The South Side activist, now 30 years old, sat in his parked car holding the gun to his head while he broadcast over Facebook Live. He cited the death of a family member and living in a city rocked by police violence and political corruption as reasons for the episode.

While Brown sat weeping, a team from the Chicago Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics division was deployed to the scene. The SWAT team rammed Brown’s car from the front and back with two large armored vehicles, which he says looked like “tanks.” Video footage of the incident, which Brown captured on Facebook Live, shows him growing increasingly agitated and pleading with the police. “Fucking stop it,” he said at one point, to the sound of more crashing.

“It made everything race, made everything chaotic,” Brown said of the SWAT team, comprised of several heavily armed officers. “I went from having the desire to commit suicide to thinking, ‘Now I’m going to be killed by the police.’”

Brown’s friend Alicia Spikes, who says she witnessed the incident, was troubled by the SWAT team’s actions. “I believe,” she said, “they escalated the situation more than it had to be.”

The Intercept

1: US federal department is censoring use of term ‘climate change’, emails reveal

Staff at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) have been told to avoid using the term climate change in their work, with the officials instructed to reference “weather extremes” instead.

A series of emails obtained by the Guardian between staff at the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a USDA unit that oversees farmers’ land conservation, show that the incoming Trump administration has had a stark impact on the language used by some federal employees around climate change.

A missive from Bianca Moebius-Clune, director of soil health, lists terms that should be avoided by staff and those that should replace them. “Climate change” is in the “avoid” category, to be replaced by “weather extremes”. Instead of “climate change adaption”, staff are asked to use “resilience to weather extremes”.

The primary cause of human-driven climate change is also targeted, with the term “reduce greenhouse gases” blacklisted in favor of “build soil organic matter, increase nutrient use efficiency”. Meanwhile, “sequester carbon” is ruled out and replaced by “build soil organic matter”.

The Guardian 

 

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