Two days ago, the Trump administration falsely claimed the president was powerless to stop separating children from their parents at the southern border.
“Congress alone can fix it,” Kirstjen Nielsen, the head of the Department of Homeland Security, told reporters Monday even though it was the administration’s own policy changes that’s resulted in the separation of families.
Not anymore, apparently.
The United States has announced it is leaving the UN Human Rights Council. It calls the 47-member body ‘hypocritical’ and ‘self-serving’.
The decision follows months of threats by President Donald Trump.
The US has long had a conflicted relationship with the UNHRC and says it has to be reformed.
President Trump has recently faced widespread, vociferous condemnation for his “zero tolerance” immigration policy that is separating children from their families at the US-Mexico border.
So, how will this decision impact the global fight to protect human rights?
And will this further isolate the US on the world stage?
VOTERS ACROSS THE country were shocked to learn last year, through the disclosure of a top-secret NSA document, details of an intricate plot by Russian military hackers to infiltrate American electoral systems. New emails obtained by The Intercept through public records requests illustrate the disturbing extent to which potential targets of the attack were caught unaware, having apparently remained in the dark alongside the voting public.
On June 5, 2017, The Intercept published a top-secret National Security Agency assessment that detailed and diagramed a Russian governmental plot to breach VR Systems, an e-voting vendor that makes poll book software used by several pivotal electoral battleground states, such as North Carolina and Virginia. The report attributed the scheme to the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate, or GRU. GRU’s plan, the NSA claimed, was to roll any success with VR Systems into a subsequent email attack against state voting officials across the country.
According to the documents obtained by The Intercept, officials in a handful of crucial swing states were completely unaware that GRU was trying to infiltrate their voting systems — for months and months after the election had taken place. Experts contacted by The Intercept decried a system in which overstretched state officials were in the dark about potential threats. A former official from the Department of Homeland Security told The Intercept on the condition of anonymity that warning about the potential attacks did not filter down to state-level officials in part because of complicated bureaucratic turf wars between the NSA, DHS, and local bodies — all of which were exacerbated because, for the NSA, transmitting word of the cyberattacks down the chain was “not a high priority issue.”
“Our Country’s biggest enemy is the Fake News,” President Trump tweeted last week, in his latest attack on the nation’s press. A week earlier, federal prosecutors revealed they had secretly captured years’ worth of phone and email data from journalist Ali Watkins, who broke several high-profile stories related to the Senate Intelligence Committee. A former top aide on the committee, James Wolfe, has been charged with lying to the FBI about his contacts with the press. Meanwhile, Reporters Without Borders recently dropped the United States to number 45 in its annual ranking of press freedom. When the group first published its list in 2002, the United States came in at number 17. We speak with the nation’s best-known investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh. He has a new book out looking back on his more than half-century of scoops and digging up secrets. It’s titled “Reporter: A Memoir.”
New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern has arrived at hospital to give birth to her first child.