TDB Top 5 International Stories: Sunday 21st July 2019



Two Republican senators are diving into the fight against the threat of domestic terrorism — by introducing legislation targeting the decentralized antifascist movement known as “antifa.”

Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana unveiled a resolutionthis week “calling for the designation of Antifa as a domestic terrorist organization.” The resolution states that “Antifa is a movement that intentionally combines violence with the group’s alt-left positions.”

Vice News


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4: Iran releases video showing capture of British oil tanker

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have released footage showing a British oil tanker being seized in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday.

The Stena Impero tanker “was confiscated by the Revolutionary Guards at the request of Hormozgan Ports and Maritime Organisation when passing through the Strait of Hormuz, for failing to respect international maritime rules”.

The video of the incident showed Iranian soldiers in black ski masks rappelling from a helicopter onto the vessel.

It also shows several small IRGC boats surrounding the larger tanker as it moves through the strait. A military helicopter hovers above and several men wearing black masks begin to rappel onto the ship.



3: How the Plastics Industry Is Fighting to Keep Polluting the World

THE STUDENTS AT Westmeade Elementary School worked hard on their dragon. And it paid off. The plastic bag receptacle that the kids painted green and outfitted with triangular white teeth and a “feed me” sign won the students from the Nashville suburb first place in a recycling box decorating contest. The idea, as Westmeade’s proud principal told a local TV news show, was to help the environment. But the real story behind the dragon — as with much of the escalating war over plastic waste — is more complicated.

The contest was sponsored by A Bag’s Life, a recycling promotion and education effort of the American Progressive Bag Alliance, a lobbying group that fights restrictions on plastic. That organization is part of the Plastics Industry Association, a trade group that includes Shell Polymers, LyondellBasell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron Phillips, DowDuPont, and Novolex — all of which profit hugely from the continued production of plastics. And even as A Bag’s Life was encouraging kids to spread the uplifting message of cleaning up plastic waste, its parent organization, the American Progressive Bag Alliance, was backing a state bill that would strip Tennesseans of their ability to address the plastics crisis. The legislation would make it illegal for local governments to ban or restrict bags and other single-use plastic products — one of the few things shown to actually reduce plastic waste.

The Intercept


2: Anti-Racist Historian: Attacks on Rep. Omar Rooted in Belief “America Is for White People”

On Thursday, President Trump attempted to distance himself from the racist chant of “send her back” about Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar at a Trump campaign rally Wednesday in North Carolina. The chants rang across the rally in response to Trump’s own verbal attack against the congresswoman. He did nothing to intervene. On Wednesday, the House of Representatives narrowly passed a resolution condemning Trump’s racist remarks against Congressmembers Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. We speak with Ibram X. Kendi, founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University.

Democracy Now


1: Iran’s top diplomat in UK summoned over seizure of Stena Impero tanker

The British government has summoned Tehran’s top diplomat in London and warned UK ships to temporarily avoid the strait of Hormuz after Iranseized a British-flagged tanker off its coast, deepening the crisis in the Gulf.

The British foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said on Saturday that he had spoken to his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, to express “extreme disappointment” over Iran’s actions, and vowed to protect UK ships during the crisis.

“Having assured me last Sat[urday] Iran wanted to de-escalate the situation they have behaved in the opposite way,” Hunt said on Twitter. “This has to be about actions not words if we are to find a way through. British shipping must and will be protected.”

A British Royal Navy frigate was just an hour from the scene when Iranian forces took control of the British-flagged Stena Impero, the defence secretary, Penny Mordaunt, told Sky News. She said the tanker was in Omani waters at the time.