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  • Fareed Zakaria: Donald Trump Contradicts Himself in Foreign Policy Speech, "Rambling, Incoherent"

     
     
     
     
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    By Tim Hains
    Posted on April 27, 2016
  • CNN's Fareed Zakaria responds to Donald Trump's major foreign policy address. Transcript, via CNN:
  • FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST, "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS": I thought, in the main theme, he really stuck to his guns which was it was populist, nationalist, protectionist. You know, I will look after America first. The trade deals were at the center of it. That was all familiar.
     
     But he expanded. It was sort of rambling to the point of being incoherent. I mean, he contradicted himself several times, it struck me. He said, we're going to get out of nation-building but we are going to create stability. Well, how do you do that? You get out of nation building in Afghanistan, you'll get more instability. If you got out of nation building in Iraq, you got more instability.

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  • The Oaxaca Incident

       

    A geographer’s efforts to map a Mexican village reveal the risks of military entanglement

           
        April 27, 2016
  • On most maps, Tiltepec doesn’t look like much.

     

    A Zapotec village of several hundred indigenous people, Tiltepec clings to the steep slopes of the Sierra Juárez, a formidable range in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. Its people have lived there for generations in relative isolation under the shadow of Cerro Negro, where once their ancestors forced conquistadors off a cliff to the Rio Vera below. The valley teems with ancient earthen terraces, platforms, and sacred caves. Yet find Tiltepec on government maps and all you’ll see is bare topography and a name. Viewed on Google Earth, it’s even less — a few patches of white rectangles drowned in forest. For most of the world, Tiltepec might as well not exist.

     

    Peter H. Herlihy was going to change that. A geographer at the University of Kansas, he has been a pioneer in what he calls participatory research mapping, a method that allows indigenous communities to reflect their knowledge on official, standardized maps, empowering them when the state comes to redraw borders. Herlihy was no stranger to Latin America — he had used the method in the early 1990s, in Central America. But he was a stranger to Tiltepec.

  • In 2006, Herlihy and his team of American and Mexican researchers arrived in Oaxaca under the aegis of the American Geographical Society, an organization, now much reduced, that once rivaled the National Geographic Society in influence. The AGS had pinned its revival, which it saw going hand in hand with the revival of geography as an academic discipline, in large part on the success of Herlihy’s expedition.

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  • Donald Trump Delivers Foreign Policy Speech
  • On Wednesday, April 27, the Center for the National Interest’s magazine The National Interest hosted leading Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump for a foreign policy speech as a part of its continuing coverage of the 2016 electoral campaign. Zalmay Khalilzad, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Afghanistan and Iraq, introduced Mr. Trump. Ambassador Khalilzad is also of the member of The National Interest advisory council and the Center’s board of directors. Center Chairman General Charles Boyd, board members Drew Guff, Grover Norquist and President Dimitri Simes also took part. Other participants included Senator Jeff Sessions, several Member of the House of Representatives and the ambassadors of Italy, The Philippines, Russia and Singapore. The full text of Mr. Trump’s remarks can be found below:
  • “Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you, and thank you to the Center for National Interest for honoring me with this invitation. It truly is a great honor. I’d like to talk today about how to develop a new foreign policy direction for our country, one that replaces randomness with purpose, ideology with strategy, and chaos with peace.

     

    It’s time to shake the rust off America’s foreign policy. It’s time to invite new voices and new visions into the fold, something we have to do. The direction I will outline today will also return us to a timeless principle. My foreign policy will always put the interests of the American people and American security above all else. It has to be first. Has to be.

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                    By: Arnold August
  • 25 April 2016
  • Despite thawing relations, Cubans are still resisting the Obama administration’s subversive policy towards the island

     
        
                 

    Before leaving Montreal for Havana in March 2016 to cover  Obama's trip to Havana, I wrote an article on Cuba–US relations. Referring to the cultural war to include, in the broad sense of the term, ideological and political aggression, I asked: “The question is, will Obama’s visit to Cuba provide Cubans the opportunity to make headway against the cultural war, or will it allow the US to make inroads? Or are both these scenarios on the horizon?”            

    My intention at that time was to deal with this question immediately upon my return from Cuba. However, one feature became clear during my stay in Havana and immediately following it. Both in and outside of Cuba, the repercussions of the visit not only continued but were being ramped up. In fact, at the time of writing, a month after the trip, the ideological and political controversies are carrying on. This situation is at present further being fostered by Raúl Castro’s April 16, 2016 Central Report to the 7th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba (CPC). He devoted important sections of the Report to the issue of Cuba–US relations.

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  • Chris Wallace vs. Wasserman Schultz: How Do You Know Investigation Into Clinton is Ludicrous?

     
     
     
     
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    By Ian Schwartz
    Posted on April 24, 2016
  • FOX News Sunday host Chris Wallace questions Debbie Wasserman Schultz how she is able to come to the conclusion that the probe into Hillary Clinton's private server and email account is "ludicrous" without knowing anything about the investigation.
     
     "At the end of the day, this is a distraction because the American people are going to decide who they vote for, for president, based on who they believe is going to continue to move us forward and help everybody who wants to succeed have a fair shot to do so. And what they're not going to vote on is distractions like this one," Wasserman Schultz said of the server controversy.
     
     Transcript of the tense exchange on today's broadcast, via FOX News:
  • CHRIS WALLACE, "FOX NEWS SUNDAY" HOST: I -- I want to talk about one last subject with you congresswoman. You have dismissed the idea that Hillary Clinton could face any legal troubles over her private e-mail server as, quote, "ludicrous." How do you know that?
     
     REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, DNC CHAIRWOMAN: I -- I'm simply confident that as the investigation continues that Hillary Clinton has made it clear and there are scores of individuals who are associated with the federal government that have indicated that it's clear that she conducted herself completely legally, that she was able to use private e-mail just like previous Republican and Democratic secretaries of state and I think that --
     
     WALLACE: Well --

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  • Italy says NATO three months from Libya naval mission

     
     
      AFP | 25 April, 2016
  • NATO is three months from launching a naval mission off Libya under a controversial plan to close the Western Mediterranean migrant route to Europe and begin mass repatriations, Italy said Monday.
  • The advanced state of preparations was revealed by Italian Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti as leaders of the US, Britain, France, Germany and Italy prepared to meet in Hanover, Germany for talks expected to touch on the migrant crisis and instability and Islamist infiltration into Libya.

    Modelled on an existing NATO operation in waters between Turkey and Greece, the Libya mission is set to be approved by alliance leaders at a Warsaw summit on July 7, Pinotti said in an interview with Italian daily La Stampa.

    The plan forms part of a broader Italian strategy to stop migrants using Libya as a launchpad for reaching Europe by flying those with no claim to asylum back to their home countries, which will be paid to set up reception centres to reintegrate them.

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  • Conservative billionaire Charles Koch and Sen. Bernie Sanders may be on opposite ends of the political spectrum, but both are in agreement on one issue: the American economy is "rigged" in favor of the wealthy. 

     "That's our number one policy objective -- to change that," Koch said in an exclusive interview with ABC News that aired Sunday. 

     Where he and Sanders disagree is the solution. 

  • Koch, author of the book "Good Profit," acknowledges his own company, Koch Industries, has been a direct beneficiary of "corporate welfare." But he says he and brother David Koch have lobbied -- so far unsuccessfully -- for the broad repeal of subsidies and exemptions carved out of the U.S. tax code, including those benefiting them. 

     "We've got to get rid of this rather than have more government control, but [Sanders has] at least identified the problem," he said. 

     Koch said while Republicans have been successful in blocking many big-spending initiatives he believes would be bad for the country, they have mostly ignored pleas from he and his brother to reform the tax system. 

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  • Koch brothers won't go to Republican National Convention

     
      
       

     
     
     
      

    Add the Koch brothers' massive political network to the growing list of those who say they will not be attending the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this July.

    “Why go?” Charles Koch told ABC News in an article published Monday, referring to the brothers' umbrella political organization, Freedom Partners. “We're not interested in politics. We’re interested in moving us towards a culture and policies that will enable people to improve their lives.”

  • Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has said that he will also skip the event, along with the party's 2008 nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain, who is facing a tough re-election race.

    Despite the Koch brothers' donation of hundreds of millions of dollars to Republican candidates and causes over the past decade, Charles Koch remarked that if Democrats "will do a better job, we would support them."

  • "But we're not going to get in any campaign where we believe that we can’t make a difference," he said. In the same interview, he told ABC's Jonathan Karl that "it's possible" that another Clinton in the White House would be better than a Republican president.

    Koch also said that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is "better on the issues" than the remaining Republican candidates but that supporting him as a "white knight" nominee would do more harm than help their cause.

    “I don’t see how he could win,” Koch said. “If he did, I mean, that would create the impression this whole thing is rigged, which — that's the opposite of the direction we want to go.”

  • Will Oil And Refugees Force European Intervention In Libya
  • By Irina Slav
      Posted on Sun, 24 April 2016
  • Europe is on track to send security experts to Libya after it successfully installed a so-called unity government that is willing to work with international agencies. A primary goal of this move will be to address the problem of the smuggling of people to Europe.

     

    The move is in the planning stage. EU officials have declared that help will be sent should the new government, called the Government of National Accord (GNA), ask for assistance, which it did earlier this week. The GNA has asked for help from the EU in general, with an emphasis on restoring the security of the country and dealing with militant groups.

  • Will Oil And Refugees Force European Intervention In Libya | OilPrice.com

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  • ‘Time for US-German leadership’? Obama, Merkel pushing EU into unpopular TTIP free trade deal      

  • US President Barack Obama wants to complete talks on a US-EU free trade deal before his term ends in January. However, while he enjoyed the warm support of German Chancellor Merkel in Hannover, public support for the highly secretive deal is waning.   

    “I don’t anticipate that we will be able to complete ratification of a deal by the end of this year, but I do anticipate that we will have completed the agreement,” Obama said at the industrial trade fair in Hannover during a Sunday briefing with Angela Merkel.

    The US president warned that time was ticking, claiming that things would become unpredictable once he is out of office.

  • “If we don’t complete negotiations this year, then upcoming political transitions in the United States and Europe could mean this agreement won’t be finished for quite some time,” Obama said, hinting at Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton’s opposition to the deal.

    “We must ask ourselves: What is the cost of delay?” Obama’s commerce secretary, Penny Pritzker, said earlier while trying to sell an audience of 350 business leaders on TTIP, the New York Times reported.

    She added that “now is the time for US-German leadership.”

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  • Boris Johnson: UK and America can be better friends than ever Mr Obama... if we LEAVE the EU

       

      Writing exclusively in the Sun the top Tory urges voters to think big - and back a Brexit

  • S President Obama lands in Britain to convince the nation to stay in the EU, Tory big hitter Boris Johnson urges voters to think big - and back a Brexit.

    Writing exclusively for the Sun, the Mayor of London claims America would never surrender so much power to Brussels.

    And he tells Barack Obama, we can better friends than ever before:

  • By BORIS JOHNSON, The Mayor of London
     
         
     
     

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  • Barack Obama: Britain would go to the ‘back of the queue' when it comes to US trade deals if it leaves the EU
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    • Barack Obama: As your friend, let me say that the EU makes Britain even greater 

       
       
          
       
       
       
       
       
         
       
       
       
  • In 1939, President Franklin D Roosevelt offered a toast to King George VI in the White House. “I am persuaded that the greatest single contribution our two countries have been enabled to make to civilisation, and to the welfare of peoples throughout the world,” he said, “is the example we have jointly set by our manner of conducting relations between our two nations.”

     

    Nearly 80 years later, the United Kingdom remains a friend and ally to the United States like no other. Our special relationship was forged as we spilt blood together on the battlefield. It was fortified as we built and sustained the architecture for advancing stability and prosperity in Europe, and our democratic values around the globe. From the ashes of war, those who came before us had the foresight to create the international institutions and initiatives to sustain a prosperous peace: the United Nations and Nato; Bretton Woods, the Marshall Plan, and the European Union. Their efforts provided a foundation for democracy, open markets, and the rule of law, while underwriting more than seven decades of relative peace and prosperity in Europe.

  • Today, we face tests to this order – terrorism and aggression; migration and economic headwinds – challenges that can only be met if the United States and the United Kingdom can rely on one another, on our special relationship, and on the partnerships that lead to progress

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  • The White House
       
     
     
    For Immediate Release
     
    April 22, 2016
  • Remarks by the President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron in Joint Press Conference

        
     
             
     
     

      10 Downing Street
      London, England

  • 5:00 P.M. BST

      

      PRIME MINISTER CAMERON:  Good afternoon, and welcome.  It's great to welcome President Obama again, on his fifth visit to the United Kingdom.  

      

      Barack has been President for more than seven years; I've been Prime Minister for nearly six years.  And our two countries have been working together through some of the most difficult and troubled global times.  We faced the aftermath of the banking crisis, the need to revive growth and create jobs in our economies, new threats to our security from Russia in the east to the rise of Islamist terrorists in the south, and, of course, huge global challenges like Ebola and climate change.  And through it all, the strong and essential partnership between our nations has never been more important.

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  • Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
      

    Financial meltdown, environmental disaster and even the rise of Donald Trump – neoliberalism has played its part in them all. Why has the left failed to come up with an alternative?

  • George Monbiot
  • Friday 15 April 2016

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  • 11 of the best aid parodies 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
      

    As another Band Aid single contends for Christmas number one, we turn the tables and look at some of the best aid campaign spoofs

  • Katherine Purvis
  • Friday 19 December 2014

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  • Western do-gooders need to resist the allure of 'exotic problems' 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
      

    Problems in countries far from home can somehow seem far easier to solve, says Courtney Martin. Far better to lean in and embrace complexity

  •  

    Author and journalist

     
  • Let’s pretend, for a moment, that you are a 22-year-old college student in Kampala, Uganda. You’re sitting in class and discreetly scrolling through Facebook on your phone. You see that there has been another mass shooting in the US, this time in a place called San Bernardino. You’ve never heard of it. You’ve never been to the US. But you’ve certainly heard a lot about the gun violence there. It seems like a new mass shooting happens every week.

     

    You wonder if you could go there and get stricter gun legislation passed. You’d be a hero to the American people, a problem-solver, a lifesaver. How hard could it be? Maybe there’s a fellowship for high-minded people like you to go to the US after college and train as social entrepreneurs. You could start the nonprofit organisation that ends mass shootings, maybe even win a humanitarian award by the time you are 30.

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  • British ground troops could go to Libya, says Philip Hammond 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
      

    Foreign secretary says he cannot rule any action out, but the question of military force would be put to MPs

  •  
  • British ground combat troops could go to Libya in the future, the foreign secretary has said.

     

    Philip Hammond told the Sunday Telegraph he could not rule anything out as he did not know how the situation in the north African country would evolve.

     

    But he insisted that the question of British ground, sea or air power taking action in Libya would be put to MPs.

     

    Hammond said the southern Mediterranean was an important security interest as terrorists established there would be a threat to all of Europe, including the UK.

     

    “It wouldn’t make sense to rule anything out,” he said, discussing the possibility of ground combat troops going to the country.

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    Sanders spent $9 per vote in New York. Trump? About 13 cents.

     
     
     

    Democrats blasted Empire State airwaves, while GOP pols were largely silent

     
     
        
       

    By

  • Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders faltered in New York despite outspending front-runner Hillary Clinton on the television and radio airwaves.

      

    Sanders won about 750,000 votes in New York — or 42 percent — while spending more than $6.8 million on TV and radio ads, according to election, according to data provided to the Center for Public Integrity by The Tracking Firm, a nonpartisan media tracking company.

      

    Sanders’ spending spree amounted to about $9.03 per vote.

  • Clinton, meanwhile, bagged more than 1 million votes while spending about $3.8 million on TV and radio ads — about $3.62 per vote.

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