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27 Dec

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

English Online International Newspapers

Nearly all of these are English-edition daily newspapers. These sites have interesting editorials and essays, and many have links to other good news sources. We try to limit this list to those sites which are regularly updated, reliable, with a high percentage of “up” time.

Recommended:

Irish Examiner>>

France 24>>

Spiegel>>

Le Monde>>

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More than 1.8 million sign petition to sue France over climate inaction

Greenpeace, Oxfam and two French environmental groups launched the petition last week and received an outpouring of support in just a few days, including from French film stars Marion Cotillard and Juliette Binoche.

“The more we are, the harder it will be for the government to ignore us,” Greenpeace France director Jean-François Julliard told FRANCE 24.

“What we want, in the end, is that a court ruling requires France to do more in its fight against climate change,” he said, ideally with “a binding decision”.

A similar effort in the Netherlands was eventually successful, with an appeals court ruling in October that the Dutch government must do more to reduce emissions. Similar court cases are being eyed in several other countries, the Guardian has reported, including in the UK, Norway, New Zealand and Uganda.

The Netherlands case took two years in all, “but we hope it will be faster in France”, Julliard said.

The best photographs of 2018 – and the stories behind them

From California wildfires and an erupting volcano to a close-up crocodile snap – photographers recall how they captured some of the defining images of the year. Selected by Sarah Gilbert

by

US border agents detain a Honduran mother and child

John Moore/Getty Images

13 June Trump had recently implemented the policy of child separation when this photo was taken. The families were in darkness after a harrowing journey. They had no idea the policy had changed and they might be separated. They just knew they were escaping something dangerous and moving into an unknown future. Immigration is often discussed in terms of statistics, but the little crying girl is the reality of the zero tolerance policy. Her mother’s documents were being inspected, and when she was asked to set her child down, the little girl burst into tears. Later I discovered they weren’t separated. That was a relief, but others were. You can only imagine the terror.

Sea of plastic waste, Panggang island, Indonesia

Laurent Weyl/Panos Pictures

20 July Panggang is a small island in north Jakarta where there’s not enough land for the inhabitants. They are making space by throwing the plastic waste they have accumulated into the sea. Society has changed a lot there. Food used to be wrapped in leaves; it was natural, biodegradable. Now everything’s wrapped in plastic, but there’s not much education about plastic disposal – there are health problems because the community are burning soft plastics and breathing in the air. They just don’t realise it’s a problem. The girl looks so happy because it’s normal for her. I dived in the sea near this island and it was awful. It’s full of litter: furniture, bags, whatever, they just throw it in. This photo shows the worst-case scenario of overusing plastics. That level of consumption is crazy. You could walk on the plastic there.

Hondurans march towards the US

Guillermo Arias/Getty Images

27 October This image of the migrant caravan travelling to the US border was used by Trump as propaganda, to label them as criminals and invaders. But you can see here that they’re just trying to walk. They are in unity, marching over that bridge, next to this beautiful landscape. The danger for photojournalists is that no matter how hard we try to be accurate, others might use our work to push their agenda. People decided to leave Central America in huge numbers because they have no basic safety there. In some ways they were naive, hoping they’d get to the US and Trump would say: “Come in! Let’s come together and we’ll give you visas,” once he saw their pain. On these first steps they were very hopeful, but when they got to the border they realised it was going to be pretty dark for them going forward.

White nationalist rally, Georgia


Go Nakamura/Reuters

12 December I was covering this neo-Nazi rally in Georgia and had heard they were going to have a secret ritual after dark. We all met at this bar, and were told they were planning to set up a big swastika on a cross and burn it. There was a moment when the organiser turned on me because he thought I was there for a leftwing organisation. As the torch was burning and the men were chanting, I got a little nervous – almost high on the adrenalin. It’s a frightening photo because most people, myself included, don’t realise these secret rituals still happen until they see it. I am not Caucasian so I was surprised at how nice the organiser was to me. He thanked me for coming. I don’t know why they let us photograph.

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World Politics

United States

From Kavanaugh to the government shutdown – Trump’s 2018 lowlights

Part two: Trump praises Putin in Helsinki, Manafort is convicted, Cohen pleads guilty, Democrats win House of Representatives, Sessions and Mattis out, and more …

Confuses Queen Elizabeth II

Video from TR

The McGlynn: For once his arrogance and inflated ego abandoned him. He did *not* know what to do.

It would have been wonderful if she would have whopped him with her purse. All of the guards would have laughed. I would have decorated her.

Donald Trump makes a video call to members from the army, marines, navy, air force, and coast guard stationed worldwide from the Oval Office on Christmas Day.

Donald Trump makes a video call to members from the army, marines, navy, air force and coast guard stationed worldwide from the Oval Office on Christmas Day. Photograph: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg/Pool/EPA

July

Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh for supreme court justice

Donald Trump nominates circuit court judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring supreme court justice Anthony Kennedy. The pick is opposed by Democrats but hailed in conservative circles as a centrist choice.

Blames Obama after new Mueller indictment

After Mueller indicts 12 Russian intelligence officers for election-related hacking, Trump blames the Obama administration, tweeting: “Why didn’t they do something about it?”

Putin’s friend in Helsinki

Trump meets the Russian president in Helsinki and publicly declares Russia innocent of election tampering: “I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”

Cohen recordings revealed

Recordings kept by Trump’s former fixer and lawyer Michael Cohen of a conversation with Trump about a hush payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal are revealed. A partial transcript:

Cohen: When it comes time for the financing, which will be …
Trump: Listen, what financing?
Cohen: We’ll have to pay –
Trump: We won’t pay with cash?
Cohen: No, no, no. I got – no, no, no.
Trump: Check.

“What kind of a lawyer would tape a client?” Trump tweets. “So sad! Is this a first, never heard of it before?”

Child reunification deadline passes

Only 364 of the more than 2,500 children separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border had been reunited, days before a reunification deadline, officials disclosed in court documents.

Denies knowledge of Trump Tower meeting

Trump denies a Cohen allegation that he, Trump, knew in advance about and approved a June 2016 meeting between top Trump campaign officials and Russian operatives at Trump Tower.

August

Tells Sessions to stop Mueller

Trump tweets that the special counsel has created “a terrible situation” and “attorney general Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted…”

Cancels military parade plan

Trump tweets that he will postpone his military parade, accusing “the local politicians who run Washington DC (poorly)” of inflating expenses.

Manafort convicted

Manafort is found guilty on eight fraud charges in a resounding victory for special counsel Robert Mueller and his team in the first trial arising from their investigation.

Cohen pleads guilty

On the same day as the Manafort conviction, Cohen pleads guilty to eight federal crimes and says Trump had directed him to make two hush money payments to women in violation of campaign finance laws.

September

Woodward book Fear

The journalist Bob Woodward publishes an exposé claiming that the military and Trump’s staff ignore presidential orders, that the defense secretary called Trump a “fifth- or sixth-grader” and the chief of staff called Trump an “unhinged” “idiot”. Trump calls the book “lies”.

Manafort plea deal

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort agrees to cooperate with federal prosecutors, in a deal that will later fall apart when Manafort, prosecutors allege, continues to lie to them.

Ford testifies

Dr Christine Blasey Ford tells the Senate judiciary committee that Trump’s pick for supreme court justice, Brett Kavanaugh, assaulted her. Asked if she was sure her attacker was Kavanaugh, she replied: “100%.” Asked what she remembered clearly, she said: “Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter, the uproarious laughter, between the two, and their having fun at my expense.”

October

Khashoggi cover-up

Trump deems as “credible” a Saudi explanation that journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who had disappeared inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, died in a fistfight. Later Trump blames “rogue killers” and denies a US intelligence conclusion that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was directly involved in the killing.

Mocks Ford

At a Mississippi rally, Trump mocks Christine Blasey Ford, delivering a crude imitation of Ford from her testimony, in which she vividly described a violent sexual assault she alleged Brett Kavanaugh committed against her in the early 1980s.

Attacks media after bombings

At a rally, Trump blames media “hostility” after a wave of pipe bombs were sent to senior Democrats, prominent critics and the broadcaster CNN.

Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

After 11 worshippers are killed at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, experts warn that Trump had “dramatically elevated the level of rhetorical tension in ways that do not discourage people from acting out their terrifying views”.

‘Enemy of the people’

Despite the demonstrable dangers associated with his inflammatory rhetoric, Trump resumes calling the media the “enemy of the people” and blames “the Fake News Media” for the “great anger in our Country”.

Deploys troops to border

Days before the midterm elections, Trump deploys more than 5,200 troops to the border with Mexico in what a rights organization described as an abuse of the military and what Senator Claire McCaskill later called “made-for-TV bullshit”.

November

Blue wave sweeps midterms

Democrats win at least 39 seats in the House of Representatives, seizing control of the body; flip multiple state legislatures; swipe governorships; and avoid losses in the Senate in an election that saw historic voter turnout. “Tremendous success tonight,” Trump tweeted. “Thank you all!”

Hostile press conference

In a news conference after the election, Trump threatens a “warlike” response if Democrats investigate him and yelled down multiple journalists. The White House suspends CNN’s Jim Acosta’s credentials, but is later forced to reinstate them.

Trades in Sessions for Whitaker

A day after the election, Trump fires the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, and installs Matt Whitaker, who had come to Trump’s attention through fawning appearances on cable television, as acting attorney general.

Calls for ‘new election’

Trump challenges multiple election results on Twitter, including in Arizona – “Electoral corruption – Call for a new Election?”; in Florida – “An honest vote count is no longer possible-ballots massively infected”; and in Georgia – “It is time to move on!”

Submits answers to Mueller

Trump submits written replies to the special counsel’s office, in a move that is followed in short order by a flood of new moves in the special counsel investigation.

New Cohen guilty plea

Cohen pleads guilty to a new set of charges including lying to Congress about Trump Organization plans to build a tower in Moscow. Those plans were still active in the summer of 2016, after Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination, Cohen revealed.

Skips first world war events

Trump travels to Paris to mark the centenary of the end of first world war but he skips a ceremony at Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial near Paris “due to scheduling and logistical difficulties caused by the weather”. The next day he misses a procession of world leaders to mark the occasion.

Teargas attack on migrants

Trump defends the use of teargas against migrants, including many young children, at the southern border after some migrants attempted to cross the border. “They had to be used because they were being rushed by some very tough people,” Trump said.

A migrant family, part of a caravan of thousands traveling from Central America en route to the United States, run away from teargas in front of the border wall between the US and Mexico in Tijuana on 25 November.

A migrant family, part of a caravan from Central America, run away from teargas in front of the US-Mexico border wall in Tijuana on 25 November. Photograph: Kim Kyung Hoon/Reuters

‘Dangerously wrong’ on California fires

Trump blames poor “forest management” in his first comments on the deadliest wildfires in California history. Local elected officials and agencies fighting the fires call the comment “inane”, “uninformed” and “dangerously wrong”.

Manafort plea deal crumbles

Prosecutors and lawyers for Paul Manafort announce that an agreement between the sides has crumbled. Prosecutors accuse Manafort of continued lying which he denies.

December

Mueller describes Flynn cooperation

In a heavily redacted court filing, Mueller shields the details of former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s cooperation because they include “sensitive information about ongoing investigations”. He recommends no prison time for Flynn.

Cohen sentenced to three years

A federal judge sentences Michael Cohen to three years in prison and three years of supervised release for campaign finance violations, bank fraud, tax evasion and lying to Congress. Cohen says Trump directed him to violate campaign finance laws.

Inaugural committee under investigation

Prosecutors in New York are investigating donations to Trump’s inaugural committee, which totaled $107m, and investigating how that money was spent, the Wall Street Journal is first to report.

Precipitous troop drawdowns, Mattis resignation

Without warning or much of an explanation, Trump announces the withdrawal of the US military and state department employees from Syria, asserting on Twitter that “we have defeated ISIS”. Two days later Trump announces US forces in Afghanistan will be halved. The defense secretary, Jim Mattis, resigns in protest.

Government shutdown

Goaded by Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, Trump makes a last-minute declaration he won’t sign Republican legislation to keep the government open and demands $5bn for a border wall. The lame-duck House Republican majority passes a bill that dies in the Senate. Trump blames Democrats for the shutdown.

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