Category: International

A Walk Down El Caminito

gl+Gfh6kSDKtXT5UfURGhgOur first day in Argentina on Saturday was a blast.  Upon arriving in the morning in Buenos Aires, we set out with friends to explore the Caminito, the ” little street”. Caminito is part of the area called La Boca and is one of the most iconic parts of this beautiful city. It is full of great food, colorful homes, and Tango dancing.  We then went to a great steak restaurant along the river for dinner.  Continue reading “A Walk Down El Caminito”

Trump Reportedly Orders Strike On Iran But Then Rescinds Order

Washington is on edge this morning after congressional leaders were briefed on a strike on Iran and the military deployed assets for the pre-dawn attack only to have President Donald Trump rescind the order. Democrats briefed on the attack urged Trump to deescalate and he appears to have heeded such calls, not only from congressional leaders but some in his own Administration. Frankly, the decision to pull back is reassuring for many who felt like there was an orchestrated effort to push the U.S. into a war with Iran — a war reportedly encouraged by allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia.

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Study: Carnival Cruise Ships Produce 10 Times The Sulphur Oxide As All 260 Million European Cars

We have previously discussed studies showing an astonishing number of deaths linked to the use of bunker fuel by container shipping — a cheap but remarkably dirty fuel source. The other industry that uses the intensely polluting fuel is the passenger cruise industry. Cruise ships have been routinely cited for poor environmental practices, particularly Carnival Corp which was hit recently with yet another massive fine. Now, a report by Transport & Environment has found that Carnival produced in 2017 nearly 10 times more sulphur oxide (SOx) around European coasts than all 260 million European cars.

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Trump Denounces NYT Cyber Warfare Story As “A Virtual Act Of Treason”

I have previously criticized President Donald Trump for his relentless attacks on the media and his mantra of labeling such publications as the Washington Post and New York Times as “the enemy of the people.” He has also routinely called a couple dozen people and organizations “traitors,” as recently listed by Axios. This weekend Trump continued the attacks on the New York Times for a story that revealed attacks on Russia’s electric power grid. Trump declared that the publication of the article was a “virtual act of treason” — an act on a classic example of investigatory reporting. Trump’s continued attacks on the free press are not just highly embarrassing but highly disturbing from a President of the United States. With free speech, the free press is the very touchstone of liberty in our nation.

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Et Tu Muti? Actress Convicted Of Fraud For Claiming Sickness To Go To Dinner With Putin

Calling in sick is a fairly common practice for many people. However, most people are not famous actors who are contracted to do a recital in in Pordenone, in the northern region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. More importantly, most people are not then all over the news seating with Russian President Vladimir Putin and having the time of their lives. One can certainly understand a contractual case against Ornella Muti, but Italy often tries contracts and torts as criminal matters. Muti was found guilty of criminal fraud and given a suspended prison sentence pending payment of damages.

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Macron’s Tree of Friendship To White House Dies In Quarantine

Voice of America

The visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to Washington culminated in the planting of a French oak tree as a symbol of the long-standing friendship of the two nations. Unbeknownst to most watching, the tree was promptly dug back up after the ceremony and sent to quarantine. Regrettably, the tree (like relations with France) has died in quarantine.

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“The Enemy of the People”: Trump Resumes His Attacks On American Media As China Bans The Washington Post

Flag of the Peoples Republic of China

I was been a long critic of President Donald Trump’s attacks on the media even though I have been critical of biased reporting by some outfits. Trump’s mantra of calling the media, and particularly the Washington Post and the New York Times, “the enemy of the people” was repeated on Twitter last weekend as China banned the Washington Post (and the Guardian) from access to its citizens. Both publications joined others behind the infamous “Great Firewall” of China’s massive censorship apparatus. While Trump has only called for greater liability for American media (rather than censorship), the confluence of these stories is concerning. China can cite our own president in declaring the Washington Post as an enemy and “fake news” to justify its censorship of one of the last remaining free press accessible to some Chinese.

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South Koreans Arrested After Stripping National Parks Of Succulents For Illegal Export

www.wildlife.ca.gov

As many of you know, I am a huge advocate of hiking and particularly our national parks. We have amazing parks and most of us take great efforts to avoid leaving traces or causing damage to our natural areas. That is why a recent arrest is so alarming. Recently, three South Korean nationals were  charged  after an arrest at Los Angeles International Airport with a van filled with more than 3,700 Dudleya succulents. The spiky blue-green plants are prized in Asia. The men were tracked as they stripped parks of the plants and stuffed them into backpacks.

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Australian Government Raids ABC Headquarters After War Crimes Story

We have been discussing how the free press is under attack in both the United States and Europe. Like free speech, Western nations appear to have lost patience with free press protections. The latest example is an outrageous raid on a leading media organization in Australia. On the heels of the Assange case and other attacks on media protections, the raid on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation raises a chilling prospect that the free press could soon go the way of free speech in the West.

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China: Commemorating Tiananmen Square Massacre Is A Violation Of International Law

There is something about controlling information and censoring any criticism that can blind you to irony. That seems to be the problem this week when a Chinese spokesperson objected that a statement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre as a violation of international law. So massacring thousands is a purely domestic matter but criticizing it is an international law violation.

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Tiananmen Square 30 Years Later

Today is a sad anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. It is all the more sad due to the success of the Chinese regime to wipe out memories of the massacre in the country while crushing dissent. It falls to the rest of the world to keep the memory alive in the hope that truth, like water, will find its way through the most formidable walls.

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Trump Denies “Nasty” Statement Made On Tape Just Days Earlier

Many of us have criticized President Donald Trump when he contradicts himself or calls facts “fake news.” On Sunday, Trump left many scratching their heads when he categorically denied referring to the the American-born Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, as nasty. What is strange is that (unlike many) I was not particularly aggrieved when Trump made the comment. He was responding to a personal attack attributed to Markle. I would prefer the President not to respond to such comments (particularly before a State visit). I also do not consider it appropriate to attack the London mayor as “a stone cold loser” and comment on internal policies on a State visit. However, the Markle comment was actually restrained for this President. What really bothered me was the denial of the comment just days later.

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Will Trump Use The National Emergencies Act To Impose A Tariff On Mexico For Illegal Immigration?

Flag of Mexico

President Donald Trump declared on Thursday that he would impose a 5 percent tariff on all goods entering from Mexico unless it stopped the flow of illegal immigration to the United States. The move would set a dangerous precedent of mixing trade and immigration issues — further destabilizing the economy and isolating the United States. If this unprecedented move is based on the National Emergency Act, it would again push the law to its extremes. Yet, as I have previously written on the controversy over the wall construction, Congress unwisely gave presidents sweeping and largely unchecked authority.

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Girl At Islamic School Accuses Headmaster of Assault . . . Mob Then Burns Girl To Death

We have previously discussed the violence and discrimination faced by girls and women in some Muslim countries. Nusrat Jahan Rafi, 19, is the latest such victim after she was burned to death. Her offense was reporting a sexual assault by Headmaster Siraj Ud Doula at her Islamic school, or madrassa. Sixteen people are accused of engaging in the conspiracy to murder this girl in Bangladesh.

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