Renowned academic Noam Chomsky has condemned the US government’s treatment of immigrant children as “brutal and sadistic”, just as another deadline for reuniting them with their relatives has passed.
“A grotesque moral scandal”
A deadline of midnight (US Pacific time) on the night of 26 July for the US government to reunite separated immigrant families passed with only 1,442 of the 2,551 of the incarcerated children being returned to their relatives, according to court data captured earlier that day. Authorities separated the children from their parents and other relatives as part of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” approach to illegal immigration, which has sparked widespread international condemnation.
In an open letter, 28 academics, journalists and activists have slammed the Guardian for its “wildly inaccurate coverage of Nicaragua”. And for one human rights lawyer who signed the letter, this forms part of “the greatest misinformation campaign” he has ever witnessed.
Political tensions in Nicaragua
As The Canary has previously reported, Nicaragua has been convulsed by protests against the government of President Daniel Ortega since April. The demonstrations began over a government proposal to partially reform the country’s social security system, which was met with public outcry from across the political spectrum. The government withdrew the plans, but by then the mobilization had morphed into a broader movement calling for either Ortega’s resignation or the calling of early elections, which are currently scheduled for 2021. Opponents of the government claim that Ortega’s government has become increasingly “authoritarian” and that he has been attempting to establish a political dynasty. But others, including award-winning journalist Max Blumenthal, have argued that public unrest has been cynically seized upon by upper-class and Washington-backed opponents of Ortega, who have long held the objective of forcing him from office.
After covering a rally headlined by openly socialist Democratic Party politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a right-wing journalist made comments that accidentally exposed the absurdity of opposing her platform. And her words could have come straight from the pages of a left-wing satirical magazine.
Virginia Kruta, an associate editor for the right-wing Daily Caller website, had heard Ocasio-Cortez speak at an event celebrating the birthday of another left-leaning Democratic Party candidate, Cori Bush, who is standing for Congress in the midwestern city of St Louis. But her comments about the rally appeared like they were said by someone who was deliberately mocking right-wing opposition to a socialist platform.
US President Donald Trump has been twisting and turning ever since his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. And amid his flip-flopping, there’s one video of Noam Chomsky that we all need to watch.
“A sort of double-negative”
The fallout from Trump’s disastrous Putin summit has been dominating headlines all week. Having been roundly criticized by members of both the Democratic and Republican parties, and even by some of his own supporters, Trump has begrudgingly backtracked from some of his remarks, though always with qualifiers and equivocation.
Former US President Barack Obama has just denounced “strongman politics”. But in their rush to agree, mainstream media outlets have glossed over Obama’s own questionable political record.
“Strongman politics are ascendant”
Obama made headlines on 17 July for a speech in South Africa commemorating the 100th year of Nelson Mandela’s birth. But it wasn’t his tribute to the former South African premier and anti-apartheid activist that received the most attention. Rather, it was his thinly veiled attack on President Donald Trump’s performance at the already infamous summit in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier in the week.
Most of Donald Trump’s remarks and accompanying tweets during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on 16 July were predictably outrageous and self-serving. But amid all of the resulting negative press, Trump may have actually said one of the smartest things that has ever come out of his mouth.
Trump’s controversial comments
The joint summit held in Helsinki between the US president and his Russian counterpart has received an overwhelmingly negative reception from commentators and congress members from across the political spectrum. Amongst Trump’s statements during the talks was his dismissal of his own country’s intelligence community’s contention that Russian meddling took place during the 2016 election. The move was widely seen as him siding with Putin and was denounced as “treasonous” by former CIA director John Brennan. Trump said that US intelligence personnel “came to me and… they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin; he just said it’s not Russia.”
Delegates at Unite the union’s July 2018 policy congress have called for the release of a detained Colombian peacemaker.
Jesús Santrich was a key negotiator during the Colombian peace process, which effectively brought an end to the country’s decades-long armed conflict. This war killed over 200,000 people and displaced millions [paywall]. Delegates, including the union’s leader Len McCluskey, held signs with the words “Justice for Jesus” for cameras at the conference: