“trump putin” – Google News: Trump news – live: Outrage over president’s fresh attack on late John McCain’s ‘very evil purposes’, as anger mounts over Golan Heights declaration – The Independent

Trump news – live: Outrage over president’s fresh attack on late John McCain’s ‘very evil purposes’, as anger mounts over Golan Heights declaration  The Independent

Donald Trump has yet again attacked John McCain in an interview with Fox Business, calling out the late senator’s “very evil purposes” in handing the FBI the …

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“wilbur ross” – Google News: New APAA Video with Secretary Ross and Kentucky Governor Bevin at the Historic Ceremonial Restart of Century Aluminum’s Hawesville Smelter – PRNewswire

New APAA Video with Secretary Ross and Kentucky Governor Bevin at the Historic Ceremonial Restart of Century Aluminum’s Hawesville Smelter  PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the American Primary Aluminum Association (APAA) released a new video detailing the restart of idled …

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“Russian Intelligence services and international organized crime” – Google News: UN Rights Forum Condemns Israel Over Deadly Gaza Protests – Independent Journal Review

UN Rights Forum Condemns Israel Over Deadly Gaza Protests  Independent Journal Review

The United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday condemned Israel’s “apparent intentional use of unlawful lethal and other excessive force” against civilian …

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Donald Trump | The Guardian: Trump warns ‘people will not stand’ for Mueller report if it portrays him badly – live

President insisted ‘there’s no collusion’ in interview with Fox as Washington braces for release of Trump-Russia investigation findings

The Supreme Court is set to consider North Carolina’s congressional district maps next week, in a case opponents hope will lead to the court’s first-ever ruling striking down a map is too partisan.

Bloomberg News reports on the case, which has arguments scheduled for Tuesday. The justices will consider both the North Carolina map, drawn by Republicans, and a Maryland map drawn by Democrats.

Donald Trump offered some more insight into his decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which has provoked global anger.

He compared it to his decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, noting past presidents have promised during their campaigns to move the embassy and recognize the Golan Heights but never followed through.

Democratic presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand pitched her ideas to improve the asylum process while touring a law clinic at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas that helps immigrants with legal matters.

The Associated Press reports this morning on Thursday’s events:

The senator from New York kicked off her first presidential campaign trip to Nevada by meeting with immigration law students. The 2020 White House hopeful took notes while the students described the cases they’ve worked on and the problems they’ve encountered in the U.S. legal system as they try to help immigrants, including unaccompanied minors.

Gillibrand, who has stressed her role as a mother on the campaign trail, spoke to the students while she picked up and examined several small pieces of canvass with painted handprints of those unaccompanied children whose cases were handled by the clinic.

A close reading of Donald Trump’s interview with Fox Business Network, where he again went after John McCain, suggests he may have been given some kind indication the network would not ask about the issue.

Trump suggests Fox promised him they wouldn’t ask about McCain

“I thought you weren’t supposed to bring it up.” pic.twitter.com/9R3Z0K1O1b

Donald Trump ripped the Green New Deal as the “most preposterous thing” and said he hopes Democrats will move forward with it because it will hurt them politically.

Trump tore into the proposal to combat climate change in an interview with Fox Business Network that aired Friday morning.

A federal judge in San Francisco will scrutinize the Trump administration’s policy of returning asylum seekers to Mexico during a court hearing Friday to help him decide whether to block the practice. The Associated Press reports:

Civil rights groups have asked Judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco to put the asylum policy on hold while their lawsuit moves forward. Seeborg was not expected to rule immediately.

The policy began in January at the San Ysidro border crossing in San Diego, marking an unprecedented change to the U.S. asylum system . Families seeking asylum are typically released in the U.S. with notices to appear in immigration court.

Donald Trump is heading for his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida Friday, where he’ll meet with Caribbean leaders to discuss the crisis in Venezuela.

Trump is scheduled to depart the White House at 9:30am and arrive at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida at 12:25pm.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein hinted last year that the Mueller report would not include harsh condemnation of anyone who has not been charged with a crime.

Talking Points Memo obtained a letter Rosenstein sent to Senator Chuck Grassley on June 27, 2018.

As Washington braces yet again for the possible release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, Donald Trump is warning that “people will not stand for it” if the report portrays him badly.

The ominous warning came in an interview with Fox Business Network released Friday morning.

The #CNNStakeout team is up early outside Mueller’s office. They’re not alone . Like yesterday, more media present outside the office this morning. @FossumSamuel @emsteck

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Just Security: Legal Explainer: German Court Reins in Support for U.S. Drone Strikes

On March 19, 2019, the Higher Administrative Court of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia pronounced its decision concerning Germany’s involvement in U.S. drone operations due to the involvement of the U.S. air base in Ramstein, Germany. The Court’s decision overruled the previous decision by the administrative court in Cologne and found “considerable indications” that current U.S. military operations in the Republic of Yemen are in violation of international law and that Germany must therefore develop a mechanism to ensure that U.S. operations involving Ramstein respect international law. The decision may therefore be historic on at least two levels.

First, it is the first court decision that finds large parts of the U.S. system of drone operations likely in violation of international law. Second, it requires, as a matter of law, Germany to seek a more demanding and critical role toward the United States regarding the use of military operations involving German territory. This puts further stress on the relationship between Germany and the United States at a time at which the formerly very close friendship has already strained.

This contribution will highlight the main findings of the Court. However, it should be stressed that thus far, only some aspects of the decision are known due to particularities of the German legal system. While the Court had to pronounce the outcome of the decision (partially successful for the Yemeni plaintiffs) and also set out the basic reasoning behind its decision, the Court now has further time to produce its final written judgment which will be of a significantly more detailed nature.

Why Germany?

The case became possible due to the far-reaching guarantees of the German Constitution (Grundgesetz/GG). Individuals are granted the right to life under art. 2(2) GG. The German Constitutional Court has interpreted this right not only to amount to a right to be free from state interference, but further that the state has some protective duties. Such duties relate to all persons regardless of German nationality and even cover foreign territory. This of course does not mean that Germany is obliged to protect everyone around the world from any kind of harm. However, the Yemeni claimants argued that under the German framework set out above, Germany could not grant the U.S. military bases that it needed to engage in killings that were contrary to international law.

The specific perspective of the case was the following: Yemeni citizens believed their lives to be unlawfully threatened by U.S. drone operations (which were made possible via Ramstein). This means that the case did not address a single individual strike but rather the general system of operations. Hence, a single or a small number of unlawful operations would not necessarily justify any success by the claimants, because it would not show a systematic pattern of unlawful conduct. In that case, Germany would likely not have an obligation to investigate the operations via Ramstein as a whole. This does not preclude that Germany might also be obliged to work toward accountability mechanisms for individual unlawful operations; a question not at issue in the Court proceedings.

The Decision in a Nutshell

Not all of the claims succeeded. The most far-reaching claim was to prohibit the use of Ramstein as a U.S. air base altogether. This claim failed as the Court held that the use of Ramstein is not per se unlawful. However, previously Germany had relied on unspecific statements by the United States that Ramstein was only used in conformity with the law. Despite some reports shedding doubt on some aspects of drone operations, Germany did not investigate the lawfulness of individual operations or the overall system of operations. The claim connected to this issue succeeded. According to the Court, due to the numerous reports alleging the unlawfulness of the U.S. operations, Germany was no longer in a situation in which it could simply rely on U.S. assurances (especially those of a vague nature) but rather had the obligation to investigate further. In addition to this review dimension of the obligation, Germany may also have to implement specific mechanisms that ensure the future lawfulness of operations. The Court thus did not proscribe a specific set of measures that Germany now will have to implement. Rather, Germany has significant room to maneuver and apply whatever mechanisms it deems best suited to the situation, as long as they are measures sufficient to prevent further unlawful operations via Ramstein.

Findings Related to International Law

The pronouncement describes the examination of the international law-related aspects as very complex in nature. It may therefore be assumed that the written judgment will contain a detailed discussion whereas the oral pronouncement thus far included only the outcomes of such discussions. Nonetheless, the pronouncement already sets out important understandings and findings of the Court. Almost half of the pronouncement addresses questions of international law. The following discussion will thus be able to focus only on specific aspects of the pronouncement. Those aspects relate to the relevant characterization of the conflict as well as which parts of the U.S. system of operations the Court deemed likely unlawful.

The Court makes two specific qualifications that may influence further analyses of the situation. The first qualification concerns the jus ad bellum question of U.S. use of force in Yemen on a general level. The second pertains to the classification of the conflict in Yemen.

First, the Court considers the United States not to be in violation of the prohibition of the use of force, as it considers the U.S. presence in Yemen to be covered by an invitation to intervene from the legitimate Yemeni government. The Court thus did not have to address whether this is still an essential condition for the legal question at issue. However, the Court does not suggest that the operations might have been lawful even without such an invitation, which may be taken as a sign that compliance with jus ad bellum is, indeed, a condition that applies.

Second, in its discussion the Court repeatedly refers both to international humanitarian law as well as international human rights law. Nonetheless, it finds the existence of a non-international armed conflict (NIAC) in Yemen. In its discussion it references both jurisprudence of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia as well as statements by the Security Council. In this NIAC, it sees al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) on the one side and the Yemeni government, supported by the United States, on the other. The Court appears to assume the simultaneous existence of another NIAC between ISIS and Yemen/the United States. The Saudi coalition-Houthi conflict was not discussed in the oral pronouncement.

Concerning violations of international law by U.S. operations, the Court discusses two as violations of a general nature in addition to two specific violations that concern the conflict in Yemen. The pronouncement may be read in a way to mean that the two general violations are merely discussed to showcase the violation of the principle of distinction, which is the first general violation. In this context it needs to be stressed that the Court did not have to find for certain that the U.S. drone operations altogether violate international law. Rather it confined itself to show a high likelihood that a significant part of the system of operations is in violation of international law. This finding was sufficient to oblige Germany to take on a more inquisitive role and for Germany possibly also to take mitigating measures.

The Court sees the first general violation of international law in the U.S. understanding of the war on terror as a global war which does not assess whether a region is part of an area in which armed combat actually takes place and whether an individual terrorist is actually a combatant in a specific regional conflict. The Court finds such an understanding to be contrary to the rationale of international humanitarian law of restricting armed conflict. It nonetheless stresses that the United States has concentrated its operations on regions in which armed combat occurs.

As a second general U.S. practice that is contrary to international law, the Court cites the U.S. understanding of its right to self-defense as covering preemptive self-defense, specifically in situations in which both time and place of an enemy attack are unknown. According to the Court, this understanding could not form customary international law due to opposition it encountered.

The Court then considers the combination of these two understandings which, according to the Court, allows the United States to target a wide range of persons that ordinarily would not be legitimate targets. In this context, the Court considers the U.S. practice of targeting and finds evidence that this practice is in violation of international law. Specifically, the Court implies that civilian supporters of AQAP and ISIS as well as former combatants have been targeted by the United States even though they are not lawful targets under international humanitarian law. It is unclear why the Court did not limit itself to this specific finding regarding targeting but instead chose to connect the discussion to two arguably unrelated issues. The written judgment may be more informative on this specific point.

Finally, the Court turns to Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil on Political Rights (ICCPR) and the prohibition of arbitrary deprivation of life. The Court begins its analysis stating that while this obligation also applies in armed conflict, no violation can be found if the target was of a legitimate nature and the principle of proportionality has been respected. The Court then refers to the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights as well as the German Constitutional Court that both interpret the prohibition of arbitrary deprivation of life as requiring effective official investigations in case of any suspicion of an unjustified killing. The Court cites the 2014 report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism which refers to reasonable suspicion of unlawful attacks in Yemen. The Court also refers to the former Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary killings that criticized states for failing to fulfill their obligation concerning effective, independent, and public investigations. The Court sees no evidence that any such investigations have been conducted by the United States regarding alleged violations of law in Yemen. Rather, it refers to the fact that some of the claimants had failed to get relief before U.S. courts due to the political question doctrine. The Court saw this as one indication that no effective system of investigation is in place.

This last contention by the Court raises some questions that will have to be further elaborated once the Court issues its written judgment. The Court appears to apply the ICCPR extraterritorially. Additionally, by referencing the European Court of Human Rights and the German Constitutional Court, the Court seems to confer upon the United States the very same benchmark that applies to Germany. At the same time, the Court may simply refer to Germany’s own obligations, which arguably the German government may not absolve itself of by involving another actor, to whom a lower level of legal obligations applies. Also, the reference to the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary killings may already show that the Court did not solely rely on the interpretations put forward by the European Court of Human Rights and the German Constitutional Court. In general, the Court carefully stresses its reliance on sources by the United Nations and the ICRC. Such reasoning may also preemptively address criticism that an activist Court interpreted the law in a way that it sees fit.

What Next?

As stated, the Court will have some time to issue its written judgment which will most likely be of an extensive and detailed nature. What’s more, the parties may still appeal the decision to the Federal Administrative Court. If the Claimants do not succeed at that stage, they have the right to bring the case in front of the German Constitutional Court.

At the same time, because the case is framed in the specific way that the claimants depend on their right to life being currently endangered, any change that reliably addresses this danger will most likely deprive the claimants of their cause of action. Such change may lie in the introduction of a mechanism that effectively ensures the lawfulness of the system of U.S. operations. Similarly, an end to the life-threatening situation in Yemen could bring an end to the case before a final and thus legally binding judgment. The Court touches upon this issue in a different context. In its discussion on the existence of a NIAC, the Court mentions that both AQAP and ISIS may already be weakened to a degree that they may soon no longer be considered as possible parties to a NIAC, as they may in the future lack a sufficient degree of organization.

Image: An 86th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief launches a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft during Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01 on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Feb. 28, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh)

The post Legal Explainer: German Court Reins in Support for U.S. Drone Strikes appeared first on Just Security.

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Donald Trump’s new, confusing closing argument against the Mueller report  CNN

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Presidential candidates are eyeing big Super Tuesday prizes  NBCNews.com

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“putin won US 2016 election” – Google News: Presidential candidates are eyeing big Super Tuesday prizes – NBCNews.com

Presidential candidates are eyeing big Super Tuesday prizes  NBCNews.com

This weekend, 2020 candidates will be campaigning in delegate-rich state like California and Texas instead of early primary states like Iowa and New …

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Donald Trump | The Guardian: James Comey says he hopes Trump will not be impeached after Mueller report

Ex-FBI director wrote in a New York Times op-ed he wants the president to suffer a ‘resounding’ loss in the 2020 election

James Comey has said he hopes Donald Trump will not be impeached following the completion of the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Instead the former FBI director wants the president to suffer a “resounding” loss at the ballot box in 2020.

Related: Trump looks good for 2020, experts say, because ‘economy is so damn strong’

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Home hospitalization may be solution to Israel’s increasingly crowded hospitals  Haaretz

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Trump’s Golan statement draws strong regional condemnation  FoxReno.com

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Trump’s Golan statement draws strong regional condemnation  krcgtv.com

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — From Syria to Turkey and beyond, President Donald Trump’s abrupt declaration that Washington will recognize Israel’s sovereignty …

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Jared Kushner Using WhatsApp for White House Business Is ‘Far More Egregious’ Than Hillary Clinton’s Emails, Cyber-security Expert Says  Newsweek

Jared Kushner, White House adviser and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, is dangerous in his alleged use of WhatsApp for official business with foreign …

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List of top 10 most violent inmates helps Belmarsh chief tackle gang conflict  Evening Standard

The governor of London’s highest-security prison is drawing up a weekly list of its top 10 most violent inmates in a bid to reduce gang conflict and other clashes …

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What Is a Nematode? Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Likens Donald Trump to Parasite During Seth Meyers Appearance  Newsweek

The New York representative also questioned why Fox News was so obsessed with her.

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The Crown Prince of Trumpistan  The Bulwark

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The Crown Prince of Trumpistan  The Bulwark

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“Russia investigations” – Google News: Russia: Golan Heights status change would violate U.N. decisions – RIA – Yahoo News

Russia: Golan Heights status change would violate U.N. decisions – RIA  Yahoo News

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Donald Trump | The Guardian: The Alt-Right by George Hawley review – a hateful fixation on race

A white supremacist movement has built up a transnational network of hatemongers. How best to respond?

“The great replacement” is a term popularised by the French author Renaud Camus to denote the gradual destruction of western civilisation by mass immigration. Given the differences in birth rates between white people and the non-white population, so the argument goes, it is only a matter of time before the latter outnumber and crush the former. The concept has been a touchstone for European far-right groups such as Pegida, and was cited by the alleged gunman in the recent mass murder in Christchurch. These groups’ counterparts in the US subscribe to the “white genocide” theory, which is pretty much identical. This deranged credo is unmistakably an incitement to violence, and there is every reason to believe that the threat is real. In recent years a number of deadly attacks have been perpetrated by avowed white supremacists in the Anglo-Saxon world. These include the murders of nine African American parishioners in a church in Charleston in 2015; of the MP Jo Cox in 2016; of an anti-fascist activist at Charlottesville in 2017; and allegedly of 11 Jewish worshippers at a synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018.

George Hawley’s The Alt-Right is the latest in a slew of books about the contemporary far right. Structured like a primer – part glossary, part who’s who – it situates the loose-knit tendency known as the “alternative right” within the broader context of American conservatism. Hawley explains that the movement’s fixation on race puts it at odds with mainstream conservatism, particularly on issues relating to Christianity, fiscal policy and abortion. “According to the Alt-Right,” he writes, “conservatives obsess over tax cuts, deregulation, and other small bourgeois concerns, but they fear tackling demographic questions, which the Alt-Right consider existential.” Conservatives who espouse racial tolerance are seen as complicit in “a quiet campaign of genocide by encouraging nonwhite immigration, interracial relationships, low white birth rates, racial guilt, and the denigration of white culture”.

Social media is again under the spotlight after the Christchurch gunman was able to live-stream the attack on Facebook

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Donald Trump | The Guardian

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Attackers throw explosive at Russian consul in Athens  Yahoo News

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Donald Trump | The Guardian: Republicans’ silence over Trump’s attacks on McCain is truly shameful | Lloyd Green

The mealy-mouthed responses of the late senator’s former colleagues demonstrates the extent to which Trump has recast the party in his own image

In death as he was in life, John S McCain is an American patriot and hero, regardless of what Donald Trump may think or say. As the Vietnam war raged, McCain was held for five years as a prisoner of war at the so-called Hanoi Hilton. Rather than trade on his family’s connections – his father and grandfather served as navy admirals – the young McCain elected to stay with his fellow prisoners, and was brutalized for his sense of duty and honor.

While Trump’s nonstop effort to mar the late senator’s memory should surprise no one, the response of McCain’s Republican Senate colleagues to Trump’s posthumous onslaught is both telling and disgraceful. The barons of the Senate live in fear of the president and his base. When Trump told Iowans in early 2016 that he could stand on New York’s Fifth Avenue “and shoot somebody” and still not lose voters, he knew of what he spoke.

McSally offered up the same anodyne gruel as McConnell, heaping praise upon the late senator, without mentioning Trump’s conduct

Continue reading…

Donald Trump | The Guardian

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