Shake-up will make the world a more dangerous place

first_imgPompeo and Cotton have something else in common: like President Trump himself, they’re both supporters of torture.They take the position that the torture program under the Bush administration was a great success, and was not actually “torture” despite the fact that it employed techniques like waterboarding and stress positions (which are designed to produce excruciating pain).When the Senate voted to ban the use of torture techniques in 2015, Cotton was one of 21 Republicans who voted no.He also once introduced an amendment to punish the family members of people convicted of violating sanctions on Iran with up to 20 years in prison, saying that such punishment should apply not only to spouses but to “parents, children, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, grandparents, great grandparents, grandkids, great grandkids.”The punishment he proposed would be automatic, without any need to show that the family members had done anything wrong.“There would be no investigation,” he said.After members of both parties express shock and disgust at such a profoundly un-American idea, Cotton withdrew it. Categories: Editorial, OpinionBecause the Trump administration is such a finely tuned machine, Thursday we learn that the national security and foreign policy team is set for an overhaul, a whole eight months into this presidency.The likely result is a more isolated position for the United States in the world and a more dangerous future.The Post’s Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker, and Anne Gearan report:“The White House has readied a plan to oust embattled Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who has become one of the most personally loyal and politically savvy members of President Trump’s national security team, two administration officials confirmed Thursday. But it’s worth noting that Donald Trump once suggested murdering the families of suspected terrorists, so Cotton and his new boss will be on the same wavelength.In short, calling Tom Cotton a “hawk” does not begin to describe how terrifying his views are.If at any time in the last few years you had asked me, “Which future Republican president would be most likely to start World War III?,” my first answer would have been “Tom Cotton” without hesitation, and I’m sure I’m not alone.The larger meaning of this shakeup is that it leaves Trump’s national security team more likely to encourage the president’s most dangerous impulses, which will affect both immediate and longer-term policy choices, not to mention what could happen in a crisis.There are still a couple of sane voices around Trump, but their numbers are dwindling.Paul Waldman is a columnist with The Washington Post.More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census Indeed, Pompeo has come under severe criticism for politicizing the CIA.He has distorted the results of intelligence community analysis in order to support President Trump’s interpretation of Russian involvement in the 2016 election.At times he has given the impression that his first priority is protecting Trump politically, not giving him the most accurate information to help make life-or-death decisions.Perhaps most disturbingly, Pompeo’s move to State and Cotton’s elevation to the CIA make the end of the deal restraining Iran’s nuclear program, and possibly even another American war in the Middle East, much more likely.While most experts and even some of Trump’s own officials agree that the Iran deal has achieved exactly what it was intended to do — keeping Iran from developing nuclear weapons — Pompeo has been an ardent opponent of the deal from the start and has made clear his eagerness to scrap it.He shares that opinion with Tom Cotton, who not only believes the deal should be abandoned but has also repeatedly suggested that a nice healthy bombing campaign would do the job of eliminating the risk of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons.Their elevation makes it even more likely that the United States will completely withdraw from the deal, and if the deal implodes, that could mean Iran resuming its quest for nuclear weapons, which in turn would be used as justification for a war that some like Cotton seem so eager to begin. “The plan, hatched by White House chief of staff John F. Kelly, is expected to be set in motion over the next few weeks, and has broad support within Trump’s inner circle, the officials said.“Under the plan, Pompeo would likely be replaced at the CIA by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., one of Trump’s most steadfast defenders and a confidant to some leading members of the foreign policy team, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the White House has not publicly announced the moves.”It’s hard not to have mixed feelings about Tillerson’s departure.On one hand, he’ll doubtless go down as one of the worst secretaries of state in history, having set about to gut America’s diplomatic capacity and destroy morale within his department.On the other hand, he reportedly called President Donald Trump a “(expletive) moron,” so he obviously has a good head on his shoulders.As strained as Tillerson’s relationship with Trump was, if nothing else he made some attempts to rein in the president’s more dangerous ideas and leave open the possibility that diplomacy might be worth pursuing with regard to countries like Iran and North Korea.But there’s not much reason to believe that Mike Pompeo will be a force pushing in the same direction.last_img read more

Rivers must do more to attract patrons

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Rivers casino needs to smarten up. I can’t believe that they can’t see why they are losing people. First up, get a buffet: This is a must. Many people I know will not go back because of this reason. People don’t want to pay $15 or more for a pizza or $25 for a pork chop. It seems to me that they made a deal with the restaurants that they would not put a buffet in. If your food is good, it shouldn’t matter. Also charging a $5 fee at an ATM to get your money? You can’t bleed people because you have debts to pay. The old saying is still good today: It takes money to make money. Stop playing games and start showing some appreciation for the people of this town.Anthony J. WassilSchenectady More from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady police reform sessions pivot to onlineEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusSchenectady department heads: Budget cutbacks would further stress already-stretched departmentsSchenectady NAACP calls for school layoff freeze, reinstatement of positionslast_img read more

Hungary for success

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Dorset nuclear site plans get go-ahead

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The Coppergate saga

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In which we surf

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PREMIUMIndonesian homemakers face up to ten years in prison for sharing false information

first_imgKazahra Tanzania, a stay-at-home mother who lives in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, advised residents in a Facebook post to wear protective masks because she had heard that a man in the city who had recently visited China had been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.The information, which she received from her brother who works at a local hospital, turned out to be false, and she quickly took down her post and issued an apology. “Apologies for my previous post, which has been troubling residents of Balikpapan,” she wrote.But panic had already been sown. Residents rushed to get masks to protect themselves after reading the post. Kazahra was detained by the police on Monday for allegedly spreading false information, which, according to the Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law, carries three to ten years of imprisonment.“Maybe she meant well by warn… Linkedin ITE-Law Wuhan-coronavirus Wuhan-coronavirus-in-Indonesia housewives hoax misinformation LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Google Topics : Forgot Password ? Log in with your social account Facebooklast_img read more

Indonesian basketballer with attitude allowed to return to World Cup qualifiers’ roster

first_imgThe Indonesian Basketball Association (Perbasi) and the national team have allowed Abraham Damar Grahita to return to the national squad, which is set to go up against the Philippines in a qualifier in Jakarta on Sunday.The national team announced Friday that Abraham had been suspended for his behavior during a post-match press conference.Indonesia lost 109-76 to South Korea on Thursday in its first game of the qualifiers at Mahaka Arena in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta.Read also: Attitude costs Indonesian basketball player place on team roster in World Cup qualifiersDuring the presser, Abraham, who was a top player in the game, scoring 25 points and completing four assists, made a face while coach Rajko Toroman spoke — a gesture that was deemed imprudent by the national team.In the latest update, however, Perbasi and the national team have reportedly found a solution. In a statement released on Saturday night, Perbasi said Abraham had committed an ethics violation and would be on probation until December.  He will also be obligated to conduct monthly social work during the probation period.Nevertheless, Abraham is allowed to remain on the roster. Perbasi is to review the decision if Abraham repeats a similar violation during the probation period.According to the release, Perbasi held a press conference on Saturday evening to clear the matter. Abraham attended the event.”I apologize to Perbasi, the national team, coach, manager,  members of the squad and all basketball fans for a bad decision I made during the press conference after playing against South Korea.”I really regret it,” said Abraham.Meanwhile, Perbasi chief Danny Kosasih said he hoped the incident would not hamper Indonesia’s long-term preparations for the World Cup.”Now, let’s put our focus back on making Indonesia proud” he added. (nkn)Topics :last_img read more

Scotland to approve free sanitary products for all women

first_imgScotland in 2018 was the first government in the world to provide free sanitary products in schools, colleges and universities.Sanitary products in the United Kingdom are currently taxed at 5% – the so-called “tampon tax”. Former Prime Minister David Cameron’s government said it wanted to end the unpopular tax but that its hands were tied by European Union rules which set tax rates for certain products.The government announced it would drop the tax in 2016, but this has not happened yet, the issue having been pushed to the sidelines during the Brexit process.There is no tax on period products in Ireland, Canada, Australia, Kenya, India, Columbia, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Nigeria, Uganda, Lebanon and Trinidad and Tobago, the Scottish government’s briefing on the bill said.Topics : The Scottish parliament on Tuesday is due to approve plans to make sanitary products freely available to all women – the first nation in the world to do so.The legislation would make products such as tampons and sanitary pads free for all women in Scotland, available at designated public places such as community centers, youth clubs and pharmacies.The plan is expected to pass its first vote in the devolved Scottish parliament on Tuesday. The Period Products (Free Provision) Scotland Bill was proposed by Scottish lawmaker Monica Lennon, who first submitted a draft proposal in 2017. The cost is expected to be around 24.1 million pounds (US$31.24 million).”These are not luxury items. They are indeed essential and no one in Scotland should have to go without period products,” Lennon said, adding that the bill was about “period dignity”.”We are changing the culture and it’s really exciting that other countries right around the world are watching very closely to see what we do,” she said.A consultation document proposed modelling the scheme on the card-based system for free condoms, where users register for a free card or voucher to exchange for the products.last_img read more

Saudi king offers to pay for coronavirus patients’ treatment

first_imgSaudi Arabia will finance treatment for anyone infected with the coronavirus in the country, the health minister said on Monday, while the agriculture ministry took steps to boost wheat and livestock supplies amid global fears of a food shortage.The kingdom has registered eight deaths among 1,453 infections, the highest among the six Gulf Arab states.Health Minister Tawfiq Al Rabiah said King Salman would cover treatment for citizens and residents diagnosed with the virus, urging people with symptoms to get tested. “We are all in the same boat,” he told a news conference, adding that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was overseeing containment efforts “night and day”.The kingdom’s de facto ruler was last seen publicly at a cabinet meeting on March 3, days before detaining his uncle and three cousins in a move seen as cementing his eventual path to the throne.King Salman, his 84-year-old father, addressed the nation two weeks ago and chaired an extraordinary virtual summit of G20 leaders to advance a global response to the coronavirus pandemic.G20 trade ministers are holding an emergency video conference on Monday to discuss cooperation on supply chains. Topics :center_img At a separate news conference, the agriculture ministry spokesman said Saudi Arabia would start importing at least 1.2 million tons more wheat next month, adding to strategic reserves of over 1 million tons.Abdullah Abalkhail said the kingdom had also expanded the list of countries from which it can import livestock.Saudi Arabia has taken drastic steps to contain the coronavirus, halting international flights, closing most public places and imposing a partial curfew.Restrictions on movement have tightened, with entry and exit to Riyadh, Mecca, Medina and Jeddah heavily restricted. The interior ministry said on Monday it was curbing access to six districts in Mecca, as it did over the weekend with several neighborhoods in Medina.The United Arab Emirates recorded two deaths on Monday in Arab and Asian nationals, both in their 40s with pre-existing heart conditions, raising the death toll to five among 611 infections. The country extended distance learning until the end of the academic year.The health ministry in Bahrain, which has recorded four deaths and 500 cases, said a plane of evacuated citizens from Iran landed in Manama, without providing details.Another plane landed in Kuwait carrying 70 of its nationals from Tehran, Kuwait said.last_img read more