Read the latest updates from around the world

LONDON (Reuters) – Campaigning for Britain’s national election next month resumed in earnest on Friday, with the country still on high alert for further attacks, days after a suicide bombing killed 22 people in Manchester.

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BEIRUT (Reuters) – Air strikes since Thursday evening have killed more than 100 people including children and other family members of Islamic State fighters in al-Mayadin, a town held by the jihadists near Deir al-Zor in eastern Syria, a war monitor reported.

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Campaigners say ‘hundreds’ have complained about their details being used to post fake comments.

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Men claim discrimination after a cinema scheduled women-only screenings of the superhero film.

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The UN says aid agencies are struggling to cope with the huge numbers of people arriving in Uganda after fleeing civil war in South Sudan.

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a senior White House adviser, is under scrutiny by the FBI in the Russia probe, the Washington Post and NBC News reported on Thursday.

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The attack comes days after the militants stormed another military base in the same area.

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The looming pensions crisis is as serious as climate change, says the World Economic Forum.

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MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia and China agree that the development of North Korea’s nuclear program should not be used as an excuse for deploying elements of a U.S. global anti-missile system on the Korean peninsula, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.

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ILIGAN CITY, Philippines (Reuters) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte appealed to Islamist militants on Friday to abandon hostilities and start dialogue in an effort to end their bloody occupation of a southern city that experts called a major blow to regional security.

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JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian police arrested three people on Friday suspected of being linked to suicide bombings in Jakarta, as the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks that killed three police officers at a bus station and wounded 12 others.

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It is heartening at least that Montana newspapers withdrew their endorsements of Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte, after he grabbed Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs by the neck for trying to ask him a question, slammed him to the floor and punched him repeatedly (Fox News, 5/24/17). More heartening would be a full recognition across elite media that the incident is far from isolated.

As Huffington Post‘s Michael Calderone (5/24/17), for one, pointed out, a Republican state senator in Alaska, David Wilson, reportedly slapped reporter Nathaniel Herz earlier this month over a story Wilson didn’t like; FCC security pinned reporter John M. Donnelly against a wall for trying to ask a commission member a question last week; and West Virginia reporter Dan Heyman was arrested May 10 for trying to ask a question of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who declared himself pleased with that outcome.

Calderone notes that this behavior is of course fanned by Donald Trump, who didn’t invent distrust in media but escalated it dramatically in his campaign—blacklisting outlets, shoving reporters around and restricting movements at events, declaring the press the “enemy of the American people”…and now suggesting putting whistleblower journalists in prison.

NYT: The Upside to the Presidential Twitter Feed

The New York Times‘ apparently unironic effort to “say something nice about Donald Trump.”

Establishment journalists failed their “first they came for the Communists…” moment at the very beginning of the Trump administration, when DC police arrested and charged at least nine alternative journalists for covering protests at Trump’s inauguration that included property damage. Charges have since been dropped against most of the reporters, but felony charges are still pending against two: Aaron Cantu (who has written for FAIR.org) faces a maximum of ten years in prison for “rioting,” while Andrei Wood could get up 70 years on charges of rioting and destruction of property. No evidence has been presented to date that either one had any role at the protests other than covering them as news events, but their colleagues in establishment media have not made the criminalization of journalism into a cause celebre.

It’s hard to fathom how a press corps worth its salt would see the imperative of the present as ginning readers up to “say something nice” about Trump, as a new New York Times feature does, but Calderone cites a survey showing that 75 percent of White House reporters say they view Trump’s anti-press rhetoric as a distraction, rather than a threat. In that vein, CNN‘s Chris Cillizza (5/25/17) has referred to Gianforte’s assault as an “error,” as though it were a tactical misstep rather than an attack on press freedom.

One wonders, and worries, what it will take for elite media to change their minds about that.

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African opposition leader Mmusi Maimane said Zambian immigration officials barred him from entering their country late on Thursday, stopping his visit to a detained opposition leader there.

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lunch-breaking

As Milwaukee County sheriff, David Clarke hasn’t been shy about taking his incendiary, tough-talking style to Facebook.

On the sheriff’s official Facebook page, a post attributed to Clarke threatened to “knock out” a man who filed a complaint against him. The sheriff also posted a meme featuring a picture of the man that said: “Cheer up snowflake … If Sheriff Clarke were to really mess with you, you wouldn’t be around to whine about it.”

He attacked a county official who supported Milwaukee’s designation as an immigration “safe city,” calling the official a liar with “a pathological condition,” dubbed a local pro-immigration group “slimy,” and repeatedly referred to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as the “Urinal Sentinel.”

The controversial sheriff, who President Donald Trump is reportedly eyeing for a top post within the Department of Homeland Security, appears to have violated several of the county’s rules and guidelines, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting found. Clarke’s posts on the sheriff’s office page ran afoul of the county’s social media and ethics policies, the code of conduct sheriff’s employees are expected to follow and possibly Facebook’s policies as well.

This story is the result of an experiment at Reveal we’re calling “Lunch Breaking,” in which a team of our journalists spend their lunch hour investigating a subject proposed by readers on our Facebook page, then report back the next day on what they find.

Katherine Kaliszewski suggested we look into Clarke’s use of his office’s Facebook page to make what she believed to be posts of a political nature.

On Wednesday, some of us spent our lunch digging into Clarke’s Facebook posts and discussed the findings live on Thursday.

Milwaukee County’s social media policy states that elected officials are barred from doing a number of things on social media, including “venting personal complaints about supervisors, co-workers, customers or the organization.”

Clarke also appears to have violated the Milwaukee County Ethics Board’s rules, which state that public and elected officials “shall not engage in political activity while at work or while engaging in their official duties.”

On the Milwaukee Sheriff’s Office’s official Facebook page, Clarke repeatedly praised Trump, writing Jan. 30, “Damn right I am still fighting for Trump. I helped get Pres. Trump in office and I’ll keep fighting as long as I have to.”

In an interview with Reveal, a Milwaukee County official said Wednesday when it comes to whether the county’s social media policy applies to Clarke and other elected officials, “it’s kind of a gray area.”

“It’s difficult to enforce with him because he is an officer of the state,” said Melissa Moore Baldauff, director of communications in the Office of the Milwaukee County Executive.

In an email, Baldauff added: “Because the sheriff is an independently elected constitutional officer, the county can’t direct his behavior or hold him accountable for his harmful, inflammatory, and bullying rhetoric. His use of social media certainly falls outside the boundaries of what is decent, civil discourse expected of elected officials.”

Clarke announced last week that the Department of Homeland Security had chosen him to be an assistant secretary. However, a week later, administration officials still won’t confirm the appointment.

Juliette Kayyem, a Barack Obama appointee who held the job Clarke said he will soon take, has called him unfit for the position. In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, 55 members of Congress urged him to reject Clarke for the position.

Over the weekend, CNN reported that portions of Clarke’s master’s thesis appear to have been plagiarized.

In his most recent interviews, Clarke said he now isn’t sure whether the job will come through. “Who knows?” he wondered on a radio show that aired Monday.

A spokeswoman for the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office declined an interview request from Reveal.

“The sheriff is not interested in the political theater media is trying to generate,” spokeswoman Fran McLaughlin said in an email.

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Missing from President Donald Trump’s budget proposal this week was an annual report, known as the Green Book, that presidents have issued for many years to spell out their tax goals in detail, an omission that tax experts called telling.

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China’s football authority wants a 100% tax on loss-making clubs that sign foreign players.

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CAIRO (Reuters) – Islamic state clamed responsibility for Jakarta bus station attacks that left at least three policemen dead and 12 others wounded on Wednesday.

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LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s opposition Labour Party has cut the lead of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives to five points less than a fortnight before a national election, according to the first poll published since a suicide bombing killed 22 people.

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union will offer to protect the welfare and residence rights of Britons living on the continent after Brexit when it opens talks with London next month, according to a document seen by Reuters on Thursday.

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SIGONELLA, Italy (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Sicily from Brussels on Thursday ahead of a two-day Group of Seven summit at which other leaders are expected to pressure him to soften his stance on trade and climate change.

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LONDON (Reuters) – The leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party will criticize Prime Minister Theresa May’s police cuts and Britain’s foreign policy on Friday, saying they increased the threat of terrorism, ending a political truce after the Manchester suicide attack.

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LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party held an eight percentage point lead over the opposition Labour Party in a Kantar poll taken before a suicide bombing in Manchester which killed 22 people.

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Three people have been killed and hundred of homes destroyed as Russia declares a state of emergency.

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Washington Post: No pardon for Edward Snowden

Washington Post editorial (9/16/16)

For the third time in a year, the Washington Post has promoted the prosecution of Washington Post sources.

Last September,  the Post controversially published “No Pardon for Edward Snowden” (9/16/16), an editorial calling for prosecution of the whistleblower who helped the paper win a Pulitzer Prize in 2014.

In the past weeks, two Post columnists have joined the Post editorial board in calling for Post sources to be jailed—this time in regard to the Post’s major scoop (5/16/17) about President Donald Trump leaking classified intelligence to Russian diplomats.

First up was former head of the CIA, pro-torture pundit and frequent Trump critic Mike Morell, whose op-ed piece (5/17/17)  took aim at the Post’s sources for this story—anonymous “current and former US officials”—arguing that “the leakers did commit a crime, and they should be held accountable.”

Washington Post: Leakers who revealed Israel as intelligence source did far more damage than Trump

Washington Post‘s Marc Thiessen (5/22/17)

Post columnist, pro-torture theologian and former Bush official Marc Thiessen (5/22/17) joined him the following week in “Leakers Who Revealed Israel as Intelligence Source Did Far More Damage Than Trump”:

The decision of these anonymous leakers to share code-word intelligence with the media is a crime that did far more damage than Trump’s apparently inadvertent disclosures to the Russians.

The Post may argue the editorial side is independent of the news side, and that the opinions expressed there—including those of the editorialists, whose writings are tagged as “The Post‘s View”—have no bearing on its newsgathering practices. But this assumes that the Post draws its opinion writers out of a hat rather than deliberately deciding to give a platform to a specific range of ideological perspectives.

With the exception of one Katrina vanden Heuvel column (9/20/16) from last September that advocated a pardon for Snowden, the Post hasn’t featured any opinion pieces countering these calls for the prosecution of the paper’s sources. Post-election, the Post has branded itself the vanguard against Trump—and indeed, its reporting side has often lived up to this billing. But the editorial side of the paper has repeatedly thrown its reporters’ sources under the bus.

Why should a source leak to the Post when its editorial board toes the national security state line to such a rigorous degree? If “democracy dies in darkness”—as the Post’s new tagline claims—what happens to democracy when any attempt at exposing the inner workings of the government leads to multiple felony counts?

But the calls for prison time for whistleblowers are part of a broader problem with the Washington Post opinion section—the prevalence of pro-government, pro-national security state voices over all others.

In one 24-hour period this month, for example, the Post ran op-eds by the former head of CIA, the former head of NSA, a former vice president and an ex-CIA agent. While the Post will sometimes allow outside voices, its opinion section is disproportionately and overwhelmingly populated by current and former boosters of US national security orthodoxy. The same goes for their editorial board, which, in addition to calling for the prosecution of Washington Post sources, runs interference for US allies and is a lockstep advocate for all of its wars.

Whistleblowers are already under attack on multiple fronts—from lengthy jail sentences to “cruel and inhuman” pre-trial punishment to the draconian Espionage Act. The question the Post should ask itself is: In addition to all of this, do whistleblowers really need the paper that publishes their revelations using its opinion pages to call for their imprisonment?


Messages can be sent to the Washington Post at [email protected], or via Twitter @washingtonpost. Please remember that respectful communication is the most effective.

 

 

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He was quiet and withdrawn, a college dropout who liked soccer — and, some say, showed alarming signs of being radicalized years before he walked into a pop concert at Britain’s Manchester Arena and detonated a powerful bomb, killing himself and 22 others.

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LONDON (Reuters) – British police investigating the Manchester suicide bombing said on Thursday they had found potentially suspicious items at an address in the nearby town of Wigan and had evacuated houses in the area as a precaution.

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LONDON (Reuters) – British police investigating the Manchester suicide bombing said on Thursday they had found potentially suspicious items at an address in the nearby town of Wigan and had evacuated houses in the area as a precaution.

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation has declined to give the House Oversight Committee documents it had requested regarding communications between former FBI chief James Comey and President Donald Trump, the head of the panel said on Thursday.

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Three men are put to death in the Gaza Strip for the killing of a Hamas leader in March.

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BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian President Michel Temer on Thursday removed federal troops from the streets of the nation’s capital, a day after sending in the army to contain violent protests against his scandal-plagued government.

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