Why Were the Saudi Streets So Quiet?

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By Medea Benjamin. With the world’s media focused on President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, it’s curious that the streets of Riyadh were so empty. Unlike most of Trump’s public appearances, there was not a protester in sight. While Mexicans pour out on the streets to protest Trump’s anti-immigrant policies, bashing Trump piñatas and burning U.S. flags, there was nary a Saudi protester chanting “Trump: Go home.” In this very religious country, no one seemed interested in demonstrating opposition to Trump’s derogatory comments about Islam nor his attempts to impose a Muslim ban back home. Saudi women could have used the occasion to push for their rights. They could have put out a national call saying that as soon as Trump began to speak, women should walk out of their homes with their heads uncovered and dressed as they pleased, just like Melania and Ivanka Trump.

Trump And Cabinet Members 'Bust A Move' In Saudi Arabia

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By Press TV. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – US President Donald Trump joins a sword dance held in his honor in Saudi Arabia after signing Washington’s largest-ever single arms deal with Riyadh. He was accompanied at the Saturday jubilation by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. Trump arrived in the Saudi capital earlier in the day on the first leg of a nine-day overseas tour. Upon arrival and official reception, he proceeded to sign the $110-billion deal and other agreements amounting to $250 billion before joining the party. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir put the volume of the collective bilateral deals higher, saying they were worth more than $380 billion. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Twitter that the “defense agreement” was the “largest single arms deal in US history.”

Trump’s First One Hundred Days Of War Crimes

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By Charles Pierson for Counter Punch. President Donald J. Trump closed out his first hundred days in office on April 29. Not marked by any notable achievements, Trump’s first hundred days did yield an impressive and ever-lengthening list of scandals. And war crimes. During his short time in office, Trump has racked up an impressive list of war crimes. Congratulations, Mr. President! Where to begin? Nine days after Trump’s Inauguration, US Navy SEALs together with elite troops from the United Arab Emirates descended on the village of Yaklaa in the Yemeni governorate of Bayda. At the time, the White House said that the mission’s objective was to enter a compound controlled by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and gather intelligence by grabbing computers and cell phones. It was not until a week later that US military officials stated that the prime objective of the raid was to capture or kill AQAP emir Qassim al-Rimi.

Military Veterans March on D.C. May 30, Memorial Day

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By Nick Motten for Veterans for Peace. WASHINGTON D.C. – In response to President Trump’s “outrageous” $54 billion defense-spending increase, military veterans are being called to the nation’s capital May 30/Memorial Day to demand “Peace at Home and Peace Abroad.” And they’re using television commercials in D.C. to spread the call for peace. “Wherever you are, your presence is respectfully and urgently requested in Washington, DC, on May 30 at the Lincoln Memorial. At this historic site—95 years after its inauguration on May 30, 1922—at 11 a.m., nationally and internationally known speakers and musicians will convey our adamant determination to achieve Peace at Home and Peace Abroad,” is the message of Veterans for Peace and other vet groups.

Trump Nominates New FERC Commissioners

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Washington, DC – The Hill reports that the Trump administration announced on Monday its two Republican nominees, Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson, f0r the vacant seats in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). If confirmed, the FERC would once again have a quorum and would be able to resume rubber stamping its backlog of fossil fuel project permits. A coalition of around 160 local, state, regional and national organizations is calling upon the Senate to reject both nominations announced yesterday by President Donald Trump to be Commissioners of FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. “FERC has been abusing communities for decades, abusing their power and authority in ways that undermines the rights of both people and the states. While biased FERC Commissioners with industry ties is nothing new, Donald Trump’s picks, if confirmed by the Senate, would take us to a whole new and dangerous level of conflict and bias.

Enviro Groups Stage Massive People’s Climate March On Washington

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By John Zangas of DC Media Group. Washington, DC – Hundreds of grassroots environmental groups from around the country rallied Saturday at the U.S. Capitol in a mass march against administration plans to deregulate environmental protections. Among their demands: respect the environment, stop denying climate change exists, continue policies to protect the water and air, and don’t strip EPA regulations. The broad-based coalition linked climate change to fossil energy extraction as not only the cause of the present period of massive ice melt and species extinction, but also as a nexus to the oppression of minorities and indigenous people. There were over 350 sister marches held in many major cities across the U.S. Tens of thousands walked down Pennsylvania Avenue, with indigenous people leading the way, past a barricaded Trump International Hotel.

Urgent: Stop The United States From Attacking North Korea

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The United States has been escalating conflict with North Korea recently. Of concern is that President Trump announced today that he plans to meet with all 100 senators on Wednesday, April 26, without their staffers, at the White House. We must send a strong message to the senators that we will not tolerate a US attack on North Korea. The time to do that is now. Use the Capitol Switchboard at 202 224 3121 to call your senators today and tell them that we want peace with North Korea. Negotiate with President Kim Jong-un. Stop US military exercises on the North Korean border. Join us at the White House on Wednesday at 2 pm. See this Facebook page for details. If you can’t come to DC, then hold an action locally.

While US Threatens War, Work Of Peace Continues In Afghanistan

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By Kathy Kelly for The Progressive. Three former United Nations officials with many decades of experience as diplomats recently wrote a blunt appraisal of the U.S. role in undermining peace efforts and promoting wars. The authors call out President Donald Trump for “embracing a toxic form of messianic nationalism,” with exclusionary policies “illustrative of a regressive and Islamophobic outlook.” The massive bomb Trump dropped on Afghanistan in April was more bad news. Yet in Kabul, the work of peace continues. Afghan Peace Volunteers have been welcoming delegates from my group, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, from the United States and England, one or two at a time, over the past several months. On a visit last month, I was able to travel by bus to a small village where relatives were celebrating the marriage of Abid and Zahro.

Trump Betrays His Non-Interventionist Base

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By Greg Johnson for Counter-Currents. Donald Trump’s dizzying about-face on Syria has won the temporary applause of his enemies, but he has forever lost the respect of his most ardent supporters on the Alt Right, the people who actually believe in and defend his nationalist-populist message, including his America First foreign policy. I thought Trump’s willingness to fight a two-front war against the Democrats and his own party was sufficient proof that he was sincere about his America First foreign policy. But he ditched it at its first real test. I no longer trust Donald Trump. But it is worse than that. I no longer like or respect Trump either. Trump didn’t just betray us. He betrayed us over something utterly stupid. We’ve seen this all before.

Renewed Attempts At Regime Change In Venezuela?

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By Carlos Ron. The arrival of a new government in Washington, opened the way for taking a harder line on Venezuelan policy. On January 26, members of the opposition that had been present at the dialogue roundtables decided to abandon the process and follow the lead of Voluntad Popular, an opposition political party that spearheaded the violent protests in 2014, resulting in 43 dead and hundreds wounded. On February 8, 34 members of Congress, including some that are known for their traditional anti-Venezuela stance, asked President Trump in a letter to “take immediate action” against Venezuela. On February 13, Vice President Tarek El Aissami, was accused by the Treasury Department of drug-trafficking and soon after, on February 15, President Trump met with key opposition figure, Lilian Tintori, from Voluntad Popular.

The Power Of Ordinary People Facing Totalitarianism

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By Kathleen B. Jones for The Conversation. In my view, “Origins” offers both a warning and an implicit call to resistance. In today’s context, Arendt would invite her readers to question what is being presented as reality. When President Trump and his advisers claim dangerous immigrants are “pouring” into the country, or stealing Americans’ jobs, are they silencing dissent or distracting us from the truth? “Origins” wasn’t intended to be a formulaic blueprint for how totalitarian rulers emerge or what actions they take. It was a plea for attentive, thoughtful civil disobedience to emerging authoritarian rule. What makes “Origins” so salient today is Arendt’s recognition that comprehending totalitarianism’s possible recurrence means neither denying the burden events have placed on us, nor submitting quietly to the order of the day.

Snowden's Advice To Trump On Surveillance

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By Alex Emmons for The Intercept. Snowden explained that the NSA’s surveillance dragnet currently allows any analyst with an appropriate clearance to search a massive database of communications for phones or IP addresses related to anyone, including the president. He was describing the Upstream program conducted under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, in which the NSA collects a vast number of American communications from internet cables entering and exiting the United States, ostensibly only “targeting” foreigners. “If Donald Trump wants to take this seriously, he needs to fix the problem that everyone in America’s communications are being collected right now, without a warrant, and they’re going into the bucket, and they’re protected by very lax internal policy regulations, and this simply is not enough,” said Snowden.

Newsletter - Visions For The Future

We Can Build The Future

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. The vision for the future laid out in President Trump’s budget is one of large cuts to the federal government for necessary agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and Housing and Urban Development, privatization of services, such as air traffic control, and macho military might. It conjures visions of Nero fiddling as Rome burned. Ralph Nader writes in “‘Making America Great’ at American’s Expense,” that “The tower of contradictions, being constructed by Trump and the most extreme Republican Party in its history, won’t be camouflaged or distracted for long.” People are rising up and will continue to do so. The corporatist’s vision has been pushed for decades in the US and around the world, but there is another vision that is also growing in the hearts and minds of many.

No Business As Usual For Trump’s FERC

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By Beyond Extreme Energy. Over 130 organizations across the country announced today that they will oppose nominees made by the Trump Administration to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The move reflects the growing resistance nationwide from residents, farmers, business owners, physicians, and environmentalists to FERC’s practice of recklessly permitting pipelines that put hundreds of communities and the drinking water of millions of Americans at risk, in addition to the global climate. At a time when citizens are increasingly calling on Senators to oppose appointed officials that support the fossil fuel industry, the pledge signers, representing over a million people nationwide, pledge to work against each nominee to FERC made by the Trump Administration, and to call on U.S. Senators to use the nomination process to highlight FERC’s rubber stamping of pipeline projects and refusal to listen the legitimate concerns of community groups.

Antifascists Crash Pro-Trump Rally At Washington Monument

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By John Zangas For DC Media Group – A pro-Trump rally at the Washington Monument drawing nearly 400 supporters was trolled and heckled by anti-fascist counter-protesters on March 4. Even though as many as 25 U.S. Park Police officers kept opposing sides apart, there were still several skirmishes at the rally, during a march and at the White House. There were no arrests or injuries reported, though one woman was pushed to the pavement. The DC Trump rally and march were part of a nationwide call to drum up support for the administration which has come under increasing fire over allegations its campaign staff contacted Russian government officials before the election.