The following are excerpts from an item published by Politico and written by Shane Goldmacher and Matthew Nussbaum. The article describes Donald Trump’s first “official” speech as President, delivered at CIA headquarters. The tone of the piece is remarkably unsparing, especially for Politico:
“Standing on hallowed ground at the Langley headquarters, in front of the wall of stars carved into marble to represent each of the 117 CIA agents who have died in service to the country, Trump lashed out at his critics, boasted of his appearances on magazine covers and exaggerated about the size of the crowd at his inauguration.
“He also hinted at loosening rules on torture put in place under President Barack Obama, promised to wipe ‘radical Islamic terrorism . . . off the face of the earth’ and pledged his full backing to the CIA.
“’I am so behind you,’ Trump said, adding, ‘You’re gonna…
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The Committee to Protect Journalists has released its list of journalists who were killed in 2016; clicking on the journalists’ names will link you to their stories:
48 Journalists Killed in 2016/Motive Confirmed
December 15, 2016, in Mohammed Agha District, Logar Province, Afghanistan
Soe Moe Tun , Daily Eleven
December 13, 2016, in Monywa, Myanmar
November 18, 2016, in Taiz, Yemen
Mohsen Khazaei, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting
November 12, 2016, in Aleppo, Syria
Mahad Ali Mohamed , Codka Mudug Radio
November 6, 2016, in Galkayo, Somalia
Naimatullah Zaheer, Ariana News
November 4, 2016, in Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan
Abdul Salam Kanaan, Al-Jisr TV
October 31, 2016, in Zafraneh, Syria
Ali Risan, Al-Sumaria TV
October 22, 2016, in Al-Shura, Nineveh Province, Iraq
Ahmet Haceroğlu, Türkmeneli TV
October 21, 2016, in Kirkuk, Iraq
Jeroen Oerlemans , Freelance
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In early December, the Committee to Protect Journalists released its annual listing of journalists jailed for political reasons over the past year.
Here are the totals by nation:
Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories: 7
Saudi Arabia: 6
If you wish to read more about the individual journalists who have been jailed, reports on their cases are available at: https://cpj.org/x/6ab9.
POSTED BY MARTIN KICH
Some 1,700 of the world’s leading scientists, including the majority of Nobel laureates in the sciences, issued this appeal in 1992. The World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity was written and spearheaded by the late Henry Kendall, former chair of Union of Concerned Scientists’ (UCS’s) board of directors.
Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course. Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment and on critical resources. If not checked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future that we wish for human society and the plant and animal kingdoms, and may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know. Fundamental changes are urgent if we are to avoid the collision our present course will bring about.
The environment is suffering critical stress:
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This post might be subtitled: “Or My Retreat from More Broadly Absurd Political Considerations.”
In CNN’s Politics Nightcap newsletter for December 22, Eric Bradner reports:
The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker and Karen Tumulty had a story this morning about President-elect Donald Trump’s casting call for “the look” — and included this tidbit about former United Nations ambassador John Bolton, who has been in the running for a State Department post:
“Several of Trump’s associates said they thought that John R. Bolton’s brush-like mustache was one of the factors that handicapped the bombastic former United Nations ambassador in the sweepstakes for secretary of state. ‘Donald was not going to like that mustache,’ said one associate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak frankly. ‘I can’t think of anyone that’s really close to Donald that has a beard that he likes.'”
Here is Bolton’s tweet in response to the story:
“I appreciate the…
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POSTED BY MARTIN KICH
On December 13, Quartz reported:
“The 17 people who US president-elect Donald Trump has selected for his cabinet or for posts with cabinet rank have well over $9.5 billion in combined wealth, with several positions still unfilled. This collection of wealth is greater than that of the 43 million least wealthy American households combined—over one third of the 126 million households total in the US.”
Here is a chart from a Boston Globe article by Matt Rocheleau:
Rocheleau includes these additional points of comparison:
“Collectively, the wealth of his Cabinet choices so far is about five times greater than President Obama’s Cabinet and about 34 times greater than the one George W. Bush led at the end of his presidency. . . .
“The net worth of the Cabinet Trump had selected as of Monday was at least $13.1 billion, based on available estimates, or…
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