18 Jul

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

English Online International Newspapers

Nearly all of these are English-edition daily newspapers. These sites have interesting editorials and essays, and many have links to other good news sources. We try to limit this list to those sites which are regularly updated, reliable, with a high percentage of “up” time.

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Poland’s love-hate relationship with the EU

By Gulliver CRAGG

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party, is a maverick. On civil rights, justice and the environment, Poland is increasingly breaking away from EU rules. But public opinion, which has benefited from tens of billions of euros in aid from Brussels, is massively pro-European. It’s a paradox the Polish people have to live with every day. Despite warnings and threats of sanctions from the EU, Law and Justice carries on regardless. FRANCE 24’s Gulliver Cragg reports.


World Politics


Polish government brings forward plans to assert control over judges>>

United States

Senate healthcare bill stumbles after Republican party defections – video report

The US Senate’s healthcare overhaul appears to be in serious trouble as two more Republicans say they oppose a revised version of the bill. Republican senators Jerry Moran and Mike Lee both pledged on Monday night to vote against the healthcare bill – defections that may effectively kill the plan

The White House celebrates US-manufactured products this week, even though Trump’s vodka, menswear and even board games have been made overseas

Slugger: Donald Trump at the ‘Made in America’ event – in pictures

trump made in america

Vice-President Mike Pence laughs as Donald Trump holds a baseball bat during the ‘Made in America’ product showcase event at the White House. Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters

Donald Trump has declared this week “Made in America” week. According to the White House, it’s an opportunity for the president to showcase “products that are made in America”.

Unfortunately for Trump, that description would rule out many of the products he and members of his family have made and sold. From Donald J Trump Collection clothing to Trump Vodka to Trump: the Game, the president has a track record of not making things in America.

The week was scheduled to kick off at the White House on Monday, with Trump walking around some tables looking at products made in all 50 states. So in honour of the president’s communist-dictator-esque photo opportunity, here’s a look at some not-made-in-America Trump gear.


Trump Vodka (“The finish is disappointingly harsh” – was an ill-fated attempt by Trump to branch into the spirits world. The vodka (“No discernable flavor” – Chicagoist) was manufactured in the Netherlands by a company called Wanders Distillery and launched in the US in 2006.

But the beverage (“My taste buds unfortunately associate the flavor with the smell of paint” – VodkaBuzz) failed to sell. The trademark was abandoned in 2008, according to Rolling Stone. By 2011, Trump Vodka was “out of circulation”.


“We don’t need Chinese products,” Trump told Fox News in 2010. “The stuff that’s been sent over from China is – it falls apart after a year and a half. It’s crap.”

It was an odd thing to say for a self-described master businessman offering to the American public many menswear products – featured in the Donald J Trump Signature Collection – that were made in China.

Donald J Trump eyeglasses were made in China. Donald Trump’s ties were made in China. Some of the Donald J Trump suits were made in China.

To be fair, Trump is an equal opportunity overseas manufacturer. His dress shirts have been manufactured in Bangladesh, Honduras and Vietnam. And China.

It turned out Trump was right about people not needing Chinese products. In 2015, the Donald J Trump Signature Collection was jettisoned by Macy’s. His famous red hats, meanwhile, actually are made in the US. It’s the unofficial ones that aren’t.

Read Full Article>>

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Fire trucks, golf clubs and double standards: Trump touts America>>


Escalated street protests and 24-hour strike organized in weeks leading up to election of assembly to rewrite constitution after 7.1m people rejected proposal

venezuela vote

Venezuelans in Costa Rica vote in unofficial referendum organized by opposition to gauge public opinion on President Nicolás Maduro’s plan to rewrite the constitution. Photograph: Jeffrey Arguedas/EPA

Venezuelan opposition leaders have called for their supporters to escalate street protests and support a 24-hour national strike later this week after more than 7.1 million people rejected a government plan to rewrite the constitution.

“It is time for zero hour,” said Freddy Guevara, a leading opposition figure on Monday.

“We call on the whole country this to join massively and peacefully a national civic strike of 24 hours on Thursday as a mechanism of pressure and preparation for the definitive escalation which will be next week,” he added.

The opposition-controlled National Assembly also announced that it will name new members of the country’s supreme court, a move certain to be blocked by President Nicolás Maduro’s administration. The court is controlled by loyalists of Maduro’s ruling socialist party.

The opposition said 7,186,170 Venezuelans participated in a symbolic referendum rejecting President Nicolás Maduro’s plans for the 30 July election of an assembly that would remake the country’s political system.

Maduro’s allies have called on the assembly to impose executive branch authority over the few remaining institutions outside the control of Venezuela’s socialist ruling party.

A coalition of some 20 opposition parties assembled in its headquarters Monday to call for a “zero hour” campaign of civil disobedience in the two weeks leading to the government vote. More than three months of opposition protests have left at least 93 people dead and 1,500 wounded. More than 500 protesters and government opponents have been jailed.

“Right now we have to escalate and deepen this street movement,” National Assembly President Julio Borges told local radio station Exitos Monday morning ahead of the opposition announcement.

Sunday’s opposition vote was a strong but not overwhelming showing that fell short of the opposition’s 7.7m vote showing in 2015 legislative elections and the 7.5m votes that brought Maduro to power in 2013. Opposition leaders said that was because they were able to set up only 2,000 polling places in a symbolic exercise the government labeled as illegitimate.

Still, some supporters said they were disappointed.

“I thought it was going to be more,” said Mariela Arana, a 56-year-old school counselor. “But these 7 million people spoke and it was plenty.”

The day was marred by violence when a 61-year-old woman was killed and four people wounded by gunfire after government supporters on motorcycles swarmed an opposition polling site in a church in western Caracas.

David Smilde, a Tulane University expert on Venezuela, said the result would likely rally the international community even more strongly against the July 30 vote.
“Overall, this vote, I think, makes it difficult for the government to just proceed as planned,” Smilde said. “I think it’s going to embolden the international community to reject it.”

Various former Latin American heads of state attended Sunday’s vote as observers in support of the opposition.

The Venezuelan government declared ex-Mexico president Vicente Fox “persona non grata” for “insulting” Venezuelans and “abusing hospitality”.

The opposition released only turnout numbers Sunday night, not tallies of responses to those questions, although virtually all who voted were believed to have answered “yes” to the central rejection of the constitutional rewrite.

In smaller numbers in many parts of the capital, government supporters went to polling stations in a rehearsal for the 30 July vote.

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