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May 11 2019

Six In The Morning Saturday 11 May 2019

Trump tramples and divides world, just like he does at home

Updated 0449 GMT (1249 HKT) May 11, 2019

Even before he was elected everyone knew Donald Trump was a bully, what they didn’t know was how his bullying would affect them, nor what it would reveal about who he fears.

Trump’s often mendacious torrents of stilted rhetoric have already crushed common ground at home and polarized America.
But now a little over half way through his Presidency, having shed all but the most stubborn restraining influences in his administration, he threatens to inflict the same inflamed divisions overseas.

Nearly all countries agree to stem flow of plastic waste into poor nations

US reportedly opposed deal, which follows concerns that villages in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia had ‘turned into dumpsites’

Almost all the world’s countries have agreed on a deal aimed at restricting shipments of hard-to-recycle plastic waste to poorer countries, the United Nations announced on Friday.

Exporting countries – including the US – now will have to obtain consent from countries receiving contaminated, mixed or unrecyclable plastic waste. Currently, the US and other countries can send lower-quality plastic waste to private entities in developing countries without getting approval from their governments.

‘Music is our only weapon’: Middle Eastern artists fight oppression with new ‘peace album’

Mehdi ​Rajabian’s music could land him behind bars once again in one of the world’s most terrifying prisons, but he is determined to push ahead with a project first dreamed up in jail, writes Bel Trew

One of the songs was recorded during an air strike, parts of another by a fleeing refugee aboard a boat.

The man behind the album is himself technically on bail from Iran’snotorious Evin prison – even the photographer, who created the cover art, has spent three years behind bars for his creative work.

Middle Eastern, which was released this year by Sony Music Entertainment, is a unique project that brought together nearly 100 musicians from across 12 countries, including, YemenSyriaIraq and the Palestinian territories.

‘Tragic, terrible’: Scores die as migrant boat sinks off Tunisia

UN refugee agency says 65 refugees and migrants drowned after vessel went down in the Mediterranean Sea.

A boat carrying scores of refugees and migrants has capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Tunisia, killing at least 65 people, according to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR).

UNHCR said in a statement on Friday that 16 survivors were pulled from the water after the vessel sank “in one of the worst incidents on the Mediterranean in months”.

“This is a tragic and terrible reminder of the risks still faced by those who attempt to cross the Mediterranean,” said Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR’s special envoy for the Mediterranean.

A Republican Conspiracy Theory About a Biden-in-Ukraine Scandal Has Gone Mainstream. But It Is Not True.

May 11 2019

VIRAL RUMORS that Joe Biden abused his power as vice president to protect his son’s business interests in Ukraine in 2016, which spread last week from the pro-Trump media ecosystem to The New York Times, are “absolute nonsense,” according to Ukraine’s leading anti-corruption activist. That evaluation is backed by foreign correspondents in Kiev and a former official with knowledge of Biden’s outreach to Ukraine after President Viktor Yanukovych was deposed in a popular uprising in 2014.

In an interview with The Intercept, Daria Kaleniuk, an American-educated lawyer who founded Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Action Center, expressed frustration that two recent front page stories in The New York Times, on how the conspiracy theory is being used to attack Biden, failed to properly debunk the false accusation. According to Kaleniuk, and a former anti-corruption prosecutor, there is simply no truth to the rumor now spreading like wildfire across the internet.

 

How facial recognition became a routine policing tool in America

The technology is proliferating amid concerns that it is prone to errors and allows the government to expand surveillance without much oversight.
 
By Jon Schuppe

In August 2017, a woman contacted the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado with what seemed like a simple case: After a date at a bowling alley, she’d discovered $400 missing from her purse and asked the manager to review the surveillance footage, which showed her companion snatching the cash while she bowled a frame.

But despite the clear evidence, the search for the bowling companion floundered. The woman knew only his first name. He’d removed his profile from the dating site on which they’d met. His number, now disconnected, was linked to a hard-to-trace “burner” phone. Security video captured his car in the parking lot, but not its license plate.