Insults, demands & advice: Trump’s whirlwind European tour causes stir online

On his EU visit, US President Donald Trump lectured Germany on doing business with Russia, demanded tribute from NATO and offered advice on British politics. Many Europeans were having none of it, venting their spleen on Twitter.

Trump flew into Belgium for the NATO summit on Wednesday, then jetted to the UK for a state visit on Thursday. He is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday.

Trump vs Germany

The US leader started off the NATO summit by accusing Germany of being a “captive to Russia,” arguing that Berlin’s position within the military alliance was compromised because of its reliance on energy from Moscow. This led some journalists to accuse Trump of projecting his insecurities onto a rival, while others pointed out this dispelled claims he was soft on Russia.

@mitchellreports @Yamiche in Brussels: President Trump blasted his way into NATO, and for someone who is being blasted at home for being controlled by Russia, he really projected that on Germany.

@mtracey The funny part is Trump has taken far more consequential actions that are averse to Russia's interests (expelling diplomats, sending arms to Ukraine, approving sanctions, repeatedly bombing their client state) than Germany's, but listen to US media you'd assume the exact opposite

While Trump’s comments provoked fierce reaction online, Chancellor Angela Merkel was more restrained in her response. Online commentators were in no mood for civility, with some calling for Merkel to mete out some rough justice.

READ MORE: Merkel slams Trump’s ‘Russian captive’ comment, defends Berlin’s ‘independent policies’

@TheSarcasmShow I'm pretty sure Angela Merkel could take Donald Trump in a fight

@MrFilmkritik I can’t be the only one who just wants to see Merkel lose it and deck Trump.

One German TV network reportedly responded by digitally replacing the US president with an image of a Trump-shaped blimp made by some British protesters.

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He said, no one else said

If making culturally insensitive statements is a Trump trademark, so is declaring victory in disputes before being contradicted by the supposedly vanquished. The NATO summit produced a few such moments.

The former reality TV star has long berated NATO over military spending or lack thereof. Trump came to the summit looking to pick a fight with 24 alliance members failing to meet an agreed target of making their military budgets two percent of their GDP.

Trump later told the press he’d successfully pushed for a spending increase. French President Emmanuel Macron disagreed. Twitter weighed in to mediate. 

READ MORE: Trump warns NATO allies US can ‘do our own thing’ if 2% spending goal not met – reports

In another seemingly off-the-cuff remark, Trump said he wanted NATO members to double their spending, to four percent of GDP. Some felt they could see the malign hand of shady defense contractors at play.

Trump does Britain

UK Prime Minister Theresa May must have choked on her tea when she read Trump’s interview with The Sun on Friday morning. In a bizarre exclusive, Trump was scathing about her Brexit plan and even backed rival Boris Johnson to succeed her at 10 Downing Street. Later in the day, he insisted that the story was “fake news.” Online commentators knew who they were going to believe.

  • Published in World

Several injured after ‘minor explosion’ at London tube station

A “minor explosion,” likely caused by a battery short circuit, triggered an evacuation at London’s Southgate tube station on Tuesday evening, police said, adding that a number of people received minor injuries.

Police said a small number of people were treated at the scene. Emergency services arrived at the station just after 7pm following reports of a small explosion. Local reports suggest that one person was taken out of the station on a stretcher.

@999London

BREAKING: Southgate Underground Station has been evacuated by the @BTP and @metpoliceuk due to a suspicious package. The whole of Southgate High Street has been closed to the public. BTP explosive/bomb detector sniffer dogs are also on scene.

People in the area were warned to stay indoors and the road outside the station has been cordoned off. Pictures on social media showed police sniffer dogs outside the station. One local told the Evening Standard newspaper that he witnessed “around 50 or 60 police, an ambulance, fire arms and dog units” at the scene.

@metpoliceuk station has been examined by specialist officers. It appears at this stage that the cause of the explosion was a battery short circuit. http://news.met.police.uk/news/cause-of-explosion-at-southgate-station-thought-to-be-battery-short-circuit-311364  pic.twitter.com/o4IA1MDQxY

A Metropolitan Police statement said its officers inspected the scene along with colleagues from the Transport Police and other services. The apparent cause of the explosion was a battery short circuit, it said, adding that the investigation is ongoing.

 

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‘Not a matter of censorship’: Ecuador FM defends restrictions on Assange

Ecuador’s foreign minister is denying her government is trying to censor WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange by restricting his internet access and denying him visitors at the embassy in London.

Maria Fernanda Espinosa defended the move to cut Assange’s internet access in March, saying that he disregarded a vow to cease all “political activity” when he spoke out about the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury. He also made repeated statements about Spain’s bid to stifle the independence movement in Catalonia.

“On several occasions he [Assange] has agreed on not intervening in internal politics of third-party countries and unfortunately he has not complied with his commitment, so for the time being he is not allowed to have access to the internet,” Espinosa told the Associated Press, adding that the restrictions are “not a matter of censorship.”

"I think all parties are interested in finding an outlet, a solution, to this complex situation," she said. Espinosa was speaking from the UN headquarters in New York ahead of an election for the presidency of the next General Assembly.

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno, who was elected last year, recently told DW Spanish that Assange “continues to be a problem,” but added that his country “will respect his right to asylum if Assange respects the margins.”

The WikiLeaks founder was granted asylum by former President Rafael Correa in 2012, and he has been at the embassy in London ever since. Assange was facing charges in the US over WikiLeaks’ publication of secret US documents in 2010. His legal troubles in the UK, however, stem from allegations of sexual assault in Sweden, which were dropped last year. Assange feared Sweden would extradite him to the US, which is why he sought refuge in Ecuador. That, however, violated the conditions of his bail, according to the British High Court.

@RT_com Roger Waters displays pro-Assange message at Berlin gig https://on.rt.com/96pk https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/1003244645030268928 

Ecuador is continuing its effort to get Assange out of embassy without him being arrested. The plans have been met with resistance by the British government.

READ MORE: Ecuador will respect Assange’s asylum right if he obeys ‘no politics’ condition

In addition to the secret US documents about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, WikiLeaks published emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and private emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair, John Podesta, in the month before the 2016 US presidential election. US intelligence officials have accused WikiLeaks of being a “hostile foreign intelligence service.”

Assange fears that if he leaves the embassy, he will be arrested by the British authorities and extradited to the US, where he would be charged under the Espionage Act.

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British choreographer Lea Anderson will work with Contemporary Dance of Cuba

The company Danza Contemporánea de Cuba -DCC-, is working on a new project together with the British artistic director Lea Anderson.

Through social networks, the Cuban dance group expressed their enthusiasm for receiving the renowned choreographer with

According to the announcement, the artist will begin her work as part of the Cuban-British creative islands project, devised by DCC with the British Council Caribbean to promote and promote the passion for dance and artistic work of both nations

Founder of the renowned companies The Featherstonehaughs and The Cholmondeleys, Anderson is one of the most renowned and transgressive creators of the European country, which has n his list of more than 100 choreographies.

In his work he maintains an aesthetic line and a choreographic language that distinguish him in his presentations, always accompanied by live music and novel costume, stage and lighting designs.

His career has taken her to several international stages, from the most alternative places to renowned festivals such as Glastonbury.

She has also made presentations for television and film, and her work is study material in different levels of dance education in the United Kingdom.

  • Published in Culture

Back to ‘normal’? Ecuador withdraws Assange’s extra security at London embassy

he president of Ecuador has ordered the withdrawal of enhanced security from the country’s London embassy, which was assigned to protect Julian Assange, who remains holed up there to avoid possible deportation to the US.

The Ecuadorian government “will maintain normal security similar to the level of security at all other Ecuadorean embassies in the rest of the world,” Lenin Moreno, national secretary of communication, said in a statement. He added that “additional security at the Ecuadorian embassy” in London will be withdrawn immediately.

Assange has been residing at the Ecuadorian embassy in the UK since August 2012, after British judges denied his appeal against extradition to Sweden, where he was wanted for questioning in connection with sexual assault accusations.

The Australian native, whose WikiLeaks whistleblowing website published secret documents pertaining to US national security, feared that Sweden would extradite him to the US. There, he could face a similar fate as Chelsea Manning, who was court-martialed and sentenced to 35 years behind bars for violations of the Espionage Act and other offenses. Manning was subsequently pardoned by former president Barack Obama after seven years in prison.

Eventually, Assange became an Ecuadorian citizen but remains trapped inside the walls of the embassy, despite the fact that Sweden has abandoned its extradition request. The UK authorities still have an active arrest warrant against the 46-year old for skipping bail back in 2012.

READ MORE: Ecuador’s new rules ban Assange from taking visitors and phone calls – WikiLeaks

Earlier this week, The Guardian reported that Ecuador has spent $5 million accommodating Julian Assange in its UK embassy. Moreno’s predecessor, Rafael Correa, blasted the report as a “sensationalized story,” and said that there is “nothing unusual” about providing extra security. He argued that his government “spent what amounts to a small amount of money” for that purpose.

  • Published in World

Mike Jackson in Cuba

The English LGBTI community rights activist, whose story is part of film “Pride”, is participating these days at the 11th Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

Film “Pride”, historic drama-comedy, was released in the United Kingdom on September 11 and has earned over 14 million dollars. However, monetary collection was not its greatest worth, but the visibility it gave the LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals) community in the 1980s, when it was demonized by the Margaret Thatcher government.

Mike Jackson, one of the gay activists, who had an active participation in favor of the miners who were on strike for better labor rights, is in our country these days as guest of honor of the National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX), on the occasion of the 11th Day Against Homophobia and la Transphobia.

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During one of the activities organized as part of the 11th Cuban Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, at Havana’s Infanta multicinema. Mike, on the right, next to Mariela Castro, CENESEX director, and Dr Anthony Stokes, British ambassador to Cuba.

The experience in favor of the striking miners lived by Mike along those days was one of the stories that Stephen Beresford, the screenwriter of the film, took to “Pride” with actor Joseph Gilgun.

Mike feels happy to be in our country for the first time and believes that Cuba has made a lot progress —similar to Great Britain— as regards the rights of the LGBTI community. The last letter (I) in the initials has been added in recent years and means intersexual).

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Mike Jackson, British LGBTI community rights activist.
 

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Mariela Castro and Mike Jackson in the conga against Homophobia held last Saturday. 
 

Me incluyo cubasiPoster of the 11th Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

“In 1984 was the moment when Margaret Thatcher rose to power for the second time. She wanted to close 20 mining wells and to leave about 30000 people without work. I was simply a young man with a socialist thought”.

Why did the LGBT community support the miners?

“For this community it was not only important to recognize its rights, but those of other people as well”.

The screenwriter even respected the real names of those who supported the miners. Undoubtedly, it was a real pride…

“Yes, of course! Stephen, the writer, approached me; he had heard my story and thought it was amazing and worth making a film on what happened at that time. The experience was different for each of us. Some had previously had a link with the miners; however, I hadn’t, but from the onset, I felt identified with them, because I came from the working class.

“The struggle lasted around a year; then the miners invited us to go to Wales to live with them and their families”.

What did it mean to you that a film based on those events has been made?

“It was incredible! Many young people started to feel attracted by our way of acting. For example, new gay support groups have emerged today, such as the ones that support dock workers and migrants. People are trying to do what we did in 1984. We couldn’t expect anything better than that!

“The film allowed us to raise our voices not only in the United Kingdom, but in other countries as well and to speak about struggle and commitment”.

How do you see respect for the LGBTI community in Cuba?

“I’ve barely been three weeks here, and I’d like to stay longer. Cuba is a pretty safe country, there are no drugs on the streets, nor homeless people. It is a great contrast to London, where people live pretty frustrated. In my country, the strength of the political right has been in power for forty years, but now, the new leader of the Labour Party, , Jeremy Corbyn, is a pretty good leftwing candidate.

“In 1987, Margaret Thatcher introduced a law, the so-called Section 28, which banned people from speaking about homosexuality in schools and other public places. Then, it cannot be said that everything is liberal and open in Great Britain. Unions have been strangled and today it is pretty tough to fight openly for the rights of one or the other sector”.

If they tell you that “Pride” is going to have a second part, what would you think?

“If that happens, I am going to migrate to the moon”.

Brief synopsis of Pride

fotos pride 1 cubasiOne of the film's scenes .

The film depicts a group of LGBT activists who raised money to help the families affected by the strike of British miners in 1984, at the start of what would be the “Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners” campaign. The National Union of Mineworkers was reluctant to accept the group’s support because of the concerns over the public relations of the union, to be associated with an openly gay group, therefore the activists, instead, decided to take their donations directly to a small mining town in Wales, resulting in an alliance between both communities. The alliance was unlike any other seen before, but it was a success.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

Ecuador’s new rules ban Assange from taking visitors and phone calls – WikiLeaks

Julian Assange has been hit with new rules limiting his communications by officials at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. The new measures include bans on using the phone and having visitors, according to WikiLeaks.

READ MORE: Assange Twitter account back tweeting as #ReconnectJulian campaign takes over

The founder of the whistleblowing website has reportedly found himself isolated within the embassy recently. In March, he had his internet access curtailed after taking to Twitter to criticize Britain’s response to the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, as well as repeated comments about Spain’s dispute with Catalonia. At the time, the Ecuadorian government said Assange had breached a written commitment “not to issue messages that might interfere with other states.”

Speaking with the foreign press Wednesday, Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa confirmed that Assange was still being denied internet access while talks between the UK and Ecuador to decide on his fate are still ongoing.

"He still has no access to the Internet and communications. There is a dialogue, there is a will and an interest to move forward in the solution of that matter," he said, according to El Tiempo.

WikiLeaks claims Assange has been silenced because of pressure from the US. The website also says the description of the measures as a “social media ban” undersells the extent to which he’s being held “incommunicado.”

READ MORE: 'Assange is a war hero, he exposed American war crimes' – Vivienne Westwood

Assange has been a resident in the embassy in Knightsbridge in central London since June 2012. He had been facing extradition to Sweden over allegations he sexually assaulted two women, but he fled to the embassy after violating his bail, claiming he feared Sweden might extradite him to the US, where he would face charges over WikiLeaks’ release of classified US government cables and documents. He remains subject to arrest in the UK for jumping his bail.

  • Published in World

The Skripal: Healthier than ever before

Today the couple —they were dead first, then badly injured— cannot be found after being discharged from a British hospital where they made a “miraculous” recovery and even gained some weight.

One hundred fifty Russian diplomats expelled. The Consulate in Seattle, U.S.: closed. Everything is part of a sanction policy implemented by the West against Russia. This time an alleged or fake poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter by the expressed consent of Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, took place in the British park of Salisbury, as confirmed at first.

Since British PM Theresa May announced the news and confirmed the responsibility of Moscow in the poisoning, the support of the U.S., France, and two dozens of European heads of state — most of them members of NATO — came swiftly. All of them “pointed at” Moscow, with no evidence, as the responsible of the event.

In short, this is another empty threat of the West, which has unleashed such an aggressive stance since the fascist setback in Ukraine some years ago. They bombed the Russian-speaking citizens in bordering regions of Ukraine and Russia, and rejected the freedom of Crimea to adhere once again to the Russian Federation.

Last April 18th, the United Nations Security Council met once again to analyze the Skripal’s case. But as usual, nothing came to fruition. Although it was stated that Yulia, 33, daughter of former spy Sergei Skripal, is already recovered and her father is getting better. It was also missed out that they were put out of action by the British intelligence so the Russians could not find out the possible truth.

What is significant is how they went from being on the brink of death to a miraculous recovery. Afterwards, as we already said, they vanished both. Moscow described this situation as a virtual kidnapping.

NO RESIGNATION, NO SHAME

In this regard, Russia stated that UK internally attacked the Skripal, added to a media conspiracy. It may lead to the resignation of the British government; not to mention the embarrassment of those countries that fell into the trap. But I do not believe London will resign nor its associates have shame whatsoever.

Thus, the recent document of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) reveals that these people were poisoned with a very pure nerve agent without airing its identity or state publicly that it is named Novichok. They only limit to recognize they were poisoned. Therefore, the speech of Theresa May is clearly dubious to say the least. The “high purity” creates tons of doubts by not eliminating these people.

Hence, it is crystal clear that the political stance followed by several nations was not coherent at all.

The minister of Foreign Affairs of Great Britain, Boris Johnson, who removed a public message incriminating him, blames again Russia for the attacks by saying that “there is no alternative explanation as to what nation is responsible.” It is true that Johnson’s analytical skills are reduced since he cannot have any different idea.

Contrary to his perspective, everything suggests there are many alternative such as the experiments carried out by his own government concerning toxic weapons and the site of the exposing (Salisbury), or the contacts of the former spy with other people interested in chemical weapons. It may well be a self inflicted attack to divert attention from the UK’s serious domestic crisis, violence, and poverty. They also have strong desire to damage the image of the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2018 and to reverse its failures by backing terrorism in Syria, among others.

Police and scientific authorities do not know where the Skripal were poisoned and who did it, how, when, or the probable cause of the survival from a highly lethal substance.

It does not take brains to notice that the sole plausible explanation is that the British government is compromised in the case. Believing without evidence, for the sake of faith, is not convincing at all.

The Skripal’s disappearance is like having them in jail with no communication with their relatives. The UK has destroyed evidence; for instance, the dead animals in the Skripal’s house, which confirmed the procedure to remove all sort of evidence that could have jeopardized an undisputable truth.

It seems they will try to give a secret identity to Sergei and Yulia Skripal. It means they could be eliminated in order to hide the main evidence. And that is a very dangerous tactics that both, the American and British intelligence are proven experts.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz / CubaSi Translation Staff

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