GLOBAL PULSE: Hillary is the new activist citizen, Trump goes soft on South China Sea, Unesco raps Israel and the political clout of British tabloids

HILLARY CLINTON, THE ACTIVIST CITIZEN

Hillary Clinton emerged from political hibernation calling herself “an activist citizen” and “part of the resistance” to Trump.

“If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president,” Clinton said in an interview to CNN, pinning the blame for her defeat on the release of her campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails, which were allegedly stolen by Russian hackers.

“There was a lot of funny business going on,” she said blaming external forces.

But she said she took “absolute personal responsibility,” for the defeat, and said “I was the candidate. I was the person who was on the ballot.”

She is now writing her memoir, and described the process as “cathartic” yet “excruciating”.

Her advice to Trump? To tweet more about her than about foreign affairs!

FRENCH COPY CAT CANDIDATE

As opinion polls place France’s centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron ahead of the far-right Marine Le Pen in the upcoming Sunday vote, accusations of plagiarism dogged the latter.

It appears that Le Pen literally lifted chunks out of the speech that was delivered by her conservative former opponent, François Fillon, while referring to France’s land and maritime borders, language, culture and values.

But Le Pen’s supporters said she had not plagiarized but had merely “winked” at voters with remarks that amounted to a “small loan.”

Le Pen — who is a Holocaust denier and anti-EU — is seeking to broaden her appeal among voters in the final phase of campaign and persuade voters who had earlier backed Fillon.

The two finalists go head-to-head on Wednesday in a televised debate in which sparks are sure to fly.

UNESCO SAYS ISRAEL’S HOLD ON JERUSALEM IS NULL AND VOID

UNESCO has passed a key resolution, which describes Jerusalem as “occupied” and declares Israel’s sovereignty over the city “null and void”. It was backed by 22 countries.

The sharply worded resolution calls Israel the “occupying power”, and demands that it cease “persistent excavations, tunneling, works and projects in East Jerusalem”, which the Palestinians want as the capital of their future state.

Israel’s foreign ministry called the resolution an “unnecessary politicisation of UNESCO”, and said it “will not affect our determination to operate in Jerusalem” and will instead “impair UNESCO’s deteriorating status and relevance”.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Malki welcomed it saying that the world had chosen to “stand on the side of what is right in the face of injustice, occupation and its illegitimate policies”.

The resolution was submitted by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan.

POWER OF THE BRITISH TABLOIDS

After the Brexit vote, the power of the British tabloids has risen, even though their circulations may be falling and their reputations tarnished by a series of phone-hacking scandals.

As the country prepares to cut ties with the EU, politicians are courting them and fearing their wrath. Broadcasters follow where they lead, if not in tone then in topic.

Their readers, many of them over 50, working class and outside London, look strikingly like the voters who were crucial to the Brexit outcome. Tabloids claim they represent these “citizens of Brexitland” and see themselves as Middle England’s embassies in London.

Critics say they poison the debate by playing to people’s worst instincts and prejudices, distorting facts and creating a propaganda ramp that mainstreams intolerance and shapes policies.

TRUMP GOES SOFT ON SOUTH CHINA SEA

Has U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration gone so soft on Beijing that security preparedness in the South China Sea is being overlooked?

Six weeks ago, the U. S. Pacific Command requested permission for a warship to sail within 12 nautical miles of Scarborough Shoal, a disputed reef in the South China Sea that is claimed by the Philippines and China.

The Navy had good reason to think the request would be granted because Trump had earlier labelled Barack Obama as weak in defending international waters in the South China Sea, where Beijing has started a sharp military build-up.

But instead, the request was turned down.

The simmering crisis in North Korea – and Trump’s reliance on Beijing to rein in Pyongyang — seems to have changed his earlier assumptions on how to handle China.

Picture Courtesy: Facebook @hillaryclinton

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