DONALD TRUMP WINS ON IMMIGRATION BAN TILL OCTOBER
There have been two versions of a ban on Muslims entering the US. Both were struck down by lower courts there. But in what Donald Trump claims is a major victory, the Supreme Court has left some parts of the suspension intact while allowing others to come into effect. So until the case is heard again in October, the ban will apply to foreigners who don’t have a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship” with the US. Here’s what the president tweeted after the verdict:
Now relatives, students and workers from the six Muslim-dominated nations will be allowed in, but refugees won’t. Some of the judges in the Supreme Court have pointed out that this could result in a lot of litigation in lower courts, as potential immigrants challenge what exactly constitutes a ‘bona fide’ relationship. The administration now has three months to conduct an ‘executive review’ of its immigration policy and devise new guidelines. But as this BBC analysis points out, the current ban could be replaced with something more permanent and sweeping. There could be a whole lot more litigation, but that really isn’t something that might worry the US president.
THE QATAR BLOCKADE COULD GO HORRIBLY WRONG
The blockade against Qatar continues, with the coalition-led by Saudi Arabia sending a list of demands that need to be fulfilled in order for it to be lifted. Qataris aren’t the only ones saying the demands, which include the shutting of media outlet Al Jazeera, are unreasonable. A piece in Al Jazeera argues that the only reason Qatar is being targeted is because it supported the idea of the Arab Spring and attempted to play a mediator’s role in the region.
The countries imposing the blockade don’t exactly have the most stellar record when it comes to human rights or crushing political dissent. But the piece argues that because the blockade complements the US policy against Iran and Islamic nations, there have been at best mixed signals from the Donald Trump administration on the issue. Unless the US and Europe works to ensure there is no further escalation in the current deadlock, it could spark more chaos and conflict in the region, it argues. And that could mean a worse security scenario not just for the region but even the Western world.
HOW EUROPE IS PROTECTING ITSELF FROM THE RUSSIANS
Latvia questions members of a Russian media outlet. Sweden has a program in schools to identify propaganda, France and Britain get propaganda-linked social media posts pulled down. Across Europe, various groups of people have contributed and now effectively use what they say are ways to counter Russian disinformation, hacking and trolling, says this report.
Inga Springe, director of the Baltic center for investigative journalism called Re:Baltica says that a good-spirited competition has broken out between government, researchers and investigative journalists to be the first to reveal the latest Russian attempt to pollute the legitimate news ecosystem. This they say often reveals the extent to which Russia goes to spread disinformation to further its own agenda in the region. According to those taking on propaganda, it’s a sign of an awakening in Western Europe to the dangers of this form of disinformation.
BEING A ‘MAN’ MIGHT BE KILLING MEN
It may not be genetic or biological factors killing men, it may be the fact that they’re constantly aspiring to stick to to a stereotype of masculinity.
Sure women have some biological advantages like higher estrogen and higher heart rates, but studies are not saying that it’s the ideas of masculinity that men try and adhere to that may be killing them earlier. Given popular culture stereotypes on what it is to be a ‘man’, men often aim to be tough, stoic and self-reliant while being blind to the effects of more risk-taking behaviour. It also doesn’t help that they’re reluctant to seek help.
What men consider ideals to live by are often defined by popular culture. A solution to this may be education about an idea of masculinity that is different from the present one, and where seeking help isn’t a negative attribute.
NO ONE LIKES DONALD TRUMP
He may be celebrating the victory of his travel ban in the Supreme Court, but he won’t be celebrating the fact that most of the world doesn’t think very highly of him. An international survey by the Pew Research Center conducted in 37 nations found that the ratings in favour of the United States have fallen from 64 per cent at the end of Barack Obama’s term to 49 percent. The last time such numbers were seen was during the end of the term of George W. Bush. Bush had been in office for eight years at the point, Trump became president just six months ago.
While a majority did think that the president was a strong leader, they were unanimous in saying that he was also arrogant, intolerant, unqualified and dangerous. The only bright spots for Trump? Russia and Israel, the only two countries that he received positive ratings from a majority of those surveyed.