OPPONENTS USE THE ‘T-WORD’ TO DESCRIBE RUSSIA CONNECTIONS
In the wake of groundbreaking New York Times revelations that three top Trump campaign officials, including Donald Trump Jr., agreed to meet a “Russian government attorney” in 2016, critics have begun to describe the Trump campaign’s behavior using a damning new word: treason.
“[W]e’re now beyond obstruction of justice in terms of what’s being investigated,” said Senator Tim Kaine, the 2016 Democratic vice-presidential nominee. “This is moving into perjury, false statements and even into potentially treason.”
Richard Painter, the former chief ethics lawyer to Republican President George W. Bush put it more bluntly on Twitter.
“This is treason,” Painter wrote, adding that Trump Jr. must have known “the only way Russia would get such information was by spying.”
On Tuesday night, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted a four-page transcript of email conversations between him and an intermediary promising salacious material on his father’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, obtained by the Russian government. The email chain indicates that Trump Jr. not only lied to news outlets about the nature of the meeting, but also, according to Painter and another top ethics lawyer, that he and other Trump campaign officials might have broken the law.
IS IT TIME FOR PAKISTANI PM NAWAZ SHARIF TO STEP DOWN?
Following an official report that Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif and his family laundered money to hide significant wealth, some experts surveyed by Dawn say the Pakistani leader might soon need to resign.
“[Sharif] is now standing on a cliff with no other option but to jump off,” wrote journalist Owais Tohid, adding later that the committee “placed the corruption noose” around the prime minister.
The Joint Investigative Team (JIT), which was established to investigate allegations into Sharif, submitted its final report to Pakistan’s Supreme Court Monday detailing the significant and possibly illegal offshore assets of the prime minister’s family, leading to numerous calls for his ouster and even criminal prosecutions.
Though his party, which retains a majority in the National Assembly, denies the allegations, journalist and author Zahid Hussein wrote that Sharif can either step down or await a verdict from the Supreme Court. Either way the “damning” report has left the PM “damaged” and his actions have threatened to “destroy [his] party and doom its prospects in the next elections.”
CHINESE GOVERNMENT ASKS NOT TO BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR NORTH KOREA
A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said Tuesday that his government is not responsible for the current nuclear standoff between its longtime ally North Korea and numerous other global powers.
“China is not to be blamed for the current escalation of tension, nor does China hold the key to resolve the issue,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, adding that his government had fulfilled its responsibilities in keeping with UN resolutions.
The comments come barely a week after North Korea successfully test launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile, leading to condemnation from around the globe and increased pressure on China to tame its neighbour’s behavior. U.S. President Donald Trump, in particular, has called on China use its leverage with the North Korean regime to curb its nuclear program.
Shuang denied that China could deal with the rogue nation alone, adding that international pressure has added to his nation’s difficulties.
“If China is striving to put out the fire, while the others are fueling the flame … how can China’s efforts achieve expected outcomes?”, he said.
MAO’S LITERARY NOTES FETCH NEARLY $1 MILLION AT AUCTION
Notes written by former Chinese revolutionary Mao Zedong sold for $910,000 at a Sotheby’s auction, approximately ten times the estimated price. According to Sotheby’s, the notes were of the “utmost rarity” and offer “numerous valuable insights into Mao’s thinking on literature.”
Written as Mao’s health was failing in the year before his death in 1976, the Chinese leader wrote the notes to a scholar who met with him regularly to read and discuss classical Chinese literature as his vision was failing.
An avid reader, Mao worked at the Peking University Library, before leading the Chinese Communist Party to victory in the Chinese Civil War in 1949. Mao went on to serve as China’s leader until his death 27 years later, becoming one of the twentieth-century’s most prominent and brutal leaders.
SAUDI ARABIA PLANS GYM CLASS FOR GIRLS
The Saudi Education Ministry announced Tuesday that, starting this year, it would begin offering physical education classes for girls in state-run schools. But because the ultraconservative kingdom stated the new classes would be run “in accordance with the rules of sharia.”
Unfortunately, the new policy isn’t clear on what activities—from soccer to basketball and calisthenics—will be deemed by Saudi religious officials in accordance with Islam.
Saudi Arabia has long been known as one of the world’s most restrictive nations for women. But the kingdom has had women’s sports in limited capacities for some time, though—the government allowed some private schools began physical education classes four years ago and women have long been able to compete in private clubs. In 2012, two Saudi women competed in the London Olympics after the International Olympic Committee suggested kingdom could be banned if it continued to send only men.