Hand-picked and farm-fresh–
⇒Linked articles in bold purple
Iran is the subject of a United Nations Security Council resolution prohibiting tests of ballistic missiles designed to deliver a nuclear warhead. As part of the 2015 nuclear deal, the U.N. ban was prolonged by eight years, although Iran has flaunted the restriction. …
Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, condemned Iran for the missile test.
“No longer will Iran be given a pass for its repeated ballistic missile violations, continued support of terrorism, human rights abuses and other hostile activities that threaten international peace and security,” Corker, a Republican from Tennessee, said in a written statement.
Comment: During the campaign, Trump promised to get tough on Iran and, at the very least, make them adhere to the nuclear agreement they signed. This will be his first test of that promise, and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley’s debut in her new post. They face two problems. First, the agreement is multilateral and the other parties to it want to do business with Iran, not force them to live up to the agreement. Second, Pres. Obama and John Kerry negotiated a deal that front-loaded Iran’s benefits, significantly undercutting US leverage going forward. Obama and Kerry, master negotiators and strategists, paid full sticker price plus a heft tip for that “little beauty of a used car.”
Still, I expect Trump and his national security team to pursue a hard line and signal America’s nervous allies in the region that Obama is well and truly gone.
◆ Facebook is pulling every string to get back into China . . . and failing (Wall Street Journal)
Since regulators blocked the service in 2009, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has hired well-connected executives, developed censorship tools and taken a ‘smog jog’ in Beijing—but the company has made no visible headway.
And as time passes, Facebook is watching from the outside as Chinese social-media giants mop up the market that might have been its own. –WSJ
Comment: Remember when China’s leader, Xi, told the World Economic Forum at Davos that he was a free-trading globalist?
That wasn’t spin. It was straight-out deceit.
◆ Good tech news: Honda, GM partner to develop next-generation hydrogen fuel cells for cars The companies will also partner in building fueling stations. Production will begin in three years and could have military, aerospace, and residential uses, as well. (Fox News)
Executives said costs have come down dramatically since  and the new fuel cell system has become smaller, lighter, less complex and more durable.
The fuel cell producing part of the system has been reduced to the size of a box that would come close to fitting onto an airplane as carry-on luggage. A first-generation system from GM took up the entire floor space in a van, executives said. –Fox News
◆ Well, that was fast. Obama criticizes Trump on immigration after less than two weeks’ silence. The Chicago Tribune calls it “a rare move for an ex-President.”
Several current and former WebOps employees cited multiple examples of civilian Arabic specialists who have little experience in counter-propaganda, cannot speak Arabic fluently and have so little understanding of Islam they are no match for the Islamic State online recruiters.
It’s hard to establish rapport with a potential terror recruit when — as one former worker told the AP — translators repeatedly mix up the Arabic words for “salad” and “authority.” That’s led to open ridicule on social media about references to the “Palestinian salad.” –Desmond Butler and Richard Larnder for AP