Topics and articles chosen with care. Linked articles in bold purple
◆ There are four big, dangerous big international stories:
- Reports that China is squeezing North Korean gasoline supplies
- If true, Beijing is sending an unmistakable signal
- Reports that Iran has a secret new facility to develop nuclear triggers for its future bombs
- The report comes from a dissident group that has been accurate in the past (story here)
- French elections Sunday that could undermine the European integration project
- Two of the four major candidates in Sunday’s election will go into the runoff
- Three candidates have Russian backing
- Two of those could undermine the European integration project and pull France out of its (partial) NATO membership
- The implications of those withdrawals would be grave and would transform European and world politics . . . for the worse
- Turkey’s Erdogan using a fraudulent vote count to seize all power in his country
- Ataturk’s project, begun a century ago, was to create a secular state
- It never became a full democracy, but it was not a full dictatorship, either
- Erdogan, who is fundamentally reversing Ataturk’s project, has “coup-proofed” his military, taken control of the judiciary, and a diminished role for the legislature
- To complete this consolidation of power, he will have to repress a restive population and hold together a country on the verge of splitting apart
These are obviously not “one-day stories,” and ZipDialog will stay with them and highlight what’s most important about them as they unfold.
China would not confirm or deny.
It is the main source of North Korea’s energy.
Comment: For China, the difficult task is to get a stubborn Pyongyang to change policies without breaking the regime, which is not in China’s interest. Doing too little risks deeper American involvement, which is not in China’s interest either.
According to the criminal complaint, some of Attar’s victims, ranging from ages 6 to 8, are believed to have traveled interstate to have the procedure performed.
Female genital mutilation is prevalent in some majority Muslim countries and is sometimes called “cleansing” by its practitioners. It involves the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, often performed without anesthesia. It is designed to ensure females remain virgins until marriage.
According to a 2013 census by the Population Reference Bureau, approximately 500,000 women and girls in the United States have undergone the procedure or are at risk of the procedure. –Fox News
International health authorities say female genital mutilation has been performed on more than 200 million girls, primarily in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. –LA Times
The accuser was wavering. She wanted to go public . . . but Perquita Burgess was afraid, her attorney Lisa Bloom said.
The attorney worked hard to convince Burgess to go public, asking her explicitly to do what Rosa Parks had done. Then, according to the WaPo
[Bloom] also explained to her client in stark terms what she hoped to accomplish: “The mission was to bring down Bill O’Reilly.” –Washington Post
Comment: This is why market competition is so great. First, United Airlines drags a passenger off the plane. Well, in a cutthroat market, you cannot expect American Airlines to stand still. It’s great to see them step up their game and start smacking around their customers, too. They must be poaching some of the ace customer-service folks from United.