Findings, music, and occasional reflections by Paul Woodward

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U.S. archivists release Watergate report that could be possible ‘road map’ for Mueller

The Washington Post reports: U.S. archivists on Wednesday revealed one of the last great secrets of the Watergate investigation — the backbone of a long-sealed report used by special prosecutor Leon Jaworski to send Congress evidence in the legal case against President Richard M. Nixon. The release of the referral — delivered in 1974 as impeachment proceedings were being weighed — came after a former member of Nixon’s defense team

We are deeply concerned about the future of Europe and Germany

As nationalism threatens the European peace project, six leading German thinkers write in an open letter: After the 55 million deaths caused by WWII, after centuries of nationalist and imperialist wars left Europe in ruins, the peoples and the national governments across the continent finally realized that European unity was the only way to stop this madness. Immanuel Kant had had this vision 150 years earlier in his philosophical treatise

Is Russia preparing to engage in some kind of hybrid warfare in Finland?

The New York Times reports: Retired to a tiny island in an archipelago between Finland and Sweden, Leo Gastgivar awoke early one morning to visit the outhouse in his bathrobe, only to notice two black speedboats packed with Finnish commandos in camouflage fatigues waiting in the bay near his front door. After an exchange of awkward greetings, Mr. Gastgivar went inside, collected a pair of binoculars and watched aghast as

Saudi crown prince described slain journalist as a dangerous Islamist in call with White House

The Washington Post reports: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman described slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi as a dangerous Islamist days after his disappearance in a phone call with President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and national security adviser John Bolton, according to people familiar with the discussion. In the call, which occurred before the kingdom publicly acknowledged killing Khashoggi, the crown prince urged Kushner and Bolton to preserve the U.S.-Saudi alliance

Startling new research finds large buildup of heat in the oceans, suggesting a faster rate of global warming

The Washington Post reports: The world’s oceans have been soaking up far more excess heat in recent decades than scientists realized, suggesting that Earth could be set to warm even faster than predicted in the years ahead, according to new research published Wednesday. Over the past quarter-century, Earth’s oceans have retained 60 percent more heat each year than scientists previously had thought, said Laure Resplandy, a geoscientist at Princeton University

Brazil shows how the elite responds when forced to choose between fascism and the left

Paul Mason writes: Once you’ve heard the words “Jair Bolsonaro, president of Brazil” you have to prepare yourself to hear, in the future, “Marine Le Pen, president of France”. We already have a far-right Italian deputy prime minister, Matteo Salvini, but Bolsonaro’s victory also signals that Salvini could one day rule without the restraint of a coalition partner. The Brazilian president’s victory was, in short, the first case study in

This is how republics end — warnings from the fall of Rome

Mike Duncan writes: What does a republic in decline look like? It’s an increasingly pressing question for the United States, where rising economic inequality is creating stress, anxiety and resentment. Endemic racism and ethnic prejudice are leading to clashes over citizenship and voting rights. Rampant corruption and ruthless ambition among elites are triggering political clashes that may crack the once-indestructible foundations of the American Republic — an unthinkable idea even

Turkish prosecutor says Khashoggi was strangled and dismembered in Saudi Consulate

The Washington Post reports: Turkey’s public prosecutor said Wednesday that Jamal Khashoggi was strangled and dismembered upon arrival at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul earlier this month as part of a premeditated plan to kill the prominent journalist and dispose of his body. The statement, delivered as Saudi Arabia’s prosecutor left Istanbul for Riyadh, marked the most conclusive official description to date of what happened to the prominent journalist and

Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is ‘chief of the tribe’ in a cowed House of Saud

The Washington Post reports: For just over two years, until June 2017, Mohammed bin Nayef was crown prince of Saudi Arabia, the designated heir to the throne. A grandson of the kingdom’s founder, with long experience at high levels of government, he was the first of his generation to reach the direct line of succession. Today, bin Nayef, 59, is rarely seen outside his palace in Jiddah, on Saudi Arabia’s

‘Homeland security’ ignores white terror, DHS veterans say

The Daily Beast reports: On Tuesday, just days after a white supremacist gunned down 11 people at a synagogue and just a week after a terrorist mailed more than a dozen bombs to critics of the president, the Department of Homeland Security—created after 9/11 to protect the United States from terrorism—had a conference call. Attendees were on the department’s Homeland Security Advisory Council, a group of more than two dozen

Americans are easy marks for Russian trolls, according to new data

The Daily Beast reports: You don’t need to read the federal indictments to spot the moment Russia began targeting the United States with its army of internet trolls. Just chart the American flag emoji. Best estimates trace the founding of the Internet Research Agency to August 2013, and for eight months of its existence the Saint Petersburg troll farm was focused on influencing citizens in Russia and Russia’s near abroad.

Music: Banda Magda — ‘Caramel’

 

Humanity is destroying life on Earth

  The Guardian reports: Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, leading the world’s foremost experts to warn that the annihilation of wildlife is now an emergency that threatens civilisation. The new estimate of the massacre of wildlife is made in a major report produced by WWF and involving 59 scientists from across the globe. It finds that the vast and growing consumption of

The citizenship clause means what it says

Garrett Epps writes: “It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties,” James Madison wrote in 1785. President Donald Trump confirmed Tuesday that he plans to move from experimentation on liberty into widespread application of the tyrant’s playbook. In an interview with Axios on HBO, Trump confirmed what had been suspected since last summer: He is planning an executive order that would try to change the

Secretary Mattis, defend this or resign

Kelly Magsamen writes: Let’s put this into perspective. Secretary of Defense James Mattis authorized the deployment of 5,200 active duty U.S. troops to the border of Mexico to help deal with a walking caravan of civilians fleeing Central American violence in pursuit of asylum in the United States. That means there will soon be more than twice as many U.S. active duty military on the southwest border than fighting ISIS

Bernie Sanders is partnering with Yanis Varoufakis to build a new international progressive movement

BuzzFeed reports: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is teaming up with former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis to formally launch a new “Progressives International” in Vermont on Nov. 30, Varoufakis said in Rome on Friday. Varoufakis, who made the announcement during a Friday press conference in Rome, told BuzzFeed News they were also inviting incoming Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador to join the new movement. (López Obrador spokesperson Jesús Ramírez