Tag Archives: Trump

Siberia fires: illegal timber trade with China

Among major causes of devastating Sibera fires Duma Ecology committee chair Vladimir Bourmatov points at the activities of illegal lumberjacks, or “black loggers”. At present upon the request of the State Duma, the government and the Investigative committee of the Russian Federation, have launched the investigation into the occurrence of 500 epicenters of forest blaze as cause of illegal human activities. (Image above: Russian social networks).

The entire forest industry in Russia is in the “shadow” sector. A temporary timber export embargo has been suggested earlier this year. The statement was made by the chairwoman of the Federation Council (upper house of Russian parliament) Valentina Matvienko, requesting an imposition of embargo on the export of timber from Russia until rules are in place. She suggested to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to take measures without delay in February this year.

Matvienko explained the ways of illegal logging and illegal export abroad. The entire trade is oriented toward China as the largest importer of round timber in the world. Thus, massive deforestation is conducted under the pretext of sanitary protection of removing the diseased and rotting trees, instead the companies which are supposed to take care of the forests, are cutting down the best of spruces, pines and oaks and transporting them to China. The lucrative illegal trade is masked by ecological activities across the entire Siberia.

The forest fires in Siberia began almost a week ago, but because of the negligence of Russian officials, who were unwilling to take an action, the area of ignition has been steadily and rapidly increasing reaching an epic scale: more than three million hectares in flames, and smoke stretches for 700 km. At present it has already reached the coast of the USA and Canada, cities touched Vancouver and Seattle.

However the smoke from the blaze continues to stretch further: is now visible in Alaska. In total, three million hectares of forest burn in Siberia. It roughly reaches the size of Belgium.

Meteorology professor from Moscow State University, Alexander Kislov said that the burning particles can fly around the entire planet from west to east, following the movement of Earth in space.

Under wave of international criticism Roscosmos Corporation revealed the gravity of the situation publishing the images of fires swiftly spreading along territories of Russian Federation in the Jewish Autonomous Region, the Republic of Sakha, Buryatia, the Irkutsk Region, the Krasnoyarsk and Khabarovsk Territories.

After the situation caused grave international concern, Russian authorities started to act under direct orders of President Putin, who sent army to resolve the ecological crisis.

At present more than 2.8 million hectares of forest are consumed by blaze, withe the largest area in fire is in Yakutia, where 1.1 million hectares of forest are in flames, in the Krasnoyarsk Territory the flames spread to more than one million hectares, and in the Irkutsk Region – 700 thousand hectares.

This week only 2.700 people, 390 units of ground equipment and 28 aircraft take part in extinguishing on the territory in flames equal to Belgium. The Siberians claim the response in not relevant to the scale of drama.

Among the other causes of Siberia fires Bourmatov names the inefficient and insufficient measures of prevention.

President Trump spoke with President Putin on July 31, and offered U.S. help in fighting according to a Kremlin account of the call.

Putin, in response, expressed his “sincere gratitude” to Trump and said that if necessary, he will accept the offer, the Kremlin said.

Putin, has called in the army to fight the forest fires, enveloping entire Siberian cities in black smoke for weeks. The local authorities has been explaining to population that measures against forest fires are not “economically viable“. They added that rains will stop the advancement of blaze, while meteo scientists clarified that hot air raising from fires prevents formation of clouds. There are no natural heavy rainfall expected until mid-September.

 

Trump crosses N.Korea border

President Trump has become the first sitting US President to step into North Korea. The historic event took place while meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the demilitarized zone (DMZ), and the two leaders are now holding a private bilateral meeting.

Earlier the same day Trump held a bilateral meeting, working lunch, and joint press conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the capital Seoul.

Millions of illegal migrants face expulsions

President Trump announces the expulsion of “millions” of illegal migrants next week. He also said that Guatemala was “ready to sign an agreement” obliging migrants entering its territory to apply for refugee status there rather than in the United States. The latter face an influx of migrants from Guatemala and other poor Central American countries affected by gang violence.

Donald Trump, who has used the term “invasion”, has made the fight against illegal immigration one of his administration’s priorities. During his election, he had promised to erect the  “wall” on the border between the United States and Mexico. A promise that has long faced funding problems.

This week the United States also confirmed that it would not provide new financial aid to Central American countries until it implemented “concrete actions to reduce the number of illegal migrants arriving. at the US border.”

 

 

 

 

Further Brexit delay?

The majority of the European Union governments will approve another Brexit delay regardless of who becomes the next British prime minister, ‘The Times’  newspaper reported on June 6 citing an unnamed senior European source.

As many as 25 European governments are prepared to give the Britons another extension, despite repeated statements from most British prime minister candidates that the UK will leave the EU on October 31 with or without a deal, the newspaper added.

In the end no one wants to be seen as the one who pulls the plug,” the source told ‘The Times’.

The EU and UK were working “very hard together” on Brexit deal, President Trump,  acknowledged and added: “It doesn’t seem to be working out. But, at some point, something will happen, one way or the other.

Farage waits for Trump telephone call

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said he did not know if he could  have a meeting with Donald Trump during the U.S. president’s state visit to the UK. (Image: archive).

Farage said he was waiting for a call from Trump.

Cannes festival contaminated by politics

The Cannes festival 2019 demonstrates a further shift of the VII Art into politics, being used as a tool to shape political preferences of the spectators, abandoning even formal frame of neutrality, and preoccupation with artistic creations.

At the press conference introducing this year’s festival jury, its president Alejandro González Iñárritu, ceased an opportunity to criticize President Trump, and another jury member Alice Rohrwacher denounced film industry for failing to meet gender equality standards, and promote female film-makers.  Subsequently, the times of art uniting people are gone, contaminating the festival with toxic emanation of political struggle. From universal language of images, the film industry has openly transformed itself into a tool for political use, promoting agenda of specific groups of interest.

The first Mexican-born president of the Cannes jury,  Iñárritu, expressed concern at rise of populism, including Trump’s ascendance to power, and added that his presence at the festival served as a repudiation for the US president’s anti-immigration policies.

According to Alice Rohrwacher to be a woman-film director is similar to “survival a “shipwreck”. However, in spite of being plagued with so many political concerns, the 72nd Cannes film festival gets underway with movies presentations.

Every year, the Cannes Festival invites filmmakers from all over the world to give their own interpretation of the contemporary world, sketching a world map of cinema. In 2018, more than 120 countries were represented.

NATO under cyber attacks

The face of war is changing dramatically as cyber and electronic attacks become increasingly commonplace, and so must our allies’ understanding of defense.

Of NATO 28’s member states, only five meet the goal – German defense spending is just 1,2% of GDP. President Trump has a point: NATO’s economics are clearly not working out, and this is undermining the alliance. But the crucial adjustment that is needed is not the amount of spending, but what it seeks to fund.

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