SPLASH! News: Putin Warns Against Intimidating N. Korea, White Supremacists Gather in Va. City, Health Care Repeal, and More

Dive Into the News for May 15, 2017

Kiran Opal


Protest in Va. City “Harkens back to the days of the KKK”

CBS News – A group that included a well-known white nationalist carried torches and chanted “you will not replace us” at a Saturday evening protest in Virginia over plans to remove a monument of a Confederate general.

A large counter-protest was held Sunday, says CBS Charlottesville affiliate WCAV-TV. The Saturday protesters called on officials to halt the removal of a Gen. Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville and were swiftly condemned by the city’s mayor, who said the event appeared to harken “back to the days of the KKK.”

Chanting “Russia is our friend,” the group lit torches at Lee Park — named after the general — in an effort, protesters said, to preserve European-American heritage, WCAV reports.

Among those at the protest was Richard Spencer, a while nationalist who popularized the phrase “alt-right” and is a leading figure in a fringe movement that has been described as a mix of racism, white nationalism and populism.

Putin Warns Against ‘Intimidating’ North Korea After Latest Missle Launch

CNN – Speaking in China, Putin called for a peaceful solution to the ongoing tensions on the Korean peninsula, Russia’s Sputnik news agency reported. “I would like to confirm that we are categorically against the expansion of the club of nuclear states, including through the Korean Peninsula,” Putin told reporters. “We are against it and consider it counterproductive, damaging, dangerous,” he said.

But in comments that appeared aimed at the US, he said that “intimidating (North Korea) is unacceptable.” For its part, North Korea said the missile test was in response to the nuclear dangers and threats posed by the U.S. and its followers.

“We will conduct ICBM tests anytime and anywhere in accordance with the decisions made by our central leadership,” North Korea’s ambassador to China Ji Jae Ryong said at an impromptu press conference at the country’s embassy in Beijing Monday.

Tricky Position For GOP Candidates As Health Care Repeal Heads to the Senate

Huffington Post – Senators return to Washington Monday, with health care repeal now squarely in their laps after House Republicans managed to come up with a bill that a majority of their majority was willing to support ― or at least willing to vote for to make it all the Senate’s problem.

Many GOP senators have already expressed reservations about the American Health Care Act, making it clear it will go through significant changes if it ever reaches President Donald Trump’s desk.

“I’ve already made clear that I don’t support the House bill as currently constructed because I continue to have concerns that this bill does not do enough to protect Ohio’s Medicaid expansion population, especially those who are receiving treatment for heroin and prescription drug abuse,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said after the bill passed on May 4.

First Liberal Rule in Decade Unlikely to Bring Swift Changes in South Korea

Reuters – South Korea’s new liberal President Moon Jae-in promised to seek a parliamentary review of a controversial U.S. anti-missile defense system. If the vote were held today, the deployment would likely be endorsed in the legislative body controlled by conservative and moderate politicians.

More importantly, pushing for that motion would strain Moon’s already fraught relations with the opposition, whose cooperation is essential on a more urgent policy goal: creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in a country where youth unemployment is near an all-time high.

Despite the election of the first liberal president in South Korea after nine years of conservative rule, sweeping policy changes on the left are almost untenable in the divided National Assembly, where Moon’s Democratic Party holds only 40 percent of the 299 seats.

Moon’s first 100 days in office will likely focus on pushing economic reforms that have broad consensus across the political spectrum, political experts say.

Refugees Who Sheltered Edward Snowden in Hong Kong Asylum Applications Rejected

TIME – The asylum seekers who bravely took in NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and gave him shelter in their humble dwellings, while he was on the run in Hong Kong in 2013, have had their applications rejected.

Immigration authorities issued the decision on Thursday and informed the group of seven on Friday, according to Robert Tibbo, an attorney representing them.

“I’m really upset,” said Philippine national Vanessa Rodel, one of the seven applicants tells TIME. “I’m very afraid, I’m worrying a lot. In Hong Kong, once your case is rejected, you’re not allowed to stay.” Rodel said she feared being detained and separated from her young, Hong Kong-born daughter.

Written by Pamela Getz

Writer and Activist. Follow Pamela on Twitter @goddesspamela.

Pamela Getz is Editor of International Affairs for Progressive Army and a member of its Editorial Board.

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SPLASH! News: Putin Warns Against Intimidating N. Korea, White Supremacists Gather in Va. City, Health Care Repeal, and More