Why has Trump decided to bully Montenegro? – The Washington Post

President Trump is showing us his cards, at each turn revealing the pieces of a plan that would amount to a once unthinkable victory for Russia, greatly increasing instability in Europe and the rest of the world.

Among the many alarming statements Trump has made in recent days was his comment to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson about the Balkan nation Montenegro, NATO’s newest member. Carlson asked the president why, if Montenegro is attacked, his son should go to war to defend it. Under NATO’s Article 5, an attack on one member is an attack on all. The allies have invoked it only once, in defense of the United States after 9/11.

Trump’s response to Carlson was a stunner. “I’ve asked the same question,” he said, adding an offensive quip about how the minuscule Montenegro has “very aggressive people,” which he somehow linked with the idea that it could start World War III.


Source: Why has Trump decided to bully Montenegro? – The Washington Post


DWP ‘adding to suffering’ of terminally ill benefit claimants

The UK Government has faced strong condemnation after it rejected a cross-party proposal to amend a controversial element of disability benefit legislation for terminally ill claimants, with one commentator describing the decision as “cruel” and unjustifiable.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claimants who have been told they have less than six months to live can be fast tracked through the application process, but critics argue that this policy is too restrictive and should be rescinded or amended.

The SNP Scottish Government has already brought forward new legislation to rescind the six month limit, and now politicians from other political parties are calling on the UK Government to do the same across the UK.

However, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has rejected the cross-party request, claiming the current system already provides sufficient levels of support for terminally ill PIP claimants.

Labour MP Madeleine Moon, whose husband died from motor neurone disease, gave an emotional speech in Parliament, calling for the law to be changed so that terminally ill patients don’t have to spend their last weeks of life worrying about how to pay household bills.

She told MPs: “I’ve talked to people who are worried about losing their homes, worried about how they’re going to pay fuel bills, how they’re going to provide food.


Source: DWP ‘adding to suffering’ of terminally ill benefit claimants

What’s in the mind of a megalomaniac? — The Secular Jurist

Whatever it is with Trump, then we all need to know and know soon, before any further damage is done in world relations.

Does Trump even know what day it is and where he is.


By Robert A. Vella Donald Trump has been in the White House for a year and a half, yet the turmoil surrounding his presidency began from his first day in office and has grown into a perpetual firestorm that has singed every continent on the face of our planet. That’s quite a feat for one […]

via What’s in the mind of a megalomaniac? — The Secular Jurist

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Thousands owed £340m in underpaid benefits after ‘major’ DWP error

MPs have criticised a “culture of indifference” at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), after a “major” error resulted in thousands of people being underpaid in benefits for several years.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) estimates that 70,000 Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claimants have been underpaid a shocking £340 million in ESA, with those affected owed an average £5,000 each and some owed as much as £20,000.

However, some people look set to miss out entirely, because the DWP has only agreed to backdate payments to 2014, even though the errors in payments go back much further.

In a damning report published today, the PAC blast the Department for taking longer than 6 years to rectify the problems that were causing the underpayments, “even when it was painfully obvious that it was underpaying a significant number of people”.

“It failed to design a process that reflected its own legislation”, the PAC said. “It failed to subject that process to proper scrutiny. It failed to listen to its own staff, claimants, or external stakeholders and experts who told it things were going wrong and that it needed to slow down.”

The DWP are now finally beginning to repay the arrears, but there is no plan to compensate sick and disabled ESA claimants who have missed out on passported benefits like free prescriptions and free school meals.


Source: Thousands owed £340m in underpaid benefits after ‘major’ DWP error

What’s behind Trump’s demands on NATO?

Phil Ebersole's Blog

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President Trump last week demanded that NATO allies, who have already pledged to increase their military spending to 2 percent of GDP by 2024, raise their spending to 4 percent.

This is supposedly necessary to defend against Russia.  Whether or not he really thinks Russia is that much of a threat, the fact is that the European members of NATO already outspend Russia by a considerable amount.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Institute, Russia’s spending military spending last year was $66.3 billion, down from $69.2 billion in 2016.

France spent $57.8 billion, the UK spent $47.2 billion and Germany spent $44.3 billion—a combined total of $149.3 billion, more than double what Russia spent.  Estimated US spending was $610 billion.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies made different but similar estimates.

Its estimate was that Russia spent $61.2 billion last year, while the UK spent $50.7…

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A New Reason for Trump to Release His Tax Returns: Helsinki – Bloomberg

In case you’ve forgotten about them, President Donald Trump’s personal income tax returns still matter. So do the Trump Organization’s business relationships and finances. If you ever doubted either of those things, consider the president’s meeting in Helsinki on Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

During their press conference, the subject of “compromising” information arose at the very end of their briefing.

“Sir, do you — does the Russian government have any compromising material on President Trump or his family?” Jonathan Lemire, an Associated Press reporter, asked Putin.

Trump shook his head and smirked, gazing down at his lectern. Putin chuckled.

“Yeah, I did hear these rumors that we allegedly collected compromising material on Mr. Trump when he was visiting Moscow,” Putin replied, before noting that it was impossible to gather intelligence on the multitude of Western businesspeople who visit Russia. Trump was never important enough in his pre-presidency days to warrant the Kremlin’s attention, he added.


Source: A New Reason for Trump to Release His Tax Returns: Helsinki – Bloomberg

Tommy Robinson supporters abuse female Muslim bus driver – but her response is inspiring – Mirror Online

A female Muslim bus driver had an inspiring response after Tommy Robinson supporters shouted abuse at her during a demonstration over the weekend.

Twelve people were arrested as thousands protested in support of US President Donald Trump and UK far-right leader Tommy Robinson.

Shocking images show a shirtless man shouting and holding his two fingers up at the driver as he stands in front of the bus in Trafalgar Square.

The demonstrators surrounded the bus and were seen banging on the windows while holding signs that read “Free Tommy Robinson” and “Britain loves Trump”.


Source: Tommy Robinson supporters abuse female Muslim bus driver – but her response is inspiring – Mirror Online

Justine Greening calls for second Brexit referendum – BBC News

Justine Greening has called for a second referendum, labelling the prime minister’s Brexit deal a “fudge”.

Writing in the Times, the former education secretary described Theresa May’s proposals as “the worst of both worlds”.

The final decision should be given back to the people and out of “deadlocked politicians” hands, Ms Greening said.

She states there are three options: the PM’s deal, staying in the EU or a clean break from Europe with no deal.

Ms Greening, who resigned after the cabinet reshuffle in January, said the referendum should offer a first and second preference vote so that a consensus can be reached.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Ms Greening said the government’s proposals were a “genuine clever attempt at a compromise that could work” but “suits no-one”.


Source: Justine Greening calls for second Brexit referendum – BBC News

Tory ‘sex pests’ NAMED & SHAMED: Explosive dossier accuses 36 Tories of sexual misconduct | Govt Newspeak

What sickens me about this expose is: they are the ones that look down on the poor; sick, disabled, single parents etc and have had a field day in the right-wing media, who could forget Daily Hate articles like this: Revealed:

A BOMBSHELL dossier naming and shaming 36 Tories suspected of inappropriate sexual behaviour has emerged as Westminster remains engulfed by a sex abuse scandal.


Source: Tory ‘sex pests’ NAMED & SHAMED: Explosive dossier accuses 36 Tories of sexual misconduct | Govt Newspeak

Trump, May and ‘fake schmooze’: today’s front pages | US news | The Guardian

Trump, May and ‘fake schmooze’: today’s front pages

With his incendiary interview and attempts to repair the damage, Donald Trump’s UK visit left a trail of havoc – and the papers try to reflect that

 Trump leaves London after wreaking diplomatic destruction

 Trump takes war on ‘fake news’ to UK


Source: Trump, May and ‘fake schmooze’: today’s front pages | US news | The Guardian