This Week’s Top 5 Picks in International History and Diplomacy

(Photo: APA/Jim Lo Scalzo)

Evangelicals and Trump – lessons from the Nixon era

Randall J. Stephens

The Conversation

More than 81% of the US’s protestant evangelicals voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election. A year and a half into his presidency, they seem as dedicated to him as ever – and just as ready to make excuses for his decidedly un-Christian misdeeds.

Many Christian rightists, among them “family values” foghorn James Dobson, consider Trump a “baby Christian”. His lewd and predatory comments about women are simply the mark of a very imperfect man. Any of his actions, no matter how debased or inhumane, are dismissed or approved by the faithful.

On June 14 the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, used scripture to back up Trump’s cruel policies on refugees, which are currently tearing families apart along the southern border. Now, through the alchemy of political tribalism, the former casino owner, who once starred in a softcore porn film and who confessed on the radio to multiple affairs, is a Man of God who speaks his mind with confidence, however deep his ignorance. (Read more)

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Emmanuel Macron backs Italian call for ‘fortress Europe’ (£)

Adam Sage, Bel Trew and Duncan Geddes

The Times

France agreed to take migrants left stranded at sea by Italy the day after President Macron a vision of “fortress Europe” proposed by Rome.

Italy’s interior minister, Matteo Salvini, refused to accept 629 migrants picked up in the Mediterranean by the Aquarius, a charity rescue vessel, and barred two Dutch migrant ships from docking in Italy today.

Hours later it was announced that France would share with Spain some of the migrants rescued by the Aquarius, who are due to arrive in Valencia tomorrow.

President Macron sought to woo Italy’s new populist government by backing moves to stop economic migrants crossing the Mediterranean and deport those who do. He promised of a Europe-wide crackdown on the illegal immigrants he said formed the vast majority of those arriving from Africa. (Read more)

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Paul Manafort: judge sends ex-Trump chair to jail for violating bail terms

Tom McCarthy

The Guardian

Paul Manafort, formerly Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, was taken into custody on Friday after a federal judge determined he had violated the terms of his bail as he awaits trial on multiple federal felony charges.

Manafort, 69, thus became the second former Trump aide to go to jail related to charges brought by the special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian election interference and links between Trump aides and Moscow.

Three other former aides, including the former national security adviser Michael Flynn, have been indicted and are cooperating with Mueller’s team of investigators. Former foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulous was briefly held in custody. The charges against Manafort, which he denies, do not relate to his work on the Trump campaign or Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election. (Read more)

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Greece, Macedonia sign deal ending yearslong name dispute

Costas Kantouris and Demetris Nellas

The Washington Post

Greece and Macedonia have signed a deal that, if ratified, will resolve a decades-old dispute concerning Macedonia’s name.

Under the agreement, Greece’s northern neighbor will be renamed North Macedonia — move the two countries’ leaders said would be the beginning of closer, friendly relations and an example to all Balkan nations. The deal will also allow Macedonia to try to join NATO and the European Union.

The two countries’ prime ministers, Greece’s Alexis Tsipras and Macedonia’s Zoran Zaev, attended the signing of the deal Sunday by the two countries’ foreign ministers, Nikos Kotzias and Nikola Dimitrov. (Read more)

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How Donald Trump is making China, not America, great again

Yonden Lhatoo

South China Morning Post

I can understand how the cultists in tinfoil hats who worship US President Donald Trump are convinced he has saved the world through that purported denuclearisation agreement he signed with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, but surely the rest of us can see past the bombast and facade.

As some eagle-eyed folks have pointed out, signing up for a humble iTunes account with Apple requires a much greater commitment to nuclear disarmament than the historic Trump-Kim accord, which merely states that North Korea “commits to work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula”.

Compare this with iTunes, which makes it clear to users that “you will not use these products for any purposes prohibited by United States law, including, without limitation, the development, design, manufacture, or production of nuclear, missile, or chemical or biological weapons”.

Considering how much Kim and his cronies are known to love iPhones, don’t be surprised if they’ve already capitulated more to Apple than to Trump. (Read more)

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