‘President Donald Trump said he would make a massive budget request for one of the “greatest military buildups in American history” on Friday in a feisty, campaign-style speech extolling robust nationalism to eager conservative activists.
Trump used remarks to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), an organization that gave him one of his first platforms in his improbable journey to the U.S. presidency, to defend his unabashed “America first” policies.
Ahead of a nationally televised speech to Congress on Tuesday, Trump outlined plans for strengthening the U.S. military, already the world’s most powerful fighting force, and other initiatives such as tax reform and regulatory rollback.’
‘Russian politicians close to the Kremlin said on Friday U.S. President Donald Trump’s declared aim of putting the U.S. nuclear arsenal “at the top of the pack” risked triggering a new Cold War-style arms race between Washington and Moscow.
In an interview with Reuters, Trump said the United States had fallen behind in its nuclear weapons capacity, a situation he said he would reverse, and he said a treaty limiting Russian and U.S. nuclear arsenals was a bad deal for Washington.
Russian officials issued no reaction, with Friday a public holiday, but pro-Kremlin politicians expressed consternation about the comments from Trump, who Moscow had hoped would usher in new, friendlier relations between the two countries.’
‘Friday’s White House press briefing, normally an on-camera affair open to all reporters with press credentials, was turned into an exclusive event for certain outlets hand-picked by the administration.
The action came after President Trump on Friday described the media and what he terms “fake news” as “the enemy of the people.”On the list were Trump-friendly outlets such as Breitbart News, the Washington Times and OANN, a conservative television network that employs former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski as a commentator.
Off the list were some of Trump’s favorite targets, including the New York Times and CNN. The Los Angeles Times was also excluded.
The off-camera briefing with Sean Spicer, the press secretary, was not solely for conservative outlets. Several mainstream reporters were also allowed in, including the three major broadcast networks and wire services, such as Bloomberg News. Also allowed in were pool representatives who transmit news events to a far larger group of reporters.’
‘US President Donald Trump signed a new executive order establishing regulatory reform offices within federal agencies as part of a push to “massively” reduce the number of government regulations.
Trump signed the order on Friday surrounded by executives of major US corporations.
The new measure follows the January 30 executive order placing hard limits on new government rules and mandating that two regulations must be repealed for every new one put into effect.
The new order also establishes guidelines for reviewing the tens of thousands of government rules Trump seeks to prune over the next four years.’
‘Journalists from the BBC, Reuters and New York Times were among those spied on by the German foreign intelligence service, according to reports.
Surveillance was allegedly carried out by the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) on at least 50 reporters since 1999.
Respected German magazine Der Spiegel reported the findings after obtaining BND documents listing journalists’ emails, faxes and telephone numbers.
The document reportedly showed more than a dozen BBC journalists were being monitored via numbers at the organisation’s London headquarters and in Afghanistan.’
‘Jewish Labour Movement chair Jeremy Newmark apparently wants people to believe he is unconcerned by The Electronic Intifada’s reporting on his organization’s pro-Israel advocacy within the UK’s opposition Labour Party.
While he feigns nonchalance in public, Newmark’s organization had its lawyers send a “private and confidential” letter to my colleague Asa Winstanley in a blatant attempt to intimidate him – and The Electronic Intifada – from doing our work as journalists.
But before I get to that, let’s look at what Newmark says in public.’
‘A new movement of “state deniers” has sprung up in Austria, where hundreds of people are refusing to accept the authorities of the state or any punitive measures handed down by state officials.
Hundreds of Austrians have declared themselves “state deniers,” who don’t accept the legitimacy of the Republic of Austria.
State deniers don’t recognize the authority of state organs, refuse to pay taxes or fines and instead of contributing to public coffers, they claim compensation from civil servants and government institutions.
The movement is particularly strong in Lower Austria, the northernmost and most populous of the country’s nine states. It gathered pace in 2014, with the formation of groups such as the One People’s Public Trust (OPPT), Freemen, Staatenbund (State Federation) and Terranier.
Austrian civil servants say they are exasperated by the movement, which they characterize as “paper terrorism.”‘