How a deal works-Donald Trump style

During the Obama Administration, a deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was worked out involving the US, Russia, China, France, UK, Germany, and Iran that would limit certain aspects of Iran’s nuclear enrichment program in return for lifting some sanctions. Of course, one of Donald Trump’s main goals is dismantling anything that was done by his predecessor and so he unilaterally pulled out of the deal and imposed new sanctions on Iran.
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A window into the mind of an apartheid supporter

Some of you may be aware that in response to a recent post of mine, a vigorous supporter of Israeli apartheid named Eylon has appeared in the comments justifying the practice. To that single post, s/he has posted so far 70(!) comments, quite the feat, and I expect that number to rise. The arguments that s/he gives, such as they are, will be familiar to those who familiar with the politics of the Israel-Palestinian issue and follow a well-worn trajectory but they do provide an insight into how people can defend what, to most people, seems to be utterly indefensible. With Eylon, we get to see in real time how someone tries to justify the unjustifiable.
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Why would you want to do this?

Kyle Kashuv, a student who had been admitted to Harvard University, has had his admission rescinded after it was revealed that he had made racist remarks on “text and Skype messages as well as in a shared Google document for a class study guide two years ago” that apparently made “threats against Jews and racial slurs in reference to African Americans.”

His comments were revealed recently.
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Insulin price fixing

Insulin is the major drug used by people to deal with diabetes and given the prevalence of the disease, it is very profitable for the drug companies that manufacture them. Many companies do and so one would think that competition among them for market share would lead to price benefits for consumers. And yet, the prices are so high in the US that people in need of the drugs organize trips to Canada where they can some of buy them for one-tenth the price.
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The Gulf of Oman oil tanker issue

The damage sustained by two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman has resulted in the Trump administration immediately claiming that it was a deliberate attack by Iran. As usual, it claims to have evidence supporting its charges but the US government has lied so blatantly and so often in support of war that any reasonable person would wait until that evidence is examined by credible neutral third parties before making any judgment.
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Sunday funnies

As usual, it takes the comics pages to remind me that today is Father’s Day, a marketing device to get people to buy pointless gifts that their fathers will probably hate but will feel obliged to feign delight at receiving and even, if it is an item of clothing, to wear. I long ago made it clear to my children that the best Father’s Day gift to me would be to never buy me a gift for it. They never do, showing to me that my contempt for its purpose has been effectively communicated. I don’t like the peculiar concept of ‘roasts’ either but found this cartoon funny.

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More Saudi Arabian atrocities

That country’s barbarism is well documented. But Mehdi Hasan writes that it continues to sink even lower, now threatening to execute someone for an offense that was committed when he was just ten years old.

IN 2011, as Arab Spring protests swept across the Middle East, demonstrations also kicked off in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province. Members of the kingdom’s repressed Shiite minority took to the streets, calling for equal rights and a fairer distribution of oil revenues. The protesters included a group of around 30 kids on bicycles. As a video released last week by CNN shows, those children were led by a smiling 10-year-old in flip-flops named Murtaja Qureiris.
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No wonder Trump and Netanyahu get on so well

Sara Netanyahu, wife of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has made a plea deal with prosecutors that resulted in her being convicted of misusing public funds, though she will only end up paying a fine and will not go to jail

A Jerusalem court on Sunday accepted a plea bargain in which Netanyahu agreed to admit to a lesser charge than the original fraud accusations. She will pay about $15,000 (£12,000) in fines and reimbursements to the state.

The sentencing ended one of the long-running cases against the family. However, Benjamin Netanyahu still faces the prospect of three corruption indictments later this year that may end his decade as leader and even result in a prison sentence. He denies all charges.

According to the original indictment against Sara Netanyahu, of fraud and breach of trust, she and a government employee were accused of spending roughly $100,000 (£79,000) on catering from expensive restaurants between 2010 and 2013, despite having a in-house cook provided by the state.
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Maybe it’s an alien-planted monolith!

A survey of the gravitational field on the surface of the moon to determine its makeup underneath has discovered the existence of a mass underneath one of the craters.

Publishing in Geophysical Research Letters, the Baylor scientists have two theories for the origin of the huge subterranean blob. It could be the leftovers of dense oxides created in the last years when the moon’s surface was an ocean of magma — a theory that relies on the giant-impact hypothesis, when an impactor the size of Mars may have collided into a magma-covered Earth, ejecting magma into orbit that became the surface of the moon. But speaking with National Geographic, the Baylor team appears to prefer the idea that the mass is the remainder of the iron-nickel core of an ancient impactor that created the South Pole-Aitken basin.

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It’s about time: New York state bans religious exemptions for vaccinations

In the wake of a resurgence of diseases once thought eliminated, the state of New York has passed legislation that bans religious exemptions for vaccinations, joining California, Mississippi, West Virginia and Maine in eliminating that loophole. Naturally those who have fallen for the anti-vaccination misinformation put out by some people and used the religious exemption to avoid getting their children vaccination are not happy.
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