A caravan of hundreds of migrants is expected to reach the US-Mexico border on Sunday afternoon after a monthlong trip from Central America that has sparked the ire of President Donald Trump.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has granted a financial hardship waiver to an oil refinery owned by billionaire Carl Icahn, a former adviser to President Donald Trump, exempting the Oklahoma facility from requirements under a federal biofuels law, according to two industry sources briefed on the matter.
The North American bid to host the 2026 World Cup already was facing robust head winds leading to FIFA’s decision June 13 in Moscow.
Then President Trump tweeted.
One tweet is not going to decide whether the United States/Mexico/Canada defeats Morocco in its efforts to bring soccer’s spectacle to this part of the planet for the first time since 1994. But it’s not going to help the cause, either.
Trump wrote Thursday: “The U.S. has put together a STRONG bid w/ Canada & Mexico for the 2026 World Cup. It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against the U.S. bid. Why should we be supporting these countries when they don’t support us (including at the United Nations)?”
Let’s deconstruct the tweet.
“The U.S. has put together a STRONG bid w/ Canada & Mexico.”
He is absolutely right. United 2026 offers world-class stadiums (some with fancy retractable roofs!) that are ready at a moment’s notice. Theoretically, an ambitious (and deep-pocketed fan) could attend the opener at Mexico City’s historic Estadio Azteca, a group match on the lovely shores of Lake Ontario in Toronto, a knockout game in soccer-ravenous Seattle and the final at a new palace in Los Angeles.
Unlike Morocco, there would be no need to pour billions into construction projects.
The North American countries have proper training centers, as well as the hotels and infrastructure necessary to accommodate hundreds of thousands of visitors. The 1994 World Cup in the United States remains the best ticket-seller in tournament history. With more matches and growing passion for the sport, the 2026 competition promises to give FIFA what it savors the most: revenue.
Trump should have stopped there, though. But then he wrote: “It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against the U.S. bid. Why should we be supporting these countries when they don’t support us?”
First, this is not a U.S. bid. It’s a tri-nation bid, though calling it a solo bid is understandable, given the disproportionate number of matches assigned to U.S. venues: 60 of 80. That said, it’s unlikely the president — or anyone outside soccer circles — knows the schedule breakdown.
Mexico and Canada would have loved to stage more games, but Sunil Gulati, the former U.S. Soccer Federation president and original bid chair, said demands by the others for additional games might have prompted the United States to go forward alone. In such a scenario, the others would have been left with almost no chance of winning, if they decided to bid at all.
Fighting the perception that this is a U.S. bid, the North American group last month dropped Gulati as chairman (he remains on the board of directors) and appointed the presidents of the three federations — the USSF’s newly elected Carlos Cordeiro, Canada’s Steven Reed and Mexico’s Decio de Maria — as co-chairs.
Trump’s tweet to his 51.3 million followers, however, reinforced the narrative of a U.S. bid — an unhelpful reminder at a time when world approval of American leadership has plummeted to 30 percent. (His travel ban and incendiary comments about other countries haven’t helped, either.)
The larger issue, though, is the veiled threat of saying it would be a “shame if countries we always support” voted for Morocco. No one likes being bullied.
Furthermore, countries, as in governments, do not vote. National soccer federations do. In some places, there is overlap. However, FIFA stipulates that federations must run independent of government and that overt interference can result in suspension. Last year, Mali and Pakistan were sidelined for such violations.
Separately, Trump’s comments might have violated FIFA’s bid rules of conduct, which state that governments of countries pursuing the World Cup must refrain from activity that “may adversely affect the integrity of the Bidding Process and create an undue influence on the Bidding Process.”
Asked by Reuters about Trump’s tweet, FIFA referred to those guidelines.
Of course, “integrity” has never been one of FIFA’s strong suits, and “undue influence” permeated the governing body for decades. However, since the 2015 corruption scandals related to the selection of Russia and Qatar as the next two World Cup locations, FIFA has introduced reforms. Things are more transparent, if imperfect.
Among the changes: Instead of a 24-member committee choosing the 2026 host, every eligible nation will have an equally weighted vote. Morocco has secured most, if not all of Africa’s 50-plus votes, which gets it about halfway to the majority threshold. France, Belgium and Russia have lent support. If most of Europe goes for Morocco, the North American bid is done.
Another wrinkle: Voting members have the option of selecting neither bid, which, if victorious, would delay selection and open the process to hopefuls from Europe and Asia. (Those continents are currently ineligible because Russia and Qatar are the next two hosts.) One source said that scenario is becoming more realistic as voters sour on North America and carry doubts about Morocco’s capacity to host a 48-team tournament.
About a week ago, before Trump’s tweet, a person with decades of experience in international sports business told The Washington Post, “Are you ready for Morocco?”
A better question might have been, “Are you ready for the World Cup not coming to North America?”
Perhaps now more than ever.
Adam Trammell’s father is furious that the criminal justice system allowed two cops who repeatedly shocked his mentally ill son with stun guns last year will not face justice.
The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office announced on Friday that there will be no charges against two police officers in the death of 22-year-old Trammell. District Attorney John Chisholm found “no basis to conclusively link Mr. [Adam] Trammell’s death to actions taken by police officers.”
“This is a nightmare. I can’t believe this. I think those people should resign. The D.A. and the chief of that police department,” said Trammell’s father, Larry Trammell, according to USA Today.
The two officers responded to a call on May 25 at the apartment complex where Trammell lived. A neighbor was concerned that he was experiencing a psychotic episode. Another neighbor who lived in the unit below Trammell’s apartment told the officers that water was leaking through the ceiling. The cops broke down Trammell’s door and found him naked, taking a shower.
Bodycam footage showed Trammell confused but calm when the cops confronted him. The officers used a Taser 15 times over a 30-minute period after he struggled to prevent them from taking him out the shower. Trammell ultimately lost consciousness, and the officers handcuffed him.
He wasn’t breathing and had no pulse when the paramedics put him into the ambulance. Trammell was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival at the hospital.
“These police tortured Adam Trammell to death,” said Robin Shellow, a lawyer representing his family. “This was not ‘help.’ They were not protecting or serving anyone. Naked, cold, confused, alone in his own bathroom and crying for Jesus to take him, he needlessly suffered.”
It’s no surprise that the cops are back on duty, without fear of prosecution. “If you are mentally ill and black, you already have two strikes against you if you come into contact with law enforcement,” wrote civil rights attorney Ben Crump, referring to the spate of high-profile police killings of mentally ill African Americans.
In the article he wrote for CNN, Crump lamented a third strike, based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision on April 2. The justices ruled that an Arizona police officer who shot and killed a woman with a history of mental illness could not be sued. The court said the officer was entitled to qualified immunity. Under that legal doctrine, police are immune from excessive force lawsuits as long as they don’t violate “clearly established” rights that a “reasonable person would have known.”
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Nobel Peace Prize for Kim, Moon… and Lula
It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of what Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in achieved last week in a new world order without the stain of US hegemony
Let us start with Lula da Silva, ex-President of Brazil, now sitting in a prison after a politically motivated case and trial removed him from certain victory in this year’s Presidential election. In any civilized country with a civilized legal system which implements and respects due legal process, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva would today be a free man contesting the elections this October, for what would be his third Presidency. Not in Brazil.
Not in Brazil, where his predecessor, the democratically elected Dilma Rousseff was removed in a palace coup by those wishing to sell Brazil’s resources off to their American bedmasters simply because Dilma’s only crime was to begin to crack down on corruption. Just investigate the Brazilian Senate and Chamber of Deputies and you will see the type of creatures we are dealing with. In Brazil they are called, in Portuguese, “da Bala”, “do Boi” e “da Bíblia” or the group of the Bullet, the Cattle and the Bible.
Now Google up what is happening in the Amazon where indigenous populations are being machine-gunned in a policy which targets children so that they will not grow up, then the rainforest can be bulldozed and turned into ranches for cattle. With this sort of person?… governing the country it is easy to see the scenario favorable to Fascist tendencies and therein the huge problems Lula faced. Nevertheless, the former shoe-shine boy and metalworker managed to make a real difference in the lives of millions of Brazilians.
And this difference is visible for those who know Brazil better than many Brazilians who sit in their comfortable offices in the South of the country and who will no doubt come flocking here on the comments section if the piece is not blocked out by the authorities. Lula’s two-term Presidency from 2003 to 2011 saw earnings and employment increase, poverty decrease as forty million people were lifted out of a subsistence economy and the GDP grew as Brazil finally assumed its place on the world stage.
Oh no you don’t, came the word from Washington, the capital of the country which tried to ruin the Brazilian cotton trade several times over. And Washington’s bedboys in the Brazilian Senate and Chamber of Deputies jumped obediently. How high? They cooed. Very high said Washington, which wanted Brazil’s vast mineral resources. And a huge nature reserve was opened to mining companies and tenders and deforestation and dessecration and sh*t.
This was Temer, the backstabbing eminence grise hiding behind the curtains in Planalto Palace, Brasilia, waiting to slit Dilma Roussef’s political throat. It was not Lula, who faced with thousands of Bullet merchants, Bible bashers and Cattle rustlers in the Brazilian elites, pulled his country up from the bootlaces internally and externally and today sits in a prison cell as a consequence, charged with appropriating an apartment but without any conclusive documentary evidence. In any civilized country, the case would fall flat. Not in Brazil, a country with its cujones caught in Washington’s vice, a country which saw the best President ever thrown into jail as the people looked on and shrugged. They say every people gets the leaders it deserves…
Brazil gets Temer…and his US bedmasters.
The very least the international community can do is to do for the Brazilian people what they are utterly incapable of doing themselves, in other words honoring the man who freed millions from the yoke of poverty, spreading Brazilian social programs across the globe, by awarding him the next Nobel Peace Prize.
In conjunction with? Now those who said Trump must want their brains tested for syphilis. Obama was a prime example of why the Nobel Peace Prize should never be given to a President of the United States, after receiving it in good faith and good hope and the charity he returned was to transform into Obomber. Trump has done the same, twice. The man is as fit for the Prize as a serial pedophile is to work in a grade school as janitor.
Chairman Kim and President Moon have taken important steps to bring lasting peace to the Korean Peninsula through diplomacy and emotional intelligence, something Washington does not get. What do you expect from idiots who believe that humankind cavorted with dinosaurs or from others who brag about “grabbing pussy”? What happened last week on the borderland separating the two Koreas was an example of a diplomatic and political approach to crisis management, an approach which demonstrated mutual respect, a bilateral and egalitarian example devoid of high-handedness, jingoism, arrogance, bullying and chauvinism, Washington’s ABC of its eternal insult to democracy.
There is no place in this new world for yesterday’s USA, increasingly irrelevant, gutless, powerless, relegated to making empty threats then standing back and watching as the DPR Korea reached full nuclear status then voluntarily ceased its programs but from a position of strength. The reason the USA today presents itself as a groveling giant wallowing in a stinking cesspool of its own making is that nobody likes a bully and while they may make the right noises when speaking to the bully’s face, they are ganging up behind the bully’s back.
Washington today is isolated from the hearts and minds of the international community along with its handful of yapping chihuahuas, presenting an even more risible and pitiful picture as they squint their eyes and wag their tails in ecstasy as they receive a treat and a pat on the head, and a request to jump for daddy.
Lula, Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in deserve the next Nobel Peace Prize because they walk hand in hand with the collective will of the world’s population today. We want to see peace, brotherly relations and universal friendship, we want to see crises resolved through a multilateral approach using diplomacy, not threats and murderous bombing campaigns, we want to see education and development over deployment and insolence.
Look where the policies of Washington and its yapping chihuahuas have gotten us since the beginning of the 1990s. Back then you could step off an aircraft practically anywhere and go exploring. I rest my case.
*Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey has worked as a correspondent, journalist, deputy editor, editor, chief editor, director, project manager, executive director, partner and owner of printed and online daily, weekly, monthly and yearly publications, TV stations and media groups printed, aired and distributed in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, Mozambique and São Tomé and Principe Isles; the Russian Foreign Ministry publication Dialog and the Cuban Foreign Ministry Official Publications. He has spent the last two decades in humanitarian projects, connecting communities, working to document and catalog disappearing languages, cultures, traditions, working to network with the LGBT communities helping to set up shelters for abused or frightened victims and as Media Partner with UN Women, working to foster the UN Women project to fight against gender violence and to strive for an end to sexism, racism and homophobia. A Vegan, he is also a Media Partner of Humane Society International, fighting for animal rights. He is Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru.
Photo: By Government Press Office (Israel), CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22811903