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Trump criticized from right and left for not standing with Canada on Saudi Arabia

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A former top aide to a Republican president and a left-wing senator have both blasted the White House for its response to the feud between Canada and Saudi Arabia, calling it weak and evidence of President Donald Trump’s affinity for autocrats.



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Slavoj Žižek: Saudi-Canada spat reveals the real new world order

For years, experts believed liberal democracy would gradually spread around the world but the system has eaten itself and the result is a new global populism.

The most obvious factor in the ongoing conflict between Canada and Saudi Arabia is the grotesque disproportion between cause and effect. In that a minor diplomatic protest has triggered a set of measures which almost announce a military conflict.

Here’s what happened. Saudi Arabia finally allowed women to drive, but at the same time arrested women who campaigned for the right to drive. Among the arrested peaceful activists was Samar Badawi, who has family in Canada, and Ottawa demanded her release.

In return, the Saudi government proclaimed this protest a reprehensible interference in its internal affairs and immediately launched into sanctions. They included expelling the Canadian ambassador, canceling the state airline’s flights to and from Canada, freezing new trade and investment, the sale of   assets in Canada, the withdrawal of students and the repatriation of patients undergoing treatment in Canada.

And all this under the guidance of a crown prince who poses as a big reformer.

No Scruples

In reality, what we have is a clear sign that Saudi Arabia remains what it is, not a real state but a large mafia corporation run by a family. And a country which quite reprehensibly interferes in the internal affairs of Yemen, literally ruining the nation.

The message of simultaneously allowing women to drive and arresting those who demanded it is clear and unambiguous, there is no contradiction here: If small changes happen, they must come as an act from above and no protest from below is tolerated.

In the same way, there is absurd overreaction inherent in Saudi counter-measures to Canada’s protest note and the message is clear: Canada got it wrong, it acted as if we still in the period of universal human rights.

Indeed, the fact that Egypt and Russia supported Saudi Arabia in its measures, and that even the US and Great Britain, otherwise supposed great protectors of human rights, decided to stay out of the melee, makes it clear that a new world order is emerging in which the only alternative to the “clash of civilizations” remains the peaceful co-existence of civilizations (or of “ways of life,” a more popular term today).

Thus, forced marriages and homophobia (or the idea that a woman going alone to a public place is asking to be  raped) are OK, so long as they are limited to another country which is otherwise fully included into the world market.

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Canadian Press

Arrest made in attack on photographer

TORONTO - Police in Toronto have made an arrest in an alleged assault on a newspaper photographer in the city's downtown.

It happened last Saturday during competing rallies at Nathan Phillips Square, a major public plaza in front of Toronto City Hall.

Toronto Sun photographer Stan Behal says one protester lunged at him and hit him in the head.

Behal says he decided to file a police complaint because he believes the alleged attack was motivated by growing anti-media sentiment.

In a statement Saturday night, police said they had arrested a 29-year-old man from Toronto earlier in the day.

Police say Donald Joseph Macleod has been charged with assault and is due in court Wednesday.

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