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Jan 26, 2017

The Guardian | U.S. Brifing: Trump Torture Works - January 26, 2017

theguardian.com
 
Mazin Sidahmed

‘We have to fight fire with fire’

In his first interview as the president of the United States, Donald Trump has said that he believes torture “absolutely” works and he will ask members of his cabinet to begin determining what legally can and cannot be done. Speaking to David Muir on ABC News, Trump said it was time for the US to “fight with fire” on terrorism and said “absolutely I feel it works” when he was asked about the his support for waterboarding. He claimed that when he asked intelligence chiefs if torture works, “The answer was yes, absolutely.” The brazen support for torture comes after news that Trump wants to sign an executive order to reinstate “black sites,” secret detention facilities that held terrorism suspects around the world. Defense secretary James Mattis and CIA director Mike Pompeo were reportedly “blindsided” by the news of an executive order reinstating black sites. Trump’s claims also present problems for UK intelligence agencies as they cooperate with US agencies, and using information acquired through torture risks violating international law.
Donald Trump says torture ‘absolutely’ works: ‘We have to fight fire with fire’

‘Mexico will not pay for any wall’

Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, has restated his promise not to pay a single peso for the wall Donald Trump has vowed to build on the US-Mexico border. Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that called for the immediate construction of the wall. “Mexico will not pay for any wall,” Nieto said during a television address. “I regret and reject the decision of the US to build the wall.” However, he did not cancel a trip to the White House planned for 31 January. He stated that his presence would depend on an evaluation from a team that is already in Washington. The executive order was met with backlash in Mexico as many called for Nieto to cancel his trip.
Mexico’s president ‘will not pay for any wall’ – but may still visit Trump

New Yorkers protest Trump’s immigration plans

Thousands of New Yorkers gathered to protest the expected enforcement of a ban on immigration from Muslim majority countries. Protesters lit up Washington Square Park with their cell phones and candles, and chanted “No ban, no wall, New Yorkers for all.” Trump is expected to sign an executive order which will indefinitely suspend the resettlement of Syrian refugees and temporarily ban the issuance of visas to people from Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Iran. The Guardian obtained a copy of a draft of the executive order, which advocates say amounts to the Muslim Ban that Trump had promised on the campaign trail.
Protesters gather in New York as fear grows over Trump’s immigration plans

US allies worried about latest executive order

Members of the United Nations and US allies are concerned about a leaked draft of an executive order that would potentially impose sweeping cuts to US funding across the UN, and a withdrawal from several treaties. The leaked order states there will be a 40% cut to US funding of international bodies, and a complete slash on funding to any bodies that give full membership to the Palestinian Liberation Organization or Palestinian Authority. A second order calls for a withdrawal from all treaties that do not involve “national security, extradition or international trade”. A senior diplomat told the Guardian: “It would potentially be brutal but as with all these executive orders we have to wait to see what happens in practice.”
UN funding: alarm at reports Trump will order sweeping cuts

Spicer denies gag order

Confusion swirled around previous reports that the White House had placed a gag order on staff working on climate change research as White House press secretary Sean Spicer denied communications with the agencies. “That’s nothing that’s coming from the White House,” Spicer told the press during his daily briefing. “They haven’t been directed by us to do anything.” While Spicer has already delivered falsehoods when speaking from the podium, his statement is at odds with stories from the Associated Press that staff at the Environmental Protection Agency were banned from tweeting and speaking with press.
US federal communications crackdown: what we know and what we don’t

Pick the right dystopian state

Copies of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four continue to fly off the shelf as Americans attempt to make sense of the Trump administration. Many of the book’s core tropes dangerously mirror the present day but Alex Hern contends there are better examples of a dystopian state, such as Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Aldous Huxley’s 1931 novel Brave New World.
Forget Nineteen Eighty-Four. These five dystopias better reflect Trump’s US

Support the Guardian’s fearless journalism

Never has America needed fearless independent media more. Help us hold the new president to account, sort fact from fiction, amplify underrepresented voices, and understand the forces behind this divisive election – and what happens next. Support the Guardian by becoming a member or making a contribution.

Williams sisters meet again

The Williams sisters will meet again in the Australian Open finals, after both won their respective semis on Saturday. Their wins contrasted, as Serena sailed passed Mirjana Lučić-Baroni in under an hour and Venus came from a set down to defeat CoCo Vandeweghe. Serena has beat her sister in six of eight grand slam finals . Saturday will be Venus’s first singles final since 2009.
Venus Williams’ fairytale run continues as she books final date with Serena

In case you missed it…

The Sydney Dance Company performed the world’s first all-naked event to the delight of avid nudists. The show was choreographed in response to an exhibition of nudes at the London Tate.
‘Just don’t stare’: a night of nudity and dancing at the art gallery
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