Six In The Morning Saturday 8 June 2019


US-Mexico talks: Agreement to avoid tariffs reached, says Trump

Mexico has agreed to take “unprecedented steps” to help stem the flow of migrants to the US in order to avoid trade tariffs threatened by President Donald Trump.

Mr Trump revealed that a deal had been reached to suspend the tariffs “indefinitely” in a series of tweets.

He had threatened to implement import duties of 5%, rising every month, unless Mexico acted to curb migration.

The tariffs were due to come into effect on Monday.

Minority rule: Michigan loophole allows activists to push through abortion bans

A state law that foregoes a vote if a proposal has signatures from just 4% of the electorate is being used by special interest groups

Michigan is a state in which Democrats drubbed Republicans in the 2018 midterms, a Democrat governor has promised to veto anti-abortion legislation, and polling shows the population is solidly supportive of reproductive rights.

Still, it could soon effectively ban abortion.

Conservative activists here with Right To Life and the Michigan Heartbeat Coalition are planning to team up with Republican lawmakers to exploit a constitutional loophole that allows groups to use citizen ballot initiatives to dodge a governor’s veto and implement anti-abortion laws without putting them to voters.

Sudan suspension, African Union’s bold move against strongmen

The African Union’s suspension of Sudan over a paramilitary massacre of civilians this week has been welcomed by the international community. But can the bloc succeed in delivering African solutions to African problems?

Days after the UN Security Council failed to agree on a statement condemning the killing of civilians by Sudanese security forces, the African Union (AU) on Thursday suspended Sudan from the 55-member bloc “until the effective establishment of a civilian-led” transitional authority. In an age when the failure of multilateral organisations dominates the discourse in international policy and human rights circles, the robust response by the AU to the June 3 massacre of more than 100 civilians, according to Sudanese opposition groups, was a welcome change that caught many analysts by surprise.

Misinformation swirling around Dutch teenager’s death ignites debate over euthanasia

Updated 0800 GMT (1600 HKT) June 8, 2019

At just 17-years-old, Dutch teenager Noa Pothoven had already written an award-winning memoir detailing her struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anorexia in the wake of sexual assault and rape.

In her autobiography, Pothoven wrote that she had nothing left to live for.
At 16, she approached the Levenseinde, or “end-of-life,” clinic in The Hague to inquire about euthanasia, but, according to an interview last year with local newspaper the Gelderlander, her request was rejected.

A Google walkout organizer just quit, saying she was branded with a “scarlet letter”

Claire Stapleton’s disillusionment with Google captures America’s disillusionment with Silicon Valley.


An employee who helped organize the worldwide Google walkout last year says she’s quitting — because her managers have been punishing her for her activism.

“I made the choice after the heads of my department branded me with a kind of scarlet letter that makes it difficult to do my job or find another one,” wrote Claire Stapleton in a note she shared with her colleagues this week and published Friday on Medium. “If I stayed, I didn’t just worry that there’d be more public flogging, shunning, and stress, I expected it.”


June 8 2019

THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT appears to have launched a major new internet crackdown, blocking the country’s citizens from accessing The Intercept’s website and those of at least seven other Western news organizations.

On Friday, people in China began reporting that they could not access the websites of The Intercept, The Guardian, the Washington Post, HuffPost, NBC News, the Christian Science Monitor, the Toronto Star, and Breitbart News.

It is unclear exactly when the censorship came into effect or the reasons for it. But Tuesday marked the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, and Chinese authorities have reportedly increased levels of online censorship to coincide with the event.