American president Donald Trump’s son-in-law and confidant, Jared Kushner, claims he had “hardly any” contacts with Russians during the 2016 election campaign.
Except for these:
- One (brief) meeting with Sergei Kislyak, then the Russian ambassador to the United States, in April.
- And maybe two phone calls with Kislyak in the months thereafter, as Reuters has reported. Kushner is “skeptical” the calls took place.
- Definitively a meeting with various Russian officials, including the lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, that was also attended by Donald Trump’s campaign manager at the time, Paul Manafort, and his oldest son. Read more
Separatists in the southeast of Ukraine have declared a new country: “Little Russia”.
The announcement by Aleksandr Zakharchenko, the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, amounts to little, argues Gwendolyn Sasse of Carnegie Europe.
She points out that leaders in Luhansk, Ukraine’s other breakaway region, have distanced themselves from it. Russia, which otherwise backs the Donbas uprising, hasn’t voiced support either. And the local population doesn’t want independence. A survey conducted earlier this year found a majority in favor of remaining in Ukraine. Only a third want to join Russia.
Yet it might be better for Ukraine if the region does secede. Read more
It is not inequality that bothers Brits, argues Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative Party leader, in the new online magazine UnHerd. It’s injustice.
People expect that the CEO of a corporation will be the highest paid person on the payroll. What they don’t accept is that FTSE 100 bosses are paid 174 times the average worker’s wage in this decade — compared to 13 to 44 times in 1980.
Especially when many of their companies have received either big fraud-related fines or bailouts from the state.
The distinction matters, because it goes to a broader point. Read more
Germany has urged its citizens not to travel to Turkey and advised companies to scale back their investments in the country.
The dramatic measures follow Turkey’s arrest of a German human-rights activist, Peter Steudtner. But relations between the NATO allies have been going downhill for years.
- German chancellor Angela Merkel offended her Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in 2005, when she declared her opposition to Turkish membership of the EU.
- Germany has for years complained about Turkish attempts to influence its three to four million citizens of Turkish descent.
- Earlier this year, Erdoğan called German officials Nazis when they would not allow his surrogates to campaign for him in Germany.
- Turkey refused to give German lawmakers access to the Incirlik Air Base, where their troops fighting the Islamic State were based. Germany eventually moved its forces to Jordan.
- Turkey arrested a German-Turkish journalist, Deniz Yücel, after he had written critical articles about Erdoğan. Yücel is still being held in solitary confinement. Read more
Support for independence is falling in Catalonia, but it could still happen if opponents don’t vote.
A comprehensive survey of public opinion conducted every four months for the regional government found that only 41 percent of Catalans want to break away from Spain.
But those voters are more motivated to turn out. Read more
President Donald Trump and his supporters are looking for ways to disparage Robert Mueller, the former FBI director who is investigating Russia’s attack on America’s 2016 election.
The New York Times reports that Trump’s political aides and legal counsel are hoping to find a conflict of interest they could use to discredit Mueller’s investigation — or even build a case to fire him. Read more