Free Rein

Written by SK Ashby

(Cartoonist - Nick Anderson)

In other news, cyber security researchers say North Korea has likely stolen hundreds of million of dollars to finance their nuclear weapons program by hacking banks across the globe in a campaign that began in 2014 and continues to this day.

Meanwhile, infamous warmonger John Bolton says the Trump regime is reviewing all international agreements that may fall under the jurisdiction of international courts.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Wednesday the administration was reviewing all international agreements that could expose it to binding decisions by the International Court of Justice calling the United Nations’ organ politicized and ineffective.

His announcement came hours after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington was terminating a treaty of amity with Tehran, after the court ordered the United States to ensure that sanctions against Iran, due to be tightened next month, do not affect humanitarian aid or civil aviation safety.

I think it's impossible to overstate what kind of message this sends to dictators and oppressive regimes around the world. If the United States says international courts are illegitimate, why should they care what courts say?

Finally, the retail business lobby says they expect holiday spending will grow by about 4 percent this year, but consumer spending will be lower than it was last year because the effect of the GOP's tax cuts has faded. The lobby is also waiting to see what happens with Trump's trade war.

“Last year’s strong results were thanks to growing wages, stronger employment and higher confidence, complemented by anticipation of tax cuts that led consumers to spend more than expected,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. [...]

The trade body also said there are continued concerns about an escalating trade war with China but it is optimistic about consumers’ propensity to spend.

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