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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Weekly Press Review - April 8th

Politics

David Robert Powell

Mon, 08 Apr 2019 09:31 GMT

Trump reverses border closure threat

"Drastic border actions afoot," headlined USA Today on April 2nd as President Trump threatened to seal the country's entire southern border, after officials had warned that the immigration system there was at breaking point. 

The Dallas Morning News reported on the plight of some migrants who had crossed into the US and been held in a crowded compound under a bridge. "Treated worse than dogs," was the paper's headline.

Dallas Morning News April 1st

But days later papers headlined the president's change of heart, after warnings of the negative impact a border closure would have. "Trump backs off on border closing amid opposition," was the Washington Post headline after the paper had reported that, "experts forecast heavy toll on consumers and businesses," from a border closure.

The New York Times argued that, "closing the border won't stop migrants" from seeking asylum in the US and it called instead for a focus on tackling the, "root causes of the surge in border crossings, from reforming federal immigration laws to aid to improve economic conditions in Central America."

Trudeau scandal reignites

The Canadian press last week highlighted Prime Minister Trudeau expelling Canada's former attorney general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, and another ex-minister from the Liberal party. Wilson-Raybould had released a taped phone call with Canada's top civil servant designed to show how she was unduly pressured by Trudeau over the so-called Lavscam affair.

National Post April 3rd

The National Post called it the "Tuesday night massacre" and in a front-page op-ed entitled, "The rotting of the Liberal soul," columnist Andrew Coyne castigated the Liberal party as one that, "puts loyalty to party before principle- and mercilessly punishes those who do not."

The Toronto Sun's headline "The fake feminist" reflected accusations that Trudeau's behaviour in pressuring his attorney general and then expelling her from the party showed he was not a defender of women's rights, as he pretended.

The Toronto Sun April 3rd

May talks to opposition in Brexit deadlock

The UK press was once again dominated last week by the political deadlock over Brexit. The Daily Mirror headlined, "another night of division and despair," as parliament again failed to decisively support any of the various options to avoid the UK leaving the EU at the end of next week without a deal.

The Daily Mail concluded that parliament's indecision meant, "It's back to square one!" And the Daily Telegraph headlined, "May threatens election as MPs hit stalemate." 

Daily Mail April 2nd

Prime Minister May responded to the outcome of the so-called "indicative" voting by the House of Commons by agreeing to talks with the leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, which the Daily Telegraph warned was tantamount to putting Corbyn "in the Brexit driving seat."

The Daily Telegraph April 4th

Boris Johnson, the ambitious Former Foreign Secretary and critic of May's leadership, warned in the Daily Telegraph that Corbyn's agenda was to bring down May, not help her. "He sees an opportunity to cause mischief by setting conditions that he knows will cause real anger in the Tory party. He wants to cause division and I am afraid that at present he is succeeding."

The left-leaning Observer urged Corbyn to use his influence to push May into a second referendum. "He could tell May that Labour MPs will back her withdrawal agreement only if she is prepared to put it to a confirmatory referendum. There is every chance that this would generate a cross-party majority for a referendum." 

Erdogan suffers reverse in Turkish elections

The Turkish local election result was widely covered in the US press, with the New York Times reporting that President Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party were losing control of the capital, Ankara, and Istanbul, the financial centre and, "launching pad for Mr Erdogan's political career."

The paper saw the result as a referendum on Erdogan's policies and the setback for the president as a chance for the West to end the breach caused by Turkey's drift towards Russia and warned Erdogan that, "any tampering would widen that breach - and further endanger economic and military partnerships."

Wall Street Journal April 1st

Washington-based academic, Soner Cagaptay, wrote in The Washington Post that, "Erdogan has lost his magic touch. He no longer represents change in Turkey. Now he stands for the status quo." He urged the president to, "reach out and normalise the country's political system… and end the repression of the opposition."


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