13 Jul 19

What is this all about? An Iranian missile, similar to the type used in the test. Photo: Fars NewsThe Trump immigration ban saga continues today with the British public flocking to sign a petition against the controversial president’s visit.
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In less than 24 hours almost a million and a half people have signed an official petition to the government saying Mr Trump “should not be invited to make an official State Visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen”, writes Europecorrespondent Nick Miller.

Miller also reports on Myron Ebell, the man who led the Trump team’s environmental action plan, who said the environmental movement is “the greatest threat to freedom and prosperity in the modern world”.

Ebell said the United States was about to change course on climate policy, including withdrawal from the Paris agreement.

Such a dramatic break from previous policy is sure to raise eyebrows in the US, where resistance to Trump’s legal moves on refugees from Muslim countries could be seen on a few fronts.

Alluding to the widespread demonstrations taking place in major airports and cities in response to the new immigration policy, Mr Obama’s spokesman said Mr Obama was “heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country.”

Crucially, the acting US attorney general Sally Yates has said the US Justice Department would not defend the ban.

The situation has created uncertainly in Indonesia, as well, for Hazara refugees who are waiting to be resettled in the US, writes Indonesia correspondent Jewel Topsfield.

“Friday I could not sleep,” said one. “I did not even tell my family these things were happening because I wanted to see them happy. Only me knew this news.”

In yet another sign that what we thought was settled last year may in fact not be: the US has accused Iran has tested a ballistic missile.

The act raises the question about whether Iran is in violation of the nuclear deal hammered out in 2015.

“It was not immediately clear whether the test launch violates a United Nations Security Council resolution,” the story says.

Which is all to say the world is in a moment of dramatic flux.

But the confusion evident these days isn’t limited to Trump assuming the presidency or Iran’s missile tests.

Russia’s skilful use of propaganda on social media has helped sow disorder through Western democracies, as Foreign Editor Chris Zappone reported.

“This propaganda skews toward extremes, seeking to corrode the broad middle area of agreement needed for the functioning of liberal democracies, wherever they are found.”

On a day like today, it looks like such spin has been effective.

Keep reading Fairfax Foreign for all the latest stories and insights into what they mean.


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