US Secretary of Defense nominee John Mattis: We are going to have to confront Russia

US Secretary of Defense nominee John Mattis: We are going to have to confront Russia

US Secretary of Defense nominee James Mattis has told the US Senate Armed Services Committee that he has a very, very high degree of confidence in U.S. intelligence and put Russia at the top of a list of threats to Americas interests. Also on 12 January, Mattis was given a waiver to allow him to serve as Donald trumps secretary of defense, despite having retired as a Marine General in 2013. The panel voted 24-3 to waive a law on civilian control of the U.S. military that would have barred Mattis from assuming the position for seven years after his active duty service. The waiver must still be approved by the full Senate, the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee and the full House to allow Mattis to serve if he is confirmed to lead the Pentagon. Jan 13, 2017
Russia: US tanks and troops in Poland a national threat

Russia: US tanks and troops in Poland a national threat

Russia has reacted negatively to the US deployment of troops in Europe. The troops from the Third Armor Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, based in Fort Carson, Colorado, US, along with hundreds of armoured vehicles and tanks, were moved from the US to Germany last week for transit by rail and road to Poland and elsewhere in eastern Europe. Jan 13, 2017
President Obama honours Joe Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom

President Obama honours Joe Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Outgoing US President Barack Obama surprised Vice President Joe Biden by bestowing the countrys highest civilian honour, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, upon him on 12 January. Biden was moved to tears as the medal was place over his shoulders. As the president announced his intention to give the VP the medal, Biden turned from the cameras to compose himself. Obama joked that the award would give the internet further reason to talk about their bromance. The president said he was recognising Biden for faith in your fellow Americans, for your love of country and a lifetime of service that will endure through the generations. The award came with distinction, an honour only given to three past recipients. Jan 13, 2017
Brawl breaks out in Turkish parliamentary debate over new constitution

Brawl breaks out in Turkish parliamentary debate over new constitution

Brawls erupted as politicians from AK Party tried to prevent CHP MP, Fatma Kaplan from filming the voting session with her mobile. Politicians from two parties traded kicks and punches as acting parliament speaker adjourned the session. The fights broke out during a debate at general assembly on constitutional changes that would hand President Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers as an executive president.Under the reform, President Erdogan will be able to appoint and dismiss government ministers, take back the leadership of the ruling party, and govern until 2029.Erdogan and his supporters argue that Turkey needs the strong leadership of an executive presidency to prevent a return to the fragile coalition governments of the past, but opponents fear the reform will fuel authoritarianism. Jan 12, 2017