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Counter-extremism expert says media, politicians should identify attacks in Sri Lanka for what they...

The founder of a London-based think tank that focuses on counter-extremism criticized media outlets and prominent political figures for not being forthright about this past Sunday's suicide bombings in Sri Lanka aimed at Christians. Six suicide bombings were orchestrated by Jihadi extremists against Sri Lanka's Christian community killing over 300 people. The media and prominent political figures went out of their way to downplay the religious aspects of the attacks prompting criticism, host Tucker Carlson said. "They have been unable to name Islamist extremism by name and jihadist terrorism being a violent manifestation because they genuinely believe that a bigger threat due to their political perspective is white supremacist and far-right extremism and then, of course, there's the pragmatic political side of things. They are pandering to a certain vote base and they fear by naming these things even if they wanted to, it would cause them trouble with their base and that's not how I operate and that's not how I think any decent human being should operate," Maajid Nawaz, founder of Quilliam said on "Tucker Carlson Tonight." "What happened in New Zealand was a white supremacist terrorist attack and what's happened in Sri Lanka is a jihadist terrorist attack and it moves us all to speak plainly about this so we can address these problems." Former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tweeted their condolences Sunday to Sri Lanka but made it a point to avoid calling the victims Christians, instead calling them "Easter worshippers." The Washington Post published an analytical piece Monday entitled "Christianity under attack? Nawaz lamented the political angles being played during tragedy. "I think sadly too many people play politics with tragedy and they allow for their own framework of their own bias to influence how they view human tragedy and then they use that to peddle their own political narrative," Nawaz said.

WCU political science expert weighs in on Mueller investigation

We spoke with the head of the political science department at Western Carolina University, Chris Cooper, about the latest on the Mueller investigation. For almost two years now, the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election has been a constant presence in U.S. politics. "This is the most talked about issue in American politics right now," said Cooper. One of them being the possible political ramifications this report could have on the President or Robert Mueller. "We still don't know exactly what that's going to look like," said Cooper. We also asked Cooper if he thinks just the release of the report energizes the President's already loyal fan base. "Absolutely. His base is going to take this and say, 'hey, look the report's out. That means Donald Trump didn't do anything wrong," added Cooper. "Meadows has come out immediately and said, 'hey, look this shows there really was no fire at all.

UK cannot simply trade on WTO terms after no-deal Brexit, say experts

The UK will be unable to have frictionless, tariff-free trade under World Trade Organization rules for up to seven years in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to two leading European Union law specialists. The ensuing chaos could double food prices and plunge Britain into a recession that could last up to 30 years, claim the lawyers who acted for Gina Miller in the historic case that forced the government to seek parliament’s approval to leave the EU. It has been claimed that the UK could simply move to WTO terms if there is no deal with the EU. It is impossible to say how long it would go on for. There are two apparently insurmountable hurdles to the UK trading on current WTO tariffs in the event of Britain crashing out in March, said Howard. Firstly, the UK must produce its own schedule covering both services and each of the 5,000-plus product lines covered in the WTO agreement and get it agreed by all the 163 WTO states in the 32 remaining parliamentary sitting days until 29 March 2019. To make it more complicated, there are no “default terms” Britain can crash out on, Howard said, while at the same time, the UK has been blocked by WTO members from simply relying on the EU’s “schedule” – its existing tariffs and tariff-free trade quotas. The government cannot simply cut and paste the 120,000 EU statutes into UK law and then make changes to them gradually, Howard said. “Negotiating and ratifying the international free trade deals with the rest of the world alone could take over seven years,” she said. “The UK will have to start negotiating over 50 free trade agreements from scratch once we leave the EU.

Expert breaks down how California fits into global politics

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) — From Brexit, to the conflict in Syria and disputes with Russia, a geopolitical expert shared his perspective on California's role in global affairs with a Sacramento audience on Wednesday. Political scientist Ian Bremmer was featured in the Sacramento Speaker Series. He’s a frequent guest on just about every cable news channel. KCRA 3 Kellie DeMarco is the host for the series and sat down with Bremmer to get his take on how California fits into the geopolitical picture in 2019 and beyond. Bremmer said while the global economy and the U.S. economy, along with the plunging unemployment rate, is good news, he’s concerned with America’s deteriorating relations with its allies and the failings of nations' governments. “You look over the next few years and say, ‘Wait a second, how can that work?’ Then look inside the U.S., U.K. and Europe and see how many people think the system is rigged against them, that it's not legitimate, their government doesn't work for them, it's fundamentally broken. As a consequence, they're voting for antiestablishment characters. It’s not getting fixed,” he explained. Another key point is that, although Bremmer believes China will eventually become the largest economy in the world, their smaller military and dependence on oil and agriculture will prevent them from toppling the U.S. as the world’s premier superpower. See the full interview with Bremmer in the video above.

Here’s Why Experts Worry About the Popularity of QAnon’s Conspiracy Theory

Footage from Trump’s rally in Tampa on Tuesday and a rally in Pennsylvania on Thursday shows attendees wearing T-shirts and carrying posters with the letter “Q” — a shorthand to identify followers of the conspiracy theory. Here’s what experts say you need to know about QAnon and why the conspiracy theory has spread. How did QAnon’s theories spread? Conspiracies take off because the world is complex and people like things to make sense, according to Brooke Binkowski, former managing editor at the fact-checking website Snopes.com, which frequently debunks online theories. But when theories explode on platforms with anonymous posters — like 4chan, one of the sites where QAnon started — Binkowski says they can be much harder to stop. Before their recent appearance at Trump rallies, QAnon conspiracy theorists have mostly stayed online – at the fringes of most mainstream message boards and social media platforms. That happened in December 2016, when a 28-year-old North Carolina man, who believed a conspiracy theory — one that is still spread by QAnon followers — showed up at a Washington, D.C. pizzeria where he believed children were being harbored because of baseless claims relating to Hillary Clinton’s, John Podesta. How can this kind of conspiracy theory be stopped? “People’s idea of what are acceptable political beliefs depends, to some extent, on what kind of cues they get from political elites. Trump is, by usual standards of U.S. politics, quite a conspiracy theorist.

Freedom of movement: politics expert joins Brexit dance project

A politics expert and a choreographer have joined forces to produce a contemporary dance work inspired by Brexit. Stephen Coleman, professor of political communication at the University of Leeds, worked with Sharon Watson, artistic director of Phoenix Dance Theatre, to generate material for Taking a Position, which premiered recently at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds. Ahead of rehearsals, Professor Coleman conducted interviews with six local Remain supporters and six local Brexiteers who were willing to talk “at an impressionistic and affective level”. The performers listened to some of the interviews, some excerpts of which were woven into a soundscape created by Christella Litras. “I wanted to find a way of talking about politics without using the traditional language of politics,” Professor Coleman told Times Higher Education. “Emotive issues in politics are hard to quantify, despite a whole spurious industry around trying to do so,” he said, citing the recent scandal about Cambridge Analytica. “It is difficult to talk about moods and emotions in politics at a level of seriousness similar to the quantitative stuff.” Political scientists, Professor Coleman continued, lacked a vocabulary for dealing with feelings such as shame or the kinds of visceral reactions that, for example, led voters to turn against former Labour leader Ed Miliband after he was photographed eating a bacon sandwich. In his interviews, Professor Coleman explored what it was like for Brexiteers to be “accused of narrowness”, “arguments about how others had interpreted their position” and “how you deal with disagreement at an emotional level”. Ms Watson said that she hoped that “people find a way of connecting with it because it’s a story that resonates and will be with us for a very long time”. Their experimental collaboration had proved “immensely rewarding”, added Professor Coleman, in addressing “a different dimension of political communication – one that can help us to understand raw feelings that are too easily neglected in our political discourse”.
Laura Ingraham: Trump and "The Expert Class"video

Laura Ingraham: Trump and “The Expert Class”

Ingraham: "Donald Trump - in politics - is an innovator and he's not afraid to break with the establishment's orthodoxy to do what he thinks, in his best judgement, is the right thing for the American people." FOX News Channel…

Why a politician’s character is more important than their capability, according to a reputation...

Younger told us that character plays a much larger role than capability when it comes to politics. He believes that this reputational importance was the reason for Hillary Clinton's defeat in the recent United States Elections. Read the full transcript below: Rupert Younger: Hi I'm Rupert younger, I'm director of Oxford University's Centre for Corporate Reputation and I'm also co-author of The Reputation Game. We're struggling with this idea of "what exactly is a capable politician? The research is pretty clear that says that it's character that matters much more than capability when it comes to politics. How you orient yourself, the type of transparency you're prepared to engage with, certainly in the west. The way in which you develop your narratives, you comport yourself when it comes to the Q&A. The recent American elections are a very interesting frame to think about reputations. The first is I think a question of, actually most of them are perceptions of character as opposed to capability. Politics and politicians character is an incredibly important feature of reputation formation and destruction in political circumstances.

“Pocahontas” Not a Racial Slur, Says Prominent White Expert

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Donald J. Trump’s use of the name “Pocahontas” at a White House event honoring Navajo veterans was not a racial slur, a prominent white expert said on Monday. “If some Native Americans were offended by the use of this term, I’m sorry that they’re so wrong,” the expert said. “As a white person, I think I’m in a better position to know about this stuff.” She also defended the decision to honor the Navajo veterans near a portrait of Andrew Jackson, who is widely reviled by Native Americans. “Before we held the ceremony, we consulted with a number of other white experts, and we all agreed that Andrew Jackson was great,” she said. At times, the white expert seemed exasperated at having to explain to Native Americans what was a racial slur and what was not. “Look, I can explain it to them, but it’s real time-consuming, and I have a lot of other stuff to do,” she said. In closing, the Caucasian said that accusing Trump of intentionally offending the Navajos was absurd. “No one knows more about offending people than Donald Trump,” she said.