#Trump dares #Kim Jong-un to compare #nuclear buttons stating ‘Mine is bigger’

President Donald Trump has fired off a tweet against North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un, claiming to have a “more powerful” nuclear weapons launcher.
Trump's tweet, amid a barrage of angry posts, is a belated response to Kim's New Year speech, in which the North Korean leader claimed, “The entire United States is within range of our nuclear weapons, and a nuclear button is always on my desk.” [source]

Time again for (regime) change? #Neocons press #Trump to sanction #Iran over the protests 

US neoconservatives and liberal interventionists are pushing President Donald Trump to ratchet up pressure on Tehran, as protests sparked by economic stagnation continue for a fifth day in Iran.
New sanctions are possible, US deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iran and Iraq, Andrew Peek, told VOA News. Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway confirmed the possibility in a Fox News appearance Tuesday. [source]

#US to cut aid to #UN #refugee agency to force Palestine to talk with Israel 

The US wants to stop funding a UN agency aiding millions of Palestinian refugees to coerce Palestine into talks with Israel. The negotiations soured after Washington's contentious recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
President Donald Trump appears to be on course to punish the United Nations after most UN member states refused to endorse the US President's recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. Trump now wants to cut funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) which has received over $5 billion in US aid since 1994. In 2016, the US gave the agency over $368 million. [source]


#Iceland groundbreaking world first: makes #gender pay #gap illegal

Women in Iceland woke up to a brave new world Monday as the country became the first nation on the planet to make equal pay between the sexes a legal requirement.
The groundbreaking legislation came into force on New Year's Day, but has been in the works since March when the measure was announced to coincide with International Women's Day. Under the new legislation, companies and government agencies with more than 25 staff members will have to obtain a certificate from the government proving their equal pay status. Those found in breach of the law will face fines. [source]

New #Russia #China pipeline doubles #Beijing oil import capacity

Russia has doubled its crude oil export capacity to China as a result of a new pipeline, cementing its position as the number one supplier of crude to its eastern neighbor.
The new section of the Eastern Siberia–Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline began operations Monday, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported. The venture will deepen energy co-operation between Moscow and Beijing and serve the Belt and Road Initiative, a major Chinese-led development project across Asia. [source]