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Trump's silent weekend offers a taste of the future

January 12, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 24.8%. 1 min read.

Trump's supporters say the online purge smacks of censorship. But Trump could hold a news conference any hour of the day or night. He has a whole room in the White House dedicated to press briefings and a pool of reporters who follow him wherever he goes — whether on a state visit abroad or up the road to buy a burger.

Trump's supporters say the online purge of the President and his ilk from social media following weeks of false claims of election fraud and dangerously inflammatory talk smacks of censorship.

His department is racing to inflame geopolitical tensions and deliver parting gifts to Trump-approved allies before Biden takes over: In the past two weeks, Pompeo has put Cuba on a list of terror sponsors, blown the protocols off sensitive US diplomacy with Taiwan, named Yemen's Houthi rebels a terror organization and dropped yet another round of sanctions on Iran.

Experts, NGOs and local doctors say sanctions penalize ordinary Iranians by making it harder to obtain food and health supplies amid the pandemic. Over the weekend, Pompeo announced that US officials dealing with Taiwan should no longer tiptoe around diplomatic rules designed to avoid upsetting China, which considers the democratically ruled island part of its territory.

The move, which reverses an Obama-era decision, will have little practical effect since Cuba was already subject to most of the relevant sanctions. The Department also said Yemen's Houthi rebels will be designated a foreign terrorist organization -- a move that might please their Saudi and UAE adversaries but will have little impact on the Iran-backed rebels.

Designating the Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization is "pure diplomatic vandalism," declared International Rescue Committee President and CEO David Miliband on Monday.

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