In our presentation to the British Wednesday newspapers, we start with The Independent Online, which published a report from New York that followed the echoes of the arrest of the head of the inauguration committee of former US President Donald Trump, in 2017, after his victory in the 2016 presidential election, on Tuesday on charges of conspiring to influence Trump’s foreign policy positions for the benefit of the country. United Arab Emirates, and committing crimes targeting what prosecutors in the case described as “the heart of our democracy.”
The report, written by the newspaper’s New York correspondent Nathan Bliss, said Thomas Brack (known for short as Tom Brake), 74, of Santa Monica, California, was among three men charged in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, with conspiracy to act as an unregistered foreign agent. While trying to influence the foreign policy of the United States, when Trump was in the process of running for the presidency in 2016 and after he became president.
Besides the conspiracy, Barak, who was a Trump campaign adviser and later chairman of his presidential inauguration committee, was accused of obstructing justice and making multiple false statements during a June 2019 interview with federal agents.
The indictment included seven charges against Matthew Grimes, 27, of Aspen, Colorado, and Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Al Shehhi, 43, of the United Arab Emirates.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark Lesko said in a statement that the defendants benefited greatly from Barak’s friendships and access to a candidate who was eventually elected president, high-ranking campaign and government officials, as well as to the US media to advance the political goals of a foreign government without revealing their true allegiances. .
Prosecutors emphasized that Barak not only agreed to advance the UAE’s foreign policy interests through his significant relationships and influence, but also provided UAE government officials with sensitive information about developments within the Trump administration, including how senior US officials felt about Qatar, And the boycott of the Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain.
“Worse, he made efforts to obtain an official position within the administration that would enable him to advance the interests of the UAE rather than those of the United States,” prosecutors wrote in a letter requesting his arrest.
Authorities said Barak served as an unofficial adviser to the Trump campaign from April 2016 to November 2016 and chaired the presidential inauguration committee from November 2016 to January 2017.
Beginning in January 2017, he informally advised senior US government officials on Middle East foreign policy.
Erdogan disrupts peace in Cyprus
In the Times newspaper, we find an article talking about the role of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in complicating the peace process in Cyprus, with his support for a two-state solution.
In her report from Nicosia, Hanna Lucinda Smith said that the Turkish president has ruptured the Cyprus peace process by supporting plans for a two-state solution under which the Turkish-speaking north advances for international recognition, eliminating last hope for the principle of a united island.
The Turkish leader attacked the European Union and the United States in a series of letters and vowed that Turkey “will not wait another 50 years,” referring to the UN-backed negotiations.
Erdogan was in northern Cyprus on a two-day visit to celebrate the 47th anniversary of the Turkish military’s landing on the Mediterranean island during the 1974 war. Ankara has only recognized the north as a sovereign state, meaning it relies on Turkish subsidies.
In recent years, Erdogan has increasingly flexed his political muscle there. His visit was aimed at supporting Ersin Tatar, the nationalist president of Northern Cyprus who was elected in October with the backing of Ankara and who opposes reunification with the Greek-speaking south.
The decades-old dispute over the rights to underwater gas is located around the island, which the Turkish Cypriots cannot participate in given Erdogan’s hostility to the European Union, represented by Greece and Cyprus, and his criticism of the United States.
The Guardian talks about challenges to the independence of the BBC
In the Guardian newspaper, we read an opinion article by writer Emily Bell about what she sees as pressure exerted by the British government on the BBC, threatening its independence and editorial policy.
The writer argues that conservative interventions in editorial positions represent a major test of the independence of the public service broadcaster.
Last week, Britain’s media regulator Ofcom published a call to action for a “stronger public media system”, which urged a “radical” move toward digitization, and possible additional financial support for certain areas such as regional activity.
In the introduction was a quote from Melanie Dawes, chief executive of Ofcom, carrying a “triple threat” to public media, “from the major global players in media, as well as from viewers turning to online services, and finally increasing funding pressures.”
In the opinion of the author of the article, the report did not outline any threat to public broadcasting in Britain in 2021. It may illustrate what she describes as “the determined and continuing efforts to transform Britain’s largest public service body, the BBC, into a politically tainted government news service,” as she put it.
The writer referred to a report published earlier this month in the Financial Times of alleged warnings in the BBC’s board of directors about appointments that could upset the Conservative government.
The author says the BBC’s response has been to say that it does not comment on recruitment (for legal reasons), and that board members are free to discuss matters among themselves.