Trump’s Twitter: Political Tool or Security Risk?

Published on The Independent Australian Media Network on Feb. 8, 2017

By Charmayne Allison

US President Donald Trump was only 25 minutes into a call with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull when he abruptly ended it.

Several days later, Trump restlessly retreated to the familiar glass screen of his Android, tapping out a tweet accented by question marks and exclamation points. “Do you believe it? The Obama administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal!”

Labelled by Trump as the “worst call by far” out of a string of phone conversations with world leaders that day, the call was cut short after Turnbull raised the issue of a refugee resettlement deal struck with former US president Barack Obama. Continue reading →


Israel retreats from claims that Egypt obeyed request to flood Gaza tunnels

Published on Mada Masr on Feb. 8, 2017

By Charmayne Allison

Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinetz’s remarks that Egypt was acting to a “certain extent at Israel’s request” by flooding the underground tunnels beneath the Gaza Strip this weekend provoked a near-frenzy in both local and international media, although officials on both sides are remaining quiet on the matter.

According to the Jerusalem-based newspaper Times of Israel, Steinetz made the comments on Saturday during a cultural event in the town of Beersheba. The minister, a member of Israel’s ruling Likud party, claimed the tunnels were being rebuilt by Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic organization that governs the enclave. Security cooperation between Israel and Egypt to combat Hamas is now “better than ever,” Steinetz averred.

Egyptian officials have not claimed responsibility for Friday’s flooding of the tunnels, nor have they responded to Steinetz’s remarks. Continue reading →