PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “The Leader of the Free World Meets Donald Trump” / Politico Magazine / James P. Rubin ☮

Angela Merkel, whether she wants the job or not, is the West’s last, best hope.

This time the media hype surrounding a White House meeting is no wild exaggeration. When President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel finally get together on Friday, the leaders of the West’s two most powerful countries are sure to come off more like an odd couple than two close allies chewing over plans for some joint enterprise. And for good reason. Merkel and Trump are not only polar opposites as people, but they share little in terms of international outlook.

Their styles reflect their vastly different backgrounds. Merkel, Germany’s first and only female chancellor, was raised by a pastor in communist East Germany, where she earned a doctorate in physical chemistry. Although she is the longest-serving and most powerful leader in Europe, she is unfailingly modest, competent and consensus-oriented. Trump’s all-about-me mentality, Queens upbringing and brash, tabloid-and-reality-TV personality couldn’t be more different.

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PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “Truthdigger of the Week: Angela Davis, an Activist for the Ages” / truthdig / Natasha Hakimi ☮

Every week the Truthdig editorial staff selects a Truthdigger of the Week, a group or person worthy of recognition for speaking truth to power, breaking the story or blowing the whistle. It is not a lifetime achievement award. Rather, we’re looking for newsmakers whose actions in a given week are worth celebrating.

When legendary civil rights activist and feminist intellectual Angela Davis took the stage in a packed auditorium at London’s Women of the World festival last week, she was greeted with a raucous standing ovation reminiscent of a rock concert.

PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “Stephen Kinzer: The Birth of American Empire” / RT America / On Contact with Chris Hedges ☮

On this week’s On Contact, Chris Hedges discusses the rise of American imperialism with Stephen Kinzer, author of “The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire”. RT Correspondent looks back to the beginning of America’s overseas expansion.

PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “Pres. Correa: Fighting Poverty and Foreign Domination” / Empire Files / Abby Martin ☮

After 10 years and three terms, Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa’s time in office has ended. Under his administration Ecuador made far-reaching economic and social gains, despite having inherited a country on the brink of collapse.

In one of his last interviews before leaving office, Abby Martin talks to him about his legacy, his critics, and the struggle ahead for Ecuador and beyond.

From commenting on Trump and the global crisis of inequality, to addressing CIA plots and opposition in his own country, hear Correa’s last words as President to the people of Latin America and the United States.

PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “Resistance in the Age of Trump” / RT America / On Contact with Chris Hedges ☮

On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges discusses successful strategies for resistance in the age of Trump with activist and attorney, Kevin Zeese. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil looks at how Republican lawmakers are attempting to quell demonstrations across the US.

PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “Trump, Fascism, and the Christian Right” / teleSUR English / Empire Files / Chris Hedges and Abby Martin ☮

For the first time in modern history, a fringe wing of Christian extremists have obtained the highest seats of power in the US government—from Mike Pence to Betsy DeVos.

This new development is coupled with the emergence of the Alt Right, the Trump movement, and the rise of fascist movements abroad.

Renowned journalist and author Chris Hedges has embedded himself in what he calls “Christianized Fascism” and warns that this is the biggest danger we face under Trump.