Russia begins deporting Turkish businessmen, seizing Turkish products

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Moscow: Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday called for tough sanctions against Turkey that could bite into more than $US30 billion ($41 billion) in trade ties between the two countries, as police here began seizing Turkish products and deporting Turkish businessmen. Andrew Roth Russian officials are seething after Turkish F-16s downed a Russian warplane over the Syrian border in a debacle that ultimately left two Russian servicemen dead. Turkey says that the Russian plane breached its airspace and was warned five ... Read More »

Crimea launches sabotage case against organizers of blackout

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RT – The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) is investigating the recent bombings of the Ukrainian power grid that have led to blackouts in the Crimean Republic, chief Crimean prosecutor Natalya Poklonskaya has told reporters. She said that the FSB had started the criminal investigation under the article ‘sabotage’. In the Russian Federation, this crime can carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. Earlier, Poklonskaya noted the FSB had started the probe at the prosecutors’ request, and ... Read More »

Israel to push ahead with 454 new settler homes in East Jerusalem

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‘The terrorist was shot and killed; that is the right response’ Israelis and Palestinians turn their eyes to Jerusalem after a bloody week Jerusalem:  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved the marketing of land for the construction of 454 homes in two settlements in occupied East Jerusalem, according to a government official. The building of 436 of the housing units, in the settlement of Ramat Shlomo on land Israel occupied in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, was approved in 2012, but ... Read More »

Turkish fans boo moment of silence for victims of Paris attacks

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Turkish supporters attending an international football friendly against Greece on Nov. 17 refused to participate in a minute of silence following the recent jihadist attacks on France, choosing instead to boo the commemoration. Hurriyet – Istanbul A section of the crowd at Fatih Terim Stadium in Istanbul’s Başakşehir district had first whistled during the playing of the Greek national anthem, prompting Turkish star Arda Turan to remonstrate with the crowd. Arda’s intervention, however, failed to stop the booing. During the ... Read More »

Amazon fires: Brazil indigenous reserve blazes contained

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Brazilian officials have managed to contain several forest fires that have destroyed half of an indigenous reserve in the Amazon region. BBC – Some 12,000 indigenous people live in the Arariboia reserve, in the state of Maranhao. Their leaders say the fires were started more than a month ago by hostile loggers and farmers who want exploit the area’s natural resources. Hundreds of firefighters and soldiers had been trying to put out the blazes. Their work has been helped by ... Read More »

CHP deputies: Gov’t rejects probe into Turkey’s role in Syrian chemical attack

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Two deputies from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) have claimed that the government is against investigating Turkey‘s role in sending toxic sarin gas which was used in an attack on civilians in Syria in 2013 and in which over 1,300 Syrians were killed. Today’s Zaman – CHP deputies Eren Erdem and Ali Şeker held a press conference in İstanbul on Wednesday in which they claimed the investigation into allegations regarding Turkey’s involvement in the procurement of sarin gas ... Read More »

Malaysia views ‘new islands’ in South China Sea as provocation, says Armed Forces chief

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BEIJING: China’s construction work on islands in the disputed South China Sea is “unwarranted provocation”, Malaysian Armed Forces chief said on Sunday in a rare public comment about the spat from a country which has its own claims in the seas. China’s relations with several South-east Asian countries, especially the Philippines and Vietnam who have competing claims in the South China Sea, have been strained by Beijing’s increasingly assertive tone in an area through which US$5 trillion (RM20.9 trillion) in ... Read More »

Turkey Still Dances with ISIS

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Originally published under the title “Turkey’s Grisly Dances with the Islamic State.” Middle East Forum – by Burak Bekdil, The Gatestone Institute On October 10, Turkey woke up to the worst single terror attack in its history. The twin suicide-bomb attack in Ankara killed 97 and injured nearly 250 people, with more than 60 of the wounded being treated in intensive care. As of October 14, no one had claimed responsibility, but all indications pointed to the Islamic State (ISIS, ... Read More »

Militant Nationalism Is Threatening Turkey’s Social Fabric

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The cycle of violence that has engulfed Turkey amid the resumption of the fight between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Turkey is increasing its toll. The wider and bloodier it gets, the more consequential it becomes. The Huffington Post – Galip Dalay, Research Director, Al Sharq Forum What started as largely contained low-intensity warfare between the military and the PKK is increasingly having implications for the fabric of Turkish society and leaving its imprint on Turkey’s collective psyche. Since ... Read More »

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city’s past was killed for protecting its future

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After a month, the militants realised that Khaled  al-Asaad knew nothing – or would say nothing – and so they decapitated the old man and strung his torso to a Roman pillar The Telegraph – Robert Fisk Isis has killed “the guardian of Palmyra”. Tortured for a month and then beheaded for refusing to betray the secret location of the Roman’s city’s priceless artefacts, Khaled al-Asaad’s gruesome death has appalled his fellow archeologists. “[He was] a joyful guy. You had ... Read More »

Why Israel and Armenia Should ‘Adopt’ the Yazidis

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JERUSALEM — The recent horrifying New York Times exposé on the Islamic State’s sex slavery system targeting Yazidi women was one of the most-read articles on the paper’s website in the last days. And yes, in a doubly perverse sense it feels good to be morally outraged at ISIS for a few minutes. But let us not get all too comfortable with our outrage over what the Times titled “Theology of Rape,” because we like to forget just how easily ... Read More »

Why Did the ISIS Caliph Rape American Kayla Mueller?

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During her imprisonment, Kayla Mueller, 26-year-old humanitarian aid worker, was repeatedly raped by the leader of ISIS, Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, before she was killed last February. The news of al-Baghdadi’s serial assault habits came out last week. First Things – by Ayman S. Ibrahim ISIS’s al-Baghdadi operates within a shame/honor paradigm, like most of the Middle East and Arab World. Ms. Mueller represented an American object. Shaming her reflects the supremacy and dominion of the Caliph and Muslims over the ... Read More »

Jack Knox: Victoria philanthropist reveals he survived atomic bombing

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The atomic bomb detonated over Nagasaki at 11:02 a.m. Rudi Hoenson didn’t see the B-29 that dropped it — “We were not allowed to stand and look at things” — but he heard it. Times Colonist – Jack Knox The plane droned overhead as Hoenson and his fellow prisoners of war laboured to clear the rubble left by an earlier conventional air raid, one that had killed the man sheltering next to him. This time, death arrived without warning. Hoenson ... Read More »

The Twilight of Middle Eastern Christianity

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AINA – They destroy museums, they burn libraries, and yes they hunt vulnerable minorities like the Christians and Yazidis to kill, starve, rape or subjugate. In Iraq and Syria, the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) while killing the present and denying the future, is waging war on history. By Hisham Melhem * In the span of few days we witnessed an orgy of destruction at the Mosul museum where exquisite artifacts and magnificent winged bulls from the era of the Assyrian ... Read More »

Artists protest against Cuban artist Tania Bruguera’s detention


Group of 14, including four Turner prize winners, condemns arrest and legal charges over free speech performance piece in Havana Hannah Ellis-Petersen The Guardian Fourteen of the world’s most prominent artists, including Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor and painter Howard Hodgkin, have publicly condemned the detention of Cuban artist Tania Bruguera. In an open letter to the Guardian on Monday, the group of artists – which includes four Turner prizewinners – collectively expressed their concern at Bruguera’s arrest and the subsequent ... Read More »

The greatest mistranslations ever


After Google Translate’s latest update, BBC Culture finds history’s biggest language mistakes – including a US president stating ‘I desire the Poles carnally’. Fiona Macdonald BBC Google Translate’s latest update – turning the app into a real-time interpreter – has been heralded as bringing us closer to ‘a world where language is no longer a barrier’. Despite glitches, it offers a glimpse of a future in which there are no linguistic misunderstandings – especially ones that change the course of ... Read More »