Analysis

Turkey’s Downward Spiral

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It is becoming harder by the day to make sense of the strategy behind Ankara’s domestic and foreign policy choices—assuming there is one at all. Marc Pierini Carnegie To Turkish analysts, Ankara’s policies may make sense. For Western politicians and analysts, including eternal hopefuls, summer 2017 will be remembered as a time when Turkey spiraled downward into more rule of the arbitrary, increased political inconsistencies, and aggressive postures on the international scene. It is becoming harder by the day to ... Read More »

The Eurozone is recovering, but we cannot afford to be complacent. Here are 3 reasons why

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If there is a term that can best describe the current climate in the Eurozone, it is “complacency”. Markets are rising, bond yields are at an all-time low, growth estimates have improved and the European Union has triumphantly declared the end of the crisis, thanks to its “decisive action”. Daniel Lacalle World Economic Forum There is no denying that the European Union is in recovery mode, and that is a positive. Business confidence is rising, and manufacturing indices are in ... Read More »

The Balkans Between Competing Poles

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MADRID – Few world regions are more culturally and politically complex than the Balkans. And there may be no clearer illustration of the region’s freighted past and present than the life and legacy of one of its exceptional sons: the physicist and inventor Nikola Tesla. Javier Solana Project Syndicate Born into an Orthodox Serbian family in 1856 in a town that is now part of Croatia, Tesla’s nationality remains an object of debate in the region. Tesla believed that scientific ... Read More »

Hezbollah Has Been Active in America for Decades

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Hezbollah has suffered serious casualties in Syria, but also feels emboldened by its battlefield successes and may seek to flex its muscles globally. Colin P. Clarke The National Interest  In early June, a Bronx man named Ali Kourani was arrested and charged with casing John F. Kennedy airport in New York City for a potential Hezbollah attack. Around this same time, Samer El Debek of Dearborn, Michigan, was arrested and charged with traveling to Panama to conduct surveillance against Israeli targets and ... Read More »

Universities should ban PowerPoint — It makes students stupid and professors boring

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Do you really believe that watching a lecturer read hundreds of PowerPoint slides is making you smarter? I asked this of a class of 105 computer science and software engineering students last semester. Universities should ban PowerPoint — It makes students stupid and professors boring – Business Insider Paul Ralph The Conversation  Business Insider  An article in The Conversation argued universities should ban PowerPoint because it makes students stupid and professors boring. I agree entirely. However, most universities will ignore this ... Read More »

Trump’s ‘Obama-Lite’ Afghanistan Strategy

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No matter what Trump says or how much he complains about his predicament, he has made it clear that America is not leaving Afghanistan any time soon. Jacob Heilbrunn The National Interest Where, oh where, is the Donald Trump who once proclaimed that the United States should “leave Afghanistan immediately”? Last night it was an alternately vexed and boastful Trump who appeared before troops at Fort Myer, Virginia, declaring he would seek “outright victory” in that desolate and war-torn country, ... Read More »

Final Curtain for Venezuela’s Democracy as Parliament is Dissolved

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The Venezuelan government has dissolved the elected, opposition-led parliament and initiated de facto rule. Foreign governments and multilateral organisations should regard all government actions carried out in contravention of the 1999 constitution as invalid and press the government to take urgent steps toward the restoration of democracy. ICG On 19 August, Venezuela’s self-styled Constituent Assembly, installed two weeks earlier by the government of President Nicolás Maduro, announced that it was taking over the functions of the country’s opposition-led parliament, elected ... Read More »

Decoding the Korean Peninsula Missile Rhetoric

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Fiery rhetoric between North Korea and the U.S. adds risks to Korean peninsula tensions, but should not cause panic. Outside players should maximise the potential benefit of an established pattern of de-escalation in the fall. Christopher Green ICG They – and Pyongyang – should also back South Korea’s offers of dialogue. North Korea once again captured the world’s attention when it boldly warned that it is ready to fire missiles over Japan toward the U.S. territory of Guam. The unusually specific ... Read More »

How HIV Became a Cancer Cure

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The immunologist behind the revolutionary new treatment set to win approval from the FDA Allysia Finley WSJ  Philadelphia When Ben Franklin proposed in 1749 what eventually became the University of Pennsylvania, he called for an academy to teach “those Things that are likely to be most useful.” Today the university lays claim to having incubated the world’s biggest cancer breakthrough. In 2011, a team of researchers led by immunologist Carl June, a Penn professor, reported stunning results after genetically altering ... Read More »

Grooming the globe: denying fairness, complexity and humanity

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“I know it makes you sick to think of that word fairness,” Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, told the Conservative Political Action Conference in March 2013. Julianne Schultz The Conversation But he went on to tell the heads of Washington’s most influential right-wing think-tanks, who were still shocked by Barack Obama’s continuing appeal, that Americans “universally believe it’s right to help the vulnerable”. He continued: If you want to win, start fighting for people! Lead with ... Read More »

A Turkish-EU Opera Buffa

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When Turkey officially applied to become a full member of the European Union (EU), cell phones looked like bricks, Red Bull and The Simpsons had just made their debuts, President Ronald Reagan made his famous “Tear down this wall!” speech in West Berlin, the world population was five billion, Colonel Qaddafi in Libya was playing godfather to terrorists, Margaret Thatcher was the prime minister of Britain, Gestapo boss Klaus Barbie was sentenced to life in prison for crimes against humanity, ... Read More »

Rasmussen scrutinizes not only Hume and Smith’s personal relationship, but also the indispensable part that they played in shaping the Scottish Enlightenment.

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Rasmussen scrutinizes not only Hume and Smith’s personal relationship, but also the indispensable part that they played in shaping the Scottish Enlightenment. Jacob Heilbrunn The National Interest Dennis C. Rasmussen, The Infidel and the Professor: David Hume, Adam Smith, and the Friendship that Shaped Modern Thought (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017), 336 pp., $29.95. IN AUGUST 1776, a large crowd gathered in front of a grand neoclassical mausoleum. It was designed by Scotland’s greatest architect, Robert Adam, and stood on Calton Hill in ... Read More »

Turkey Uncensored: Will Turkey Succeed in Turning the Hagia Sophia Into a Mosque?

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The Islamist Felicity Party (Turkish: Saadet Partisi) organized the “Great Jerusalem demonstration” on July 30 in Istanbul. This event attended by thousands of people who condemned Israel following the recent incidents on the Temple Mount. Uzay Bulut Philos Project The demo quickly turned into an anti-Israel and anti-Jew hate fest in which several Islamic activists delivered harsh speeches against the Jewish State. Mustafa Koylu, the head of the Cansuyu Association, said, “You have to do one thing so that those who do not see ... Read More »

What are the links between US and German neo-Nazis?

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Swastikas on shields. Cries of “Blood and Soil.” Nazi symbols and slogans were on full display in the Charlottesville confrontations. Christina Burack  DW looks at where US and German neo-Nazis overlap. Confederate flags were to be expected at last weekend’s far-right “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. After all, the organizers’ self-described purpose was to protest the removal of a statue of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee, who led the South in the American Civil War in its fight ... Read More »

Turks celebrate 1964 napalm bombing of Cyprus

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Cyprus is Turkish, after all. Turks can do whatever they want there. They can even celebrate dropping napalm on Greeks and slaughtering them. Uzay Bulut Arutz Sheva On August 8, Muslim Turkish Cypriots and illegal settlers from Turkey celebrated the 53rd anniversary of Turkey’s napalm bombing of Greek Cypriot civilians in the Turkish-occupied enclave of Kokkina in Cyprus. Mustafa Akıncı, the president of the..In August 1964, Turkish warplanes dropped napalm bombs on Kokkina in the Tillyria peninsula, hitting residential areas ... Read More »

Is liking something on Facebook ‘protected political speech’? It depends

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Australians are often surprised to learn that their Constitution contains no right to free speech. Even the right to political speech, which is constitutionally implied, is increasingly complicated by new online platforms where people can express their views. Melissa Castan  The Conversation The Australian Public Service Commission’s (APSC) recent guidance for public servants shone a spotlight on the issue. It advises employees they could be in breach of their code of conduct for liking or sharing posts on Facebook that are critical of the ... Read More »