Diplomacy

Taiwan should prepare for US withdrawal from first island chain: scholar

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Decision to suspend joint military exercises with South Korea signals a withdrawal to second island chain, says Taiwanese academic. Asia Times In contrast to accounts that the current US administration has signaled a shift toward increased support for Taiwan’s government, a Taiwanese academic said Sunday that the self-governed island can no longer count on Washington for its defense. The former head of the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, Kung Chia-cheng, said at a conference on Sunday that the ... Read More »

EU and Japan say new trade deal is signal to the world that protectionism does not work

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European Commission said openness to trade and investment is ‘one of the best tools to… create more economic growth and jobs’ Caitlin Morrison Independent The EU and Japan have signed up to a “landmark” trade deal in a show of strength against protectionism among global economies. Japan is the EU’s second biggest trading partner after China and together the EU and Japan account for almost one third of global GDP. The deal was confirmed at a ceremonial signing in Tokyo on Tuesday, attended by ... Read More »

Chomsky on the Trump NATO Ruse

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Recently NPR featured retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges who was the commanding general of NATO’s Allied Land Command in 2014. Daniel Falcone CounterPunch He remarked how he “was disappointed to see President Trump bring a wrecking ball to Brussels” after “publicly [humiliating] our most important allies.” He went on to explain, and I believe correctly that Trump “either doesn’t understand the concept of an alliance and allies or he doesn’t care” with the latter being the most accurate. I set ... Read More »

Rights not “fortress conservation” key to save planet, says UN expert

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Special Rapporteur on indigenous peoples calls for a new, rights-based approach to conservation David Hill The Guardian The United Nations Special Rapporteur on indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, has released a report highly critical of the global conservation movement and calling for indigenous peoples and other local communities to have a… What exactly is meant by that? It is “the idea that to protect forests and biodiversity, ecosystems need to function in isolation, devoid of people,” the Rapporteur told the Guardian. ... Read More »

Europe’s dependence on the US was all part of the plan

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 21:  The voting results are displayed on the floor of the United Nations General Assembly in which the United States declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital was declared "null and void" on December 21, 2017 in New York City. The vote, 128-9, at the United Nations concerned Washington's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and relocate its embassy there. The Trump administration has threatened to take action against any country that votes against the United States decision to move its embassy.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Postwar US statesmen designed our world order as it is for a reason. They had lived through what happened without it. Claire Berlinski Politico As feared, the president of the United States arrived at last week’s NATO summit in a mood of preposterous spleen, profound contempt and shocking rudeness. He insisted on sharing before the cameras imaginary facts that hadn’t a thing to do with the summit agenda, and he refused to listen to anyone who tried, however gently, to ... Read More »

‘Shameful,’ ‘treasonous,’ ‘disgraceful’: Trump slammed from all sides for news conference with Putin

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Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Trump had “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.” Dartunorro Clark nbc news President Donald Trump was swiftly rebuked by lawmakers, TV anchors and pundits across the political spectrum Monday after his joint news conference in Finland with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who has criticized the president’s posture toward Russia in the past, called it “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in … ... Read More »

Immigration decline costing UK economy billions, says think thank

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Meeting government targets on immigration means £12bn hit to public finances, say Global Futures Peter Stubley Independent The fall in immigration since Brexit is already costing the UK more than £1bn a year, according to new analysis by an independent think tank. Global Future, which promotes the benefits of openness, calculates that the loss to the public finances is the equivalent of more than 23,000 nurses or 18,000 doctors. It also claims that meeting the government’s immigration target of “tens of thousands” will also cost Britain ... Read More »

Dani Garavelli: May’s trial by Trump almost excites sympathy

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You might have thought (hoped) Theresa May’s last joint press conference with Donald Trump in Washington, in January 2017, when the US President dished out put-down after put-down, would have marked the nadir in British-American relations; that things, as… The Scotsman But contemporary western politics is a bottomless hole; every time you convince yourself our representatives can go no lower, they slip further into the mire. And so, on Friday, just hours after Trump and May had broken bread together ... Read More »

Mueller’s stark choice for Trump: take on Putin or be branded a coward

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New York: Robert Mueller has snookered Donald Trump spectacularly. A mere three days before Trump was scheduled to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, the special counsel has provided the public with the most comprehensive official account of how the Russians conspired to hack the 2016 election. Matthew Knott The Canberra Times The indictment issued against 12 Russian intelligence officers on Friday, local time, offers Trump a simple choice for the Helsinki summit: to aggressively rebuke Putin – both in rhetoric and policy ... Read More »

Would America fight in northern Europe? A question for NATO

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If fighting breaks out between Russia and its neighbors, the Baltic States are one of the likeliest battlegrounds. Various factors make this a tricky scenario for the NATO alliance Stephen Bryen Asia Times Last year, writing for an Italian think tank where I am a senior fellow, Il Nodo di Gordo, I asked the question, Will NATO Fight? And for What?) But today, perhaps the right question is not to ask whether NATO will fight, but whether America will fight for NATO. That ... Read More »

British report about Balkans: Russians, Chinese, Turks…

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Outside actors such as Russia, China and Turkey have filled a void created by EU neglect of the Western Balkans over the past decade. Source: B92 This is stated in the UK parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee report, which adds that many of the witnesses it heard “suggested that, by contrast, Russian influence in the region is weak, not least because its economic presence is limited.” “Despite this, Russia is capable of exploiting the region’s problems and undermining its progress towards peace, ... Read More »

Russia, America and NATO: Where Are They Headed?

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Already President Trump’s visit to Brussels for a NATO summit and the United Kingdom is engendering considerable controversy, with a further summit meeting on Monday with Russian leader Vladimir… Dave Majumdar The National Interest How successful is Trump’s course? Does NATO remain a vital component of American national security strategy? Or is it being downgraded by Trump? To examine such pressing questions, the Center for the National Interest convened a panel of foreign policy experts speaking at a lunchtime panel ... Read More »

UN Security Council imposes arms embargo on South Sudan

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South Sudan has been at war since 2013, when President Salva Kiir accused then-deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup. AlJazeera The United Nations Security Council has imposed an arms embargo on South Sudan, almost five years after a ruinous civil war in the country started. A United States-drafted resolution won the minimum nine votes needed, while six member states abstained, wary of voting for the measure amid regional attempts to revitalise the South Sudan peace… US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said ... Read More »

EU Not Ending Greek Crisis, They End Greece

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With great fanfare at the end of June, the 19 EU Eurozone finance ministers announced the end to the eight-year-long Greek debt crisis that brought the entire Euro structure into its deepest crisis to date. F. William Engdahl NEO The exercise is a deep deception. The EU ministers refused to write off any Greek state debt. Instead they did a destructive interest capitalization of the existing debt, similar to what Washington did to Latin America in the 1980’s. What in ... Read More »

Trump says immigration has been bad for Europe – May DISAGREES

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THERESA May has refused to back Donald Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric at their fraught press conference after talks at Chequers. Simon Osborne Express The US President said immigration was a “very negative” thing for Europe and agreed when asked if it had damaged the cultural fabric of the continent. Mr Trump told the press conference the migrant crisis had been “tough for Europe”. He said: “I think it has been very bad for Europe. I think that what has happened is ... Read More »

East Timor bugging: Politicians call for AFP to investigate Australian spies’ role in 2004 operation

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Intelligence whistleblower turned independent MP Andrew Wilkie has called on the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to launch an investigation into the role the nation’s intelligence services played in the… By political reporter Matthew Doran ABC The 2004 incident led to a souring of the relationship between Canberra and East Timor, as the two nations were negotiating a deal on accessing offshore oil deposits at the time. Last month, Mr Wilkie used parliamentary privilege to reveal the Commonwealth Director of Public ... Read More »