Lords of Navigation: Grotius, Freitas, and the South China Sea

The debate over maritime jurisdiction is an old one.. The ornate Tower of Belém, with its faded ivory parapets, still stands proudly above the Tagus River, a monument to a distant era. Built in 1502 to commemorate Vasco da Gama’s expedition to the East Indies, the fortress was the final gateway navigators would pass before entering the sea beyond. Further afield, along the shorelines of Africa and Asia, Portuguese explorers erected stone pillars, padrões, as reminders of home and… Source: ... Read More »

Vote Leave embroiled in race row over Turkey security threat claims

Brexit group ‘appealing to prejudice’ with argument that Turkey’s accession to EU would put Britons at greater risk of crime.. The official campaign to leave the EU fronted by Michael Gove has been accused of “stoking the fires of prejudice” after it claimed that continued membership would put Britons in danger as a result of a high level of criminality among Turkish citizens… Source: Vote Leave embroiled in race row over Turkey security threat claims | Politics | The Guardian Read More »

Tatars remain resolute in Kremlin-controlled Crimea

Over two years have passed since Russia annexed Crimea. Tatars are feeling increasingly insecure in their homeland on the Black Sea peninsula. Juri Rescheto reports from Simferopol. Up until about a year ago, Zera Emir-Suin was one of the most well-known television journalists on the Crimean Peninsula. With her sly smile and sharp tongue, she is known as one who fights for what is right. Her fellow Crimean Tatars would call her up and ask for help. And many of ... Read More »

Russia Has Not Seen Such Amassing of Hostile Military Forces on Its Borders since 1941

Russia has not seen such a major military buildup close to its borders since 1941 when the Third Reich sent the Wehrmacht to conquer the Soviet Union, Professor Stephen F. Cohen said in his recent interview on The John Batchelor Show, referring to NATO’s increasingly assertive strategy in Eastern Europe and the Baltics. “We have been watching for nearly a month a steady buildup of American and NATO forces along near Russia’s borders – on land, on sea and in the air,” he said. “There has been ... Read More »

What China Knows about Africa That the West Doesn’t

Europe has always misunderstood what Africans want.. “Take up the White Man’s burden, Send forth the best ye breed Go bind your sons to exile, to serve your captives’ need;” —Rudyard Kipling Throughout the last five centuries, Africa has existed in the Western imagination between two polarized extremes. One is the Africa that exists as treasure trove of spoils, a source of slaves to take as free labor, and a vast land full of natural riches for the taking. The ... Read More »

WTF is TTIP? The EU-US trade deal explained

Proponents of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership say it will boost economies – Ireland’s in particular. So why are people so suspicious of it? It was June 2013 and Ireland was nearing the end of its six-month presidency of the European Union. At a meeting in Luxembourg, the then minister for trade Richard Bruton hailed an historic agreement. After months of behind-the-scenes negotiations, led mostly by… Source: WTF is TTIP? The EU-US trade deal explained Read More »

Tsai Ing-wen: The woman in China’s sights

Beijing: She is soft-spoken, attentive, balanced and loves cats. She is also the most powerful woman in the Chinese-speaking world and she has drawn a line in the sand with Beijing on her very first day on the job. After being swept to a landslide election victory in January by a Taiwan public deeply disillusioned with the mainland-friendly Kuomintang government, Tsai Ing-wen was sworn in on Friday and promptly skirted around directly acknowledging the so-called “one-China policy” in her inaugural ... Read More »

When Donald Met Henry

In the 2016 election, it turns out, all roads lead to Kissinger. By Greg Grandin I’m starting to feel a little bit like Jeffrey Tambor, who in this 1981 scene tells Barney Miller that it all leads back to Henry Kissinger and the Trilateral Commission. “The whole master plan is exposed… Source: When Donald Met Henry | The Nation Read More »

Russia Remains Determined To Stop Israel-Turkey Pipeline Deal

It has been six years since the Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara ship that was aiming to reach the Gaza coast in May 2010. In the wake of the Mavi Marmara crisis, Turkey and Israel relations rapidly worsened; both countries withdrew their ambassadors and cut diplomatic ties. Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet along the Syrian border on November 24, 2015 has forced Ankara to adjust its foreign policy… Source: Russia Remains Determined To Stop Israel-Turkey Pipeline Deal | ... Read More »

China reclaims, weaponizes 3,200 acres in S China Sea: Pentagon

(From AP) China has reclaimed more than 3,200 acres of land in the southeastern South China Sea. But the country’s focus has shifted to developing and weaponizing those man-made islands so it will have greater control over the maritime region without resorting to armed conflict, according to a new Pentagon report. In its most detailed assessment to date of China’s island-building program, the Defense Department said three of the land features in the Spratly Islands… Source: China reclaims, weaponizes 3,200 ... Read More »

This Man Will Make You Question Everything You Know About The Refugee Crisis

‘We’ve forgotten that this happened before’.. Journalists and politicians are wilfully ignoring the facts about Muslims and migrants, a senior figure in the UN has claimed, leading to a complete misrepresentation of the refugee crisis engulfing Europe. Michael Møller, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, argues… Source: This Man Will Make You Question Everything You Know About The Refugee Crisis Read More »

Could Different Borders Have Saved the Middle East?

THERE probably aren’t many things that the Islamic State, Jon Stewart and the president of Iraqi Kurdistan agree on, but there is one: the pernicious influence of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, a secret plan for dividing up the Middle East signed by France and Britain, 100 years ago this week. It has become conventional wisdom to argue, as Vice President… Source: Could Different Borders Have Saved the Middle East? – The New York Times Read More »

UN Condemns Persistent Torture in Turkey, Saudi Arabia

GENEVA—A U.N. committee that monitors implementation of the Convention against Torture has condemned what it calls the ongoing practice of torture and ill-treatment in Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The committee just issued its concluding observations on these and other countries. In its examination of Turkey, the U.N. Committee Against Torture did not find torture to be widespread or systematic. Nevertheless, it noted torture continues to be practiced… Source: UN Condemns Persistent Torture in Turkey, Saudi Arabia Read More »

Nigerian President Buhari ‘not demanding’ Cameron apology

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari says he wants the return of stolen assets, not an apology, after UK PM calls his country “fantastically corrupt”. Speaking at an anti-corruption event in London, Mr Buhari said he was more interested in the return of stolen assets held in British banks. Mr Cameron made the unguarded comments in a conversation with the Queen… Source: Nigerian President Buhari ‘not demanding’ Cameron apology – BBC News Read More »

How East Timor’s democracy is making it an outcast

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Five years since submitting its formal membership application to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the small Pacific country of East Timor is more determined than ever to join. It should be simple. According to ASEAN’s 1967 Bangkok Declaration, the main condition for joining the economic and political alliance is that the applicant country must be geographically located in Southeast Asia. But the 2007 ASEAN Charter introduced new… Source: How East Timor’s democracy is making it an outcast – ... Read More »

The Obama Administration Just Granted Henry Kissinger a Distinguished Public Service Award

An outsized personality who has committed outsized mayhem, Kissinger eclipses his own context. By Greg Grandin Kissinger, again. Yesterday Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter honored Henry A. Kissinger at the Pentagon by presenting the former secretary of state with the Distinguished Public Service Award, apparently the highest… Source: The Obama Administration Just Granted Henry Kissinger a Distinguished Public Service Award | The Nation Read More »