Features

Will the Putin-Xi era supersede the Western liberal (dis)order?

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Perhaps a Confucian path would be the right direction toward Eurasian integration Pepe Escobar Asia Times The Chinese constitutional amendment allowing Xi Jinping the possibility of further presidential terms — staying in power long enough to bring “national rejuvenation” combined with the Russian election re-confirming Vladimir Putin in the presidency have assured consistency and continuity for the Russia-China strategic partnership way into the… This will facilitate the interaction between the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and… Will the Putin… Read More »

Nicola Sturgeon: Scots government have ‘no power’ to stop Catalan arrest

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Nicola Sturgeon has said she cannot intervene to stop the arrest of a Catalan leader in Scotland who is now subject of a European Arrest warrant. The Scotsman Police Scotland are seeking to arrest Clara Ponsati, who was the education minister in the Catalan government, after she returned to work at St Andrews University. It follows a European Arrest warrant being issued against her last week. The exiled Catalan President Carles Puigdemont has already been arrested in Germany as the ... Read More »

Turkey still in talks to buy US Patriot missiles

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Turkish foreign undersecretary also set to visit Washington, perhaps next week, as part of bilateral working groups. Al Jazeera Turkey has said that it is continuing talks with the US over buying Patriot missile systems, while trying to iron out a number of issues between the two NATO allies. “I can say that our discussions with the US regarding Patriot missile system are continuing,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy told a news conference in the capital Ankara, while discussing NATO-integrated defence ... Read More »

Why I’m taking the fight for teenage girls worldwide to Canberra today

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Today, I will walk into Parliament House on a mission. I want to change the lives of half a billion teenage girls and young women like me. Courtney Green Brisbane Times Australia’s foreign policy and aid budgets are lacking any representation or commitment to girls and so it’s only fitting that it’s a girl who changes that. I am no stranger to overcoming the challenges that are presented to me because of my gender. I use my activism to close ... Read More »

Saudi Arabia opens airspace to Israel for first time ever for Air India flight bound for Tel Aviv

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‘You know, they said the Saudis wouldn’t let any flight pass. So here, the Saudis are permitting it. It is a process, I think’ Alexander Cornwell and Ari Rabinovitch The Independent Saudi Arabia opened its airspace for the first time to a commercial flight to Israel with the inauguration of an Air India route between New Delhi and Tel Aviv. Flight 139 landed at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport after a seven-and-a-half hour journey, marking a diplomatic shift for Riyadh that Israel says was fuelled by shared concern over Iranian influence in ... Read More »

Taking Offense at the Opera

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‘Turandot’ is musically irresistible, but can it survive today’s cultural sensitivities? Nicholas M. Gallagher The Weekly Standard When French president (then-candidate) Emmanuel Macron waxed lyrical about his passion for the composer Gioachino Rossini in spring 2017, the transatlantic chattering classes gushed in admiration (and… But when British foreign minister Boris Johnson was caught on a hot mic a few months later quoting Rudyard Kipling’s imperial-era poem “Mandalay” on a trip to Myanmar, the reaction was swift, sharp, and negative. Not ... Read More »

Yazidi Massacre in Afrin: Children Killed, Villages Bombed, Temples Destroyed

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Yazidis, a historically persecuted non-Muslim people in the Middle East, are yet again fleeing for their lives — this time from Turkey-backed jihadists invading Afrin in northern Syria. Uzay Tulut The Christian Post Murad Ismael, executive director of Yazda, a relief organization for Yazidi victims of genocide, has alerted the world to the deadly threat posed by Turkish airstrikes many times on his social media accounts and… “We are evaluating what to do when the [whole] city falls, including an option to ask ... Read More »

Will Putin follow in Brezhnev’s footsteps?

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What should Russia and the world expect in the next six years? Mariya Petkova Al Jazeera On Friday, Russia‘s Central Electoral Commission released the final results of this week’s presidential elections, makingVladimir Putin‘s landslide victory official. The Russian president, who won 76.69 percent of the vote, will be inaugurated for a fourth term in May. “In the coming six years, will we see a new Putin or an old one?” Kremlin correspondent Andrei Kolesnikov askedthe president at the… Will Putin follow… Read More »

Scotland’s potential will only be realised after independence says Nicola Sturgeon

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that the SNP is using every power at its disposal to deliver for the people of Scotland and that the full potential of Scotland can only be seen when the nation is independent. Angus Howarth The Scotsman In a speech to the SNP National Council in Glasgow, the First Minister said that a clear contrast had opened up in competing visions for Scotland’s future – and said that the SNP had a ‘renewed mission’ ... Read More »

Time for change: Anne Enright on Ireland’s abortion referendum

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In the coming weeks, voters in Ireland will have the chance to repeal the eighth amendment, which recognises the equal rights to life of a foetus and the mother during pregnancy. We must send a message to the world, the author declares Anne Enright The Guardian Recently I spoke to a reasonable, sane Irish woman who said that she was against abortion and because she was so reasonable and sane, I was curious what she meant by that. Was she ... Read More »

US hostility means Iran must boost China, Russia ties: official

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Growing hostility from US President Donald Trump means Iran must strengthen its ties with Russia and China, a top official said on Saturday. Al-Monitor AFP “The use of radical elements hostile to the Islamic Republic shows that the Americans are trying to increase the pressure against Iran,” said Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the Iranian parliament’s foreign affairs committee. His comments, carried by the semi-official ISNA news agency, were the first reaction by a senior Iranian official to Trump’s appointment of ... Read More »

March For Our Lives: Hundreds of thousands of people protest against US gun laws in rallies around the world

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The demonstration of global solidarity comes after 17 children were massacred at a school shooting in Florida – and the UK is taking part too Ian Simpson & Jamie Bullen Mirror Student survivors of the Florida school massacre are among the half a million people expected to march through Washington DC calling for tighter gun laws. Across the USA alone, 800 separate marches are taking place where hundreds of thousands more are expected to take part, according to organisers. Protests ... Read More »

Hitman threats and high-quality drugs: Journalist reveals dark web investigation

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Investigative journalist Eileen Ormsby has spent the past five years wading through the deep, dark depths of the internet’s “evil twin”. Amy Mitchell-Whittington Brisbane Times The 48-year-old has chatted to hackers and was the target of a hitman and will later this month share her experiences in Brisbane at the launch of her latest book The Darkest Web. She said the idea of exploring the dark web came to her after researching Silk Road, an online black market platform used to ... Read More »

What if we have got it wrong on Alzheimer’s?

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Science is about getting it wrong, until you get it right. What if we’re refusing to admit we’re wrong about a horrifying disease? Liam Mannix The Sydney Morning Herald “The hard but just rule is that if the ideas don’t work, you must throw them away,” wrote astronomer Carl Sagan. But when your career and everything you’ve ever worked for is on the line, admitting you might be wrong is very hard to do. Despite decades and billions of dollars ... Read More »

Interview Best teacher in the world Andria Zafirakou: ‘Build trust with your kids – then everything else can happen’

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After the London art teacher won her $1m prize, she was showered with praise by Theresa May and the education secretary – but she is exactly the kind of teacher this government actively discourages Decca Aitkenhead The Guardian Andria Zafirakou has been functioning on three hours’ sleep a night for weeks, but looks radiant. “It’s adrenaline, it’s excitement, it’s everything.” Nominated by current and former colleagues for the Varkey Foundation’s annual Global Teacher prize, dubbed the Nobel for teaching, last month ... Read More »

The people owned the web, tech giants stole it. This is how we take it back

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Social media gave the powerless a weapon but it was wrenched away by firms such as Facebook and Cambridge Analytica I blame the T-shirts. Jonathan Freedland The Guardian The casual wear favoured by those founding wunderkinds of tech – Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Sergey Brin, Larry Page and the rest – lulled us into a false sense of security. Even after they’d begun making serious money, too many of us took the aversion to a collar and tie to mean the likes ... Read More »