Features

Ukraine to file more suits against Russia in The Hague – MFA

In February 2018, Ukraine will submit to the International Court of Justice a memorandum, which is now being finalized, on Russia’s violation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, according to Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Olena Zerkal. UNIAN According to Ms Zerkal, the memo will be submitted within two months, and then the Russians will have another three months to file objections to the jurisdiction (until May 2018). According to the procedure, Ukraine will then have three ... Read More »

Learning by giving: How today’s students can become tomorrow’s philanthropists

If someone asked you to picture a philanthropist, chances are a billionaire like Bill Gates or John D. Rockefeller Sr. would come to mind. Jodi Benenson David Campbell Lindsey M. McDougle The Conversation But not all philanthropists are billionaires, or even millionaires for that matter. People who make modest gifts of time or money can make a big difference in their communities. We are professors who teach and do research about philanthropy, the practice of expressing generosity by giving away ... Read More »

A New Space Race?

After a long time, the issue of outer space affairs is assuming a central position in the discourse of both national and international security Martand Jha The National Interest On December 11, Donald Trump signed a new space policy directive which instructs NASA to focus on sending humans to the moon. The last time the United States sent its astronauts to the moon was way back in December 1972 during the Apollo 17 mission. After a gap of forty-five years, ... Read More »

Number of Russians who regret collapse of USSR hits 10-year high

The number of Russians who regret the collapse of the Soviet Union has reached its highest level since 2009, with almost an equal share saying the event could have been avoided. RT A public opinion poll conducted by the independent Levada Center in late November this year found that 58 percent of Russians now regret the collapse of the USSR. Twenty-five percent said they felt no regret about this, while 16 percent could not describe their feelings in one word. ... Read More »

How Hariri fell and survived: The story of his resignation from Saudi Arabia

Beirut: Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was summoned at 8.30am to the Saudi royal offices – unseemly early, by the kingdom’s standards – on the second day of a visit that was already far from what he had expected. Anne Barnard and Maria Abi-Habib Brisbane Times New York Times Hariri, long an ally of the Saudis, dressed that morning in jeans and a T-shirt, thinking he was going camping in the desert with the crown prince, Mohammed bin… But instead he ... Read More »

Sigmar Gabriel: Post-Brexit Britain can be model for Turkey and Ukraine

The German foreign minister says: ‘We have to think about alternative forms of closer cooperation’ if full EU membership isn’t an option. By SAIM SAEED Politico The U.K.’s eventual Brexit deal could serve as a model for EU relations with Turkey and Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said in an interview published Tuesday. Speaking to the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Gabriel said: “If we can get a smart deal with Britain that governs relations with Europe after Brexit, it could be ... Read More »

China: Islands ‘reasonably’ expanded

CHINA admitted expanding its islands in the disputed South China Sea, with continued construction in the challenged islands covering about 290,000 square meters or 29 hectares this year alone, state paper People’s Daily reported Monday. John Paolo Bencito and Sara Susanne Fabunan Manila Standard The report, which detailed Beijing’s “accelerated construction” and “enhanced military presence” on South China Sea islands and shoals over the past year, includes new facilities for underground storage, administrative buildings and large radar, which they claim ... Read More »

Iran gradually moving toward resumed military ties with Europe

Following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran’s relations with Europe mostly remained intact at the economic and at times political level. Saeid Jafari AlMonitor But in terms of military cooperation, there were almost no ties whatsoever. However, the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2015 created an environment that encouraged Tehran to also push for military cooperation with its European counterparts. Looking back, there have been very few instances in history when the two sides have actually ... Read More »

China would ‘pay a very high price’ if it invades, Taiwan warns

Mainland affairs minister says Taipei it is cautious and won’t provoke an attack – but it can defend itself; Chang Hsiao-Yueh says also called on the US not to use the self-governed island as a bargaining chip in negotiations with Beijing DANIEL HURST Asia Times A senior Taiwanese minister has declared that China would “pay a very very high price” if it invaded Taiwan. Chang Hsiao-Yueh, Taiwan’s mainland affairs minister, also called on the United States not to use the ... Read More »

Canada expels Venezuela diplomat in tit-for-tat move

Canada has announced it is expelling Venezuela’s ambassador to Ottawa, Wilmer Barrientos Fernández, and its charge d’affaires, Ángel Herrera. BBC Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said the move was in retaliation for the expulsion of its most senior diplomat from Caracas over the weekend Venezuela had accused Canada of meddling in its internal affairs. Canada has criticised the government of President Nicolás Maduro over its human rights record. More than 120 people were killed during months of… Canada expels Venezuela… Read More »

How China’s first emperor searched for elixir of life

China’s first emperor launched an obsessive search for the elixir of life before dying aged 49 in 210 BCE, new archaeological research has revealed. BBC Qin Shi Huang, who created the world-famous terracotta army, ordered a nationwide hunt for the mythical potion. The quest is mentioned in 2000-year-old texts written on thousands of wooden slats – used in China before paper. They were found in 2002 at the bottom of a well in central Hunan province. The writings contain an ... Read More »

Who has been driving the crypto boom? Individuals in Asia

Despite a backlash from some regional governments, Asian retail traders continue to drive demand MARTIN J. YOUNG Asia Times There is no doubt that 2017 has been the figurative Big Bang for digital currency markets. Until last Friday’s selling frenzy, Bitcoin had made a meteoric rise of 1,800% since the beginning of the year. It tumbled last week below US$12,000 to put it on track for its worst week since 2013. Other cryptocurrencies, such as Riot Blockchain and Overstock.com, also struggled. But even with ... Read More »

Ten Tips for Israel when Negotiating with Saudi Arabia and the Arab World

When negotiating with the Saudis and their friends, Israel’s number one rule should be to make clear that it will not pay anything for peace. By Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Mordechai Kedar BESA If the Saudis want to live in peace with Israel, it will extend its hand to offer them peace in return. But that is all they will get. There is no other kind of peace agreement. If they do not want peace on those terms, then there ... Read More »

Sri Lanka the latest victim of China’s debt-trap diplomacy

Beijing has been given a 99-year lease on Hambantota port as part of a debt-reduction deal, amid talk of creditor imperialism following China’s buy-up of strategic ports in Piraeus, Darwin and Djibouti. BRAHMA CHELLANEY Asia Times This month, Sri Lanka, unable to pay the onerous debt to China it has accumulated, formally handed over its strategically located Hambantota port to the Asian giant. It was a major acquisition for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – which President Xi Jinping ... Read More »

Neutron star merger left behind a black hole, study says

A collapse of two neutron stars, which made headlines this year as the first-ever observation of gravitational waves confirmed by other signals, left behind a black hole, further study has revealed. RT The GW170817 event reported by scientists of LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) earlier this year is considered one of this year’s most significant events in astronomy. The gravitational waves detected by LIGO stations coincided with electromagnetic radiation of a wide spectrum, which confirmed that the event causing the ... Read More »

Israel has transferred Ahed Tamimi to three different detention facilities in the last five days even though she has not yet been charged with a crime

The recent arrest of 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi by Israeli soldiers from her family home in the West Bank town of Nabi Saleh has sparked protest around the world and refocused light on Israel’s unjust treatment of Palestinian children Jesse Rubin  Mondoweiss In the five days since her arrest, Israeli authorities have attempted to coerce confession from Ahed, a minor, without access to a lawyer or a parent (her mother Nariman was herself arrested when she arrived to accompany her daughter ... Read More »