Features

Book Review: Lost Bastards, A Story of Honor, Courage and Redemption

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Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s the Korean Conflict was the most challenging aspect of American history to understand, even with a father who was a decorated veteran of that conflict. Tsarizm Father would not infrequently reminisce about his buddies with him there, yet was not detailed or talkative about battles or events he witnessed in other Korean locales. Now my dad is gone, yet a growing bond and understanding of his past are becoming tangible as I let ... Read More »

Brexit latest: EU starts mind games calling on nations and firms to prepare for NO DEAL

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BRUSSELS is urging EU member states, companies and organisations to ensure preparations for a “no-deal” Brexit are underway amid concerns Britain has made “no substantial progress” on the Irish border issue. Simon Osborne Express Draft conclusions for next week’s major EU summit warn contingency planning for a hard exit in March 2019 must be accelerated across the bloc. The document says: “The European Council renews its call upon member states and all stakeholders to step up their work on preparedness ... Read More »

Something is going on in the Eastern Mediterranean – Israel puts forward new round of concessions

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Israel decided to proceed to a second round of concessions, a total of 25 “pieces” within its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), at the end of 2018 or at the latest in early 2019, thus triggering a resurgence of international investment interest if the… Nefeli Tzanetakou ibna According to the top Israeli geologist Miki Gardosh, one of the Israeli Ministry of Energy officials, and the well-known Oil & Gas Journal website, the individual “pieces” will be grouped into 3 or 4 “plots” ... Read More »

‘You will be responsible’: a mother’s warning is unheeded on Nauru

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For months in the Australian-run detention centre she pleaded for her sons. The eldest, Fariborz Karami, killed himself last week Saba Vasefi and Ben Doherty The Guardian Two days before her son took his own life on Nauru, Fazileh Mansour Beigi’s final plea for help carried with it a warning too. For months inside the Australian-run regional processing centre, Mansour Beigi had begged for help for her sons, whom she had watched deteriorate over five years in immigration detention. To ... Read More »

Refugees’ lives have become weapons in a rugged political contest

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For the past five years, Australia has used the lives of 2,000 innocent refugees as a political game Behrouz Boochani The Guardian On 19 July 2013, Kevin Rudd, the then prime minister of the Labor government, announced the resumption of offshore processing. According to the policy, whoever came to Australia by boat would be exiled to Manus Island and Nauru. Together with 60 other people travelling on a leaky boat headed for Australia, I was lost on the ocean when the ... Read More »

Deaths in offshore detention: the faces of the people who have died in Australia’s care

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Twelve refugees and asylum seekers have died while in Australian immigration detention on Manus Island and Nauru. On World Refugee Day, Guardian Australia acknowledges those who have died and begins a project to record lives lost in offshore detention Ben Doherty, Nick Evershed and Andy Ball The Guardian… Read More »

Iran denies supporting Qandil operation, fueling Turkish resentment

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Iran’s refutation of official Turkish claims that it supports the military operation launched by Turkey against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Iraq’s Qandil region has stoked more resentment for Tehran in Ankara. Semih Idiz Al-Monitor In a statement issued last week, Iranian military spokesman Gen. Abulfazil Shekarchi also denied Turkish suggestions that Iran was considering mounting joint operations with Turkey against the PKK in Iraq. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a crowd of supporters during an election rally in the ... Read More »

How to heal African-Americans’ traumatic history

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Do you smell it? That foul odor that floats in the air, when something you thought was dead is unearthed. Authors: The Conversation That’s the smell of ole man Jim Crow crawling back into our daily lives. One of the most horrendous and abhorrent forms of Jim Crow violence – the racial caste system that operated between 1877 and the mid-1960s, primarily in Southern states – was the publicly sanctioned use of… These killings were perpetrated by those who enjoyed ... Read More »

After Eurydice, what should men do?

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I get off the train in the darkness, and see a woman. She is smaller than me. Most are. She strides with purpose – upright, head on a swivel – seemingly alone, with only her “situational awareness” for company. Konrad Marshall The Age She would have seen me, too. I’m the big stranger behind her, leaning into the wind, dressed all in black – boots, hat, coat, with a beard. She moves quickly, but in the same direction I’m headed. ... Read More »

Merkel and Macron Try to Save European Union, and Themselves

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BERLIN — It was supposed to be the day when President Emmanuel Macron of France received a long-awaited response from Germany on his big ideas on how to rekindle Europe as a force for liberalism in the world. By Katrin Bennhold and Steven Erlanger The New York Times And he did, sort of. But his meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany on Tuesday was overshadowed by the urgent issue of how to put out the growing number of populist ... Read More »

The politicisation of English language proficiency, not poor English itself, creates barriers

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The Australian government is considering yet another English language test for migrants. Ingrid Piller The Conversation The rationale for the proposal is the prospect “Australia will be home to one million people who do not speak English well or at all by 2021”, as Human Services Minister Alan Tudge claimed. In particular, he suggests today’s migrants are less likely to know English than their counterparts in previous generations. His concern is this development suggests a looming crisis of social fragmentation ... Read More »

Turkey resists Erdoğan on social media as snap election approaches

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Turkey will soon go to the polls for the fifth time in less than four years. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced them on the same day that parliament extended the national state of emergency for the seventh time since the… Rabia Karakaya Polat The Conversation Erdoğan brought these elections forward to June 24 for his own political ends: to pre-empt an expected economic downturn, to take his rivals by surprise, and to ride a surge of nationalism stirred up by ... Read More »

British Court Freezes Gazprom Assets For Payment To Ukraine

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The Commercial court in London today gave long-awaited orders to freeze assets of Gazprom in the UK for payment to Ukrainian gas company Naftogaz to settle a recent Stockholm Arbitration award. Tsarizm “Naftogaz today served Gazprom with an order to freeze assets in England and Wales. The order was issued by the Commercial Court in London on June 18, 2018 to enforce the Stockholm arbitration award, whereby Gazprom owes Naftogaz $2.6 bln. In addition to freezing assets, it requires Gazprom ... Read More »

The Country That Wasn’t Ready to Win the Lottery

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Guyana just discovered it owns enough oil to solve all its problems — and cause even bigger ones. BY MICAH MAIDENBERG, MANUELA ANDREONI FP GEORGETOWN, Guyana — Amid the narrow streets and rusty docks of Georgetown, the quiet capital of Guyana, the first signs of an oil boom are visible. Steel pipe destined for deep-water projects can be seen stacked on wharves near the city center. Over at the Marriott, the country’s only five-star hotel, the bar fills up throughout the day ... Read More »

How The NSA Can Use Blockchain To “Connect The Dots” Securely—With Smart Contracts

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Mass security breaches like the 2013 Snowden data dump could be prevented by putting classified documents on the blockchain. Salvatore Babones The National Interest When National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden walked off with 1.5 million classified documents in May 2013, he exposed the weakness of the U.S. government’s jerry-rigged security systems. Instead of iron-clad double-key encryption, the NSA relied on home remedies like regular password changes and the prohibition of thumb drives. When your home network has better security than ... Read More »

The sound of children crying for their parents at the border

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(CNN)“I don’t want them to stop my father,” a child whispers in Spanish. “I don’t want them to deport him.” Emanuella Grinberg and Jamiel Lynch, CNN So begins an excruciating audio clip of children howling for their parents after being separated from them at the US-Mexico border. The audio was published Monday by the investigative nonprofit ProPublica. It adds a visceral element to the coverage of a controversial Trump administration policy of taking undocumented immigrant children from their families and putting them in government ... Read More »