Global Issues

The Phony War on ISIS

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Downing of Russian war plane shows what side NATO is on © – by Justin Raimondo The downing of a Russian warplane by the Turks raises several questions, which can all be rolled into one big one: In the war against ISIS, which side is Turkey – and NATO – on, anyway? Now let’s list the subordinate issues that cause us to question what’s really going on in Syria: How can the Turks claim they didn’t know it was ... Read More »

Say no to increasing force against detainees

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One of the most disturbing aspects of Border Force’s takeover of detention camps has been the militarisation and increased use of force against people seeking asylum. Women have been especially targeted by SERCO and Border Force. Eureka Street – Pamela Curr * Next week in the Senate, the Government is seeking even more powers to use against women, children and men in detention. Detention Examples of existing measures include the use of electronic scanners plus physical pat-downs on women before ... Read More »

Greens leader Richard di Natale to host global experts at drug reform summit

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It was the experience of an 18-year-old kid – drug-addled, broken and belatedly crying out for help – that helped inspire a future Greens leader to look for a new way ahead. WAtoday – Adam Morton, Senior Writer The teen was “shooting up almost every drug available” when he decided he wanted help, Richard Di Natale says. They found there was none. “Having him then not being able to get a bed – and then having him ending up in extensive care unit ... Read More »

Australia slams Japan’s whaling resumption

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Japan cannot unilaterally decide to start whaling in the Antarctic Ocean again against the advice of scientists, says Environment Minister Greg Hunt. Japan is set to ignore an International Court of Justice ruling that last year prompted Tokyo to cancel the bulk of its whaling for the 2014-15 season. The Japanese Fisheries Agency has notified the International Whaling Commission that it will resume whaling in the 2015-16 season under a revised plan. ‘Australia strongly opposes the decision by Japan to ... Read More »

Why did it take Turkey just 17 seconds to shoot down Russian jet?

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Ankara has delivered an incendiary message to Moscow, and while there may be too much at stake for the conflict to spill out of control it also won’t go away The Guardian – Mark Galeotti Even if Turkey is right that a Russian fighter jet strayed into its airspace, the plane was within Ankara’s borders for just 17 seconds before being attacked – and was making no hostile moves against the Turks. Airspace incursions, granted usually in less politically tense ... Read More »

Chile ‘medicinal’ pot-smoking mum denied access to baby

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A Chilean mother says a hospital is restricting her access to her newborn baby because she said she smoked marijuana. BBC Sindy Melany Ortiz said she smoked pot for medicinal reasons to alleviate pain in one of her arms. She says she is not being allowed to breast-feed her daughter and can only see her for two hours a day. Hospital officials in the southern city of Talcahuano said they were following protocol and the baby was at risk. “They ... Read More »

Why It’s Time For A Free Kurdistan

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Self-Determination It’s spread across several de facto “states,” but Kurdish nationalism has become a reality as the rest of the Middle East crumbles. The Daily Beast – Written by Aliza Marcus  and Andrew Apostolou * It’s time to stop debating whether or not the Kurds deserve an independent state. There are around 40 million Kurds across Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria—the largest ethnic group without self-determination. Kurds have long sought independence, but the states in which they live have always ... Read More »

An open letter to Barack Obama

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Mr. Obama, I am writing this letter as a journalist leading a life in exile in the United States of America. I face life imprisonment in connection with four articles I wrote. These articles essentially drew attention to the fact that Turkey should refrain from posing for the same photo with terrorist organizations. I noted that I was concerned about the articles that appeared in Western media outlets concerning al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), ... Read More »

Could U.S.-Russia Tensions Go Nuclear?

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Believe it or not, hair-trigger launch alerts are still with us—and perhaps even more dangerous than during the Cold War. Politico – By Bruce Blair * The Russian warplane recently shot down inside Turkey’s border with Syria fits a pattern of brinkmanship and inadvertence that is raising tensions and distrust between Russia and U.S.-led NATO. Low-level military encounters between Moscow and Washington are fanning escalatory sparks not witnessed since the Cold War. And there exists a small but steadily growing ... Read More »

Russia is already exacting its revenge on Turkey

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Just more than 24 hours after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane on after claiming the jet had violated Turkish airspace, Moscow is already exacting its revenge — albeit subtly. Business Insider – Natasha Bertrand “We’re not going to wage a war against Turkey. … But we will seriously reconsider our agreements with the Turkish government,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a press call on Wednesday, according to The Associated Press. “Our attitude to the Turkish people hasn’t ... Read More »

Turkish journalists charged with spying over weapons report

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Two prominent Turkish journalists have been charged with espionage after alleging that Turkey’s secret services sent arms to Islamist rebels in Syria. By Selin Girit BBC News, Istanbul Can Dundar, the editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet daily, and Erdem Gul, the paper’s Ankara bureau chief, face life imprisonment if found guilty. Their report and video footage attracted a political storm in Turkey and a lawsuit filed by the president. Turkey faces severe criticism over its press freedom record. The journalists, who deny ... Read More »

Fifth refugee secretly moved from Nauru to Cambodia under $55m deal

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The ethnic Rohingya man from Myanmar arrived in Phnom Penh last week under the resettlement arrangements, as Cambodian political divisions deepen The Guardian – Lauren Crothers in Phnom Penh and Ben Doherty A fifth refugee from Nauru has been secretly moved to Cambodia, arriving last week under Australia’s controversial $55m deal with the south-east Asian nation. The man, understood to be an ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar, arrived in Phnom Penh as always-fractious political tensions inside Cambodia escalated further, and the ... Read More »

A refugee, like me: why the Golden Rule matters in an era of mass migration

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As the refugee crisis worsens, various “destination” countries, including Australia, are engaging in internal debates around multiculturalism, integration and tolerance. People are worried about cultural cohesion, racial divides and religious differences. The Conversation Author: Rivka T. Witenberg, Honarary Research Fellow in Psychology , Australian Catholic University Disclosure statement: Rivka T. Witenberg receives funding from Large ARC SPIRT Grant; Department of Psychology Research Support Scheme, University of Melbourne and Australian Catholic University; Centre for Education for Human Values and Tolerance, Bar ... Read More »

Turkey’s Diplomatic Dogfight

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MADRID – Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane risks opening a new front in the violence engulfing Syria, thereby dashing the hopes for a rapprochement between Russia and the West that had arisen in the wake of the Paris massacre. With Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan now engaged in a war of words, and given the nightmare scenario of something far worse, it is more important than ever that the European Union do all that ... Read More »

Sweden slams shut its open-door policy towards refugees

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‘We simply can’t do any more,’ prime minister says in announcing Sweden’s asylum regime will revert to EU minimum The Guardian – David Crouch in Gothenburg Video – Sweden’s deputy prime minister cries while announcing refugee U-turn Sweden needs “respite” from the tens of thousands of refugees knocking at its door, the government has said, announcing tough measures to deter asylum seekers in a sharp reversal of its open-door policy towards people fleeing war and persecution. The country’s generous asylum ... Read More »

An Alarming New Escalation in the Syria War

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Turkish officials say their fighter jets shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border on Tuesday 24 November after warning it ten times in the space of five minutes that it was violating Turkish airspace. Moscow said that a SU-24 was downed but could prove the aircraft never left Syrian airspace, with President Vladimir Putin himself saying it was 1km inside Syria. ICG – By Crisis Group Drawing on the expertise of its analysts covering Syria, Turkey and Russia, ... Read More »