Global Issues

‘Vaccine’ created for huge cyber-attack

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Security researchers have discovered a “vaccine” for the huge cyber-attack that hit organisations across the world on Tuesday. Dave Lee BBC The creation of a single file can stop the attack from infecting a machine. However, researchers have not been able to find a so-called kill switch that would prevent the crippling ransomware from spreading to other vulnerable… Experts are still unsure about the attack’s origins or its real… ‘Vaccine’ created for… Read More »

Whither Japan’s Democracy?

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To some observers, retired civil servant Hiroji Yamashiro, 65, has become a symbol of modern Japan’s uneasy  attitude towards dissent Daniel Hurst Asia Times To some observers, protester Hiroji Yamashiro, 65, has become a symbol of modern Japan’s uneasy attitude towards dissent. The retired civil servant, a long-standing campaigner against the US military presence in the southern prefecture of Okinawa, was detained for five months from… Whither Japan’s… Read More »

Colombia’s Farc officially ceases to be an armed group

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Colombia’s Farc rebel group has formally ended its existence as an armed group, putting an end to half a century of violent conflict. BBC In a ceremony which ended the disarmament process, President Juan Manuel Santos said the “peace was real and irreversible”. The former guerrillas will now work on forming a political party. “Farewell to war. Farewell to arms, welcome to peace!” said Farc leader Rodrigo Londoño, known as… Colombia’s Farc officially… Read More »

The emerging Turkish-Iranian alliance

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Iran and Turkey, the two non-Arab Middle Eastern states, are among the largest and most populous in the… Manish Rai, Geopolitical Analyst  Asia Times The former occupies a strategic location on the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, while the latter controls the Bosporus Strait, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles, which links the… The two nations descend from the most ancient civilizations in the world and have strong national… Turkey and Iran have been mirror images of ... Read More »

Paris Gourtsoyannis: Offer on citizens will leave EU cold

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‘Generous’ plan on EU rights will be lost in translation, says Paris Gourtsoyannis Paris Gourtsoyannis The Scotsman On Sunday there was a reminder, if any was needed, of just how shallow the cultural understanding is between the two sides that began Brexit negotiations last week. Asked what he thought of his opposite number, Brexit Secretary David Davis offered this piercing insight on EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier: “He’s very… Paris Gourtsoyannis: Offer… Read More »

Foreign Secretary joins crucial Cyprus settlement talks in Switzerland offering full UK support

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The Foreign Secretary will fly to Switzerland later today to support the UN facilitated talks aimed at reaching a settlement to the long running Cyprus issue. Foreign & Commonwealth Office and The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP The Conference on Cyprus will reconvene in the Swiss resort of Crans Montana with the participation of the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, and representatives of the Guarantor Powers (Greece, Turkey and UK). The Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson’s attendance demonstrates ... Read More »

The ‘Conference on Cyprus’ at Crans Montana, Switzerland, 28 June 2017:

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An Open Letter to the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary of the United Kingdom For the immediate attention of the Right Honourable Boris Johnson MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, HM Government, Whitehall, London and copied to H.E. Matthew Kidd, High Commissioner of the United Kingdom, British High Commission, Alexander Pallis Street, Nicosia OPEN LETTER By email to: fcocorrespondence@fco.gov.uk  Copied to: UKinCyprus@fco.gov.uk 27 June 2017 Dear Mr Johnson Re: The ‘Conference on Cyprus’ at Crans ... Read More »

Dear Andrea Leadsom, shrinking the state is the opposite of patriotism

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The leader of the House of Commons accuses broadcasters of not being patriotic – yet the Tories have betrayed the nation through cuts to our most valued services and institutions Polly Toynbee The Guardian Patriotic? Who? Not the Tory Brexiteers who have brought this country so alarmingly low. While EU politics are rebooted with new Franco-German confidence, our government is only saved by the Democratic Unionist party. Ignominy doesn’t get much more mortifying than… Dear Andrea Leadsom… Read More »

World food security risks growing, Chatham House says

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The world’s food security is increasingly reliant on 14 “chokepoints” for trade, a think-tank report has warned. BBC UK-based Chatham House says more needs to be done to protect key transport routes such as the Panama Canal, the Suez Canal and the Turkish… Almost 25% of the world’s food is traded on international markets. This, the report says, makes food supply and prices vulnerable to unforeseen crises or climate… World food security… Read More »

“We won’t accept just any solution on Cyprus”

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On the eve of the Conference on Cyprus, we feel compelled to express our views on the Cyprus negotiations on behalf of the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations (FCAO), the American Hellenic Institute (AHI), the American Hellenic Council (AHC), the Hellenic Federation of New Jersey, and the Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH). Our community has worked with successive U.S. Administrations on behalf of a workable and ... Read More »

China releases Nobel laureate Liu with terminal cancer

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China’s jailed Nobel peace prize laureate Liu Xiaobo has been granted medical parole after being diagnosed with terminal liver cancer last month, his lawyer told AFP on June… Hurriyet Liu, who had about three years of his 11-year sentence to serve, was diagnosed on May 23 and was released days later, said lawyer Mo… The 61-year-old democracy campaigner was being treated at a hospital in the northeastern city of Shenyang. “He has no special… China releases Nobel… Read More »

Charlie Flanagan: We cannot let respect for judiciary erode

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Populism and political opportunism is a threat to one of the pillars of our Constitution Charlie Flanagan The Irish Times This week I will introduce the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill in the Dáil. It seeks to modernise the process for nominating judges and gives effect to a commitment in the programme for government. It is part of a broader process of modernisation and change that has taken place right across government and the Oireachtas in recent… The introduction of… Charlie ... Read More »

‘Democracies Die Behind Closed Doors’:

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The chilling parallels between the ‘Munich Conference’ and the ‘Conference on Cyprus’ According to the celebrated American judge, Damon J. Keith, ‘democracies die behind closed doors’.  (Source: Detroit Free Press v Ashcroft, 303 F. 3d 681, Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit, 2002.) Klearchos A. Kyriakides Published in Agora Dialogue on 26 June 2017 Judge Keith articulated his memorable dictum as a means of justifying the cherished principle of open justice. Nevertheless, his dictum is likewise capable of being applied in other ... Read More »

Goodbye Nonpartisan Journalism. And Good Riddance.

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Disinterested reporting is overrated We don’t yet know to what extent Donald Trump will succeed in remaking the United States, but his candidacy and presidency are already remaking American… Mitchell Stephens Politico It is not just that the ranting and raving on talk radio, on cable news, on websites, on Twitter have grown, if anything… What’s more significant is how the political world’s encounter with Trump is changing our most respected journalism organizations—including the New York Times, the… Goodbye Nonpartisan ... Read More »

Macron says France will not recognize Crimea ‘annexation’

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PARIS: President Emmanuel Macron said Monday France refuses to recognize Russia’s “annexation” of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. AFP Arab News Speaking after talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Paris, Macron said: “France is committed to Ukraine’s sovereignty with its recognized borders.” Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday visited Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014, in a trip that Kiev condemned as a… Macron says France… Read More »

A tougher language test would punish women like my mother, who have lost everything

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My mother studied Australian history and politics for months to pass the citizenship test. It was painful, to say the least Abdul Karim Hekmat The Guardian It’s easy for an English-speaking, white politician to legislate a language test for Australian citizenship that even someone born in Australia would find hard to pass. The biggest impact would be on migrants or refugees – my mother, for example. Khal Bibi Hekmat never… A tougher language… Read More »