Global Issues

Philippines’ Duterte says will never visit ‘lousy’ United States

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte hit back on July 21 at U.S. lawmakers opposed to the prospect of his visiting the White House, saying he would never go to the United States, which he called a… MANILA – Reuters Hurriyet Duterte was responding to remarks by Massachusetts Congressman James McGovern, who told a hearing of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission that he… The commission, made up of members of the U.S. House of Representatives, convened on… Philippines’ Duterte says… Read More »

Eaten Fish receives Voltaire Empty Chair Award, Liberty Victoria

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Manus Island detainee and current CRNI Courage in Editorial Cartooning laureate Eaten Fish has received the Voltaire Empty Chair Award at Liberty Victoria‘s annual event celebrating free speech… Cartoonists Rights Eaten Fish’s staunchest allies, poet and human rights activist Janet Galbraith and cartoonist Andrew Marlton (aka First Dog on the Moon) attended on Eaten… Marlton read a message of goodwill and thanks from the young Iranian, still facing an uncertain future even as Australia’s facility in Papua New… Eaten Fish ... Read More »

China stands firm as pressure grows to release late Nobel laureate’s wife

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Liu Xia has been detained at home since Liu Xiaobo won the peace prize in 2010 Clifford Coonan in Beijing The Irish Times International pressure is growing to allow Liu Xia, the wife of the late Nobel Peace Prize-winner Liu Xiaobo, to leave the country if she wants to go abroad. She has been under house arrest for years. Diplomatic sources in Beijing say intensive discussions are under way with Chinese authorities to grant permission to allow Ms Xia, a ... Read More »

French military chief resigns after row with Macron

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France’s top military chief resigned on July 19 after a war of words with Emmanuel Macron over budget cuts that tested the new president’s… Hurriyet The row between Macron and General Pierre de Villiers erupted last week when the chief of staff told a parliamentary committee he would not allow the armed forces to be “screwed” by the government’s plans to slash 850… Macron, 39, slapped down the 60-year-old five-star general in front of army chiefs at their annual summer ... Read More »

Turkey’s PKK Conflict Kills almost 3,000 in Two Years

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20 July 2017 marks the two-year anniversary of a collapsed ceasefire that previously held for two-and-a-half-years between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Berkay Mandıracı ICG Crisis Group’s new analysis of open-source data reveals that the ongoing cycle of violence has now killed three times as many as the 2011-12 escalation. On 20 July 2015, an Islamic State (ISIS) suicide bomb attack killed 33 and injured more than 100 mostly pro-Kurdish young activists in… Turkey’s PKK Conflict… Read More »

Chinese Warships Enter Baltic Sea — For Drills With Russia

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As NATO exercises in the Black Sea Russia welcomes the Chinese navy A Chinese naval squadron has sailed into the Baltic Sea to join the Russian navy for annual two-nation drills. RI The Chinese squadron consists of a supply ship, missile frigate and a Type 052D destroyer. The latter is the most advanced guided missile destroyer in Chinese service which is highly significant: “By sending its most advanced guided-missile destroyers, China is expressing its sincerity to Russia and… Chinese Warships Enter… Read More »

India searches for way out of border standoff with China

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Despite hawkish commentary emanating from China recently, New Delhi is studiously playing down the tensions between the two Asian giants M.K. Bhadrakumar Asia Times The Indian Defense Ministry has contradicted reports of Chinese troop mobilization on the border. In a statement on Wednesday, the ministry said there had only been a general state of alert on the Chinese side and a routine annual military exercise was held near Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, in… India searches for… Read More »

Chomsky: Trump is a Distraction, Used by the Deep State to ‘Systematically Destroy’ America

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Smashing the two party paradigm Noam Chomsky called out deep state democrats and republicans alike for using Trump as a distraction to destroy America. Jay Syrmopoulos The Free Thought World-renowned intellectual giant and respected academic, MIT professor Noam Chomsky recently sat down for an interview called ‘A Continuing Conversation with Geographers’. In the interview, he clearly makes his thoughts known regarding the… Chomsky: Trump is… Read More »

North Korea drought: Children at risk in ‘worst crisis since 2001’

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North Korea is facing severe food shortages after being hit by its worst drought since 2001, a report from the United Nations says. BBC Crop production in the country has been hampered by a prolonged dry period and food imports are now urgently required to fill the gap, the UN has warned. The most vulnerable, such as children and the elderly, will be worst hit. In the 1990s, hundreds of thousands of North Koreans are believed to have died… North ... Read More »

A coup in the House of Saud?

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The secret is out: the ascension of Mohammad bin Salman, displacing CIA favorite Mohammad bin Nayef as Crown Prince, was in fact a white coup… Pepe Escobar  Asia Times What has been an open secret across the Arab world is not a secret anymore even in the US: What happened last month in the deep recesses of the House of Saud with the ascension of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, aka MBS, was in fact a white coup. Nearly a ... Read More »

Trumpcare Is Dead. “Single Payer Is the Only Real Answer,” Says Medicare Architect.

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Thanks to a pair of defections from more GOP senators late yesterday, the Republican plan to repeal and replace or simply repeal the Affordable Care Act is dead — for now. Zaid Jilani The Intercept But the health care status quo is far from popular, with 57 percent of Americans telling Gallup pollsters in March that they “personally worry” a “great deal” about health care costs. Many health care activists are now pushing to adopt what is called a “single… ... Read More »

Palestinian Activism Reawakens in Jerusalem after Holy Esplanade Attack

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A deadly attack on 14 July 2017 at Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade revealed the growing precariousness of the site’s Status Quo. Ofer Zalzberg ICG In this Q&A Ofer Zalzberg, Senior Analyst for Israel/Palestine, says the mobilisation of Palestinians to reverse Israeli security measures around the site could signal a revival of activism in East Jerusalem after years of decline. What do we know about the attack and how unusual was it? On Friday 14 July 2017, three Palestinian citizens of Israel attacked ... Read More »

Offshore detention cost taxpayers $5bn in four years – and asylum seekers remain in limbo

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Vigils to mark anniversary of Kevin Rudd’s banning of asylum seekers who arrive by boat from ever settling in… Ben Doherty  The Guardian Four years since the then prime minister, Kevin Rudd, announced that “any asylum seeker who arrives in Australia by boat will have no chance of being settled in Australia”, offshore detention has cost Australian taxpayers almost $5bn and the future of those held on… On 19 July 2013, Rudd announced all boat-borne asylum seekers would be subject ... Read More »

Montenegro to open coup plot trial

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Two pro-Russian opposition leaders in Montenegro and 12 other suspects will go on trial July 19 over their role in an alleged attempt to overthrow the… Hurriyet Montenegrin police arrested a group of Serbian nationals on the eve of a general election in October, accusing them of planning to storm parliament and target the then prime minister, pro… Authorities allege that “Russian state bodies” were involved in the conspiracy in a bid to prevent Montenegro from… Montenegro to open… Read More »

The Summer of Misreading Thucydides

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There’s a delicious irony in the Trump team’s affection for the historian—who repeatedly shows how populists lead societies to… Kori Schake The Atlantic This year is the 50th anniversary of the “Summer of Love,” those months in 1967 when a hundred thousand hippies convened in Haight… Flower children held a Human Be-In in Golden Gate Park, and Timothy Leary coined the phrase “turn on, tune in, drop… It was the heyday of the counterculture, now enjoying… The Summer of… Read More »

US calls for smaller deficits in new NAFTA talks

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The US government says trade deficits and market access will top the agenda as it renegotiated trade terms with Mexico and Canada. BBC US President Donald Trump has described the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as a “disaster” and ordered fresh talks earlier this year. The objectives have been released in advance of the start of meetings with Canada and Mexico next month. Economists have warned that reaching the goals might be… US calls for… Read More »