Politics

After six tests, the mountain hosting North Korea’s nuclear blasts may be exhausted

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Tokyo: Have North Korea’s nuclear tests become so big that they’ve altered the geological structure of the land? Anna Fifield Washington Post The Sydney Morning Herald Some analysts now see signs that Mount Mantap, the 2200-metre-high peak under which North Korea detonates its nuclear bombs, is suffering from “tired mountain syndrome”. The mountain visibly shifted during the last nuclear test, an enormous detonation that was recorded as a 6.3-magnitude earthquake in North Korea’s northeast. Since then, the area, which is not ... Read More »

US, France slam detention of leading Turkish activist Osman Kavala

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U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert has said the arrest of the prominent activist and businessman Osman Kavala was an example of a “very alarming trend” of the detention of civil society leaders, human rights defenders, journalists, academics and… Hurriyet “We have expressed to the Turkish government our concerns on many occasions about this trend … It remains a major concern of ours,” Nauert told reporters in Washington on… The French Foreign Ministry also stated on Oct. 19 that it ... Read More »

Here’s How to Pull Turkey Back From the Brink

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Erdogan gets more authoritarian, and closer to Russia and Iran, every day. But kicking him out of NATO would make things worse. James Stavridis Bloomberg Since its founding nearly a century ago, Turkey’s foreign policy goal has been summed up in a simple phrase: “No problems with our neighbors.” But the situation today is different: “all our neighbors have problems.” And the Turks have plenty of their own. There is no understating how important it is that the U.S. and ... Read More »

Joyce McMillan: Are the Tories imploding over Brexit?

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Back in a different world, in April last year, I wrote a column about the difficult questions posed for then-prime minister David Cameron, and his chancellor George Osborne, by the decision of Tata Steel to sell off its entire UK operation. Joyce McMillan The Scotsman To the right of them, they faced the free market ideologues of post-Thatcher Toryism, who view state intervention to save threatened industries with scorn. Even further to the right, with Boris Johnson in the lead, ... Read More »

Trump Likely to Block Release of Some JFK Files

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If the decision holds, it could contribute to the belief that the government has something to hide. Conspiracy theorists of the world, get ready for some bad news. Philip Shenon Politico Trump administration and other government officials say privately that President Donald Trump is almost certain to block the release of information from some of the thousands of classified files related to the November 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy that are scheduled to be made public in less ... Read More »

Why Doesn’t the U.S. Support Kurdish Independence?

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The Kurds are one of Washington’s closest and most reliable allies in the Middle East   After World War I, the Kurds came tantalizingly close to getting an independent state. Krishnadev Calamur The Atlantic Nearly a century later, they are no closer to an independent homeland. There are many reasons for this: regional instability; suppression of the Kurds, most dramatically in Turkey and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq; vehement opposition to a Kurdish state; infighting among Kurds; and, despite some prominent Western ... Read More »

Managing the Disruptive Aftermath of Somalia’s Worst Terror Attack

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The 14 October 2017 twin bombings in Mogadishu mark the deadliest attack in Somalia since 2007 ICG As Somalis unite in their disgust at the most likely perpetrator Al-Shabaab, President Farmajo must immediately provide care for victims and use surging support for the government to redouble efforts aimed at overcoming the divisions in Somalia’s society that make Al-Shabaab such a… What happened? On 14 October 2017, twin truck bombings in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, killed upwards of 300 people. Al-Shabaab, an Islamist insurgency, was ... Read More »

Money laundering trial could further chill already tense US-Turkish relations

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U.S. and Turkish relations are already severely strained, and an upcoming trial in New York involving a businessman with links to Ankara’s political elite could see the situation worsen. Jeff Daniels CNBC The trial is likely to result in “a lot of dirty laundry getting aired,” according to an insider close to the case. “It is going to be very embarrassing to the Turks.” “There’s bad blood on both sides,” said Bulent Aliriza, founding director of the Turkey Project at ... Read More »

Xi Jinping’s Message to the World: China is Back

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The hallmark of China’s foreign policy under Xi has been the abandonment of the “lay low” doctrine China’s 19th Party Congress, which opened this week in Beijing, is a landmark event for the world’s second-largest economy. Scott Moore The National Interest  In China’s one-party state, these congresses determine the country’s leadership, and are held every five years. But this one is special. It’s the first to be held since China’s current top leader, Xi Jinping, took power in 2012, and much ... Read More »

How Money Became the Measure of Everything

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Two centuries ago, America pioneered a way of thinking that puts human well-being in economic terms. Eli Cook The Atlantic Money and markets have been around for thousands of years. Yet as central as currency has been to so many civilizations, people in societies as different as ancient Greece, imperial China, medieval Europe, and colonial America did not measure residents’ well-being in terms of monetary earnings or economic output. In the mid-19th century, the United States—and to a lesser extent ... Read More »

Capitalism is ending because it has made itself obsolete, former Greek finance minister Yannis Varoufakis says

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Exclusive: Former economics professor says rise of artificial intelligence will spell end of neoliberal system Tom Embury-Dennis The Independent  Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has claimed capitalism is coming to an end because it is making itself obsolete. The former economics professor told an audience at University College London that the rise of giant technology corporations and artificial intelligence will cause the current economic system to undermine itself. Mr Varoufakis, who took on EU institutions over Greek debt repayments in 2015, said companies ... Read More »

Have 20 Years of NATO Expansion Made Anyone Safer?

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Since 1997, the world’s perhaps most powerful corporation and lobbyist has created more insecurity than security. Stephen F. Cohen The Nation Nation Contributing Editor Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor continue their weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments, now in their fourth year, are at TheNation.com.) Cohen notes that 20 years ago, in 1997, President Bill Clinton made the decision to expand NATO eastward. That same year, in order to placate post-Soviet Russia, then weak and heralded ... Read More »

PA dismisses Israeli threat of talks freeze if Hamas in government

Fatah's Azam al-Ahmad (R) and Saleh al-Aruri (L) of Hamas talk to journalists after signing a reconciliation deal in Cairo on October 12, 2017, as the two rival Palestinian movements ended their decade-long split following negotiations overseen by Egypt.
The new Hamas deputy leader and the head of Fatah's delegation struck the deal which was described by Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas as a "final agreement" to end their crippling division, which has at times erupted into deadly conflict over the past ten years. / AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI

Abbas spokesman says reconciliation deal with terror group will help establish Palestinian state; Hamas says it rejects ‘Israeli intervention’ By Alexander Fulbright and Dov Lieber The Times of Israel The Palestinian Authority brushed off Israel’s decision to suspend peace talks over the reconciliation accord reached between PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party and the Hamas terror group, saying it would have “no bearing” on the implementation of the unity deal. “What was agreed in Cairo, under the auspices of Egypt, ... Read More »

Judges turn to extreme remedy to block Trump administration

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(CNN) — As the Trump administration seeks to obliterate Obama-era policies, progressive lawyers are racing to court asking for an extreme form of relief, urging judges to reach deep into their judicial tool kits and issue national — even global — injunctions. Ariane de Vogue Such injunctions are a relatively new phenomenon, and some legal scholars worry they are bad for the country and bad for courts. The experts say the extreme remedy squelches the benefit of having multiple judges ... Read More »

Ancient Greek wisdom for today’s leadership crisis

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What makes a good leader? This question confronts us at every election and with every domestic and international policy decision. Emily Anhalt As a professor of classical languages and literature for more than 30 years, I marvel at our insistence on addressing this question as if it were brand new. The Conversation Centuries ago, myths helped the Greeks learn to reject tyrannical authority and identify the qualities of good leadership. As I write in my book “Enraged,” the same myths ... Read More »

Austerity benefit freezes and Brexit inflation to cost lower-income households £300 next year

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The benefit freeze ‘risks ushering in a period of rising inequality on a scale not seen since Margaret Thatcher’s final term,’ says think tank The Independent  Charlotte Beale  Poorer households could be £300 worse off next year, due to benefit freezes and a predicted rise in inflation. Half of all families with children will be affected, warns think tank the Resolution Foundation, meaning seven million children in total. 800,000 people looking for work and 2.4 million disabled people will also be hit. ... Read More »