Politics

Decoding the Korean Peninsula Missile Rhetoric

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Fiery rhetoric between North Korea and the U.S. adds risks to Korean peninsula tensions, but should not cause panic. Outside players should maximise the potential benefit of an established pattern of de-escalation in the fall. Christopher Green ICG They – and Pyongyang – should also back South Korea’s offers of dialogue. North Korea once again captured the world’s attention when it boldly warned that it is ready to fire missiles over Japan toward the U.S. territory of Guam. The unusually specific ... Read More »

5 important facts about China’s alleged incursion in Pag-Asa Island

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Not long after the Philippines hosted the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) ministerial meetings, reports emerged that Chinese vessels have been gathering near Pag-Asa (Thitu) island in the West Philippine… RICHARD JAVAD HEYDARIAN GMA News The source of the information is reportedly the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), which has been monitoring Chinese activities close to our land features in the area. Magdalo Party-List Rep. Gary Alejano, a former decorated soldier with extensive contacts to former AFP colleagues, ... Read More »

Eclipse tests the power grid’s mettle as solar energy goes dark

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The total eclipse of the sun Monday is expected to prompt fossil fuel generators to ramp up quickly to fill in the gaps as solar power goes dark from Oregon to the… John Siciliano Washington Examiner  Grid operators and watchdogs say the biggest effects from the loss of solar-generated electricity will occur in California, which represents 40 percent of the nation’s solar… Other states expected to be especially hit by the loss of solar include North Carolina, Utah, and… For ... Read More »

North Korea, US playing dangerous game of chicken

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So far the war of words between Kim and Trump is just that – an exchange of fiery rhetoric. But the risk of ‘jaw-jaw’ turning into ‘war-war’ is deepening. Yoon Young-kwan Asia Times So far, the war between US President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un over the latter’s nuclear program has been fought only in words. But each turn of the rhetorical screw deepens the risk that, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, “jaw-jaw” could turn into “war… Last ... Read More »

Why Britain’s voters must have a second referendum on Brexit

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Leavers’ dreams of a country cast free of Brussels are unravelling as reality and the risks of going it alone set in Vernon Bogdanor The Guardian Last week, the government set out key elements of its strategy for achieving Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. It seeks a soft landing to a hard Brexit. It wants a time-limited transition period after March 2019, when Britain is due to leave the bloc. During that period, the government hopes for a ”close ... Read More »

Elon Musk leads 116 experts calling for outright ban of killer robots

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Open letter signed by Tesla chief and Alphabet’s Mustafa Suleyman urges UN to block use of lethal autonomous weapons to prevent third age of war Samuel Gibbs The Guardian Some of the world’s leading robotics and artificial intelligence pioneers are calling on the United Nations to ban the development and use of killer robots. Tesla’s Elon Musk and Alphabet’s Mustafa Suleyman are leading a group of 116 specialists from across 26 countries who are calling for the ban on autonomous ... Read More »

Malta ‘denies’ Defend Europe anti-migrant boat

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Aid groups applaud Maltese government, saying snub sends ‘a clear message against the politics of hate and extremism’. Al Jazeera Malta has said a vessel carrying anti-migrant and anti-refugee activists was “not welcome”, allegedly denying the boat from docking on its shore. Far-right members of the Defend Europe group, who were aboard the C-Star vessel, said they were denied port access and a request for water sent out to the vessel, according to a statement on the group’s Facebook page. ... Read More »

Remove Him Now

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How can this nation endure another 41 months of this man? We have endured Donald Trump for seven months. Although he has had few legislative victories, he has almost single-handedly destroyed the moral authority of the presidency of the United States at home and abroad; brought us to the brink of a nuclear war without consulting anyone; and sown division and hatred. Robert Reich * HuffPost He has given encouragement and legitimacy to the ugliest in America. How can this ... Read More »

When voters mistake stupidity for authenticity, we are all in danger

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Are we at war yet? Newspaper deadlines being what they are, you may, at the time of reading, be in a better position to answer that question than this column. Janet Daley Telegraph, London The Sydney Morning Herald With startling suddenness, the world has reached one of those moments when catastrophic news seems imminent: in which, indeed, the chief actors actually appear to be willing events to take the most devastating, unthinkable course. Or is it all just noise? Belligerent, ... Read More »

Turkey and Russia’s tomato crisis explained

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Nearly two years after Turkey downed a Russian fighter jet, relations between Ankara and Moscow are largely restored. The two countries last month signed an arms deal, but tomatoes are still a thorny issue. Zeynep Şahin TRTworld Turkish and Russian delegations will meet in Turkey’s coastal city of Izmir on Friday to discuss trade and economic relations. The humble tomato is also expected to be on the table — and it’s playing an outsized role in the talks. The two ... Read More »

Californians once again want out of US

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A group of Californians has submitted yet another initiative to secede from the United States as the country is gripped by one of its worst political crisis in recent history. LOS ANGELES – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The new “Calexit” ballot proposal put forward on Aug. 17 by a fringe political group calls for a constitutional convention to overhaul one of the country’s founding documents on grounds it is incompatible with what the Golden State stands for. “The current relationship between ... Read More »

Brisbane developers ‘don’t need to be concerned with native title’

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The recent Federal Court decision that native title no longer exists in Brisbane has significant implications for infrastructure and property developers, according to a native title expert. Tom Lodewyke  Lawyers Weekly The decision came in response to native title claims on behalf of the Turrbal and Yugara people, which together covered most of the Brisbane metropolitan area. Justice Jessup ruled in 2015 that the claimants could not prove an adequate connection to the land to hold native title. The Indigenous ... Read More »

Grooming the globe: denying fairness, complexity and humanity

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“I know it makes you sick to think of that word fairness,” Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, told the Conservative Political Action Conference in March 2013. Julianne Schultz The Conversation But he went on to tell the heads of Washington’s most influential right-wing think-tanks, who were still shocked by Barack Obama’s continuing appeal, that Americans “universally believe it’s right to help the vulnerable”. He continued: If you want to win, start fighting for people! Lead with ... Read More »

Did Russia supply Ukrainian rocket engine to North Korea?

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Ukraine space agency says engine identical to their own, points finger at Russia Asia Unhedged Asia Times The mystery over how North Korea obtained powerful rocket engines for its last ICBM test deepened Wednesday after Ukraine’s state space agency said the rocket engine used is the same as the type of engine used by Ukraine-made space vehicles, according to UPI. UPI was picking up on a report from US government-funded Radio Free Asia which said Ukraine denied supplying the engines ... Read More »

A Turkish-EU Opera Buffa

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When Turkey officially applied to become a full member of the European Union (EU), cell phones looked like bricks, Red Bull and The Simpsons had just made their debuts, President Ronald Reagan made his famous “Tear down this wall!” speech in West Berlin, the world population was five billion, Colonel Qaddafi in Libya was playing godfather to terrorists, Margaret Thatcher was the prime minister of Britain, Gestapo boss Klaus Barbie was sentenced to life in prison for crimes against humanity, ... Read More »

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson wears burqa in Senate question time stunt

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Face fully covered, the woman in black didn’t need to say anything as she entered the Senate. Pauline Hanson had made her point. Amy Remeikis The Age The One Nation leader took her seat for question time wearing a black burqa, ahead of her motion to ban the garment that was due for debate later on Thursday. The Queensland senator has rallied against the burqa since returning to Parliament last… Senate President Stephen Parry admitted there was not a lot he could ... Read More »