Politics

India presses Tibetan leadership to stop political activity against Beijing

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2018 is going to be a busy year for both the governments of China and India. Sheeroy Desai Dorje Shugden From leaked memos in February instructing all Indian politicians and government officials not to participate in events organized by the Tibetan leadership, to a recent phone call between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping to work on deepening bilateral ties, it is clear where Indian interests lie and it is certainly not to the benefit of the Central Tibetan Administration ... Read More »

China Moves Centre Stage in Korean Peninsula Peace Efforts

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After weeks in which other actors have taken notable steps towards defusing fears of war over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile program, a China-North Korea summit held 26-27 March in Beijing has reasserted China’s pivotal role in efforts to find a solution to the… ICG When North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on 26 March secretly rolled into Beijing on a private armoured train for unofficial meetings with President Xi Jinping, China moved decisively centre stage in the… China also ... Read More »

America Must Drop Its Delusions about Dealing with Russia

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It’s time to part with illusions. Otherwise, the United States cannot develop and execute a sustainable policy towards Russia. Nikolas K. Gvosdev The National Interest It’s time to part with illusions. For too long, the U.S. national-security community has oscillated in its assessment of the Russian Federation, swinging between viewing Moscow as the country’s number one geopolitical threat to dismissing the challenge of a nation whose per capita GDP equals that of Portugal. This has led… America Must Drop… Read More »

Opinion: Jews face rampant anti-Semitism in Germany, Europe

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The murder of an elderly Holocaust survivor in Paris has shocked Europe. Michel Friedman DW However, Michel Friedman writes in this guest commentary, the killing should surprise no one: Anti-Semitism is omnipresent. We’re in the thick of it, and have been for a long time now: European anti-Semitism — hatred of Jews in Europe! Examples are legion: France, where a Holocaust survivor was brutally killed because of her Jewish faith; Britain, where the Labour Party is rocked by anti-Semitic scandals and the leader ... Read More »

Amal Clooney to defend Reuters journalists held in Myanmar

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Amal Clooney asserts the innocence of Reuters journalists on trial for reporting Rohingya massacre in Rakhine state. Al Jazeera Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney has said she would represent two Reuters journalists on trial in Myanmar for reporting the massacre of the Rohingya people in western Rakhine state. Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27, were arrested last December, and have been charged under the Official Secrets Act, which could see them jailed up to 14 years. “Wa Lone and… Amal Clooney to… Read More »

In Balkans, Britain rejoins battle for influence

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Soft-power struggle with Russia hots up as West renews interest in region. Valerie Hopkins Politico BELGRADE — The West is fighting back against Russia in a battle for influence in the Balkans. But although the European Union has renewed its interest in the region, the latest charge is being led by Britain. Seven years after shutting down in Belgrade, the BBC on Monday reopened its Serbian language service, launching a website and unveiling partnerships with local media outlets. The move is… In ... Read More »

Mauritania court gives toughest sentence for slave owners

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Two slave owners in Mauritania have been jailed in a country where slavery remains widespread but convictions rare, activists say. BBC The sentences of 10 and 20 years are said to be the toughest-ever for the crime in the West African country. Slavery was outlawed in 1981 but 1% of the population are still living in bondage, human rights groups say. Black people of certain ethnic groups are often enslaved as domestic workers by lighter-skinned Mauritanians. The country has jailed ... Read More »

Kenny MacAskill: Stop treating Catalonia as a proxy for Scotland

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A few years ago, I saw rival groups of football fans displaying Palestinian and Israeli flags at an Old Firm match. Kenny MacAskill The Scotsman Done more to provoke the opposition, than show support for the country whose flag they were flying, doubtless they had as little interest in Middle Eastern affairs as they had knowledge of the religions supposedly represented by their respective teams. Now, there are parallels with the situation in Catalonia where supporters and opponents of Scottish ... Read More »

The master plan to stop Brexit

An anti-Brexit demonstrator waves a Union flag as he stands draped in a European Union (EU) flag outside the Houses of Parliament in London on March 28, 2018.
With Britain just a year away from leaving the European Union, the transition deal agreed between the two sides is viewed as a key element to absorbing the Brexit shock. British Prime Minister Theresa May kick-started divorce proceedings one year ago, and March 29, 2019, has since been set as the date the UK will leave the bloc. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMEN        (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Best for Britain group trains activists how to persuade Leave voters — less hectoring, more listening. Charlie Cooper Politico LONDON — The leaders of the last-ditch effort to stop Brexit are rallying their troops with an uncomfortable message — they’ve been fighting in the wrong place. With just a year to go until the U.K.’s official exit date from the EU, leading anti-Brexit group Best for Britain is assembling an army of volunteers educated with tactics that couldn’t be further from ... Read More »

Criminal code bill will leave Indonesian migrants’ children in Malaysia in legal limbo

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There are thousands of stateless children in Sabah, Malaysia. The estimates vary between 30,000 and 52,000 as there has been no census or statistics collected on them. Clara Siagian The Conversation Most of them are children of Indonesian migrants. These children face the risk of being stuck in legal limbo if an Indonesian bill to amend the criminal code is passed in its current state. Criminalising private activities Indonesia is deliberating the bill to change the country’s 100-year-old criminal code. ... Read More »

How the Taiwan Travel Act Could Start a U.S.-China War

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On March 16, 2018, President Donald Trump signed into law the Taiwan Travel Act, which encourages “officials at all levels of the United States Government” to visit and meet with their Taiwan counterparts and to “allow high-level officials of Taiwan” to enter the United States and… Paul Smith The National Interest The Chinese government has criticized the new law, describing it as a “mistake” and a violation of the One-China Policy. Chinese President Xi Jinping declared that “any actions and ... Read More »

How will France deal with rising anti-Semitism?

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Some people in France hope the outrage over the killing of 85-year-old Mireille Knoll may turn the tide against an upsurge in anti-Semitism in the country. Elizabeth Bryant (Paris) DW Others are not so sure. Elizabeth Bryant reports from Paris. Parisians braved blustery winds and returned to the streets this week, not to denounce a spate of terror attacks in recent years, but the older scourge of anti-Semitism that some say is taking on a new, increasingly violent turn. The ... Read More »

Spy Attack Widens Turkey’s Split With U.S.

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As U.S. and European allies form a diplomatic front against Russia, Turkey’s coziness with the Kremlin is testing its crucial defense ties with the U.S. and its military alliance with NATO. Selcan Hacaoglu Bloomberg Businessweek The U.S., Canada and several European nations expelled more than 100 Russian diplomats on Monday to punish President Vladimir Putin’s government for the nerve-agent attack on a former Russian spy in the U.K. Turkey, which has grown closer to Russia in recent years, stayed out ... Read More »

Tasmanian regional forest agreement delivers $1.3bn losses in ‘giant fraud’ on taxpayers

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Forestry Tasmania’s total cash losses were $454m over 20 years, with a write-down of $751m in value of forest estate John Lawrence The Guardian The first Tasmanian regional forest agreement, signed between the state and the commonwealth in 1997, was supposed to start an era in which forestry was both ecologically and economically sustainable. In fact the last 20 years have been a financial disaster for forest management in Tasmania. According to my calculations, Forestry Tasmania’s total operating cash losses over the 20 ... Read More »

Turkey to Use Russia’s S-400 Air Defense System to Protect Akkuyu NPP – Academic

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There are no obstacles to Turkey’s use of Russian-made S-400 air defense systems along with US Patriots and Franco-Italian Eurosam SAMP-T defense systems, Turkish academic Mesut Hakki Casin told Sputnik. Mesut Hakki Casin Sputnik According to Casin, the US threats over Ankara’s purchase of the S-400 are an attempt to impose pressure on Russia and Turkey. Turkey is likely to use a Russian-made S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft weapon system to protect the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, Mesut Hakki Casin, retired Air Force officer ... Read More »

Mike Pompeo expected to take tough tact as relations with Turkey erode

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Former CIA chief seen as more in line with White House, ‘bit less afraid to throw an elbow’ By Guy Taylor and Dan Boylan  The Washington Times Iran and North Korea may top incoming Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s to-do list, but a festering problem with a key NATO ally may prove just as hard to solve. Turkey and the U.S. appear to sharply diverge on a host of fronts, including Turkey’s war against U.S.-allied Kurds in the Middle East ... Read More »