Politics

Against ‘Suffocation’ of Azov Sea: Ukraine Pleading EU for Help Against Russia

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said that his country would like to see the European Union and the European Investment Bank (EIB) engaged in efforts to avoid the “suffocation” of its Azov Sea shore. Written by @Eubulletin | The Azov Sea is a strategic territory coveted by Moscow. Russia has recently constructed a bridge across the Kerch strait, which Kyiv considers unlawful. Moscow moreover put in place controls over the international ships crossing the strait and Kyiv suspects that Russia ... Read More »

The Moment the Transatlantic Charade Ended

At the Munich Security Conference, Europe and the Trump administration stopped pretending to respect each other. Thomas Wrirgt The Atlantic Europe and the Trump administration have stopped pretending to respect each other. For the past two years, we have been treated to a transatlantic charade. Everyone knows there’s a problem, but publicly the leaders proclaim that nothing has fundamentally changed. But at the 2019 Munich Security Conference, which took place over the weekend, the charade ended. The American position is ... Read More »

Labour centrists quit party, recalling failed 80s experiment

London: Seven British Labour MPs have quit their party and set up as a group of independents, saying politics in Britain is “broken” and criticising Labour policy on Brexit and its failure to tackle anti-Semitism among its membership. Nick Miller The Age The split was immediately compared to the ‘Gang of Four’ who left Labour in 1981 to form the Social Democratic Party, splitting the left vote and resulting in Margaret Thatcher winning crushing parliamentary majorities at the next two elections. ... Read More »

Why a centuries-old religious dispute over Ukraine’s Orthodox Church matters today

A new Orthodox Church was recently established in Ukraine. Shortly after, Bartholomew I, the Patriarch of Constantinople and the spiritual head of global Orthodox Christianity, granted independence to the new Orthodox Church of Ukraine and transferred its jurisdiction from the church of Moscow to the church of Constantinople, located in Istanbul. Victoria Smolkin The Conversation This competition between the churches of Constantinople and Moscow for dominance in the Orthodox Christian world is not new – it goes back more than ... Read More »

Even Conservatives Support Sweden’s Welfare State. Here’s Why.

It’s practical and efficient, allowing for a very competitive economy while ensuring a high standard of living. Barbara Koeppel The Nation While we’re waiting for Team Trump to make America great again, it’s useful to know what a not-great country such as Sweden offers its citizens. As Shakespeare observed, comparisons are odorous, but things smell good there. Not even the conservative Swedish parties and the far-right anti-immigrant party, which together won 205 seats in the September 2018 parliamentary elections (out ... Read More »

Mexico border wall: US states sue over emergency declaration

A coalition of 16 US states led by California is suing President Donald Trump’s administration over his decision to declare an emergency to raise funds for a Mexican border wall. BBC Mr Trump made the declaration on Friday to bypass Congress after it refused to approve $5.7bn (£4.4bn) for the wall. The states say they want to block Mr Trump’s “misuse of presidential power”. The Democrats oppose funding Mr Trump’s barrier, a key campaign pledge, and have vowed to contest ... Read More »

The Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum

A Lebanese perspective Energy ministers from Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority took an important step toward establishing an Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) on January 14, in Cairo. Mona Sukkarieh Executive According to the declaration that followed the meeting, the EMGF will, among other things, assist in the creation of a regional gas market, ensure the security of supply and demand, optimize resource development, facilitate the… The forum’s raison d’être is regional energy cooperation. Almost ... Read More »

Intel: How Trump’s choice as envoy to Turkey could complicate US Syria policy

The Donald Trump administration’s announcement that it plans to nominate veteran diplomat David Satterfield as ambassador to Turkey could shake up US policy in Syria. Al-Monitor The post has sat vacant for more than a year as relations between Washington and Ankara have deteriorated over the Pentagon’s backing of a Syrian Kurdish group in the fight against the Islamic State. Why it matters: Satterfield’s confirmation could pit two influential diplomats against each other as the Trump administration tries to hammer ... Read More »

The American Empire’s Long Reach

Since 2017, the US has conducted counterterror missions in 80 countries—over 40 percent of the nations in the world. Stephanie Savell The Nation In September 2001, the Bush administration launched the “Global War on Terror.” Though “global” has long since been dropped from the name, as it turns out, they weren’t kidding. When I first set out to map all the places in the world where the United States is still fighting terrorism so many years later, I didn’t think ... Read More »

Winning Back Trust in Nigeria’s Rescheduled Elections

Only hours before polls were to open, Nigeria’s electoral commission postponed elections scheduled for 16 February by one week. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Nigeria expert Nnamdi Obasi says the commission and other authorities must act now to win back trust and reduce risks of violence. What happened? Nigeria’s 84 million voters were set to vote in presidential and federal legislative elections on 16 February. But at 2.40 am that day, just over five hours before polling stations were to ... Read More »

Israel’s Leviathan Energy Prize: Where Will The Gas Go?

Israel is finally emerging as a natural gas player in the Mediterranean. In the last week of January, the Israeli Navy conducted a complex drill simulating attacks on the country’s offshore oil and gas infrastructure. Ariel Cohen Forbes The exercise included coordinated operations between dozens of naval vessels and aircraft, and even incorporated a live-fire missile test against an abandoned cargo vessel (imitating an enemy transport… Israel’s week-long “Raging Sea” operation comes on the heels of two joint military drills ... Read More »

Fund more lab-grown meat to fight climate change, experts tell EU leaders

Chatham House calls for official backing for high-tech food to cut greenhouse gas emissions Jane Dalton Independent Experts at an influential think tank are calling on EU leaders to back the expansion of more lab-grown meat to enable Europe to help tackle climate change. The Royal Institute of International Affairs, known as Chatham House, says new high-tech foodstuffs will be vital to the EU meeting its goals on climate change, human health and drug resistance. Animal agriculture is a significant driver of carbon dioxide ... Read More »

Japanese PM Abe mum on reports he nominated Trump for Nobel Peace Prize

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declined on Feb. 18 Monday to say if he had nominated U.S. President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize, though he also emphasized he did not deny doing so. The Associated Press – TOKYO Hurriyet Trump‘s assertion on Feb. 15 that Abe had nominated him for the honor and sent him a copy of the letter has raised criticism in Japan. Questioned in parliament about Trump‘s claim that he had done so, Abe said, “In light of the Nobel committee’s policy of not disclosing recommenders and nominees for 50 years, I ... Read More »

Why Understanding The UK Anti-Feminist Movement Is Vital To Countering The Far Right

Manosphere ideas have snowballed into an ideology that has taken on a life of its own, and for some it has served as a route into wider far-right politics. Simon Murdoch HuffPost “Feminists attack liberty, justice, equality and meritocracy. They attack men, women, and children, and relations between the sexes,” so declared British anti-feminist activists in a 2018 online statement. Its signatories included key UK far-right vlogger Paul Joseph Watson, Breitbart London writer James Delingpole and Valerie Price, National Director of ACT! For ... Read More »

Jagmeet Singh Calls For Public Inquiry In SNC-Lavalin Scandal

The NDP leader says there are serious questions that need to be answered. Canadian Press HuffPost BURNABY, B.C. — Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says a public inquiry is necessary in the scandal involving engineering giant SNC-Lavalin and Canada’s former justice minister. Singh says serious questions need to be answered about the scandal that cuts to the heart of Canada’s democracy. Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week, days after a report that says she was ... Read More »

China’s Growing Military Presence Abroad Brings New Challenges

Increasing contributions to UN peacekeeping and the rising presence of Chinese security forces abroad are pushing Beijing to engage with questions of international law it has not previously had… Harriet Moynihan and Dr Wim Luller Chatham House China’s involvement in UN peacekeeping contributions has been on the rise for some time. China is also stepping up its own military and security operations abroad to protect its commercial and strategic interests, particularly in Africa. In doing so, China is exposing itself ... Read More »