Leadership

The US Weighs Its Options in the South China Sea

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Over the past year, there’s been a growing chorus of warnings from the United States that it’s preparing to adopt a more confrontational stance in the South China Sea. GPF With China’s installation of radar jamming equipment and long-range anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles this spring on Fiery Cross Reef – one of China’s seven artificial islands in the disputed Spratly archipelago – the pretense that Chinese President Xi Jinping intended to uphold his vague pledge in 2015 to… Now, the ... Read More »

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the political giant with a cane

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On June 24, Turkish citizens voted in presidential and parliamentary snap elections, with a huge turnout. Authors: The Conversation As expected, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was elected president while his Islamo-nationalist bloc allies – the Justice and Development Party and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) – obtained a parliamentary majority. While both victories were won by narrow margins, Erdoğan took 52.5% of the vote, coming out well ahead of his opponents. The main opposition candidate, Muharrem İnce, obtained 31%, followed by the ... Read More »

How to revitalize the Greek Orthodox Church in the 21st century

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Even though I am no longer active in parish affairs, I am still a member of our Church and its Saint Barbara parish in Sarasota, Florida. I continue to follow with concern the financial, leadership and administrative problems facing our Church. Van Coufoudakis ekathimerini I have had a 20-year involvement in parish and diocesan affairs while living and working in Indiana. Moreover, back in 2000, I was selected for the presidency of Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology ... Read More »

Turkey’s future just got a whole lot scarier

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In a region where democracy is scarce, it just got scarcer — with Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan claiming victory in last weekend’s presidential election and vowing to “rapidly” usher in a new era of presidential authoritarian rule. By Post Editorial Board New York Post Turks will suffer. Since a 2016 coup attempt, Erdogan has operated under a state of emergency, jailing journalists, political foes and members of the military. One of his foes, Selahattin Demirtas, of the pro-Kurdish People’s ... Read More »

Xi Jinping and Kim Jong Un Keep Meeting—Here’s Why

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China has been successful at keeping North Korea close and leveraging the relationship to achieve its own overarching goals beyond denuclearization. Oriana Skylar Mastro The National Interest North Korean leader Kim Jong-un made his third visit to China in mid-June. The fact that Kim visited Beijing shortly after the Singapore summit was unsurprising—it was expected that Kim would have to debrief Xi and the two would want to strategize ways forward. But the predictability of the visit does not diminish ... Read More »

Fintan O’Toole: Trial runs for fascism are in full bloe

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Babies in cages were no ‘mistake’ by Trump but test-marketing for barbarism To grasp what is going on in the world right now, we need to reflect on two things. Fintan O’Toole The Irish Times One is that we are in a phase of trial runs. The other is that what is being trialled is fascism – a word that should be used carefully but not shirked when it is so clearly on the horizon. Forget “post-fascist” – what we ... Read More »

90-year-old Ethel Kennedy joins hunger strike against immigration policies

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At 90 years old, Ethel Kennedy is joining the fight against the Trump administration’s separation of immigrant families at the border to Mexico. J.D. Capelouto Boston Globe Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Robert Kennedy, plans to participate in a hunger strike in protest of the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy for immigrants who enter the country illegally, in conjunction with several activist groups and… The fast, which started Saturday, is scheduled to last for 24 days, in honor of the estimated 2,400 ... Read More »

Turkey’s snap election yields surprises on all sides – what next?

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It was another surreal night in Turkish politics. That the elections were suddenly brought forward by more than a year was a surprise in itself – but the standout surprise of the campaign was the sudden rise of opposition candidate Muharrem Ince. Alpaslan Ozerdem The Conversation To everybody’s amazement, during a campaign lasting only 50 days, Ince transformed himself from an also-ran into a serious contender. He managed to pull support from all sections of society to his large rallies ... Read More »

Turks Have Voted Away Their Democracy

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan greets his supporters from the balcony of his ruling AK Party headquarters in Ankara, Turkey, early June 25, 2018. Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES - RC1AAB012070

Erdoğan’s election victory advances his vision of absolute control. Diego Cupolo The Atlantic First they ignored him. Then they laughed at him. Then they jailed him. Then he became perhaps Turkey’s most powerful leader in 80 years. Last night, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan extended his 16-year dominance over Turkey with a victory in the first round of the country’s snap elections, winning 52.5 percent of the vote. In the eyes of his roughly 26 million supporters, it was a resounding victory ... Read More »

Corbyn: Labour Government Will Recognize State Of Palestine

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“The next Labour government will recognise Palestine as a state as one step towards a genuine two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict,” Corbyn wrote on Twitter during a visit to Jordan. Samuel Thrope JPost Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, said Saturday that a UK government under his leadership would recognize the state of Palestine. “The next Labour government will recognise Palestine as a state as one step towards a genuine two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict,” Corbyn ... Read More »

The Fate of Turkey’s Democracy Lies With the Kurds

Supporters of Turkey's main pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) attend a rally in Diyarbakir, Turkey June 20, 2018. REUTERS/Sertac Kayar     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC13599078E0

Ahead of tomorrow’s elections, Ankara is expected to tamper with the vote and make life difficult for members of the embattled minority group. Diego Cupolo The Atlantic DIYARBAKIR, Turkey—This past Sunday, four Kurdish candidates running for office in Turkey’s June 24 elections rolled into the rural town of Hani to rally their supporters. The candidates, along with their campaign team, had been speaking from atop their bus to a crowd of some 150 people for about 10 minutes before a ... Read More »

Indonesia’s slow and circuitous road to democracy

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This year marks the 20th anniversary of the resignation of Indonesia’s authoritarian president, Suharto, who led Indonesia from 1966 until 1998. Olivia Nicole Tasevski ABC Suharto’s resignation, which was motivated by a faltering Indonesian economy and widespread anti-Suharto demonstrations, marked the beginning of Indonesia’s transition to democracy. Significant progress has been made in relation to Indonesia’s democratisation over the past 20 years. Nonetheless, a culture of impunity regarding historical human rights abuses persists in Indonesia and human rights violations continue ... Read More »

Erdogan Is Making the Ottoman Empire Great Again

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Turkey is leveraging tradition to expand its power in Europe — but the history cuts both ways. Michael Colborne, Maxim Edwards FP SARAJEVO — Not every Turkish president can come to Sarajevo and get an endorsement from both heaven and earth, but Recep Tayyip Erdogan has managed to pull it off. At a pre-election rally for Erdogan in the Bosnian capital last month, Bakir Izetbegovic, the Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) chairman of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency and son of the country’s first ... Read More »

Thailand: Resuming Death Penalty a Major Setback

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Government Executes a Prisoner After 9-Year Moratorium (New York) – The Thai government should halt further executions and publicly resume its de facto moratorium on the use of the death penalty, Human Rights Watch said today. HRW Thai authorities executed a 26-year-old man by lethal injection on June 18, 2018, the country’s first execution since August 2009. “Thailand’s resumed use of the death penalty marks a major setback for human rights,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “The Thai government’s many pledges ... Read More »

UN Human Rights Council Should Act on Venezuela

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Venezuelan Crisis needs to be a Council Priority Leila Swan HRW No one was surprised when Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro was re-elected last May, or when the opposition alleged voting irregularities. Unofficial reports estimated low voter turnout, less than 40%, despite government officials’ frantic attempts to increase participation. Upon hearing the results, Maduro sang victory, claiming “The whole of Venezuela has triumphed! Democracy has triumphed! Peace has triumphed!”. Yet the elections were rejected by democracies world-wide. The Lima Group – comprised… UN ... Read More »

Risky Business: The Duque Government’s Approach to Peace in Colombia

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Colombia’s president-elect campaigned on a pledge to “modify” the 2016 peace with the FARC guerrillas, despite its goal of reducing the rural inequality underlying that insurgency. T he new government should steer clear of hardline policies that alienate the countryside and hinder the ex-guerrilla’s path to civilian life. ICG What’s new? Iván Duque, from the Democratic Centre party, won Colombia’s presidential election and assumes office on 7 August 2018. His party and… Why does it matter? Colombia’s transition from war ... Read More »