Asia

Turkey and Germany: A Worsening Crisis

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The harsh measures taken by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan since the failed coup attempt last year have led to a deepening crisis with a host of Western states, first and foremost with Germany. Yaniv Avrahm BESA Since the coup attempt, relations between Ankara and Berlin have been at an unprecedented low. However, in light of their history of close relations, the volume of stable economic trade over the years, and Turkey’s ability to stabilize the waves of immigration to ... Read More »

Why India’s farmers want to conserve indigenous heirloom rice

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India was once home to 100,000 rice varieties, but high-yield, less hardy hybrids have taken over encouraging farmers to safeguard more resistant strains Chitrangada Choudhury The Guardian India is rice country: the cereal provides daily sustenance for more than 60% of the population. Half a century ago, it was home to more than 100,000 ricevarieties, encompassing a stunning diversity in taste, nutrition, pest-resistance and, crucially in this age of climate change and natural disasters, adaptability to a range of conditions. Today, much of this biodiversity is ... Read More »

China’s audacious and inventive new generation of entrepreneurs

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Industries and consumers around the world will soon feel their impact “NEW era, new revolution. I am a MAKER, for the hearts of the dream.” The Economist So goes a rallying cry carved in giant letters on the wall of a warehouse in Shekou, a seaside enclave near Hong Kong. Many of China’s most promising entrepreneurs flocked there recently for a conference organised by TechCrunch, a technology publisher from Silicon Valley. Yet Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent—established Chinese internet giants collectively ... Read More »

Trump may have to sanction Turkey for Russian deal

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Before their meeting Thursday, President Donald Trump praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, bragged about their friendship and claimed U.S.-Turkey relations are at an all-time high. Josh Rogin The Morning Call Trump may not be aware he might soon have to sanction Erdogan for striking a major arms deal with Vladimir Putin‘s Russia. “I think right now we are as close as we’ve ever been. And a lot of that has to do with the personal relationship,” said Trump, on ... Read More »

Kexit: How Kurdish Independence Could Reshape the Middle East

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Washington needs to realize that abandoning the Kurds after the defeat of ISIS in Syria is akin to turning that territory over to Assad. Matthew RJ Brodsky The National Interest As world leaders gathered in Turtle Bay, New York, for the annual United Nations General Assembly convergence, there was no shortage of international crises to address. The nuclear issues with North Korea and Iran rightfully dominated President Trump’s first speech before the UN gathering, however, Middle East challenges tend to ... Read More »

Beijing Adopts New Tactic for S. China Sea Claims

This picture taken on April 21, 2017 shows an aerial view of a reef near the island of Thitu, with what are believed to be anchored Chinese boats, in the disputed Spratly islands. 
Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana flew to a disputed South China Sea island on April 21, brushing off a challenge by the Chinese military while asserting Manila's territorial claim to the strategic region. / AFP PHOTO / Ted ALJIBE        (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)

‘Four Sha’ island groups replace illegal 9-Dash Line The Chinese government recently unveiled a new legal tactic to promote Beijing’s aggressive claim to own most of the strategic South China Sea. Bill Gertz The new narrative that critics are calling “lawfare,” or legal warfare, involves a shift from China’s so-called “9-Dash Line” ownership covering most of the sea. The Washington Free Beacon The new lawfare narrative is called the “Four Sha”—Chinese for sand—and was revealed by Ma Xinmin, deputy director ... Read More »

Myanmar’s Rohingya Crisis Meets Reality

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The news coverage of Myanmar over the past several months has led many people to conclude that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of the country, has abandoned her responsibility to protect human rights. Kevin Rudd * The New York Times Hundreds of thousands of people from the Rohingya ethnic minority are being expelled by the military from lands in western Myanmar, where they have lived for centuries. By any standard, we are witnessing the most fundamental ... Read More »

Turkey Uncensored: A History of Censorship and Bans

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On April 29, the Turkish government announced that it completely blocked Wikipedia over the online encyclopedia’s refusal to delete articles and comments that suggest that Ankara is co-operating with terrorist groups such as the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda. Uzay Bulut Philos Project Despite multiple requests by Turkish officials, Wikipedia refused to take down the content the Turkish government objected to. In response, Turkish authorities blocked online access to Wikipedia in all languages across the country. Wikipedia continues to be blocked ... Read More »

Indonesia Crosses the Nine-Dash Line

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Jakarta tells Beijing the South China Sea isn’t a Chinese lake On July 14, Indonesia took a major step forward in confronting China’s South China Sea claims with an announcement that it was renaming a part of the sea in its territory the “North Natuna Sea,” becoming in a single step the most important Southeast Asian nation to stand up to Beijing. Philip Bowring Asia Sentinel That may have come to many as surprise – certainly to the Chinese, who ... Read More »

Terry Glavin: Trudeau is as silent on China as Trump is on Russia

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

The U.S. says the WTO can’t cope with China’s bullying and conniving; the WTO wasn’t built for the kind of police-state threat it poses Terry Glavin National Post Aboard the cavernous decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, moored at Pier 86 in the Hudson River just off Hell’s Kitchen, in the glittering dining hall formerly known as Hanger 3, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wowed them Tuesday night. Nearly 600 diplomats, corporate executives, United Nations’ swells and celebrities were gathered for the ... Read More »

What Awaits the Rohingya in Bangladesh?

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Aung San Suu Kyi’s moral conscience has seemingly taken a backseat to cold, hard politics. Michael Kugelman  The plight of the Rohingya community is truly one of the saddest stories of our times. The National Interest It is a tragic tale of perpetual persecution, major marginalization and mass migration. In Burma, where this Muslim community’s numbers are the highest—about a million, according to most estimates—its members are denied citizenship and land. They also live on the fringes of society in India and ... Read More »

Events in the Middle East force realism on Erdogan

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may have increasing difficulties with the West, but his position in the Middle East is not all that easy either. Semih Idiz  Al-Monitor His regional archenemy, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, continues to make headway, while his nemesis in Egypt, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, remains in power. The Qatar crisis caught him unaware and unsettled him. Meanwhile, he is bracing for the reign of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia, who is an enemy of the Muslim ... Read More »

Australia offers to pay Rohingya refugees to return to Myanmar

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Exclusive: Rohingya sent to detention island in Papua New Guinea pressured to return to Myanmar, where thousands have fled ethnic persecution Oliver Holmes and Ben Doherty The Guardian Australia is promising thousands of dollars to Rohingya refugees who agree to return to Myanmar, a country that has been accused of ethnic cleansing against the Muslim minority. Asylum seekers in the Australian-run detention centre on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, have been pressured by officials to return to their home countries, ... Read More »

Russia’s S-400s Will Protect Turkey From A “Kurdish Air Force”

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Many people thought that this day would never come, but it’s official – Russian President Putin will sell his Turkish NATO counterpart S-400 missiles, and there’s nothing that the US or NATO can do about… Andrew KORYBKO OrientalReview This is a profound geo-military pivot for Turkey because it solidifies Russia’s role as the country’s high-level strategic partner for decades to come, considering that Russian experts will be relied on to provide maintenance, repairs, spare parts, and upgrades to these anti-aircraft… ... Read More »

What that missile deal really means for Turkey

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The Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile array has been described as the most sophisticated air defense system in the world. It can track up to 80 targets at the same time, aiming two missiles at each one. Yasar Yakis It can destroy aircraft, cruise missiles, medium range missiles, drones and other airborne surveillance systems. And now Turkey has bought it from Russia. Arab News “My colleagues have already signed a deal on S-400s. A deposit has also been paid as far ... Read More »

Loup Bureau, French journalist freed from Turkey, arrives home

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French reporter Loup Bureau, who had been held on “terror” charges in Turkey in a case that sparked tensions between Ankara and France, arrived in Paris on Sept. 17 after being freed. PARIS – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Bureau, 27, arrived onboard an Air France jet at Charles de Gaulle Airport on a flight from Istanbul, the campaign group Reporters without Borders (RSF) said in a tweet. After his arrival, he was taken to a VIP suite where he was effusively greeted by his family and friends. ... Read More »