Asia

Thai rescue highlights humanity — but not in our leaders

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In Australia, we erupted with joy as we watched the Thai rescue, but our leaders have not planned a rescue operation for 134 children still imprisoned in Nauru, writes John Passant. IA THE RESCUE of the 12 young soccer players and their coach from a cave in Thailand shows all that is great about humanity. Compassion, global cooperation, love, skill — all were on display. Around the globe, billions hoped and prayed as we watched the teams racing to save the boys ... Read More »

Pakistan opens terrorism investigation against ex-PM’s party 10 days before election

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LAHORE, Pakistan/ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistani authorities have opened a criminal investigation into leaders of jailed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s political party under an anti-terrorism law, 10 days before a… Mubasher Bukhari, Kay Johnson Reuters The case relates to a march staged by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on July 13, when Sharif returned to Pakistan, which defied a ban on holding public rallies on a… The former premier was arrested minutes after landing in the country after being sentenced ... Read More »

British report about Balkans: Russians, Chinese, Turks…

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Outside actors such as Russia, China and Turkey have filled a void created by EU neglect of the Western Balkans over the past decade. Source: B92 This is stated in the UK parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee report, which adds that many of the witnesses it heard “suggested that, by contrast, Russian influence in the region is weak, not least because its economic presence is limited.” “Despite this, Russia is capable of exploiting the region’s problems and undermining its progress towards peace, ... Read More »

UAE accused of War Crimes over torture in Yemen prisons as Middle East conflict rages on

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AMNESTY International has called for a war crimes investigation after accusing the United Arab Emirates and its allied Yemeni forces of torturing detainees at prisons in the south of Yemen. Caitlin Doherty Sunday Express The UAE has been engaged in battle with the Houthi government in Yemen since they seized control in September 2014. They have been fighting the rebels in the capital Sana’a alongside Saudi Arabia, the US, and Yemeni allies. But an Amnesty International report released earlier this ... Read More »

Adul Sam-on: the stateless boy who survived the Thai cave – and helped with the rescue

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The dramatic rescue of the 12 boys trapped in Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand captured the world’s attention. Derina Johnson The Conversation But one young person in particular stood out: 14-year-old Adul Sam-on, who, as the only English speaker in the group (he also speaks Chinese, Burmese and Thai), greeted the British divers who found them, and… Adul is stateless. According to reports, he was born in Wa state, an unrecognised state within Myanmar which is unable to issue ... Read More »

Navy: Chinese Spy Ship Monitoring RIMPAC Exercise, Again

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A Chinese surveillance ship is operating off the coast of Hawaii to keep tabs on the U.S.-led Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise, a Navy official confirmed to USNI News on Friday. Sam LaGrone USNI The People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) auxiliary general intelligence (AGI) ship has been operating in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the coast of Hawaii since July 11, U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesman Capt… “We expect the ship will remain outside the territorial seas of the U.S. ... Read More »

Path of Blood: New documentary explores jihadi extremism, radicalisation and al-Qaeda’s target, Saudi Arabia

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Aimen Dean was just 19 when he pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden – until the brutal reality of mass murder led him to be flipped by the Qataris, and return to Afghanistan as a spy for MI6 Stephen Applebaum Independent In the years following 9/11, documentaries such as Restrepo and Armadillo gave us intimate and unflinching accounts of the daily lives of troops fighting the war in Afghanistan. Jonathan Hacker’s Path of Blood now offers a similar kind of insider’s eye ... Read More »

East Timor bugging: Politicians call for AFP to investigate Australian spies’ role in 2004 operation

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Intelligence whistleblower turned independent MP Andrew Wilkie has called on the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to launch an investigation into the role the nation’s intelligence services played in the… By political reporter Matthew Doran ABC The 2004 incident led to a souring of the relationship between Canberra and East Timor, as the two nations were negotiating a deal on accessing offshore oil deposits at the time. Last month, Mr Wilkie used parliamentary privilege to reveal the Commonwealth Director of Public ... Read More »

Voices of Idlib

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Humanitarian Fallout of Conflict ICG The Syrian war grinds lethally on, as regime forces move to recapture rebel-held areas. In our first-ever illustrated commentary, Crisis Group explores one holdout, Idlib, where three million Syrians – many already displaced – chafe at jihadist rule but dread the coming onslaught. Voices of Idlib… Read More »

Erdogan’s New Dynasty Makes Turkey Uninvestable

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The president has given investors every reason to turn away. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan unfortunately is a man of his word. Marcus Ashworth Bloomberg He promised to take greater control of monetary policy during the election campaign, and he has wasted no time in doing so. He has snipped the last threads in Turkey’s safety net — and he has made his nation all but uninvestable. Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek and Finance Minister Naci Agbal have both departed. They were the kinds ... Read More »

Israeli Crypto Startup Bancor Loses $13.5 Million to Hacking

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Bancor reported the incident in a tweet on Monday. A digital coin valued at $23.5 million was stolen, with Bancor eventually retrieving $10 million worth of its own coin, BNT Amarelle Wenkert C Tech On Monday, Israeli crypto coin trading platform Bancor announced in a tweet it had been the victim of a security breach which has resulted in the theft of $13.5 million in crypto coins, mostly Ethereum. The company said that no user wallets were compromised in the event. ... Read More »

Thailand cave rescue: what has happened so far

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Rescue bid enters second day; Four rescued from Thai cave ‘kept away’ from parents over infection risk Agencies Gulf News Tham Luang: An eighth person has been carried out on a stretcher from Thailand cave, reports Reuters, quoting eyewitness. A total of four boys have been rescued so far in today’s operation. There are five people still inside the cave, the coach Ekapol Chanthawong and four Wild Boars. The first of the boys extracted Monday was carried in a stretcher and ... Read More »

Massive Turkey-funded mosque stirs unease in secular north Cyprus

This picture shows the Hala sultan mosque in Haspolat (called Mia Milia by Greek Cypriots), in the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), on July 7, 2018.
North of the Cypriot capital Nicosia, a massive Turkey-funded mosque opening this week has caused a stir in the largely secular Muslim society. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to attend the opening ceremony on July 10 of the 3,000-capacity house of worship, with its four minarets and built in classic Ottoman style. While many have welcomed it, the mosque has sparked concern among some Turkish Cypriots over Ankara's growing influence in the north of the divided island. / AFP PHOTO / Matthieu CLAVEL

Many local residents see imposing structure as part of Erdogan’s efforts to cement control over territory. ‘It symbolizes the Islamist mentality. It’s not an innocent thing’ Dylan Collins The Times of Israel NICOSIA, Cyprus (AFP) — In the flat sunbaked fields north of the Cypriot capital Nicosia, a huge Turkey-funded mosque opening this week has caused a stir in the largely secular Muslim society. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to attend the opening ceremony, expected to take place on ... Read More »

Justice for Cyprus: The Goal should be Freedom from Occupation

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Cyprus, a member state of the European Union, has been illegally occupied by Turkey since 1974. Turkey’s false excuse for its presence on the island is the “protection of Turkish Cypriots from Greek violence.” Uzay Bulut * H Fusion     However, in 2017, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Tuğrul Türkeş revealed the real reason behind Turkey’s control of Cyprus:  “There is this misinformation that Turkey is interested in Cyprus because there is a Turkish society there… Kyrenia Harbour Even if no Turks lived in Cyprus, ... Read More »

‘We want peace’: A Rohingya family’s 40 years of suffering

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Rohingya refugees tell of decades of persecution and horrors suffered at the hands of Myanmar security forces. Mohammed Jamjoom AlJazeera Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh – Gul Zahar is the head of four generations of family and and the bearer of 40 years of suffering. A Rohingya refugee in her 90s, she has fled persecution in Myanmar on three separate occasions in her life: first in 1978, then in 1991 and, finally, in 2017. Like many other Rohingya members of her generation, Gul isn’t exactly sure how old ... Read More »

The secret story of how America lost the drug war with the Taliban

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN:  An Afghan man pours petrol onto a pile of seized drugs, including more than 2,5 tons of opium, more than 4 tons of hasish, and some 169 kilos of heroin, before incinerating it outside Kabul, 23 September 2004.  Since the fall of the hardline Islamic Taliban regime in late 2001, Afghanistan has become one of the world's biggest drug producers.    AFP PHOTO/ Shah Marai  (Photo credit should read SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images)

A high-stakes plan to indict Afghan drug lords and insurgency leaders on criminal conspiracy charges ran afoul of the Obama team. Five years later, it remains buried under Trump. Josh Meyer Politico As Afghanistan edged ever closer to becoming a narco-state five years ago, a team of veteran U.S. officials in Kabul presented the Obama administration with a detailed plan to use U.S. courts to prosecute the… The plan, according to its authors, was both a way of halting the ... Read More »