Asia

The EU Can’t Afford to Ignore Europe’s Migrant Crisis

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Brussels should help central Europe forge an effective funding and financing plan to help stop the conflict in Syria. Naman Jain The National Interest A lot has been happening in the midst of the European migrant crisis. Most notably, the political debate between EU member states is widening on how to best handle this significantly deteriorating crisis. Specifically, the Visegrad Group, consisting of Poland… Criticism of the Visegrad… The EU Can’t… Read More »

Philippines’ Duterte says will never visit ‘lousy’ United States

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte hit back on July 21 at U.S. lawmakers opposed to the prospect of his visiting the White House, saying he would never go to the United States, which he called a… MANILA – Reuters Hurriyet Duterte was responding to remarks by Massachusetts Congressman James McGovern, who told a hearing of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission that he… The commission, made up of members of the U.S. House of Representatives, convened on… Philippines’ Duterte says… Read More »

China stands firm as pressure grows to release late Nobel laureate’s wife

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Liu Xia has been detained at home since Liu Xiaobo won the peace prize in 2010 Clifford Coonan in Beijing The Irish Times International pressure is growing to allow Liu Xia, the wife of the late Nobel Peace Prize-winner Liu Xiaobo, to leave the country if she wants to go abroad. She has been under house arrest for years. Diplomatic sources in Beijing say intensive discussions are under way with Chinese authorities to grant permission to allow Ms Xia, a ... Read More »

Turkey’s PKK Conflict Kills almost 3,000 in Two Years

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20 July 2017 marks the two-year anniversary of a collapsed ceasefire that previously held for two-and-a-half-years between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Berkay Mandıracı ICG Crisis Group’s new analysis of open-source data reveals that the ongoing cycle of violence has now killed three times as many as the 2011-12 escalation. On 20 July 2015, an Islamic State (ISIS) suicide bomb attack killed 33 and injured more than 100 mostly pro-Kurdish young activists in… Turkey’s PKK Conflict… Read More »

Chinese Warships Enter Baltic Sea — For Drills With Russia

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As NATO exercises in the Black Sea Russia welcomes the Chinese navy A Chinese naval squadron has sailed into the Baltic Sea to join the Russian navy for annual two-nation drills. RI The Chinese squadron consists of a supply ship, missile frigate and a Type 052D destroyer. The latter is the most advanced guided missile destroyer in Chinese service which is highly significant: “By sending its most advanced guided-missile destroyers, China is expressing its sincerity to Russia and… Chinese Warships Enter… Read More »

Why the US doesn’t understand Chinese thought – and must

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The need for the U.S. to understand China is obvious. The Chinese economy is on track to become the largest in the world by 2030, Chinese leadership may be the key to resolving the nuclear crisis with North Korea and China has military and economic ambitions in the South China Sea and… Bryan W. Van Norden The Conversation Meanwhile, the Trump administration has shown (repeatedly) that it’s not even clear on the difference between the People’s Republic of China (the ... Read More »

India searches for way out of border standoff with China

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Despite hawkish commentary emanating from China recently, New Delhi is studiously playing down the tensions between the two Asian giants M.K. Bhadrakumar Asia Times The Indian Defense Ministry has contradicted reports of Chinese troop mobilization on the border. In a statement on Wednesday, the ministry said there had only been a general state of alert on the Chinese side and a routine annual military exercise was held near Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, in… India searches for… Read More »

North Korea drought: Children at risk in ‘worst crisis since 2001’

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North Korea is facing severe food shortages after being hit by its worst drought since 2001, a report from the United Nations says. BBC Crop production in the country has been hampered by a prolonged dry period and food imports are now urgently required to fill the gap, the UN has warned. The most vulnerable, such as children and the elderly, will be worst hit. In the 1990s, hundreds of thousands of North Koreans are believed to have died… North ... Read More »

A coup in the House of Saud?

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The secret is out: the ascension of Mohammad bin Salman, displacing CIA favorite Mohammad bin Nayef as Crown Prince, was in fact a white coup… Pepe Escobar  Asia Times What has been an open secret across the Arab world is not a secret anymore even in the US: What happened last month in the deep recesses of the House of Saud with the ascension of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, aka MBS, was in fact a white coup. Nearly a ... Read More »

Palestinian Activism Reawakens in Jerusalem after Holy Esplanade Attack

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A deadly attack on 14 July 2017 at Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade revealed the growing precariousness of the site’s Status Quo. Ofer Zalzberg ICG In this Q&A Ofer Zalzberg, Senior Analyst for Israel/Palestine, says the mobilisation of Palestinians to reverse Israeli security measures around the site could signal a revival of activism in East Jerusalem after years of decline. What do we know about the attack and how unusual was it? On Friday 14 July 2017, three Palestinian citizens of Israel attacked ... Read More »

Tasoula Hadjitofi – from refugee to icon hunter

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A refugee’s quest to reclaim her nation’s stolen heritage Tasoula Hadjitofi will discuss her experiences of war and injustice; her ongoing campaign to preserve cultural heritage worldwide and her tireless work to combat art trafficking. In 1974 Tasoula Hadjitofi and her family were forced to flee their home in Famagusta, Cyprus during the Turkish invasion. As a refugee living in the Netherlands, Tasoula devoted her life to infiltrating and exposing the shady underworld of art traffickers. It all began when ... Read More »

Exclusive: Iran’s Foreign Minister Warns Donald Trump That Tehran Can Abandon the Nuclear Deal

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TNI’s Jacob Heilbrunn just sat down with Tehran’s top diplomat—and he was not happy with the Trump administration. Mohammad Javad Zarif The National Interest Jacob Heilbrunn, editor of the National Interest, spoke with Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister in an interview in New York on Monday, July 17, 2017. The following is a lightly… Jacob Heilbrunn: Yesterday you were on Fareed Zakaria’s show. And if, as you alleged, the Trump administration is indeed violating the… Exclusive: Iran’s Foreign… Read More »

Will the Americans Abandon Us?

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Our Senior Analyst for Syria Noah Bonsey visits the north east of the country to meet a Syrian Kurdish organisation that has made the region relatively secure, yet knows that it still has far to go in its… Noah Bonsey ICG QAMISHLI, Syria ­– Abd al-Menaam picks me up as usual from the customs shed on the Syrian bank of the Tigris… As we drive west toward the town of Qamishli, we pass beneath a hilltop command centre bombed by ... Read More »

‘We’re Headed Toward One of the Greatest Divisions in the History of the Jewish People’

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A small, vocal group of Conservative rabbis is pushing the movement to accept marriages between Jews and non-Jews. Emma Green  The Atlantic The fight is really about the future of the religion. In late June, 19 rabbis gathered in New York City for an urgent meeting. It wasn’t secret, exactly, but it certainly wasn’t public. The Jewish leaders—all members of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, except for two—were there to decide what to do about… •‘We’re Headed Toward… Read More »

Erdoğan backs death penalty on Turkey coup attempt anniversary

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President tells crowd of thousands that Turkey will ‘cut the heads off’ traitors, a year after soldiers tried to topple government Kareem Shaheen in Ankara The Guardian The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, reiterated his support for reinstating the death penalty and threatened to cut off traitors’ heads in an a… Tens of thousands of people gathered in Istanbul, marching to the Bosphorus Bridge where 36 people were killed by coup soldiers exactly a year ago, for the first of ... Read More »

A Natural Gas War Is Brewing In The Mediterranean

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Offshore gas developments in the East Mediterranean region are heating up. Cyril Widdershoven OilPrice Alongside increased exploration efforts and a possible gas pipeline deal between Turkey and Israel, geopolitical risks are increasing too. While commercial prospects are starting to look good for all parties, a real military conflict is also brewing and may come to a head if Cyprus, Greece and Turkey are not able to find a… Optimism has been high of late about the prospects of offshore Cyprus ... Read More »