Asia

Turkey’s election should be a warning for Western democracy

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Adnan R. Khan in Istanbul: Erdogan’s brand of populism still wins, and it’s an example of what happens in a country that has no political centre. Adnan R. Khan MACLEAN’s Sunday was supposed to be a historic moment in Turkey. For the first time in its democratic history, Turkey held presidential and parliamentary elections concurrently; for the first time, political parties were allowed to run as alliances; for the first time in 16 years, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan faced a… ... Read More »

Aid agencies warn cholera and catastrophe loom in Yemen

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As fighting rages for control of the key port of Hodeidah, there are fears that the harbor will be closed, cutting off vital supplies to millions Jonathan Gorvett Asia Times With fighting continuing in and around the key port city of Hodeidah, aid agencies warned this week that disruption caused by the battle could trigger another cholera epidemic in Yemen – and spell disaster for the millions in the country now dependent on imported… “If the harbour is closed, it ... Read More »

Saudis arrest another women’s right activist

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The arrest of Hatoon al-Fassi is part of Riyadh’s crackdown on activists in the kingdom. AlJazeera Saudi Arabia has arrested Hatoon al-Fassi, a Saudi women’s rights activist and writer, as part of its crackdown on activists in the kingdom, a human rights group said. ALQST, a UK-based rights group focusing on Saudi Arabia, confirmed to Al Jazeera on Wednesday al-Fassi’s arrest. Considered a leading figure in women’s rights in the region, and the kingdom, in particular, al-Fassi has long been fighting for the… ... Read More »

Why the World is Not Becoming Multipolar

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In Russia, the concept of multipolarity is usually associated with Yevgeny Primakov. Indeed, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation marked the start of the transition to multipolarity as a key trend in contemporary international life back in 1996.[i] Andrey Kortunov RIAC During his visit to New Delhi as Prime Minister in late 1998, Primakov proposed a plan of trilateral cooperation between Russia, China, and India (RIC) as a practical mechanism for promoting global multipolarity. Sergey Lavrov ... 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 »

China’s scrap plastic ban saddles neighbors with piles of problems

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Thailand and Vietnam struggle with redirected waste but is there a silver lining? NIKKI SUN and APORNRATH PHOONPHONGPHIPHAT, Nikkei staff writers Nikkei Asian Review HONG KONG/BANGKOK — The world is awash with scrap plastic, six months after No. 1 importer China closed its doors to the recyclable materials on environmental grounds. The ripple effects are hitting the shores of Southeast Asia’s emerging countries, which have seen a surge in plastic shipments — not all of them legal. “Thai people are ... Read More »

Israeli Company Sells State-of-the-Art Tank Defense System to US Army

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The Israeli defense company Rafael announced Tuesday that it has sold its state-of-the-art ASPRO-A tank defense system to the US Army. Benjamin Kerstein The Algemeiner Known as Ma’il Ruach (“Windbreaker”) in Israel, the ASPRO-A will be provided by Rafael in collaboration with DRS Leonardo for the price of $193 million. The systems will be built in both Israel and the US. According to Israel’s Channel 2, ASPRO-A is an active defense system for tanks and armored personnel carriers. It is ... Read More »

Palm oil ‘disastrous’ for wildlife but here to stay, experts warn

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The deforestation it causes is decimating species such as orangutans and tigers – but the alternatives could be worse, finds authoritative report Damian Carrington The Guardian It is consumed daily by billions of people but palm oil is “disastrous” for wildlife such as orangutans and tigers, according to an authoritative new report. However, the analysis warns that alternatives are likely to drive biodiversity losses elsewhere, rather than halt them. The analysis, from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), found… Palm oil ... Read More »

Israel Is Losing the Social Media War

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Why military supremacy is no longer enough for a Jewish state fighting on asymmetric fronts against nonstate actors with the ability to shape public perceptions and war narratives David Patrikarakos Tablet Global outrage over last month’s peak to the so-called Great March of Return on the Gaza-Israel border was instant and understandable. Over 50 people died and hundreds more were injured on a single day. What happened was as viscerally unpleasant as civil strife gets. It was brutal. More violence ... Read More »

The United States Cannot Afford to Pick a Side in the Shia-Sunni Fight

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America is going all in with the pro-confrontation camp led by Saudi Arabia. Pavam Mohseni and Ammar Nakhjavani The National Interest The President of the United States has decided that the best approach to Iran is to speak loudly and carry a big stick—in the hopes that relentless pressure on Iran will either lead to regime change or the country abandoning its contentious foreign… Such saber-rattling will more likely enfeeble American power within the region and set U.S. policy on ... 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 »

Saudi Arabia’s $121 billion reason to allow women to drive

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Allowing Saudi women to drive could help the kingdom reap as much income as selling shares in Saudi Aramco. Bloomberg The Sydney Morning Herald The move, which went into effect on Sunday, could add as much as $US90 billion ($121 billion) to economic output by 2030, with the benefits extending beyond that date, according to Bloomberg Economics. Selling as much as 5 percent stake in Saudi Arabian Oil Co. — at the most optimistic valuation — could generate about $US100 ... Read More »

As tourism and trading links soar, will Greece become the bridge between China and the rest of Europe?

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Visitor numbers are soaring since Air China began direct Beijing-Athens flights, while Chinese shipping company Cosco has taken majority ownership of the Piraeus Port – a potentially crucial component of the… South China Morning Post Priceless relics that belonged to one of China’s greatest leaders will leave Beijing’s Forbidden City for the first time and be displayed in the birthplace of democracy. Reconstructed rooms and more than 150 artefacts from the life of the 18th-century Emperor Qianlong will go on ... 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 »