Asia

Ötüken Union Party, an openly racist/fascist political party, founded in Turkey

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The Ötüken Union Party, Turkey’s first openly racist and fascist political party, was established on Dec. 20, 2017, according to a report by online news outlet Duvar on Friday. Stockholm Center for Freedom By citing the political party list released by the Supreme Court of Appeals Prosecutor’s Office at the end of the year, Duvar has reported that “Ötüken” is a legendary capital city in both Turkic mythology and Tengrism, a shamanistic central Asian religion that once prevailed over Turkic ... Read More »

How Iran’s President Rouhani Can Turn Crisis into Opportunity

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Daily street protests across Iran since 28 December 2017 have pitted many young Iranians against the government, but the state’s response is revealing deep fractures in the political establishment. Ali Vaez ICG To outflank both the unrest and his political opponents, President Rouhani’s best option is to address head-on the drivers of the protests and pursue popular reform. Manifold reasons lie behind Iran’s ongoing protests, but the immediate trigger appears to be widespread disgruntlement over the country’s economic performance, especially ... Read More »

China and India dominate planned pipelines additions

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GlobalData’s latest analysis of global planned trunk/transmission oil and gas pipelines for the period 2018 to 2022 shows that the Xinjiang–Guangdong–Zhejiang SNG gas pipeline in China is the longest planned pipeline globally with a length of 8,972 kilometres (km). By GlobalData Energy Hydrocarbons Technology The onshore pipeline is expected to start operations in 2022 China Petrochemical Corp has 100% equity in the pipeline while China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation is the operator. The pipeline has a… The second longest planned ... Read More »

Taiwan court orders dentist to pay mother for raising him

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Taiwan’s top court has ordered a dentist to pay his mother around Tw$22.3 million ($744,000) as reimbursement for the money she spent raising and educating him. TAIPEI – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet  The supreme court Jan. 2 upheld a previous ruling that the 41-year-old, identified by his family name Chu, should honor a contract he signed with his mother 20 years ago promising to refund her. The plaintiff, surnamed Lo, divorced her husband in 1990 and raised their two sons on ... Read More »

Yemen civil war: Norway suspends arms sales to UAE as part of ‘precautionary line’

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There is “great concern” over the humanitarian crisis in the Arab world’s poorest country, says Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide Jan M. Olsen Independent AP Norway has suspended exports of munitions and arms to the United Arab Emirates as a “precautionary line,” based on its assessment of the situation in Yemen. A Saudi-led coalition including the UAE has been fighting Shia rebels in the country for nearly three years. Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide said she had “no information” that any of Norway’s military exports have been used in Yemen, but that there’s ... Read More »

Kim Jong-un’s strategy: drive a wedge between South Korea and the US

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Seoul: Beyond a New Year’s declaration by North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, that he would move to the mass-production of nuclear weapons and intercontinental missiles in 2018 lies a canny new strategy to initiate direct talks with South Korea: drive a wedge into its seven-decade alliance with the United… Choe Sang-hun NYT Brisbane Times Kim, perhaps sensing the simmering tension between US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, called for an urgent dialogue between the two Koreas before ... Read More »

Israel: African migrants told to leave or face imprisonment

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The Israeli government has issued a notice for thousands of African migrants to leave the country or face imprisonment BBC The migrants will be given up to $3,500 (£2,600) for leaving within the next 90 days. They will be given the option of going to their home country or third countries. If they do not leave, the Israeli authorities have threatened that they will start jailing them from April. The UN refugee agency said the controversial plan violated international and ... Read More »

Pakistan summons US ambassador over Trump’s angry tweet

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Pakistan summoned the U.S. ambassador in protest against U.S. President Donald Trump’s angry tweet about Pakistan’s “lies and deceit,” while Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif dismissed the outburst as a political stunt. ISLAMABAD – Reuters Hurriyet David Hale was summoned by the Pakistan foreign office on Jan. 1 to explain Trump’s tweet, media said. A spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad confirmed the meeting took place. In a withering attack, Trump on Jan. 1 said the United States had “foolishly” ... Read More »

Palestinians are watching Saudi Arabia closely

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Palestinians have been carefully watching Saudi Arabia drawing closer to Israel. Adnan Abu Amer AlJazeera The past few months have seen not only a flood of Saudi statements on social media supporting normalisation with Israel (some saying that Saudi is “more important” than Palestine and others apparently dreaming of Israel becoming Saudi’s top vacationing spot), but also a flurry of diplomatic activity between Riyadh and Tel Aviv. Saudi and Israeli political leadership agree on a number of issues, the most important of which is the need ... Read More »

Yemen: Remaining Peaceful Was Their Choice – OpEd

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People living now in Yemen’s third largest city, Ta’iz, have endured unimaginable circumstances for the past three years. Kathy Kelly Eurasia Review Civilians fear to go outside lest they be shot by a sniper or step on a land mine. Both sides of a worsening civil war use Howitzers, Kaytushas, mortars and other missiles to shell the city. Residents say no neighborhood is safer than another, and human rights groups report appalling violations, including torture of captives. Two days ago, ... Read More »

The South China Sea fell off Trump’s radar last year. He may have to pay attention in 2018.

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HONG KONG — President Trump railed against a lot of things in 2017. Chinese construction in the South China Sea was not really one of them, despite his campaign tough talk. Emily Rauhala The Washington Post Focused on North Korea and evidently enamored of President Xi Jinping, the voluble U.S. president said relatively little as China continued to build on disputed islands, rocks and reefs.A recent Chinese report hailed progress in the South China Sea last year, noting construction totaling 290,000 square meters, or 72 acres.That included ... Read More »

Chinese paper warns Australia on ‘interference’ in South China Sea

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Bangkok: A Chinese Communist Party-owned newspaper has published an article warning that Australia’s “interference” in the flashpoint waters of the South China Sea may prompt China to “adopt strong countermeasures which will seriously impact Australian economic development”. Lindsay Murdoch The Canberra Times Zhang Ye, a researcher at the Chinese Naval Research Institute in Beijing, wrote in the hawkish Global Times that Australia’s “kissing up to the United States” will “poison its relations with China and shake up [the] foundation for its strategic balance ... Read More »

Chinese ban on ivory sales goes into effect

Seized elephant ivory tusks are seen during a press conference at the Kwai Chung Customhouse Cargo Examination Compound in Hong Kong on July 6, 2017.
Hong Kong Customs have seized 7.2 tonnes of ivory tusks with an estimated market value of HKD 72 million (9.2 million usd) in the city's largest bust in three decades. / AFP PHOTO / Anthony WALLACE

China’s complete ban on ivory trade went into effect on Dec. 31, officials said, a major step forward in Beijing’s efforts to rein in what was once the world’s largest market for illegal ivory. BEIJING – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet “From today… the buying and selling of elephant ivory and goods by any market, shop or vendor is against the law!” the forestry ministry said on its official account on Chinese social media platform Weibo. “From now on, if a merchant ... Read More »

Forgotten in hell: Half of abducted Iraqi Yazidi girls remain in ISIS captivity & sex slavery

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15yo Nadi could barely speak when RT crew met her just a few hours after she was bought out after years of slavery for $2,500 – not the highest ransom by far, as ISIS terrorists fetch $10,000 on average for young Yazidi girls. RT Nadi is one of thousands of Yazidi girls, captured and then enslaved by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorists who would turn the girls – often no older than 10 years – into forced laborers, sex ... Read More »

Protests in Iran unlikely to bring about change

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Following months of scattered, issue-specific protests across Iran over matters such as unpaid wages and lost deposits amid bankruptcies of unlicensed credit and financial institutions, the northeastern city of Mashhad saw protests on Dec. 28, mainly over “high prices,” with smaller rallies held in regional towns like Neyshabur and… Mohammad Ali Shabani  AlMonitor The day after, similar protests were also held in other cities around the country. So far, the protests appear provincial: The security deputy of Tehran’s governor said fewer ... Read More »

Turkey, Russia finalize deal on anti-missile defense system

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ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey has finalized a deal with Moscow for the purchase of Russia’s S-400 anti-missile system, Turkish defense officials announced Friday, despite concerns voiced by some of the NATO member’s allies. By Suzan Fraser, Associated Press Suzan Fraser, Associated Press PBS NewsHour Associated Press Writer Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed The deal, which would make Turkey the first member of the military alliance to own Russia’s most advanced air defense system, comes amid strengthening ties between Turkey and ... Read More »