Asia

What’s Behind the Syrian Chemical-Weapons Warning?

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Assad may be hoping that another chemical-weapons attack in Idlib Province could dissuade further rebel advances. Matthew RJ Brodsky The National Interest From seemingly out of nowhere, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer released a brief and ominous statement late Monday evening regarding Bashar al… The United States has identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the… What’s Behind the… Read More »

Ex-bosses stand trial over Japan’s 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis

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Three former executives at the operator of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant went on trial June 30, the only people ever to face a criminal court in connection with the 2011 meltdowns that left… Hurriyet Ex-Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, 77, and former vice presidents Sakae Muto, 66, and Ichiro Takekuro, 71, all pleaded not guilty to charges of professional negligence… Katsumata told a three-judge panel hearing the case that it was… Ex-bosses stand… Read More »

Canada 150 in Hong Kong: Photos and Report from Consul General Nankivell

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Jeff Nankivell has a lot of celebrating to do this summer. Not only is it the 150th birthday of his nation, but he is also nearing the completion of his first year as the Consul General of Canada to Hong Kong and… Jasmine Lee    Harbour Times On 21 June the Consulate held its largest anniversary reception at the Island Shangri-la Hotel, where the crowd not only commemorated Canada’s milestone, but to also take in the… It is not surprising that ... Read More »

Indonesian boy wrongfully jailed in WA adult prison for people smuggling has conviction overturned

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Ali Jasmin was 13 when detained by Australian authorities for cooking on a boat carrying asylum… Australian Associated Press The Guardian A young Indonesian man who served time in a Western Australian adult prison for people smuggling despite being a child at the time has had his conviction… Ali Jasmin, also known as Ali Yasmin, was a crew member on a boat transporting 55 Afghan asylum seekers and was aged 14 in December 2010 when he was sentenced as an ... Read More »

Turkey’s Coming Chaos

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President Donald Trump wasn’t wrong in May when he lauded Turkey as a “pillar in the Cold War against Communism” and “a bastion against Soviet… Michael Rubin AEI In a previous era, when land invasions were the great strategic worry, Turkey’s location — right between Eastern Europe and the Middle East — made its Incirlik Air Base an indispensable asset for the U.S… The nation also had a strong military of its own and an ideological willingness to… Turkey’s Coming… Read More »

Building Critical Mass for Peace in Myanmar

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Despite important progress at the 24-29 May 2017 round of peace talks, the path toward a negotiated end to Myanmar’s conflicts remains fraught with… Yangon/Brussels ICG All sides must redouble their engagement to broaden armed groups’ participation in the talks, and improve the implementation of the Nationwide Ceasefire… Myanmar’s latest peace conference, held on 24-29 May 2017, made welcome… Building Critical Mass… Read More »

Erdogan is Capable and Willing to Destabilize the Balkans And NATO Pretends Everything Is Fine

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And NATO Pretends Everything Is Fine “I expect Ankara to pour substantial resources into gaining religious and political influence in Southeast Europe,” one of America’s top experts on the Middle East told Faktor.bg. Daniel Pipes Daniel Pipes is an American historian, writer and commentator; he earned a doctorate at Harvard. In recent years, he established himself as one of the most prominent researchers and analysts of radical Islam. He is president of the Middle East Forum think tank and publisher ... Read More »

Russia quietly begins building third military base in Syria

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Moscow plans to oversee new ‘deconfliction zone’ in country’s south, charged among other things with clearing ISIS away from Jordanian border Sami Moubayed Asia Times Over the past few days, the Russian army has quietly started construction of a new military base in the countryside near Damascus, from scratch, tasked with manning and administering a “deconfliction zone” in the Syrian south, similar to four others agreed upon earlier in the year by Moscow, Ankara and… The first zones applied to Homs, ... Read More »

Four Steps to an EU-Turkey Reset

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During the past fifty years, relations between the European Union and Turkey have known many ups and… Marc Pierini Carnegie Europe From an EU standpoint, Turkey has become a strategic country in a host of areas: defense and security; trade, investment, and technology; and education and… Today, Turkey is formally still negotiating its accession to the EU, but developments in the past four years have resulted in multiple incompatibilities with… Although EU leaders have… Four Steps to… Read More »

US Ambassador invites Kiwis to ‘grab a beer’

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The new US Ambassador to New Zealand has introduced himself to the country with a rendition of Cheap Trick’s ‘Surrender’ on his Fender electric guitar, displaying his musical talents to media in… JAMES O’DOHERTY, NEW ZEALAND BUREAU CHIEF SkyNews Scott Brown, a former Republican senator for Massachusetts, was one of the Trump administration’s first diplomatic appointments. He’s now arrived in New Zealand, taking up residence in Wellington’s Lower… US Ambassador invites… Read More »

Violence against Women: Some Inconvenient Data for the Corrupt UN

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The United Nations panels lovingly practice hypocrisy all the time. In 2016, a UN debate revolved around the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which voted to blame Israel for Palestinian domestic violence. Burak Bekdil  Gatestone This year’s show was hardly different in the content of nonsense. The executive director of UN Watch, Hillel Neuer, asked Dubravka Simonovic, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, at a session on June 12: “Ms. Simonovic, in… Violence against Women… Read More »

Turkey, nexus of US incompetence

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Today, eastward from the Atlantic, America faces more hostility and can count on less support than ever. Angelo M. Codevilla Asia Times Although US foreign policy is not wholly responsible for this predicament, its incompetence contributes to it. US policy toward Turkey, as ever part of Europe, of the Middle East, and of Eurasia, is the prime object lesson. The geopolitical importance of whoever controls the Black Sea straits has been obvious since the… Turkey, nexus of US… Read More »

Whither Japan’s Democracy?

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To some observers, retired civil servant Hiroji Yamashiro, 65, has become a symbol of modern Japan’s uneasy  attitude towards dissent Daniel Hurst Asia Times To some observers, protester Hiroji Yamashiro, 65, has become a symbol of modern Japan’s uneasy attitude towards dissent. The retired civil servant, a long-standing campaigner against the US military presence in the southern prefecture of Okinawa, was detained for five months from… Whither Japan’s… Read More »

The collapse of Turkish army’s health and education system

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In late May, more than 1,000 soldiers from a land forces brigade in the western Turkish province of Manisa were hospitalized for food poisoning, and one of them lost his life. Author: Zülfikar Doğan Translator: Sibel Utku Bila AlMonitor The problem at the barracks, where 6,000 new conscripts are receiving training, was described as intestinal infection, but the detailed medical analyses of samples from affected soldiers have not… On June 17, a new bout of mass food poisonings occurred in… ... Read More »

The emerging Turkish-Iranian alliance

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Iran and Turkey, the two non-Arab Middle Eastern states, are among the largest and most populous in the… Manish Rai, Geopolitical Analyst  Asia Times The former occupies a strategic location on the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, while the latter controls the Bosporus Strait, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles, which links the… The two nations descend from the most ancient civilizations in the world and have strong national… Turkey and Iran have been mirror images of ... Read More »

Will China provide sanctuary to North Korean submarines?

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North Korea has one of the world’s largest fleets of submarines Peter J. Brown Asia Times As Washington, Seoul and Tokyo fret about North Korea’s repeated firing of ballistic missiles into the skies of Northeast Asia, another part of Pyongyang’s arsenal has gone largely unnoticed because it’s under the… Of course, submarines aren’t supposed to be noticed, which is what can make them such an effective stealth… Will China provide… Read More »