Asia

Why’s EuroMaidan’s Mastermind Warning About Greek-Turkish Tensions?

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The former US Ambassador to Ukraine during EuroMaidan and present chief diplomat in Greece Geoffrey Pyatt predicted that Turkey’s ties with both the US and Greece will go through what he described as “turbulence” ahead of President Erdogan’s reelection vote next… Andrew Korybko Oriental Review This ambiguous warning can be interpreted in one of two ways. The decontextualized understanding is to think that he’s hinting that President Erdogan will cynically stage various highly-publicized provocations against them in order to galvanize ... Read More »

Putting Trump’s Trade Bombast to the Test

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President Trump’s recent threat to escalate his trade skirmish with China into a full-scale trade war is a foolish gambit with little historical precedent. Editorial Board The New York Times It is also hard to take seriously, given how quickly Mr. Trump changes his mind and how rarely and clumsily he tends to follow through on tough talk. Mr. Trump said on Thursday that he wants to slap tariffs on an additional $100 billion in Chinese imports in response to Beijing’s plan ... Read More »

I lived through Saddam Hussein’s fall – and the horror that came next

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I was a senior university student in Baghdad, Iraq. It was March 2003, and over the past few months, my classmates had whispered to each other about the possibility of a US-led invasion and the likelihood that 35 years of dictatorship and tyranny could be brought to an end. Balsam Mustafa The Conversation We could not dare to speculate on Iraq’s future, but many were longing to see Saddam Hussein fall. And soon enough, the war came. An intense and ... Read More »

Australia’s immigration policy is meant to be blind to race, but is it?

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Analysis: the principle of non discrimination, particularly in the humanitarian program, seems to be eroding Ben Doherty The Guardian Since the abolition of the White Australia policy, the fundamental basis of Australia’s immigration policy has been proudly, declaratively “non-discriminatory”. All of this week and last, the prime minister, home affairs minister and foreign minister all felt obliged to reconfirm this as controversy swirled over what was meant by Australia’s “special attention” for white South African farmers facing violence. “It is ... Read More »

New report details Germany’s role in Armenian genocide

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The German Reich provided the Ottoman Empire with the weapons to carry out the Armenian genocide, a new report claims. Ben Knight DW Prussian officers also laid the “ideological foundations” for the massacre, according to the author. Turkish forces mainly used German rifles and other weapons to carry out the 1915-16 genocide of the Armenian people, a new report has found. Mauser, Germany’s main manufacturer of small arms in both world wars, supplied the Ottoman Empire with millions of rifles ... Read More »

After Erdogan spat, PM speaks with Greek, Cypriot leaders

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Turkey, keen on diversifying its energy sources, has in the past expressed an interest in Israel laying a pipeline to Turkey. HerbKeinon The Jerusalem Post Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on Wednesday with the prime ministers of Greece and Cyprus, three days after trading sharp insults with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Both Cyprus and Greece are historic foes of Turkey, and Israel’s relationship with both countries improved significantly over the last decade, partly as a result of the deterioration ... Read More »

Why China prefers its own ideology to US-style democracy

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Western pundits, particularly those in the US, have it all wrong when they assume that allowing China into the global economic or trading system would eventually lead the country to become “one of us.” Ken Moak Asia Times The fact of the matter is that China has never wanted to  adopt Western democracy. In view of more than 80% popular support according to US-based Pew and Gallup Polls and China’s ability to deliver on most of its promises (such as improving ... Read More »

Leading academics slam UWA student guild for putting ‘cultural sensitivities’ above free speech

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A move by the University of WA student guild to acknowledge a visit from the Dalai Lama could offend some students has been criticised by leading academics, who see it as an attempt to put cultural sensitivities ahead of free… Bethany Hiatt | The West Australian Three years after it hosted the Tibetan spiritual leader on campus, the guild last week backed a motion recognising the “negative impact” his presence could have on Chinese… UWA’s Pelican magazine reported the motion ... Read More »

Russia-Turkey: The Interdependent Relationship Shaped by Energy or a Deeper Friendship?

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Prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the deepening relationship between Russia and Turkey showed itself in the first agreement designed to enhance their economic relations… Nargiz Hajiyeva Modern Diplomacy The agreement was signed on March 15, 1977, between them, which mainly embraced the cooperation in the promotion of the industrial development and… Meanwhile, the parties also inked an agreement concerning the scientific and technical cooperations. Therefore, energy had been a significant issue amid the negotiations processes between Russia ... Read More »

Do we need human rights law?

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In a world of unprecedented refugee flows, seemingly endless wars and rising levels of xenophobia and inequality, many have been questioning the point of human rights. Kiran Grewal The Conversation What do they mean to the huge numbers of asylum seekers detained across the globe? To the Rohinyga, fleeing ethnic cleansing in Myanmar? To the children dying in bombings across Syria and Yemen? For many the optimism of the post-WWII era when the international human rights system was set up ... Read More »

Defence Department scientist had separate role with China-linked firm

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The Defence Department is reviewing business dealings between one of its senior scientists and the Chinese government’s missile development agency amid ongoing concerns about Beijing’s effort to… By Alex Joske, Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker & Angus Grigg The Age In a separate development, Fairfax Media can also reveal that Australia’s peak scientific research agency, the CSIRO, spent tens of millions of dollars upgrading its cyber-security and information systems after a… The man disappeared after the apparent breach in November… Defence ... Read More »

Saudi prince says Israel has ‘right’ to its land

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The crown prince and de facto leader of Saudi Arabia said Israel has a “right” to a homeland, a notable shift in the kingdom’s position published on April 2. Washington / Riyadh Hurriyet But the king reassured Palestine over Saudi Arabia’s stance on the issue on April 3. Saudi Arabia and Israel still have no formal diplomatic relations, but behind the scenes, improvements in their ties have accelerated in recent years. Both countries see Iran as their biggest outside threat ... Read More »

White House criticises China for $3bn tariffs on US imports

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The White House has criticised China after it imposed retaliatory tariffs against the US on a range of goods including pork and wine. BBC Beijing has introduced duties of up to 25% on 128 American imports following President Donald Trump’s decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminium. China said the move was intended to safeguard its interests and balance losses caused by the new tariffs. US stocks plunged and Asian shares opened lower as trade war fears mount. On Wall ... Read More »

Israel cancels UN deal to resettle African migrants

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Embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu caves to pressure from right wing parties over UN offer to rehome 16,000 Africans in Western countries and allow 16,000 to remain in Israel Bethan McKernan Independent Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he is cancelling yesterday’s agreement with the UN to relocate thousands of African asylum seekers to Western countries. “I have listened carefully to the many comments on the agreement. As a result, and after I again weighed the advantages and disadvantages, I decided to cancel ... Read More »

Israel Kills Palestinians and Western Liberals Shrug. Their Humanitarianism Is a Sham.

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“IF THE CONCEPT of intervention is driven by universal human rights, why is it — from the people who identify themselves as liberal interventionists — why do we never hear a peep, a word, about intervening to protect the Palestinians?” Mehdi Hasan The Intercept That was the question I put to the French philosopher, author, and champion of liberal (or humanitarian) interventionism, Bernard-Henri Lévy, on my Al Jazeera English interview show “Head to Head” in 2013. The usually silver-tongued Levy struggled to answer the ... Read More »

Families leaving Eastern Ghouta take prize possessions

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Families who have left Damascus neighbourhood for Idlib tell of taking their most precious possessions with them. Arwa Ibrahim AlJazeera Abu Jawad was among thousands of Syrians who left their homes and underground shelters in the shrinking rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta to one of the last remaining rebel-held areas in northwest Syria. With dozens of daily convoys of buses making the 320km journey to the Idlib province since late March, families have been forced to take only the… Families leaving Eastern… Read More »