Asia

The Human Dignity in the Face of Hypocrisy

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Judiciary in Turkey had always been an instrument of the regime from the Kemalists generals to the President Erdogan’s  “Neo-Ottomanist regime“ Costas Mavrides * Eyes on Europe & Middle East Courts in Turkey simply don’t exist anymore Currently there are only “President Erdogan’s Courts” that serve him while he considers that “the judiciary in Turkey is more fair than in any other European country”. Turkish journalist Abdullah Bozkurt  who has been in exile in Sweden discloses dirty little secrets regarding Turkey, since kemalism until today, with ... Read More »

Why is the West praising Malala, but ignoring Ahed?

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Ahed Tamimi, a 16-year-old Palestinian girl, was recently arrested in a night-time raid on her home. Shenila Khoja-Moolji AlJazeera The Israeli authorities accuse her of “assaulting” an Israeli soldier and an officer A day earlier she had confronted Israeli soldiers who had entered her family’s backyard. The incident happened shortly after a soldier shot her 14-year-old cousin in the head with a rubber bullet, and fired tear-gas canisters directly at their home, breaking windows. Her mother and cousin were arrested later as well. All three remain in detention. ... Read More »

Stop the slaughter of whales

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Japan must heed the voice of global concern and put an end to its whaling expedition in the Antarctic waters Hiranmay Karlekar  The Pioneer India’s name is sadly missing from the list of countries — members of the European Union and 12 others — that have condemned Japan’s whaling expedition in the Antarctic waters launched recently. The plan is to kill 333 Minke whales in four months. Ever since the International Whaling Commission’s (IWC) imposition of a moratorium on hunting ... Read More »

Minsk is dead! Long Live Minsk?

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Minsk is shorthand for a diplomatic process established in 2014 and early 2015 The formal deadline for completing Minsk was December 2015, a deadline that long since passed without its first phase — a ceasefire — going into effect. MICHAEL KIMMAGE War On The Rocks The next two phases — decentralization and a political process for the Donbas — have never progressed beyond the hypothetical. As of this winter, the line of contact between the Ukrainian and the Russian-backed forces ... Read More »

Mongolia’s Modernizing Military

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Mongolia’s military has an expanding role at home and abroad Bolor Lkhaajav The Diplomat Mongolia’s land-based military has faced many modernizing challenges and opportunities throughout history The ancient Mongol army, like other great armies, whether the Greeks, Romans, or Ottomans, had its strengths and weaknesses, its historical glories and bruises. When discussing the modernization of Mongolia’s military today, a number of historical aspects remain crucial in shaping military principles, core values, and social influences. These historical aspects link to the ... Read More »

Ankara’s Look East: How Turkey’s Warming Ties with Russia Threaten Its Place in the Transatlantic Community

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The strongmen of Turkey and Russia have met frequently this past year to discuss the Syrian civil war and bilateral relations Aaron Stein War on the Rocks In parallel, Turkey’s relations with its Western allies have deteriorated amid disagreements about the rule of law in Turkey and Washington’s policies in Syria. Russia and Turkey have a strong economic relationship, underpinned by the Russian export of natural gas to Turkey, Russian tourism to Turkey, and Turkish construction firms active in the ... Read More »

Malaysia’s 1MDB settles debt owed to Abu Dhabi with China backing

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KUALA LUMPUR – State-owned 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) has made the final settlement of US$602.7 million ($S810 million) in debt obligations to Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), by divesting its stake in two companies to buyers linked to Chinese state-owned… The Straits Times The payment, the second tranche of a US$1.2 billion loan IPIC extended in July 2015 to the troubled 1MDB, was made last Friday (Dec 22), ahead of the end-December deadline that both parties agreed to in ... Read More »

Trump’s Recognition of Jerusalem: The View from Beijing

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On December 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump signed a declaration that said, “We finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.” By Roie Yellinek BESA In doing so, he overturned the traditional evasion of US presidents of Congress’s 1995 decision to transfer the US embassy to Jerusalem. Trump went on to say: “This decision is not intended, in any way, to reflect a departure from our strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace agreement… The United States remains ... Read More »

Iran Recognizes Jerusalem as Palestinian Capital

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In a symbolic pushback to President Donald Trump’s declaration on the status of Jerusalem, Iranian lawmakers on Wednesday voted to recognize the contested city as the capital of the Palestinians. Jack Moore Newsweek The Iranian parliament voted in favor of a bill that recognized the city as the Palestinian capital, or the capital of the “State of Palestine,” the entity recognized by the United Nations as a member state. Of 290 lawmakers, 207 voted in favor of the bill. Ali ... Read More »

How Hariri fell and survived: The story of his resignation from Saudi Arabia

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Beirut: Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was summoned at 8.30am to the Saudi royal offices – unseemly early, by the kingdom’s standards – on the second day of a visit that was already far from what he had expected. Anne Barnard and Maria Abi-Habib Brisbane Times New York Times Hariri, long an ally of the Saudis, dressed that morning in jeans and a T-shirt, thinking he was going camping in the desert with the crown prince, Mohammed bin… But instead he ... Read More »

Sigmar Gabriel: Post-Brexit Britain can be model for Turkey and Ukraine

epa06396772 German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel speaks during a joint media statement with Regional Kurdistan Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani (not in picture) prior to their meeting in Berlin, Germany, 18 December 2017. Gabriel and Barzani met for bilateral talks.  EPA-EFE/CLEMENS BILAN

The German foreign minister says: ‘We have to think about alternative forms of closer cooperation’ if full EU membership isn’t an option. By SAIM SAEED Politico The U.K.’s eventual Brexit deal could serve as a model for EU relations with Turkey and Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said in an interview published Tuesday. Speaking to the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Gabriel said: “If we can get a smart deal with Britain that governs relations with Europe after Brexit, it could be ... Read More »

China: Islands ‘reasonably’ expanded

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CHINA admitted expanding its islands in the disputed South China Sea, with continued construction in the challenged islands covering about 290,000 square meters or 29 hectares this year alone, state paper People’s Daily reported Monday. John Paolo Bencito and Sara Susanne Fabunan Manila Standard The report, which detailed Beijing’s “accelerated construction” and “enhanced military presence” on South China Sea islands and shoals over the past year, includes new facilities for underground storage, administrative buildings and large radar, which they claim ... Read More »

International security organization OSCE calls on Turkey to release journalists

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The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) media freedom representative urged Turkish authorities to release all imprisoned journalists in the country and drop charges against them on Dec. 25, in a statement that came after a court ruling on the continued arrest of daily Cumhuriyet staff who… Hurriyet During the fifth hearing of their case on Dec. 25, the Istanbul 27th High Criminal Court ordered four daily Cumhuriyet staff to remain in prison, including prominent journalist Ahmet Şık, ... Read More »

Iran gradually moving toward resumed military ties with Europe

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Following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran’s relations with Europe mostly remained intact at the economic and at times political level. Saeid Jafari AlMonitor But in terms of military cooperation, there were almost no ties whatsoever. However, the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2015 created an environment that encouraged Tehran to also push for military cooperation with its European counterparts. Looking back, there have been very few instances in history when the two sides have actually ... Read More »

China would ‘pay a very high price’ if it invades, Taiwan warns

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Mainland affairs minister says Taipei it is cautious and won’t provoke an attack – but it can defend itself; Chang Hsiao-Yueh says also called on the US not to use the self-governed island as a bargaining chip in negotiations with Beijing DANIEL HURST Asia Times A senior Taiwanese minister has declared that China would “pay a very very high price” if it invaded Taiwan. Chang Hsiao-Yueh, Taiwan’s mainland affairs minister, also called on the United States not to use the ... Read More »

How China’s first emperor searched for elixir of life

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China’s first emperor launched an obsessive search for the elixir of life before dying aged 49 in 210 BCE, new archaeological research has revealed. BBC Qin Shi Huang, who created the world-famous terracotta army, ordered a nationwide hunt for the mythical potion. The quest is mentioned in 2000-year-old texts written on thousands of wooden slats – used in China before paper. They were found in 2002 at the bottom of a well in central Hunan province. The writings contain an ... Read More »