Asia

‘Faux pacifists’ imperil Japan while empowering China

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The world would benefit from an assertive, proactive and militarily capable Japan. Radical leftists do Beijing’s bidding by keeping Tokyo weak and neutralized Kerry K Gershaneck Asia Times Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faces a major political warfare campaign as he labors to defend Japan’s security interests through the normalization of the status of its armed forces. However, there is a very small but powerful radical-left minority in Japan that desires a weak and neutralized military; nearby, hostile totalitarian regimes ... Read More »

Typhoon Trump blows G7 off course

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Other leaders thought they’d kept the club together — until the US president tweeted his fury. David M. Hersenhorn Politico LA MALBAIE, Canada — As host of this year’s G7 summit, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seemed to have just one over-arching goal: to get through the gathering without U.S. President Donald Trump blasting it to pieces. Trudeau succeeded — for all of about 90 minutes. Just an hour and a half after Trudeau finished his concluding news conference, an ... Read More »

Special forces rookie ‘blooded’ by executing an unarmed man

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A Special Air Service Regiment trooper on his first deployment to Afghanistan was pressured to execute an elderly, unarmed detainee by fellow higher-ranking soldiers as part of a “blooding” ritual, according to defence insiders who were witnesses at the scene. Chris Masters & Nick McKenzie The Sydney Morning Herald And on the same mission, another man with a prosthetic leg was killed by machine-gun fire. His plastic leg was souvenired and later taken back to SAS headquarters in Perth to ... Read More »

Mediterranean could become a sea of plastic, WWF warns

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The Mediterranean could become a “sea of plastic,” the WWF warned on June 8 in a report calling for measures to clean up one of the world’s worst affected bodies of water. MARSEILLE Hurriyet The WWF said the Mediterranean had record levels of “micro-plastics,” the tiny pieces of plastic less than five millimeters in size which can be found increasingly in the food chain posing a threat to human health. “The concentration of micro-plastics is nearly four times higher” in the Mediterranean compared with ... Read More »

Turkey’s currency turmoil and upcoming election – what you need to know

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The Turkish lira has dropped more than 15% this year against the US dollar and the government is doing all it can to stem the flow. Gulcin Ozkan The Conversation Turkey’s central bank just raised the country’s main interest rate by 1.25 percentage points (to 17.75%) in a bid to stabilise the lira and halt surging inflation. This follows an emergency rate rise on May 23 of three percentage points. With elections on the horizon, this is a trying time ... Read More »

Abdul’s brother went out to buy flour. He never came home

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In the barracks of Australia’s most elite fighting unit, the incident is discussed in hushed tones. By Nick McKenzie & Chris Masters The Age The Australian special forces soldier led his prisoner towards a ridge above a dry creek bed near the Afghan village of Darwan. The prisoner’s fate lay in the hands of the man leading him to the edge. His own hands were bound. It was September 11, 2012 – 11 years to the day after planes piloted by ... Read More »

Jewish students take aim at ‘distressing’ university paper

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A female suicide bomber who killed dozens of Israeli soldiers has graced the front cover of a University of Sydney student newspaper, and Jewish students who complained about the cover have been “condemned” for… Richard Ferguson The Australian Hamida al-Taher killed more than 50 people, mainly Israeli military personnel, when she blew herself up in Southern Lebanon in 1985. The special edition of the University of Sydney’s student newspaper Honi Soit, produced by the student women’s collective a fortnight ago, put ... Read More »

Israel’s Navy Trains to Defend Mediterranean Gas Rigs from Hezbollah Attack

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The Israeli Navy has successfully completed a military drill that simulated two possible ways Hezbollah might attack gas exploration and extraction systems in Israel’s Exclusive Economic… Sputnik The Israeli Navy’s first scenario included a drone simulating a cruise missile fired by the enemy at a gas rig. According to the Jerusalem Post, the airborne target was successfully discovered and destroyed by the… The ship has reportedly been upgraded with new detection, observation and electronic warfare systems, including a new radar which is said to greatly improve ... Read More »

NATO welcomes ceasefire with Taliban, calls for peace talks

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed on Thursday Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s unconditional ceasefire with the Taliban, and he called on the militants to lay down their arms and negotiate a peace… “The announcement of a ceasefire shows the seriousness of President Ghani and the Afghan government … I call on the Taliban to join the ceasefire,” Stoltenberg told… “The Taliban will not win on the battlefield. The only way for them to achieve a solution is to ... Read More »

Israeli Parole Board Denies Palestinian Teen Ahed Tamimi Early Release

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Board says Tamimi, imprisoned for slapping an Israeli soldier, lacks remorse and remains dangerous Yotam Berger Haaretz A parole board has rejected a request by Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teenager who received an eight-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to assaulting an Israeli soldier, for an early release. The Shin Bet security service issued an opinion in the case opposing her release. “The statements she has made about the case indicate her radical ideology, [and] along with the security situation in the ... Read More »

Why Israel Still Can’t Afford to Destroy Hamas

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Destroying Hamas’ control would lead to either an open-ended Israeli presence that governs Gaza or to chaos. Shimon Arad The National Interest In a June 2017 article in the National Interest, I asserted that while Israel is militarily capable of destroying Hamas, in the absence of a viable alternative to the group’s control of Gaza, strategically it could not afford to do so. The recent flare-up along the border with Gaza, which escalated on May 29 into the most intense day since the large-scale ... Read More »

Bangladesh body count mounts; group urges U.N. action to stop drug war

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DHAKA/MUMBAI (Reuters) – The death toll in a Bangladeshi “zero tolerance” crackdown on drugs has risen to 140, with about 18,000 people arrested, the government said on Thursday, as a group of activists urged the United Nations to step in to stop the… Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approved the anti-narcotics campaign in early May to tackle the spread of methamphetamines but the killings have raised fears among rights groups of a bloody Philippine-style campaign to wipe out… “In a manner… ... Read More »

The epic story of a 97-year-old Palestinian freedom fighter

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Born in 1921, Abu Nihad remembers the toughest battles against Zionist militias after the British left Palestine. Zena Tahhan AlJazeera Sur Baher, occupied East Jerusalem – In the village he defended from Zionist militias 70 years ago, Muhammad Mahmoud Jadallah is celebrated as a “blessing”. Born in 1921, the 97-year-old, known as Abu Nihad, witnessed the unfolding of what has been dubbed by some as “the world’s most intractable conflict”. He is one of the few Palestinian men who fought against ... Read More »

Kamila Shamsie wins Women’s prize for fiction for ‘story of our times’

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Home Fire, which reworks Sophocles’ Antigone to tell the story of a British family caught up by Isis, takes £30,000 award Alison Flood The Guardian Kamila Shamsie’s Home Fire, which reworks Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone to tell the story of a British Muslim family’s connection to Islamic State, has won the Women’s prize for fiction, acclaimed by judges as “the story of our times”. The British Pakistani author’s seventh novel riffs on the ancient Greek play in which Antigone is forbidden ... Read More »

Block 9: Flashpoint for the Next Lebanon War?

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Israel and its neighbor are embroiled in a dispute over the boundaries of resource-rich maritime territories. Which country’s claims are better supported by international maritime law? Andrew Norris Tablet The discovery of vast hydrocarbon reserves in the Levant Basin, estimated by the United States Geological Survey in 2010 to contain an estimated 122 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas and 1.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil, holds the promise of a significant economic boom to nations in the region, ... Read More »

The Ethnic Cleansing of Northern Cyprus

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Confessions of a Turkish-Cypriot Mass Murderer “Why is there not peace yet? How can we make peace when we have rabid murderers living among us? Instead of prosecuting them, we enable them to appear on TV and to boast about their murders…. If you do not even bring to account a murderer who says, ‘killing was my art,’ who will you bring to account?” — Şener Levent, the editor-in-chief of the Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika. So far, these “rabid murderers” have ... Read More »