Asia

New book offers vital background on the Iran nuclear deal

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Wendy Sherman may not have the highest name recognition outside of Washington — but that’s what you might expect from a former top State Department official whose job included delicate negotiations with old adversaries and… Jason Rezaian The Washington Post Now she has just come out with a new memoir that fills a valuable gap in recent history by providing a detailed look at the talks that led to the Iran nuclear deal. Sherman was the lead negotiator for the ... Read More »

If Britain Opts for Corbyn, Then the New Prime Minister Will Clash with Trump Over Israel

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Is the Middle East ready? Lawrence J. Haas The National Interest The signs of breakdown in the liberal international order are mounting, and they’re coming from disparate directions: Washington battles its closest allies on trade, Beijing and Moscow come together more closely militarily in an anti-U.S. alliance, and Beijing seeks to make its territorial expansion a… But the liberal order is as much about values as about alliances and power plays. In that sense, the most striking recent manifestation of ... Read More »

Argentina, Turkey, Indonesia – why it’s too early to speak of contagion in emerging markets

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Turkey, Indonesia and Argentina have all seen their currencies experience huge drops in recent months. Similarly, stocks in India, South Africa, Mexico and others have taken a hit. Alain Naef The Conversation Emerging markets across the board have been under pressure since the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates in June. Governments and companies had borrowed in dollars when interest rates were low and the dollar was weak. Now the dollar is strong and interest rates are rising. And research ... Read More »

US threatens to arrest ICC judges who probe war crimes

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The United States threatened Monday to arrest and sanction judges and other officials of the International Criminal Court if it moves to charge any American who served in Afghanistan with… WASHINGTON – Agence France Presse Hurriyet White House National Security Advisor John Bolton called the Hague-based rights body “unaccountable” and “outright dangerous” to the United States, Israel and other allies, and said any probe of US service members would be “an… “If the court comes after us, Israel or other US allies, we will not sit quietly,” Bolton said. ... Read More »

The Indian tribe that gave up hunting to save forests

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A tribe in the north-eastern Indian state of Nagaland gave up their ancient tradition of hunting to protect wildlife. Photographer Sayan Hazra chronicles life in the village years after it banished the practice. BBC At one time, 76-year-old Chaiyievi Zhiinyii was a skilled hunter. But he stopped hunting in 2001. The Khonoma tribe gave up what was an important source of livelihood some 20 years ago in order to create a more stable ecosystem for future generations. For centuries, many ... Read More »

EU weighs new sanctions against Myanmar over Rohingya

Supporters of detained Myanmar journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo march during a rally in Yangon demanding for their release on September 1, 2018. - The two Reuters journalists in Myanmar accused of breaking a state secrets law while investigating a massacre of Rohingya Muslims face verdict on September 3. (Photo by - / AFP)        (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

Sanctions could target top officials or businesses linked to country’s military. Simon Marks Politico Several EU countries are considering expanding sanctions against Myanmar in the wake of calls from the United Nations for senior military officials from the country to be investigated for genocide against the Rohingya population. The EU has already placed sanctions — including a travel ban and asset freezes — on seven senior officials accused of committing serious human rights abuses against the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority. But mounting evidence of human rights violations — ... Read More »

Weak hand at helm as Australia drifts upon stormy regional seas

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Political turmoil compels leadership to prioritize domestic survival, rather than the greatest series of foreign policy challenges Canberra has faced in decades. By LACHLAN COLQUHOUN Asia Times Australia faces arguably its greatest series of regional foreign policy challenges in decades – including, most notably, how to balance its relations with a rising China – but political turmoil is hampering a coherent and committed response. New Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently visited Indonesia to ink a new trade deal, while Foreign ... Read More »

Yemen’s Geneva talks fall apart after Houthi no-show

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UN-sponsored peace talks falter after Houthi rebels fail to show up, prompting Yemeni government officials to leave. Barbara Bibbo Al Jazeera Geneva, Switzerland – Yemen’s foreign minister has harshly criticised UN diplomats for not putting pressure on the Houthi rebel group to attend peace talks in Geneva, dooming them to failure. Minister Khaled al-Yamani, who was heading the Yemeni delegation, said that Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths was providing the… Yemen’s Geneva talks… Read More »

Is the Yemen Peace Process Coming Back to Life?

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The UN special envoy to Yemen has invited the principal parties in the country’s civil war to Geneva for “consultations”. ICG With the war rapidly approaching its fifth year, Crisis Group Consultant Peter Salisbury explains why any such Geneva talks are important and what should happen next. First of all, what is happening and why does it matter? After two years of political inertia, we should be cautious about what can be achieved. Given the lack of diplomatic progress since ... Read More »

U.S. has seen evidence of Syria preparing chemical weapons in Idlib: envoy

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – There is “lots of evidence” that chemical weapons are being prepared by Syrian government forces in Idlib in northwest Syria, the new U.S. adviser for Syria said on Thursday, as he warned of the risks of an offensive on the… Lesley Wroughton “I am very sure that we have very, very good grounds to be making these warnings,” said Jim Jeffrey, who was named on Aug. 17 as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s special adviser on Syria ... Read More »

Under pressure govt backtracks on Atif Mian appointment; removes economist from advisory council

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The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government has asked Princeton University economist Atif R. Mian to step down from the Prime Minister Imran Khan-led Economic Advisory Council (EAC), PTI Senator Faisal Javed Khan announced on Friday. Fahad Chaudhry Dawn The decision follows mounting pressure from religiopolitical partiesagainst the appointment of Dr Mian, who is an Ahmadi. According to a tweet by Senator Javed, Mian has agreed to give up his position on the council. A replacement will be announced later, he… Minister of ... Read More »

Russia and Turkey Will Collide Over End of Syrian Civil War

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This is Washington’s chance to repair ties with Ankara to counter Moscow and Damascus. Gabriel White and Bogdan Belei The National Interest At the beginning of August, the Syrian military planes flew over the northwestern province of Idlib and dropped leaflets urging residents to surrender and threatening military action. It was the latest example of how Bashar al-Assad and his forces have ignored de-escalation agreements and continue a full-scale offensive against their opposition. The city of Idlib—the only majoropposition-held territory left ... Read More »

Foreign Influence in the Balkans

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The Balkans have always been fertile ground for foreign interests. Political intrigue in the region sparked the First World War and nationalist struggles after the dissolution of Yugoslavia filled world headlines in the 1990’s. Krithika Varagur Pulitzer Center It was in the latter period, and specifically during the Bosnian War, that the door was opened to substantial investment from the Middle East. Both Saudi Arabia and Iran helped countries like Bosnia and Kosovo reconstruct their infrastructure, schools, and places of ... Read More »

North Korea sets denuclearisation timeline

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North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has given his first time line to achieve denuclearisation, aiming for the end of US President Donald Trump’s first term, and has agreed to a third summit with his South… Hyonhee Shin and Joyce Lee, Reuters Herald Sun Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet in Pyongyang on September 18-20 and discuss “practical measures” toward denuclearisation, Moon’s national security adviser, Chung Eui-… The summit could provide renewed momentum to talks over denuclearisation between North ... Read More »

Protesters torch political party offices in Basra’s fourth night of violence

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BASRA, Iraq (Reuters) – Hundreds of people took to the streets of Iraq’s southern oil city Basra on Thursday for a fourth day of violent protests, where residents, angry over the neglect of their city’s collapsing infrastructure, set… Aref Mohammed, Raya Jalabi Reuters Ten demonstrators have been killed in clashes with security forces and dozens injured since a wave of protests began on Monday. Tens of security forces members have also been injured, some by a hand grenade, health and… ... Read More »

Iran and Turkey Divert Iraq’s River Waters, Leaving Iraq on the Brink of Catastrophe

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Global attention has been focused on the strained Ethiopian-Egyptian relations due to the construction of the Renaissance Dam by Ethiopia on the Blue Nile, whose reservoir – once filled – will probably lower the… Col. (ret) Dr. Jacques Neriah Institute for Contemporary Affairs But little attention has been given to the brewing conflict over the Tigris (Dajla in Arabic) and Euphrates (Furat in Arabic) waters, both iconic rivers on which Iraq’s existence in both ancient and… Deadly riots in Iraq’s ... Read More »