Europe

Kathy Sheridan: Imagine if Boris Johnson is right about the burqa?

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Dogwhistle signal sent not by hack or clown but by former foreign secretary Kathy Sheridan The Irish Times Watching Boris Johnson offer mugs of tea to door-stepping journalists outside his country home was the latest in a series of “shoot me now” modern political vignettes. This was not about something jolly like an extra-marital fling or some private fetish. His comparison of burqa-wearing women’s appearance to letterboxes and bank robbers had become the number-one story in Britain. It may surprise ... Read More »

Constitution must align with values of Markievicz, not de Valera

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De Valera excluded women from politics and relegated them to domestic sphere Sonja Tiernan The Irish Times Sinn Féin were arguably the biggest victors of the 1918 British general election. Their triumph included the election of Constance Markievicz, the first elected female MP. In line with Sinn Féin policy, elected members refused their seats in the House of Commons but instead formed the first Dáil Éireann in 1919. On her release from prison, Markievicz returned to Ireland and to her ... Read More »

Rubbish to energy as Sweden wages war on waste with incinerators

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Sweden has become the darling of the press when it comes to waste management. Articles claim Sweden “recycles nearly all of its waste” and in doing so “generates electricity and heating”. Foreign Correspondent – By Craig Reucassel ABC As I’ve made a bit of a habit of going around looking in people’s bins, I’m constantly being told we should be more like Sweden and make our waste useful. And when Australia was struck by the so-called China recycling crisis recently, it ... Read More »

Economic war on Iran is war on Eurasia integration

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US sanctions on Iran should be interpreted as a piece in a much larger chessboard Hysteria reigned supreme after the first round of US sanctions were reinstated against Iran over the past week. Pepe Escobar Asia Times War scenarios abound, and yet the key aspect of the economic war unleashed by the Trump administration has been overlooked: Iran is a major piece in a much larger chessboard. The US sanctions offensive, launched after Washington’s unilateral pullout from the Iran nuclear ... Read More »

Trump Is the First President to Get Turkey Right

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - JULY 11:  U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attend the opening ceremony at the 2018 NATO Summit at NATO headquarters on July 11, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. Leaders from NATO member and partner states are meeting for a two-day summit, which is being overshadowed by strong demands by U.S. President Trump for most NATO member countries to spend more on defense.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Good riddance to the so-called strategic relationship between Washington and Ankara. Steven A. Cook FP Last Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan published an op-ed in the New York Times outlining his country’s grievances toward the United States. The Turkish leader raised valid concerns about U.S. policy that genuinely vex Turkish leaders and citizens alike. Yet Erdogan only told half the story, leaving his readers to believe that Washington has victimized a reliable ally and partner. The United States has long had ... Read More »

Turkey’s lira crisis: ‘economic war’ sees Erdoğan look east for new allies

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Global markets are on edge once again, this time thanks to the Turkish lira. It crashed more than 15% against the US dollar, euro and pound sterling on August 10 and continued to fall when markets reopened after the weekend on August 13. Emre Tarim The Conversation The latest trigger was Donald Trump’s announcement that he would double import tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium. But the lira has been falling consistently over the past year as markets fear for ... Read More »

The US-Turkey Crisis: The NATO Alliance Forged in 1949 Is Today Largely Irrelevant

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There has been some reporting in the United States mass media about the deteriorating relationship between Washington and Ankara and what it might mean. Philip Giraldi American Herald Tribune Such a falling out between NATO members has not been seen since France left the alliance in 1966 and observers note that the hostility emanating from both sides suggests that far worse is to come as neither party appears prepared to moderate its current position while diplomatic… The immediate cause of ... Read More »

£100m plan to take thousands of homeless people off the streets

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The PM aims to help homeless people “turn their lives around”, but charities warn the new strategy will not provide a “total fix”. By Joe Tidy, news correspondent SkyNews A £100m government plan to halve rough sleeping in England by 2022 and eradicate it by 2027 has been launched. Thousands of rough sleepers will be offered rapid specialist assessments and support, as part of a package of new measures announced by Communities Secretary James Brokenshire. The Rough Sleeping Strategy will ... Read More »

Jewish leaders question timing of EU summit

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Scheduling conflict with Yom Kippur holiday raises concern amid rising rhetoric about ‘Christian Europe.’ By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN Politico Austria’s scheduling of an EU leaders’ summit to begin on Yom Kippur — the Jewish Day of Atonement — is raising questions of cultural sensitivity at a time of rising pro-Christian rhetoric among European politicians and… Jewish leaders said the scheduling conflict reflects an unfortunate but unsurprising lack of attention to their religious calendar. The situation is especially awkward for Austria, which ... Read More »

US suspends military training program for Pakistan

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The United States has started cutting scores of Pakistani military officers from the education and training program, Pakistani media reported on Aug. 11. ISLAMABAD – Anadolu Agency Hurriyet The U.S. military institutions are “struggling” to fill the 66 slots,  which they had kept aside for Pakistani officers, for next academic year, the daily Dawn quoted anonymous sources as saying. The move comes a few days after Pakistan and Russia signed an  agreement to allow Pakistani military officers to receive training in Russian military institutions. “The fund for ... Read More »

More than 100 seats that backed Brexit now want to remain in EU

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Major new analysis shows most constituencies now have majority who want to Remain Michael Savage The Guardian More than 100 Westminster constituencies that voted to leave the EU have now switched their support to Remain, according to a stark new analysis seen by the Observer. In findings that could have a significant impact on the parliamentary battle of Brexit later this year, the study concludes that most seats in Britain now contain a majority of voters who want to stay in the EU. ... Read More »

Romanian diaspora’s anti-government protest turns violent

Romanian police scuffle with protesters and spray tear gas against them during an anti-government protest in front of the Romanian Government headquarters in Bucharest August 10, 2018. (Photo by Daniel MIHAILESCU / AFP)        (Photo credit should read DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images)

Police deploy tear gas and water cannons to disperse tens of thousands protesting ruling Social Democratic Party. Carmen Paun Politico A major anti-government protest held in Bucharest by Romanians living abroad turned violent Friday, with at least 250 people requiring medical care, local media reported. Romanians drove for days from countries including England, Italy and Switzerland to protest against the policies of the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD), which they see as corrupt and pushing anti-justice laws. Others protested in ... Read More »

Are Turkey’s Christians as ‘fine’ as they say?

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As tensions simmered between Ankara and Washington over detained American pastor Andrew Brunson, the leaders of Turkey’s non-Muslim minorities issued a joint statement July 31 to deny that they faced any oppression in the country. Fehim Tastekin Al-Monitor The timing of the move was rather remarkable, and for Garo Paylan, an ethnic Armenian lawmaker for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the issuance of such a declaration was “in itself a proof that we are not free.” The 18 Christian and Jewish community leaders ... Read More »

Dow drops about 200 points as financial crisis in Turkey spooks global markets

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Stocks fell on Friday as geopolitical concerns pushed the Turkish lira to a record low against the dollar and rattled investors. Fred Imbert | Alexandra Gibbs CNBC The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 196.09 points to 25,313.14 as Intel declined. The Dow also erased its gains for the month of August and posted a three-day losing streak. The S&P 500fell 0.7 percent to close at 2,833.28 as financials and materials lagged. The Nasdaq Composite also pulled back 0.7 percent to 7,839.11 and snapped an eight-day winning ... Read More »

Embattled Nord Stream 2 seeks to skirt Danish veto

FILE - In this May 8, 2017 photo steel pipes for the North Stream 2 pipeline are stacked in Mukran harbour in Sassnitz, Germany. American officials say a pipeline project between Russia and Germany risks triggering U.S. sanctions because of security concerns. Senior State Department diplomat Sandra Oudkirk says the United States opposes the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline because it could increase Russia's "malign influence" in Europe. (Stefan Sauer/dpa via AP, file)

Russia’s controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline consortium on Friday said it had applied for an alternative route to skirt a new Danish law that threatened to block the project. AFP New legislation which took effect in January allows the Danish government to veto pipelines passing through the Nordic nation’s territorial waters based on its foreign policy, security and defence interests. Led by Russia’s gas giant Gazprom, the consortium said in a statement that the law gives the Danish foreign ministry ... Read More »

Erdogan: How Turkey Sees the Crisis With the U.S.

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Unilateral actions against Turkey by the United States will undermine American interests and force Turkey to look for other friends and allies. By Recep Tayyip Erdogan Mr. Erdogan is the president of Turkey. The New York Times ANKARA, Turkey — For the past six decades, Turkey and the United States have been strategic partners and NATO allies. Our two countries stood shoulder to shoulder against common challenges during the Cold War and in its aftermath. Over the years, Turkey rushed ... Read More »