Europe

China’s New Arctic Policy Needs Close Analysis

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Now that the dust has settled on China’s big policy announcement, it is time to take a fresh look at China’s Arctic Policy and assess what it means for the United States and the other five states that have a coastline on the Arctic Sea: Canada, Greenland (Denmark), Russia, Norway, and… Mark E. Rosen IPP Review Before delving into that policy and making comparisons to other policy documents that China has issued, it makes sense to first review the legal ... Read More »

The Emerging Russia-Turkey-Iran Alliance Challenging NATO in the Middle East

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, front, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, left, and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrive for a joint press conference in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, April 4, 2018. The leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran say they stand against "separatist" agendas that would undermine Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

An unusual triple alliance coming out of Syria could change the regional balance of power and unhinge NATO — if it holds together at all. Conn Hallinan MPN News An unusual triple alliance is emerging from the Syrian war — one that could alter the balance of power in the Middle East, unhinge the NATO alliance, and complicate the Trump administration’s designs on Iran. It might also lead to yet another double cross of one of the region’s largest ethnic ... Read More »

Jacinda Ardern wears Māori cloak to Buckingham Palace

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New Zealand leader in Kahu huruhuru praised as proud moment for female leaders and Māori worldwide Eleanor Ainge Roy in Dunedin The Guardian New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has caused a stir with a striking image of her walking the halls of Buckingham Palace swathed in a traditional Māori cloak during this week’s Commonwealth heads of government meeting. The prime minister wore a Kahu huruhuru; a Māori cloak adorned with feathers and bestowed on chiefs and dignitaries to convey prestige, respect and ... Read More »

Bill Jamieson: Here’s how the world is leaving Scotland behind

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Economic optimism about the global economy doesn’t extend to Scotland, writes Bill Jamieson. The Scotsman Few forecasts should have more cheered Scottish Government ministers in their efforts to boost Scotland’s trade and profile overseas than the upbeat International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast for the world economy this week. It predicts that 2018 will be the strongest year for global growth since 2011, hitting 3.8 per cent. That’s an encouraging backdrop for Scotland’s exporters. And the IMF has even made a… ... Read More »

Iran to replace US dollar with euro in financial reports

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Amid currency crisis, switch is aimed at circumvent restrictions on accessing US dollar and prevent market instability. Saeed Jalili AlJazeera Tehran, Iran – The government of Iran has announced plans to replace the US dollar with the euro in official financial reporting, according to state-run media. The move on Wednesday is seen as part of efforts to circumvent restrictions on accessing the US currency amid tensions with Washington, as well as prevent market instability generated due to fluctuations in the value of Iranian rial against the dollar. ... Read More »

Erdoğan seeks to expand Turkey’s influence in the Middle East through diplomacy – and force

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On our third trip to Istanbul, my wife and I visited the 19th century Dolmabahce Palace, once the administrative centre of the Ottoman Empire. Nicolai Due-Gundersen The Conversation As we toured the 285-room palace my wife was struck with not just how well preserved it was, but that it was one of at least five palaces from the Ottoman era in Turkey that are now museums open to the public. This is telling, because it is not something found across ... Read More »

Divisions in EU becoming like a ’civil war,’ France’s Macron warns

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French President Emmanuel Macron warned on April 17 that divisions between democracy and authoritarianism in Europe were becoming like a “civil war”. STRASBOURG – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet In a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg that set out his vision of a reformed EU, Macron called on the bloc to resist the siren song of populism. The young French leader’s call to arms comes after eurosceptic populists won elections in Hungary and Italy, and as Brussels confronts Poland’s right-wing ... Read More »

France’s autism problem – and its roots in psychoanalysis

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France has a problem with autism. The country’s highest administrative court estimates that there are 700,000 autistic people in France. Richard Bates The Conversation However, only 75,000 are diagnosed. Autistic children have historically been diagnosed later in France than in neighbouring countries. They have often been excluded from mainstream education and lacked access to support services and extracurricular activities. Many French autists are confined to day hospitals and live-in institutions, isolated from the community and frequently unable to communicate through ... Read More »

Libyan Refugee Crisis—EU Must Take Responsibility and Alter Its Migrant Policy

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The European Union’s relief efforts must not contribute to the subjugation of the asylum seekers and deny them their basic human and legal rights. Sajid Farid Shampoo The National Interest The world seems to be slowly coming to terms with the Libyan refugee crisis. Despite the loss of over five hundred migrant lives in the Mediterranean sea in the first three months of 2018, the issue has failed to occupy the media spaces in the way it had in the ... Read More »

Germany’s (not so) grand coalition may cause ripple effects on European refugee policy

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After a tumultuous 2017 election and six months of political uncertainty, Germany finally has a government. The so-called “grand coalition” made up of the centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU), its right-wing sister party, the… Kelly Soderstrom and Philomena Murray The Conversation At the centre of it all is the coalition agreement. The 179-page document sets out the goals for the government, including a new approach to Germany’s refugee policy. The agreement explains “a new direction for Europe, a new dynamic for Germany, ... Read More »

Attack in Syria from RAF Akrotiri base in Cyprus

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To : Foreign & Commonwealth Office United Kingdom 17/04/2018 Subject: Attack in Syria from RAF Akrotiri base in Cyprus Sirs, British military forces joined their American and French allies in a ‘precision strike’ in Douma, Syria, against Syrian state installations, attacking from Akrotiri base in Cyprus, on the allegation that the Syrian Government had used chemical weapons against its own people and in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, despite the fact that there has not been any official independent ... Read More »

UK and US accuse Russia of cyber attack that compromised global networks

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Washington and London have detailed how Russian-backed hackers have been compromising network devices around the world since 2015. Alexander Pearson (with Reuters and AFP) – DW The announcement has come amid heightened tensions between the two countries and Russia. The US and Britain warned on Monday of a Russian government-sponsored cyber attack against internet network infrastructure around the world. Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre, the US Department of Homeland Security and the FBI issued a joint statement on the attack, which ... Read More »

Iran says EU has ‘differing values’ but dialogue should continue

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Iran said April 16 that EU sanctions over its human rights record were due to “differing values” but that they should not derail dialogue with Europe. TEHRAN – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet “We have certain differences of opinion with European countries and the European Union,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said at a press conference. “That is due in part to differing values between our region and the Islamic republic of Iran and the European Union, notably as concerns human rights,” ... Read More »

Syria, chemical weapons and the limits of international law

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Consider this shocking fact: Despite horrific images of yet another chemical weapons attack in Syria, the U.S.-led humanitarian intervention to protect civilians on April 13 was fundamentally illegal. Andrew Bell The Conversation Under current international law, President Trump lacks the authorization to launch a single missile to stop future attacks, even for the clear and just purpose of saving civilian lives. No matter how wise you consider this intervention, legal scholars generally agree that the United Nations Charter doesn’t allow ... Read More »

Pressure for Syria vote grows as Nicola Sturgeon questions peace effort

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Pressure is building on the government to allow a parliamentary vote on Saturday’s military strikes on Syria, with Labour and the SNP demanding a full debate when the House of Commons returns on Monday. Paris Gourtsoyiannis The Scotsman Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called for debate on a ‘War Measures Act’ that would limit the government’s power to take military action without the approval of MPs. And the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said western allies had failed to exhaust all ... Read More »

Diplomacy, and not bombing, is the way to end Syria’s agony

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More legally questionable and reckless military interventions are not what British people want from their government Jeremy Corbyn The Guardian These are serious times. Following the missile attacks on Syria, now is the moment for a powerful push for peace. Boris Johnson’s blithe acceptance on Sunday that the conflict will now continue on its current course and that peace negotiations would be an “extra” is an unconscionable abdication of… Already this devastating conflict has cost more than 500,000 lives and led to 5 million refugees ... Read More »