Europe

Restore the Parthenon marbles to their full beauty in Athens

Janet Suzman wants the marbles joined to their other half in Athens, Benedict Birnberg also argues for their return from London, and Pete Eiseman-Renyard reflects on their care. Letters The Guardian Re the letter from Richard Lambert, chair of the British Museum trustees (Trust us to look after the Parthenon marbles, 27 September), I understood that the museum was there for the people as well as the… As an ordinary person, albeit interested in the return of the Parthenon marbles to their original home, I ... Read More »

Jeremy Hunt to Brussels: Don’t turn EU into ‘prison’

British foreign secretary says ‘it was the Soviet Union that stopped people leaving.’ Charlie Cooper Politico BIRMINGHAM, England — European leaders risk turning the EU into a “prison” that other countries will want to leave if Brussels punishes the U.K. with an uncompromising Brexit deal, U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Sunday, comparing the… In a combative speech at the Conservative party’s annual conference in Birmingham, Hunt, addressing EU leaders directly, said rejecting Theresa May’s so-called Chequers plan for Brexit would ... Read More »

Forget the pledges to act – London is still a haven for dirty Russian money

After Salisbury, the Tories said we would get tough on rich Russians. But billionaires are still coming and sanctions are nowhere to be seen. Oliver Bullough The Guardian Britain, we’re told, has a new policy on dirty Russian money. We are finally pulling the red carpet from under the feet of the rich Russians who have turned London into a private members’ club. This new “hostile environment” was trailed in February after the security minister, Ben Wallace, watched McMafia – ... Read More »

The geopolitics of artificial intelligence

In The WorldPost this week, we examine and evaluate two key developments of the digital age: the emergent geopolitics of artificial intelligence and Facebook’s recent move toward “reputational scores” as a means to signal trustworthy information to users. Nathan Gardels The Washington Post In an interview, AI guru Kai-Fu Lee talks about his new book, “AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order.” For Lee, who is based in Beijing, the world of AI has become a “duopoly” in which ... Read More »

Why US top court is so much more political than UK’s

The composition of the US Supreme Court is about to change and the nomination of its potential new member, by some accounts unlike any other, has revived discussions about how political the selection is. BBC The debate is unlike any the UK has when justices at the Supreme Court are replaced, as a different appointment system means their political views are rarely publicly known and, according to experts, do… US: A president’s choice In the US, the nine-member Supreme Court ... Read More »

The German Government’s Shameful Kowtow Before Erdogan

In welcoming Turkey’s presidential dictator for a state visit, the EU’s largest member nation is exploring the limits of self-humiliation. A working visit would be quite enough. Benedict Neff The Globalist On September 28th and 29th, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be honored by the German government with a state visit to Berlin. To give such an honor to a man who is relentlessly snuffing out the remaining elements of freedom in his own country is a big mistake. ... Read More »

EU human rights defenders alarmed at Ukraine’s surge in religious discrimination

European human rights organizations are concerned about the predicament of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church believers MOSCOW, September 28 / TASS European human rights organizations are concerned about the predicament of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church believers, Bishop Victor of Baryshevka, a vicar of the Kiev Diocese, said on Friday in an interview with the Church’s Information Department, following a Warsaw meeting of the Organization for Security and… “This year, a great number of international organizations focused on the… EU human rights… Read More »

How Alliances Made Athens Great

The ancient Athenians manipulated their allies, spreading democracy and providing protection, always with their own interests first. Trump could learn something. Nikos Konstandaras The New York Times ATHENS — In his declared intention to “Make America Great Again,” President Trump appears set on destroying the foundations of American greatness. The multinational organizations and agreements that established peace and stability, and encouraged economic growth for some seven decades, were designed principally by Americans. They organized the world pretty much the way that ... Read More »

The ‘political cult’ opposing the Iranian regime which has created a state within a state in Albania

In Tirana, Borzou Daragahi meets defectors of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran, a controversial group which has found itself the darling of Washington Independent An Iranian exile group that is a darling of Washington conservatives has set up what critics describe as “a state within a state” inside the tiny Balkan nation of Albania. From a well-guarded 84-acre (340,000 square metres, or 34 hectares) property it has forged on a hillside in the Albanian countryside, the group – called the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran, commonly ... Read More »

Assange steps down as editor of Wikileaks

Julian Assange has stepped down as editor of WikiLeaks as he continues to be denied access to the internet and other forms of communications. Alan Jones, Associated Press Herald Sun Assange, who has been living inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London for over six years, will continue as publisher. The Ecuador Government decided over six months ago to cut off his communications and limit visits to members of his legal team. He will be replaced as editor by Kristinn Hrafnsson, ... Read More »

Students studying overseas could be helping to make former Soviet countries more liberal

Society is defined by mobility. Crossing borders involves acquiring new knowledge, being exposed to new ideas and ways of thinking. People move for a variety of reasons – and education is one of them. Maia Chankseliani The Conversation International students come from diverse backgrounds. And prior to travelling away from home for university, students may have been exposed to a limited set of ideas on social and political issues. Universities in many countries nurture open political communities. Interactions at universities ... Read More »

A Small Nation That Thinks It’s a World Power

Brexit emerged from its supporters’ nostalgia for a supposedly glorious past. Gary Younge The Nation “There are two kinds of European nations,” said Kristian Jensen, the Danish finance minister, last year. “There are small nations, and there are countries that have not yet realized they are small nations.” With Brexit, it’s become painfully obvious that the United Kingdom is among the latter. In their melancholic yearning for a time long past, those who ran the campaign to leave the European ... Read More »

Remarks by Donald Tusk to the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

The European Union is fighting intensely to preserve the rules-based international order, which is currently under great strain, in terms of trade, security, climate change or human rights. Donald Tusk Voltaire We say this not only as countries strongly supporting the United Nations, but as a continent that cares deeply about respect, mutual understanding and solidarity between nations. As leaders, we must equip the United Nations with the means to fulfil its mandate successfully. More unity and collective action are ... Read More »

Brussels rolls out red carpet for Jeremy Corbyn

The Labour leader met with chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and Secretary-General Martin Selmayr. By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN Politico It was the European Commission’s own vote of no-confidence in Theresa May. Top EU officials rolled out the red carpet for Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn on Thursday, welcoming May’s arch-rival to the Commission headquarters and giving him a platform at a… Corbyn, who has criticized May and her Conservative Party for mismanaging Brexit, has yet to unveil a credible departure plan of ... Read More »

Terrorists in Idlib Should not Hope on the Help of Foreign Sponsors

There are about 10,000 terrorists linked with al-Qaeda on the territory of the Syrian province of Idlib. Editor ISF This statement was unexpectedly widely quoted in the Western media, contrary to the established tradition of representing members of illegal armed groups as “rebels” and “fighters for freedom”. Perhaps the reason for the change in rhetoric was the fact that it came from the mouth of the special envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Syria Staffan de Mistura. As the statement ... Read More »

Turkey Must Choose the Tough Option and Leave Syria

Ankara doesn’t want to leave, but it doesn’t want armed conflict either. On September 17, Erdoğan reached an agreement with Putin at a meeting in Sochi to create buffer zones between government forces and those of the opposition confronting each other in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib in a… Mohammed Ayoob The National Interest This may have postponed the military showdown for the moment but is unlikely to lead to a lasting solution as the regime of President Bashar al-Assad ... Read More »