Middle East

Trump Administration Must Act To Address The Plight of Christians In The Middle East

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This week, Christians around the world mark the holiest week in their religious calendar, observing the Passion, crucifixion, and… Brian Katulis Elizabeth H. Prodromou The Huffington Post This sober time of reflection and prayer comes in the midst of continued threats to Christians in the Middle East – most recently in the Palm Sunday bombings at two churches in… Over the past decade, some of the oldest Christian communities have… Trump Administration Must… Read More »

Erdogan Moves to Repair Late Crack in Referendum Alliance

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is facing a last-minute threat to his bid to centralize executive power from an unlikely source: the… Onur Ant Bloomberg Devlet Bahceli, head of Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party MHP, accused key Erdogan advisers late Thursday of undermining the ruling party’s goal of introducing an… At the heart of Bahceli’s criticism was Sukru Karatepe, a… Erdogan Moves to… Read More »

Mother Of All Bombs: What is it and why is the US now using it to fight Islamic State?

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On Friday, the GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) became the largest non-nuclear bomb ever dropped on a battlefield after the US unexpectedly unleashed one on a network of Islamic State targets in Afghanistan. By Steven Viney, staff ABC Observers were almost instantly stunned as… US President Donald Trump was… Mother Of All… Read More »

Russia, Syria and Iran warn US against further strikes

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Allied foreign ministers meet in Moscow over Syrian war and warn Washington following cruise missile strike on… Al Jazeera & news agencies Russia has denounced last week’s US attack on Syria and warned further such action would derail global… The US has said its strike on a Syrian air force base was in response to the Syrian government, which it blamed for launching a… Russia, Syria and… Read More »

Turkey Sees No Need for Cyprus to Approve Israel Gas Pipeline

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A Turkey-Israel gas pipeline deal could be built through Cyprus’ economic waters even without Cypriot consent, a Turkish official… David Wainer Bloomberg Cyprus can’t block a gas pipeline from Israel to Turkey, and gas talks with Israel don’t hinge on attempts to reach a peace deal in Cyprus, the… A pipeline bringing gas from Israel’s… Turkey Sees No… Read More »

Syria after the U.S. Strike: What Should Come Next

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Poison gas and missile response have heightened tensions over the Syria… ICG Washington and Moscow should respond to the new risks by pursuing their stated common interest: sufficient de-escalation of the war’s violence to establish a meaningful political track toward… Whether one believes they were the… Syria after the… Read More »

Sticky tar of climate politics oozes over oil reserve valuations

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Environmentalist ideology and political ambition in combination make for a dangerous blend, and nowhere is that truth clearer than in the context of climate politics, the valuation of fossil-fuel reserves and accusations of “fraud.” Benjamin Zycher AEI With the deregulatory decisions of the Trump administration, in particular in the context of a severe prospective reduction in federal efforts to control emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), various pressure groups and state… Sticky tar of… Read More »

Welcome to ‘the world’s largest death row’

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Despite allegations of rights abuses, Pakistan continues to be one of the five most prolific executioners in the world. Asad Hashim Al Jazeera News Lahore, Pakistan – Exhausted from a full day’s work, 25-year-old student Sohail Yafat knew he had one last stop to make before heading home: a visit to a colleague’s ailing father at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology hospital, in his… Welcome to ‘the… Read More »

Liberal defenders of free speech curiously silent over banning of Bassem Tamimi

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Where were the advocates for changes to 18C, who so fiercely defended free speech, when a Palestinian activist had his visa… Jeff Sparrow The Guardian Less than a fortnight after the 18C debate inspired so many thunderous denunciations of censorship, the Liberals have been… The Turnbull government has intervened to prevent the Palestinian activist Bassem Tamimi from lecturing in Australia, cancelling his… Liberal defenders of… Read More »

Renegade ultranationalists could derail Erdoğan

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Meet Meral Akşener, the wildcard ahead of Sunday’s neck-and-neck… ANKARA — As Turkey prepares to vote on the expansion of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s powers on Sunday, a small band of renegade ultranationalists may hold the… ZIA WEISE Politico The nationalist opposition has declared its support for Erdoğan, but a… At the forefront of this insurgency is Meral Akşener, a… Renegade ultranationalists could… Read More »

Who are Egypt’s Coptic Christians and why are they persecuted?

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Coptic Christians, known as Copts, are the largest ethno-religious minority in Egypt, constituting roughly 10 per cent of the country’s… Steven Viney ABC Although many now identify as Arabs, Copts do not historically believe themselves to be of Arab origin, but are instead… The word Coptic is derived from the ancient Greek word for… Who are Egypt’s… Read More »

Why can’t America just take out Assad?

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The Trump administration has done an abrupt about-face on Syria, contradicting its own nascent foreign… David Alpher The Conversation Within 24 hours, it went from calling out the Assad regime for using chemical weapons to launching missiles at military… As limited as the strikes were, there are also statements that plans are in the… Why can’t America… Read More »

Russia sends warship to battlegroup off Syrian coast

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Naval move will overshadow US secretary of state Rex Tillerson’s visit to… Alec Luhn Moscow The Observer The Guardian A warship armed with cruise missiles has joined the Russian battlegroup off the coast of Syria as part of Moscow’s response to US cruise missile strikes on the Syrian airbase of… Russia’s angry declarations, a world away from hopes of a rapprochement voiced in Washington and… Russia sends warship… Read More »

The US Provided Cover for the Saudi Starvation Strategy in Yemen

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As Yemen’s population has teetered on the brink of mass starvation in recent months, the United States has played a crucial role in enabling the… Gareth Porter Truthout Both the Obama and Trump administrations have prioritized the US’s alliance with the Saudis and their Gulf allies over the… Although the UN agencies have offered no public estimate of the… The US Provided… Read More »

Palestinian activist’s Australian visa cancelled on eve of speaking tour

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Government says there is a risk people may react adversely to Bassem Tamimi’s presence, and his views on the Middle… Christopher Knaus The Guardian The federal government has cancelled the visa of an outspoken Palestinian activist on the eve of his Australian speaking tour… The activist, Bassem Tamimi, was due to board a plane this week to begin his… Palestinian activist’s Australian… Read More »

Canada was briefed on and ‘fully supports’ U.S. missile strikes against Syria: PM

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U.S. Secretary of Defence James Mattis told Canada that Syria was responsible for gas… Peter Zimonjic John Paul Tasker CBC News Canada was briefed in advance of the U.S. missile strike on an airbase in western Syria that the U.S. says was used by… During question period in the House of Commons on Friday, Trudeau said Canada was informed about the… Trudeau said U.S. Secretary of… Canada was briefed… Read More »