Middle East

Aleppo battle: UN says hundreds of men missing

Aleppo - bbc

Hundreds of men appear to have gone missing after crossing from rebel-held areas of Aleppo into government territory, UN officials say. BBC News Forces led by Syria’s government have seized at least 75% of eastern parts of the city from rebels in recent weeks. Tens of thousands of civilians have fled those… Aleppo battle: UN says hundreds of… Read More »

British Govt-Funded Outlet Offered Journalist $17,000 a Month to Produce Propaganda for Syrian Rebels

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Emails reveal that a popular source for mainstream Western media is a U.K.-backed propaganda outlet. By Rania Khalek AlterNet The Revolutionary Forces of Syria (RFS) media office, a major Syrian opposition media outfit and… British Govt-Funded… Read More »

Is Israel’s education minister abandoning secular schools?

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett gestures during a preliminary vote on a bill at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem November 16, 2016. REUTERS/Ammar Awad/File Photo - RTSV2KJ

“For anyone who still doesn’t understand why I’m ‘obsessive’ about revolutionizing math, English and science education, these are the results of the international PISA [Program for International Student Assessment] test conducted two years ago, before I took office,” wrote Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett on his Facebook page Dec. 7. Al Monitor Akiva Eldar This so-called obsession is apparently a direct boost to the campaign he launched upon taking office to encourage expanded math studies in high school. “We will not ... Read More »

Facebook Struggles to Put Out Online Fires in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict - NY Times

JERUSALEM — When fires raged across Israel last month, Anas Abudaabes began to type on his laptop. The New York Times Peter Baker What came out would land him behind bars and ignite a debate over whether he had tried to fan the flames of hatred, in this case literally. On his Facebook page, Mr. Abudaabes wrote that… Facebook Struggles to Put Out Online Fires in… Read More »

Erdogan’s Gritted-Teeth Peace with Israel

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Excerpt … Turkey is normalizing its relations with Israel — in theory, at least. The Gatestone Institute by Burak Bekdil Ankara and Jerusalem agreed to appoint ambassadors to each other’s country after an absence of more than six years. Two prominent career diplomats, Kemal Okem and… Erdogan’s Gritted-Teeth… Read More »

WikiLeaks reveals 57,000 emails from the son-in-law of President Erdogan, ‘proving his connection to ISIS operation smuggling oil into Turkey’

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WikiLeaks has released a tranche of more than 57,000 personal emails from the account of Turkey’s Minister of Oil Berat Albayrak. By HANNAH AL-OTHMAN FOR MAILOLINE Albayrak is the son-in-law of the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The emails span a six-year period from 2000 to 2016 and allegedly reveal his level of influence in the country’s political scene. The emails appear to have been obtained by Turkish hacktivist group Redhack, and which threatened to make his communications public back in… ... Read More »

Israel artist displays golden statue of Netanyahu in protest

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Tel Aviv residents woke up on Dec. 6 to an unusual site – a golden statue of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu displayed prominently in front of City Hall in an act of protest. Hurriyet TEL AVIV – The Associated Press Itay Zalait, the artist behind the protest, said he worked on the life-size statue for two… Israel artist displays… Read More »

Erdoğan’s call to citizens: Sell dollars for lira, gold

Dollars US 1a LLLL AFP photo

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called on Turkish citizens on Dec. 2 to convert their foreign exchange into gold or the Turkish Lira, adding that there was no option other than cutting interest rates to spur growth. Ηurriyet Following his remarks in Ankara, the lira saw fresh lows against the U.S. dollar. “Those who… Erdoğan’s call to… Read More »

Lebanon halts work as Palestinians reject wall around refugee camp

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US President-elect Donald Trump’s plan for a wall along the US-Mexico border isn’t the only one raising controversy these days. Al Monitor Haytham Mouzahem Construction began — and halted — last month on a wall at Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in… Lebanon halts work as… Read More »

Nobel Prize Winner Fulfills Promise To Leave US After Trump Victory

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The winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize for literature says he has fulfilled a pre-election promise to cut up his green card and leave the United States if Donald Trump was elected president. The Daily Caller Chuck Ross “I have already done it, I have disengaged [from the… Nobel Prize Winner… Read More »

Is Michael Flynn Donald Trump’s Machiavelli?

Flynn - The National Interest

President-elect Trump has not yet chosen a Secretary of State, but his most important foreign policy advisor has already been named. The National Interest Christopher J. Fettweis The national security advisor is the primary aide to the president for international affairs, the first and last one in the room for all major decisions. It will be General Michael Flynn’s job to… Is Michael Flynn Donald Trump’s… Read More »

Commentary: The high price of Turkey’s ‘witch-burning’ crackdown

Demonstrators shout slogans during a protest against the arrest of three prominent activists for press freedom, in central Istanbul,Turkey, June 21, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

Necmye Alpay greeted me warmly. Reuters David Kaye Dressed casually in a workout-style jacket and sneakers, her spirit of optimism stood in stark contrast to the spareness of the setting: the Bakirkoy Women’s Prison in Istanbul. Alpay has been held in Bakirkoy since the… Commentary: The high price of… Read More »

Europe on ‘BRINK OF WAR’ as Turkey gathers boats to ship migrants to Greece over EU anger

Tur migrants - Express

EUROPE is on the brink of war as Turkey gathers fleets of boats to ship 3,000 migrants a day to Greece in retaliation over the European Union’s (EU) vote to freeze accession talks. Express Alix Culbertson Greek intelligence officers have discovered the Turkish plans which they say involve thousands of dinghies and motorboats already being gathered along Turkey’s western coast. The analysts said Syrian migrants are preparing to… Europe on ‘BRINK OF WAR’ as Turkey gathers… Read More »

Turkey’s Islamist president is embracing Donald Trump

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The sultan and the salesman The Economist But Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s enthusiasm may not last long  IN JUNE, a few months after Donald Trump, then a candidate for the Turkey’s Islamist president… Read More »

Greek Foreign ministry slams Erdogan comment on Cypriot flag; calls it ‘historically groundless’

Kotzias - Mignatiou

Attempts by Turkey to equate the victim with the aggressor in Cyprus is ‘historically groundless’ and “arbitrary”, the spsokesman of the foreign ministry Stratos Efthimiou said on Tuesday, responding to a question about recent statements made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Cyprus’ flag. Mignatiou “Once again, the Turkish leadership is trying to equate the aggressor with the victim by making historically groundless and arbitrary arguments that attempt to erase Turkey’s responsibilities as an occupying power,” Efthimiou told journalists. ... Read More »

Merkel does not see EU expanding membership talks with Turkey

German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses a news conference after talks with Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, November 29, 2016. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

German Chancellor Angela Merkel does not expect the European Union to open negotiations on new policy areas with Turkey in its talks to join the bloc, her spokesman said on Wednesday. Reuters Membership talks have progressed only slowly since they began in 2005 but Merkel has said the EU, which needs Turkey to help tackle the migrant crisis, must engage with Ankara despite concern about its response to a failed coup in July. Bild newspaper ran a story under a ... Read More »