North America

California Approves Millions for Armenian Museum and Genocide Education

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ANCA-WR Praises State Legislators GLENDALE, Calif.–The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region (ANCA-WR) praised California Legislators for their efforts in securing funding for the Armenian American Museum and… The Armenian Weekly On June 15, the California State Legislature adopted a budget with considerable attention given to the… “The Armenian National Committee of America Western Region (ANCA-WR) is very… California Approves Millions… Read More »

Trump partially rolls back Obama’s Cuba thaw

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US President Donald Trump says he is rolling back the Obama administration’s “completely one-sided deal with Cuba”. BBC Speaking in Miami, Florida, he said his new policy would tighten rules affecting travel and on sending funds to the Caribbean island nation. But he is not reversing key diplomatic and commercial ties, and will not close the US embassy in… Trump partially rolls… Read More »

What Shanghai Cooperation Expansion Means

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NATO isn’t the only alliance we need to worry about. Michael Rubin Commentary When it comes to diplomacy and defense, much of the focus on Donald Trump both during the campaign and his first months in office has focused on his approach to NATO, his alleged lack of commitment to that defensive alliance, and what his focus on the… On the diplomatic and political side, there are similar dynamics at play, with regard to the… What Shanghai Cooperation… Read More »

New Cold War in the Indian Ocean

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Great power competition between the US, India, Japan and Australia on one side, and China on the other, is raising the strategic stakes in the maritime area Bertil Lintner  Asia Times A new Cold War is brewing in the Indian Ocean, with an informal alliance of the United States, India, Australia, Japan on one side and China on the other. While tensions in the… New Cold War… Read More »

US reassures Qatar with arms sale, drill

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The United States agreed a major warplane sale to Qatar and began maneuvers with the emirate’s navy on June 15, underscoring its commitment to their military alliance despite Doha’s rift with… Hurriyet Washington has sent conflicting signals to its longtime ally about its position on the diplomatic crisis which has seen Saudi Arabia and its allies impose sweeping sanctions on the… Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump expressed support for the… US reassures Qatar… Read More »

Turkey Hires More U.S. Lobbying Firms as its Reputation is Further Tarnished

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As Turkey becomes the target of worldwide condemnation for its human rights violations, the Turkish government decides to spend a fortune on lobbying and public relations firms to try to cleanse its… Harut Sassounian The Armenian Weekly On the heels of the April 16 flawed referendum which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan barely won to give himself a wide-ranging dictatorial powers, and his bodyguards’ brutal attack in front of the Turkish Embassy in Washington D.C., on… Turkey Hires More… Read More »

Meadows: Freedom Caucus eyeing $1.5 trillion debt ceiling increase

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Some House Freedom Caucus conservatives want to raise the debt ceiling by a smaller amount than the Trump administration would like — just long enough to clear the 2018 mid-term elections, the… Rachael Bade Politico The Freedom Caucus has not taken an official position on a specific… But Chairman Mark Meadows emerged from a group meeting Tuesday night saying some of his conservative colleagues are looking at a $1.5… Meadows: Freedom Caucus… Read More »

How to Go the Resistance Distance: Pop-Up Schools for Novice Activists

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Modeled after the Civil Rights Era’s citizenship and freedom schools, the new Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership teaches skills for the… Chuck Collins yes! More than 200 people crammed into a meeting room at Smith College to listen to Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum speak at the May 4 opening ceremony of the… The new school provides in-person training opportunities in activism in five… How to Go… Read More »

America’s Political Gamble in Syria May Not Pay Off

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President Trump’s plan to defeat the Islamic State relies on the complex web of relations between the United States, Turkey and the… Matthew RJ Brodsky The National Interest As the Islamic State’s territory continues to shrink in the Middle East, its henchmen and those inspired by the extremist group are increasingly lashing out at soft targets in the… The types of attacks recently experienced in London and Manchester are likely to continue until the… America’s Political Gamble… Read More »

How Illinois became America’s failed state

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The Land of Lincoln is drowning in red ink. And it’s about to have its most expensive election ever. Natasha Korecki Politico Illinois has compiled $14.6 billion in unpaid bills. It’s running a deficit of $6 billion and its pension liability has soared to $130 billion. That’s not the worst of it. The state’s nearly two-year failure to pass a budget has sent its bond ratings careening toward junk level, downgraded a… How Illinois became… Read More »

Qatar blockade: Gulf states silent on Tillerson plea to ease measures

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Nations behind a blockade on Qatar have welcomed strong comments from President Donald Trump backing their move, but were silent on calls from his secretary of state to ease the measures. BBC Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Bahrain have cut ties, accusing Qatar of funding terrorism. Qatar denies the accusations. The UAE hailed Mr Trump’s “leadership”. But the states did not respond to Secretary of… Qatar blockade: Gulf… Read More »

Turkey: NATO’s Odd One Out

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Discounting the sincerity of Turkish President Erdoğan’s fiercely anti-western rhetoric ahead of the April 16 referendum is akin to disregarding bitter facts about once staunch NATO ally Turkey. Burak Bekdil       BESA NATO’s deepening “Turkey problem” is contained in the country’s Islamist ideology, conspicuous “un-likemindedness”, and democratic anomalies, which stand against NATO’s founding values of safeguarding freedom and the… Turkey: NATO’s Odd… Read More »

Trump’s FBI pick from law firm that ‘helped Gülen-linked bank go international’

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U.S. President Donald Trump’s choice to lead the FBI is a white-collar defense lawyer with a strong law enforcement background. Hurriyet But in Turkey the nomination of Christopher Wray has raised eyebrows, with Turkish media reporting his previous involvement in helping Bank Asya, linked to the movement of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, open its… King & Spalding, in which Wray had… Trump’s FBI pick… Read More »

Russia sanctions talks leave Iran bill hanging in the balance

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Ongoing Senate talks on a bipartisan Russia sanctions proposal are testing the ability of powerful GOP chairmen to work together on a package that can avoid imperiling passage of the Iran sanctions bill it could hitch a ride to. Elana Schor Politico Leaders in both parties say they want to vote on a plan to punish Russia as an amendment to the Iran sanctions bill that senators voted to move ahead with on Wednesday. Senate Minority Leader Chuck… Russia sanctions ... Read More »

Ambassador Slammed Donald Trump Amid UAE Campaign To Isolate Qatar

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“On what planet can trump be a president??” Yousef Al Otaiba wrote in an email on election night. Akbar Shahid Ahmed HuffPost WASHINGTON ― Yousef Al Otaiba, the United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to the U.S. and a confidant of White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, repeatedly criticized President Donald Trump in private correspondence last year ― including with… Otaiba, one of the most powerful diplomats in Washington, figures in an… Ambassador Slammed Donald… Read More »

Commencement speaker warns graduates: ‘You are entering a low social esteem, often thankless, profession’

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Commencement speeches are, by and large, moments when a speaker tries to “uplift” graduating students with hopeful expectation for the… Valerie Strauss The Washington Post By his own admission, speaker Elias Vlanton did something a bit different Friday, when he delivered the address to graduates of the Master of Arts in Teaching program at St. Mary’s College of… [The greatest commencement speech ever] Vlanton, who taught social studies in… Commencement speaker warns… Read More »