North America

What else can ASEAN do to deescalate the South China Sea conflict?

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With limited options to deescalate the conflict, ASEAN turns to diplomacy while building broader economic and military alliance with the USA Kumaran Pillai The Independent The new Chinese hegemony in Asia Pacific poses both opportunities and risks for member states of ASEAN. China’s Belt and Road initiative promises new economic frontiers and some South East Asian countries are only too willing to concede to the territorial ambitions of China in the South China Seas to pursue economic growth. This week, ... Read More »

‘Medicare for all’ is a pipe dream

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A new study released by Charles Blahous at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University has received a lot of attention this week. Dr. Marc Siegel The Hill It concludes that the “Medicare for all” proposal endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and others would “increase federal budget commitments by approximately $32.6 trillion during its first 10 years of full implementation.” The study goes on to point out that “doubling all currently projected federal individual and corporate income tax collections would be insufficient to ... Read More »

‘He’s way too conservative’: Freedom Caucus members on the hot seat

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Reps. Dave Brat and Scott Perry rode the anti-Obama backlash into Congress. Now they’re facing a very different kind of backlash. Rachael Bade Politico SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. — Democrat Abigail Spanberger stood on a wooden bench at a vineyard in central Virginia and railed against “the prioritization of ideology over informed decision-making” — a pointed jab at her opponent, House Freedom Caucus member Dave Brat. Spanberger, a 38-year-old former CIA operative, has barnstormed this traditionally Republican stronghold accusing Brat of putting ... Read More »

Turkey to freeze assets of two US ministers as retailiation to sanctions: Erdoğan

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Turkey will freeze the assets of two United States ministers as retaliation to Washington’s sanctions against Ankara, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced. Hurriyet “The latest step taken by the U.S. in the incident of Pastor Brunson in İzmir was not suitable to a strategic partner. The U.S. has displayed a serious disrespect with this step,” Erdoğan said in a speech at the ruling Justice and… “We have had shown patience until yesterday evening. Today I am instructing my friends ... Read More »

America’s Turkey Problem Finally Comes to a Head

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This week brought signs that the deeply flawed status quo of U.S.-Turkish relations has begun to crack. Matthew RJ Brodsky National Review For successive administrations, inertia may have kept the flawed status quo of U.S.–Turkey relations in place, but the train appears finally to be running out of track. It was bound to happen eventually, regardless of the Trump administration’s just-announced decision to impose sanctions on two Turkish cabinet officials in response to Turkey’s continued detention of an… And now ... Read More »

NATO is a Goldmine for the US/Military Industrial Complex

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Countries of the NATO military alliance have been ordered by President Trump to increase their spending on weapons, and the reasons for his insistence they do so are becoming clearer. Brian Cloughley CounterPunch It’s got nothing to do with any defense rationale, because the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, has admitted that “we don’t see any imminent threat against any NATO ally” and the… Even Radio Free Europe, the US government’s official broadcaster, acknowledged that “Russia, one of the world’s top military spenders, ... Read More »

5 lessons from Team Obama to save Europe

US President Barack Obama celebrates after delivering his acceptance speech ion Chicago on November 7, 2012. Obama swept to re-election, forging history again by transcending a slow economic recovery and the high unemployment which haunted his first term to beat Republican Mitt Romney. AFP PHOTO/Jewel SAMAD / AFP PHOTO / JEWEL SAMAD        (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

PARIS — With next year’s European Parliament election shaping up as a showdown between pro-EU parties and Euroskeptics, the race is on for both sides to find a winning edge. Zachary Young Politico For the pro-EU camp, one possible source of inspiration lies in Barack Obama’s successful U.S. presidential campaigns, which managed twice to win majorities for liberal and outward-looking policies. In the past year, French President Emmanuel Macron has portrayed himself as the great champion of the EU and further ... Read More »

Jeff Bezos’s $150 Billion Fortune Is a Policy Failure

Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin and CEO of Amazon, speaks about the future plans of Blue Origin during an address to attendees at Access Intelligence's SATELLITE 2017 conference in Washington, U.S., March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RC1A85E69100

Growing inequality in the United States shows that the game is rigged. Annie Lowrey The Atlantic Last month, Bloomberg reported that Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and owner of the Washington Post, has accumulated a fortune worth $150 billion. That is the biggest nominal amount in modern history, and extraordinary any way you slice it. Bezos is the world’s lone hectobillionaire. He is worth what the average American family is, nearly two million times over. He has about 50 ... Read More »

Trump escalates attacks on Mueller probe

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President Trump on Wednesday called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to immediately stop the Russia investigation, a significant escalation of Trump’s attacks against the long-running probe that has dogged his presidency. Jordan Fabian The Hill The remark was Trump’s most direct public appeal yet to end special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation, which he has blasted for months. It also raised questions from legal experts about whether the president was attempting to obstruct justice. In a series of morning tweets, Trump ... Read More »

Brexit: champagne, parmesan, prosecco and feta could soon be at the centre of negotiations

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As Brexit day creeps closer, one issue that remains unresolved is the way that food names will be protected in Britain and the EU. Authors: The Conversation From parmesan and feta to cornish pasties and Bavarian beer, the EU is fiercely protective over protected designations of origin (PDOs) or protected geographical indications (PGIs). A number of highly popular products are protected under this legal framework that dictates certain products can only be produced in certain regions. So champagne must be ... Read More »

The Latest: Trump claims Americans need IDs to buy groceries

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump The Associated Press President Donald Trump is wrongly claiming that Americans need photo IDs to buy groceries as he rails against the idea of noncitizens voting. Trump was advocating for voter ID requirements at a Tampa, Florida, rally on Tuesday when he claimed the only time people don’t need ID is when they want to vote. He says: “If you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a ... Read More »

What Turkey’s Political Changes Mean for U.S.-Turkish Relations

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The July 9 swearing-in of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his second term as Turkey’s president—and his subsequent decree1 thoroughly restructuring the Turkish government—have inaugurated a new phase in the… By Max Hoffman, Alan Makovsky, and Michael Werz Center for American Progress Erdoğan will preside over a new system in which power is even more centralized in the office of the presidency than it was previously. Of course, this structure represents the institutionalization of what had been a de facto reality: ... Read More »

NATO: the Unexamined Alliance

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The outcome of the July11-12 NATO meeting in Brussels got lost amid the media’s obsession with President Donald Trump’s bombast, but the “Summit Declaration” makes for sober reading. Conn Hallinan CounterPunch The media reported that the 28-page document “upgraded military readiness,” and was “harshly critical of Russia,” but there was not much detail beyond that. But details matter, because that is where the Devil hides. One such detail is NATO’s “Readiness Initiative” that will beef up naval, air and ground forces in “the eastern ... Read More »

Reclaiming European Sovereignty

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As if there was any remaining doubt, the past few weeks have shown that US President Donald Trump is fully committed to demolishing the American-led post-war order and free-trade system. Joschka Fischer * The Project Syndicate Europeans no longer have any time to waste: The EU must assert itself as a unitary, self-sufficient global power before it is too late. BERLIN – After US President Donald Trump’s recent European tour – which culminated in his infamous press conference with Russian President Vladimir ... Read More »

The Australian Government can save Julian Assange

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Julian Assange is an Australian. He is in trouble overseas.  He needs the Australian government’s help. Julian Burnside For six years he has been virtually a prisoner in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.  The reason he is there is because he is the founder and editor of WikiLeaks, which published evidence of war crimes leaked by an American soldier, Bradley (later Chelsea) Manning as a matter of conscience. WikiLeaks has since revealed the secrets of the world’s unaccountable forces. This ... Read More »

Donald Trump’s media attacks are ‘dangerous and undermining democracy’

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Bridgewater: The publisher of the New York Times said Sunday that had warned US President Donald Trump that his attacks on journalists as the “enemy of the people” could lead to violence. Philip Rucker WAtoday Washington Post Trump tweeted on Sunday that he met at the White House with publisher A.G. Sulzberger, with the President explaining to Sulzberger why he was increasingly characterising journalists as the “enemy of the people.” The tweet prompted Sulzberger to release details of the July 20 meeting, at which ... Read More »