North America

Turkey, US Reach Accord for Security of Kurdish-Held Manbij in Syria

Parad 1a

Turkish and U.S. officials on Friday reached an accord on a “roadmap” to widen cooperation to provide the security of Manbij, a Kurdish-held city that lies at the heart of the ongoing dispute between two NATO allies in northern Syria.  The Globe Post The northern city of Manbij is held by the People’s Protection Units (YPG) Kurdish militia, a group which Ankara says is the “terrorist” offshoot of Kurdish hardliners in Turkey. The U.S. has a military presence in Manbij ... Read More »

A study shows that electoral outcomes affect the way we treat other people

EurekAlert 2b logo LLLLLL

After the 2016 US Presidential election, the willingness of Democrats to share resources with Republicans dropped abruptly as a consequence of a drop in self-esteem, according to… Bocconi University EurekAlert! After the unexpected results of the 2016 US Presidential Election, the way Americans treat each other changed as a function of their party affiliation, a new study by Celia Moore (Bocconi… In a two-stage experimental study, they explored how Democrats and Republicans allocated resources to their political friends and foes ... Read More »

Pompeo Says US Offered Alternatives to Turkey for Russia’s S-400 System

2602991 04/09/2015 An S-400 "Triumf" antiaircraft missile system is among other Defense Ministry's air defense missile battalions put on combat alert in the Moscow Region. Kirill Kallinikov/Sputnik

The U.S. has offered Turkey alternatives to Russia’s S-400s in a bid to prevent Ankara from completing the purchase of the missile defense system, an issue that significantly strained Ankara’s ties with its Western allies. The Globe Post “We continue to work to keep the Turks in a place where they don’t actually acquire the S-400,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a testimony before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday. “I believe that they have not ... Read More »

North Korea slams ‘ignorant and stupid’ Pence

Pens 1a

North Korea called U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence “ignorant and stupid” for his warnings over a planned summit with Donald Trump, renewing a threat to cancel as the U.S. president said the fate of the historic talks will be decided next week. SEOUL – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Trump is due to meet his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12 for high stakes talks aimed at ridding the reclusive state of its newly acquired nuclear weapons and improving ties after decades of ... Read More »

Philip Roth, Towering Novelist Who Explored Lust, Jewish Life and America, Dies at 85

Lust 5e

Philip Roth, the prolific, protean, and often blackly comic novelist who was a pre-eminent figure in 20th-century literature, died on Tuesday night at a hospital in Manhattan. He was 85. Charles McGrath The New York Times The cause was congestive heart failure, said the writer Judith Thurman, a close friend. Mr. Roth had homes in Manhattan and Connecticut. In the course of a very long career, Mr. Roth took on many guises — mainly versions of himself — in the ... Read More »

Washington lobbyists put on notice over foreign agent law

Form 2b

A recent and rare prosecution of a Pakistani man in Maryland under a relatively obscure lobbying law has many in the multimillion dollar world of foreign influence bracing for more. ABC – By chad day and eric tucker, associated press The prosecution of Nisar Ahmed Chaudhry reflects what current and former Justice Department officials say is an aggressive enforcement strategy against unregistered foreign agents that began even before special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation exposed a… The effort comes amid revelations about ... Read More »

Turkey’s pipedreams and NATO’s nightmares

Ake 1a

Turkey’s relationship with NATO is at a nadir. Following its recent incursion into Syria’s Afrin district against NATO-backed Kurdish forces, Ankara now finds itself at loggerheads with the United States and other NATO… Amelia Meurant-Tompkinson The Strategist More troubling, Turkey’s offensive wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Russia: the operation required Russian clearance for Turkish warplanes to enter Syria’s airspace, and Ankara would have heeded assurances from… Then there’s the rapid progress on the controversial deal for Turkey ... Read More »

Jewish Americans changed their names, but not at Ellis Island

GEI 1a

A well-worn joke in American Jewish culture goes like this. A Jewish immigrant landed at Ellis Island in New York. Kirsten Fermaglich The Conversation The procedures were confusing, and he was overwhelmed by the commotion. When one of the officials asked him “What is your name?” he replied, “Shayn fergessen,” which in Yiddish means “I’ve already forgotten.” The official then recorded his name as Sean Ferguson. Today, members of many white ethnic groups – including Jews, Italians and Poles – ... Read More »

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

Bot 1a

What’s next for NAFTA?Negotiators for Canada, Mexico and the U.S. are under the gun to make headway on a new NAFTA deal after passing the unofficial deadline of May 17, put in place to give Congress enough time to vote on it by the end of the year. The Canadian Press Winnipeg Free Press Canadian officials say a deal is “close” but issues such as auto-sector content rules and a U.S.-proposed five-year sunset clause remain sticking points. Wholesale tradeStatistics Canada ... Read More »

DMZ guardians could become ‘happiest jobless’ on earth

Whim 2b

Swedish and Swiss soldiers are the most peaceful denizens of the Korean DMZ. If a Korean War peace treaty is signed they may expand their mandate – or pack up and go home Andrew Salmon Asia Times It is the most bizarre corner of one of the most bizarre places in East Asia: A tranquil little chunk of Western Europe sitting betwixt armies which, if they ever go to war, could very well ignite Armageddon across Asia. Welcome to the ... Read More »

Texas school shooting: Arm teachers to stop gunmen, official says

Ende 3c

Arming more teachers could help tackle gunmen targeting students if there were “four to five guns to one”, a senior Texan official has said. BBC Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick was speaking two days after 10 people were killed at the Santa Fe High School, which had an armed guard. He had previously said schools had “too many entrances and too many exits” and their design should be reconsidered. The proposal to arm teachers is not a new idea. After a ... Read More »

US criticizes China’s militarization of disputed South China Sea

Kod 6f

BEIJING — The Pentagon criticized what it called China’s “continued militarization” of island outposts in the disputed South China Sea, where the Chinese air force landed long-range bombers for the… The Associated Press NavyNews The China Daily newspaper reported Saturday that the People’s Liberation Army Air Force conducted takeoff and landing training with the H-6K bomber in the South China Sea. China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons in waters crucial for global commerce and rich in ... Read More »

Joint US/French carrier ops highlight common ground and interests

Fur 9i

The last time the United States and France combined for an operation off the coast of Virginia, the French Navy defeated the British and prevented resupply of Gen. Cornwallis’ troops, who was surrounded by French and… Mark D. Faram Navy Times The British surrendered and the United States won its independence. Now, 237-years later, the two long-time allies are at it again, this time experimenting with the idea of integrating aviaton squadrons of both navies into a single air wing ... Read More »

Will Patriotism Push America Into an Unconstitutional War?

Whim 1a

We cannot go to war on the whim of a single person and automatic obedience by well-meaning men and women who profess loyalty to a Constitution they don’t understand. Muckey Edwards The National Interest Last week I had the good fortune to hear one of America’s leading military officers deliver a thoughtful and inspiring address to a small group—there were about fifty of us—of people who have been concerned about the direction of the country. The meeting was private so ... Read More »

Could this be the new US Navy frigate design?

Fur 8h

NORFOLK, Va. — The Italian navy frigate Alpino visited Norfolk this week after participating in exercises with U.S. ships while at sea. Mark D. Faram Navy Times But its mission goes deeper than that, as the Italian Defense Ministry also says it’s here to hopefully interest U.S. officials in the ship’s design and capabilities as the U.S. Navy investigates future frigate designs. Commissioned in September 2016, the ship is an anti-submarine variant of the European multi-purpose frigate and is built ... Read More »

South Korea’s President Heads to Washington to Salvage Nuclear Deal

Bob 2b

SEOUL — North Korea’s recent threat to pull out of the upcoming nuclear summit with the U.S. has added new urgency to South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s visit to Washington next Tuesday. Brian Padden VoA President Moon has played a key role in facilitating the meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump scheduled to be held in Singapore June 12. Diplomatic jeopardy At the recent inter-Korean summit Moon got Kim to affirm a broad commitment ... Read More »