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

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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

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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 »

Broken Dreams and Lost Lives: Israel, Gaza and the Hamas Card

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For days, now, the Israeli rewrite has been well underway, working overtime, to convince the world seven weeks of carnage in Palestine, more particularly Gaza, did not happen. Stanley L. Cohen CounterPunch Or, if it did, Israel’s responseto the Great Return March was a measured, proportionate answer to the menace posed by some burning kites, waving flags and nihilist teens armed with slingshot weapons of mass destruction. At times, we’ve seen Zionists rip a page straight out of the “Sandy Hook” playbook, suggesting gruesome virtual film footage of the on-going blood bath was ... Read More »

Turkey’s pipedreams and NATO’s nightmares

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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 »

First country to use US-made F-35 in combat, Israel boasts

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OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Israel is the first country to have used the US-made F-35 stealth fighter in combat, the Israeli air force chief said on Tuesday in remarks carried by the military’s official Twitter account. Saudi Gazette Local media further quoted Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin as saying in a speech to the chiefs of 20 foreign air forces convening in Israel: “We are flying the F-35 all over the Middle East and have already attacked twice on two different fronts”. Norkin ... Read More »

The Conversation Hour: Robyn Nevin, Anna O’Byrne, and Damian Smith, with Christos Tsiolkas

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John Faine’s co-host is novelist, playwright, and essayist Christos Tsiolkas (Loaded, The Jesus Man, Dead Europe, The Slap, Barracuda). ABC His latest book is On Patrick White (Black Inc. in conjunction with the University of Melbourne and State Library Victoria). Their first guests are actors Robyn Nevin AM and soprano Anna O’Byrne, who both star in the forthcoming staging of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! celebrating 75 years since it was first on Broadway, and 20 years of The… The show stars Simon Gleeson, Anna O’Byrne, ... Read More »

Saudi Arabia: Back to Baghdad

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Saudi Arabia has been forging links to Iraq since reopening its Baghdad embassy in 2016. Its adversary Iran has strong Iraqi ties. ICG If Riyadh avoids antagonising Tehran, invests wisely and quiets anti-Shiite rhetoric, Iraq can be a bridge between the rival powers – not a battleground. What’s new? After a quarter-century of estrangement, Saudi Arabia has re-opened diplomatic relations with Iraq in an attempt to counter strong Iranian influence. The kingdom seeks a role in post-ISIS reconstruction and has ... Read More »

U.S. and Israel Should Recognize the Armenian Genocide

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech during the state ceremony opening the events of Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Day on April 11, 2018 at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.
The number of Jews around the world is lower than before World War II, Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics said ahead of the Jewish State's annual Holocaust Remembrance Day. / AFP PHOTO / GALI TIBBON        (Photo credit should read GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)

Turkey’s sensitivities have blocked the move long enough. Zev Chafets Bloomberg Last week Turkey recalled its ambassadors to America and Israel. That decision came in response to Israeli forces killing 60 Palestinian protestors attempting to cross the Gaza border. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Israeli actions a “genocide” on Turkish TV; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shot back on twitter: “I suggest that he not preach morality to us.” Erdogan’s attack has opened an unanticipated window of opportunity, both ... Read More »

Loss of marine habitats is threatening the global fishing industry – new research

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Seafood consumption is both a love and a necessity for hundreds of millions of people worldwide. And its supply is a key part of maintaining food security for the whole planet. Authors: The Conversation But during a time of rapid population growth and increasing demand, stocks of wild fish and invertebrates (such as mussels and… The problem is that policies and plans designed to make sure there are enough fish and invertebrates almost exclusively target fishing activity. But we also ... Read More »

In Europe, the Only Choice Is Right or Far-Right

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As left-wing parties have collapsed, the sole option remaining for voters is conservatism or right-wing populism. Slawomir Sierakowski FP As Europe lurches further to the right each time a xenophobic populist party makes electoral gains, a theory has emerged to explain the continent’s political shifts. There is now a widely held view that popular anger is the underlying cause of far-right populism. If that theory were correct, then periods of economic growth should clip populists’ wings and help reinvigorate the ... Read More »

Jewish Americans changed their names, but not at Ellis Island

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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 »

Neo-Ottomanism a myth or reality

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In the treaty of Lausanne (1923), signed in Palais de Rumine, Turkey gave up the remainder of the territory held by the Ottoman Empire. M Saad ur-Rehman Daily Times In return, the Allied powers recognised the new republic of Turkey and eventually one of the greatest empires in the history of mankind came to an end. Mustafa Kemal, the founder of the modern Turkey, introduced rigorous reforms in all sectors of the country and laid down the foundation of the ... Read More »

The first modern Islamist fundamentalist conquest of the West?

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Is Erdogan looking to conquer the energy-rich East Mediterranean and control Cyprus In the 1970s, a young mogul named Donald Trump was making news as a young, brash and very successful real estate developer. Philip Christopher Knews At the same time, Turkey’s 1974 invasion of Cyprus made international headlines. Now, 44 years later, they are on a collision course of historic consequence. US President Trump is the leader of the Western world and Turkey’s occupation of Cyprus has now become ... Read More »

Australia’s taste for translated literature is getting broader, and that’s a good thing

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With today’s announcement of the winner of the Man Booker International Prize shortlist, translation again finds itself in the foreground of the literary landscape. Alice Whitmore The Conversation This year’s shortlist includes novels translated from a diverse array of languages including Arabic (Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi), Hungarian (László Krasznahorkai’s The World Goes On) and Korean (The White Book by Han Kang). In 2016, the prize evolved from a biennial event, designed to honour one living author’s overall contribution ... Read More »

Let’s criminalise the men buying sex, and spare the women they exploit

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A new report lays bare the brutal realities of life for sex workers in Britain. The law must now change to protect them Sophie Walker The Guardian ”You know when you buy something and it doesn’t work properly, the first thing you will do is pick it up and shake it. The same principle applies to prostitution. If your mouth isn’t open wide enough or your throat isn’t deep enough. So you are always at risk of being raped or ... Read More »

Albania must decide between EU and Turkey – analysis

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While Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan tries to coopt Balkan countries into his sphere of influence, these countries, Albania in particular, must realize that their prospects for economic growth, prosperity, freedom and sustainable democracy will come with a… Ahval Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)’s has been vocal in its dream of expanding the country’s influence across states that were formerly Ottoman territories; this foreign policy doctrine known as… Albania has been one of Turkey’s prime areas of… Albania ... Read More »