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Tony Blair ‘feels sorry’ for Theresa May

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Tony Blair says he feels “sorry” for Theresa May as she is surrounded by people waiting to “throw her off the ledge”. Richard Wheeler The Scotsman The former prime minister said he believed Mrs May has the “best interests of the country at heart” although reiterated he strongly disagrees with her about how to… Mr Blair, asked if he feels any sympathy for Mrs May, told Sophy Ridge on Sunday on Sky News: “Yeah, I do, of course, because I ... Read More »

Sinn Féin’s changed coalition stance is the big political move of 2017

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Opinion: Leo Varadkar has potential but he has failed to show it so far Pat Leahy The Irish Times The Dáil stuttered to its summer recess on Friday, a last minute rush of legislation this week hardly disguising the fact that the pace of parliamentary and governmental activity has slowed to a crawl since the… The recess lasts until September 20th – plenty of time for Leo Varadkar to figure out what he wants the Government’s new political message for ... Read More »

Taiwanese or Chinese? An island state’s shifting identities

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On the 30th anniversary of the lifting of martial rule in Taiwan, Asia Times examines the Republic’s political tensions and horizons and asks inhabitants how they see… Liu Hsiu Wen Asia Times It is January 16, 2016, and 56-year-old Liu Tao-shan is sitting quietly in his living room in Taichung, Taiwan. The television in front of him is showing the results of Taiwan’s 14th presidential election. The Democratic Progressive Party candidate Tsai Ing-wen has beaten the Kuomintang’s Eric Chu and ... Read More »

Are we sleepwalking to World War III?

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Analysis Australia is plunging headlong into catastrophe and we are utterly unprepared. Stan Grant  ABC In fact, we may be past the time when we can prepare. The time-bomb is ticking and it will explode in our lifetimes. All certainty will be lost, our economy will be devastated, our land seized, our system of government upended. This isn’t mere idle speculation or the rantings of a doomsday cult, this is the warning from a man who has made it his… ... Read More »

Secretary of State Tillerson has been in over his head from the get-go

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We were not alone in criticizing the pick of Rex W. Tillerson as secretary of state. Jennifer Rubin Miami Herald He had no government experience, no feel for human rights or the values that (should) underlie American foreign policy and no deep knowledge of the world beyond that of an oil company executive accustomed to transactional… With an experienced and sophisticated president, a Tillerson might have been effective; with President Trump, Tillerson has proven… Secretary of State… Read More »

What Liu Xiaobo’s Death Says about China’s Regime

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Beijing did not have the decency to let him go free in his final hours. Gordon G. Chang The National Interest A prisoner of conscience died this week in the hands of a regime that has no conscience. Liu Xiaobo was sixty-one. He passed away Thursday in the Chinese city of Shenyang. The city’s Bureau of Justice said the cause was “multiple organ… Liu was, by all accounts, China’s most well-known dissident. He was jailed various times and… What Liu ... Read More »

Turkey’s free press on trial

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Reporter Canan Coşkun used to cover cases of corruption, assault and murder. Now it’s her fellow journalists who are facing charges. Zia Weise Politico In a small courtroom at the city’s gargantuan Palace of Justice, Canan Coşkun took the stand with her hands clasped nervously behind her back. As a journalist covering the courts for Cumhuriyet — the Turkish newspaper that has been most outspokenly critical of the government — Coşkun is no stranger to judicial… Turkey’s free press… Read More »

Inside Erdogan’s Prisons

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ISTANBUL — I have been a member of Turkish Parliament representing Istanbul for the opposition Republican People’s Party for the past six years. SAFAK PAVEY The New York Times It has forced me to become a specialist in the Turkish prison system as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (A.K.P.) government has increasingly persecuted politicians, activists, professionals and… My morning begins with reading the news; looking for court appearance dates for Inside Erdogan… Read More »

China hits back at int’l reaction over Liu’s death

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China lashed out July 14 at international criticism after it denied Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo’s dying wish to leave the country and faced pressure to set the… Hurriyet Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing lodged official protests with the United States, France, Germany and the United Nations human rights office over their “irresponsible remarks” regarding Liu Xiaobo, and… “Conferring the prize to such a person goes against the purposes of this award. It’s a blasphemy of the peace prize,” ... Read More »

Trump and Macron, once cast as adversaries, show they have much in common

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PARIS — For dinner on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron chose to dine with President Trump at Le Jules Verne, an opulent restaurant nestled in the Eiffel Tower that has earned a… By Jenna Johnson and James McAuley The Washington Post The extravagant meal capped off a day filled with frequent backslaps, handshakes, toothy smiles, knee pats, photo ops and a shared determination to… Up until now, the relationship between these two world leaders has been largely… Trump and Macron… Read More »

Has Duterte’s China engagement backfired?

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The Philippine leader’s decision to set aside last July’s international arbitration win over Beijing’s extensive claims in the South China Sea has allowed China to consolidate major… Richard Javad Heydarian Asia Times When a special arbitral tribunal ruled last July 12 in favor of the Philippines over China regarding their territorial disputes in the South China Sea, many at the time thought the… One year on, China continues its fast build-up unperturbed while the… Has Duterte’s China… Read More »

Turkey Uncensored: The Fate of Assyrian Christian Churches and Monasteries

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The Turkish government has recently seized numerous properties belonging to Assyrian (Syriac) Christians − such as churches, monasteries and cemeteries − and… Uzay Bulut Philos Project On June 23, the Armenian-Turkish newspaper Agos reported, ”””Inquiries by the Mor Gabriel Monastery Foundation revealed that dozens of churches and monasteries have””” Kuryakos Ergün, the president of the Mor Gabriel Monastery Foundation, told The Philos Project that the decision of allocating the churches and monasteries to the… Turkey Uncensored: The… Read More »

Why Can’t the U.S. Left Get Venezuela Right?

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As Venezuela’s fascist-minded oligarchy conspires with U.S. imperialism to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nicolas Maduro, few in the… Shamus Cooke CounterPunch Instead of denouncing rightwing violence that aims at regime change, many on the U.S. left have stayed silent, or opted to give an evenhanded analysis that supports neither the Maduro government nor the oligarchy trying to… Rather, the left prioritizes its energy on lecturing on… Why Can’t the… Read More »

The only hope for democracy is for politicians to stand up to political parties

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Opinion Democracy has largely been reduced to a contest between three dominant parties, two of which act in coalition. Tony Fitzgerald  ABC Each is a private organisation with a small membership which primarily represents the interests — in particular the economic interests — of a section of the… They dominate public discussion and debate and one or other of them has governed Australia for more than 70… They enacted the… The only hope… Read More »

EU encourages Balkans Unity at Trieste summit

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Leaders from six western Balkan countries have agreed to form a common regional economic area at a summit in Trieste. Euronews It’s been proposed by the European Union as an extension of the already existing Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), which is stepping stone towards full membership for the… EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini: “All the six partners of the western Balkans clearly want to be more integrated in the… EU encourages Balkans… Read More »

Democracy Breaks Out at the UN as 122 Nations Vote to Ban the Bomb

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We are witnessing a striking shift in the global paradigm of how the world views nuclear weapons. Alice Slater The Nation On July 7, 2017, at a UN Conference mandated by the UN General Assembly to negotiate a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, the only weapons of mass destruction yet to be banned, 122 nations completed the job after three weeks, accompanied by a… The new treaty outlaws any prohibited activities related to… Democracy Breaks Out… Read More »