Location

Further Balkanizing the Balkans is a recipe for disaster

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When it comes to the future of the Balkans, the discourse is slowing leaning toward proposing new divisions in the region — which is a recipe for geopolitical instability. Carl Bildt The Washington Post Discreetly, Serb and Albanian political leaders have been exploring the possibility of sorting out their differences using territorial swaps. The idea of sorting out divisions through exchanging territories has been circulating in Belgrade for years, but lately, it seems to have acquired traction in leading Albanian circles, as ... Read More »

After the Showdown in Libya’s Oil Crescent

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A renewed struggle this summer over Libya’s main oil export zone cut sales in half, squeezing hard currency supplies amid outcry about mismanagement of hydrocarbon revenues. ICG To build trust, Libyan and international actors should review public spending and move toward unifying divided financial institutions. What’s new? Fighting in June in Libya’s “oil crescent”, a coastal area home to most of its oil export terminals, led to a brief military takeover of oil installations and, subsequently, an attempt to deepen ... Read More »

Chinese officials remember diplomat who helped shape ‘Law of the Sea’

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Li Shengjiao was regarded as China’s top expert on international maritime law and boundary demarcation issues Foreign affairs officials and observers have remembered a Chinese diplomat who was involved in the creation of an international treaty on the use of the world’s seas and oceans on the first anniversary of his death. South China Morning Post Li Shengjiao, who served as Counsellor of the Chinese Mission to the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), died on ... Read More »

Car bursts into flames after phone left on seat

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A fire that burned out a rental car could have been sparked by a Samsung phone left on the passenger seat. Darwin dad Matthew Mansfield had rented the car and said he had parked it in the shade. 9news The phone in question is a Samsung Galaxy Core Prime, purchased two years ago from a phone store in Tasmania. In 2016, Samsung issued a major recall of their Galaxy Note 7 over faults that caused several to catch fire. The ... Read More »

The huge food company with the worst health rating

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The federal government is being urged to make the health star rating system mandatory, with new figures showing only 28 per cent of food and drinks display stars. Esther Han The Sydney Morning Herald A George Institute for Global Health study found only about 4350 of 15,770 eligible products on supermarket shelves in 2017 featured a health star rating. Food multinationals General Mills, PepsiCo and Mondelez, which sell household brands such as Latina, Oreo and Doritos, have opted out of the system altogether. ... Read More »

The devastating reality of Australia’s crippling drought: Shocking maps show just how parched the country has become as desperate farmers continue to pray for rain – but experts say it’s only going to get WORSE

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Australia has been suffering one of the most intense droughts of the past century, and meteorologists believe that it is only going to get worse. Laura Hedges DailyMail These maps from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) show how the country has been getting increasingly dry since 2010. The latest – and most shocking – map from BoM shows next to no average rainfall across the majority of the country from 1 April to 6 August this year. It has ... Read More »

How Russia Plans to Get Turkey on Its Side

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Moscow’s efforts appear to be paying off, as a 2017 poll showed that over 70 percent of Turkish citizens were favorable toward a political, economic and security alliance with Russia. Aykan Erdemir, John Lechner The National Interest June has been a tough month for the board of Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), the joint Turco-Russian megaproject and Turkey’s first nuclear reactor. On June 19, Russian authorities arrested on charges of espionage Karina Tsurkan, an energy executive at Moscow-based Inter RAO ... Read More »

‘Living in a fantasy’: A close US ally is investigating everyone named John and trying to arrest US military leaders

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The Turkish government claims to have new evidence that the US was involved in the 2016 failed coup attempt, according to a Tuesday report from Ahval, an allegation the US State Department… Daniel Brown Business Insider Turkish investigators claim to have discovered an internal Word document entitled “coup directive,” which was authored by someone named John, and last updated about a week before the… As such, Ankara is investigating everyone named John who was in the country at the time ... Read More »

Prospects of huge gas reserves in deep sea

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Bangladesh could have a minimum of 5 prospective structures in the Bay of Bengal in Block D-12, block operator Daewoo Corporation says Shahed Siddique The Independent Bangladesh has discovered the prospects of a big deep-sea gas reserve after the resolution of its maritime boundary dispute with Myanmar and India. A 2D seismic survey along the Myanmar border has revealed that Bangladesh could have a minimum of five prospective structures in the Bay of Bengal in Block D-12. The operator of ... Read More »

Tokyo university apologises after women deliberately marked down to limit numbers

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A major score-rigging scandal has engulfed one of Tokyo’s medical schools, with an investigation revealing the university deliberately marked down all female applicants to limit the number of… By North Asia correspondent Jake Sturmer in Tokyo ABC It is understood the senior officials at Tokyo Medical University wanted to keep the number of women at about 30 per cent, so they altered the computerised marking system. The practice had reportedly been going on for more than a decade. The report ... Read More »

What philosophers have to say about eating meat

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WeWork, a co-working and office space company, recently made a company policy not to serve or reimburse meals that include meat. Joan McGregor The Conversation WeWork’s co-founder and chief culture officer, Miguel McKelvey, said in an email that it was the company’s attempt at reducing its carbon footprint. His moral arguments are based on the devastating environmental effects of meat consumption. Research has shown that meat and dairy production are among the worst culprits when it comes to the production ... Read More »

Giants: why we needed them

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Think of any sizeable water gap. It might be that between you and the island many kilometres off the coast, a place like Kangaroo Island (South Australia) or Sri Lanka as viewed from nearby India. Patrick D. Nunn The Conversation It might be the gap between Wales and Ireland, or that separating France from England. Were I to tell you that someone once walked across that gap, you might look askance at me, maybe fear for my sanity. But if ... Read More »

Rick Gates Delivers a Public Lesson on Money Laundering and Political Corruption

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Tuesday was Rick Gates’s second day testifying as a witness for the prosecution in the trial of Paul Manafort, his former boss, and he spent a lot of time explaining how money flowed from Ukraine, where he and Manafort had a run of lucrative years doing consulting work for pro-Russian interests, to shell companies in Cyprus, to other shell companies in the Caribbean, and… John Cassidy The New Yorker In the afternoon, Gates was subjected to a withering cross-examination by ... Read More »

Venezuela crisis: Brazil briefly shuts border to migrants

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Brazil has re-opened its northern border with Venezuela to those fleeing economic and political turmoil there, after briefly closing it. BBC The Supreme Court overturned an earlier order to shut the frontier until Brazil could put in place the right conditions to receive the huge influx of people. Authorities in the state of Roraima in Brazil’s Amazon region say some 500 Venezuelans cross the border every day. The border was re-opened to Venezuelan migrants after a few hours on Monday. ... Read More »

Europe’s political problems are bigger than Orbán

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban arrives to take part in an European Union leaders' summit focused on migration, Brexit and eurozone reforms on June 28, 2018 at the Europa building in Brussels. - The two-day meeting in Brussels is expected to be dominated by deep divisions over migration, with German Chancellor saying the issue could decide the fate of the bloc itself. (Photo by LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Letter To The Editor Populist politicians like Viktor Orbán are symptoms of a larger problem. Sophie In ‘t Veld * Politico In a recent article for POLITICO, “This time, Viktor Orbán has gone too far” (August 3), my colleague in the European People’s Party, Swedish MEP Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, made an urgent plea for the Hungarian prime minister’s Fidesz party to be expelled from her political group. I wholeheartedly agree with her. In recent years, the EPP leadership has ... Read More »

Parts of Spain and Portugal are more than 46℃ – here’s what is going on

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Wildfires, drought and extreme heat have been the talk of the town and country across Europe this summer. Glenn McGregor The Conversation Attention has now turned to Portugal and Spain, where temperatures at the weekend reached more than 46℃ in some parts of both countries – close to the all-time European record of 48℃, set in Greece in 1977. Records aside, the obvious question is what is causing the current Iberian heatwave and whether this might be a harbinger of ... Read More »