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Diplomacy, and not bombing, is the way to end Syria’s agony

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More legally questionable and reckless military interventions are not what British people want from their government Jeremy Corbyn The Guardian These are serious times. Following the missile attacks on Syria, now is the moment for a powerful push for peace. Boris Johnson’s blithe acceptance on Sunday that the conflict will now continue on its current course and that peace negotiations would be an “extra” is an unconscionable abdication of… Already this devastating conflict has cost more than 500,000 lives and led to 5 million refugees ... Read More »

Somaliland poet jailed for Somalia reunification poetry

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A court in the self-declared republic of Somaliland has sentenced a young poet to three years in jail. BBC Nacima Qorane was found guilty of bringing the state into contempt by advocating for Somaliland to reunite with Somalia. Pressure groups in Somaliland said Ms Qorane’s basic human rights have been violated. Somaliland self-declared independence in 1991, but is not recognised internationally. Ms Qorane was arrested in January after returning from the Somali capital Mogadishu, where prosecutors said she had recited ... Read More »

Afghans register to vote in long-delayed elections amid violence

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Afghanistan at the weekend began registering voters across the war-torn country as it seeks to ensure that long-delayed legislative elections in October are seen as credible and fraud-free. KABUL – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Over the next two months authorities hope to register as many as 14 million adults at more than 7,000 polling centers – an ambitious goal in a country where militants control or contest much of the territory. “The main challenge is insecurity, particularly in rural areas,” Abdul ... Read More »

Major anti-Orban demo in Hungary

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Tens of thousands of Hungarians thronged Budapest on Saturday in anger at strongman Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s crushing re-election victory. AFP The crowd, around 100,000 strong according to organisers and AFP reporters, marched through the city centre in sunshine to parliament for a rally under the motto “We are the majority”. People protest against Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s re-election in Budapest, Hungary on April 14, 2018 “We want to live in a state of law, where checks and balances ... Read More »

UN Chief Warns of ‘Full-Blown Military Escalation’ Over Syria Attacks

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As US President Donald Trump is said to be considering a full scale ground assault against the Syrian administration of President Bashar al-Assad, the top UN official has decried the onset of a new global Cold War and warned against “full-blown military escalation” in the… Sputnik Following air strikes launched at Syria by a US-led coalition including France and the UK as a response to a purported chemical weapons attack on civilians by forces loyal to Assad, United Nations Secretary… UN chief Guterres also observed that the ... Read More »

Erdogan welcomes Syria strikes against Assad regime

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday welcomed Western strikes against Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s regime as “appropriate” in retaliation for Damascus’ “inhumane” attacks. AFP “We consider this operation as appropriate,” Erdogan told a meeting of his ruling party in Istanbul. In a statement, the Turkish foreign ministry said the US-led operation “has eased humanity’s conscience in the face of ” the suspected chemical attack With the latest operation, he said, “The regime has seen that its mounting attacks in ... Read More »

The truth hurts: why whistleblowers get such a hard time

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The truth hurts. And when you blow the whistle, people get upset. Ruth Williams The Sydney Morning Herald So says Martin Woods, an anti-money laundering expert and whistleblower, who says governments, companies and wider society need to rethink their attitudes towards whistleblowers in all sectors of the economy, from compliance staff in banks to nurses working in aged… This includes compensating them for speaking up – and paying rewards for valuable information. “It’s human conditioning – the human race doesn’t ... Read More »

China Is Moving into the Indian Ocean

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China is pushing westward in the Indian Ocean while New Delhi is pushing eastward through its Act East and Indo-Pacific strategies. Vivek Mishra The National Interest In the past few years, the Maldives has quintessentially exemplified the shortcomings of India’s ‘neighbourhood first’ policy. But there is a larger geopolitical premonition that could be anticipated from the recent crisis in the Indian Ocean islands of the Maldives, one that points to the immediacy with which China and India are approaching towards a… At ... Read More »

WA health minister launches plan to ease access to medicinal cannabis

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Sick West Australians who have been prescribed medicinal cannabis by a doctor will be able to get access within 48 hours under a plan agreed to by Health Minister Roger Cook. Phoebe Wearne The West Australian At the Council of Australian Governments health council meeting in Sydney yesterday, Mr Cook and his State and Territory counterparts gave the nod to having a single approval process for all… The deal means patients will no longer have to apply to both State ... Read More »

Brexit: Ministers get ready for defeats in the House of Lords on key piece of EU withdrawal legislation

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Government expects to lose a key vote aiming to make Theresa May rethink her position on an EU customs union Joe Watts Independent The government is bracing itself for defeats in parliament on Brexit this week, including over its plans to take the UK out of a customs union with the EU. Ministers have resigned themselves to the fact that the House of Lords will almost certainly pass amendments backed by Tory, Labour and Liberal Democrat peers aimed at forcing Theresa ... Read More »

China’s Worst Fear: Can America Turn Taiwan into a Submarine Power?

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Even as they tussle over trade, China and the United States are entering into a more under-the-radar dispute over Taiwan. Last week, the State Department approved a marketing license that allows U.S. defense companies to explore selling Taiwan technology it needs to build submarines. Zachary Keck The National Interest The approval was reported by Taiwanese media outlets who cited Maj. Gen. Chen Chung-chi, a Ministry of National Defense spokesman. Sidney Lin, a spokesperson for Taiwan’s president, also confirmed the news. The United ... Read More »

Aid funding crisis hits Somaliland after 80 per cent of livestock die and 700,000 people forced from homes as result of devastating drought

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Donations which keep this clinic going will run out next month and urgent funding is needed Geraldine McKelvie Mirror Tiny Amran Hassan howls in agony from the hunger pains that ravage her ­emaciated body. She is four but weighs just 21lb – the same as the average one-year-old in Britain. Her skeletal frame is the result of a drought devastating Somaliland in East Africa, where rain last fell two years ago. Nearly 80 per cent of livestock has died, destroying ... Read More »

The Syrian War Is Actually Many Wars

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President Donald Trump is ordering U.S. strikes against government targets in Syria after a suspected chemical attack. Krishnadev Calamur The Atlantic The Middle East is a “troubled place,” President Donald Trump said Friday night as he described his decision to use America’s “righteous power” in a retaliatory attack against government targets in Syria following a suspected chemical attack… Syrian President Bashar al-Assad seems to have won the civil war in his country—but that doesn’t mean peace is coming. In fact, ... Read More »

Why the EU must support the African Continental Free Trade Area

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The signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA) by 44 African countries at a summit of the African Union (AU) in Kigali, Rwanda last month marked an historic moment. Emmanuel Dupuy EUtoday The AfCFTA has the potential to bring over 1.2bn people together into the same market, worth trillions of dollars in GDP. The bloc would be the largest in the world by member states, eclipsing the European Single Market, writes Emmanuel Dupuy, President of the Institute for Prospective ... Read More »

Keeping the Hotline Open Between Sudan and South Sudan

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A UN mission has largely succeeded in keeping the peace in Abyei, an oil-rich area claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan. But there has been less progress made on the mission’s work in aiding political mechanisms to determine the final status of Abyei and demilitarise and demarcate the border. As the UN Security Council debates the mission’s scope, these mechanisms deserve ongoing support. ICG In 2011, Sudan and South Sudan sought outside help to prevent a return to war along what would become their international border. This effort followed ... Read More »

Turkey to Mediate Between US, Russia on Syria Tensions

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ISTANBUL — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is assuming a mediator role, calling for a display of sensitivity by the U.S., Russia and other nations amid heightened tensions on Syria. Dorian Jones VoA U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to launch military strikes in response to Saturday’s (April 7) alleged chemical weapons attack by Syrian government forces that killed at least 40. Erdogan spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin late Thursday on the phone after a separate call with Trump. “Erdogan ... Read More »