World

Emmanuel Macron: French would ‘probably’ vote to leave EU

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Undated BBC handout photo of President Emmanuel Macron of France, during a recorded interview at Sandhurst for the BBC One's The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday January 21, 2018. See PA story POLITICS Brexit Macron. Photo credit should read: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA Wire

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The French President believes his country might also have quit the bloc if offered the choice in an referendum Greg Heffer SkyNews France would “probably” have voted to leave the EU if it had held an in/out referendum, according to the country’s leader. Emmanuel Macron attributed the UK’s decision to leave the EU to British voters’ loss of faith in globalisation and unrestricted free markets. The French President suggested there is “always a risk” with votes such as Britain’s 2016 ... Read More »

Why do names matter so much?

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When it comes to politics and international diplomacy, names matter. We know they matter because people are always changing them Two important addresses changed this week. Jonathan Savage BBC The Russian embassy in Washington found itself situated not on Wisconsin Street but Boris Nemtsov Plaza, named after a Russian opposition politician. And in Turkey, the embassy of the United Arab Emirates is now on Fahreddin Pasha Road. The Turkish situation was very 2018 in that it was the result of ... Read More »

Up to a million Britons use steroids for looks not sport

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Health warnings as image culture drives usage of performance-enhancing drugs Steven Morris The Guardian Up to 1 million people in the UK are taking anabolic steroids and other image- and performance-enhancing drugs (IPEDs) to change the way they look, public health experts and doctors have said. This ranges from teenagers seeking the perfect physique to elderly men hoping to hang on to youthful looks. Research suggests that appearance rather than sporting performance is the reason for a majority of those ... Read More »

The secret to Henry Kissinger’s success

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29:  Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee January 29, 2015 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony from Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State George Schultz and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on the topic of global challenges and U.S. national security strategy.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Many think the retired diplomat’s closeness to one man — Richard Nixon — was the source of his power. That gets Kissinger dangerously wrong. By NIALL FERGUSON Politico About halfway through writing my biography of Henry Kissinger, an interesting hypothesis occurred to me: Did the former secretary of state owe his success, fame and notoriety not just to his powerful intellect and formidable will but also to his exceptional ability to build an eclectic network of relationships, not only to ... Read More »

Toxic plastic waste is returning from sea to poison us

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Wet wipes, straws and ‘mermaids’ tears’: Jane Bradley on the marine plastic epidemic that’s poisoning our food. Jane Bradley The Scotsman ‘Ohhhh, it’s garbage,” said the fresh-faced American tourist, clearly relieved to realise that the giant bags we were lugging onto Cramond promenade did not actually contain dead bodies. His expression changed and he looked us straight in the eye, in that sincere way that only Americans can. “I thank you,” he said. It was a freezing Saturday morning and ... Read More »

Regional Report: Eastern Mediterranean

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Eastern Mediterranean region are beginning to increase E&P activity and were able to bring several key projects on stream in 2017 Emily Querubin World Oil Eastern Mediterranean region are beginning to increase E&P activity and were able to bring several key projects on stream in 2017. Despite a substantial amount of progress, the region still faces a few hurdles as it enters the new year. EGYPT Egypt is home to several mega-projects—including Nooros and Zohr fields—which reportedly will double the ... Read More »

They Were Bad. He May Be Worse.

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Historians have long looked to a few key criteria in evaluating the beginning of a president’s administration Sean Wilentz The New York Times First and foremost, any new president should execute public duties with a commanding civility and poise befitting the nation’s chief executive, but without appearing aloof or haughty. As George Washington observed at the outset of his presidency in 1789, the president cannot in any way “demean himself in his public character” and must act “in such a ... Read More »

“Don’t let Afrin become another Kobane”

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Academics and international human rights activists launched a petition calling upon world powers to act against Turkish aggression against Afrin ANF The petition, signed by academics and activists like Noam Chomsky, Michael Hardt and Debbi Bookchin, called for prevention of further Turkish attacks on Afrin. The full text of the petition reads as follows: “We, the undersigned academics and human rights activists, insist that the leaders of Russia, Iran, and the U.S. ensure that the sovereignty of Syrian borders is ... Read More »

Is America’s Alliance with Turkey Worth It?

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The most basic feature that the United States should expect from an ally is consistent, reliable behavior that benefits U.S. policy objectives. Ted Galen Carpenter The National Interest  Ideally, since America regards itself as a champion of democracy and freedom, an ally should embody those values as well, but Washington has never been a stickler for that standard. Indeed, the United States has a sordid history of collaboration with undemocratic, even odious, regimes when U.S. leaders believed that the relationship ... Read More »

China’s birth rate drops despite end of one-child policy

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China’s family planning commission has revealed the country’s birth rate dropped by 3.5 per cent last year, despite moves over the past couple of years to fully end the one-child policy. By China correspondent Bill Birtles, wires ABC There were just over 17 million new babies born in mainland China in 2017. While this is lower than 2016’s figure, it is still higher than the average number of births in the five previous years, the China Daily newspaper reported. The ... Read More »

Turkish troops shell Afrin to oust US-backed Kurdish militia

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Photo shows a portrait of jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan from Afrin, along Syria’s northern border with Turkey (AFP) Al Arabiya AFP Turkey on Friday started shelling the Syrian town of Afrin held by a US-backed Kurdish militia that Ankara considers “terrorists” in a move to oust them, the defense minister said. The Turkish government has repeatedly warned that a full-scale operation against Syrian towns controlled by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia, including Afrin, is imminent after the ... Read More »

FYROM’s Zaev to discuss name push with Tsipras in Davos

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The name dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) will reportedly be discussed at a prime ministerial level in the next few days, reports from Skopje said on Friday. e kathimerini According to the tiny Balkan country’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, the meeting will take place on January 24 on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Even though Athens by late Friday had not confirmed the meeting, Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras described the ... Read More »

Austrian far-right orders ‘border protection unit’

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Austria’s new far-right interior minister was quoted as saying on Jan. 18 that he has ordered the creation of a “border protection unit” in case of a major new influx of migrants, like the one in 2015. VIENNA – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet “A repeat of 2015 cannot be allowed to happen. Therefore I have given instructions for the creation of a border protection unit,” said Herbert Kickl, of the anti-immigration Freedom Party (FPOe). “The aim is to ensure an orderly ... Read More »

Britain and Italy to bolster troop presence in Africa’s Sahel

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Britain is set to send helicopters to bolster a key French counter-terrorism operation in Mali in a package of measures which are set to be agreed at a summit near London. LONDON – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The commitment will come as Prime Minister Theresa May meets French President Emmanuel Macron at an army base near the British capital, with immigration and global aid also on their agenda. In a separate move, Italy’s parliament on Jan. 17 also approved a ramped ... Read More »

FYROM media reports UN mediator’s name proposals

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A website in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on Thursday published the five names it claims United Nations negotiator Matthew Nimetz brought to table in talks the previous day between representatives from Athens and Skopje. e kathimerini According to the website www.mkd.mk, Nimetz proposed: Republika Nova Makedonija (Republic of New Macedonia); Republika Severna Makedonija (Republic of Northern Macedonia), Republika Gorna Makedonija (Republic of Upper Macedonia); Republika Vardarska Makedonija (Republic of Vardar Macedonia) and… Skopje raised new… FYROM media ... Read More »

Australia’s human rights record attacked in global report for ‘serious shortcomings’

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Human Rights Watch criticises Indigenous incarceration rate, counter-terrorism laws and detention centre abuse Helen Davidson The Guardian The Australian government must act on the “serious shortcomings” in its human rights record if it wants to be a credible leader on the global stage, Human Rights Watch has said in its annual world report. The Australian chapter of the HRW world review said that despite a strong tradition of protecting civil and political rights, “Australia has serious unresolved human rights problems” ... Read More »