Opinion

[OPINION] Is Erdoğan’s Turkey after nuclear weapons?

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Considering the fact Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been emulating the Iranian model for some time, from investing in proxy groups for leverage and regime change to exporting the ruling party’s Islamist ideology overseas, one should not be surprised to find out that a clandestine program to acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) including a nuclear device for deterrence is actually in the works. Abdullah Bozkurt Turkish Minute If it is any indication, the deliberate campaign to push ... Read More »

Downplaying sexual assault to attack the Human Rights Commission is a new low

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In denouncing a survey into university sexual assaults, rightwing ideologues aren’t just tormenting survivors – they’re ignoring the nationwide response. Allison Henry Allison Henry is the campaign director for The Hunting Ground Australia Project The Guardian When we started The Hunting Ground Australia Project two years ago we knew the day would come when the rightwing ideologues would come after us. There had been some savage responses to the documentary in the US and we expected that our campaign to ... Read More »

Australian Public Service Commission social media guidance sparks anger

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If the politicians who oversee Canberra’s public service workforce had to comply with a new social media dictate about public comments, Treasurer Scott Morrison would be the first person in trouble. Editorial The Canberra Times The guide on making comments through social media channels, issued by Public Service Commission boss John Lloyd on Monday, says “liking” a post on Facebook or Twitter “will generally be taken to be an endorsement of that material as though you’d created that material yourself”. ... Read More »

Isis: UN study finds foreign fighters in Syria ‘lack basic understanding of Islam’

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Research shows economic factors and ‘lack of meaning’ in life makes warzone attractive Lizzie Dearden Independent Young men who leave their homes to fight for terrorist groups in Syria mainly come from disadvantaged backgrounds, have low levels of education and “lack any basic understanding of the true meaning of jihad or even the Islamic faith”, according to a new report. A study for the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism found that despite claiming to protect Muslims, most of the returned fighters were “novices” ... Read More »

The leaked transcript of Turnbull’s call with Trump shows him at his worst

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Turnbull’s government has called refugees “illegal” and treats them as criminals. It is a lie on which the Coalition has made itself popular. Julian Burnside * The Guardian * Julian Burnside is an Australian barrister and refugee advocate About a week after Donald Trump was inaugurated as president of the United States, he had a phone conversation with Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull. The call focused on the deal earlier done with the Obama administration, under which the US would take a ... Read More »

More than Myth: Ancient DNA Reveals Roots of 1st Greek Civilizations

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The Minoans and Mycenaeans were the first advanced, literate civilizations to appear in Europe. They left archaeologists with a wealth of material to pore over: palaces, golden jewelry, wall paintings, writing (some of it still undeciphered) and, of course, burials, in what is today Greece. Megan Gannon LiveScience Now, new research on Bronze Age skeletons could shed light on the origins of the Minoan and Mycenaean people. The study of ancient DNA suggests that there is genetic continuity between the ... Read More »

It’s time to stop kowtowing to Turkey

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Israel’s great relationship with Turkey is over, here’s what’s needed. The break in relations between Israel and Turkey is often identified as happening in May 2010, when the Israel Navy took control of the Mavi Marmara protest ship that was on its way to Gaza. YAIR LAPID JPost Nine protesters were killed during the operation, all Turkish citizens. The response was harsh. Turkey announced it was suspending all joint military exercises with Israel, the families of Israel’s diplomats were returned home. ... Read More »

Ancient DNA reveals origins of the Minoans and Mycenaeans

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The mysterious Minoans descended primarily from local Stone Age farmers, as did their cultural successors, the Mycenaeans — and their descendants still inhabit Greece today. MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE FOR THE SCIENCE OF HUMAN HISTORY EurekAlert! The Minoan Civilization and its counterpart on the Greek Mainland, the Mycenaean Civilization, were Europe’s first literate societies and the cultural ancestors of later Classical Greece. However, the question of the origins of the Minoans and their relationship to the Mycenaeans has long puzzled researchers. ... Read More »

Dunkirk, the War and the Amnesia of the Empire

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OXFORD, England — Two and a half million soldiers drawn from Britain’s empire in South Asia fought in World War II. YASMIN KHAN The New York Times But they are missing from many British commemorations and accounts of the war — an absence reinforced by Christopher Nolan’s new film “Dunkirk,” which does not feature any of the Indian soldiers who were present at the battle. The Indian soldiers at Dunkirk were mainly Muslims from areas of British India that later ... Read More »

North Korea’s new ICBMs change little about threat to the US

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Pyongyang’s development of a missile capable of reaching most of the continental US is not a game-changer that everyday citizens should worry about. ROBERT E. MCCOY Asia Times North Korea’s launch of an ICBM (inter-continental ballistic missile) in early July, followed by another even longer-range missile 24 days later, has generated a lot of buzz. While the detailed analyses of those launches have yet to be published, we do know that both missiles are clearly of a class whose range is at least 3,400 ... Read More »

Life in limbo: the refugee experience in Southeast Asia

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With under half of all Asian countries having signed the 1951 Refugee Convention or having any domestic legislation in place, refugees in the region are forced to live on the fringes of society. Evan Jones TRTworld In today’s public and political discourses, the words ‘refugee’ and ‘migrant’ are used almost interchangeably. There is often no distinction made between someone fleeing violence and persecution, and someone moving for the sake of a better life or other voluntary reasons. With a historical ... Read More »

After Trump and Brexit, is this the end for the Anglo-Saxon west?

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You must be from England,” says the shop assistant at the CVS drugstore in Menlo Park, California. Timothy Garton Ash The Guardian When I mention Donald Trump, he says: “Well, don’t get me started on how things are going on your side of the Atlantic. After Trump and… Read More »

The good, the bad and the ugly of the Gulf crisis

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently embarked on a two-day trip to the Gulf, in the latest international effort to help resolve the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and the… Sinem Cengiz Arab News The trip included Saudi Arabia and Qatar, both actors in the crisis, as well as Kuwait, the main mediator, whose role is difficult and should be appreciated. The good, the… Read More »

Pakistan’s Court Sets a Dangerous Precedent

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Pakistan’s Supreme Court disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday from holding public office for life in a corruption inquiry linked to the Panama Papers, which had named three of his children as owners of offshore companies suspected of laundering money. Aqil Shah The New York Times The court also ordered the National Accountability Bureau, the country’s top anticorruption agency, to file corruption cases against Mr. Sharif and his family members based on the evidence collected by the court appointed ... Read More »

The Desperation of Our Diplomats

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WASHINGTON β€” On the first Friday in May, Foreign Affairs Day, the staff gathers in the flag-bedecked C Street lobby of the State Department beside the memorial plaques for the 248 members of foreign affairs agencies who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Roger Cohen The New York Times A moment of silence is observed. As president of the American Foreign Service Association, Barbara Stephenson helps organize the annual event. This year, she was set to enter ... Read More »

Open Letter to the UN Secretary-General on Peacekeeping in DRC

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While the presence of the UN peace operation MONUSCO in the DRC is crucial, it needs to adapt to the deepening crisisΒ as violence escalates in parts of the country, and recognise President Kabila’s role in the… The UN should use its forthcoming strategic review to adjust the mission to these challenges. Jean-Marie Guehenno * ICG Your Excellency, The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is facing its deepest crisis since the end of the 1998-2003 war. Prospects for a peaceful transfer ... Read More »