Historical

Massive Turkey-funded mosque stirs unease in secular north Cyprus

This picture shows the Hala sultan mosque in Haspolat (called Mia Milia by Greek Cypriots), in the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), on July 7, 2018.
North of the Cypriot capital Nicosia, a massive Turkey-funded mosque opening this week has caused a stir in the largely secular Muslim society. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to attend the opening ceremony on July 10 of the 3,000-capacity house of worship, with its four minarets and built in classic Ottoman style. While many have welcomed it, the mosque has sparked concern among some Turkish Cypriots over Ankara's growing influence in the north of the divided island. / AFP PHOTO / Matthieu CLAVEL

Many local residents see imposing structure as part of Erdogan’s efforts to cement control over territory. ‘It symbolizes the Islamist mentality. It’s not an innocent thing’ Dylan Collins The Times of Israel NICOSIA, Cyprus (AFP) — In the flat sunbaked fields north of the Cypriot capital Nicosia, a huge Turkey-funded mosque opening this week has caused a stir in the largely secular Muslim society. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to attend the opening ceremony, expected to take place on ... Read More »

Justice for Cyprus: The Goal should be Freedom from Occupation

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Cyprus, a member state of the European Union, has been illegally occupied by Turkey since 1974. Turkey’s false excuse for its presence on the island is the “protection of Turkish Cypriots from Greek violence.” Uzay Bulut * H Fusion     However, in 2017, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Tuğrul Türkeş revealed the real reason behind Turkey’s control of Cyprus:  “There is this misinformation that Turkey is interested in Cyprus because there is a Turkish society there… Kyrenia Harbour Even if no Turks lived in Cyprus, ... Read More »

What is “originalism?” Why Trump wants an originalist on the Supreme Court

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On Monday (July 9), US president Donald Trump will announce his pick to replace Anthony Kennedy on the nation’s highest court. Ephrat Livni Quartz The candidate for junior justice will no doubt be someone who claims to be an “originalist” or a “textualist,” which are just two ways of saying a judge guided by the US Constitution. The rhetoric about originalism can be a little confusing. Isn’t every judge in the country supposed to use the text of the constitution ... Read More »

‘We want peace’: A Rohingya family’s 40 years of suffering

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Rohingya refugees tell of decades of persecution and horrors suffered at the hands of Myanmar security forces. Mohammed Jamjoom AlJazeera Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh – Gul Zahar is the head of four generations of family and and the bearer of 40 years of suffering. A Rohingya refugee in her 90s, she has fled persecution in Myanmar on three separate occasions in her life: first in 1978, then in 1991 and, finally, in 2017. Like many other Rohingya members of her generation, Gul isn’t exactly sure how old ... Read More »

The secret story of how America lost the drug war with the Taliban

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN:  An Afghan man pours petrol onto a pile of seized drugs, including more than 2,5 tons of opium, more than 4 tons of hasish, and some 169 kilos of heroin, before incinerating it outside Kabul, 23 September 2004.  Since the fall of the hardline Islamic Taliban regime in late 2001, Afghanistan has become one of the world's biggest drug producers.    AFP PHOTO/ Shah Marai  (Photo credit should read SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images)

A high-stakes plan to indict Afghan drug lords and insurgency leaders on criminal conspiracy charges ran afoul of the Obama team. Five years later, it remains buried under Trump. Josh Meyer Politico As Afghanistan edged ever closer to becoming a narco-state five years ago, a team of veteran U.S. officials in Kabul presented the Obama administration with a detailed plan to use U.S. courts to prosecute the… The plan, according to its authors, was both a way of halting the ... Read More »

Eritrea and Ethiopia to re-establish diplomatic ties

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Eritrea and Ethiopia are to re-establish diplomatic and trade ties after long years of hostility. BBC Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaia Afwerki made the announcement during a landmark meeting in the latter’s capital Asmara. It is the first time the leaders from the two East African neighbours have met in almost 20 years. Relations were severed following a border dispute which killed tens of thousands of people in the late 1990s. A peace deal was signed ... Read More »

What the Stanford prison experiment really tells us about tyrants

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Nearly half-a-century ago, 24 male students hoping to make some holiday money turned up at Stanford University, California, for what would become one of the most notorious experiments in the field of human… Alison Brown Brisbane Times The volunteers were recruited by Professor Philip Zimbardo and were randomly assigned to be either “prisoners” or “guards” in a mock prison that had been constructed in the basement of the Stanford psychology… Zimbardo’s experiment was supposed to last two weeks but was ... Read More »

Lessons in Chinese history as America shuts off from the world

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Those who have studied history understand the importance of being engaged in the global economy. Walid Hejazi The Conversation Two thousand years ago, China represented nearly 25 per cent of the global economy. In 1600, it was 30 per cent, and a third in 1820. The country was a global powerhouse, to say the least. There is a famous story from 1792 when King George III’s ambassador led a trade mission to China with a cargo of the latest European ... Read More »

Time to honour a historical legend: 50 years since the discovery of Mungo Lady

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This month we celebrate an event 50 years ago in western New South Wales that changed the course of Australian history. Jim Bowler The Conversation On July 15, 1968, the discovery of burnt bones on a remote shoreline of an unnamed lake basin began a story, the consequences of which remain sadly unfinished today. It’s the story of a legend, the discovery of Mungo Lady, the first in the series of steps that led to the creation of the Willandra ... Read More »

Labour is responsible for rise of ‘softcore Holocaust denial’, Dr Deborah Lipstadt says

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The Labour Party is responsible for the rise of “softcore Holocaust denial”, Dr Deborah Lipstadt has said. Camilla Turner The Telegraph The American academic won a high-profile legal battle against the British historian David Irving in 2000 after he sued her for libel when she declared him a Holocaust denier. She said that anti-Semitism that has become “embedded” in the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, adding that it has become more socially acceptable to “make a crack” at a ... Read More »

Active citizenship, a social contract, Islam and democracy in Egypt

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The Arab Spring that swept across North Africa in 2011 brought the promise of democracy within reach of millions of Egyptians. Nuraan Davids The Conversation But seven years later this promise hasn’t been fulfilled. That fledgling democracy is now akin to a military dictatorship, where any form of protest or assertion of autonomous thought is constrained. Since the heady days of the Arab Spring, Egypt has been riddled by political protests, labour strikes, and unprecedented violence in its Sinai Peninsula. ... Read More »

A Vietnam “Solution” to the Afghanistan War?

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The January 1973 agreement between North Vietnam and the United States can be applied to the present, stalemated situation in Afghanistan. John Mueller The National Interest Ιt was in 2010 that United States President Barack Obama  told an interviewer that he could easily imagine a situation in which “we ended up staying in Afghanistan for another five years, another eight years, another ten years. And we would do it not with clear intentions but rather just out of an inertia.” Last year, ... Read More »

Hong Kong pro-democracy protests draw low turnout, 21 years after British handover to China

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Hong Kong’s annual pro-democracy protest saw one of the lowest turnouts in history, as thousands braved sweltering heat to protest against Beijing’s tightening grip over the city on the 21st anniversary of its return to Chinese rule. ABC Organisers said 50,000 protested, in one of their lowest estimates since the annual march started in 2003. Police said 9,800 attended at the peak — the lowest figure on their record. Hong Kong’s opposition has lost much steam in the past year, ... Read More »

Army ‘was set to shoot down a jet’

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BRITAIN was prepared to shoot down hijacked civilian aircraft nearly 30 years before 9/11, declassified documents have revealed. By Marco Giannangeli, EXCLUSIVE Express The orders, from senior British Army commanders followed attempts by the IRA to seize control of civilian aircraft from which they intended to carry out “air raids” on British Army checkpoints After the twin towers attack in 2001, it was revealed that RAF Tornado pilots had been authorised to give rogue civilian aircraft just two chances before ... Read More »

On Canada Day, celebrate the spirit of dominion

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Opinion: Decades ago, Canada Day was named Dominion Day—and it’s a moment to recommit to the justice-seeking spirit of its former name Alastair Gillespie MACLEAN’S In 1982, Dominion Day officially slipped into history, when an almost empty parliament acknowledged a change that was already in common parlance: that the first of July is Canada Day. Yet Canada Day could benefit from a revival of our national holiday’s original civic purpose. Amid suggestions the national celebrations in Ottawa have come adrift—with Maclean’s own ... Read More »

Rival parties clash over replacement for Justice Anthony Kennedy

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A political war over replacing Justice Anthony Kennedy roared to life on Thursday in Washington, the start of an election-season clash over a Supreme Court retirement that will reshape the country’s judicial… Michael D. Shear and Thomas Kaplan The Age Hours after Kennedy’s announcement that he will step down July 31, conservative organisations were mobilising to support the Republican-controlled Senate in a quick confirmation of a justice who would be expected to vote against the court’s liberal… One group, the ... Read More »