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Explainer: what is resignation syndrome and why is it affecting refugee children?

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Reports from Nauru are raising concerns about an outbreak of a severe trauma-related mental disorder known as traumatic withdrawal syndrome, or resignation syndrome. Louise Newman The Conversation Recent legal action resulted in urgent medical evacuation of a child in an unconscious state following a progressive social withdrawal and failure to speak, eat or drink. The child was unresponsive, dehydrated and at risk of death from the physical complications of this extreme state. Medical experts noted there are no adequate medical ... Read More »

Turkey will reportedly start getting Russia’s advanced missile defense system in 2019, despite US efforts to block it

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Russia will start delivering its advanced S-400 missile defense system to Turkey in 2019, the Interfax news agency cited Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport as saying on Tuesday. Christopher Woody and Reuters Business Insider A Turkish defense official said in April that the delivery of the S-400 batteries had been brought forward from the first quarter of 2020 to July 2019. Turkey and Russia negotiated the purchase throughout 2017, finalizing a deal worth some $2.5 billion at the end of ... Read More »

Is Washington pushing Turkey and Europe toward each other?

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seeking new allies to offset Ankara’s worsening ties with Washington, which have come to a breaking point over Turkey’s continued detention of American pastor… Semih Idiz Al-Monitor Erdogan’s remarks show that his heart is set on Russia and China. Ironic as it may seem, though, Turkey’s crisis with the United States is rekindling its ties with Europe, even though these ties had hit rock bottom not so long ago. Recent European statements of support for ... Read More »

Turkey-U.S. Tiff Shows How Deep NATO’s Problems Run

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Europe can’t just blame Trump if everything falls apart. Hal Brands Bloomberg NATO is having a rough summer. Fresh off President Trump’s deliberately disruptive behavior at the alliance summit in July, NATO has suffered a high-stakes blowup between two key members: the U.S. and… That dispute crystallized over the fate of an American pastor, Andrew Brunson, being held in Turkey on spurious charges of supporting a failed coup against Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016. It has been punctuated by economic sanctions, ... Read More »

How China Controls Its Citizens

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China is zombifying ostensibly regulatory-type international institutions in an effort to spread its pro-Party message. E. John Gregory The National Interest In the first two parts of this series, I explained the genesis and logic behind China’s discursive-construction of a truth-ambivalent China-wide safe space where the Communist Party would be unassailable and understood as indispensable to the nation. I also explained how the Party created a zombified version of what the West calls “civil society” in order to make the ... Read More »

Is China worsening the developing world’s environmental crisis?

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The developing world is in the midst of an environmental crisis. Simply breathing the air is a leading cause of death. Jonas Gamso The Conversation One recent study found that pollution is to blame for a fifth of sub-Saharan Africa’s infant deaths. Another showed that exposure to toxins or other dangerous substances in the air killed over 9 million people in 2015 alone, with 92 percent of those deaths occurring in developing countries – this is more people than were ... Read More »

Timor-Leste praises Witness K’s actions in helping resolve maritime border

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New foreign minister says the country has begun a new chapter in its relations with Australia Helen Davidson The Guardian The actions of Witness K and Bernard Collaery were a valued part of the “collective effort” that led to the historic maritime boundary treaty between Australia and Timor-Leste, the Timorese foreign minister has said. In an exclusive interview with Guardian Australia, the foreign minister of Timor-Leste, Dionísio Babo Soares, said the two nations were at a new stage of their ... Read More »

The Most Damaging Thing That’s Happened to Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a Make America Great Again rally at the Civic Center in Charleston, West Virginia, U.S., August 21, 2018.    REUTERS/Leah Millis - RC1DE2860790

It wasn’t what Michael Cohen alleged in court, or the conviction of his campaign chair. Benjamin Wittes The Atlantic It is the morning after a devastating defeat. Smoke is still rising from the field. The rubble has not yet been cleared. And the commanders are having trouble facing just how hopeless their position has become. They no longer know on how many fronts they are fighting, how many separate enemies they face, or to what extent those enemies are cooperating—one ... Read More »

Rising seas will displace millions of people – and Australia must be ready

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Sea-level rise is already threatening some communities around the world, particularly small island states, as it exacerbates disasters resulting from storm surges and flooding. Authors: The Conversation If greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated, by 2100 the world could see sea-level rise of a metre – or even more if there is a larger contribution from the Antarctic ice sheet, as some recent findings suggest. Even without a larger Antarctic response, the rate of rise at the end of the 21st ... Read More »

It’s not all in your mind: how meditation affects the brain to help you stress less

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In Australia, about one in six adults practise meditation, while one in ten practise yoga. People often turn to yoga or meditation as a way to to take time out and manage the stress of their day-to-day lives. Michaela Pascoe The Conversation Stress is common, and ongoing stress can contribute to the onset of a range of psychological issues, such as depression and anxiety. Meditation and yoga have been shown to reduce people’s self-reported levels of stress. This is likely ... Read More »

After Elections, Zimbabwe Government’s Legitimacy in Limbo

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Zimbabwe’s disputed elections have reinforced political divisions as the Constitutional Court hears an opposition challenge of the results. Piers Pigou The military crackdown on opposition protesters highlights the urgency of reform if the government is to preserve stability and, by extension, its re-engagement strategy with international donors. ICG The Zimbabwean government posited that the first elections after the November 2017 ouster of Robert Mugabe would enhance the state’s credibility and strengthen the country’s prospects for economic recovery. Voters responded in ... Read More »

Ban ‘killer robots’ to protect fundamental moral and legal principles

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When drafting a treaty on the laws of war at the end of the 19th century, diplomats could not foresee the future of weapons development. Bonnie Docherty The Conversation But they did adopt a legal and moral standard for judging new technology not covered by existing treaty language. This standard, known as the Martens Clause, has survived generations of international humanitarian law and gained renewed relevance in a world where autonomous weapons are on the brink of making their own ... Read More »

Russia Considers Its Next Moves in Syria

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The Syrian civil war has entered a new phase since the government takeover of Daraa and Quneitra in the country’s southwest. Stratfor Now, for the first time in the conflict’s seven-year history, all meaningful territory in Syria is either under the direct control of loyalist forces or subject to a significant foreign presence. The Syrian Democratic Forces and allied U.S. troops control the northeastern portion of the country, while Turkish troops are embedded in northern Aleppo province and Idlib province, ... Read More »

After Elections, Zimbabwe Government’s Legitimacy in Limbo

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Zimbabwe’s disputed elections have reinforced political divisions as the Constitutional Court hears an opposition challenge of the results Piers Pigou The military crackdown on opposition protesters highlights the urgency of reform if the government is to preserve stability and, by extension, its re-engagement strategy with international donors. ICG The Zimbabwean government posited that the first elections after the November 2017 ouster of Robert Mugabe would enhance the state’s credibility and strengthen the country’s prospects for economic recovery. Voters responded in ... Read More »