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Xi Jinping and Kim Jong Un Keep Meeting—Here’s Why

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China has been successful at keeping North Korea close and leveraging the relationship to achieve its own overarching goals beyond denuclearization. Oriana Skylar Mastro The National Interest North Korean leader Kim Jong-un made his third visit to China in mid-June. The fact that Kim visited Beijing shortly after the Singapore summit was unsurprising—it was expected that Kim would have to debrief Xi and the two would want to strategize ways forward. But the predictability of the visit does not diminish ... Read More »

Fintan O’Toole: Trial runs for fascism are in full bloe

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Babies in cages were no ‘mistake’ by Trump but test-marketing for barbarism To grasp what is going on in the world right now, we need to reflect on two things. Fintan O’Toole The Irish Times One is that we are in a phase of trial runs. The other is that what is being trialled is fascism – a word that should be used carefully but not shirked when it is so clearly on the horizon. Forget “post-fascist” – what we ... Read More »

China’s scrap plastic ban saddles neighbors with piles of problems

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Thailand and Vietnam struggle with redirected waste but is there a silver lining? NIKKI SUN and APORNRATH PHOONPHONGPHIPHAT, Nikkei staff writers Nikkei Asian Review HONG KONG/BANGKOK — The world is awash with scrap plastic, six months after No. 1 importer China closed its doors to the recyclable materials on environmental grounds. The ripple effects are hitting the shores of Southeast Asia’s emerging countries, which have seen a surge in plastic shipments — not all of them legal. “Thai people are ... Read More »

90-year-old Ethel Kennedy joins hunger strike against immigration policies

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At 90 years old, Ethel Kennedy is joining the fight against the Trump administration’s separation of immigrant families at the border to Mexico. J.D. Capelouto Boston Globe Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Robert Kennedy, plans to participate in a hunger strike in protest of the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy for immigrants who enter the country illegally, in conjunction with several activist groups and… The fast, which started Saturday, is scheduled to last for 24 days, in honor of the estimated 2,400 ... Read More »

How to exit the eurozone

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Italy is right to consider leaving the EU’s common currency area. Joseph Stiglitz Politico What’s the best way to leave the euro? That question is now back on the table after a Euroskeptic government took charge in Italy. Yes, key ministers have pledged to keep the country in the EU’s common currency area. But those commitments should not be seen as immutable. They must be considered in the context of Italy’s broader bargaining position: The new government wants to make it ... Read More »

Museum or not? The changing face of curated science, tech, art and culture

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What should a museum be in 2018? Self-described as “Australia’s leading future focused museum”, University of South Australia’s MOD is a new institution set to open its doors May 11, 2018. Caroline Wilson-Barnao The Conversation It brings together art, science and technology in a range of exhibits designed to mainly engage young adults aged from 15-25 years. Named using the letters from “museum of discovery”, the design of MOD shows us how audiences connect with culture in the 21st century. ... Read More »

While Iconic Brands Feel Tariff Pain, Corporate America Braces for More

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With the U.S.-versus-the-world trade war threat heating up, Harley-Davidson Inc. and Jack Daniel’s maker Brown-Forman Corp. may just be the canaries in the coal mine. By Jonathan Roeder and Hema Parmar * Bloomberg Both iconic American brands — singled out for tariffs in part to inflict maximum pain on U.S. districts that voted for President Donald Trump or his allies — have warned investors that retaliatory measures will have tangible effects on… Wall Street should expect more companies to disclose pain ahead when they report second-quarter results in… ... Read More »

Israeli Company Sells State-of-the-Art Tank Defense System to US Army

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The Israeli defense company Rafael announced Tuesday that it has sold its state-of-the-art ASPRO-A tank defense system to the US Army. Benjamin Kerstein The Algemeiner Known as Ma’il Ruach (“Windbreaker”) in Israel, the ASPRO-A will be provided by Rafael in collaboration with DRS Leonardo for the price of $193 million. The systems will be built in both Israel and the US. According to Israel’s Channel 2, ASPRO-A is an active defense system for tanks and armored personnel carriers. It is ... Read More »

Palm oil ‘disastrous’ for wildlife but here to stay, experts warn

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The deforestation it causes is decimating species such as orangutans and tigers – but the alternatives could be worse, finds authoritative report Damian Carrington The Guardian It is consumed daily by billions of people but palm oil is “disastrous” for wildlife such as orangutans and tigers, according to an authoritative new report. However, the analysis warns that alternatives are likely to drive biodiversity losses elsewhere, rather than halt them. The analysis, from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), found… Palm oil ... Read More »

Orban under fire as George Soros refuses to close his Budapest university

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HUNGARY’S Central European University (CEU), which was founded by the Hungarian-American investor George Soros, said it would continue to recruit students in Budapest as it demanded Viktor Orban’s government recognise it complies with Hungarian law. Laura Mowat Express The university has been accused of not operating within the law by the right-wing Hungarian government. CEU, which was founded in 1991, aims to create an “open society” and has become a target for anti-immigrant Orban. They came into trouble when a ... Read More »

Israel Is Losing the Social Media War

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Why military supremacy is no longer enough for a Jewish state fighting on asymmetric fronts against nonstate actors with the ability to shape public perceptions and war narratives David Patrikarakos Tablet Global outrage over last month’s peak to the so-called Great March of Return on the Gaza-Israel border was instant and understandable. Over 50 people died and hundreds more were injured on a single day. What happened was as viscerally unpleasant as civil strife gets. It was brutal. More violence ... Read More »

Comparisons between US immigration policy and the Nazi period may not be helpful, but they are hard to avoid

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The renowned Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt recently rejected comparisons between the Holocaust and the Trump administration’s separation of families at the southern border of the United States. David Tollerton The Conversation “Equating the two,” she wrote in the Atlantic Monthly, “is not only historically wrong, it is also strategically wrong.” Lipstadt argues that it is historically wrong because of the difference between mass killing and the separation of children from parents deemed illegal immigrants to the US. And it is ... Read More »

The United States Cannot Afford to Pick a Side in the Shia-Sunni Fight

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America is going all in with the pro-confrontation camp led by Saudi Arabia. Pavam Mohseni and Ammar Nakhjavani The National Interest The President of the United States has decided that the best approach to Iran is to speak loudly and carry a big stick—in the hopes that relentless pressure on Iran will either lead to regime change or the country abandoning its contentious foreign… Such saber-rattling will more likely enfeeble American power within the region and set U.S. policy on ... Read More »

Poor but Proud

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The next meeting of the European Council, set to take place on June 28, 2018, promises a certain level of intrigue. Elena Alekseenkova RIAC One reason for this is the expectation that the new Italian government, formed on the basis of the March 4 elections after 80 days of coalition talks and conflict between the president and parliament, will present an ultimatum to Brussels. The ultimatum is expected to include the following points: 1) The cancellation of Italy’s €250-billion debt ... Read More »