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Lira crashes as Erdogan, Turkish gov’t implicated in Iran money-laundering scheme

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Case of Reza Zarrab seen as flash point in US-Turkey relations Asia Times The Turkish lira plummeted Friday after reports surfaced that a trader accused of helping Iran evade sanctions invoked the name of Turkish President Recep Erdogan as part of a money-laundering scheme. Bloomberg reports, citing court documents, that US prosecutors say the scheme was supported by Turkey’s… The lira dropped to its weakest point since January, hovering around an all-time low for the currency. From Bloomberg: ”US prosecutors in ... Read More »

Radical new approach to schizophrenia treatment begins trial

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Exclusive: as evidence emerges that schizophrenia could be an immune system disease, two-year trial will use antibody drug currently used for MS Hannah Devlin The Guardian British scientists have begun testing a radically new approach to treating schizophrenia based on emerging evidence that it could be a disease of the immune system. The first patient, a 33-year old man who developed schizophrenia after moving to London from Cameroon a decade ago, was treated at King’s College Hospital in London on ... Read More »

The S-400: Erdogan’s Fail-safe

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Moscow and Ankara continue to signal that the $2.5-billion sale of four S-400 anti-aircraft batteries will proceed Boris Zilberman Foundation for Defense of Democracies  While questions remain about when delivery will occur and under what conditions, both sides have an overriding interest in seeing the deal through. President Vladimir Putin wants the deal not only for monetary reasons, but also to chip away at NATO unity and to validate such sales to other nations traditionally aligned with the West. For ... Read More »

Cyprus gave Manafort bank records to Mueller: report

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Authorities in Cyprus reportedly gave documents about former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s financial activities to special counsel Robert Mueller. Avery Anapol TheHill Citing people familiar with Mueller’s investigation, Bloomberg  reports that Cyprus gave Mueller’s team documents relating to Manafort and his associate Richard Gates just dates before they were indicted Monday. The 12-count indictment, stemming from Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the presidential election, charges Manafort and Gates with money laundering and conspiracy against the United States, among… Cyprus gave Manafort… Read More »

Serbian and Albanian PMs speak at panel in Morocco

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Prime Minister Ana Brnabic participated on Friday at the first plenary session of the World Policy Conference (WPC) in Marrakesh, Morocco. B92.net Brnabic, along with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, who also participated in the panel, spoke with Thierry de Montbrial, the founder and chairman of the World Policy Conference, about the challenges that the Western Balkans and Southeast Europe are facing, as well as their common future in the EU, the Serbian government announced on its…The prime ministers of ... Read More »

The ethics of medical practice in offshore detention facilities

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As the standoff between hundreds of asylum seekers in the Manus Island detention facility and PNG authorities continues, we are witnessing a potential crisis of health and mental health among these detainees. Louise Newman The Conversation As a psychiatrist, I have had direct contact with current Manus detainees who are experiencing increasing anxiety and distress and an uncertain future. Some of these people are treated with medication, usually antidepressants, and some feel that this provides them with some symptomatic relief. ... Read More »

The GOP Tax Plan Tells Us Everything About Who Matters In American Democracy

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 02: Flanked by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and House Ways and Means Committee chairman Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), President Donald Trump speaks about tax reform legislation during a meeting with members of the House Ways and Means Committee in the Cabinet Room at the White House, November 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. On Thursday, Republican lawmakers unveiled their plans for a massive rewrite of the U.S. tax code. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Your boss, not you. The United States is the richest country in the history of the world. Last year, the genius and muscle of the American people generated more than $18.6 trillion in wealth. Zach Carter  HuffPost This year, our brains and brawn will combine to create well over $19 trillion. Despite all the debt theatrics of the Republican Party during the Obama presidency, we owe just $6.2 trillion to other countries ― less than four months of our collective ... Read More »

Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a criminal. Our foreign policy should treat him as such.

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Earlier this year, former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega died quietly in Panama City ending a life marked by fantastic highs and lows. Michael Rubin Washington Examiner Noriega was Panamanian military officer and CIA informant who let greed get the best of him. He cast his lot with Colombian drug lords flooding their cocaine into the United States. The George H.W. Bush administration had enough of their former partner and client and ordered an invasion of Panama to snatch Noriega. He ... Read More »

Ex-Argentine Vice President detained on laundering charge

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Former Argentine Vice President Amado Boudou has been detained on charges of illicit enrichment and money laundering, joining other members of the administration of former President Cristina Fernandez who are under arrest. BUENOS AIRES – The Associated Press Hurriyet Boudou also served as economy minister during the 2007-2015 administration of Fernandez. A woman who works in the court of federal Judge Ariel Lijo says Boudou was detained in his Buenos Aires apartment Friday by coast guards and will be brought ... Read More »

Today’s Uzbekistan and Manhattan’s Deadly Truck Attack

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An immigrant from Central Asia has admitted to carrying out the 31 October truck attack in New York on behalf of the Islamic State. Sayfullo Saipov left his native Uzbekistan seven years ago and U.S. and Uzbek authorities say he was radicalised in the U.S. Deirdre Tynan  ICG What do we know about the Uzbek links of the New York attacker? Sayfullo Saipov left Uzbekistan in 2010, aged 21 or 22, and entered the U.S. legally on a Diversity Visa ... Read More »

Deputy PM meets with Chinese foreign minister

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HÀ NỘI — Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh said the Communist Party of Việt Nam (CPV) and Government always wish to develop the comprehensive strategic partnership with China during his talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Hà Nội on Thursday. VietNam News Minh, who is Deputy Prime Minister, welcomed the visit by Wang, who is in Việt Nam from November 2-4, following the success of the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). He noted that ... Read More »

The breath of death on Manus Island: starvation and sickness

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Diary of a disaster: One of the refugees, who went to East Lorengau a few days ago, has walked back for more than 30km. We are all scared and hungry. Behrouz Boochani The Guardian Behrouz Boochani is a journalist and an Iranian refugee held on Manus Island since August 2014. The Guardian invited Boochani to keep a diary of the closure of the Australian-run detention camp. Friday 3 November The refugees wake me up early in the morning. When this ... Read More »

Turkey’s plan to acquire Russia’s S-400 air-defense system may never happen, analysts say

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While Russia continues to tout the planned sale of its S-400 strategic air-defense system to Turkey, some U.S. analysts are growing more skeptical about the deal. Jeff Daniels CNBC On Thursday, the CEO of Russia’s state-owned Rostec defense company said the deal with Turkey exceeded $2 billion, according to Tass, the Russian news agency. It followed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in September announcing the longtime member of NATO had made a down payment to Moscow for the S-400 and ... Read More »

Will exodus of firms from Catalonia economically influence voters?

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Damage to Catalan economy’s credibility and investor confidence may persist for years The secessionist process initiated by Catalonia’s regional government has prompted companies to relocate in other Spanish regions to ensure continued free-market access to the rest of Spain and the European Union. José Guimón The Irish Times Over 1,300 companies have now moved their headquarters outside Cataloniain the three weeks following Catalonia’s illegal referendum for independence of October 1st. The traditional concern that multinational affiliates are “footloose” applies equally to local companies. ... Read More »