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Mexico’s EU trade deal lands a punch on Trump

European Union Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom (L) and Mexico's Minister of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal talk to the media in Mexico City, on May 8, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / PEDRO PARDO        (Photo credit should read PEDRO PARDO/AFP/Getty Images)

Accord with Brussels comes as Washington squeezes Latin American country in NAFTA talks. By HANS VON DER BURCHARD AND CHRISTIAN OLIVER Politico Mexico delivered a defiant political riposte to U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday by agreeing a trade deal with the EU. Trump’s push to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement helped catalyze Mexico’s talks with Brussels over the past year, as the Latin American country sought to diversify away from dependence on an increasingly hostile… Diplomats said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and… ... Read More »

Bangkok’s bad air driven by car-making success

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Forward-looking policies promoting electric and hybrid auto production could soon have Thailand’s polluted capital breathing easier Peter Janssen Asia Times During Thailand’s February-April hot season, when the winds off the Gulf of Thailand die down and there is little rainfall, air pollution in the capital, Bangkok, is often palpable. In mid-February, the situation got so bad that the government’s Pollution Control Department advised residents to stay home, especially those who suffer from asthma and other respiratory ailments. Some Bangkok schools ... Read More »

What Greek tragedy illuminates about James Comey

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Once upon a time, there was a prominent, powerful man in government who cared deeply about integrity and following the rules. Victoria Pagán The Conversation He said, “You cannot know a man completely, his character, his principles, sense of judgment, not till he’s shown his colors … Experience, there’s the test.” Leaders have a sacred obligation to those they rule, he said. “As I see it, whoever … refuses to adopt the soundest policies but fearing someone, keeps his lips ... Read More »

Activists file charges against Tihange, Doel nuclear power plants

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An activist alliance has pressed charges against the Belgian state and the nuclear plants Tihange and Doel. Timothy Jones (with dpa) DW The move comes amid growing fears of a serious nuclear accident among nearby residents in three countries. Anti-nuclear initiatives from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands on Saturday filed charges against the Belgian government and the operators of the Belgian nuclear plants Doel and Tihange, saying that aging reactors at the… Hundreds of people turned out in the Belgian ... Read More »

Colin Kaepernick Wins Amnesty International’s Highest Honor

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Colin Kaepernick may not have a job on the football field, but much of the world is still cheering for him. Sean Gregory Time Amnesty International, the global human rights organization, gave Kaepernick its highest honor — the 2018 Ambassador of Conscience Award — in Amsterdam on Saturday. Past winners of the award, which “celebrates individuals and groups who speak out for justice,” include former South Africa president Nelson Mandela, Malala Yousafzai, the education activist from Pakistan who survived an ... Read More »

UK push into the Pacific to counter China

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Exclusive The United Kingdom is vowing to expand its role in the Pacific in a push for “free speech and democracy” alongside other Commonwealth nations at a time of growing concern over China’s influence in the region. David Crowe The Sydney Morning Herald The ambitions not only include new diplomatic posts and aid funding but the idea of encouraging commercial projects and possibly infrastructure funding. Britain’s Minister of State for the Commonwealth, Lord Tariq Ahmad, said the UK’s departure from ... Read More »

Indian government introduces death penalty for child rapists

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Special order from Narendra Modi’s cabinet comes amid widespread outrage over levels of sexual violence Colin Drury Independent India is to introduce the death penalty for child rapists, in a move aimed at alleviating nationwide protests over a number of brutal and high-profile cases. Those found guilty of sexually assaulting youngsters under 12 will now face execution, under a special ordinance issued by the government and set to be rubber-stamped next week. The change comes amid widespread outrage over the… ... Read More »

A Professor Weighs in on Venezuela’s Emigration of Youth

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Venezuelan university professor Jessica Dos Santos reflects on increasing youth emigration in Venezuela, contextualizing the phenomenon in a refreshing counterpoint to the alarmist mainstream media narrative. Jessica Dos Santos MPN News A few weeks ago, we began a new trimester in the university. I, as the annoying professor that I am, always ask my students to tell me: why are you here? The question basically is looking to see what motivates them to immerse themselves in this fascinating but thankless experience, ... Read More »

Google Is Indonesia’s New Weapon in War on Illegal Fishing

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Indonesia’s Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti deals with some dangerous men in her role, but they don’t rattle her. She has an equally intimidating weapon on her side: Google. Partnering with the search engine firm, Pudjiastuti is catching illegal fishing activity in real time, after thousands of vessels’ locations were revealed online. In her mission to clean up an industry once the domain of crooks, she’s convinced powerful local operators with foreign interests to stop practices that were robbing the economy ... Read More »

China’s New Arctic Policy Needs Close Analysis

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Now that the dust has settled on China’s big policy announcement, it is time to take a fresh look at China’s Arctic Policy and assess what it means for the United States and the other five states that have a coastline on the Arctic Sea: Canada, Greenland (Denmark), Russia, Norway, and… Mark E. Rosen IPP Review Before delving into that policy and making comparisons to other policy documents that China has issued, it makes sense to first review the legal ... Read More »

Dealing in China’s South Sea

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Depends on who you ask, there are signs that the friction in the oil rich South China Sea may be abating. Easwaran Kanason Tensions seem to be easing in the short term, with nothing resolved to the long-term problem of border demarcation. Two countries in particular have been China’s main thorn in their quest to claim the entire sweep of the South China Sea – Vietnam and the Philippines – and in its dealings with both of them, China is ... Read More »

Countdown to Iran retaliation against Israel strike?

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‘Where and how Tehran chooses to carry out its attack is still unclear… the choice will define what to expect for the future of Iranian and Israeli confrontations’ Asia Times Following a US-led strike on Syrian targets last week — which changed little in the equation on the ground vis-à-vis the Bashar al-Assad regime, Russia and the United States — analysts continue to look through the smoke at what many say is a… The Israel-Iran conflict in Syria is heating ... Read More »

Manus Island: lives on hold – photo essay

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Australia’s offshore detention centre has been razed to the ground but for the 600 refugees who remain on the island, little has changed. Amid the torment of isolation from family and friends, depression and the trauma of their past, the men try to get on with their lives by Per Liljas and photography by Jonas Gratzer The Guardian Old times change for new on Manus Island. The centre in which Australia detained hundreds of refugees between 2001 and 2017 has ... Read More »

The Emerging Russia-Turkey-Iran Alliance Challenging NATO in the Middle East

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, front, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, left, and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrive for a joint press conference in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, April 4, 2018. The leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran say they stand against "separatist" agendas that would undermine Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

An unusual triple alliance coming out of Syria could change the regional balance of power and unhinge NATO — if it holds together at all. Conn Hallinan MPN News An unusual triple alliance is emerging from the Syrian war — one that could alter the balance of power in the Middle East, unhinge the NATO alliance, and complicate the Trump administration’s designs on Iran. It might also lead to yet another double cross of one of the region’s largest ethnic ... Read More »