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UK minister expects closer defense ties with Cyprus military

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NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Britain’s defense minister says authorities want to ensure that British armed forces “work closer and more supportively” with Cyprus’ military in tackling common challenges. The Associated Press Herald-Whig Britain has two military bases on Cyprus, which was a British colony until 1960. It continues to carry out air strikes against Islamic State group targets in Iraq and Syria from the Mediterranean island nation. Defense Minister Gavin Williamson said after talks with Cypriot counterpart Christoforos Fokaides on ... Read More »

‘We’re not a gang’: the unfair stereotyping of African-Australians

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Media reports about crimes committed by ‘African gangs’ have led to increased scrutiny of Melbourne’s Sudanese community by Calla Wahlquist The Guardian It’s just after 6.30pm at the Ross Reserve in Noble Park in Melbourne’s outer south-eastern suburbs, and players from the Sandown Lions Football Club are arriving for training. They train three times a week, even during the off season. Each arrival is greeted with a round of handshakes and a wary glance at our camera. During a week in… ... Read More »

Bannon: Robespierre of the Right

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Bannonism is imperiled like never before, but a path forward exists—even for presidential ambitions. Curt Mills The National Interest Events since Wednesday—when excerpts of journalist Michael Wolff’s new White House profile surfaced, prompting an unprecedented White House response—have roiled Bannonworld like never before. Since then, the former White House chief strategist has publicly lost his most generous financial backer, the secretive Mercer family, and is reportedly in the throes of surviving a coup attempt against him at Breitbart News. “Yesterday morning, he… ... Read More »

Winds of change: Britain now generates twice as much electricity from wind as coa

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Just six years ago, more than 40% of Britain’s electricity was generated by burning coal. Grant Wilson Iain Staffell The Conversation Today, that figure is just 7%. Yet if the story of 2016 was the dramatic demise of coal and its replacement by natural gas, then 2017 was most definitely about the growth of wind power. Wind provided 15% of electricity in Britain last year (Northern Ireland shares an electricity system with the Republic and is calculated separately), up from 10% in 2016. ... Read More »

Watch out for ‘Land of Morning Warning’

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Japan is universally known as the Land of the Rising Sun and the Korean peninsula as the Land of Morning Calm Abhijit Bhattacharyya, The writer is an advocate practising in the Supreme Court. The views expressed here are personal. The Asian Age It is now time for a new template. Yes, be ready to acknowledge China as the indisputable “Land of Morning Warning”. This new proverb was introduced by none other than Chinese President Xi Jinping. On a chilly winter morning, ... Read More »

Sanctions, refugees and the marginalised: Iran uprisings are Australia’s concern too

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Tehran’s response to this week’s anti-government protests in Iran has been harsh and reminiscent of the state response to the post-election uprising of 2009 Omid Tofighian ABC Back then, Iranians contested the re-election of former ultra-conservative president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by taking to the streets in support of reformist candidate Mir-Hussein Mousavi, and decrying election fraud. A key difference this time around is that the leader of Iran’s reformist movement — former president Seyyed Mohammad Khatami — has joined centrist President ... Read More »

‘Don’t fear death,’ China’s Xi tells army

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President Xi Jinping has issued a blunt call for China’s military to be ready for war and unafraid to die defending the country, as geopolitical tensions mount in Asia. SHANGHAI – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Xi’s exhortation to the world’s largest fighting force, parts of which were revealed only late Jan. 4, came during what state media characterized as a rare address by the Chinese leader to the country’s entire military. Xi cemented his status as China’s most powerful leader in ... Read More »

Book revelations put new focus on Donald Trump’s mental health

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Yale psychiatric professor who briefed members of Congress last month tells the Guardian ‘the danger has become imminent’ Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House review – tell-all burns all Sabrina Siddiqui in Washington The Guardian The revelations in Michael Wolff’s explosive book about Donald Trump’s first year in office have renewed scrutiny of the president’s mental health Although the White House has denounced Wolff’s Fire and Fury as “complete fantasy”, the book sheds light on concerns among top White ... Read More »

Publicly, We Say #MeToo. Privately, We Have Misgivings.

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You can be sure that this weekend at the Golden Globes, Hollywood celebrities, not exactly known for their independent thinking, will turn the red carpet into a #MeToo moment replete with designer duds. Daphne Merkin The New York Times Many have promised to wear black dresses to protest the stream of allegations against industry moguls and actors. Perhaps Meryl Streep will get grilled — again — about what she knew about Harvey Weinstein. The rest of us will diligently follow ... Read More »

Will a 25p charge change Britain’s throwaway coffee cup culture?

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On a busy Guildford high street reaction to the proposed ‘latte levy’ is mixed Sandra Laville The Guardian While many welcome the move to change peoples’ habits, for some, already feeling the squeeze of a weak pound, the 25p hit is too high. Turn any corner in the busy town centre of Guildford on a weekday morning, and someone is carrying a disposable cup bearing the logo of one of the major chains. Each minute in the UK about 500 ... Read More »

Latvia, a disappearing nation

RIGA, LATVIA - MARCH 22:  The Freedom Monument  honouring soldiers killed during the Latvian War of Independence from1918 to 1920 is pictured on March 22, 2013 in Riga, Latvia.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Since it joined the EU, the country has lost one-fifth of its population. By GORDON F. SANDER Politico RIGA — Atis Sjanits has an unusual remit for an ambassador. The Latvian diplomat is not responsible for relations with another nation — but with his own country’s diaspora. Sjanits’ job is to respond to the exodus triggered by Latvia’s accession to the EU. Since joining the bloc, nearly a fifth of the nation has left to work in more affluent EU ... Read More »

Ötüken Union Party, an openly racist/fascist political party, founded in Turkey

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The Ötüken Union Party, Turkey’s first openly racist and fascist political party, was established on Dec. 20, 2017, according to a report by online news outlet Duvar on Friday. Stockholm Center for Freedom By citing the political party list released by the Supreme Court of Appeals Prosecutor’s Office at the end of the year, Duvar has reported that “Ötüken” is a legendary capital city in both Turkic mythology and Tengrism, a shamanistic central Asian religion that once prevailed over Turkic ... Read More »

The negative side of positive thinking

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Study finds optimism may curb action Τwo Democratic fundraising emails were sent to supporters. HARVARDgazette Kennedy School Communications In one version, the candidate was leading a closely contested race; in the other, he was trailing. Which email got more clicks and coaxed more donations? Perhaps counterintuitively, the losing candidate’s message sparked the most action. The experiment was part of a study that explored how optimism can lead to inaction. Behavioral scientist Todd Rogers of the Harvard Kennedy School and colleagues conducted six related studies ... Read More »

Trump proposes massive expansion of offshore drilling

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The Trump administration is proposing to greatly expand the areas available for offshore oil and natural gas drilling, including off the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. Timothy Cama The Hill In the first major step toward the administration’s promised expansion of offshore drilling, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said nearly all of the nation’s outer continental shelf is being considered for drilling, including areas off the coasts of Maine, California, Florida and Alaska. The proposal, which environmentalists immediately panned as an environmental disaster ... Read More »