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Marketing and the Delegitimization of Elections

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The core issue is not one of marketing but of citizenry. George Friedman GPF Last week, I wrote about the use of marketing in elections. This week, as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faces a congressional hearing on how Facebook data was used during the 2016 presidential election, I will address one of the critical consequences of marketing. It is a tool used on a global basis to delegitimize elections and, with it, democracy. As I argued last week, the use ... Read More »

Are middle-aged white men losing their grip on power?

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There was another flutter in the middle aged white man dovecotes last week. An article in The Guardian, a segment on ABC’s The Drum,  and derision over another all white male panel had the usual suspects wailing into the wind over the near extinction of middle aged white men in positions of power. Jane Gilmore Brisbane Times Are they right? Are middle aged white men really being silenced and oppressed by a horde of ravening minority groups determined to destroy ... Read More »

Folau’s free speech under attack

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Israel Folau’s tweet that gays will go to hell “unless they repent of their sins and turn to God” is causing a storm in the Twittersphere with critics accusing the Australian rugby player of being insensitive and homophobic. Brisbane Times Kevin Donnelly Such is the adverse reaction that Rugby Australia has scheduled a meeting with Folau later today in an attempt to limit the adverse fallout. And the latest controversy follows Folau’s statement last year that marriage should only ever ... Read More »

Brussels NO DEAL fears

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REVEALED: EU panic as UK set for TOTAL control of waters EUROPEAN Union fears of a no-deal Brexit intensified tonight after officials admitted it would mean Britain would regain TOTAL control of its fishing waters. Joey Millar Express Brussels has spent much of the months-long negotiations demanding the UK jump through hoop after hoop, reminding Theresa May and her Brexit ministers on several occasions: “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.” The prospect of a no-deal situation has been repeatedly ... Read More »

Turned away

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On thin evidence, Britain declares its biggest source of refugees safe after all NIYAT DYMOTT’S last months in Eritrea were a “living hell”. The Economist The 19-year-old wanted to go to university after finishing school but was drafted into a brutal and indefinite military service. To flee, she spent four days trekking across the western deserts to Sudan, hiding at night to avoid border guards with orders to shoot escapees on sight. At Port Sudan an uncle paid $5,000 to ... Read More »

Kosovo does not aim to start conflicts or armed attacks, Thaçi tells Bulgarian PM

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In an April 10 telephone conversation, Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi assured Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov that his country does not aim to start any conflicts or armed attacks, a Bulgarian government statement said. Clive Leviev-Sawyer ibna Borissov, whose country is the current holder of the Presidency of the Council of the EU, had said earlier in Mostar, after talks with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, that he intended phoning Thaçi to discuss the situation between Belgrade and Priština. At their ... Read More »

EU Council President brands Brexit ‘one of the saddest moments’ in recent European history

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EU top dog Donald Tusk said Britain’s departure made him “furious”, adding bluntly: “I don’t like Brexit” Michael McHugh & Dan Bloom Mirror Brexit is “one of the saddest moments” in recent European history, the President of the European Council has declared. EU top dog Donald Tusk said Britain’s departure made him “furious”, adding bluntly: “I don’t like Brexit .” In a speech in Dublin today, he called on Europe to unite and warned it would take little time for its structures of ... Read More »

Will Bolton and Trump Start the First Sino-American War?

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When America launches a preemptive attack on North Korea, will the US find itself at war with China? This is not an idle question. Charles Pierson CounterPunch On Monday, the fiercest advocate of a preemptive attack on North Korea, John R. Bolton, joined the Trump Administration. Bolton, a former US Ambassador to the UN, replaces H. R. McMaster as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser. Bolton is the gold standard against which all other hawks are measured. Bolton pushed for ... Read More »

‘Cartel deal’ legal challenge against internet ad ban grows

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The Russian, Chinese and Korean battle against the Google, Twitter, Facebook and Yandex crypto-related advertisement ban has now been joined by groups in Switzerland, Armenia and Kazakhstan. Asia Times The legal challenge against Google, Twitter, Facebook and Yandex for not allowing crypto-related ads is growing. Initially, three organizations – the Russian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain (RACIB), the Korea Venture Business Associations, and LCBT, a Chinese association of crypto investors – created the Eurasian Association of Blockchain in March to ... Read More »

Can the U.S. Respond to the Syria Chemical Weapons Attack without Risking Escalation?

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After an apparent chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held Damascus suburb Saturday, the United States and its allies are considering retaliatory strikes against the Syrian government. Sam Heller ICG In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Sam Heller lays out the Douma attack’s impact and the repercussions of a possible new U.S.-led intervention. What do we know about the 7 April chemical weapons attack? On the evening of 7 April 2018, the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Douma was subjected to an apparent chemical ... Read More »

Identity crisis in Lithuania’s bohemian republic

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Gentrification threatens the artists’ colony where ‘a dog has the right to be a dog.’ By GINGER HERVEY Politico VILNIUS — In Užupis, Lithuania, a gate is not just a gate. A gate, you see, is a symbol — of barriers, of impossibilities, of divisions between people and of outdated ideas about property. A symbol that might belong in oldLithuania, but is unwelcome in Užupis, a bohemian self-proclaimed republic in the center of the former Soviet country’s capital. Not that Užupis ... Read More »

Is a Modern Chinese Navy a Threat to the United States?

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China’s rising presence in the Indian and Pacific oceans has far-reaching implications for our world order. Alfred W. McCoy The Nation Amid the intense coverage of Russian cyber-maneuvering and North Korean missile threats, another kind of great-power rivalry has been playing out quietly in the Indian and Pacific oceans. The US and Chinese navies have been repositioning warships and establishing naval bases as if they were so many pawns on a geopolitical chessboard. To some it might seem curious, even ... Read More »

Beijing’s South China Sea Military Bases Now Have Jammers That Can Block American Radar and Communications, U.S. Claims

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United States officials claimed that China has installed military jamming equipment on fortified artificial islands in the South China Sea which will allow Beijing to block enemy radar and communications systems. David Brennan Newsweek This latest step in China’s militarization of its island bases signifies Beijing’s determination to assert its regional territorial claims, regardless of U.S. opposition. According to The Wall Street Journal, the jamming systems were installed within the last 90 days. The Journal quoted a U.S. Defense Department official who said ... Read More »

Less Than Meets the Eye

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The Russia-Turkish-Iran Axis If an alliance is forming between Ankara, Moscow, and Tehran, it’s a flimsy one at best. Dimitar Bechev The American Interest While the U.S. mulls how to calibrate its policy in response to the use of chemical weapons by Bashar al-Assad last week, a set of leaders are hoping that President Trump stays the course and decides to withdraw from Syria. The past week saw Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and Vladimir Putin sharing the stage in Ankara ... Read More »