Diplomacy

Arizona Attorney General Argues BDS Seeks to ‘Strengthen’ Terror-Supporting Palestinian Groups

A brief filed last week by Arizona’s attorney general maintains that the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel aids terrorists — potentially marking the first time a US government official has formally taken such a… Shiri Moshe Algemeiner In an opening argument submitted to the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich wrote that legislation enacted by his state in 2016 that bars public bodies from contracting with companies that… The law, passed with bipartisan super-majorities, was blocked by a federal court in ... Read More »

The Sum of All Brexit Fears

The Leavers lied: The costs of withdrawing from the European Union were always destined to outweigh the benefits. Chris Patten * Project Syndicate Alas, the responsible, imaginative, and inclusive political leadership needed to minimize the damage is nowhere in sight. LONDON – Day after day, week after week, most British citizens think that the turmoil over their country’s proposed exit from the European Union cannot get any worse. But, without fail, it does. Turmoil turns into humiliating chaos; a political ... Read More »

In Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan faces a make-or-break year

Adnan R. Khan: For more than a decade and a half, Turkey has aggressively pursued a more prominent role in the world. In 2019, it will pay the price. The goal was unity. Adnan R. Khan Maclean’s At least, that’s what Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey, claimed about his campaign to transform Turkey’s fractious parliamentary democracy into a highly centralized presidency. When his “yes” side prevailed in an April 2017 constitutional referendum, the ambitious and polarizing leader promised ... Read More »

Turning Brexit Into a Celebration of Democracy

Paradoxically, while the current Brexit impasse is pregnant with risk, the British should welcome it. Yanis Varoufakis The Project Syndicate Their discontent with the choices before them is an opportunity, not a curse, and more democracy is the antidote, not the disease. ATHENS – Discontent without end looms over Britain. Leavers and Remainers are equally despondent. Her Majesty’s Government and the Labour opposition are equally divided. The United Kingdom is deeply divided between a Europhile Scotland and a Euroskeptic England, ... Read More »

Japan withdraws from International Whaling Commission

Japan will resume commercial whaling in July 2019. Tokyo has long deflected criticism for its commercial whaling activities, arguing that eating whale meat is a part of its culture. DW Japan will withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC), a government spokesman confirmed on Wednesday. The move sets the stage for Japan to resume commercial whaling activities next year. “Commercial whaling to be resumed from July next year will be limited to Japan’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zones. We ... Read More »

How can we break the Brexit deadlock? Ask ancient Athens

Citizens’ assemblies have their roots in sortition – selecting citizens at random to fill public posts – which was once central to democracy James Bridle The Guardian n the central marketplace of ancient Athens, around 350BC, there stood a machine called the kleroterion. This was a six-foot-high slab of stone that had a series of slots on the front, and a long tube bored down from the top to the base. Those up for selection for the various offices of state ... Read More »

Trump’s Syria Withdrawal Hinges on Turkey

Whether pulling the remaining U.S. troops from Syria turns out to be a bold and beneficial move or a stupid, harmful one depends on what Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will do. Angelo M. Codevilla American Greatness That, in turn, depends in no small part on what constraints he senses from President Trump—as well as from Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Here, to the best of my understanding, are the circumstances and the possible consequences of the president’s decision to withdraw from Syria. ... Read More »

Turkey says the US just agreed to more of its demands as Ankara sees expanded power in Syria

President Donald Trump’s administration may have just handed Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan another win. Natasha Turak CNBC Less than a week after Trump’s abrupt decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, Turkey’s foreign minister said Tuesday the U.S. has agreed to complete its previously established “roadmap” to remove all Kurdish militia fighters from the Northern Syrian town of… Ankara has been waiting for this guarantee for a while, complaining since its agreement in June that Washington was dragging its ... Read More »

2018: The year in figures and charts

BY THE NUMBERS Telling the story of the last 12 months through data. By ARNAU BUSQUETS GUÀRDIA Politico What a tremendous, nebulous year. Very much like last year, 2018 was full of endless Brexit drama. And endless Trump drama. And then there was some more Brexit drama. And some more Trump drama. But hey, other stuff happened too (right?). The French proved that they are still the global champions of street protests, the far right grabbed headlines across the Continent and Angela ... Read More »

Trump’s New Embrace of Turkish President Erdogan Decried by Top US Jewish Leaders

Two prominent American Jewish leaders expressed strong concern on Monday over US President Donald Trump’s declaration of faith in Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as part of his sudden decision to withdraw the… Ben Cohen The Algemeiner “This most recent embrace of Turkey as a strategic partner in this ‘new’ US policy — relating to ISIS, Syria, the Kurds — should raise serious alarm bells in Israel and in the… Rabbi Abraham Cooper — associate dean of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal ... Read More »

Somalia’s South West State: A New President Installed, a Crisis Inflamed

Against all sensible advice, the Federal Government of Somalia muscled in on a local election to shove aside an Islamist conservative candidate. Rashid Abdi ICG It scored a tactical victory but created significant additional risk for the country already wracked by conflict and divided along regional and clan lines. On 19 December, local lawmakers in Somalia’s restive South West state elected Abdiasis Mohammed “Laftagareen” president in a controversial poll that is certain to sow new instability. Laftagareen, former MP and ... Read More »

Russia-Ukraine War: Kiev’s Navy Says ‘We Will Be Ready’ and Prepared to Use ‘Weapons’ If Moscow Attacks Again

One month after Russia attacked three Ukrainian navy ships in the Kerch Strait, Ukraine’s navy chief said his country was prepared to defend its sovereignty from its bigger neighbor and exert its freedom to navigate in the… Cristina Maza Newsweek “There’s a war going on, initiated by Russia…and this war is raging at the sea too, since 2014. Whether we want and don’t want to lay low at bases and offices; we have to fulfill our duties regarding the… And the ... Read More »

Brexit paralysis: Theresa May shelves flagship ‘ghost policies’ for workers, householders and abused women

Prime minister accused of ‘repeated consultations, endless delays and vague promises of legislation that simply never appear’ – despite vow to tackle ‘burning injustices’ Rob Merrick Independent Theresa May has shelved flagship policies that promised help to workers, householders and abused women as the Brexit crisis has devoured her government, The Independent can reveal. A batch of key pledges – now dubbed “ghost policies” – have hit the buffers as the huge task of leaving the EU has sidelined her other priorities. ... Read More »

Australian troops to stay in Middle East despite US pullout: Morrison

Australian troops will remain in the Middle East despite US President Donald Trump announcing the withdrawal of thousands of soldiers from Syria and Afghanistan in a… Eryk Bagshaw Brisbane Times Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia’s presence “will remain” in the region, where more than 600 troops continue to conduct operations and train local troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. “We have to be conscious of the potential for a resilient and a resurgent [Islamic State],” he said.  “We’re in regular ... Read More »

Incoming US Secretary of Defense Shanahan has ties to US-Turkey arms trade

United States Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, who will take over for ousted Secretary of Defense James Mattis in January, has significant ties to the U.S.-Turkey arms trade— a… Meghan Bodette The Region “I am pleased to announce that our very talented Deputy Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan, will assume the title of Acting Secretary of Defense starting January 1, 2019. Patrick has a… Shanahan joined Boeing in 1986, and worked there for over 30 years. He had no previous ... Read More »

Turkey FM labels Netanyahu ‘a cold-blooded killer’

Israel, Turkey in new war of words on social media after a year of tense relations over multiple issues. Al Jazeera and News Agencies Turkey has hit out at Israel’s “lawless occupation” of Palestinian territory after the Israeli prime minister accused Turkey of “massacres” against Kurds in a new war of words. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu labelled Benjamin Netanyahu “a cold-blooded killer of modern times”, in a Tweet on Sunday, adding that the prime minister was “responsible for massacres ... Read More »