Politics

The ordinary people making the world more right-wing

Around the world, conservative groups have been gaining influence, bolstering the power of right-wing leaders. It is a trend driven not only by older generations but also by the young. Prof Richard Youngs Carnegie Europe BBC The rapid rise of Brazil’s new far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro may have surprised some observers but it did not come out of thin air. His success follows years of support from powerful social movements. Such groups have increasingly found a voice in countries from ... Read More »

Russia sends new frigate with cruise missiles onboard to Mediterranean

Russia said it deployed its new frigate with long-range Kalibr cruise missiles to the Mediterranean Sea on Nov. 5, a few months after Moscow had reinforced its naval forces off Syrian cost. MOSCOW – Reuters Hurriyet “The Black Sea Navy Fleet’s frigate Admiral Makarov left (Navy base) Sevastopol and laid a course for the Black Sea straits. The vessel will be acting in the standing naval force of the Russian fleet in the Mediterranean,” the… Russia has in the past fired Kalibr cruise missiles from ... Read More »

Iranians feel the pressure of new US sanctions

After the latest round of US sanctions, ordinary Iranians are likely to suffer the most. Wesley Rahn, Mitra Shodjaie DW While some optimism remains about back door support through oil exports, the long-term outlook for Iran’s economy remains dire. The full force of US sanctions on Iran was re-imposed Monday in an attempt to isolate the country’s leadership and force a change in its behavior by crippling the Iranian economy. Iran has been absorbing a series of domestic crises even before the ... Read More »

Turkey warns oil companies against drilling near Cyprus

President Erdoğan calls foreign energy firms ‘bandits of the sea’ for defying Ankara over hydrocarbon resources Agence France-Presse in Istanbul The Guardian The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has warned foreign oil companies against energy exploration near Cyprus, describing those defying Ankara as “bandits of the sea” who would face a similar response as its foes in Syria. Drilling for hydrocarbon resources off the coast of Cyprus, an EU member, is hugely sensitive. The northern third of the island is occupied ... Read More »

Chinese think tank launches National Committee for China-US Relations

Recent deterioration in China-US relations has prompted leading Chinese non-governmental think tank The Charhar Institute, headed by Dr Han Fangming, vice chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the… Asia Times The new committee, founded today in a small opening ceremony in Beijing, will bid to build private channels for discussion and contributions to resolution of China-US disputes with US think tanks and… Dr Bruno Wu, a leading media entrepreneur and investor, has been appointed the committee’s vice chairman. Committee members ... Read More »

Republican ‘mini-Trumps’ echo US president to woo midterm voters

In a party that belongs to Trump, Republican candidates in the midterm elections are ultimately just sideshows — even those that mimic the president. Michael Knigge reports from Virginia. Michael Knigge DW Days before the US midterm elections, an evening with a Republican Senate candidate in rural Virginia showed how nationalized and centered on US President Donald Trump. Just four years after entering the national political stage, he has made the Republican Party his own and has firmly ensconced himself ... Read More »

Government faces new legal challenge over plans to speed up fracking

Opponents say revised definition of fracking will allow energy firms to bypass planning rules Adam Vaughan The Guardian The government is facing a fresh legal challenge to its proposals to fast-track new fracking sites by loosening planning regulations. Ministers said this summer they would drop the requirement for shale gas wells to obtain planning permission by designating fracking sites as national infrastructure projects. Greg Clark, the business secretary, used a written ministerial statement to tell local authorities they should abide by a ... Read More »

‘Don’t criticise DEMOCRATIC choices!’ JHB savages political elite in furious rant

RADIO host Julia Hartley-Brewer launched a scathing attack on Europe’s political elite and warned they will be “punished” by voters if they “criticise democratic choices”. Charlotte Davis Express Ms Hartley-Brewer ridiculed the decision of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who, in 2015, declared all Syrian asylum-seekers welcome to remain in Germany no matter which EU country they first stepped foot in. The radio host hit out at Mrs Merkel’s decision and said “no one bothered to ask the people” in Germany. A party ... Read More »

Bahrain opposition leaders get life term over Qatar spying case

The verdict against three senior members of the now-outlawed Al-Wefaq movement comes months after their acquittal. Al Jazeera Bahrain’s appeals court has sentenced three senior members of the country’s opposition movement to life in prison over charges of spying for neighbouring Qatar, according to a statement from the public prosecutor. The verdict against Sheikh Ali Salman, who headed the now-outlawed al-Wefaq movement, as well as Sheikh Hassan Sultan and Ali al-Aswad came on Sunday, months after their acquittal by the… Sultan ... Read More »

The Arab Winter Is Coming

Gulf states are asserting themselves more than ever, and that’s a problem for the U.S. Hassan Hassan The Atlantic Three years ago, then Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter attributed Iran’s growing dominance to its being “in the game, on the ground.” He urged its regional rivals to do the same, thus expressing a widely shared sentiment in policy circles at the time: Arab Gulf states need to rely less on the U.S. and play a greater role in their neighborhood. ... Read More »

Sri Lanka’s Tamil parties vow to vote against Mahinda Rajapaksa

Tamil National Alliance vows to back no-confidence motion against newly appointed PM amid protracted political crisis. by Zaheena Rasheed & Rathindra Kuruwita Al Jazeera Colombo, Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka’s newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has suffered a setback in his power struggle with a deposed rival after a coalition representing the country’s Tamil minority pledged to back a motion of no-confidence against him. In a statement on Saturday, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) called Rajapaksa’s shock appointment by the president last week “unconstitutional ... Read More »

Asia Bibi blasphemy case: Husband pleads for asylum

The husband of a Pakistani Christian woman acquitted of blasphemy after eight years on death row has pleaded for asylum from the UK, US or Canada. BBC Asia Bibi’s husband, Ashiq Masih, said they were in great danger in Pakistan. The Supreme Court overturned Asia Bibi’s conviction on Wednesday, saying the case against her was based on flimsy evidence. Her acquittal sparked violent protests, and the government has now agreed to try to stop her leaving the country. On Saturday, ... Read More »

Liverpool makes a stand and runs far-right marchers out of town

Fringe far-right group abandon plans due to numbers of counter-demonstrators Mattha Busby The Guardian A far-right group has abandoned plans to march through Liverpool after members were visibly outnumbered by counter-demonstrators, including the mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson. A handful of marchers from the so-called North West Frontline Patriots were met by hundreds of anti-fascist counter-protesters co-ordinated by groups such as Merseyside Together and Unite Against Fascism as they arrived in Liverpool on Saturday. “Peaceful people power… Liverpool makes a… Read More »

George Soros on the new world disorder

His enemies paint him as all-powerful, but the billionaire philanthropist believes his political legacy has never been in greater jeopardy. Michael Steinberger Brisbane Times * On a clammy Tuesday morning in Paris at the end of May, George Soros, the world’s second-most-vilified New York billionaire (but worth many billions more than the other one), is addressing the European Council on Foreign Relations, an organisation he helped found a… Described by the woman who introduces him as a “European at heart”, ... Read More »

Iran’s Khamenei says the world opposes Trump’s decisions

Iran’s top leader said on Saturday U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies face opposition across the world as Washington prepared to reimpose sanctions on Iran’s vital oil-exporting and financial sectors, state television reported. DUBAI – Reuters Hurriyet Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also said Iran’s arch-adversary the United States had failed to reassert its domination over Iran since the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution that toppled the U.S.-backed Shah. “The world opposes every decision made by Trump,” Iranian state television quoted Khamenei as saying during a meeting with thousands of students. “America’s goal has been ... Read More »

Four ‘invisible countries’ that could redraw the world map

No matter where you are on the Earth’s landmass, you are almost certain to be in a country. ABC – RN – By Joey Watson for Saturday Extra But what makes a country a country? Agreed legal definitions are surprisingly loose, but an internationally recognised government, citizens, and the exclusive authority over a piece of land are among the universal ingredients. However, these principles of nationhood, refined over the centuries, are being challenged by war, technology, and climate change. Here are four examples ... Read More »