Asia

NKorea suffering worst drought in decades

North Korea says it is suffering its worst drought in nearly four decades amid reports of severe food shortages. The Canberra Times Australian Associated Press The official Korean Central News Agency said an average of 54.4 millimetres of rain fell throughout the country in the first five months of this year. It said that is the lowest level since 1982, when North Korea received 51.2mm of rain on average during the same period. The report came after United Nations food ... Read More »

Taking the U.S. and Iran Off Collision Course

A series of escalations in both word and deed have raised fears of U.S.-Iranian military confrontation, either direct or by proxy. ICG It is urgent that cooler heads prevail – in European capitals as in Tehran and Washington – to head off the threat of a disastrous war. For the past year, relations between the U.S. and Iran have brought to mind a slow-motion train wreck. Of late, the pace has dangerously accelerated, and tensions could soon lead to a… ... Read More »

How 9/11 and China’s plan for blanket surveillance created a wave that CCTV camera makers Hikvision and Dahua rode to huge success

Hangzhou’s Binjiang district is home to three of China’s biggest surveillance camera makers Hikvision, Dahua and Uniview benefited from rise in demand for surveillance after 9/11 terror attacks China is famous for its one-industry towns. Gurao in southern Guangdong province is known for making bras. Qiaotou in Zhejiang province produces most of the world’s buttons. Sarah Dai South China Morning Post The city of Tianjin to the north is a major manufacturer of bicycles. Then there is Hangzhou’s Binjiang district, ... Read More »

Duterte’s Tokyo visit to help boost PH-Japan ties – Palace

Malacañang confirmed on Tuesday President Duterte’s visit to Tokyo, Japan by the end of the month to further boost relations between the two countries. By Argyll Cyrus Geducos Manila Bulletin Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President will make his third visit to Japan before the month ends. “Sure na pupunta siya doon. Tinext ko si CP, Chief Protocol Robert Borje, wala pa siyang sagot kung kailan exact date (President Duterte will surely go to Japan. I texted Chief of ... Read More »

Let’s put Turkey’s EU membership back on track

Brussels needs Ankara as much as Ankara needs Brussels. By MEVLÜT ÇAVUŞOĞLU Politico ANKARA — Some 30 years ago, on the occasion of Turkey’s formal membership application to the EU, then Prime Minister Turgut Özal likened the process of joining the bloc to “a long and narrow road,” referring to a famous verse by the folk-poet Aşık Veysel. Time has proven that the road has, indeed, been not just long and narrow, but also bumpy. Turkey-EU relations were overshadowed in the ... Read More »

Turkish Democracy Can’t Die, Because It Never Lived

The country’s political system doesn’t deserve the laments it’s recently received. Steven A. Cook FP Last week, Turkey’s Supreme Election Council annulled Istanbul’s recent mayoral election, triggering many analysts and journalists to declare the end of Turkish democracy. But these pronouncements fail to reckon with a basic historical question: How could something end that never was? Over the years, it has become an accepted fact that the founding of Turkey’s Democratic Party in 1946 not only ushered in … Turkish ... Read More »

Maritime issues prompt Coast Guard to review law of the sea

To address pressing maritime issues, the Philippine Coast Guard conducted a seminar aimed to review the law of the sea. Betheena Unite Manila Bulletin The one-day seminar was organized by the Office of the Deputy Chief of Coast Guard Staff for Maritime Security Services last May 9 in a bid to refresh their knowledge of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the… According to Capt. Glenda Pereyra, deputy chief of Coast Guard Staff for Maritime Security Services, maritime ... Read More »

Their Islands Are Being Eroded. So Are Their Human Rights, They Say.

Indigenous Australians from low-lying islands in the Torres Strait argue that the government, by failing to act on climate change, has violated their fundamental right to maintain their… Livia Albeck-Ripka The New York Times MASIG ISLAND, Australia — Every weekend, Yessie Mosby visits the sandy, washed-out graves of his ancestors to gather their scattered bones. Their shallow burial place, just yards from the shore of Masig Island, north of mainland Australia, has been eroded by rising seas. “Other parents around the world ... Read More »

Mena Mangal: Journalist and women’s rights campaigner shot dead in broad daylight in Kabul

‘This woman had already shared that her life was in danger. Why did nothing happen? We need answers’ Abby Young-Powell The Independent An Afghan journalist and political advisor, who was vocal about women’s rights in the country, has been gunned down in broad daylight, just days after saying she believed her life was in danger. Mena Mangal was shot dead on Saturday morning in a public place while she was on her way to work in the capital city of Kabul. ... Read More »

Turkey on collision course with Egypt over drilling off Cyprus

Cairo’s reaction also shows anger at the destabilising role that Turkey has been playing in the region and its interference in Egypt’s affairs and those of other countries in the region. Amr Emam The Arab Weekly CAIRO – Relations between Egypt and Turkey are expected to deteriorate after Cairo warned Ankara against drilling off Cyprus. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said May 4 that it followed “with concern Turkish plans to drill off the western coast of Cyprus,” warning of ramifications ... Read More »

Missile deal between Russia and Turkey stopped

No S-400 For Erdogan Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (65) changes his mind. von: SINAN SENYURT Bild The Turkish military was originally supposed to receive the first delivery of Russian S-400 missile defense systems this summer – against the will of US President Donald Trump (72). The lira crisis has obviously caused Erdogan to change his mind, however. As BILD has learned from diplomatic circles in Ankara, the missile deal between Moscow and Ankara will apparently no… Background: The relationship ... Read More »

China and the United States are playing a perilous game of chicken in Asia-Pacific

Washington and its allies are increasingly challenging Beijing’s militarisation of the South China Sea, but Richard Heydarian considers where it will all end. Richard Heydarian South China Morning Post “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this inspired in Sparta that made war inevitable,” the ancient Greek historian Thucydides wrote more than two millennia ago. In many ways, we are witnessing a similar dynamic in China’s adjacent waters, as the United States and its allies seek to ... Read More »

Presidency comms director Altun refutes Bild report claiming Turkey scrapped S-400 deal

Presidency Communications Director Fahrettin Altun on Friday refuted a report by a German daily claiming Turkey has decided against the purchase of the Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems. Daily Sabah Bild’s foreign policy editor Julian Röpcke on Friday tweeted a “scoop,” saying, “Diplomatic sources tell @BILD, Erdogan will not buy the S-400 from Russia.” The German journalist added a link to Bild’s report titled “Erdoğan makes a surprising missile back-out.” Responding to Röpcke, Altun told him that their sources “are ... Read More »

Strains Emerge in North Macedonia’s Alliance With Turkey

People walk by the flag of North Macedonia in Skopje, North Macedonia. Closer ties to Greece and the EU – and disputes over the activities of so-called Gulenists – are putting Skopje’s old friendship with Ankara to the test. Ivan Nikolovski BalkanInsight On April 3, just one day after the historic visit of Alexis Tsipras to Skopje, the first-ever official visit by a Greek prime minister to North Macedonia, Skopje also hosted Turkish Defence Minister General… During his visit, Akar ... Read More »

Europeans struggle to preserve Iran nuclear accord

he world powers struggling to preserve a nuclear deal with Iran are facing an increasingly uphill battle, with a new deadline from Tehran on finding a solution to make up for last year’s unilateral U.S… BRUSSELS-The Associated Press Hurriyet After Iran notified Britain, Russia, China, the European Union, France and Germany of its intentions in a letter, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised address on May 8 that the… Trump issued an executive order announcing new sanctions targeting Iran’s steel, aluminum, copper and ... Read More »

It’s time to lift the arms embargo on Cyprus

The United States has a prime opportunity to thwart the designs of Russia, China, and Turkey in the Middle East. Jonathan Schanzer and Bradley Bowman The Hill At the same time, it can strengthen a bilateral relationship with a democratic, European ally and enhance our defense supply base, as well. This can all be accomplished by taking one relatively simple step: Lift the arms embargo on the Republic of Cyprus. That Cyprus is under embargo is a head-scratcher in the ... Read More »