Europe

Is Turkey exploiting the international community in order to suppress dissent?

According to Turkish journalist Uzay Bulut, Erdogan throws around charges of being a Gulenist or associated with Jews or a member of a terror group in the framework of spreading “conspiracy theories”… by Rachel Avraham Foreign Policy According to Turkish journalist Rafael Sadi, “Erdogan’s government is very scared and is looking everywhere for Gulenists. They are suspicious of everyone.  No one feels free to talk or write.” In fact, according to recent reports, Erdogan has even gone to the level ... Read More »

A New Generation of Activists Circumvents Iraq’s Political Paralysis

Researching the talks on forming a new Iraqi ruling coalition, our Senior Adviser for Iraq Maria Fantappie finds a country whose youth, women, civil society, officials and even politicians are hungry for bottom-up change to a stalemated, top… Maria Fantappie ICG BAGHDAD – I have spent much of my career – as an academic, an adviser to the EU and a policy analyst – speaking with high-level policymakers in Iraq. In my many meetings, I have tried to get a ... Read More »

Despite US Threats, Another Ally Mulls Russia’s S-400

Another US ally — and host of a critical Middle Eastern air base — is considering buying a high-tech Russian missile system. By Paul McLeary Breaking Defense What can Washington do about it? WASHINGTON The Trump administration’s promise last year to slap sanctions on countries who buy Russian military equipment appears to have done little to deter key allies. For months, American allies from India to Saudi Arania to Turkey have weighed absorbing the promised economic hit, while a new ... Read More »

Brexit Is Hell…

Over time, public conceptions of hell have migrated from the realm of religious belief to that of literature and political aphorism. Harold James Project Syndicate And nowhere is the idea of eternal damnation as punishment for one’s own choices more appropriate than in the case of the United Kingdom as it hurdles toward the Brexit abyss. PRINCETON – European Council President Donald Tusk recently sparked controversy by saying there is a “special place in hell” for those who advocated Brexit ... Read More »

It’s time for a Green Lent

Many churchgoers have yet to seriously engage with the topic of climate change Tomas Buitendijk The Irish Times Imagine a second global flood, occurring tomorrow. A modern Noah, having spent weeks aimlessly drifting across the world’s oceans, releases a dove in search of land. To his surprise, the animal returns within two minutes and has found something. It is carrying a slightly faded, but otherwise completely intact, soaking wet Tesco shopping bag. On its side, Noah reads: “Use me again!” You’ll know ... Read More »

US deploys advanced THAAD missile defense system to Israel

The deployment, which began in March, was intended to test the U.S. military’s ability to rapidly deploy such weapons around the world, said a spokeswoman for U.S. European Command. JERUSALEM- Reuters Hurriyet Citing security reasons, she declined to say how long it took to move the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, which is built by Lockheed Martin and Raytheon to Israel from its home base of Fort Bliss, Texas. The move comes amid increased tensions between Israel and Iran over Israel‘s bombing campaign in ... Read More »

Turkey faces growing Kurdish insurgency in Syria’s Afrin

Ever since the Turkish military and allied factions from the Free Syrian Army drove the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) out of Kurdish-dominated Afrin in March 2017, there has been almost no independent reporting on how the… Amberin Zaman Al Monitor The United Nations and Human Rights Watch are among a handful of international bodies that have offered valuable insight on the massive human rights abuses — rape, theft, extortion, kidnappings and the… The UN said some of these actions amount to war ... Read More »

Renewing Europe

European citizens need to learn from the Brexit impasse and apply those lessons ahead of and after the European Parliament election in May. Emmanuel Macron Project Syndicate That means embracing reforms that advance the three goals that lie at the heart of the European project. PARIS – Never, since World War II, has Europe been as essential. Yet never has Europe been in so much danger. Brexit stands as the symbol of that. It symbolises the crisis of Europe, which ... Read More »

Putin signs decree suspending INF nuclear pact

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree suspending Russia‘s participation in the Cold War-era Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty with the United States, the Kremlin said on March 4. MOSCOW – Reuters Hurriyet Russia announced last month it was suspending the treaty after the United States said it would withdraw because of violations by Moscow. Russia denies flouting the accord and has accused Washington of breaking the accord itself, allegations rejected by the United States. Putin ordered the treaty be suspended until Washington stops violating the ... Read More »

UK-US trade deal: Envoy attacks ‘myths’ about US farming

Fears over chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-fed beef are “myths”, according to the US ambassador to the UK. BBC In the Daily Telegraph, Woody Johnson urged the UK to embrace US farming methods after Washington published its objectives for a UK-US trade deal. EU rules currently limit US exports of certain food products, including chicken and beef – but Mr Johnson wants that to change in the UK after Brexit. Downing Street has repeatedly… A No 10… UK-US trade… Read More »

The Irish Times view on the legal system: access denied

A great many people cannot afford to go to court because of the exorbitant amounts of money involved even for relatively straightforward cases. The Irish Times An effective legal system is a basic tenet of a functioning democracy, but no legal system can be effective unless every citizen has access to it. That points to a fundamental deficiency in our Republic. Long delays and outdated procedures contribute to the problem by deterring people from taking legal action, but the real ... Read More »

Spain unveils ‘generous’ plan to protect British citizens in event of no-deal Brexit

Spain’s plans includes residency rights and healthcare protections to UK citizens in the event of a no-deal Brexit Nick Duffy The Scotsman The Spanish government has unveiled plans to protect UK citizens even in the event of a no-deal Brexit. It unveiled a “generous” plan to guarantee residency and healthcare rights to UK citizens. Spain is home to the largest British diaspora within the EU, with an estimated 400,000 UK citizens living in the country. Spain wants reciprocity The plan announced ... Read More »

How do you kick EU ‘bastards’ out, asks Boris Johnson

The problem with the EU is ‘we don’t really know who is running it,’ said the former UK foreign secretary. Sarah Wheaton Politico It is not clear who runs the EU or how to “kick those particular bastards out,” said former U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. “My objection to the EU was not that it was run by foreigners,” Johnson, a Brexiteer who quit Prime Minister Theresa May’s government last year in protest at her Brexit strategy, told a New ... Read More »

Brexit: Border backstop will not be removed from agreement, says Barnier

Slovenia suggested many EU states willing to accept a short Brexit delay The Irish Times Brussels is ready to give the UK further “guarantees, assurances and clarifications” that the Irish backstop should only be temporary, Michel Barnier has said. The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator insisted that the controversial measure, intended to avoid a hard border on Ireland, will not be removed from the withdrawal agreement. While acknowledging Brexiteer concerns that the backstop is a trap that would keep the UK tied to ... Read More »

Climate change: narrate a history beyond the ‘triumph of humanity’ to find imaginative solutions

One reason why people find it difficult to think about climate change and the future may be their understanding of human history. Amanda Power The Conversation The present day is believed to be the product of centuries of development. These developments have led to a globalised world of complex states, in which daily life for most people is highly urbanised, consumerist and competitive. By this account, humanity has triumphed over the dangers and uncertainties of the natural world, and this ... Read More »

‘The last moments were beautiful’: Wife remembers firefighter who died at Swiss euthanasia clinic

When Christine Thornton said goodbye to her husband at a euthanasia clinic in Switzerland last week, he turned to her, told her he loved her, and said, “I’m going now”. Simone Fox Koob WAtoday They had spent four days by each other’s side, having coffee in Basel’s picturesque old town, eating cheese in the Swiss Alps and visiting the border so her husband could say he’d been to France. “Troy said to me it was a lovely way to spend ... Read More »