Europe

Vladimir Putin says Russia will not move missiles closer to US unless American missiles move first

Vladimir Putin said he will match any move by the United States to deploy new nuclear missiles closer to Russia by stationing its own missiles closer to the US, or by deploying faster missiles, or both. ABC Reuters The Russian President said he was not seeking confrontation and would not take the first step to deploy missiles in response to the US Government’s decision this month to quit a landmark Cold War-era arms control treaty. But, in his toughest remarks yet ... Read More »

Against ‘Suffocation’ of Azov Sea: Ukraine Pleading EU for Help Against Russia

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said that his country would like to see the European Union and the European Investment Bank (EIB) engaged in efforts to avoid the “suffocation” of its Azov Sea shore. Written by @Eubulletin | The Azov Sea is a strategic territory coveted by Moscow. Russia has recently constructed a bridge across the Kerch strait, which Kyiv considers unlawful. Moscow moreover put in place controls over the international ships crossing the strait and Kyiv suspects that Russia ... Read More »

Labour centrists quit party, recalling failed 80s experiment

London: Seven British Labour MPs have quit their party and set up as a group of independents, saying politics in Britain is “broken” and criticising Labour policy on Brexit and its failure to tackle anti-Semitism among its membership. Nick Miller The Age The split was immediately compared to the ‘Gang of Four’ who left Labour in 1981 to form the Social Democratic Party, splitting the left vote and resulting in Margaret Thatcher winning crushing parliamentary majorities at the next two elections. ... Read More »

Why a centuries-old religious dispute over Ukraine’s Orthodox Church matters today

A new Orthodox Church was recently established in Ukraine. Shortly after, Bartholomew I, the Patriarch of Constantinople and the spiritual head of global Orthodox Christianity, granted independence to the new Orthodox Church of Ukraine and transferred its jurisdiction from the church of Moscow to the church of Constantinople, located in Istanbul. Victoria Smolkin The Conversation This competition between the churches of Constantinople and Moscow for dominance in the Orthodox Christian world is not new – it goes back more than ... Read More »

Even Conservatives Support Sweden’s Welfare State. Here’s Why.

It’s practical and efficient, allowing for a very competitive economy while ensuring a high standard of living. Barbara Koeppel The Nation While we’re waiting for Team Trump to make America great again, it’s useful to know what a not-great country such as Sweden offers its citizens. As Shakespeare observed, comparisons are odorous, but things smell good there. Not even the conservative Swedish parties and the far-right anti-immigrant party, which together won 205 seats in the September 2018 parliamentary elections (out ... Read More »

Tajikistan: Report confirms significant Chinese security presence in Pamirs

Satellite images show a complex of around two dozen buildings on the border. “Remember,” a Chinese soldier told a reporter nosing around a remote spot in eastern Tajikistan. “You never saw us here.” Eurasianet The cat’s out of the bag now. A front-page story on the Washington Post on February 19 has confirmed long-held suspicions about the Chinese military presence in the desolate quadrant where the borders of Tajikistan, China and Afghanistan intersect. If it was previously suspected the deployment might be ... Read More »

Estonia is running its country like a tech company

Estonia is often described as a genuinely digital society. Today a majority of government services are offered 24/7 online, and data integrity is ensured by blockchain technology. By Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia Quartz You can use medical e-prescriptions, file taxes, or even buy a car online without needing to go to the vehicle registration office. There are only a few things that you still need to do in the analog world, such as get married or buy property. Why spend ... Read More »

The Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum

A Lebanese perspective Energy ministers from Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority took an important step toward establishing an Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) on January 14, in Cairo. Mona Sukkarieh Executive According to the declaration that followed the meeting, the EMGF will, among other things, assist in the creation of a regional gas market, ensure the security of supply and demand, optimize resource development, facilitate the… The forum’s raison d’être is regional energy cooperation. Almost ... Read More »

Intel: How Trump’s choice as envoy to Turkey could complicate US Syria policy

The Donald Trump administration’s announcement that it plans to nominate veteran diplomat David Satterfield as ambassador to Turkey could shake up US policy in Syria. Al-Monitor The post has sat vacant for more than a year as relations between Washington and Ankara have deteriorated over the Pentagon’s backing of a Syrian Kurdish group in the fight against the Islamic State. Why it matters: Satterfield’s confirmation could pit two influential diplomats against each other as the Trump administration tries to hammer ... Read More »

Israel’s Leviathan Energy Prize: Where Will The Gas Go?

Israel is finally emerging as a natural gas player in the Mediterranean. In the last week of January, the Israeli Navy conducted a complex drill simulating attacks on the country’s offshore oil and gas infrastructure. Ariel Cohen Forbes The exercise included coordinated operations between dozens of naval vessels and aircraft, and even incorporated a live-fire missile test against an abandoned cargo vessel (imitating an enemy transport… Israel’s week-long “Raging Sea” operation comes on the heels of two joint military drills ... Read More »

Fund more lab-grown meat to fight climate change, experts tell EU leaders

Chatham House calls for official backing for high-tech food to cut greenhouse gas emissions Jane Dalton Independent Experts at an influential think tank are calling on EU leaders to back the expansion of more lab-grown meat to enable Europe to help tackle climate change. The Royal Institute of International Affairs, known as Chatham House, says new high-tech foodstuffs will be vital to the EU meeting its goals on climate change, human health and drug resistance. Animal agriculture is a significant driver of carbon dioxide ... Read More »

As Germany, UK waver on Huawei, China rebuts chief US security claim

Beijing: With Germany and Britain poised to make a decision on Huawei and 5G, China has begun to hit back with new ferocity at claims its national intelligence law compels Chinese companies to obey its… WAtoday Despite Washington’s public pressure on allies to bar Huawei, Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre is reported to have decided the security risk is “manageable”, while a German cabinet meeting last week is… Germany is said to be weighing up security conditions that could instead be ... Read More »

New areas in Crete made available for hydrocarbon explorations

The Hellenic Managing Authority for Hydrocarbons is launching the process that will make new areas available for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons in the maritime area south of… Nefeli Tzanetakou ibna These are maritime plots that had remained unassigned in previous concessions and whose data and been reassessed and enriched. In any case, it is expected that the same successful model will be applied, which has mobilized the investment interest of major oil companies, such as French Total, American ... Read More »

Why Understanding The UK Anti-Feminist Movement Is Vital To Countering The Far Right

Manosphere ideas have snowballed into an ideology that has taken on a life of its own, and for some it has served as a route into wider far-right politics. Simon Murdoch HuffPost “Feminists attack liberty, justice, equality and meritocracy. They attack men, women, and children, and relations between the sexes,” so declared British anti-feminist activists in a 2018 online statement. Its signatories included key UK far-right vlogger Paul Joseph Watson, Breitbart London writer James Delingpole and Valerie Price, National Director of ACT! For ... Read More »

Russia to China: Together we can rule the world

Only Europe can prevent an Eastern bloc. Bruno Maçães Politico Europe’s obsession with Russia is unrequited. Moscow just isn’t interested in the Continent anymore. It doesn’t care about European integration, or moving toward Europe. But neither is it interested in Europe’s predicted disintegration, or in pulling countries away from the West and closer to its way of thinking. In the halls of the Kremlin these days, it’s all about China — and whether or not Moscow can convince Beijing to ... Read More »

Karl Marx’s London memorial vandalised for second time

The words ‘doctrine of hate’ and ‘architect of genocide’ were painted on Highgate cemetery memorial Ruth Quinn The Guardian The tomb of Karl Marx in Highgate cemetery in London has been vandalised for the second time in the space of a month. The words “doctrine of hate” and “architect of genocide” were found daubed in red paint across the Grade I-listed monument in the north Londong raveyard on Saturday. The latest attack comes less than two weeks after the marble plaque on the ... Read More »