Europe

Are China and Russia going to dominate the Mediterranean Sea?

As NATO celebrated its 70th anniversary in Washington, one compelling security issue received insufficient attention: Chinese acquisitions of critical European infrastructure, especially ports. Trudy Rubin The Inquirer Chinese state-controlled firms now hold stakes in more than a dozen European ports on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, from Belgium to Spain to ownership of the legendary Greek port of Piraeus. Already, one-tenth of Europe’s container terminal capacity is under Chinese control. A week ago, defying allies, Italy became the first major ... Read More »

The EU’s China Conundrum

The European Union is increasingly caught between the United States and China. Until it finds a common strategic purpose, the bloc will struggle to advance its interests and is increasingly likely to fall victim to great-power plays. Philippe Legrain Project Syndicate LONDON – Europeans can’t agree on how to handle a rising China. While European Union leaders were gathering in Brussels recently to discuss a more assertive common approach, Chinese President Xi Jinping was visiting Rome. Xi was there to ... Read More »

Polish teachers threaten national walkout

The looming strike is a big problem for the ruling party ahead of the European election. Annabelle Chapman Politico WARSAW — Polish teachers’ unions on Friday rejected a pay offer from the government and vowed to walk off the job on Monday — causing a massive political headache for the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party. The government pay proposal “only worsens the conflict,” Sławomir Broniarz, the head of the Polish Teachers’ Union, told reporters after talks broke off on ... Read More »

Wiesenthal Center Urges Removal Of Anne Frank’s Name From NGO Due To Antisemitism

Alleged Anti-Jewish conspiracy theorist and Israel-hater Daniel Bax is slated to speak at the Anne Frank Educational Center. Benjamin Weinthal JPost The Simon Wiesenthal Center called on the Frankfurt-based Anne Frank Educational Center to remove the Holocaust victim’s name from its organization after it invited an alleged anti-Jewish conspiracy theorist who loathes Israel to speak at its conference on antisemitism. The latest antisemitism scandal at the center is roiling Frankfurt’s city government. Frankfurt’s deputy mayor and city treasurer, Uwe Becker, ... Read More »

Why We Stand With NATO

“There is only one thing worse than fighting with allies, and that is fighting without them.” Tim Kaine and Cory Gardner The Atlantic On April 4, 1949, Johannes Kaiv, the acting consul general of Estonia’s government-in-exile, sent a letter to Secretary of State Dean Acheson, which read: I have the honor to offer my best wishes to the signatories of the North Atlantic Pact, and to express my confidence that they, inspired by the ideals of democracy, of individual liberty, ... Read More »

Pompeo: There will be ‘devastating’ consequences if Turkey attacks Syria

April 4 (UPI) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Turkey of “devastating” consequences if it attacks Syria. Darryl Coote Pompeo gave the warning to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu Wednesday in Washington during the first day of the two-day NATO Ministerial, State Department Spokesman Robert Palladino said in a statement. “Secretary Pompeo expressed support for ongoing negotiations regarding northeast Syria, while warning of the potentially devastating consequences of unilateral Turkish military action in the region,” Palladino said in ... Read More »

Erdoğan’s Four Challenges

Turkey’s president suffered a frustrating setback in local government elections as democratic resilience prevailed. Marc Pierini Carnegie Europe Watch out for the impact on the economy, the rule of law, defense, and Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s campaigning was vintage AKP electioneering: playing a nationalist fiddle; hiding economic realities with creative accounting and cosmetic measures; equating low interest rates (again) with low inflation; accusing foreigners of weakening the currency; threatening the opposition; continuing the crackdown on free speech and ... Read More »

‘Put yourself in their hooves’: Tourists urged to reconsider riding donkeys in Santorini

Donkeys have been used to ferry human cargo up Santorini’s notoriously steep steps for generations, but holidaymakers are being urged to think twice before riding mules on the Greek island, after some of the animals were found to have spinal injuries and saddle sores. Gavin Haines The Telegraph Welfare groups have partly blamed overweight tourists for the travails of Santorini’s donkeys, which are often overburdened and typically spend long days in the sun with little access to shade or water. ... Read More »

Pence Takes Germany to Task Over Defense Spending

US vice president also warns Turkey against purchase of Russian missile defense system Ashish Kumar Sen Atlantic Council US Vice President Mike Pence on April 3 chastised Germany for not spending enough on defense, warned Turkey against going ahead with the purchase of a Russian missile defense system, cautioned against the rise of China, and sought to reassure NATO allies that they will always have the United States’ support. US President Donald J. Trump has led the charge against NATO ... Read More »

Turkey’s marriage of F-35 and S-400 ‘absolutely unsustainable,’ says EUCOM nominee

WASHINGTON — The U.S. general nominated to lead American forces in Europe said Tuesday that if Turkey buys the Russian S-400 air defense system, it “should not get” the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter from the United States. Joe Gould DefenseNews At his Senate Armed Services Committee nomination hearing to lead U.S. European Command, Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters called the co-location of the F-35 and the S-400 “absolutely unsustainable.” “I concur with this committee’s belief that the S-400 and the ... Read More »

Turkish democracy is the winner in these momentous local elections

By toppling the AKP in Ankara and Istanbul, the opposition has shown that Erdoğan’s ruling party is not an invincible force Sinan Ülgen The Guardian Sunday’s local elections in Turkey resulted in a major setback for the president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and his ruling alliance. The ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) and nationalist MHP coalition lost Turkey’s major cities to an opposition ushering in an era of change at the local level. The political transitions in Istanbul and Ankara ... Read More »

A Turning Point for Turkey’s Opposition?

The AKP’s losses in key major cities in Turkey’s local elections provide opposition parties the opportunity to hold the ruling party accountable. A.Kadir Yildirim Carnegie After an unusually quiet campaign season in Turkey, the March 31, 2019 local elections delivered one of the most stunning results in recent memory. While securing a majority of the votes nationwide, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost major ground. Interestingly, from a historical perspective, the AKP outperformed ... Read More »

English judge says man having sex with wife is ‘fundamental human right’

Court of protection in London considering case involving woman with learning difficulties Owen Bowcott The Guardian A row has erupted after a judge spoke in court about the “fundamental human right” of a man to have sex with his wife. The remark was made by Mr Justice Hayden, who had been asked to consider imposing a court order preventing a man from having sex with his wife of 20 years because she may no longer be able to give her ... Read More »

Spanish fireman faces 20 years in prison for rescuing migrants at sea

Italian authorities have accused Miguel Roldán of aiding human traffickers after he helped save thousands of people from drowning in the Mediterranean. NACHO SÁNCHEZ El Pais English version by Asia London Palomba. It is June 2017, and firefighter Miguel Roldán has been working for 18 hours on a migrant rescue ship in the Mediterranean Sea. A phone call warns him that another migrant boat is sinking. It is past 10pm and completely dark. He sets out with two of his ... Read More »

Understanding Israel’s Role in The F-35 Dispute Between the US and Turkey

The United States has just cut off its nose to spite its face by announcing that Washington will halt delivery of equipment related to the F-35 fighter jet to Turkey. Adam Garrie EurasiaFuture This makes life more difficult for both Turkey and the US as Turkey played a key role in the development of the F-35. Is this about Russia or is it about Israel?  Throughout 2018, the US threatened to halt delivery of the F-35s to Turkey due to ... Read More »

Europe is spending more on its defence. Can Trump take credit?

Europe is spending more on its defence. But the spree may be more cyclical than the result of US pressure, analysts say. Dana Lewis Al Jazeera Browbeating European NATO countries to spend more on their own defence has become a staple of US President Donald Trump‘s foreign policy. So too has his administration’s “Buy American” drive to boost US arms exports to allies around the world. The tandem push has thrown the United States’ commitment to NATO into question and tarnished the notion ... Read More »