EU in denial about mishandling immigration, says Alexander Downer

Exclusive London: Australia’s outgoing High Commissioner Alexander Downer says Brexit will damage the EU, which is in denial over its mishandling of immigration. Latika Bourke Brisbane Times Speaking to Fairfax Media from Australia House in his last few hours in the job, a candid Downer singled out the European institutions for criticism and said they needed to shoulder much of the blame for the Brexit result. Describing the EU’s handling of immigration as “chaotic” and its management of the eurozone during the Cypriot ... Read More »

Speculation Swirls Turkey Might Seek Nonalignment

ISTANBUL — The Syrian civil war has been a catalyst for Russian-Turkish rapprochement, much to the concern of Turkey’s NATO partners. Dorian Jones VoA This, coupled with Ankara’s current strained relations with its traditional Western allies, is raising the prospect of a nonaligned Turkey. Foreign ministers of Turkey, Iran and Russia are meeting Saturday in Moscow under the auspices of the so-called Astana process that’s aimed at resolving the Syrian civil war. Ahead of the meeting, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu ... Read More »

EU to ban bee-killing pesticides

EU countries voted on April 27 for a near-total ban on insecticides blamed for killing off bee populations, in what campaigners called a “beacon of hope” for the winged insects. BRUSSELS – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Bees help pollinate 90 percent of the world’s major crops, but in recent years have been dying off from “colony collapse disorder,” a mysterious scourge blamed on mites, pesticides, virus, fungus, or a combination of these factors. The 28 European Union member states approved a ... Read More »

Home Office deportation targets show how Britain’s immigration system is harmful by design

April has been a month of turbulence for the Home Office. The aftermath of the Windrush exposé has shaken British politics to its core. Authors: The Conversation And now Amber Rudd has resigned as home secretary, days after admitting that her department had internal regional targets to remove illegalised people from the country – some from the Windrush generation who were already British subjects. By setting targets, the intricacies of people’s histories are erased, and humans are reduced to statistics. ... Read More »

From Siberia, an Unlikely Cry: ‘We Need Greenpeace Out Here!’

TAS-YURYAKH JOURNAL TAS-YURYAKH, Russia — At a truck stop at the northern terminus of the Vilyui ice highway in northeastern Siberia, drivers make small talk not about life on the road but rather the life of the road. Andrew E. Kramer The New York Times It might last another week, suggested one driver casually, tucking into a steaming plate of meatballs. “Not likely,” countered Maxim A. Andreyevsky, 31, the driver of a crude oil tanker truck. “Didn’t you see the ... Read More »

Eastern Mediterranean States Seek Framework to Sell Gas to Europe by Year-End

Undersea pipeline would be the longest and deepest in world Sides negotiating ‘very seriously’ on project: Israel official Israel is trying to finalize working agreements with European governments interested in buying natural gas from the eastern Mediterranean region by the end of the year, according to the country’s energy minister. By Yaacov Benmeleh and David Wainer Bloomberg Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Israel are pushing a 6 billion euro ($7.3 billion) project to build a pipeline that would expand the export markets for gas ... Read More »

“Velvet Revolution” Takes Armenia into the Unknown

Massive street protests have brought down Armenia’s long-serving leader Serzh Sargsyan. Meanwhile, tensions persist in the unresolved conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh. Both Armenia’s new leadership and Azerbaijan must pay attention to avoid triggering a new conflagration along that territory’s volatile front lines. Olesya Vartanyan ICG When opposition Member of Parliament Nikol Pashinyan led a knot of marchers through northern Armenia in April to protest the return to power of long-serving leader Serzh Sargsyan, no one guessed his campaign would ... Read More »

Iran urges Muslims to unite against US

Iran’s supreme leader called on Muslim nations to unite against the United States, saying Tehran would never yield to “bullying,” state television reported yesterday. Hurriyet “The Iranian nation has successfully resisted bullying attempts by America and other arrogant powers and we will continue to resist… All Muslim nations should stand united against America and other enemies,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said. Iran’s top authority criticized Trump for saying on April 24 some countries in the Middle East “wouldn’t last a week” ... Read More »

Turkey awards multibillion-dollar contract for indigenous Altay tank

ANKARA, Turkey — BMC, a privately owned Turkish-Qatari armored vehicles manufacturer, has won a multibillion-dollar contract for the serial production of the Altay, Turkey’s first indigenous, new-generation main battle tank in the making. By: Burak Ege Bekdil DefenseNews A top procurement official confirmed the decision. “We will start contract negotiations with this group, as it emerged as the best bidder,” the official said. Turkey’s defense procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industies, or SSM, has been reviewing bids from three ... Read More »

Erdogan’s Revenge and the Kurdish Dilemma

After 4,000 years of continuous habitation, there is no Kurdish presence left in Afrin. Maurice Glasman * The Nation Arriving in Baghdad, it is clear who has won the Iraq War. The Shia are in charge. Tower-sized, luminous green posters of Husseyn and Ali define the landscape, draped from Brezhnevite tower blocks, augmented by portraits of martyred fighters in identical uniforms, with a prominent place for Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, the Shia cleric executed by the Saudis. These are reproduced in ... Read More »

How a proposed Russian pipeline to Europe is dividing the West

MUKRAN, Germany — The steel-and-concrete pipes measure 36 feet long, weigh 24 tons and, if a Russian-led consortium has its way, will stretch for nearly 800 miles along the bottom of the… by Griff Witte and Luisa Beck The Washington Post Being churned out by the thousands at a waterside factory on this German island, the pipes offer evidence that Moscow will soon have a vital new means to sell its gas to continental Europe. But what the $12 billion pipeline ... Read More »

Egypt possesses keys of future of Eastern Mediterranean oil: Min.

CAIRO – 24 April 2018: Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek el-Molla said on Tuesday that Egypt and the European Union (EU) signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation and strategic partnership in the domain of energy. By: MENA In his speech at the inaugural ceremony of a renewable and sustainable energy forum between Egypt and the EU, he added that the agreement helps enhance joint cooperation in the long run. Egypt and the EU are about to start ... Read More »

A tale of two handshakes — why France’s Macron works well with Trump and Germany’s Merkel doesn’t

BERLIN — Ever since Donald Trump became president, European leaders have sought to read his mind on what he thinks about the old continent. Rick Noack The Washington Post While thousands of policy papers have been produced in the process, two handshakes may be more telling. The first one never happened. When German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the Oval Office in March 2017, a visibly unenthusiastic Trump — deliberately or accidentally — ignored calls to shake her hand. Merkel sat through it, as she often does. Alert ... Read More »

Trump Picks ‘Dandruff’ Off Emmanuel Macron: ‘We Have To Make Him Perfect’

The French president chuckled awkwardly during the bizarre moment. Jenna Amatulli HuffPost President Donald Trump brushed what he said was dandruff from the shoulder of French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday in the White House Oval Office. “We have a very special relationship, in fact I’ll get that little piece of dandruff off,” Trump declared to reporters as the two leaders posed for photos before a meeting. “We have to make him perfect. He is perfect,” added Trump, flicking his fingers across ... Read More »

Arab Analyst: Turkey to Face Threat of Disintegration in Case of Lack of Cooperaton with Syria, Iraq

TEHRAN (FNA)- Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of Rai al-Youm newspaper, warned that if Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues playing in the US court and resists cooperation with Syria and Iraq, his country will be faced with the danger of… Fars “The US and its western allies intend to pave the ground for Turkey’s disintegration through disintegrating Syria,” Atwan wrote on Tuesday, adding that Washington aims to disintegrate the West Asian countries to establish new states based on their ... Read More »

Gallipoli commemorations of Turkish youth tell us much about politics in Turkey

With ongoing political instability and security concerns in Turkey, we are again likely to see a smaller turnout of Australians and New Zealanders for Anzac Day ceremonies at Gallipoli this year. Authors: (2) The Conversation But thousands of Turkish youth will be on the battlefields at dawn. They will be re-enacting the march by the 57th Regiment to the highlands, where Ottoman troops halted the Anzac advance in 1915. We undertook fieldwork last Anzac Day on this ritual as part ... Read More »