Society

Turkey’s gift of a mosque sparks fears of ‘neo-Ottomanism’ in Kosovo

Pristina badly needs a new mosque – but Turkish attempts to court the young Balkan state with investment and advocacy is making some uneasy. Maxim Edwards and Michael Colborne The Guardian It is six years since Islamic leaders and government officials laid the cornerstone of Pristina’s new central mosque – a slab of stone now hidden beneath weeds in a parking lot. Pulling back the weeds reveals it is covered with bright red graffiti – death threats to Kosovo’s chief ... Read More »

Afghanistan’s neighbours fear refugee crisis if U.S. pulls out

KABUL (Reuters) – Afghanistan’s neighbours, caught off-guard by reports of U.S. plans to withdraw thousands of troops, have begun preparing for the risk that a pullout could send hundreds of… Rupam Jain Alarmed by the possibly of a chaotic withdrawal, diplomats from neighbouring countries who have been in talks with U.S. officials in Kabul said they were reassessing policies and would ramp up border… “At this point there is no clarity about the withdrawal, but we have to keep a ... Read More »

Lakhs Join Hands For Kerala’s ‘Women’s Wall’, Initiative Attacked In Kasaragod

State health minister KK Shylaja led the chain at Kasargod while senior CPM leader Brinda Karat was the last person at the end of the chain in Thiruvananthapuram. HuffPost Lakhs of women participated in the 620 km-long ‘Women’s wall’, organised by the Kerala government, which stretched from the northern tip of the state in Kasaragod to the southern end in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday. State health minister KK Shylaja led the chain at Kasaragod while senior CPM leader Brinda Karat was ... Read More »

Colombia Farc: 85 ex-rebels killed since peace deal

The United Nations says 85 former Farc rebels have been killed in Colombia since the group signed a peace accord with the government two years ago. BBC Most of the murders were by illegal armed groups and drug gangs fighting over former Farc territories, UN chief Antonio Guterres said in a report. Mr Guterres urged Colombian President Ivan Duque, a vocal critic of the peace deal, to do more to protect ex-rebels. Colombia suffered 52 years of conflict until peace ... Read More »

Wall Street finishes worst year since 2008 with gains

Wall Street advanced in low-volume trading on Monday as revelers gathered to ring in 2019, marking the end of the worst year for US stocks since 2008, the height of the financial crisis. WAtoday Reuters Wall Street entered correction territory in late January and was challenged for much of 2018 by tariff jitters, rising interest rates, and fears of diminishing corporate profits. “Investors got complacent,” said Thomas Martin, senior portfolio manager at Globalt Investments in Atlanta. “People were positioned for ... Read More »

Energy price cap could leave customers £200 a year out of pocket

Householders could be left more than £200 a year out of pocket as the energy regulator has admitted a cap on bills which comes into force today could reduce the number of customers shopping around for a… Sam Meadows Telegraph The cap, which applies to the default energy tariffs paid by consumers after any fixed-rate period comes to an end, prevents suppliers charging the average household more than £1,137 a… Ofgem said the cap will help the 11 million households ... Read More »

Director of Uffizi Galleries in Florence demands that Germany hands back Nazi-looted painting

The director of the Uffizi Galleries in Florence has demanded that Germany return an artwork that was looted by the Nazis during the Second World War. Nick Squires The Telegraph Eike Schmidt, who is German himself, said Berlin had a moral duty to give back the painting, Vase of Flowers, by the 18th century Dutch artist Jan van Huysum. It was looted from Florence by German soldiers in 1944 and is now owned privately by a German family. Dr Schmidt, who has been ... Read More »

Kim calls for corresponding US measures, ready to meet Trump

North Korean leader delivers annual New Year’s Day speech laying out Pyongyang’s top priorities for the 12 months ahead. Al Jazeera and News Agencies North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has renewed his commitment to denuclearisation but warned that he may have no option but to seek an alternative course if the United States does not take corresponding measures and… Kim made the comments on Tuesday during his annual New Year’s Day address laying out Pyongyang’s top priorities for the… In ... Read More »

Khashoggi, other journalists honored at Times Square

Injecting a somber note into the festivities, the NewYork City’s Times Square Alliance, the business association that organizes the famous New Year’s Eve party, paid a special tribute to freedom of the press, after a… New York Hurriyet Karen Attiah, who edited the Washington Post columns of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist who was killed inside a Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey, was among the invitees. Mr. Holt of NBC, Alisyn Camerota of CNN, Vladimir Duthiers of CBS, Jon Scott of Fox News, editors from The Wall Street ... Read More »

Govt extends loan subsidy for first-time homebuyers

NEW DELHI: The government on Monday extended the interest subsidy scheme till March 2020 for first time urban homebuyers who have annual annual income between Rs 6 lakh and Rs 18 lakh. The Times of India TNN This will enable new home buyers to avail up front financial assistance of about Rs 2.5 lakh from the central government, which they can use for down payment while booking, construction or re-purchasing the flat. Announcing this Union housing minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, “The growth and performance of credit linked ... Read More »

The other Khashoggi

A gruesome death in Ukraine provides a warning for those following the murder of the Saudi journalist. Mary Mycio Politico An opposition journalist disappears. Anonymous tapes hint at his gruesome murder. An autocrat selling himself as a pro-Western reformer, beset by intrigue at home, is blamed for the death. In moral repugnance, the democratic world shuns him, sparking a foreign policy crisis. If this sounds like the case of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, that’s because it is. But the scenario ... Read More »

Energy price cap could mean people missing cheapest deals, warns consumer champion

Which? said the cheapest tariffs had vanished from the market as suppliers prepared for the cap’s implementation Joe Watts Independent Theresa May’s energy price cap which comes into force on Tuesday could mean people missing out on the cheapest electricity and gas prices, the UK’s foremost consumer group has warned. Which? said some of the cheapest tariffs available had been vanishing from the market as suppliers adjusted their operations in the run-up to the cap’s implementation. The prime minister argued the cap would cut bills for millions ... Read More »

Why archaeology is so much more than just digging

It’s our experience that most people think archaeology mainly means digging in the dirt. Authors: The Conversation Admit to strangers that you are of the archaeological persuasion, and the follow-up question is invariably “what’s the best thing you’ve found?”. Start to tell them about a fantastic ink and watercolour plan you unearthed in library archives, or an old work site you stumbled upon in thick eucalypt bush, and their eyes glaze over. People invariably want to hear about skeletons, pots ... Read More »

First Democratic contender announces she’s running for president

Senator Elizabeth Warren, a sharp critic of big banks and unregulated capitalism, has entered the 2020 race for president, becoming the first major candidate in what is likely to be a long and crowded primary marked by ideological and… Doina Chiacu The Canberra Times Reuters, New York Times In an 8.30am email to supporters on New Year’s Eve — 13 months before the first votes will be cast in the Iowa caucuses — Warren said she was forming an exploratory committee, ... Read More »

‘It unnerved us’: John Howard admits he mishandled the High Court’s Wik decision

Former prime minister John Howard has admitted his government mishandled its response to the High Court’s Wik decision, saying it created the impression the government was “drifting” and… Stephanie Peatling The Sydney Morning Herald In December 1996, the High Court upheld a decision in a case brought by the Wik and Thayorre people of Queensland against the Queensland government. It decided that native title is not necessarily extinguished by the grant of a pastoral lease and that native title can co-exist ... Read More »

Howard govt feared slow Y2K bug preparations, cabinet documents reveal

Predictions of a chaotic IT collapse brought on by the Y2K bug had the Howard government fearing Australia was unready for the worst, previously classified documents reveal. Doug Dingwall Brisbane Times As the year 2000 approached, the federal government in 1997 took seriously the warnings that the new millennium’s arrival could play havoc with electricity, hospitals and traffic lights. The “millennium bug”, cast by some as a looming apocalypse, brought on hundreds of billions in estimated spending worldwide to avoid catastrophe. ... Read More »