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China and the U.S. are Approaching Dangerous Seas

A combination of recent events, underpinned by long-running historical strains reaching back more than 60 years, has turned the western Pacific into one of the most hazardous spots on the globe. The tension between China and the United States “is one of the most striking and dangerous themes in international politics,” says The Financial Times’ longtime commentator and China hand, Gideon Rachman. In just the past five months, warships from both countries—including Washington’s closest ally in the region, Japan—have done everything
2016-08-21 | China | Politics |

Pigeon fancier receives lifetime ban for cheating in race

A pigeon-racing champion has received a lifetime ban from the sport after allegations that he cheated to win one of the most prestigious competitions in the sport’s calendar. Eamon Kelly, 52, from Didcot, was accused of cheating by registering 14 birds for the Tarbes Grand National race but keeping them at home and sending decoys instead. The National Flying Club, where he was an official race controller, said in a statement that the ban “follows the falsification of [Kelly’s] race entry for
2016-08-13 | United Kingdom | Society |

Divide and Rule: How Factionalism in Palestine Is Killing Prospects for Freedom

As Palestinians in the Occupied Territories begin preparations for local elections which are scheduled for October, division and factionalism are rearing their ugly head. Palestinian political platforms and social media are abuzz with self-defeating propaganda: Fatah supporters attacking Hamas’ alleged failures, and Hamas’ supporters doing the same. What is conveniently overlooked by all sides is that the performance of Palestinian municipalities is almost entirely irrelevant in the greater scheme of things. In the West Bank, local councils are governed by strict Israeli-PA arrangements.
2016-08-11 | Palestine | Politics |

Muslim women most common victims of hate crime campaigns on social media: UK study

Islamophobes are targeting Muslim women in online hate campaigns, according to a new study published Thursday by the International Business Times UK on its website. A Birmingham City University study examined hundreds of Facebook pages, posts and comments as part of an extensive survey of the spread of anti-Islam hate speech online, including those associated with far right groups Britain First and the English Defense league. They found 500 instances of Islamophobic abuse, in which Muslims were branded terrorists and rapists, alleged
2016-08-06 | United Kingdom | News |

41 Palestinian women, including 12 minors, currently held in HaSharon prison

Several dozen Palestinian women, including 12 minors, are currently being held in Israel's HaSharon prison, according to a statement released Thursday by the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners' Affairs. The committee said in the statement that 41 Palestinian women and girls are being held in the prison, with some suffering from deteriorating health conditions, adding that Israel's treatment of women prisoners is against international law, and requires "international institutions to end their silence" and to stop Israel's "perpetual crimes." The committee also called
2016-08-06 | Israel | News |

China joins Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan in security alliance

BEIJING — China is to set up an anti-terrorism alliance with Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, state media said on Thursday, as it seeks to boost coordination with neighbours to tackle what it says is a growing domestic militant threat. Fang Fenghui, a member of the powerful Central Military Commission which controls China’s armed forces, hosted a meeting with his counterparts on Wednesday in Urumqi, capital of the western Xinjiang region, where officials say they are battling extremist militants. The four countries recognised
2016-08-05 | China | News |

Europe of failure to keep migrant deal promises

ISTANBUL - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday lashed out at the European Union for dragging its feet in releasing promised funds for Syrian refugees as well as providing visa-free travel for Turks into the passport-free Schengen zone. Turkey and the EU signed a controversial deal in March, in which Ankara agreed to take back Syrian migrants landing on Greek islands in return for several incentives including 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) in funds and visa-free travel. “Europe has not yet
2016-08-05 | Germany | News |

Indonesia joins Malaysian halal e-commerce business

Jakarta - The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) has registered with the Malaysian Trade Ministry's halal e-commerce portal to endorse Indonesian halal products. The portal serves not as an online store to sell products but rather as a catalogue, that lists halal products available for sale. The portal directs buyers to verified suppliers or its e-commerce partners, The Jakarta Post news reported. “Halal products account for 11 percent of total products in the world. Around 67 percent
2016-08-05 | Malaysia | Business |

British Muslim woman detained at airport for reading book in flight

Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England (IINA) - A British Muslim, who works at the National Health Service (NHS), was detained at a UK airport and questioned under terror laws after a cabin crew member at Thomson Airways spotted her reading a Syrian culture book on board, according to media reports. Faizah Shaheen, the victim of yet another Islamophobia incident, works at the NHS in Leeds to help prevent teenage mental health patients from becoming radicalized. She was returning after honeymoon in Marmaris,
2016-08-05 | United Kingdom | News |

OPEC Says $10 Trillion Investment Needed To Avoid Massive Oil Price Spike

OPEC says that $10 trillion worth of investment will need to flow into oil and gas through 2040 in order to meet the world's energy needs. The OPEC published its World Oil Outlook 2015 (WOO) in late December, which struck a much more pessimistic note on the state of oil markets than in the past. On the one hand, OPEC does not see oil prices returning to triple-digit territory within the next 25 years, a strikingly bearish conclusion. The group expects
2015-12-31 | Saudi Arabia | Business |

Mercenaries in Yemen

Latin American mercenaries are leaving the ranks of the national armies of their countries to fight in the deserts of Yemen, wearing the uniform of the United Arab Emirates. They have been contracted by private US companies and in some cases directly by the government of the Arab country, which, thanks to vast oil reserves, has the second largest economy of the region. An article in the New York Times revealed that 450 Latin American soldiers, among them Colombians, Panamanians, Salvadorans
2015-12-26 | Yemen | News |

China expels French journalist over reports questioning treatment of Uighurs

China is expelling a French journalist who questioned its treatment of its Muslim Uighur minority in the north-western region of Xinjiang, her employer, the weekly l'Obs news magazine, has said. Ursula Gauthier, the magazine's Beijing correspondent, needs to leave China by 31 December after authorities refused to renew her visa. Shortly after publishing a story that suggested China was using the Paris attacks to justify crackdowns on Uighur people, Gauthier was the subject of editorials in state-controlled media and even death threats,
2015-12-26 | China | News |

Aung San Suu Kyi's inexcusable silenc

"In awarding the Nobel Peace Prize ... to Aung San Suu Kyi," the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced in 1991, it wished "to honour this woman for her unflagging efforts and to show its support for the many people throughout the world who are striving to attain democracy, human rights and ethnic conciliation by peaceful means". Suu Kyi, the Committee added, was "an important symbol in the struggle against oppression". Fast forward 24 years, and the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar might disagree with
2015-05-27 | Burma | News |

The token Palestinian, inconvenient truths

I recall, with particular awkwardness, my first talk at a socialist student gathering at the University of Washington in Seattle nearly two decades ago. When I tried to offer an authentic view of the situation in Palestine from the viewpoint of a refugee, my hosts were hardly impressed. However, the head of the student group knew how to move the crowd. He spoke of Palestinian and Israeli proletariat classes, which, according to him were ultimately fighting against the same enemy,
2014-10-12 | Palestine | Politics |

The right to fast: Why is China barring Xinjiang Muslims fasting during Ramadan

Uighur Muslims in China's northwest province of Xinjiang face severe abuses in practicing their religion, including prohibition from the required fast during the holy month of Ramadan, according to religious rights watchdogs and news reports. The Chinese Communist Party has been ordering Muslims in the province to eat during the holy month, when they are normally required to fast, the Financial Times reported. In Xinjiang, "authorities view independent religious activities as evidence of 'extremism' and prohibit outward manifestations of Islamic piety
2013-07-25 | China | Religion |

Raise interest rates on old student loans, secret report proposes

A confidential report commissioned by the government has proposed redrawing the terms of student loans taken out over the past 15 years, that would make them more expensive to pay back for 3.6 million borrowers in England alone. The proposal to increase the interest rates on the £40bn worth of loans is the most controversial of a series of options contained in a Whitehall-commissioned study examining how the coalition could privatise the entire stock of student loans issued since 1998. Increasing the
2013-06-14 | United Kingdom | Education |

Ethnic cleansing in Myanmar: A bloody road to apartheid

MYANMAR'S government has reported that 82 people have died in the past week's ethnic violence in the western state of Rakhine, and 2,800 houses been razed by fire. Both figures are almost certainly underestimates. The whole length of the state, a narrow coastal strip whose northern end borders Bangladesh, has seen mounting tension and often fighting between the majority Rakhine population, who are mostly Buddhist, and the Rohingya minority, who are mostly Muslim and are seen by many Rakhines and
2012-10-30 | Myanmar | Politics |

Samsung wins in Apple battle

A court in Japan has ruled that Samsung did not infringe on an Apple patent, in the latest episode of the global legal war between the technology giants. The Tokyo court’s three-judge panel awarded legal costs to Samsung on Friday and refused Apple’s claim that Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones and tablets had infringed its patent. "The defendant's products do not seem like they used the same technology as the plaintiff's products so we turn down the complaints made by [Apple]," Presiding Judge Tamotsu
2012-08-31 | Japan | Technology |

London Met and Paralympics 2012: a tale of hypocrisy in international policy

During the inspiring (and often moving) opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics, news began to filter through on Twitter that London Metropolitan University (LMU) had had its status as a Highly Trusted Sponsor for international student visas revoked by the UK Border Agency. Some might say it was a cynical attempt by government to bury bad news at a time of national celebration. Rumours had been rife that an announcement was due since the Sunday Times broke the story
2012-08-31 | United Kingdom | Education |

Burma's Rohingya Muslims: Aung San Suu Kyi's blind spot

Aung San Suu Kyi's continued silence on the plight of Burma's Rohingya Muslims is sparking concern that the Nobel Peace Prize winner is failing to live up to her stature as one of the world's most celebrated pro-democracy campaigners. Scores of people have been killed and tens of thousands have been made homeless during three months of inter-communal rioting between Buddhist and Muslim gangs in western Burma. Although there have been deaths on all sides, the Rohingya Muslims have been hit
2012-08-20 | Myanmar | News |

The most persecuted group in Asia

THIDAR HTWE's short life was not much older than Myanmar's democracy movement. After a quarter-century of struggle the movement has scented victory of a kind, taking seats in parliament just this year. But now the untimely death of Miss Thidar Htwe, a 26-year-old from Thapraychaung village, has ignited a tinderbox of ethnic tensions. Violence is flaring around the western state of Rakhine. The president, Thein Sein, warned in a televised address that it could hinder the nascent reforms. As one
2012-06-14 | Myanmar | News |

Notes From a Guantånamo Survivor

I LEFT Guantånamo Bay much as I had arrived almost five years earlier — shackled hand-to-waist, waist-to-ankles, and ankles to a bolt on the airplane floor. My ears and eyes were goggled, my head hooded, and even though I was the only detainee on the flight this time, I was drugged and guarded by at least 10 soldiers. This time though, my jumpsuit was American denim rather than Guantånamo orange. I later learned that my C-17 military flight from Guantånamo
2012-05-16 | United States | News |

OIC-Arab League to establish Al-Quds Support Committee

JEDDAH, 26 Rabi al-Thani/19 March (IINA)-The Joint Committee on the follow-up of the implementation of OIC-Arab League Cooperation Agreement concluded its Second Session at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah. The agenda of the meeting included various issues of common interest, notably the Syrian Crisis, the Palestinian Cause, and the files of the Sudan, Somalia, intercultural dialogue, and combating terrorism. The meeting recommended the establishment of a joint committee to visualize the action on the international level with view to the activation
2012-03-20 | Islam | News |

Two Days in Gaza

I have read several accounts over the last few days of how life in Southern Israel has become unbearable for the people living there. In retaliation for the latest provocation by Israel over 200 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel. 11 people were injured, one seriously. Most were suffering from "shock". Two were injured when they tripped on the way to secure areas. Minister of Strategic Affair and deputy premier Moshe Yaalon on Thursday said, "Anyone threatening us is risking
2012-03-20 | Palestine | News |