Britain Replaces UN Ambassador, Following ICJ Defeat at the Hands of India

Washington: Britain on Monday appointed Karen Pierce as its new Ambassador to the UN, replacing incumbent Matthew Rycroft under whom it suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of India in the recent election to the International Court of Justice. Pierce is the first woman appointed to this role, and is uniquely suited for the position having previously served as Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in New York, and more recently as the Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, the UK Mission to the UN said in a statement. Britain’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations did not … Continue reading Britain Replaces UN Ambassador, Following ICJ Defeat at the Hands of India

With Local Polls, Cuba Starts Process to End Castro Era

President Raul Castro of Cuba voted alongside thousands of people in municipal elections that kick off the process to end his family’s hold on the island nation on Sunday. The Communist Party-supervised process comes a day after the first anniversary of Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s death. Though no opposition candidates were competing in Sunday’s elections for more than 12,500 council seats, voters could still choose among 30,000 candidates named by acclamation in neighborhood assemblies. The municipal vote, Cuba’s only direct election, is the beginning of a strictly controlled process to eventually choose leaders in higher government positions. Castro expected to … Continue reading With Local Polls, Cuba Starts Process to End Castro Era

Official Thanks Iran-Trained Afghan ‘Warriors’ for Syrian ‘Victory’

A top official in Afghanistan has come under fire for seeming to confirm for the first time that neighboring Iran has recruited thousands of Shi’ite Afghans and “warriors” from other regional countries to fight in Syria. Deputy Afghan Chief Executive Mohammad Mohaqiq made the controversial statement during a trip last week to Tehran. While addressing an international summit of scholars from Iran and other Muslim nations, the Afghan deputy chief executive praises Major General Qasem Soleimani, who commands foreign operations of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. The gathering was convened to discuss ways to fight “the dark ideology” of IS … Continue reading Official Thanks Iran-Trained Afghan ‘Warriors’ for Syrian ‘Victory’

China and South China Sea

The phase of this era has seen two powers emerging as the rivalries, namely US and China. Where on one hand after 1990s US has been able to dominate the world politics, on the other hand China with its communist party has been expanding beyond the space and time to emerge parallel or above the US. Both, since then have been trying to increase their share of power over the world. Both want to dominate world politics. Relying on increasing their defence sector’s budget and power in order to stand above the other. Many instances in the contemporary times have … Continue reading China and South China Sea

Nostalhia for Soviet Union grows in Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the breakup of the Soviet Union “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century. “Tens of millions of our fellow citizens and countrymen found themselves beyond the fringes of Russian territory,” Putin said in a 2005 speech. While not all Russians necessarily agree with Putin’s characterization, most do view the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 as “a bad thing,” according to a Pew Research Center survey of Russia and 17 other countries in Central and Eastern Europe conducted between 2015 and 2016. And this view is not limited to Russia. A more recent 2017 Pew Research … Continue reading Nostalhia for Soviet Union grows in Russia

Bleak Outlook for Indonesia’s Long-Persecuted Ahmadiyya

Many of Indonesia’s religious minorities celebrated last week when the government allowed citizens to list faiths outside the six state-sanctioned religions on their national ID cards. But the ruling changed little for Muslim Indonesians who identify with minority strains of Islam, like Ahmadiyya, and still face discrimination in the world’s largest Muslim country. The Ahmadiyya movement was founded in 19th century India and came to Indonesia in 1925. Today it counts about 400,000 adherents. Ahmadiyya has many distinctive teachings, including that Muhammad is not necessarily the last prophet of God, that Jesus was crucified and resurrected (which most Muslims reject), … Continue reading Bleak Outlook for Indonesia’s Long-Persecuted Ahmadiyya

Diplomatic Maneuvering Aims to Defuse Lebanon Crisis

France and Egypt are trying to shape a regional accommodation between Iran and Saudi Arabia in a bid to prevent Lebanon from being destabilized. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was to meet Tuesday with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo before heading back Wednesday to Beirut the first time he will have set foot in Lebanon since his abrupt resignation on November 4 while on a visit to Saudi Arabia. In a pre-recorded television announcement in Riyadh, Hariri cited Iran’s meddling in the region as the key reason for his resignation. Hariri is widely believed to have been compelled … Continue reading Diplomatic Maneuvering Aims to Defuse Lebanon Crisis

Myanmar treatment of Rohingya called apartheid in new report

Myanmar has subjected Rohingya Muslims to long-term discrimination and persecution that amounts to “dehumanizing apartheid,” Amnesty International said Tuesday in a report that raises questions about what those who have fled a violent military crackdown would face if they returned home. Since late August, more than 620,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar’s Rakhine state into neighboring Bangladesh, seeking safety from what the military described as “clearance operations.” The United Nations and others have said the military’s actions appeared to be a campaign of “ethnic cleansing,” using acts of violence and intimidation and burning down homes to force the Rohingya to leave … Continue reading Myanmar treatment of Rohingya called apartheid in new report

Israel Moves to Deport 40,000 African Migrants

The fate of 40,000 African migrants in Israel remains unclear after lawmakers approved a proposal to deport them. The Cabinet in Jerusalem voted unanimously Sunday to close the isolated Holot detention facility in the Negev Desert. Holot houses thousands of Africans who entered Israel illegally. The center is due to shut down in three months, and residents will face the option of leaving the country or going to prison. Impoverished Africans, mostly from war-torn Eritrea and Sudan, swarmed across Israel’s southern border with Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula from around 2006 until 2013, when the completion of a massive border fence cut … Continue reading Israel Moves to Deport 40,000 African Migrants

German government talks collapse; Merkel seeks to reassure

German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged early Monday to maintain stability after the Free Democratic Party pulled out of talks on forming a new government with her conservative bloc and the left-leaning Greens, raising the possibility of new elections. Merkel told reporters that the parties had been close to reaching a consensus on how to proceed with formal coalition talks but that the Free Democrats decided abruptly to pull out just before midnight Sunday a move she said she respected, but found “regrettable.” She said she would consult with Germany’s president later in the day to brief him on the negotiations … Continue reading German government talks collapse; Merkel seeks to reassure