July 26th – International News Round-Up (Part III)

Right Wing/ Conspiracy Theorist

Stefan Molyneux on Info Wars

Stefan Molyneux and Alex Jones have a talk on what to do about the world. That’s actually the general topic of discussion. It’s actually pretty confusing what they stand for. Molyneux, I remember from a documentary about cults. From what I recall, Free Domain Radio was all for “unshackling” their kids from their parents. In this interview however, Stefan proudly says that he is in fact a father and that he is working with other members of the alternative media to create a better world for his child. It’s difficult to tell where these guys come down on various subjects. They conflate globalization, communism and socialism. There’s a very real fear of the left. I think you would have to be American to understand where they’re coming from here, and I don’t mean to agree with them, I just mean to understand them. Though, in many ways the idea of large scale narratives explaining certain phenomena that we see isn’t new to me. You see the same kind of fear when people talk about Love Jihad and the wiping out of Hindu’s in India. We don’t mind smaller narratives to explain why we scraped our knee or why we fell off the bike, but I think when it comes to explaining larger phenomenon, like why our daughter won’t pray or why half my son’s friends are brown, we might resort to bigger explanations.

United Kingdom

LSE Blog

It’s been such a roller coaster in the UK. From Brexit to the partial rejection of Theresa May. Article explores the political currents that have shaped the fact that conservative party in Scotland has been putting up a solid performance at the ballot box. The author think that this is a combination of the fact that the conservatives were able to market themselves as unionists but also as those who believed in the devolution of powers. While the idea of being Scottish might be different from the idea of being British, they funnily enough are both euro-sceptics.

Media

Ritholtz

Earthquakes are the most covered natural disasters. 33% of the media coverage that natural disasters get in the media are focused on earthquakes. Couple of reasons for this, I think. Earthquakes affect urban centers much worse than they affect rural areas. At least in terms of casualties. Putting aside the idea of it being a “disaster” only if it takes human life. Storms are 14%. I think the American east coast accounts for a huge portion of this. It is also the country that produces the most amount of media. Again, I could be dead wrong. I haven’t bothered to check if I’m right on this one. Let me know.

Mongolia

Mongolia Focus

Article on the state of Mongol-Turkish relations at the moment. Turkey has long considered Mongolia to be a neighbor to him they have deep ethnic linkages. The Turks are seen to have originated in the general region. The author doesn’t really talk about the state of relations as much as mention that Turkey could use a friend right now and that the friend is not coming from the west, which Turkey has pissed off enough this year alone.

AI

Daily Dot

China is using AI to predict and preempt crime. The system works by putting together various points of data that can span days or even weeks. It then creates a pattern out of this, along with the individual and predicts crime. The article also mentions that the United States is attempting to do this in Chicago. It would be very interesting to see how that turns out. How would you predict gang violence?

Cambodia

The Cambodia Daily

The CPP heavy constitutional council passed amendments to the constitution on Tuesday. This will pass on to the National Assembly and the Council of Ministers (who will both approve it) before it will have to be signed by the king. He of course, isn’t home. Funnily enough he left as soon as the opposition kicked up a fuss about the law. According to law, in the absence of the king, the acting head of state (The Senate President) can sign legislation into law.

France

SPERI

Article on the awful performance by the French Socialist party in the recent elections which saw the French public deliver the throne to one Emmanuel Macron.

China

South China Morning Post

The Honk-Kong and Mainland China railroad link throws up some interesting legal questions about whose jurisdiction various parts of the station and train belong to. For example, a baby born on the train counts as a citizen of mainland China and will not be granted residency in Honk Kong.

The high-speed rail link is set to be completed by 2018. It’s been delayed quite a few times, is projected to cost almost twice as much as it was supposed to and resulted in the demolition of 200 homes. That’s the price to pay for high speed connectivity, right?

United States

Breitbart News

Trump is making enemies out of some of his best friends. I’m not sure how this is sustainable. Almost every conservative worth his/her salt has stood behind Sessions. He is seen as a respectable figure who stood behind Trump from the very beginning. Immigration policy and immigration cities are seen as some of his biggest talking points in his job as AG. Does all this come down to the fact that Trump really wants to go behind Clinton? After all this time?

Jeff Sessions being sworn in (Image Source: Wiki Commons)
Jeff Sessions being sworn in (Image Source: Wiki Commons)

July 24th – International News Round-Up (Part IV)

United Kingdom

LSE Blog

The increasing polarization of Brexit politics led to an enormous political space in the center. As Labour moved further left and insisted that all immigration was good, the Conservatives moved further right and insisted on being British. The post discusses how neo-liberalism as a political and economic ideology has led to the peculiar character of British politics at the moment.

Jeremy Corbyn (Source: Wiki Commons - https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/10/Jeremy_Corbyn_Bahrain_1.png/1024px-Jeremy_Corbyn_Bahrain_1.png)
Jeremy Corbyn (Source: Wiki Commons)

Libya

Al Jazeera

More reports of executions of ISIS linked rebels. This one is from Libya. According to a video that has been circulated online (which I have not personally watched). General Khalifa Haftar and his soldiers are said to be seen carrying out executions. This adds to the wider trend of executions of ISIS fighters from Iraq to Syria and Libya, after being sentenced by kangaroo courts.

General Haftar and his forces are still in control of the eastern part of Libya, with the backing of the UAE and Egypt.

Cambodia

The Cambodia Daily

The King of Cambodia, Norodom Shiamoni has reportedly left the country.

“His departure follows a formal petition delivered by the CNRP on Thursday asking the king to avoid endorsing the changes, which could hold the party liable for any endorsement of or affiliation with its former, exiled president Sam Rainsy.”

This is the not the first time the Head of State has done this. He made a trip to China during another critical time as negotiations for constitutional laws were taking place. The ruling CPP claims that they have exerted no pressure on the King and that he is acting purely on his own volition.

Security

Small Wars Journal

Trump’s pick for Special Ops and low intensity conflict has floated a scenario in which a commercially available drone could be used to great effect and he says that the future where that would be a reality is just 5 years out.

Jordan

Trend via Reuters

Two Jordanians entered the Israel embassy at Amman under the pretext of being workers and opened fire, before they were shot. Jordan and Israel don’t get into it very often, but Israel and its metal detectors at one of Islam’s holiest sites in the Middle East is causing increasing tension with its otherwise quiet (if reluctantly) neighbors.

Lebanon

Long War Journal

Hezbollah claims to have made advances on the Lebanese border against Sunni jihadist forces.

“Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS), a coalition of different jihadist and rebel groups in Syria in which al Qaeda’s branch operates, has also claimed that its forces killed over 50 Hezbollah fighters and that several attacks were repelled. This number is likely exaggerated.”

Venezuela

Sputnik

President Maduro says that he will arrest all the Supreme Court judges that were appointed by the opposition led parliament. This is in response to what he sees as a new “parallel state” being formed.