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 and Writings Round-Up (Part I)

Iraq

Musing on Iraq

Ayatollah Ali Sistani called on Iraqis and the Iraqi forces in specific to not engage in the handing out of the extra-judicial punishment to captured IS forces in the recently captured city of Mosul. There have also been reports of confrontation between the various armed forces/militia that helped in the military assault on IS controlled Mosul. Bodies continue to be moved as an eerie calm descends on the city.

Iraqi News

2 policemen were killed in a bomb blast took place at the entrance of Fallujah City in the Anbar Province in Iraq. Iraqi defense forces have restored some calm since retaking the cities in the Anbar province from the Islamic State.

Ukraine

Kyivpost

Anzhelina Diash, a Femen activist who bared her breasts, which had “Long Live Belarus” scrawled on, in black. Her protest took place at the meeting of the Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The specific action that could lead to her facing time in prison is the fact that she resisted arrest when a law-enforcement official attempted to remove her from the premises.

Femen Activists
Femen Activists (Image Source: Wiki Commons)

France

Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron has been having a rough time. His approval ratings dropped a full 10 percentage points, though he still enjoys 54% approval in France. The drop-off in popularity comes after spats with his Prime Minister and with the former Chief of the Armed Forces.

Venezuela

Reuters

Venezuela’s opposition coalition controlled parliamentarians called for a 2-day strike against the government of Nicolas Maduro. Violence continues to grip the country. Wuilly Arteaga, a violinist, who is famous for adding a musical flavor to the protest has been injured in the newest wave of protests. Maduro does not seem to be backing down, despite increasing national and international pressure. He also reportedly took to state TV to sing along to John Lennon’s Imagine, in a confusing display of symbology.

Syria

Iraqi News

Russian cluster bombs have killed 25 people in the besieged city of Raqqa. Reports suggest that they were probably civilians.

United States

Marginal Revolution

President Trump might not have the power to grant pardons to anybody he wants to. According to Marginal Revolution, the President can only grant pardons for federal crimes, and not crimes that came under the jurisdiction of specific states.

“President’s authority to grant clemency is limited to federal offenses and offenses prosecuted by the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia in the name of the United States in the D.C. Superior Court.  An offense that violates a state law is not an offense against the United States.  A person who wishes to seek a pardon or a commutation of sentence for a state offense should contact the authorities of the state in which the conviction occurred.  Such state authorities are typically the Governor or a state board of pardons and/or paroles, if the state government has created such a board.”