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Taiwan’s ‘new normal’ of volatility and deterrence

Asiatimes | 06 Feb 2023

Volatility is perhaps the best word to describe Taiwan’s 2022. Though initial economic forecasts expected Taiwan to continue its strong growth from 2021, Taiwan’s actual annual GDP growth rate — 2.43% — was nearly half of 2022’s projected 4.42%. Actual growth in the fourth quarter contracted 0.86%, a rare 5% departure from the original forecast of...

photo: Creative Commons / Gage Skidmore

Tucker Carlson, Joe Biden and whale beachings

Hawaii Tribune-Herald | 06 Feb 2023

We aren’t whaleologists — actually, the term is cetologist; we...

photo: AP / Evan Vucci

Chinese spy balloons under Trump not discovered until after Biden took office

Democratic Underground | 06 Feb 2023

The transiting of three suspected Chinese spy balloons over the continental US during the Trump administration was only discovered after President Joe Biden took office, a senior administration official told CNN...

photo: AP / Nasser Shiyoukhi

Israeli troops kill 5 Palestinian gunmen in a raid in the West Bank, officials say

The Los Angeles Times | 06 Feb 2023

AQABAT JABR, West BankIsraeli forces killed five Palestinian gunmen in a raid on a West Bank refugee camp Monday, Israeli security officials said, in a response to a botched attack on Israelis that was likely to exacerbate tensions in the region. The Palestinian Health Ministry did not immediately confirm the deaths, saying only that...

photo: AP / Jacquelyn Martin

French parliament to debate Macron’s pension reform bill

The Associated Press | 06 Feb 2023

WASHINGTON (AP) — A majority of Democrats now think one term is plenty for President Joe Biden, despite his insistence that he plans to seek reelection in 2024. That's according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research that shows just 37% of Democrats say they want him to seek a second term, down from 52% in...

photo: Creative Commons / Ronald Woan
photo: AP / Dmitri Lovetsky

Putin promised he wouldn't kill Zelensky, Israeli mediator claims: Kyiv dismisses Vladimir's 'vow' and warns ...

The Daily Mail | 06 Feb 2023

Israel's former prime minister who served briefly as a mediator at the start of Russia's war with Ukraine has claimed Vladimir Putin promised he would not kill his Ukrainian counterpart. Naftali Bennett emerged as an unlikely intermediary in the first weeks of the conflict, becoming one of the few leaders allied to the West to meet the Russian...

photo: WN / Imran Nissar

Iran singer who faces prison wins Grammy for protest anthem

Delta Democrat-Times | 06 Feb 2023

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An Iranian singer who faces possible prison time for his song that's become an anthem to the ongoing protests shaking the Islamic Republic wept early Monday after seeing he'd won a Grammy. Shervin Hajipour appeared stunned after hearing Jill Biden, the wife of President Joe Biden, announce he'd won the Grammy's...

photo: AP / Kiyoshi Ota/Pool Photo via AP, File

Japan's new security policy: normalizing or remilitarizing?

Korea Times | 06 Feb 2023

By Kim Won-soo The Japanese government has announced a new security policy aimed at acquiring counter-strike capabilities and doubling its defense expenditure over the next five years. This is a significant departure from Japan's long-held policy of limiting its security posture strictly to self-defense. It is also the second step taken by the...

photo: White House / Adam Schultz

Possible nuclear armament for South Korea

Korea Times | 06 Feb 2023

By Park Jung-won President Yoon Suk Yeol said recently that if North Korea's nuclear threats continued to worsen, South Korea would need to consider redeploying U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea and possibly establish its own nuclear armament. He pointed out that South Korea has the scientific and technological capability to develop such...

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Biden’s State of the Union to tout policy wins on economy

Wtop | 06 Feb 2023

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will use his second State of the Union address on Tuesday to remind Americans of how their lives have been improved over his first two years in office, as he tries to confront pessimism in the country and navigate the tricky politics of a newly divided Washington. Rather than laying out major new policy...

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US officials offer Congress briefing on Trump, Biden papers

Wtop | 06 Feb 2023

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials have offered to brief congressional leaders on their investigation into the classified documents found at former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence as well as President Joe Biden’s Delaware home and former private office, people familiar with the matter said Sunday. A briefing could come as soon...

photo: AP / Mahmut Bozarsan

Powerful quake kills at least 560 people in Turkey, Syria

Moosejaw Today | 06 Feb 2023

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit southern Turkey and northern Syria early Monday, toppling buildings and killing at least 568 people. With hundreds injured, the toll was expected to rise as rescue workers searched the rubble in cities and towns across the area. On both sides of the border, residents jolted out of sleep...

photo: US DoD / Chad J. McNeeley

Ukraine to Replace Defence Minister After Corruption Scandals

Moscow Times | 06 Feb 2023

Ukraine's Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov will be replaced by the chief of the military intelligence ahead of an expected Russian offensive and following corruption scandals, a senior lawmaker said Sunday. "We are preparing decisions and negotiations that should strengthen our soldiers, give Ukraine more international support and more weapons,"...

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For Biden, a chance for a fresh start in a new era of divided government

The Buffalo News | 06 Feb 2023

By Peter Baker NEW YORK TIMES WASHINGTON – President Biden probably will not put it quite this way when he gets up before Congress to address the nation this week, but the state of America's union is disunion. To see that, he will need only turn around to find a Republican House speaker seated behind him, determined to block his every move. So...

photo: WN / Jamal Penjweny

Top Bush Lawyer Admits Guantánamo Military Commissions ‘Doomed From the Start’

Antiwar | 06 Feb 2023

> Ted Olson – the former US solicitor-general in the George W. Bush administration who argued against basic legal rights for Guantánamo Bay prisoners and defended their indefinite detention and torture – made a stunning admission Thursday: The Gitmo military commissions don't work and should be shut down, and the government should...

photo: AP / Andrii Marienko

Zelenskyy: Situation Getting Tougher in Eastern Ukraine

Beijing News | 05 Feb 2023

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Saturday the situation is getting tougher in Eastern Ukraine, with a fresh wave of Russian shelling in Chernihiv, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk and Mykolaiv regions. In his nightly video address, the Ukrainian leader said Russia was "throwing more and more of its forces at...

photo: AP / Firdia Lisnawati

Turkey’s two-faced ‘sultan’ is no friend of the west. It’s time to play hardball

The Observer | 05 Feb 2023

That Turkey is a “vital strategic ally” of the west is the sort of truism on which people such as Joe Biden and Jens Stoltenberg, Nato’s secretary general, are raised. Yet what if the old saw no longer holds true? What if Turkey’s leader, exploiting this notion, betrays western interests in a pretence of partnership? Should not that leader be...