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Global Watch
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Given that she had ruled out a snap election on several occasions, British Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement on Tuesday caught most people by surprise.
 
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US Vice President Mike Pence recently sent North Korea a clear warning not to test the resolve of the Trump administration, nor the strength of the US armed forces with regard to its pursuit of a nuclear weapons program. Pence also said, "The era of strategic patience is over." Without question, those are the toughest remarks any top US official has ever said to North Korea in well over a few decades.
 
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The path is now clear for Turkey to be transformed from a parliamentary democracy to a presidential republic, after a referendum on constitutional reforms proposed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (or AKP) gave the nod for handing sweeping powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 
 
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The “yes” vote won by a sliver in Turkey’s referendum on constitutional amendments that give sweeping powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. If this referendum is acted upon it will be bigger than Brexit, as it will amount to a dramatic reboot of the Turkish republic itself. Erdogan, who used to head the centre-right AKP, has been in power since 2002, and was elected president in 2014. He now wants to cement his position further.
 
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North Korea fired an unknown type of missile on Sunday morning, which according to US and South Korean media, exploded within seconds of launch.   
 
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As Sri Lankan’s enjoyed the festive season last week, from policy makers to media personalities voicing thoughts of optimism, about reconciling, peace, communal harmony the week saw a major shakeup in the global security situation. The aftermath of Trump’s tomahawk strikes on Syria shook the already fragile global security kaleidoscope, leaving pieces in a flux.
 
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If there is one defining principle that guides the Donald Trump presidency, it is showmanship. The keenness to project the American president as a doer, and not a fence-sitter, unlike the previous president, was writ large in the Trump administration's dispatch of 59 Tomahawk missiles to Syria soon after reports of the chemical attack in Idlib. The action was supposed to demonstrate that the president does feel for innocent Muslims in Syria, that he does not shy away from using force where needed and that he does not let his admiration for the Russian president come in the way of his fulfilment of responsibilities. Other than promoting this personal agenda, the lightning response from the United States of America does not appear to have done much for Syria. While the president's close circle has immediately resorted to using the missile strike as proof that he is no stooge of Russia, the situation in Syria has become more complicated. Part of this complication stems from the US's failure to clearly lay down its position. Trump administration officials have started talking in such myriad voices over a host of subjects that it is almost impossible to guess what the US policy on Syria is going to be. The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has indicated that her government will gun for regime change, while the US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, thinks that going after the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham still tops the government's agenda in the region.
 
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The US on Thursday dropped the "Mother of All Bombs" - the most powerful nonnuclear bomb used by the US so far - on an Islamic State cave complex in Afghanistan.
 
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Donald Trump’s presidency is presenting the world with countless problems. The problem with Trump begins with his unfathomable vulgarity.
 
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There is little doubt that the first direct US military strike on a Syria airbase — in response to a suspected chemical attack — has unleashed a fury of mixed emotions through the tinderbox that otherwise goes by the name of the Middle East. But even beyond this volatile region feelings of robust support and fierce condemnation are running high. 
 


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spotlight image India’s Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari visited Armenia recently to celebrate 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
 
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Pakistan said on July 27 that India's stipulation for granting visa to Pakistani nationals were "highly regrettable" and was against diplomatic norms.
 
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In dispatching its  PLA (Peoples Liberation Army)  marines to Djibuti in the Horn of Africa on Wednesday (July 12 ) by amphibious ships, from the southern port of Zhanjiang, China has taken a significant step in enhancing its  trans-border military footprint.
 
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In the last few weeks , spokesman of Government of China have been issuing several statements and  making observations against India that sound like war cry. 1962 war between India and China was mentioned , as a reminder to India of the happenings then, which virtually amount to a warning that events of 1962  could be repeate
 
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Images of Kashmiri separatists walking the corridors of the Prime Minister’s office during Atal Behari Vajpayee’s tenure have been replaced with visuals of Hurriyat Conference leaders being arrested and taken into custody by a central agency.
 
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As Aadhaar becomes the norm in India, and gets skewered for the involuntary nature of its imposition, our northern neighbours, as is their wont, want to do a number that will make this appear benign.
 
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On July 18, the global media carried stories of how Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Naif was ousted from his position and replaced by his cousin, deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.
 
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The alliance that defeated the militant Islamic State group in Mosul was unusual. Fighting alongside the Iraqi army were not only US forces but also Iran-backed militias.
 
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S.T. Lee Distinguished Lecture of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore on "India, ASEAN and Changing Geopolitics”
 
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Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
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This is the continuing amazing spiritual journey of a Muslim man from Kerala who plunged into Vedic religion after a chance encounter with a Hindu mystic under a jackfruit tree in the backyard of his house when he was just nine. It is a story w...

 
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History is told by the victors but in our modern age, even contemporary events get - or are given - a slant, where some contributors soon get eclipsed from the narrative or their images tarnished.

 
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Humans have long had a fear of malignant supernatural beings but there may be times when even the latter cannot compare with the sheer evil and destructiveness mortals may be capable of. But then seeking to enable the end of the world due to it...

 
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Title: Reporting Pakistan; Author: Meena Menon; Publisher: Viking/Penguin Random House; Pages: 340; Price: Rs 599

 
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