Author: Friends of The Fifth Column

Iran, Turkey Determined to Boost Ties: Envoy

Iranian Ambassador to Turkey Mohammad Ibrahim Taherian underlined the resolve of Tehran and Ankara to broaden and deepen their bilateral ties.

During a recent meeting in the Turkish capital with Head of Turkey’s Ana Vatan Party Ibrahim Celebi, the Iranian envoy said the two countries share numerous commonalities and are on the path toward congruent views on some regional developments.

He stressed that Tehran and Ankara should take on greater responsibilities to resolve ongoing crises in the region.

Kazakhstan: Beer Baron’s Downfall Spells Trouble for Activist Trial

A military court in Kazakhstan has sentenced a brewery tycoon to 21 years on coup-plotting charges, bringing a close to an opaque two-month-long trial that shed little light on exactly what happened.

The fear now is that Tohtar Tuleshov’s conviction could have grave repercussions for small-time civil activists charged on related offenses.

The Astana Military Court on November 7 determined that Tuleshov had sought to provoke turmoil by financing a wave of anti-government protests, as well as financing a transnational criminal group.

Now Might Be a Great Time to Work on Reining in the Executive

According to the polls, the overarching driving force behind Trump’s win was anger toward “elites.” Donald Trump’s election is a tremendous challenge for freedom. But like most challenges, it’s also an opportunity. We may have never had this much bipartisan, cross-ideological, popular support for wresting power away from government.

As Jeffrey Tucker put it, “Everyone underestimated the vulnerability of the status quo.” The existing power structures are weak. It’s time to hit them with everything we’ve got.

In case you need a refresher on how powerful our government has become, Donald Trump now commands:

TURKEY ARRESTS UN JUDGE, VIOLATES DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY

A Turkish judge who formerly served on international criminal proceedings concerning Yugoslavia and Rwanda has been arrested.

The judge is accused of being involved in some way with the coup attempt this past July. The UN court president Theodor Meron told the UN general assembly today that the Turkish government has denied several requests to visit the incarcerated judge.

As a judge for the UN, Aydin Sedaf Akay would be entitled to diplomatic immunity and some are saying this is possibly the first time this privilege of UN judges has ever been violated.

Iconic ‘Afghan Girl’ to Get Free Medical Treatment in India

The famous Afghan Girl is now a proxy for the regional contest between India and Pakistan. India to offer her free medical treatment after Pakistan deports her to Afghanistan for illegal stay

India has offered free medical treatment to the famous ‘Afghan Girl’ Sharbat Gula whose piercing blue eyes as a young pubescent captivated the world in 1985. Now a grown up woman with poverty and destitution having dulled her sharp features, she was in the news after Pakistan deported her to Afghanistan from Pakistan for illegally stay.

Sharbat Gula may arrive in India in the next few days to receive free treatment offered by a hospital in Bengaluru.

Japan, S. Korea Ink Controversial Intelligence Deal

South Korea and Japan reached a controversial deal Monday to share defense intelligence, Japanese officials said, despite protests from opposition parties and activists in Seoul.

Japan controlled the Korean peninsula as a colony from 1910-1945, with the legacy of the harsh rule marring relations with both North and South Korea today.

South Korea and Japan were on the verge of signing a deal in June 2012, but Seoul suddenly backtracked, with Japanese media blaming anti-Japanese sentiment among the South Korean public for the move.

Africa presents united front and calls for action at COP22

The 22nd Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) kick-started Monday, 7 November in Marrakesh (Morocco).

A collaborative partnership between the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Commission (AUC), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) established the Africa Pavilion in the blue zone of the COP22 village, dedicated to engagement, networking and dialogue. The Pavilion also aims to provide a platform for the voices of the continent to be heard.

The Pavilion embodies the united front of an Africa “speaking with one voice” in articulating its interests given the high stakes of climate change negotiations