Ed: 42: May/2017
Elections to determine the leadership of a major South East Asian city have not traditionally attracted much international attention. But Jakarta's gubernatorial race of 2017 was always going to be an exception, touching upon deep national undercurrents of religious and ethnic identity and interests of established political elites.
Although the entry of high-profile hardliners could make the race more interesting, the current President remains the favourite in Iran's May 19 election, which could also help determine the next Supreme Leader.
The exit polls clearly indicating that Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen were through to the second round of the French presidential election were barely in before the main right-wing party's candidate, third-place Francois Fillon, as well as fifth-placed Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon, conceded. Within the hour, Fillon and Hamon urged their supporters to vote on May 7 for centrist Macron, and more importantly, against the ultra-nationalist Le Pen.
Jewish leaders inside and outside France expressed alarm after far-right populist Marine Le Pen's strong showing in the first round of the French presidential election on April 23.
The AIR doesn't often quote the UK's Guardian newspaper positively, given that paper's dyed-in-the-wool anti-Israel editorial stances and slant to its reporting. However, the Guardian deserves full credit for an April 5 editorial exposing an ugly formulation which has become increasing common on the anti-Israel left.
The publication of a novel which, in effect, advocated this lie as truth, written by a person purporting to be of Ukrainian descent claiming to be an authentic, neglected voice, brought debate on this malevolent ahistoricity to the mainstream media.
Eventually, the author, Helen "Demidenko" (real surname Darville, later changed to Dale) was exposed as a fabricator and as having used other people's creative work without attribution.
The Trump Administration is currently reviewing the North Korean nuclear situation, with the aim of generating a fresh approach to stop this determined proliferator. On his trip in mid March to Asia (Japan, South Korea and China), US Secretary of State Tillerson noted that twenty years of diplomatic efforts to dismantle North Korea's nuclear capability have failed...
Speaking from the depths of the 1,150-room palace he inhabits, Recep Tayyip Erdogan soothed a Turkish TV interviewer that he had no intentions of becoming an Ottoman-style sultan. "I want to be like Queen Elizabeth," he said.
That was in 2015. Now, following a referendum fraught with national, religious, regional, and global implications, his wish has been more than fulfilled - providing the Queen Elizabeth he was referring to was the 16th century Tudor monarch Elizabeth I...
At least 1,187 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons began an open-ended hunger strike on Monday, April 17. At the same time, thousands of Palestinians took to the streets in demonstrations proclaiming solidarity with the strikers, sparking clashes with Israeli security forces in some places.
The strike is a political step, carefully planned and organised by Marwan Barghouti, the Fatah leader who is determined to demonstrate to all concerned his mastery, both in skill and stature, of Palestinian politics.
On April 22, in the context of the Australian state visit by US Vice President Mike Pence, North Korea ominously and outrageously threatened to target Australia with a nuclear strike should it follow the US lead in isolating Pyongyang.
This event should draw attention to the need for Australia to consider investing in ballistic missile defence - as Israel has done with the recent deployment of the David's Sling system, the final component of its three-layer missile shield.
The threat should also recall some lessons from the Korean precedent as the Trump Administration struggles to orchestrate its policies regarding the Iran nuclear deal.