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Japan braces for unpredictable poll

TIT FOUR presidential candidates of the Liberal Democratic Party in Japan (LDP) come from different corners of the big party tent. Takaichi Sanae (photo, left) is a nationalist who wants to become the first female prime minister, but opposes married couples keeping separate surnames. Kono Taro (photo, bottom) is the American offspring of a political family; it supports same-sex marriage and renewable energies. Kishida Fumio is originally from Hiroshima and aspires to a new form of capitalism. Noda Seiko is the mother of a disabled son. She promised to be a champion of the vulnerable.

It’s an unusually eclectic cast for the staid old party. It’s also an unusually unpredictable contest: in the face of a revolt by younger members, most of the party’s faction leaders have pledged to allow their members to vote as they see fit. The outcome will remain unknown until the votes are counted on September 29, unlike last year’s election where faction leaders previously closed ranks and gathered support for Suga Yoshihide, the current party leader and Prime Minister.

Yet the thrilling leadership contest – by the standards of Japanese politics – is also a distraction from a deeper malaise in the country’s democracy. Japan has avoided the populism and paralysis that has beset many Westerners. But its stability is not the result of broad support for the status quo. “Our democracy is facing a crisis, because people’s confidence in politics is shattered,” said former foreign minister Kishida, entering the LDP race.

Apathy has become rampant. Voter turnout has fallen (see graph). The Pew Research Center, a pollster, found in 2018 that 62% of Japanese people think elections don’t make a difference. At the start of this year, more voters did not support any party (41%) than the LDP (38%) or the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP), main opposition party (7%). The fundamental weakness of the opposition means that, as Sone Yasunori of Keio University in Tokyo puts it, “the LDP the presidential election is the real game, not the general election, ”which comes and goes sometime in November.

The LDP has dominated Japanese politics since its founding in 1955. It has ruled uninterruptedly for decades, leading scholars to call Japan an “unusual democracy.” The reality was more complicated than a one-party state: fractional groups functioned as parties within the LDP. And for years the Japanese left was powerful enough to control the government.

In 1993, a group of LDP the deserters helped form a coalition that toppled the party for the first time; they reformed the electoral system to facilitate greater competition between parties. The coalition quickly collapsed, but in the years that followed a new party, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), became a competitive center-left force, eventually overthrowing the LDP in 2009. It seemed to herald the emergence of a two-party system with more policy debate.

Yet the DPJ faltered in power, alienating voters, infuriating bureaucrats and upsetting Japan’s main ally, America. He was unlucky to be in power when an earthquake hit northeastern Japan in 2011, triggering a deadly tsunami and nuclear fusion in Fukushima. His unstable handling of the crisis made voters suspicious of the change of hands.

After losing against the LDP in 2012, the DPJ fracture. With its coalition partner, Komeito, the LDP won the last six national elections and established firm control over both houses of the Japanese Diet. The remains of DPJ merged into the CDP in 2017, but the new party proved incapable of mounting a serious challenge. It currently holds 113 seats in the lower house at the LDPis 275.

The LDPThe clenched management of the pandemic seemed to open a window, however small, for more serious political competition. Japanese voters are used to running in droves when their frustration overflows. They have done so on several occasions in local competitions this year, most recently in August when they elected an opposition candidate for mayor of Yokohama rather than one backed by Mr Suga. During the summer, some LDP members feared going from their current qualified majority to having to broaden their coalition to stay in power. “It’s scary,” one admitted.

When the unpopular Mr. Suga resigned last month, the LDP hoped this would help appease the public who, despite their frustration, remain wary of radical change. It seems to be working. The opposition parties, which hoped to make some headway before his resignation, are now clamoring to be noticed in the media. Support for LDP has increased by nearly 10% in some polls since resigning; the Tokyo stock market rose in anticipation of a new leader.

Mr Kono, a former foreign and defense minister who now serves as the government’s vaccine czar, seems to represent the best prospect for a significant change in style, if not substance. It is at the top of the polls among the general public. He built a reputation as a maverick ready to challenge the LDP‘s entrenched lanes. Younger party members tend to support him.

Yet even Mr. Kono was forced to face the realities of LDP Politics. At a press conference announcing his candidacy, he softened his opposition to nuclear power and downplayed his openness to allowing heiresses into the imperial family, two issues that had been symbols of his free thought. Elders of the party remain wary of him, however, and would prefer the more flexible Mr. Kishida.

Mr Kono’s best chance lies in securing an absolute majority in the first round of the LDP elections, where parliamentarians and the party base have the same weight. If he does not, he will have to win in a second round where the votes of the members of the Diet will have much more weight. There, the outcome will likely depend on power struggles and internal party rivalries. Mr. Kishida, probably second, could still win. (Ms. Takaichi is seen as having an outward chance to move forward; Ms. Noda has virtually none.)

The first task of the future winner will be to lead the party in the elections to the lower house. While the LDP may lose a few seats, the losses will likely be fewer than expected in the party with Mr Suga at the helm. But unless the LDPThe next leader may connect with the audience, he or she may not outlast Mr. Suga. Voters will have the chance to deliver another verdict in the upper house election looming next summer.

This article appeared in the Asia section of the paper edition under the title “Tourner en rond”

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The ban on spitting the hood passes the upper chamber of the SA | Manning River Hours

news, national

Legislation banning the use of balaclavas in South Australia was passed by the state’s upper house, five years after a man died in an altercation with prison guards. Wayne “Fella” Morrison died in 2016 after being tied up in handcuffs, ankle cuffs and a spat out hood and placed face down in a van in Yatala Prison, north Adelaide. An investigation into his death revealed that he was in custody for assault and was shown in court via video link when he was involved in a fight with officers. The 29-year-old was transported to the prison van, but he was blue and unresponsive when he was taken out a few minutes later. Despite attempts at resuscitation, he did not regain consciousness and died in hospital a few days later. Mr Morrison’s family have called for a royal commission on his death, but have also campaigned for a permanent ban on the use of balaclavas. Legislation to impose such a ban was introduced in state parliament by SA-BEST MP Connie Bonaros and was passed unanimously by the upper house on Wednesday evening. It must now pass the lower house to become law, but it should be a formality with the support of the Liberal government and the Labor opposition. After the vote, Mr Morrison’s mother Caroline Anderson said the family’s hard work had finally paid off. “At least I know no one else is going to suffer from wearing this inhuman torture device like Wayne did,” she said. “I hope from here that other states and territories will understand this with us and collectively implement our calls for a national ban.” The last time I heard Wayne’s voice, it was a week before his image became synonymous with these barbaric devices. “I welcome this step towards accountability.” Ms Bonaros said the ban was long overdue. “There is absolutely no place in our society for the use of balaclavas in any environment, whether in prison, in a police cell, in a mental health facility or in a hospital,” she declared. “Their use is barbaric and draconian and has resulted in the deaths of people all over the world, including Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. Anti-spitting hoods have been used in custody situations to prevent people from being bitten or spat on. But they have also been criticized for violating guiding human rights principles with opponents describing them as primitive, cruel and degrading. The investigation into Mr. Morrison’s death is expected to resume for final submissions next week. Australian Associated Press


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Speaker of the upper house seeks to promote Russia’s positions at PACE, European conference – Russian Politics & Diplomacy

MOSCOW, September 22. / TASS /. Senators hope to advance Russian positions on the world stage after the session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and the European Conference of Speakers of Parliament, Federation Council President Valentina said on Wednesday Matviyenko.

“We will continue our work in the area of ​​parliamentary diplomacy in the fall session. The ultimate goal remains unchanged, to promote and defend our national interests, the rule of international law, fairness and mutual respect in international affairs. The last part of the session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe awaits us, as well as the European Conference of Speakers of Parliament. We hope that their results will contribute to the advancement of our positions, ”said the President of the Federation Council, opening the upper house of Parliament autumn session.

She also informed about the main upcoming forums organized by the Federation Council. “Our country and other nations are eagerly awaiting the start of the Third Eurasian Women’s Forum scheduled for mid-October in St. Petersburg. This is without any exaggeration a global event, given the coverage of the participants and the scale of the The main topic of the forum, namely the mission of women in the new reality, is more relevant than ever, ”said Matviyenko.

She pointed out that the organizing committee continues to receive applications from participants from all over the world. “The interest in the event is huge. I am sure that we will not only repeat the success of previous forums, but also ensure greater quality in organization and content,” added the speaker from the chamber. high.

Matviyenko stressed that the experience of the Third Eurasian Women’s Forum and other Federation Council events would be taken into account during the preparation of the World Conference on Intercultural and Interfaith Dialogue to be held in St. Petersburg in May. next year.

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Partition 100 years later: the luck of Ulster trade unionists

The IRISH nationalists were in a strong position at the end of 1910. The Irish parliamentary party held the balance of power in Westminster and agreed to support the Liberal Party in government as long as a new Self-Government Bill Ireland was presented.

Also supporting the removal of the House of Lords’ permanent veto, which meant the upper house could only block House of Commons bills for a maximum of two years, the party emerged on the verge of securing Home Rule for the whole island. from Ireland.

Fifteen years later that had all changed with the Irish part assigned to history, Ireland divided and the new contested jurisdiction of Northern Ireland feeling more secure in itself reaching a degree of permanence with the decision to put aside the report of the Boundaries Commission and keep the border as it was when it was created in 1921.

While the Ulster Unionists, under the leadership of Edward Carson and James Craig, were decisive in resisting Home Rule and largely effective in uniting all elements of Protestant society in the six counties that would make up Ireland of the North, unlike Irish nationalism, luck was another factor. .

Ulster trade unionists have been extraordinarily fortunate from the crisis of the third autonomy until the decision of the Borders Commission of 1925.

The balance of power in British politics shifted completely from Irish nationalism to Ulster unionism around this time.

The Liberal Party was a much more lukewarm ally for the Irish Party than the Conservative Party was for the Ulster trade unionists. Liberal Party leader and British Prime Minister Herbert Asquith was, as Ronan Fanning has described it, “an unwitting ally, a resentful partner in a loveless marriage” with John Redmond’s Irish Party.

On the other hand, Conservative Party leader Andrew Bonar Law, whose father was born in Coleraine, was considered an “Orange fanatic” who said that if Home Rule was imposed on Ulster, he could “not” imagine no length of resistance ”. to “where I shouldn’t be ready to support them”.

Ulster trade unionists were allowed to commit acts of treason and to arm themselves unpunished with the explicit support of the Conservative Party and the implicit assent of the Liberal government.

A year after the start of World War I, in 1915, a wartime coalition was formed, made up of liberals and conservatives. Carson and Redmond were offered ministerial positions, but Redmond declined.

From then until the early 1920s, when Ireland’s constitutional status was reshuffled, the UK government’s policy on Ireland was decided by a coalition government, with strong Unionist representation.

This strong unionist composition resulted in virtually all political decisions in favor of Ulster trade unionists. They were excluded from a Dublin parliament. The “sacrifice” of accepting decentralized government has proven to be far more beneficial to trade unionists in Ulster than to stay only in Westminster.

A decentralized government for Ulster had not been on the radar in Ireland before World War I. James Craig’s brother MP Charles said: “We have a lot of enemies in this country, and we believe that an Ulster without Parliament would not be in as strong a position as one in which a Parliament has been put in. place, where the Executive had been appointed and where, above all, the paraphernalia of the Government already existed … We should not fear anyone and … would then be in a position of absolute security “.

The more manageable area of ​​six counties to make up Northern Ireland was accepted in place of the nine Ulster counties proposed by Walter Long’s committee tasked with finding a solution to the Irish question.

Ulster trade unionists were fortunate enough to have James Craig serve as Long’s parliamentary and financial secretary in the Admiralty as the Irish government bill made its way through parliament for much of 1920 to resolve the issue. Ulster question and not the Irish question as a whole.

Ulster trade unionists were even authorized by the British government, their own reserve police force, the Ulster Special Constabulary, and an official, Ernest Clark, to create the administrative structures of Northern Ireland, before the Government of Ireland Act does not become law.

Once Northern Ireland was established, the Unionist government of Ulster was allowed to rule as it saw fit, unhindered by the British who funded the burgeoning security apparatus of the north. The government was allowed to restrict minority rights for Catholics, introduce draconian laws and ignore illegal killings by security forces.

Under severe pressure from the IRA in the first half of 1922, the northern government was fortunate that the start of the civil war in the south intervened to help secure the northern borders.

While the threat of a Boundary Commission under Article 12 of the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 appeared to endanger significant parts of Northern Ireland, the delay in its convocation caused by the Irish Civil War , the changes of government in Great Britain and the disrespect by the government of Northern Ireland, favored the trade unionists of Ulster.

Although the Northern government refused to nominate a member of the Boundaries Commission, the person chosen by the British – former editor of the unionist-leaning newspaper The Northern Whig, Joseph R. Fisher – could not have been nicer to the unionists in Ulster.

Fisher has been accused of widely disclosing Boundary Commission procedures to Ulster trade unionists. Commission President Justice Richard Feetham, chosen by the British, favored trade unionists in all of his main interpretations of Article 12 of the Treaty.

He ruled out the holding of a plebiscite, the transfer of large units of land such as entire counties or poor law unions, and gave precedence to economic and geographic factors over the wishes of the inhabitants.

When the Boundaries Commission report was put aside and the governments of Northern Ireland, the Irish Free State and Britain agreed to keep the border as it was – and as it was. ‘she is still today – the Ulster exam remarked: “The signing of the border agreement clears the political slate for us in Ulster … We are like a garrison so surprised to find a prolonged siege suddenly lifted and the enemy quietly withdrawn, that we cannot believe in our good luck.

Even one of Ulster unionism’s main arguments for demanding special treatment from the rest of Ireland, the economic miracle of Belfast, saw a sharp decline after the partition of Ireland, its shipbuilding industries and flax which subsequently declined significantly.

The next century saw Northern Ireland almost completely dependent on the British Treasury for its survival.

While the Ulster trade unionists were united and decisive in the partition of Ireland, they were aided by British governments who never acted as neutral intermediaries as they often proclaimed, and were faced with nationalists divided among themselves; extraordinary levels of luck also played a huge role in bringing about changes considered unimaginable in 1910.

Cormac Moore is the author of Birth of the Border: The Impact of Partition in Ireland (Merrion Press, 2019).

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Shirley Kille obituary (1932 – 2021) – Upper Darby, Pennsylvania

Shirley A. Kille (née Finch), 89, of Stone Harbor, New Jersey returned to God peacefully on September 15, 2021. Born in Philadelphia, PA, she was the only child of her devoted mother, Sylvia (Cleary Finch Hearl) and his remarkable stepfather, Russell Hearl, both previously deceased. Shirley was full of funny stories of growing up in the care of her parents, wonderful grandmothers, an Irish grandfather who was equally fond of entertainment and storytelling, two loving uncles, and later of their children, his dear cousins.
Shirley was married to her beloved husband, George E. Kille, for just under 70 years. George went home to God in 2019; she missed him terribly, but courageously persevered in the faith that God would bring them together again. As Shirley’s family mourns, they rejoice to think of their parents’ happy reunion in Christ. Shirley is survived by her three beloved daughters Elizabeth A. Guzze (Larry), Nancy E. Hartsock (Bruce) and Barbara A. Kenna (Joseph). She will always bring a smile to the hearts and faces of her 10 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren and 1 great great granddaughter. George and Shirley lived a happy simple but wacky life together in their tiny Weber Court home in Stone Harbor, where
they have created a real neighborhood. They were absolutely devoted to their family, to God and to their country.
Shirley has also made many friends over the years, working part-time in retail at JC Penney’s in Upper Darby, Pa., Eckert’s Pharmacy in Cape May Court House, and Thrift Shop Church. from the First United Methodist Church at Cape May Court House, where George and Shirley worshiped, and were active for many years.
Many people will miss Shirley’s tender and kind heart, her lively humor and imagination, her stories and hysterical laughter, and her loyal and supportive friendship.
Services and burial are private.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Shirley A. (Finch) Kille, please visit our flower shop.

Posted by Legacy on Sep 21, 2021. reports daily on death announcements in local communities across the country. Visit our funeral home directory for more local information, or see our FAQ page to help you find obituaries and send your condolences.

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Locks under review in west New South Wales, as outbreak in the south grows

Closures are under consideration in parts of regional New South Wales as the virus stabilizes in the west, but continues to spread further south.

The number of cases in the local health district of West New South Wales remained relatively stable, with seven more people contracting the virus.

Of these, four cases were in Dubbo and one in Walgett, Mudgee and Cowra.

The Cowra Shire Council has entered its first full day of lockdown after a nine-year-old boy was contagious in the community and at school for two days.

Today’s new case is a relative of the boy, who attends Cowra Public School, which has been closed to allow testing and cleaning.

Inclined locking extension for Hilltops

It’s a different picture in the south of the state.

In the South New South Wales Local Health District, nine cases have been detected in the past 24 hours; three in Goulburn and Yass, two in Queanbeyan and one in Upper Lachlan Shire which is still under investigation.

Concerns remain for Murrumbidgee LHD, where five people tested positive overnight, including a woman in her 40s and three children who are household contacts of a previously reported case.

The other is a teenager.

Almost half of LHD cases are in children between the ages of two and 18.

Hilltops Mayor Brian Ingram expects the seven-day lockdown to be extended as the number of cases continues to rise.(

ABC News: Luke Wong


Last Friday, the Hilltops Council in the Southern Tablelands returned to lockdown after a case was first identified in the current outbreak in Young.

The local government area, which also includes Harden-Murrumburrah, has recorded a total of 12 cases so far.

Mayor Brian Ingram said he expects stay-at-home orders to be extended by at least a week as the number of cases continues to rise and the source of the original infection remains under investigation .

“They got out of containment in town and you couldn’t move, it was buzzing.”

Cr Ingram encouraged residents to continue getting vaccinated to ensure the community was protected if the virus spreads further.

A nurse gives a vaccine to a girl wearing a face mask.
Mayor Brian Ingram urges those who have not been vaccinated to seriously consider receiving the vaccine.(

ABC News: Freya Michie


Detections of virus fragments in Griffith’s sewage have worried authorities as there are no known cases in this area.

Lockout Notice

Upper House MP Sam Farraway said a decision on which local government areas would be released from lockdown was due to be announced on Thursday.

The reopening of Orange, Narromine, Gilgandra and Brewarrina Shire city councils will be discussed at a crisis cabinet meeting as regions approach the 14-day mark with zero new cases.

The decision to relax the restrictions is based on the risk factor of any recent case.

Dubbo’s member state Dugald Saunders said the situation “could change overnight”.

From tomorrow, surveillance tests through LHD will be available in every city, meaning people without symptoms are not required to self-isolate while awaiting test results.

The number of tests has increased since the program was introduced.

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Families and children share their lives in confinement

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Bengal BJP Won’t Challenge Rajya Sabha Poll: Suvendu Adhikari | Latest India News

Calcutta: West Bengal’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday decided not to challenge Rajya Sabha’s poll vote on October 4, a development that will pave the way for the candidate to be elected to the Trinamool Congress (TMC) without opposition .

Last week, the TMC appointed Sushmita Dev, who recently joined the party after stepping down from Congress, as its by-poll candidate.

The poll was made necessary after TMC leader Manas Bhunia stepped down from Rajya Sabha’s seat after his victory in the Sabang parliamentary election in the West Midnapore district.

“The BJP will not nominate any candidate for the Rajya Sabha poll due to West Bengal. The result is predetermined. Our goal is to make sure that unelected MCs are elected again. Jai Ma Kali, ”tweeted Suvendu Adhikari, leader of the opposition in the West Bengal assembly.

Adhikari, who defeated Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram in the April parliamentary elections, was referring to his candidacy for the Bhabanipur seat in Kolkata. Banerjee must earn the bypoll to become a member of the assembly in order to continue to preside.

Reacting to the BJP’s decision, TMC spokesman Kunal Ghosh said: “At least 24 BJP lawmakers oppose the leader of the opposition (in the state legislature). The party would get fewer votes than they calculated. Many would not even go to vote and give multiple excuses. That is why they do not nominate any candidate for the Rajya Sabha poll. As the days go by, the number of BJP lawmakers will go down and the number of TMC lawmakers will increase. Jai Ma Durga.

Also earlier, on August 9, the state’s BJP unit failed to field its candidate for a by-election for a seat in Rajya Sabha, paving the way for the unopposed election of TMC candidate Jawhar Sircar.

The TMC controls 11 of Rajya Sabha’s 16 seats, while Congress has two and CPI (M) one.

Last week, TMC leader Arpita Ghosh resigned from the upper house on instructions from the party’s high command. The seat is now vacant.

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6 years of Russian intervention in Syria – Victory or “eternal war”?

Moscow’s support for Assad has been proven, but it remains to be seen whether it can turn them into political and economic success in the long term.

As other Arab rulers faded into the winds of the Arab Spring, Bashar Assad enjoyed Russian and Iranian backing and survived, while Moscow skillfully inserted itself into the heart of the Middle East and Mediterranean and expanded its sphere of influence. . What has Russia accomplished in Syria, what lies ahead, and does Russian victory necessarily translate into American defeat?

A few days ago, shortly before the September 17-19 elections in the Russian State Duma (the lower house of the Federal Assembly), Syrian President Assad paid an unannounced visit to Moscow and met with President Vladimir Putin, the man who literally saved his skin six years ago.

In July 2015, Assad’s army suffered major setbacks as rebels fought fiercely for control of highways, towns and villages across the country. At the time, the united front of some 40 factions even tried to open the road to the stronghold of the regime in Latakia from Idlib and Hama. If they were successful, the Assad regime would fight for its life.

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Major General Qasem Soleimani paid a visit to Moscow that month: he briefed the Russian leadership on the precarious situation and urged Putin to help the Syrian comrades. Soon Assad sent an official request for Russian military aid.

On September 30, 2015, the Federation Council (the upper house of the Federal Assembly) granted Putin’s request to deploy the Russian Air Force to Syria. On that day, Russian military units already based in government-controlled territory launched an offensive against rebel targets.

Not afghanistan

“I remember that in 2015, many experts said that the Russian engagement in Syria would end like the Soviet engagement in Afghanistan. However, it is clear that Putin is playing his cards well in Syria, ”Alexander Baunov, senior researcher at Carnegie Moscow Center and editor-in-chief of, told The Media Line.

“If we compare the Russian campaign in Syria to that of the United States in Afghanistan, then it is obvious that because of Russian support, Assad controls a significant part of Syrian territory – almost 70%. This is far more than the US-backed Afghan government has ever done. There is a regime in Syria – the Assad regime – but still, ”he continues.

“And the Syrian army has proven to be more reliable than the Afghan military forces prepared by the United States. I don’t know what will happen if Putin suddenly decides to delete [Russian forces from the] base in Khmeimim [southeast of Latakia], but I doubt they will disappear into thin air. Putin grew up in the Soviet Union. He was careful not to repeat the mistakes he made in Afghanistan, ”Baunov said.

During six years of war in Syria, Russia relied mainly on its air force and refrained from sending its men to the battlefield. Instead, personnel from private military companies (i.e. men from the Wagner Group) as well as other foreign forces – Lebanese, Pakistani and Afghan militiamen – did the dirty work.

Moscow has used its presence in Syria to bolster its air and naval presence in the region, expanding its existing base in Tartus and building a state-of-the-art base in Khmeimim. It extended its influence to neighboring Lebanon and spread as far as the Mediterranean, near the European coasts.

While the question of an economic dividend is debatable, it is well known that close allies of Putin such as billionaire tycoon Gennady Timchenko have won lucrative construction and energy contracts in Syria.

According to Maxim Suchkov, senior researcher at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University), this is how the first phase of the war ended. “Since 2017, when Russia, Turkey and Iran launched the ‘Astana Format’, Russia began the second stage of its campaign in Syria, which was now ‘focused on opportunities’.

Russia has sought to capitalize on its achievements in Syria and monetize its image as a strong and decisive power in the region; it was able to strengthen its position on a global scale. It has managed to mend its previously flawed relations with other countries in the Middle East, such as the Gulf monarchies. In reality, the picture is more nuanced and “the capital earned is now gradually depleted”, explains Suchkov, speaking to The Media Line.

Sand, blood and death

At the end of 2019, shortly after proclaiming victory over Daesh (Russia did too), US President Donald Trump said he would no longer send troops to Syria. “Get out of there. It is sand, blood and death, “President Trump said and ordered the withdrawal of US troops from the country.

He ultimately decided to keep a small American contingent to support the Syrian Democratic Forces in the northeast of the country, but the point was clear. Much like President Barack Obama before him and President Joe Biden after him, President Trump wanted to reduce American involvement in the Middle East, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.

“In the short and medium term, Russia has shown that it is ready to pay a higher price for an achievement in the Levant, and the price is not even that high. His support for Assad has been proven – more and more Middle Eastern countries now accept that Assad is part of reality and are interested in interacting with Damascus, ”Ofer Zalzberg, Middle East program director at the Herbert C. Kelman Institute for Interactive Conflict. Transformation, he said speaking to The Media Line.

“One of those countries is Jordan, which is interested in exporting its goods through Syria and importing cheap Syrian products. As for the United States, their focus has shifted from the Middle East to Asia. In addition, its own legislation, such as the Caesar Law, somewhat limited its ability to maneuver in Syria, ”Zalzburg said.

(The Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019 imposed additional sanctions and financial restrictions on institutions and individuals related to the conflict in Syria – KS)

Baunov believes that if the United States were to deploy a large contingent in Syria, similar to the one that was deployed in Iraq, the Syrian war and the Russian involvement would play out very differently. He also says that this kind of scenario was always unlikely.

“If the United States decided to get heavily involved in Syria and repeat the Iraqi scenario, then Putin would probably back down. But in this case, the American operation would be very different and would include the conquest of Damascus and the overthrow of the regime. Why on earth would Obama or Trump repeat the experience of George Bush Jr. which turned out to be a disaster, which was already clear at that time? Russia has a wide range of interests in Syria – a political interest, showing that “we are not giving up on the allies”, there was a Russian naval base, a trade, an ally. There was something worth fighting for, ”says Baunov.

So as America lost interest in the Middle East, Russian appetite kept growing, prompted by US and European sanctions and the need to increase Moscow’s influence and find new markets. Russia had a clear strategy and an ally in Syria; the United States had neither. However, all is not easy and bright for Russia in Syria.

“Although the United States cannot impose its values ​​on other countries, it can prevent the flow of American and European money to these countries,” Zalzberg said, indicating that the post-war reconstruction of the Syria remains a far-fetched goal for Assad and his Russians. allies.

Indeed, the lack of economic development in Syria is Russia’s Achilles heel. It can neither rebuild Syria on its own nor allow the flow of foreign investment. Moreover, the rebel stronghold of Idlib continues to provoke tensions between Ankara and Moscow, while Assad’s army and the Iranians undermine the Russian-sponsored deal in Daraa.

Six years after Moscow began its direct involvement, it is still celebrating its military triumphs in Syria. It remains to be seen whether he will be able to convert them into political and economic success in the future.

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Russia could sanction countries from which cyberattacks originate – Senate speaker – Russian Politics & Diplomacy

MOSCOW, September 20. / TASS /. Moscow could impose sanctions on countries from which cyberattacks on Russian websites originate during State Duma elections, Federation Council (upper house of parliament) chairwoman Valentina Matviyenko said on Sunday at TV host Vladimir Soloviev.

“The number of hacking attacks has increased considerably, which target in particular the website of the Central Election Commission. The reason is clear. After the elections, we will certainly ask these countries to look into this issue,” he said. she pointed out. When asked if sanctions could be imposed on these countries, Matviyenko said: “If there is reason to do it, I think we could go this route.”

The speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament noted “unprecedented foreign interference” in this year’s State Duma elections.

“Unprecedented foreign interference was observed this time around. Notably, [it began] while the elections were a distant prospect, “she told the TV show” Sunday Night with Vladimir Soloviev. “We all know who tried to interfere and in what form.”

CEC chief Ella Pamfilova previously reported unprecedented cyber attacks on the commission’s website during the elections. The Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media, Maksut Shadayev, in turn said that the cyber attacks had not had a significant impact on Russian systems.

Elections to the Eighth Russian State Duma (the lower house of parliament) were held on September 17, 18 and 19. In addition to the State Duma elections, voters also voted for the heads of nine Russian regions and members of 39 parliaments.

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Examiner’s Agenda, September 22 –

• A Howl-o-Ween family festival The Dog Festival will be celebrated at Marty’s Place, 118 Route 526, Upper Freehold Township, from noon to 4 p.m. on October 23 (rain date October 24).
There will be dog costume competitions, a walk, hay walks, a pet photo booth, K-9 police dog demonstrations, live music, food trucks, games and activities for the kids. , adults and dogs. Adults, children and dogs are welcome to dress up and participate in a variety of competitions. Admission is $ 5 for adults; children under 6 are free. All proceeds will go to senior dogs in the care of Marty’s Place. Details: or call 609-259-1278.

• Monmouth County The Retired Educators Association will meet at 11 a.m. on October 12 at the Jumping Brook Golf Club in Neptune. Guest speaker will be Mary Beth Beichert from
NJEA Government Relations. At 10:30 a.m., PAC approved candidates will be available for members to meet and voice their concerns. Members are encouraged to make a non-perishable donation for the food bank. For lunch reservations, contact Sue at 732-995-7754 or email [email protected] Checks payable to MCREA for $ 34 can be mailed to Sue Shrott, 162 Harbor Circle Drive, Freehold, NJ 07728, received by October 1. Check the association’s Facebook page or website,, for updates. New
members are always welcome.

• Friends of the old Yellow Meeting House will hold its annual meeting at 2:00 p.m. on September 26 at the Meeting House, 72 Yellow Meeting House Road, Upper Freehold Township. The Old Yellow Meeting House Cemetery Association will be holding its annual meeting at 2:30 p.m. on September 26, following the Friends of the Old Yellow Meeting House annual meeting. Details: E-mail [email protected]

• Monmouth County Park System will present a windmill demonstration September 25-26 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Historic Walnford, Walnford Road, Upper Freehold Township. See the 19th century flour mill in action. Free event. Details: or 732-842-4000.

• The 2021 discussion series will continue with “Self-Care – Fill Your Cup – Build Your Emotional Toolbox”, presented by Diane Lang, Therapist, Educator and Life Coach. The series is sponsored by Kathy Lo Bue, Managing Director, Glen Eagle Advisors, LLC. The discussion will take place as a Zoom webinar at 6:30 p.m. on September 28. The series is free, non-sectarian, and open to the community. Call 732-866-6660 for the registration link.

• Allentown High School the 1980 and 1981 classes will hold a combined 40th reunion on October 23 from 5 to 11 p.m. at the New Egypt Elks Club. The organizers of the meeting are looking to get in touch with other classmates who would be interested in attending. Details: Todd Schmitt at [email protected]

• The village of Allentown Initiative (TAVI) invites neighborhood residents to join a special effort to sponsor local businesses. Sign up at to receive a weekly email featuring Allentown shops and restaurants. The email will feature unique products, services and specials offered by entrepreneurs across Allentown and Upper Freehold Township. There is no charge to participate. To register and for more information, visit

• Medical Center The Center has launched a new online bereavement support group run by licensed clinical social workers and certified in bereavement counseling to help those who have experienced the loss of a loved one. The group is open to adult members of the community who have experienced the loss of a loved one. Private groups provide a safe, non-judgmental space for participants to share their emotions and struggles. The group meets via Zoom on the first and third Thursday of each month at 3 p.m. To register, call 732-303-5170 or email [email protected] or [email protected]

• Samaritan Center, a joint ministry of the Presbyterian churches of St. Thomas More and Old Tivent, operates a pantry to provide additional food to those in need in Manalapan, Marlboro, Englishtown and Millstone Township. For more information, call 732-446-1142 and make an appointment. Donations of funds and food are gratefully accepted to support the running of the center. Volunteers are always welcome.

• Embroiderers Guild of America – Monmouth Chapter is dedicated to teaching and sharing the joys of sewing. The organization welcomes embroiderers of all levels. Evening stitchers will meet via Zoom on the first Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m. Daytime stitchers will meet via Zoom on the third Thursday of each month at 10 a.m. organization

Agenda items can be sent to [email protected] Please submit articles at least two weeks before a scheduled event.

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