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Signs of hope in the Middle East? Don’t hold your breath

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James M. Dorsey**-HuffingtonPost, 

Optimists see hopeful signs that the Middle East may be exiting from a dark tunnel of violence, civil war, sectarian strife, and debilitating regional rivalries.

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Russia in the Middle East

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By Amer Al Sabaileh, Jordan Times

Over the last few years, the Middle East started to witness the presence of new political protagonists: Russia, a very strong, evident player, Germany, a strong but latent player, and China, a strong economic power.

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In Nazareth, Christians Protest Sale of Church Land to Private Developers

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Some of the Arab Christians protesting in Nazareth against the Greek Orthodox Church land sales, September 16, 2017.Dozens of protesters call to remove Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilis III and annul land sales, including several high-profile sales in central Jerusalem
 
 
By Jack Khoury, Haaretz
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What's on the Mind of a Muslim 'Refugee'?

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by Burak Bekdil, BESA Center Perspectives
 
The autumn of 2015 was unusual in almost every way on the north Aegean Greek island of Lesbos from which I am writing. There were tens of thousands of illegal migrants on the island, the native population of which was scarcely 100,000. New refugees arrived every day by the thousands.[1]
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Northern Iraq referendum: Is the Middle East being Balkanized?

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By Özlem Albayrak, YeniSafak

News wires reported yesterday that Iraqi Parliament removed Kirkuk governor Najmaddin Kareem with a unanimous vote. Accordingly, Kareem gathered Kurdish members in the provincial council and decided to fly the flag of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), or more clearly of Northern Iraq, in the city's official institutions and organizations.

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Geopolitics drives Turkey’s acquisition of Russian missile defense

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By EMANUELE SCIMIA, Asia Times

Turkey’s announced acquisition of Russia’s S-400 long-range air and missile defense system has more to do with geopolitical posturing than military calculation.

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Turkey's S-400 strategy

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By Fahrettin Altun, Daily Sabah

We are witnessing a global environment where international competition is gradually rising. The global political arena is hardening. Tensions are evolving into conflicts.

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The Shield of Achilles

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By Evaggelos Vallianatos, Historian and environmental strategist-Huffington Post

While writing a book on the Antikythera Mechanism, a celestial computer the Greeks invented 2,200 years ago, I came across the work of Stepfanos Paipetis, an engineering professor at the University of Patras, Greece. In 2010, Paipetis and Marco Ceccarelli, an Italian engineering professor, edited a study on the writings and influence of Archimedes, a mathematical and engineering genius who lived 2,300 years ago in Syracuse, Sicily.

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Which Turkey policy will prevail?

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By Burhanettin Duran, Daily Sabah

The rising tensions between Turkey and Germany force politicians on both sides to make their final decisions. In this "politics of brink," the most crucial thing is to keep one's emotions under control. Failing to respond to attacks, however, means to accept defeat in advance.

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Why are Turks flocking to Greece?

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By Zülfikar Doğan, Al-Monitor

At a time when Turkey’s tourism sector is struggling, the number of Turks flocking to Greece has risen extraordinarily, a trend that many believe is driven by both economic and political factors.

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