Montenegro Police Seek to Identify US Embassy Attacker

Montenegrin media reported that a 42-year-old war veteran from the capital Podgorica carried out Wednesday’s grenade attack on the US embassy, although police have yet to confirm this. Local media on Thursday More »

“Nationalist” March in Central Vilnius on Lithuania’s 100th Birthday Ends Up in Usual Neo-Nazi Spirit

It started off as a sanitized version of neo-Nazi culture made to look like just “mainstream nationalist.” But by the time the event reached its peak, it featured hundreds of people carrying More »

Senseless court sentence in journalists’ case overturned in Ukraine

On February 21 Kiev court of appeal overturned the sentence for two Ukrainian opposition journalists and political prisoners – Dmitriy Vasilets and Evgeny Timonin. They were released from custody in the court More »

Turkey sentences 4 journalists to life in prison, releases and indicts another

Istanbul, February 16, a Turkish court handed life sentences to Ahmet Altan, an internationally recognized novelist and former chief editor for the shuttered daily Taraf; Mehmet Altan, an academic, columnist, and TV More »

Pro-Syrian Gov’t Forces to Enter Afrin ‘Within Hours’ – State Media

While Damascus has yet to comment on the information, a YPG official previously debunked claims that the Syrian army is set to enter the battle in Afrin. Syrian state television channel Ikhbariya More »

 

South Korea | Can South Korea’s Leader End Trump’s North Korea Crisis?

The agreement for cooperation between North and South Korea on the Olympics provides a pause in the drumbeat of war threats by postponing joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises until after the Winter Games are finished. But the real payoff from the Olympics détente is the possibility that the governments of South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un could reach agreement on modifying joint U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) military exercises in return for a North Korean nuclear and missile testing freeze.

South Korea | IOC rejects 15 Russian athletes request to join Olympics

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has rejected a request from 15 Russians, who have been cleared of doping, to participate in the PyeongChang Olympics.

The 13 athletes and two coaches were among 28 Russians that had previously been given a lifetime ban for doping by the IOC.
However, the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) overturned the ban last week, claiming there was insufficient evidence that they broke doping rules during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
In contrast to the CAS ruling, the IOC said Monday its external review panel examined the 15 individual’s applications and found suspicions of potential doping violations.
“Extremely disappointing and surprising,” said IOC President Thomas Bach during a press conference in PyeongChang. “The privilege to be invited requires more than just the absence of a sanction.”
The IOC plans to make a decision on whether to appeal the CAS decision, once it sees full details of the ruling.
Bach also said the decision showed an urgent need for reform of the court’s structure.
Last December, the IOC banned Russia from competing in the Olympics because of confirmed allegations of state sponsored doping during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
However, Russian athletes that proved they were clear of drugs were be allowed to compete under a neutral flag, and known as the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR).
“The purpose of the review panel was to confirm that athletes can be considered clean for a potential invitation to the Olympic Winter Games,” said the IOC in a statement.
At least 168 Russian athletes are scheduled to compete as OAR according to the PyeongChang official website.
However, of the total Russian athletes a little over 70 are scheduled to take part in the Olympic’s opening ceremony according to the Russian Olympic Committee.
“Some of the athletes have competitions the day after the opening ceremony, while many have not yet arrived in PyeongChang. Our delegation at the opening ceremony will consist of 70 to 75 people,” the ROC said in a statement. “Among the participants in the ceremony will be players of the ice hockey team, snowboarders, lugers, alpine skiers, ski jumpers, freestylers, cross-country skiers, bobsled and skeleton racers, and speed skaters.”
The opening ceremony for the winter extravaganza of sports is slated for Friday at 8:00 p.m.

South Korea | South Korea: professors name children as co-authors in dissertations

Professors at 29 universities in South Korea named their children as co-authors in dissertations over the past decade as a deceitful means to help boost their academic profiles ahead of the university admissions, the ROK government said Friday.

The Ministry of Education said it reviewed dissertations published between February 2007 and last October and found 82 such instances nationwide. Most of the children were high school juniors or high school seniors.

South Korea | Two Sides of Korea Are Shaking Hands Again

Another thaw in tense inter-Korea relations is developing, as North Korean reps crossed by foot the Military Demarcation Line (in the DMZ) on January 9 at the Panmunjom, Korea, on the way to talks with South Korean counterparts for sending NK athletes to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
More significantly, both sides also agreed to resume talks on military matters, in addition to re-opening of military hotline few days ago, that may usher in much-needed reduction of tensions in the peninsula.

South Korea | North Korea Declares itself a “Full-fledged Nuclear Force”

The sixty-day clock has run out. After two months of relative quiet, North Korea test-launched another missile in the early morning hours of November 29 (local time). This time, it launched the Hwasong-15, confirmed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that reportedly flew 700 miles in 53 minutes before landing in the sea west of Japan. The missile reached an unprecedented altitude of 2800 miles, more than ten times the height of the International Space Station and is said to be capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to anywhere in the United States.

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