political

An avid reader, I consistently engage myself in the areas of current affairs and understanding of international relations, whilst at the same time, am interested in the area of economics and understanding the roles of economic concerns in the political economy. You can follow The Heralding on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest & Google+. Alternatively subscribe to our newsletter to be kept up to date with the latest articles on the Heralding.

Below you can find the full text of Obama's speech on the Islamic state and his strategy to counter it: As Prepared for Delivery   My fellow Americans - tonight, I want to speak to you about what the United States will do with our friends and allies to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL. As Commander-in-Chief, my highest priority is the security of the American people. Over the last several years, we have consistently taken the fight to terrorists who threaten our country. We took out Osama bin Laden and much of al Qaeda's leadership in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We've targeted al Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen, and recently eliminated the top commander of its affiliate in Somalia. We've done so while bringing more than 140,000 American troops home from Iraq, and drawing down our forces in Afghanistan, where our combat mission will end later this year. Thanks to our ...

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"Hamas is Islamic State and Islamic State is Hamas" Netanyahu said defiantly in Tel Aviv, two days before the ceasefire agreement brokered by Egypt between Israel and Gaza was accepted by two parties. Despite Netanyahu's comments, it is clear that Hamas is no ISIS, and his empty rhetoric did not resonate with the public. The goals Netanyahu set for the operation in Gaza reflect his bleak world view according to which neither toppling Hamas nor trusting Abbas will bring long-term quiet. In the first place, the Israel Gaza conflict was in part worsened by the stubbornness of both Israel and Hamas personnel. The refusal of Hamas’ political chief Khaled Meshal to accept the long term ceasefire proposed in the early stages of the conflict, coupled with the uncompromising and cynical stance of Netanyahu, caused this gridlock. The ideal point at which Israel would have exited Operation Protective Edge was after ...

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Situated in the north-western corner of Georgia with the Black Sea to the south-west and the Caucasus mountains and Russia to the north-east, Abkhazia has always been an autonomous republic, even under the rule of Josef Stalin in 1921. Its geographical proximity to Georgia meant that it was always always at odds with the Georgian side, compounded their their use of old slavic languages. While the Abkhaz consider their independence to be a result of a war of liberation from Georgia, the Georgians believe that historically Abkhazia has always been part of Georgia.(Georgians form the single largest ethnic group in pre-war Abkhazia, with a 45.7% plurality as of 1989 before the ethnic cleansing in 1994.) As the Soviet Union began to disintegrate towards the end of the 1980s, ethnic tensions grew between the Abkhaz and Georgians over Georgia's moves towards independence. This led to the 1992–1993 War in Abkhazia that resulted ...

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Against the backdrop of never ending rocket attacks and siren calls about Israel and Gaza, the media has seemingly diverted too much focus away from the place where the true root of terrorism is now being sowed. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), a break-way from Al-Qaeda in February 2014, is a new force to be reckoned. As the execution of journalist James Foley has shown, such a terrorism threat is political, yet nicely packaged in the pretext of ideology. Unlike its predecessors, it works like a hydra (if threats of sleeper cells of Western Europe and the USA is to be believed), and the only outright way to combat it goes far more than direct military intervention or airstrikes, something which the Obama Adminstration is well aware of. After news of independent journalist James Wright Foley being executed by a British sounding ISIS militant turned viral, renewed questions ...

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Israel and the Palestinian factions in Gaza continued Wednesday to abide by the 72-hour cease-fire brokered by Egypt, which went into effect at 8 A.M on Tuesday. The Israel Defense Forces withdrew its remaining forces from Gaza after the cease-fire came into effect and said it has demolished all of Hamas' known tunnels, some of which have been used to breach Israel's border and carry out attacks. An Israeli delegation is currently in Cairo to negotiate a more permanent agreement, with Egyptian mediation. A Palestinian delegation, including members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, is in Cairo, as well. Officials in Gaza say more than 1,800 Palestinians were killed during the operation, most of them civilians. Sixty-four IDF soldiers and three Israeli civilians have been killed since fighting began on July 8. Below are the information surrounding the various rockets that the HAMAS has acquired, their various capabilities as well as Israel's response via the ...

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Bitcoin has become frequently talked about in the financial media. Despite this the general public is still relatively under informed when it comes to this digital currency. Criticism of Bitcoin overwhelmingly comes from the uninformed, while support often comes from the technologically competent. Paul Graham, a prominent venture capitalist, refers to Bitcoin as a paradigm shift that is unfortunately “derided as a toy, just like microcomputers.” Accomplished venture capitalist and entrepreneur Marc Andreessen has written that the potential of bitcoin today is analogous to personal computers in 1975 and the Internet in 1993. Today, it is the preoccupation of “nerds.” Tomorrow, it can change the life of everyone. So, what is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a virtual currency. As with all currencies, they function as a mean of exchange and a store of value. As a mean of exchange, you can use them to purchase goods and services just like you will with your physical ...

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Background For several centuries, the Diaoyu Islands have been administered as one part of Taiwan and have always been used exclusively by Chinese fishermen as an base for fishing, both before and after World War II. In 1874, Japan took Liu Chiu Islands (Okinawa) from China by force when Chinese Ching Dynasty was involved in several wars with other foreign countries. However, the Diaoyu Islands still remained under the administration of Taiwan, a part of China. After being defeated by Japan in the Sino-Japan War, China ceded Taiwan to Japan under the Shimonoseki Treaty. As a part of Taiwan, the Diaoyutai Islands belonged to Japan at that time. Taiwan was returned to China at the end of World War II in 1945 based upon the 1943 agreement of the Cairo and Potsdam Declarations. The Japanese government accepted the terms that stated in these documents"...that all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, ...

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Whenever we speak of happiness, there is always a conflict in our minds. On one side are the short-term pleasures that we run after that we sometimes call happiness (e.g. ‘This is the happiest day of my life!’). On the other side is the peaceful, long-lasting state of serenity that we yearn for, which we also call happiness (e.g. ‘I want to be happy.’ ‘Are you truly happy?’). The ancient Greek philosopher, Epicurus, spent an awful lot of time thinking about these very things, and he’s generally known to be a materialist. He lent his name to a form of life called Epicureanism, in which pleasure is held to be the highest goal of life. Indeed, Epicurus himself said once: ‘Pleasure is our first and kindred good. It is the starting point of every choice and of every aversion, and to it we always come back, inasmuch as we make feeling ...

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Rationalists claim that there are significant ways in which our concepts and knowledge is gained independently of sense experience. Empiricists claim that sense experience is the ultimate source of all our concepts and knowledge. In this essay, I seek to argue that in the order of argument, rationalism precedes Ironism. In other words, Ironism is a conclusion of rationalism. However, Ironism can also be a conclusion of what I will call “radical empiricism”. Radical empiricism in this context has less consideration of a priori theory than a moderate empiricist. Both, in the realisation that their belief systems are not able to “underwrite the doubts” of other belief systems, will eventually begin to come to skeptical conclusions, which conduces towards the ironist point of view. Emerging from this skeptical challenge would be twofold; the rationalist grudgingly accepts the eventual acceptance that one’s moral vocabulary is incomprehensive enough, with “radical and continuing ...

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In a graduation speech at West Point, many pundits have criticized, if not slammed, President Obama for a defensive and substance-less speech on US foreign policy. The ironies could not have been starker. In front of a crowd of well-groomed soon to become officers, keen (well, we should expect so at least) to advance America’s military objectives, Obama toned down their necessity. Instead, he argued for a more “restraint” use of American military, rhetoric that would find itself banal at best. It was an anti-climatic harbinger that US diplomacy is likely to remain key as it has been since Obama took office. Ultimately, this contrast is a reflection of a much deeper debate. Amidst a public tired of the Bush-era wars and an economy still sputtering to life, traditional unilateral American action will remain an elusive option. Countering this is a conservative bloc that remains well-funded and vocal calling for a ...

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