29 November 2014   Leave a comment

An Australian non-governmental organization has estimated that there are about 35 million slaves in the world today.  The largest number of slaves are from Mauritania, followed by Uzbekistan, Haiti, Qatar, and India.  These slaves are forced to work in forced labour, human trafficking, forced marriages, debt bondage and commerical sexual exploitation.  Virtually all countries ban slavery, but the prevalence of the practice is astonishing.

The total number of people enslaved by region

The Prime Minister of Taiwan, Jiang Yi-huah, has resigned after his Kuomintang Party suffered a decisive loss in local elections.  The elections do not necessarily affect Taiwanese national policies, but they are being viewed by most as a repudiation of the Kuomintang’s pro-China policies.  Presidential and Parliamentary elections are currently scheduled for 2016.  The opposition party which won many of the local elections favors independence from China, a policy that, if ratified in 2016, would pose serious problems with Taiwanese-Chinese elections.  Taiwan separated from China after the Communist Revolution in 1949, but virtually no other country in the world recognizes Taiwan as an independent nation-state.  China regards Taiwan as rebel-held territory.

The Kurds are claiming that Turkey is now supporting the Islamic State, a claim that Turkey strongly denies.   As the battle for the Syrian town of Kobani continues, the Kurds now claim that the town is being attacked from forces coming from inside Turkish territory.   The US has asked Turkey to support efforts to defeat the IS, but the Turks strongly oppose the government of President Assad in Syria.  Since the IS is fighting Assad, the Turks believe that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”  Moreover, the Turks oppose any moves that may strengthen the Kurds since the Turks fear Kurdish demands for an independent state, much of which would be carved out of Turkish territory.   The different interests place the Turks in square opposition to US policy, a clear disagreement among the two allies.

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Posted November 29, 2014 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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