Turkey expressed its concern yesterday over ethnic and political divisions in neighboring Iraq and said it could not stand quietly by if Kurds took control of the major northern oil hub of Kirkuk. \nEthnic tensions have risen in Kirkuk, a city of 750,000, as political groups jostle for advantage ahead of the June 30 handover of power in Iraq from the US occupation forces to an interim Iraqi government. \nTurkey fears Kurdish domination of Kirkuk and its energy resources will greatly boost prospects for Kurdish autonomy and possibly even independence, which in turn could help reignite separatism among Ankara's own Kurds in southeastern Turkey. \n"Everybody knows about Turkish sensitivities over Kirkuk. We would never allow [Kurdish domination to become] a fait accompli in Kirkuk," Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul told reporters. "Everyone should have their fair share of the country's wealth." \nKurds regard Kirkuk as a Kurdish city and want to reverse former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein's "Arabization" policy which forced Kurds from their homes, replacing them with mostly Shiite Muslim Arabs. \nBut Turkmen, with close linguistic and ethnic ties to Turkey, insist they are the original inhabitants of Kirkuk. \n"Turkey backs Iraq's political and territorial integrity. The division of Iraq should not be allowed," Gul said. \nIn comments reported by Turkish media at the weekend, Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani was quoted as saying Turkey had signaled an easing of its opposition to a federal structure in Iraq, provided it did not lead to a separate Kurdish state. \nTurkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and Gul both denied there had been any change in Turkish policy on Iraq. \nTurkish security forces are currently facing an upsurge in violent clashes with Kurdish guerrillas in the southeast after the rebels called off a six-year unilateral ceasefire. \nThe security forces say some 2,000 Kurdish fighters have crossed into Turkey recently from hideouts in northern Iraq. \nMore than 30,000 people were killed during secessionist violence in southeastern Turkey in the 1980s and 1990s but the fighting largely subsided after the 1999 capture of rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan.
On the Chinese microblogging platform Sina Weibo, enthusiastic slackers share their tips: Fill up a thermos with whiskey, do planks or stretches in the work pantry at regular intervals, drink liters of water to prompt lots of trips to the toilet on work time, and, once there, spend time on social media or playing games on your phone. “Not working hard is everyone’s basic right,” one commenter wrote. “With or without legal protection, everyone has the right to not work hard.” Young Chinese people are pushing back against an engrained culture of overwork, and embracing a philosophy of laziness known as “touching
‘STUNNED’: With help from an official at the US Department of Justice, Donald Trump reportedly planned to oust the acting attorney general in a bid to overturn the election Former US president Donald Trump was at his Florida resort on Saturday, beginning post-presidency life while US President Joe Biden settled into the White House, but in Washington and beyond, the chaos of the 45th president’s final days in office continued to throw out damaging aftershocks. In yet another earth-shaking report, the New York Times said that Trump plotted with an official at the US Department of Justice to fire the acting attorney general, then force Georgia Republicans to overturn his defeat in that state. Meanwhile, former acting US secretary of defense Christopher Miller made an extraordinary admission, telling Vanity Fair that
Boeing set a target of designing and certifying its jetliners to fly on 100 percent sustainable fuels by 2030, amid rising pressure on planemakers to take climate change seriously. Regulators allow a 50-50 blend of sustainable and conventional fuels, and Boeing on Friday said it would work with authorities to raise the limit. Rival Airbus is considering another tack: a futuristic lineup of hydrogen-powered aircraft that would reach the skies by 2035. The aircraft manufacturers face growing public clamor to cut emissions in the aviation industry, which added more than 1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere in 2019, according to
Mongolian Prime Minister Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh on Thursday resigned following a protest over a hospital’s treatment of a new mother who tested positive for COVID-19. Khurelsukh, whose Mongolian People’s Party holds a strong majority in the parliament known as the State Great Khural, stepped down after accusing Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga of the Democratic Party of orchestrating a political crisis. A small protest broke out in the capital, Ulan Bator, on Wednesday after TV footage appeared of a woman who had just given birth being escorted in slippers and a thin robe from the maternity ward to a special wing for COVID-19 patients