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Why does Donald Trump want to buy Greenland? | US News

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Donald Trump may be in the Oval Office now, but his recent interest in buying Greenland suggests his heart is still in real estate.

The president’s intentions emerged last week when he reportedly discussed buying the Danish territory in a private meeting with advisers.

So, why would Mr Trump want to buy Greenland, and what do we really know about it?

Donald Trump and Greenland

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What’s in it for the president if the US buys Greenland?

:: It’s untapped

Greenland’s ice sheet is melting. And quickly.

The land is thought to be rich in gold, rubies, diamonds, coppers, olivine, marble and oil.

The rapidly melting ice means previously out-of-reach energy and minerals are now more accessible.

China has shown an interest in recent years too…

:: For his legacy?

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 21: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers a speech during the evening session on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National

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Mr Trump is hoping to succeed where former US president Harry Truman failed

Mr Trump might think it would be pretty cool to buy Greenland.

Former US president Harry Truman offered to buy it in 1946 so Mr Trump would probably like to be the one to pull it off.

But it seems unlikely.

:: ‘It would be nice’

Mr Trump’s own words.

When asked about reports that he was exploring the purchase of the 850,000 square mile island from Denmark, the US president said he was “looking at it” as “strategically for the US it would be nice”.

:: To do Denmark a favour?

US President Donald Trump speaks to the press before boarding Air Force One in Morristown, New Jersey, on August 18, 2019. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

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Mr Trump has confirmed he is interested in buying Greenland

The president has suggested he has Denmark’s best interests at heart by wanting to buy Greenland.

He said: “A lot of things could be done, essentially it is a large real estate deal. It’s hurting Denmark very badly because they are losing almost $700m a year carrying it.”

:: How much would it cost?

President Truman offered $100m for it in 1946 – which in today’s money would be about $1.3bn.

:: What else do we know about Greenland?

Population: It’s home to 56,000 people. Greenlanders call themselves “Kalaallit” and are an indigenous Inuit people. Inuit means “human being” or “people”. According to Greenland’s government, the indigenous Inuit people make up 85% of the population – the rest are primarily Danes.

The land: It’s officially the world’s largest island that’s not a continent. About 80% of Greenland is covered by ice and snow. People mostly live in the 20% of the country that isn’t – mainly on the coast.

Stock photo ID:184923392Upload date:October 15, 2013

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Greenlanders live in coastal towns and cities

Weather: Average temperatures rarely exceed 10C (50F) during the summer, and that’s usually just in July – the only month when the temperature reaches above freezing. The longest day of the year is 21 June – which is also a national holiday. Donald Trump’s birthday is on 14 June so maybe he’d make it a week-long celebration. The nation celebrates on 21 June because that’s the day the flag received its official introduction in 1985.

The snow-covered shore is reflected in the still water of a fjord near Tasiilaq, Greenland, June 16, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson SEARCH

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Only 56,000 people live in Greenland

Speaking of flags: The white half of the flag symbolises Greenland’s icecap. The red half symbolises the rising and setting sun.

Stock illustration ID:452121659Upload date:November 24, 2013

And speaking of the sun: It doesn’t set from 25 May to 25 July. Good for people with low vitamin D.

Language: The official language is Greenlandic. Children learn Greenlandic at school as well as Danish and English. West Greenlandic is the official language but there are dialects spoken in Eastern and Northern Greenland.

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Evo Morales: Bolivia’s president quits over electoral fraud claims

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Bolivian President Evo Morales has resigned amid deepening unrest over allegations of electoral fraud.

The announcement came after the country’s military chief went on TV on Sunday to call for him to step down.

Mr Morales has endured weeks of anti-government protests since his election victory last month was called into question, with the Organization of American States later discovering “clear manipulation” at the polls.

Concerns were initially raised about a day-long gap in reporting results from the poll, just before a spike in votes for Mr Morales.

Mr Morales, who came to power in 2006, had promised a fresh election.

In his TV appeal, General Williams Kaliman said: “After analysing the situation of internal conflict, we ask the president to resign, allowing peace to be restored and stability to be maintained for the good of our Bolivia.”

He also urged Bolivians not to resort to violence.

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India’s top court awards disputed holy site in Ayodhya to Hindus | World News

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India’s top court has awarded a disputed religious site to Hindus – rejecting a rival Muslim claim.

The verdict threatens to heighten tensions between the two communities, which have been embroiled in a bitter dispute over the land – with deadly riots ensuing.

The unanimous ruling paves the way for the building of a Hindu temple on the site in the northern town of Ayodhya, a move long supported by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Hindu-nationalist party.

Security has been tightened in Ayodhya

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Ahead of the ruling, security was tightened in Ayodhya and across India

It will be seen as a political victory for Mr Modi, who won a second term in a landslide general election win this year.

The row over ownership has been one of the country’s most contentious issues.

Hindus believe the three-acre plot of land – which is about the size of a football pitch – was the birthplace of Lord Ram, a physical incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu.

They argue the site was holy for Hindus long before the Muslim Mughals, India’s most prominent Islamic rulers, built what was known as the Babri mosque there in 1528.

The mosque was destroyed by a Hindu mob in 1992, triggering religious riots in which about 2,000 people, most of them Muslim, were killed across the country.

It also led to a series of court battles with various groups staking claim to the site.

India’s supreme court directed that an alternate parcel of land be provided to a Muslim group that had staked a claim to the disputed site.

The land has been heavily protected since the 1992 religious clashes.

Ahead of the ruling, security was tightened in Ayodhya and across India, especially in cities that have been the scene of communal violence previously.

In some regions, restrictions were placed on gatherings and police were monitoring social media to curb rumours that could inflame community tensions.

In some towns, internet services were also suspended, while schools and colleges have been closed until Monday.

In a series of tweets last night, Mr Modi said: “Whatever decision of the supreme court will come on Ayodhya, it will not be a victory or defeat for anyone.

“My appeal to the countrymen is that it should be the priority of all of us that this decision should further strengthen the great tradition of peace, unity and goodwill of India.”

Hindu supporters and activists celebrated the ruling on the court lawns, blowing bugles and chanting “Jai Shree Ram”, or hailing the god Ram.

A lawyer representing the Muslims deplored the ruling.

“We are not satisfied with the verdict and it’s not up to our expectation,” said Zafaryab Jilani, who is representing the Muslim community group.

He hinted at filing a review petition in the supreme court challenging Saturday’s verdict. At the same time, he appealed to members of all communities to maintain peace.

Vishnu Shankar Jain, an attorney who represented the Hindu community, said it had been a struggle.

“It was a huge legal battle and we are happy that we convinced the supreme court. It’s a historic moment for Hindus,” he said.

Raj Nath Singh, India’s defence minister, appealed to people to “accept the court verdict and maintain peace”.

In Islamabad, Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, criticised the verdict, saying it was indicative of the “hate-based mindset” of Mr Modi’s government.

“This is nothing but Modi’s government continued policies of cultivating seeds of hatred and promoting differences between the communities and religious segments of the population to achieve its designs,” he said.

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Syria: Death of Kurd in protest against Turkish ‘invaders’ is ‘significant moment’

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Sermisaxa Jor is a tiny, ethnically Kurdish village in the far northeast of Syria.

For the people who live there, today will be remembered as the moment that Syria’s bloody, decade-long and multi-faceted war came to them.

In the context of the war itself, what happened in Sermisaxa Jor is not comparable: one young man died; run over by a Turkish military vehicle.

But in the context of where the war goes next, it’s a significant moment.

Sermisaxa Jor

Kurdish villages threw rocks at a Turkish and Russian military convoy in Sermisaxa Jor

Sarkhbon Bankin Ali, 26, was killed as he and scores of his fellow villagers – men, women and children – threw rocks at a convoy of Turkish and Russian military vehicles passing through.

The convoy was part of the Turkish plan to create a ‘safe zone’ along the border area between Turkey and Syria.

The villagers see them as invaders who want to push them, as Kurds, out of their homes.

The evidence since the Turkish incursion of this area began a month ago would suggest they are right.

In towns across this predominantly Kurdish part of Syria, the people have fled as the Turkish army, with Russian support, has moved in.

Sermisaxa Jor

When the convoy’s path was blocked by boulders in the road, the Russians fired tear gas

Here in Sermisaxa Jor, they are not moving them out yet. But the villagers are sure that will come.

And so, with remarkable force, they pelted the convoy with rocks.

We watched as they clambered on top of the heavily armoured vehicles. They ripped off the wing mirrors.

This, they feel, is the only way they can defend their land.

Sarkhbon Bankin Ali was one of the angry young men. He hung off the right hand side of one vehicle and then jumped off as it moved.

He fell under the back wheel. He would never have survived.

We watched as his friends hauled him into the back of a pickup. He was taken to the nearest hospital but didn’t make it.

The soldiers driving the vehicle didn’t intend to hit him. They probably don’t even know his fate.

Sarkhbon Bankin Ali

Sarkhbon Bankin Ali was taken to hospital but did not survive
Further into the village, with their path momentarily blocked by boulders in the road, the Russians fired tear gas.

At close range, its effect is temporary but still awful.

At least 10 people were taken to the hospital.

“Where’s the international community? Where’s the humanity,” one villager shouted to me.

“There’s no way we will let this to happen. We will not allow Turkey to enter our village. We won’t allow the Turkish military to enter our village.”

Near him, an elderly women sat in a heap, sobbing.

Sermisaxa Jor

People suffered the effects of the tear gas
The month-old Turkish incursion is having the impact many feared.

The people here believe they will be the next to be moved out to join the thousands of their own already in Iraqi refugee camps across the border.

We followed the convoy as it passed though a dozen or so villages.

Locals were following too, on motorbikes and in cars, lobbing rocks when they could.

The Turkish objective of this patrol and others like it across the area is to make their presence felt across a wide strip of Kurdish land along the border.

They call it a safe zone. Their only target, they claim, are the Kurdish militia fighters who control this area.

Tear gas victims

The villagers say they are trying to defend their land
Turkey sees the militia as terrorists; the brothers and sisters of the Turkish-based separatist group, the PKK or Kurdish Workers’ Party.

And while western governments agree about the PKK’s terror links, they do not see the Syrian Kurdish militias as terrorists.

On the contrary, the Syrian Democratic Forces and YPG who make up the Kurdish militia have been the key fighting element of the western coalition fight to defeat the Islamic State in Syria.

But this isn’t just a case of civilians being caught in the middle. The Turkish government is being accused of actively forcing the civilians out too.

Even by the assessment of the top American diplomat in the region, the Turkish incursion is actually part of a quiet systematic ethnic cleaning of the region to remove the Kurds whose home this is.

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In a memo leaked to the New York Times this week, William Roebuck wrote: “Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria, spearheaded by armed Islamist groups on its payroll, represents an intentioned-laced effort at ethnic cleansing.”

He continued: “One day when the diplomatic history is written, people will wonder what happened here and why officials didn’t do more to stop it or at least speak out more forcefully to blame Turkey for its behaviour.

“An unprovoked military operation that has killed some 200 civilians, left well over 100,000 people (and counting) newly displaced and homeless because of its military operation.”

Not far from where Sarkhbon Bankin Ali died, we came across an American military convoy.

The US troops are still here, despite all President Donald Trump’s talk of them leaving.

But their orders now are to protect the oil, not the Kurds.

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