A surprising new poll by Reuters/Ipsos finds businessman Donald Trump with a commanding lead over his Republican rivals in the 2016 presidential election.
The poll was conducted over the course of five days and included a sample size of 534 Republicans.
According to Reuters, “The pool of likely Republican primary voters was based on sample of 257 voters with a credibility interval of 7 percent.”
According to the poll, Trump leads with 34 percent while Carson finishes a distant second with 20 percent. Marco Rubio is stuck at 10 percent while Jeb Bush is struggling at 4 percent.
This is big change from the Reuters/Ipsos that was released on November 6th. That poll showed Trump and Carson nearly tied with both around 25% of support.
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About the AuthorRich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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By James Kardys
Read the companion piece to this one: Kicking Turkey Out Of NATO Would Be A Massive Mistake
Whatever strategic value that Turkey may have to the United States and the rest of NATO can be considered as good as null and void in light of a series of events that have taken place over the last five years.
During this time period, the world has seen Turkey, under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, slowly morph from a beacon of democracy in the Middle East to a rogue state.
Ever since Syria descended into civil war in 2011, Erdogan has made it very clear that he wishes to see anti-government forces oust longtime Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
He has made Turkey into a sponsor of these rebel groups.
On multiple occasions, it has been demonstrated that these groups are willing to make deals with and, at times, openly ally with jihadist groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIS, both which have vowed to destroy America and attacked American civilians on American soil.
By logic, it is then safe to state that Erdogan has contributed at least indirectly that Turkey has played a role in the rise of ISIS.
The rise of ISIS and other jihadi groups in Syria has exacerbated and increased the stakes of the conflict there, to the point where a proxy war now rages between the US, Britain, France, Turkey, and the Arab monarchies on one side; and with Russia, Iran, and Iraq on the other.
It has also contributed a major role in the refugee crisis that is currently plaguing Europe and Syria’s neighbors.
So, how has Turkey taken advantage of this crisis, which it is partially responsible for? Let’s start with the proxy war first.
Turkey has engaged in multiple hostile acts against its opponents in this proxy cold war that could have turned it into a hot war.
First, in the most well-known such incident, it shot down a Russian plane conducting missions over Syria after it reportedly crossed over Turkish territory for seventeen seconds.
Second, it has threatened to invade Syria in order to protect ethnic Turkmen and over clashes between Turkish forces and Syrian Kurdish militias.
Turkey has also allegedly sent troops into Iraq without the permission of its government as the Syrian crisis spills over into it.
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Regarding the refugee crisis, Turkey has indicated its willingness to use it as an excuse to push other agendas.
It has made much more trivial issues ranging from travel visas to domestic terrorism laws into potential spoilers in negotiations on the control of migration flows into Europe.
This, without doubt, will be seen by those who view the migration crisis as a national security risk, as blackmail that states, “Do what we say or there will be terrorist attacks.”
In addition to the Turkish role in the developments of the Syrian and migration crises, Turkey has also shown open contempt for democracy and human rights, principles which are promoted (at least in word) by NATO.
On its own soil, people are arrested on a regular basis for “insulting the president.”
Protests and dissenting newspapers are subjected to violent crackdowns.
President Erdogan has been accused of inciting violence against pro-Kurdish (a minority ethnic group that resides in the southwest of the country, as well as in parts of Syria, Iraq, and Iran) political parties.
As of 2013, Turkey has imprisoned more journalists than any other country.
And finally, Erdogan has succeeded in forcing the ouster of the Prime Minister, former political ally Ahmet Davutoglu, as part of his attempts to increase the powers of the President, whose role has traditionally been ceremonial.
Erdogan’s attempts to curb democracy are not limited to his home country.
He has played a role in the disruption of democratic order in other countries as well.
For example, he has contributed to the curbing of free speech in Germany by demanding that a satirical poem about him written by German comedian Jan Böhmermann be banned under a law that forbids the insulting of foreign heads of state, despite the fact that Erdogan was not even on German soil at the time the poem was broadcast on a local television station.
A German court has partially complied, ruling that 18 of the 24 line in the poem are unacceptable and cannot be read in public, on pain of imprisonment or a fine.
In addition, the Turkish Foreign Ministry has been caught attempting to coerce Turkish organizations in the Netherlands to report on insults against Erdogan on Dutch soil.
And then, there is Erdogan’s security detail, which seems to have the mentality that it is above the laws of other countries, as demonstrated by a series of violent incidents with civilians, journalists, other security details, and even law enforcement when visiting countries such as the United States, Belgium, and Ecuador.
Turkey, under the leadership of Recep Erdogan, has demonstrated through its recent actions the following:
- It isn’t willing to take the war on terrorism seriously.
- It is willing to get into bed with the enemies of its NATO allies.
- It is willing to cause unnecessary conflicts that could drag in NATO allies in order to achieve its individual foreign policy goals.
- It is willing to put politics over the national security of its NATO allies.
- It isn’t willing to promote democracy
- It is willing to curb democracy, both at home and abroad.
- It is willing to cause disorder on the soil of its NATO allies to prove a point.
Are these the characteristics of an ally, much less a NATO ally? These sound more like the characteristics of a rogue state. Until Turkey cleans up its act, it must be treated as such, and certain actions, including an exclusion from NATO, are welcome.
Read the companion piece to this one: Kicking Turkey Out Of NATO Would Be A Massive Mistake
Do you with agree with this view? Give us your take in the comments below.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
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By Jessie Pang
The linguistic diversity of China is fading rapidly in recent years.
According to the Globe and Mail, 88 Chinese languages or dialects are endangered.
Cantonese, one of the widely spoken languages of Guangdong province, Hong Kong and Macau, does not escape from this trend.
However, unlike many other endangered Chinese languages or dialects, from “Protecting Cantonese Movement” in Guangzhou to “Opposing Putonghua as a Medium of Instruction (PMI)” in Hong Kong, the regional lingua franca Cantonese receives the most viral discussion and debate across the Pearl River Delta (PRD) on safeguarding its language status and the use of it.
There are many reasons behind such importance and growing concern.
1. Government policies endanger the existence of Cantonese
To start with, the active promotion of Putonghua by Hong Kong and the Central Government in recent years harms the continued existence of Cantonese.
Although “committed to promoting trilingualism” across English, Cantonese and Putonghua is the official stance of the Hong Kong government, the Education Bureau once claimed “Cantonese is not an official language” in 2014 and states that PMI “is a long-term and developmental target” in a report to the Legislative Council’s education panel in 2015.
Despite the contradictive stance of the government, it’s no doubt that Hong Kong has long been adopting a pro-Putonghua education policy.
“Scheme to Support Schools in Using Putonghua to Teach the Chinese Language Subject” was launched as a pilot scheme for all schools to adopt PMI since 2008.
As a result, about 71 percent of local primary and 31 percent of secondary schools are now adopting PMI together with Putonghua as a separate language subject.
The situation Cantonese speakers are facing in the Guangdong province is even worse.
A proposal on increasing the use of Putonghua in local television programs was once put forward by the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Guangzhou Committee in 2010.
Despite the strong opposition that suggestion has faced, another manuscript, the Guangdong National Language Regulations was enacted by the local government in 2012 to ensure Putonghua is the only workplace language throughout the province.
This was done as part of a national push to standardize communication and enhance state unity and stability according to the Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development.
Lacking of the Cantonese context, children in both Hong Kong and Guangdong province are now found using Putonghua naturally in their daily life and some have started having difficulties in understanding Cantonese.
Seeing the possibility of losing their mother tongue, citizens thus become more aware of the preservation of Cantonese.
2. Cantonese is the foundation of local culture
The loss of Cantonese could also mean a loss of local culture.
Cantonese has verbally blended different languages together and as a result becomes a carrier of local culture and eyewitness of the societal development.
During the British colonial period, many common terms in Cantonese, such as dik-si (taxi) and si-do-be-lei (strawberry) were translated from English directly.
In recent years, as the contact of different cultures increases, Japanese terms have also been used in Cantonese directly, such as kawayi (cute) and fong tai (Japanese buffet).
Furthermore, many popular and distinctive local cultural products are made in Cantonese.
For instance, Cantonese opera is one of the three Chinese opera genres on the UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity Representative List.
Also, Cantopop has had a significant influence in the Asia-Pacific Rim since the 1970s. The “god of song” Sam Hui and the “four heavenly kings” Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung, Leon Lai and Aaron Kwok are still very popular in both mainland China and overseas.
What’s more, almost all popular Hong Kong classic movies made in the 1980s were produced in Cantonese and the Cantonese-speaking actors are still famous superstars.
Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan are two popular examples of the Canto Kung Fu movie icons.
These explain the significant role played by Cantonese in the local culture and the growing importance of preserving Cantonese.
3. Cantonese is a traditional intangible heritage with international prestige
In addition, Cantonese is a precious traditional intangible heritage with a long held international prestige.
It has a richer traditional heritage. It it had been spoken by the ancient Chinese since the Tang Dynasty while Putonghua is a language introduced by the northern nomadic invaders during the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties.
Hence, it has inherited the pronunciation, lexis, meaning and beauty of Chinese classical language. For instance, Cantonese has 9 tones while Putonghua only has 4 tones. Also, ancient Chinese literature can only be fully understood and read in Cantonese.
Moreover, such importance has gained a growing international recognition and concern.
Apart from its legal language status acknowledged by UNESCO, universities have long been offering credit-bearing and non-credit-bearing Cantonese courses which have received strong support from the public.
One significant example is the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. That institution received a large amount of thank you emails after it announced to offer credit-bearing Cantonese courses.
Therefore, people often regard Cantonese as the last resort of protecting traditional Chinese culture and languages and proud to be its defenders.
4. Cantonese is the symbol of local identity and the yardstick of distinctiveness
With such unique importance and status of Cantonese, the language has become the symbol of identity and the indication of the local political and socio-economical difference with the rest of China, especially in Hong Kong.
Lacking of confidence in the central government and fearing Hong Kong may lose its status as an international city and its competitive edge, many Hong Kong people have committed to preserve and enhance the distinctiveness of Hong Kong from China since the handover in 1997.
According to the ethno-linguistic identity model and the communication accommodation theory, when people strongly identify with their ethnic group, they tend to communicate in their ethnic language to symbolically distinguish themselves from others.
In this way, people with a strong Hongkonger identification incline to resist learning Putonghua and focus more on preserving Cantonese (Tong, 1999. International Journal of Intercultural Relations,23(2), 281-296.)
Such inclination is further intensified as the entitled ways of life and valued linguistic practices changed rapidly by the mass migration from northern China.
Guangdong province has attracted lots of migrants from the northern part of China with all walks of life ever since the economic reforms and the open up policy.
Yet, most of them failed to adapt the local culture and even demanded the city to change for them.
Hence, Guangdong citizens feel that they are the root cause of all problems, such as the recent acceleration in the strong competition in the job market, exploiting the social welfare benefit which the locals do not have and causing the rise of crime rate and more.
Hong Kong has shared a similar situation but the reaction in Hong Kong is much stronger owing to intense Hong Kong-China conflict in recent years and the three concrete promises: “once country, two systems”, “high degree of autonomy and “remained unchanged for 50 years” made by the central government before the handover.
Mao even said “language is the most significant part of life style. According to the above stipulation, therefore, the status of Cantonese can at least remain unchanged for 50 years”.
For instance, Hong Kong Airlines fight attendants launched a “No Putonghua” protest in response to a mainland passengers’ sit-in.
Also, jeering at the Chinese national anthem has gradually become a habit of Hong Kong football fans to express their anti-China feeling.
With a fear that they may lose their identities and cities, the potential of losing Cantonese has become a warning alarm in many people’s mind.
Thus, Cantonese has become a way of struggle against the domination of the outsiders for the locals with strong ethnic consciousness.
To conclude, protecting Cantonese in PRD has become more important since the 1990s mainly because Hong Kong and central government fail to understand Cantonese is not just a regional lingual franca and suppress its existence rapidly.
On the contrary, the genuine public uphold Cantonese as a precious intangible heritage with international prestige, the foundation of local culture, the symbol of local identity and hence defend the linguistic status and use of Cantonese fiercely.
Although many countries try to achieve solidarity through linguistic conformity, there are also prosperous multiethnic and multilingual countries that achieve the same goal by preserving the linguistic diversity.
If policy makers really hope to achieve a harmonious society, they should recognize the complex multicultural and multi-linguistic reality of China, respect the linguistic right of individuals and preserve Cantonese and other dialects or languages at their upmost through revising the current national policy.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.
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By Staff Report
Rise News will be covering results as they come in across Canada throughout the night.
The nation is deciding on 338 ridings (districts) and a party needs 170 elected members in order to win an outright majority.
Polls on the Western side of the nation are still open until 10 PM EST.
9:45 EST: The CBC is projecting that the Liberal Party will ride to power and that Justin Trudeau will be the next prime minister. 234 ridings are still outstanding.
9:00 EST: Early results show that the Liberal Party is outperforming expectations and is making tremendous gains on in the Atlantic Canada region.
There is speculation that a Liberal wave may be developing and that voters have come together to ensure that Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party are kept out of office after ten years of holding power.
Want to join the conversation? Tweet at us your thoughts about the election by using the hashtag #RiseCanada2015
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