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A Shadow over Ukraine’s Presidential Election

With Ukraine’s establishment forecasting doom after the presidential runoff, the far right’s influence on politics is impossible to ignore. Katharine Quinn-Judge ICG Its resurgence is both a symptom and a cause of the country’s ills: there is less daylight between it and the political mainstream than either admits. On 31 March, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko suffered a double-digit defeat in the presidential election’s first round to comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, whose only previous political experience is playing the… The incumbent is ... Read More »

Facebook bans Britain’s far-right hate groups

London: Facebook has banned far-right groups including the British National Party (BNP) and the English Defence League (EDL) from having any presence on the social network for violating the… By Martyn Landi Brisbane Times The banned groups, which also includes Knights Templar International, Britain First and the National Front as well as key members of their leadership, have been removed from both Facebook and… The social network’s policy does not allow groups or individuals which engage in “terrorist activity, organised ... Read More »

Nusrat Jahan Rafi: Burned to death for reporting sexual harassment

Nusrat Jahan Rafi was doused with kerosene and set on fire at her school in Bangladesh. Less than two weeks earlier, she had filed a sexual harassment complaint against her headmaster. By Mir Sabbir BBC Bengali, Dhaka Her courage in speaking out against sexual assault, her death five days after being set alight and everything that happened in-between has gripped Bangladesh and brought attention to the… Nusrat, who was 19, was from Feni, a small town 100 miles (160km) south ... Read More »

Will Conservatives Abandon the Free Market?

Conservatives would either “combat” or “convert” business or base their politics “squarely on it.” But, he warned, conservatism “founded on money,” is “fickle, selfish, and irresponsible.” Joshua Tait The National Interest WHEN FOX television host Tucker Carlson recently attacked conservative faith in free market economics, he probably surprised a number of his viewers. For too long, Carlson charged, libertarians and social conservatives have ignored the fundamental part economic structures play in undermining communities. Families are crushed beneath market forces. Disposable ... Read More »

Trump forces Brussels’ hand on trade despite tariffs backlash

Trump’s threat of auto tariffs has finally spurred EU leaders into action on a new trade deal with Washington. As the US president seeks reelection next year, will Europe hold more clout in upcoming negotiations? Nik Martin Deutsche Welle Nine months after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker rushed to Washington to stave off the prospect of US tariffs on European cars, the European Union signaled this week it was ready to restart trade talks with… EU leaders have been grappling with the ... Read More »

The Geoffrey Rush trial shows defamation can make victims become victims all over again

Geoffrey Rush greeted his vindication with a look of anguish. His demeanor outside the Federal Court last week was decidedly grim. So too, his wife Jane Menelaus. Richard Ackland The Guardian If an $850,000 award of damages, with the promise of lots more to come, isn’t going to put a spring in your step, what sort of vindication is this? Rush said: “There are no winners in this case, it has been extremely distressing for everyone involved.” The main defence witness ... Read More »

Spain’s conservative revolution

Ahead of Spain’s election, PM Sánchez’s challenger Pablo Casado has moved his conservative party sharply to the right. MADRID — Pablo Casado believes he’s got just one path to power — and it starts with a hard turn to the right. Diego Torres Politico Ahead of the Spanish general election on April 28, the fresh-faced leader of the conservative Popular Party has been burnishing his right… Casado, 38, has amped up the rhetoric on issues ranging from abortion to migration, ... Read More »

Greece to demand war reparations from Germany

Greek lawmakers on April 17voted through a resolution demanding the payment of German war crime reparations, an issue long disputed by Berlin. ATHENS- Agence France-Presse Hurriyet A parliamentary committee last year determined that Germany owes Greece at least 270 billion euros ($305 billion) for World War I damages and looting, atrocities and a forced loan during the Nazi occupation in World War II. “These demands are always active. They were never set aside by Greece,” parliament speaker Nikos Voutsis told reporters this week. With cross-party ... Read More »

Peru’s ex-president kills himself to avoid arrest

Peru‘s former president Alan Garcia shot himself in the head on April 17 to avoid arrest in connection with alleged bribes from Brazilian builder Odebrecht, taking his own life, in the most dramatic… LIMA- Reuters Hurriyet Garcia, a towering and charismatic figure who played a central role in Peruvian politics for more than three decades, died in a hospital at age 69 after shooting himself at his house in Lima when police… Garcia’s death shocked the Andean country that had watched ... Read More »

Watch List 2019 – First Update

Watch List Updates complement International Crisis Group’s annual Watch List, most recently published in January 2019. ICG These early-warning publications identify major conflict situations in which prompt action, driven or supported by the European Union and its member states, would generate stronger prospects for peace. The Watch List Updates include situations identified in the annual Watch List and/or a new focus of concern. Lowering Israeli-Palestinian Tensions In the wake of Israel’s legislative elections, which appeared to hand another victory to Prime… ... Read More »

Deutsche Bank faces action over $20bn Russian money-laundering scheme

Exclusive: in confidential internal report seen by the Guardian, bank says scandal has hurt global brand Luke Harding The Guardian Germany’s troubled Deutsche Bank faces fines, legal action and the possible prosecution of “senior management” because of its role in a $20bn Russian money-laundering scheme, a confidential internal report seen by the Guardian says. The bank admits there is a high risk that regulators in the US and UK will take “significant disciplinary action” against it. Deutsche concedes that the scandal has ... Read More »

How one theatre tells the unfolding story of Albania’s political crisis

With Albania finding itself in the midst of a deepening political and social crisis, is there any way out of it? Elis Gjevori TRT World “The battle to save the National Theatre of Albania has become symbolic of the social ills in Albania,” Robert Budina told TRT World over the phone. Budina is an independent film director who has more than 20 years’ experience writing plays and producing films. He’s now fighting to save the historic Albanian National Theatre from ... Read More »

New study finds family violence is often poorly understood in faith communities

We learned this month that Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pledged A$10 million in the federal budget for couples counselling and mediation for families impacted by domestic violence. Authors: The Conversation But the proposed policy runs counter to expert advice and evidence, which indicates that encouraging women to stay in relationships with an abuser exposes them to higher risk of harm. The announcement was swiftly condemned by family and domestic violence (FDV) advocates. Commentators have noted that an emphasis on ... Read More »

How wide is Bernie Sanders’ appeal? This cheering Fox News audience is a clue

The US senator drew cheers from the audience when he spoke about healthcare, revealing just how popular his policies are Bhaskar Sunkara The Guardian Bernie Sanders was supposed to be deep behind enemy lines on Monday night. He was in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for a live town hall, hosted by Fox News, a network “not everyone thought [he] should come on”. It was a resounding success, and a reminder that Bernie, not Trump, can actually rally together a majority of Americans. ... Read More »