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Whither Japan’s Democracy?

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To some observers, retired civil servant Hiroji Yamashiro, 65, has become a symbol of modern Japan’s uneasy  attitude towards dissent Daniel Hurst Asia Times To some observers, protester Hiroji Yamashiro, 65, has become a symbol of modern Japan’s uneasy attitude towards dissent. The retired civil servant, a long-standing campaigner against the US military presence in the southern prefecture of Okinawa, was detained for five months from… Whither Japan’s… Read More »

Paris Gourtsoyannis: Offer on citizens will leave EU cold

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‘Generous’ plan on EU rights will be lost in translation, says Paris Gourtsoyannis Paris Gourtsoyannis The Scotsman On Sunday there was a reminder, if any was needed, of just how shallow the cultural understanding is between the two sides that began Brexit negotiations last week. Asked what he thought of his opposite number, Brexit Secretary David Davis offered this piercing insight on EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier: “He’s very… Paris Gourtsoyannis: Offer… Read More »

Home ownership remains strong in Australia but it masks other problems: Census data

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The great Australia dream of owning your own home is still alive despite the various problems plaguing housing affordability, new Census data shows. Wendy Stone Kath Hulse Margaret Reynolds Terry Burke The Conversation Even though the overall home ownership trend remains strong, it’s masking other issues. The latest 2016 Census data assesses what the national home ownership and rental rates are and how these vary location. It also gives us a picture of mortgage and… Home ownership remains… Read More »

Foreign Secretary joins crucial Cyprus settlement talks in Switzerland offering full UK support

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The Foreign Secretary will fly to Switzerland later today to support the UN facilitated talks aimed at reaching a settlement to the long running Cyprus issue. Foreign & Commonwealth Office and The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP The Conference on Cyprus will reconvene in the Swiss resort of Crans Montana with the participation of the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, and representatives of the Guarantor Powers (Greece, Turkey and UK). The Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson’s attendance demonstrates ... Read More »

Dear Andrea Leadsom, shrinking the state is the opposite of patriotism

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The leader of the House of Commons accuses broadcasters of not being patriotic – yet the Tories have betrayed the nation through cuts to our most valued services and institutions Polly Toynbee The Guardian Patriotic? Who? Not the Tory Brexiteers who have brought this country so alarmingly low. While EU politics are rebooted with new Franco-German confidence, our government is only saved by the Democratic Unionist party. Ignominy doesn’t get much more mortifying than… Dear Andrea Leadsom… Read More »

World food security risks growing, Chatham House says

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The world’s food security is increasingly reliant on 14 “chokepoints” for trade, a think-tank report has warned. BBC UK-based Chatham House says more needs to be done to protect key transport routes such as the Panama Canal, the Suez Canal and the Turkish… Almost 25% of the world’s food is traded on international markets. This, the report says, makes food supply and prices vulnerable to unforeseen crises or climate… World food security… Read More »

“We won’t accept just any solution on Cyprus”

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On the eve of the Conference on Cyprus, we feel compelled to express our views on the Cyprus negotiations on behalf of the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations (FCAO), the American Hellenic Institute (AHI), the American Hellenic Council (AHC), the Hellenic Federation of New Jersey, and the Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH). Our community has worked with successive U.S. Administrations on behalf of a workable and ... Read More »

Cities Inequality United Kingdom  The Economic System That Made the Grenfell Tragedy Possible

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In the UK—and in the US—public goods like affordable housing have been neglected to dangerous degrees. Michelle Chen The Nation As raging flames consumed the Grenfell Tower housing complex, London’s genteel facade of civility melted away, exposing a hidden human tragedy at its urban core. The immediate cause of the blaze earlier this month was a lack of basic building safeguards, but the underlying tinder was decades of social disinvestment and… Cities Inequality United… Read More »

China releases Nobel laureate Liu with terminal cancer

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China’s jailed Nobel peace prize laureate Liu Xiaobo has been granted medical parole after being diagnosed with terminal liver cancer last month, his lawyer told AFP on June… Hurriyet Liu, who had about three years of his 11-year sentence to serve, was diagnosed on May 23 and was released days later, said lawyer Mo… The 61-year-old democracy campaigner was being treated at a hospital in the northeastern city of Shenyang. “He has no special… China releases Nobel… Read More »

Macron says France will not recognize Crimea ‘annexation’

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PARIS: President Emmanuel Macron said Monday France refuses to recognize Russia’s “annexation” of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. AFP Arab News Speaking after talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Paris, Macron said: “France is committed to Ukraine’s sovereignty with its recognized borders.” Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday visited Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014, in a trip that Kiev condemned as a… Macron says France… Read More »

A tougher language test would punish women like my mother, who have lost everything

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My mother studied Australian history and politics for months to pass the citizenship test. It was painful, to say the least Abdul Karim Hekmat The Guardian It’s easy for an English-speaking, white politician to legislate a language test for Australian citizenship that even someone born in Australia would find hard to pass. The biggest impact would be on migrants or refugees – my mother, for example. Khal Bibi Hekmat never… A tougher language… Read More »

US Supreme Court agrees to hear Trump Muslim ban case

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Justices grant parts of administration’s request to put order into effect immediately while legal battle… Al Jazeera News agencies The Supreme Court of the United States says it will allow a partial enforcement of President Donald Trump’s ban on travellers from six Muslim-majority countries until it… The action on Monday is seen as a win for the right-wing leader, who has insisted the ban is necessary for national security, despite criticism that it singles out Muslims in violation of the… ... Read More »

In the fight against climate change, humanity has a choice of two futures

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We must fight man-made climate change, says Patricia Scotland.* NewStatesman So here we are at this fork in the road. On one path, the risk of a future of chaos. A new world map with miles and miles of stormy ocean where there were once islands and schools and playgrounds, businesses and life. A globe with acre after acre of arid desert where there were once fertile mountains and valleys, green vegetation and… In the fight… Read More »

Jill Singer, passionate journalist was face of Today Tonight

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Jill Singer, who transformed news coverage when she hosted Today Tonight on Channel 7 in the mid-90s, has died of a rare heart and blood condition at the age of just 60. Peter Craven The Sydney Morning Herald She had extraordinary intelligence, courage and vivacity. She lived tremendously and always fought for the people and things she believed in. She was a great beauty with a lovely voice. Sometimes though she could sound like a… Jill Singer, passionate… Read More »