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Greece really might leave the euro

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The world’s worst portmanteau is back: Grexit. The Washington Post – Matt O’Brien That’s short for “Greek exit,” as in Greece leaving the euro. And it’s once again a possibility now that the left-wing, anti-austerity party Syriza has won power in the latest elections. The risk, as I’ve said before, is that the rest of Europe is in good enough shape ... Read More »

Syriza’s finance minister has a big idea – but will Germany accept it?

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Yanis Varoufakis wants to revive a Keynesian mechanism that may prove unpalatable yet from which Germany directly benefited in the postwar period The Guardian – Linsey McGoey Since Syriza’s victory in the Greek elections on Sunday, it is the new Essex-educated finance minister Yanis Varoufakis who has been grabbing most of the headlines. Much of his appeal lies in his iconoclasm: ... Read More »

Australia’s asylum seeker policies ‘draconian': HRW

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Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers has been condemned by Human Rights Watch, which described the country’s immigration policies as ‘draconian’. SBS - By Stephanie Anderson In its annual report issued this week, the international organisation said that Australia was failing to respect international standards regarding the protection of asylum seekers and refugees. In contrast to the country’s solid record of protecting civil ... Read More »

The Salt of the Earth

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More than 300 million in the world have access to fresh water thanks to desalination, a process that removes salt and other minerals from saline water, making it suitable for human consumption. The process is effective but it also has side effects. Desalination is extremely energy-consuming and creates by-products such as brine, which returns to the sea and damages local ... Read More »

Sudan and South Sudan’s Merging conflicts

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The conflicts in Sudan and South Sudan are increasingly merged. ICG Halting drift toward a Uganda-Sudan proxy war on the Sudan-South Sudan border requires better coordination by regional organisations and more engagement by influential outside powers, notably China and the U.S., including via the UN Security Council. A UN-imposed arms embargo, improved border monitoring, and a UN panel of experts ... Read More »

Queensland election: GST rate question leaves Annastacia Palaszczuk stumped

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Labor leader blames failure to answer radio host’s question on a lack of morning coffee The Guardian – Bridie Jabour @bkjabour Annastacia Palaszczuk has made an embarrassing stumble in her campaign as the Labor party prepares to release its costings, failing to answer when asked what the rate of the goods and services tax was. The opposition leader was campaigning in Townsville ... Read More »

Liberals weigh up leadership options as Prime Minister Tony Abbott faces criticism

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Nervous Liberal MPs have begun discussing alternative leadership options, and the pros and cons of switching to either Foreign Minister Julie Bishop or former leader Malcolm Turnbull are now being “actively” considered. The Sydney Morning Herald – Mark Kenny, Chief political correspondent Andrew Bolt attacks PM over ‘pathetically stupid’ Prince Philip knighthood Comment: PM in danger of being replaced by Turnbull ... Read More »