Analysis

In Europe, the Only Choice Is Right or Far-Right

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As left-wing parties have collapsed, the sole option remaining for voters is conservatism or right-wing populism. Slawomir Sierakowski FP As Europe lurches further to the right each time a xenophobic populist party makes electoral gains, a theory has emerged to explain the continent’s political shifts. There is now a widely held view that popular anger is the underlying cause of far-right populism. If that theory were correct, then periods of economic growth should clip populists’ wings and help reinvigorate the ... Read More »

Jewish Americans changed their names, but not at Ellis Island

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A well-worn joke in American Jewish culture goes like this. A Jewish immigrant landed at Ellis Island in New York. Kirsten Fermaglich The Conversation The procedures were confusing, and he was overwhelmed by the commotion. When one of the officials asked him “What is your name?” he replied, “Shayn fergessen,” which in Yiddish means “I’ve already forgotten.” The official then recorded his name as Sean Ferguson. Today, members of many white ethnic groups – including Jews, Italians and Poles – ... Read More »

The first modern Islamist fundamentalist conquest of the West?

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Is Erdogan looking to conquer the energy-rich East Mediterranean and control Cyprus In the 1970s, a young mogul named Donald Trump was making news as a young, brash and very successful real estate developer. Philip Christopher Knews At the same time, Turkey’s 1974 invasion of Cyprus made international headlines. Now, 44 years later, they are on a collision course of historic consequence. US President Trump is the leader of the Western world and Turkey’s occupation of Cyprus has now become ... Read More »

Australia’s taste for translated literature is getting broader, and that’s a good thing

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With today’s announcement of the winner of the Man Booker International Prize shortlist, translation again finds itself in the foreground of the literary landscape. Alice Whitmore The Conversation This year’s shortlist includes novels translated from a diverse array of languages including Arabic (Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi), Hungarian (László Krasznahorkai’s The World Goes On) and Korean (The White Book by Han Kang). In 2016, the prize evolved from a biennial event, designed to honour one living author’s overall contribution ... Read More »

Albania must decide between EU and Turkey – analysis

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While Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan tries to coopt Balkan countries into his sphere of influence, these countries, Albania in particular, must realize that their prospects for economic growth, prosperity, freedom and sustainable democracy will come with a… Ahval Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)’s has been vocal in its dream of expanding the country’s influence across states that were formerly Ottoman territories; this foreign policy doctrine known as… Albania has been one of Turkey’s prime areas of… Albania ... Read More »

Island or Rock? Taiwan Defends Its Claim in South China Sea

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ITU ABA, South China Sea — The largest natural feature of the Spratly Islands, the hotly disputed archipelago in the South China Sea, is a forested, sun-drenched oval of land, cleaved by a single runway that gives the place the appearance of a raw coffee bean floating in… Steven Lee Myers The New York Times Called Itu Aba, it is occupied not by China, which has aggressively asserted its territorial claims in the sea, but by its archrival, the self-governing ... Read More »

Religious freedom should be protected for all Australians

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More needs to be done to ensure fundamental human rights are protected for all Australians, including freedom of religion. The Canberra Times However, if new laws are introduced it must not result in an erosion of current legislation that protects human rights, like those implemented in the ACT and Victoria. The ACT is ahead of the curve when it comes to laws protecting basic human rights, after the welcome introduction of the ACT Human Rights Act in 2004. Victoria followed ... Read More »

Varoufakis offers timely economic tidbits

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In his odd little book about capitalism and the global economy, former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis attempts to explain the origins and evolution of market economies, including the seemingly inescapable tendencies of these systems to generate inequality among and within nations. Reviewed by: Scott MacKay Winnipeg Free Press Some readers will recall Varoufakis’ brief and tumultuous showdown with the global financial community during the Greek economic crisis of 2015 and his resulting bestselling memoir about these negotiations, Adults in ... Read More »

I teach refugees to map their world

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I first visited the Zaatari refugee camp in early 2015. Located in northern Jordan, the camp is home to more than 80,000 Syrian refugees. Brian Tomaszewski The Conversation I was there as part of a research study on refugee camp wireless and information infrastructure. It’s one thing to read about refugees in the news. It’s a whole different thing to actually go visit a camp. I saw people living in metal caravans, mixed with tents and other materials to create ... Read More »

Indonesia’s grim new challenge: children carrying bombs

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On her mother’s Facebook account, now deleted, a cherub-cheeked Famela Rizqita is leaning on a bench overlooking a lake. Jewel Topsfield & Amilia Rosa The Age She was nine when she died but here she is younger, adorable in a hot pink hijab with ruffles. The Facebook account is typical of besotted mothers the world over. There are multiple photos of Ita, as she was nicknamed, posing with her siblings. She is snapped coquettishly holding a rose, in front of ... Read More »

Italy’s coalition agreement explained

Anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) leader Luigi Di Maio speaks to the press after a meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella as part of consultations of political parties to form a government, on May 14, 2018 at the Quirinale palace in Rome. - The leaders of the anti-immigrant League party and anti-establishment Five Star Movement meet the Italian president today to share details of a coalition government programme three month after general elections in Italy. (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

In shaping policies, the far-right League seems to have come out ahead of the 5Stars. Giada Zampano Politico ROME — The populist parties seeking to form an Italian government unveiled what they say will be the final version of their coalition agreement Friday. The new “government contract” between the anti-establishment 5Star Movement and the far-right League backs away from some of the more explosive proposals contained in earlier drafts that have been leaked to the Italian press. But it still contains plenty ... Read More »

Will Patriotism Push America Into an Unconstitutional War?

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We cannot go to war on the whim of a single person and automatic obedience by well-meaning men and women who profess loyalty to a Constitution they don’t understand. Muckey Edwards The National Interest Last week I had the good fortune to hear one of America’s leading military officers deliver a thoughtful and inspiring address to a small group—there were about fifty of us—of people who have been concerned about the direction of the country. The meeting was private so ... Read More »

Hope and fear surround emerging technologies, but all of us must contribute to stronger governance

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It’s been a big year for companies pushing the boundaries of technology – and not in a good way. The Cambridge Analytica scandal led to a public outcry about privacy, the Commonwealth Bank’s loss of customer data raised concerns about cybersecurity, and a fatal self-driving car crash put the safety of automated systems in the spotlight. Authors: The Conversation These controversies are just the latest warning signs that we urgently need better governance of the technologies redefining the world. There ... Read More »

A Peace Of Fiction: Australia Should Celebrate A National Day Of Violence

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If we’re going to engage in so much violence, then why not celebrate it, ask Gideon Polya and Richard Hil. New Matilda What’s all this talk about peace? Why should Australia celebrate peace when we appear to be such a violence-prone nation? Someone recently suggested that instead of staging peace rallies, Australia should hold a National Violence Day, such is this nation’s dalliance with this most aberrant of practices. No doubt, such views will upset the Pollyannas amongst us, but ... Read More »

Erdogan and Turkey’s Elections

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When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a presidential and parliamentary election June 24—jumping the gun by more than a year—the outcome seemed foreordained: the country is under a state of emergency, Erdogan has imprisoned more than 50,000 of… Conn Hallinan CounterPunch But Erdogan’s seemingly overwhelming strength is not as solid as it appears, and the moves the President is making to insure a victory next month may come back to haunt him in the long run. There is ... Read More »

The efficiency myth

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Heard the tale about the private sector always doing things better? Nick Dowson wonders why it still has believers New Internationalist The central myth of neoliberalism – ‘private sector good, public sector bad’ – persists in the face of all evidence to the contrary. The private sector is held up as better, more efficient, the way to modernize… Yet worldwide, hundreds of services are being brought back into public ownership, which suggests that people aren’t buying the hype around greater ... Read More »