Analysis

Aged care failures show how little we value older people – and those who care for them

As the royal commission begins investigating the failures of the residential aged care sector, it is important such a review also considers the broader socio-political factors that have contributed to this crisis. Authors: The Conversation The commission needs to go beyond the institutional problems at individual aged care facilities, as these are a symptom of a much broader rejection of ageing in society and marginalisation of older people. Negative stereotyping of older people is reinforced in the media, and this ... Read More »

How to Respond to Venezuela’s Humanitarian Emergency

Numbers tell the grim tale of Venezuela’s continuing slide into socio-economic ruin. ICG With 1.6 million people fleeing the country since 2015, international donors should step up aid to neighbouring states, while concerned parties fine-tune pressure for political change in Caracas and prepare for worst-case scenarios. Colombia’s hosting of a meeting on Venezuela today stands as an important opportunity to draw attention to the severity of the nation’s crisis, the suffering of its people and the burden it puts on ... Read More »

Terrorists in Idlib Should not Hope on the Help of Foreign Sponsors

There are about 10,000 terrorists linked with al-Qaeda on the territory of the Syrian province of Idlib. Editor ISF This statement was unexpectedly widely quoted in the Western media, contrary to the established tradition of representing members of illegal armed groups as “rebels” and “fighters for freedom”. Perhaps the reason for the change in rhetoric was the fact that it came from the mouth of the special envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Syria Staffan de Mistura. As the statement ... Read More »

Australia has the wealth to ensure a sustainable future, but too many people are being left behind

The purpose of our social, economic and political systems is to enable all Australians to lead good lives. Australia is doing well on some fronts. Sue Richardson The Conversation It ranks third out of 188 countries on the UN Human Development Index, which takes into account life expectancy, education and national income per capita. We also rank 19th on national income per capita. This suggests Australia is rather good at converting national income into social well-being. But a key question ... Read More »

Don’t Leave Immigration Out of Our Environmental Laws

In 2016, for the first time in decades, immigration control took center stage in a populist election. The last few years have been an era of polarization, not only between Republican and Democratic partisans, but between populism and… Julie Axelrod Center for Immigration Studies Those who care about the environment have been lining up on the opposite side of the partisan divide from those who care about immigration control. This divide has been as unfortunate as it is misguided: The ... Read More »

Iran’s Ahvaz Attack Worsens Gulf Tensions

An attack on a military parade in Iran is raising tensions in an already volatile Gulf region. Four Crisis Group analysts give a 360-degree view of perspectives in Tehran, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Washington and warn that a single attack can trigger further escalation. ICG An attack on a military parade in the Iranian city of Ahvaz on 22 September, which killed 29 people, dangerously raised tensions in an already volatile Gulf region. Iran accused a local insurgent group (which ... Read More »

Turkey Must Choose the Tough Option and Leave Syria

Ankara doesn’t want to leave, but it doesn’t want armed conflict either. On September 17, Erdoğan reached an agreement with Putin at a meeting in Sochi to create buffer zones between government forces and those of the opposition confronting each other in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib in a… Mohammed Ayoob The National Interest This may have postponed the military showdown for the moment but is unlikely to lead to a lasting solution as the regime of President Bashar al-Assad ... Read More »

Influence in Australian politics needs an urgent overhaul – here’s how to do it

Public policy should be made for all Australians – not just those with the resources or connections to lobby and influence politicians. And mostly it is. Authors: The Conversation But sometimes bad policy is made or good policy is dropped because powerful groups have more say and sway than they should. Australia’s political institutions are generally robust, but many of the “risk factors” for policy capture by special interests are present in our system. Political parties are heavily reliant on ... Read More »

Washington’s Farcical “Certifications” Enable the War Crimes of Allies

And violate U.S. law. Ted Galen Carpenter The National Interest Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s certification that the Saudi-led military coalition in the Yemen war was taking adequate steps to avoid inflicting civilian casualties may have achieved a new low in U.S. foreign-policy ethics. There is abundant evidence of multiple atrocities that Riyadh and its United Arab Emirates (UAE) junior partner have committed and continue to commit. The coalition’s war strategy has created a famine as well as a cholera ... Read More »

Turkey went on a building spree as its economy boomed. Now the frenzy is crashing to a halt.

ISTANBUL — Inside the Ozdilek Park mall, Dogukan Altin arrives for his shift at a men’s clothing store. Today is a national holiday and almost everyone has the day off. But almost no one has come to Ozdilek. David J. Lynch The Washington Post “It’s generally just empty. There’s too many malls,” says Altin, 34, sporting a close-cropped beard along with a dark tie and white shirt. “Because there’s three malls right next to each other, none of them make ... Read More »

There Could Be a Financial Crash Before End of Trump’s First Term, Experts Say, Citing Looming Debts

Financial experts noted several ominous economic indicators, including skyrocketing student loans and U.S. household debts, that could predict a crash “worse than the Great Depression,” according to a… Benjamin Fearnow Newsweek Goldman Sachs predicted that this year’s U.S. fiscal outlook would be “not good,” and that U.S. household debt had been increasing since the 2008 housing crisis led to American taxpayers bailing out the… In 2018, experts said, a $247 trillion global debt will be the greatest cause of the next cataclysmic financial crash. Additionally, low ... Read More »

So Much Like Home: From Palestine To Central Australia

In December 2016, New Matilda editor Chris Graham travelled to the Middle East, his first visit to Palestine. What he found shocked him, but not so much for the depth of poverty and oppression, but rather for how much it reminded him of the… Chris Graham New Matilda In his 2013 documentary Utopia, Australian journalist John Pilger looks at the state of Aboriginal Australia following the Northern Territory intervention, a cynical government policy launched in the lead up to the… The ... Read More »

Corbyn faces clash with Labour members over second EU referendum

As the party gathers in Liverpool, is Corbyn’s promise to empower members coming back to haunt him? The Observer The Guardian Minutes after trouncing Owen Smith and winning his second Labour leadership contest in September 2016, Jeremy Corbyn promised to reward the mass membership that had backed him by giving them more power inside the party. “The participation is even higher, and my majority is bigger, and the mandate is very strong. So let’s use it to reach out,” he said. “With ... Read More »

Going Ballistic: A Key Missile Treaty Between Russia and America Is Dying a Slow Death

The INF treaty has nonetheless saved the United States and Russia millions of dollars of military spending in the last three decades on developing redundant nuclear-apocalypse generating weapons. Sebastien Roblin The National Interest Though the treaty is obviously endangered by a rising tide of violations and loophole exploiting, one should hope its total collapse can be avoided so to spare everybody yet another expensive form of nuclear-arms… One of the arms-control treaties that is little understood is the Intermediate-Range Nuclear ... Read More »

Is democracy dead? Please Explain: the new podcast

Is Democracy Dead? – Please Explain – Episode 1: Today we’re launching Please Explain, the latest podcast from The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. And for starters – is democracy dead? Tom McKendrick WAtoday National editor Tory Maguire, chief political correspondent David Crowe and Nine’s political editor, Chris Uhlmann, get to the heart of the matter. Plus, we hear from former News Corp editor David Penberthy on the relationship between Rupert Murdoch and his editors. You can listen to the… Is democracy dead? Please… Read More »

Al-Shabaab Five Years after Westgate: Still a Menace in East Africa

Al-Shabaab remains focused on recapturing power in Somalia, but it continues to plot attacks in Kenya and Tanzania – and perhaps in Uganda as well. ICG To counter the movement, East African states should eschew heavy-handed crackdowns and work instead to reduce its appeal to potential recruits. Executive Summary What’s happening? Five years after an attack on Nairobi’s Westgate Mall, Al-Shabaab appears committed to striking targets across East Africa. Security crackdowns have blunted its capacity to stage regular assaults, but ... Read More »