Analysis

How to Wear a Kippah in Germany

A government official’s warning that Jews in traditional dress might not be safe has sparked a new debate about how to protect the community. Noah Gordon Berlin Observer Berlin Policy Journal Is it unsafe for Jewish men to wear the traditional kippah (or yarmulke) cap in public in modern Germany? Or should Germans of all religions wear it proudly, as a sign of solidarity? The fact that the German government official tasked with combating anti-Semitism represented both positions within a ... Read More »

Sudan: Stopping a Spiral into Civil War

Sudan’s political transition is in great peril following the unprovoked killing of dozens of protesters. ICG The African Union has rightly suspended the country’s membership. Western and Gulf powers should take urgent steps to compel Sudan’s interim leaders to accept a civilian-led transitional administration.  On 3 June, Sudan’s security forces launched a bloody crackdown on unarmed protesters in Khartoum, clearing a sit-in outside the country’s military headquarters and bringing its political transition to a… The horrific rampage left dozens dead ... Read More »

Grattan on Friday: Media freedom joins the current ‘freedoms’ agenda

Scott Morrison is very concerned to protect freedom of religion, and many Liberals tell us we don’t have enough safeguards for freedom of speech. Michelle Grattan The Conversation Now the prime minister has on his hands a massive, unexpected and, for him, unwelcome argument about media freedom. The public’s right to know is one issue at stake in the furore over the police raids on the home of a News Corp journalist and on the ABC’s Sydney headquarters, as is ... Read More »

The gene therapy revolution is here. Medicine is scrambling to keep pace

Gene therapy – for so long something that belonged to the future – has just hit the streets. Elizabeth Finkel The Conversation A couple of weeks back, you might have picked up a headline alerting us to the most expensive drug in history – a one off gene therapy cure for spinal muscular atrophy. Novartis have priced the drug Zolgensma at A$3 million (US$2.1 million). Traditionally a parent of a baby with spinal muscular atrophy was told: take your baby ... Read More »

Erdoğan reshaped command structure of Turkish troops deployed in Cyprus

Many of the commanding officers of troops that Turkey maintains in divided Cyprus were removed on flimsy evidence as part of a major overhaul of the Turkish military by the… Nordic Monitor Abdullah Bozkurt According to a trove of secret military documents obtained by Nordic Monitor, highly dubious evidence was presented as a pretext for removing senior officers in the… The charges filed against the officers, ranging from coup plotting to terrorism, are believed to simply have been a pretext ... Read More »

Why the raids on Australian media present a clear threat to democracy

The Australian Federal Police has this week conducted two high-profile raids on journalists who have exposed government secrets and their sources. Rebecca Ananian-Welsh The Conversation On Tuesday, seven AFP officers spent several hours searching News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst’s Canberra home, her mobile phone and computer. The AFP linked the raid to “the alleged publishing of information classified as an official secret”. This stemmed from Smethurst’s 2018 article, which contained images of a “top secret” memo and reported that senior government officials were considering ... Read More »

Trump team is adopting a pipeline plan to wean Europe off Russian fuel

President Donald Trump’s top national security aides believe the roadmap to Middle East peace has been traced on a physical map they have hanging in the White House marked by power plants, gas terminals and… Michael Wilner McClatchy DC Bureau According to three senior administration officials, that map – declassified and obtained by McClatchy – has motivated members of the National Security Council to prioritize the formation of a gas forum in the… Fascination with regional energy resources has formed ... Read More »

Many plant species at risk of extinction – and we’re blind to danger this poses to life on Earth

Up to a million species may go extinct due to human activity according to a recent report, some within decades. Authors: The Conversation We all know the mammals in trouble – polar bears, giant pandas and snow leopards – but how many of us could name an endangered plant? A 2019 report assessed 28,000 plant species and concluded that about half of them were threatened with extinction. This failure to notice and appreciate plants has been termed “plant blindness”, and ... Read More »

UK has updated the way it measures integration – now it’s everybody’s job to make refugees welcome

With the number of displaced people in the world at record levels and a growing global focus on the integration of refugees into new communities, the UK government has decided to update a… Jenny Phillimore The Conversation The Home Office’s new Indicators of Integration, which I helped to design as part of a small team of academics and researchers after a wide-ranging consultation, are intended to be a tool to help national and… It’s currently unclear how well refugees are ... Read More »

A blind refugee has been held in Australian detention for nine years

The United Nations has blasted the Australian government for detaining the man, who also has mental health issues. Nick Baker SBS A United Nations working group has called on the Australian government to immediately release and compensate a 35-year-old Tamil refugee with multiple disabilities who has been in detention for more than nine years. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention wrote a “scathing” report about the individual being held since 2010, which has been seen by SBS News and ... Read More »

Canada’s UN submission will (eventually) draw the last lines on the map

In May 2019, Canada made a partial submission to the United Nations to recognize an extended continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles in the Arctic Ocean. This means that Canada will soon have the last lines drawn on the… Andrea Charron The Conversation Canada’s submission was made to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) under Article 76 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). There was surprisingly little fanfare over this ... Read More »

EU sued at International Criminal Court over Mediterranean migration policy – as more die at sea

In the same week that more migrant lives were lost at sea, the EU’s migration policy in the Mediterranean has been brought to the attention of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Maurice Stierl The Conversation It emerged on June 3 that the ICC had received a legal submission calling for the EU and some of its member states to face prosecution for enacting migration policies “intended to sacrifice the… The sharply worded submission was brought by international lawyers who have ... Read More »

Article “On Victory Day” by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for International Affairs magazine, June 4, 2019

The month of May and the fireworks are now behind us. The country and the world celebrated Victory Day, which is a holiday of war veterans, home front workers, and all the people of Russia and other victorious nations. Sergey Lavrov International Affairs There was a grand parade on Red Square and a wreath laying ceremony at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The march of the Immortal Regiment – a civil initiative that has acquired a truly global dimension ... Read More »

Mexico’s Hydra-headed Crime War

It may seem that Mexico’s crime war, which has left over 100,000 dead in its wake, could not get any worse. Falko Ernst ICG But interviews with gunmen in deadly Tierra Caliente show that it can, as criminal organisations break into smaller and smaller parts, driving up the death toll. The body, dumped under a highway overpass, is charred beyond recognition. At the morgue, it takes four days to identify it. A day longer, and authorities would have laid the corpse ... Read More »

The Greek Genocide: Forgotten no longer

Raphael Lemkin, the lawyer and scholar who coined the term “genocide” and initiated the Genocide Convention, was working on a multi-volume history of such massacres at the time he passed in 1959. ekathimerini Endy Zemenides He had planned five chapters on the Greeks – more than for any other people – in this unfinished work. The Armenian Genocide has dominated the discussion about the massacres perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire on its Christian populations. The genocide of the Ottoman Empire’s ... Read More »

Is the United States Baiting Iran into a War?

The Trump team appears to have laid a trap for Iran, attempting to provoke it into an action that crosses an administration red line. Jeffrey Stacey The National Interest The Middle East region and the American foreign-policy establishment are breathing a collective sigh of relief, as President Donald Trump has dialed back U.S. threats to Iran and undercut his administration’s top hawks, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton. But while tensions in the Persian Gulf ... Read More »