Analysis

The Brexit plan that could bring down the British government – explained

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Two years after the referendum, the UK government briefly appeared to agree on its vision for the future UK-EU relationship. Nikos Skoutaris The Conversation A three page document, outlining the UK position, was published following a long meeting of cabinet ministers at the prime minister’s country retreat of Chequers on July 6. The new position aims to address the Irish border issue and potentially offers a softer version of Brexit than was previously talked about. It has prompted the resignation ... Read More »

New migrant processing centres in EU must avoid inhumanity of ‘hotspots’ in Greece and Italy

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A new plan to set up “controlled centres” to hold migrants once they arrive in EU territory risks repeating many mistakes of the past, bypassing due process and breaching fundamental human rights and… Samantha Velluti The Conversation At the EU’s June summit in Brussels, leaders agreed to create centres within EU member states to speed up the processing of asylum requests and assist those countries on the rim of the Mediterranean sea – such as Italy, Malta and… No country ... Read More »

Justice for Cyprus: The Goal should be Freedom from Occupation

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Cyprus, a member state of the European Union, has been illegally occupied by Turkey since 1974. Turkey’s false excuse for its presence on the island is the “protection of Turkish Cypriots from Greek violence.” Uzay Bulut * H Fusion     However, in 2017, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Tuğrul Türkeş revealed the real reason behind Turkey’s control of Cyprus:  “There is this misinformation that Turkey is interested in Cyprus because there is a Turkish society there… Kyrenia Harbour Even if no Turks lived in Cyprus, ... Read More »

Where are the UK’s marine protected areas?

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As campaigners call for better protection of UK waters and the wildlife within them, we take a look at the special statuses already in place and what exactly they aim to preserve. By Ajay Nair, news reporter SkyNews According to the Wildlife Trusts charity, giving protected status to areas is a “tried and tested” way of protecting habitats and wildlife. In the areas of the sea around the UK with protected status, environmentally damaging activities such as certain types of ... Read More »

What is “originalism?” Why Trump wants an originalist on the Supreme Court

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On Monday (July 9), US president Donald Trump will announce his pick to replace Anthony Kennedy on the nation’s highest court. Ephrat Livni Quartz The candidate for junior justice will no doubt be someone who claims to be an “originalist” or a “textualist,” which are just two ways of saying a judge guided by the US Constitution. The rhetoric about originalism can be a little confusing. Isn’t every judge in the country supposed to use the text of the constitution ... Read More »

The secret story of how America lost the drug war with the Taliban

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN:  An Afghan man pours petrol onto a pile of seized drugs, including more than 2,5 tons of opium, more than 4 tons of hasish, and some 169 kilos of heroin, before incinerating it outside Kabul, 23 September 2004.  Since the fall of the hardline Islamic Taliban regime in late 2001, Afghanistan has become one of the world's biggest drug producers.    AFP PHOTO/ Shah Marai  (Photo credit should read SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images)

A high-stakes plan to indict Afghan drug lords and insurgency leaders on criminal conspiracy charges ran afoul of the Obama team. Five years later, it remains buried under Trump. Josh Meyer Politico As Afghanistan edged ever closer to becoming a narco-state five years ago, a team of veteran U.S. officials in Kabul presented the Obama administration with a detailed plan to use U.S. courts to prosecute the… The plan, according to its authors, was both a way of halting the ... Read More »

Dani Garavelli: We can mock Trump’s visit, but remember serious issues at stake

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Knockabout stunts to humiliate Donald Trump during his UK visit are great as long as we remember the serious issues at stake, writes Dani Garavelli Last week, on US Independence Day, Therese Okoumo staged the perfect protest against Donald Trump’s policy on separating immigrant children from their… The Scotsman The Congolese woman, who has lived in New York for at least a decade, scaled the base of the Statue of Liberty and proceeded to nestle in its green copper robes. ... Read More »

Trump Should Just Give People Money

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Ms. Lowrey is the author of a new book on universal basic income. The Trump administration, Republicans in Congress and conservative governors across the country want the government to be simpler, smaller and more effective — unless, that is, the government is dealing with the… Annie Lowrey The New York Times In a matter of months, hundreds of thousands of low-income residents of Arkansas, New Hampshire and Indiana will have to convince local bureaucrats that they have a job or are ... Read More »

Israeli intelligence firm targeted NGOs during Hungary’s election campaign

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - APRIL 08: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban leaves from the polling station on April 8, 2018 in Budapest, Hungary. Hungarians are going to the polls in the Parliamentary election today. (Photo by Laszlo Balogh/Getty Images)

People working for Black Cube secretly taped meetings that were then cited by Prime Minister Victor Orbán. Lili Bayer Politico The Israeli private intelligence firm Black Cube was involved in a campaign to discredit NGOs ahead of Hungary’s April election, according to a former Black Cube employee and a person with knowledge of the company’s inner workings. Between December 2017 and March 2018, Hungarian NGOs and individuals connected to American-Hungarian businessman George Soros were contacted by agents using false identities who… Israeli intelligence ... Read More »

Thai cave boys: the psychology of surviving underground

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When 12 young footballers and their coach entered the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Thailand, it was supposed to be a fun outing after football practice. Sarita Robinson The Conversation But when a torrent of flood water rushed in after heavy rain, the group became trapped on a small rock shelf deep inside the cave’s vast network of tunnels. It was nine days before two British divers, John Volanthen and Richard Stanton, located the group – mercifully alive and ... Read More »

Booker Prize: tradition of multilingual writers seems to be dying out – more’s the pity

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Is it a coincidence that J.K. Rowling studied French and Classics? Or that Shakespeare wrote passages of dialogue in Welsh and French, suggesting that he was conversant in both? Authors: The Conversation To write successfully in your first language, it can help if you know a second – it is one way of seeing the world from another perspective and making comparisons, which is after all what literature is all about. But what of writers of contemporary literary fiction? Researchers ... Read More »

America on Thin ICE

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“The culture and ideology fostered in this globalization process relate largely to “lifestyle” themes and goods and their acquisition; and they tend to weaken any sense of community helpful to civic life.” Nick Pemberton CounterPunch — Noam Chomsky & Edward Herman, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media These Dreamers are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper.” — Barack Obama Last weekend hundreds of thousands marched to protest Donald Trump’s ... Read More »

What the Nazis driving people from homes taught philosopher Hannah Arendt about the rights of refugees

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Facing a political revolt over immigration policies from the Christian Social Union partner in her coalition government, German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to a compromise, which would create “transit zones” or refugee camps along Germany’s southern border. Kathleen B. Jones The Conversation Under the agreement, migrants would be housed in designated transit areas, until German authorities determined their eligibility. If found to have registered in another EU country, immigrants would be turned back, assuming that country would accept them. Merkel ... Read More »

NATO Is Obsolete

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“Europe is prosperous and treats America like a patsy. Let it stand on its own.” Before the United States President Donald Trump attempts real diplomacy with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit in Helsinki on July 16, he’ll first be subjected to another summit. Christian Whiton The National Interest That first summit is a gathering of leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). These leaders continually assure the United States they are America’s best allies, even as most ... Read More »

Toxic Salisbury

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This week in the British media, disturbing reports appeared of a man and a woman hospitalized in Salisbury Hospital in the UK with symptoms of poisoning by an unknown substance. Editor ISF The victims were found unconscious in a private house near Salisbury. Incredibly, once again reference was made to “Novichok”. In this situation, it will not be easy for neither Theresa May nor Boris Johnson to explain their previous high-profile statements. Interestingly, once more no explanation based on concrete ... Read More »

Lessons in Chinese history as America shuts off from the world

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Those who have studied history understand the importance of being engaged in the global economy. Walid Hejazi The Conversation Two thousand years ago, China represented nearly 25 per cent of the global economy. In 1600, it was 30 per cent, and a third in 1820. The country was a global powerhouse, to say the least. There is a famous story from 1792 when King George III’s ambassador led a trade mission to China with a cargo of the latest European ... Read More »