Diplomacy

Breaking Algeria’s Economic Paralysis

Political paralysis in oil-dependent Algeria has blocked much-needed economic reform. ICG To avoid a new era of instability, the government should increase transparency and accountability within state institutions and the private sector, as well as improve opportunities for the country’s burgeoning youth. What’s new?  Since the 2014 oil price drop, Algeria’s economic model, which emerged from the civil war in the 1990s, appears increasingly unsustainable. Despite repeated reform promises, the political system remains paralysed, led by an… Why does it ... Read More »

APEC 2018: US-China clash at regional meeting leads to historic summit failure

Deep divisions between the United States and China have derailed the APEC meeting in Port Moresby, with regional leaders failing to agree on a final communique for the first time in the summit’s history. By Pacific affairs reporter Stephen Dziedzic ABC The two regional powers clashed repeatedly over the language on trade in the final document, with Beijing angrily rejecting paragraphs that called for an overhaul of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and… The Trump administration has repeatedly accused China ... Read More »

Spain threatens to reject Theresa May’s Brexit deal over Gibraltar

Foreign minister demands last-minute changes to withdrawal agreement text Jon Stone Independent The Spanish government has threatened to reject Theresa May’s Brexit deal over the issue of Gibraltar, demanding that last-minute changes be made to the text ahead of a crunch summit. The country’s foreign minister said Spain would not back the proposals at the European Council unless it received assurances that the agreement would not apply to Gibraltar. But Downing Street said it would not exempt Gibraltar or any other British territory ... Read More »

Setback for Rohingya refugees as Bangladeshi repatriation plan stalls

Cox’s Bazar: Bangladesh’s plans to tackle the Rohingya refugee crisis are set to be stalled until the new year with repatriation and relocation programmes only likely be revisited after year-end general elections, a… Zeba Siddiqui Brisbane Times More than 720,000 Rohingya fled a sweeping army crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in 2017, according to UN agencies. The crackdown was launched in response to insurgent Rohingya attacks on… Rohingya refugees say soldiers and Buddhist civilians killed families, burned many villages and carried ... Read More »

Nicola Sturgeon: decision on Scottish independence vote in ‘not-too-distant future’

Nicola Sturgeon has said her MPs will vote against Theresa May’s Brexit plan and that she will make a statement on a second independence vote soon. Paris Gourtsoyiannis The Scotsaman The First Minister said plans for another referendum on independence would have to wait “until the dust settles”, meaning after a Commons vote on the proposed Brexit deal, and any public vote that could follow. Uncertainty over the UK’s relationship with the EU has forced Ms Sturgeon to repeatedly delay ... Read More »

Irish bruiser, on the ropes at home, comes out swinging in Brussels

Agriculture commissioner has eyes on a bigger prize, but it’s unclear how far Dublin will back him. By SIMON MARKS AND EMMET LIVINGSTONE Politico There’s no going back for Phil Hogan. With his reputation at home still in tatters for introducing an unpopular water charge at the height of the financial crisis, the Irishman has launched a stealth campaign to stay in Brussels after next year’s European election. The giant from County Kilkenny, who stands 1.95 meters tall, has set his eyes ... Read More »

UK’s chemical Catch-22

The EU sets the global standard for chemicals, so Britain can’t stray too far after Brexit — and it won’t have a say. Ginger Hervey Politico urope sets the world standard when it comes to chemical safety — unfortunately for the United Kingdom. The U.K. has been a consistent voice of caution in discussions on whether to restrict use of harmful chemicals in the EU — frequently taking the industry’s side in fights about whether to add more regulations. When ... Read More »

Tony Abbott rejects warnings, urges Scott Morrison to move Israel embassy

Tony Abbott has urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison to proceed with a controversial shift in policy on Israel despite a warning from Malaysia that the move could fuel terrorism and concerns from Indonesia over a… David Crowe The Canberra Times Mr Abbott said the “rhetorical backlash” from Muslim countries in Asia was always going to happen but that this should not stop Australia showing its support for Israel by moving the Australian embassy from Tel… The comments are another strong ... Read More »

Refugees in Uganda: The value of a million human lives

Uganda is a front runner when it comes to forward-looking refugee policy. But financial aid from abroad only trickles in and the situation is worsening. Who should pay — Uganda or the international community? Silja Fröhlich DW In the first half of November, 1,750 new refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan entered Uganda. This brings the total from these two countries for this year to 100,000. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 1.4 million refugees live ... Read More »

Mike Pence announces US-Australia military pact to expand Manus Island naval base

United States Vice-President Mike Pence has declared his nation will partner with Australia and Papua New Guinea to boost operations at a Manus Island naval base amid rising tensions over China’s growing influence in the Pacific. Nicole Hasham WAtoday The federal government had been working with PNG to develop the strategically important base at Lombrum, announcing in September a $5 million contract to upgrade wharf and shore-based infrastructure. Mr Pence told a meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation in ... Read More »

Xi warns of dangers of conflict while Pence lets fly

Beijing: Tensions between China and the United States were on full display at the APEC CEO summit in Port Moresby, with Chinese President Xi Jinping warning of the need to uphold the global institutions pivotal to peace shortly before US Vice-President Mike Pence launched a blistering attack on China to the same audience. Kirsty Needham Brisbane Times Warning of the painful lessons of World War II, Xi said: “History has shown that confrontation, whether in the form of a cold war, a ... Read More »

Rebuilding the Gaza Ceasefire

A ceasefire agreement has brought Israel and Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas back from the cusp of yet another calamitous war. ICG However fragile, it offers a rare opportunity for all parties to finally break the cycle of recurring hostilities that has killed thousands since 2007. What’s new?  For the first time since the 2014 war, a plan for a long-term ceasefire between Hamas and Israel started to take hold in early November, only to be disrupted by the… The ceasefire ... Read More »

PM statement on Brexit negotiations: 15 November 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May updates the House of Commons on the Brexit negotiations. Gov.UK With permission, Mr Speaker, I would like to update the House on our negotiations to leave the European Union. First, I want to pay tribute to my Rt Hon Friends the Members for Esher and Walton and Tatton. Delivering Brexit involves difficult choices for all of us. We do not agree on all of those choices but I respect their views and thank them sincerely for ... Read More »

Theresa May stares down Brexit turmoil, vowing to see her deal through

London (CNN) – An embattled Theresa May vowed to fight on as UK Prime Minister Thursday in the face of intense opposition to her troubled Brexit deal, facing down a wave of resignations and… By Laura Smith-Spark and Eliza Mackintosh, CNN In a defiant statement at 10 Downing Street, May said her Brexit deal — which has attracted intense criticism from all sides — was in the national interest and made it clear that she had no… “I believe with every ... Read More »

A county in Idaho offered Spanish-language ballots for the first time and here’s what happened

On the morning of Election Day, the top trending search on Google was “donde votar,” which means “where to vote” in Spanish. Gabe Osterhout The Conversation Voter access to the polls was a major issue during the 2018 midterm elections in the U.S. Charges of voter suppression were made in in Georgia and North Dakota. Critics of new voting rules claimed they disenfranchised African-Americans and Native Americans. While those problems were extensively covered by the press, less attention was paid ... Read More »

Mike Pence issues rebuke to Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi over ‘persecution’ of Rohingya Muslims

US Vice President Mike Pence has issued his strongest condemnation yet of Myanmar’s treatment of Rohingya Muslims warning leader Aung San Suu Kyi that “persecution” by her country’s army was “without excuse.” Sophie Williams Evening Standard He met with the Myanmar leader on Wednesday on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific summit in Singapore. While sitting next to the Myanmar leader, he said: “The violence and persecution by military and vigilantes that resulted in driving 700,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh is without ... Read More »