Diplomacy

Liberal Party council votes to sell off the ABC and move Australian embassy to Jerusalem

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The Liberal Party’s peak council has voted almost 2:1 to privatise the ABC in a call that was swiftly rejected by cabinet ministers amid warnings it would be “total madness” to act on the call. David Crowe The Age The overwhelming vote at the party’s annual council in Sydney gained vocal support from conservative think-tank Institute of Public Affairs, which said the company could be sold or given to Australians who already own it. The vote came in a debate ... Read More »

Russia inserts itself into North Korea game

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Japan’s Abe is looking sidelined while Russia’s Vladimir Putin adroitly places himself in the Korea strategy space M. K. Bhadrakumar Asia Times When it comes to North Korea, Japan and Russia may seem like two “lost souls” in Northeast Asia, standing on the fringes anxiously looking on as China, South Korea and the United States dominate the headlines. The tremors set in motion by the meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore last ... Read More »

Parliament’s problem isn’t anti-Brexit protests outside. It lies within

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Activists wanted answers from Arron Banks at his select committee hearing. But MPs just aped his smug jocularity Ian Jack The Guardian On every day that parliament has sat since September last year, Steven Bray has positioned himself across the road from Downing Street or the Palace of Westminster and shouted “STOP BREXIT!” whenever a suitable target presents itself: usually a black ministerial car ferrying a… His voice is loud and commanding, and sometimes he stretches the syllable in the ... Read More »

DR Congo: The Bemba Earthquake

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The ICC’s acquittal of Jean-Pierre Bemba comes at a critical point in DR Congo elections. President Kabila and his opponents will have to recalibrate strategies ahead of Bemba’s likely return. ICG Outside powers should keep pressing Kabila to stand down and allow opposition candidates to… What’s new? On 8 June Jean-Pierre Bemba, a charismatic Congolese leader and fierce rival of President Joseph Kabila, was acquitted by the International Criminal Court’s appeals chamber of a 2016 war crimes conviction. His likely ... Read More »

Yemen war: UN calls for vital port of Hudaydah to stay open

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The UN Security Council has reiterated its call for the rebel-held Yemeni port of Hudaydah to remain open after urgent talks on the Saudi-backed offensive. BBC However, the council rejected a call by member state Sweden for an immediate halt to hostilities. Pro-government forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition launched the offensive after Houthi rebels ignored a deadline to leave the port city. Hudaydah is a key entry point for humanitarian aid to war-torn… Yemen war: UN… Read More »

UN rights chief calls for major probe into Kashmir abuses

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The U.N. human rights chief on June 14 called for a major investigation into abuses in Kashmir, as his office released its first-ever report on violations committed by both India and Pakistan in the… GENEVA – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said he would urge the Human Rights Council, which opens a new session next week, “to consider establishing a Commission of Inquiry [COI] to conduct a comprehensive independent international investigation into… A COI is one of the UN’s highest-level probes, generally reserved for ... Read More »

U.S. expected to retreat from main U.N. rights forum: activists, diplomats

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GENEVA (Reuters) – Talks with the United States over how to reform the main U.N. rights body have failed to meet Washington’s demands, activists and diplomats say, suggesting that the Trump administration will quit the… Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Alison Williams A U.S. source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the withdrawal appeared to be “imminent” but had no details. Diplomatic sources said it was not a question of if but of when the United States retreats ... Read More »

Turkey’s Erdogan Offers Putin to Jointly Produce New Gen S-500 Missile System

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Turkey is eyeing a long-range missile defense system of its own as part of its current effort to enhance the county’s defensive strategic military capabilities. Sputnik Ankara is looking forward to the joint production of a new generation S-500 air and missile defense system with Russia, President Recep Tayyip has said. “I have contacted President Putin with a proposal about the joint production of the S-500,” Erdogan said in an interview with 24 TV. He didn’t mention the… Turkey’s Erdogan Offers… Read More »

EU parliament urges Commission to act against Poland

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Five of the main political groups in the European Parliament urged the European Commission on June 14 to open infringement proceedings against Poland and to take it to the European Court of Justice to stop planned judicial reforms. STRASBOURG – Reuters Hurriyet The call by the leaders of the center-right European People’s Party, the centrist Liberals, the Socialists and Democrats, the Greens and the Unified European Left follows criticism from Commission Vice-president Frans Timmermans, who has accused Warsaw of breaking EU obligations. Frustration with Poland is focused on ... Read More »

Young refugees share what it’s like trying to finish school, find work and get married

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In 2012, at 10 years of age, Daahir sat in his school classroom in Mogadishu, Somalia. The sounds of gun shots piercing the air interrupted the lesson. Laura Prazeres The Conversation As Daahir ran back home, he overheard that fighting had erupted between government forces and the militant group Al-Shabab. Daahir arrived home to find his father dead from gunshot wounds. Faced with further threats and imminent violence, Daahir and his family, along with many others, fled their… According to ... Read More »

It’s time to stop giving more rights to global corporations

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The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has published new research that shows that increased market power of global corporations is driving global income inequality. Dr Patricia Ranald Brisbane Times It notes that “in 2009–2015, the surplus profits of the top 1 per cent of publicly listed firms in a new UNCTAD firm-level database represented 55 per cent of recorded operating profits,” and recommends a… This research supports the case against giving corporations greater legal powers to sue governments over changes to domestic ... Read More »

How Beijing is winning control of the South China Sea

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Erratic US policy and fraying alliances give China a free hand SINGAPORE — Even by his outspoken standards, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s account of a conversation he had with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, was startling. Simon Roughneen Nikkei . Asia Review During a meeting between the two leaders in Beijing in May 2017, the subject turned to whether the Philippines would seek to drill for oil in a part of the South China Sea claimed by both countries. Duterte ... Read More »

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un rewrites the book on the art of the deal with shrewd handling of Donald Trump in Singapore

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Kim shows poise and diplomatic flourish to walk away with a win on one of the biggest points of contention Lee Jeong-ho and Kinling Lo South China Morning Post For a 34-year-old who made his first state visit in just the last few months, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un seemed to hold his own in Tuesday’s high-profile summit setting with US President Donald Trump. Kim had already surprised many observers with shrewd strategic manoeuvring before the talks and the Singapore ... Read More »

NEW EU CRISIS: Poland threatens bloc chaos with CRUCIAL referendum

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THE European Union is facing fresh crisis after Poland’s president pushed forward the prospect of holding a vote on the nation’s EU membership this autumn. Alice Scarsi Express Andrzej Duda has laid out plans to directly ask his citizens about the country’s relations with Brussels. The referendum would ask Polish people whether or not the nation’s membership of the bloc should be guaranteed in the constitution. And another question would see them asked whether they think the primacy of the ... Read More »

Turkey’s Election Reinvigorates Debate over Kurdish Demands

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Ahead of Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections on 24 June, opinion polls suggest a tighter race than many anticipated. ICG The country’s Kurds could be kingmakers, prompting politicians of different stripes to court their votes and… What’s new? Snap presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey appear likely to be more closely fought than anticipated. The country’s Kurds could affect the outcome of both contests. Politicians, especially those opposing President Erdoğan and… Why does it matter? Debate on Kurdish issues has ... Read More »

What’s next for the West?

Members of Oxfam dressed as the G7 leaders protest in Quebec City on June 9, 2018, during the G7 Summit. (Photo by Alice Chiche / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ALICE CHICHE/AFP/Getty Images)

Double, double toil and trouble. Politico Wrecking ball or master negotiator? Either way, Donald Trump is rewriting the rules of international diplomacy. In the span of just a few days, the U.S. president blew up the G7 summit and signed a nuclear deal with North Korea. Europe was left reeling. POLITICO asked experts what’s next for the West. The West is finished Ulrike Guérot is founder and director of the think tank European Democracy Lab and professor for European policy and the study of democracy ... Read More »