Diplomacy

Australia is reported to UN human rights council over illegal detention of asylum seekers

Government condemned for arbitrary detention of three asylum seekers, including a stateless man held for nearly nine years… Ben Doherty The Guardian United Nations body has condemned Australia’s arbitrary detention of three asylum seekers, one of whom has been held without charge or trial for nearly nine years. The UN working group on arbitrary detention – which reports to the human rights council, on which Australia sits – said in its annual report it was concerned by “the rising prevalence ... Read More »

Jailing of Reuters journalists ‘nothing to do with freedom of expression’, says Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar’s State Counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi, says two jailed Reuters journalists can appeal their seven-year sentence, and that their jailing had nothing to do with freedom of expression. ABC Asked how she felt about jailing journalists as a democratic leader, Suu Kyi said: “They were not jailed because they were journalists, they were jailed because … the court has decided that they have broken the… She made her comments at the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Hanoi on ... Read More »

Israel, Greece, Cyprus plan underwater gas pipeline

Netanyahu meets with Greek, Cypriot foreign ministers as three countries plan gas pipeline to Europe Arutz Sheva Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday, at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, held a trilateral meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides. He also met… The three discussed, in continuation of previous meetings, the laying of a joint Israel-Cyprus-Greece East-Med gas pipeline in order to export gas to Europe. They also discussed – inter alia – ... Read More »

Reports of British Challenges to Chinese Claims in the South China Sea

International news media published coverage over the weekend of the British Navy warship HMS Albion conducting “freedom of navigation” operations (FONOPS) in the South China Sea. Katie Begley OpsLens Albion sailed near the Paracel Islands, land claimed by China but not recognized by the international community as Chinese sovereignty. The Paracel Islands, along with nearby Spratly Islands, are claimed by numerous nations surrounding the South China Sea. The Paracel Islands are claimed by China, Vietnam, and Taiwan. International Maritime Law ... Read More »

SNP activists to hold ‘day of action’ on independence referendum

The SNP is to hold a national “day of action” on Scottish independence later this month, taking the temperature of the nation as it continues its preparations for a second referendum. Chris Green The Scotsman The party’s depute leader Keith Brown said MPs, MSPs and activists would be given a target of speaking to 50,000 people across the country on 29… Revealing the plans in an interview with The Scotsman’s sister title inews.co.uk, he said the party would be “making ... Read More »

An Offensive Plan for the Balkans That the U.S. Should Get Behind

A Kosovo-Serbia land swap would be peaceful ethnic cleansing. But at least it would bring peace. Charles A. Kupchan * The New York Times The Balkans remains in strategic limbo. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia 10 years ago, but Serbia has yet to come to terms with its loss — refusing to recognize Kosovo and stirring trouble between the country’s ethnic Serbs and the ethnic Albanian majority. Almost two decades after the… A breakthrough may now be in the making. ... Read More »

UN Secretary-General: American Power Is in Decline, the World Is ‘in Pieces’

Is Democracy Dying? António Guterres confronts the “reemergence of irrationality” in global politics. Uri Friedman The Atlantic For the past two years, the secretary-general of the United Nations, António Guterres, has watched as President Donald Trump upends American foreign policy, engaging in trade wars while simultaneously disengaging from international agreements and… And now Guterres has reached a verdict: The United States, once the guarantor of global stability, is losing its ability to influence world events. “I think that the soft ... Read More »

New book offers vital background on the Iran nuclear deal

Wendy Sherman may not have the highest name recognition outside of Washington — but that’s what you might expect from a former top State Department official whose job included delicate negotiations with old adversaries and… Jason Rezaian The Washington Post Now she has just come out with a new memoir that fills a valuable gap in recent history by providing a detailed look at the talks that led to the Iran nuclear deal. Sherman was the lead negotiator for the ... Read More »

If Britain Opts for Corbyn, Then the New Prime Minister Will Clash with Trump Over Israel

Is the Middle East ready? Lawrence J. Haas The National Interest The signs of breakdown in the liberal international order are mounting, and they’re coming from disparate directions: Washington battles its closest allies on trade, Beijing and Moscow come together more closely militarily in an anti-U.S. alliance, and Beijing seeks to make its territorial expansion a… But the liberal order is as much about values as about alliances and power plays. In that sense, the most striking recent manifestation of ... Read More »

80 Moderate Tory MPs Hold Talks To Fight Back Against ‘Shrill’ Right-Wingers

Meeting comes amid rumours of Brexiteer coup against Theresa May. Ned Simons HuffPost Around 80 Conservative MPs from the moderate wing of the party held talks in Westminster on Wednesday evening as part of a fight back against their right-wing colleagues. Last night, 50 MPs from Jacob Rees-Mogg’s hardline Brexiteer European Research Group (ERG) met in parliament and reportedly openly discussed staging a coup against Theresa May. HuffPost UK understands this evening’s gathering included pro-Brexit Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt, Education ... Read More »

How to Save the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program

Amid the largest displacement crisis since World War II, President Donald Trump’s administration has cut the U.S.’s annual intake of refugees in half. ICG It should reverse course, and future administrations should strive to put refugee admissions on a stronger political and operational footing. What’s new?  Through various forms of bureaucratic strangulation, the Trump administration is working to squeeze the life from a program that has helped resettle three million refugees in the U.S. since 1980. Why does it matter?  The current ... Read More »

Hungary’s Viktor Orban accuses EU of ‘abuse of power’

The Hungarian premier has told EU lawmakers that Brussels’ actions against Budapest “violates the EU treaty.” Viktor Orban is facing pressure to correct measures that have undermined “fundamental values” of the EU. DW Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Tuesday told the European Parliament that potential disciplinary measures against his country are a “moral decision” that amounts to “abuse of power.” Under pressure from the European Commission, Orban is facing a vote that could see Hungary lose its voting rights in the bloc ... Read More »

Climate change conflicts are here – and ‘scallop wars’ are just the beginning

As the planet warms, species are moving further north to climate zones which are closer in temperature to what they originally evolved in. The oceans have absorbed most of this temperature increase, and… Heather Alberro The Conversation In the face of this disruption, legal boundaries for fishing fleets could become increasingly irrelevant. As the fish stocks they once contained move out, conflict is likely to arise between countries exploiting… As a result, the ongoing “scallop war”, which has seen tense ... Read More »

Quinquepartite meeting of Energy Ministers: “The Balkans are the next energy hub”

Initiative to showcase the Balkans as an energy hub for the wider region are expected to be taken in the near future with the aim of, creating a single energy market in SE Europe, among other things. Nefeli Tzanetakou ibna The quinquepartite meeting held on the sidelines of the Southeast Europe Energy Forum, organized by the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce in the framework of the 83rd… All sides share common objectives, including the need for further interconnection of infrastructure and ... Read More »

SNP deputy insists independence movement ‘in great health’

The independence movement is in “great health,” according to SNP depute leader Keith Brown after the party’s biggest ever national assembly meeting. The Scotsman Around 500 SNP members met in Edinburgh on Sunday at a policy development forum to debate a new economic blueprint for independence. The party is holding a series of events to gather views on the findings of the Growth Commission, published in… National assemblies have already been held in Ayr and Aviemore ahead of the SNP’s ... Read More »

Fresh Brexit row over UK’s Johnson ‘suicide vest’ jibe

Britain’s ruling Conservative party was locked in a new row over Brexit on Sept. 9 after Boris Johnson said the government’s strategy put the country in a “suicide vest”, with Brussels holding the… LONDON-Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The former foreign minister’s remarks ramp up his criticism of Prime Minister TheresaMay‘s approach to leaving the European Union, amid speculation he is positioning to replace her. Writing in the Mail on Sunday newspaper, Johnson repeated that May‘s plan to follow EU rules on trade in goods after Brexit — a plan over which he ... Read More »