Diplomacy

U.S. Military Tests Russia at Sea Days After Warning From China

The U.S. military has sent a message to Russia by sailing through a disputed waterway near Japan. Tom O’Connor Newsweek The move came only a week after China mobilized its own vessels in response to a perceived transgression by the Navy. Navy Lieutenant Rachel McMarr, a spokesperson for the Pacific Fleet, told CNN Wednesday that Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS… The Navy considered the move one of its “freedom of navigation” operations, which are outlined in the 1982 United Nations Convention on ... Read More »

Yemen: Giving Peace a Chance?

Preliminary peace consultations on Yemen are scheduled to start in Stockholm on 6 December. This is the second attempt in three months to jump-start talks. Crisis Group consultant Peter Salisbury explains why the Sweden talks are so important and what could go wrong. What are the talks in Stockholm expected to achieve? In September, the UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, failed to bring the parties to the table in Geneva after last-minute wrangling. This time he hopes to have ... Read More »

Chad: Defusing Tensions in the Sahel

Growing discontent among young people in Chad’s Sahel regions risk driving them into the arms of rebels in neighbouring countries. ICG Authorities should end the impunity of individuals guilty of a range of abuses and distinguish between economic migrants and potential rebels. What’s new?  Anger at the state is rising among youth in Chad’s Sahel regions of Bahr el-Ghazal and Kanem. Impunity for abuses committed against locals and the authorities’ treatment of all young people leaving for Libya – many ... Read More »

Transatlantic defence industrial cooperation matters more than ever

2019 marks the 70th birthday of NATO, the most successful defensive alliance in history. But new threats are appearing and collaboration among allies remains essential, writes Chris Lombardi. Chris Lombardi is the vice president of European Business Development at Raytheon. EURACTIV At the signing ceremony of the Washington Treaty on April 1, 1949, U.S. President Harry S. Truman described the new pact as a way “to establish freedom from aggression and from the use of force in the North Atlantic Community.” ... Read More »

Chad: Defusing Tensions in the Sahel

Growing discontent among young people in Chad’s Sahel regions risk driving them into the arms of rebels in neighbouring countries. ICG Authorities should end the impunity of individuals guilty of a range of abuses and distinguish between economic migrants and potential rebels. What’s new?  Anger at the state is rising among youth in Chad’s Sahel regions of Bahr el-Ghazal and Kanem. Impunity for abuses committed against locals and the authorities’ treatment of all young people leaving for… Why does it ... Read More »

The rise and fall of Macron’s European revolution

Recent events have shown not much is left of French president’s vision. By MATTHEW KARNITSCHNIG Politico BERLIN — When Emmanuel Macron was elected French president by a landslide in May 2017, many in Europe sensed a new dawn. After years of crisis, Europe now had a leader who would deliver it from the malaise and turmoil. The youthful Frenchman had a fiery rallying call (En Marche!) and the vision to rebuild the European house, renewing the battered Continent’s spirit of fraternité. ... Read More »

Why the next two years are critical for the Paris climate deal’s survival

A mounting sense of urgency will greet negotiators as they arrive at this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poland. Authors: The Conversation In 2015, after 20 years of trying and failing to reach a global accord on climate-changing emissions, 195 nations hammered out a deal, the Paris Agreement, that all of them could accept. Three years on, it’s becoming increasingly clear that national decisions about climate action, which country negotiators will convey in Poland and over the next ... Read More »

Vox shakes up Spain

Far-right party does better than predicted in Andalusia’s election, and is already causing big problems for the government. Diego Torres Politico MADRID — The far right has arrived in Spanish politics. Vox, a party founded in 2013 that had suffered one electoral failure after another, pulled off a coup on Sunday when it won nearly 11 percent of the vote and 12 seats in a regional election in Andalusia. It was a better performance than any poll had predicted and it ... Read More »

Ukraine-Russia clash: Nato’s dilemma in the Black Sea

Does crisis beckon in the Black Sea? Could Russia and Nato even come to blows? Jonathan Marcus BBC That – at least for now – is probably unlikely. But the recent seizure of two Ukrainian gunboats and a tug in the approaches to the Kerch Strait, by vessels of the Russian Border Guard, has inevitably brought security in the Black Sea to the forefront of Nato’s agenda at their meeting in Brussels on Tuesday. The Black Sea has long had ... Read More »

Russia’s Gas Strategy Gets Help From Turkey

The Turkish Stream pipeline will make Ankara more energy dependent on Moscow. It will also give Russia a bigger energy foothold in Europe. Marc Pierini Carnegie Europe It was November 19 in Istanbul. There, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a ceremony marking the completion of the first underwater segment of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, linking Russia to Turkey’s European shores. The project is a vivid illustration of Moscow’s strategy to strengthen its position ... Read More »

Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou: The need for change in Europe

Basic points of the speech given by Minister of Administrative Reconstruction Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou at a conference, in Cyprus, themed ‘The future of Democracy.’ -I feel particularly moved every time I come to Cyprus because I belong to a generation that was aware of and grew up during the regime change and through the Cyprus tragedy. In every position I have served in during the course of my professional career, at European institutions and in politics, I contributed, I always tried ... Read More »

‘Our greatest threat’: David Attenborough’s grim warning on climate

Naturalist David Attenborough has told delegates at a UN conference the world is facing the end of civilisation if it does not unite to tackle climate change. AAP – SBS British broadcaster and environmentalist David Attenborough has urged world leaders, meeting in Poland to agree ways to limit global warming, to get on and tackle “our greatest threat in thousands of years”. Known for countless nature films, Attenborough has gained prominence recently with his Blue Planet II series, which highlighted ... Read More »

COP24: Swedish teen activist tells world leaders they are ‘behaving like children’

Fifteen-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg has spoken at the COP24 summit. Nick Baker SBS A Swedish teenager who inspired students around the world to walk out of their classrooms over climate change inaction has slammed leaders at a major UN summit. Fifteen-year-old Greta Thunberg travelled to Katowice, Poland, for the COP24 talks and delivered a speech on Monday to UN leader António Guterres and other decision-makers at the conference. “We are facing an existential threat and there is no time ... Read More »

Our politicians are bickering on the edge of the Brexit abyss

Let the chronicles of this turbulent time record how the prime minister and the leader of the opposition agreed that Britain should leave the European Union, so they argued instead about which channel should host an argument between them. Rafael Behr The Guardian Theresa May wants to defend her Brexit deal on the BBC; Jeremy Corbyn prefers to attack it on ITV. It is the perfect culmination of British politics since the referendum: a confected row over a piece of theatre to ... Read More »

Medical evacuations are essential to maintain basic human decency

Some lessons are learned too late. For refugee Hamid Khazaei, who died of sepsis contracted on Manus Island, belated reforms can no longer help. Catherine Stubberfield The Sydney Morning Herald Reflecting on his death, the Queensland State Coroner earlier this year could not have been clearer in his findings. That bureaucrats and politicians should never be allowed to override a clinical decision made by a medical doctor. That Australia retains responsibility for those it has relocated under so-called “offshore processing” ... Read More »

Behind closed doors, Labour inches closer to a second referendum

In a Commons tearoom, the shadow cabinet made a decisive move towards shifting its strategy on Brexit Toby Helm The Guardian Last Wednesday at 2.30pm Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet gathered as usual in the Norman Shaw North wing of the House of Commons for their weekly meeting. Tea and plain biscuits were served – and the mood was serious to the point of being almost sombre. Particularly so, initially, because discussion focused on a disturbing report on poverty in the UK ... Read More »