Diplomacy

Deal to Protect Waters Around ‘Jurassic Park Island’ Falls Through

Costa Rica’s government failed to execute a commitment to protect 4,000 square miles around Cocos Island National Park, a critical shark habitat. Stephen Leahy National Geographic A commitment to create a marine protected area around Cocos Island fell through, though the country’s new government may take another look. Two years ago, former Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís made international news by committing to a 4,000-square-mile expansion of the marine protected area around the extraordinarily biodiverse waters of Cocos Island ... Read More »

China can’t just ‘pick and choose’ from the Law of the Sea

Last May, Washington disinvited Beijing from the 2018 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) naval exercise on the grounds that Chinese actions in the South China Sea run counter to the pursuit of free and open seas. Tuan N Pham East Asia Forum Like RIMPAC 2014 and 2016, China dispatched a spy ship into the United States’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) to monitor the world’s largest international maritime exercise. And just like the past two exercises, Washington did not object to ... Read More »

Tensions Rise Ahead of Zimbabwe’s Elections

On 30 July Zimbabwe will hold elections. For the first time since independence Robert Mugabe is not a candidate. Piers Pigou ICG His successor presents himself as a reformer – but many doubt the polls will be clean. The opposition warns that Zimbabweans will not tolerate another stolen election. What’s so important about the credibility of these polls? On 30 July 2018 Zimbabweans will go to the polls to elect a president, parliamentarians and local councillors. The elections are an ... Read More »

Turkey is ready ‘to fight’ in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea

Ankara “counterattacks” on the occasion of the preparation of exploratory drillings by Exxon Mobil, Qatar Petroleum, Total and ENI, within the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus, for the… Nefeli Tzanetakou ibna According to a report in the Turkish newspaper Yeni Şafak, “Turkey’s maritime jurisdiction issues are back on the agenda as the fight for energy supplies in the Eastern Mediterranean continues.” The quantities in the meantime hosted in the Eastern Mediterranean zone, according to a survey cited by the ... Read More »

Trump Thought Turkey’s Erdogan Was His Friend. Now He’s Mad.

President Trump has often touted his personal chemistry with leaders like Xi Jinping of China or the royal family of Saudi Arabia as the key component of his foreign policy approach. Joshua Keating Slate He has described his handshake with Kim Jong-un in Singapore as more important than the terms of the agreement they signed. He has suggested that if Vladimir Putin were readmitted to the G-8, he could ask the Russian leader to “do me a favor” by withdrawing forces from ... Read More »

Dialogue is Essential to Unite Cameroon’s Disparate Voices

In March 2018, Crisis Group’s Giustra Fellow, Tanda Theophilus, travelled for four weeks to the cities of Buea and Douala, which are at the heart of the Anglophone crisis that pits separatists against the government of Cameroon. Tanda Theophilus ICG He gauged the atmosphere in the Anglophone Southwest and Francophone Littoral regions ahead of the October presidential election. DOUALA, Cameroon – On the way from Douala to Buea, my vehicle slows at the toll gate on the bridge across the ... Read More »

Enlargement will make EU stronger

Berlin Process was launched in 2014 to revitalize dynamic of the enlargement policy – the EU’s main policy tool in the Western Balkans. By EWB European Western Balkans Over the last four years this process enhanced regional cooperation on various levels: political, civil societies, youth, scientific and business communities. It also created a positive dynamic in the region, with focus more on cooperation than on competition and introduced bilateral consultation as a solution of common problems. Connectivity Agenda – one of ... Read More »

‘A huge win’: New Zealand brings in paid domestic violence leave

MPs cheer after legislation passes to tackle what one called ‘horrifying’ rates of family violence Eleanor Ainge Roy, in Dunedin The Guardian New Zealand has passed legislation granting victims of domestic violence 10 days paid leave to allow them to leave their partners, find new homes and protect themselves and their children. MPs clapped and cheered as bill passed on Wednesday night with 63 votes to 57. It is the result of seven years of work by Green MP Jan ... Read More »

Why Nigeria had good reasons to delay signing Africa’s free trade deal

Much has been made of the embarrassing withdrawal by Nigeria from signing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement earlier this year having initially made the commitment to sign them. Olabisi D. Akinkugbe The Conversation Its decision was criticised by many, including myself. These reactions were justifiable given the historical poor performance of Nigeria and other African states when it comes to their commitment to regional economic integration. But, Nigeria’s decision needs to be evaluated in the light of the reason ... Read More »

Stopping Nigeria’s Spiralling Farmer-Herder Violence

Rising conflict between herders and farmers in Nigeria is already six times deadlier in 2018 than Boko Haram’s insurgency. ICG To stop the bloodshed, the federal government should improve security; end impunity for assailants; and hasten livestock sector reform. State governments should freeze open grazing bans. What’s new?  Violence between Nigerian herders and farmers has escalated, killing more than 1,300 people since January 2018. The conflict has evolved from spontaneous reactions to provocations and now to deadlier planned attacks, particularly ... Read More »

Labour Members Move To Suspend Brexiteer MP Frank Field For Backing Tories

Some party members want whip withdrawn as a punishment Paul Waugh HuffPost Veteran MP Frank Field is facing a move by his local Labour activists to have him suspended from the party as a punishment for voting with Theresa May on Brexit. The former minister’s Merseyside constituency party will on Friday discuss an emergency motion to demand the “immediate” withdrawal of the Labour whip in protest at him backing the government last week. Members of Birkenhead constituency Labour party (CLP) ... Read More »

A short and disturbing history of Australia’s spy scandals

Over and over, the history of intelligence services in Australia is that the only people made to suffer are those who reveal wrongdoing or incompetence. Bernard Keane Crikey We are regularly told that Australia has outstanding intelligence services and an enviable domestic security record. But, in fact, Australia’s intelligence services have long displayed incompetence and misconduct. The following list of scandals and failures of Australia’s intelligence agencies in the last 30 years illustrates an ongoing problem: the lack of adequate ... Read More »

Guy Verhofstadt brands Tory Brexiteer ‘insane’ for suggesting some Remainers should be tried for treason

David Campbell Bannerman suggested treason laws should be updated to cover ‘extreme EU loyalty’ Jon Stone Independent The European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator has rebuked a British MEP after he suggested that Remainers who side with the EU over the UK should be tried for treason. Guy Verhofstadt said David Campbell Bannerman, a Tory, was trying to force his “narrow view” of national identity of the peoples of Europe and that the politician’s comments were “insane”. Mr Campbell Bannerman was accused by one MP of ... Read More »

‘People weren’t told the TRUTH!’ Now Elton John launches FURIOUS attack on Brexit

SIR ELTON JOHN claimed British people “weren’t told the truth” prior to the Brexit referendum as he hit out at the “completely ridiculous” promises made during the campaign. By CHARLOTTE DAVIS Express The British singer claimed British Brexit voters did not know what they were voting for in the 2016 referendum when 17.4 million Britons voted to leave the European Union. Sir Elton said Brexit was like “walking through Hampton Court maze blindfolded, being turned around 16 times and trying to find your way ... Read More »

EU trade war OVER? Trump and Juncker thrash out deal – Brussels agrees to ZERO tariffs

STOCK markets across the world have rallied after the United States and European Union agreed to measures to avert a full-scale trade war. By HARVEY GAVIN Express President Trump said both sides had agreed to “work together towards zero tariffs”. And he announced the EU had agreed to increase American exports of liquefied natural gas and soybeans to Europe. Mr Trump’s comments came after he met with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker today. MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained ... Read More »

UN delivers strong rebuke to Australian government on women’s rights

This week, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women handed down its recommendations from its review of Australia’s compliance with the women’s rights treaty, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Authors: The Conversation The UN delivered a scathing critique of Australia’s failures to protect and promote the rights of women and girls. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women is a UN treaty body, made up of ... Read More »