Diplomacy

Israeli Arab MP resigns over controversial ‘nation state’ law

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An Israeli Arab politician has resigned in opposition to a controversial new law which declares Israel to be the nation state of the Jewish people. BBC Zouheir Bahloul, 67, branded parliament “racist” and “destructive” for passing the law, which also puts Hebrew above Arabic as the official language. “[The law] removes the Arab population from the path of equality in Israel,” he told Israeli TV network Reshet. The bill passed on 19 July, provoking anger from Israel’s Arab minority. Arab ... Read More »

Are We Set Up to Relieve the Mind-Numbing Chernobyl and Fukushima Experience?

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There’s a visible pattern amid the European media voicing ever increasing concern over malfunctions and all sorts of emergencies occurring lately at nuclear power plants. Grete Mautner NEO A very real possibility of a second Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster occurring in Europe has recently been reported by Italian news service Gli Occhi Della Guerra. In particular, it reported that the authorities of Germany and the Netherlands made a decision to hand out to the population iodine tablets capable of reducing the effects ... Read More »

Foreign policy concerns swayed Malaysia’s voters

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Malaysia’s recent election on 9 May 2018 saw a dramatic result — the incumbent Barisan Nasional ruling coalition that had ruled Malaysia for 61 years crumbled, and Pakatan Harapan, a coalition of opposition parties, emerged victorious. Adam Leong Kok Wey One of the numerous reasons why the ruling party lost in the elections is that Malaysia’s foreign policy was perceived by a large segment of its people to be too cosy to China. Malaysia’s foreign policy decision-making has long been ... Read More »

Somalia’s president pays rare visit to Eritrea

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ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Somalia’s president paid a rare visit to Eritrea on Saturday in a sign that Asmara is trying to use the opportunity created by a rapprochement with Ethiopia to improve its regional ties. By Aaron Maasho Yahoo Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki’s decision to invite President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo marks a new chapter for the countries after years of sour relations. Discussions will focus on “regional issues of interest to both countries,” Eritrea’s information ministry said. Previous Somali ... Read More »

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Embargoed to 0001 Monday January 29 File photo dated 08/12/14 of Labour MP Frank Field, who has issued a fresh warning about "state-sponsored destitution" amid claims of a "gaping hole" in the welfare system.

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

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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 »