Features

Vietnam cybersecurity law a devastating blow to freedom: Amnesty

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New law aims to prevent users from organising online for anti-state purposes and spreading false information. Al-Jazeera The passing of a new cybersecurity law by the Vietnamese parliament has led to criticism of its potential effect on freedom of speech and expression. Legislators said the new regulation, which will require tech companies to store data about Vietnamese users on local servers, will increase security in the country. But according to critics, this move could possibly stifle free speech for Vietnamese internet users ... Read More »

Anwar in the wings as Malaysia remakes its democracy

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The elevator to the office of Anwar Ibrahim’s nondescript office pronounces “I’m back.” But will the former political prisoner become national leader any time soon? Donald K. Emerson Asia Times Bedecked with skyscrapers, Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur is a high-rise city. In that lofty context, the headquarters of the People’s Justice Party (PKR) are down to earth. They occupy one in a row of nondescript low-rise buildings unfashionably far from downtown. Even the lettered number of the floor that includes ... 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 Is Sadness, and What Is Depression?

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I stood onstage as an audience of over a thousand people applauded and cheered. My hosts placed an award in my hands. I nodded to the crowd, and they all rose to their feet. Hooray for you, the strangers shouted. Hooray! Jennifer Finney Boylan The New York Times Less than a week later, I sat up in bed in my house in Maine. A voice said: “You’re nothing. You’re a joke. They’d never have given you that award if they ... 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 »

MoMA at NGV is a landmark exhibition – rich, dazzling and profoundly visually exciting

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The 15th Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, MoMA at NGV: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art, is the gallery’s biggest, grandest event in this series – and is almost guaranteed to be the… Sasha Grishin The Conversation It is an exhibition where all of the big names are present – Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, Lyubov’ Popova, Piet Mondrian, Salvador Dalí, Frida Kahlo, Alexander Calder, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Roy ... Read More »

US sees TANAP ‘universally’ good for Turkey, Europe

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The United States has expressed very strong support for the trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project (TANAP) that will carry natural gas from Azerbaijan to the European continent via Turkey, describing the $8.5 billion-worth project as a… Serkan Demirtaş – ANKARA Hurriyet “TANAP is pretty much universally good. It’s good for Azerbaijan, good for Turkey. Once the TAP [Trans Adriatic Pipeline Project] is built, it will also be good for Europe,” Sandra Oudkirk, the deputy assistant secretary of the… She came ... Read More »

The Niger-Mali Border: Subordinating Military Action to a Political Strategy

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The Nigerien government and its allies’ use of military force and non-state armed proxies to curtail jihadist groups along the Niger-Mali border is stoking intercommunal conflict. ICG Niger should instead adopt a political approach which includes reconciliation, dialogue and… Executive Summary What’s new? A new insurgency is developing along the Niger-Mali border. Jihadist groups, including a local Islamic State branch, have established a foothold in the region, exploiting recent instability in neighbouring Mali and… Why does it matter? Efforts to… ... Read More »

‘World will see a major change:’ Kim, Trump sign declaration

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First-ever North Korea-US summit was an optical success but a substantive failure with a vague, non-tangible outcome Nile Bowie and Andrew Salmon Asia Times The hugely anticipated, first-ever summit between North Korea and the United States – two states which remain technically at war, and which last year appeared on the brink of renewed combat ­– has been declared a… In a joint declaration, both sides agreed to upgrade relations. North Korea committed to complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, ... Read More »

How Asian crypto traders leverage the ‘Kimchi Premium’

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The price of Bitcoin is often substantially higher in South Korea than elsewhere, which is leading many investors to turn to arbitrage trading Luke Thompson Asia Times Aside from the futures markets, it is difficult to go short on crypto-currencies. Big gains are made in bull markets and panic selling occurs when the bears have control, such as at the moment. There is, however, another way of leveraging a profit out of crypto markets and Asian traders have found this ... Read More »

I visited the Rohingya camps in Myanmar and here is what I saw

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Myanmar recently claimed to have repatriated its first Rohingya refugee family. Cresa Pugh The Conversation But, as an official from the United Nations noted, the country is still not safe for the return of its estimated 700,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees, who fled to Bangladesh in 2017 to escape an ongoing state-sponsored military campaign and… Indeed, in recent times, the Myanmar military has been building a fence along the 170-mile border and fortifying it with landmines, to prevent the Rohingya from ... Read More »

How Democratic Is the Euro?

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If the European Union is to remain viable and democratic at the same time, policymakers will have to pay closer attention to the demanding requirements of delegating decisions to unelected bodies. Dani Rodrik Project Syndicate They should promote such a delegation of sovereignty only when it truly enhances the long-term performance of their democracies. SAN SERVOLO, ITALY – When Italy’s president recently vetoed the appointment of the Euroskeptic Paolo Savona as finance minister in the government proposed by the Five ... Read More »

When possessions are poor substitutes for people: hoarding disorder and loneliness

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A decomposed, mummified body of a man was recently found by forensic cleaners in a Sydney apartment. Authors: The Conversation The apartment’s owner is thought to have suffered from hoarding disorder, and police believe the decomposed body had been there for more than ten… We occasionally read stories involving people with hoarding disorder – people whose possessions pose a serious burden. Clutter might prevent them from sitting on their sofa, taking a shower, cooking a meal, or sleeping in their… ... Read More »

Yemen: Averting a Destructive Battle for Hodeida

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More than three years into Yemen’s war, a bloody battle looms for the Huthi-held port city of Hodeida. ICG International leaders should work for a UN-led negotiated settlement to stop the offensive and, if this fails, take steps to avoid deepening what is already the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. What’s new? Three years into Yemen’s destructive war, a battle is shaping up for the Huthi-held port city of Hodeida, a lifeline for the bulk of Yemen’s population. Forces backed by ... Read More »

Security bill will muzzle human rights activists

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In this era of so-called “fake news”, civil society plays a critical role in holding governments to account. Claire O’Rourke Brisbane Times And yet, with Labor capitulating to the government on the proposed National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill, it may soon become a crime to hold the Australian government to account on its human rights record. The truth itself would not be a defence. By joining regimes around the world in passing new, restrictive laws attempting ... Read More »