Features

Armenia Elections Boost Hopes for Peace with Azerbaijan

With his party’s victory in the snap parliamentary elections and a new calm on the frontlines with Azerbaijan, Armenia’s leader Nikol Pashinyan and his team will have more space to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Olesya Vartanyan ICG BERKABER, Armenia – One of the windows in Sonya Matinyan’s home is filled in with bricks. The glass of the other is splintered by a rifle bullet. The roof has taken a few missile hits and leaking water has stained the ceilings in ... Read More »

Australia only nation to join US at pro-coal event at COP24 climate talks

Country’s stance described as ‘a slap in the face of our Pacific island neighbours’ Ben Doherty The Guardian Australia has reaffirmed its commitment to coal – and its unwavering support for the United States – by appearing at a US government-run event promoting the use of fossil fuels at the… Australia was the only country apart from the host represented at the event, entitled “US innovative technologies spur economic dynamism”, designed to “showcase ways to use fossil fuels as… Its ... Read More »

Australia faces class actions for ‘crimes against humanity’ on Manus and Nauru

One day after the government filibustered proposed changes to medical transfers from Nauru, human rights lawyers have filed two class action suits alleging “torture”, “persecution” and “other inhumane acts”. Chris Woods Crikey Local human rights lawyers have launched two class action lawsuits alleging that Australia’s offshore detention regimes demonstrate negligence amounting to crimes against humanity and torture. Just a day after the government successfully filibustered proposed changes to medical transfers from Nauru, George Newhouse (principal solicitor at the National Justice Project) filed two ... Read More »

Palestinians reject compromise options on Australia’s contentious embassy review

The Palestinian representative in Canberra has rejected possible Australian government alternatives to establishing an embassy in Jerusalem, saying Palestinians should not “pay the… David Wroe The Age Cabinet is expected to discuss the embassy location on Tuesday after Mr Morrison vowed to review Australia’s diplomatic stance in October ahead of the crucial Wentworth byelection. Among the options understood to be on the table are the establishment of a smaller office or consulate in west Jerusalem while keeping the embassy in ... Read More »

Sisi aspires for greater African integration

The “Africa 2018” forum held in Sharm al-Sheikh comes amid aspirations to achieve greater regional integration and to facilitate intraregional trade as well as increase investments between African… Al-Masry Al- Youm Egypt Independent He explained that this would be achieved through the implementation of joint and cross-border projects, especially in infrastructure, energy and information technology in light of the launch of the… In his speech at the opening session of the forum, Sisi said that Egypt aspires to achieve these ... Read More »

Theresa May calls off MPs’ vote on her Brexit deal

Prime Minister Theresa May has called off Tuesday’s crucial vote on her Brexit deal so she can go back to Brussels and ask for changes to it. BBC As it stands the deal “would be rejected by a significant margin” if MPs voted on it, she admitted. But she said she was confident of getting “reassurances” from the EU on the Northern Ireland border plan. But European Council President Donald Tusk said the remaining 27 EU countries would not “renegotiate” ... Read More »

‘Each of those children have a dream to be someone’:

Powerful moment refugee lawyer who fled to Australia as a teenager challenges Q&A viewer about kids being kept on Nauru Refugee lawyer fired back at viewer who asked a controversial question on Q&A Man asked why the gov. ‘creating an issue’ about less than 10 children on Nauru Ms Nyoun shot back that each of the children had goals, dreams and ambitions A refugee lawyer has expressed her frustration at the lack of government action on refugee children living in ... Read More »

Brexit: UK can unilaterally revoke article 50, says ECJ

Britain can stop Brexit process without approval of member states, court of justice says Soverin Carrell The Guardian The UK can unilaterally stop the Brexit process, the European court of justice has said in a ruling that will boost demands for a second EU referendum. The court concluded that any EU member state can revoke an article 50 process without needing approval from every other member state, but only before its withdrawal comes into force. “The United Kingdom is free to revoke ... Read More »

Human rights in 2018 – ten issues that made headlines

On December 10, the world marks 70 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Authors: The Conversation Regrettably, instead of the anniversary signalling the enduring impact of human rights, some are fearing the “end of human rights”. Here we highlight some of the rights challenges that captured the world’s attention this year, illustrating the struggle to secure human rights is far from over. 1. Australia’s first year on the UN Human Rights Council Australia took its ... Read More »

Group led by Thomas Piketty presents plan for ‘a fairer Europe’

Manifesto by progressive Europeans calls for €800bn of levies to tackle inequality, disillusionment, climate change and migration. Jennifer Rankin The Guardian A group of progressive Europeans led by the economist and author Thomas Piketty has drawn up a bold new blueprint for a fairer Europe to address the division, disenchantment, inequality and rightwing populism sweeping the continent. The plan, crafted by more than 50 economists, historians and former politicians from half a dozen countries, includes huge levies on multinationals, millionaires and carbon ... Read More »

US official opposes ditching support for Saudi-led coalition in Yemen

The United States strongly opposes discontinuing support to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s war and will remain engaged in efforts to combat Iranian influence and Islamist militancy in the Arab state, a… ABC Reuters The US administration has come under pressure at home over the nearly four-year-old conflict that has pushed Yemen to the brink of starvation since the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at… The US Senate last month voted to advance a resolution to end military ... Read More »

Blowing up the Parthenon: the power of a symbol

The Parthenon is one of the most famous and recognisable buildings in the world. Bronwen Neil The Conversation Designed as a testimony to Athenian greatness, visible miles from the Acropolis (the citadel) on which it stands, the Parthenon still stands proudly among the remains of a massive complex of buildings that celebrated Athens’s deities. It is a witness to the lasting legacy of the ancient Greeks and their architectural ingenuity. But it is also a very good reminder of the ... Read More »

Adapt or become obsolete, lead candidate Timmermans tells European Socialists

Dutchman becomes center-left nominee for Commission presidency. By MAÏA DE LA BAUME Politico LISBON — European Socialists will need to adapt if they don’t want to “become obsolete,” European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans told a party congress in Lisbon on… Timmermans’ nomination as the European Socialists’ Spitzenkandidat was a formality after fellow Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič, the only other contender, pulled out of the race last… The nomination makes the Dutch former foreign minister the Socialists’ official candidate to be the… Adapt or ... Read More »

US sanctions are ‘economic terrorism’: Rouhani

Iran‘s President Hassan Rouhani said US sanctions were “economic terrorism”, as he sought to foster a united front from visiting regional officials on Dec. 8. TEHRAN – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Washington has reimposed an oil embargo and other damaging sanctions on Iran since pulling out in May from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers. “America’s unjust and illegal sanctions against the honourable nation of Iran have targeted our nation in a clear instance of terrorism,” Rouhani said in a televised speech. He was speaking at a conference on terrorism and… ... Read More »

Informer 3838: A web of deceit

In 2009, four Victoria Police officers would find themselves guarding their most valuable intelligence asset as she hid in the Hard Rock Hotel in Bali’s Kuta beach. Tammy Mills & Chris Vedelago The Age That year the lawyer-turned-informer, code-named 3838, had been receiving a stream of anonymous text messages and phone calls promising reprisals if she didn’t “stop telling lies” and “stop talking”. Police wanted to protect the lawyer until she could appear as a key witness in the most ... Read More »

Meet the first woman to contact one of the world’s most isolated tribes

Anthropologist Madhumala Chattopadhyay floated coconuts to the Sentinelese in an unusually friendly exchange with a tribe hostile to outsiders. Fehmida Zakeer National Geographic The recent death of an American missionary on North Sentinel Island has put the remote island in the Bay of Bengal, officially off-limits to most outsiders for decades, back in the news and raised questions about the… In the later 20th century, the Indian government, which administers the Andaman and Nicobar islands archipelago to which North Sentinel ... Read More »