Global Issues

France rejects asylum request by Wikileaks founder Assange

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France swiftly rejected on July 3 a request for asylum by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Hurriyet – PARIS – Reuters The founder of the transparency website had appealed directly to President Francois Hollande, days after Wikileaks published documents showing the United States had spied on successive French leaders, including Hollande himself. “My life is in danger,” Assange wrote in a ... Read More »

On Thinner Ice: The Final Phase of Colombia’s Peace Talks

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Latin America Briefing N°32 – ICG – The Overview is also available in: Spanish  OVERVIEW The peace talks between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) enter their toughest stretch both vulnerable and resilient. The former quality was displayed on 22 May, when the collapse of the guerrillas’ five-month old unilateral ceasefire triggered the worst escalation of ... Read More »

BP will pay $US18.7 billion for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

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The US Justice Department has reached an $18.7 ($24.5) billion agreement with BP to settle civil claims arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico – the worst oil spill in US history. Ellen Nakashima The agreement comes five years and 73 days after the blowout in 2.6-kilometre deep water led to an explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon that ... Read More »

Hillary Clinton lobbied by Cherie Blair to meet Qatari royal, emails reveal

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Lobbying activities of Clintons and Blairs under scrutiny after emails show wife of former British PM sought ‘women to women’ meeting for US secretary of state The Guardian – Dan Roberts in Washington and Owen Gibson in London Cherie Blair repeatedly pressured Hillary Clinton to meet a leading Qatari royal when Clinton was US secretary of state, according to newly ... Read More »

Why Greece Never Got A Fair Chance

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Despite having experienced an angry German government almost push Greece out of the Eurozone in 2012 first hand, I never thought we would be standing at this crossroads again. It took many of us – advisers, EU technocrats, American politicians and some academics several weeks to convince the key-decision makers in Berlin not to pull the trigger, and it was ... Read More »

Abe Tackles World’s Heaviest Debt Burden

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set on Tuesday to sign off on a plan to curb the world’s heaviest debt burden. BloombergBusiness - by Masaaki Iwamoto To approach his balanced budget target by 2020, Abe has to cap spending growth, get economic expansion to a level Japan hasn’t seen since 1991, and stoke inflation that’s near zero. And consumers — who pushed Japan ... Read More »

The Status of the Status Quo at Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade

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ICG – Middle East Report N°159 – This report is also available in: Hebrew EXECUTIVE SUMMARY With the Muslim holy month of Ramadan underway and Jewish high holidays soon to follow, tensions have started to rise, if only slightly, at the Holy Esplanade – the Temple Mount (har habayit) to Jews, the Noble Sanctuary (al-haram al-sharif) to Muslims. In mid-2014, ... Read More »

Nauru must be held to account for its human rights abuses

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Australia’s asylum seeker detention centre on Nauru is clearly the driver of the relations between the two countries. But we can’t afford to be silent about Nauru’s recent human rights abuses, writes Giff Johnson. TheDRUM - By Giff Johnson Nauru has been in the international media spotlight in recent times over bribery allegations; deportations of judges, a police commissioner and others; ... Read More »

ISIL exists because al-Assad exists: Erdoğan aide

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A senior spokesperson for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s office has indicated the presence of terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) was linked to the prevalence of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria. Hurriyet - “No doubt, destroying this terrorist organization is very important for regional countries and their stability. As long ... Read More »