Global Issues

Gina Rinehart company revealed as $4.5m donor to climate sceptic thinktank

Billionaire’s company gave significant donations to the Institute of Public Affairs in 2016 and 2017 Graham Readfearn The Guardian Australia’s richest person, mining magnate Gina Rinehart, has been revealed as a key funder of the rightwing thinktank the Institute of Public Affairs – a consistent promoter of climate science scepticism. Rinehart’s company, Hancock Prospecting, donated $2.3m to the IPA in 2016 and $2.2m in 2017, according to disclosures made to the New South Wales supreme court. As part of a long-running legal ... Read More »

How much of Europe does China own?

The European Union has introduced a new mechanism for screening foreign investment. It’s widely believed to have been prompted by concerns over China’s economic ambitions in Europe. By Reality Check team BBC News It will allow the European Commission – the EU’s executive arm -… In March, the European Commission called China a “systemic rival” and a “strategic competitor”. The Chinese Ambassador to the EU urged the bloc to remain “open and welcome” to Chinese investment, and not to “discriminate”. ... Read More »

Our leaders are ignoring global warming to the point of criminal negligence. It’s unforgivable

Humanity survived the cold war because no one pushed the button. On climate change, the button has been pushed again and again Tim Winton The Guardian I’ve been asking myself a question – and even posing it makes me queasy. Is it too late – are we beyond saving? As a culture and a polity, when it comes to climate change, have we arrived at a point where we are now expected – even trained – to abandon hope and ... Read More »

Hard Truths in Syria

America Can’t Do More With Less, and It Shouldn’t Try Over the last four years, I helped lead the global response to the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS)—an effort that succeeded in destroying an ISIS “caliphate” in the heart of the Middle East that had served as a… Brett McGurk Foreign Affairs Working as a special envoy for U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, I helped establish a coalition that was the largest of its kind in history: ... Read More »

Peace hopes suffer setback as Taliban-Afghan talks derailed

Hopes for a breakthrough in a push to end Afghanistan’s grueling conflict suffered a major setback on April 19 after a key summit between the Taliban and Afghan officials was indefinitely postponed. Doha Hurriyet The so-called intra-Afghan dialogue, due to take place in Doha this weekend, fell apart at the last minute in a row over the large number of delegates Kabul wanted to send. The collapse comes at a critical time and amid continued bloodshed. The Taliban now control or influence about half of Afghanistan ... Read More »

God, Guns, and Country: The Evangelical Fight Over Firearms

On the afternoon of Good Friday in April, 2010, Shane Claiborne, a thirty-five-year-old evangelical activist sporting dreadlocks and homemade pants, followed a group of teen-agers carrying an… Eliza Griswold The New Yorker They marched to a gun store in Kensington called the Shooter Shop, which was notorious for allowing straw buyers to purchase guns illegally. Philadelphia has been hit hard by the heroin epidemic and its associated gun violence. In 2010, some two hundred and fifty people were killed with ... Read More »

Militia detains migrants at gunpoint along the US-Mexico border

A video has emerged of armed right-wing militia members stopping over 300 migrants as they cross the Mexico border into the US state of New Mexico. BBC The group calls itself the United Constitutional Patriots, and are seen in the Facebook clip standing over migrants sitting on the desert ground. The group’s actions have been condemned by civil liberties groups and New Mexico state officials. The militia supports President Donald Trump’s plan for a border wall. The incident comes amid ... Read More »

The Church of Living Dangerously: How One of America’s Biggest Pastors Became a Drug Runner for a Mexican Cartel

He looked like Sammy Hagar, preached like Billy Graham, and brought a 350-pound tiger to church. David Kushner Vanity Fair Then he shot heroin with his son and was busted at the border for running drugs for a Mexican cartel. A little after five A.M. on December 11, 2017, a gray Volkswagen Passat inched through the darkness of Tijuana toward the brightly lit Customs and Border Protection port of entry at San Ysidro, California. It was in the SENTRI lane, ... Read More »

‘Absolute madness’ in Northern Ireland

Journalist Lyra KcKee is the latest victim of the conflict she covered. Once a year in the Good Friday Dublin Unitarian Church, thousands of names are spoken aloud in a reading that takes three hours. Naomi O’Leary Politico These are the victims of Northern Ireland’s decades of conflict, remembered on the Christian holiday from which the Good Friday peace deal that ended it takes its name. Twenty-one years since the signing of the historic accord, Ireland woke up to find ... Read More »

‘Haters like to pick on China’: Huawei exec defends video surveillance

Shenzhen: China’s use of video surveillance on its citizens has been defended by a senior Huawei executive, who said it was critical to catching criminals, and the media attention on the country’s policing was “anti… Jennifer Duke WAtoday Huawei’s global chief public safety scientist, Hong-Eng Koh, a former Singapore police officer, said there was video surveillance “everywhere” and criticised “anti-Chinese” media companies for attacking China specifically for using the… “Excuse me, video surveillance started in New York and London long ... Read More »

A Shadow over Ukraine’s Presidential Election

With Ukraine’s establishment forecasting doom after the presidential runoff, the far right’s influence on politics is impossible to ignore. Katharine Quinn-Judge ICG Its resurgence is both a symptom and a cause of the country’s ills: there is less daylight between it and the political mainstream than either admits. On 31 March, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko suffered a double-digit defeat in the presidential election’s first round to comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, whose only previous political experience is playing the… The incumbent is ... Read More »

Facebook bans Britain’s far-right hate groups

London: Facebook has banned far-right groups including the British National Party (BNP) and the English Defence League (EDL) from having any presence on the social network for violating the… By Martyn Landi Brisbane Times The banned groups, which also includes Knights Templar International, Britain First and the National Front as well as key members of their leadership, have been removed from both Facebook and… The social network’s policy does not allow groups or individuals which engage in “terrorist activity, organised ... Read More »

14 Must-Read Moments From the Mueller Report

A breakdown of the massive, 448-page document Attorney General William Barr released Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election on Thursday. Olivia Paschal and Madeleine Carlisle The Atlantic Though some of the findings have been redacted, the report will give the public a clearer sense of what the special counsel found—and whether Barr’s short summary, made public in late March, was accurate. The report covers the special counsel’s investigation into ... Read More »

Nusrat Jahan Rafi: Burned to death for reporting sexual harassment

Nusrat Jahan Rafi was doused with kerosene and set on fire at her school in Bangladesh. Less than two weeks earlier, she had filed a sexual harassment complaint against her headmaster. By Mir Sabbir BBC Bengali, Dhaka Her courage in speaking out against sexual assault, her death five days after being set alight and everything that happened in-between has gripped Bangladesh and brought attention to the… Nusrat, who was 19, was from Feni, a small town 100 miles (160km) south ... Read More »

Will Conservatives Abandon the Free Market?

Conservatives would either “combat” or “convert” business or base their politics “squarely on it.” But, he warned, conservatism “founded on money,” is “fickle, selfish, and irresponsible.” Joshua Tait The National Interest WHEN FOX television host Tucker Carlson recently attacked conservative faith in free market economics, he probably surprised a number of his viewers. For too long, Carlson charged, libertarians and social conservatives have ignored the fundamental part economic structures play in undermining communities. Families are crushed beneath market forces. Disposable ... Read More »

Trump forces Brussels’ hand on trade despite tariffs backlash

Trump’s threat of auto tariffs has finally spurred EU leaders into action on a new trade deal with Washington. As the US president seeks reelection next year, will Europe hold more clout in upcoming negotiations? Nik Martin Deutsche Welle Nine months after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker rushed to Washington to stave off the prospect of US tariffs on European cars, the European Union signaled this week it was ready to restart trade talks with… EU leaders have been grappling with the ... Read More »