Global Issues

America’s Turkey Problem Finally Comes to a Head

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This week brought signs that the deeply flawed status quo of U.S.-Turkish relations has begun to crack. Matthew RJ Brodsky National Review For successive administrations, inertia may have kept the flawed status quo of U.S.–Turkey relations in place, but the train appears finally to be running out of track. It was bound to happen eventually, regardless of the Trump administration’s just-announced decision to impose sanctions on two Turkish cabinet officials in response to Turkey’s continued detention of an… And now ... Read More »

NATO is a Goldmine for the US/Military Industrial Complex

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Countries of the NATO military alliance have been ordered by President Trump to increase their spending on weapons, and the reasons for his insistence they do so are becoming clearer. Brian Cloughley CounterPunch It’s got nothing to do with any defense rationale, because the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, has admitted that “we don’t see any imminent threat against any NATO ally” and the… Even Radio Free Europe, the US government’s official broadcaster, acknowledged that “Russia, one of the world’s top military spenders, ... Read More »

Why the mainstream media should stop giving extreme views a platform

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In recent weeks, a number of quite astounding articles have appeared in the British press. These have included among others, a Times columnopining the benefit to Britain in the current climate of having a political leader like Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin or Recep Tayyip Erdoğan; referred to as… Chris Allen The Conversation In the Daily Telegraph, a similarly toned piece contemplated the reinstatement of the death penalty after Brexit. Somewhat appealing to the lowest common denominator, these and similar articles prompt questions ... Read More »

Acute Misfortune first-look review – Adam Cullen biopic is an enthralling, complex triumph

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With a brilliant performance by Daniel Henshall, this hauntingly poetic film asks if we celebrate the wrong kind of people Luke Backmaster The Guardian Does Australia celebrate the wrong kind of people, and the wrong kind of art? This question bounced around my mind for days after watching Acute Misfortune – a beautifully made and intensely thoughtful portrait of the life of controversial Archibald-winning painter Adam Cullen, based on the journalist and Saturday Paper editor Erik Jensen’s wild and compelling ... Read More »

Norway’s hidden scandal

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The UN rates Norway, the first country to appoint a Children’s Ombudsman, as one of the best countries for a child to grow up in. And yet, according to many Norwegian experts, its child protection system is “dysfunctional” – too many children, they say, are taken into care without good reason. Tim Whewell BBC The conviction of a top child protection psychiatrist for downloading child abuse images is now raising further serious questions. It was a winter’s day, some years ... Read More »

Namibia’s long fight for justice

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Over a century later, descendants of the Herero and Nama peoples, victims of Germany’s forgotten genocide, are demanding reparations – and an apology. Gouri Sharma reports New Internationalist ‘Justice now,’ they shouted. ‘Give us an apology’, they said, ‘genocide is genocide,’ they declared. It was a sunny Sunday afternoon in the German port city of Hamburg. Activists, students and journalists from Germany and the African continent had gathered outside St. Michael’s church, the city’s largest, to begin their protest march ... Read More »

Australia and other countries must prioritise humanity in dealing with displaced people and migration

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After six rounds of consultations, United Nations member states have produced the final draft of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). Authors: The Conversation It is preceded by the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, which the UN General Assembly adopted in 2016. This was an intergovernmental declaration to initiate development of two separate global compacts: one on refugees and another on migrants. This latest global compact document focuses on the latter issue. It lays ... Read More »

Behrouz Boochani, Manus Island and the book written one text at a time

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The Kurdish Iranian writer’s book was sent largely via messaging services such as Whatsapp over almost five years Helen Davidson The Guardian A Kurdish Iranian writer sought refuge in Australia but was instead sent to the country’s notorious offshore detention centre. For the next five years he wrote a book, one text message at a time. Behrouz Boochani became a well known and award-winning voice from Papua New Guinea’s remote Manus Island, acting as a source for journalists in Australia ... Read More »

Lawyers defending immigrant children in detention are relying on a court case from the 80s

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The Trump administration’s immigration policies have brought an old court case back to life in defense of immigrant children at the border, often referred to as “the Flores settlement.” Kevin Johnson The Conversation The case, which was filed in 1985 and settled in 1997, set the rules that the government must follow when it keeps migrant children in its custody. The latest court order based on the settlement took place on July 30, in which a judge barred immigration authorities ... Read More »

Restoring Public Confidence in Tunisia’s Political System

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Whether Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed will remain in his post or resign has been at the heart of a political crisis for several weeks. Should major political parties and trade unions fail to find a compromise, putting in place a technocratic government could help shore… ICG What’s new? Tunisia is going through a governmental crisis sparked chiefly by a dispute between political forces about whether the prime minister, Youssef Chahed, should resign and by a struggle for control of ... Read More »

We Are All Climate Refugees Now

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This summer’s fires, droughts, and record-high temperatures should serve as a wake-up call. The longer a narrow and ignorant elite condemns Americans and the rest of humanity to wander aimlessly in the political desert, the more likely it is that we will all end up in a wasteland. Jeffrey D. Sachs Project Syndicate NEW YORK – Modern humans, born into one climate era, called the Holocene, have crossed the border into another, the Anthropocene. But instead of a Moses guiding ... Read More »

Neil Sedaka’s 1975 song revived for anti-immigrant era

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Neil Sedaka is an American singer-songwriter who has written dozens of hit songs. Many of them he sang himself. Others are better known in cover versions by artists ranging from Elvis Presley to Ariana Grande. Robert Morrison The Conversation Sedaka’s wholesome image and infectious cheerfulness are easy to slight and have too often belied an extraordinary career. His song “The Immigrant” was a Top 30 hit when he released it in 1975, but today it seems even more relevant, as ... Read More »

Friday essay: the ‘great Australian silence’ 50 years on

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It’s 50 years since the anthropologist WEH Stanner gave the 1968 Boyer Lectures — a watershed moment for Australian history. Stanner argued that Australia’s sense of its past, its very collective memory, had been built on a… Anna Clark The Conversation It is a structural matter, a view from a window which has been carefully placed to exclude a whole quadrant of the landscape. What may well have begun as a simple forgetting of other possible views turned under habit ... Read More »

5 lessons from Team Obama to save Europe

US President Barack Obama celebrates after delivering his acceptance speech ion Chicago on November 7, 2012. Obama swept to re-election, forging history again by transcending a slow economic recovery and the high unemployment which haunted his first term to beat Republican Mitt Romney. AFP PHOTO/Jewel SAMAD / AFP PHOTO / JEWEL SAMAD        (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

PARIS — With next year’s European Parliament election shaping up as a showdown between pro-EU parties and Euroskeptics, the race is on for both sides to find a winning edge. Zachary Young Politico For the pro-EU camp, one possible source of inspiration lies in Barack Obama’s successful U.S. presidential campaigns, which managed twice to win majorities for liberal and outward-looking policies. In the past year, French President Emmanuel Macron has portrayed himself as the great champion of the EU and further ... Read More »

Jeff Bezos’s $150 Billion Fortune Is a Policy Failure

Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin and CEO of Amazon, speaks about the future plans of Blue Origin during an address to attendees at Access Intelligence's SATELLITE 2017 conference in Washington, U.S., March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RC1A85E69100

Growing inequality in the United States shows that the game is rigged. Annie Lowrey The Atlantic Last month, Bloomberg reported that Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and owner of the Washington Post, has accumulated a fortune worth $150 billion. That is the biggest nominal amount in modern history, and extraordinary any way you slice it. Bezos is the world’s lone hectobillionaire. He is worth what the average American family is, nearly two million times over. He has about 50 ... Read More »

Why the media are to blame for racialising Melbourne’s ‘African gang’ problem

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Just before Channel 7 aired a Sunday Night special devoted to Melbourne’s “African gangs” problem earlier this month, the race discrimination commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane, went on Twitter to criticise a promotion spot as “fear-mongering and… John Budarick The Conversation The same could be said of a string of stories in the Australian media in recent months on violent incidents committed by “African gangs” or people of “African appearance”. The death of a 19-year-old Sudanese woman at a party in Melbourne ... Read More »