Global Issues

Diplomats to Tillerson: don’t eliminate state department’s refugee office

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National security officials are arguing the elimination the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration would have ‘profound and negative implications’ Reuters in Washington The Guardian Forty former US diplomats and national security officials urged the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, not to eliminate the state department office that handles refugees, in a letter seen by Reuters on Monday. The letter argued that a Trump administration proposal to transfer the… Diplomats to Tillerson… Read More »

Border Force: A threat to us all

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Human rights advocate and barrister Julian Burnside AO discusses Border Force’s increased interest in Australian citizens, as PM Malcolm Turnbull announces greater powers for the Australian Defence… IA NEVER FORGET the lesson of Martin Niemöller. The lesson is: when governments misbehave, it’s just a matter of time before they will come for you. Recently, two Australian citizens arrived back in Australia after a long overnight flight. They had nothing to declare and… Border Force: A… Read More »

Australia doesn’t have a constitutional right protecting freedom of the person – it needs one

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The recent wrongful detention of two Australian citizens by immigration authorities highlights that our Constitution offers inadequate protection for freedom of the… Bede Harris The Conversation This is not the first time Australian citizens have been unlawfully detained. In 2001, Vivian Solon, who had suffered a head injury, was deported even though she told immigration officials she was an… In 2004, Cornelia Rau, also an Australian citizen, was held in immigration detention after she was unable to identify herself because ... Read More »

Exclusive: Iran’s Foreign Minister Warns Donald Trump That Tehran Can Abandon the Nuclear Deal

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TNI’s Jacob Heilbrunn just sat down with Tehran’s top diplomat—and he was not happy with the Trump administration. Mohammad Javad Zarif The National Interest Jacob Heilbrunn, editor of the National Interest, spoke with Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister in an interview in New York on Monday, July 17, 2017. The following is a lightly… Jacob Heilbrunn: Yesterday you were on Fareed Zakaria’s show. And if, as you alleged, the Trump administration is indeed violating the… Exclusive: Iran’s Foreign… Read More »

Will the Americans Abandon Us?

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Our Senior Analyst for Syria Noah Bonsey visits the north east of the country to meet a Syrian Kurdish organisation that has made the region relatively secure, yet knows that it still has far to go in its… Noah Bonsey ICG QAMISHLI, Syria ­– Abd al-Menaam picks me up as usual from the customs shed on the Syrian bank of the Tigris… As we drive west toward the town of Qamishli, we pass beneath a hilltop command centre bombed by ... Read More »

We need more than just laws to ensure responsible alcohol service

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Australian law prohibits the sale of alcohol to drunk people. Despite the shifting sands of alcohol policy, Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) legislation has remained a stalwart… Jason Ferris Adam Winstock Larissa Maier Renee Zahnow The Conversation In Australia, RSA imposes mandatory training requirements for liquor industry workers to educate alcohol servers about signs of intoxication, when to refuse service, and the harms of over… Internationally, RSA training is considered a cost-effective strategy to reduce the sale of alcohol to ... Read More »

Military powers for terror attacks ‘cumbersome’ and need streamlining, Malcolm Turnbulls says

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State governments will still decide whether they want help from the military to handle terrorist incidents and police will remain the first responders under flagged changes, Prime Minister Malcolm… David Wroe The Sydney Morning Herald Announcing planned changes to the law at Holsworthy Barracks in Sydney on Monday morning, Mr Turnbull said the current process for calling in the military to help police during a terrorist attack was “very cumbersome” and… Flanked by the Chief of the Defence Force Mark ... Read More »

Ex-chief minister Jon Stanhope wants corporate manslaughter laws for government

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A former ACT chief minister believes the territory government should introduce corporate manslaughter laws to improve accountability for… Katie Burgess The Canberra Times In his submission to an ACT Legislative Assembly inquiry into the creation of an Independent Integrity Commission, Jon Stanhope also said all “problematic” ACT Policing incidents should be reviewed externally to dispel… Pointing to the United Kingdom as an example, Mr Stanhope said there was scope for an… Ex-chief minister Jon… Read More »

Erdoğan backs death penalty on Turkey coup attempt anniversary

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President tells crowd of thousands that Turkey will ‘cut the heads off’ traitors, a year after soldiers tried to topple government Kareem Shaheen in Ankara The Guardian The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, reiterated his support for reinstating the death penalty and threatened to cut off traitors’ heads in an a… Tens of thousands of people gathered in Istanbul, marching to the Bosphorus Bridge where 36 people were killed by coup soldiers exactly a year ago, for the first of ... Read More »

A Natural Gas War Is Brewing In The Mediterranean

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Offshore gas developments in the East Mediterranean region are heating up. Cyril Widdershoven OilPrice Alongside increased exploration efforts and a possible gas pipeline deal between Turkey and Israel, geopolitical risks are increasing too. While commercial prospects are starting to look good for all parties, a real military conflict is also brewing and may come to a head if Cyprus, Greece and Turkey are not able to find a… Optimism has been high of late about the prospects of offshore Cyprus ... Read More »

Tony Blair ‘feels sorry’ for Theresa May

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Tony Blair says he feels “sorry” for Theresa May as she is surrounded by people waiting to “throw her off the ledge”. Richard Wheeler The Scotsman The former prime minister said he believed Mrs May has the “best interests of the country at heart” although reiterated he strongly disagrees with her about how to… Mr Blair, asked if he feels any sympathy for Mrs May, told Sophy Ridge on Sunday on Sky News: “Yeah, I do, of course, because I ... Read More »

Sinn Féin’s changed coalition stance is the big political move of 2017

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Opinion: Leo Varadkar has potential but he has failed to show it so far Pat Leahy The Irish Times The Dáil stuttered to its summer recess on Friday, a last minute rush of legislation this week hardly disguising the fact that the pace of parliamentary and governmental activity has slowed to a crawl since the… The recess lasts until September 20th – plenty of time for Leo Varadkar to figure out what he wants the Government’s new political message for ... Read More »

Taiwanese or Chinese? An island state’s shifting identities

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On the 30th anniversary of the lifting of martial rule in Taiwan, Asia Times examines the Republic’s political tensions and horizons and asks inhabitants how they see… Liu Hsiu Wen Asia Times It is January 16, 2016, and 56-year-old Liu Tao-shan is sitting quietly in his living room in Taichung, Taiwan. The television in front of him is showing the results of Taiwan’s 14th presidential election. The Democratic Progressive Party candidate Tsai Ing-wen has beaten the Kuomintang’s Eric Chu and ... Read More »

Are we sleepwalking to World War III?

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Analysis Australia is plunging headlong into catastrophe and we are utterly unprepared. Stan Grant  ABC In fact, we may be past the time when we can prepare. The time-bomb is ticking and it will explode in our lifetimes. All certainty will be lost, our economy will be devastated, our land seized, our system of government upended. This isn’t mere idle speculation or the rantings of a doomsday cult, this is the warning from a man who has made it his… ... Read More »

Secretary of State Tillerson has been in over his head from the get-go

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We were not alone in criticizing the pick of Rex W. Tillerson as secretary of state. Jennifer Rubin Miami Herald He had no government experience, no feel for human rights or the values that (should) underlie American foreign policy and no deep knowledge of the world beyond that of an oil company executive accustomed to transactional… With an experienced and sophisticated president, a Tillerson might have been effective; with President Trump, Tillerson has proven… Secretary of State… Read More »

What Liu Xiaobo’s Death Says about China’s Regime

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Beijing did not have the decency to let him go free in his final hours. Gordon G. Chang The National Interest A prisoner of conscience died this week in the hands of a regime that has no conscience. Liu Xiaobo was sixty-one. He passed away Thursday in the Chinese city of Shenyang. The city’s Bureau of Justice said the cause was “multiple organ… Liu was, by all accounts, China’s most well-known dissident. He was jailed various times and… What Liu ... Read More »