Global Issues

Crisis Group Yemen Update #4

Below is the fourth weekly update as part of Crisis Group’s Yemen Campaign. ICG This week we look at fighting near the Saudi-Yemeni border and strains on the ceasefire around Hodeida, as well as international developments. Trendline: The Overlooked Battle for Yemen’s Northern Border Though the battle for the Red Sea port and city of Hodeida is paused until the UN-brokered deal to demilitarise the area succeeds or collapses, fighting on other fronts has intensified, particularly along the Saudi-Yemeni border. ... Read More »

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Kerryn Phelps on medical transfer numbers

Independent MP Kerryn Phelps, who set the ball rolling for the medical transfers legislation, says its passage is “a remarkable exercise in cooperation”. Michelle Grattan The Conversation Phelps says that of the about 1000 people on Manus and Nauru “around 70 people require urgent medical evacuation” and “another couple of hundred will require transfer but not as urgently”. She describes Scott Morrison’s proposal to reopen the Christmas Island detention facility as a “political statement”. “What we need to do is ... Read More »

Egypt says “NO” to East Med

An unequivocal “no” from Egypt received the East Med gas pipeline. Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El Molla, in an interview with the Cyprus News Agency, said he was opposed to the transportation of gas from East Mediterranean to Europe via the East Med pipeline. Nefeli Tzanetakou ibna He even justified his position by saying that the feasibility study for this project would last up to two years, which in itself is a luxury the region of ... Read More »

Having a sense of meaning in life is good for you – so how do you get one?

The pursuit of happiness and health is a popular endeavour, as the preponderance of self-help books would attest. Lisa A Williams The Conversation Yet it is also fraught. Despite ample advice from experts, individuals regularly engage in activities that may only have short-term benefit for well-being, or even backfire. The search for the heart of well-being – that is, a nucleus from which other aspects of well-being and health might flow – has been the focus of decades of research. ... Read More »

Turkey’s Erdogan Is Due for Another Rebuke

With municipal elections on the horizon, Turks are likely to note that imprisoning the opposition hasn’t exactly raised living standards. Conn Hallinan Foreign Policy In Focus “Democracy is like a tram; you get off when you have reached your destination.” The comment by Recep Tayyip Erdogan — made more than 20 years ago when he was first elected mayor of Istanbul — sums up the Machiavellian cynicism of Turkey’s authoritarian president. As Turkey gears up for municipal elections on March ... Read More »

Rebel Incursion Exposes Chad’s Weaknesses

An early February incursion by the Union of Resistance Forces (UFR) into Chad from Libya was halted by French air strikes, conducted in coordination with the Chadian army. ICG This most severe security threat for several years highlights the weakness of the country and President Idriss Déby’s rule. On 3-6 February 2019, at the request of N’Djamena, planes from the French Operation Barkhane proceeded with a series of strikes against a group of Chadian rebels in the north east of the country. According ... Read More »

Nine facts about the medical evacuation bill

With all kinds of misleading claims about what this package does, let’s spell out some basic facts Katharine Murphy The Guardian With the medical evacuations bill now cleared by the Senate, and with politicians coming off the long run with all kinds of misleading claims about what this package does, let’s spell out some basic facts. How do the medical evacuation procedures work? The new legislation sets out the conditions by which sick people on Nauru and Manus Island can ... Read More »

What is the essence of the Saudi-Turkish Conflict?

The establishment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as it is known by the world today, dates back to 1932 by Abdulaziz Al Saud. Osama Dlykan Geopolitika.ru But what many do not know is that this kingdom is the third state of the Sauds; the first one (1747-1818) and the second (1818-1891). Both states were overthrown militarily by the Ottoman Turks, the first directly, and the second indirectly through the Turks’ support of the Al Rashid, who were the rivals ... Read More »

‘Napalm Girl’ Kim Phuc honoured for activism

Kim Phuc, immortalised in a photo showing her running, crying and naked, with burns from napalm during the Vietnam War, has been honoured for her peace work. AAP – SBS Kim Phuc, known as the “Napalm Girl” in an iconic 1972 Vietnam War photo, is receiving a 10,000 euro ($A15,963) award in Germany for her work for peace. Organisers of the Dresden Prize say the 55-year-old, who now lives in Canada, is being honoured for her support of Unesco and ... Read More »

UK Human Rights Act is at risk of repeal – here’s why it should be protected

There have long been attempts to “scrap” the Human Rights Act 1998, which incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into UK law. Stephen Clear The Conversation But while none have gained traction to date, parliamentarians have recently raised concerns that the government could be wavering in its commitment to the act post-Brexit. The House of Lords’ EU justice sub-committee said in January that it was worried to see the government change the wording of the political declaration it ... Read More »

‘He’ll be killed’: Fears for UK asylum seekers threatened with deportation under alleged deal with Zimbabawe

Exclusive: ‘I’m shocked that they want to send me back to a place where all those terrible things are happening. I won’t be able to walk out of the airport terminal without being interrogated by the police. There will be brutal beatings. I won’t be spared’ May Bulman Independent Zimbabwean asylum seekers who were forced to attend meetings with officials from their home country have been threatened with removal, in a move believed to be part of an agreement to “repatriate” thousands of… At least two people who ... Read More »

El Chapo Found Guilty on All Counts; Faces Life in Prison

The Mexican crime lord known as El Chapo was convicted on Tuesday after a three-month drug trial in New York that exposed the inner workings of his sprawling cartel, which over decades shipped tons of drugs into the… Alan Feuer The New York Times The guilty verdict against the kingpin, whose real name is Joaquín Guzmán Loera, ended the career of a legendary outlaw who also served as a dark folk hero in Mexico, notorious for his innovative smuggling tactics, ... Read More »

Prime Minister Scott Morrison talks down threat to Coalition after loss in Parliament vote

The future of the Coalition’s hold on power is at risk with the Federal Government becoming the first to lose a vote on its own legislation in almost 80 years. By political reporter Brett Worthington ABC The majority of the crossbench and Labor joined forces in the House of Representatives to pass amendments to give doctors a greater say on refugee medical evacuations. But Prime Minister Scott Morrison has so far refused to buckle to calls for an early election ... Read More »

Flood-affected farmers witness entire cattle herds wiped out by catastrophic deluge

Warning: Graphic content When rain started falling in Queensland’s west, drought-stricken farmers cried happy tears — but that emotion quickly turned to heartbreak. News Pty Limited — With AAP Farmers who managed to keep their cattle alive for seven years, through one of Australia’s worst droughts in history, have watched their herds wiped out in a matter of days after unprecedented floods devastated much of Queensland. If the cattle have not drowned or frozen to death in the elements, devastated farmers ... Read More »

German migrant rescue ship renamed after tragic toddler

A German migrant rescue ship which operates in the Mediterranean was renamed on Feb. 10 after Alan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian refugee boy whose body washed up on a Turkish beach at the height of the… Palma Hurriyet Alan’s father, Abdullah Kurdi, and aunt, Tima Kurdi, attended the renaming ceremony held in Palma on Spain’s Balearic Island of Mallorca. The event was organized by German charity Sea-Eye which operates the… “We are happy that a German rescue ship will carry the name of our boy. My boy on ... Read More »

Yes, Sustainability Can Be a Strategy

In recent years, a growing number of companies around the world have voluntarily adopted and implemented a broad range of sustainability practices. Ioannis Ioannou and George Serafeim Harvard Business Review The accelerating rate of adoption of these practices has also provoked a debate about the nature of sustainability and its long-term implications for organizations. Is the adoption of sustainability practices a form of strategic differentiation that can lead to superior financial performance? Or, is it a strategic necessity that can ... Read More »