Global Issues

Russia Has Grand Designs For the International Order (Op-ed)

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Moscow’s new grand strategy is still in gestation Russia’s foreign policy has come full circle in the last 25 years. Dmitri Trenin  The Moscow Times It started with the rejection of the Soviet Union’s superpower posture, its global geopolitical ambitions, and its ideology. The Russian Federation positioned itself as a “new Russia” — no longer a superpower, with modest ambitions beyond its borders, and willing to go along with the Soviet Union’s former adversaries who became Moscow’s new friends and ... Read More »

Will anyone protect the Rohingya?

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Since August, the Rohingya, an ethnic minority in Myanmar, has faced what a United Nations official called “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.” Vincent A. Auger  The Conversation Recent reports describe a campaign by Myanmar security forces to drive the Rohingya from the country permanently. Hundreds of thousands have fled to camps in neighboring Bangladesh, creating a new refugee crisis. This is exactly the type of atrocity that the United Nations vowed to combat in 2005, when it asserted a ... Read More »

Slavery thrives because it’s hidden: we need to learn to ask questions, says CofE bishop

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The CofE bishop who is leading the Church’s efforts to help to tackle modern slavery has called for ‘improvement in police practice’ in the wake of a highly critical report which found that police are failing in the area. James Macintyre Christian Today A new report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services found that police forces are failing to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking because the cases are too difficult and senior officers believe the ... Read More »

Up to 40 per cent of aged care residents get no visitors, minister Ken Wyatt says

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Up to 40 per cent of people in aged care homes never get visitors, Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt has told the National Press Club. Louise Yaxley  ABC “It saddens me immensely,” Mr Wyatt said. He said it was a figure he had heard rather than a solid statistic, but Mr Wyatt said he was dismayed that older people were left on their own without family contact. “Our love should not be conditional on a point in age, or because ... Read More »

Talking Point: Prevent crime for a safer society

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Do we care about our community safety or is it that we only want bad behaviour and criminal behaviour punished, no matter what? Grant Herring Do we really understand the real cost of crime and punishment? The Mercury Do we care about the outcomes of imprisonment? These are not simple questions when the complexity of their resolution is steeped in that Anglo-Saxon culture which transported wrongdoers from a nation with jails so overcrowded that prison hulks were deployed. Is imprisonment ... Read More »

Why the ‘Hands Off’ campaign targeting sexual harassment on public transport misses the mark

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This week, Victoria launched a campaign, “Hands Off”, in response to a 40% increase in reports of sexual assault on public transport. Bianca Fileborn The Conversation  The campaign – a joint initiative between Victoria Police, Crime Stoppers and Public Transport Victoria – will, over the next two weeks, publicly share images of alleged offenders online to encourage commuters to report them. This is accompanied by a new police unit that will focus on sexual offences on public transport. Hands Off’s ... Read More »

‘We will be toasted, roasted and grilled’: IMF chief sounds climate change warning

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Christine Lagarde warns of ‘dark future’ if the world fails to take steps to address global warming The world will be in deep trouble if it fails to tackle climate change and inequality, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde has warned. Agence France-Presse The Guardian “If we don’t address these issues… we will be moving to a dark future” in 50 years, she told a major economic conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh on Tuesday. <link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”https://assets.guim.co.uk/stylesheets/c532dd562a1e2667941fb4c4711f8e17/content.css”/> Lagarde said ... Read More »

‘No longer for sale’: Foreigners banned from buying houses in New Zealand

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Overseas buyers will no longer be allowed to purchase existing homes in New Zealand, Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Ardern declared as she unveiled a raft of policy deals made with her coalition… Yahoo7 News AFP The move to tackle soaring property prices was agreed during lengthy negotiations between the Labour Party leader and populist powerbroker Winston Peters to form a new government that also includes the Green… Ardern announced plans to slash immigration on Tuesday and focus on regional development and ... Read More »

Martyn McLaughlin: National park idea has fallen from favour

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It’s 14 years since the second national park was created, and it’s likely to be the last, writes Martyn McLaughlin For a nation spoilt with an abundance of breathtaking landscapes, it is perhaps surprising that Scotland had to rely on a Welshman to alert the wider world to its… Martyn McLaughlin The Scotsman When Thomas Pennant, a naturalist and antiquarian, set out on his travels in the summer of 1769, he was ploughing a lonely furrow. Few people wished to ... Read More »

Kurdish Fears of New Iranian-Backed Genocide ‘Must Be Taken Seriously,’ Expert Urges

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Kurdish warnings that they face a potential genocide at the hands of the Iranian-backed forces that have swept through Iraqi Kurdistan over the last ten days “need to be taken seriously,” a leading expert on Kurdish affairs said on… Ben Cohen  Algemeiner “There is a great fear among the Kurds that they could face another genocide at the hands of the Iraqi government and the Shia militia forces backed by Iran,” Julie Lenarz — the executive director of the Human ... Read More »

How Climate Change Is Playing Havoc With Olive Oil (and Farmers)

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TREVI, Italy — It was in June, the time of year when the first olives normally burst from their blossoms in the mild warmth of early summer, when Irene Guidobaldi walked through her groves in blistering heat and watched in horror as the flowers on her trees began to wither and… SOMINI SENGUPTA The New York Times  The only way to save her family’s precious orchard in the hills of Umbria was to buy the most precious thing of all ... Read More »

Xi Jinping becomes most powerful leader since Mao with China’s change to constitution

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Rare accolade puts Xi’s Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics into Communist charter and sets him on course for indefinite spell in power Tom Phillips Is Xi or isn’t Xi? Who said it – Jinping or Mao Zedong? The Guardian Xi Jinping has been consecrated as China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong after a new body of political thought carrying his name was added to the Communist party’s constitution. The symbolic move came on the final day of a ... Read More »

Michael Bloomberg: Brexit is stupidest thing any country has done besides Trump

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Exclusive: Billionaire media mogul says it is ‘hard to understand why a country doing so well wanted to ruin it’ Graham Ruddick  The Guardian Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire media mogul and former mayor of New York, has said Brexit is the “single stupidest thing any country has ever done” apart from the election of Donald Trump as US president. Bloomberg argued that “it is really hard to understand why a country that was doing so well wanted to ruin it” ... Read More »

New Zealand’s incoming PM Jacinda Ardern signs coalition deal, outlines plans to go green

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New Zealand’s incoming Government is hoping to make the nation greener by planting 100 million trees each year, ensuring the electricity grid runs entirely from renewable energy, and spending more money on cycle ways and rail transport. AP/ABC Jacinda Ardern, who takes over as prime minister this week, on Tuesday outlined agreements her Labour Party reached with other political parties joining them in the new Government. In addition to the environmental initiatives, Ms Ardern also outlined plans to raise the ... Read More »

An Election Delay Can Help Avert Kenya’s Crisis

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The rerun of Kenya’s presidential elections scheduled on 26 October risks escalating a political crisis, as the main opposition leader has withdrawn and the risk of violence is high. ICG The election commission should seek from the Supreme Court a 30-45 day delay to the vote. Kenya’s political leaders should support such an extension and commit to participate. What’s happening?  On 26 October, Kenya is scheduled to hold repeat presidential elections following the Supreme Court’s annulment of the previous vote ... Read More »

Why the government goes easy on corporate crime

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When Robert Mueller was tapped to investigate Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election, white-collar defense attorneys in Washington pumped their fists and readied their invoices. David Dayen New Republic Donald Trump and his inner circle have hit up practically every white-shoe law firm in town: Covington & Burling, Miller & Chevalier, Morgan Lewis, Hogan Lovells, Norton Rose Fulbright. For decades, veteran litigators from these firms have defended everyone from George W. Bush and Jack Abramoff on the right to ... Read More »