Global Issues

Tunisian women free to marry non-Muslims

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Tunisia has overturned a law that banned women from marrying non-Muslims A spokeswoman for President Beji Caid Essebsi made the announcement and congratulated women on gaining “the freedom to choose one’s spouse”. BBC Until now, a non-Muslim man who wished to marry a Tunisian Muslim woman had to convert to Islam and submit a certificate of his conversion as proof. Tunisia, which is 99% Muslim, is viewed as one of the most progressive Arab countries in terms of women’s… Tunisian ... Read More »

Processing centres in North Africa are not the answer for EU refugees

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Last month, French President Emmanuel Macron invited his counterparts from Libya, Niger, Chad, Italy, Germany and Spain to Paris to discuss ways of stopping the flow of irregular migrants and refugees through transit countries. Azadeh Dastyari  The Conversation  The leaders explored the possibility of establishing processing facilities in North Africa to identify refugees and turn back anyone who does not qualify for resettlement. The talks come two years after approximately one million people arrived by boat in Europe, 75% of ... Read More »

30 years ago the world pledged to fix the ozone layer. And it worked

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Could the Montreal Protocol be the world’s most successful treaty? Alex Gray In 1987, countries around the world came together to sign it. World Economic Forum Their mission? To save the ozone layer. The Montreal Protocol marks its 30th anniversary on 16 September 2017, the UN’s International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. The celebration is all the more special, because the treaty worked. Health benefits Thanks to the treaty, more than 135 billion tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions were prevented from reaching ... Read More »

Chelsea Manning: What Was Harvard Thinking?

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Manning isn’t the Kennedy School’s only questionable appointment The Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s Kennedy School announced on Wednesday that it was inviting Chelsea E. Manning–who disseminated almost 750,000 secret American government cables and documents about Iraq to Wikileaks and spent seven years in prison before her sentence was commuted by President Obama–to become a visiting… Jacob Heilbrunn The National Interest Then, on Friday, it rescinded the invitation. The school’s dean, Douglas W. Elmendorf, issued a broadly worded statement. ... Read More »

Russia, Turkey Sign S-400 Deal despite Criticism and Suspicion

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan attend a news conference following their talks in Sochi, Russia, May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool

Moscow – Moscow and Ankara confirmed on Tuesday that they signed a deal in which Moscow would sell Ankara S-400 missiles. Taha Abed alWahed “Signatures have been made for the purchase of S-400s from Russia. ASHARQ AL-AWSAT A deposit has also been paid as far as I know,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday. He stated that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin “are determined on this issue.” This is the largest deal that Turkey signs with a country ... Read More »

Media reform deals will reduce diversity and amount to little more than window dressing

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The breakthrough in negotiations with the Senate crossbenchers that the government has been chipping away at over media reform has finally arrived Tim Dwyer The Conversation The deregulatory legislation, the Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Broadcasting Reform) Bill 2017, required 38 votes to pass the Senate, where the Coalition controls 29… It had already secured the support of three crossbenchers and four One Nation senators, but was waiting for just two votes to get it over the line – until Nick Xenophon ... Read More »

Greece completes sale of railway operator to Italy’s Ferrovie

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ATHENS, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Greece concluded on Thursday the sale of railway operator TRAINOSE to Italy’s Ferrovie dello Stato and expects hundreds of millions of euros to be invested in the country’s ageing rail infrastructure in the coming years. Reuters Staff Under its current bailout, its third since 2010, Greece was expected to sell TRAINOSE and other state assets to raise 6 billion euros ($6.2) by 2018. Greece will fetch 45 million euros from this sale and expects a ... Read More »

John Howard slams Turnbull government’s handling of same-sex marriage postal vote

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Former Prime Minister John Howard has slammed the Turnbull government’s handling of the same-sex marriage postal vote 9news Mr Howard has demanded the government release its planned legislation before the vote ends to show how it plans to handle “parental rights”, “freedom of speech” and show how “religious freedoms will be protected”. “The government’s response has been to wash its hands of any responsibility,” Mr Howard said. Malcolm Turnbull’s predecessor Tony Abbott agreed with Mr Howard. “People don’t know exactly ... Read More »

India to invest $17bn on Japanese bullet trains

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Japanese premier Shinzo Abe hails new ‘strategic and global partnership in the Indian-Pacific region’. Al Jazeera India will invest $17bn to build its first high-speed train system, having reached a deal with Japan to help finance the project. Source: News agencies The network, which will run 508km between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, was announced on Thursday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “This is the new India, and the flight of its dreams is endless,” he said. “The bullet train project will bring ... Read More »

Can Trump and the United Nations Just Get Along?

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What has Donald Trump done to the United Nations? In the run-up to his inauguration in January, the president threatened to wreak havoc on the organization. Richard Gowan  The Century Foundation Angered by a December 2016 Security Council resolution criticizing Israeli settlement-building in the Occupied Territories, on which the Obama administration abstained, the president-elect darkly warned on Twitter that, “as to the U.N., things will be different after… During his turbulent tenure so far, Trump has veered from threatening major ... Read More »

Quick Fixes Won’t Block Libya’s People Smugglers for Long

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A recent dramatic decrease in migrants reaching Europe may be partly explained by payoffs to armed groups in Libya. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Senior Analyst for Libya, Claudia Gazzini, warns about the risks associated with this policy, arguing that while working with armed groups may be necessary in the short term, any durable solution requires putting Libya’s economy and politics back on track. Claudia Gazzini  ICG What are the latest migration figures from Libya? Italian officials report that the ... Read More »

US-Turkey Tensions Escalate Over Russian Missile Deal

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dismissed U.S. concerns about his government’s recent decision to buy an S-400 missile defense system from Russia In a speech Wednesday to mayors from his ruling AK Party, Erdogan said of the U.S., “They went crazy because we made the S-400 agreement. Dorian Jones VoA What were we supposed to do? Wait for you? We are taking and will take all our measures on the security front,” he added. The multibillion-dollar missile purchase has ... Read More »

Cardin: Turkey’s Purchase of Russian missile system may trigger sanctions

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Top Senate Foreign Relations Democrat warns $2.5 billion Turkey-Russia deal might violate new sanctions law that Trump opposed. Andrew Hanna Politico Turkey’s recent purchase of an advanced Russian anti-air weapons system may have violated a U.S. law that would require an automatic imposition of sanctions on the NATO member, a top Democratic lawmaker said today. The letter, sent by Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin to Trump administration officials, warns that Ankara’s purchase of Moscow’s S-400 air defense system, which finalized on ... Read More »

The Education of Emmanuel Macron

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‘Governing from the center does not produce the same enthusiasm and vitality as a start-up campaign.’ Benjamin Haddad The Atlantic  Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, would surely have preferred to kick off the most important month of his young administration in a less precarious position.Last week, he unveiled his plans to reform France’s notoriously rigid labor market to grant more flexibility to small companies to directly negotiate some aspects of their contracts with employees, rather than involving the government, ... Read More »

Tony Abbott on why same sex marriage would fundamentally change society

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Like most, I have tried to be there for friends and family who are gay. They are good people who deserve our love, respect and inclusion but that doesn’t mean that we can’t continue to reserve the term “marriage” for the relationship of one man with one woman, ideally for life and usually dedicated to children. Tony Abbott * The Sydney Morning Herald Like you, I want a country where everyone gets a fair go and where no one is ... Read More »

Chocolate industry drives rainforest disaster in Ivory Coast

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Exclusive: As global demand for chocolate booms, ‘dirty’ beans from deforested national parks have entered big business supply chains ‘Once this was all trees, but they burned them to plant cocoa’: the ruin of West Africa’s rainforest Ruth Maclean in Marahoué national park, Ivory Coast The Guardian The world’s chocolate industry is driving deforestation on a devastating scale in West Africa, the Guardian can reveal. Cocoa traders who sell to Mars, Nestlé, Mondelez and other big brands buy beans grown ... Read More »