Global Issues

Zimbabwe’s Very Peculiar Coup

Zimbabwe’s military has detained the country’s 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace Mugabe, and taken control of the streets of the capital and the main television station. The next step – apparently, a legitimate-looking transfer of power to someone of the army’s choosing – may prove less easy. Piers Pigou ICG The Zimbabwe Defense Forces have taken control of the country. What exactly happened? The crisis burst into the open on 6 November when President Mugabe fired Vice ... Read More »

New Zealand’s War on Rats Could Change the World

The nation wants to eradicate all invasive mammal predators by 2050 Ed Yong Gene-editing technology could help—or it could trigger an ecological disaster of global proportions. The Atlantic The first thing that hit me about Zealandia was the noise. I was a 15-minute drive from the center of Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, but instead of the honks of horns or the bustle of passersby, all I could hear was birdsong.It came in every flavor—resonant coos, high-pitched cheeps, and alien ... Read More »

I’m not a ‘Brexit mutineer’. I’m proud to fight for democracy

Dressed up in the Telegraph as the ‘will of the people’, the attempt to strong-arm me and my Tory colleagues is shoddy journalism – and it won’t work Bob Neill is Conservative MP for Bromley and Chislehurst The Guardian The Telegraph’s front page on Wednesday branded me, along with 14 of my Conservative colleagues, a “Brexit mutineer”. No matter how much they seek to strong-arm politicians, business leaders and the judiciary to conform to their narrow ideological agenda, this sort ... Read More »

Erdoğan’s Kurdish Gambit

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan perceives the Kurdish belt along Turkey’s Syrian and Iraqi borders as the country’s top security threat, and has recalibrated his policies accordingly. Burak Bekdil But he has a Kurdish constituency inside Turkey and will need their votes in 2019. BESA During the upcoming presidential campaign, Erdoğan will have to find a miracle equilibrium: how to win Kurdish votes without losing nationalist Turkish votes? In 2015, soon after the Turkish people went to the ballot box, ... Read More »

Minimum alcohol pricing plans given green light after court battle

Scotland will become the first country in the world to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol David Bol Supreme Court justices gave their backing to the controversial measure in what ministers in Edinburgh hailed as an “historic and far-reaching judgment”. The Scotsman Seven justices at the UK’s highest court dismissed a legal challenge that had been brought against minimum unit pricing by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA). The decision clears the way for the Scottish Government to bring in the ... Read More »

Open Letter to Theresa May

OPEN LETTER The Rt Honourable Prime Minister Theresa May MP 10 Downing Street London SW1A 2AA 15 November 2017 Dear Prime Minister Your speech in London on 13 November 2017 I have read with interest the transcript of your meaningful and timely speech which was delivered on 13 November 2017 to the Lord Mayor’s Banquet in London. I agree with you that the United Kingdom has the capability to overcome the difficulties and challenges ahead not only due to the Brexit ... Read More »

Varadkar’s homeless comments reveal his true colours

The Taoiseach has betrayed a lack of empathy that is matched only by his contempt for our intelligence Áine Carroll The Irish Times  Controversy has erupted after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar stood over his claim that “Ireland has one of the lowest homelessness (rates) by international standards compared with our peers.” He continued by saying, “[I]t is a good thing in Ireland, that we have a low level of homelessness compared to our peer countries”, quickly followed by, “but what’s better ... Read More »

Should sexual harassment be a criminal offence?

It started with Harvey Weinstein, one of the biggest names in cinema, then went global with the #metoo Twitter hashtag before engulfing the UK’s members of Parliament. Marie Jackson Flipboard The sex scandal spanning Hollywood, Parliament and beyond has exposed a possible gap in UK legislation – sexual harassment is not actually a criminal offence in its own right. The Equality Act currently covers sexual harassment in the workplace – but outside work, prosecutors must use different pieces of legislation, ... Read More »

‘A way of healing’: Art and memory in Latin America

More than 20 years have passed since the civil war ended in Guatemala and Chile returned to democracy, but the impact of extreme state violence is still keenly felt. BBC As part of a BBC radio series on protest art in Latin America, Louise Morris travelled to both countries and asked if there was a role for art both to demand justice and collectively memorialise those lost. A woman sits centre stage reading aloud. At regular intervals a dentist enters ... Read More »

Sweden’s Recycling Is So Revolutionary, The Country Is Running Out Of Trash

When it comes to recycling, Sweden sets an example for the rest of the world. Thanks to a government prioritization on sustainability, the Nordic country recycles 1.5 billion bottles and cans annually, a staggering amount for a population of about 9.6 million (in 2013). Sara Barnes BuzzWorthy In terms of rubbish, Swedes only produce a measly 461 kilograms (1,106 pounds) of waste average per year—less than 1% of discard ends up in landfills. This is slightly below the half-ton average in the rest of ... Read More »

Pat Dodson’s emotional tribute to Jacqui Lambie addressed the deeply-seated problems with the Australian Constitution

Senator Pat Dodson has paid tribute to Jacqui Lambie in the Senate following her resignation By Claudianna Blanco Source: NITV News SBS Like many others, Western Australian Labor Senator Pat Dodson stood up in Parliament today to farewell Jacqui Lambie, who resigned from the Senate after British authorities confirmed she is a UK dual citizen, as her father was born in… But unlike others, Mr Dodson’s remarks came from a different place. The ‘Father of Reconciliation’ took the opportunity to point out ... Read More »

Norway sued over Arctic oil exploration plans

The case, led by Greenpeace, claims Norwegian government has violated constitutional right to a healthy environment and contravenes Paris agreement Tone Sutterud and Elisabeth Ulven in Oslo The Guardian The Norwegian government is being sued by climate activists over a decision to open up areas of the Arctic Ocean for oil exploration, a move they say endangers the lives of existing and future generations. The plaintiffs, led by environmental organisations Greenpeace and Youth and Nature, will on Tuesday claim that the Norwegian government has ... Read More »

60% of organisations suffer ‘inefficient’ legal spend: Report

New research has found that the majority of large organisations around the world allocate their legal spend inefficiently. Tom Lodewyke Lawyers Weekly Legal research firm Acritas produced the recent Patterns in Legal Spend Report – Part 2 using data from the 2016 Sharplegal Global Elite survey, which questioned over 2,000 senior in-house counsel around the world. Their responses revealed a delicate balance between internal and external legal spending that delivers maximum efficiency. According to the Acritas report, optimum efficiency is ... Read More »

Standoff in Zimbabwe as Struggle to Succeed Mugabe Deepens

President Robert Mugabe plunged Zimbabwe into political crisis by firing his long-time ally and enforcer Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa on 6 November 2017. In this Q&A prior to an apparent army coup in Mnangagwa’s favour on 14-15 November, Crisis Group’s Senior Southern Africa Consultant Piers Pigou gives the background to the struggle to succeed the 93-year-old… Piers Pigou This Q&A on the background to Zimbabwe’s political crisis of November 2017 was published just before an apparent army coup on the ... Read More »

Manus Island: Those For Whom We Cannot Grieve

As a nation, overcoming our fear of ‘the other’ and exposing our own vulnerabilities is the key to ending the crisis on Manus Island, writes Elise Addlem. New Matilda The 600 men trapped between the Manus Island detention centre and the unknown that comes next are people defined negatively as individuals. They are not defined, as they once were, as a member of a country, as a father, a son, a partner, a friend. Now, they have been hollowed out ... Read More »

Queensland election 2017: two nations, divided by immigration

Please excuse this column. Its subject is rather like a noisy fart at a wedding. It’s unwanted, unwelcome and leaves a nasty stench in the air, and that’s why it’s not normally talked about in polite company. Nicholas Stuart Which is exactly the point. Brisbane Times It’s time to discuss seriously the one issue that’s threatening, more than any other, to tear the country apart: immigration. Queensland election 2017: two nations, divided by immigration In Queensland, however, the conspiracy of ... Read More »