Global Issues

Backlash in Cuba

Obama’s historic visit was a smash hit in Havana. Fidel Castro wasn’t going to take that lying down.. By ANN LOUISE BARDACH HAVANA — These days Fidel Castro doesn’t often leave his comfortable home in Siboney, a leafy suburb west of this city. But on April 19, the 89-year-old Cuban leader emerged, aides at his side, wearing a royal blue Adidas sports jacket over a blue plaid shirt, and was driven two miles to the immense Palacio de Convenciones. Inside he ... Read More »

Referendum required as UN move confirms abortion law is unsustainable

Human Rights Committee decision underlines Eighth Amendment is incompatible with human rights.. Ιn a decision that will not have come as a surprise to those who are attentive to either international human rights law or abortion law in Ireland, the United Nations Human Rights Committee has found that a woman’s rights under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights were violated by her having to travel for an abortion in a situation of fatal foetal abnormality… Source: Referendum required as ... Read More »

The B-58 Hustler: America’s Cold War Nuclear Bomber Blunder

She was a work of art—but was nearly obsolete from the start.. In an era of fantastic aircraft, the B-58 Hustler was one of the most visually striking warplanes ever to fly. Its delta wing, giant engines, and remarkable performance gave rise to the myth that pilots could literally tear the wings off the bomber if they flew it too fast… Source: The B-58 Hustler: America’s Cold War Nuclear Bomber Blunder | The National Interest Read More »

Sweden’s solidarity is needed on the UN Security Council

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On November 4th Americans will elect a new President. José Ramos-Horta  As for me, from the little country of Timor-Leste I am already invoking God and all Christian Saints and Animist Spirits to deliver to us Hillary Rodham Clinton. Timor-Leste owes much to William Jefferson Clinton, who as President in 1999 played a central role in getting the UN to authorize an international peace force to be deployed to our island, quelling the violence in our countryside and paving the ... Read More »

A modern-day slave in Australia’s suburbs

The Global Slavery Index says there could be thousands of people in Australia living in conditions amounting to slavery, but that despite a tightening of laws, prosecutions are rare. The BBC’s Phil Mercer spoke to one woman about her experiences. Susan’s (not her real name) story began when the family who employed her as a housekeeper moved back to Sydney from east Africa. She knew the family well and trusted them. They had always been kind and generous, so it ... Read More »

The Chilling Effect of Fear at America’s Colleges

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The coddling of students’ minds has resulted in grave restrictions of free speech on campus—but academic leaders are also to blame. Jonathan R. Cole The Atlantic No great universities exist in the world without a deep institutional commitment to academic freedom, free inquiry, and free expression. For the past 60 years, American research universities have been vigilant against external and internal attempts to limit or… The Chilling Effect… Read More »

Memo to the Coalition: don’t come to an arts policy debate without an arts policy

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Cultural policy is an election issue for the first time in 20 years. To understand why, look no further than arts minister Mitch Fifield’s performance at an industry debate.. You have to feel for the arts minister, Mitch Fifield. It’s never easy turning up to a political debate where most of the audience is against you. That’s what Fifield had to endure at Wednesday’s national arts election debate, held at Melbourne’s Wheeler Centre. As they say in show business, it ... Read More »

The case for Hillary Clinton, by a Bernie voter

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As a woman, I know that having a female nominee is a really big deal.. When my grandmother was born in Philadelphia in 1920, women couldn’t vote. Her opinion about her country and the people who governed it mattered less — or, frankly, not at all — than the men around her. Even after the ratification of the 19th Amendment on Aug. 20, 1920, my… Source: The case for Hillary Clinton, by a Bernie voter – The Washington Post Read More »

Israel suspends permits after deadly attack

The Israeli military revoked on June 9 permits for 83,000 Palestinians to visit Israel and said it would send hundreds more troops to the occupied West Bank after a Palestinian gun attack that killed four Israelis in Tel Aviv. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the assault by two gunmen on Wednesday in a trendy shopping and dining market near Israel’s Defense Ministry, but Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups were quick to praise it. The assailants came ... Read More »

IMF Go Home

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Eurozone finance ministers and the IMF have agreed with Greece to begin providing some debt relief to the country, and to release $10.3 billion in bailout funds. But all parties would have been better off had the IMF been cut out of the deal, in favor of greater reliance on European loans… Source: IMF Go Home by Daniel Gros – Project Syndicate Read More »

Erdoğan lifts Turkish MPs’ immunity in bid to kick out pro-Kurdish parties

President signs bill that allows prosecution of lawmakers currently under investigation – most of whom are from pro-Kurdish or opposition parties.. The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has signed a bill lifting lawmakers’ immunity from prosecution – a constitutional change likely to remove a pro-Kurdish opposition party from parliament… Source: Erdoğan lifts Turkish MPs’ immunity in bid to kick out pro-Kurdish parties | World news | The Guardian Read More »

NATO troops in massive airborne exercise in Poland irks Russia

About 2,000 NATO troops conducted an airborne training operation on June 7 as part of the biggest exercise performed in Poland since the 1989 end of communism and amid concerns over Russia.. Scores of U.S. troops and then military vehicles parachuted into a spacious, grassy training area on the outskirts of the central city of Torun. The force’s mission was to secure a bridge on the Vistula River as part of the Polish-led Anakonda-16 exercise that involves about 31,000 troops ... Read More »

Illegal Chinese fishing wreaking havoc with S. Korea’s fishery resources

Illegal Chinese fishing boats operating off the Korean Peninsula are causing serious damage to the Yellow Sea fishery resources and adversely endangering the livelihood of local fishermen, observers said Tuesday. The concerns come as the unauthorized Chinese fishing boats have been cited for depleting maritime resources in around waters near the Northern Limit Line (NLL) that separates the two Koreas. They have also been cited for intentionally damaging and stealing fishery-related equipment used by South Korean fishermen… Source: (News Focus) ... Read More »

Britain reborn as Greek wild-child?

ATHENS // It is a surreal experience to write about a possible EU Brexit from the country that was the first to raise the spectre of bailing out of the bloc. Greece, was painted as Europe’s wild-child last summer when it went to the polls in a Yes or No referendum on a multibillion-euro bailout and its attached demands from creditors. It was interpreted by many as the country deciding whether or not to stay in the EU. The initial ... Read More »

Rodrigo Duterte ‘legalises’ murder of drug dealers in Philippines

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EVEN before Philippines president-elect Rodrigo Duterte told citizens he would give a medal to anyone who shot dead a drug dealer in a national address at the weekend, the bodies were starting to pile up.. But since that speech, at least five people allegedly connected to the drug trade as well as an indeterminate number of low level pushers have been exterminated by street assassins. Unlike the hundreds of petty criminals and drug pushers who have “involuntarily… Source: Rodrigo Duterte ... Read More »

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Beijing’s artificial islands bring South China Sea crisis to the boil

A tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague is ready to give its verdict on a complaint by the Philippines, which has challenged China’s territorial rights in the South China Sea. The verdict is set to address the simmering crisis in the South China Sea which will come to the boil later this month. Assertion China has rightfully asserted that the tribunal cannot adjudicate maritime boundaries; these can only be determined through bilateral negotiations between the parties ... Read More »