Global Issues

Italian PM: We want to shake things up in Europe

Giuseppe Conte says government wants to change EU rules that are ‘old and outdated.’ By SILVIA SCIORILLI BORRELLI Politico ROME — The Italian government wants to give Europe “a shake,” according to Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, but he dismissed fights with other EU members as mere “misunderstandings.” The prime minister, who never campaigned for office or ran in Italy’s election, heads a populist coalition that has  clashed with Brussels over its spending plans and with France over a range of issues from ... Read More »

We don’t know how many asylum seekers are turned away at Australian airports

The immigration department doesn’t keep a record of how many people apply for asylum at Australian airports, and how many are turned away. Authors: The Conversation Documents released under Freedom of Information show a lack of accountability and oversight by Australian immigration officials with regard to people who request asylum at airports. This means the ultimate decision to admit or deny an asylum seeker entry into Australia rests with the Border Force official who interviews them. Without oversight, an asylum ... Read More »

Europe, Please Wake Up

The first step to defending Europe from its enemies, both internal and external, is to recognize the magnitude of the threat they present. George Soros The Project Syndicate The second is to awaken the sleeping pro-European majority and mobilize it to defend the values on which the EU was founded. MUNICH – Europe is sleepwalking into oblivion, and the people of Europe need to wake up before it is too late. If they don’t, the European Union will go the ... Read More »

Plummeting insect numbers ‘threaten collapse of nature’

Exclusive: Insects could vanish within a century at current rate of decline, says global review Why are insects in decline, and can we do anything about it? The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review. Damian Carrington The Guardian More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than ... Read More »

Macron Is Going Full De Gaulle

France’s president is pushing around Britain, Germany, and Italy—and going back to his country’s foreign-policy roots. Robert Zaretsky FP In the case of Emmanuel Macron’s official presidential photograph, a picture is worth not a thousand but quite literally hundreds of thousands of words. The photo shows Macron flanked by the French and European Union flags and an opened book on the desk behind him. Though the title is not shown, Macron made it known that the book was none other ... Read More »

We can balance compassion and safety as a country

Last December, we were both in Parliament with the hope of seeing Urgent Medical Treatment amendments pass both the Senate and lower house. By Kon Karapanagiotidis and Jana Favero Brisbane Times A groundswell of support mobilised behind a call to get all kids and their families of Nauru – rural Australians, 7000 doctors, unions, lawyers, schoolchildren, artists, nurses and teachers; 170,000 people signed a petition and 400 organisations rallied. The trigger was media exposure of medical neglect and the risk ... Read More »

Hakeem al-Araibi to return to Australia after Thai court rules extradition case be dropped

A Thai court has ruled that an extradition case against Melbourne-based refugee Hakeem al-Araibi be dropped, with the footballer to return to Australia tonight. ABC The director-general of international affairs for the Thai Government confirmed to the ABC that the Attorney-General requested the case for Mr al-Araibi’s extradition to Bahrain be dropped. The 25-year-old was detained in Bangkok more than two months ago for alleged vandalism offences in his native Bahrain. A Bahraini court sentenced him in absentia to 10 years ... Read More »

Mitigating Risks for Syrian Refugee Youth in Turkey’s Şanlıurfa

Turkey hosts 3.6 million Syrian refugees, half of whom are under eighteen. Despite European aid, tensions are rising as the country strains to accommodate the influx. ICG The answer is smarter integration policies aimed particularly at meeting the needs of vulnerable youth. What’s new? A generation of young Syrians in Turkey is not receiving the support it needs to integrate successfully into Turkish society. Exposure to discrimination and exploitation, unaddressed psycho-social trauma, and lagging support for skill acquisition and… Mitigating ... Read More »

Mitigating Risks for Syrian Refugee Youth in Turkey’s Şanlıurfa

Turkey hosts 3.6 million Syrian refugees, half of whom are under eighteen. Despite European aid, tensions are rising as the country strains to accommodate the influx. ICG The answer is smarter integration policies aimed particularly at meeting the needs of vulnerable youth. What’s new? A generation of young Syrians in Turkey is not receiving the support it needs to integrate successfully into Turkish society. Exposure to discrimination and exploitation, unaddressed psycho-social trauma, and lagging support for skill acquisition and… Mitigating ... Read More »

Scenes From the Borderland

“Everyone here knows Trump hates brown people.” Roger Cohen The New York Times EL PASO — I have a suggestion for President Trump. Instead of fanning fear during your visit to this city on Monday night, stroll across the Paso del Norte Bridge into Ciudad Júarez. Join the 70,000 people crossing four bridges who daily form the human tissue linking the United States and Mexico. They work, they study, they eat, they shop, all part of what Dee Margo, the mayor of El Paso, calls ... Read More »

The world is run by those who show up

In this edited extract of the new book The Change Makers, Professor Marcia Langton tells author Shaun Carney that when you do the right thing at the right time, people will later call you a leader. Shaun Carney The Mandarin What kind of leader am I, if I’m a leader at all? I am required as a professor to be an academic leader. As a result of that, and the pressure in the academy to publish and, increasingly, to show ... Read More »

Sajid Javid accused of evading questions about suspects facing death penalty

Home secretary delayed to answer questions by Caroline Lucas about fate of British citizens allegedly part of Isis cell Owen Bowcott The Guardian A senior Conservative MP has reprimanded the home secretary, Sajid Javid, for failing to answer parliamentary questions about the government exposing British citizens to the death penalty overseas. Charles Walker, chair of the Commons procedure committee, wrote to Javid describing his failure to respond to written queries from the Green MP Caroline Lucas as an “unacceptable discourtesy to a fellow ... Read More »

Terrorism is rare, but intimate partner violence is an everyday event

Last week newsfeeds started filling up with stories about a bomb scare at Brisbane airport. Police were quick to reassure the public that it “was not terror related” and the incident quickly dropped out of the news cycle. Jane Gilmore Brisbane Times It was widely reported that the man chased a woman (a family member) through the food court with two large knives and a device he claimed was a bomb. Another woman and two young girls, also thought to ... Read More »

African leaders unveil statue of Ethiopia’s last emperor

A statue of Ethiopia‘s Emperor Haile Selassie has been unveiled at the headquarters of the African Union on Feb. 10. ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia Hurriyet The statue is the second to be erected inside the continental body’s offices in Ethiopia‘s capital Addis Ababa, after one of Ghana’s first leader, Kwame Nkrumah, who championed pan-Africanism. Several African leaders at the current African Union summit and relatives of the emperor attended the… Ethiopians have cheered the statue’s erection, the first on Ethiopian soil since Haile ... Read More »

Austrian foreign minister: Hell is other people

Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl blamed Brexit frustration for Donald Tusk’s controversial remark about Brexiteers. Paul Dallison Politico Tusk said last week after a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar: “I’ve been wondering what that special place in hell looks like, for those who promoted Brexit, without even a sketch of a plan how to carry it out safely.” On Sunday, the BBC’s Andrew Marr told Kneissl that the remarks were “very very unhelpful, perhaps, to the EU side.” “My personal reaction when I ... Read More »

Goldman Sachs’ role in the 1MDB scandal – in 300 words

The 1MDB corruption scandal has cast a shadow over Goldman Sachs, raising questions about how much the US investment bank knew about the misconduct. BBC What is Goldman accused of? The firm helped raise $6.5bn (£5bn) for the Malaysian development fund, advising on three bond offerings in 2012 and 2013. Prosecutors allege more than $2.7bn was later embezzled, used to bribe government officials and buy luxury items. In November, Goldman’s lead banker on the deals, Tim Leissner, pleaded guilty in US court ... Read More »