Global Issues

The fallout from Turkey’s crisis will cause damage far beyond its borders

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Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s hubris has destablised a nation of pivotal regional importance Simon Tisdall The Guardian Hubris begets nemesis, as the ancient Greeks opined. It’s a life lesson Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s arrogant leader, appears unable to absorb as his country teeters over an abyss of his making. Erdoğan argued in June’s elections that an all-powerful executive presidency was the best way to govern – and he was the best man for the job. His wish was granted. Now Turkey ... Read More »

Rubbish to energy as Sweden wages war on waste with incinerators

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Sweden has become the darling of the press when it comes to waste management. Articles claim Sweden “recycles nearly all of its waste” and in doing so “generates electricity and heating”. Foreign Correspondent – By Craig Reucassel ABC As I’ve made a bit of a habit of going around looking in people’s bins, I’m constantly being told we should be more like Sweden and make our waste useful. And when Australia was struck by the so-called China recycling crisis recently, it ... Read More »

New data access bill shows we need to get serious about privacy with independent oversight of the law

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The federal government today announced its proposed legislation to give law enforcement agencies yet more avenues to reach into our private lives through access to our personal communications and data. Greg Austin The Conversation This never-ending story of parliamentary bills defies logic, and is not offering the necessary oversight and protections. The trend has been led by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, with help from an ever-growing number of security ministers and senior officials. Could it be that the proliferation of ... Read More »

Economic war on Iran is war on Eurasia integration

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US sanctions on Iran should be interpreted as a piece in a much larger chessboard Hysteria reigned supreme after the first round of US sanctions were reinstated against Iran over the past week. Pepe Escobar Asia Times War scenarios abound, and yet the key aspect of the economic war unleashed by the Trump administration has been overlooked: Iran is a major piece in a much larger chessboard. The US sanctions offensive, launched after Washington’s unilateral pullout from the Iran nuclear ... Read More »

Your Workplace Isn’t Your Family (and That’s O.K.!)

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Welcome to the Smarter Living newsletter. The editor, Tim Herrera, emails readers with tips and advice for living a better, more fulfilling life. Sign up here to get it in your inbox. Tim Herrera The New York Times “We’re like family here.” It’s a line that seems enshrined in the collective unconsciousness of American workers. We spend more than 2,000 hours per year with our co-workers, so it seems only natural that we should think of them as family. We ... Read More »

Why Turkey’s Lira Crisis Matters Outside Turkey

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Investors are fretting about emerging markets again. Turkey is the front-burner concern at the moment, but what really is getting people’s attention is the prospect that the financial problems there could spread to other fast-growing but risky countries. By Matt Phillips The New York Times If history is any indication, that has the potential to quickly turn a local crisis into a global one. Or maybe not. What’s happening in Turkey? Over the last week the value of the Turkish ... Read More »

Trump Is the First President to Get Turkey Right

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - JULY 11:  U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attend the opening ceremony at the 2018 NATO Summit at NATO headquarters on July 11, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. Leaders from NATO member and partner states are meeting for a two-day summit, which is being overshadowed by strong demands by U.S. President Trump for most NATO member countries to spend more on defense.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Good riddance to the so-called strategic relationship between Washington and Ankara. Steven A. Cook FP Last Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan published an op-ed in the New York Times outlining his country’s grievances toward the United States. The Turkish leader raised valid concerns about U.S. policy that genuinely vex Turkish leaders and citizens alike. Yet Erdogan only told half the story, leaving his readers to believe that Washington has victimized a reliable ally and partner. The United States has long had ... Read More »

How we use good deeds to justify immoral behaviour

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We all like to think of ourselves as morally sound individuals. However in doing so we often assume that morality is static – that we are consistently moral to some extent over time. Nishat Babu The Conversation In reality, research suggests that most of us will behave in contradictory ways and act both morally and immorally from time to time. Interestingly, when we think about our past moral actions, we are likely to engage engage in compensatory behaviour and act ... Read More »

Turkey’s lira crisis: ‘economic war’ sees Erdoğan look east for new allies

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Global markets are on edge once again, this time thanks to the Turkish lira. It crashed more than 15% against the US dollar, euro and pound sterling on August 10 and continued to fall when markets reopened after the weekend on August 13. Emre Tarim The Conversation The latest trigger was Donald Trump’s announcement that he would double import tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium. But the lira has been falling consistently over the past year as markets fear for ... Read More »

Rohingya crisis: a year since it shocked the world, what’s changed?

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This August marks a full year since one of the 21st century’s worst refugee crises gripped the world’s attention. Abdullah Yusuf The Conversation In 2017, an unprecedented number of Rohingya Muslim refugees began fleeing Myanmar’s Rakhine state for neighbouring Bangladesh, after Myanmar’s military launched a crackdown in response to attacks on border posts by Rohingya rebels. This crisis is, as rightly pointed out by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, “a humanitarian and human rights nightmare”; the United Nations described the ... Read More »

Horse’s act of defiance carries message for all of us

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Perfectly healthy, prize-winning horse Chautauqua is refusing to race and pundits are perplexed. “A dapple grey horse”, the proverb goes, “will sooner die than retire”. Not so this eight-year-old gelding. Andy Marks Brisbane Times Sometimes a simple act of defiance brings home the absurdity of relatively unquestioned conventions, like — for instance — forcing animals to perform for sport. At best, Chautauqua, clearly one of the world’s most ideologically astute and politically active horses, will be put to pasture. At ... Read More »

The US-Turkey Crisis: The NATO Alliance Forged in 1949 Is Today Largely Irrelevant

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There has been some reporting in the United States mass media about the deteriorating relationship between Washington and Ankara and what it might mean. Philip Giraldi American Herald Tribune Such a falling out between NATO members has not been seen since France left the alliance in 1966 and observers note that the hostility emanating from both sides suggests that far worse is to come as neither party appears prepared to moderate its current position while diplomatic… The immediate cause of ... Read More »

£100m plan to take thousands of homeless people off the streets

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The PM aims to help homeless people “turn their lives around”, but charities warn the new strategy will not provide a “total fix”. By Joe Tidy, news correspondent SkyNews A £100m government plan to halve rough sleeping in England by 2022 and eradicate it by 2027 has been launched. Thousands of rough sleepers will be offered rapid specialist assessments and support, as part of a package of new measures announced by Communities Secretary James Brokenshire. The Rough Sleeping Strategy will ... Read More »

Jewish leaders question timing of EU summit

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Scheduling conflict with Yom Kippur holiday raises concern amid rising rhetoric about ‘Christian Europe.’ By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN Politico Austria’s scheduling of an EU leaders’ summit to begin on Yom Kippur — the Jewish Day of Atonement — is raising questions of cultural sensitivity at a time of rising pro-Christian rhetoric among European politicians and… Jewish leaders said the scheduling conflict reflects an unfortunate but unsurprising lack of attention to their religious calendar. The situation is especially awkward for Austria, which ... Read More »

China Uighurs: Beijing denies detaining one million

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China has said reports it is holding a million Muslim Uighurs in detention in Xinjiang are “completely untrue”. BBC Uighurs enjoyed full rights but “those deceived by religious extremism… shall be assisted by resettlement and re-education”, officials said. The rare admission from Beijing – at a UN meeting in Geneva – came in response to concerns that the region “resembles a massive internment camp”. Xinjiang has seen intermittent violence – followed by crackdowns – for years. China accuses Islamist… China ... Read More »

Taliban Kill More Than 200 Afghan Defenders on 4 Fronts: ‘a Catastrophe’

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KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan government forces lost more than 200 officers and soldiers in fighting over the past three days as Taliban insurgents launched sustained attacks on four different fronts. By Rod Nordland, Fahim Abed and Mujib Mashal The New York Times The hardest-hit area was the southeastern city of Ghazni, where more than 100 police officers and soldiers had been killed by Sunday, a hospital official said, and the insurgents appeared to be in control of most of the… Ninety miles west, in Ghazni Province, ... Read More »