Global Issues

Martin Schulz, the outsider insider

The Brussels veteran’s decision to run against Angela Merkel is good news for Germany — and Europe. Timo Lochocki Politico BERLIN — Social Democrat leader Sigmar Gabriel’s decision to bow out of the race for the chancellorship in favor of Martin Schulz is the perfect antidote to German voters’ frustrations. It will benefit his party… Martin Schulz, the outsider… Read More »

Could an Irish referendum delay or even derail Brexit?

‘Unavoidable’ that talks on article 50 will trigger a referendum here, seminar hears Ruadhán Mac Cormaic The Irish Times Could Irish voters block a future deal to withdraw Britain from the EU by rejecting it in a referendum? With the clock counting down to… Could an Irish referendum delay… Read More »

Anti-Corruption Populists Tend to be More Corrupt, Report Says

Is your country experiencing overwhelming social inequality? Do you and your fellow citizens think it’s because of government corruption? Ruby Mellen Foreign Policy  Congratulations! You’re likely to elect a populist leader. That, at least, is what most nations do, according to Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption… Anti-Corruption Populists… Read More »

Victory for democracy in The Gambia

Celebrations can now begin in The Gambia, with new leader Adama Barrow set to return home on Thursday. Daily Nation President Barrow, who defeated long-serving despot Yahya Jammeh, moves into the presidential palace to complete a transition that would probably never have happened had the regional leaders and the international community… Victory for democracy in… Read More »

Australia fails to improve ranking in global corruption index amid mounting push for federal watchdog

Australia has maintained its position in a key corruption ranking, ending a four-year slide down Transparency International’s global corruption ladder, but experts warn the reprieve may be short-lived if major reforms are not implemented. Sam Clark and Dan Oakes ABC The index ranks countries based on perceptions of corruption in the public service. Nations at the top of the… Australia fails to improve… Read More »

What next for the anti-Trump protesters?

There are two possible outcomes from the huge anti-Trump marches the day after the new president’s inauguration. Clive Hamilton The Conversation Perhaps, having made their protest, the marchers will go home and spend the next four or even eight years stewing and posting angry comments online. Or the protests could morph into… What next for the anti-Trump… Read More »

Blasphemy laws desecrate democratic rights

Two religious communities have shown us the cross roads for free speech at which we have arrived. Amanda Stoker On Line Opinion The Grand Mufti of Australia, leader of the Muslim faith in this country, called for section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act to be expanded to make it unlawful for a person to (among other things) offend or insult a… Blasphemy laws desecrate… Read More »

Whispers of ‘Grexit’ start again

With Athens, EU creditors, and the IMF deadlocked on the bailout talks, some fear a renewed crisis. Simon Marks Politico ATHENS — Two years ago, Alexis Tsipras, the then 40-year-old leader of Greece’s Syriza party, swept to victory in snap elections claiming an end to the “vicious cycle of austerity” and years of “humiliation and suffering.” Now a veteran prime minister… Whispers of ‘Grexit’ start… Read More »

Right to refuse gay weddings protects against other discrimination, inquiry told

LGBTI campaigners say department’s submission shows double standard if discrimination based on sexuality allowed Paul Karp The Guardian The government’s marriage equality bill specifies that ministers of religion would be able to refuse same-sex weddings because otherwise it risks creating a right to refuse weddings based on disability or race, the attorney… Right to refuse gay weddings protects… Read More »

New reign takes hold in Thailand

The country’s royal succession has been smooth, defying predictions of a tumultuous transition, as King Maha Vajiralongkorn consolidates his position Shawn W. Crispin Asia Times On government buildings, shopping malls, and luxury hotels, larger-than-life portraits of recently deceased Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej are slowly but surely being replaced with images of his succeeding son. While black-clad Thais continue… New reign takes hold in… Read More »

In the age of YouTube, what’s the point in Saudi Arabia’s cinema ban?

In 2008, a rare screening of the Saudi comedy film “Manahi” in Jeddah raised hopes — that were eventually dashed — that a then three-decade ban on cinema in the kingdom could be lifted. Haifaa Al Mansour CNN (CNN) – This week marked the end of another period of prolonged excitement about the possibility of re-opening cinemas in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which have been banned since the 1980s. My hopes in this… In the age of YouTube, what’s… Read More »

The Guardian view on Australia Day: change the date

26 January – a day that marks the beginning of Indigenous dispossession – is the wrong day for national… Editorial The Guardian Respectful debate is the best way to a solution that will allow all Australians to join the… Mick Dodson explained succinctly why he… The Guardian view… Read More »

A Match Made in Hell: The Budding Bromance of Trump and Erdogan

Can two power-hungry egomaniacs forge a lasting alliance? Much depends on an extradition request, and whether Trump will continue the alliance with Syria’s… By Anna Lekas Miller The Nation Istanbul— “Your organization is terrible,” Donald Trump shouted at a CNN reporter at his January 11 news conference. “You are fake… A Match Made… Read More »