Global Issues

Macron’s opening European gambit

Rem 3c

French president’s race to reform the EU starts with Pieyre-Alexandre Anglade By MAÏA DE LA BAUME Politico Emmanuel Macron’s point man in his campaign to conquer Brussels is a former European parliamentary assistant who looks like he’s barely out of high school. Pieyre-Alexandre Anglade has been tasked with laying the groundwork for the French president’s next big political test: The European Union’s 2019 changing of the political guard — which starts with the election for European Parliament and culminates with ... Read More »

Worried About the Stock Market? This Is Just the Beginning.

Nec 2b

The U.S. financial markets will become increasingly volatile as interest rates rise and credit spreads return to something approximating normal Christopher Whalen The National Interest Watching the financial markets gyrate over the past week, it is tempting to wonder if the global economy will ever return to an era when the decisions of private investors are more important than the policies of governments. Since 2008 and even before, central banks have been buying public and private debt and even private ... Read More »

Rohingyan refugee pleads for Australia’s permission to speak to EU

Pelo 1a

Habiburahman asked to address European parliament about persecution, but cannot leave Australia Ben Doherty The Guardian A Rohingyan refugee living in Australia is pleading with the Australian government to grant him a travel document allowing him to speak at the European parliament about the persecution of his people. Habiburahman – who goes by only one name – arrived in Australia from Myanmar, which was then known as Burma, by boat in 2009. But he has spent 18 years as a ... Read More »

The Quiet Diplomacy to Save the Olympics in a Nuclear Standoff

Ego 4d

BEIJING — In late December, a group of teenagers from North Korea traveled to the Chinese city of Kunming to play in an obscure under-15 soccer tournament. By JANE PERLEZ, CHOE SANG-HUN and REBECCA R. RUIZ The New York Times On the field, under a wintry sun, they faced teams from China and South Korea. Off the field, there was an unusual spectator: Choi Moon-soon, the governor of the province in South Korea hosting the Winter Olympics. Mr. Choi had flown more than 1,000 ... Read More »

China Reveals Its New Russian Jets Flying Over Secret Military Bases in Pacific

Elo 9i

China has for the first time revealed that its new fleet of advanced, Russia-built jets has flown over the South China Sea, where the U.S. has contested Beijing’s vast territorial claims and construction of artificial, militarized islands. By Tom O’Connor Newsweek The Chinese air force said in a statement Wednesday that it recently deployed Sukhoi Su-35s to carry out a joint patrol over the South China Sea. While the release did not include the size, date or location of the patrol, ... Read More »

ICC to probe alleged crimes in Philippines, Venezuela

Elo 7g

The prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) launched initial probes on Feb. 7 into alleged crimes against humanity during the “war on drugs” in the Philippines and political upheaval in Venezuela. THE HAGUE Hurriyet “Since 2016, I have closely followed the situations” in both the Philippines and Venezuela, prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in a statement. After “a careful, independent and impartial review… I have decided to open a preliminary examination into each situation.” In the Philippines, her office would ... Read More »

Sports Diplomacy in the Korean Peninsula

Elo 3c

The opening of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games represents an opportunity for diplomacy to help reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula Christopher Green ICG North Korea’s decision to dispatch Kim Jong-un’s younger sister Yo-jong to South Korea (Republic of Korea, ROK) as part of a delegation to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics has opened up the possibility for the past month of sports diplomacy to garner something more substantive and… With all parties to the Korean peninsula conflict sending senior delegations ... Read More »

Arrest rates soar as WA ‘bucks trend’

Pelo 4dd

WA recorded the biggest increase in the number of people caught breaking the law in Australia last financial year, with the rise being driven by assaults. Shane Wright The West Australian The number of alleged offenders aged 10 and over arrested by police rose 5 per cent, to 41,678, with 16 per cent of them juveniles — the highest proportion of youth offenders nationally —according to figures released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Since 2013-14, when the number ... Read More »

New Eni Discovery ‘Confirms’ Extension of Zohr Like Play in Cyprus EEZ

Zoh 2b

Eni has made a ‘promising’ gas discovery offshore Cyprus, which it says confirms the extension of a ‘Zohr like’ play in the country’s exclusive economic zone. RigΖone The Calypso 1 well, located in block 6, was drilled in 6,800 feet of water depth and reached a final total depth of 12,555 feet. Calypso 1 encountered an ‘extended’ gas column in rocks of Miocene and Cretaceous age, with the Cretaceous sequence showing ‘excellent reservoir characteristics’, Eni said in a company statement. Detailed ... Read More »

When judges wear wigs and robes, what’s so offensive about a niqab?

Pelo 3c

The statue representing justice is blindfolded for a reason – to symbolise that all people are treated equally in our courts no matter their wealth, position in society or religious beliefs. Duncan Fine The Age Sometimes the courts fail to live up to that ideal. This week Justice Christopher Beale in the Victorian Supreme Court banned a woman who was wearing a niqab from sitting in the public area of the court where her husband is facing a trial on ... Read More »

Rules to ban sex between politicians and staff suggested by independent MP Cathy McGowan

Pelo 2b

A ban on sex between politicians and their staff is being suggested by independent Federal MP Cathy McGowan. By political correspondent Louise Yaxley ABC Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has insisted on his right to privacy over his relationship with a former staff member who is now expecting his baby. But his situation has prompted a debate about the appropriateness of relationships between politicians and their staff. “Good workplace practice includes clear expectations about behaviour,” Ms McGowan said. She noted ... Read More »

A lonely death in Adelaide’s leafy suburbs

A male refugee, bloodied by razor wire, cries out moments before a breakout from the Woomera Detention Centre in Outback Australia, Friday, March 29, 2002. More than a dozen refugees managed to breakout of the detention center after about 500 protestors broke through an outer fence to demonstrate withing meters (yards) of the detainees. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Opinion At a small and heartbreaking funeral in suburban Tusmore, Adelaide lawyer Mal Byrne says he grasped the full horror of the damage wrought by Australia’s immigration detention system. Mal Byrne / Tindall Gask Bentley In Daily His name was Aref. He died in November 2017 at the age of 47. He was my client. He died alone in his unit tucked away in the leafy eastern suburbs of Adelaide. It was several days before his body was found. He ... Read More »

Brexit: ‘no deal would cut Scottish GDP by 9%’

EU UK flags 2b combined LLLL

A ‘no deal’ Brexit would cut Scottish economic output by 9%, according to leaked UK Government analysis. Russell Jackson  The Scotsman The predicted hit to Scotland if the UK leaves the EU without a deal has been detailed in regional breakdowns that emerged on Wednesday. The figure is worse than the 8.5 per cent cut to GDP predicted by a Scottish Government study last month. At the time, the Scottish Government figure was described as “completely over-the-top scaremongering” by the ... Read More »

Justice Without Borders for Venezuela

Ced 5e

With Venezuela’s humanitarian catastrophe worsening by the day, governments in the region and beyond are pondering how to respond. But it may be civil society that needs to invent new ways of taking action. Ricardo Hausmann Project Syndicate TIRANA – As Venezuela’s humanitarian catastrophe worsens by the day, governments in the region and beyond ponder how to respond. It may be time for civil society to invent new ways of taking… According to estimates from MIT’s Billion Prices Project, month-on-month food ... Read More »

Julian Assange loses challenge to UK arrest warrant, court to rule on new bid next week

Julian Assange 1a Twitter LLLL

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has lost one legal bid to have a UK arrest warrant against him quashed but immediately launched another, to have the British authorities halt any action against him on public interest grounds. ABC Judge Emma Arbuthnot said she would give her decision on February 13. A ruling in Mr Assange’s favour could pave the way for him to leave the Ecuadorean embassy in London where he has been holed up for more than five years. Mr ... Read More »

If democracy is failing, why do so many lay claim to it?

Cley 1a

A higher ideal, despite failures along the way Patricia Roberts-Miller, University of Texas-Austin The Conversation Democracy is always being pronounced dead by those who are trying to kill it. Perhaps because it has tended toward ambitious claims of its origins and possibilities, democracy is held to higher and often different standards from other models of governance. Democracy certainly has its instances of disastrous decisions – from supporting the Sicilian Expedition to our current problem of citizens wanting lower taxes and ... Read More »