Global Issues

Michael Flynn Is Worse Than a Liar

The word lie has lost its power in the Trump era. Try replacing it with fraud. Harry Litman The Atlantic The Trump administration has introduced the country to a colorful troupe of liars like none other in memory. Starting with the president himself, the past two years have brought to the national stage a… It therefore stands to reason that so many of the offenses ferreted out by Special Counsel Robert Mueller are crimes of dishonesty. Prosecutors take their crimes ... Read More »

Solzhenitsyn as he saw himself

Stephen Kotkin on the turbulent life, exile and writing of the Russian author. TLS Listen to the best journalism: Download the Audm app for your iPhone. One hundred years ago this month, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was born in Kislovodsk (“acidic waters”), a curative town in the North Caucasian foothills of Russia, which was then wracked by civil war. Earlier that year, 300 miles north at Novocherkassk, the capital of the Don Cossacks, former tsarist officers had proclaimed the formation of a… The ... Read More »

Vox shakes up Spain

Far-right party does better than predicted in Andalusia’s election, and is already causing big problems for the government. Diego Torres Politico MADRID — The far right has arrived in Spanish politics. Vox, a party founded in 2013 that had suffered one electoral failure after another, pulled off a coup on Sunday when it won nearly 11 percent of the vote and 12 seats in a regional election in Andalusia. It was a better performance than any poll had predicted and it ... Read More »

Ukraine-Russia clash: Nato’s dilemma in the Black Sea

Does crisis beckon in the Black Sea? Could Russia and Nato even come to blows? Jonathan Marcus BBC That – at least for now – is probably unlikely. But the recent seizure of two Ukrainian gunboats and a tug in the approaches to the Kerch Strait, by vessels of the Russian Border Guard, has inevitably brought security in the Black Sea to the forefront of Nato’s agenda at their meeting in Brussels on Tuesday. The Black Sea has long had ... Read More »

The Agora Forum 2018 – The Future of Democracy

The Agora Forum 2018, organized by Agora Dialogue in cooperation with the Athens Development and Governance Institute (ADGI- INERPOST), was held on 1–3 December 2018. It brought together twenty participants from the government, private and educational sectors to discuss the very serious challenges faced by numerous democratic countries across the world and in particular in Europe. Adopting a process of moderated round-table dialogue, participants discussed a number of foundational texts, including extracts from Plato’s Republic, Rousseau’s The Social Contract and ... Read More »

Russia’s Gas Strategy Gets Help From Turkey

The Turkish Stream pipeline will make Ankara more energy dependent on Moscow. It will also give Russia a bigger energy foothold in Europe. Marc Pierini Carnegie Europe It was November 19 in Istanbul. There, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a ceremony marking the completion of the first underwater segment of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, linking Russia to Turkey’s European shores. The project is a vivid illustration of Moscow’s strategy to strengthen its position ... Read More »

Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou: The need for change in Europe

Basic points of the speech given by Minister of Administrative Reconstruction Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou at a conference, in Cyprus, themed ‘The future of Democracy.’ -I feel particularly moved every time I come to Cyprus because I belong to a generation that was aware of and grew up during the regime change and through the Cyprus tragedy. In every position I have served in during the course of my professional career, at European institutions and in politics, I contributed, I always tried ... Read More »

Turkish historian launches digital archive documenting Armenian genocide

Turkish historian Taner Akçam, a professor of Armenian genocide studies at Clark University in Massachusetts, has launched a digital archive of evidence collected by an Armenian genocide survivor  which documents the… Ahval Akçam, the Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Professor in Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University’s Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, worked with Turkish experts and… Turkey has never officially acknowledged that events leading to the death of hundreds of thousands of… ... Read More »

Agora Forum 2018 – The Future of Democracy: a summary of day one

Agora Dialogue is guided by the belief that everyone can exercise practical reason and acquire practical wisdom through communication with others. Dr Manolis Melissaris, Legal and Political Philosopher Agora Dialogue It therefore aspires to facilitate free discourse by providing an environment of co-operation. The colloquium brings together people from various backgrounds – academics, businesspeople, policy-makers, artists – who reflect together on the big questions that pertain to the social world. It cannot be emphasised enough that the colloquium is not ... Read More »

‘Our greatest threat’: David Attenborough’s grim warning on climate

Naturalist David Attenborough has told delegates at a UN conference the world is facing the end of civilisation if it does not unite to tackle climate change. AAP – SBS British broadcaster and environmentalist David Attenborough has urged world leaders, meeting in Poland to agree ways to limit global warming, to get on and tackle “our greatest threat in thousands of years”. Known for countless nature films, Attenborough has gained prominence recently with his Blue Planet II series, which highlighted ... Read More »

Mexico’s new government prepares sale of former president’s plane

The big, luxurious airplane used to ferry Mexico‘s former president around the globe is about to fly away permanently in one of the first moves by the new president to rid the country of what he has derided as a… MEXICO CITY – Reuters Hurriyet “We are selling all the planes and helicopters that the corrupt politicians used,” President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told a rally in Xalapa, Veracruz, near the end of his first full day as president. The crowd roared its ... Read More »

COP24: Swedish teen activist tells world leaders they are ‘behaving like children’

Fifteen-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg has spoken at the COP24 summit. Nick Baker SBS A Swedish teenager who inspired students around the world to walk out of their classrooms over climate change inaction has slammed leaders at a major UN summit. Fifteen-year-old Greta Thunberg travelled to Katowice, Poland, for the COP24 talks and delivered a speech on Monday to UN leader António Guterres and other decision-makers at the conference. “We are facing an existential threat and there is no time ... Read More »

‘My own son cannot get a job now’: Sydney’s Sudanese hit by Melbourne ‘ripple effect’

As Melbourne’s Sudanese community fought to defend itself this year from blanket accusations of gang violence, the ripple effect was felt hundred of kilometres away in the western Sydney suburb of Blacktown. Lisa Visentin The Sydney Morning Herald Victoria Kisanga, who arrived in Blacktown 17 years ago after fleeing Sudan’s civil war, said securing employment had become increasingly difficult for Sydney’s South Sudanese refugees in the wake of the intense media and political scrutiny of… “My own son cannot get a job ... Read More »

Denmark Plans to Isolate Unwanted Migrants on a Small Island

COPENHAGEN — Denmark plans to house the country’s most unwelcome foreigners in a most unwelcoming place: a tiny, hard-to-reach island that now holds the laboratories, stables and crematory of a center for researching contagious animal diseases. Martin Selsoe Sorensen The New York Times As if to make the message clearer, one of the two ferries that serve the island is called the Virus. “They are unwanted in Denmark, and they will feel that,” the immigration minister, Inger Stojberg, wrote on ... Read More »

Our politicians are bickering on the edge of the Brexit abyss

Let the chronicles of this turbulent time record how the prime minister and the leader of the opposition agreed that Britain should leave the European Union, so they argued instead about which channel should host an argument between them. Rafael Behr The Guardian Theresa May wants to defend her Brexit deal on the BBC; Jeremy Corbyn prefers to attack it on ITV. It is the perfect culmination of British politics since the referendum: a confected row over a piece of theatre to ... Read More »

In her own words: Why a top criminal barrister became Informer 3838

Informer 3838 is a Victorian defence barrister who has represented a who’s who of Melbourne’s underworld, including major drug traffickers, murderers and Mafia figures. The Age She began providing information to police in mid-2003 and was a registered informer from 2005 to 2009, providing information about criminal associates and clients, some while she was simultaneously representing them in plea deals and court proceedings. She received a $2.88 million compensation payment from Victoria Police in 2010. Informer 3838 no longer has ... Read More »