Politics

Activists file charges against Tihange, Doel nuclear power plants

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An activist alliance has pressed charges against the Belgian state and the nuclear plants Tihange and Doel. Timothy Jones (with dpa) DW The move comes amid growing fears of a serious nuclear accident among nearby residents in three countries. Anti-nuclear initiatives from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands on Saturday filed charges against the Belgian government and the operators of the Belgian nuclear plants Doel and Tihange, saying that aging reactors at the… Hundreds of people turned out in the Belgian ... Read More »

UK push into the Pacific to counter China

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Exclusive The United Kingdom is vowing to expand its role in the Pacific in a push for “free speech and democracy” alongside other Commonwealth nations at a time of growing concern over China’s influence in the region. David Crowe The Sydney Morning Herald The ambitions not only include new diplomatic posts and aid funding but the idea of encouraging commercial projects and possibly infrastructure funding. Britain’s Minister of State for the Commonwealth, Lord Tariq Ahmad, said the UK’s departure from ... Read More »

Indian government introduces death penalty for child rapists

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Special order from Narendra Modi’s cabinet comes amid widespread outrage over levels of sexual violence Colin Drury Independent India is to introduce the death penalty for child rapists, in a move aimed at alleviating nationwide protests over a number of brutal and high-profile cases. Those found guilty of sexually assaulting youngsters under 12 will now face execution, under a special ordinance issued by the government and set to be rubber-stamped next week. The change comes amid widespread outrage over the… ... Read More »

China’s New Arctic Policy Needs Close Analysis

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Now that the dust has settled on China’s big policy announcement, it is time to take a fresh look at China’s Arctic Policy and assess what it means for the United States and the other five states that have a coastline on the Arctic Sea: Canada, Greenland (Denmark), Russia, Norway, and… Mark E. Rosen IPP Review Before delving into that policy and making comparisons to other policy documents that China has issued, it makes sense to first review the legal ... Read More »

Countdown to Iran retaliation against Israel strike?

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‘Where and how Tehran chooses to carry out its attack is still unclear… the choice will define what to expect for the future of Iranian and Israeli confrontations’ Asia Times Following a US-led strike on Syrian targets last week — which changed little in the equation on the ground vis-à-vis the Bashar al-Assad regime, Russia and the United States — analysts continue to look through the smoke at what many say is a… The Israel-Iran conflict in Syria is heating ... Read More »

The Emerging Russia-Turkey-Iran Alliance Challenging NATO in the Middle East

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, front, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, left, and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrive for a joint press conference in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, April 4, 2018. The leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran say they stand against "separatist" agendas that would undermine Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

An unusual triple alliance coming out of Syria could change the regional balance of power and unhinge NATO — if it holds together at all. Conn Hallinan MPN News An unusual triple alliance is emerging from the Syrian war — one that could alter the balance of power in the Middle East, unhinge the NATO alliance, and complicate the Trump administration’s designs on Iran. It might also lead to yet another double cross of one of the region’s largest ethnic ... Read More »

Jacinda Ardern wears Māori cloak to Buckingham Palace

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New Zealand leader in Kahu huruhuru praised as proud moment for female leaders and Māori worldwide Eleanor Ainge Roy in Dunedin The Guardian New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has caused a stir with a striking image of her walking the halls of Buckingham Palace swathed in a traditional Māori cloak during this week’s Commonwealth heads of government meeting. The prime minister wore a Kahu huruhuru; a Māori cloak adorned with feathers and bestowed on chiefs and dignitaries to convey prestige, respect and ... Read More »

EXCLUSIVE: Putin, Trump Will Never Allow US-Russia Armed Conflict, Lavrov Says

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gave his thoughts on the recent alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria, the US strikes against this Arab country, the Skripal case, the upcoming Donald Trump-Kim Jong-un talks and Russia-US ties in an interview with Director General of… Sputnik: You said that Russia has irrefutable evidence — not highly likely, as London has its own ‘irrefutable’ allegations — that the so-called chemical weapons attack in Douma was staged by a country that has positioned itself as among the… This country was named ... Read More »

We cannot rely morally on ‘deterrence’ to justify our harsh refugee policies

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When debate about refugees ascends from slogan swapping (“stop the boats”, “bring them here”) to specific reasoning, there seems only one argument worth considering for the ignominious detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru and the refusal to ever settle any in… Tony Coady The Conversation That argument, advanced by both the government and the opposition (occasionally in a less strident form), stems from deterrence. It’s worth considering the argument even as a handful of these detainees are ... Read More »

Bill Shorten calls for suspension of live sheep exports

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Labor leader says that ‘only a monster’ would think live export industry should be unchanged Paul Karp and Calla Wahlquist The Guardian Bill Shorten has demanded a suspension of shipments of live sheep during the northern summer and blasted the Coalition for failing to update standards to protect sheep. On Thursday the bipartisan consensus to wait for a series of reviews before intervening in the industry began to fracture, with the Liberal MP Sussan Ley proposing a private member’s bill for a ... Read More »

Rape as a political tool in India

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The brutal rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl from a Muslim minority group is not just about gender violence. Mariya Salim AlJazeera The gruesome rape and murder of an eight-year-old Muslim girl in Kathua district of Indian-administered Kashmir is a chilling reminder of how sexual assault is used as a tool to instil fear among those belonging to the… There have been many Indians, especially on social media platforms, who have repeatedly claimed that one must look at this ... Read More »

Judge rules against Trump administration in teen pregnancy prevention case

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A federal judge in D.C. ruled Thursday that the Trump administration’s cuts to the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program were unlawful. The Hill Last summer, the administration notified 81 organizations that their five-year grants through the program would end in 2018, rather than in 2020, prompting multiple lawsuits. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson ruled in one of those cases Thursday, ordering the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to accept and… “We are disappointed… Judge rules against… Read More »

Bill Jamieson: Here’s how the world is leaving Scotland behind

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Economic optimism about the global economy doesn’t extend to Scotland, writes Bill Jamieson. The Scotsman Few forecasts should have more cheered Scottish Government ministers in their efforts to boost Scotland’s trade and profile overseas than the upbeat International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast for the world economy this week. It predicts that 2018 will be the strongest year for global growth since 2011, hitting 3.8 per cent. That’s an encouraging backdrop for Scotland’s exporters. And the IMF has even made a… ... Read More »

Australia should tax and regulate cannabis, not prohibit it

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The decision to ban cannabis was an accident of history. There was no careful root and branch review of the evidence. Alex Wodak ABC Instead, Australia was represented at a League of Nations meeting in Geneva in 1925 where delegates from several countries decried the dangers of cannabis. As Robert Kendell outlines in his book Cannabis Condemned: “A claim by the Egyptian delegation that [cannabis] was as dangerous as opium, and should therefore be subject to the same international controls, ... Read More »

Scared state: Crime looms large but we don’t know who’s best to fix it

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Voters across Victoria say crime is the biggest issue facing the state, with a long-running survey finding it is a far greater concern than healthcare, transport, cost of living, education or housing. Adam Carey & Craig Butt The Age Concern about crime has surged in the past two years and is much greater now than it was when Labor came to power in November 2014. The results of April’s Ipsos Issues Monitor suggest that crime policy will do more to ... Read More »

Canberra public servant’s sacking over asylum seeker policy tweets found to be ‘unlawful’

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A Canberra public servant sacked for expressing her views on asylum seeker policy, has won her case for compensation after the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Australia found she was unlawfully dismissed. Elise Pianegonda ABC In September 2013, Michaela Banerji was fired from the Federal Department of Immigration after it was revealed she had been using the anonymous Twitter name @LaLegale to criticise the then-government, the minister and department policies — particularly over the handling of refugees. In one tweet Ms ... Read More »