Politics

Bernie Sanders: Israeli government ‘racist’

Manchester: US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is standing by his criticism of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying Israel is “now run by a right- wing, dare I say, racist government.” McClatchy, AP WAtoday Sanders said on Monday, US time, at a CNN town hall in New Hampshire that he believed the United States should try to bring people together and deal with the Middle East on a level-playing-field basis, “not just support one country”. The senator from Vermont said ... Read More »

US threatens to veto UN resolution on rape as weapon of war, officials say

Exclusive: US warns it will reject measure over language on sexual health in latest example of hardline abortion stance Julian Borger The Guardian The US is threatening to veto a United Nations resolution on combatting the use of rape as a weapon of war because of its language on reproductive and sexual health, according to a senior UN official and European diplomats. The German mission hopes the resolution will be adopted at a special UN security council session on Tuesday on sexual ... Read More »

US to end Iran oil waivers to 8 countries, including Turkey

The United States announced on April 22 it will no longer grant sanctions exemptions to eight countries, including Turkey. Washington Hurriyet The White House said that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates- close U.S. allies that back President Donald Trump‘s hawkish stance against regional rival Iran– would work to make up the difference in oil to ensure that global markets are not rocked. “This decision is intended to bring Iran‘s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue,” ... Read More »

EU’s two-faced ‘values’

Does it really make sense to talk about ‘European values’? Proponents of the European project like to talk about a core set of “European values” for which it stands. Hans Kundnani Politico At a time when the European Union is threatened from within and without, the idea is particularly tempting. It lifts the EU from an entity that simply pursues its own interests — like any other state or group of states — and makes it a “normative power” that can ... Read More »

Michael Nelson Jagamara’s huge mosaic Possum and Wallaby Dreaming at Parliament House was hard to photograph

Photographing a 14-square-metre artwork would be difficult at the best of times. Ron Cerabona The Canberra Times When that work is a mosaic on the forecourt of Parliament House, a busy thoroughfare with a huge building and a lake close by, and placing heavy equipment on the artwork is impossible, it’s even harder. But David Hempenstall was up to the task. The senior photographer in the Department of Parliamentary Services is about halfway through digitising the nearly 7000 artworks in ... Read More »

Greece to ask Germany for billions in war reparations

MPs vote to put pressure on Berlin as European parliamentary elections loom Helena Smith The Guardian Greece is poised to send Germany a formal diplomatic note detailing its demand for billions of euros in wartime reparations after MPs voted overwhelmingly for the emotive issue to be raised officially. In a move bound to stir sentiment ahead of crucial European parliament elections, Athens vowed to pile pressure on Berlin, taking legal and diplomatic steps that will throw the spotlight on crimes committed during ... Read More »

Turkey, India And Israel: The Changing Faces Of Populism

Political Scientist Soner Cagaptay once dubbed Recep Tayyip Erdogan the “inventor of 21st-century populism.” Ayaz Ali Worldcrunch There may be some truth to that, especially given the way the Turkish president’s style of leadership has quickly spread in recent years. But as we progress further into the millennium, it’s also clear that populism has evolved. Those with a claim to redefining the populist formula include U.S. President Donald Trump, Viktor Orban in Hungary, Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel, and India’s Narendra ... Read More »

Jordan’s Security is at the Mercy of Foreign Powers

How the Trump administration chooses to roll out its peace plan, and whether Netanyahu decides to start annexing parts of the West Bank, could have major repercussions for Jordan. Seth J. Frantzman The National Interest Jordan’s King Abdullah II travelled to Assisi in Italy to receive a reward for his efforts to advance peace on March 29. He said that it was essential the international community understand the importance Jordan puts on being the custodian of Jerusalem’s Islamic and Christian ... Read More »

How much of Europe does China own?

The European Union has introduced a new mechanism for screening foreign investment. It’s widely believed to have been prompted by concerns over China’s economic ambitions in Europe. By Reality Check team BBC News It will allow the European Commission – the EU’s executive arm -… In March, the European Commission called China a “systemic rival” and a “strategic competitor”. The Chinese Ambassador to the EU urged the bloc to remain “open and welcome” to Chinese investment, and not to “discriminate”. ... Read More »

Our leaders are ignoring global warming to the point of criminal negligence. It’s unforgivable

Humanity survived the cold war because no one pushed the button. On climate change, the button has been pushed again and again Tim Winton The Guardian I’ve been asking myself a question – and even posing it makes me queasy. Is it too late – are we beyond saving? As a culture and a polity, when it comes to climate change, have we arrived at a point where we are now expected – even trained – to abandon hope and ... Read More »

Hard Truths in Syria

America Can’t Do More With Less, and It Shouldn’t Try Over the last four years, I helped lead the global response to the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS)—an effort that succeeded in destroying an ISIS “caliphate” in the heart of the Middle East that had served as a… Brett McGurk Foreign Affairs Working as a special envoy for U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, I helped establish a coalition that was the largest of its kind in history: ... Read More »

Peace hopes suffer setback as Taliban-Afghan talks derailed

Hopes for a breakthrough in a push to end Afghanistan’s grueling conflict suffered a major setback on April 19 after a key summit between the Taliban and Afghan officials was indefinitely postponed. Doha Hurriyet The so-called intra-Afghan dialogue, due to take place in Doha this weekend, fell apart at the last minute in a row over the large number of delegates Kabul wanted to send. The collapse comes at a critical time and amid continued bloodshed. The Taliban now control or influence about half of Afghanistan ... Read More »

God, Guns, and Country: The Evangelical Fight Over Firearms

On the afternoon of Good Friday in April, 2010, Shane Claiborne, a thirty-five-year-old evangelical activist sporting dreadlocks and homemade pants, followed a group of teen-agers carrying an… Eliza Griswold The New Yorker They marched to a gun store in Kensington called the Shooter Shop, which was notorious for allowing straw buyers to purchase guns illegally. Philadelphia has been hit hard by the heroin epidemic and its associated gun violence. In 2010, some two hundred and fifty people were killed with ... Read More »

Militia detains migrants at gunpoint along the US-Mexico border

A video has emerged of armed right-wing militia members stopping over 300 migrants as they cross the Mexico border into the US state of New Mexico. BBC The group calls itself the United Constitutional Patriots, and are seen in the Facebook clip standing over migrants sitting on the desert ground. The group’s actions have been condemned by civil liberties groups and New Mexico state officials. The militia supports President Donald Trump’s plan for a border wall. The incident comes amid ... Read More »

‘Absolute madness’ in Northern Ireland

Journalist Lyra KcKee is the latest victim of the conflict she covered. Once a year in the Good Friday Dublin Unitarian Church, thousands of names are spoken aloud in a reading that takes three hours. Naomi O’Leary Politico These are the victims of Northern Ireland’s decades of conflict, remembered on the Christian holiday from which the Good Friday peace deal that ended it takes its name. Twenty-one years since the signing of the historic accord, Ireland woke up to find ... Read More »

A Shadow over Ukraine’s Presidential Election

With Ukraine’s establishment forecasting doom after the presidential runoff, the far right’s influence on politics is impossible to ignore. Katharine Quinn-Judge ICG Its resurgence is both a symptom and a cause of the country’s ills: there is less daylight between it and the political mainstream than either admits. On 31 March, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko suffered a double-digit defeat in the presidential election’s first round to comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, whose only previous political experience is playing the… The incumbent is ... Read More »