Politics

World politics explainer: the Iranian Revolution

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To understand what caused the Iranian Revolution, we must first consider the ongoing conflict between proponents of secular versus Islamic models of governance in Muslim societies. Mehmet Ozalp The Conversation It all began with the British colonisation of India in 1858, which precipitated the collapse of classic Islamic civilisation. By early 20th century, almost the entire Muslim world was… The Ottoman Empire, the last representative of the classic Islamic civilisation, collapsed after world war one in 1918. So, the first ... Read More »

A federal Icac won’t safeguard democracy unless it includes gifts and lobbying

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Australian politicians now seem to broadly accept the need for anti-corruption action, but it must close loopholes George Rennie The Guardian Having long resisted, federal politicians now appear to broadly accept what Australian citizens have been screaming at them: that there is profound concern about the potential for bad lobbying to corrupt our democracy, and great desire for its proper policing. As a result, a plurality of the political parties appear willing to do what states and other countries did ... Read More »

Liberalism needs to be rebuilt – just not by the Lib Dems

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Insurgent forces of the far left and right have resulted in a hollowing-out of centre politics. But Vince Cable’s tribe is not up to filling the void. Rafael Behr The Guardian If it is true that failure makes a great teacher, the Liberal Democrats must know a lot about British politics. Currently they are learning about Brexit by failing to capitalise on the… In 2016 support for EU membership was 48%, yet the Lib Dems struggle to reach double digits in opinion ... Read More »

Syria’s Idlib Wins Welcome Reprieve with Russia-Turkey Deal

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After weeks of escalatory rhetoric, Russia has partnered with Turkey in a deal to avert an all-out assault on Idlib, the last stronghold of Syria’s armed rebellion. International actors seeking to end the Syrian war should embrace the agreement. ICG Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin have unveiled an agreement to forestall a Syrian regime offensive in the country’s north-western Idlib governorate. Per Putin and Erdoğan’s announcement of the deal, signed following bilateral talks in Sochi, on Russia’s Black ... Read More »

EU and UK need each other on post-Brexit security

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Brexit will leave a gaping hole in Europe’s foreign policy. By JACEK CZAPUTOWICZ, LINAS LINKEVIČIUS AND TEODOR MELEȘCANU Politico The U.K.’s withdrawal from the European Union poses a number of challenges on both sides of the Channel, but Brussels should be alive to one particularly important risk: Brexit’s effect on… The U.K. — in its capacity as a U.N. Security Council member, a nuclear power and a guarantor of approximately one-fourth of European defense capabilities — is one of the key pillars of the EU’s… ... Read More »

Catastrophe overload? Read philosophers and poetry instead of headlines

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For almost two years now, Americans have been confronted daily by ominous tidings. We are living through stressful times. Reading the news feels awful; ignoring it doesn’t feel right either. Rachel Hadas The Conversation Psychologist Terri Apter recently wrote about the “phenomenon in human behavior sometimes described as ‘the hive switch,’ where “catastrophic events eliminate selfishness, conflict and competitiveness, rendering humans as… But if hurricanes, earthquakes or volcanoes trigger the hive switch, does this principle hold for man-made catastrophes? What ... Read More »

China And The SEA In Asia’s Troubled Waters – Analysis

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The never ending disputes over a semi-enclosed sea, the South-China Sea (SCS) was culminated in the consensus between the Philippines and China in bringing the case before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA). Dhiana Puspitawati Eurasia Review While the PCA under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS 1982) ruled in favor of the Philippines and declare that China’s nine-dash line claims are illegal, China has asserted that they will not obeys the… This paper ... Read More »

Royal commission will finally give the elderly a voice

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“Elderly people have no status. Everybody knows that once you get old and you retire, you don’t have any rights as elderly people.” Adele Ferguson Brisbane Times They were shocking words spoken by Gwyneth Jones, who has lived in a retirement facility for more than a decade. Jones was admitted to a psychiatric ward involuntarily as staff at the retirement village hatched an elaborate plan to try and get rid of her. The move by the Morrison Government to announce ... Read More »

Armenian Cypriots Ask Israel to Condemn Turkey Genocide

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NICOSIA, Cyprus — As Jews in Cyprus laid the cornerstone last week for a museum here that will chronicle the post-Holocaust internment of survivors in detention camps after World War II, leaders of… Larry Luxner The Times of Israel Cyprus is home to some 3,500 Armenians — about the same as the number of Jews who inhabit this predominantly Greek Orthodox country of 1.2 million. “We go back to 578 A.D., during the Byzantine Era, when the first Armenians settled ... Read More »

A Warning From Europe: The Worst Is Yet to Come

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Polarization. Conspiracy theories. Attacks on the free press. An obsession with loyalty. Recent events in the United States follow a pattern Europeans know all too well. Anne Applebaum The Atlantic On December 31, 1999, we threw a party. It was the end of one millennium and the start of a new one; people very much wanted to celebrate, preferably somewhere exotic. Our party fulfilled that criterion. We held it at Chobielin, the manor house in northwest Poland that my husband ... Read More »

British Jacobins on the march in Brexit revolution

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You’re either with or against us, say both sides. By TOM MCTAGUE Politico LONDON — Britain has been radicalized by Brexit. As the clock ticks down to D (as in EU departure) Day on March 29, 2019, both sides are digging in for the coming battle over whatever deal Theresa May is able to bring back from Brussels later this year. For the Brexiteers, the battle cry is “chuck Chequers,” deal or no deal. For the arch Remainers, it’s chuck ... Read More »

Appalling cases of abuse in aged care facilities prompt royal commission

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AGED care facilities are meant to provide care for vulnerable, elderly residents. But a spate of appalling cases of abuse in Australian nursing homes has prompted a royal commission. Megan Palin and AAP – news.com.au PRIME Minister Scott Morrison will announce a royal commission into the aged care sector following appalling cases of abuse of elderly people, it’s been reported. Mr Morrison will announce the inquiry on Sunday, with the decision triggered in part by the Oakden nursing home scandal ... Read More »

Trump has decided to impose tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods in dramatic escalation of trade battle

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President Trump has decided to impose tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, two people briefed on the decision said, one of the most severe economic restrictions ever imposed by a U.S. president. Damian Paletta and David J. Lynch The Washington Post An announcement is expected to come within days, the people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss internal plans. The new tariffs would apply to more than 1,000 products, including refrigerators, air ... Read More »

The IMF’s ‘Large Brain, Unhealthy Ego, and Tiny Conscience’

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The reforms to the IMF since the global financial crisis have amounted to window dressing. Lauren Carasic The Nation Ten years after the financial crisis, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) remains largely beholden to policies that undermine human rights and exacerbate inequality around the world. In response to the global recession, the IMF pressured countries to restructure sovereign debt—in part by adopting austerity measures that eroded basic needs such as health care and income security. The resulting human cost was ... Read More »

Germany’s heated asylum debate has dark parallels to events 30 years ago

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It was a moment that has defined Angel Merkel’s chancellorship of Germany ever since. In early September 2015, she allowed thousands of refugees fleeing violence in Syria and Iraq to enter… Constantin Eckner The Conversation Merkel promised her people that Germany would be able to handle the growing influx of asylum seekers, but her decision provoked a… Since then, German politics has been largely dominated by that one controversial matter – asylum policy. In early September 2018, xenophobic riots rocked ... Read More »

Paul Manafort Agrees to Cooperate With Special Counsel; Pleads Guilty to Reduced Charges

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WASHINGTON — Paul Manafort agreed on Friday to tell all he knows to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, as part of a plea deal that could shape the final stages of the inquiry into Russian interference in the… By Sharon LaFraniere and Kenneth P. Vogel The New York Times The deal was a surrender by Mr. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, who had vowed for months to prove his innocence in a case stemming from his work ... Read More »