Politics

Andrzej Duda says he will block proposed legislation that would have put supreme court under control of ruling party

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Poland’s president says he will veto two contentious bills that are widely seen as attacks on the independence of the judicial system and are part of a planned legal overhaul by the ruling party… Agencies in Warsaw The Guardian In announcing his decision on Monday, Andrzej Duda broke openly for the first time with Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of the ruling Law and Justice… Duda is closely aligned with the party and has supported its agenda since taking office in… ... Read More »

Timor-Leste election: ‘Disenfranchised youth’ party wins first seats in parliament

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A Timor-Leste political party with links to martial arts gangs and “disenfranchised young men” will for the first time have seats in the… Felicity James  ABC Timor-Leste’s largest political parties, Fretilin, the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor and CNRT, the National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction, are expected to form a… Fretilin claimed victory after a provisional vote count put the party slightly ahead of former resistance leader Xanana… Timor-Leste election… Read More »

Gillian Triggs warns Dutton’s ‘super ministry’ endangers separation of powers

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Triggs also says campaign to change section 18C of Racial Discrimination Act has been exhausted due to public support Ben Doherty The Guardian The outgoing Human Rights Commission president, Gillian Triggs, has said the creation of a new “super ministry” of home affairs was part of a hastening trend towards centralised and unchallengeable… In a wide-ranging valedictory interview on ABC radio in Melbourne, Triggs also said a concerted campaign to amend section 18C of the… Gillian Triggs warns… Read More »

Lessons Australia could learn from other countries to strengthen peace and stability

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There has been an alarming upward trend in the number of deaths in war around the world since 2012. John Langmore The Conversation The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute concludes that in the first decade of the 21st century, the total number of deaths from organised violence worldwide stabilised at around 35,000. But, by 2014, it had multiplied to 130,000. The small decline to 118,000 in 2015 didn’t reduce the severe global anxiety about armed… Lessons Australia could… Read More »

America’s Future Is with India and Israel

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The winds of change are blowing not from Beijing, but from Delhi. Trump should seize the initiative. James Jay Carafano International Crisis Group From the Indo-Pacific to the Mediterranean, a diplomatic transformation is underway. The winds of change are blowing not from Beijing, but from Delhi. President Donald Trump has an opportunity to harness some of that power to help fill the sails of America’s global… Times are Changing The White House is expected to unveil its… America’s Future Is… Read More »

Back our own indyref, Catalans urge Sturgeon

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Pressure is mounting on Nicola Sturgeon’s government to endorse the Catalan independence movement’s proposal to hold a referendum on seceding from Spain in October. Tom Peterkin The Scotsman Yesterday leading Catalan politician Ramon Tremosa called on the Scottish Government to support controversial plans to break away from Madrid rule. Tremosa, a professor of economics at Barcelona University and… Back our own… Read More »

Why India and Pakistan hate each other

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Hissing cousins Three score and ten years after their acrimonious split, India and Pakistan remain at daggers drawn. Max Rodenbeck asks if they can ever make up The Economist EVERY AFTERNOON AT sunset, at a point midway along the arrow-straight road between Amritsar and Lahore, rival squads of splendidly uniformed soldiers strut and stomp a 17th-century British military drill known as Beating… Barked commands, fierce glares and preposterously high kicks all signal violent intent. But then, lovingly and in unison, ... Read More »

Ministers ‘undermined law’ over Iraq war crimes allegations

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Harriet Harman demands Ministry of Justice publish emails that may reveal it pressured law watchdog to act against Iraqi abuse lawyers Jamie Doward The Observer The Guardian The government has been accused of undermining the rule of law by putting pressure on an independent regulator in its action against a legal firm pursuing claims of human rights abuses involving British… The former deputy leader of the Labour party, Harriet Harman, has called for the release of any emails that would ... Read More »

Turkey Sees Foes at Work in Gold Mines, Cafes and ‘Smurf Village’

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LONDON — Akin Ipek, one of Turkey’s richest men, was staying in the Park Tower Hotel in London when the police raided his television network in Istanbul. DAVID SEGAL The New York Times The raid was national news, so Mr. Ipek opened his laptop and watched an unnerving spectacle: an attack on his multibillion-dollar empire, in real time. It was an oddly cinematic showdown. Through a combination of shouting and persuasion, the network’s news editor convinced the officers that they ... Read More »

Congo’s mining revenue ‘missing’ – Global Witness

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More than 20% of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s mining revenue is being lost due to corruption and mismanagement, a campaign group says. BBC According to a Global Witness report, the money is being distributed through corrupt networks linked to President Joseph Kabila. At least $750m (£580m) has gone missing over the past three years, it says. The government has not commented but has previously denied allegations of corruption in its mining… Congo’s mining revenue… Read More »

The EU Can’t Afford to Ignore Europe’s Migrant Crisis

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Brussels should help central Europe forge an effective funding and financing plan to help stop the conflict in Syria. Naman Jain The National Interest A lot has been happening in the midst of the European migrant crisis. Most notably, the political debate between EU member states is widening on how to best handle this significantly deteriorating crisis. Specifically, the Visegrad Group, consisting of Poland… Criticism of the Visegrad… The EU Can’t… Read More »

Philippines’ Duterte says will never visit ‘lousy’ United States

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte hit back on July 21 at U.S. lawmakers opposed to the prospect of his visiting the White House, saying he would never go to the United States, which he called a… MANILA – Reuters Hurriyet Duterte was responding to remarks by Massachusetts Congressman James McGovern, who told a hearing of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission that he… The commission, made up of members of the U.S. House of Representatives, convened on… Philippines’ Duterte says… Read More »

China stands firm as pressure grows to release late Nobel laureate’s wife

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Liu Xia has been detained at home since Liu Xiaobo won the peace prize in 2010 Clifford Coonan in Beijing The Irish Times International pressure is growing to allow Liu Xia, the wife of the late Nobel Peace Prize-winner Liu Xiaobo, to leave the country if she wants to go abroad. She has been under house arrest for years. Diplomatic sources in Beijing say intensive discussions are under way with Chinese authorities to grant permission to allow Ms Xia, a ... Read More »

French military chief resigns after row with Macron

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France’s top military chief resigned on July 19 after a war of words with Emmanuel Macron over budget cuts that tested the new president’s… Hurriyet The row between Macron and General Pierre de Villiers erupted last week when the chief of staff told a parliamentary committee he would not allow the armed forces to be “screwed” by the government’s plans to slash 850… Macron, 39, slapped down the 60-year-old five-star general in front of army chiefs at their annual summer ... Read More »

Turkey’s PKK Conflict Kills almost 3,000 in Two Years

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20 July 2017 marks the two-year anniversary of a collapsed ceasefire that previously held for two-and-a-half-years between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Berkay Mandıracı ICG Crisis Group’s new analysis of open-source data reveals that the ongoing cycle of violence has now killed three times as many as the 2011-12 escalation. On 20 July 2015, an Islamic State (ISIS) suicide bomb attack killed 33 and injured more than 100 mostly pro-Kurdish young activists in… Turkey’s PKK Conflict… Read More »

Chinese Warships Enter Baltic Sea — For Drills With Russia

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As NATO exercises in the Black Sea Russia welcomes the Chinese navy A Chinese naval squadron has sailed into the Baltic Sea to join the Russian navy for annual two-nation drills. RI The Chinese squadron consists of a supply ship, missile frigate and a Type 052D destroyer. The latter is the most advanced guided missile destroyer in Chinese service which is highly significant: “By sending its most advanced guided-missile destroyers, China is expressing its sincerity to Russia and… Chinese Warships Enter… Read More »