Democracy

US leaving UN’s Human Rights Council, cites anti-Israel bias

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The United States is leaving the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, which Ambassador Nikki Haley called “an organization that is not worthy of its name.” WASHINGTON – Associated Press Hurriyet It’s the latest withdrawal by the Trump administration from an international institution. Haley said Tuesday the U.S. had given the human rights body “opportunity after opportunity” to make changes. She lambasted the council for “its chronic bias against Israel” and lamented the fact that its membership includes accused human rights abusers such ... Read More »

Liviu Dragnea, Brussels’ oncoming ‘illiberal’ headache

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De facto leader in Bucharest tells POLITICO the EU needs to show Romania more respect. Carmen Paun Politico BUCHAREST — Just don’t call him Kaczyński. Liviu Dragnea, president of Romania’s ruling Social Democrats (PSD), may be running the country without being prime minister, like Poland’s Jarosław Kaczyński. And fears are rising at home and in Brussels that he is steering his country in the same “illiberal” direction as Poland and Viktor Orbán’s Hungary. The man himself dismisses talk of any similarity with ... Read More »

The human cost of Turkey’s crackdown

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Today, if all goes to plan, I will step through the imposing metal gates of Şakran high security prison in Turkey. And there is nowhere else in the world I would rather be. Salil Shetty, Amnesty International I am in Turkey to attend tomorrow’s trial of our jailed Amnesty Turkey honorary chair, Taner Kılıç, in Istanbul. But before the hearing begins I have travelled to the seaside city of Izmir where I have been granted permission to visit Taner for ... Read More »

A recipe for lasting neo-colonialism: The legacy of the ‘Macmillan Doctrine’ enunciated on 19 and 26 June 1958

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Klearchos A. Kyriakides 19 June 2018 Published by Agora Dialogue to mark the passage of 60 years since the publication of the ill-fated ‘Macmillan Plan’ on 19 June 1958[1] ‘Harold Macmillan, carried in the sea at Accra, Ghana, 1960’[2] Introduction: ‘the problems of Cyprus’ In certain circles, it is often said that ‘the Cyprus problem’ (in the singular) amounts to one of ‘invasion and occupation’.[3]  In a sense, this is true, but it is not completely true.  A more accurate ... Read More »

Russia: Government vs. Rights Groups

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The Battle Chronicle For the past four years, the Kremlin has sought to stigmatize criticism or alternative views of government policy as disloyal, foreign-sponsored, or even traitorous. HRW It is part of a sweeping crackdown to silence critical voices that has included new legal restrictions on the internet, on freedom of expression, on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, and on other fundamental freedoms. An enduring, central feature has been the 2012 law requiring independent groups ... Read More »

Our democracy is more important than Facebook’s profits

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No one realised it at the time, but in 2004 a poison was created that is now spreading through and threatening the stability of democratic countries around the world. Lucy Battersby Brisbane Times The poison isn’t attacking government’s directly. Instead it infects the information flowing through society to the point that citizens are confused and misled away from making proper decisions. At its worst, this poison, this disinformation, prompts people to hunt down and hurt perceived enemies. Disinformation is spread ... Read More »

Avoiding World War III in Asia

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Democratic peace theory is both inspirational and aspirational—but at this moment in history it is of limited applicability. Parag Khanna The National Interest World War II still hasn’t ended, yet World War III already looms. When China and Japan agreed to normalize relations in 1945, it was stipulated that the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands (a string of uninhabited rocks equidistant from Japan, China and Taiwan) would not be militarized and the dispute would be put off for… That future is here. ... Read More »

Curious link between world peace and gender equality

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Whatever comes of Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un’s curious get-together in Singapore it brought a welcome focus: peace. Matt Wade Brisbane Times If the optimists are right the meeting has paved the way for “major disarmament” on the Korean peninsula over the next few years. But, even if that happens, how much more peaceful would the world really be? Sadly, not that much. An ambitious number crunching exercise by the Sydney-based international think tank, the Institute for Economics and… ... Read More »

Is South Africa Ceasing to be a Rainbow Nation?

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The Malaysian And Singaporean Examples Are nn Instructive Case Study A rainbow nation or a sectarian nation? South Africa’s former Apartheid regime was not a sectarian nation but rather a systematic socio-political system which effectively led to the presence of several nations built up on top of one another in a hierarchical fashion, all within the… Adam Garrie Eurasia Future Today, the suppression of the Palestinian nation by “Israel” and the suppression of Kashmiri Muslims by India are in fact ... Read More »

Liberal Party council votes to sell off the ABC and move Australian embassy to Jerusalem

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The Liberal Party’s peak council has voted almost 2:1 to privatise the ABC in a call that was swiftly rejected by cabinet ministers amid warnings it would be “total madness” to act on the call. David Crowe The Age The overwhelming vote at the party’s annual council in Sydney gained vocal support from conservative think-tank Institute of Public Affairs, which said the company could be sold or given to Australians who already own it. The vote came in a debate ... Read More »

Nicaragua crisis: Truce agreed after weeks of deadly violence

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Nicaragua’s government and opposition groups have agreed a ceasefire after weeks of violence that has left about 170 people dead. BBC A truth commission will also be established and international investigators allowed into the country. Friday’s peace talks in Managua were brokered by the Roman Catholic Church. The protests began on 19 April after President Daniel Ortega’s government imposed cuts to pension and social security programmes. The cuts were… Nicaragua crisis: Truce… Read More »

Action against Russian meddling cannot threaten our civil liberties

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The greatest threats to civil liberties often occur in the name of “national security.” Alex Baiocco The Hill History has shown that free political speech is almost always among the first rights to be curbed. In the ongoing debate surrounding appropriate remedies and responses to foreign election campaign interference, we must remain skeptical of any proposal that risks repeating this shameful history. This brings us to the Honest Ads Act. The bill’s sponsors in Congress are pitching their proposal as a… Action against ... Read More »

DR Congo: The Bemba Earthquake

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The ICC’s acquittal of Jean-Pierre Bemba comes at a critical point in DR Congo elections. President Kabila and his opponents will have to recalibrate strategies ahead of Bemba’s likely return. ICG Outside powers should keep pressing Kabila to stand down and allow opposition candidates to… What’s new? On 8 June Jean-Pierre Bemba, a charismatic Congolese leader and fierce rival of President Joseph Kabila, was acquitted by the International Criminal Court’s appeals chamber of a 2016 war crimes conviction. His likely ... Read More »

UN rights chief calls for major probe into Kashmir abuses

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The U.N. human rights chief on June 14 called for a major investigation into abuses in Kashmir, as his office released its first-ever report on violations committed by both India and Pakistan in the… GENEVA – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said he would urge the Human Rights Council, which opens a new session next week, “to consider establishing a Commission of Inquiry [COI] to conduct a comprehensive independent international investigation into… A COI is one of the UN’s highest-level probes, generally reserved for ... Read More »

An Autopsy: Why Liberalism Failed

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To hear a number of liberals themselves tell it, the United States has already abandoned liberalism—at least until the 2020 election returns history to its right path. Daniel McCarthy The National Interest Today, liberalism appears to be dying in much the same way that Soviet Communism did a generation ago. It is collapsing on its periphery, shedding its colonies and facing a crisis of faith at home. History has gone into reverse in the realm of the old Warsaw Pact, ... Read More »

U.S. expected to retreat from main U.N. rights forum: activists, diplomats

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GENEVA (Reuters) – Talks with the United States over how to reform the main U.N. rights body have failed to meet Washington’s demands, activists and diplomats say, suggesting that the Trump administration will quit the… Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Alison Williams A U.S. source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the withdrawal appeared to be “imminent” but had no details. Diplomatic sources said it was not a question of if but of when the United States retreats ... Read More »