Democracy

Belgrade authorities demolish illegal mosque ahead of Ramadan

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BELGRADE: Local authorities demolished an illegal mosque on the outskirts of Belgrade after Serbian police secured the area in a pre-dawn action on Friday, ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, despite protests by local Muslims and… Reuters Arab News The construction of a two-story mosque without a minaret in the Zemun Polje neighborhood started in 2014 even though the authorities had refused to grant it a… On Thursday, the authorities attempted the… Belgrade authorities demolish… Read More »

Twiggy Forrest’s philanthropy is great. But he could have just paid more tax

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It’s true philanthropy is more common in the USA. So is tax minimisation, citizens without health insurance and homelessness Kristina Keneally The Guardian Fortescue Metals Group founder and billionaire Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest and his wife Nicola made the single biggest philanthropic donation by a living person in Australian history on… For that, they are to be congratulated… Twiggy Forrest’s philanthropy… Read More »

Jakarta’s former governor Ahok dropping appeal against jail sentence for blasphemy

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The wife of Jakarta’s former governor has wept while explaining to the press why her husband has decided not appeal against his… Indonesia correspondent Samantha Hawley ABC Basuki Tjahaja Purnama was jailed for two years for blasphemy earlier this month and originally said he would appeal against the decision in a… But the Christian and ethnic Chinese Governor, best known as Ahok, has announced through his lawyers he would accept the… Jakarta’s former governor… Read More »

Report: White House Lawyers Are Prepping For Impeachment Proceedings

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White House lawyers have reportedly begun preparing for the possibility that President Donald Trump will face impeachment proceedings. Kevin Daley The Daily Caller CNN, citing unnamed sources, reports attorneys in the White House Counsel’s office have begun researching the particulars of impeachment proceedings and consulted experts outside the administration with specialized knowledge of the… The sources add that the… Report: White House… Read More »

Iran election: Votes are counted amid high turnout

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Counting is under away in Iran’s presidential elections, with official turnout said to be at about 70%. BBC Supporters of incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, who is seeking a second term, came out in force to vote. His main conservative challenger, Ebrahim Raissi, has already lodged complaints about alleged voting irregularities. Long queues were seen… Iran election: Votes… Read More »

Iran’s Bipolar Election

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Iranian voters have a real choice on 19 May between a president promising engagement with the West or one focused on the… Ali Vaez ICG At the same time, both leading candidates are clerical insiders who support the continuation of Iran’s nuclear deal. Who are the leading candidates in the 19 May election and what should we know about the top two? The May 2017 election is essentially a… Iran’s Bipolar… Read More »

Sri Lanka’s Transition to Nowhere

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Fragile hopes for lasting peace and cooperation across party and ethnic lines are imperilled. ICG To avoid leaders of the corrupt and violent former regime taking back control of the country, President Sirisena’s two-year-old “unity government” should put aside short-term calculations and… Executive Summary Two years into President Maithripala Sirisena’s term, Sri Lanka’s fragile hopes for lasting peace and… Sri Lanka’s Transition… Read More »

How Macron Could Destroy the European Union

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Emmanuel Macron’s banking skills can’t save the European Union from itself. Amitai Etzioni The National Interest Emmanuel Macron is calling for concentrating more power in the hands of “Brussels,” that is, in the hands of the European Commission. This is despite the fact that Britain is leaving the European Union because of popular rebellion against violations of national sovereignty by… How Macron Could… Read More »

Corruption on a Commonwealth level higher than documented, expert says

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The Federal Parliament should assume that there is more corruption yet to be exposed, a governance and public policy expert says. Felicity Caldwell Brisbane Times Griffith University professor AJ Brown made the comments at a Senate Select Committee investigating the adequacy of the federal government’s current framework to address corruption and misconduct and whether a… “I think the committee and the… Corruption on a… Read More »

Cyprus: The Beginnings of a Racial Bizonal – Bicommunal Federation

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The solution negotiated by the Greek side for the Cyprus issue gradually shifted to a two-state confederation and an institutional framework that would confirm Ankara’s sovereignty over the entire island and preserve the interests of the US and NATO in the region. Stephanos Constantinides Agora Dialogue 15.05 2017 This new state structure will emerge with the dissolution of the Republic of Cyprus and will be structured on the basis of racial criteria. Στις απαρχές της φυλετικής διζωνικής – δικοινοτικής ομοσπονδίας ... Read More »

Internet Democracy Is Great … in Theory. Just Ask the FCC

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THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS Commission says it wants to hear from you about the future of net neutrality. wired But in opening its virtual doors to the public, it’s also opened them to spammers and trolls, some of whom might have even managed to knock the FCC’s site offline this past week. On the one hand, these problems are mere hassles: The FCC’s site was only… Internet Democracy Is… Read More »

Can Macron Govern France Without a Base?

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Macron doesn’t have a political base or a clear agenda, so gaining a majority that he can call his own will not be an easy task. Simon Serfaty The National Interest “France,” it has been said, “is what the French make of it, but the French are what we make of them.” Choosing Emmanuel Macron over Marine Le Pen helped the French preserve the idea they have of their country—democratic, inclusive and… Can Macron Govern… Read More »

Blocked Transition: Corruption and Regionalism in Tunisia

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Corruption and clientelism are undermining democratic transition in Tunisia, a unique success story after the 2011 Arab uprisings. ICG To put the country back on track, the government should launch a national economic dialogue including established business elites and emerging provincial business leaders. Executive Summary The political consensus in… Blocked Transition: Corruption… Read More »

In Trump’s Firing of James Comey, Echoes of Watergate

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WASHINGTON — In dramatically casting aside James B. Comey, President Trump fired the man who may have helped make him president — and the man who potentially most threatened the future of his presidency. PETER BAKER The New York Times Not since Watergate has a president dismissed the person leading an… In his letter firing Mr. Comey, the F.B.I. director, Mr. Trump made a… In Trump’s Firing… Read More »

The End of Turkey’s Jews?

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Can Jewry in Turkey survive? Much has been written about Turkey’s turn toward Islamism and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s growing autocracy. Michael Rubin Commentary Turkish officials and their proxies argue, however, that Turkey remains both tolerant and democratic. The problem, they say, is limited to the followers of Islamic theologian Fethullah Gülen and… The End of… Read More »

F.B.I. Director James Comey Is Fired by Trump

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WASHINGTON — President Trump on Tuesday fired the director of the F.B.I., James B. Comey, abruptly terminating the top official leading a criminal investigation into whether Mr. Trump’s advisers colluded with the Russian government to steer the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. MICHAEL D. SHEAR and MATT APUZZO The New York Times The stunning development in Mr. Trump’s presidency raised the… It immediately ignited… F.B.I. Director James… Read More »