Democracy

European elections ‘face growing threat of manipulation’

Commission says Facebook scandal is ‘wake-up call’ as it calls for monitoring network Daniel Boffey The Guardian EU governments cannot treat the next year’s European parliamentary elections as “business as usual” given the growing risk of foreign and corporate manipulation, according to the European commission. The scandal over the misuse of Facebook data by Cambridge Analytica and the growing evidence of illegal interference in elections were described by the commission as a “wake-up call” to which national governments had to… Věra Jourová, the ... Read More »

A New Report Shows the White House Is Terrified of Socialism

The Council of Economic Advisers’ investigation into the “opportunity costs of socialism” reads like a nervous undergraduate’s term paper. Kate Aronoff The Nation The White House Council of Economic Advisers this week authored a report assessing the “Opportunity Costs of Socialism.” Really. The council may have decided to pull the trigger and release it after polling came out yesterday showing that a majority of Republicans support Medicare for All, which the report spends no small amount of space attempting, unsuccessfully, to… At 72 ... Read More »

Jamal Khashoggi: murder in the consulate

After days of denial, Saudi Arabia has now said that the writer Jamal Khashoggi died in a ‘fist fight’ at its Istanbul consulate. Martin Chulov pieces together events surrounding this death and the investigation, and links to Riyadh’s controversial crown prince The Guardian The Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul is a homely looking place, much smaller than it seems, nestled into a quiet suburban street, and painted pastel yellow. Were it not for a giant steel door and a green flag ... Read More »

Thousands in London march for vote on Brexit terms

Organizers claimed 700,000 turned out in London, calling for a vote on the terms of the Brexit deal. Prime Minister Theresa May has repeatedly ruled out another referendum. DW Thousands of people marched through central London on Saturday to call for a second Brexit referendum. Organizers and participants in the People’s Vote March have expressed concerns that the UK’s exit from the European Union looks nothing like the Brexit outlined ahead of the first vote in 2016. The 2016 referendum ... Read More »

European court orders Poland to freeze judicial changes

Ruling comes just two days before local elections seen as key test for ruling party. Jan Cienski Politico WARSAW — The Polish government was ordered to “immediately” suspend changes to the country’s Supreme Court by the European Court of Justice on Friday. The ruling — issued just two days before local elections — comes in reaction to a series of recent laws revamping the functioning of the Polish court and lowering the retirement age of judges that critics said violated the constitution and undermined the… The ... Read More »

Dozens of casualties as multiple blasts rock Kabul polling centres amid Afghan elections

Multiple explosions rocked polling centres across Kabul on Saturday, causing dozens of casualties, amid growing anger among voters as they waited hours to cast their ballots in long-delayed legislative… Hurriyet KABUL – AFP At least 30 people have been taken to a trauma hospital run by the Italian NGO Emergency, including a dead child, the organisation said on Twitter, hours after the Taliban warned voters to boycott the ballot “to… Afghan officials confirmed there have been casualties but would not ... Read More »

Stop playing the Hitler card

Comparing the AfD to the Nazis gives them more attention than they deserve. Konstantin Richter Politico BERLIN — A surprising thing or two happened last week after Alternative for Germany’s leader Alexander Gauland wrote an op-ed for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. An anonymous tweeter found that Gauland’s piece had some likeness to a speech given by Adolf Hitler in 1933. The Berlin daily newspaper Tagesspiegel then asked a couple of historians to compare the two speeches. Their verdict? The wording differed, but Gauland and Hitler ... Read More »

Dissidents living abroad apprehensive about visiting Turkish consulates

Turkish dissidents living abroad are hesitant to visit Turkish embassies and consulates, fearing confiscation of their passports or refusal of their requests, the Ahval news website reported on Thursday. TM “Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance after entering the Saudi consulate in İstanbul on Oct. 2 brought to mind the problems Turkish citizens have been facing in their country’s consulates around the world,” the report said. Many Turkish dissidents hesitated to cast a ballot in the June 24 presidential and parliamentary ... Read More »

Pakistan’s Pivot to Asia

Imran Khan is addressing his nation’s challenges by choosing liberally from a menu of Western and Asian futures. Ben Judah The Atlantic Just a few years ago, the news out of Pakistan would have sent official Washington into a tailspin. But with cable TV broadcasting Trump nonstop, few bothered to even note that a champion cricketer turned populist firebrand, Imran Khan, won the election as prime minister this summer. Nor did many pause over the fact that Khan won that ... Read More »

Kandahar Assassinations Show Rising Taliban Strength in Afghanistan

The Taliban have claimed the assassination of an influential Afghan police chief and another official in an attack that narrowly missed the head of U.S. forces. ICG Senior Analyst Borhan Osman and Consultant Graeme Smith explain the repercussions for political stability in southern Afghanistan. What happened? At least one gunman attacked a gathering of Afghan and U.S. officials inside the Kandahar governor’s compound on the afternoon of 18 October. The shooter, believed to be one of the governor’s guards, killed the most powerful ... Read More »

Why the West Should Care About the Turmoil in Armenia

Human rights and stability in Yerevan impact the whole region. Wes Martin The National Interest National Security Advisor John Bolton is planning to visit the South Caucasus, a strategic mountainous region sandwiched between Russia, Turkey and Iran, which changed hands repeatedly between these imperial masters for the last one thousand years. In Georgia, he will deal with a pro-western country still reeling from the war with Russia ten years ago. But a real challenge awaits Bolton in Armenia—a small mountainous country with ... Read More »

Who’s Really Afraid of Nationalism?

Yoram Hazony has written a polemic against what he perceives as the conventional wisdom—a refutation of the “paradigm of the European liberals” for whom the European Union is the highest stage of political excellence. Michael Kimmage The National Interest Yoram Hazony, The Virtue of Nationalism, (New York: Basic Books, 2018), 273 pp., $26.99. It was the best of times in Europe, in the 1990s, and it was the worst of times in Russia. The Soviet Union had ignominiously collapsed in ... Read More »

A Glimpse Into the Next Decade of Erdogan’s ‘New Turkey’

Upon winning his second term as president in June, and assuming the strong executive powers that had been approved by voters in a 2017 referendum, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cemented what he had long been seeking: the creation of a… Sinan Ciddi Stratfor The “new Turkey,” as Erdogan calls it, is a country fast becoming insular and inward-looking. From Erdogan’s perspective, Turkey’s founding elite of the 1920s created a state, society and culture fashioned according to the preferences of ... Read More »

The Proud Boys, The GOP And ‘The Fascist Creep’

Gavin McInnes spoke at a GOP club, then his followers violently attacked leftist protesters. Modern American fascism finds its foot soldiers. Christopher Mathias HuffPost NEW YORK — Gavin McInnes, the founder of the violent neo-fascist gang the Proud Boys, had a perplexing message for the Republican Party last Friday. “At the very least, people of the right,” he told a crowd inside the Metropolitan Republican Club ballroom, “let us scum in.” It was a baffling thing to say, of course, because McInnes ... Read More »

Tusk compares backstop to the Gordian Knot unravelled by Alexander the Great

Analysis: May insists a deal is achievable; Barnier says negotiations need more time Denis Staunton The Irish Times As Theresa May prepares to address EU leaders before dinner at Wednesday’s summit in Brussels, both sides are determined that there should be no repeat of the rancorous displays at Salzburg last month. Michel Barnier said on Tuesday that the Brexit negotiations needed more time while May told her cabinet that negotiators had made significant progress and that a deal was achievable. Still unresolved, however, is the ... Read More »

‘It’s OK to be white’ is not a joke, it’s careless politicians helping the far right

The far right lies, sows confusion, and hides its intentions in order to mainstream its messages Jason Wilson The Guardian The Australian Senate almost passed a motion affirming that “it’s OK to be white”. This probably sounds innocuous enough to the casual or incurious observer — and that’s exactly what the white supremacists who devised the slogan intended. To understand how and why the slogan came to be voted on by the Senate, you need first to engage with the ... Read More »