Democracy

How robots will break politics

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Automation is dramatically reshaping the workforce, but we’ve barely begun to grapple with how it will reshape society Ryan Avent Politico For those of us who have lived in relatively placid times, it is hard to believe that American politics could become more chaotic than it is today But far beyond allegations of criminal acts in the executive branch, the unending reality-show trash talk of the president on his Twitter feed or even nuclear brinkmanship, something else will push us into ... Read More »

Sanctions, refugees and the marginalised: Iran uprisings are Australia’s concern too

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Tehran’s response to this week’s anti-government protests in Iran has been harsh and reminiscent of the state response to the post-election uprising of 2009 Omid Tofighian ABC Back then, Iranians contested the re-election of former ultra-conservative president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by taking to the streets in support of reformist candidate Mir-Hussein Mousavi, and decrying election fraud. A key difference this time around is that the leader of Iran’s reformist movement — former president Seyyed Mohammad Khatami — has joined centrist President ... Read More »

Ötüken Union Party, an openly racist/fascist political party, founded in Turkey

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The Ötüken Union Party, Turkey’s first openly racist and fascist political party, was established on Dec. 20, 2017, according to a report by online news outlet Duvar on Friday. Stockholm Center for Freedom By citing the political party list released by the Supreme Court of Appeals Prosecutor’s Office at the end of the year, Duvar has reported that “Ötüken” is a legendary capital city in both Turkic mythology and Tengrism, a shamanistic central Asian religion that once prevailed over Turkic ... Read More »

How Iran’s President Rouhani Can Turn Crisis into Opportunity

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Daily street protests across Iran since 28 December 2017 have pitted many young Iranians against the government, but the state’s response is revealing deep fractures in the political establishment. Ali Vaez ICG To outflank both the unrest and his political opponents, President Rouhani’s best option is to address head-on the drivers of the protests and pursue popular reform. Manifold reasons lie behind Iran’s ongoing protests, but the immediate trigger appears to be widespread disgruntlement over the country’s economic performance, especially ... Read More »

Tony Blair: Government could oppose final Brexit deal

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Discussions over Border highlight central dilemma for Theresa May, says former PM Denis Staunton The Irish Times The Government would have a strong case to oppose a final Brexit deal without a clear, detailed agreement on how to avoid a hard border, Tony Blair has said. The former British prime minister said the deal agreed between Theresa May and the European Union last month did not resolve the issue of the Border. “The important thing about the deal on Ireland was that ... Read More »

Iceland has made it illegal to pay men more than women

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ICELAND is the first nation in the world to legally ensure women are paid equally to men David Bol TheScotsman The Arctic country has passed legislation meaning companies and government agencies that employ more than 25 workers, will be forced to receive official certification from the government for their equal-pay policies. The law came into effect in Monday and companies failing to demonstrate equal pay could be fined. Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, board member of the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association, ... Read More »

UN chief calls for restraint, urges Kabila to step down

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The UN chief has called on Joseph Kabila, president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), to peacefully leave office in accordance with an agreement in late 2016. AlJazeera The comments by Antonio Guterres late on Sunday came after security forces killed at least seven people and arrested more than 120 during protests against Kabila’s rule. Catholic protesters rallied in the capital, Kinshasa, and other cities after Sunday mass to demand Kabila, whose second term as president ended in December 2016, step… UN chief calls… Read More »

Macron’s new year’s speech: ‘France can’t succeed without a strong Europe’

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French president promises to listen to dissenting voices but appeals to Europeans not to give in to ‘nationalists and sceptics’ Angelique Chrisafis in Paris The Guardian The French president, Emmanuel Macron, appealed to European citizens “not to give in to nationalists and sceptics”, as he used his new year’s speech to promise to make the European Union “more united, more sovereign and more democratic”. Macron said in a televised address: “I deeply believe Europe can become that economic, social, environmentally-friendly, scientific power that ... Read More »

Protests in Iran unlikely to bring about change

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Following months of scattered, issue-specific protests across Iran over matters such as unpaid wages and lost deposits amid bankruptcies of unlicensed credit and financial institutions, the northeastern city of Mashhad saw protests on Dec. 28, mainly over “high prices,” with smaller rallies held in regional towns like Neyshabur and… Mohammad Ali Shabani  AlMonitor The day after, similar protests were also held in other cities around the country. So far, the protests appear provincial: The security deputy of Tehran’s governor said fewer ... Read More »

Thousands of Peruvians march against Fujimori pardon

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Thousands of Peruvians marched on Dec. 28 to protest the president’s recent pardoning of former authoritarian leader Alberto Fujimori, calling for new general elections as a graft scandal ensnares established politicians. LIMA – Reuters Hurriyet The demonstrations capped a head-spinning week in which President Pedro Pablo Kuczysnki warned about a new rise of Fujimori’s authoritarian movement, only to pardon him three days later after Fujimori’s loyalists in Congress saved him from an impeachment bid. Waving Peruvian flags and chanting “down ... Read More »

The Human Dignity in the Face of Hypocrisy

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Judiciary in Turkey had always been an instrument of the regime from the Kemalists generals to the President Erdogan’s  “Neo-Ottomanist regime“ Costas Mavrides * Eyes on Europe & Middle East Courts in Turkey simply don’t exist anymore Currently there are only “President Erdogan’s Courts” that serve him while he considers that “the judiciary in Turkey is more fair than in any other European country”. Turkish journalist Abdullah Bozkurt  who has been in exile in Sweden discloses dirty little secrets regarding Turkey, since kemalism until today, with ... Read More »

Diaspora should be represented in Dáil, says Ciarán Cannon

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Minister of State says ‘absolutely crucial’ referendum on emigrant vote passes Simon Carswell The Irish Times Irish citizens abroad should be represented with their own elected official in Dáil Éireann, Minister of State for the Diaspora Ciarán Cannon has said. The Government has already made a commitment to hold a referendum in June 2019 to decide whether to extend voting rights in presidential elections to Irish emigrants from 2025. Mr Cannon said in an… Diaspora should be… Read More »

Number of Russians who regret collapse of USSR hits 10-year high

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The number of Russians who regret the collapse of the Soviet Union has reached its highest level since 2009, with almost an equal share saying the event could have been avoided. RT A public opinion poll conducted by the independent Levada Center in late November this year found that 58 percent of Russians now regret the collapse of the USSR. Twenty-five percent said they felt no regret about this, while 16 percent could not describe their feelings in one word. ... Read More »

International security organization OSCE calls on Turkey to release journalists

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The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) media freedom representative urged Turkish authorities to release all imprisoned journalists in the country and drop charges against them on Dec. 25, in a statement that came after a court ruling on the continued arrest of daily Cumhuriyet staff who… Hurriyet During the fifth hearing of their case on Dec. 25, the Istanbul 27th High Criminal Court ordered four daily Cumhuriyet staff to remain in prison, including prominent journalist Ahmet Şık, ... Read More »

Canada expels Venezuela diplomat in tit-for-tat move

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Canada has announced it is expelling Venezuela’s ambassador to Ottawa, Wilmer Barrientos Fernández, and its charge d’affaires, Ángel Herrera. BBC Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said the move was in retaliation for the expulsion of its most senior diplomat from Caracas over the weekend Venezuela had accused Canada of meddling in its internal affairs. Canada has criticised the government of President Nicolás Maduro over its human rights record. More than 120 people were killed during months of… Canada expels Venezuela… Read More »

Israel has transferred Ahed Tamimi to three different detention facilities in the last five days even though she has not yet been charged with a crime

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The recent arrest of 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi by Israeli soldiers from her family home in the West Bank town of Nabi Saleh has sparked protest around the world and refocused light on Israel’s unjust treatment of Palestinian children Jesse Rubin  Mondoweiss In the five days since her arrest, Israeli authorities have attempted to coerce confession from Ahed, a minor, without access to a lawyer or a parent (her mother Nariman was herself arrested when she arrived to accompany her daughter ... Read More »