Democracy

What Jesse taught Bernie about running for president

The significance of Sanders’ endorsement of Jackson in 1988 is not that he supported a black candidate but what it taught him about the power of working inside the Democratic Party. Michael Kruse Politico The night of April 19, 1988, in the tense, people-packed auditorium at Burlington High School in Burlington, Vermont, Bernie Sanders strode stern-faced into enemy territory. The city’s crotchety, socialist, obstinately independent mayor planted himself at the center of the stage at the Democratic Party’s caucus, an ... Read More »

Bosnian Branch Of ‘Putin’s Angels’ Enjoys Political Backing – Analysis

Like the original Night Wolves in Russia, a Bosnian Serb branch of the motorcycle gang enjoys close ties to the political elite. Semir Mujkic Eurasia Review A roughly 1.5-million-euro tender for construction of a mini hydropower plant in Bosnia’s Republika Srpska has been awarded to a company with no previous experience in the field, co-owned by the… Goran Tadic, co-owner of New Energy Company and vice-president of the Night Wolves of Republika Srpska, said his ties with the head of ... Read More »

Banks Pull Back From Funding French Politics

The money has always followed the power in French politics, as the party in office has built-in advantages for financing campaigns. Gregory Viscusi Bloomberg Now, that gap is widening, with banks becoming more reluctant to make up the shortfall. As he prepares for European Parliament elections in May, President Emmanuel Macron has a two-part edge: free airtime from a series of public debates and enough money to fund his party’s activities. Cash-strapped rivals are begging for donations and relying on ... Read More »

How European ideas motivated Christchurch killer

The self-described ‘fascist’ may have picked up ideas during a trip to France in 2017. Europe can’t turn a blind eye to the Christchurch killings. By NICHOLAS VINOCUR Politico Even though the attack happened on the other side of the world, the man who carried it out declared that he started his planning after a trip to France — inspired by ideas that have filtered into right-wing discourse across the European Union. The links were on display in a 73-page manifesto ... Read More »

The Psychology Of Getting Julian Assange, Part 4: Why Even Some Lefties Want To See Him Hang

Convinced Julian Assange handed Trump the election? Certain he raped two women in Sweden? Want to see him rot in jail? The fourth in a five-part series by clinical psychologist Dr Lissa Johnson explains the science behind smear and propaganda, and how and why it works. New Matilda On Sunday March 3rd and 10th, hundreds attended rallies organised by the Socialist Equality Party of Australia in Sydney and Melbourne, demanding that the Australian government secure freedom for Julian Assange. Acclaimed journalist and film-maker John Pilger spoke at the Sydney rally ... Read More »

The Darkest Hours: Power Outages Raise the Temperature in Venezuela

The crippling blackouts across Venezuela are a grim portent of things to come as U.S. oil sanctions kick in and the country’s crisis deepens. Phil Gunson ICG All concerned to end Venezuelans’ suffering should vigorously pursue a negotiated transition leading to a power-sharing deal. On Thursday 7 March, at around five in the afternoon, the lights went out in Venezuela. Within a couple of hours, as the tropical night descended, around 90 per cent of the country was plunged into ... Read More »

Australia has a long history of protests. Our rights should be better protected

We also have a history of governments trying to suppress protest. It’s time this changed Hugh de Kretser The Guardian The deputy prime minister recently told school students they should be in school “learning about Australian history” instead of joining the global student strike for climate action on Friday. Half of what he said was good advice. For if the students researched Australia’s protest history, they would learn that protest has been critical to so many social advances that we often now ... Read More »

EU on no-deal Brexit vote: ‘Like Titanic voting for the iceberg to move’

Brussels spokesman offers withering assessment of MP decision on Wednesday night The Irish Times Brussels has said a vote by UK MPs to block a no-deal Brexit in any circumstances is a meaningless move, with one senior EU negotiator describing it as “the Titanic voting for the iceberg to get out of the way”. A European commission spokesman offered a withering assessment of the decision by MPs to ignore Theresa May’s assertion that no deal was the default position unless there was a ... Read More »

The farce and the furious: how May’s government shot itself in the foot

London: There is no bottom to the well of Brexit insanity. Nick Miller The Canberra Times On Wednesday, the British government managed to shoot itself in the foot with a gun that had no bullets in it. This should have been an easy day. The motion before the Commons – put by the government, with Prime Minister Theresa May as its signatory – was that it refused to back a “no deal” Brexit, something everyone but the most hard-core Brexiters agree ... Read More »

Salvaging South Sudan’s Fragile Peace Deal

The truce in South Sudan is holding but could break down at any time. ICG To stave off renewed civil war, external actors should urge the belligerents to strike new bargains on security and internal boundaries – and accept a third-party protection force for the capital. What’s new? South Sudan’s new peace deal is nearing its first critical test: the formation of a unity government in May 2019. But steps toward key interim benchmarks – unifying a national army and ... Read More »

Brexit vote: What just happened?

Theresa May’s planned Brexit deal has suffered a major defeat in the UK parliament, leaving the Brexit process in disarray. BBC Mrs May began the day with renewed hope after securing last-minute changes to her withdrawal deal with the EU. But MPs roundly defeated her proposals, 391 votes to 242, weeks after her first attempt to pass the deal met the same fate. Had the vote gone her way, the UK would be preparing to leave the EU on 29 ... Read More »

Brexit: ‘Legally binding’ changes to EU deal agreed

Theresa May says she has secured “legally binding” changes to her Brexit deal, a day ahead of MPs voting on it. BBC But European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned if the deal was voted down there was “no third chance”. They spoke at a joint press conference in Strasbourg after a late meeting. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the prime minister’s negotiations had “failed” and the announcements did not contain “anything approaching the changes” she had promised Parliament. Cabinet Office ... Read More »

US withdrawing last of its embassy personnel from Venezuela

The United States announced on March 11 that it is pulling the remaining staff from its embassy in Venezuela, citing the deteriorating situation in the South American nation. CARACAS- The Associated Press Hurriyet Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the decision as Venezuela struggles to restore electricity following days of blackouts around the country and a deepening political crisis. The U.S. has led an international effort to oust socialist President Nicolas Maduro and replace him with opposition leader Juan Guaido, who vows to hold a ... Read More »

Human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh jailed ‘for 38 years’ in Iran

Lawyer sentenced to decades in prison and 148 lashes, husband writes on Facebook Reuters in Geneva The Guardian Nasrin Sotoudeh, an internationally renowned human rights lawyer jailed in Iran, has been handed a new sentence that her husband said was 38 years in prison and 148 lashes. Sotoudeh, who has represented opposition activists including women prosecuted for removing their mandatory headscarf, was arrested in Juneand charged with spying, spreading propaganda and insulting Iran’s supreme leader, her lawyer said. She was jailed ... Read More »

‘Brexit in peril’ as PM May faces heavy defeat

Brexit could be reversed if lawmakers reject the government’s exit deal, British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt said on March 10 after two major euroskeptic factions in parliament warned that Prime Minister Theresa May was facing a… London – Reuters Hurriyet Just 19 days before the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on March 29, May is scrambling, so far unsuccessfully, to secure last-minute changes to an EU exit treaty before parliament votes on March 12 on whether to approve the… If she fails, lawmakers are expected to ... Read More »

Angela Merkel successor AKK responds to Emmanuel Macron’s vision for Europe

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has presented her own proposals to tackle populism, economic uncertainty, international security and migration. Deutsche Welle “Europe must become stronger,” she wrote in response to the… In an op-ed published in the Welt am Sonntag, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s successor as head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) contrasted a “European way of life” with social and political models in China, the… “Europe must become stronger,” she wrote. While Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer echoed some of the plans set out by French President Emmanuel ... Read More »