Democracy

Why so many businesses are behaving badly

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While we digest the royal commission’s evidence of shocking misconduct by the banks and insurance companies, there’s another unpalatable truth to swallow: they have no monopoly on bad behaviour. Ross Gittins Brisbane Times It seems almost everywhere you look you see examples of companies behaving badly. In a major speech he gave a few months ago, the chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Rod Sims, offered a remarkable list of business household names the commission was taking proceedings ... Read More »

Abbott hopes Australian republic ‘never happens’

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Former prime minister and staunch monarchist Tony Abbott hopes an Australian republic will not happen in his lifetime. The Age AAP The issue has been in the limelight this week after former Labor prime minister Paul Keating lashed recently-toppled Liberal PM and Mr Abbott’s rival Malcolm Turnbull over the issue. Mr Keating said Mr Turnbull had capitulated to conservatives in the Liberal Party by failing to hold another referendum over a republic, a key cause supported by the former Liberal ... Read More »

Romania marriage poll: One man, one woman definition up for vote

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Romanians are deciding this weekend whether a family should revolve around a married man and woman. BBC The two-day vote on changing their constitution has been portrayed by supporters of the referendum as a way of protecting the status of the “traditional” family. Opponents warn it will come at the expense of same-sex couples, single parents and children too. And there are accusations that the whole exercise is a sideshow to distract from a corruption case involving the leader of ... Read More »

Vestager on her EU plans: ‘I’m a mistake, it can happen again’

epa06907517 EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager, from Denmark, speaks at a news conference on the concurrence case with electronics manufacturers Asus, Denon & Marantz, Philips and Pioneer at the European commission in Brussels, Belgium, 24 July 2018. The EU Commission fines the four consumer electronics manufacturers over 111 million euro for fixing online resale prices, they announced in a press release the same day.  EPA-EFE/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

‘I feel we’re in the middle of something [and] we’re not done,’ the competition commissioner said. Joshua Posaner Politico STRBSKE PLESO, Slovakia — Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager told POLITICO Friday she had made clear to the Danish government that she would like to keep her job in the next mandate, even though her party is in… “Compared to Danish tradition, I’m a mistake, usually it’s the bigger party in government that would make the commissioner,” the competition czar said of ... Read More »

‘Prepared to go to PRISON’ Pimlico Plumbers founder REFUSES to take down anti-Brexit sign

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A TV host quizzed Remain campaigner Charlie Mullins over his anti-Brexit sign outside Pimlico Plumbers demanding to know whether it was a “good idea” as the founder claimed he is prepared to go to prison rather than take it down. Darren Hunt Express Former Conservative doner and Pimlico Plumbers founder Charlie Mullins erected a sign over his company’s London HQ proclaiming “Brexit – Nobody voted to be poorer.” RT host Bill Dod asked whether it was “wise marketing” to install the ... Read More »

Scottish independence marchers claim victory in battle to overturn Holyrood Park ban

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ORGANISERS of a pro-independence march through Edinburgh tomorrow have claimed victory in their bid to hold part of the rally in Holyrood Park. Diane King The Scotsman Around 50,000 people are expected to take part in the march down the Royal Mile, staged by All Under One Banner, starting at Johnston Terrace at 1pm on Saturday 6 October and finishing at the Scottish Parliament. Historic Environment Scotland (HES), who manage next-door Holyrood Park, had refused permission for a demonstration, saying ... Read More »

Taiwan is revolutionizing democracy

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TAIPEI — Compared to the established democracies of the West, Taiwan’s is still in its infancy. Yen-Tu Su The Washington Post It did not become a full democracy until 1992, and it only held its first direct presidential election in 1996. And yet, Taiwan’s young democracy has made rapid progress, through social movements, representative politics, the judicial process and now, through direct democracy. In the beginning of this year, it rolled out one of the most citizen-friendly systems for ballot initiatives and ... Read More »

EU to hit Cambodia with trade sanctions, says Myanmar may follow

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union told Cambodia on Friday it will lose its special access to the world’s largest trading bloc, and said it was considering similar trade sanctions for Myanmar in a toughening of EU policy on human rights in Southeast Asia. Robin Emmott, Philip Blenkinsop After months of pressure from rights groups and the European Parliament, the EU’s trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom said the bloc was ready to punish abuses in both countries by removing trade preferences. ... Read More »

World politics explainer: The twin-tower bombings (9/11)

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At 8:46am on a sunny Tuesday morning in New York City, a commercial jet plane flew into the North Tower of the World Trade Centre, cutting through floors 93 to 99. Barbara Keys The Conversation As the news was beamed around the world, shaken reporters wondered whether the crash had been an accident or an act of terrorism. At 9:03am, viewers watching the smoke billowing from the gash in the building were stunned to see a second jet plane dart ... Read More »

What’s Going on in Brussels?

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Migration is dividing the European Union Preston Huennekens Center for Immigration Studies The European Union began in 1952 as the European Coal and Steel Community. The original six countries — Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, West Germany, and… Negotiations continue with outsiders that could see the group’s total membership rise to over 30 by 2020. Some commentators point to the E.U. as a superpower. Well-intentioned visionaries believed that increased European integration and supranational cooperation would bring prosperity, peace, and progress to ... Read More »

A really simple guide to the US mid-term elections

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Two years after Donald Trump was elected, American voters take to the polls again on 6 November for the mid-term elections. BBC These elections happen every four years in November – so-called because they take place in the middle of the president’s four-year term of office. This time they’re choosing new members of Congress, but how they vote could affect how the rest of Mr Trump’s presidency turns out. If you want to find out more, please click the. Who is being elected? ... Read More »

World politics explainer: The fall of the Berlin Wall

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Nearly 30 years ago, in the night of November 9-10, 1989, East German border police opened the gates at crossing points in the Berlin Wall, allowing masses of East Berliners to stream through them unhindered. Andrew Bonnell The Conversation This started a night of unbridled celebrations as people crossed freely back and forth through the Cold War barrier, climbed on it, and even danced and partied on it. The signal for the mass breach of the previously heavily guarded wall ... Read More »

Tanzania law punishing critics of statistics ‘deeply concerning’: World Bank

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DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – The World Bank said it was deeply concerned about new Tanzanian legislation which would punish anyone who questions official statistics, saying the law would undermine the production of useful and… Lawmakers last month passed amendments to the Statistics Act that would impose fines, at least three years jail time, or both, on anyone who questioned the accuracy of official figures. The attorney general said the changes were needed to… Opposition groups and other critics have ... Read More »

Aung San Suu Kyi’s extraordinary fall from grace

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Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s civilian leader and de facto president, is under fire from all sides. Domestically, she is facing growing criticism for stalled economic and political reforms, glacial progress on policy and service improvements, and the suppression of freedom of expression and press freedom. Authors: The Conversation But it is her international reputation that is most in tatters. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, imprisoned for 15 years over a 21-year period in her struggle for human rights and ... Read More »

Romanian PM clashes with Commission over rule of law

Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila looks on during a debate on the rule of law in Romania, during a plenary session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France on October 3, 2018. (Photo by FREDERICK FLORIN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images)

In Parliament debate, Bucharest is warned not to follow path of Hungary and Poland. Anca Gurzu Politico Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă clashed Wednesday with a senior European commissioner over the rule of law in her country, as Brussels accused Bucharest of “moving backwards” and threatened to take action. In a debate at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Frans Timmermans, the Commission’s first vice president, cited “growing concerns” about changes to Romania’s justice system and criminal code that could threaten ... Read More »

Cameroon: Divisions Widen Ahead of Presidential Vote

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The risk of violence around the 7 October vote is greatest in Anglophone regions, but other parts of Cameroon could also be affected. ICG The government should take steps to curb divisive rhetoric and declare a ceasefire, even if only temporary, with Anglophone armed groups. What’s new?  Cameroon’s presidential election on 7 October comes at a tense moment. The country is torn between the fight against Boko Haram in the Far North and the Anglophone conflict in the Northwest and ... Read More »