Democracy

Don’t Give up on Moldova

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Moldova is stuck in a geopolitical tug-of-war. The West should make more of an effort to pull it into its orbit Andrew Foxall Moldova—Europe’s poorest country—has struggled with the challenges of post-Soviet transition. The National Interest This transition has become vastly more difficult as a result of the breakdown of Europe’s post-Cold War security order in 2014. It is now caught up in a geopolitical tug-of-war between Russia and the West, and is at risk of becoming Europe’s next security crisis, with potential ... Read More »

ISIS: Some Things Cannot Be Killed Off

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: ISIS is facing defeat and liquidation, but its members are dispersing throughout the world and establishing local branches. Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Mordechai Kedar BESA The idea of the Islamic Caliphate is not dead, and the struggle in the West is not over. ISIS may disappear as an organization, but the world will continue to suffer from the evil spirit that this organization has instilled among too many Muslims. As the city of Raqqa, the capital of the ... Read More »

‘No longer for sale’: Foreigners banned from buying houses in New Zealand

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Overseas buyers will no longer be allowed to purchase existing homes in New Zealand, Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Ardern declared as she unveiled a raft of policy deals made with her coalition… Yahoo7 News AFP The move to tackle soaring property prices was agreed during lengthy negotiations between the Labour Party leader and populist powerbroker Winston Peters to form a new government that also includes the Green… Ardern announced plans to slash immigration on Tuesday and focus on regional development and ... Read More »

An Election Delay Can Help Avert Kenya’s Crisis

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The rerun of Kenya’s presidential elections scheduled on 26 October risks escalating a political crisis, as the main opposition leader has withdrawn and the risk of violence is high. ICG The election commission should seek from the Supreme Court a 30-45 day delay to the vote. Kenya’s political leaders should support such an extension and commit to participate. What’s happening?  On 26 October, Kenya is scheduled to hold repeat presidential elections following the Supreme Court’s annulment of the previous vote ... Read More »

Why the government goes easy on corporate crime

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When Robert Mueller was tapped to investigate Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election, white-collar defense attorneys in Washington pumped their fists and readied their invoices. David Dayen New Republic Donald Trump and his inner circle have hit up practically every white-shoe law firm in town: Covington & Burling, Miller & Chevalier, Morgan Lewis, Hogan Lovells, Norton Rose Fulbright. For decades, veteran litigators from these firms have defended everyone from George W. Bush and Jack Abramoff on the right to ... Read More »

Narcissists aren’t very conservative but believe in inequality

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Are narcissists more likely to be right-wing conservatives or rebellious liberals? Alice Klein A study of narcissistic personalities reveals they typically combine elements of both, helping to explain some of President Trump’s actions. New Scientist Social scientists have long tried to understand how personality influences political beliefs. Studies have found that people who are open-minded, creative and curious are more likely to be liberal voters, whereas people who like convention and orderliness tend to vote more conservatively. But few studies ... Read More »

Fascists take power in Austria. Could they do the same in Australia?

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Heinz-Christian Strache, a neo-Nazi in his youth and now the besuited leader of Europe’s most successful fascist party, is set to become Austria’s deputy prime minister. Rick Kuhn The election on October 15 tipped out the coalition between the Socialists and the conservative People’s Party. The Canberra Times  A new coalition between the racist neoliberals of the People’s Party and Strache’s Freedom Party is being negotiated. With the Greens’ failure to tally the 4 per cent needed to gain any ... Read More »

Catalonia mulls options as stakes go up

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Catalonia’s separatists were planning their response on Oct. 22 after Spain took drastic steps to stop the region from breaking away by dissolving its separatist government and forcing new elections MADRID – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and his regional executive — who sparked a major political crisis by holding an independence referendum on Oct. 1 — will be stripped of their jobs and their ministries taken over under measures announced on Oct. 21 by Prime Minister Mariano ... Read More »

John Pilger On Hillary Clinton, Julian Assange And The ABC’s War On Truth

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ABC journalist Sarah Ferguson’s recent interview with Hillary Clinton was almost as devoid of journalism as it was of reality and facts. John Pilger reports New Matilda – the insider On 16 October, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation aired an interview with Hillary Clinton: one of many to promote her score-settling book about why she was not elected President of the United States. Wading through the Clinton book, What Happened, is an unpleasant experience, like a stomach upset. Smears and tears. Threats and ... Read More »

US, France slam detention of leading Turkish activist Osman Kavala

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U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert has said the arrest of the prominent activist and businessman Osman Kavala was an example of a “very alarming trend” of the detention of civil society leaders, human rights defenders, journalists, academics and… Hurriyet “We have expressed to the Turkish government our concerns on many occasions about this trend … It remains a major concern of ours,” Nauert told reporters in Washington on… The French Foreign Ministry also stated on Oct. 19 that it ... Read More »

Joyce McMillan: Are the Tories imploding over Brexit?

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Back in a different world, in April last year, I wrote a column about the difficult questions posed for then-prime minister David Cameron, and his chancellor George Osborne, by the decision of Tata Steel to sell off its entire UK operation. Joyce McMillan The Scotsman To the right of them, they faced the free market ideologues of post-Thatcher Toryism, who view state intervention to save threatened industries with scorn. Even further to the right, with Boris Johnson in the lead, ... Read More »

Trump Likely to Block Release of Some JFK Files

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If the decision holds, it could contribute to the belief that the government has something to hide. Conspiracy theorists of the world, get ready for some bad news. Philip Shenon Politico Trump administration and other government officials say privately that President Donald Trump is almost certain to block the release of information from some of the thousands of classified files related to the November 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy that are scheduled to be made public in less ... Read More »

The Revolt that Shook the World

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What we can learn from the triumph of the Russian Revolution and its subsequent demise Pete Dolack  History does not travel in a straight line. The Indypendent I won’t argue against that sentence being a cliché. Yet it is still true. If it weren’t, we wouldn’t be still debating the meaning of Russia’s 1917 October Revolution on its centenary, and more than a quarter-century after its demise. Neither the Bolsheviks nor any other party played a direct role in the ... Read More »

Capitalism is ending because it has made itself obsolete, former Greek finance minister Yannis Varoufakis says

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Exclusive: Former economics professor says rise of artificial intelligence will spell end of neoliberal system Tom Embury-Dennis The Independent  Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has claimed capitalism is coming to an end because it is making itself obsolete. The former economics professor told an audience at University College London that the rise of giant technology corporations and artificial intelligence will cause the current economic system to undermine itself. Mr Varoufakis, who took on EU institutions over Greek debt repayments in 2015, said companies ... Read More »

Judges turn to extreme remedy to block Trump administration

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(CNN) — As the Trump administration seeks to obliterate Obama-era policies, progressive lawyers are racing to court asking for an extreme form of relief, urging judges to reach deep into their judicial tool kits and issue national — even global — injunctions. Ariane de Vogue Such injunctions are a relatively new phenomenon, and some legal scholars worry they are bad for the country and bad for courts. The experts say the extreme remedy squelches the benefit of having multiple judges ... Read More »

Ancient Greek wisdom for today’s leadership crisis

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What makes a good leader? This question confronts us at every election and with every domestic and international policy decision. Emily Anhalt As a professor of classical languages and literature for more than 30 years, I marvel at our insistence on addressing this question as if it were brand new. The Conversation Centuries ago, myths helped the Greeks learn to reject tyrannical authority and identify the qualities of good leadership. As I write in my book “Enraged,” the same myths ... Read More »