Democracy

Dutton should learn to live with lawyers helping in matters of life and death

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Mandatory detention and boat turn-backs have been proposed – and rejected – in the past. How have we moved from a humanitarian approach to this cruelty? Claire Higgins The Guardian <linkrel=”stylesheet”type=”text/css”href=”https://assets.guim.co.uk/stylesheets/4c4e9fc6f6275cf538d9f9f274cb7afd/content.css”/> Lawyers who defend asylum seekers, the immigration minister believes, are ”un-Australian”. Peter Dutton is not the first minister to level criticism at asylum seeker advocates. But history shows that things could – and should – have turned out very differently. Speaking in the wake of news that the Turnbull ... Read More »

Churches offer sanctuary to asylum seekers affected by welfare crackdown

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Australia’s Christian churches are offering sanctuary to 100 asylum seekers caught up in a Government welfare crackdown affecting those who were originally transported to Australia for medical treatment. Lexy Hamilton-Smith ABC Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has said those whose treatment had been finalised would no longer receive financial assistance from the Government. The asylum seekers have been meeting with Immigration officials over the last two days to discuss cuts to their assistance. However, if they can find a way to ... Read More »

Turkey’s Downward Spiral

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It is becoming harder by the day to make sense of the strategy behind Ankara’s domestic and foreign policy choices—assuming there is one at all. Marc Pierini Carnegie To Turkish analysts, Ankara’s policies may make sense. For Western politicians and analysts, including eternal hopefuls, summer 2017 will be remembered as a time when Turkey spiraled downward into more rule of the arbitrary, increased political inconsistencies, and aggressive postures on the international scene. It is becoming harder by the day to ... Read More »

France’s Macron sees popularity fall to 40 pct

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French President Emmanuel Macron’s popularity rating slumped a further 14 points in August to hit 40 percent, following a sharp 10-point drop the previous month, according to a poll released on Aug…. PARIS – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Prime Minister Edouard Philippe also saw his popularity fall nine points over the same period, with 47 percent now satisfied with his performance, the Ifop poll carried out for the Journal du Dimanche newspaper… Macron has seen his popularity plunge 22 points since ... Read More »

50 years of hurt: Togo protesters vow to continue

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After years of government stalling, demonstrators are demanding electoral reforms, including the reinstatement of term limits. BY FARIDA NABOUREMA African Arguments On Saturday 19 August, shocking images of the bodies of protesters being carried on stretchers started flooding social media in Togo. That day, thousands of citizens had taken to the streets to demand democratic reforms and the restoration of the country’s 1992 constitution. Calling for change after half a century of rule by the Gnassingbe family, demonstrators marched to chants of ... Read More »

Washington lobbying firms receive subpoenas as part of Russia probe

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Lawyers for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election, have issued subpoenas to several prominent Washington lobbying firms as the probe examines the finances of two former Trump campaign advisers, according to people with knowledge of the requests. Carol D. Leonnig and Tom Hamburger  The Washington Post The subpoenas asked the firms to answer questions and provide records regarding their interactions with the consulting firms led by Michael Flynn, a former national ... Read More »

Final Curtain for Venezuela’s Democracy as Parliament is Dissolved

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The Venezuelan government has dissolved the elected, opposition-led parliament and initiated de facto rule. Foreign governments and multilateral organisations should regard all government actions carried out in contravention of the 1999 constitution as invalid and press the government to take urgent steps toward the restoration of democracy. ICG On 19 August, Venezuela’s self-styled Constituent Assembly, installed two weeks earlier by the government of President Nicolás Maduro, announced that it was taking over the functions of the country’s opposition-led parliament, elected ... Read More »

Society Should ‘Filter’ Information Based on Moral Principles – Putin

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Society should by itself create a system of moral and ethical principles which would help filter information published by the media, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Sunday. Sputnik  BAKALSKA KOSA (Sputnik) – Speaking about censorship at the 2017 Tavrida International Educational Youth Forum in Crimea, Putin said that only publication of information prohibited by law must be restricted, while other things must be “filtered” by society… This can be done only one way, through filtration by the means of the creative community itself. It would be right if society ... Read More »

Why Britain’s voters must have a second referendum on Brexit

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Leavers’ dreams of a country cast free of Brussels are unravelling as reality and the risks of going it alone set in Vernon Bogdanor The Guardian Last week, the government set out key elements of its strategy for achieving Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. It seeks a soft landing to a hard Brexit. It wants a time-limited transition period after March 2019, when Britain is due to leave the bloc. During that period, the government hopes for a ”close ... Read More »

Remove Him Now

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How can this nation endure another 41 months of this man? We have endured Donald Trump for seven months. Although he has had few legislative victories, he has almost single-handedly destroyed the moral authority of the presidency of the United States at home and abroad; brought us to the brink of a nuclear war without consulting anyone; and sown division and hatred. Robert Reich * HuffPost He has given encouragement and legitimacy to the ugliest in America. How can this ... Read More »

When voters mistake stupidity for authenticity, we are all in danger

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Are we at war yet? Newspaper deadlines being what they are, you may, at the time of reading, be in a better position to answer that question than this column. Janet Daley Telegraph, London The Sydney Morning Herald With startling suddenness, the world has reached one of those moments when catastrophic news seems imminent: in which, indeed, the chief actors actually appear to be willing events to take the most devastating, unthinkable course. Or is it all just noise? Belligerent, ... Read More »

Californians once again want out of US

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A group of Californians has submitted yet another initiative to secede from the United States as the country is gripped by one of its worst political crisis in recent history. LOS ANGELES – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The new “Calexit” ballot proposal put forward on Aug. 17 by a fringe political group calls for a constitutional convention to overhaul one of the country’s founding documents on grounds it is incompatible with what the Golden State stands for. “The current relationship between ... Read More »

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson wears burqa in Senate question time stunt

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Face fully covered, the woman in black didn’t need to say anything as she entered the Senate. Pauline Hanson had made her point. Amy Remeikis The Age The One Nation leader took her seat for question time wearing a black burqa, ahead of her motion to ban the garment that was due for debate later on Thursday. The Queensland senator has rallied against the burqa since returning to Parliament last… Senate President Stephen Parry admitted there was not a lot he could ... Read More »

Joshua Wong, the young face of Hong Kong’s democracy movement, jailed in ‘politically motivated’ case

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Hong Kong’s most prominent democracy activist Joshua Wong has been sentenced to six months in jail over a 2014 protest. 20-year-old Wong, who rose to prominence as the 17-year-old co-leader of the 2014 ‘umbrella’ mass protests in the city, was jailed alongside two other young activists — one a former member of Hong Kong’s legislative council. Bill Birtles ABC The trio had previously been given community service sentences for an unlawful assembly conviction relating to a protest at Hong Kong’s ... Read More »

Turkey Uncensored: Will Turkey Succeed in Turning the Hagia Sophia Into a Mosque?

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The Islamist Felicity Party (Turkish: Saadet Partisi) organized the “Great Jerusalem demonstration” on July 30 in Istanbul. This event attended by thousands of people who condemned Israel following the recent incidents on the Temple Mount. Uzay Bulut Philos Project The demo quickly turned into an anti-Israel and anti-Jew hate fest in which several Islamic activists delivered harsh speeches against the Jewish State. Mustafa Koylu, the head of the Cansuyu Association, said, “You have to do one thing so that those who do not see ... Read More »

What are the links between US and German neo-Nazis?

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Swastikas on shields. Cries of “Blood and Soil.” Nazi symbols and slogans were on full display in the Charlottesville confrontations. Christina Burack  DW looks at where US and German neo-Nazis overlap. Confederate flags were to be expected at last weekend’s far-right “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. After all, the organizers’ self-described purpose was to protest the removal of a statue of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee, who led the South in the American Civil War in its fight ... Read More »