Democracy

What lessons can Nicola Sturgeon learn from Catalonian Indyref plans?

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Once again, it looks like voters in Catalonia are headed to the polls to vote on whether to declare independence from Spain. Ross McCafferty The Scotsman Readers in Scotland, especially those weary of talk over another plebiscite, will have a feeling of solidarity with those in the area that includes Barcelona, as this is the second time in three years the Spanish region will have its say on constitutional matters. The poll, tentatively scheduled for October 1, comes just over ... Read More »

Pakistani court removes PM Nawaz Sharif from office in Panama Papers case

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Disqualification from office over corruption allegations is the most serious political ramification yet of 2016 leak Sune Engel Rasmussen The Guardian Pakistan’s supreme court has removed the prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, from office in a unanimous verdict over corruption allegations that will further upset the country’s unstable political landscape. The verdict by the five-member court caps a year of political controversy over corruption allegations unleashed by the Pakistani court removes… Read More »

Andrzej Duda says he will block proposed legislation that would have put supreme court under control of ruling party

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Poland’s president says he will veto two contentious bills that are widely seen as attacks on the independence of the judicial system and are part of a planned legal overhaul by the ruling party… Agencies in Warsaw The Guardian In announcing his decision on Monday, Andrzej Duda broke openly for the first time with Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of the ruling Law and Justice… Duda is closely aligned with the party and has supported its agenda since taking office in… ... Read More »

Timor-Leste election: ‘Disenfranchised youth’ party wins first seats in parliament

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A Timor-Leste political party with links to martial arts gangs and “disenfranchised young men” will for the first time have seats in the… Felicity James  ABC Timor-Leste’s largest political parties, Fretilin, the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor and CNRT, the National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction, are expected to form a… Fretilin claimed victory after a provisional vote count put the party slightly ahead of former resistance leader Xanana… Timor-Leste election… Read More »

Gillian Triggs warns Dutton’s ‘super ministry’ endangers separation of powers

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Triggs also says campaign to change section 18C of Racial Discrimination Act has been exhausted due to public support Ben Doherty The Guardian The outgoing Human Rights Commission president, Gillian Triggs, has said the creation of a new “super ministry” of home affairs was part of a hastening trend towards centralised and unchallengeable… In a wide-ranging valedictory interview on ABC radio in Melbourne, Triggs also said a concerted campaign to amend section 18C of the… Gillian Triggs warns… Read More »

Back our own indyref, Catalans urge Sturgeon

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Pressure is mounting on Nicola Sturgeon’s government to endorse the Catalan independence movement’s proposal to hold a referendum on seceding from Spain in October. Tom Peterkin The Scotsman Yesterday leading Catalan politician Ramon Tremosa called on the Scottish Government to support controversial plans to break away from Madrid rule. Tremosa, a professor of economics at Barcelona University and… Back our own… Read More »

China stands firm as pressure grows to release late Nobel laureate’s wife

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Liu Xia has been detained at home since Liu Xiaobo won the peace prize in 2010 Clifford Coonan in Beijing The Irish Times International pressure is growing to allow Liu Xia, the wife of the late Nobel Peace Prize-winner Liu Xiaobo, to leave the country if she wants to go abroad. She has been under house arrest for years. Diplomatic sources in Beijing say intensive discussions are under way with Chinese authorities to grant permission to allow Ms Xia, a ... Read More »

French military chief resigns after row with Macron

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France’s top military chief resigned on July 19 after a war of words with Emmanuel Macron over budget cuts that tested the new president’s… Hurriyet The row between Macron and General Pierre de Villiers erupted last week when the chief of staff told a parliamentary committee he would not allow the armed forces to be “screwed” by the government’s plans to slash 850… Macron, 39, slapped down the 60-year-old five-star general in front of army chiefs at their annual summer ... Read More »

Chomsky: Trump is a Distraction, Used by the Deep State to ‘Systematically Destroy’ America

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Smashing the two party paradigm Noam Chomsky called out deep state democrats and republicans alike for using Trump as a distraction to destroy America. Jay Syrmopoulos The Free Thought World-renowned intellectual giant and respected academic, MIT professor Noam Chomsky recently sat down for an interview called ‘A Continuing Conversation with Geographers’. In the interview, he clearly makes his thoughts known regarding the… Chomsky: Trump is… Read More »

Montenegro to open coup plot trial

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Two pro-Russian opposition leaders in Montenegro and 12 other suspects will go on trial July 19 over their role in an alleged attempt to overthrow the… Hurriyet Montenegrin police arrested a group of Serbian nationals on the eve of a general election in October, accusing them of planning to storm parliament and target the then prime minister, pro… Authorities allege that “Russian state bodies” were involved in the conspiracy in a bid to prevent Montenegro from… Montenegro to open… Read More »

The Summer of Misreading Thucydides

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There’s a delicious irony in the Trump team’s affection for the historian—who repeatedly shows how populists lead societies to… Kori Schake The Atlantic This year is the 50th anniversary of the “Summer of Love,” those months in 1967 when a hundred thousand hippies convened in Haight… Flower children held a Human Be-In in Golden Gate Park, and Timothy Leary coined the phrase “turn on, tune in, drop… It was the heyday of the counterculture, now enjoying… The Summer of… Read More »

The Politics of Islam in Mali: Separating Myth from Reality

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Settling the place of Islam in Mali’s society and politics is a less visible but longer-term challenge to the state than its rebellious north and stalled peace… ICG The government should work toward a partnership with religious authorities to enable them to play a stabilising role. Executive Summary The 2012 crisis, during which self-proclaimed jihadi armed groups took centre stage, intensified the debate on the role of Islam in Malian society and… Although religious leaders have become powerful lobbyists, public ... Read More »

Border Force: A threat to us all

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Human rights advocate and barrister Julian Burnside AO discusses Border Force’s increased interest in Australian citizens, as PM Malcolm Turnbull announces greater powers for the Australian Defence… IA NEVER FORGET the lesson of Martin Niemöller. The lesson is: when governments misbehave, it’s just a matter of time before they will come for you. Recently, two Australian citizens arrived back in Australia after a long overnight flight. They had nothing to declare and… Border Force: A… Read More »

Australia doesn’t have a constitutional right protecting freedom of the person – it needs one

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The recent wrongful detention of two Australian citizens by immigration authorities highlights that our Constitution offers inadequate protection for freedom of the… Bede Harris The Conversation This is not the first time Australian citizens have been unlawfully detained. In 2001, Vivian Solon, who had suffered a head injury, was deported even though she told immigration officials she was an… In 2004, Cornelia Rau, also an Australian citizen, was held in immigration detention after she was unable to identify herself because ... Read More »

Erdoğan backs death penalty on Turkey coup attempt anniversary

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President tells crowd of thousands that Turkey will ‘cut the heads off’ traitors, a year after soldiers tried to topple government Kareem Shaheen in Ankara The Guardian The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, reiterated his support for reinstating the death penalty and threatened to cut off traitors’ heads in an a… Tens of thousands of people gathered in Istanbul, marching to the Bosphorus Bridge where 36 people were killed by coup soldiers exactly a year ago, for the first of ... Read More »

Turkey’s free press on trial

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Reporter Canan Coşkun used to cover cases of corruption, assault and murder. Now it’s her fellow journalists who are facing charges. Zia Weise Politico In a small courtroom at the city’s gargantuan Palace of Justice, Canan Coşkun took the stand with her hands clasped nervously behind her back. As a journalist covering the courts for Cumhuriyet — the Turkish newspaper that has been most outspokenly critical of the government — Coşkun is no stranger to judicial… Turkey’s free press… Read More »