Democracy

Scotland’s potential will only be realised after independence says Nicola Sturgeon

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that the SNP is using every power at its disposal to deliver for the people of Scotland and that the full potential of Scotland can only be seen when the nation is independent. Angus Howarth The Scotsman In a speech to the SNP National Council in Glasgow, the First Minister said that a clear contrast had opened up in competing visions for Scotland’s future – and said that the SNP had a ‘renewed mission’ ... Read More »

Catalan separatists face charges as key figure flees abroad

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Spain’s Supreme Court said on March 23 that it would prosecute 13 key Catalan separatists for “rebellion,” as Marta Rovira became the latest leading pro-independence figure to flee abroad to escape charges over the region’s breakaway bid. Hurriyet Among those prosecuted are Catalonia’s sacked president Carles Puigdemont and his designated successor, Jordi Turull. If found guilty, they face up to 30 years in prison. Judge Pablo Llarena accused Puigdemont – currently in self-imposed exile in Belgium – of organising the ... Read More »

“Global Britain” Is Already on Its Own

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British voters’ decision to leave the EU may have been motivated mostly by domestic issues such as political dysfunction and immigration, but the costs of departure are being felt first on the foreign-policy front. Mark Malloch-Brown Project Syndicate The international response to the recent nerve-agent attack in Salisbury, England, suggests that the costs will be high. LONDON – British Prime Minister Theresa May has finally had a good crisis. Responding to the nerve-agent attack on former Russian double agent Sergei ... Read More »

Brexit: A managed surrender

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London talks tough but gives Brussels what it wants. Forget red lines, bellicose declarations and rhetoric about the United Kingdom taking back control — Brexit so far has been a process of managed surrender. Paul Taylor Politico British officials acknowledge that Prime Minister Theresa May has mostly had to accept the European Union’s terms for the divorce and a transition period to avoid a cliff-edge rupture in economic ties that could have crippled business. However, the Brits insist, the real negotiation starts now and ... Read More »

EU plans tougher consumer laws for Facebook, Gmail

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The European Union is planning to apply tougher consumer laws to social media networks and email providers like Facebook and Google’s Gmail as scrutiny of data protection grows in the wake of an outcry over Facebook’s handling of data. BRUSSELS – Reuters Hurriyet Under the draft proposal first considered last year, authorities could levy fines of at least 4 percent of turnover. Currently, EU consumer authorities can only levy small fines and some lack power to sanction companies at all ... Read More »

Turkey’s Erdogan warns Europeans ‘will not walk safely on the streets’ if diplomatic row continues

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It comes after German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned war of rhetoric must stop Samuel Osborne The Independent Europeans across the world will not be able to walk the streets safely if they keep up their current attitude towards Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned. Turkey has been mired in a diplomatic row with Germany and the Netherlands after they banned Turkish officials from campaigning in support of an April referendum on boosting the… “If Europe continues this way, no European in any part of the… Turkey’s ... Read More »

Embracing multicultural voices can lead to a more democratic future

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One of the great moral challenges of our time is the rising tide of inequality in liberal democracies around the world. Duncan Ivison The Conversation This includes Australia, where both income and wealth inequality are increasing, especially the latter. There are arguments about the rise of China and other authoritarian regimes threatening the viability of liberal democracy. But a deeper problem is the persistent inability of liberal democracies to live up to their own moral promise. That promise is one ... Read More »

What Italy’s Election Means for the EU

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The EU – and the eurozone, in particular – are now facing a serious political challenge, exemplified by the outcome of Italy’s recent election. Lucrezia Reichlin Project Syndicate Are European institutions strong enough to confront that challenge, or must EU leaders rethink – and potentially recast – the pillars of cooperation? ROME – Italy’s recent election – in which voters rebuffed traditional parties in favor of anti-establishment and far-right movements, producing a hung parliament – should serve as a wake-up call for ... Read More »

South African farmers are trapped in a brutal reality – and my family is a victim of it

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My father-in-law was beaten to death last September on his sugar-cane farm, 60 kilometres from Pietermaritzburg, a regional city in South Africa. Glenn Freeman Brisbane Times Civil rights group AfriForum suggests there is, on average, 680 farm attacks and 94 farm murders in South Africa each  year – almost two attacks a day and two murders a week over 18 years. Critics of Peter Dutton’s latest contentious proposal – a special humanitarian intake of South African farmers – should consider ... Read More »

Victorians have a right to be outraged at Labor MPs’ misuse of funds

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Victorians have a right to feel disappointed and angry that the ALP siphoned almost $400,000 of taxpayers’ money to help secure its unexpected victory in the 2014 state election, and then spent a further $1 million on a legal tilt to block the Victorian Ombudsman from investigating. The Age Her probe into the egregious breach of parliamentary regulations by the ALP was triggered by whistleblowers. They were upset by Labor MPs wrongly signing off on payments based on falsified timesheets that ... Read More »

The Syrian Conflict and The Crisis of Islamist Nationalism in Turkey

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The 79th anniversary of Atatürk’s passing on 10 November 2017 meant more than a routine official commemoration of the founder of the Republic, once Recep Tayyip Erdoğan praised Atatürk with the… Cenk Saraçoğlu Turkish Policy Quarterly Our Nation has an eternal respect for the Gazi. There is not the slightest hesitation concerning the respect of our nation for Mustafa. Our nation does not have the slightest problem with Kemal. We know very well that our nation has no difficulty with ... Read More »

‘Women must take a stand to defend, heal the nation’-Kah Walla

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Journal du Cameroun Cameroonian politician and Human Rights activists. Kah Walla says it is about time women take up thier stand as mothers of the nation to defend and heal the land. The Human Rights Activist who is also the President of the Cameroon People’s Party, made the remark earlier this month, while leading about 150 women from nine towns and 5 regions in Cameroon in a march against what they term injustices and bad governance for decades. “As Mothers ... Read More »

To Reunite Ukraine, Kyiv Must Overcome Its Own Prejudices

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Four years after Russia’s invasion, psychological barriers are compounding the physical divisions of Ukraine. While many Ukrainians have turned to the West, millions of conflict-affected citizens are being excluded, creating new obstacles to any eventual reintegration of the country. Katharine Quinn-Judge ICG It is common for Ukrainian officials and their international backers to say that Russia’s 2014 invasion, which was partly motivated by Moscow’s anger at Ukraine pivoting toward Europe and the U.S., has unified the country and turned it ... Read More »

Defending the liberal world order

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Those who believe in the liberal world order must fight to preserve it for future generations, says John McCain, Republican senator from Arizona and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee The Economist United States Seventy years ago, when announcing the Marshall Plan to deliver American assistance in rebuilding after the second world war, George Marshall began by stating simply: “The world situation is very serious.” That maxim rings more true as we head into 2018 than at any time ... Read More »

‘You Will Not Destroy America’: A Trump Battle Is No Longer One-Sided

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WASHINGTON — Usually, top intelligence and law enforcement officials withdraw to lives of tight-lipped relative anonymity after their careers end. (Suffice it to say, they are not exactly known for viral Twitter battles.) Katie Rogers The New York Times But as President Trump has voiced his grievances against the F.B.I. with a series of insult-laden tweets, his targets have responded nearly in kind, turning a conflict that would in the past have stayed behind closed doors into a brawl for ... Read More »

The only thing keeping Maduro in power is the opposition

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If Venezuela’s opposition really wants to remove Nicolas Maduro, it must unite behind renegade candidate Henri Falcon. Asa Cusack Al Jazeera Can anyone win in an illegitimate election? This is the big question in Venezuela today, as commentators and citizens alike debate whether to participate or abstain in upcoming elections, where one candidate, Henri Falcon, has defied the opposition coalition’s decision not to take part. In short, the answer is “yes”. Paradoxically, the very lack of legitimacy that undermines these elections has ... Read More »