Democracy

Brexit: Government sees off Conservative rebels to win vote on EU customs union

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MPs narrowly vote down Remainer rebel amendment that would have forced Theresa May to drastically change her Brexit plan Benjamin Kentish Independent Theresa May has narrowly avoided a humiliating Commons defeat on the customs union after another dramatic knife-edge vote. 12 pro-EU Tories voted against the government by backing an amendment that would have kept the UK in a customs union with the EU if Ms May proves unable to guarantee frictionless trade through other means by next January. However, ministers staved off a potential ... Read More »

Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean Alliance

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Concrete steps over the past three years have set the foundations of an Eastern Mediterranean Alliance (EMA) comprising Israel, Greece, and Cyprus. John M. Nomikos BESA The convergence of the three nations is the natural outcome of close democratic similarities and a joint desire for stability and progress in a region tormented by perennial Middle East strife, radical Islamism, and the morphing of Turkey into a fundamentalist Islamic autocracy. The EMA is emerging at a time of increasing global instability. ... Read More »

Five human rights we should enjoy – while we still can

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In case warnings of impending fascism have merit, here’s a bucket list of rights to tick off Van Badham The Guardian Fascism is a political philosophy. It exalts the supposed supremacy of a particular national identity or racial group above individual freedoms, social equality and the collective social good. And these ideas seem frightfully trendy right now. I’m not saying that today’s Poland, America, Russia, Turkey or Hungary are fascist countries. I’m saying fascism seeks to establish an authoritarian government headed by ... Read More »

Vote Leave Referred To Police By Watchdog Who Found ‘Significant Evidence’ It Broke Electoral Law

A 'Vote Leave' sign is seen by the roadside near Charing urging people to vote for Brexit in the upcoming EU referendum is seen on the roadside near Charing south east of London on June 16, 2016. 
Britain goes to the polls in a week on June 23 to vote to leave or remain in the European Union. / AFP / BEN STANSALL        (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

The official Brexit campaign exceeded its legal spending limit, according to the Electoral Commission Nicola Slawson HuffPost Vote Leave has been fined £61,000 and reported to the police by the Electoral Commission for breaking electoral law. The Electoral Commission published the conclusions of its investigation into the campaign spending of Vote Leave and found “significant evidence” of coordination with another campaign group, BeLeave. The Electoral Commission found that the campaign group exceeded its legal spending limit of £7m by almost ... Read More »

Can democracy vote itself out of existence?

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Look at the state of the world’s democratic nations, and it is easy to see why so many are concerned for the future of democracy. Manjeet Ramgotra The Conversation Leaders such as Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Vladimir Putin and Hungary’s Viktor Orbán have centralised political power by changing their countries’ constitutions, silencing dissent and controlling the media. Since 2016’s coup attempt in Turkey, Erdoğan’s government has used the subsequent state of emergency to incarcerate thousands without trial. Opposition politicians, judges, journalists ... Read More »

The mystery firm that became the NRA’s top election consultant

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Since 2014, the gun rights group has paid millions of dollars to a little known contractor for ads in key Senate races. Did it break campaign finance laws in the process? Mike Spies Politico Heading into the 2014 midterm elections, polls showed the Republican Party had an opportunity to retake control of the Senate. Such a change would severely limit President Barack Obama’s legislative agenda during his final two years in office, an outcome that was especially attractive to the ... Read More »

Pakistan opens terrorism investigation against ex-PM’s party 10 days before election

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LAHORE, Pakistan/ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistani authorities have opened a criminal investigation into leaders of jailed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s political party under an anti-terrorism law, 10 days before a… Mubasher Bukhari, Kay Johnson Reuters The case relates to a march staged by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on July 13, when Sharif returned to Pakistan, which defied a ban on holding public rallies on a… The former premier was arrested minutes after landing in the country after being sentenced ... Read More »

British colonial forces ‘raped a teenager and tortured civilians during 1950s Cyprus uprising and then covered it up’, court papers claim

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British colonial forces raped a 15-year-old girl and tortured civilian detainees with beatings and mock hangings during the Cyprus uprising in the 1950s, papers lodged at the High Court reveal. By ANGELLA JOHNSON FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY The devastating claims have been made in damning eyewitness reports by 31 elderly men and two women who are suing the Government for human rights abuses. The evidence comes after The Mail on Sunday revealed in April that senior British officers had seen ... Read More »

Don’t wait for the government to take the lead on ethical action

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Most people are moved to emit at least an “awww” when they see the sweet, big-eyed face of a baby orangutan staring out of a magazine or a meme. Nicola Philp The Sydney Morning Herald And most people who watched a recent viral video of an adult orangutan trying to escape an excavator as it smashed down the tree it was clinging to would have been horrified. That feeling would continue were they to discover that more than 100,000 of ... Read More »

Thanks for your concern, but my religion is not in need of protection

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The recent contribution to our national debate on religious freedom by Social Services Minister Dan Tehan is to be welcomed. Catherine McGregor Brisbane Times Delivering a named oration in honour of  English cleric Sir Thomas More, Tehan argued that the dilution of Australia’s Christian identity may undermine the nature of our society, which he conceives as deriving its unique character from Judeo-Christian foundations. As veterans affairs minister, Tehan brought genuine compassion to a dysfunctional system that was compounding, rather than ... Read More »

The Chart That Shows the Supreme Court Will Be Out of Step With the Country

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Without a moderate like Kennedy, the middle will be missing on the Supreme Court — and the views of the American public left behind. By Stephen Jessee and Neil Malhotra The New York Times The Supreme Court is supposed to be insulated from most political pressures. In fact, one of its primary roles is to serve as a counterweight to the will of the majority in cases where policies might impinge on the… Yet it is common to hear criticism that the court ... Read More »

ABC would ‘cease to exist’ if it was barred from digital platforms, chairman says

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Justin Milne says commercial media and ‘political fringe’ want to shrink ABC for ‘self-serving’ ends Amanda Meade The Guardian Restricting the ABC’s digital output in response to calls from commercial media would kill public broadcasting, the chairman of the ABC, Justin Milne, has said. “If the ABC were barred from serving audiences on digital platforms, it would wither away and cease to exist,” Milne said in response to calls from News Corp and Fairfax Media for it to abandon online news and ... Read More »

What is Roe v Wade and why could abortion soon become illegal in many US states?

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Donald Trump has just named Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Alle McMahon ABC If confirmed by the Senate, he is likely to be a reliable conservative vote and may be less receptive to abortion than Justice Kennedy was. Now experts say it’s possible the Supreme Court could reverse the landmark ruling that legalised abortion nationwide in America more than 40 years ago. The ruling is known as “Roe v Wade”. ... Read More »

Who is more powerful – states or corporations?

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Who holds the power in international politics? Most people would probably say it’s the largest states in the global system. Authors: The Conversation The current landscape of international relations seems to affirm this intuition: new Russian geopolitics, “America First” and Chinese state-led global expansion, among others, seem to put state power back in charge after decades of globalisation. Yet multinationals like Apple and Starbucks still wield phenomenal power. They oversee huge supply chains, sell products all over the world, and ... Read More »

Reflections on how far ATSI women in law have come

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With NAIDOC Week kicking off this week, Lawyers Weekly spoke with two trailblazing women lawyers about their experiences, what issues are still being faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in law, and… Jerome Doraisamy The theme for this year’s NAIDOC Week is “Because of her, we can”, and Kate George — who was the first Aboriginal person to study law at The University of Western Australia and was WA’s… “When I commenced my tertiary studies, there were very ... Read More »

Boris Johnson Has Ruined Britain

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“He knows that the verdict of history is about to come down on him — and bury him.” Jenni Russell The New York Times LONDON — For the second time in three years, Boris Johnson, a politician whose ambition and superficial charm far outstrip his ability, judgment or principles, is destabilizing the British government and… On Monday, Mr. Johnson, in protest against Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans for Brexit, resigned from his post as foreign secretary. Now Mrs. May’s authority, longevity ... Read More »