Democracy

How to fight racism, or why we all need to mourn my aunt

My aunt was buried last Friday, the last of her generation in my family. We were not close but out of respect for her son, my cousin, I went along to the service. Jenna Price Brisbane Times Jewish services for the dead are Spartan yet comforting. There are no endless eulogies, just a brief summary of the facts as we know them. My aunt and her sister were marched to Ravensbruck sometime in 1943. I never knew much of the ... Read More »

How a charter of rights could protect Australians’ fundamental freedoms

Australia’s record of human rights protection in areas such as Indigenous people, asylum seekers and freedom of speech are perennial topics of debate. The focus of these discussions is now shifting to whether Australia can take steps to establish a stronger legal framework for protecting human rights. How a charter of rights could protect Australians’ fundamental freedoms George Williams Daniel Reynolds The Conversation One reason for this is Australia is in the final stages of defending its record in a ... Read More »

Why Baltimore’s Cease-Fire Effort Wasn’t a Failure

Baltimore’s grassroots effort was the unexpected flash of light in a long, dark tunnel of cyclic mayhem. Maggie Ybarra The National Interest Baltimore’s streets are pockmarked with tragic and violent incidents. Shootings, stabbings and other cruel crimes sparked by rage, retaliation and opportunity mar the street corners and buildings of the city. Sometimes deflated balloons tied to a streetlight are the only small sign that someone was loved and lost, but their memory never truly left behind. Sometimes city developers ... Read More »

Kosovo Roma seek justice for lead-poisoned children

Kosovo’s Roma minority “are not treated as humans,” laments Florim Masurica, who is seeking justice for his disabled son, one of the children suffering from suspected lead-poisoning contracted at post… MITROVICA – Agence France Presse Hurriyet Kosovo’s pro-independence ethnic Albanian rebels saw Roma people as guilty of cooperation with Serbs during the 1998-1999 conflict – a gratuitous accusation as Roma largely kept out of the fighting. But some of them faced summary executions, while others were forced to flee from ... Read More »

Anti-Semitic Academics: Where is the Outrage Against Turkey?

In Turkey, academics are currently at the mercy of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who demands their compliance and threatens dissenters. A.J. Caschetta Gatestone Institute After last July’s failed coup (for which Erdogan blamed an American scholar), a series of emergency decrees have specifically targeted Turkish academia. One would think this assault would raise ire from the ivory towers, but as Turkey slides deeper into totalitarianism, academia yawns. The failure of many professors to stand up vigorously and publicly for what they ... Read More »

‘Germany in three days and France in one hour’ Shock threat to EU from Erdogan backers

WARMONGERING rhetoric is being spewed by Turkey towards Europe after a newspaper close to the Turkish regime declared the country could overrun Germany in three… REBECCA FLOOD Express Newspaper Yeni Söz, closely aligned to the government, made the outlandish claim on the front page of its daily newspaper. Carrying the provocative headline “Turkey can occupy Europe within 3 days”, the move is the latest in a political spat between Ankara and Berlin. Turkey has been vying to join the EU for more than a ... Read More »

Trump’s Base of Support Is Collapsing

The president never had a proper mandate, but the resistance is no longer a voice of opposition. It now speaks for the great American majority. John Nichols The Nation Donald Trump did not win the presidency by the standard measures of democracy. Fifty-four percent of the Americans who cast ballots on November 8, 2016 favored someone else, and Hillary Clinton won almost 3 million more votes than Trump. Only an antiquated remnant of an 18th-century instinct toward oligarchy—an Electoral College designed by Trump’s Base ... Read More »

GOP clash looms over raising the debt ceiling

Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are planning to push for a hike without accompanying spending cuts — a position at odds with GOP orthodoxy. SEUNG MIN KIM and RACHAEL BADE Politico Republican congressional leaders are quietly preparing to pass a “clean” debt ceiling increase, according to multiple senior GOP sources — setting the stage for a high-risk showdown with rank-and-file Republicans this… Trump administration officials, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, are imploring Congress to raise the $19.8 trillion debt limit with ... Read More »

Australia’s Prime Minister Slowly Realizes Trump Is a Complete Idiot

The transcript of Donald Trump’s discussion with Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull obtained by the Washington Post reveals many things, but the most significant may be that Trump in his private negotiations is every bit as mentally limited as… Jonathan Chait New York At issue in the conversation is a deal to settle 1,250 refugees who have been detained by Australia in the United States. I did not pay any attention to the details of this agreement before reading the transcript. By the ... Read More »

Venezuela’s Last Flickers of Democracy

Venezuela’s political crisis took another fateful turn on Sunday 30 July with the rigged election of an all-powerful assembly mandated to rewrite the constitution. Phil Gunson ICG In this Q&A, Senior Analyst for the Andes Phil Gunson says Sunday’s vote represents the end of what little democratic space still existed and takes the country on the path to dictatorship. Can you explain what Sunday’s vote was about? On Sunday, the chavista government led by President Nicolás Maduro held a one-sided “election” to ... Read More »

Cameroon’s Anglophone Crisis at the Crossroads

Since October 2016, protests and strikes related to sectoral demands have escalated into a crisis over the economic and political marginalisation of Cameroon’s Anglophone minority. ICG Although the government has made some concessions, it must rebuild mutual trust with Anglophone actors in order to avoid instability ahead of the 2018 general elections. Executive Summary The Anglophones of Cameroon, 20 per cent of the population, feel marginalised. Their frustrations surfaced dramatically at the end of 2016 when a series of sectoral ... Read More »

Essential Guide to Kenya’s High Stakes Election on 8 August

Kenya’s 8 August elections are rapidly approaching and concerns continue to mount over the prospect of electoral violence. Murithi Mutiga ICG In this Q&A, Senior Kenya Analyst Murithi Mutiga looks at what is at stake and assesses efforts to prevent another violent fallout from the balloting. Kenya is scheduled to hold a general election on 8 August. The vote comes ten years after a disputed presidential poll brought the key East African country to the brink of civil war. Hundreds ... Read More »

Pakistan could be moving toward new era of accountability

There was nearly complete silence in Pakistan on Friday morning, as it was Judgment Day, not only for Nawaz Sharif, but also for his dynasty. TUBA ATHAR HASNAIN Asia Times Pakistanis around the world were glued to their television screens, and this time it was not because their very own Shahid Afridi was holding the bat on the cricket pitch to hit a six, but instead, the sitting prime minister was doing the batting. As soon as the clock ticked to 12:10, the ... Read More »

Pakistani democracy: is the cup half empty or half full?

The Supreme Court’s decision to disqualify Nawaz Sharif as Prime Minister does not chart a clear path for Pakistan, or for the evolution of its democracy. So what exactly does this decision mean for Pakistan? Cyril Almeida TRTworld Politics in Pakistan is the proverbial glass of water – depending on the political perspective of the observer, it is usually a glass half full or half empty. But the judicially forced exit of Nawaz Sharif is without a doubt an inflection point in ... Read More »

3 human rights defenders transferred to Silivri Prison

Amnesty International (AI) Turkey Director İdil Eser and two other human rights activists, Özlem Dalkıran and Nalan Erkem, were transferred from Bakırköy to Silivri Prison on Monday. TM Six human rights activists, including Eser and German human rights consultant Peter Steudtner, who were detained on July 5 during a workshop at a hotel on İstanbul’s Büyükada, were put in pretrial detention by an… Republican People’s Party (CHP) İstanbul deputy Selina Doğan, who went to visit the three human rights defenders ... Read More »

The Final Humiliation of Reince Priebus

Like his party, the former White House chief of staff swallowed his principles in the name of power. He was repaid in savage indignity. Molly Ball The Atlantic Six years ago, a humble party hack from Kenosha, Wisconsin, took on the thankless job of turning around the Republican Party. As he exits the White House—battered, bruised, and humiliated—Reince Priebus argues he accomplished just what he set out to do. “We won,” Priebus told me in an interview. Calling from the ... Read More »