Politics

Dublin rejects idea of alternative deal for Irish border post Brexit

Ireland’s deputy prime minister insists country is committed to Brexit withdrawal agreement in full. Jakob Hanke Politico Ireland Sunday rejected the idea of negotiating a bilateral agreement with the U.K. as an alternative to the so-called backstop mechanism for avoiding a hard border with Northern Ireland after Brexit. “We remain united [and] focused on protecting Ireland,” Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney wrote on Twitter. “That includes continued support for the EU/UK agreed [Withdrawal Agreement] in full, including the… The Sunday Times had reported that British ... Read More »

Lebanon restricts dollar cash-outs in bid to bolster currency

A central bank decree that foreign currency entering via non-financial institutions must be cashed out in Lebanese pounds has sparked fears of a currency crisis Nasser Elamine Asia Times The Lebanese Central Bank has issued a circular requiring non-financial institutions that carry out money transfers from abroad to begin cashing out the amounts strictly in Lebanese pounds, sparking panic among a… The bank justified the January 14 announcement as a bid to shore up the national currency and to render transfers via ... Read More »

China’s looming great wall of debt may have ‘major global implications’

While many countries struggled following the 2008 global financial crisis, China appeared as though it had largely escaped unscathed. Tasha Wibawa ABC But observers are becoming increasingly concerned Beijing will struggle to repay an ever-increasing mountain of debt, with potential detrimental consequences for the global market. China’s debt has been a key factor to its economic success in riding out the GFC, due to a large government stimulus injected into its economy. However, the financial boost has mostly led to ... Read More »

DR Congo: A Recount and Talks to Find a Way Out of the Crisis

The DR Congo is facing a major political crisis over the 30 December election’s result. ICG A recount would allow subsequent negotiations to take place on the basis of a clear understanding of who won. A dispute over the results of the DR Congo’s 30 December election cast a dark shadow over what should be a historic transition of power but a surprisingly robust reaction by regional actors offers a genuine chance for a course correction. According to official tallies, ... Read More »

Give MPs free vote on Brexit options, says Sir John Major

Ex-PM urges Theresa May to stage series of ‘indicative’ votes as way out of impasse Simon Murphy The Guardian Sir John Major has called for MPs to be allowed to have a free vote on a series of options to solve the unfolding Brexit crisis, saying he feared millions will be hurt if Britain leaves the EU with the wrong deal or none at all. The former prime minister called on Theresa May to stage a series of “indicative” votes in parliament to establish ... Read More »

Why the West won’t act on China’s Uighur crisis

Western nations have criticized but failed to impose punitive measures for China’s internment of as many as one million Uighur Muslims in de facto concentration camps David Hutt Asia Times As evidence mounts of China’s internment of almost one million Muslim Uighurs in the country’s far western region, Western nations have largely failed to respond to the reported abuses, a… In what some critics have referred to as a campaign of “ethnic cleansing”, Chinese authorities have since late 2017 corralled ... Read More »

Brexit ‘has unleashed such a set of demons’ on the UK

How does a society that has been so badly fractured begin to heal? To stay or to go is no longer a binary question in Britain, if it ever was to begin with. Jennifer OÇonnell The Irish Times Between those two poles, there are myriad shades of opinion. There are the remorseful Leavers. The regretful Remainers. The more-hardline-than-ever Leavers. Those who are so fatigued by it all they no longer care what happens. Then there are the uncategorisable views: like ... Read More »

Boris Johnson Claims He ‘Didn’t Say Anything About Turkey’ In The Brexit Referendum – But He Did

Vote Leave produced posters warning about Turkish immigration. Ned Simons HuffPost Boris Johnson has been accused of being a “bare-faced liar” after he claimed to have never mentioned Turkey during the EU referendum – even though he did. In a speech criticising Theresa May’s Brexit deal on Friday, the former foreign secretary insisted he was “not a nationalist”. But he was challenged after the speech over Vote Leave’s decision to focus on possible Turkish immigrants in 2016. The campaign, in ... Read More »

Revolt and Repression in Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwean government’s decision to hike fuel prices has sparked fierce opposition.  Piers Pigou What triggered this explosion of unrest? In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Senior Consultant Piers Pigou explains how economic hardship is driving ordinary citizens to unprecedented acts of resistance. On 12 January, in response to persistent fuel shortages compounded by manipulation and mismanagement of a currency crisis, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a fuel price hike of over 200 per cent to $3.31 per litre – making the ... Read More »

Stammtisch – Red Rosa and the German Left

This month marks 100 years since the murder of socialist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg. Kate Brady Deutsche Welle So, on this week’s Stammtisch we’re asking: why is Luxemburg so important today for left-wing politics? Listen to audio And how is the radical Left in Germany doing anyway? Stammtisch hosts Damien McGuinness and Michaela Küfner are joined by journalist Siobhán Dowling and The Guardian’s Kate Connolly… Stammtisch – Red Rosa and… Read More »

How to navigate dinner conversations about pill testing

Here are some answers for you to put the arguments against pill testing in their scientific resting place David Caldicott, Matt Noffs and Gino Vumbaca The Guardian The support for pill testing continues to grow. Polling released this week shows pill testing is supported by a majority of Australians, including a majority of Liberal-National voters. Europeans have been successfully conducting pill testing at music festivals for over two decades. Despite this, a few pollies are adding some straw man arguments ... Read More »

Kenyan president says Nairobi attack over as ‘terrorists’ killed

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Jan. 16 that gunmen who stormed an upmarket hotel complex, killing 14 people, had been “eliminated” after an almost 20-hour siege in which hundreds of… NAIROBI – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The attack was claimed by the Al-Qaeda-linked Somali group Al-Shabaab, which has repeatedly targeted Kenya since it sent its army into Somalia in October 2011 to fight the jihadist group. At least one suicide bomber blew himself up and gunmen engaged security forces in numerous shootouts during the assault on ... Read More »

The Golan Heights Should Stay Israeli Forever

At least one of Israel’s occupations will be permanent, whether anyone else likes it or not. Steven A. Cook FP Should the United States recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights? The question has come up in the last few weeks, because Israel is having an election in April. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly been lobbying the Trump administration on the idea of formally acknowledging Israel’s 1981 annexation of Syrian territory. There’s plenty of reason to suspect this diplomatic ... Read More »

Millennials, Gen X, Gen Z, baby boomers: how generation labels cloud issues of inequality

Generations can be defined by family structure, stage of life or historical events. Beverley Searle The Conversation But most often, they’re categorised as “cohorts” of people born during a particular period in time. Catchy labels such as baby boomers, millennials and Gen X and Gen Z tend to stick with each cohort, which are assumed to have shared experiences, behaviours and ideals. This is known as a “cohort effect”. But common generalisations – for example, that baby boomers are hoarding ... Read More »

Re-conquest of Constantinople

Vehbi Kara is just another Islamist columnist who would not surprise you. He writes for this columnist’s favourite Islamist daily, Yeni Şafak. Burak Bekdil Sigma Insight Turkey His column on January 11th did not offer readers a revolutionary view –nor was it expected to– but was useful in trying to decipher the “conquest fetish” among conservative Muslims. Mr Kara wrote: “Devout people (Muslims) view Hagia Sophia as a symbol of Islam’s domination in these lands … It (as it is ... Read More »

Turkey’s threat to Kurds demands US protection

Responding to a Turkish military buildup on its border with northeastern Syria, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s threat of a new incursion into Syria, President Trump has warned Turkey not to attack the Syrian Kurds. Dov S. Zakheim The Hill Kurdish forces have been allied to America and the coalition it leads; have borne the brunt of the ground war with ISIS; have suffered heavy losses in doing so. On the other hand, Turkey considers both the Syrian Kurdish militia ... Read More »