Politics

How we could revive faith in democracy

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How much is our disillusionment with politicians, governments and even democracy the result of our pollies’ 30-year love affair with that newly recognised mega-evil “neoliberalism”? Ross Gittins Brisbane Times To a considerable extent, according to Dr Richard Denniss, of the Australia Institute, in the latest Quarterly Essay, Dead Right. I’m not sure I’m fully convinced by his argument, but it’s a thought-provoking thesis that’s worth exploring. Like “globalisation” in the 1990s, neoliberalism has become the all-purpose political swearword of the ... Read More »

The Ethnic Cleansing of Northern Cyprus

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Confessions of a Turkish-Cypriot Mass Murderer “Why is there not peace yet? How can we make peace when we have rabid murderers living among us? Instead of prosecuting them, we enable them to appear on TV and to boast about their murders…. If you do not even bring to account a murderer who says, ‘killing was my art,’ who will you bring to account?” — Şener Levent, the editor-in-chief of the Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika. So far, these “rabid murderers” have ... Read More »

Dr Anwar Gargash: solving the Qatar crisis must involve tackling the ‘trust deficit’

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In an exclusive interview, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs says a solution to the Yemen war must be UN-led Naser Al Wasmi and Arthur MacMillan The National The UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash has said there will be no backing down over a year-long boycott of Qatar, saying the onus is on Doha to change its policies. In an exclusive and wide-ranging interview with The National addressing regional affairs, he said a “deficit of trust” ... Read More »

Trump’s Nixonian Moment has Arrived

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Trump just had his Nixon moment. In asserting via a tweet that he had the power to pardon himself President Trump veered into the direction of Richard Nixon who said to David Frost in the famous 1977 interviews that “when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal, ” or he was aping Nixon from a 1973 press conference when the latter declared “I am not a… David Schultz CounterPunch In either case, Trump’s tweet shows increased ... Read More »

Kurdish militia to exit Syria’s Manbij under US-Turkey deal

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WASHINGTON — An American-backed Syrian Kurdish militia said Tuesday it will leave the strategic town of Manbij under a delicate U.S.-Turkey deal that could ease tensions between the NATO allies and force a realignment of troops along the volatile Syria-Turkey frontier. Josh Lederman and Philip Issa | AP The Washington Post Illustrating the fragility of the arrangement, the United States and Turkey offered differing descriptions of what the deal entailed, how it would be carried out and when. But ultimately, the Kurdish ... Read More »

Should Europe try to save the Iran nuclear deal?

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Donald Trump is (according to Donald Trump) the master of the deal. Yet, as the world waits to see if Trump can strike a deal at the US-North Korea summit next week (12 June), another important nuclear deal is on the verge of collapse. debating europe In May 2018, the US decided to withdraw from the Iran deal, which Trump famously called “the single worst deal I’ve ever seen drawn by anybody”. Europe has been scrambling to save the deal but, despite political assurances, European ... Read More »

Change in Eastern Europe?

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The 2018-19 elections in Russia and Ukraine (1) will change Eastern Europe’s political landscape. Le Monde diplomatique That could mean new chances for an end to (or escalation of) the war between Russia-led irregular separatists and Russian regulars, on the one side, and Ukrainian governmental forces (as well as some paramilitary units) in the… In both cases the Russian and Ukrainian political leaders’ behaviour has more to do with internal than foreign factors. But the domestic political implications of the Russia/Ukraine conflict in ... Read More »

Labor and Coalition agree on espionage laws that critics fear would ‘criminalise’ journalism

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Sources say agreement struck between members of joint parliamentary committee on intelligence and security Michael McGowan The Guardian The major parties have agreed to changes to proposed foreign espionage laws that critics have warned would “criminalise” investigative journalism. The Guardian understands that, after months of negotiation, a bipartisan agreement on the controversial foreign espionage bill has been reached between members of the joint parliamentary committee on intelligence and… The recommendations of the… Labor and Coalition… Read More »

U.S. and Turkey almost came to blows over this Syrian town. A new deal may avert that.

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The United States and Turkey have reached agreement on the withdrawal of U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters from the northern Syrian town of Manbij, and the military forces of the two countries will begin joint patrols of the area, U.S. and Turkish officials said. by Karen DeYoung and Erin Cunningham The Washington Post The agreement is designed to defuse one of the most serious and long-running disagreements between the two NATO allies, whose troops in Syria have come perilously close to conflict ... Read More »

Northern Ireland abortion debate LIVE: ‘We don’t protect women by criminalising them’, MP Stella Creasy says

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MPs from all sides call for legal reform to give women right to choose Benjamin Kentish anf Peter Stubley Independent MPs are debating lifting the Northern Ireland abortion ban after Labour backbencher Stella Creasy was granted permission for an emergency debate. The motion relates to repealing the Offences Against the People Act, which initially outlawed abortion. It follows the Republic of Ireland’s referendum on abortion, which saw 66 per cent of voters back lifting the ban in that country. The three-hour debate could culminate ... Read More »

Somalia and the Gulf Crisis

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The quarrel between Gulf monarchies has spilled into Somalia, with the fragile state now caught between the rival interests of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. ICG The competition has already aggravated intra-Somali disputes. All sides should take a step back before these tensions mount further. What’s new? The rivalries underpinning the June 2017 Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) crisis – particularly between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the one hand and Qatar and, by extension, Turkey on the other ... Read More »

Brexit has made us more relaxed about immigration, not less

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Voters have a keen nose for authenticity. Indeed, they value it regardless of whether they necessarily share a politician’s views. Mark Wallace iNews It’s not uncommon to hear people say that while they didn’t agree with Margaret Thatcher, at least she stood up for what she believed in – or to express their contempt for Tony Blair’s weasel words, even if they broadly liked his actual policies. In recent y ears, the mercurial quality of authenticity has become all the ... Read More »

Norwegian PM to UK: Why would you want our EU deal?

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‘It’s quite frustrating to find the way through and find solutions’ for Brexit, the prime minister added. By ANCA GURZU AND JAMES RANDERSON Politico The prime minister of Norway asked why the U.K. would want a relationship with the EU that’s similar to the one her country has with the bloc. Supporters of a soft Brexit often cite a version of the “Norway model” — with close regulatory alignment with Brussels and membership of the single market — as a less economically damaging ... Read More »

‘Brussels is SPINNING out the talks’ Ministers urged to UNITE to stop EU ‘wasting time’

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BRITISH Cabinet members arguing over the Government’s Brexit position should “come together” to keep the European Union from delaying withdrawal talks with the UK, think tank director Henry Newman said. Aurora Bosotti Express Mr Newman suggested arguments between Cabinet members over the Government’s Brexit position do not help securing a beneficial deal from the European Union. Theresa May has been facing increasing pressure from both Remainers and Brexiteers because of the proposals for the future trade relationship with the bloc she presented. Brexiteers ... Read More »

From coffee house to White House?

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Could Howard Schultz be the next Democrat candidate for the Presidency of the United States His resignation as Executive Chairman of Starbucks has fuelled speculation that he’s planning to run in 2020. EuroNews Schultz built the famous coffee chain up from 11 cafés in Seattle in 1982 to today’s 28 000 stores in 77 countries. He’s never been shy of intervening in political debate – last year in response to Donald Trump’s anti-immigration push he promised that Starbucks would hire ... Read More »

Jeremy Corbyn vows to give Elgin Marbles back to Greece

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Jeremy Corbyn has promised to return the Elgin Marbles to Greece if he is elected prime minister. The Times Speaking to a leading Athens newspaper, the Labour leader urged Theresa May to begin “constructive discussions” with Greece to repatriate the ancient masterpieces, which have been in the British Museum since they were removed from the Parthenon by the 7th Earl of Elgin in the early 19th century. He told Ta Nea: “As with everything stolen or removed from a country ... Read More »