Politics

US national security adviser: Qatar and Turkey are new sponsors of radical ideology 

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General HR McMaster attributed the rise of the Justice and Development party in Ankara to Turkey’s growing problems with the West Joyce Karam The National US national security adviser HR McMaster condemned Qatar and Turkey for taking on a “new role” as the main sponsors and sourcesof funding for extremist Islamist ideology that targets western interests. “Radical Islamist ideology isa grave threat to all civilised people,” Gen McMaster said. The US national security adviser said this threat has been identified “myopically” ... Read More »

Barnaby Joyce says New Zealand should ‘back off’ on offer to resettle refugees

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Deputy PM says Jacinda Ardern’s pledge to resettle up to 150 refugees from Manus Island could jeopardise the countries’ relationship Ben Doherty The Guardian Recently renounced New Zealand citizen Barnaby Joyce has said his former homeland should back off on its offer to resettle refugees from Australia’s offshore detention regime. In an interview with Newstalk ZB in New Zealand, the recently-reinstalled deputy prime minister of Australia issued a veiled threat to the NZ prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, that her commitment ... Read More »

Wanted for genocide, Sudan leader welcomed by Erdogan at Jerusalem summit

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Omar al-Bashir is alleged by ICC to have committed war crimes in conflict that UN says killed at least 300,000 and displaced more than 2.5 million AFP The Times of Israel  ISTANBUL — Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted on charges of genocide and war crimes, attended an emergency summit of the world’s main pan-Islamic group in Istanbul, Wednesday. Bashir was among leaders who responded to a call by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to attend the meeting after ... Read More »

Finding the Right Role for the G5 Sahel Joint Force

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Launched in February 2017, the G5 Sahel joint force is an experiment in a region crowded by sometimes-competing military and diplomatic initiatives. Weapons and money will not be enough to resolve the Sahel’s crises, so the force must win the trust and support of both local populations and regional powers. ICG What’s the issue? Ten months after the Sahel’s five countries set up the G5 Sahel joint force (FC-G5S) as a means of settling the armed conflicts within the region, multiple ... Read More »

Most Australians support a federal anti-corruption commission: research

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Most Australians want the government to create a federal anti-corruption commission, make its national agencies more independent and set four-year parliamentary terms, according to a new report led by one of the nation’s most respected former public… Doug Dingwall The Canberra Times The findings come as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for the first time suggested he was prepared to consider creating a federal anti-corruption watchdog, but said he was not yet persuaded the case had been made for such a… While the discussion paper released ... Read More »

Democracy in meltdown as East Timorese PM denounces ‘coup’

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The prime minister of East Timor is refusing to allow parliament to reconvene because he will face a vote of no confidence. What next? Professor Damien Kingsbury. Crikey international affairs commentator As East Timor went to elections this year, the country was the most peaceful and united it had been in its short history. The CNRT-Fretilin government of national inclusion had functioned well, it appeared that the ‘Generation of ‘75’ exemplified by Xanana Gusmao, was stepping back from politics and, with the ... Read More »

Three reasons Australians should be concerned that NGOs’ voices are not being heard

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A healthy democracy is built on the premise that public debate should allow for many and diverse voices to be heard as part of the contest for ideas that informs policymaking. Andrea Carson Sarah Maddison If Australians want this to be the case, the current state of play offers three reasons for concern. The Conversation NGOs are self-silencing The first is the finding in our research, released today, that Australian NGOs are self-silencing. Our data show that many not-for-profit organisations, ... Read More »

LOOK | Itu Aba island-or-rock argument figures in Jardeleza’s treason, disloyalty tag on Sereno

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MANILA – Associate Supreme Court Justice Francis Jardeleza on Monday accused Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno of committing “disloyalty to the republic” and “acts of treason” regarding her statements on the West Philippine Sea issue when she was objecting in 2014 to his nomination as… Camille A. Aguinaldo InterAksyon “Ako ay pinaratangan na disloyal o nanghudas sa bayan natin. Ang sa pananaw ko po, (I was branded disloyal and having played a Judas on our country) but in my view, ... Read More »

Australia Seeks New Gag Laws That Could See Journalists And Whistleblowers Jailed for 20 Years

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Organisations such as WikiLeaks and disclosures from whistleblowers like Edward Snowden appear to be the target Paul Farrell BuzzFeed  Australian government and intelligence whistleblowers – and potentially even journalists – may face up to 20 years in jail for disclosing classified information, under the most sweeping changes to the country’s secrecy laws since they were introduced. The Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced a broad package of reforms aimed at curbing foreign interference from countries including China and Russia. ... Read More »

Government moves to curb modern slavery

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Slavery is the world’s second-biggest illicit market In the past, slaves were shackled in metal chains. Editorial Today, they are exploited in supply chains. The Sydney Morning Herald It might have been thought that slavery was a shameful but pretty much closed chapter of history. It’s not. It is the world’s second-biggest illicit market, behind drugs, with an estimated 45 million children, women and men treated as commodities (average price about $90). Forced labour generates an estimated $US150 billion  ($199b) ... Read More »

A confident and upbeat Putin goes on Mideast ‘victory’ tour

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Ρussian President Vladimir Putin declared “victory” in Syria during a surprise visit Monday to a military base there, then traveled to Egypt and Turkey, where he celebrated Moscow’s deepening ties with those key regional powers. Hamza Hendawi and Vladimir Isachenkov Associated Press Chicago Tribune The tour highlighted Russia’s expanded reach in the Middle East and the global clout of its leader, who announced last week he is seeking re-election for another six-year term in March. Speaking to Russian troops on ... Read More »

Budding nuclear power Turkey casts a darkening shadow over Middle East

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Turkey is rapidly developing into a threat to peace and stability in the Middle East. Sol W. Sanders  The regime of President [formerly Prime Minister] Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AKP Justice and Development Party are increasingly authoritarian. World Tribune Their effort to obtain nuclear power with its military offshoots would make it an imposing and new threat to the whole region. Behind Erdogan’s efforts, of course, is nostalgia for Turkey’s once dominant role in that part of the world. ... Read More »

Netanyahu: Palestinians must face reality over Jerusalem

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Israel’s prime minister has said Palestinians must “get to grips with” the reality that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital in order to move towards peace. BBC Benjamin Netanyahu said Jerusalem had been the capital of Israel for 3,000 years and had “never been the capital of any other people”. He spoke amid ongoing protests in the Muslim and Arab world at a US decision recognising Jerusalem as the capital. Violence flared near the US embassy in Lebanon and elsewhere on Sunday. ... Read More »

Greens single out 13 companies that paid no tax yet donated to major parties

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Richard Di Natale says Australian democracy ‘broken’ and system being propped up by Labor and Liberal parties Paul Karp The Guardian Thirteen companies that paid no tax in 2015-16 made $1.7m in political donations to the Liberal and Labor parties in that year, the Greens have complained. On Thursday the Australian tax office released fresh tax data that showed 36% of the 2,043 largest public companies and multinational entities in Australia paid no tax in 2015-16. An analysis by the Greens cross-referencing the ... Read More »

What life is like for asylum seekers and refugees in Northern Ireland

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Astur lives in Belfast, a city divided by long looming peace walls, one legacy of the Northern Ireland “Troubles”. Fiona Murphy Ulrike M Vieten She comes from Somalia, a country riven by conflict, war and torture and took many months to reach this place of barricades and reconciliation, of hope and gaiety – a place of enduring confusion and ongoing division. The Conversation Successive cataclysms of political authoritarianism and ethnic conflict in Somalia forced her to flee with her two ... Read More »

Don’t panic: three myths about the North Korean threat

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The US has talked itself into Kim Jong-un’s trap of exaggerating how much power his rocketry gives him Joseph S. Nye Asia Times North Korea recently tested its Hwasong-15 ballistic missile, which reached an altitude of 2,780 miles (4,475 kilometers) during its 53-minute flight. Using a flatter trajectory could provide Kim Jong-un’s regime with the capability of hitting the east coast of the United States. Although it has not yet demonstrated a re-entry vehicle capable of surviving atmospheric friction, North ... Read More »