Politics

Energy independence: is Lithuania getting away with state aid?

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The EU says Lithuania can levy funds from gas consumers to finance its own energy companies. Achema, Lithuania’s largest consumer, disagrees. Ramunas Miliauskas, chief executive officer, Achema Politico The European Commission and the European Court of Justice are currently considering state aid complaints against Lithuania. The outcome could have repercussions for every gas consumer in the country and massive ramifications for one company in particular. Achema is the largest fertilizer producer in the Baltic states, and part of a group ... Read More »

Mexico warns that abandoning Nafta could end broader cooperation with US

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Mexico’s foreign minister has warned that terminating Nafta could bring relations with the US to a breaking point, raising the prospect that bilateral cooperation against drug trafficking and illegal migration could be adversely affected by Donald Trump’s bellicose trade rhetoric. David Agren in Mexico City The Guardian The threat from the foreign minister, Luis Videgaray, came as Donald Trump once again threatened to tear up the three-country trade treaty between the US, Canada and Mexico ahead of a fourth round ... Read More »

Steve Bullock and the Lost Art of Political Persuasion

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He’s one of the most popular governors in the country. Some Democrats think he’d make a great presidential candidate There’s just one problem: Few outside of Montana have heard of the guy. GABRIEL DEBENEDETTI Politico BOZEMAN, Mont. —A small collection of the older women of Bozeman, Montana, are deep into their water aerobics class at the Holiday Inn’s indoor pool on a recent cold and gusty Wednesday when the governor strolls by. About 10 feet from the pool area, Steve ... Read More »

Discord in Yemen’s North Could Be a Chance for Peace

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Since August, a public rift has surfaced between the two main partners on the northern front of Yemen’s war – the forces loyal to the Huthis and Ali Abdullah Saleh. ICG Rather than fostering its rivals’ discord, key powerbroker Saudi Arabia should seize this rare chance to resolve the two-and-a-half year war by championing a new regional initiative. 1. Overview A public rift between Ali Abdullah Saleh’s General People’s Congress party (GPC) and the Huthis (aka Ansar Allah) may change ... Read More »

The Infantilization of the President

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Aides have doubted prior presidents’ wisdom, health, or sobriety, but never have so many insiders treated the commander in chief like a child. David A. Graham The Atlantic  As every toddler knows, bigger is better, whether that’s two scoops of ice cream (versus one for everyone else), a border wall, or a nuclear arsenal.And that was President Trump’s reaction during a July meeting with military and national-security leaders about the nuclear arsenal, too, according to NBC News. In total, he ... Read More »

Mr. Trump Nails Shut the Coffin on Climate Relief

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The Trump administration formally proposed on Tuesday to roll back yet another of President Barack Obama’s efforts to position the United States as a global leader in the fight against climate change The Editorial Board The New York Times  The move, though widely anticipated, was deeply disheartening. In March Mr. Trump ordered Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, to repeal the Clean Power Plan, which was aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants. Mr. ... Read More »

The Prophet of Germany’s New Right

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From a tiny village in the country’s rural east, a leading nationalist intellectual builds a vision for the future of his movement across Europe. James Angelos The New York Times Götz Kubitschek, a self-proclaimed “rightist intellectual,” lives in a medieval manor house in Schnellroda, a rural village in eastern Germany. From this isolated, antique outpost, Kubitschek, who is 47, wields considerable influence over far-right thinkers, activists and politicians across Germany, who make regular pilgrimages to Schnellroda for an audience with ... Read More »

The Domestic Challenge to Kyrgyzstan’s Milestone Election

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While Kyrgyzstan’s 15 October elections are a rare milestone for Central Asian democracy, the campaign is exposing dangerous fault lines. Deirdre Tynan  In the largest city of Osh, the new president will have to face down robust local power brokers, defuse Uzbek-Kyrgyz tensions and re-introduce the rule of law. ICG Kyrgyzstan’s forthcoming presidential elections on 15 October are a milestone for Central Asia: for the first time, a president from the region will voluntarily stand down at the end of ... Read More »

Pierre Omidyar: 6 ways social media has become a direct threat to democracy

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While it’s hard to believe that helping strangers connect through the Internet was ever a radical idea, when I started eBay 22 years ago, it felt more like a social experiment than a business endeavor. Pierre Omidyar The Washington Post And in many ways, it was. Back then, online commerce was a new and wild frontier.I believed in our mission to empower people to conduct private trade on the Internet, but there were unforeseeable challenges lurking deep in those uncharted ... Read More »

Push to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day gathers momentum

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A movement to abolish Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day has gained momentum in some parts of the United States, with Los Angeles recently becoming the biggest city yet to stop honouring the Italian explorer and instead recognise victims of… ABC Austin, Texas, followed suit last week. It joined cities including San Francisco, Seattle and Denver, which had previously booted Columbus in favour of Indigenous Peoples… But the gesture to recognise indigenous people rather than the man ... Read More »

How to Turn Battleground Ukraine Into a Success Story

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If the West manages to talk Kiev out of any hasty ill-judged decisions and convince it to accept Moscow’s peacekeeper proposal as it is, then the world will finally see a win-win Anna Tikhonova, Cyril Fokin The National Interest Putin’s early September suggestion that a UN peacekeeping force be sent to the Donbass region triggered a skeptical reaction from the Western block To a certain degree, the Kremlin’s acceptance of the deployment of UN peacekeepers signifies a diplomatic victory of the ... Read More »

Tony Abbott says climate change is ‘probably doing good’

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Former Australian PM delivers speech in London comparing global warming action to ‘killing goats to appease volcano gods’ Karl Mathiesen for Climate Home in London The Guardian Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has suggested climate change is “probably doing good” in a speech in London in which he likened policies to combat it to “primitive people once killing goats to appease the volcano gods” . Abbott delivered the annual lecture to the London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), a ... Read More »

Would these people get help to die under Victoria’s proposed euthanasia laws?

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Would these people get help toIt could soon be legal to help some terminally ill Victorians die Our state MPs are expected to hold a conscience vote in mid-October on whether to allow voluntary assisted dying in certain circumstances. The Age The proposed laws are, in part, based on the findings of an independent panel of medical experts on when people should be given the right to die. We asked the panel’s chair, Professor Brian Owler, what would happen in six hypothetical ... Read More »

Calls for Theresa May to reveal ‘legal advice’ she received on stopping Brexit

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Theresa May is facing calls to publish legal advice she received that is believed to state that parliament could stop Brexit The country’s top legal experts apparently gave the Prime Minister advice saying that leaving the European Union could be halted if MPs judge that a change of mind is in the national interest. Shehab Khan The Independent msn Prominent lawyer Jessica Simor QC, from Matrix chambers, has written to Ms May asking her to release any legal advice she ... Read More »

10 books about the politics of now: from the left-behinds to reborn radicals

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Brexit Britain, racial strife in the US and a crisis of capitalism: today’s political world is turbulent Read the rest of the Observer’s 100 political books series here All Out War by Tim Shipman (2016) An essential primer for anyone seeking to understand the politics of the Brexit referendum Julian Coman  The Guardian Shipman, the political editor of the Sunday Times, gives a vivid and compelling account of the Westminster gambles, compromises and miscalculations that unleashed social forces that prime minister ... Read More »

6 Reasons Why This Week’s ‘Our Ocean’ Conference In Malta Was So Important

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World leaders, EU representatives and the Prince of Wales were among those attending The Our Ocean conference is a major annual event aimed at encouraging countries and businesses to make concrete commitments to protect the marine environment. David Grech Urpani  Lovin Malta This year, it was Malta’s turn to host the global summit for its fourth edition, and very important points were raised. Among leaders from more than 100 nations and a large number of local and international NGOs in attendance, ... Read More »