Politics

Reclaiming European Sovereignty

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As if there was any remaining doubt, the past few weeks have shown that US President Donald Trump is fully committed to demolishing the American-led post-war order and free-trade system. Joschka Fischer * The Project Syndicate Europeans no longer have any time to waste: The EU must assert itself as a unitary, self-sufficient global power before it is too late. BERLIN – After US President Donald Trump’s recent European tour – which culminated in his infamous press conference with Russian President Vladimir ... Read More »

The Australian Government can save Julian Assange

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Julian Assange is an Australian. He is in trouble overseas.  He needs the Australian government’s help. Julian Burnside For six years he has been virtually a prisoner in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.  The reason he is there is because he is the founder and editor of WikiLeaks, which published evidence of war crimes leaked by an American soldier, Bradley (later Chelsea) Manning as a matter of conscience. WikiLeaks has since revealed the secrets of the world’s unaccountable forces. This ... Read More »

Minister Paolo Savona: A fine and enlightened economist

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Paolo Savona was and still is an essential figure to understand the recent Italian economic and financial history. Giancarlo Elia Valori Modern Diplomacy He was Minister of Ciampi’s government in 1993, just at the time when Italy’s entry into the single currency system was being planned. We will revert to this issue at a later stage. From the beginning of his university studies, Paolo Savona was one of Guido Carli’s favourite students. Shortly after graduation, he won a public competition ... Read More »

What the world can learn about equality from the Nordic model

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Rising inequality is one of the biggest social and economic issues of our time. It is linked to poorer economic growth and fosters social discontent and unrest. Geoffrey M Hodgson The Conversation So, given that the five Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – are some of the world’s most equal on a number of measures, it makes sense to look to them for lessons in how to build a more equal society. The Nordic countries are ... Read More »

Turkey: New System, Old One-Man Show

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Zaytung, a popular Turkish humor website that publishes “news” with the dictum “Honest, Unbiased, Immoral News,” recently ran a story with this headline: “Presidential system influences Fenerbahçe” (a… Burak Bekdil BESA The piece said that the latest presidential decree signed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan dictates that Fenerbahçe should now appear on the pitch with one defensive midfielder instead of two. Erdoğan has dominated Turkey for more than 15 years, but to him, this is not enough. After he comfortably ... Read More »

Donald Trump’s media attacks are ‘dangerous and undermining democracy’

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Bridgewater: The publisher of the New York Times said Sunday that had warned US President Donald Trump that his attacks on journalists as the “enemy of the people” could lead to violence. Philip Rucker WAtoday Washington Post Trump tweeted on Sunday that he met at the White House with publisher A.G. Sulzberger, with the President explaining to Sulzberger why he was increasingly characterising journalists as the “enemy of the people.” The tweet prompted Sulzberger to release details of the July 20 meeting, at which ... Read More »

Iraq’s Paramilitary Groups: The Challenge of Rebuilding a Functioning State

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A struggle looms in Iraq over the future of paramilitary groups assembled to help the state defeat ISIS. These units remain under arms and autonomous. ICG Baghdad should strengthen the interior and defence ministries so they can absorb the paramilitaries now undercutting the state’s authority. What’s new? Iraq’s three-year battle against the Islamic State (ISIS) empowered an array of armed actors that operate autonomously from state security forces. As the country’s focus on security decreases, these paramilitary groups – the ... Read More »

NATO Is a Goldmine for US Weapons’ Industries

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Countries of the NATO military alliance have been ordered by President Trump to increase their spending on weapons, and the reasons for his insistence they do so are becoming clearer. Brian Cloughley Strategic Culture Foundation It’s got nothing to do with any defence rationale, because, after all, the Secretary General of the US-NATO military alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, has admitted that “we don’t see any imminent threat against any NATO ally” and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute recorded in its 2018 ... Read More »

Asylum seeker should be alive: Qld coroner

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Australia must do more to care for asylum seekers held offshore after an Iranian man died in entirely preventable circumstances, Queensland’s state coroner says. Christine Flatley Yahoo7 AAP Terry Ryan found 24-year-old Hamid Khazaei would be alive if he’d received proper medical care after developing a leg inflection at the Australian-run detention centre on Manus Island. But he died in a Brisbane hospital in September 2014, two weeks after seeking help at the centre’s medical clinic, which didn’t even have ... Read More »

The European Union Brings Serbia Closer

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The next EU expansion wave can “cover” Southeast Europe ahead of schedule In particular, Serbia can become an EU member even before 2025 – some six months ago the European Commission mentioned it as the most optimistic option. Peter Iskenderov Modern Diplomacy The corresponding statement was made by French President Emmanuel Macron when he received his Serbian colleague Aleksandar Vučić in Paris. At the same time, he again reminded that Belgrade first “must fulfill all the conditions” stipulated for joining ... Read More »

Rightwing UK thinktank ‘offered ministerial access’ to potential US donors

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A rightwing thinktank has been offering potential US donors access to government ministers and civil servants as it raises cash for research to support the free-trade deals demanded by hardline Brexiters, according to an… Robert Booth The Guardian The director of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) was secretly recorded telling an undercover reporter that funders could get to know ministers on first-name terms and that his organisation was in “the… Mark Littlewood claimed the IEA could make introductions to ... Read More »

Cambodia election ‘the end of the road for democracy’

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Phnom Penh: Cambodia’s Hun Sen is set to strengthen his iron grip on the prime ministership and extend his 33 years in power, after an election that rights groups and analysts suggest marks the “death of democracy” in the… James Massola & Nara Lon The Age With Reuters The United States, Japan, western European nations and Australia – which has largely avoided criticising Hun Sen’s regime in recent years – all declined to send election monitors to observe this poll and ... Read More »

Theresa May’s Chequers deal is already dead. Here’s my plan for a Final Say referendum – and why it’s better than the prime minister’s

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I’ve lost count of the number of MPs, including senior ministers, who have approached me to tell me that I was right to call a second referendum. There’s more support in parliament than people think. Justine Greening Independent My intervention exactly two weeks ago set out a practical solution to Britain’s Brexit deadlock, saying we need a fair and clear choice for the public in a referendum on our future relationship with the EU. It has generated an overwhelming response. My solution is simple. ... Read More »

Iran’s currency plunges to record low as US sanctions loom

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Rial has lost half its value since April amid weak economy and big demand for dollars by Iranians fearful of sanctions. AlJazeera Iran’s currency has plunged to another record low, dropping past 100,000 rials to the US dollar, as Iranians brace for August 7 when the United Statesis due to reimpose the first batch of sanctions on their economy. In May, Washington pulled out of a landmark 2015 deal between world powers and Tehran under which international sanctions on Iran were lifted in ... Read More »

Vladimir Putin marks Russia’s Navy Day, reveals plans for 26 new ships

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has confirmed a major boost to the navy’s fleet, some armed with Kalibr cruise missiles. In a show of strength, amid heightened tensions with the West, 26 new… DW The Russian Navy will receive 26 new warships and other vessels this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin told an audience in St. Petersburg on Sunday to mark Russian Navy Day. “In total in 2018 the navy should get 26 new warships, motor boats and vessels including four battleships ... Read More »

Supreme Court fight becomes battle for Kavanaugh’s papers

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The Senate fight over documents related to President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court is boiling over. By JORDAIN CARNEY The Hill Trump pick Brett Kavanaugh, a circuit judge since 2006 who previously worked for President George Bush’s administration and Kenneth Starr’s investigation, has a voluminous paper trail that lawmakers estimate tops a million pages. Democrats want to see as many of those papers as they can, while Republicans seeking to confirm Kavanaugh before the midterm elections favor a… Supreme Court fight… Read More »