Politics

Iraq’s Sadr announces alliance with pro-Iranian leader

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Nationalist cleric Moqtada Sadr announced on June 12 a surprise political alliance with pro-Iranian Hadi al-Ameri in a bid to lead Iraq over the next four years. BAGHDAD – Agence France Presse Hurriyet The two blocs won first and second place in the war-scarred country’s May 12 parliamentary election. The move by Sadr, who is staunchly opposed to Iranian involvement in the country, was unexpected by much of the political class as he had suggested unwillingness to work with Ameri and his bloc of ... Read More »

Government response to child abuse royal commission is positive, but will need to go beyond an apology

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The federal government has announced it will establish a National Office for Child Safety and issue a formal apology as part of its response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Timothy W. Jones The Conversation In addition, every state and territory has committed to join the National Redress Scheme. Australia’s major churches and youth organisations have also joined the scheme. The timing of the announcement meets a commitment of the Council of Australian Governments to ... Read More »

Are courts the new front line for climate justice?

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Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation. In lieu of bold steps from governments and companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, climate justice advocates and lawyers have stepped up to force their hand through litigation. by Maysa Zorob and Marion Cadie | Business and Human Rights Resource Centre Thomson Reuters Foundation News Traditionally, legal cases have been brought against governments, but there is now a steep rise in climate lawsuits ... Read More »

Knesset Foils Efforts to End Israeli Apartheid

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For most of the seven decades after its establishment, Israel went to extraordinary lengths to craft an image of itself as a “light unto the nations”. Jonathan Cook CounterPunch It claimed to have “made the desert bloom” by planting forests over the razed houses of 750,000 Palestinians it exiled in 1948. Soldiers in the “most moral army in the world” reputedly cried as they were compelled to shoot Palestinian “infiltrators” trying to return home. And all this occurred in what ... Read More »

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un rewrites the book on the art of the deal with shrewd handling of Donald Trump in Singapore

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Kim shows poise and diplomatic flourish to walk away with a win on one of the biggest points of contention Lee Jeong-ho and Kinling Lo South China Morning Post For a 34-year-old who made his first state visit in just the last few months, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un seemed to hold his own in Tuesday’s high-profile summit setting with US President Donald Trump. Kim had already surprised many observers with shrewd strategic manoeuvring before the talks and the Singapore ... Read More »

Vietnam cybersecurity law a devastating blow to freedom: Amnesty

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New law aims to prevent users from organising online for anti-state purposes and spreading false information. Al-Jazeera The passing of a new cybersecurity law by the Vietnamese parliament has led to criticism of its potential effect on freedom of speech and expression. Legislators said the new regulation, which will require tech companies to store data about Vietnamese users on local servers, will increase security in the country. But according to critics, this move could possibly stifle free speech for Vietnamese internet users ... Read More »

Anwar in the wings as Malaysia remakes its democracy

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The elevator to the office of Anwar Ibrahim’s nondescript office pronounces “I’m back.” But will the former political prisoner become national leader any time soon? Donald K. Emerson Asia Times Bedecked with skyscrapers, Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur is a high-rise city. In that lofty context, the headquarters of the People’s Justice Party (PKR) are down to earth. They occupy one in a row of nondescript low-rise buildings unfashionably far from downtown. Even the lettered number of the floor that includes ... Read More »

NEW EU CRISIS: Poland threatens bloc chaos with CRUCIAL referendum

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THE European Union is facing fresh crisis after Poland’s president pushed forward the prospect of holding a vote on the nation’s EU membership this autumn. Alice Scarsi Express Andrzej Duda has laid out plans to directly ask his citizens about the country’s relations with Brussels. The referendum would ask Polish people whether or not the nation’s membership of the bloc should be guaranteed in the constitution. And another question would see them asked whether they think the primacy of the ... Read More »

Turkey’s Election Reinvigorates Debate over Kurdish Demands

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Ahead of Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections on 24 June, opinion polls suggest a tighter race than many anticipated. ICG The country’s Kurds could be kingmakers, prompting politicians of different stripes to court their votes and… What’s new? Snap presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey appear likely to be more closely fought than anticipated. The country’s Kurds could affect the outcome of both contests. Politicians, especially those opposing President Erdoğan and… Why does it matter? Debate on Kurdish issues has ... Read More »

What’s next for the West?

Members of Oxfam dressed as the G7 leaders protest in Quebec City on June 9, 2018, during the G7 Summit. (Photo by Alice Chiche / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ALICE CHICHE/AFP/Getty Images)

Double, double toil and trouble. Politico Wrecking ball or master negotiator? Either way, Donald Trump is rewriting the rules of international diplomacy. In the span of just a few days, the U.S. president blew up the G7 summit and signed a nuclear deal with North Korea. Europe was left reeling. POLITICO asked experts what’s next for the West. The West is finished Ulrike Guérot is founder and director of the think tank European Democracy Lab and professor for European policy and the study of democracy ... Read More »

US sees TANAP ‘universally’ good for Turkey, Europe

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The United States has expressed very strong support for the trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project (TANAP) that will carry natural gas from Azerbaijan to the European continent via Turkey, describing the $8.5 billion-worth project as a… Serkan Demirtaş – ANKARA Hurriyet “TANAP is pretty much universally good. It’s good for Azerbaijan, good for Turkey. Once the TAP [Trans Adriatic Pipeline Project] is built, it will also be good for Europe,” Sandra Oudkirk, the deputy assistant secretary of the… She came ... Read More »

The Niger-Mali Border: Subordinating Military Action to a Political Strategy

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The Nigerien government and its allies’ use of military force and non-state armed proxies to curtail jihadist groups along the Niger-Mali border is stoking intercommunal conflict. ICG Niger should instead adopt a political approach which includes reconciliation, dialogue and… Executive Summary What’s new? A new insurgency is developing along the Niger-Mali border. Jihadist groups, including a local Islamic State branch, have established a foothold in the region, exploiting recent instability in neighbouring Mali and… Why does it matter? Efforts to… ... Read More »

‘World will see a major change:’ Kim, Trump sign declaration

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First-ever North Korea-US summit was an optical success but a substantive failure with a vague, non-tangible outcome Nile Bowie and Andrew Salmon Asia Times The hugely anticipated, first-ever summit between North Korea and the United States – two states which remain technically at war, and which last year appeared on the brink of renewed combat ­– has been declared a… In a joint declaration, both sides agreed to upgrade relations. North Korea committed to complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, ... Read More »

How Democratic Is the Euro?

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If the European Union is to remain viable and democratic at the same time, policymakers will have to pay closer attention to the demanding requirements of delegating decisions to unelected bodies. Dani Rodrik Project Syndicate They should promote such a delegation of sovereignty only when it truly enhances the long-term performance of their democracies. SAN SERVOLO, ITALY – When Italy’s president recently vetoed the appointment of the Euroskeptic Paolo Savona as finance minister in the government proposed by the Five ... Read More »

Yemen: Averting a Destructive Battle for Hodeida

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More than three years into Yemen’s war, a bloody battle looms for the Huthi-held port city of Hodeida. ICG International leaders should work for a UN-led negotiated settlement to stop the offensive and, if this fails, take steps to avoid deepening what is already the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. What’s new? Three years into Yemen’s destructive war, a battle is shaping up for the Huthi-held port city of Hodeida, a lifeline for the bulk of Yemen’s population. Forces backed by ... Read More »

Security bill will muzzle human rights activists

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In this era of so-called “fake news”, civil society plays a critical role in holding governments to account. Claire O’Rourke Brisbane Times And yet, with Labor capitulating to the government on the proposed National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill, it may soon become a crime to hold the Australian government to account on its human rights record. The truth itself would not be a defence. By joining regimes around the world in passing new, restrictive laws attempting ... Read More »