Politics

BRICS From Above, Seen Critically From Below

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The Durban rapper Ewok captured the spirit of progressive social forces in South Africa with his condemnation of elite politics at a March 2013 protest outside the Durban International Convention Centre: “You dropping BRICS from above? We’re throwing bricks from below!” Patrick Bond CounterPunch For the second time, the leaders of the Brazil-Russia-India-China-SA (BRICS) summit in South Africa, this time at Johannesburg’s Sandton Convention Centre from July 25-27. The bloc has great potential to change the world in positive ways. But under ... Read More »

Lure of the race card too much for Turnbull to resist

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Malcolm Turnbull won’t mind a bit that he was “embroiled in a race row” on Tuesday There was puzzlement, anger and complaints of “racist dog whistling” on Tuesday after the Prime Minister went on Neil Mitchell’s 3AW program to carry on about “Sudanese gangs” when in the past he has left the… Noel Towell The Age Sure, nobody likes being called a racist, but in the end Turnbull and his senior Victorian MPs will be reflecting on a mission accomplished. ... Read More »

EU ‘positive’ on Russia-Ukraine gas talks

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Talks have taken place in Berlin with the EU, Ukraine and Russia over the transit of gas from Russia to Europe. The forthcoming Nord Stream 2 project has stoked Ukrainian fears of economic isolation. aos/kd (AFP, Reuters) DW The EU sounded an optimistic note on Tuesday following talks in Berlin with envoys from Moscow and Kiev over a dispute regarding future Russian gas shipments through Ukraine. According to European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic, the three-way talks were “future-oriented” and “positive” although ... Read More »

EU and Japan say new trade deal is signal to the world that protectionism does not work

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European Commission said openness to trade and investment is ‘one of the best tools to… create more economic growth and jobs’ Caitlin Morrison Independent The EU and Japan have signed up to a “landmark” trade deal in a show of strength against protectionism among global economies. Japan is the EU’s second biggest trading partner after China and together the EU and Japan account for almost one third of global GDP. The deal was confirmed at a ceremonial signing in Tokyo on Tuesday, attended by ... Read More »

Chomsky on the Trump NATO Ruse

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Recently NPR featured retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges who was the commanding general of NATO’s Allied Land Command in 2014. Daniel Falcone CounterPunch He remarked how he “was disappointed to see President Trump bring a wrecking ball to Brussels” after “publicly [humiliating] our most important allies.” He went on to explain, and I believe correctly that Trump “either doesn’t understand the concept of an alliance and allies or he doesn’t care” with the latter being the most accurate. I set ... Read More »

Vote Leave Referred To Police By Watchdog Who Found ‘Significant Evidence’ It Broke Electoral Law

A 'Vote Leave' sign is seen by the roadside near Charing urging people to vote for Brexit in the upcoming EU referendum is seen on the roadside near Charing south east of London on June 16, 2016. 
Britain goes to the polls in a week on June 23 to vote to leave or remain in the European Union. / AFP / BEN STANSALL        (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

The official Brexit campaign exceeded its legal spending limit, according to the Electoral Commission Nicola Slawson HuffPost Vote Leave has been fined £61,000 and reported to the police by the Electoral Commission for breaking electoral law. The Electoral Commission published the conclusions of its investigation into the campaign spending of Vote Leave and found “significant evidence” of coordination with another campaign group, BeLeave. The Electoral Commission found that the campaign group exceeded its legal spending limit of £7m by almost ... Read More »

Chart of the day: The Government hasn’t been very good at predicting population growth

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Australia’s population growth has outstripped official expectations for more than a decade, according to the Government’s own estimates. By political reporter Jackson Gothe-Snape BBC The Intergenerational Report provides “a projection into the future, giving us an estimate of the challenges we face as a nation”. But across the four reports stretching back to 2002, the Government has repeatedly underestimated how fast the population is growing. In 2002, the first report assumed net overseas migration would continue at 90,000 people per ... Read More »

Germany and France’s growth DOWNGRADED by IMF as Trump tariffs take hold

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GERMANY and France are to experience the worst economic slowdown among all major European economies over the next two years, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said. Alice Scarsi Express In a series of shock downgrades in its newly published economic outlook for 2018, the IMF sees Berlin and Paris’ economy growth predictions shrink by 0.3 percent by the end of this year. Blaming the hefty tariffs on steel and aluminium exports imposed by US President Donald Trump, the IMF’s outlook reads: ... Read More »

Amlo: How often do world leaders take a pay cut?

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Mexico’s incoming president Andrés Manuel López Obrador plans to take a 60% pay cut when he takes office in December. BBC The winning left-wing candidate will now earn a salary equivalent to about $5,707 (£4,310) a month and no other public official will be able to earn more than him. Mr López Obrador said the official residence, Los Pinos, will become a cultural centre. The Mexican politician is certainly not the first leader to make the statement of lowering his or ... Read More »

Trade Troubles: China Is Poised to Bring Down the Global Economy

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Beijing is prepared to push the world into another recession. Gordon G. Chang The National Interest The Chinese economy is in distress, and the country’s currency and markets, reflecting unease, are tumbling. Xi Jinping, the Chinese ruler, has no solutions. The only thing he is doing is incurring more debt. That’s extremely unfortunate because an overly indebted Beijing is again set to push the world into recession. China, through predatory policies, precipitated the global downturn last decade, and it looks ... Read More »

Can democracy vote itself out of existence?

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Look at the state of the world’s democratic nations, and it is easy to see why so many are concerned for the future of democracy. Manjeet Ramgotra The Conversation Leaders such as Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Vladimir Putin and Hungary’s Viktor Orbán have centralised political power by changing their countries’ constitutions, silencing dissent and controlling the media. Since 2016’s coup attempt in Turkey, Erdoğan’s government has used the subsequent state of emergency to incarcerate thousands without trial. Opposition politicians, judges, journalists ... Read More »

DR Congo Rights Abusers Rewarded with Army Promotions

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Appointments Increase Risk of Further Repression, Abuses Ida Sawyer HRW The Democratic Republic of Congo’s president and commander in chief, Joseph Kabila, has promoted two generals long linked to serious human rights abuses. The new appointments, announced on the weekend, heighten concerns of more repression and abuse in the weeks ahead, as Kabila ponders his plans ahead of elections scheduled for December 23. Gen. Gabriel Amisi, known as “Tango Four,” was named the new deputy army chief of staff in ... Read More »

These Are The Strongest Militaries In The World

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While an all-out battle may be the only way to truly determine which country has the strongest military, hopefully, we’ll never have to find out. PastFactory But battle aside, how does someone determine who has the most powerful military in the world? Is it the number of soldiers in a country’s militia? Or the types of technology a country has built to defend itself? Or perhaps their military spending budget? Considering the aforementioned… These Are The… Read More »

Europe’s dependence on the US was all part of the plan

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 21:  The voting results are displayed on the floor of the United Nations General Assembly in which the United States declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital was declared "null and void" on December 21, 2017 in New York City. The vote, 128-9, at the United Nations concerned Washington's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and relocate its embassy there. The Trump administration has threatened to take action against any country that votes against the United States decision to move its embassy.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Postwar US statesmen designed our world order as it is for a reason. They had lived through what happened without it. Claire Berlinski Politico As feared, the president of the United States arrived at last week’s NATO summit in a mood of preposterous spleen, profound contempt and shocking rudeness. He insisted on sharing before the cameras imaginary facts that hadn’t a thing to do with the summit agenda, and he refused to listen to anyone who tried, however gently, to ... Read More »

‘Shameful,’ ‘treasonous,’ ‘disgraceful’: Trump slammed from all sides for news conference with Putin

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Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Trump had “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.” Dartunorro Clark nbc news President Donald Trump was swiftly rebuked by lawmakers, TV anchors and pundits across the political spectrum Monday after his joint news conference in Finland with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who has criticized the president’s posture toward Russia in the past, called it “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in … ... Read More »

Thai rescue highlights humanity — but not in our leaders

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In Australia, we erupted with joy as we watched the Thai rescue, but our leaders have not planned a rescue operation for 134 children still imprisoned in Nauru, writes John Passant. IA THE RESCUE of the 12 young soccer players and their coach from a cave in Thailand shows all that is great about humanity. Compassion, global cooperation, love, skill — all were on display. Around the globe, billions hoped and prayed as we watched the teams racing to save the boys ... Read More »