Politics

How to Save the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program

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Amid the largest displacement crisis since World War II, President Donald Trump’s administration has cut the U.S.’s annual intake of refugees in half. ICG It should reverse course, and future administrations should strive to put refugee admissions on a stronger political and operational footing. What’s new?  Through various forms of bureaucratic strangulation, the Trump administration is working to squeeze the life from a program that has helped resettle three million refugees in the U.S. since 1980. Why does it matter?  The current ... Read More »

World politics explainer: Pinochet’s Chile

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General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, a career military officer, was appointed Commander in Chief of the Chilean army by President Salvador Allende on August 1973. Peter Read The Conversation Eighteen days later, with the connivance, if not the assistance, of the US, he authorised a coup against Allende’s Socialist government. To be clear, Pinochet’s rule was not the first, last or worst dictatorship in the history of Latin America. But it did grip the attention of western countries because of Chile’s ... Read More »

‘This is not what privilege is for’: Ex-Border Force boss complains to speaker

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The astonishing war of words between Peter Dutton and former Border Force boss Roman Quaedvlieg has escalated further. Latika Bourke The Sydney Morning Herald Mr Quaedvlieg has now complained to the speaker Tony Smith over Mr Dutton’s use of parliamentary privilege to accuse him of “grooming” a younger woman. The Minister also said that Mr Quaedvlieg, who was sacked for helping his girlfriend get a job within the agency, was “discredited and disgraced”. “He was a man who had groomed ... Read More »

Russia is cracking down on minority languages – but a resistance movement is growing

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Russia has spent the last several years aggressively advocating for the rights of Russian minorities abroad, and in particular for the “protection” of the Russian language. Guzel Yusupova The Conversation Whenever a country takes any step that can be construed as suppressing or marginalising Russian speakers, the Kremlin is quick to respond in the most strident of tones. In October 2017, when Latvia’s government made Latvian the default language of education, Sergey Zheleznyak, the member of Russia’s State Duma Committee ... Read More »

When MSNBC or Fox News airs in public places, how do people react?

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Have you been traveling and noticed that all the televisions in an airport terminal were set to CNN? Or grabbed a drink at a bar and realized that Fox News was being broadcast to its customers? Frank Waddell The Conversation You might grouse that you’re being forced to watch something that doesn’t jive with your political views. Or maybe you think it’s no big deal – your views are already fully formed, so you can just tune it out. However, ... Read More »

Hungary’s Viktor Orban accuses EU of ‘abuse of power’

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The Hungarian premier has told EU lawmakers that Brussels’ actions against Budapest “violates the EU treaty.” Viktor Orban is facing pressure to correct measures that have undermined “fundamental values” of the EU. DW Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Tuesday told the European Parliament that potential disciplinary measures against his country are a “moral decision” that amounts to “abuse of power.” Under pressure from the European Commission, Orban is facing a vote that could see Hungary lose its voting rights in the bloc ... Read More »

Sweden election: yes, the far right made gains, but we’re not falling apart

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Sweden is recovering after a very tense election night. The centre-right and the centre-left blocs have effectively secured very similar shares of the vote, but neither have come away with quite enough leverage to form a strong government alone. Anamaria Dutceac Segesten The Conversation The far-right Sweden Democrats, a niche party campaigning on a nationalist agenda, registered its highest electoral score to date. Under different circumstances, its vote share of around 4.7% would put it in the position of kingmaker. ... Read More »

Climate change conflicts are here – and ‘scallop wars’ are just the beginning

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As the planet warms, species are moving further north to climate zones which are closer in temperature to what they originally evolved in. The oceans have absorbed most of this temperature increase, and… Heather Alberro The Conversation In the face of this disruption, legal boundaries for fishing fleets could become increasingly irrelevant. As the fish stocks they once contained move out, conflict is likely to arise between countries exploiting… As a result, the ongoing “scallop war”, which has seen tense ... Read More »

Sweden heads for political deadlock as Sweden Democrats surge

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Stockholm: Sweden is heading for a hung parliament after an election that saw the popularity of the nationalist Sweden Democrats surge, as one of Europe’s most liberal nations turns right amid fears over… Johan Sennero and Helena Soderpalm Reuters WAtoday Far-right parties have made spectacular gains throughout Europe in recent years amid growing anxiety over national identity and the effects of globalisation and immigration following armed conflict in the… In Sweden, an influx of 163,000 asylum seekers in 2015 – the most in ... Read More »

The Real Cost of the 2008 Financial Crisis

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The aftermath produced a lost decade for European economies and helped lead to the rise of anti-establishment political movements here and abroad. John Cassidy The New Yorker Audio: Listen to this article. To hear more, download the Audm iPhone app. September 15th marks the tenth anniversary of the demise of the investment bank Lehman Brothers, which presaged the biggest financial crisis and deepest economic recession since the nineteen-thirties. After Lehman filed for bankruptcy, and great swaths of the markets froze, ... Read More »

Quinquepartite meeting of Energy Ministers: “The Balkans are the next energy hub”

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Initiative to showcase the Balkans as an energy hub for the wider region are expected to be taken in the near future with the aim of, creating a single energy market in SE Europe, among other things. Nefeli Tzanetakou ibna The quinquepartite meeting held on the sidelines of the Southeast Europe Energy Forum, organized by the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce in the framework of the 83rd… All sides share common objectives, including the need for further interconnection of infrastructure and ... Read More »

American Democracy Can’t Fix Itself

FILE PHOTO: People cast their ballots for the 2016 general elections at a crowded polling station as early voting begins in Carrboro, North Carolina, U.S., October 20, 2016.  REUTERS/Jonathan Drake/File Photo - RC1F7DF2A330

Instead of placing their faith in the resilience of the system, ordinary voters are going to have to step up and restore the constitutional balance of power. Julian E. Zelizer The Atlantic The claims this past week that high-level officials are secretly undercutting the president in an effort to restrain a commander in chief they no longer feel is fit for office has left many Americans deeply unsettled. “Just a glance at recent headlines should tell you that this moment ... Read More »

The cost of Sweden’s silent consensus culture

NYKOPING, SWEDEN - SEPTEMBER 07: An SD flag seen during a political rally for the right wing Sweden Democrats party, campaigns at Traffens Outdoors Theater ahead of the Swedish general election on September 7, 2018 in Nykoping, Sweden. The election will be held on September 9, 2018.  (Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

Mainstream parties’ failure to break taboos on crime and immigration has empowered country’s far right. Tino Sanandaji Politico STOCKHOLM — Swedish elections are rarely exciting or unpredictable events. This year, things are looking rather different. The rise of the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats has put the taboo subjects of crime and immigration front and center in the campaign, forcing the mainstream parties to reckon with their failure to address the issues — and the connection between them — amid an unmistakable rise in crime and gang ... Read More »

SNP deputy insists independence movement ‘in great health’

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The independence movement is in “great health,” according to SNP depute leader Keith Brown after the party’s biggest ever national assembly meeting. The Scotsman Around 500 SNP members met in Edinburgh on Sunday at a policy development forum to debate a new economic blueprint for independence. The party is holding a series of events to gather views on the findings of the Growth Commission, published in… National assemblies have already been held in Ayr and Aviemore ahead of the SNP’s ... Read More »

Brexit racist? UK is Europe’s ‘ONLY member’ not to have anti-immigrant party in parliament

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BRITAIN has the most positive view of immigration in the European Union despite claims on the Continent that the Brexit vote was fuelled by racism and xenophobia, Dan Hannan has declared. Harvey Gavin Express Much of the bloc now sees the UK as “intolerant, introverted and unwelcoming” to Europeans – but in fact the opposite is true, the leading Brexiteer said. Mr Hannan said the British electorate has rejected populist, anti-immigrant politics and is the only EU member to not have a ... Read More »

Fresh Brexit row over UK’s Johnson ‘suicide vest’ jibe

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Britain’s ruling Conservative party was locked in a new row over Brexit on Sept. 9 after Boris Johnson said the government’s strategy put the country in a “suicide vest”, with Brussels holding the… LONDON-Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The former foreign minister’s remarks ramp up his criticism of Prime Minister TheresaMay‘s approach to leaving the European Union, amid speculation he is positioning to replace her. Writing in the Mail on Sunday newspaper, Johnson repeated that May‘s plan to follow EU rules on trade in goods after Brexit — a plan over which he ... Read More »