Politics

Italy’s coalition agreement explained

Anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) leader Luigi Di Maio speaks to the press after a meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella as part of consultations of political parties to form a government, on May 14, 2018 at the Quirinale palace in Rome. - The leaders of the anti-immigrant League party and anti-establishment Five Star Movement meet the Italian president today to share details of a coalition government programme three month after general elections in Italy. (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

In shaping policies, the far-right League seems to have come out ahead of the 5Stars. Giada Zampano Politico ROME — The populist parties seeking to form an Italian government unveiled what they say will be the final version of their coalition agreement Friday. The new “government contract” between the anti-establishment 5Star Movement and the far-right League backs away from some of the more explosive proposals contained in earlier drafts that have been leaked to the Italian press. But it still contains plenty ... Read More »

Turkey and Israel: Barking, biting, but still doing business

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While the recent diplomatic rift between Israel and Turkey indicates a further deterioration in relations, the Turkish government has avoided taking concrete steps that could directly hurt Israel, whereas the… Cengiz Candar Al-Monitor Israeli security forces have killed some 62 Palestinians and wounded scores of civilians by firing during demonstrations held on the Gaza border, which coincided with the opening of the US Embassy in… The carnage drew a harsh denunciation from Turkey’s sworn pro-Palestinian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Yet closer scrutiny ... Read More »

Will Patriotism Push America Into an Unconstitutional War?

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We cannot go to war on the whim of a single person and automatic obedience by well-meaning men and women who profess loyalty to a Constitution they don’t understand. Muckey Edwards The National Interest Last week I had the good fortune to hear one of America’s leading military officers deliver a thoughtful and inspiring address to a small group—there were about fifty of us—of people who have been concerned about the direction of the country. The meeting was private so ... Read More »

Pro-Erdoğan columnist: The world has a Jewish problem

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In reaction to the killing of dozens of Palestinians by Israeli security forces on Monday, Yusuf Kaplan, a pro-Erdoğan columnist, said “the world has a Jewish problem,” calling on the… TM Claiming that Jews control everything from finance to the media, academia, the CIA, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, the Pentagon and the arms industry in the US, Kaplan wrote in his column published in the pro-Erdoğan Yeni Şafak daily on Friday, “The… Claiming that he was not fueling anti-Semitism, Kaplan said: ... Read More »

Ecuador removes Julian Assange’s extra security

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Ecuador has removed extra security at its London embassy following claims that $5m (£3.7m) was spent to protect WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. BBC The money was used to monitor Mr Assange’s visitors, embassy staff and UK police, media reports in the UK and Ecuador said. Mr Assange has been at the embassy since 2012 after being granted asylum. He fled there to avoid extradition to Sweden over sex crime allegations, which he denies. The Swedish authorities have since dropped their ... Read More »

‘Measuring success differently’: New Zealand budget’s shift in economic thinking

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The Ardern government in New Zealand is articulating a bigger role for government in society, talking up wellbeing over traditional economic measures — while still playing on the standard “fiscal… David Donaldson TheMandarin New Zealand’s Labour-led coalition government has handed down its first budget, highlighting health, education and housing as areas of focus. “Our priorities are different from the previous government. We are determined to turn the page on the ideology of individualism and a hands-off approach to our economy ... Read More »

South Korea’s President Heads to Washington to Salvage Nuclear Deal

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SEOUL — North Korea’s recent threat to pull out of the upcoming nuclear summit with the U.S. has added new urgency to South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s visit to Washington next Tuesday. Brian Padden VoA President Moon has played a key role in facilitating the meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump scheduled to be held in Singapore June 12. Diplomatic jeopardy At the recent inter-Korean summit Moon got Kim to affirm a broad commitment ... Read More »

German liberal leader’s ‘midlife crisis’

Christian Lindner, chairman of Germany's liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), waits for the start of a party congress in Berlin on May 12, 2018. (Photo by TOBIAS SCHWARZ / AFP)        (Photo credit should read TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Christian Lindner stumbles on after turning down a shot at power in Berlin. By MATTHEW KARNITSCHNIG Politico BERLIN — Germans cherish few rituals more than the jaunt to the corner bakery for their daily portion of fresh rye, Brötchen and other leavened delights — so long as politics aren’t in the mix. Just ask Christian Lindner. The leader of Germany’s liberal Free Democrats (FDP) triggered a firestorm this week after regaling a party congress with an anecdote about a young Arab’s visit ... Read More »

Climate change an ‘existential security risk’ to Australia, Senate inquiry says

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Threat is not a possible future one but one endangering Australia now, parliament told Ben Doherty The Guardian Climate change is a “current and existential national security risk” to Australia, a Senate inquiry has told parliament, one that could inflame regional conflicts over food, water and land, and even imperil life on Earth. The Senate committee inquiry into the implications of climate change for Australia’s national security recommended an increase in foreign aid to be dedicated to climate change mitigation and… The inquiry, ... Read More »

Turkish Foreign Minister Warns Damascus Against Attacking Syria’s Idlib Province

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ANKARA (Sputnik) – Any potential attack by the Syrian government forces on the country’s Idlib province may result in a “catastrophe,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Thursday. “Currently the most important issue is for the ceasefire not be violated in Syria. If this is achieved, political settlement will become closer. There are many fragmented terror groups. Our intelligence service and the General Staff are dealing with the matter. We have achieved certain results. If the Syrian regime launches an attack tomorrow under the ... Read More »

Hope and fear surround emerging technologies, but all of us must contribute to stronger governance

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It’s been a big year for companies pushing the boundaries of technology – and not in a good way. The Cambridge Analytica scandal led to a public outcry about privacy, the Commonwealth Bank’s loss of customer data raised concerns about cybersecurity, and a fatal self-driving car crash put the safety of automated systems in the spotlight. Authors: The Conversation These controversies are just the latest warning signs that we urgently need better governance of the technologies redefining the world. There ... Read More »

A Peace Of Fiction: Australia Should Celebrate A National Day Of Violence

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If we’re going to engage in so much violence, then why not celebrate it, ask Gideon Polya and Richard Hil. New Matilda What’s all this talk about peace? Why should Australia celebrate peace when we appear to be such a violence-prone nation? Someone recently suggested that instead of staging peace rallies, Australia should hold a National Violence Day, such is this nation’s dalliance with this most aberrant of practices. No doubt, such views will upset the Pollyannas amongst us, but ... Read More »

Erdogan and Turkey’s Elections

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When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a presidential and parliamentary election June 24—jumping the gun by more than a year—the outcome seemed foreordained: the country is under a state of emergency, Erdogan has imprisoned more than 50,000 of… Conn Hallinan CounterPunch But Erdogan’s seemingly overwhelming strength is not as solid as it appears, and the moves the President is making to insure a victory next month may come back to haunt him in the long run. There is ... Read More »

EU court upholds insecticide ban to protect bees

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An EU court upheld on May 17 a partial ban on three insecticides known as neonicotinoids, saying that the European Commission had been right in 2013 to restrict their use to protect bees. LUXEMBOURG – Reuters Hurriyet The ruling covers three active substances – imidacloprid developed by Bayer CropScience, clothianidin developed by Takeda Chemical Industries and Bayer CropScience, as well as Syngenta’s thiamethoxam. The court said the European Union’s “precautionary principle” meant that the EU could take measures if there was scientific ... Read More »

Venezuela’s Maduro gets support from Erdogan, Maradona ahead of vote

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CARACAS/BARQUISIMETO, Venezuela (Reuters) – Venezuela’s diplomatically isolated president got a show of support from his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan and Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona on Thursday ahead of a… Alexandra Ulmer, Corina Pons Reuters The United States, the European Union and major Latin American countries have criticized Sunday’s vote in which leftist President Nicolas Maduro is likely to win re-election to a… Critics say Maduro, a 55-year-old former bus driver who has presided over an economic meltdown, is virtually ... Read More »

Quit if you think a policy is immoral, and other advice from Peter Varghese

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What can a public servant do if they have a moral or ethical crisis about working on a current policy of the government? Put up with it or quit. Stephen Easton The Mandarin That is the stark reality, according to Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade secretary Peter Varghese — unrelated to his own decision to retire from the public service after 38 years to become chancellor of the University of Queensland. The open forum that followed Varghese’s extremely well received ... Read More »