Politics

Irish abortion referendum: Ireland overturns abortion ban

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The Republic of Ireland has voted overwhelmingly to overturn the abortion ban by 66.4% to 33.6%. A referendum held on Friday resulted in a landslide win for the repeal side. BBC Currently, abortion is only allowed when a woman’s life is at risk, but not in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormality. The Eighth Amendment, which grants an equal right to life to the mother and unborn, will be replaced. The declaration was made at at Dublin Castle ... Read More »

A study shows that electoral outcomes affect the way we treat other people

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After the 2016 US Presidential election, the willingness of Democrats to share resources with Republicans dropped abruptly as a consequence of a drop in self-esteem, according to… Bocconi University EurekAlert! After the unexpected results of the 2016 US Presidential Election, the way Americans treat each other changed as a function of their party affiliation, a new study by Celia Moore (Bocconi… In a two-stage experimental study, they explored how Democrats and Republicans allocated resources to their political friends and foes ... Read More »

‘We are absolutely in a new culture war’: ‘Religious freedom’ next on the Liberal agenda

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On Monday night, former deputy prime minister John Anderson delivered a rousing and ominous speech to a gathering of religious educators in Parliament House. Michael Koziol WAtoday With a gusto more suited to the Great Hall in which the Christian Schools Australia gala dinner normally takes place, Anderson dared speak the name of a spectre which is often invoked but rarely acknowledged: the culture war. “We’re living in the age of enormous cultural disharmony, I put it to you,” he ... Read More »

If you think Australia has a racism problem, you’re the racist

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Senator Ian Macdonald is the Father of the Parliament, which is a nice way of saying he has been there longer than anyone else. Jacqueline Maley Brisbane Times With experience, allegedly comes wisdom, and this week the Queensland senator shared some of his when he declared that racism doesn’t really exist in Australia. Not since Bob Katter asserted there were no homosexuals in his electorate has such a bold claim been made by a Queenslander. But, lest you think such ... Read More »

Colombia’s Peace at Stake in Polarised Election

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Colombians head to the polls on 27 May to choose a new president. The frontrunners have starkly different views on peace talks with guerrillas and how to handle Venezuelan refugees. Kyle Johnson ICG In this Q&A, our Colombia Senior Analyst Kyle Johnson surveys the field of candidates. What’s at stake in the 27 May election? That day will see the first round of voting to decide who will be Colombia’s next president. Two outcomes are possible. The first is that no ... Read More »

Spain’s PM Rajoy under growing threat over party graft case

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MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was threatened with no-confidence motions and demands for a snap election on Friday over a graft trial involving members of his party in which a… Julien Toyer Rajoy said he would fight off a no-confidence vote and serve his four-year term, and ruled out calling an early election. “This goes against the political stability that our country needs and it goes against the economic recovery. It is bad for Spain,” he told ... Read More »

Why some migrants in abusive relationships don’t receive help, and are deported

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Earlier this month, Bernadette Romulo, a Philippine immigrant to Australia, made a desperate plea to Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to allow her to stay in the… Marie Segrave The Conversation Bernadette came to Australia 11 years ago with her husband, who held a 457 visa (a temporary skilled-work visa), and two daughters. Following the breakdown of their marriage, Bernadette began a relationship with a Filipino-Australian man, with whom she later had a son. Her partner was abusive, and the ... Read More »

Wikipedia publishes open letter to Turkey urging end to access ban

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Wikipedia is open for improvement by anyone around the world and should be open to editors in Turkey, the Wikimedia Foundation has stated in a letter addressed to the government of Turkey, where the website has been banned for over one year. SAN FRANSISCO Hurriyet “The Wikimedia Foundation is deeply concerned about recent statements attributed to the Turkish Minister of Transport, Maritime, and Communications Ahmet Arslan from [May 18] regarding the blockage of Wikipedia in Turkey,” Wikimedia Foundation General Counsel member Eileen B. Hershenov wrote in ... Read More »

Pacific Solution has become a mess for Coalition and a point of division for Labor

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It’s more than passingly ironic that the newly elected Member for Batman, Ged Kearney, espouses the principle of solidarity in her maiden speech to parliament. Roman Quaedvlieg Brisbane Times It’s no surprise that the accomplished former trade unionist would echo the rallying call of the Labor movement in her first formal utterances in the house, however she would do well to heed her own call in Labor’s approach to the vexed issue of border protection. Her speech, following the familiar ... Read More »

Pompeo Says US Offered Alternatives to Turkey for Russia’s S-400 System

2602991 04/09/2015 An S-400 "Triumf" antiaircraft missile system is among other Defense Ministry's air defense missile battalions put on combat alert in the Moscow Region. Kirill Kallinikov/Sputnik

The U.S. has offered Turkey alternatives to Russia’s S-400s in a bid to prevent Ankara from completing the purchase of the missile defense system, an issue that significantly strained Ankara’s ties with its Western allies. The Globe Post “We continue to work to keep the Turks in a place where they don’t actually acquire the S-400,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a testimony before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday. “I believe that they have not ... Read More »

Cyprus: tensions grow as contested waters yield promising results

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Tensions over natural gas and oil deposits in the sea off Cyprus threatened to boil over this March after Turkey sent a drill ship to the contested region just days after US based ExxonMobil dispatched its own survey vessels. Patrick Kingsland offshore technology Turkish president Erdogan has gone so far as to say he won’t tolerate the reserves being exploited by Greek Cypriots. So what is at stake here and how likely is it that oil will begin flowing anytime ... Read More »

Australia’s deal with Timor-Leste in peril again over oil and gas

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In April, Australia and Timor-Leste reached agreement on their maritime boundaries in the Timor Sea. Rebecca Strating and Clive Schofield The Conversation This resolved a longstanding source of contention between them. The potential benefits of this historic breakthrough are now in peril, because the critical issue of how the shared oil and gas of the Timor Sea are to be developed remains in dispute. Breakthrough on maritime boundaries Australia and Timor-Leste’s boundary agreement was achieved thanks to a… Australia’s deal ... Read More »

North Korea slams ‘ignorant and stupid’ Pence

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North Korea called U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence “ignorant and stupid” for his warnings over a planned summit with Donald Trump, renewing a threat to cancel as the U.S. president said the fate of the historic talks will be decided next week. SEOUL – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Trump is due to meet his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12 for high stakes talks aimed at ridding the reclusive state of its newly acquired nuclear weapons and improving ties after decades of ... Read More »

Abkhazia and South Ossetia: Time to Talk Trade

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Informal trade is increasing between Georgia and the breakaway territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and between Abkhazia and countries outside the region. Trade alone cannot transform the parties’ core political differences. But talks among them on mutually beneficial commerce could open lines of communication long cemented shut. ICG What’s happening?  Informal trade is increasing between Georgia and the breakaway territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and between Abkhazia and countries outside the region. Formalising aspects of this trade is ... Read More »

The Contested Iraqi Parliamentary Elections in Kirkuk

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Widespread perceptions of fraud in May 2018 elections to Iraq’s Council of Representatives have triggered demonstrations in Kirkuk and fears of inter-ethnic violence. Crisis Group is calling for a vote recount in Kirkuk to restore confidence in the institutions vital to manage deeper divisions over the contested, oil-rich area. The International Crisis Group is deeply concerned about developments in Kirkuk, a multi-ethnic governorate in northern Iraq. Contested election results, and the widespread perception that ballot boxes were tampered with, have ... Read More »

Victorian Labor urged to back calls for an end to offshore processing, bring Manus and Nauru detainees to Australia

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Victorian Labor delegates will be urged to end offshore processing and bring refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru to Australia. Lucy Barbour ABC The “urgency motion” to be debated at a state ALP conference this weekend, obtained by the ABC, calls for Labor to “close the offshore detention centres, transit centres and other camps on Manus and Nauru within the first 90 days” of a Shorten government. It goes on to propose that Labor should “bring all ... Read More »