Politics

Winners and losers of Europe’s copyright reform

Not all rights holders are necessarily better off, and Google might not be as impacted as it looks. Laura Kayali Politico STRASBOURG — The European Commission, Parliament and EU countries agreed Wednesday on the controversial copyright reform, after two and a half years of painful negotiations and unprecedented lobbying campaigns from all sides of the… The reform was initially presented by the Commission in September 2016. The most contentious aspects of the text were mainly targeting Google, which rights holders have accused of ... Read More »

‘Highly irresponsible’: Senate calls for Great Barrier Reef Foundation to return money

A committee examining the government’s decision to award $443.3m to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation has recommended unspent funds from the controversial grant be returned to the commonwealth and… Lisa Cox The Guardian The final report, tabled in the Senate on Thursday, calls the awarding of the grant last year “a highly irresponsible decision, hastily concocted by relevant ministers” and calls for a fresh review of the… It recommends such a review be completed by July this year and used to guide ... Read More »

Crisis Group Yemen Update #4

Below is the fourth weekly update as part of Crisis Group’s Yemen Campaign. ICG This week we look at fighting near the Saudi-Yemeni border and strains on the ceasefire around Hodeida, as well as international developments. Trendline: The Overlooked Battle for Yemen’s Northern Border Though the battle for the Red Sea port and city of Hodeida is paused until the UN-brokered deal to demilitarise the area succeeds or collapses, fighting on other fronts has intensified, particularly along the Saudi-Yemeni border. ... Read More »

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Kerryn Phelps on medical transfer numbers

Independent MP Kerryn Phelps, who set the ball rolling for the medical transfers legislation, says its passage is “a remarkable exercise in cooperation”. Michelle Grattan The Conversation Phelps says that of the about 1000 people on Manus and Nauru “around 70 people require urgent medical evacuation” and “another couple of hundred will require transfer but not as urgently”. She describes Scott Morrison’s proposal to reopen the Christmas Island detention facility as a “political statement”. “What we need to do is ... Read More »

Egypt says “NO” to East Med

An unequivocal “no” from Egypt received the East Med gas pipeline. Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El Molla, in an interview with the Cyprus News Agency, said he was opposed to the transportation of gas from East Mediterranean to Europe via the East Med pipeline. Nefeli Tzanetakou ibna He even justified his position by saying that the feasibility study for this project would last up to two years, which in itself is a luxury the region of ... Read More »

‘How to Hide an Empire’ Shines Light on America’s Expansionist Sidε

The word “empire” has a distinct place in the American lexicon: readily applicable to other countries but rarely, if ever, to the United States itself. Jennifer Szalai The New York Times Even in the spring of 2003, when American forces were occupying Iraq and Afghanistan and government officials were writing torture memos, the defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld seemed almost offended when a reporter asked whether the United States was engaged in anything like “empire-building.” “We’re not imperialistic,” Rumsfeld insisted. “We ... Read More »

Turkey’s Erdogan Is Due for Another Rebuke

With municipal elections on the horizon, Turks are likely to note that imprisoning the opposition hasn’t exactly raised living standards. Conn Hallinan Foreign Policy In Focus “Democracy is like a tram; you get off when you have reached your destination.” The comment by Recep Tayyip Erdogan — made more than 20 years ago when he was first elected mayor of Istanbul — sums up the Machiavellian cynicism of Turkey’s authoritarian president. As Turkey gears up for municipal elections on March ... Read More »

If Not the Green New Deal, Then What?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal has countless critics. We asked two of them to share their good-faith alternatives for reversing climate change. Emily Atkin The New Republic As momentum for the Green New Deal grows, so do its detractors. The ambitious plan to fight climate change introduced by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey last week has been called everything from “brainless” to “delusional” by conservatives. President Donald Trump said it sounded like “a high school term paper that got a low mark.” Some Democrats have ... Read More »

Rebel Incursion Exposes Chad’s Weaknesses

An early February incursion by the Union of Resistance Forces (UFR) into Chad from Libya was halted by French air strikes, conducted in coordination with the Chadian army. ICG This most severe security threat for several years highlights the weakness of the country and President Idriss Déby’s rule. On 3-6 February 2019, at the request of N’Djamena, planes from the French Operation Barkhane proceeded with a series of strikes against a group of Chadian rebels in the north east of the country. According ... Read More »

Nine facts about the medical evacuation bill

With all kinds of misleading claims about what this package does, let’s spell out some basic facts Katharine Murphy The Guardian With the medical evacuations bill now cleared by the Senate, and with politicians coming off the long run with all kinds of misleading claims about what this package does, let’s spell out some basic facts. How do the medical evacuation procedures work? The new legislation sets out the conditions by which sick people on Nauru and Manus Island can ... Read More »

What is the essence of the Saudi-Turkish Conflict?

The establishment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as it is known by the world today, dates back to 1932 by Abdulaziz Al Saud. Osama Dlykan Geopolitika.ru But what many do not know is that this kingdom is the third state of the Sauds; the first one (1747-1818) and the second (1818-1891). Both states were overthrown militarily by the Ottoman Turks, the first directly, and the second indirectly through the Turks’ support of the Al Rashid, who were the rivals ... Read More »

UK Human Rights Act is at risk of repeal – here’s why it should be protected

There have long been attempts to “scrap” the Human Rights Act 1998, which incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into UK law. Stephen Clear The Conversation But while none have gained traction to date, parliamentarians have recently raised concerns that the government could be wavering in its commitment to the act post-Brexit. The House of Lords’ EU justice sub-committee said in January that it was worried to see the government change the wording of the political declaration it ... Read More »

‘He’ll be killed’: Fears for UK asylum seekers threatened with deportation under alleged deal with Zimbabawe

Exclusive: ‘I’m shocked that they want to send me back to a place where all those terrible things are happening. I won’t be able to walk out of the airport terminal without being interrogated by the police. There will be brutal beatings. I won’t be spared’ May Bulman Independent Zimbabwean asylum seekers who were forced to attend meetings with officials from their home country have been threatened with removal, in a move believed to be part of an agreement to “repatriate” thousands of… At least two people who ... Read More »

Prime Minister Scott Morrison talks down threat to Coalition after loss in Parliament vote

The future of the Coalition’s hold on power is at risk with the Federal Government becoming the first to lose a vote on its own legislation in almost 80 years. By political reporter Brett Worthington ABC The majority of the crossbench and Labor joined forces in the House of Representatives to pass amendments to give doctors a greater say on refugee medical evacuations. But Prime Minister Scott Morrison has so far refused to buckle to calls for an early election ... Read More »

Italian PM: We want to shake things up in Europe

Giuseppe Conte says government wants to change EU rules that are ‘old and outdated.’ By SILVIA SCIORILLI BORRELLI Politico ROME — The Italian government wants to give Europe “a shake,” according to Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, but he dismissed fights with other EU members as mere “misunderstandings.” The prime minister, who never campaigned for office or ran in Italy’s election, heads a populist coalition that has  clashed with Brussels over its spending plans and with France over a range of issues from ... Read More »

We don’t know how many asylum seekers are turned away at Australian airports

The immigration department doesn’t keep a record of how many people apply for asylum at Australian airports, and how many are turned away. Authors: The Conversation Documents released under Freedom of Information show a lack of accountability and oversight by Australian immigration officials with regard to people who request asylum at airports. This means the ultimate decision to admit or deny an asylum seeker entry into Australia rests with the Border Force official who interviews them. Without oversight, an asylum ... Read More »