Politics

In Australia, One Man Can Decide a Migrant’s Fate. Did He Abuse That Power?

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SYDNEY, Australia — When a suicidal 10-year-old boy in an offshore detention camp asked to come to Australia for psychiatric care, Peter Dutton’s answer was no. By Damien Cave and Isabella Kwai The New York Times When an Australian combat veteran requested a refugee visa for his Afghan interpreter, Mr. Dutton — Australia’s top immigration official — also refused. But when an Italian au pair, who worked for a former colleague, needed a reprieve from deportation, Mr. Dutton obliged. It was at least the second ... Read More »

Protesters torch political party offices in Basra’s fourth night of violence

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BASRA, Iraq (Reuters) – Hundreds of people took to the streets of Iraq’s southern oil city Basra on Thursday for a fourth day of violent protests, where residents, angry over the neglect of their city’s collapsing infrastructure, set… Aref Mohammed, Raya Jalabi Reuters Ten demonstrators have been killed in clashes with security forces and dozens injured since a wave of protests began on Monday. Tens of security forces members have also been injured, some by a hand grenade, health and… ... Read More »

Land Reform in South Africa: Fact and Fiction

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U.S. President Donald Trump touched off a diplomatic row with South Africa by repeating an erroneous broadcast about land reform there. Piers Pigou ICG In this Q&A, our Southern Africa Senior Consultant Piers Pigou sets the record straight about the land ownership and expropriation debates that are really underway in South Africa today. What happened to start the row? On 22 August, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that he had instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to investigate land seizures ... Read More »

How the Far Right Conquered Sweden

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A bastion of social democracy, the country refused to deal with the realities of mass immigration. Jochen Bittner The New York Times STOCKHOLM — To understand why Sweden, a bastion of social democracy, might end up with a far-right party in government after national elections on Sunday, you need to take a walk with Ahmed Abdirahman. An American-educated Somali immigrant who works as a policy analyst at the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Abdirahman grew up and now lives in ... Read More »

Iran and Turkey Divert Iraq’s River Waters, Leaving Iraq on the Brink of Catastrophe

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Global attention has been focused on the strained Ethiopian-Egyptian relations due to the construction of the Renaissance Dam by Ethiopia on the Blue Nile, whose reservoir – once filled – will probably lower the… Col. (ret) Dr. Jacques Neriah Institute for Contemporary Affairs But little attention has been given to the brewing conflict over the Tigris (Dajla in Arabic) and Euphrates (Furat in Arabic) waters, both iconic rivers on which Iraq’s existence in both ancient and… Deadly riots in Iraq’s ... Read More »

Ceasefire agreed to end fighting in Libya’s Tripoli, says UN

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Rival militias in and around Tripoli already forged and promptly violated a ceasefire Borzou Daragahi Independent Warring factions in Libya’s capital have signed onto a shaky ceasefire aimed at ending 10 days of fighting that has left dozens dead and displaced thousands. The deal came hours after Libya’s UN envoy, Ghassam Salame, swooped into Tripoli and summoned politicians and warlords for an emergency meeting to end fighting that had plunged the city of one million into a fresh round of misery, violence, and chaos. ... Read More »

UK charges two Russians over Salisbury poisoning of Skripals

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British prosecutors have charged two Russians with the Novichok poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. A European arrest warrant has been issued, although Russia does not extradite its… DW British prosecutors announced on Wednesday they had collected sufficient evidence to charge two Russians with the attempted murder of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Authorities issued a European arrest warrant for two men named as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, both aged around 40. Photographs of the ... Read More »

As New U.S. Envoy Appointed, Turbulent Afghanistan’s Hopes of Peace Persist

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The new U.S. adviser on Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, has a tough assignment: fostering peace between the Afghan government and the Taliban. Crisis Group’s Borhan Osman says that recent violence has soured the public mood, but that leaders on all sides still appear committed – at least rhetorically – to peace talks. On 4 September 2018, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad would join the State Department as an adviser on Afghanistan. Khalilzad ... Read More »

Pentagon Considers Expanding Presence in Greece amid China, Turkey Concerns

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Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford told reporters during a visit to Greece Tuesday that the Pentagon is considering expanding its cooperation with Athens and its general presence in the… Frances Martel Breitbart Dunford’s announcement, and his visit to the country, also follows months of growing tensions between Greece and Turkey, which is outraged that Athens refuses to hand over former Turkish soldiers believed to… It also follows the publication of reports that China is looking ... Read More »

The Family-Separation Crisis Is Not Over

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One father deported to Honduras struggles to describe the pain of remaining separated from his son. John Washington The Nation Jaime didn’t get a birthday cake on his fifth birthday. That day, he was 2,000 miles from his parents, Edwin and Maira, and only talked with them for about 10 minutes via a WhatsApp video call. Edwin, Jaime’s father, told me he mostly remembers that Jaime seemed sad and kept repeating he didn’t get a cake. “It was…too hard,” Edwin ... Read More »

UN report documents genocide against Rohingya: What now?

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The United Nations has released a searing report that details Myanmar’s state violence against an ethnic and religious minority in that country known as the Rohingya. The Conversation The report demands that top leadership in Myanmar’s powerful military be held accountable for genocide and other international crimes. As co-directors of the Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention at Binghamton University, we see this recognition of genocide in Myanmar as an opportunity to help mobilize the international community to take ... Read More »

Nauru blocks transfer of mentally ill refugee to Australia despite Federal Court order

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The Government of Nauru has blocked the medical evacuation of a refugee needing urgent treatment for depression and trauma-related conditions, despite court orders stipulating she must be brought to… Exclusive by Emma Younger and Sarah Farnsworth ABC An urgent Federal Court hearing this evening was told the failure to transfer the woman to Australia left Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and the Commonwealth in breach of court orders made on… The court heard Nauru’s secretary for Multicultural Affairs refused to ... Read More »

Why Does the U.S. Support War Crimes in Yemen?

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Washington should rethink its blind support for Riyadh. Paul R. Pillar The National Interest The war in Yemen has been for some time one of the worst current man-made humanitarian disasters. Now comes a report , from the United Nations Human Rights Council and based on extensive investigations by a group of experts examining the past four years of the… By far the most destructive offenses have been committed by the principal external intervenors—Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates—and the titular ... Read More »

Prospects for a Deal to Stabilise Syria’s North East

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Much of north-eastern Syria has been safe during the civil war. ICG But in the event of U.S. military withdrawal, a mad scramble for control could be unleashed. Washington and Moscow should help their respective allies in Syria reach a decentralisation deal for the area. What’s new?  In March 2018, President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw U.S. forces from north-eastern Syria and suspended stabilisation funding for the area. His senior foreign policy advisers provided somewhat discordant views. These ... Read More »

S. Korean envoys meet Kim Jong Un

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A South Korean delegation has met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and handed him a letter from President Moon Jae-in. NHK The 5 envoys sent by the South Korean presidential office include the chief of the National Security Office Chung Eui-yong and the head of the National Intelligence Service Suh Hoon. They arrived in Pyongyang on Wednesday morning. The presidential office in Seoul says they met Kim Jong Un after holding talks with North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party vice ... Read More »

Time to limit ministerial discretion in the immigration system

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Peter Dutton’s use of ministerial discretion to grant visas to two foreign au pairs raises large questions about the propriety of his actions as minister for immigration. Shawn Rajanayagam The Age But, more importantly, the ongoing debate presents Parliament with an opportunity to introduce real limits on ministerial discretion in the immigration system so as to prevent those discretions from being used inequitably and… In granting visas to the au pairs, it seems that Mr Dutton exercised a power under ... Read More »