Politics

Fragile Kosovo prepares for crucial vote

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Nine years after proclaiming independence, fragile Kosovo votes on June 11 at a time of high tension with Serbia, rampant unemployment and some of its leaders threatened with prosecution for… Pristina Hurriyet The parliamentary election – Kosovo’s third since 2008 – is the most important since the independence declaration, according to Slovenian think-tank IFIMES, which specializes in the… While Kosovo’s sovereignty… Fragile Kosovo prepares… Read More »

News Australia loses appeal in Federal Court on $15m tax bill

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Australia’s highest-risk taxpayer has lost an appeal in the Federal Court on a $15 million tax bill relating to interest income. Nassim Khadem Brisbane Times Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation has been in long-running legal battles with the ATO and in 2015 was outed as the nation’s highest risk taxpayer. On Thursday the Federal Court’s Justice Tony Pagone dismissed News Australia Holding’s appeal relating to an old tax assessment amounting to about… News Australia loses… Read More »

How Jeremy Corbyn Proved the Haters Wrong

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LONDON — Among the many satisfying outcomes of Britain’s general election has been the roll call of pundits reeling out apologies for getting it so wrong. RACHEL SHABI The New York Times The Labour Party has, against all odds, surged to take a 40 percent share of the vote, more than it has won in years. And so the nation’s commentariat, who had confidently thought that the party under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership would be wiped off the political map, are ... Read More »

Spain’s Catalonia announces October independence vote

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The leader of Spain’s Catalonia region, where a separatist movement is in full swing, announced on June 9 an independence referendum for October 1 in defiance of Madrid which is firmly against such a… Barcelona Hurriyet Speaking in Barcelona, Carles Puigdemont said the question would be: “Do you want Catalonia to be an independent state in the form of a… Catalonia, a wealthy, 7.5-million-strong region with its own language and customs, has long demanded greater… Spain’s Catalonia announces… Read More »

Madhya Pradesh farmers’ strike: Inside Mandsaur disturbance lies history of political doles, opium addiction

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There’s no doubt that the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh messed up handling the situation in Mandsaur on at least three… Sandeep Balakrishna FirstPost First, it could’ve been vigilant and heeded the simmering discontent over farm loan waivers, taken leaders of the farming community into confidence and worked out a solution thereby preventing this unfortunate… Second, the law… Madhya Pradesh farmers… Read More »

Turkey: NATO’s Odd One Out

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Discounting the sincerity of Turkish President Erdoğan’s fiercely anti-western rhetoric ahead of the April 16 referendum is akin to disregarding bitter facts about once staunch NATO ally Turkey. Burak Bekdil       BESA NATO’s deepening “Turkey problem” is contained in the country’s Islamist ideology, conspicuous “un-likemindedness”, and democratic anomalies, which stand against NATO’s founding values of safeguarding freedom and the… Turkey: NATO’s Odd… Read More »

Analysis: Why is Turkey deploying troops to Qatar?

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Turkey’s decision is not necessarily anti-Saudi, but it is definitely pro-Qatari, say analysts. Birce Bora  Al Jazeera Only two days after Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed diplomatic relations with Qatar for its alleged support of “terrorist organisations”, Turkey’s parliament has ratified military deals allowing its troops to be deployed to a Turkish military base in… Analysis: Why is… Read More »

Iran Unites as Tehran Struck by Middle East’s Proxy Wars

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The 7 June attacks in Tehran struck at the symbolic heart of Iran’s revolutionary republic. In this Q&A, Ali Vaez, Senior Analyst for Iran, says the outrages show how the region’s proxy wars are now reaching far beyond the… Ali Vaez ICG How unusual are these attacks for Iran? If this indeed was, as it claimed, an attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), it would constitute the first time the organisation has been able to strike ... Read More »

Trump’s FBI pick from law firm that ‘helped Gülen-linked bank go international’

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U.S. President Donald Trump’s choice to lead the FBI is a white-collar defense lawyer with a strong law enforcement background. Hurriyet But in Turkey the nomination of Christopher Wray has raised eyebrows, with Turkish media reporting his previous involvement in helping Bank Asya, linked to the movement of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, open its… King & Spalding, in which Wray had… Trump’s FBI pick… Read More »

50 Years of Palestinian Rejection

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And the world encourages it. The 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War, which fell this week, has sparked much hand-wringing about why Israel still controls the West Bank half a century later. Evelyn Gordon  Commentary By sheer coincidence, Haaretz reporter Amir Tibon produced a scoop this week answering that question. It detailed the precise offer the… 50 Years of… Read More »

Israeli Commandos Heading to Cyprus for Largest-ever Drill

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The joint drill, which involves 400 Israeli soldiers, has ruffled feathers in Ankara Gili Cohen Haaretz Israeli commandos will be undergoing training in Cyprus next week, the biggest joint military exercise ever undertaken between the two countries in the island nation. Sqaudrons of Black Hawk helicopters will head to Cyprus for the joint exercise, which starts Sunday, Haaretz has learned… Israeli Commandos Heading… Read More »

Timor-Leste president Francisco ‘Lu’Olo’ Guterres: a product of war now pushing for peace

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He spent a quarter of a century in the Timorese resistance. Helen Davidson in Dili The Guardian Now, as oil and gas reserves dwindle, the young country’s new leader faces a battle to steer his people through difficult times ahead. Before becoming the fourth president of one of the world’s youngest countries, Francisco “Lu’Olo” Guterres spent almost a quarter of a century in the Timorese resistance against Indonesian occupation… Timor-Leste president… Read More »

“There’s no foreseeable opportunity for this”: Jay declares nuke dump “dead”

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Premier Jay Weatherill has officially walked away from one of the major policy hallmarks of his term in Government, pronouncing the nuclear waste dump “dead” and… Tom Richardson InDaily The position appears a significant rhetorical shift from his stance last November, when he pledged to keep the debate alive ahead of a future referendum on the… At the time, his position was seen by critics both inside the… •”There’s no foreseeable… Read More »

Deliberative democracy must rise to the threat of populist rhetoric

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We are “living in the end times”, or so Slavoj Žižek tells us. We have seen the arrival of the “four horsemen of the apocalypse”: the global ecological crisis, sharp inequalities in the economic system, the biogenic revolution, and… Nicole Curato Lucy J Parry The Conversation The global rise of populism, it seems, is only a symptom of these long-standing tragedies in the… Populist claims – the grand promises that prey on unrealistic expectations, those… Deliberative democracy must… Read More »

Russia sanctions talks leave Iran bill hanging in the balance

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Ongoing Senate talks on a bipartisan Russia sanctions proposal are testing the ability of powerful GOP chairmen to work together on a package that can avoid imperiling passage of the Iran sanctions bill it could hitch a ride to. Elana Schor Politico Leaders in both parties say they want to vote on a plan to punish Russia as an amendment to the Iran sanctions bill that senators voted to move ahead with on Wednesday. Senate Minority Leader Chuck… Russia sanctions ... Read More »

Gillian Triggs says Australia’s politicians leading ‘assault’ on democratic ideals

Gillian Triggs 1a Alan Porritt AAP

Human Rights Commission president says right to advocate and freedom of speech threatened by governments Elle Hunt The Guardian Gillian Triggs says an “ideological assault” on community advocacy is being waged by Australian governments and political leaders that threatens the… The president of the Australian Human Rights Commission said the right to advocate and freedom of speech – “some of the most basic ideas” underpinning a… Gillian Triggs says… Read More »