Leadership

China Communist Party agrees to amend constitution at key conclave

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China’s Communist Party has announced that it agreed to amend its constitution, ahead of a keenly-watched congress, with speculation mounting that leader Xi Jinping’s name will be added to the document, enshrining his legacy. Hurriyet The Central Committee said it had passed an amendment to the party’s constitution at the end of a plenary meeting held in advance of the main twice-a-decade congress, which opens on Oct. 18 and is expected to see Xi tighten his grip on power. “The ... Read More »

Angola Has an Opportunity to Lead

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A change in leadership often signals a natural time for transformation and, of course, challenges. The first peaceful transition of power in Angola took place in August, with the election of João Lourenço as the new president, replacing long-serving José Eduardo dos Santos, who led the country for thirty-eight years. Eugen Iladi  The National Interest International observers called the election process fair, with the ruling MPLA party taking 61 percent of the votes. In mid-September, the Constitutional Court of Angola ... Read More »

Steve Bullock and the Lost Art of Political Persuasion

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He’s one of the most popular governors in the country. Some Democrats think he’d make a great presidential candidate There’s just one problem: Few outside of Montana have heard of the guy. GABRIEL DEBENEDETTI Politico BOZEMAN, Mont. —A small collection of the older women of Bozeman, Montana, are deep into their water aerobics class at the Holiday Inn’s indoor pool on a recent cold and gusty Wednesday when the governor strolls by. About 10 feet from the pool area, Steve ... Read More »

The Infantilization of the President

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Aides have doubted prior presidents’ wisdom, health, or sobriety, but never have so many insiders treated the commander in chief like a child. David A. Graham The Atlantic  As every toddler knows, bigger is better, whether that’s two scoops of ice cream (versus one for everyone else), a border wall, or a nuclear arsenal.And that was President Trump’s reaction during a July meeting with military and national-security leaders about the nuclear arsenal, too, according to NBC News. In total, he ... Read More »

Mr. Trump Nails Shut the Coffin on Climate Relief

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The Trump administration formally proposed on Tuesday to roll back yet another of President Barack Obama’s efforts to position the United States as a global leader in the fight against climate change The Editorial Board The New York Times  The move, though widely anticipated, was deeply disheartening. In March Mr. Trump ordered Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, to repeal the Clean Power Plan, which was aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants. Mr. ... Read More »

The Domestic Challenge to Kyrgyzstan’s Milestone Election

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While Kyrgyzstan’s 15 October elections are a rare milestone for Central Asian democracy, the campaign is exposing dangerous fault lines. Deirdre Tynan  In the largest city of Osh, the new president will have to face down robust local power brokers, defuse Uzbek-Kyrgyz tensions and re-introduce the rule of law. ICG Kyrgyzstan’s forthcoming presidential elections on 15 October are a milestone for Central Asia: for the first time, a president from the region will voluntarily stand down at the end of ... Read More »

George Brandis slaps down Peter Dutton over ‘un-Australian’ lawyers attack

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Australia’s first law officer has delivered a sharp rebuke to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, and reminded government ministers of the need to respect the rule of law and authority of the courts In a Sunday night speech to the International Bar Association in Sydney that initially flew under-the-radar, Attorney-General George Brandis delivered a full-throated defence of the rule of law and the legal profession. James Massola The Sydney Morning Herald While he did not name Mr Dutton, Senator Brandis’ comments have been interpreted as a repudiation of his cabinet colleague, who ... Read More »

6 Reasons Why This Week’s ‘Our Ocean’ Conference In Malta Was So Important

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World leaders, EU representatives and the Prince of Wales were among those attending The Our Ocean conference is a major annual event aimed at encouraging countries and businesses to make concrete commitments to protect the marine environment. David Grech Urpani  Lovin Malta This year, it was Malta’s turn to host the global summit for its fourth edition, and very important points were raised. Among leaders from more than 100 nations and a large number of local and international NGOs in attendance, ... Read More »

Maltese professor made vice-president of international maritime law tribunal

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David Attard elected to International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea position Leading international maritime law professor David Attard has been elected vice-president of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. PN congratulates Prof. Attard Times of Malta Prof. Attard will serve a three-year term in the post. He has been a member of the tribunal since 2011. In a statement announcing his appointment, the government said Prof. Attard’s achievements built on Malta’s long tradition of maritime ... Read More »

In Canada, an Immigration Minister Who Himself Is a Refugee

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TORONTO — He arrived in Toronto, an exhausted 16-year-old, carrying nothing but a small gym bag packed with a change of clothes. As a Somali, he applied for asylum and was jettisoned into adulthood. Catherine Porter The New York Times  He registered for high school, learned to cook and landed his first job all on his own. Over the next 25 years, he put himself through college and law school, worked his way up from pouring coffee to advising one ... Read More »

The Twists and Turns along China’s Belt and Road

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China’s trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative could potentially transform relations with over 60 countries across Eurasia, Africa and beyond But to bring the concept to fruition, Beijing must overcome mammoth logistical obstacles, navigate fragile political situations and placate growing regional apprehension surrounding its ambitions. Michael Kovrig  ICG “The project of the century” is how Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi touted the Belt and Road Initiative to the world when addressing the UN General Assembly on 21 September. It was only ... Read More »

Catalan referendum: Riot police ‘fire rubber bullets’ at crowd as they block voters at besieged polling stations – latest news

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Police in riot gear fire rubber bullets at pro-independence activists 337 people were injured or bruised, according to Catalonian spokesperson Ballot boxes seized by police in referendum banned by Madrid Madrid appeals for “cooperation and respect” Spanish riot police fired rubber bullets and seized ballot boxes from polling stations in Catalonia on Sunday as thousands flooded the streets to vote in an independence referendum banned by Madrid.  Hannah Strange, in barcelona  James Badcock, in madrid  Helen Nianias  Telegraph As the vote officially opened, scenes of chaos ... Read More »

Brexit: Boris Johnson urges two-year transition time limit

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Theresa May is coming under fresh pressure over Brexit on the eve of the Conservative party conference Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has again intervened on Brexit, setting out four conditions he says are necessary. BBC Speaking to the Sun, Mr Johnson insisted any transition period after Britain leaves the EU should not last “a second more” than two years. Jeremy Corbyn said Mr Johnson’s position threatened a trade war with the EU, which could impact on jobs. The prime minister ... Read More »

Modi: Electricity for every Indian house

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vowed that every home in India will have electricity by December 2018 as he moves to shore up voter support amid doubts over his handling of the economy Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The $2.5 billion scheme announced Sept. 25 would see the country’s 40 million households without electricity linked up to power for free. “Forty million of the total 250 million households still don’t have power, which means 25 percent of people are living in the 18th century. ... Read More »

On Catalan independence, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden emerge as surprise backers

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Two Moscow-linked figures have emerged as the loudest voices on Twitter amplifying news and commentary about Catalonia’s secession referendum. Chris Zappone The Age Research independently confirmed by Fairfax Media shows Twitter accounts of WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange as well as former National Security Administrator contractor Edward Snowden now account for nearly a third of all Twitter traffic under the hashtag #… Assange has peppered his followers with more than 80 original tweets supporting the Catalan independence referendum, suggesting “the future ... Read More »

Angela’s ashes: 5 takeaways from the German election

BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 24: (EDITOR'S NOTE: This image was converted from color to black and white) German Chancellor and Christian Democrat (CDU) Angela Merkel smiles after leaving her election party and reacting to initial results that give the party 33,1% of the vote, giving it a first place finish, in German federal elections on September 24, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. Chancellor Merkel is seeking a fourth term and coming weeks will likely be dominated by negotiations between parties over the next coalition government. (Photo by Alexander Koerner/Getty Images)

The next few years won’t be pretty Angela Merkel will remain German chancellor. That widely anticipated outcome was about the only unsurprising element of Sunday’s German election. Matthew Karnitschnig  Politico The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) finished much stronger than most observers dared predict, becoming the first unabashedly racist, anti-foreigner party to sit in Germany’s parliament since the days of Hitler. The Social Democrats (SPD) all but imploded, opting to go into opposition to lick their wounds rather than risk another ... Read More »