Leadership

It is now beyond question that the Tory party is institutionally Islamophobic

There is a very serious problem of anti-Muslim bigotry inside the Conservative Party and the problem gets deeper all the time. Peter Oborne Middle East Eye It’s just under two weeks since I last wrote in Middle East Eye about the noxious anti-Muslim bigotry that infests Theresa May’s Conservative party. I make no apology for doing so again in light of the eruption of two more very serious problems. Toxic Islamophobia The first of these concerns last night’s very troubling revelation by ... Read More »

Why Emmanuel Macron’s plan for a European agency to fend off fake news makes sense

When French president Emmanuel Macron sent an open letter to the people of Europe, he said their first freedom is democratic – “the freedom to choose our leaders as foreign powers seek to influence our vote at each election”. Alexi Drew The Conversation He went on to propose establishing a European agency to protect this right. The idea would be to provide European states with experts to help them fend off cyberattacks and other kinds of threats to their elections. ... Read More »

Ardern is a leader for our times, and we should follow her example

This nation needs more leadership, across all levels, in all parties, like that provided by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in the wake of Christchurch’s mosque massacres. Peter FitzSimons The Sydney Morning Herald With steely calm, with inclusive language, seeking to unite rather than divide, she told the world, “To the people who did this: you may have chosen us, but we UTTERLY reject and condemn you.” Ms Ardern is one out of the box, a leader for her ... Read More »

Anti-corruption candidate wins first round of Slovakia’s presidential election

Zuzana Čaputová will face Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič in final vote. By ANCA GURZU AND LAURA GREENHALGH Politico Lawyer Zuzana Čaputová won the largest share of votes in Slovakia’s presidential ballot Saturday, making her the frontrunner ahead of a second round later this month. Čaputová, a newcomer to politics who has run a campaign focused on tackling corruption, won 40.6 percent of the vote, ahead of government candidate and European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič on 18.7 percent, according to the… The two will face off in ... Read More »

Serbia protests: President Vucic the target of Belgrade rally

Serbian police have used tear gas to clear thousands of protesters trying to blockade the residence of President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade. BBC The protesters – who are demanding greater media freedom and free elections – shouted “Resign!” But Mr Vucic refused to bow to the pressure, saying: “I am not afraid.” The opposition has been staging largely peaceful rallies for weeks. But tensions escalated on Saturday when crowds stormed the state TV station. Mr Vucic is a reformed extreme ... Read More »

A letter to our leaders: as Australian Muslims we live in fear, please remember our pain

How is it right that in our parliament it is OK to call Islam a ‘disease’, it is OK to refer to a ‘final solution’, it is OK to ridicule our religious attire? Anonymous The Guardian Dear Mr Morrison and Mr Shorten, I am an Australian Muslim woman. I am highly educated and hold a professional job. In fact, I spend a great deal of my working life with the Australian legal system. I am a wife. I am a ... Read More »

What Jesse taught Bernie about running for president

The significance of Sanders’ endorsement of Jackson in 1988 is not that he supported a black candidate but what it taught him about the power of working inside the Democratic Party. Michael Kruse Politico The night of April 19, 1988, in the tense, people-packed auditorium at Burlington High School in Burlington, Vermont, Bernie Sanders strode stern-faced into enemy territory. The city’s crotchety, socialist, obstinately independent mayor planted himself at the center of the stage at the Democratic Party’s caucus, an ... Read More »

Bosnian Branch Of ‘Putin’s Angels’ Enjoys Political Backing – Analysis

Like the original Night Wolves in Russia, a Bosnian Serb branch of the motorcycle gang enjoys close ties to the political elite. Semir Mujkic Eurasia Review A roughly 1.5-million-euro tender for construction of a mini hydropower plant in Bosnia’s Republika Srpska has been awarded to a company with no previous experience in the field, co-owned by the… Goran Tadic, co-owner of New Energy Company and vice-president of the Night Wolves of Republika Srpska, said his ties with the head of ... Read More »

Banks Pull Back From Funding French Politics

The money has always followed the power in French politics, as the party in office has built-in advantages for financing campaigns. Gregory Viscusi Bloomberg Now, that gap is widening, with banks becoming more reluctant to make up the shortfall. As he prepares for European Parliament elections in May, President Emmanuel Macron has a two-part edge: free airtime from a series of public debates and enough money to fund his party’s activities. Cash-strapped rivals are begging for donations and relying on ... Read More »

Jews are unsafe in Turkey and should leave now

Turkey’s mercurial leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan took his diplomatic spat with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a new level on Wednesday when he implicitly threatened the well-being of Turkey’s already dwindling Jewish community. Michael Rubin Washington Examiner “Do not provoke,” Erdogan said, before noting that he had not yet taken any action against Turkish Jews or their houses of worship. This is, of course, not the first Turkish government threat against its Jewish community. A decade ago, then-Foreign Minister ... Read More »

The Darkest Hours: Power Outages Raise the Temperature in Venezuela

The crippling blackouts across Venezuela are a grim portent of things to come as U.S. oil sanctions kick in and the country’s crisis deepens. Phil Gunson ICG All concerned to end Venezuelans’ suffering should vigorously pursue a negotiated transition leading to a power-sharing deal. On Thursday 7 March, at around five in the afternoon, the lights went out in Venezuela. Within a couple of hours, as the tropical night descended, around 90 per cent of the country was plunged into ... Read More »

Picking Up the Pieces After Hanoi

The collapse of last month’s summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was perhaps the inevitable result of a process in which the two leaders dominated, optimistic about their personal relationship and confident in their abilities. Richard N. Haass Project Syndicate The question is what to do now. NEW YORK – When last month’s summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended without a deal, the result was not surprising. ... Read More »

‘I can’t go to school, I have to save the planet’

Children and teens across Australia are joining a global strike today against leaders’ inaction on climate change. Here’s what they’re saying. School strike 4 climate By Laura Chung and Charlotte Grieve The Sydney Morning Herald A16-year-old Swedish schoolgirl called Greta Thunberg started a global campaign for student action that led to today’s worldwide protests against inaction on climate change. Children and teenagers in Australia have taken to the streets to add their voices to calls for change. As Finnish educator ... Read More »

EU on no-deal Brexit vote: ‘Like Titanic voting for the iceberg to move’

Brussels spokesman offers withering assessment of MP decision on Wednesday night The Irish Times Brussels has said a vote by UK MPs to block a no-deal Brexit in any circumstances is a meaningless move, with one senior EU negotiator describing it as “the Titanic voting for the iceberg to get out of the way”. A European commission spokesman offered a withering assessment of the decision by MPs to ignore Theresa May’s assertion that no deal was the default position unless there was a ... Read More »

The farce and the furious: how May’s government shot itself in the foot

London: There is no bottom to the well of Brexit insanity. Nick Miller The Canberra Times On Wednesday, the British government managed to shoot itself in the foot with a gun that had no bullets in it. This should have been an easy day. The motion before the Commons – put by the government, with Prime Minister Theresa May as its signatory – was that it refused to back a “no deal” Brexit, something everyone but the most hard-core Brexiters agree ... Read More »

Opinion: After Cardinal Pell verdict, Catholic Church must reform

Pope Francis once made George Pell one of the Vatican’s most powerful men. Now, the cardinal is headed to prison for sexual abuse. It is time for the Catholic Church to reform itself, says DW’s Christoph Strack. Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s third-highest ranking official who once served as the pope’s finance chief, was sentenced to six years behind bars on Wednesday for child sex abuse. The Australian is the most senior Catholic to ever be convicted of such crimes. Pell’s lawyers ... Read More »