Leadership

US leaving UN’s Human Rights Council, cites anti-Israel bias

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The United States is leaving the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, which Ambassador Nikki Haley called “an organization that is not worthy of its name.” WASHINGTON – Associated Press Hurriyet It’s the latest withdrawal by the Trump administration from an international institution. Haley said Tuesday the U.S. had given the human rights body “opportunity after opportunity” to make changes. She lambasted the council for “its chronic bias against Israel” and lamented the fact that its membership includes accused human rights abusers such ... Read More »

Merkel and Macron Try to Save European Union, and Themselves

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BERLIN — It was supposed to be the day when President Emmanuel Macron of France received a long-awaited response from Germany on his big ideas on how to rekindle Europe as a force for liberalism in the world. By Katrin Bennhold and Steven Erlanger The New York Times And he did, sort of. But his meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany on Tuesday was overshadowed by the urgent issue of how to put out the growing number of populist ... Read More »

Community Sector Protests Cuts to Asylum Seeker Support Payments

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Community sector leaders have gathered in Canberra to protest cuts to asylum seeker support payments, as a new report reveals that government policy is driving people seeking asylum into destitution. Luke Michael ProBono Leaders from 10 national NGOs, along with a delegation of asylum seekers and community members, gathered at Parliament House on Monday to urge the federal government to stop cuts to the Status Resolution Support Service (SRSS). This service provides asylum seekers with a basic safety net of ... Read More »

Massachusetts’ governor says family separations are “inhumane” and rescinds National Guard offer

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Amidst a wave of prominent Republican figures who have come out against the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy of separating the children of undocumented immigrants from their… Annabelle Timsit QUARTZ The Republican governor announced Monday (June 18) that, in light of the family separations, he is revoking his earlier pledge to send two National Guard military analysts and a helicopter to the… “Governor Baker directed the National Guard not to send any assets or personnel to the Southwest border today because the federal ... Read More »

After the Trump-Kim Summit: Now Comes the Hard Part

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Last week the world watched the first-ever meeting between a North Korean leader and a U.S. president. Crisis Group offers a 360-degree view of how the summit played in the U.S., the Korean peninsula, China and… ICG Doubts and questions swirled before the momentous 12 June summit in Singapore between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Could any good come of a meeting for which preparation seemed to be last-minute and inadequate? Was one of the ... Read More »

Obama Homeland Security Secretary: Trump immigration policy ‘unsustainable’

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Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson criticized the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy on Saturday, calling the practice “unsustainable.” John Bowden The Hill Johnson told CNN that the Trump administration was attempting to “send a shock to the system” by separating thousands of migrant families in order to drive down the number of overall immigrants attempting to cross into the U.S. illegally — a practice, he said, that cannot withstand the… “This is obviously a deliberate effort, short-term, to try to ... Read More »

Curious link between world peace and gender equality

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Whatever comes of Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un’s curious get-together in Singapore it brought a welcome focus: peace. Matt Wade Brisbane Times If the optimists are right the meeting has paved the way for “major disarmament” on the Korean peninsula over the next few years. But, even if that happens, how much more peaceful would the world really be? Sadly, not that much. An ambitious number crunching exercise by the Sydney-based international think tank, the Institute for Economics and… ... Read More »

Bavaria’s man in Berlin pushes Merkel to brink

BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 14: German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer and leader of the Bavarian Christian Democrats (CSU) prepares to take an elevator during a day of wrangling at the Bundestag between the CSU and the German Christian Democrats (CDU) of Chancellor Angela Merkel on June 14, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. Merkel is at odds with Seehofer over migration policy. While Merkel wants a European-wide approach to migration, Seehofer is insisting that Germany be able to unilaterally turn away asylum seekers when they first reach the German border should they not meet asylum criteria.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Horst Seehofer puts home state election first in clash with chancellor. Janosch Delcker Politico BERLIN — Horst Seehofer may be Germany’s interior minister but he’s doing Bavaria’s bidding. The 68-year-old’s career looked to be on the slide when he was ousted as premier of the southern state at the end of last year. Yet he is center stage once again after pushing Angela Merkel’s government into crisis with his plan to toughen Germany’s asylum policies. By threatening to implement his plan even without Merkel’s ... Read More »

DR Congo: The Bemba Earthquake

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The ICC’s acquittal of Jean-Pierre Bemba comes at a critical point in DR Congo elections. President Kabila and his opponents will have to recalibrate strategies ahead of Bemba’s likely return. ICG Outside powers should keep pressing Kabila to stand down and allow opposition candidates to… What’s new? On 8 June Jean-Pierre Bemba, a charismatic Congolese leader and fierce rival of President Joseph Kabila, was acquitted by the International Criminal Court’s appeals chamber of a 2016 war crimes conviction. His likely ... Read More »

Grattan on Friday: The loners who lead, and trash, ‘personality’ parties

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Let the voter beware. We may be in a “celebrity” age but personality parties, based around a “name” implode, explode, or fizzle. In the last few years, we’ve seen them do all three. Michelle Grattan The Conversation On Thursday came the latest episode in the One Nation soapie, when senator Brian Burston announced he was leaving the party to sit as an independent. Pauline Hanson had effectively tossed him out… Only a couple of weeks ago, after their spectacular falling ... Read More »

Catholics defend the secrecy of confession amid pressure over child abuse royal commission

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Catholic Church is holding firm against calls to lift the veil of secrecy on confession amid calls from victims and advocates to force priests to report alleged abusers. By political reporter Matthew Doran ABC Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull delivered the Federal Government’s response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse in Canberra on Wednesday. Last year 122 recommendations were delivered to the government, including calls to throw out the sanctity of the confessional. In a statement ... Read More »

Liberals call on police to reopen Labor red shirts investigation

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The Coalition wants Victoria Police to renew its investigation into Labor’s 2014 red shirts rort and potentially pursue criminal charges against MPs named in the misuse of about $388,000 of public money. Adam Carey The Age Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton was grilled by Liberal MPs on Wednesday about why the police abandoned an investigation into Labor’s misuse of parliamentary funds to campaign in marginal seats in 2014. Mr Ashton said in parliament that police dropped the investigation in ... Read More »

Iraq’s Sadr announces alliance with pro-Iranian leader

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Nationalist cleric Moqtada Sadr announced on June 12 a surprise political alliance with pro-Iranian Hadi al-Ameri in a bid to lead Iraq over the next four years. BAGHDAD – Agence France Presse Hurriyet The two blocs won first and second place in the war-scarred country’s May 12 parliamentary election. The move by Sadr, who is staunchly opposed to Iranian involvement in the country, was unexpected by much of the political class as he had suggested unwillingness to work with Ameri and his bloc of ... Read More »

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un rewrites the book on the art of the deal with shrewd handling of Donald Trump in Singapore

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Kim shows poise and diplomatic flourish to walk away with a win on one of the biggest points of contention Lee Jeong-ho and Kinling Lo South China Morning Post For a 34-year-old who made his first state visit in just the last few months, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un seemed to hold his own in Tuesday’s high-profile summit setting with US President Donald Trump. Kim had already surprised many observers with shrewd strategic manoeuvring before the talks and the Singapore ... Read More »

Turkey’s Election Reinvigorates Debate over Kurdish Demands

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Ahead of Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections on 24 June, opinion polls suggest a tighter race than many anticipated. ICG The country’s Kurds could be kingmakers, prompting politicians of different stripes to court their votes and… What’s new? Snap presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey appear likely to be more closely fought than anticipated. The country’s Kurds could affect the outcome of both contests. Politicians, especially those opposing President Erdoğan and… Why does it matter? Debate on Kurdish issues has ... Read More »

What’s next for the West?

Members of Oxfam dressed as the G7 leaders protest in Quebec City on June 9, 2018, during the G7 Summit. (Photo by Alice Chiche / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ALICE CHICHE/AFP/Getty Images)

Double, double toil and trouble. Politico Wrecking ball or master negotiator? Either way, Donald Trump is rewriting the rules of international diplomacy. In the span of just a few days, the U.S. president blew up the G7 summit and signed a nuclear deal with North Korea. Europe was left reeling. POLITICO asked experts what’s next for the West. The West is finished Ulrike Guérot is founder and director of the think tank European Democracy Lab and professor for European policy and the study of democracy ... Read More »