Leadership

Carl Bernstein: Russia probe feels ‘worse than Watergate’

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If President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to win the presidency, its “worse than Watergate,” journalist Carl Bernstein says. Kim Janssen Chicago Tribune Bernstein’s views on the matter were of great interest to a standing room-only crowd in Hyde Park on Wednesday night. Along with his Washington Post colleague Bob Woodward, Bernstein, of course, broke the Pulitzer Prize-winning stories about the Watergate break-in that ultimately led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation. Now 73, Bernstein waxed lyrical about the parallels between ... Read More »

‘Disgusting’: Liberal Party elder statesman condemns government over Manus standoff

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Former Liberal leader John Hewson has unleashed an extraordinary spray at the Turnbull government over its handling of the Manus Island standoff, singling out Immigration Minister Peter Dutton as uncompassionate, and accusing both sides of politics of a “disgusting race to the… Luke Henriques Gomes TheNewDaily As hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers protested the closure of the Manus Island processing centre, sparking claims of a humanitarian crisis, Dr Hewson condemned the government for “kicking the issue down the road” rather than working to ... Read More »

Did the World Get Aung San Suu Kyi Wrong?

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WASHINGTON — This is not the happy ending we were led to expect. When Myanmar elected Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s party to power in 2015, she was widely portrayed as a sort of political saint, an icon who had endured great suffering to guide her people from dictatorship to democracy. Amanda Taub and Max Fisher The Interpreter The New York Times President Barack Obama praised her. Hillary Clinton embraced her in public. The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, once ... Read More »

What Killed the Democratic Party?

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A new report offers a bracing autopsy of the 2016 election—and lays out a plan for revitalization The Democratic Party lost just about everything in 2016, but so far it has offered only evasive regrets and mild apologies. William Greider The Nation Instead of acknowledging gross failure and astounding errors, the party’s leaders and campaign professionals wallowed in self-pity and righteous indignation. The true villains, they insisted, were the wily Russians and the odious Donald Trump, who together intruded on ... Read More »

Barnaby Joyce farce another reason why we need to rip up our failed constitution

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Twenty-five years ago I received the same news Barnaby Joyce heard on Friday In an astounding High Court decision I’d been ruled ineligible to sit in the Parliament and told I was no longer the independent member for the prized seat of Wills, Bob Hawke’s old seat, which I’d won eight months earlier in an exhilarating byelection. Phil Cleary The Canberra Times The euphoria of our victory party in Coburg that night was put into stark relief by the High Court decision. By day’s end I was told to ... Read More »

Corbyn to skip Balfour centennial dinner with Netanyahu

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Emily Thornberry to attend event in Labour leader’s absence; Israeli envoy to UK brands opponents of declaration ‘extremists’ Alexander Fulbright The Times of Israel UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has reportedly declined to attend a dinner in London this week with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, which pledged Britain’s support for a Jewish national… Although no reason was given for Corbyn’s decision to skip the event, which was reported by the Sunday ... Read More »

John F Kennedy files, though incomplete, are a treasure trove for answer seekers

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Dallas: Citing national security concerns, US President Donald Trump ordered some of the John F. Kennedy assassination files to remain sealed for at least another 180… The Sydney Morning Herald – New York Times, Dallas Morning News, agencies The CIA and FBI objected to release of the material, much of it 54 years old, and the President said he “had no choice” but to agree that the concerns raised justify a delay because the risk of irreversible harm outweighs the public ... Read More »

‘No longer for sale’: Foreigners banned from buying houses in New Zealand

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Overseas buyers will no longer be allowed to purchase existing homes in New Zealand, Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Ardern declared as she unveiled a raft of policy deals made with her coalition… Yahoo7 News AFP The move to tackle soaring property prices was agreed during lengthy negotiations between the Labour Party leader and populist powerbroker Winston Peters to form a new government that also includes the Green… Ardern announced plans to slash immigration on Tuesday and focus on regional development and ... Read More »

Xi Jinping becomes most powerful leader since Mao with China’s change to constitution

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Rare accolade puts Xi’s Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics into Communist charter and sets him on course for indefinite spell in power Tom Phillips Is Xi or isn’t Xi? Who said it – Jinping or Mao Zedong? The Guardian Xi Jinping has been consecrated as China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong after a new body of political thought carrying his name was added to the Communist party’s constitution. The symbolic move came on the final day of a ... Read More »

New Zealand’s incoming PM Jacinda Ardern signs coalition deal, outlines plans to go green

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New Zealand’s incoming Government is hoping to make the nation greener by planting 100 million trees each year, ensuring the electricity grid runs entirely from renewable energy, and spending more money on cycle ways and rail transport. AP/ABC Jacinda Ardern, who takes over as prime minister this week, on Tuesday outlined agreements her Labour Party reached with other political parties joining them in the new Government. In addition to the environmental initiatives, Ms Ardern also outlined plans to raise the ... Read More »

An Election Delay Can Help Avert Kenya’s Crisis

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The rerun of Kenya’s presidential elections scheduled on 26 October risks escalating a political crisis, as the main opposition leader has withdrawn and the risk of violence is high. ICG The election commission should seek from the Supreme Court a 30-45 day delay to the vote. Kenya’s political leaders should support such an extension and commit to participate. What’s happening?  On 26 October, Kenya is scheduled to hold repeat presidential elections following the Supreme Court’s annulment of the previous vote ... Read More »

Why the government goes easy on corporate crime

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When Robert Mueller was tapped to investigate Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election, white-collar defense attorneys in Washington pumped their fists and readied their invoices. David Dayen New Republic Donald Trump and his inner circle have hit up practically every white-shoe law firm in town: Covington & Burling, Miller & Chevalier, Morgan Lewis, Hogan Lovells, Norton Rose Fulbright. For decades, veteran litigators from these firms have defended everyone from George W. Bush and Jack Abramoff on the right to ... Read More »

Joyce McMillan: Are the Tories imploding over Brexit?

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Back in a different world, in April last year, I wrote a column about the difficult questions posed for then-prime minister David Cameron, and his chancellor George Osborne, by the decision of Tata Steel to sell off its entire UK operation. Joyce McMillan The Scotsman To the right of them, they faced the free market ideologues of post-Thatcher Toryism, who view state intervention to save threatened industries with scorn. Even further to the right, with Boris Johnson in the lead, ... Read More »

Trump Likely to Block Release of Some JFK Files

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If the decision holds, it could contribute to the belief that the government has something to hide. Conspiracy theorists of the world, get ready for some bad news. Philip Shenon Politico Trump administration and other government officials say privately that President Donald Trump is almost certain to block the release of information from some of the thousands of classified files related to the November 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy that are scheduled to be made public in less ... Read More »

Managing the Disruptive Aftermath of Somalia’s Worst Terror Attack

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The 14 October 2017 twin bombings in Mogadishu mark the deadliest attack in Somalia since 2007 ICG As Somalis unite in their disgust at the most likely perpetrator Al-Shabaab, President Farmajo must immediately provide care for victims and use surging support for the government to redouble efforts aimed at overcoming the divisions in Somalia’s society that make Al-Shabaab such a… What happened? On 14 October 2017, twin truck bombings in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, killed upwards of 300 people. Al-Shabaab, an Islamist insurgency, was ... Read More »

Xi Jinping’s Message to the World: China is Back

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The hallmark of China’s foreign policy under Xi has been the abandonment of the “lay low” doctrine China’s 19th Party Congress, which opened this week in Beijing, is a landmark event for the world’s second-largest economy. Scott Moore The National Interest  In China’s one-party state, these congresses determine the country’s leadership, and are held every five years. But this one is special. It’s the first to be held since China’s current top leader, Xi Jinping, took power in 2012, and much ... Read More »