Leadership

Weak hand at helm as Australia drifts upon stormy regional seas

Political turmoil compels leadership to prioritize domestic survival, rather than the greatest series of foreign policy challenges Canberra has faced in decades. By LACHLAN COLQUHOUN Asia Times Australia faces arguably its greatest series of regional foreign policy challenges in decades – including, most notably, how to balance its relations with a rising China – but political turmoil is hampering a coherent and committed response. New Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently visited Indonesia to ink a new trade deal, while Foreign ... Read More »

Under pressure govt backtracks on Atif Mian appointment; removes economist from advisory council

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government has asked Princeton University economist Atif R. Mian to step down from the Prime Minister Imran Khan-led Economic Advisory Council (EAC), PTI Senator Faisal Javed Khan announced on Friday. Fahad Chaudhry Dawn The decision follows mounting pressure from religiopolitical partiesagainst the appointment of Dr Mian, who is an Ahmadi. According to a tweet by Senator Javed, Mian has agreed to give up his position on the council. A replacement will be announced later, he… Minister of ... Read More »

World politics explainer: the assassination of John F. Kennedy

At precisely 1pm on November 22, 1963, the 35th president of the United States was pronounced dead at Parkland Hospital Trauma Room 1 in Dallas, Texas. Lloyd Cox The Conversation John F Kennedy’s personal physician stated the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head. This was officially announced to a stunned public half an hour later. The shock waves of the president’s assassination, the fourth in US history, continue to reverberate today. What happened? While the events ... Read More »

North Korea sets denuclearisation timeline

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has given his first time line to achieve denuclearisation, aiming for the end of US President Donald Trump’s first term, and has agreed to a third summit with his South… Hyonhee Shin and Joyce Lee, Reuters Herald Sun Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet in Pyongyang on September 18-20 and discuss “practical measures” toward denuclearisation, Moon’s national security adviser, Chung Eui-… The summit could provide renewed momentum to talks over denuclearisation between North ... Read More »

In Australia, One Man Can Decide a Migrant’s Fate. Did He Abuse That Power?

SYDNEY, Australia — When a suicidal 10-year-old boy in an offshore detention camp asked to come to Australia for psychiatric care, Peter Dutton’s answer was no. By Damien Cave and Isabella Kwai The New York Times When an Australian combat veteran requested a refugee visa for his Afghan interpreter, Mr. Dutton — Australia’s top immigration official — also refused. But when an Italian au pair, who worked for a former colleague, needed a reprieve from deportation, Mr. Dutton obliged. It was at least the second ... Read More »

Land Reform in South Africa: Fact and Fiction

U.S. President Donald Trump touched off a diplomatic row with South Africa by repeating an erroneous broadcast about land reform there. Piers Pigou ICG In this Q&A, our Southern Africa Senior Consultant Piers Pigou sets the record straight about the land ownership and expropriation debates that are really underway in South Africa today. What happened to start the row? On 22 August, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that he had instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to investigate land seizures ... Read More »

How the Far Right Conquered Sweden

A bastion of social democracy, the country refused to deal with the realities of mass immigration. Jochen Bittner The New York Times STOCKHOLM — To understand why Sweden, a bastion of social democracy, might end up with a far-right party in government after national elections on Sunday, you need to take a walk with Ahmed Abdirahman. An American-educated Somali immigrant who works as a policy analyst at the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Abdirahman grew up and now lives in ... Read More »

Time to limit ministerial discretion in the immigration system

Peter Dutton’s use of ministerial discretion to grant visas to two foreign au pairs raises large questions about the propriety of his actions as minister for immigration. Shawn Rajanayagam The Age But, more importantly, the ongoing debate presents Parliament with an opportunity to introduce real limits on ministerial discretion in the immigration system so as to prevent those discretions from being used inequitably and… In granting visas to the au pairs, it seems that Mr Dutton exercised a power under ... Read More »

Sorry, Mr. Trump, the Attorney General Is America’s Lawyer

With his latest attack on Jeff Sessions, the president shows his real problem isn’t with the Justice Department but with the rule of law. By The Editorial Board The New York Times By now, few might lift an eyebrow at President Trump’s crusade to delegitimize his own Justice Department and, specifically, his attorney general, Jeff Sessions. It long ago became clear that Mr. Trump regards federal law enforcement — as he sees all of government — as a political tool ... Read More »

Dutton, the au pair affair and the question of abuse of power

Kim Wingerei questions why it’s necessary for ministerial positions to have such overarching powers of discretion that they can overrule established protocols. IA FROM WAVING AU PAIRS through the immigration queue, throwing money at unsuspecting charities and denying medical treatments for children, to ignoring climate change and the bullying culture that is endemic to Liberal Party politics, the Government has shown power but… It happens all the time, mates calling mates asking for favours. But when AFL CEO Gillian McLachlan emailed ... Read More »

Lies, ‘fake news’ and cover-ups: how has it come to this in Western democracies?

The Liberal leadership spill and Malcolm Turnbull’s downfall is but the latest instalment in a game of musical chairs that has dominated Australian politics for the best part of a decade. Joseph Camilleri The Conversation For many, it has been enough to portray Tony Abbott as the villain of the story. Others have pointed to Peter Dutton and his allies as willing, though not-so-clever, accomplices. There’s also been a highlighting of the herd instinct: once self-serving mutiny gathers steam, others ... Read More »

Turkey Needs the EU—The Question Is How Much Its Relationship Will Cost

European governments are currently witnessing a seemingly positive move by Turkey’s leadership toward the EU. Marc Pierini Carnegie Europe On the surface, this makes sense: Turkey’s economy is in very dire straits (and still depends on European markets and financial flows); the Lira is plummeting; hurtful sanctions have recently been imposed by the United States (and more may be coming); and Russia is having it its way in Syria (which… As a result, the Turkish foreign ministry is issuing statements. ... Read More »

Demonetisation in India: A Democracy Deficit

Demonetisation On November 8, 2016, when the United States of America was busy electing a populist president in Donald Trump, India’s own populist prime minister, Narendra Modi came up with a unique economic decision. Shubbam Ghosh EurasiaFuture In one stroke, he invalidated two high denomination currency notes the nation had been using –  Indian National Rupee notes (INR) valued at INR 1,000 and INR 500. According to Modi and his supporters, the move was a… On August 29, 2018, almost ... Read More »

Australian Catholic Church rejects calls for priests to report child abuse confessions

Australia’s Catholic Church has rejected calls for priests to be compelled to report child abuse revealed in confessionals. By Euan McKirdy and Ben Westcott, CNN The Church said Friday it would accept “98%” of recommendations made by a high-level government inquiry into child sexual abuse, which uncovered shocking accounts of widespread abuse inside… But church leaders said that they would maintain the sanctity of confession, arguing to remove it would infringe on religious liberties. “The only recommendation we can’t accept ... Read More »

Trump, Erdogan and the New Global Order

The Trump administration must not choose drastic and destabilizing steps to put further pressure on Turkey or strong-arm allies into playing along with its decisions. Nick Danforth The New York Times The current crisis between Ankara and Washington over the fate of the imprisoned American pastor Andrew Brunson is the culmination of a long-simmering dispute over the fundamental nature of the relationship between the United States and Turkey. Both sides want the relationship to continue but have irreconcilable expectations about ... Read More »

Turkey might not like the West, but needs it

When President Trump sanctioned two Turkish ministers—an unprecedented measure involving a NATO ally—and announced the doubling of trade tariffs early in August, he further aggravated the steadily deteriorating U.S.-Turkish relationship. Kemal Kirişci Brookings The moves came after the Turkish government refused to allow Pastor Andrew Brunson, who is facing spurious espionage and terrorism charges, to return to the United States. Turkey’s currency, already fragile, went into a tailspin, and has lost nearly half its value compared to the beginning of ... Read More »