Leadership

Malaysia’s Mahathir named opposition PM candidate

Deb 2b

Malaysia’s veteran ex-leader Mahathir Mohamad was named as the opposition’s prime ministerial candidate Sunday as a bruising election battle looms against scandal-plagued premier Najib Razak and his long-ruling coalition. SHAH ALAM, Malaysia – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The decision means the 92-year-old, a hugely divisive figure criticized for ruling with an iron fist during his long reign, could return as premier 15 years after stepping down. But he also agreed to make way for jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim — his ... Read More »

Time for Germany to Learn to Lead

Trump Merkel 1a LLLL

Washington’s move to abandon its global leadership role marks the end of Germany’s foreign policy innocence Christiane Hoffmann Spiegel Berlin will soon be faced with difficult choices that could dent its moral standing It is often a single sentence that goes down in history, one that epitomizes an idea, a movement, an era or a personality. Two sentences from Angela Merkel come to mind. One, focused on domestic politics, was an entreaty: “We can do it.” It was a pledge ... Read More »

Book revelations put new focus on Donald Trump’s mental health

Mutr 6f

Yale psychiatric professor who briefed members of Congress last month tells the Guardian ‘the danger has become imminent’ Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House review – tell-all burns all Sabrina Siddiqui in Washington The Guardian The revelations in Michael Wolff’s explosive book about Donald Trump’s first year in office have renewed scrutiny of the president’s mental health Although the White House has denounced Wolff’s Fire and Fury as “complete fantasy”, the book sheds light on concerns among top White ... Read More »

How Iran’s President Rouhani Can Turn Crisis into Opportunity

Vae 2b

Daily street protests across Iran since 28 December 2017 have pitted many young Iranians against the government, but the state’s response is revealing deep fractures in the political establishment. Ali Vaez ICG To outflank both the unrest and his political opponents, President Rouhani’s best option is to address head-on the drivers of the protests and pursue popular reform. Manifold reasons lie behind Iran’s ongoing protests, but the immediate trigger appears to be widespread disgruntlement over the country’s economic performance, especially ... Read More »

Tony Blair: Government could oppose final Brexit deal

Mauy 3c

Discussions over Border highlight central dilemma for Theresa May, says former PM Denis Staunton The Irish Times The Government would have a strong case to oppose a final Brexit deal without a clear, detailed agreement on how to avoid a hard border, Tony Blair has said. The former British prime minister said the deal agreed between Theresa May and the European Union last month did not resolve the issue of the Border. “The important thing about the deal on Ireland was that ... Read More »

Donald Trump’s Biggest Fear: A Romney 2020 Primary Challenge

Foro 5e

The retirement of Sen. Orrin Hatch sets up a bigger political play. With Sen. Orrin Hatch’s announcement that he will not run again in 2018, Mitt Romney is on the verge of gaining his revenge against President Donald Trump. Jacob Heilbrunn The National Interest Until now, the Republican establishment has lacked a figurehead behind which it could mobilize against Trump. If Romney runs for Hatch’s position, he will be poised to challenge Trump in the 2020 Republican primary and to ... Read More »

Pakistan summons US ambassador over Trump’s angry tweet

Foro 4d

Pakistan summoned the U.S. ambassador in protest against U.S. President Donald Trump’s angry tweet about Pakistan’s “lies and deceit,” while Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif dismissed the outburst as a political stunt. ISLAMABAD – Reuters Hurriyet David Hale was summoned by the Pakistan foreign office on Jan. 1 to explain Trump’s tweet, media said. A spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad confirmed the meeting took place. In a withering attack, Trump on Jan. 1 said the United States had “foolishly” ... Read More »

UN chief calls for restraint, urges Kabila to step down

Ceki 2b

The UN chief has called on Joseph Kabila, president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), to peacefully leave office in accordance with an agreement in late 2016. AlJazeera The comments by Antonio Guterres late on Sunday came after security forces killed at least seven people and arrested more than 120 during protests against Kabila’s rule. Catholic protesters rallied in the capital, Kinshasa, and other cities after Sunday mass to demand Kabila, whose second term as president ended in December 2016, step… UN chief calls… Read More »

Venezuela to raise minimum wage despite economic crisis

Maduro 1a EPA LLLL

Venezuela is set to raise its minimum wage by 40%, in a move expected to worsen already high levels of inflation. BBC The country is suffering from an economic crisis in which shortages of food and medicine are common Venezuela’s economy has been hit by falling oil revenue and the plummeting value of the Bolivar. President Nicolas Maduro announced the wage increase in his end-of-year address. He said the move would “protect workers” from what he called an economic war ... Read More »

Joe Hockey discussed Alexander Downer’s Russia revelations with FBI

Downer 2b Alastair Grant photo LLLL

The ambassador to the United States Joe Hockey personally steered Australia’s dealings with the FBI on explosive revelations of Russian hacking during last year’s presidential campaign in a sign of how politically sensitive the Australian government regarded the bombshell discovery, Fairfax Media understands. David Wroe Brisbane Times It is also understood there is now annoyance and frustration in Canberra that the High Commissioner to Britain Alexander Downer has been outed through leaks by US officials as the source of information ... Read More »

Macron’s new year’s speech: ‘France can’t succeed without a strong Europe’

Pert 3c

French president promises to listen to dissenting voices but appeals to Europeans not to give in to ‘nationalists and sceptics’ Angelique Chrisafis in Paris The Guardian The French president, Emmanuel Macron, appealed to European citizens “not to give in to nationalists and sceptics”, as he used his new year’s speech to promise to make the European Union “more united, more sovereign and more democratic”. Macron said in a televised address: “I deeply believe Europe can become that economic, social, environmentally-friendly, scientific power that ... Read More »

Chinese ban on ivory sales goes into effect

Seized elephant ivory tusks are seen during a press conference at the Kwai Chung Customhouse Cargo Examination Compound in Hong Kong on July 6, 2017.
Hong Kong Customs have seized 7.2 tonnes of ivory tusks with an estimated market value of HKD 72 million (9.2 million usd) in the city's largest bust in three decades. / AFP PHOTO / Anthony WALLACE

China’s complete ban on ivory trade went into effect on Dec. 31, officials said, a major step forward in Beijing’s efforts to rein in what was once the world’s largest market for illegal ivory. BEIJING – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet “From today… the buying and selling of elephant ivory and goods by any market, shop or vendor is against the law!” the forestry ministry said on its official account on Chinese social media platform Weibo. “From now on, if a merchant ... Read More »

When it comes to refugees, Abbott, Turnbull, Morrison and Dutton are hypocrites

Few 5e

They claim to be Christians but seem to forget the fundamental tenets of its teaching: compassion and treating others as you would want to be treated Julian Burnside The Guardian Ιn 1974 the parliament passed the Trade Practices Act which, by section 52, decreed that a corporation should not “engage in conduct which is misleading or deceptive”. But parliamentarians are not subject to similar restrictions. We accept without questioning that norms of conduct, which parliamentarians set for commerce, do not ... Read More »

Thousands of Peruvians march against Fujimori pardon

Limi 1a

Thousands of Peruvians marched on Dec. 28 to protest the president’s recent pardoning of former authoritarian leader Alberto Fujimori, calling for new general elections as a graft scandal ensnares established politicians. LIMA – Reuters Hurriyet The demonstrations capped a head-spinning week in which President Pedro Pablo Kuczysnki warned about a new rise of Fujimori’s authoritarian movement, only to pardon him three days later after Fujimori’s loyalists in Congress saved him from an impeachment bid. Waving Peruvian flags and chanting “down ... Read More »

How Hariri fell and survived: The story of his resignation from Saudi Arabia

Rest 3c

Beirut: Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was summoned at 8.30am to the Saudi royal offices – unseemly early, by the kingdom’s standards – on the second day of a visit that was already far from what he had expected. Anne Barnard and Maria Abi-Habib Brisbane Times New York Times Hariri, long an ally of the Saudis, dressed that morning in jeans and a T-shirt, thinking he was going camping in the desert with the crown prince, Mohammed bin… But instead he ... Read More »

How Putin became a problem for Russian oligarchs

Crem 4d

On December 21, Russian President Vladimir Putinmet with Russian oligarchs at the Kremlin. Roman Dobrokhotov AlJazeera Тhe men in attendance had a combined wealth of $213bn, almost as much as the Russian federal budget. So it was no wonder Putin wanted to meet them and assure their loyalty, especially before the presidential elections next year (even if they will be just a formality). Until recently, such meetings used to happen once a year, but this one was the third in 2017. So why all this enthusiasm ... Read More »