Leadership

Can Anyone Succeed As Trump’s Chief of Staff?

It’s a near-impossible job. But here are a few basic rules Mick Mulvaney can follow to avoid disaster. Chris Whipple Politico It’s no wonder Mick Mulvaney, Donald Trump’s new White House chief of staff, wanted “acting” in his job title. James A. Baker III, Ronald Reagan’s quintessential gatekeeper, tells every incoming chief the same thing when asked for his advice: “Congratulations, you’ve got the worst f—ing job in government.” The position is so relentless and punishing that Dick Cheney blames ... Read More »

Bernie Sanders Isn’t Just Another White Male Candidate. His Nomination Would Be Historic.

The 2020 Democratic primary will likely offer the most diverse field of candidates either party has ever put forward for the presidency. David Klion Forward At least four serious African-American contenders (Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Andrew Gillum, and Eric Holder) have been floated so far, as have at least four women (Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy… And then there are a large number of white men — the demographic that has accounted for all but one president to date — ... Read More »

Lakhs Join Hands For Kerala’s ‘Women’s Wall’, Initiative Attacked In Kasaragod

State health minister KK Shylaja led the chain at Kasargod while senior CPM leader Brinda Karat was the last person at the end of the chain in Thiruvananthapuram. HuffPost Lakhs of women participated in the 620 km-long ‘Women’s wall’, organised by the Kerala government, which stretched from the northern tip of the state in Kasaragod to the southern end in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday. State health minister KK Shylaja led the chain at Kasaragod while senior CPM leader Brinda Karat was ... Read More »

Kim calls for corresponding US measures, ready to meet Trump

North Korean leader delivers annual New Year’s Day speech laying out Pyongyang’s top priorities for the 12 months ahead. Al Jazeera and News Agencies North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has renewed his commitment to denuclearisation but warned that he may have no option but to seek an alternative course if the United States does not take corresponding measures and… Kim made the comments on Tuesday during his annual New Year’s Day address laying out Pyongyang’s top priorities for the… In ... Read More »

First Democratic contender announces she’s running for president

Senator Elizabeth Warren, a sharp critic of big banks and unregulated capitalism, has entered the 2020 race for president, becoming the first major candidate in what is likely to be a long and crowded primary marked by ideological and… Doina Chiacu The Canberra Times Reuters, New York Times In an 8.30am email to supporters on New Year’s Eve — 13 months before the first votes will be cast in the Iowa caucuses — Warren said she was forming an exploratory committee, ... Read More »

‘It unnerved us’: John Howard admits he mishandled the High Court’s Wik decision

Former prime minister John Howard has admitted his government mishandled its response to the High Court’s Wik decision, saying it created the impression the government was “drifting” and… Stephanie Peatling The Sydney Morning Herald In December 1996, the High Court upheld a decision in a case brought by the Wik and Thayorre people of Queensland against the Queensland government. It decided that native title is not necessarily extinguished by the grant of a pastoral lease and that native title can co-exist ... Read More »

Trump gives in to calls to slow down troop pullout from Syria

United States President Donald Trump has given in to pressure to slow down his planned troop pullout from Syria, permitting the US military four months to withdraw. PreesTV The New York Times reported the decision on Monday. Trump had initially given the American forces 30 days for the procedure. The American president had hinted at a more extensive pullout timetable earlier on Monday, tweeting about “slowly sending our troops back home.” Many military and Pentagon officials had sought to entirely change the president’s mind ... Read More »

Coronation of King Rama X set for early May, Thai palace says

Elaborate ceremony to be held from May 4 to 6, Royal Household Bureau announces Asia Times A three-day coronation ceremony will be held in early May for Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn, the Royal Household Bureau announced on Tuesday. The “new” king – who is 66 and known as Rama X of the Chakri dynasty – will be crowned in an elaborate ceremony to be held from May 4 to 6, it said in a televised announcement. “It’s a suitable time ... Read More »

Brazil swears in far-right President Jair Bolsonaro

Brazil has sworn in former army captain President Jair Bolsonaro, amid tight security. The far-right politician, an admirer of the country’s former military dictatorship, pledged to rid the country of “ideological ties.” DW Bolsonaro was sworn in as at president on Tuesday, promising to overhaul the country’s economy and bring about sweeping social change. An aficionado of US President Donald Trump, Bolsonaro rose to power on a pro-gun, anti-corruption agenda. Speaking in an address to the nation on Tuesday, Bolsonaro said, now ... Read More »

Archbishop of Canterbury urges openness in new year message

Justin Welby says country should try to overcome recent struggles and divisions Harriet Sherwood The Guardian The archbishop of Canterbury has urged the country to start 2019 in a “new spirit of openness towards each other” in an attempt to overcome the struggles and divisions of recent years. Justin Welby was delivering a new year message from Lambeth Palace, his London base. Acknowledging that the festive period can be stressful for some families – “sometimes we get on each other’s nerves” ... Read More »

Departing chief of staff John Kelly paints a dim portrait of Trump

Washington: A few months ago, a senior Trump administration official wrote a controversial anonymous oped in the New York Times that said forces within the administration were working to rein in President Donald Trump’s potentially damaging whims. Aaron Blake WAtoday / The Washington Post In an interview, Trump’s departing chief of staff, John Kelly, basically confirmed that’s exactly what has happened for the past two years. “In the phone interview [on] Friday, Kelly defended his rocky tenure, arguing that it is best measured ... Read More »

Colombia condemns alleged plot to kill president

Colombia‘s foreign minister on Dec. 29 condemned an alleged plot to kill President IvanDuque and said three Venezuelan citizens had been detained in possession of “weapons of war.” BOGOTA – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet “For several months there have been intelligence probes into possible attacks against the life of the president,” Carlos Holmes Trujillo said in a video on the ministry’s social media accounts. He added that three Venezuelans in possession of “weapons of war” had been captured in connection with such plots, without going ... Read More »

Congo to EU: Mind your own business

An election that’s been delayed for two years is about to be held, and the country has booted out the EU ambassador. Giulia Paravicini Politico KINSHASA — The message from the Democratic Republic of Congo to the EU was loud and not-at-all subtle. The African nation’s decision to expel the EU ambassador, Bart Ouvry, days before a long-delayed election, was done in public, humiliating fashion. On Thursday evening, Congo’s foreign affairs minister gathered the diplomatic community for a meeting in the capital, Kinshasa. ... Read More »

You can’t get public service ethics from bankers

When Matt Comyn, now chief executive of the Commonwealth Bank, was a slightly more junior bank executive, he had qualms and scruples about the bank’s shameful practice of selling virtually useless personal loan insurance to its… Jack Waterford The Canberra Times His then boss, Ian Narev told him to “temper your sense of justice.” Mr Comyn, the successor and protégé of Narev, apparently followed this advice. It wasn’t until about 10 months ago, after it was clear that the banking ... Read More »

DR Congo Elections: Reversing a Dangerous Decision

After postponing long-awaited elections, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s electoral commission has announced a second delay in voting in some conflict-affected areas – until after a new president takes office. ICG This decision disenfranchises 1.25 million Congolese and risks major unrest. The commission should rescind it.  The latest twist in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s tortuous electoral saga may well be its most worrying and dangerous yet. On 26 December, the Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) announced that parts of North ... Read More »

10 Conflicts to Watch in 2019

As U.S. leadership of the international order fades, more countries are seeking to bolster their influence by meddling in foreign conflicts. In this new era of limit testing, Crisis Group’s President Robert Malley lists the Ten Conflicts to Watch in 2019. In a world with fewer rules, the only truly effective one is knowing what you can get away with. The answer today, it turns out, is: quite a lot. As the era of uncontested U.S. primacy fades, the international ... Read More »