Leadership

The State Department Just Lost Its Most Experienced Leader

Tom Shannon’s departure leaves just one career ambassador at the beleaguered agency. Krishnadev Calamur The Atlantic Tom Shannon is an increasingly rare kind of public servant in Washington—a career diplomat who served administrations of both parties, starting with the Reagan administration, and one of only two people currently at the State Department to have achieved the title of “career ambassador.” (There were five when Obama left office.) “I have had the honor of serving under six presidents and ten secretaries ... Read More »

Anti-Abortion Democrat Loses Key Support To Progressive Challenger

Marie Newman’s campaign against Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) is getting a big boost from EMILY’s List By Daniel Marans HuffPost EMILY’s List, the fundraising group that backs pro-abortion rights Democratic women, on Friday endorsed Illinois progressive Marie Newman’s campaign against Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), one of the last anti-abortion Democrats in Congress. Support from EMILY’s List, a fundraising powerhouse closely aligned with Democratic Party leadership, gives Newman a major boost in her effort to unseat Lipinski in the March 20 ... Read More »

Hong Kong ‘Umbrella Movement’ nominated for Nobel prize

Three Hong Kong activists and the pro-democracy group behind the Umbrella Movement have been nominated for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for their role in pushing for reform in the Chinese territory. AlJazeera Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow, as well as the “Umbrella Movement”, were nominated by a group of US Congress members for the prestigious prize, a move Beijing denounced on Friday as a form of “meddling” in its internal affairs. “This nomination could not be more timely as Hong Kong’s long-cherished ... Read More »

Senate crossbencher Lucy Gichuhi joins the Turnbull government in shock numbers manoeuvre

Former Family First senator Lucy Gichuhi has defected from the crossbench to join Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s government. Mark Kenny The Canberra Times The Kenyan-born lawyer had been voting as an independent following the dissolution of her previous party but will now sit as a fully-fledged Liberal Party senator for South Australia. The move, shrouded in secrecy for weeks but made public on Friday night, effectively restores the number the Coalition lost by the defection of Cory Bernardi, who had hoped ... Read More »

Diplomats Are Made, Not Born

Diplomacy and politics may go hand in hand, but their partnership isn’t one of equals. It is logical — especially in a democracy — for a country’s diplomacy to serve its political leaders. By NICHOLAS KRALEV The New York Times Sometimes, however, smart leaders allow diplomacy to influence politics. For that influence to be truly worthwhile, governments around the world must solve an acute problem: Global diplomacy today is not very effective, in part because it is misunderstood and starved of ... Read More »

Kenya: Averting an Avoidable Crisis

Kenya’s ongoing electoral standoff could be compounded further if opposition leader Raila Odinga proceeds with a “swearing-in” ceremony that might elicit a tough response from President Kenyatta. ICG To avert the risk of further protests, destruction and bloodshed, all actors should redouble efforts to broker a last-minute deal. Kenya’s political crisis could come to a head on Tuesday 30 January 2018. Opposition leader Raila Odinga is expected to stage a swearing-in ceremony as the “people’s president” after two contentious elections in ... Read More »

US Allies Should Back President Trump

It is not the business of allies to meddle in the domestic affairs of the US, and certainly not to take a position in domestic controversies over the performance of its leaders and politicians. Prof. Hillel Frisch BESA It is the role of the vibrant democratic process in the US to handle such matters. What is of utmost importance, however, is for allies to make known to American citizens how they see the US president advancing what they perceive to ... Read More »

Finland’s Marine Le Pen

She hates the EU, cheered Brexit, supports Trump — and believes Finland needs her brand of populism. By REID STANDISH Politico HELSINKI — Of the eight contenders to be Finland’s next president, none stand out quite like Laura Huhtasaari. The candidate of the far-right Finns Party is an outlier in both style and substance. She won’t win Sunday’s presidential election but she’s using her time in the spotlight to push her party’s anti-immigrant, anti-establishment message. She hates the European Union, cheered ... Read More »

Nikki Haley says Palestine’s Abbas lacks ‘Courage,’ ‘Insulted’ Trump in a fiery U.N. Speech

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Thursday issued a scathing attack on Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, charging that he lacks “courage and the will to seek peace” in the Middle East. Tracy Lee Newsweek “We will not chase after a Palestinian leadership that lacks what is needed to achieve peace,” Haley said in a fiery speech at a U.N. Security Council meeting. This comes as U.S. President Donald Trump, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, ... Read More »

Where world’s power brokers really meet

Another winter gathering has quietly become the venue for smart thinkers to get to grips with geopolitics For true “globalist elites,” it’s a rite of winter. By MATTHEW KARNITSCHNIG Politico Just when the European weather is at its most unwelcoming, the world’s great strategic minds descend on a quaint city at the Continent’s geographic center, crowding into rustic Stuben to debate the state of the world over beer and mulled wine. In recent years, this forum for Big Thought, aka the Munich Security Conference, ... Read More »

This Man is Likely to Succeed the Castro Brothers After Their 59-Year Long Rule

Cuban President Raul Castro is due to hand over the reins to his successor this year All the indications are that First Vice-President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez will assume the presidency after the Castro brothers, becoming the first leader of the country who was born after the legendary Cuban Revolution. Sputnik Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, first vice-president of Cuba and former university professor, may become the new president of the country in the coming months. On April 19, Raul Castro will finish his second tenure ... Read More »

Editor: Erdogan urged attack on Turkish Cypriot newspaper

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) – The editor of a left-wing Turkish Cypriot newspaper on Monday accused Turkey’s president of instructing supporters to launch a violent attack against his publication’s offices over criticism for Ankara’s military offensive into Syria. WPXInews Sener Levent said his newspaper Afrika won’t be silenced in calling out Turkey’s policies either in the breakaway north of ethnically-split Cyprus or elsewhere. Dozens of Turkish flag-waving protesters smashed windowpanes and hurled stones, eggs and other items at Afrika’s first floor offices in ... Read More »

They Were Bad. He May Be Worse.

Historians have long looked to a few key criteria in evaluating the beginning of a president’s administration Sean Wilentz The New York Times First and foremost, any new president should execute public duties with a commanding civility and poise befitting the nation’s chief executive, but without appearing aloof or haughty. As George Washington observed at the outset of his presidency in 1789, the president cannot in any way “demean himself in his public character” and must act “in such a ... Read More »

‘Just like show business’: why celebrities are taking over politics

Whatever one thinks about Donald Trump, it’s hard to deny that his presidency – or what purports to be a presidency – is entertaining in the extreme. Norman Abjorensen Brisbane Times In fact, so pervasively entertaining is the 24-hour non-stop Trump show – a heady mix of feeble script, hilarious ad lib and the utterly gobsmacking tweet – that you have to wonder when he gets the time to govern (if he does it at all). Suddenly, reality TV, where ... Read More »

Chelsea Manning: Ex-army leaker to run for US senate

Chelsea Manning, the former US intelligence analyst who was jailed for leaking classified documents, is seeking the Democratic Party nomination to run for the US senate in Maryland. BBC In 2013 Manning was sentenced to 35 years after being found guilty of 20 charges, including espionage. But former US President Barack Obama commuted her sentence. The 30-year-old, who was born Bradley Manning, will challenge Democratic Senator Ben Cardin for the nomination. The former US soldier moved to Maryland after being ... Read More »

A New American Leader Rises in ISIS

A two-year investigation identifies one of the very few Americans in the Islamic State’s upper ranks—and sheds light on the dynamics of radicalization Seamus Hughes, Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens, and Bennett Clifford The Atlantic The clues are out there, if you know where to look. Scattered across far-flung corners of the internet, there is evidence that Zulfi Hoxha, the son of an Albanian-American pizza-shop owner from New Jersey, had sinister plans. First there’s the defunct Twitter profile, which at one point engaged ... Read More »