North America

‘I felt like I failed’: Michelle Obama opens up on miscarriage, IVF

Michelle Obama says she felt “lost and alone” after suffering a miscarriage 20 years ago and she and Barack Obama underwent in vitro fertilization to conceive their two daughters. The Canberra Times AP “We were trying to get pregnant and it wasn’t going well,” Mrs Obama, 54, writes in her upcoming memoir. “We had one pregnancy test come back positive, which caused us both to forget every worry and swoon with joy, but a couple of weeks later I had ... Read More »

Donald Tusk’s call to defeat ‘Bolsheviks’ marks Polish political return

The power of ‘those who want to disintegrate Europe’ is growing, said the European Council president. By MICHAŁ BRONIATOWSKI Politico ŁÓDŹ, Poland — The Polish people should rise up and “defeat today’s Bolsheviks” in the country’s ruling Law and Justice party, European Council President Donald Tusk told a crowd of over a… The former Polish prime minister’s call — on the eve of the country’s independence centenary — to form an opposition movement against the government, is his first mass ... Read More »

Is a U.S.-China Clash Over Taiwan Inevitable?

With Beijing long viewing Taiwan as a red-line and Washington continuing to consider the defense of Taiwan as a core component of its Asia policy, the room for error is getting dangerously slim. Daniel R. DePetris The National Interest At a time when the trade war between Washington and Beijing shows no signs of abating and China’s policy in the South China Sea remains a major irritant in the bilateral relationship, events like the U.S.-China Diplomatic and… Defense Secretary Jim ... Read More »

Origins and implications of the caravan of Honduran migrants

Honduras is a wonderful place for a short visit, despite its reputation as a one of the most dangerous places on the planet. Sharon McLennan The Conversation It is a small, beautiful country with an abundance of natural resources and a warm, welcoming culture. But it is a very hard place to live. I first travelled there nearly 20 years ago to do volunteer work, meeting my Honduran husband in the process. I have visited multiple times since then, including ... Read More »

Australians are the richest people in the world

The United States is home to more millionaires than any other country in the world. But whether the country is truly the wealthiest in the world depends on how you measure. Shayanne Gal & Hilary Brueck Business Insider A report released by Credit Suisse in October says the US is “in the lead” when it comes to global wealth. But a closer look at the numbers in that report reveals a different story. While it’s true that wealth in the US is growing faster ... Read More »

‘One China’ means different things to different people. It also might mean war

The “One China” policy means there is only one Chinese nation and that it is governed from Beijing. ABC – RN – By Antony Funnell for Rear Vision Right? Wrong. In fact, the policy allows for the existence of two separate Chinese entities, not one. They are People’s Republic of China (PRC), governed by the Communist Party from Beijing, and the Republic of China (ROC), based on the island of Taiwan and governed by the Democratic Progressive Party. If that sounds confusing, it’s because ... Read More »

A 1965 Novel About an Unhinged President Is Being Rereleased

A 1965 Times review of Fletcher Knebel’s “Night of Camp David” called the book “too plausible for comfort.” Alexandra Alter The New York Times A couple of months ago, prominent political pundits began buzzing about a provocative book by a Washington journalist. The book — which raised questions about what Congressional leaders should do if the president was mentally unstable and unfit for office — wasn’t a new expose about the Trump administration. It was a 1965 political thriller by Fletcher ... Read More »

The Possibility of US Withdrawal from the INF Treaty

It is no secret that the modern globalised world is increasingly dependent on the quality of states implementing international agreements that regulate relations between countries. ISF This is of particular importance in fields such as human rights, the environment, and, of course, disarmament and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) prohibition. On October 20 Donald Trump stated that the US decided to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and to start developing weapons prohibited under the treaty. This ... Read More »

Women candidates break records in the 2018 US midterm elections

The 2018 midterms broke the records on female candidates in US elections More than 20 women were on the Senate ballot, while more than ten times that number stood for the House of Representatives. Jennifer Mathers The Conversation If we also consider state elections for executive roles such as governor as well as state legislatures, the number of female candidates in 2018 rises by another 3,500. The results mean that several states (including Arizonaand Tennessee) will now send their first ever women to the Senate, and more than ... Read More »

Canada-EU Trade Deal A ‘Disappointment’ As Deficit With Europe Soars 46%

Dear Canada, free trade deals don’t make sense if you don’t sell things to your trade partners. Daniel Tencer HuffPost The conventional wisdom is that free trade deals are, on the whole, a net benefit to an economy. But that isn’t true if you don’t actually take advantage of the opportunities created by those deals. Canada has grabbed few opportunities from its one-year-old Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union. Twelve months in, it looks like European ... Read More »

Snowden issues surveillance warning to Israelis

U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden urged Israelis to be on guard against heavy-handed government and private surveillance in a speech by video link on Nov. 6 and defended his 2013 massive… TEL AVIV – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Snowden highlighted Israel‘s high-tech capabilities, but warned that accepting too much government surveillance and too easily acceding to the argument that it is needed for security reasons… “If we can allow ourselves to be terrorized by someone with nothing but a knife, to reorder our societies for the convenience ... Read More »

Rebuke but not rejection gives Trump hope for a second term

New York: The US midterm elections should deliver a blaring wake-up call to both Donald Trump and to the Democratic Party. Matthew Knott Brisbane Times The question is whether either Trump or his political opponents possess the self-reflection required to turn the results into a springboard to victory at the 2020 presidential election. Firstly, the President. While Trump will try to focus on the Republicans’ strong performance in the Senate, there is no escaping the fact that voters have delivered a ... Read More »

Macron wants ‘Euro army’ to combat China, Russia and US

Paris: Emmanuel Macron, the French president, has called for a “real European army” to defend the continent against Russia, China and even the US. Henry Samuel The Age Telegraph, UK Mr Macron, who has pushed for a joint EU military force since his election last year, issued the call in northern France in the run-up to the centenary of the end of the First World War. “We will not protect the Europeans unless we decide to have a true European army,” ... Read More »

China Poses the Biggest Threat to the U.S. Elections

What the Chinese are doing is much more sophisticated than what the United States saw in 2016 from the Russians. Tyler Grant The National Interest Did you think the trade war was bad for U.S.-China relations? Well recently, President Donald Trump upped the stakes and further escalated tensions by accusing the Chinese of interfering in the U.S. elections. To back up his claims, the president pointed to a four-page advertorial the state-controlled China Daily took out in the Des Moines Register , which criticized Trump’s handling of the ... Read More »

US charges widen the net, deepen the intrigue on 1MDB scam

US DoJ indictments implicate fugitive financier Low Taek Jho and Goldman Sachs bankers but are likely only the first of many to be exposed in court in the multi-billion dollar heist. Matt Mulberry Asia Times On November 1, the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) announced it had lodged criminal charges against three suspects in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fraud case, considered by observers among the… The three accused include fugitive Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, former Goldman Sachs ... Read More »

Iranian hardliners dig in as US sanctions snap back

Rouhani’s government is working to salvage the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, but Iranian hardliners are digging in for resistance By ALISON TAHMIZIAN MEUSE Asia Times Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed on Monday to defy United States sanctions on the country’s petroleum sector, even as the conservative Guardian Council went further – rejecting a bill meant to relieve US pressure. Rouhani said Iran would “proudly bypass” the US sanctions in a televised speech on state TV as the 180-day deadline passed. Brigadier ... Read More »