North America

The destructive American fad Australia needs to avoid

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Politics since World War II has been dominated by the ideological struggle along Marxist economic lines. The working class versus the capitalist class. In the Australian labelling, Labor against Liberal. Peter Hartcher The Sydney Morning Herald That framework is in the process of being overlaid, and even overwhelmed. Politics increasingly is becoming a clash of identities. The US is leading the way, with Europe close behind. Because there’s no American fad too stupid for Australia to ape, we’d better pay ... Read More »

The geopolitics of artificial intelligence

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In The WorldPost this week, we examine and evaluate two key developments of the digital age: the emergent geopolitics of artificial intelligence and Facebook’s recent move toward “reputational scores” as a means to signal trustworthy information to users. Nathan Gardels The Washington Post In an interview, AI guru Kai-Fu Lee talks about his new book, “AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order.” For Lee, who is based in Beijing, the world of AI has become a “duopoly” in which ... Read More »

Why US top court is so much more political than UK’s

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The composition of the US Supreme Court is about to change and the nomination of its potential new member, by some accounts unlike any other, has revived discussions about how political the selection is. BBC The debate is unlike any the UK has when justices at the Supreme Court are replaced, as a different appointment system means their political views are rarely publicly known and, according to experts, do… US: A president’s choice In the US, the nine-member Supreme Court ... Read More »

On the Supreme Court, difficult nominations have led to historical injustices

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Far from being unusual, the hurried and partisan Supreme Court confirmation process for Brett Kavanaugh mirrors several notable examples of similarly politicized confirmations in U.S. history. Calvin Schermerhorn The Conversation Those conflicts, which ultimately placed justices on the court, yielded some of the most damaging civil rights decisions in our nation’s history. Unlike any other branch of government, Supreme Court justices do not have to face voters at the polls. They have no term limits. Yet the high court is ... Read More »

Canada MPs vote to strip Aung San Suu Kyi of honorary citizenship

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Canadian MPs have voted unanimously to revoke the honorary citizenship of Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. BBC Passing the motion was a response to her failure to stop the persecution of the Rohingya minority in her country. Ms Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her efforts to bring democracy to Myanmar – also known as Burma – which was then under military rule. A UN report last month said Myanmar military leaders must be investigated ... Read More »

How Alliances Made Athens Great

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The ancient Athenians manipulated their allies, spreading democracy and providing protection, always with their own interests first. Trump could learn something. Nikos Konstandaras The New York Times ATHENS — In his declared intention to “Make America Great Again,” President Trump appears set on destroying the foundations of American greatness. The multinational organizations and agreements that established peace and stability, and encouraged economic growth for some seven decades, were designed principally by Americans. They organized the world pretty much the way that ... Read More »

‘MeToo must become WeToo’: Jacinda Ardern’s speech to UN rebuts Trump

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New Zealand prime minister called for collective action and multilateralism in address that was applauded at the UN in New York Eleanor Ainge Roy The Guardian The prime minister of New Zealand has been met with thunderous applause at the UN for her speech espousing global cooperation and kindness from world leaders, in stark contrast to Donald Trump’s portentous rejection of globalism earlier in the week. Jacinda Ardern’s national statement was viewed by many commentators as a direct rebuttal to the US ... Read More »

Kavanaugh hearing: Supreme Court nominee insists on his innocence, calls process ‘national disgrace’

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Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh angrily denied allegations of sexual misconduct and called his confirmation process a “national disgrace” during testimony before a Senate committee Thursday. By Seung Min Kim , Ann E. Marimow , Mike DeBonis and Elise Viebeck The Washington Post One of his accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, spoke and answered questions earlier in the day. She said she was “one hundred percent” certain that President Trump’s nominee was the man who attacked her when she was… 8:18 p.m.: Committee ... Read More »

Hiring highly educated immigrants leads to more innovation and better products

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Much of the current debate over immigration is about what kind of impact immigrants have on jobs and wages for workers born in the United States. Authors: The Conversation Seldom does anyone talk about how immigration leads to a wider variety of better products for the American consumer. We recently conducted a study to shine more light on the matter. We are economists with a keen interest in growth and innovation and how immigration affects the economy. What we found ... Read More »

Comment: ‘People actually laughed at a president’: At U.N. speech, Trump suffers the fate he always feared

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President Trump has long argued that the United States has been taken advantage of by other nations — a “laughing stock to the entire World” he said on Twitter in 2014 — and his political rise was countenanced on the… David Nakamura The Washington Post But at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump got a comeuppance on the world’s biggest stage. Delivering a speech that aimed to establish U.S. “sovereignty” over the whims and needs of other nations, the… ... Read More »

Cosby in cuffs: TV star gets 3 to 10 years for sex assault

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NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) —At an age when other Hollywood stars are settling into retirement and collecting lifetime-achievement awards, an 81-year-old Bill Cosby was led away to prison in handcuffs Tuesday, sentenced to three to 10… By MARYCLAIRE DALE and MICHAEL R. SISAK, Associated Press / msn The comedian, TV star and breaker of racial barriers became the first celebrity of the #MeToo era to be sent to prison. He was found guilty in April of drugging and sexually assaulting a ... Read More »

Terrorists in Idlib Should not Hope on the Help of Foreign Sponsors

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There are about 10,000 terrorists linked with al-Qaeda on the territory of the Syrian province of Idlib. Editor ISF This statement was unexpectedly widely quoted in the Western media, contrary to the established tradition of representing members of illegal armed groups as “rebels” and “fighters for freedom”. Perhaps the reason for the change in rhetoric was the fact that it came from the mouth of the special envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Syria Staffan de Mistura. As the statement ... Read More »

Iran’s Ahvaz Attack Worsens Gulf Tensions

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An attack on a military parade in Iran is raising tensions in an already volatile Gulf region. Four Crisis Group analysts give a 360-degree view of perspectives in Tehran, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Washington and warn that a single attack can trigger further escalation. ICG An attack on a military parade in the Iranian city of Ahvaz on 22 September, which killed 29 people, dangerously raised tensions in an already volatile Gulf region. Iran accused a local insurgent group (which ... Read More »

Turkey Must Choose the Tough Option and Leave Syria

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Ankara doesn’t want to leave, but it doesn’t want armed conflict either. On September 17, Erdoğan reached an agreement with Putin at a meeting in Sochi to create buffer zones between government forces and those of the opposition confronting each other in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib in a… Mohammed Ayoob The National Interest This may have postponed the military showdown for the moment but is unlikely to lead to a lasting solution as the regime of President Bashar al-Assad ... Read More »

Washington’s Farcical “Certifications” Enable the War Crimes of Allies

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And violate U.S. law. Ted Galen Carpenter The National Interest Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s certification that the Saudi-led military coalition in the Yemen war was taking adequate steps to avoid inflicting civilian casualties may have achieved a new low in U.S. foreign-policy ethics. There is abundant evidence of multiple atrocities that Riyadh and its United Arab Emirates (UAE) junior partner have committed and continue to commit. The coalition’s war strategy has created a famine as well as a cholera ... Read More »

There Could Be a Financial Crash Before End of Trump’s First Term, Experts Say, Citing Looming Debts

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Financial experts noted several ominous economic indicators, including skyrocketing student loans and U.S. household debts, that could predict a crash “worse than the Great Depression,” according to a… Benjamin Fearnow Newsweek Goldman Sachs predicted that this year’s U.S. fiscal outlook would be “not good,” and that U.S. household debt had been increasing since the 2008 housing crisis led to American taxpayers bailing out the… In 2018, experts said, a $247 trillion global debt will be the greatest cause of the next cataclysmic financial crash. Additionally, low ... Read More »