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5 lessons from Team Obama to save Europe

US President Barack Obama celebrates after delivering his acceptance speech ion Chicago on November 7, 2012. Obama swept to re-election, forging history again by transcending a slow economic recovery and the high unemployment which haunted his first term to beat Republican Mitt Romney. AFP PHOTO/Jewel SAMAD / AFP PHOTO / JEWEL SAMAD        (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

PARIS — With next year’s European Parliament election shaping up as a showdown between pro-EU parties and Euroskeptics, the race is on for both sides to find a winning edge. Zachary Young Politico For the pro-EU camp, one possible source of inspiration lies in Barack Obama’s successful U.S. presidential campaigns, which managed twice to win majorities for liberal and outward-looking policies. In the past year, French President Emmanuel Macron has portrayed himself as the great champion of the EU and further ... Read More »

Jeff Bezos’s $150 Billion Fortune Is a Policy Failure

Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin and CEO of Amazon, speaks about the future plans of Blue Origin during an address to attendees at Access Intelligence's SATELLITE 2017 conference in Washington, U.S., March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RC1A85E69100

Growing inequality in the United States shows that the game is rigged. Annie Lowrey The Atlantic Last month, Bloomberg reported that Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and owner of the Washington Post, has accumulated a fortune worth $150 billion. That is the biggest nominal amount in modern history, and extraordinary any way you slice it. Bezos is the world’s lone hectobillionaire. He is worth what the average American family is, nearly two million times over. He has about 50 ... Read More »

Why the media are to blame for racialising Melbourne’s ‘African gang’ problem

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Just before Channel 7 aired a Sunday Night special devoted to Melbourne’s “African gangs” problem earlier this month, the race discrimination commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane, went on Twitter to criticise a promotion spot as “fear-mongering and… John Budarick The Conversation The same could be said of a string of stories in the Australian media in recent months on violent incidents committed by “African gangs” or people of “African appearance”. The death of a 19-year-old Sudanese woman at a party in Melbourne ... Read More »

Trump escalates attacks on Mueller probe

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President Trump on Wednesday called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to immediately stop the Russia investigation, a significant escalation of Trump’s attacks against the long-running probe that has dogged his presidency. Jordan Fabian The Hill The remark was Trump’s most direct public appeal yet to end special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation, which he has blasted for months. It also raised questions from legal experts about whether the president was attempting to obstruct justice. In a series of morning tweets, Trump ... Read More »

Brexit: champagne, parmesan, prosecco and feta could soon be at the centre of negotiations

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As Brexit day creeps closer, one issue that remains unresolved is the way that food names will be protected in Britain and the EU. Authors: The Conversation From parmesan and feta to cornish pasties and Bavarian beer, the EU is fiercely protective over protected designations of origin (PDOs) or protected geographical indications (PGIs). A number of highly popular products are protected under this legal framework that dictates certain products can only be produced in certain regions. So champagne must be ... Read More »

The Brilliant Cathy Wilcox

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Here is a letter by Freddie Steen to the Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald.  I agree with every word of it ( Julian Burnside ) The Editor , Cathy Wilcox(“political cartoon, 1/8) cuts to the core: Dutton’s punitive, care-less position on the human status of men seeking asylum, lets young men die. A breach of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention RG Menzies freely signed in 1954. The death of Hamid Khazaie is now world history as a preventable death in administrative ... Read More »

LKI Appoints Law of the Sea Expert, Natalie Klein as Non-resident Fellow

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The Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKI), Sri Lanka’s leading foreign policy think tank, has appointed Professor Natalie Klein, an expert on the law of the sea and… ΒΙΖ Professor Klein is a Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia, where she teaches and researches in international law, with a focus on law of the sea and… Professor Klein is the author of Dispute Settlement and ... Read More »

Israel Prefers Old F-15s to F-35s

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The Israeli Air Force needs long-range aircraft that can carry a lot of fuel and weapons, because of Iran. Kyle Mizokami Popular Mechanics The Israeli Air Force would rather buy more F-15 Eagle fighters than the latest and greatest F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. It may be an older plane, but the F-15 apparently offers Israel more flexibility, particularly when striking its… According to Aviation Week & Space Technology, Israel is dividing its airpower into two categories: jets that can strike ... Read More »

Countering China’s Actions in the South China Sea

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For many who follow developments in the South China Sea, the July 2016 tribunal ruling in the Philippines’ case against China has become the equivalent of the birth of Jesus in the Gregorian calendar: Developments are considered… Lynn Kuok Lawfare In the first year after the award, compliance was fair: Beijing largely kept its actions, if not its words, within the letter of the ruling. In late July 2017, however, things went south. The Chinese government insists that the situation ... Read More »

The Great Brexit Disorder

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Seeking, and being able to afford (!), a brief psychological decompression from the nightmarish Land of Caged Toddlers, and the almost daily police executions of unarmed blacks, I’m back in the… Kenneth Surin CounterPunch In Blighty, not quite as yet a banana republic like the US, young children are not (so far) kidnapped on a massive scale by the state, and its non-whites (so far) only generally endure systemic and repetitive police harassment and… The burning issue in the UK, ... Read More »

Sri Lankan asylum seekers are being deported from Australia despite fears of torture

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Earlier last month, Thileepan Gnaneswaran was separated from his wife and 11-month-old baby and deported from Australia back to Sri Lanka, the country from which he had fled six years ago. Kirsty Anantharajah The Conversation On his arrival in Colombo, he was taken into custody and questioned by Sri Lankan police. He’s since been released, but the ordeal was no doubt a traumatic experience, given his claims of being interrogated and tortured by Sri Lankan security forces during the country’s ... Read More »

The Latest: Trump claims Americans need IDs to buy groceries

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump The Associated Press President Donald Trump is wrongly claiming that Americans need photo IDs to buy groceries as he rails against the idea of noncitizens voting. Trump was advocating for voter ID requirements at a Tampa, Florida, rally on Tuesday when he claimed the only time people don’t need ID is when they want to vote. He says: “If you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a ... Read More »

Coles caves and will give away free plastic bags indefinitely

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Coles has hoisted a white flag in the face of angry shoppers aggrieved by having to bring their own bags or pay 15¢ for a “reusable” one, and has promised to give plastic bags away for free indefinitely. Patrick Hatch The Sydney Morning Herald The supermarket chain’s decision has raised the ire of environmental campaigners who say it is a return to the “bad old days” where plastic bags were used once and then discarded. Coles and its rival Woolworths removed thin ... Read More »

Misogyny hate crime: new research reveals true scale of issue – and how the public are united against it

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A widely shared video of a woman being attacked by a man outside a Parisian cafe when she told him to “shut up” after he allegedly used “dirty words that were humiliating and provocative” brought the issue of misogynistic hate crime to the… Authors: The Conversation But this wasn’t a… It’s an example of something countless women endure every day – as we discovered during our research. Our research focused on the UK, where Nottinghamshire Police became the first force ... Read More »

The New Sultan And The Crisis Of Modern Turkey

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The failed coup of July 15, 2016 has irreversibly transformed Turkish politics. Soner Cagaptay Hoover Institition Although the coup attempt was thankfully thwarted, the path that Erdogan chose to take after the coup—using the state of emergency powers he was given to go specifically after coup plotters, to embark instead on a… The country is polarized between supporters and opponents of Erdogan, who has won successive elections in Turkey since 2002 on a platform of right-wing populism. Erdogan has demonized ... Read More »

Ancient Greek music: now we finally know what it sounded like

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In 1932, the musicologist Wilfrid Perrett reported to an audience at the Royal Musical Association in London the words of an unnamed professor of Greek with musical leanings: “Nobody has ever made head or tail of ancient Greek music, and nobody ever will. That… Armand D’Angour The Conversation Indeed, ancient Greek music has long posed a maddening enigma. Yet music was ubiquitous in classical Greece, with most of the poetry from around 750BC to 350BC – the songs of Homer, ... Read More »