Australia’s worst nightmare: to be caught in cross fire of trade war

Penfolds 2b Carla Gottgens photo

Beijing: Australia’s great fear of a trade war breaking out between its largest trading partner and closest security ally is unfolding, as China and the United State exchange threats and release multi-billion dollar punitive tariff plans targeting each… Kirsty Needham & Darren Gray The Age After US President Donald Trump signed a document to trigger $US60 billion ($A78 billion) in tariffs on Chinese technology products, China responded within hours with a $US3 billion plan to hit 128 US products including ... Read More »

EU plans tougher consumer laws for Facebook, Gmail

Facebook Mobil 1a LLLL

The European Union is planning to apply tougher consumer laws to social media networks and email providers like Facebook and Google’s Gmail as scrutiny of data protection grows in the wake of an outcry over Facebook’s handling of data. BRUSSELS – Reuters Hurriyet Under the draft proposal first considered last year, authorities could levy fines of at least 4 percent of turnover. Currently, EU consumer authorities can only levy small fines and some lack power to sanction companies at all ... Read More »

Turkey’s Erdogan warns Europeans ‘will not walk safely on the streets’ if diplomatic row continues

Ute 4d

It comes after German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned war of rhetoric must stop Samuel Osborne The Independent Europeans across the world will not be able to walk the streets safely if they keep up their current attitude towards Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned. Turkey has been mired in a diplomatic row with Germany and the Netherlands after they banned Turkish officials from campaigning in support of an April referendum on boosting the… “If Europe continues this way, no European in any part of the… Turkey’s ... Read More »

Embracing multicultural voices can lead to a more democratic future

Dank 1a

One of the great moral challenges of our time is the rising tide of inequality in liberal democracies around the world. Duncan Ivison The Conversation This includes Australia, where both income and wealth inequality are increasing, especially the latter. There are arguments about the rise of China and other authoritarian regimes threatening the viability of liberal democracy. But a deeper problem is the persistent inability of liberal democracies to live up to their own moral promise. That promise is one ... Read More »

TEV-DEM: Method of resistance changed in Afrin, we will prevail

Kurdish flag 4d protest LLLL

TEV-DEM pointed out that the resistance continues with different methods in Afrin and stated that victory will be achieved. ANF TEV-DEM also stressed that the Turkish state is aiming to change the demographic makeup with their genocidal attacks. Movement for a Democratic Society TEV-DEM issued a written statement today regarding the Afrin invasion and the resistance. The statement is as follows: “The Resistance of the Age has displayed 58 days of uninterrupted sacrifice against the… TEV-DEM: Method of… Read More »

What Italy’s Election Means for the EU

Lukr 1a

The EU – and the eurozone, in particular – are now facing a serious political challenge, exemplified by the outcome of Italy’s recent election. Lucrezia Reichlin Project Syndicate Are European institutions strong enough to confront that challenge, or must EU leaders rethink – and potentially recast – the pillars of cooperation? ROME – Italy’s recent election – in which voters rebuffed traditional parties in favor of anti-establishment and far-right movements, producing a hung parliament – should serve as a wake-up call for ... Read More »

If you’re a white English speaker and non-Muslim, welcome to Australia

Dutton smiling 1a Alex Ellinghausen photo LLLL

I have had a pen pal for the last two years, one actually write to by hand; yes, that’s right, that old-fashioned habit where we write to each other using a pen and paper. Nicola Philp The Canberra Times But it’s a little different to how I used to write to pen pals when I was a child because when I address the envelope to my friend instead of writing his name I have to write his code and instead ... Read More »

Kenya payout for mother made to deliver on hospital floor

Flor 1a

A woman who was physically abused and left to deliver her baby on the floor of a county hospital in Kenya has been awarded $25,000 (£18,000). BBC In the landmark ruling, a Bungoma high court judge said Josephine Majani’s rights were violated as she gave birth. Mrs Majani said nurses had slapped and verbally abused her in 2013 and left her to deliver her baby in full view of the public. Her ordeal was secretly captured on camera by a ... Read More »

ALHR: Government must do more to protect reproductive health rights

Justice 1a Golden LLLL

The leading advocacy group for human rights law in Australia has called on the federal government to better ensure the country is meeting its international obligations to protect women and girls when it comes to processes such as abortion. Jerome Doraisamy Lawyers Weekly Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) spoke earlier this week in response to comments from Nationals MP George Christensen and incoming Senator Amanda Stoker, who – at an anti-abortion rally held in Queensland this past Sunday – ... Read More »

Bitcoin’s blockchain contains child abuse images, meaning the cryptocurrency’s possession could be ‘illegal’

Watt 7g

The multi-billion-dollar markets behind cryptocurrencies are in jeopardy after child abuse images were found in bitcoin’s blockchain. ABC German researchers have analysed more than 1,600 files in the technology required to access the cryptocurrency and found 99 per cent are texts and images, including some illicit pornography and other outlawed content. The blockchain is the underlying technology that makes cryptocurrencies possible. It is essentially a public ledger of all the transactions ever made in the currency and keeps a… Bitcoin’s ... Read More »

Bombed into oblivion: The lost oasis of Damascus

Watt 4d

Ghouta, the one-time oasis of Damascus, is being destroyed. Every day brings with it news of renewed bombing, deadly chemical attacks and starved or crushed bodies, accompanied by desperate scenes of mass exodus. Karen Pinto The Conversation Located a mere seven miles from Bashar Al Assad’s palace, Ghouta is the last surviving rebel enclave close to Syria’s capital, where the Assad family’s dictatorial regime has ruled for 47 years. The Syrian revolution that began seven years ago has failed, and ... Read More »

Containing the Shock Waves from Venezuela

Zek 1a

Venezuela’s socio-economic implosion is dragging in neighbours as hundreds of thousands of people flee the country, epidemics spread and violent crime spills over borders. International humanitarian support is needed and regional powers should push for a negotiated transition, including through threats of targeted sanctions. ICG What’s new? As Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro prepares to seek re-election, the country’s socio-economic implosion has become a major problem for its neighbours. Venezuelans are fleeing hunger and poverty by the hundreds of thousands, while ... Read More »

Can America Prevent Saudi Arabia from Going Nuclear?

Cen 8h

Unless the JCPOA is strengthened, Saudi Arabia may find a way to get the bomb as a counter to Iran. Emily B. Landau Yoel Guzansky The National Interest Ahead of his visit to the United States, Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) clarified in an interview that while his country does not want nuclear weapons, “without a doubt, if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible.” Such a clear and public statement by ... Read More »

South African farmers are trapped in a brutal reality – and my family is a victim of it

Watt 8h

My father-in-law was beaten to death last September on his sugar-cane farm, 60 kilometres from Pietermaritzburg, a regional city in South Africa. Glenn Freeman Brisbane Times Civil rights group AfriForum suggests there is, on average, 680 farm attacks and 94 farm murders in South Africa each  year – almost two attacks a day and two murders a week over 18 years. Critics of Peter Dutton’s latest contentious proposal – a special humanitarian intake of South African farmers – should consider ... Read More »

Victorians have a right to be outraged at Labor MPs’ misuse of funds

Watt 3cc

Victorians have a right to feel disappointed and angry that the ALP siphoned almost $400,000 of taxpayers’ money to help secure its unexpected victory in the 2014 state election, and then spent a further $1 million on a legal tilt to block the Victorian Ombudsman from investigating. The Age Her probe into the egregious breach of parliamentary regulations by the ALP was triggered by whistleblowers. They were upset by Labor MPs wrongly signing off on payments based on falsified timesheets that ... Read More »

Yes, Turkey has definitely become a rogue regime

Cen 9i

When the Clinton administration formulated the notion of rogue regime, they defined it as a country that embraced terrorism, was governed by an undemocratic cabal, and did not abide by the norms of diplomacy. Washington Examiner Michael Rubin Just how much of a rogue regime has Turkey become? Under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s turn toward terrorism is well-established. Turkey supports Hamas unabashedly, the al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, and perhaps even the Islamic State. Ahmet Kavas, an Erdogan appointee, defended al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb ... Read More »