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The man who lost Bavaria

27 September 2018, Bavaria, Munich: Markus Söder (CSU), Prime Minister of Bavaria, sits at the beginning of the last plenary session in the Bavarian parliament in his place in front of the Bavarian coat of arms hanging on the wall behind him. Photo: Peter Kneffel/dpa

The Bavarian premier’s tough line on migration may not save his party from losing votes on Sunday. By MATTHEW KARNITSCHNIG Politico INGOLSTADT, Germany — Markus Söder’s uncanny depictions of characters as varied as Shrek and Marilyn Monroe during Bavaria’s annual Carnival celebrations earned the German politician a reputation as a master of disguise. Portraying the real-life leader of Bavaria has been a tougher role. Barring a minor miracle, Söder’s Christian Social Union, which has dominated Bavarian politics for decades, will ... Read More »

We asked the British public what kind of Brexit they want – and the Norway model is the clear winner

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It is now more than two years since Britons voted to leave the EU. But what has been learned in that time about what British people want for their future relationship with the EU? Authors: The Conversation Those on the hard right argue that Britons voted to sever existing treaties with the EU. Others argue that leaving the single market was never part of the plan. The referendum outcome tells us very little about what people actually wanted. But our ... Read More »

From Caesar to Trump: Immunity is a hard thing to give up

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Two prosecutors working Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election have left and returned to jobs at the Justice Department, a possible sign that the… Cavan W. Concannon The Conversation Among the big questions remaining, after the indictments of Trump campaign staff or confidants: Will Mueller formally charge President Donald Trump with a crime? As media coverage has underscored, there is a long-standing tradition of American jurisprudence that a president cannot be indicted while in… Ancient roots ... Read More »

36 Hours in Athens

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From the ancient Acropolis to a daring Renzo Piano-designed cultural center, the Greek capital is luring record numbers of tourists to explore its monuments, new and old. Chaney Kwak The New York Times There are cities that count their age by years; then there’s Athens, which can tabulate its history by millenniums. From battles and setbacks this ancient metropolis has rebounded again and again, proving itself to be resilient like no other. Sitting on a parfait of civilizations, the Greek ... Read More »

Why Jamal Khashoggi’s ruthless killing is a global issue

This picture shows a police sign in front of the Saudi Arabian consulate's door on October 10, 2018 in Istanbul. - Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi Washington Post contributor, vanished on October 2 after entering the consulate to obtain official documents ahead of his marriage to his Turkish fiancee. Government sources said at the weekend that police believed Khashoggi was killed by a team specially sent to Istanbul, thought to consist of 15 Saudis. But Riyadh insisted the 59-year-old journalist had left the building and the murder claims were "baseless". (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP)

Saudi crown prince turned from a US opportunity into a Western liability I wasn’t planning to write about the barbaric murder of my friend, Jamal Khashoggi. Taha Ozhan Middle East Eye We were supposed to be sharing a panel at a conference two weeks from now. The Saudi journalist, who disappeared a week ago while inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, has been executed by a hit squad with Islamic State-like barbarity. Saudi officials have strongly denied any involvement in his ... Read More »

Farewell to Fariborz: Australian burial for refugee who killed himself on Nauru

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Family and friends of Fariborz Karami, 26, gathered at Mount Gravatt cemetery in Brisbane to say goodbye Helen Davidson and Saba Vasefi The Guardian Last Friday relatives of Fariborz Karami finally said goodbye to the 26-year-old, an athletic and intelligent dentistry student who had married just a short time before taking his life inside a tent on Nauru. It had been more than three months since he died, and many years since doctors first raised concerns about his mental health ... Read More »

The Unstable Identities of The Caregiver

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Samuel Park’s last novel explores how one person’s sense of self can be absorbed into another’s need. ROSA INOCENCIO SMITH The Atlantic The Caregiver BY SAMUEL PARK SIMON & SCHUSTER Samuel Park’s new novel, The Caregiver, is a study in fragility: that of bodies, of boundaries, and of identity itself. Centering on two relationships—a mother and her daughter, and the daughter and her patient—it explores the complex bonds between people who are linked by the need that one has for the… The Unstable Identities… Read More »

Migration: new map of Europe reveals real frontiers for refugees

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Since the EU declared a “refugee crisis” in 2015 that was followed by an unprecedented number of deaths in the Mediterranean, maps explaining the routes of migrants to and within Europe have been used widely in newspapers and social media. Martina Tazzioli The Conversation Some of these maps came out of refugee projects, while others are produced by global organisations, NGOs and agencies such as Frontex, the European Border and Coastguard Agency, and the International Organisation for… The Balkan route, ... Read More »

Turkey’s expedited European extraditions

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Turkey’s ongoing effort to dismantle the supporters for Fethullah Gülen has underlined its influence in southeast Europe, where multiple countries have hurried to comply with requested Turkish extraditions. Luke Bacigalupo Global Risk Insights This raises hard questions about how committed these states are to recent reforms intended to boost the rule of law. Since 2016, suspected supporters of Fethullah Gülen, who Erdoğan has accused of being the mastermind behind the attempted July 2016 coup, have been whisked away from South Eastern Europe in… Bulgaria, ... Read More »

Ukraine accuses Russia of violating the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea

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The Ukrainian delegation to the United Nations has accused the Russian side of violating the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea due to its brutal actions in the Sea of Azov, which, among other things, lead to blocking of maritime traffic. Ukrinform Ukraine made such a statement at the UNGA Sixth Committee meeting on the rule of law at the national and international levels, an Ukrinform correspondent reports. “Control over the Sea of Azov is a current Russian target, after the ... Read More »

Regional visa approvals fall by 50% under the Coalition

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The number of people waiting for skilled regional visas has blown out by more than 50 per cent under the Coalition and the number of people being approved has halved, as the Morrison government faces calls to… By Eryk Bagshaw & David Crowe The Canberra Times Department of Home Affairs figures cast doubt on the government’s claims that Australia’s immigration distribution, which has clogged transport and roads in Sydney and Melbourne, is the fault of the… The figures show non-regional ... Read More »

Skilled migrants to spend ‘at least a few years’ in regional Australia under Morrison’s population plan

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New population minister Alan Tudge said up to 45 percent of permanent immigrants could be diverted to visas that force them to spend “at least a few years” in regional areas, or small states like… James Elton-Pym SBS The Morrison government has promised visa reforms that will force a significant chunk of Australia’s annual intake of 190,000 permanent migrants to spend “at least a few years” in regional… The move, advocated by the Nationals and key lobby groups like the Farmers’ ... Read More »

Religious freedom review enshrines right of schools to turn away gay children and teachers

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Religious schools would be guaranteed the right to turn away gay students and teachers under changes to federal anti-discrimination laws recommended by the government’s long-awaited… Jewel Topsfield The Sydney Morning Herald However the report, which is still being debated by cabinet despite being handed to the Coalition four months ago, dismisses the notion religious freedom in Australia is in “imminent peril”, and… The review was commissioned in the wake of last year’s same-sex marriage victory to appease conservative MPs who ... Read More »

Aged care royal commission to run for 18 months, Scott Morrison announces

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced the royal commission into aged care will report back to the government by April 2020 and conduct a wide-ranging investigation into the future of the… Fergus Hunter The Sydney Morning Herald The sweeping inquiry, which has now been formally established by Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, will be based in Adelaide, a focal point for concerns about the sector following accusations of severe abuse and… The commission will be led by Supreme Court Justice Joseph ... Read More »

‘We need to make sure it’s realistic’: Liberty Victoria president weighs in on immigration plan

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Liberty Victoria president Jessie Taylor says the devil is in the detail for the Federal Government’s plan to ease mounting population pressure in Melbourne and Sydney. Neil Mitchel 3AW New visa conditions would require migrants to settle outside the major cities for up to five years. Ms Taylor, who also works as a lawyer, said it depended on whether there were job opportunities to sustain growth in regional centres. Neil Mitchell glad to see a population plan on the political ... Read More »

Final call to save the world from ‘climate catastrophe’

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It’s the final call, say scientists, the most extensive warning yet on the risks of rising global temperatures. Matt McGrath BBC Their dramatic report on keeping that rise under 1.5 degrees C says the world is now completely off track, heading instead towards 3C. Keeping to the preferred target of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels will mean “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”. It will be hugely expensive – but the window of opportunity remains open. After three years ... Read More »