World

Polish Judas ritual ‘anti-Semitic’ – Jewish congress

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) has voiced outrage over a Polish town’s ritual beating of a Judas effigy which looks like a caricature Orthodox Jew. BBC The Good Friday ritual in Pruchnik, south-eastern Poland, was filmed and posted by a Polish news website. “Jews are deeply disturbed by this ghastly revival of medieval anti-Semitism that led to unimaginable violence and suffering,” the WJC said. More than three million Polish Jews were murdered during World War Two. In total, Nazi Germany murdered about… ... Read More »

EU’s two-faced ‘values’

Does it really make sense to talk about ‘European values’? Proponents of the European project like to talk about a core set of “European values” for which it stands. Hans Kundnani Politico At a time when the European Union is threatened from within and without, the idea is particularly tempting. It lifts the EU from an entity that simply pursues its own interests — like any other state or group of states — and makes it a “normative power” that can ... Read More »

Sri Lanka says international network involved in attacks

Sri Lanka said on April 22 it was invoking emergency powers in the aftermath of devastating bomb attacks on hotels and churches, blamed on militants with foreign links, in which 290 people were… COLOMBO- Reuters Hurriyet The emergency law, which gives police and the military extensive powers to detain and interrogate suspects without court orders, went into effect at midnight on April 22, the president’s office… Colombo, the seaside capital of the Indian Ocean island, was jittery. Police said 87 bomb ... Read More »

Michael Nelson Jagamara’s huge mosaic Possum and Wallaby Dreaming at Parliament House was hard to photograph

Photographing a 14-square-metre artwork would be difficult at the best of times. Ron Cerabona The Canberra Times When that work is a mosaic on the forecourt of Parliament House, a busy thoroughfare with a huge building and a lake close by, and placing heavy equipment on the artwork is impossible, it’s even harder. But David Hempenstall was up to the task. The senior photographer in the Department of Parliamentary Services is about halfway through digitising the nearly 7000 artworks in ... Read More »

Greece to ask Germany for billions in war reparations

MPs vote to put pressure on Berlin as European parliamentary elections loom Helena Smith The Guardian Greece is poised to send Germany a formal diplomatic note detailing its demand for billions of euros in wartime reparations after MPs voted overwhelmingly for the emotive issue to be raised officially. In a move bound to stir sentiment ahead of crucial European parliament elections, Athens vowed to pile pressure on Berlin, taking legal and diplomatic steps that will throw the spotlight on crimes committed during ... Read More »

Turkey, India And Israel: The Changing Faces Of Populism

Political Scientist Soner Cagaptay once dubbed Recep Tayyip Erdogan the “inventor of 21st-century populism.” Ayaz Ali Worldcrunch There may be some truth to that, especially given the way the Turkish president’s style of leadership has quickly spread in recent years. But as we progress further into the millennium, it’s also clear that populism has evolved. Those with a claim to redefining the populist formula include U.S. President Donald Trump, Viktor Orban in Hungary, Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel, and India’s Narendra ... Read More »

Jordan’s Security is at the Mercy of Foreign Powers

How the Trump administration chooses to roll out its peace plan, and whether Netanyahu decides to start annexing parts of the West Bank, could have major repercussions for Jordan. Seth J. Frantzman The National Interest Jordan’s King Abdullah II travelled to Assisi in Italy to receive a reward for his efforts to advance peace on March 29. He said that it was essential the international community understand the importance Jordan puts on being the custodian of Jerusalem’s Islamic and Christian ... Read More »

Gina Rinehart company revealed as $4.5m donor to climate sceptic thinktank

Billionaire’s company gave significant donations to the Institute of Public Affairs in 2016 and 2017 Graham Readfearn The Guardian Australia’s richest person, mining magnate Gina Rinehart, has been revealed as a key funder of the rightwing thinktank the Institute of Public Affairs – a consistent promoter of climate science scepticism. Rinehart’s company, Hancock Prospecting, donated $2.3m to the IPA in 2016 and $2.2m in 2017, according to disclosures made to the New South Wales supreme court. As part of a long-running legal ... Read More »

The new school bullies aren’t children – they’re parents

Furious Facebook posts, abusive emails, school sit-ins, menacing behaviour: the bullying of staff by parents is becoming increasingly common and can have devastating consequences. By Melissa Fyfe and Henrietta Cook Brisbane Times When something inside you breaks, the most basic matters can be overlooked. Take, for example, the case of Queensland construction worker Matt Barreno*. One Sunday evening in May last year, the 48-year-old flew out of his house in such a fury, he barely registered his outfit: grey flannelette pyjamas and ... Read More »

How much of Europe does China own?

The European Union has introduced a new mechanism for screening foreign investment. It’s widely believed to have been prompted by concerns over China’s economic ambitions in Europe. By Reality Check team BBC News It will allow the European Commission – the EU’s executive arm -… In March, the European Commission called China a “systemic rival” and a “strategic competitor”. The Chinese Ambassador to the EU urged the bloc to remain “open and welcome” to Chinese investment, and not to “discriminate”. ... Read More »

Our leaders are ignoring global warming to the point of criminal negligence. It’s unforgivable

Humanity survived the cold war because no one pushed the button. On climate change, the button has been pushed again and again Tim Winton The Guardian I’ve been asking myself a question – and even posing it makes me queasy. Is it too late – are we beyond saving? As a culture and a polity, when it comes to climate change, have we arrived at a point where we are now expected – even trained – to abandon hope and ... Read More »

Hard Truths in Syria

America Can’t Do More With Less, and It Shouldn’t Try Over the last four years, I helped lead the global response to the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS)—an effort that succeeded in destroying an ISIS “caliphate” in the heart of the Middle East that had served as a… Brett McGurk Foreign Affairs Working as a special envoy for U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, I helped establish a coalition that was the largest of its kind in history: ... Read More »

Peace hopes suffer setback as Taliban-Afghan talks derailed

Hopes for a breakthrough in a push to end Afghanistan’s grueling conflict suffered a major setback on April 19 after a key summit between the Taliban and Afghan officials was indefinitely postponed. Doha Hurriyet The so-called intra-Afghan dialogue, due to take place in Doha this weekend, fell apart at the last minute in a row over the large number of delegates Kabul wanted to send. The collapse comes at a critical time and amid continued bloodshed. The Taliban now control or influence about half of Afghanistan ... Read More »

Meet ‘Mr. Earth Day,’ the Man Who Helped Organize the Annual Observance

Nearly 50 years after 20 million Americans participated in the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, more than 190 countries mark the annual day for raising awareness of environmental causes. Olivia B. Waxman Time And the stakes only grow as the years go by. Though Earth Day has been dogged by rumors that it was founded by a murderer and as communist propaganda, the truth is much more straightforward — but no less fascinating. TIME spoke to Denis Hayes, ... Read More »

God, Guns, and Country: The Evangelical Fight Over Firearms

On the afternoon of Good Friday in April, 2010, Shane Claiborne, a thirty-five-year-old evangelical activist sporting dreadlocks and homemade pants, followed a group of teen-agers carrying an… Eliza Griswold The New Yorker They marched to a gun store in Kensington called the Shooter Shop, which was notorious for allowing straw buyers to purchase guns illegally. Philadelphia has been hit hard by the heroin epidemic and its associated gun violence. In 2010, some two hundred and fifty people were killed with ... Read More »

Militia detains migrants at gunpoint along the US-Mexico border

A video has emerged of armed right-wing militia members stopping over 300 migrants as they cross the Mexico border into the US state of New Mexico. BBC The group calls itself the United Constitutional Patriots, and are seen in the Facebook clip standing over migrants sitting on the desert ground. The group’s actions have been condemned by civil liberties groups and New Mexico state officials. The militia supports President Donald Trump’s plan for a border wall. The incident comes amid ... Read More »