World

‘Amazon isn’t bigger than New York’: meet the man who killed the deal

Michael Gianaris turned his outrage into leverage when he was appointed to an obscure state board – and soon after, the company called the project off Erin Durkin The Guardian Αmazon made plenty of enemies with its plans for a new headquarters in New York, but one of those foes played an outsized role in sending the tech giant packing. The man who stared down Amazon is state senator Michael Gianaris, a Democrat who represents Long Island City, the Queens neighborhood where the company ... Read More »

US updates warning over Turkey travel amid rising political tensions

Turkey announced it would purchase Russia’s missile system The US Department of State on Thursday updated its travel advisory for Turkey amid stalled US-Turkey talks on Syria and growing differences over Venezuela and Turkish S-400 deal with Russia. Joyce Karam The National Turkey announced Thursday it would be going ahead with a purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile system, ahead of an informal Friday deadline to respond to a rival US offer. Turkey, a NATO member, made repeated moves to buy ... Read More »

White-collar crooks face up to 15 years in jail under new penalties

Banking executives face up to 15 years in jail under tough new laws to stamp out white-collar crime as the corporate regulator prepares to crack down on misconduct in the sector. Sarah Danckert The Sydney Morning Herald On Friday, the Senate passed a long-awaited bill that drastically increases the penalties for white-collar crime. Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s deputy chairman, enforcement, Daniel Crennan, QC, welcomed the passing of the bill on Friday. “Now ASIC will be in a position to ... Read More »

Four lessons from 11 years of Closing the Gap reports

Scott Morrison today became the fifth prime minister to deliver a Closing the Gap report to parliament – the 11th since the strategy began in 2008. Nicholas Biddle The Conversation Closing the Gap has aimed to reduce disadvantage among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with particular respect to life expectancy, child mortality, access to early childhood education, educational achievement and employment outcomes. Almost every time a prime minister delivers the report, he or she states the need to move ... Read More »

Former far-right Dutch MP van Klaveren tells of reactions to his conversion to Islam

Joram van Klaveren spent several years serving far-right and anti-Islam politics in the Netherlands. But van Klaveren, once a right-hand man to Dutch anti-Islam politician GeertWilders, took the world by surprise when he announced his conversion to… Nalan Koçak – ISTANBUL Hurriyet “You are like a vegetarian working in a slaughterhouse,” Wilders told van Klaveren upon his shift to his newfound faith, the former MP recalled in an interview with Hürriyet Daily News on Feb. 12. Van Klaveren was a lawmaker for the Party of Freedom (PVV), led by the Dutch populist Wilders, from 2010 to ... Read More »

U.S. ally Turkey looks to Russia and Iran to protect its interests

Analysis: The U.S. organized a global conference on the Mideast in Warsaw, but Turkey’s leader is at a summit with Russian and Iranian leaders instead. By Dan De Luce NBC WASHINGTON — As Trump administration officials presided over the second day of an international conference in Warsaw dominated by calls to ratchet up pressure on Iran, one longtime U.S. ally and NATO member was noticeably absent — Turkey. Snubbing the gathering in Poland, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday ... Read More »

Winners and losers of Europe’s copyright reform

Not all rights holders are necessarily better off, and Google might not be as impacted as it looks. Laura Kayali Politico STRASBOURG — The European Commission, Parliament and EU countries agreed Wednesday on the controversial copyright reform, after two and a half years of painful negotiations and unprecedented lobbying campaigns from all sides of the… The reform was initially presented by the Commission in September 2016. The most contentious aspects of the text were mainly targeting Google, which rights holders have accused of ... Read More »

‘Highly irresponsible’: Senate calls for Great Barrier Reef Foundation to return money

A committee examining the government’s decision to award $443.3m to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation has recommended unspent funds from the controversial grant be returned to the commonwealth and… Lisa Cox The Guardian The final report, tabled in the Senate on Thursday, calls the awarding of the grant last year “a highly irresponsible decision, hastily concocted by relevant ministers” and calls for a fresh review of the… It recommends such a review be completed by July this year and used to guide ... Read More »

Crisis Group Yemen Update #4

Below is the fourth weekly update as part of Crisis Group’s Yemen Campaign. ICG This week we look at fighting near the Saudi-Yemeni border and strains on the ceasefire around Hodeida, as well as international developments. Trendline: The Overlooked Battle for Yemen’s Northern Border Though the battle for the Red Sea port and city of Hodeida is paused until the UN-brokered deal to demilitarise the area succeeds or collapses, fighting on other fronts has intensified, particularly along the Saudi-Yemeni border. ... Read More »

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Kerryn Phelps on medical transfer numbers

Independent MP Kerryn Phelps, who set the ball rolling for the medical transfers legislation, says its passage is “a remarkable exercise in cooperation”. Michelle Grattan The Conversation Phelps says that of the about 1000 people on Manus and Nauru “around 70 people require urgent medical evacuation” and “another couple of hundred will require transfer but not as urgently”. She describes Scott Morrison’s proposal to reopen the Christmas Island detention facility as a “political statement”. “What we need to do is ... Read More »

Egypt says “NO” to East Med

An unequivocal “no” from Egypt received the East Med gas pipeline. Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El Molla, in an interview with the Cyprus News Agency, said he was opposed to the transportation of gas from East Mediterranean to Europe via the East Med pipeline. Nefeli Tzanetakou ibna He even justified his position by saying that the feasibility study for this project would last up to two years, which in itself is a luxury the region of ... Read More »

Having a sense of meaning in life is good for you – so how do you get one?

The pursuit of happiness and health is a popular endeavour, as the preponderance of self-help books would attest. Lisa A Williams The Conversation Yet it is also fraught. Despite ample advice from experts, individuals regularly engage in activities that may only have short-term benefit for well-being, or even backfire. The search for the heart of well-being – that is, a nucleus from which other aspects of well-being and health might flow – has been the focus of decades of research. ... Read More »

‘How to Hide an Empire’ Shines Light on America’s Expansionist Sidε

The word “empire” has a distinct place in the American lexicon: readily applicable to other countries but rarely, if ever, to the United States itself. Jennifer Szalai The New York Times Even in the spring of 2003, when American forces were occupying Iraq and Afghanistan and government officials were writing torture memos, the defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld seemed almost offended when a reporter asked whether the United States was engaged in anything like “empire-building.” “We’re not imperialistic,” Rumsfeld insisted. “We ... Read More »

Turkey’s Erdogan Is Due for Another Rebuke

With municipal elections on the horizon, Turks are likely to note that imprisoning the opposition hasn’t exactly raised living standards. Conn Hallinan Foreign Policy In Focus “Democracy is like a tram; you get off when you have reached your destination.” The comment by Recep Tayyip Erdogan — made more than 20 years ago when he was first elected mayor of Istanbul — sums up the Machiavellian cynicism of Turkey’s authoritarian president. As Turkey gears up for municipal elections on March ... Read More »

If Not the Green New Deal, Then What?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal has countless critics. We asked two of them to share their good-faith alternatives for reversing climate change. Emily Atkin The New Republic As momentum for the Green New Deal grows, so do its detractors. The ambitious plan to fight climate change introduced by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey last week has been called everything from “brainless” to “delusional” by conservatives. President Donald Trump said it sounded like “a high school term paper that got a low mark.” Some Democrats have ... Read More »

Rebel Incursion Exposes Chad’s Weaknesses

An early February incursion by the Union of Resistance Forces (UFR) into Chad from Libya was halted by French air strikes, conducted in coordination with the Chadian army. ICG This most severe security threat for several years highlights the weakness of the country and President Idriss Déby’s rule. On 3-6 February 2019, at the request of N’Djamena, planes from the French Operation Barkhane proceeded with a series of strikes against a group of Chadian rebels in the north east of the country. According ... Read More »