Opinion

The whitewashing of Japan’s Naomi Osaka was no accident

This week, Naomi Osaka became the face of Japan to the world. By capturing the 2019 Australian Open, she has raced to No. 1 in the tennis world rankings, becoming the first Asian to ever achieve that honor. Baye McNeil The Washington Post But even as this exceptionally talented biracial, multinational and (as she phrased it) obviously tan woman was displaying why she’s a champion, one of her sponsors, the Japanese food brand Nissin, released an anime-style advertisement portraying Osaka ... Read More »

Europe’s refugee crisis explains why border walls don’t stop migration

President Trump has long called migration a security crisis, but in recent weeks he has also referred to the situation along the southern border as a humanitarian crisis. Eleanor Paynter The Conversation As he ended the government shutdown in a televised speech on Jan. 25, Trump reiterated his claim that a border wall between the United States and Mexico would save the lives of Central American migrants, many of whom are women and children. “Walls work,” he said. “They save ... Read More »

Unhappy, unhealthy lives aren’t fair exchange for higher incomes

In his Australia Day address, social researcher Hugh Mackay said that “the Australia I love today – this sleep-deprived, overweight, overmedicated, anxious, smartphone-addicted society – is a very different place from the Australia I… Ross Gittins Brisbane Times He identified three big changes: the gender revolution, increasing disparity in wealth, and social fragmentation. He approves of the first, but laments that we’re “learning to live with a chasm of income inequality” and that social fragmentation means Australians are become “more ... Read More »

Fight for Europe – or the wreckers will destroy it

The continent faces its biggest challenge since the 1930s. We urge European patriots to resist the nationalist onslaught Bernard-Henri Lévy, Milan Kundera, Salman Rushdie, Elfriede Jelinek, Orhan Pamuk and 25 others Europe ‘coming apart before our eyes’, say 30 top intellectuals The Guardian The idea of Europe is in peril. From all sides there are criticisms, insults and desertions from the cause. “Enough of ‘building Europe’!” is the cry. Let’s reconnect instead with our “national soul”! Let’s rediscover our “lost identity”! This is the agenda shared ... Read More »

We need a robust patriotism, not ‘my country, right or wrong’

Love can be hard to explain. There’s no formula to how it works, but you know it when it’s there. You know when it moves you, or when it gets you worked up. Tim Soutphommasane The Age What’s true for a love of a person is also true for a love of country. Most of us will have an affection for Australia. It isn’t always something we find easy to express. Emotions rarely are. Patriotism comes in many forms. The ... Read More »

Why I Am a European Patriot

The bond that binds the West is freedom. Patriotism is to nationalism as dignity is to barbarism. Roger Cohen The New York Times When I covered the war in Bosnia I got to know Nermin Tulic, a prominent Sarajevo actor. He had his legs blown off by a Serbian shell on June 10, 1992. He raged. He begged me not to look at his stumps. He wondered how he had ever taken his wife, who was half-Serb, in his arms. He told me ... Read More »

Every day is Survival Day in the colony of Australia

January 26 is redneck Christmas and white supremacist festivus rolled into one Scott Trindall for IndigenousX The Guardian When you think about it you realise that Australia’s only really got a couple of holidays that aren’t religion-based or coincide with the local show. And, given that Aussies love taking a day off – we lead the world in chucking sickies – you can start to appreciate why so many white people have such a strong affinity with January 26 and ... Read More »

Half Of Canadians Think The U.S. Is Full Of Nazis: Survey

The study also found our Holocaust knowledge is not very good. Sara Boboltz HuffPost Nearly half of all Canadians believe the United States has a Nazi problem, according to a survey about Holocaust remembrance released Thursday. It’s no mystery where they got that perception. Last year, a group of neo-Nazis received the red-carpet treatment from U.S. law enforcement as they traveled to Washington for a rally. A respected Holocaust scholar seriously comparedcertain American elected officials to those in Germany during the rise of ... Read More »

The Real Issue Behind the Border Wall Debate

For the United States, immigration has always been a necessity and an agony. The debate over a wall separating the United States and Mexico goes to the heart of American society. The wall itself is about preventing illegal immigration, but the debate inevitably flows to the question of immigration in general, as it always has in American history. George Friedman Geopolitical Futures An Agonizing Experience The American nation was forged from fragments of other nations. The English, Scotch-Irish, Swedish, Germans, ... Read More »

The impact of any no-deal Brexit upon the Republic of Cyprus and the Sovereign Base Areas in the Island of Cyprus

An Open Letter addressed to the President of the European Commission, the President of the Republic of Cyprus, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas By Klearchos A. Kyriakides Published by Agora Dialogue on 21 January 2019 at  http://agora-dialogue.com/ Date: 21 January 2019 Dear President Juncker, President Anastasiades, Prime Minister May and Major General Illingworth Re: The impact of any no-deal Brexit upon the Republic of Cyprus and the Sovereign Base Areas ... Read More »

How to navigate dinner conversations about pill testing

Here are some answers for you to put the arguments against pill testing in their scientific resting place David Caldicott, Matt Noffs and Gino Vumbaca The Guardian The support for pill testing continues to grow. Polling released this week shows pill testing is supported by a majority of Australians, including a majority of Liberal-National voters. Europeans have been successfully conducting pill testing at music festivals for over two decades. Despite this, a few pollies are adding some straw man arguments ... Read More »

Turkey’s new presidential system and a changing west

Implications for Turkish foreign policy and Turkish-West relations Kemal Kirişci and Ilke Toygür Brookings Executive Summary In July 2018, having triumphed in the presidential elections the previous month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan began to formally transform Turkey’s long-standing parliamentary system into a heavily centralized presidential one. The new system entrenched his one-man authoritarian rule at home and is having profound implications for the making and substance of Turkish foreign policy as well as Turkey’s relations with the West. This ... Read More »

European Parliament is failing on transparency

Voters have to be reassured MEPs are being held accountable. Heidi Hautala Politico When it comes to transparency, the European Parliament’s motto has become: Do as I say, not as I do. Members of the key European institution are fighting crucial reforms to ensure MEPs act by a shared set of public spending rules. As a relatively new member of the European Parliament Bureau — where decisions regarding the Parliament’s administration and budget are made — I have experienced first hand how ... Read More »

Erdogan’s $2 Billion Reason to Thank the Saudis

Turkey shrewdly took advantage of the spillover demand from Riyadh’s bond sale this week. Investors may well be underpricing the economic risks. Marcus Ashworth Bloomberg There are opportunistic financing deals, and then there’s Turkey. A $2 billion 10-year bond sale appeared out of nowhere for the country on Wednesday, with no roadshow and… But there was one big helping hand. Saudi Arabia had just launched $7.5 billion of new 10- and 30-year notes and had elected for tighter pricing rather ... Read More »

How Big Is Turkey’s Stick? #TurkeyUS

The strained relationship between Turkey and the U.S. appears unlikely to improve any time soon. Semih Idiz Sigma Insight Turkey There is simply too much of a backlog of unresolved issues for the situation to change for the better. The visit to Ankara by the high level delegation, headed by President Donald Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton, did little to ameliorate tensions between the two capitals. To the contrary, it seems to have aggravated the… The atmosphere was already ... Read More »

Rahaf and Hakeem: why has one refugee captured the world’s attention while another is left in jail?

When it comes to Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun and Hakeem al-Araibi, the reasons are varied but likely include the age-old non-science of what makes news and what doesn’t Helen Davidson The Guardian Australia, Thailand and the Gulf states have been inextricably linked in two global news stories lately, when two young people faced being forcibly returned to the places and people they fled simply because they happened to step foot in Bangkok. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, an 18-year-old Saudi woman, was on ... Read More »