Opinion

Turkey is playing both Russia and US

During the past week the Western press has reported Russian and Syrian bombing of north-western Idlib province and the flight of thousands of civilians from targeted villages. Michael Jansen Gulf Today Writers complain that Moscow and Damascus have been violating the “de-confliction” deal reached last year between Russia and Turkey with the aim of halting an all-out military operation against… Those who have reported the situation in this way are indulging in promulgating “fake news.” Russian and Syrian government forces ... Read More »

Up to a million species are at risk of annihilation – UN report

Sixth wave of extinction dawns as planet’s life-support systems near danger zone Kevin O’Sullivan The Irish Times The destruction of nature threatens humanity at least as much as human-induced climate change, a global report on species loss will warn on Monday. Complied by hundreds of leading specialists on biodiversity loss, the report will provide evidence that the planet’s life-support systems are approaching a danger zone for humanity. Up to a million species are at risk of annihilation, many within decades, ... Read More »

Climate change: If we fail to act, we already know what will happen – Joyce McMillan

In northern Mozambique, people used to living in stable climatic conditions suddenly find themselves facing a drowned and devastated world in a warning about the dangers of climate change, urges Joyce McMillan. Joyce McMillan The Scotsman Search on the internet for the city of Pemba in northern Mozambique, and you’ll see pictures of a beautiful, palm-fringed seaside city marketing itself as a holiday resort; a place of pools, beaches, and luxury hotels, with a nearby national park. From this week, ... Read More »

How the European Union’s eastern expansion created Brexit and made an enemy of Russia

Fifteen years on from the EU’s enlargement, the extension arguably sabotaged more than just the quest for an ever-closer union Mary Dejevsky Independent Fifteen years ago this week, the European Union grew overnight from 15 members to 25 in the biggest and most ambitious enlargement it had ever ventured. The new members, eight of them former Soviet-bloc states, were ablaze with celebratory fireworks; there was ecstatic waving of blue and gold flags; Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” played on a seemingly eternal ... Read More »

Just making fathers take parental leave won’t solve much

Greater workplace gender balance needs broader approach Maeve McElwee The Irish Times Achieving greater gender balance and equality in the workforce has been a long-standing policy and economic priority. The proposed Parental Leave and Benefit Bill announced last week is a small step in the right direction in this regard. The measure, which would introduce two additional weeks of parental leave benefit for both parents within the first 52 weeks, seeks to begin a rebalancing of the share of responsibility ... Read More »

Caruana Galizia murder: Fighting for justice for my murdered mother

Once every few months I have to sit in a room with the person investigating my mother’s murder. Our family first encountered him six years ago, when he came to our home to arrest her. By Matthew Caruana Galizia World Press Freedom Day BBC My mother had published a satirical blog post about a candidate for Maltese prime minister on election day and one of his supporters filed a police report. So, the detective was sent to our family home ... Read More »

End to Aids in sight as huge study finds drugs stop HIV transmission

Paper says risk between male partners is zero if virus fully suppressed by antiretrovirals Sarah Boseley and Hannah Devlin The Guardian An end to the Aids epidemic could be in sight after a landmark study found men whose HIV infection was fully suppressed by antiretroviral drugs had no chance of infecting their partner. The success of the medicine means that if everyone with HIV were fully treated, there would be no further infections. Among nearly 1,000 male couples across Europe ... Read More »

Just making fathers take parental leave won’t solve much

Greater workplace gender balance needs broader approach Maeve McElwee The Irish Times Achieving greater gender balance and equality in the workforce has been a long-standing policy and economic priority. The proposed Parental Leave and Benefit Bill announced last week is a small step in the… The measure, which would introduce two additional weeks of parental leave benefit for both parents within the first 52 weeks, seeks to begin a rebalancing of the share of responsibility placed on women for the… ... Read More »

Federal election 2019: Australian Electoral Commission needs real powers to fight false claims

The Australian Electoral Commission says it is very keen to ensure that you are not misled during the current campaign to select our next Federal government. Paul Murray The West Australian So it is flooding social media with messages telling electors to be vigilant about misinformation as part of its Stop and Consider initiative. The problem is the commission also says it has absolutely no power to be a campaign umpire. “Under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, there are no ... Read More »

Voting Capacity

Why European Parliament elections matter A citizen’s relationship with the voting process is contingent on their understanding of their country’s history and of the state of its politics. Above all, however, it is founded on the citizen’s notion of how they can affect change. Nicholas Karides * Citizens who vote in national parliamentary elections usually have a good grasp of their legislature’s role and work, but what prompts them to actually make the trip to the polling station is that ... Read More »

Majority of voters want action on women’s issues, new polling shows

A majority of voters believe childcare should be a tax deductible expense, that many of our politicians are sexist, that women should comprise at least half of parliamentarians, and that the… Jacqueline Maley Brisbane Times The survey of 1065 voters, split almost evenly between men and women, commissioned by independent lobby group WomenVote and conducted by YouGov Galaxy, shows large… Seventy-one per cent believe the government should be doing more to address the gender pay gap, and 75 per cent ... Read More »

Why Europe Needs a Security Council

In the new world of great power competition, European cooperation is vital for survival.  That’s why a new institution is needed. Ulrich Speck Berlin Policy Journal The end of any hope for liberal convergence; the tougher tone in international affairs; the United States’ focus on competition with China, and also with Russia; Donald Trump’s ruthlessness toward… Europeans increasingly realize that to leave defense and strategic leadership largely to the US and to focus mainly on domestic affairs isn’t going to ... Read More »

“There’s Always Hope!”

Since 1989, the West has become stuck in the “politics of eternity,” failing to think either about the past or the future, argues historian TIMOTHY SNYDER in an interview. Timothy Snyder Berlin Policy Journal It’s high time this changed. Is this the end of the West as we know it? It might be. But it’s up to us. Over the last 25 years or so, we have contributed to the Western decline because we have failed to actually think about ... Read More »

No Ever Closer Union

Pro-Europeans have long avoided a debate on the end goal of EU integration. Heinrich August Winkler Berlin Policy Journal It’s time for honesty: ever closer cooperation between member states is the only realistic way forward. In the run-up to the European Parliament elections, none of the German political parties has shown quite as much ambition as the Free Democratic Party (FDP). In its election program, adopted at the end of January 2019, the pro-business liberal party calls for the convening ... Read More »

Global inequality is 25% higher than it would have been in a climate-stable world

Those least responsible for global warming will suffer the most. Poorer countries – those that have contributed far less to climate change – tend to be situated in warmer regions, where additional warming causes the most devastation. Nicholas Beuret The Conversation Extreme weather events such as Syria’s prolonged drought, South Asia’s catastrophic monsoon floods, and Cyclone Idai in South-East Africa, the third deadliest cyclone on record, are becoming more likely and more severe. These events are disproportionately bringing death, displacement, ... Read More »

Democracy: ‘Inclusion is the future – not exclusion’

The rise of right-wing populism is being fuelled by polarisation in society that we must address without resorting to the claim of moral superiority, or protest voters will become the… Annette Ekin Horizon Horizon spoke to Prof. Merkel about the challenges for democracy, who is being left behind and how he sees right-wing populists gaining at the European elections starting 23 May. These are uncertain, tough times for democracy – the decline of voter turnout, the rise of right-wing populist ... Read More »