The Left on the Run in Latin America

In 2004, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, launched the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our Americas, a regional alliance of leftist leaders designed to subvert a hemispheric free trade agreement that the United States had been pushing for a decade. In the years that followed, Washington’s hope of a trade pact of 34 nations faded, and its clout in the region diminished as… Source: The Left on the Run in Latin America – ... Read More »

One day at Agkalia (Embrace)

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One day at Agkalia *(Embrace) we encountered group of seemingly tough young men. By Giorgos Tyrikos-Ergas * Μια μέρα στην Αγκαλιά… They set themselves apart from the other groups with the families and were just sitting around and loitering making comments about the volunteers, all kinds of insinuations about the women volunteers, and in general: they looked like trouble. When we started giving away food they did not wait in line. They cut in and grabbed it. To my request ... Read More »

No Quick Fix for Russian Economy

This year got off to a bad start. Oil prices fell to below $30 per barrel and a budget deficit of at least 5 percent seemed inevitable. But now Russia’s political elite is breathing a sigh of relief. Oil is up to more than $40 per barrel and experts are predicting that prices are more likely to continue climbing than to collapse, as they did in winter. Of course, oil price trends cannot be forecast with any certainty. But financial officials recently stated that if oil ... Read More »

Resettling refugees in Papua New Guinea: a tragic theatre of the absurd

Papua New Guinea is an extraordinary country very close to my heart, but I can say with absolute surety that it is not an appropriate country in which to resettle refugees.. Ihave recently spent six weeks in the city of Lae in Papua New Guinea, with unique access to the first group of refugees resettled from Manus Island, and have been able to experience their resettled life first-hand… Source: Resettling refugees in Papua New Guinea: a tragic theatre of the ... Read More »

Stealing From Ebola to Fight Zika

Nobody should be surprised when the present House of Representatives, dominated by penurious reactionaries, produces a stingy response to a danger that calls for compassionate largess. But for sheer fecklessness it’s hard to top the House’s response this week to the Zika virus. The salient feature is that in providing money to fight one health menace, it steals from other funds meant… Source: Stealing From Ebola to Fight Zika – The New York Times Read More »

JK Rowling was right: free speech is for everyone, not just your friendsan

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We need to welcome dissent, because we grow from it. If you have to silence the other side, your own arguments can’t be very strong.. Αs the president of PEN America, I was deeply honored to have JK Rowling attend our gala to receive the PEN/Allen Foundation Award for Literary Service. Rowling gave a brief but exquisite address in which she lauded free speech in the broadest terms, saying, “The tides of populism and nationalism… Source: JK Rowling was right: ... Read More »

Western governments have mishandled refugee crisis for decades

IT was near midnight on October 6, 1998 when the dilapidated 40-foot clinker pushed off from northern Lebanon into the eastern Mediterranean. There were 75 passengers on board, including 10 adult women and 24 children (one born just two days earlier). Each person had been charged $2,000 per head. People traffickers promised them safe passage and refuge in Italy. Their mode of transportation was later described as “barely a floating coffin”… Source: Western governments have mishandled refugee crisis for decades – ... Read More »

Four Years as Green Party Leader: It’s Been a Privilege and an Honour | Natalie Bennett

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I know some will find my decision not to re-stand for the leadership hard to understand, and I’ve been moved by the generous words of support from many party members and supporters urging me to continue, but I hope that my decision will help make it clear that the Green Party doesn’t operate like other political parties, with a steep hierarchy up which many are seeking to scramble, while those at the top defend their positions. We’re a team, we ... Read More »

Multiculturalism: not an ideal, but a reality

We need to create human societies from people of many different backgrounds.. I’m reading Stan Grant’s book Talking To My Country. A journalist with Aboriginal and Irish heritage, Grant wrote an article last year at the height of the Adam Goodes drama, which proved very telling. The story was both simple and complex. In expressing the historic principle at stake with dignity and clarity while also illuminating the complexities of the issues of Aboriginal identity it raised, Grant was in ... Read More »

Could Different Borders Have Saved the Middle East?

THERE probably aren’t many things that the Islamic State, Jon Stewart and the president of Iraqi Kurdistan agree on, but there is one: the pernicious influence of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, a secret plan for dividing up the Middle East signed by France and Britain, 100 years ago this week. It has become conventional wisdom to argue, as Vice President… Source: Could Different Borders Have Saved the Middle East? – The New York Times Read More »

How the Coalition has failed on three key economic promises

Better growth, a smaller deficit and higher wages have failed to materialise, giving the lie to the Liberals’ claim to be superior managers.. Just under three years ago, Tony Abbott launched the Liberal’s 2013 election campaign. The Coalition duly swept to victory, creating a surge of optimism about the economy partly on the back of the promises made during the campaign… Source: How the Coalition has failed on three key economic promises | Stephen Koukoulas | Opinion | The Guardian Read More »

Baird’s Civil Liberties Crackdown Will Be Felt In Day-To-Day Life

OPINION: New laws extend the government’s draconian program to a level that will be felt by all. No liberal democracy cans sustain assaults such as these, writes Angus Reoch. The Baird Government has officially rendered New South Wales a police state. As if coming out of an Orwellian cocoon, the NSW State Government has eclipsedMore… Source: Baird’s Civil Liberties Crackdown Will Be Felt In Day-To-Day Life – New Matilda Read More »

Trump and Taxes

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This seems to be the week for Trump tax mysteries. One mystery is why Donald Trump, unlike every other major party nominee in modern times, is refusing to release his tax returns. The other is why, having decided that he needs experts to clean up his ludicrous tax-cut proposals, he chose to call on the services of the gang that couldn’t think straight… Source: Trump and Taxes – The New York Times Read More »

Sadiq Khan and the Future of Europe

WASHINGTON — As the votes in London’s mayoral election were being counted on May 5, almost every British Muslim I know seemed to have only one thought: Would Sadiq Khan pull it off? He did. Mr. Khan, the son of Pakistani immigrants, was elected as the first Muslim mayor of a Western capital city, with more than 1.3 million votes, in… Source: Sadiq Khan and the Future of Europe – The New York Times Read More »

80 percent of world’s city dwellers breathing bad air, says UN

Over 80 percent of the world’s city dwellers breathe poor quality air, increasing their risk of lung cancer and other life-threatening diseases, a new World Health Organization (WHO) report warned May 12. Urban residents in poor countries are by far the worst affected, WHO said, noting that nearly every city (98 percent) in low- and middle-income countries has air which fails to meet the U.N. body’s standards… Source: 80 percent of world’s city dwellers breathing bad air, says UN – ... Read More »

How Turkey Became A De Facto Dictatorship

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The forced resignation of Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu suggests only one thing—President Erdogan, who is totally absorbed by his lust for power, will tolerate no one in his government to deviate from any of his political positions. Prime Minister Davutoğlu was no exception. Although the Turkish constitution grants the Prime Minister executive powers while leaving the role of the president largely ceremonial, this is not what Erdogan had in mind when he asked then-Foreign Minister Davutoğlu to form a ... Read More »