Economy

Of Tanks and Banks: Stopping a Dangerous Escalation in Libya

An under-reported banking crisis threatens to exacerbate deadly fighting in Tripoli, ignite a protracted resource war and deepen the country’s east-west divide. ICG A way out requires agreeing to a ceasefire in Tripoli and ending the four-year split between the Central Bank’s rival branches. What’s new?  A neglected banking crisis in Libya is coming to a head just as forces under Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar are trying to capture Tripoli. A protracted conflict will hinder efforts to reunify the divided ... Read More »

Why the US and China will have to make it work

Earlier this month, the US and China seemed on the point of a trade rapprochement. The tariffs Washington and Beijing have slapped on each other in recent months were about to be reversed. Brisbane Times / Telegraph, London Then Donald Trump took to Twitter – a phrase future historians will be using a lot, perhaps – signalling Sino-US trade negotiations had shifted from sweet to sour. “The trade deal with China continues, but too slowly,” Trump tweeted. “They broke the ... Read More »

Open letter to UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The following Lobby for Cyprus open letter was sent to the UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs regarding Turkey’s illegal operations in the EEZ of Cyprus and the recent statement in Parliament by the UK Minister for Europe. Τhe Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Foreign and Commonwealth Office King Charles Street London SW1A 2AH 17 May 2019 Dear Minister I am writing to you regarding the reply given by ... Read More »

A Greek Canary in a Global Goldmine

After 2008, Greece came to symbolize global capitalism’s failure to balance credit and trade flows. Yianis Varoufakis Project Syndicate Today, as the global mismatch between economic reality and financial returns grows, there is clear danger that, once again, the country is foreshadowing a new phase of the global crisis. ATHENS – The eurozone country that has become synonymous with insolvency is today proving to be a treasure-trove for some. Traders who bought Greek assets a few years ago have good ... Read More »

Mineral wealth, Clive Palmer, and the corruption of Australian politics

Clive Palmer is reportedly spending A$70 million of his own money on his party’s campaign. Warwick Smith The Conversation How is it possible for one individual to command so much wealth and where did it come from? The sad and strange reality is that Australian governments gave him most of it by letting him dig up and sell natural resources that, by rights, belong to us not him. We’ve a history of handing vast wealth to resource and mining magnates ... Read More »

Cyprus escalation could drill hole in Irish sacred cow of neutrality

Europe Letter: Danger of war of words escalating into military conflict remains real Patrick Smyth The Irish Times The publication by the Institute of International and European Affairs of a new analysis of Irish neutrality by Prof Patrick Keatinge is timely. It comes just as fellow EU member Cyprus looks to its partners for solidarity – at this stage just political – over the illegal incursion by Turkish drilling ships into its Aegean territorial waters or Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The move, which has ... Read More »

A Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline: Start Small but Aim Big

In the long-run, such a project would yield great economic and geopolitical dividends. Luke Coffey The National Interest In 1906, the first energy pipeline in the South Caucasus was completed, connecting Baku on the Caspian Sea with Batumi on the Black Sea. The pipes used in the construction were actually made in Mariupol, Ukraine—an indication of the broader region’s interconnectedness which prevails to this day. That first pipeline measured a mere eight inches in diameter and transported kerosene. Today, more ... Read More »

Lively debate on interpreting laws at maritime conference

UN Convention on the Law of the Sea not product of the West or ambiguous, says Tommy Koh Lim Min Zhang The Straits Times Differing interpretations of the international law of the sea took centre stage at a maritime conference yesterday involving academics and navy chiefs from around the world. Ambassador-at-Large Tommy Koh had a spirited exchange with a Chinese academic over whether the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) had involved input from Asian… During ... Read More »

NKorea suffering worst drought in decades

North Korea says it is suffering its worst drought in nearly four decades amid reports of severe food shortages. The Canberra Times Australian Associated Press The official Korean Central News Agency said an average of 54.4 millimetres of rain fell throughout the country in the first five months of this year. It said that is the lowest level since 1982, when North Korea received 51.2mm of rain on average during the same period. The report came after United Nations food ... Read More »

Britain divides but doesn’t rule

Westminster is too busy fighting itself to exploit Franco-German Brexit rift. Paul Taylor Politico PARIS — Britain has finally managed to split France and Germany over Brexit after nearly three years in which the two continental powers marched in lockstep. The trouble for the U.K. is that it is too busy fighting itself over the future it wants with the European Union to take advantage of the rift. Cracks between French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared last month, after British Prime Minister ... Read More »

Maritime issues prompt Coast Guard to review law of the sea

To address pressing maritime issues, the Philippine Coast Guard conducted a seminar aimed to review the law of the sea. Betheena Unite Manila Bulletin The one-day seminar was organized by the Office of the Deputy Chief of Coast Guard Staff for Maritime Security Services last May 9 in a bid to refresh their knowledge of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the… According to Capt. Glenda Pereyra, deputy chief of Coast Guard Staff for Maritime Security Services, maritime ... Read More »

Government stability, affordable housing and climate change: The election issues young voters are talking about

Government instability, distrust of politicians, and inaction over climate change. Freya Noble 9news These are the core issues plaguing many young voters as they prepare to cast their ballot in just under two weeks’ time. Nine.com.au spoke to two people voting in a federal election for the first time, who say they don’t believe the major parties are doing enough to engage and interact with them. Both are yet to decide who they will vote for. Ruby, a 20-year-old law ... Read More »

New Zealand passes landmark laws ensuring it will be carbon neutral by 2050

New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern said legislation will tackle climate change but faced opposition from farmers over plans to decrease methane emissions. Reuters SBS New Zealand’s parliament has tabled a landmark bill that will set a target of zero carbon emissions by 2050. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said  the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill is a “landmark action” on climate change. “We know the climate is changing. People can see that,” she said. New Zealand’s government will introduce legislation to tackle climate ... Read More »

Germany’s refugee intake begins to boost economy as settlers soothe country’s worker shortage

To maintain economic well-being, country ‘needs about half a million immigrants every year’ In his native Syria, Mohammed Kassim worked as an electrician. Luisa Beck, Griff Witte The Inependent But having learned the trade informally, he lacked the credentials to show for it. Now, in his adopted homeland, the 30-year-old is receiving the training he never had and he is getting paid to do it by a company dangling the promise of a job that could vault him from struggling refugee ... 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… 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 »