Historical

Escalating Global Effort for Safe, Legal Abortion

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A Day to Highlight Women’s Struggle Margaret Wurth HRW Today is International Safe Abortion Day. Today, and every day, women and girls in countries where access to abortion is heavily restricted, or banned, risk their lives trying to end unwanted pregnancies. But the fight around the world for access to safe and legal abortion is escalating. The day has particular significance this year for the United States, as the Senate Judiciary Committee considers the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the ... Read More »

Iraqi Kurdistan’s Regional Elections Test a Brittle Status Quo

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The fallout continues to settle after Iraqi Kurdistan’s fraught independence referendum one year ago. Maria Fantappie ICG In this Q&A, our Iraq Senior Adviser Maria Fantappie surveys the political landscape ahead of the first regional legislative elections since the plebiscite. What’s at stake in the 30 September elections? Voters in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq will choose the 111 members of the Kurdistan National Assembly, in the fourth election since the body was founded in 1992 and the… At stake, ... Read More »

Costa Rica Launches Initiative on Environment and Human Rights

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“For All Initiative” Promotes Gender Equality in Global Environmental Treaties Marcos Orellana HRW Today, Costa Rica will launch an initiative aiming to make gender equality and human rights integral components of global environmental agreements. Costa Rica’s Vice President Epsy Campbell Barr will launch the For All Initiative at the United Nations General Assembly’s high-level segment. The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and the Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, are expected to join the launch in New… ... Read More »

On the Supreme Court, difficult nominations have led to historical injustices

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Far from being unusual, the hurried and partisan Supreme Court confirmation process for Brett Kavanaugh mirrors several notable examples of similarly politicized confirmations in U.S. history. Calvin Schermerhorn The Conversation Those conflicts, which ultimately placed justices on the court, yielded some of the most damaging civil rights decisions in our nation’s history. Unlike any other branch of government, Supreme Court justices do not have to face voters at the polls. They have no term limits. Yet the high court is ... Read More »

Canada MPs vote to strip Aung San Suu Kyi of honorary citizenship

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Canadian MPs have voted unanimously to revoke the honorary citizenship of Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. BBC Passing the motion was a response to her failure to stop the persecution of the Rohingya minority in her country. Ms Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her efforts to bring democracy to Myanmar – also known as Burma – which was then under military rule. A UN report last month said Myanmar military leaders must be investigated ... Read More »

How Alliances Made Athens Great

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The ancient Athenians manipulated their allies, spreading democracy and providing protection, always with their own interests first. Trump could learn something. Nikos Konstandaras The New York Times ATHENS — In his declared intention to “Make America Great Again,” President Trump appears set on destroying the foundations of American greatness. The multinational organizations and agreements that established peace and stability, and encouraged economic growth for some seven decades, were designed principally by Americans. They organized the world pretty much the way that ... Read More »

‘MeToo must become WeToo’: Jacinda Ardern’s speech to UN rebuts Trump

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New Zealand prime minister called for collective action and multilateralism in address that was applauded at the UN in New York Eleanor Ainge Roy The Guardian The prime minister of New Zealand has been met with thunderous applause at the UN for her speech espousing global cooperation and kindness from world leaders, in stark contrast to Donald Trump’s portentous rejection of globalism earlier in the week. Jacinda Ardern’s national statement was viewed by many commentators as a direct rebuttal to the US ... Read More »

A Small Nation That Thinks It’s a World Power

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Brexit emerged from its supporters’ nostalgia for a supposedly glorious past. Gary Younge The Nation “There are two kinds of European nations,” said Kristian Jensen, the Danish finance minister, last year. “There are small nations, and there are countries that have not yet realized they are small nations.” With Brexit, it’s become painfully obvious that the United Kingdom is among the latter. In their melancholic yearning for a time long past, those who ran the campaign to leave the European ... Read More »

Friday essay: how the moral panic over ‘sexual sadists’ silenced their victims

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Between the 1920s and the 1950s, sexual sadism was widely discussed in Australian newspapers. Ironically, attempts to ban the Marquis de Sade’s books gave journalists an excuse to write about them, thus spreading knowledge of this “perversion”. Joanna Bourke The Conversation Public awareness of sadism also incited social panic, provoked by a series of highly publicised murders of Australian women. One of these was the mutilation and killing of Dorothy (“Dot”) May Everett in Newcastle in November 1937. Everett was ... Read More »

Brussels rolls out red carpet for Jeremy Corbyn

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The Labour leader met with chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and Secretary-General Martin Selmayr. By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN Politico It was the European Commission’s own vote of no-confidence in Theresa May. Top EU officials rolled out the red carpet for Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn on Thursday, welcoming May’s arch-rival to the Commission headquarters and giving him a platform at a… Corbyn, who has criticized May and her Conservative Party for mismanaging Brexit, has yet to unveil a credible departure plan of ... Read More »

Comment: ‘People actually laughed at a president’: At U.N. speech, Trump suffers the fate he always feared

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President Trump has long argued that the United States has been taken advantage of by other nations — a “laughing stock to the entire World” he said on Twitter in 2014 — and his political rise was countenanced on the… David Nakamura The Washington Post But at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump got a comeuppance on the world’s biggest stage. Delivering a speech that aimed to establish U.S. “sovereignty” over the whims and needs of other nations, the… ... Read More »

Scott Morrison claims Indigenous voice to parliament would be a third chamber

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Prime minister tells Radio National Uluru proposal ‘really is’ a third chamber and must be rejected Paul Karp The Guardian Scott Morrison has rejected the Uluru statement’s call for an Indigenous voice to parliament by claiming that the body would constitute a “third chamber”, a characterisation… In an interview on Radio National on Wednesday the new prime minister signalled there would be no change of policy since Malcolm Turnbull rejected the voice, and even walked back… Asked about the voice ... Read More »

China cracks down on religion, crosses burned at Christian churches, Xi Jinping photos installed

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China has intensified its crackdown on religion, with images emerging of crosses being burned and destroyed at Christian churches. By Ian Burrows and Bang Xiao ABC The crosses are said to often be replaced with objects such as the Chinese flag and photos of Chinese President Xi Jinping and former Communist Party leader Mao Zedong. In one video posted on Twitter earlier this month, fire is seen engulfing the cross at the Chinese Christian Church in Xinxiang city, in the ... Read More »

The United Nations has entered its darkest hour

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If the United Nations were a stock or an index fund, you might want to short it. Founded in 1945 to “maintain international peace and security,” the UN in recent years has been powerless to stop slaughter in Syria, Yemen and Myanmar. James Gibney Brisbane Times Bloomberg Civil conflicts are nearing post-Cold War highs. The number of displaced people has hit a new record. After decades of improvement, more of the… The gap between what the UN seeks and receives ... Read More »

Washington’s Farcical “Certifications” Enable the War Crimes of Allies

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And violate U.S. law. Ted Galen Carpenter The National Interest Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s certification that the Saudi-led military coalition in the Yemen war was taking adequate steps to avoid inflicting civilian casualties may have achieved a new low in U.S. foreign-policy ethics. There is abundant evidence of multiple atrocities that Riyadh and its United Arab Emirates (UAE) junior partner have committed and continue to commit. The coalition’s war strategy has created a famine as well as a cholera ... Read More »

60 Minutes: ‘A catastrophic loss of faith in democracy’

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“Why do so many Prime Ministers get replaced?” The question posed by a primary school student from Sydney’s western suburbs on a visit to Parliament House tested his local MP. Chris Uhlmann 9news And since Malcolm Turnbull was deposed at Australia’s 29th Prime Minister, just a month ago, there has been no answer to why the fourth leader in a decade has been cut down by his own party. But here’s something we do know. There has been a catastrophic ... Read More »