Society

Colombia to send jets against criminal gangs

The Colombian government says it will launch air raids against gangs involved in drug trafficking and illegal mining. Defence Minister Luis Carlos Villegas said the full force of the state, including the military, would be used to fight them. The gangs emerged from right-wing paramilitary squads disbanded under the last government of Alvaro Uribe, in office until five years ago… Source: Colombia to send jets against criminal gangs – BBC News Read More »

Sadiq Khan elected London’s first Muslim mayor after bitter campaign

London: Sadiq Khan, the son of a bus driver, became London’s first Muslim mayor on Friday, seeing off a Conservative challenger who attempted to link him to extremism and securing a much-needed victory for his opposition Labour Party. Mr Khan’s victory will go some way to soothing the wounds of Labour which suffered losses in Thursday’s other local elections… Source: Sadiq Khan elected London’s first Muslim mayor after bitter campaign Read More »

Why ‘paralysing volatility’ means trouble for Wall Street giant

There’s plenty of volatility, but what happened to the volume? From stocks to currencies and bonds, the upswing in turbulence to start the year is chasing all but the bravest traders from financial markets. Despite the recent rebound in US equities, the volume of shares traded in the S&P 500 Index is down 23 per cent. Speculative bets on the direction of currencies have also dropped to the lowest in two years, while average daily trading among dealers in US Treasuries is ... Read More »

Scottish nationalists win but lose ground on UK’s ‘Super Thursday’

Scottish nationalists won a third term in power but lost their outright majority May 6 in one of a series of local and regional elections seen as a key test for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. The main opposition Labour Party came third in the vote for Scotland’s devolved parliament but its candidate Sadiq Khan is expected to clinch victory in London to become the city’s first Muslim mayor… Source: Scottish nationalists win but lose ground on UK’s ‘Super Thursday’ – ... Read More »

US House Speaker Paul Ryan ‘can’t back Trump’

US House Speaker Paul Ryan, the highest-ranked elected Republican, says he cannot currently support Donald Trump as presidential nominee.. Mr Ryan, who is the highest-ranked elected Republican, said: “I’m just not ready to do that at this point. I’m not there right now.”… Source: US House Speaker Paul Ryan ‘can’t back Trump’ – BBC News Read More »

In Turkey we can’t even laugh at our politicians any more

Under President Erdoğan our nation is divided. The prime minister has stepped down, and free speech and secularism are under threat.. Amid the political turmoil in Turkey this week, culminating in the prime minister’s announcement that he’ll stand down within days, it was Oscar Wilde who became the subject of a heated debate in the Turkish… Source: In Turkey we can’t even laugh at our politicians any more | Elif Shafak | Opinion | The Guardian Read More »

Sydney from a blimp: a bird’s eye view of Australia’s harbour city

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Shot from a blimp as it drifted above Sydney, these photos capture everything from the patterns in the sand created by everyday beach life to colourful piles of recycling; and from a lone golfer lining up a critical putt to the sprawl of suburbia… Jonny Weeks Source: Sydney from a blimp: a bird’s eye view of Australia’s harbour city | Art and design | The Guardian Read More »

Malcolm Turnbull defends saying wealthy parents should ‘shell out’ to buy their kid a house

Malcolm Turnbull has defended his suggestion that wealthy parents should buy their children homes to help them into the expensive housing market, with Labor accusing the multi-millionaire Prime Minister of being “out of touch.” Wealthy parents should “shell out” and buy their children houses, Mr Turnbull said in off-the-cuff remarks on Wednesday, comments which have been seized on by the opposition… Source: Malcolm Turnbull defends saying wealthy parents should ‘shell out’ to buy their kid a house Read More »

Economist Paul Craig Roberts: Greece Must Leave the Eurozone to Regain Its Sovereignty

In Greece, the Syriza-led coalition government is now set to agree to new rounds of cuts and privatizations demanded by the country’s lenders. Prior to its initial election in January 2015, Syriza had promised to abolish the country’s loan agreements and austerity policies. Now, unemployment remains at record levels, and the young and educated continue to leave the country, while recent large-scale privatizations such… Source: Economist Paul Craig Roberts: Greece Must Leave the Eurozone to Regain Its Sovereignty Read More »

Boko Haram on the Back Foot?

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Boko Haram is losing ground, resources and fighters. But defeating the group and preventing a future insurgency needs more than military success. The 14 May summit in Abuja is an opportunity for Nigeria and its Lake Chad basin neighbours to prepare and implement what’s been long overdue: a holistic response to the extremist group… Source: Boko Haram on the Back Foot? – International Crisis Group Read More »

The Amateur Cloud Society That (Sort Of) Rattled the Scientific Community

An improbable tale of how a British maverick harnessed crowdsourced meteorological discoveries to reveal the poetic wonders of the sky.. Gavin Pretor-Pinney decided to take a sabbatical. It was the summer of 2003, and for the last 10 years, as a sideline to his graphic-design business in London, he and a friend had been running a magazine called The Idler. The Idler was devoted to the “literature for loafers.” It argued against busyness and careerism and for the ineffable value ... Read More »

Australia Chides Rights Advocates for Giving ‘False Hope’ to Asylum Seekers

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SYDNEY, Australia — Australia’s immigration minister accused human rights advocates on Tuesday of giving “false hope” to asylum seekers held in offshore detention centers, suggesting that they bore some responsibility for two recent protests in which asylum seekers set themselves afire. The minister, Peter Dutton, spoke a day after a 21-year-old Somali woman set fire to herself on the Pacific island nation of Nauru, where hundreds of.. Source: Australia Chides Rights Advocates for Giving ‘False Hope’ to Asylum Seekers – The ... Read More »

Doubts rise over TTIP as France threatens to block EU-US deal

French president rejects trade pact in current form as lead negotiator blames Washington for impasse a day after leak revealed ‘irreconcilable’ differences.. Doubts about the controversial EU-US trade pact are mounting after the French president threatened to block the deal… Source: Doubts rise over TTIP as France threatens to block EU-US deal | Business | The Guardian Read More »

Woman who defied 300 neo-Nazis at Swedish rally speaks of anger

Tess Asplund, who was photographed with fist raised in lone protest against far-right activists, says she acted on impulse.. The lone protest of a woman defying a march of 300 uniformed neo-Nazis is set to become an iconic image of resistance to the rise of the far-right in Scandinavia… Source: Woman who defied 300 neo-Nazis at Swedish rally speaks of anger | World news | The Guardian Read More »

White flight in schools: it’s not about racism

The idea that smart kids should sacrifice their own education to drag up their peers from non-English speaking families is simply obnoxious.. What are they playing at, these smug, middle-class families deserting their local state school just because it’s next to commission housing? (White flight: race segregation in Melbourne state schools) How… Source: White flight in schools: it’s not about racism Read More »

Who Started the Second Cold War?

Friday, a Russian SU-27 did a barrel roll over a U.S. RC-135 over the Baltic, the second time in two weeks. Also in April, the U.S. destroyer Donald Cook, off Russia’s Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, was twice buzzed by Russian planes. Vladimir Putin’s message: Keep your spy planes and ships a respectable distance away from us. Apparently, we have not received it… Source: Who Started the Second Cold War? | The American Conservative Read More »