Society

The Infantilization of the President

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Aides have doubted prior presidents’ wisdom, health, or sobriety, but never have so many insiders treated the commander in chief like a child. David A. Graham The Atlantic  As every toddler knows, bigger is better, whether that’s two scoops of ice cream (versus one for everyone else), a border wall, or a nuclear arsenal.And that was President Trump’s reaction during a July meeting with military and national-security leaders about the nuclear arsenal, too, according to NBC News. In total, he ... Read More »

Discord in Yemen’s North Could Be a Chance for Peace

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Since August, a public rift has surfaced between the two main partners on the northern front of Yemen’s war – the forces loyal to the Huthis and Ali Abdullah Saleh. ICG Rather than fostering its rivals’ discord, key powerbroker Saudi Arabia should seize this rare chance to resolve the two-and-a-half year war by championing a new regional initiative. 1. Overview A public rift between Ali Abdullah Saleh’s General People’s Congress party (GPC) and the Huthis (aka Ansar Allah) may change ... Read More »

Global data shows 2017 is shaping as the best year ever

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Amid mass shootings, super storms and talk of nuclear conflict, here’s some good news. Matt Wade Barring a global catastrophe, 2017 is shaping as best year ever for the world’s average person. The Sydney Morning Herald That doesn’t mean everyone is better off, of course, but the positive trend in international wellbeing data since 2000 is striking. Global life expectancy at birth sums it up pretty well. It rose by 5 years between 2000 and 2015 to 71.4 years, the ... Read More »

Mr. Trump Nails Shut the Coffin on Climate Relief

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The Trump administration formally proposed on Tuesday to roll back yet another of President Barack Obama’s efforts to position the United States as a global leader in the fight against climate change The Editorial Board The New York Times  The move, though widely anticipated, was deeply disheartening. In March Mr. Trump ordered Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, to repeal the Clean Power Plan, which was aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants. Mr. ... Read More »

IMF raises growth forecast for all advanced economies except UK

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The pound has made gains despite a flurry of gloomy economic reports, while advances among bank stocks helped the wider market push higher Holly Williams The Scotsman Official figures showing disappointing trade data, but a stronger-than-expected performance from the manufacturing sector, saw the pound make strong gains against the US dollar and hold firm against the euro. Sterling lifted 0.6% to 1.32 US dollars and was flat at 1.12 euros. The FTSE 100 Index closed the session 30.4 points higher ... Read More »

Explainer: how our understanding of risk is changing

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Under the traditional notion of risk, people react predictably based on how risk-tolerant they are. Here, risk is calculated by combining the probability of something occurring (such as rolling a six with a pair of dice) with the value of the outcome (how much you have wagered). Robert Hoffmann  Adrian R. Camilleri  But our understanding of risk is changing. The Conversation We now know that a whole host of factors, from your personal history to your mood and age, all ... Read More »

The Domestic Challenge to Kyrgyzstan’s Milestone Election

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While Kyrgyzstan’s 15 October elections are a rare milestone for Central Asian democracy, the campaign is exposing dangerous fault lines. Deirdre Tynan  In the largest city of Osh, the new president will have to face down robust local power brokers, defuse Uzbek-Kyrgyz tensions and re-introduce the rule of law. ICG Kyrgyzstan’s forthcoming presidential elections on 15 October are a milestone for Central Asia: for the first time, a president from the region will voluntarily stand down at the end of ... Read More »

The Prophet of Germany’s New Right

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From a tiny village in the country’s rural east, a leading nationalist intellectual builds a vision for the future of his movement across Europe. James Angelos The New York Times Götz Kubitschek, a self-proclaimed “rightist intellectual,” lives in a medieval manor house in Schnellroda, a rural village in eastern Germany. From this isolated, antique outpost, Kubitschek, who is 47, wields considerable influence over far-right thinkers, activists and politicians across Germany, who make regular pilgrimages to Schnellroda for an audience with ... Read More »

Pierre Omidyar: 6 ways social media has become a direct threat to democracy

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While it’s hard to believe that helping strangers connect through the Internet was ever a radical idea, when I started eBay 22 years ago, it felt more like a social experiment than a business endeavor. Pierre Omidyar The Washington Post And in many ways, it was. Back then, online commerce was a new and wild frontier.I believed in our mission to empower people to conduct private trade on the Internet, but there were unforeseeable challenges lurking deep in those uncharted ... Read More »

Push to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day gathers momentum

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A movement to abolish Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day has gained momentum in some parts of the United States, with Los Angeles recently becoming the biggest city yet to stop honouring the Italian explorer and instead recognise victims of… ABC Austin, Texas, followed suit last week. It joined cities including San Francisco, Seattle and Denver, which had previously booted Columbus in favour of Indigenous Peoples… But the gesture to recognise indigenous people rather than the man ... Read More »

How to Turn Battleground Ukraine Into a Success Story

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If the West manages to talk Kiev out of any hasty ill-judged decisions and convince it to accept Moscow’s peacekeeper proposal as it is, then the world will finally see a win-win Anna Tikhonova, Cyril Fokin The National Interest Putin’s early September suggestion that a UN peacekeeping force be sent to the Donbass region triggered a skeptical reaction from the Western block To a certain degree, the Kremlin’s acceptance of the deployment of UN peacekeepers signifies a diplomatic victory of the ... Read More »

Old sites, new visions: art and archaeology collide in Cyprus

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Over the past two decades Australian archaeologists have been slowly uncovering the World Heritage-listed ancient theatre site at Paphos in Cyprus. Craig Barker  Diana Wood Conroy The Conversation The Hellenistic-Roman period theatre was used for performance for over six centuries from around 300 BC to the late fourth century AD. There is also considerable evidence of activity on the site after the theatre was destroyed, particularly during the Crusader era. The excavation of the site, and of the architectural remains ... Read More »

George Brandis slaps down Peter Dutton over ‘un-Australian’ lawyers attack

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Australia’s first law officer has delivered a sharp rebuke to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, and reminded government ministers of the need to respect the rule of law and authority of the courts In a Sunday night speech to the International Bar Association in Sydney that initially flew under-the-radar, Attorney-General George Brandis delivered a full-throated defence of the rule of law and the legal profession. James Massola The Sydney Morning Herald While he did not name Mr Dutton, Senator Brandis’ comments have been interpreted as a repudiation of his cabinet colleague, who ... Read More »

Chiefs To Offer Sacrifices To Thank The gods For ITLOS Victory

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Chiefs in the Western region have hailed the aftermath of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (I TLOS) ruling which gives Tullow Ghana Limited the go-ahead to activate its plans to drill more wells to improve production in the TEN fields. Modern Ghana Paramount Chief of Nsein Traditional Area, Awulae Agyevi Kwame II, informed a meeting with the Paramount Chiefs in the Region that a day will be set aside to commemorate the victory. He said they ... Read More »

Would these people get help to die under Victoria’s proposed euthanasia laws?

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Would these people get help toIt could soon be legal to help some terminally ill Victorians die Our state MPs are expected to hold a conscience vote in mid-October on whether to allow voluntary assisted dying in certain circumstances. The Age The proposed laws are, in part, based on the findings of an independent panel of medical experts on when people should be given the right to die. We asked the panel’s chair, Professor Brian Owler, what would happen in six hypothetical ... Read More »

Calls for Theresa May to reveal ‘legal advice’ she received on stopping Brexit

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Theresa May is facing calls to publish legal advice she received that is believed to state that parliament could stop Brexit The country’s top legal experts apparently gave the Prime Minister advice saying that leaving the European Union could be halted if MPs judge that a change of mind is in the national interest. Shehab Khan The Independent msn Prominent lawyer Jessica Simor QC, from Matrix chambers, has written to Ms May asking her to release any legal advice she ... Read More »