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Aung San Suu Kyi’s extraordinary fall from grace

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Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s civilian leader and de facto president, is under fire from all sides. Domestically, she is facing growing criticism for stalled economic and political reforms, glacial progress on policy and service improvements, and the suppression of freedom of expression and press freedom. Authors: The Conversation But it is her international reputation that is most in tatters. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, imprisoned for 15 years over a 21-year period in her struggle for human rights and ... Read More »

Romanian PM clashes with Commission over rule of law

Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila looks on during a debate on the rule of law in Romania, during a plenary session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France on October 3, 2018. (Photo by FREDERICK FLORIN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images)

In Parliament debate, Bucharest is warned not to follow path of Hungary and Poland. Anca Gurzu Politico Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă clashed Wednesday with a senior European commissioner over the rule of law in her country, as Brussels accused Bucharest of “moving backwards” and threatened to take action. In a debate at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Frans Timmermans, the Commission’s first vice president, cited “growing concerns” about changes to Romania’s justice system and criminal code that could threaten ... Read More »

How should we judge people for their past moral failings?

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The recent allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have further divided the nation. Andrew Khoury The Conversation Among the questions the case raises are some important ethical ones. Not least among them is the question of moral responsibility for actions long since passed. Particularly in light of the #MeToo movement, which has frequently involved the unearthing of decades old wrongdoing, this question has become a pressing one. As a philosopher, I believe this ethical conundrum involves ... Read More »

Cameroon: Divisions Widen Ahead of Presidential Vote

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The risk of violence around the 7 October vote is greatest in Anglophone regions, but other parts of Cameroon could also be affected. ICG The government should take steps to curb divisive rhetoric and declare a ceasefire, even if only temporary, with Anglophone armed groups. What’s new?  Cameroon’s presidential election on 7 October comes at a tense moment. The country is torn between the fight against Boko Haram in the Far North and the Anglophone conflict in the Northwest and ... Read More »

11 Takeaways From The Times’s Investigation Into Trump’s Wealth

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Donald J. Trump built a business empire and won the presidency proclaiming himself a self-made billionaire, and he has long insisted that his father, the legendary New York City builder Fred C… By Russ Buettner, Susanne Craig and David Barstow The New York Times “I built what I built myself,” the president has repeatedly said. But an investigation by The New York Times has revealed that Donald Trump received the equivalent today of at least $413 million from his father’s ... Read More »

British PM May backs heterosexual civil partnerships

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LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday that heterosexual couples will be allowed to enter into a civil partnership, previously a union only available to those of the same sex. The government says the move will provide greater security for unmarried couples and their families. Civil partnerships were introduced in Britain in 2004, giving gay couples similar legal rights to those enjoyed by married heterosexuals. Since 2014, same-sex marriage has also been legal in England, Wales ... Read More »

Wildfires in Mediterranean Europe will increase by 40% at 1.5°C warming, say scientists

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Europe’s Mediterranean regions have strong sunshine, bright blue seas, beautiful beaches, and pretty holiday houses immersed in pine forests that provide welcome shade. Authors: The Conversation It sounds very inviting, but such a scenario is also perfect for severe wildfires such as the ones that killed 99 people this July in the popular holiday resort of Mati, in Greece. Now, new research in Nature Communications suggests that the summer fire season in Mediterranean Europe is going to get worse. Under ... Read More »

Australia’s obsession with opinion polls is eroding political leadership

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In its early days, political opinion polling’s leading advocate, George Gallup, sold it as an essential tool for democracy. Ian Cook The Conversation He believed polling made for better representation because it allowed politicians to take the people’s “pulse”. But opinion polling didn’t so much enhance democracy as remake it. Thanks to Gallup, polls have become so ubiquitous in modern-day politics that we’re now convinced they can accurately predict elections. (Even though Donald Trump’s surprising victory in the 2016 US ... Read More »

Turkey Airstrikes Target Iraqi Christian Villages; Activists Call for War Crimes Investigation

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The Turkish military launched airstrikes targeting Iraqi Christian villages in northern Iraq, a rights group warned. Samuel Smith The Christian Post Local sources have told International Christian Concern, a U.S.-based persecution watchdog, that seven predominantly Christian villages were targeted by Turkish airstrikes last month. September saw an increase in Turkish airstrikes in the north of Iraq. “Turkey attempts to justify these airstrikes by claiming that these villages support or have a PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) presence,” an ICC report reads. “Turkey is ... Read More »

Australia has become a human rights backwater

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The litmus test for human rights in Australia is how it treats the most disadvantaged within the community, and on this measure, Australia has become a backwater, according to two leading legal… Jerome Doraisamy Lawyers Weekly Speaking to Lawyers Weekly ahead of the Australian Lawyers for Human Rights and National Justice Project Dinner, being held in Sydney on Friday 26 October, UTS law professor and director of research at… “We have failed to integrate a human rights framework into our legal system ... Read More »

Melania Trump begins tour of Africa in Ghana amid questions and criticism

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Melania Trump began her week-long sojourn to Africa in Accra, Ghana. Landing Tuesday morning, the first lady was greeted on the tarmac by Ghanaian first lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo and a… By Emily Heil and Mary Jordan The Washington Post Later, she stopped by Greater Accra Regional Hospital where she visited with new mothers and held a baby before passing out miniature teddy bears and blankets emblazoned with the logo for Be Best, her child-welfare initiative. From Ghana, Trump will travel to ... Read More »

Equality: our secret weapon to fight corruption

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“We look after our mates,” Australia’s new prime minister, Scott Morrison, has declared. He’s said it on several occasions, in fact. So it must be a value he thinks important. Meanwhile the man he defeated for the top job, Peter Dutton, has been embroiled in controversy over allegedly using his… Tony Ward The Conversation Where do we draw the line between looking after a mate and being corrupt? The line, like beauty, is often in the eye of the beholder. ... Read More »

Welcome to Europe’s ‘club’ for populists

20160226 - BRUSSELS, BELGIUM: Parti Populaire chairman Mischael Modrikamen during an interview in Brussels, friday 26 February 2016

A Belgian lawyer and Donald Trump’s former chief strategist want to unite the far right. By Maïa de La Baume and Silvia Sciorilli Borrelli Politico Populists of Europe, unite — in suburban Brussels! That’s what an unlikely pair — a Belgian lawyer and Donald Trump’s former chief strategist — hope will happen with The Movement, the first ever “club” for Euroskeptics and populists. “We are building a club that will bring people together, whose members we will help … like ... Read More »

Russia: new research shows even authoritarian regimes struggle to pass laws

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When we think of parliaments in non-democratic states, we often think of a room full of raised hands. This compelling image of unanimity conveys a simple idea: that these assemblies are stuffed with loyal servants of the ruling elite. Ben Noble The Conversation Rather than scrutinise, challenge, amend, and block initiatives from the government, they provide guaranteed support. Rather than act as a check on executive power, they provide symbolic, merely ceremonial approval. Or that’s how the conventional wisdom goes. ... Read More »