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Could America’s Big Tech Industry Create Free Speech Problems?

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The courts or Congress should clarify that the legislation amends Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act cannot be used to restrict political speech. Mark Epstein The National Interest Last week, the Senate passed the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act. The legislation amends Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act, which holds that online platforms cannot be responsible for their users’ content, to exclude sex trafficking. Big tech companies warned that the bill could inadvertently ... Read More »

The Risks to Freedom in Hungary

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The country’s independent media has largely been stifled. One of its remaining voices explains what it’s like to try to hold an aspiring strongman to account. The Atlantic Hungary is a NATO ally, a member nation of the European Union, a signatory of the European Convention on Human Rights—and also, since 2010, an increasingly authoritarian and illiberal state. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has politicized the country’s court, central bank, and media. On April 8, Orbán and his Fidesz party face the ... Read More »

Parliament must not be ‘weak-kneed’ on constitutional change for Indigenous people, senator says

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After a decade of debate, constitutional change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people remains unfinished business. By national Indigenous affairs correspondent Bridget Brennan ABC Last October, the Federal Government rejected a proposal for a new Indigenous advisory body — dubbed a Voice to Parliament — to be taken to a referendum. Now, a new parliamentary committee is tasked with finding a way towards a referendum on some form of constitutional recognition. And any “weak-kneed” compromise by MPs would be ... Read More »

Australia’s immigration policy is meant to be blind to race, but is it?

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Analysis: the principle of non discrimination, particularly in the humanitarian program, seems to be eroding Ben Doherty The Guardian Since the abolition of the White Australia policy, the fundamental basis of Australia’s immigration policy has been proudly, declaratively “non-discriminatory”. All of this week and last, the prime minister, home affairs minister and foreign minister all felt obliged to reconfirm this as controversy swirled over what was meant by Australia’s “special attention” for white South African farmers facing violence. “It is ... Read More »

Finland Gives Consent for Nord Stream 2 Construction in Finnish Economic Zone

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Finnish government said on Wednesday it had given its consent for construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline through its exclusive economic zone. Sputnik “On 5 April 2018, the Finnish Government gave its consent to the Nord Stream 2 AG’s gas pipeline construction project in respect of the section that passes through Finland’s exclusive economic zone,” the statement read. According to the statement, the consent is conditional, “which means the applicant has to meet the terms presented in the Government’s… “The party responsible ... Read More »

New report details Germany’s role in Armenian genocide

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The German Reich provided the Ottoman Empire with the weapons to carry out the Armenian genocide, a new report claims. Ben Knight DW Prussian officers also laid the “ideological foundations” for the massacre, according to the author. Turkish forces mainly used German rifles and other weapons to carry out the 1915-16 genocide of the Armenian people, a new report has found. Mauser, Germany’s main manufacturer of small arms in both world wars, supplied the Ottoman Empire with millions of rifles ... Read More »

Addressing the Migration Bottleneck in Southern Mexico

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Mexico is not doing “nothing” to curb northward migration, as U.S. President Donald Trump claims. Ivan Briscoe ICG In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Latin America & Caribbean Program Director Ivan Briscoe says Washington should help Mexico meet the challenge of migrant and refugee flows from Central America, which are now concentrated in its… What is the migration crisis in Mexico? Poverty and violence in the Northern Triangle of Central America (comprising El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras) are forcing hundreds of ... Read More »

Should the EU have a single European President?

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Does Europe have too many presidents? Debating Europe The President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission, the President of the European Parliament, the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (that last one held by a… How is Trump supposed to know who to call if he wants to speak to Europe? If democratic institutions are too confusing for most people to follow, are they still democratic? Would it be better to merge the positions of President of ... Read More »

After Erdogan spat, PM speaks with Greek, Cypriot leaders

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Turkey, keen on diversifying its energy sources, has in the past expressed an interest in Israel laying a pipeline to Turkey. HerbKeinon The Jerusalem Post Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on Wednesday with the prime ministers of Greece and Cyprus, three days after trading sharp insults with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Both Cyprus and Greece are historic foes of Turkey, and Israel’s relationship with both countries improved significantly over the last decade, partly as a result of the deterioration ... Read More »

Why China prefers its own ideology to US-style democracy

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Western pundits, particularly those in the US, have it all wrong when they assume that allowing China into the global economic or trading system would eventually lead the country to become “one of us.” Ken Moak Asia Times The fact of the matter is that China has never wanted to  adopt Western democracy. In view of more than 80% popular support according to US-based Pew and Gallup Polls and China’s ability to deliver on most of its promises (such as improving ... Read More »

German politicians invest in opera when seeking re-election – here’s why

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In virtually all rich democracies, governments subsidise expensive highbrow culture, such as theatre and opera. And they hire artists to work for these theatres and operas as public employees. Pieter Vanhuysse The Conversation At first sight, this might seem to pose a puzzle. After all, highbrow culture is elitist. And it seems electorally irrelevant. Parties don’t really compete on culture in elections. It’s unlikely that hiring artists to turn them into grateful voters (patronage) makes electoral sense. Even if it ... Read More »

Uluru, reconciliation and republic: a chance to reimagine Australia?

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The Australian republic ought not be so divorced from the cry out of Uluru last May for an Indigenous voice to parliament and truth-telling Paul Daley The Guardian Most of us old enough to vote will remember where we were when our republic, with Malcolm Turnbull as helmsman, burbled down a whirlpool of acrimony and division to the rock bottom of public consciousness for almost a generation. I was on my way to East Timor. Indonesia and its proxies had ... Read More »

Russophobia in the New Cold War

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Several factors make this US-Russian Cold War more dangerous than its predecessor—is “Russo-madness” one of them? Stephen F. Cohen The Nation Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian Studies and Politics at NYU and Princeton, and John Batchelor continue their (usually) weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments, now in their fourth year, are at… Cohen has previously explained why the new Cold War is potentially even more dangerous than was its 40-year predecessor, citing factors such ... Read More »

How the message of Martin Luther King’s ‘dream’ got lost

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Martin Luther King Jnr cast an enormous shadow in my childhood. By Matter of Fact host Stan Grant ABC It was a presence that outlived his death — indeed his assassination added potency to his leadership of a black struggle that mirrored our own. This wasn’t the acceptable Dr King as Santa Claus — as one black scholar remarked this week — our Dr King was a man of righteous anger who spoke with moral urgency to an American nation ... Read More »