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Germany’s Angela Merkel prevents the breakup of her government with immigration deal

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BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel avoided the breakup of her government on Monday, emerging from an immigration fight with her coalition intact but fragile. James McAuley and Luisa Beck The Washington Post A clash that lasted weeks ended in an uneasy truce when Merkel and her party, the Christian Democrats (CDU), reached a compromise on immigration policy with partner Christian Social Union (CSU). Interior Minister and CSU leader Horst Seehofer backed off his threat to resign and potentially bring down ... Read More »

Merkel, to Survive, Agrees to Border Camps for Migrants

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BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel, who staked her legacy on welcoming hundreds of thousands of migrants into Germany, agreed on Monday to build border camps for asylum seekers and to tighten the border with Austria in a political deal to save her… Katrin Bennhold and Melissa Eddy The New York Times It was a spectacular turnabout for a leader who has been seen as the standard-bearer of the liberal European order but who has come under intense pressure at home ... Read More »

The EU and NATO and Trump — Oh My!

TOPSHOT - German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and French President Emmanuel Macron (2ndR) listen to US President Donald Trump at the Belvedere of Taormina during the Summit of the Heads of State and of Government of the G7, the group of most industrialized economies, plus the European Union, on May 26, 2017 in Sicily.
The leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the US and Italy will be joined by representatives of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as teams from Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria and Tunisia during the summit from May 26 to 27, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN        (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Donald Trump’s trans-Atlantic policy is a contradiction in terms. Stephen M. Walt FP It is no secret that U.S. President Donald Trump has an instinctive animus against the European Union and NATO. He supported the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, reportedly advised French President Emmanuel Macron that his country should leave the union too, and last week falsely claimed that the EU was created “to take advantage of the United States.” (This last statement raises an… The EU and… Read More »

12-year-old Gives Powerful And Moving Speech At “Families Belong Together” Rally In DC

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12-year-old Leah from Florida is the daughter of undocumented immigrant parents. This is a speech she gave at a “Families Belong Together” rally in Washington, DC in protest of the current administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. WYSK In her powerful speech, Leah fights through her tears to talk about the “constant fear” she lives in of her mom being taken away from her. “It’s scary. I can’t sleep, I can’t study, I am stressed. I’m afraid that they will take ... Read More »

An Alternative Way to Deal with the Cyprus Co-Op Bank

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Socialising the losses and privatising the gains I have written two articles on the subject of “the Deal” sought and negotiated by the Government for privatising the ailing Co-Op Bank in Cyprus. Savvas Savvides StockWatch I continue here with “Socialising the losses and privatising the gains – Part 3” which provides an alternative proposal than the one that the Government arrived at with Hellenic Bank. It makes the argument that the concessions made in desperation to the Hellenic Bank (which ... Read More »

Is it time for Australian states to step up on asylum seeker support?

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The cruelty of the federal government’s immigration services is well-established, but what’s happening in the states and territories? This is the focus of a new report out today. Chris Woods Crikey Last week, the Department of Home Affairs began rolling out staggered cuts to support services for around 1500 people seeking asylum. The government’s decision to kick people off Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) — which amounts to $35 per day coupled with some healthcare services — follows years of ... Read More »

Why Maasai women and their children go hungry

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Food and nutrition security exists when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life. In many communities in sub-Saharan Africa, food insecurity levels remain high. Elizabeth Kimani-Murage Conversation The latest food security and nutrition report shows that sub-Saharan Africa still has the highest prevalence of undernourishment, affecting at least 22.7% of the population. The situation is especially urgent in Eastern Africa where one-third of the population is estimated to ... Read More »

Victorians more worried about crime than commute times, survey finds

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Violence in homes and communities and tougher treatment for criminals are among the top issues for Victorians according to a new poll of the nation’s concerns. Noel Towell The Age The Council for the Economic Development of Australia survey explored issues that matter to Australians in an effort to understand whether people feel they are reaping the benefits of decades of prosperity. Despite Melbourne’s growing congestion problems “reduced commuting times” was found to be one of the least important areas ... Read More »

Active citizenship, a social contract, Islam and democracy in Egypt

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The Arab Spring that swept across North Africa in 2011 brought the promise of democracy within reach of millions of Egyptians. Nuraan Davids The Conversation But seven years later this promise hasn’t been fulfilled. That fledgling democracy is now akin to a military dictatorship, where any form of protest or assertion of autonomous thought is constrained. Since the heady days of the Arab Spring, Egypt has been riddled by political protests, labour strikes, and unprecedented violence in its Sinai Peninsula. ... Read More »

Trump interviews Supreme Court candidates as political fight over Kennedy replacement intensifies

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President Trump’s search for a Supreme Court nominee reached the interview stage Monday as he announced that he has spoken to at least four contenders, while remaining coy about his shortlist for a successor to retiring Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. by Robert Costa, Josh Dawsey and Felicia Sonmez The Washington Post “I had a very, very interesting morning,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office as he greeted visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. He described the candidates as “outstanding ... Read More »

Witness K scandal: decision to charge Timor-Leste bugging whistleblower was ‘independent’

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Attorney general Christian Porter refuses to detail why he approved prosecution of former spy The attorney general has refused to elaborate on why he approved the prosecution of a former spy who revealed Australia had bugged Timor-Leste’s cabinet rooms, describing it as an “independent decision” of prosecutors. Paul Karp The Guardian Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has blasted the government for approving the prosecution and suggested it has leaked information to a journalist to defend its position. On Thursday Wilkie used ... Read More »

3 reasons why the US is vulnerable to big disasters

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During the 2017 disaster season, three severe hurricanes devastated large parts of the U.S. Morten Wendelbo The Conversation The quick succession of major disasters made it obvious that such large-scale emergencies can be a strain, even in one of the world’s richest countries. As a complex emergency researcher, I investigate why some countries can better withstand and respond to disasters. The factors are many and diverse, but three major ones stand out because they are within the grasp of the ... Read More »

What happens when you give up plastic, and is it a lifestyle option for the lucky few?

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Reducing plastics when shopping for food, toiletries and travel products should be easy – so why is it so difficult? Stephanie Convery The Guardian A few months ago, my partner and I went snorkelling off the coast of Indonesia. We dove off tiny deserted islands and swam in the deep with giant manta rays, but what I remember most vividly about that trip was not the stunning coral or dazzling array of colourful, curious fish; it was the sheer amount ... Read More »

Trump Warns NATO Allies to Spend More on Defense, or Else

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WASHINGTON — President Trump has written sharply worded letters to the leaders of several NATO allies — including Germany, Belgium, Norway and Canada — taking them to task for spending too little on their own defense and warning that the United States is losing patience with what he said was their failure to meet security obligations shared by the alliance. Julie Hirschfeld Davis The New York Times The letters, sent in June, are the latest sign of acrimony between Mr. ... Read More »