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After Elections, Zimbabwe Government’s Legitimacy in Limbo

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Zimbabwe’s disputed elections have reinforced political divisions as the Constitutional Court hears an opposition challenge of the results Piers Pigou The military crackdown on opposition protesters highlights the urgency of reform if the government is to preserve stability and, by extension, its re-engagement strategy with international donors. ICG The Zimbabwean government posited that the first elections after the November 2017 ouster of Robert Mugabe would enhance the state’s credibility and strengthen the country’s prospects for economic recovery. Voters responded in ... Read More »

Robin DiAngelo on why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism

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Robin DiAngelo riles up a lot of white people. The American anti-racism educator teaches about an insidious and damaging form of racism that lurks in progressive people like herself: white privilege. ABC – RN – By Anna Kelsey-Sugg and Sasha Fegan for Late Night Live She believes many white people are unconscious of their privilege, but — often — that’s a message they don’t want a bar of. “For many white people the mere suggestion that being white has meaning will cause ... Read More »

What Michael Cohen’s Guilty Plea Means for Trump

Michael Cohen, former personal lawyer to President Donald Trump, leaves his apartment building, in New York, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. Cohen could be charged before the end of the month with bank fraud in his dealings with the taxi industry and with committing other financial crimes, multiple people familiar with the federal probe said Monday. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

The president’s former fixer on Tuesday said he broke campaign laws at Trump’s behest, paying off two women who alleged extramarital affairs. David A. Graham The Atlantic In a sudden development Tuesday, Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s longtime attorney and fixer, pleaded guilty to bank fraud and tax fraud and said he broke campaign-finance laws at the president’s behest, with the… The plea on eight felony counts, entered Tuesday afternoon in federal court in Manhattan, is the culmination of an investigation ... Read More »

Q&A: John Marsden says he would not have written the Tomorrow series today

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A string of questions centred around race relations and immigration were directed at a panel of authors on Q&A’s panel on Monday night. ABC On the desk with host Tony Jones were John Marsden, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Sofie Laguna, Michael Mohammed Ahmad and Trent Dalton. Marsden was asked whether his Tomorrow series, starting with the 1993 novel Tomorrow When the War Began, helped raise a generation of Australians who feared foreign invasion. “I hope not,” Marsden said. “It was written ... Read More »

The stacks of cash needed to buy basic goods tell Venezuela’s insane inflation story

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In a desperate bid to curb its runaway inflation rate, Venezuela has lopped five zeros from its currency. Edmund Heaphy Quartz The move yesterday, which came along with a 95% devaluation of the currency—known as the “strong bolívar”—was also accompanied by a hike in gas prices and a 3,000% increase in the minimum wage. New banknotes for the currency, now called the the “sovereign bolívar”, were introduced. The redenominated bolívar is now pegged to the petro, a state-run cryptocurrency that doesn’t ... Read More »

How new Silk Road will cement China as major trading partner for Africa

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In 138 BC China took its first step towards global connectivity with the establishment of the historical Silk Road. Authors: The Conversation Zhang Qian was sent by Emperor Wudi to Central Asia to establish trade relationships. His historic missions enabled China to make contact with the outposts of Hellenic civilisation established by Alexander the Great. These efforts enabled Emperor’s Han dynasty to develop political and trade relationships with Central Asian countries. New ideas came to China, along with new plants ... Read More »

Shaping a New Peace in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas

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Pakistan is moving to bring its Federally Administered Tribal Areas into the constitutional order. But rights remain severely restricted in the borderlands, threatening deeper popular alienation. ICG To stop militants from stepping in, the government should lift its draconian interim regulations and deliver needed services. What’s new? Pakistan has merged the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) along the Afghan border into an adjacent province, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a big step toward bringing constitutional governance and restoring peace to these lands. But ... Read More »

Why should Kofi Annan’s death cause us to forget how bad at his job he was?

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Failure falls upwards. Dominic Green Spectator We’re supposed only say good things about the dead—‘De mortuis & c.’, as one of John Buchan’s heroes manfully abbreviates it. It’s an ancient superstition, apotropaic and illogical. I’m with the Archdeacon in Anthony Trollope’s The Last Chronicle of Barset: the taboo is ‘founded in humbug’, so why adopt the ‘everyday decency of speaking well of one whom one had ever thought ill’? The deceasedness of the deceased means we can say what we really ... Read More »

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces 12-month pay freeze for MPs

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a 12-month pay freeze for the country’s politicians, saying they are already paid well enough. ABC / AP MPs were due to receive a 3 per cent pay rise during September, backdated to July 1, in line with recommendations from the independent Remuneration Authority, but Ms Ardern said she… It would have seen Ms Ardern pocket an extra $NZ14,131.47 ($AU12,810) per year on top of her current salary of $427,072. The pay ... Read More »

Why the EU can’t outsource its migration crisis

TOPSHOT - Migrants from Afghanistan arrive after crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey with a dinghy on the Greek Mediterranean island of Lesbos on August 6, 2018. - More than 1,500 refugees and migrants have died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in the first seven months of this year, over half of them in June and July, the UN refugee agency said on August 3, 2018. (Photo by Aris MESSINIS / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Brussels’ proposal to create processing centers in North Africa creates more problems than it solves. Melanie Ward Politico LONDON — When disagreements over how best to share the responsibility for asylum seekers and migrants in the European Union flared up earlier this summer, EU policymakers reached once again for a familiar proposal. Rather than seek out a compromise over how best to protect people seeking refuge from conflict or persecution, Europe’s leaders agreed to explore creating so-called “regional disembarkation platforms” — centers outside ... Read More »

More people are dying from overdosing on prescription opioids

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Rising numbers of Australians are dying from accidentally overdosing on prescription drugs morphine, codeine, oxycodone and fentanyl, the latest drug deaths data shows. Kate Aubusson The Sydney Morning Herald Australia has so far been spared the magnitude of the opioid “epidemic” in the US and its emerging fentanyl crisis, but drug experts were closely monitoring the creeping death rates linked to the synthetic drug. A total of 1045 people from 15 to 64 years old died from opioid overdoses in ... Read More »

Modern myths about cancer – from ‘chemicals’ in food to wifi

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The idea that lifestyle changes have made the disease more common is a gross exaggeration – but increasingly prevalent. We separate fact from fiction Naomi Elster The Guardian Cancer is not up there with the most likely explanations for what caused the mass extinction 66m years ago of the T rex and the triceratops. That said, at least one species of dinosaur suffered from blood-vessel tumours – and a 1.7m-year-old toe with bone cancerwas discovered in 2016 at a South African world heritage site. Cancer ... Read More »

The Greek Financial Crisis May Be Over, but Greece, and the Eurozone, Will Never Be the Same

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Like many English words, “crisis” has a Greek origin — the word “krisis,” which in its initial form meant “a decisive moment.” Stratfor It is an ironic twist of fate that during the past decade the word has become so intimately linked to the country where it first originated. In recent years, any discussion about Greece has demanded acknowledgement of the deep financial, economic, political and social crisis that has afflicted the country since the late 2000s. And that makes ... Read More »

PM Malcolm Turnbull should resign and hand over leadership to Peter Dutton, Mathias Cormann says

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Malcolm Turnbull has been told he has lost the support of the Liberal party room and should step down as Prime Minister. By political reporter Louise Yaxley ABC The crisis has deepened ever further with the Government adjourning the House of Representatives. “Shame, Shame” was shouted from the Labor side as the vote result was announced and the lower house rose five hours early. The Government’s one-seat majority was again tested with crossbenchers Rebekha Sharkie and Cathy McGowan refusing to ... Read More »