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Is Trump falling into Kim’s trap?

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Donald Trump is not the cause of America’s most serious problems. But could he be part of some solutions? Peter Hartcher Brisbane Times The news that he’d agreed to meet North Korea’s dictator is something new in dealing with an old problem. No US president has ever met his North Korean counterpart while in office. Till now, the US has always set preconditions too onerous for the North Koreas to accept. It’s not entirely clear, but it doesn’t seem that ... Read More »

Presidents Club dinner reveals fatal flaws in how we think about ethics

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The event was bad, the timing was worse. As one industry after another was being exposed for sexism, the #metoo campaign gathered momentum and the British celebrated the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote, the Presidents Club in London held a black tie charity dinner. Nick Spencer Brisbane Times For men only. An undercover journalist snuck in as one of the many specially-hired young table “hosts” at the dinner in January, wearing near-identical skimpy black dresses. Through the night ... Read More »

Labour’s Brexit policy could see them lose Scottish votes, MEP warns

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Labour could lose votes in Scotland unless it adopts its Brexit position to reflect the country’s desire to stay in the European Union, one of the party’s MEPs has warned. Katrine Bussey The Scotsman With almost two-thirds of Scots having voted to remain in the 2016 referendum, Catherine Stihler warned Labour would “pay the consequences electorally at the hands of the SNP” if it ignored that result. Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said it would be “wrong” for the UK to ... Read More »

2018 Adelaide Biennial: Difference as the natural order of things

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It is a time-honoured tradition that large museum surveys of contemporary art should have titles so vague and all-encompassing as to be effectively meaningless. John McDonald The Canberra Times Yet it may be that with Divided Worlds, Erica Green, the curator of the 2018 Adelaide Biennial, has found a title that actually feels relevant. Two decades into the 21st century the world is a long way from the Age of Aquarius, becoming ever more riven and tribalised. In the west there was ... Read More »

Princess Diana beats Virgin Mary as nation’s best mum

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She may be dearly loved and revered, but Princess Diana is not yet the focus of prayer for millions around the world. Harry Farley Christian Today And yet the Duchess of Wales comfortably beat the Virgin Mary as the ideal mother, according to a Church of England poll ahead of Mothering Sunday. With one in 20 (five per cent) naming Prince William and Prince Harry’s mother as the ideal figure, Diana was easily the most popular single choice. In fact ... Read More »

Minister criticises ‘snowflake’ artists who opposed arms firm sponsorship

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Jake Berry reacts after BAE Systems withdraws as partner of Great Exhibition of the North Frances Perraudin The Guardian The government minister responsible for the “northern powerhouse” has described campaigners who forced the arms firm BAE Systems to withdraw as a sponsor of a flagship arts festival in north-east England as “subsidy-addicted artists” and “snowflakes”. The Great Exhibition of the North, which will run from 22 June to 9 September in Gateshead and Newcastle, is being funded by £5m from the government’s northern ... Read More »

Why China’s Xi is not ‘Putin-plus’

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Xi Jinping is not following in Vladimir Putin’s footsteps. He’s carving his own path. Maria Repnikova Al Jazeera The recently announced constitutional amendments in China, ending term limits and paving the way for Chinese leader Xi Jinping‘s indefinite rule, have sparked quite a lot of debate and speculations in Western media. Some commentators went as far as comparing Xi to Russian President Vladimir Putin, claiming that China is now turning into a Russia-style autocracy. While the phrase “Putin-plus“ sounds catchy, the comparison does not reflect the ... Read More »

Sanders won’t endorse Feinstein

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) says he will not endorse Sen. Dianne Feinstein(D) ahead of her primary in California. Alexander Bolton The Hill Though Sanders has put himself in the middle of other primaries in this cycle, he’s steering clear of California, where Feinstein is being challenged from the left. “It’s an issue for the people of California,” Sanders told The Hill. Asked if that meant he would stay out of the race, Sanders responded, “Yeah.” While Sanders says the California race is for ... Read More »

Pakistan Deploys Fighter Jet Squadron to Afghan Border to Protect Airspace

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The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has fielded a squadron of new Pakistan Aeronautical Complex JF-17 “Thunder” combat aircraft, according to a recent report by the Associated Press of Pakistan. Sputnik The multi-role fighter jets are stationed at Pakistan’s Samungli Base near Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. Speaking at the February 28 inauguration ceremony of the planes, which form the Number 28 Multirole Squadron, Sohail Aman, chief of staff for the PAF, said “We totally understand the kind of conspiracies the enemies of Pakistan continue to hatch, ... Read More »

New instrument could assess effects of behavioral treatments

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A new questionnaire assesses the frequency and severity of various behaviors in children with autism and could help scientists determine the effectiveness of behavioral therapies1. Spectrum Diagnostic tests for autism generally rule the condition in or out. When tests offer separate ratings for behaviors such as poor social skills or communication difficulties, the purpose is typically to decide whether the behaviors meet the cutoff for autism, rather than to measure subtle changes over short time periods. The new test, called ... Read More »

Empty threats won’t worry Russia. Britain needs a better approach

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The threat posed by the Kremlin can be reduced if Britain refuses to handle its dirty money and takes on a PR offensive Mark Rice-Oxley The Guardian Oh, Russia! Even before we point fingers over poison and speculate about secret agents and spy swaps and pub food in Salisbury, one thing has become clear: Russia appears lost, a global menace, a moral vacuum, a far greater threat than it ever was during the cold war. Its agents pop over for murder and shopping, ... Read More »

Servant or partner? The role of expertise and knowledge in democracy

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Should expert knowledge be limited to providing a servant role in democracies, or elevated to that of a partner? Darrin Durant The Conversation Most of us respond with ambivalence to this question. We desire expert input into democratic deliberation and decision-making, but not so much as to dominate the discussion. As a result, most of us are tempted by the quest for a Goldilocks principle that establishes “just enough” expertise. But it can be unclear whether the servant or the ... Read More »

Syrians yes, Iraqis no: the startling disparity in Britain’s asylum decisions

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Collateral, a new TV mini-series on the BBC written by David Hare, revolves around the murder of a young man working as a pizza delivery driver in London. Jason Hart The Conversation One of the main themes running through the drama series is the situation of asylum seekers in the UK. We soon learn that the murder is linked to events that occurred while the victim and his two sisters were crossing by boat from Turkey to Greece. Initially pretending ... Read More »

The Congressional Battle Over Ending the War In Yemen

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A conflict long overshadowed by Syria, bipartisan buzz is building on the Hill and in the press to end U.S. involvement with the Saudi-led campaign on Yemen. Curt Mills The National Interest A new effort is underway on the Hill to end U.S. involvement in Yemen. There’s a verve and kick to this campaign, and a robust rolodex of Congressional sponsors and media backers. When I asked, congressional aides who huddled with reporters in Sen. Mike Lee’s office last week ... Read More »