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Brexit ‘will not be a fatal blow to Irish economy’

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Former WTO director general and Goldman Sachs chairman Peter Sutherland on why Ireland had to change and future economic challenges Ian Hyland The Irish Times The following is an edited version of one of the last interviews Peter Sutherland gave prior to his death Attorney general, European commissioner, director general of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), director general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), chairmanships of BP and Goldman Sachs. … Peter Sutherland has undoubtedly enjoyed an illustrious career. ... Read More »

Before losing battle with cancer, this 27-year-old woman penned a heartbreaking, eye-opening letter

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“That’s the thing about life, it is fragile, precious, unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right,” Holly Butcher wrote in an emotional post on Facebook. Alex Eriksen Yahoo Butcher, 27, lost her battle with cancer this week. Her words are drawing attention on social media, garnering more than 8,000 shares, 11,000 likes, and 2,000 comments. Butcher, from Brisbane, Australia, covers a range of life topics in her letter, including coming to grips with her mortality. She ... Read More »

Macron’s fake news law will protect democracy

French candidate for the 2017 presidential elections Emmanuel Macron, gestures as he delivers a speech at the end of the meeting of "Union des Entreprises" (Union of Companies) in Ille-et-Vilaine, on December 8, 2016 in Pace, western France.  / AFP / LOIC VENANCE        (Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)

This is a POLITICO debate. For the counterargument, click here.  LONDON — President Macron kicked off the year by announcing the introduction of legislation to safeguard liberal democracy — in France at least — from fake news. By AURORE BELFRAGE Politico Twitter commentators were quick to attack him for oversimplifying the problem to make a political point. They may be right. But at its core, Macron’s instinct is the right one. We need to rethink the rules of engagement in social media and hold ... Read More »

How robots will break politics

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Automation is dramatically reshaping the workforce, but we’ve barely begun to grapple with how it will reshape society Ryan Avent Politico For those of us who have lived in relatively placid times, it is hard to believe that American politics could become more chaotic than it is today But far beyond allegations of criminal acts in the executive branch, the unending reality-show trash talk of the president on his Twitter feed or even nuclear brinkmanship, something else will push us into ... Read More »

Israel Moves to Annex the West Bank

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This Is How the Two-State Solution Dies While the media focuses on Trump, Netanyahu imposes a “solution”: There will never be a Palestinian state. Steven A. Cook Salon In between anti-government protests in Iran and President Donald Trump’s tweets about the size of his nuclear button, Huma Abedin and civil aviation safety, an important vote took place in Israel. Few people seemed to notice. The Washington Post relegated the story to its “Digest” of world news and Reuters produced a short article, but the Wall ... Read More »

The feared other: Peter Dutton’s and Australia’s pathology around race

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Dutton wants to persuade us that those who are most disempowered in our society are our greatest threat It widens the divide between us and them Joumanah El Matrah The Guardian In David Marr’s book Panic he came to the realisation that he had been writing about panic, Australian panic in particular, all his career. If we are a fearful nation, we are also a compulsive one. We aggressively return to our fears, stoke our hatreds, and obsessively and routinely ... Read More »

The harsh reality for Palestinians: The rules of the game in the Middle East are changing

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Six Arab foreign ministers met in Jordan’s capital on Saturday to discuss the response to the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital By Norman Hermant in Amman ABC They had little new to say. The head of the Arab League told a media conference there would be a renewed effort to have East Jerusalem recognised as the capital of a Palestinian state. But that approach has been tried already, and gained little traction. Washington’s announcement a month ago that it would ... Read More »

Oireachtas committee has opened the door to abortion for disability

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If no reasons for abortion need be given in the first 12 weeks any reason will do William Binchy The Irish Times The report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution is a dismal document It proposes the introduction of abortion on demand, expressly for the first twelve weeks of the child’s life, and covertly at all stages potentially up to birth. The majority of the committee proposes the abortion of unborn children in the ... Read More »

German Ministry Confirms Connection Between Violent Gang And Turkish Gov’t

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Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of Interior has confirmed that they have been assessing the relations between a violent Turkish gang group, which is in guise of a rocker club, and the Turkish government under the rule of autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. SCF A ministry spokesman has spoken to Kölner Stadt-Anzeige newspaper and said that they are assessing the relations between right-wing group Osmanen Germania and the Turkish government. “The “rocker-like” organization of Turkish nationalists that takes right-wing extremist positions maintain ... Read More »

Muslim women will not misuse the ‘triple talaq’ law

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Immediately after the Indian government announced a bill criminalising “triple talaq”, the proposal has been mired in controversy. Mariya Salim AlJazeera Banning the practice of a husband divorcing his wife by uttering “talaq” three times within Muslim communities has been under discussion in India for years now. The practice has rendered hundreds of Muslim women homeless, forced out of their matrimonial homes overnight, with many learning that they have been divorced from relatives, by phone or even by a text message. A recent ... Read More »

David Walsh on the success of Mona

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I HAVE been asked to comment on the future of our arts scene I guess I’ve been asked because the “success” of Mona creates the illusion that I know what I’m talking about David Walsh Sunday Tasmanian While I was meddling with things I don’t understand, I inadvertently became a minor celebrity. My mate Kenneth Train recently offered me some sage advice — “Celebrities should just shut up.” Unfortunately, I like the sound of my own words. So let me ... Read More »

Undersea cables the Achilles’ heel in lead-up to new cold war

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Hostile acts against submerged Internet cables would put critical communications, trillions of dollars in transactions and the world economy at risk By Doug Tsuruoka Editor at Large Asia Times It’s a little-known twist in the cyber-warfare between nations that carries potentially devastating consequences At a time when more than 95% of everything that moves on the global Internet passes through just 200 undersea fiber-optic cables, potential adversaries such as the US, Russia, China and Iran are focusing on these deep-sea ... Read More »

Time for Germany to Learn to Lead

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Washington’s move to abandon its global leadership role marks the end of Germany’s foreign policy innocence Christiane Hoffmann Spiegel Berlin will soon be faced with difficult choices that could dent its moral standing It is often a single sentence that goes down in history, one that epitomizes an idea, a movement, an era or a personality. Two sentences from Angela Merkel come to mind. One, focused on domestic politics, was an entreaty: “We can do it.” It was a pledge ... Read More »

Economic and geopolitical risks ahead for 2018

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Last year was a year of disruption and distraction – yet another year of squandered policy opportunities John Hewson * The Canberra Times I had hoped 2018 would be different, driven by real leadership and real policy, effectively responding to the needs, expectations and aspirations of the majority of the electorate, as they struggle with key elements of their daily costs of living, with their wages flatlining, and constant concern about the security of their jobs. Yet the year began ... Read More »