Analysis

Taking the U.S. and Iran Off Collision Course

A series of escalations in both word and deed have raised fears of U.S.-Iranian military confrontation, either direct or by proxy. ICG It is urgent that cooler heads prevail – in European capitals as in Tehran and Washington – to head off the threat of a disastrous war. For the past year, relations between the U.S. and Iran have brought to mind a slow-motion train wreck. Of late, the pace has dangerously accelerated, and tensions could soon lead to a… ... Read More »

How 9/11 and China’s plan for blanket surveillance created a wave that CCTV camera makers Hikvision and Dahua rode to huge success

Hangzhou’s Binjiang district is home to three of China’s biggest surveillance camera makers Hikvision, Dahua and Uniview benefited from rise in demand for surveillance after 9/11 terror attacks China is famous for its one-industry towns. Gurao in southern Guangdong province is known for making bras. Qiaotou in Zhejiang province produces most of the world’s buttons. Sarah Dai South China Morning Post The city of Tianjin to the north is a major manufacturer of bicycles. Then there is Hangzhou’s Binjiang district, ... Read More »

So you’re thinking of going into a nursing home? Here’s what you’ll have to pay for

This week at the aged care royal commission hearings, the CEOs of three aged care providers called for a change in the way residential aged care is funded to improve the quality of care. Laura Davy The Conversation This followed a plea from Aged Care Services Australia for the government and opposition to address what it called a “crisis in residential aged care funding”. But while most residential aged care funding comes from government, residents also have to contribute. So ... Read More »

Britain divides but doesn’t rule

Westminster is too busy fighting itself to exploit Franco-German Brexit rift. Paul Taylor Politico PARIS — Britain has finally managed to split France and Germany over Brexit after nearly three years in which the two continental powers marched in lockstep. The trouble for the U.K. is that it is too busy fighting itself over the future it wants with the European Union to take advantage of the rift. Cracks between French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared last month, after British Prime Minister ... Read More »

Russia will target the European elections – this radical idea could turn a threat into opportunity

Over the past three years, Russia has been repeatedly accused of infiltrating democratic elections in the West. Nicholas Ross Smith The Conversation It is suspected of supporting anti-establishment movements on both the left and right through a mixture of financial support, intelligence sharing, and, perhaps, even through the use of cyber weapons. Russia has undergone a staggering transformation in this time. It was once something of an afterthought in international affairs with seemingly no credible public diplomacy capabilities. Now, it ... Read More »

Helen Garner’s musical metaphors come alive in a new production of The Children’s Bach

A new production of an Australian opera is an unusual event. Michael Halliwell The Conversation The performance of Andrew Schultz and Glenn Perry’s 2008 opera, The Children’s Bach, as part of the Canberra International Music Festival, was refreshing and welcome. Perfectly suiting the central thematic strand of the Festival – the music of Johann Sebastian Bach – the opera is based on the 1984 novella by acclaimed Australian writer, Helen Garner. The title is derived from a book of relatively ... Read More »

Let’s put Turkey’s EU membership back on track

Brussels needs Ankara as much as Ankara needs Brussels. By MEVLÜT ÇAVUŞOĞLU Politico ANKARA — Some 30 years ago, on the occasion of Turkey’s formal membership application to the EU, then Prime Minister Turgut Özal likened the process of joining the bloc to “a long and narrow road,” referring to a famous verse by the folk-poet Aşık Veysel. Time has proven that the road has, indeed, been not just long and narrow, but also bumpy. Turkey-EU relations were overshadowed in the ... Read More »

Serbia and NATO’s Shameful Legacy

An interview with Živadin Jovanović, distinguished author and former Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1998-2000), President of the Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals By Živadin Jovanović and Maurizio Vezzosi Global Research Maurizio Vezzosi: Remembering the 1999’s bombing over Belgrade, some days ago Serbian president Vucic stressed that Serbia isn’t going to join Nato. How do you comment it? Živadin Jovanović: Serbia is a peace loving country, never belonged to any military block, never sought other countries’ ... Read More »

How is climate change affecting fishes? There are clues inside their ears

Climate change affects all life on Earth, but it poses unique challenges for aquatic species. Karin Limburg The Conversation For example, as water warms it holds less dissolved oxygen than cooler water. As a result, the world’s oceans, coastal seas, estuaries, rivers and lakes are undergoing a process known as “deoxygenation.” When dissolved oxygen levels fall to about 2 milligrams per liter – compared to a normal range of roughly 5 to 10 mg/L – many aquatic organisms become severely ... Read More »

Charging asylum application fees is the latest way the US could make immigrants pay for its red tape

The Trump administration wants to make people fleeing persecution in their home countries pay for something they’ve long gotten for free: the right to apply for asylum in the United States. Sarah R. Sherman-Stokes The Conversation As an immigration attorney and a law professor who has represented people seeking asylum for over a decade, I believe this change, which could go into effect as soon as the summer of 2019, would be not just cruel but also unusual. At present, ... Read More »

It’s Time For A New Story

In a less than a week, Australians will register their feelings at the polling booth. What will most influence our voting choices? Mike Dowson thinks it’s the stories we believe. New Matilda Bad decisions, like our persistent failure to act on the big challenges of our time, are a product of bad stories. But that may be about to change. One summer, Helen and I were driving home from the country. We stopped in a small town, filled the tank, ... Read More »

Getting Aid to Separatist-held Ukraine

The front lines in eastern Ukraine are slowly freezing in place, as is civilian deprivation in the conflict zone. Anna Arutunyan ICG An embargo, bureaucracy and distrust conspire to keep humanitarian aid out. Russia and Ukraine should find politically neutral ways to unblock the flow of assistance. After five years of war, a humanitarian crisis drags on in the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics (L/DPR), the parts of eastern Ukraine nominally governed by Russian-backed separatists. More than 3.5 million ... Read More »

Mounting evidence the tide is turning on News Corp, and its owner

There is mounting evidence that Australia is sick of Rupert Murdoch and the political propaganda machine he runs in the guise of a news organisation. Denis Muller The Conversation In January, Bill Shorten rebuffed an open-ended offer to meet Murdoch whenever the opposition leader was in the United States. According to the ABC’s 7.30 political editor, Laura Tingle, Shorten replied that any dealings he had with News Corp would be conducted with the company’s representatives in Australia. This was a ... Read More »

This is what neglect looks like

Within days of Eva Rinaldi taking her father to a nursing home in November last year, she knew something was wrong. By Anne Connolly and Clare Blumer, ABC Investigations Despite his dementia, diabetes and blindness, 80-year-old Luigi Cantali kept telling her he wasn’t showered, his continence pads were not changed, and he was left inside all day with no exercise. Eva complained to management at Carino Care, the nursing home in the Sydney inner-west suburb of Russell Lea, but her ... Read More »

Missile deal between Russia and Turkey stopped

No S-400 For Erdogan Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (65) changes his mind. von: SINAN SENYURT Bild The Turkish military was originally supposed to receive the first delivery of Russian S-400 missile defense systems this summer – against the will of US President Donald Trump (72). The lira crisis has obviously caused Erdogan to change his mind, however. As BILD has learned from diplomatic circles in Ankara, the missile deal between Moscow and Ankara will apparently no… Background: The relationship ... Read More »

China and the United States are playing a perilous game of chicken in Asia-Pacific

Washington and its allies are increasingly challenging Beijing’s militarisation of the South China Sea, but Richard Heydarian considers where it will all end. Richard Heydarian South China Morning Post “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this inspired in Sparta that made war inevitable,” the ancient Greek historian Thucydides wrote more than two millennia ago. In many ways, we are witnessing a similar dynamic in China’s adjacent waters, as the United States and its allies seek to ... Read More »