Analysis

Strains Emerge in North Macedonia’s Alliance With Turkey

People walk by the flag of North Macedonia in Skopje, North Macedonia. Closer ties to Greece and the EU – and disputes over the activities of so-called Gulenists – are putting Skopje’s old friendship with Ankara to the test. Ivan Nikolovski BalkanInsight On April 3, just one day after the historic visit of Alexis Tsipras to Skopje, the first-ever official visit by a Greek prime minister to North Macedonia, Skopje also hosted Turkish Defence Minister General… During his visit, Akar ... Read More »

Friday essay: separating the art from the badly behaved artist – a philosopher’s view

When actor Kevin Spacey was accused of attempted sexual assault of a teenage boy, his role in the Ridley Scott film, All the Money in the World, was erased and reshot with Christopher Plummer. Janna Thompson The Conversation When the celebrated Torres Strait Island painter Dennis Nona went to jail for raping a 12-year-old girl, Australian art galleries responded by taking his works off their walls and putting them into storage. R Kelly’s concerts were cancelled and his RCA contract ... Read More »

Europeans struggle to preserve Iran nuclear accord

he world powers struggling to preserve a nuclear deal with Iran are facing an increasingly uphill battle, with a new deadline from Tehran on finding a solution to make up for last year’s unilateral U.S… BRUSSELS-The Associated Press Hurriyet After Iran notified Britain, Russia, China, the European Union, France and Germany of its intentions in a letter, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised address on May 8 that the… Trump issued an executive order announcing new sanctions targeting Iran’s steel, aluminum, copper and ... Read More »

It’s time to lift the arms embargo on Cyprus

The United States has a prime opportunity to thwart the designs of Russia, China, and Turkey in the Middle East. Jonathan Schanzer and Bradley Bowman The Hill At the same time, it can strengthen a bilateral relationship with a democratic, European ally and enhance our defense supply base, as well. This can all be accomplished by taking one relatively simple step: Lift the arms embargo on the Republic of Cyprus. That Cyprus is under embargo is a head-scratcher in the ... Read More »

Iran Challenges Remaining Partners to Save Nuclear Deal

Responding to the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure”, Iran has announced it will no longer respect all the limits placed on its nuclear research activities by its 2015 deal with world powers. ICG With Washington having renounced the deal, the remaining signatories should hasten to save it. One year ago today, President Donald Trump announced that he was withdrawing the U.S. from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Until now, Iran, as repeatedly confirmed by the… That status quo was increasingly ... Read More »

Australia’s ethnic face is changing, and so are our blood types

It’s often said that no matter who we are, “we all bleed red”. But although our blood may be the same colour, we’re as individual on the inside as we are on the surface. Authors: The Conversation Just like our background determines the way we look, where we come from is one of the major factors that influences the make up of our blood. About half of people living in Australia today were either born overseas, or have a parent ... Read More »

Why the ancient promise of alchemy is fulfilled in reading

Within a 20-minute walk from Notre Dame Cathedral, in the 3rd arrondissement of Paris, is the oldest house in the city: the house of Nicolas Flamel. Elisabeth Gruner The Conversation If the name rings a vague bell, perhaps it’s because you read J. K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” or, as it’s known outside the U.S., “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.” Nicolas Flamel creates the philosopher’s stone of the title – and he was, in fact, a ... Read More »

A Critical Six Months for South Sudan

South Sudan’s rival parties have temporarily salvaged prospects for peace, agreeing a six-month deadline extension to allow for the formation of a unity government. ICG But the country’s external partners must sustain pressure on both sides to preserve a ceasefire and maintain consensus on a path forward. On 3 May at a summit in Addis Ababa, South Sudan’s rival parties agreed to a six-month extension of the deadline to form a unity government. A consensual delay had become the best ... Read More »

North East Asia Can Enter Golden Era of Peace And Prosperity

North East Asia is one of the most prosperous, most highly literate and most technologically advanced regions on the planet. Adam Garrie Eurasia Future But although North East Asia is known collectively as a place of innovation and quality production techniques, in the 21st century it should also become a place of peace and understanding. At present, the biggest challenges facing the region are the Korean peace process, forging modern China-Japan and Korea-Japan ties and finally, ending any attempts at ... Read More »

Empathy in healthcare is finally making a comeback

A doctor friend – let’s call her Anne – was teaching three smart medical students who were told to diagnose a woman complaining of nonspecific pain and anxiety. Jeremy Howick The Conversation After 20 minutes of questions, the students wrote seven pages of notes and recommended two drugs: a painkiller and an antidepressant. Anne considered the students’ analysis and agreed that it was based on sound medical evidence. But something told her there was more to the story. She sat ... Read More »

Is this the Australia we want?

Australia is heading in the wrong direction when it comes to tackling growing incarceration and suicide rates, charitible giving, and sustainability levels, according to… Maggie Coggan PRObonoAustralia The Community Council for Australia’s (CCA) Australia We Want report, released on Tuesday, provides a benchmark of how the nation and each state and territory is performing against values determined by 60… The values, which were outlined in detail in the first report on this topic in 2016, include just, fair, safe, inclusive, ... Read More »

Federal election 2019: Could these 15 ideas restore faith in politics?

Should Australia have fixed parliamentary terms? Or real-time disclosure of political donations? How about a “citizen jury” that can decide on issues of national importance? ABC News Breakfast By Patrick Wood These are just three of 15 ideas outlined in a new report aimed at improving our democracy, which has been pitched to our federal politicians this election. “Australia’s democracy … is frayed and public confidence in our system of governance is in worrying decline,” the Reforming Our Democracy report ... Read More »

The Hustling, Sweating, Flawed Greatness of Richard Holbrooke

The legendary diplomat was a deeply imperfect specimen of the human condition. Yet at his most statesmanlike moments, he could be extraordinary. Michael O’Donnell Washington Monthly The late American diplomat Richard Holbrooke (1941–2010) had a knack, that is to say a weakness, for self-promotion. He lobbied for the Nobel Peace Prize. He hinted broadly that he could serve as secretary of state. When one of his old friends died, Holbrooke petitioned the man’s widow to be included among the eulogists. ... Read More »

I Will Not Stay Silent. Our Leaders Are Failing Human Rights.

I spent four years defending human rights at the U.N. — and they’ve never been more at risk. By Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein The New York Times In the video Op-Ed above, a former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, argues that world leaders are weak, shortsighted and mediocre, and no longer willing or able to defend human rights. Abuses used to be called out and stopped, and human rights offenders had something to fear. Today, they ... Read More »

Crisis Group Yemen Update #10

This is Crisis Group’s tenth update on recent developments in Yemen, focusing on al-Dhale in the south. ICG A ceasefire in Hodeida notwithstanding, violence is on the rise on other key front lines and could undermine prospects for a future peace process. Fighting between Huthi (Ansar Allah) and United Arab Emirates (UAE)-backed forces is intensifying in the southern governorate of al-Dhale. Battles have cut off key transit routes connecting the southern port city of Aden, the Huthi-held capital of Sanaa ... Read More »

Big Business Can Be Evil and Greedy, But Here’s How Corporations Will Help Save  Us From Ourselves

Corporations sometimes do bad things. Let’s get that out of the way before the calls and tweets start flooding in. Sam Hill and Hank Gilman Newsweek Sometimes the acts are intentional, sometimes not, but the damage was done. When Volkswagen created software that enabled its polluting cars to cheat emissions tests, that was bad. Same with Turing Pharmaceuticals, which in 2015 raised the price of a drug used to fight HIV from about $14 a pill to $750. Or when ... Read More »