Diplomacy

UK’s chemical Catch-22

The EU sets the global standard for chemicals, so Britain can’t stray too far after Brexit — and it won’t have a say. Ginger Hervey Politico urope sets the world standard when it comes to chemical safety — unfortunately for the United Kingdom. The U.K. has been a consistent voice of caution in discussions on whether to restrict use of harmful chemicals in the EU — frequently taking the industry’s side in fights about whether to add more regulations. When ... Read More »

Tony Abbott rejects warnings, urges Scott Morrison to move Israel embassy

Tony Abbott has urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison to proceed with a controversial shift in policy on Israel despite a warning from Malaysia that the move could fuel terrorism and concerns from Indonesia over a… David Crowe The Canberra Times Mr Abbott said the “rhetorical backlash” from Muslim countries in Asia was always going to happen but that this should not stop Australia showing its support for Israel by moving the Australian embassy from Tel… The comments are another strong ... Read More »

Refugees in Uganda: The value of a million human lives

Uganda is a front runner when it comes to forward-looking refugee policy. But financial aid from abroad only trickles in and the situation is worsening. Who should pay — Uganda or the international community? Silja Fröhlich DW In the first half of November, 1,750 new refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan entered Uganda. This brings the total from these two countries for this year to 100,000. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 1.4 million refugees live ... Read More »

Mike Pence announces US-Australia military pact to expand Manus Island naval base

United States Vice-President Mike Pence has declared his nation will partner with Australia and Papua New Guinea to boost operations at a Manus Island naval base amid rising tensions over China’s growing influence in the Pacific. Nicole Hasham WAtoday The federal government had been working with PNG to develop the strategically important base at Lombrum, announcing in September a $5 million contract to upgrade wharf and shore-based infrastructure. Mr Pence told a meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation in ... Read More »

Xi warns of dangers of conflict while Pence lets fly

Beijing: Tensions between China and the United States were on full display at the APEC CEO summit in Port Moresby, with Chinese President Xi Jinping warning of the need to uphold the global institutions pivotal to peace shortly before US Vice-President Mike Pence launched a blistering attack on China to the same audience. Kirsty Needham Brisbane Times Warning of the painful lessons of World War II, Xi said: “History has shown that confrontation, whether in the form of a cold war, a ... Read More »

US only country in the world to vote against work of UN refugee agency

‘We will detain and prosecute those who enter US territory illegally,’ American ambassador says Harry Cockburn Independent The US has rejected a United Nations resolution on the work of the organisation’s refugee agency (UNHCR), amid American concerns over the document’s provision for immigrants and refugees. It was the only country to block the resolution on Tuesday, with US ambassador for economic and social affairs Kelley Currie saying it would not accept the draft text because parts of the document did ... Read More »

Rebuilding the Gaza Ceasefire

A ceasefire agreement has brought Israel and Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas back from the cusp of yet another calamitous war. ICG However fragile, it offers a rare opportunity for all parties to finally break the cycle of recurring hostilities that has killed thousands since 2007. What’s new?  For the first time since the 2014 war, a plan for a long-term ceasefire between Hamas and Israel started to take hold in early November, only to be disrupted by the… The ceasefire ... Read More »

PM statement on Brexit negotiations: 15 November 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May updates the House of Commons on the Brexit negotiations. Gov.UK With permission, Mr Speaker, I would like to update the House on our negotiations to leave the European Union. First, I want to pay tribute to my Rt Hon Friends the Members for Esher and Walton and Tatton. Delivering Brexit involves difficult choices for all of us. We do not agree on all of those choices but I respect their views and thank them sincerely for ... Read More »

Justin Trudeau Conflating BDS With Anti-Semitism Is Dangerous

As Canadian scholars, we urge Trudeau to retract his wrong-spirited comments that demonize the work students, community members and activists have done. Sarah Ghabrial and Elena Razlogova HuffPost On November 7, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a well overdue apologyon behalf of all Canadians for the rejection of the MS St. Louis in 1939. Canada’s refusal to allow more than 900 refugees, mostly German Jews fleeing Nazism, to disembark at Halifax was only one part of a systematic government effort to ... Read More »

Theresa May stares down Brexit turmoil, vowing to see her deal through

London (CNN) – An embattled Theresa May vowed to fight on as UK Prime Minister Thursday in the face of intense opposition to her troubled Brexit deal, facing down a wave of resignations and… By Laura Smith-Spark and Eliza Mackintosh, CNN In a defiant statement at 10 Downing Street, May said her Brexit deal — which has attracted intense criticism from all sides — was in the national interest and made it clear that she had no… “I believe with every ... Read More »

A county in Idaho offered Spanish-language ballots for the first time and here’s what happened

On the morning of Election Day, the top trending search on Google was “donde votar,” which means “where to vote” in Spanish. Gabe Osterhout The Conversation Voter access to the polls was a major issue during the 2018 midterm elections in the U.S. Charges of voter suppression were made in in Georgia and North Dakota. Critics of new voting rules claimed they disenfranchised African-Americans and Native Americans. While those problems were extensively covered by the press, less attention was paid ... Read More »

Mike Pence issues rebuke to Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi over ‘persecution’ of Rohingya Muslims

US Vice President Mike Pence has issued his strongest condemnation yet of Myanmar’s treatment of Rohingya Muslims warning leader Aung San Suu Kyi that “persecution” by her country’s army was “without excuse.” Sophie Williams Evening Standard He met with the Myanmar leader on Wednesday on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific summit in Singapore. While sitting next to the Myanmar leader, he said: “The violence and persecution by military and vigilantes that resulted in driving 700,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh is without ... Read More »

Brexit deal EXPLAINED: What we know about Theresa May’s 500-page Brexit deal

THERESA May has completed a draft Brexit deal with the European Union and now must seek the approval of her Cabinet at a crunch meeting in Westminster this afternoon. Joe Barnes Express The Prime Minister’s latest proposals have already become deeply controversial with rumours of more ministerial resignations and Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party ready to vote down the… But in what is considered largely as a victory by Brussels and Downing Street, Mrs May has secured a UK-wide Irish ... Read More »

Russia Has Deployed Nuclear Missiles That Can Reach Germany, Claims Lithuania Foreign Minister

Russia has been violating an international arms control agreement for years, the foreign minister of Lithuania has claimed, giving Moscow the ability to fire banned nuclear weapons at targets as… David Brennan Newsweek Linas Linkevicius told Deutsche Welle the Kremlin has been ignoring the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty for some time, leaving all of central and eastern Europe at threat… The treaty was signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, banning ground-launch nuclear and conventional missiles with ... Read More »

Rohingya gripped by fear as repatriation to Myanmar begins

As a bilateral agreement to return Rohingya refugees to Myanmar is set to take effect, there have been unconfirmed reports of refugees disappearing from camps to avoid a forced return to the… Wesley Rahn DW In October, a UN fact-finding mission said that that an“ongoing genocide” is still taking place in Myanmar against the Rohingya, a Muslim minority group living in the country’s western Rakhine… On November 15, despite warnings from the UN and aid organizations, the final phase of a ... Read More »

Brexit: UK and EU ‘agree text’ of draft withdrawal agreement

UK and EU officials have agreed the draft text of a Brexit agreement after months of negotiations. BBC A cabinet source told the BBC that the document has been agreed at a technical level by officials from both sides after intensive discussions this week. A special cabinet meeting will be held at 14:00 GMT on Wednesday as Theresa May seeks ministers’ backing. The PM has been meeting ministers in Downing Street for one-to-one talks on the draft agreement. BBC political ... Read More »