Features

‘Absolute determination’: May vows to deliver Brexit without customs union

PM promises new relationship with EU outside single market but continues to grapple with pro-leave MPs who oppose hybrid ‘customs partnership’ Press Association The Guardian Theresa May has insisted she has the “determination to deliver Brexit” as she comes under pressure from both wings of the Tory party to change course. Eurosceptics have urged the prime minister to drop the proposal for a hybrid “customs partnership” which they fear would tie the UK too closely to Brussels. But pro-EU Tories are ... Read More »

‘A race to the bottom’: how Australia imported its asylum seeker policies from the US

At the height of the Tampa crisis, Australia turned to a US bureaucrat and asked for advice Ben Doherty The Guardian In August 2001, at the height of the Tampa crisis – 433 rescued asylum seekers on board a freight ship seeking landfall in Australia – the Australian government made a call to an American bureaucrat, then in Geneva, and asked him to the embassy. Years earlier, the bureaucrat had been a key architect of America’s policies towards boat-borne asylum ... Read More »

Clock ticking for Cyprus reunification

Nobel Peace Prize winner F.W. de Klerk says Cypriots need to find a way to reconnect Former South African President F.W. de Klerk is a man who knows how to read the warning signs of history and he urges Cypriot leaders not to miss another opportunity to make peace before it’s too late. Charlie Charalambous Knews “Timing is important, sometimes the time is right for something to happen and if you don’t see the opportunity and use it, the window ... Read More »

Cuba to host Colombia-ELN rebel peace talks

Cuba will host peace talks between the Colombian government and leftist ELN rebels aimed at ending a five-decade conflict after Ecuador bowed out as host, negotiators said May 5. BOGOTA – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is trying to conclude a peace agreement with the country’s 1,500-strong last active rebel group, similar to the one signed with the larger FARC guerrillas in November 2016. The FARC has since become a political party. Five other countries — Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Norway and Venezuela — ... Read More »

Jacinda Ardern vows to get all NZ homeless off the streets before winter

The New Zealand government has vowed to find shelter for the country’s homeless population in time for winter. Nick Baker SBS New Zealand will attempt to get its entire homeless population off the streets during the colder months. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Housing Minister Phil Twyford on Friday announced a $100 million homelessness funding package which included $37 million “to urgently increase housing supply this… “There’s no reason why there should be homelessness in a country like New Zealand. ... Read More »

Lawsuits present challenge for neo-Nazi Daily Stormer site

Daily Stormer’s growing legal challenges come at a time of isolation and internal disarray in the US far right. Patrick Strickland AlJazeera A slew of lawsuits has compounded problems for the Daily Stormer, a widely read neo-Nazi websiteknown for its violent rhetoric and vocal support for US President Donald Trump. Along with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, former American University (AU) student Taylor Dumpson filed a federal lawsuit against Andrew Anglin, the Daily Stormer’s publisher, for allegedly launching a ... Read More »

As China leads the hunt for deep-sea minerals, environmental and financial concerns come to the surface

David Dodwell says China is putting money into undersea mining in the hope of maintaining the supply of minerals that make much of today’s technology possible, but such endeavours may threaten marine ecosystems we know little about. David Dodwell South China Morning Post Nasa may be scouring deep space for signs of life. Elon Musk might be looking to Mars. China’s scientists have had an eye cast skyward too – but, at the same time, the country seems keenly focused on challenges much ... Read More »

Mirror Images: The Standoff between Moscow and Western Capitals

Russia and the West are mired in mutual mistrust, sinking deeper with each contretemps in the post-Soviet space and every round of sanctions punishing perceived Russian malfeasance. Magdalena Grono ICG A rapprochement appears unlikely soon, so both sides must open channels to avert confrontations where their interests collide. Relations between Russia and the West are at a perilous juncture. The two sides’ narratives on major issues of the day – for instance, the future of Crimea or the wars in ... Read More »

Japan has a form of capitalism that works

Japan deserves the Nobel Prize for applied economics. I say this not because Japan’s capitalism has no flaws, but because the overall outcome produced by the Japanese economic system is extremely… Jesper Koll The Japan Times Japan manages to balance income growth and income distribution so well that, unlike many other advanced economies, Japan’s society is resilient against the rise of popular nationalism a-la Donald Trump in America, Jean-Marie Le Pen in France or Xi Jinping in… The goal of ... Read More »

Daily Express: what a difference a new owner has made (especially if you are a migrant)

Downright offensive and Islamophobic: these words were used to describe the Daily Express – not from the usual left-leaning critic but directly from the mouth of the newspaper’s latest editor. Paul Broster The Conversation Gary Jones pulled no punches when quizzed by MPs over the editorial stance of the right wing mid-market tabloid. “Cumulatively, some of the headlines that have appeared in the past have created an Islamophobic sentiment which I find uncomfortable,” Jones told the home affairs select committee, ... Read More »

Tsunami of Homelessness and Poverty set to hit on June 4

We are facing a tsunami of poverty and homelessness within a month. Home Affairs have two planned waves designed to hit the people in the community who are going through the visa process, first singles and then followed by a second wave to target families with children. Julian Burnside This Dutton designed program of poverty is underway. Key dates for implementation cascade through May and the Tsunami is designed to hit on June 4 when families will be told that ... Read More »

Portugal to Modernise Railway System and Increase Spanish Trade Via Upcoming Southern European Rail Line

This spring, Portugal, Spain and the EU Commissioner of Transport announced plans to construct a new freight line that will link southern Portugal with Spain, upgrading Portugal’s railways and providing long-term economic benefits to the… Katrina Pirner SouthEUSummit Portugal is working in tandem with the EU to build a railway that will bring more logistical ease to companies transporting products to the country’s nieghbour and biggest trading partner, Spain. This is one of many infrastructure projects that highlights how the ... Read More »

The Challenge of Reinstating Sanctions Against Iran

It’s Not as Simple as Withdrawing From the JCPOA Peter Harrell FP U.S. President Donald Trump appears to be on the brink of withdrawing the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement with… He faces a May 12 deadline to renew waivers of key U.S. sanctions on Iran, and despite pressure from French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to do so, Trump seems set to deliver on his January ... Read More »

Nobel prize in literature 2018 cancelled after sexual assault scandal

Swedish Academy says it needs to ‘commit time to recovering public confidence’ after string of resignations and wide-ranging scandal Jon Henley and Alison Flood The Guardian Riven by infighting and resignations following allegations of sexual misconduct, financial malpractice and repeated leaks, the Swedish Academy has said no Nobel prize for literature will be awarded this year. For the first time since 1949, the secretive jury that hands out the world’s most prestigious literary prize will not unveil a winner this autumn, instead ... Read More »

The final move

Dr David Goodall’s life has been one of teaching, learning and discovery. Now the 104-year-old academic has departed on the last journey he will ever make. Charlotte Hamlyn ABC As a group of family and friends gathers on a busy Wednesday afternoon in the departure hall of Perth Airport, it could be mistaken for just your regular farewell. The group clusters around a frail-looking man in a wheelchair, smiling, sharing a joke and a hug, as he prepares to board ... Read More »

Socialising the losses and privatising the gains

The case of Cyprus five years after the bail-in of bank deposits As pointed out in a recent IMF report,[1] “private sector indebtedness in Cyprus remains extremely high”. Savvas Savvides StockWatch Politicians and banks, however, continue to present the non-performing loans (NPLs) as being the core problem of the economy. They argue that reducing NPLs is basically the same as providing a cure to the economy’s woes. However, NPLs is only a symptom of the real problem of the economy which, ... Read More »