Global Issues

Averting a Full-blown War in Libya

Fighting between forces loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and allies of the UN-backed government in Tripoli threatens a bloodbath and a regional proxy war. ICG Libya’s international partners should urgently take steps to avoid a major battle and get both sides back to the negotiating table under a new format. A dangerous military confrontation is underway in Libya between east-based forces loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and armed groups allied to the UN-backed government in Tripoli. So far, international ... Read More »

Israel election: Netanyahu and Gantz on course for dead heat

Israel’s general election is on course for a dead heat with nearly all votes counted, local media report. BBC Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and the centrist Blue and White alliance are projected to win 35 seats each with most votes counted. The outcome puts Mr Netanyahu in a strong position to form a right-wing coalition government. No party has ever won a majority in Israel’s parliament and the country has always had coalition governments. Exit polls had predicted ... Read More »

Government advertising may be legal, but it’s corrupting our electoral process

The Coalition government’s use of taxpayer money for political advertising – as much as A$136 million since January, according to Labor figures – is far from an aberration in Australia. Joo-Cheong Tham The Conversation It is part of a sordid history in which public resources have routinely been abused for electoral advantage. For example, the Coalition governments of Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull spent at least A$84.5 million on four major advertising campaigns to promote their policies and initiatives with ... Read More »

Sikhs to plant a million trees to mark 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak

Sikhs aim to plant a million new saplings as their ‘gift to the entire planet’, in a bid to reverse the effects of environmental degradation and help young people to reconnect with nature. Avneet Arora SBS The Sikh community across the globe has taken on a challenge to plant a million trees to commemorate 550 years since the birth of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak. Through the ‘Million Tree Project’, Sikhs around the world aim to plant new saplings as ... Read More »

China’s ‘Fisherman Navy’ Surrounds Philippines’ Pag-asa Island

‘China is intimidating the nations of Southeast Asia into submission to its will. … Everything is headed in the direction of war.’ Nikoli Guillar theTrumpet Chinese fishing vessels swarmed Philippine-controlled Pag-asa Island in the Spratly Islands on April 4, in an “illegal” move that provoked Manila, Inquirer.net reported. On the day of the incident, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told China to “lay off” its vessels surrounding Pag-asa Island. “This is not a warning, this is a word of advice to ... Read More »

Will Pressure Bring Down Venezuela’s Government?

In Venezuela, the lights go off nearly every day, and there is little for most families to put on the dinner table. Ivan Briscoe ICG Amid the growing misery, will the government’s social base abandon it for the opposition challenger? And will the government itself crack under pressure? Ángela (not her real name) handles delivery of the state food rations known as CLAPs in her working-class neighbourhood in Caracas. She is a lifelong supporter of chavismo – the left-wing populist philosophy and ... Read More »

Politicians need to listen up before they speak up – and listen in the right places

Over the past month, Australians and many people around the world have been listening – really listening – to politicians, for a change. Some politicians, that is. Jacinda Ardern, for one. Jim Macnamara The Conversation People everywhere have been moved by her comments, often to tears. She has been lauded for her demonstration of empathy and understanding of complex, emotionally charged issues that some others reduce to glib slogans. How is it that the New Zealand prime minister is such ... Read More »

This Landmark Case Will Decide Whether Aboriginal Australians Who Aren’t Citizens Can Be Deported

Lawyers for Daniel Love and Brendan Thoms argue they can’t be considered “alien” under the Australian Constitution. Hannah Ryan BuzzFeed Two Aboriginal men who were held in immigration detention will ask the High Court to find that Aboriginal non-citizens cannot be deported, in a case one expert describes as “landmark”. In submissions filed with Australia’s highest court last week, lawyers for Daniel Love and Brendan Thoms argue that the government cannot deport an Aboriginal person who is not a citizen ... Read More »

Six books that shock, delve deeply and destroy pieties: your guide to the 2019 Stella Prize shortlist

Young people – how they think and feel, how institutions (families, schools, clinics, courts) fail them – are a recurring theme in the books shortlisted for the 2019 Stella Prize. Camilla Nelson The Conversation These six surprising books – four novels, a memoir and a collection of essays – cover subject matter as diverse as grief, loss, history, childhood, and Indigenous resistance. They make risky aesthetic choices. Some feature dazzling experiments with language, structure and form. Despite, or, more likely, ... Read More »

World powers demand halt to Libya advance

Libyan forces under Khalifa Haftar battled their way to the south of Tripoli on April 5, prompting the U.N. Security Council and the G7 to demand a halt to the military advance on the capital. TRIPOLI- Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Haftar, commander of the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA), launched an offensive on April 4 to take the capital, held by a U.N.-backed unity government and an array of militias. The lightning assault was ordered as U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was in Libyafor a ... Read More »

‘A Convenient Life and a Good Life May Not Be the Same Thing’

Margrethe Vestager, Europe’s top antitrust regulator, hasn’t been able to take down Big Tech—but she has a theory of how to tame it. Franklin Foer The Atlantic The election of Donald Trump, and the Cambridge Analytica scandal that followed, set in motion what some have called the tech-lash—a bout of intense skepticism directed toward Silicon Valley. But long before it became fashionable to jeer Mark Zuckerberg, there was the Danish regulator, Margrethe Vestager. As the European commissioner of competition, a ... Read More »

It Is Time to Revise Russia–Turkey Relations for a More Stable Future

With ongoing debates on Russian-made S-400 deliveries to Turkey, fate of continuing cooperation of Russia, Turkey and Iran in Syria and future of Ankara’s relations with the European Union and NATO, it is high time to make an honest review of Russian-Turkish relations, define weaknesses of bilateral cooperation and try to sketch a framework for a… Timur Akhmetov ModernDiplomacy Inspection of historical legacy and nature of current ties may be of big value for those who want to grasp contours ... Read More »

Trump’s Republican Base Is Wary of India

Core Trump supporters view trade deals as benefiting other countries at the expense of the United States. Pratik Chougule The National Interest The U.S. decision to remove India from the Generalized System of Preferences program last month, citing its lack of “equitable and reasonable” market access, was the toughest action of the Trump presidency against the country. It may also be a sign that a decade of growing U.S.-India partnership is entering a new normal with lingering economic and trade disputes taking ... Read More »

The world’s left-wingers are feeling the Bern

Bernie Sanders is viewed abroad as a potential figurehead for a worldwide movement against right-wing populism. Holly Otterbein Politico Bernie Sanders has a base that no other 2020 U.S. presidential candidate can claim: left-wing politicians around the globe. From South America to Europe to the Middle East, leftist leaders are celebrating his candidacy, viewing him as an iconic democratic socialist with the potential to lead a worldwide progressive movement at a time when right-wing populism is on the rise across ... Read More »

Opinion: Deadly effects of Rwandan genocide still felt today

The Rwandan genocide began 25 years ago. However, the deadly repercussions are still being felt. Dirke Köpp Deutsche Welle One only has to look to the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, writes Dirke Köpp. Stroll through the Rwandan capital, Kigali, today and you’ll encounter well-kept streets, new skyscrapers and business centers — a modern city. And yet, 25 years ago, these same streets — and roads throughout the country — were lined with hundreds of thousands of corpses. The putrid ... Read More »

London prepares for launch of ultra-low emissions zone

Almost 1,000 people a year in London are hospitalised with asthma caused by pollution Gwyn Topham The Guardian London is preparing to enforce “world-leading” vehicle pollution restrictions from Monday as the capital attempts to clean up the toxic air blamed for thousands of premature deaths. The ultra-low emission zone, or Ulez, will launch at one minute past midnight, imposing a £12.50-a-day charge to drive into central London in all but the cleanest cars and vans. The move is expected to reduce ... Read More »