Global Issues

Congo to EU: Mind your own business

An election that’s been delayed for two years is about to be held, and the country has booted out the EU ambassador. Giulia Paravicini Politico KINSHASA — The message from the Democratic Republic of Congo to the EU was loud and not-at-all subtle. The African nation’s decision to expel the EU ambassador, Bart Ouvry, days before a long-delayed election, was done in public, humiliating fashion. On Thursday evening, Congo’s foreign affairs minister gathered the diplomatic community for a meeting in the capital, Kinshasa. ... Read More »

You can’t get public service ethics from bankers

When Matt Comyn, now chief executive of the Commonwealth Bank, was a slightly more junior bank executive, he had qualms and scruples about the bank’s shameful practice of selling virtually useless personal loan insurance to its… Jack Waterford The Canberra Times His then boss, Ian Narev told him to “temper your sense of justice.” Mr Comyn, the successor and protégé of Narev, apparently followed this advice. It wasn’t until about 10 months ago, after it was clear that the banking ... Read More »

Coming to grips with the millennial mind

“I can no longer teach with these new brains,” says an exasperated Clio Cresswell, mathematics lecturer at the University of Sydney and author of Mathematics and Sex. The core of the problem, she says, is the diminishing capacity of undergraduates for “linked… Luke Slattery The Australian And it’s not just a problem in the classroom. “I’ve always enjoyed teaching,” she says. “But these days students are so busy posting on social media — ‘love the burger’, ‘great fries’ — that if ... Read More »

Intensely private social worker, who duct-taped his shoes, left surprise $15m to kids

Seattle: Alan Naiman was known for an unabashed thriftiness that veered into comical, but even those closest to him had no inkling of the fortune that he quietly amassed and the last act that he… Sally Ho The Sydney Morning Herald The Washington state social worker died of cancer this year at age 63, leaving most of a surprising $US11 million ($15.6 million) estate to children’s charities that help the poor, sick, disabled and… The amount baffled the beneficiaries and ... Read More »

Turkey would not allow US to inspect Russian S-400 missile systems: Official

A senior Turkish official says Ankara would not provide the United States with the opportunity to study the advanced Russian-built S-400 air defense missile system, regardless of strong opposition from Washington and… PressTV “Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has assured Russian Ambassador to Ankara Alexei Yerkhov that there are no talks that Turkey will give the United States the chance to inspect S-400 air… English-language Bloomberg news network, citing two sources, recently reported that Turkey had offered the US to survey the S-400 air ... Read More »

DR Congo Elections: Reversing a Dangerous Decision

After postponing long-awaited elections, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s electoral commission has announced a second delay in voting in some conflict-affected areas – until after a new president takes office. ICG This decision disenfranchises 1.25 million Congolese and risks major unrest. The commission should rescind it.  The latest twist in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s tortuous electoral saga may well be its most worrying and dangerous yet. On 26 December, the Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) announced that parts of North ... Read More »

10 Conflicts to Watch in 2019

As U.S. leadership of the international order fades, more countries are seeking to bolster their influence by meddling in foreign conflicts. In this new era of limit testing, Crisis Group’s President Robert Malley lists the Ten Conflicts to Watch in 2019. In a world with fewer rules, the only truly effective one is knowing what you can get away with. The answer today, it turns out, is: quite a lot. As the era of uncontested U.S. primacy fades, the international ... Read More »

North Korea defector hack: Personal data of almost 1,000 leaked

Almost 1,000 North Korean defectors have had their personal data leaked after a computer at a South Korean resettlement centre was hacked, the unification ministry said. BBC A personal computer at the state-run centre was found to have been “infected with a malicious code”. The ministry said this is thought to be the first large-scale information leak involving North Korean defectors. The hackers’ identity and the origin of the cyber-attack is not yet confirmed. The North Gyeongsang resettlement centre is ... Read More »

The Girl Who Lived

Remembering my grandmother, whose improbable survival became the foundational story for my family’s existence Franklin Foer The Atlantic There were the scissors that my grandmother somehow remembered to bring with her as she fled. She could hear the rumble of destruction in the distance. She could see the cloud of smoke that was the Nazi murder of her family and neighbors. Without forethought, she made the decision to run ahead, carrying with her the scissors and, despite the blossoms of ... Read More »

47% of Serbian citizens in favor of the EU membership

68% of Serbian public against a NATO membership Serbia’s support for the integration to the European Union remains below 50%, a trend observed over the last three years with some slight fluctuations. IBNA According to the most recent poll conducted by Serbia’s Euro-Atlantic Studies Center in co-operation with the CESID opinion poll, 47% of citizens are in favor of joining the EU, while 36% opposes the European integration path of the country. The poll was conducted in the first week ... Read More »

Turkey hails Pakistan move on FETÖ schools

Turkey has welcomed a ruling by Pakistan’s top court to designate FETÖ a “terrorist group,” saying it should set a precedent for other countries. Ankara Hurriyet In a statement on Dec. 28, the Turkish Foreign Ministry appreciated the Pakistani Supreme Court’s ruling of handing over the FETÖ-linked schools to Turkiye Maarif Foundation. “The decision, which we consider as the manifestation of mutual cooperation based on strong bonds between Turkey and Pakistan, should set a precedent for all countries,” the ministry added. Earlier on Dec. 28, ... Read More »

UN report sheds light on ‘unimaginable horrors’ faced by migrants and refugees in Libya, and beyond

Migrants and refugees are being subjected to “unimaginable horrors” from the moment they enter Libya, throughout their stay in the country and – if they make it that far – during their attempts to cross the Mediterranean, according to a report released on Thursday, by the United Nations political mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the UN human rights office (OHCHR). UN News “There is a local and international failure to handle this hidden human calamity that continues to take place ... Read More »

Why Turkey’s Kurdish strategy will remain ineffective

Over the past decade, Turkey has pursued a “break and dent” strategy against the Kurds, by which the Turkish government seeks to dismantle Kurdish groups and push resistant factions into… Fehim Tastekin Al-Monitor Turkey has now come to rely on this strategy outside its border, particularly in the northern Syrian region of Afrin. Based on this approach, Ankara aims to “cleanse” all northeastern Syrian territories held by the People’s Protection Units, or the YPG. Yet this “break and dent” strategy is futile, and the Mahkmour ... Read More »

Arizona Attorney General Argues BDS Seeks to ‘Strengthen’ Terror-Supporting Palestinian Groups

A brief filed last week by Arizona’s attorney general maintains that the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel aids terrorists — potentially marking the first time a US government official has formally taken such a… Shiri Moshe Algemeiner In an opening argument submitted to the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich wrote that legislation enacted by his state in 2016 that bars public bodies from contracting with companies that… The law, passed with bipartisan super-majorities, was blocked by a federal court in ... Read More »

The Center Left and Globalization

After promising to reform both France and the European Union, President Emmanuel Macron is now struggling to reclaim the public’s confidence and prove that he is not the “President of the Rich.” Kemal Derviş and Caroline Conroy * Project Syndicate By pursuing a business-friendly reform agenda, Macron has fallen into a trap that center-left reformers everywhere seem incapable of avoiding. WASHINGTON, DC – Popular uprisings across France are threatening to shatter the hope that so many had placed in French President Emmanuel Macron ... Read More »

Non-citizen soldiers: What you need to know

Germany’s decision to consider allowing non-citizens into its armed forces is not unique. In fact, many countries, including the US and Russia, use the promise of citizenship as a way to recruit new… Ben Knight DW The news that the Bundeswehr is tentatively considering recruiting non-German European Union citizens has naturally triggered concerns about both the state of the German military and… As if to head off the former worry, the source of the story, Bundeswehr Inspector General Eberhard Zorn was careful to ... Read More »