Democracy

The World’s Most Complicated Single-Day Election Is a Feat of Democracy

Indonesia’s ability to hold free and fair polls illustrates many of the oft-hidden processes that, beyond the simple act of casting ballots, underpin democratic societies. Ben Bland The Atlantic The shabby headquarters of Indonesia’s general-election commission in central Jakarta is an unlikely bastion of democracy. But it is from here that the KPU, as it is known, will soon execute the … The logistical challenges are breathtaking. Six million election workers have been recruited and trained to oversee more than 810,000 ... Read More »

The Roots of Right-Wing Dominance in Israel

Most commentators have focused on Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s personal qualities to explain what looked to many to be an unlikely election victory. Shlomo Avineri Project Syndicate But there are important structural reasons for Likud’s durability in power, and a strong economy is just the start. JERUSALEM – Binyamin Netanyahu’s latest electoral success, winning a fifth term as Israel’s prime minister, is by any measure a remarkable achievement for him and his right-wing Likud party. Serious corruption charges did ... Read More »

The End of the American Century

What the life of Richard Holbrooke tells us about the decay of Pax Americana George Packer The Atlantic What’s called the American century was really just a little more than half a century, and that was the span of Richard Holbrooke’s life. It began with the Second World War and the creative burst that followed—the United Nations, the Atlantic alliance, containment, the free world—and it went through dizzying lows and highs, until it expired the day before yesterday. The thing ... Read More »

Prominent Australian journalist Mary Kostakidis speaks out for Assange

Mary Kostakidis, a prominent Australian journalist, attended the Socialist Equality Party’s rally in Sydney yesterday, called to oppose the illegal arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and… Oscar Grenfell wsws Kostakidis has been a leading figure in the media industry for many years. Kostakidis was the main presenter for the national television program “SBS World News” for over two decades, until 2007. She is known and respected by millions of people across the country. The journalist has a lengthy record ... Read More »

UK’s Labour urges government to block Assange extradition

Labour cites case of hacker Gary McKinnon, whose extradition to the US was blocked by the UK government on human rights grounds. Ian Geoghegan Politico The U.K.’s opposition Labour Party called on the government to block the extradition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to the United States, where he faces up to five years in prison for a computer hacking charge. Assange was arrested Thursday at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he had been holed up for seven years after ... Read More »

John Pilger: The Assange Arrest Is a Warning From History

That this outrage happened in the heart of London, in the land of Magna Carta, ought to shame and anger all who fear for “democratic” societies, writes John Pilger. John Pilger MPNnews The glimpse of Julian Assange being dragged from the Ecuadorean embassy in London is an emblem of the times. Might against right. Muscle against the law. Indecency against courage. Six policemen manhandled a sick journalist, his eyes wincing against his first natural light in almost seven years. That this ... Read More »

Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn Might Create a Revolution

Just as Reagan and Thatcher rose together, perhaps so too will Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn. Robert L. Borosage The Nation For many Democrats, defeating President Donald Trump in 2020 and returning to “normal” is enough. For a growing number of voters and contenders, however, the question is not simply getting rid of Trump, but gaining a mandate for fundamental change. The latter mission was explored this week in a windowless Longworth House Office Building meeting room, where two British ... Read More »

DLA Piper teams up with refugee advocates for access to justice

Global firm DLA Piper has partnered with the Southern Migrant and Refugee Centre to deliver its first Australia-based Know Your Rights Legal Empowerment Program. Jerome Doraisamy Lawyers Weekly DLA Piper‘s Know Your Rights program has been successfully delivered across a number of cities to date including Bangkok, Amsterdam, Paris, Vienna, Hamburg, Cologne, Brussels, Milan, Luxembourg and Rome, and has now come Down Under. It is a “signature part” of the firm’s global pro bono practice that focuses on access to ... Read More »

Charting a Way Forward in Sudan’s Unfinished Transition

Omar al-Bashir is out as president of Sudan, but protesters suspect that the military-led transition is a game of musical chairs. ICG A new curfew raises the spectre of bloodshed. International actors should press vigorously for civilian leadership of a process that must promise further-reaching change. Late at night on 10 April, after defying the most sustained protest movement in Sudan’s modern history for months, Omar al-Bashir finally lost his hold on power. In an early afternoon announcement on state ... Read More »

Time to stop pretending: fascism is back

It is no use pretending. The signs are clear. Fascism is raising its poisonous, extremist head again. Paolo Totaro The Age To very old people like me, whose World War II experiences as children are still raw, fascism signifies many things but its essence still is intolerance of diversity. Fascism does not accept as equal, human beings of a diverse race, gender, faith, appearance, creativity, culture. WWII had its genesis in the Nazis (German fascists) rejecting as Germans, those German ... Read More »

Julian Assange Q+A: WikiLeaks founder arrested in London

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, has been arrested in London and charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion over his alleged role in the leaking of classified United States government documents. Gbenga Oduntan The Conversation Assange has already been found guilty of failing to surrender British police, who took him from the Ecuadorian embassy, where he has been living for nearly seven years, having claimed asylum there. Here’s what we know so far. Why was Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy ... Read More »

‘A dangerous precedent’: Julian Assange’s lawyer hits out at his arrest

The founder of WikiLeaks, Australian Julian Assange, has been arrested after he was kicked out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. AFP – SBS WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s seven-year hideout in Ecuador’s London embassy ended on Thursday when British police dragged him out and arrested him on an extradition request from the United States to face hacking charges. Footage shot by the Russian video news agency Ruptly showed Mr Assange – his worn face framed by a bushy white beard ... Read More »

Israel faces old reality of Benjamin Netanyahu victory anew

Israel’s general election has put Prime Minister Netanyahu on track for a record fifth term in office, but not everybody is celebrating. Dana Regev (Haifa) Deutsche Welle The vote reflects a deep societal divide. Dana Regev reports from Haifa. The day after Israel’s general election, it’s hard to say the country has woken up to the dawn of a new day. In the northern port city of Haifa — known for its mixed Arab-Jewish population and left-leaning tendencies — the ... Read More »

Donald Trump fumes as judge blocks policy of returning asylum seekers to Mexico

US President Donald Trump has lashed out over a judge blocking his administration’s policy of returning asylum seekers to Mexico while they apply to legally stay in the United States, saying the ruling is “unfair to the US”. ABC Under the policy, which was launched in January, migrants are forced to return back over the border while they wait for an immigration court to hear their cases. Judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco this week granted a request on behalf ... Read More »

The air disaster that haunts Polish politics

Political potency of a national tragedy is wearing out. Annabelle Chapman Politico WARSAW — Nine years ago, a plane crash that killed Poland’s president and 95 others created one of the most potent myths in the country’s history. A significant minority of Poles did not believe that it was a tragic accident, as detailed in an official report. Instead, they saw the crash at a military airfield near the Russian city of Smolensk as a plot involving Polish and Russian ... 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 »