Politics

Royal Commissions tell us a great deal about Corruption. But will Justice be an inevitable final chapter?

The string of Royal Commissions have provided us with stinging visual images of corruption, notably among bankers and clergymen. Josephine Zananiri Tasmanian Times Aside from some gratifyingly blunt cross-examination, causing a degree of humiliation, the legal outcomes are far from clear. At this point we might hazard a guess that corruption and justice are a sleight of hand depending on the cards dealt. Now if you happened by chance to find yourself in the top say five per cent of ... Read More »

Eamonn McCann: Why Chagos Islanders should be hailed as heroes

UN court finding may open the way for Chagos Islanders’ to return home The Irish Times In The Hague last month, the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration found that the United Kingdom’s declaration in 2010 of a Marine Protection Area around the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean was illegal. The decision endorsed the claim of the government of Mauritius that the UK did not have jurisdiction to make rulings relating to the status of the area. The finding ... Read More »

At the Hanoi summit, Trump and Kim Jong Un may declare the Korean War over. Does it still matter?

The signing took all of 10 minutes. Neither man uttered a word as they inked nine documents agreeing to halt more than three years of brutal fighting. Victoria Kim Los Angeles Times When it was done, the American and North Korean generals exchanged one long, cold stare before leaving the room. It was July 1953. U.S. 8th Army commander Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor reminded reporters the war wasn’t yet over. The cease-fire agreement was “just a suspension of hostilities, which ... Read More »

Outrage over antisemitic attacks in France presents opportunity for Emmanuel Macron to heal wartime wounds

France has recently been rocked by a series of antisemitic attacks. Portraits on post boxes of the late Simone Veil – a Holocaust survivor and the country’s first minister for women’s affairs – were vandalised. David Lees The Conversation The philosopher Alain Finkelkrault was verbally abused by protesters from the gilets jaunes (yellow vest) movement. A number of tombstones in Jewish cemeteries have been defaced with Swastikas and a man was shot with an air rifle outside a synagogue in ... Read More »

Guatemala amnesty bill stirs fears of impunity and revenge of ex-military

Legislation that would grant amnesty to anyone convicted or accused of human rights violations during Guatemala’s long-running civil war has raised fears that dozens of perpetrators of forced disappearance, torture and… Leila Miller Los Angeles Times Backed by military elites and their allies, including members of the party of President Jimmy Morales, the proposed law passed the first of three congressional readings last month. If enacted, the bill would mandate the release within 24 hours of dozens of officials and ... Read More »

Australia Really Should Be Panicked About Coal

While China may not have banned imports yet, long-term demand is set to plummet globally. Mihir Sharma Bloomberg Sydney is a wonderful, modern town. But, over the past few days, all anyone here has wanted to talk to me about is that most 19th-century of industries: coal. It’s not hard to see why, after a startling report last week — quickly denied — that some Chinese ports had blocked shipments of Australian coal. The Australian dollar briefly tanked on the news. Australia’s trade ... Read More »

Ukraine’s crisis of faith

The Kiev-Kremlin conflict catalyzes a religious schism centuries in the making. Christopher Miller Politico VORSIVKA, Ukraine — For years, Father Vasily spent his Sundays behind the altar at St. Nicholas, a church in the small town of Vorsivka, in north-central Ukraine. That all changed in early January, not long after the Ukrainian Orthodox Church officially split from the Moscow-based Russian Orthodox Church in one of the biggest schisms in Christian history. That’s when the village faithful held a vote to decide whether their ... Read More »

All Eyes on Tangible Results from U.S.-North Korea Summit

The North Korean and U.S. leaders enter their second summit under pressure to achieve concrete progress toward their respective goals, sanctions relief and denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. Crisis Group senior adviser Chris Green suggests risk reduction measures each side can take. What has happened since the first U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore? At the conclusion of the Singapore summit last June, the U.S. and North Korea issued a statement calling for a new bilateral relationship, a stable peninsular peace ... Read More »

Lessons from the Syrian State’s Return to the South

Russian mediation helped reduce bloodshed during the Assad regime’s reconquest of southern Syria. ICG But for similar arrangements to work in remaining rebel strongholds, better security guarantees by outside powers are needed to prevent regime reprisals, improve aid flows and, down the road, facilitate refugee return. What’s new? When the Syrian regime retook the south from rebels in mid-2018, Russian mediation limited the violence. Six months later, security and living conditions remain precarious; the regime has re-established authoritarian rule; and ... Read More »

Scott Morrison to reboot Tony Abbott’s emissions reduction fund with $2bn

PM to announce ‘climate solutions fund’ to appeal to voters concerned about Coalition’s record Katharine Murphy The Guardian Scott Morrison will attempt to appeal to voters deeply concerned that the Coalition have been been wreckers on climate change by rebadging Tony Abbott’s emissions reduction fund as a… Attempting to draw a line over years of destructive in-fighting within the Coalition that has cruelled various emissions reduction policies, the prime minister will use a speech in Melbourne on… The emissions reduction fund is a ... Read More »

Workism Is Making Americans Miserable

For the college-educated elite, work has morphed into a religious identity—promising identity, transcendence, and community, but failing to deliver. Derek Thompson The Atlantic In his 1930 essay “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren,” the economist John Maynard Keynes predicted a 15-hour workweek in the 21st century, creating the equivalent of a five-day weekend. “For the first time since his creation man will be faced with his real, his permanent problem,” Keynes wrote, “how to occupy the leisure.” This became a popular view. ... Read More »

These Are the World’s Healthiest Nations

Maybe it’s something in the gazpacho or paella, as Spain just surpassed Italy to become the world’s healthiest country. By Lee J Miller and Wei Lu Bloomberg That’s according to the 2019 edition of the Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index, which ranks 169 economies according to factors that contribute to overall health. Spain placed sixth in the previous gauge, published in 2017. Four additional European nations were among the top 10 in 2019: Iceland (third place), Switzerland (fifth), Sweden (sixth) and Norway (ninth). Japan ... Read More »

The Conflict of Fener and Moscow Patriarchs about Church of Ukraine

Significant developments happened in the Orthodox world in the last autumn of last year. Arif Asalioglu POLITURCO Metropolitan Epifaniy, the Archbishop of the Independent Church of Ukraine established in Kiev, and his accompanying committee arrived in Istanbul in order to receive the “Tomos”, which recognizes the independence of the Church, from the Fener Greek Patriarch Bartholomeos. Ceremonies, which were also attended by the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, were held for the occasion. And in those ceremonies, Ukraine officially obtained an ... Read More »

Tajikistan: Activist Forcibly Returned from Russia

Faces Torture, Politically Motivated Prosecution (New York) – Tajik and Russian officials arbitrarily detained and forcibly returned to Tajikistan a peaceful opposition activist while he was visiting Moscow, the Association of Central Asian Migrants, Association for… HRW The activist, Sharofiddin Gadoev, is being held in Tajikistan. The government has issued a series of choreographed videos and photographs designed to show that he “voluntarily” returned. Russian and Tajik officials beat him in Moscow and on the flight to Tajikistan. Gadoev should be released and allowed ... Read More »

No-deal Brexit throws up really big calls on jobs, the rural economy and peace

Cliff Taylor: Government would need to embark on a major programme of assistance for the companies affected The Irish Times The Omnibus Bill on Brexit, published yesterday, is an important piece of work to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. But the big decisions lie elsewhere. How do we support the sectors worst hit? And what about the Border? There is an almost irresistible temptation among the political classes to reassure us that everything is ready, and it will all be alright ... Read More »

Bashir declares year-long state of emergency across Sudan

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir declared a nationwide state of emergency on Friday and dissolved the government, in an effort to quell weeks of demonstrations that have rocked his iron-fisted rule of three decades. Khartoum – AFP Hurriyet “I announce imposing a state of emergency across the country for one year,” Bashir said in a televised address to the nation from the presidential palace in Khartoum. “I announce dissolving the government at the federal level and at the provincial levels,” he added. Deadly protests ... Read More »