Politics

US threatens to veto UN resolution on rape as weapon of war, officials say

Exclusive: US warns it will reject measure over language on sexual health in latest example of hardline abortion stance Julian Borger The Guardian The US is threatening to veto a United Nations resolution on combatting the use of rape as a weapon of war because of its language on reproductive and sexual health, according to a senior UN official and European diplomats. The German mission hopes the resolution will be adopted at a special UN security council session on Tuesday on sexual ... Read More »

Ethnic media are essential for new migrants and should be better funded

The fact that the community ethnic and multicultural broadcasting sector didn’t receive additional funding in the latest budget reflects a misunderstanding of the important role of ethnic media in Australian society. John Budarick The Conversation Ethnic print and broadcasting have a long history in Australia, dating back to at least 1848 with the publication of Die Deutsche Post. Early foreign language broadcasting featured on commercial radio in the 1930s, and throughout the middle of the 20th century. This was before ... Read More »

Sri Lanka’s Easter Bombings: Peaceful Coexistence Under Attack

The lethal Easter bombings in Sri Lanka have stunned a country still recovering from decades of internal war. Alan Keenan ICG Political and religious leaders alike should reject the rhetoric of collective blame and reaffirm the island’s strained but living tradition of intercommunal amity. Sri Lankans from all ethnic and religious groups – Sinhalese and Tamil, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian and Hindu – lived through terrible violence during the decades of war and terrorism that ended ten years ago. Still, no ... Read More »

The government and tech companies can’t prevent ‘fake news’ during the election – only the public can

We’re only days into the federal election campaign and already the first instances of “fake news” have surfaced online. Michael Jensen The Conversation Over the weekend, Labor demanded that Facebook remove posts it says are “fake news” about the party’s plans to introduce a “death tax” on inheritances. Labor also called on the Coalition to publicly disavow the misinformation campaign. An inauthentic tweet purportedly sent from the account of Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Sally McManus also made the ... Read More »

Mike Gravel: The Cambodia Genocide is Part of Henry Kissinger’s Legacy

Forty-four years ago last week, Cambodia was taken over by the Khmer Rouge. From 1975 to 1979, in what is referred to as the Cambodian Genocide, a quarter of the country’s entire population was wiped out. Mike Gravel Florida Daily There is some debate over the exact number: 1.6 million dead? 2.5 million? In the 2000s, Cambodia held a national tribunal. Two prominent party members were convicted for crimes against humanity. But someone else should have been tried, too. And ... Read More »

‘A beacon of tolerance, love and peace’: Jacinda Ardern mural to be painted on Brunswick silos

A silo in Brunswick will feature a large mural of New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern hugging a woman in the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings. Tom Cowie The Age More than $11,000 was crowdfunded in just over a day for a street artist to paint the Tinning Street silos with a photo of the leader wearing a hijab and the Arabic word for peace written underneath. The mural was orchestrated by the architecture firm behind the sustainable Nightingale ... Read More »

US to end Iran oil waivers to 8 countries, including Turkey

The United States announced on April 22 it will no longer grant sanctions exemptions to eight countries, including Turkey. Washington Hurriyet The White House said that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates- close U.S. allies that back President Donald Trump‘s hawkish stance against regional rival Iran– would work to make up the difference in oil to ensure that global markets are not rocked. “This decision is intended to bring Iran‘s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue,” ... Read More »

EU’s two-faced ‘values’

Does it really make sense to talk about ‘European values’? Proponents of the European project like to talk about a core set of “European values” for which it stands. Hans Kundnani Politico At a time when the European Union is threatened from within and without, the idea is particularly tempting. It lifts the EU from an entity that simply pursues its own interests — like any other state or group of states — and makes it a “normative power” that can ... Read More »

Michael Nelson Jagamara’s huge mosaic Possum and Wallaby Dreaming at Parliament House was hard to photograph

Photographing a 14-square-metre artwork would be difficult at the best of times. Ron Cerabona The Canberra Times When that work is a mosaic on the forecourt of Parliament House, a busy thoroughfare with a huge building and a lake close by, and placing heavy equipment on the artwork is impossible, it’s even harder. But David Hempenstall was up to the task. The senior photographer in the Department of Parliamentary Services is about halfway through digitising the nearly 7000 artworks in ... Read More »

Greece to ask Germany for billions in war reparations

MPs vote to put pressure on Berlin as European parliamentary elections loom Helena Smith The Guardian Greece is poised to send Germany a formal diplomatic note detailing its demand for billions of euros in wartime reparations after MPs voted overwhelmingly for the emotive issue to be raised officially. In a move bound to stir sentiment ahead of crucial European parliament elections, Athens vowed to pile pressure on Berlin, taking legal and diplomatic steps that will throw the spotlight on crimes committed during ... Read More »

Turkey, India And Israel: The Changing Faces Of Populism

Political Scientist Soner Cagaptay once dubbed Recep Tayyip Erdogan the “inventor of 21st-century populism.” Ayaz Ali Worldcrunch There may be some truth to that, especially given the way the Turkish president’s style of leadership has quickly spread in recent years. But as we progress further into the millennium, it’s also clear that populism has evolved. Those with a claim to redefining the populist formula include U.S. President Donald Trump, Viktor Orban in Hungary, Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel, and India’s Narendra ... Read More »

Jordan’s Security is at the Mercy of Foreign Powers

How the Trump administration chooses to roll out its peace plan, and whether Netanyahu decides to start annexing parts of the West Bank, could have major repercussions for Jordan. Seth J. Frantzman The National Interest Jordan’s King Abdullah II travelled to Assisi in Italy to receive a reward for his efforts to advance peace on March 29. He said that it was essential the international community understand the importance Jordan puts on being the custodian of Jerusalem’s Islamic and Christian ... Read More »

How much of Europe does China own?

The European Union has introduced a new mechanism for screening foreign investment. It’s widely believed to have been prompted by concerns over China’s economic ambitions in Europe. By Reality Check team BBC News It will allow the European Commission – the EU’s executive arm -… In March, the European Commission called China a “systemic rival” and a “strategic competitor”. The Chinese Ambassador to the EU urged the bloc to remain “open and welcome” to Chinese investment, and not to “discriminate”. ... Read More »

Our leaders are ignoring global warming to the point of criminal negligence. It’s unforgivable

Humanity survived the cold war because no one pushed the button. On climate change, the button has been pushed again and again Tim Winton The Guardian I’ve been asking myself a question – and even posing it makes me queasy. Is it too late – are we beyond saving? As a culture and a polity, when it comes to climate change, have we arrived at a point where we are now expected – even trained – to abandon hope and ... Read More »

Hard Truths in Syria

America Can’t Do More With Less, and It Shouldn’t Try Over the last four years, I helped lead the global response to the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS)—an effort that succeeded in destroying an ISIS “caliphate” in the heart of the Middle East that had served as a… Brett McGurk Foreign Affairs Working as a special envoy for U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, I helped establish a coalition that was the largest of its kind in history: ... Read More »

Peace hopes suffer setback as Taliban-Afghan talks derailed

Hopes for a breakthrough in a push to end Afghanistan’s grueling conflict suffered a major setback on April 19 after a key summit between the Taliban and Afghan officials was indefinitely postponed. Doha Hurriyet The so-called intra-Afghan dialogue, due to take place in Doha this weekend, fell apart at the last minute in a row over the large number of delegates Kabul wanted to send. The collapse comes at a critical time and amid continued bloodshed. The Taliban now control or influence about half of Afghanistan ... Read More »