Politics

‘Tip of the iceberg’: Video shows Rabbi abused in anti-Semitic road rage incident

The Anti-Defamation Commission chairman has called on state and federal governments to make countering anti-Semitism a priority after video surfaced of a Rabbi being abused in Melbourne. Maani Truu SBS The leader of a Jewish community group has said the recent road rage abuse of a Rabbi in Melbourne is just the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to anti-Semitism in Australia and suggested that governments establish a… “It may be an uncomfortable truth for some, but anti-Semitism is ... Read More »

Turkey’s Sweeping “Educational” Penetration into the Balkans

As part of its expansionist neo-Ottoman agenda, the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been building mosques and setting up Islamic educational institutions around the world. Uzay Bulut Gatestone Institute The mosque that Ankara is currently constructing in Tirana, Albania, will reportedly be the largest of the dozens of its mosques in the Balkans. Through the Maarif Foundation — established in 2016 by means of a law enacted by the Turkish parliament, which gave it the authority to ... Read More »

The un-diplomat

As US ambassador to Germany, Ric Grenell hasn’t won many hearts and minds. But he has gotten results. By MATTHEW KARNITSCHNIG Politico BERLIN — Richard Grenell arrived in the German capital as Donald Trump’s ambassador last year with a reputation as a diplomatic bad boy. A Fox News commentator and former aide to John Bolton —  the outspoken head of the National Security Council — Grenell was known as a man who didn’t let diplomatic decorum stand in the way ... Read More »

China calls for harmony as it welcomes Qatar emir amid Gulf dispute

Chinese President Xi Jinping called for a return to “unity and harmony” on Jan. 31 as he welcomed gas-rich Qatar‘s emir to Beijing, amid a festering dispute that has seen some Arab states lead by Saudi Arabia severing… BEIJING – Reuters Hurriyet Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic, trade and transport ties with Qatar in June 2017. They accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism and cultivating ties with Saudi Arabia’s regional foe, Iran. Qatar, which denies the charge, says the boycott seeks to curtail its ... Read More »

Hakeem Al-Araibi’s case is a test of world soccer’s human rights credentials. Here’s why

Hakeem Al-Araibi is a refugee from Bahrain who plays semi-professional soccer in Melbourne for Pascoe Vale. Sarah Joseph The Conversation He is a former member of the Bahraini national football team. He is currently detained in Thailand, the subject of an extradition request by Bahrain. His extradition to that country would breach his human rights against refoulement (the forcible return of refugees) and torture. Al-Araibi’s case has become a crucial test of world football’s commitment to human rights. Is this ... Read More »

MPs have united around a fantasy Brexit plan in yet another act of national hubris

After months of disagreement and a historic defeat in parliament, MPs have finally given Theresa May a lifeline in what is being hailed as a “mandate” to go back to Europe and renegotiate the… Chris Stafford The Conversation Even the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has agreed to enter talks with the prime minister to set out his party’s position. He has previously been hesitant to do so and, it should be noted, was initially ignored by Number 10. However, while ... Read More »

Europe’s refugee crisis explains why border walls don’t stop migration

President Trump has long called migration a security crisis, but in recent weeks he has also referred to the situation along the southern border as a humanitarian crisis. Eleanor Paynter The Conversation As he ended the government shutdown in a televised speech on Jan. 25, Trump reiterated his claim that a border wall between the United States and Mexico would save the lives of Central American migrants, many of whom are women and children. “Walls work,” he said. “They save ... Read More »

Iranian parallels hanging over US-North Korea negotiations

With Washington focused on Pyongyang’s nuclear arms while overlooking missiles, it may be setting up a future Iran-style conundrum Stephen Bryen Asia Times In advance of the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, planned for next month, Vice President Mike Pence said the US will not require a complete list of missile sites from North Korea. Instead, the US plans to focus first on nuclear policy. But omitting a discussion on missile sites and missile ... Read More »

Interpreting the U.S. Talks with the Taliban

Talks with the Taliban in the Qatari capital Doha have raised hopes that the U.S. could end its involvement in Afghanistan’s war. ICG Our Asia Program Director Laurel Miller and Afghanistan analysts Borhan Osman and Graeme Smith break down what was achieved and what remains unresolved. How significant were the U.S.-Taliban talks? Last week’s six-day talks between the U.S. and Taliban were the clearest sign yet that the U.S. is intent on withdrawing its forces from Afghanistan, and that the ... Read More »

Not another online petition! But here’s why you should think before deleting it

Online petitions are often seen as a form of “slacktivism” – small acts that don’t require much commitment and are more about helping us feel good than effective activism. Sky Croeser The Conversation But the impacts of online petitions can stretch beyond immediate results. Whether they work to create legislative change, or just raise awareness of an issue, there’s some merit to signing them. Even if nothing happens immediately, petitions are one of many ways we can help build long-term ... Read More »

Sweden Officially Backs a CryptoCurrency and Establishes it as their Official Coin

It’s finally happened. A major worldwide government has just bestowed a huge vote of confidence and legitimacy onto the world of cryptocurrencies. Sweden, in an unprecedented move, just announced that they are officially adopting a… The Swedish government just informed us that they have chosen a preferred firm for the purchase and marketing of their new coin – Kryptonex Research Group. The sales of Sweden’s coin officially started January 28 of 2019January 18 of 2019 and currently these coins can be bought ... Read More »

Centre-left Italian mayors are refusing to implement a government decree targeting migrants

Around 500 people will be evicted from a large refugee reception centre in Castelnuovo di Porto, a town close to Rome, before the end of January. Authors: The Conversation The move follows the adoption of a new “security decree” in early December 2018 by the Italian parliament, which reduces the rights of migrants and asylum seekers. The decree was spearheaded by Matteo Salvini, the deputy prime minister and leader of the right-wing Northern League, currently governing Italy in coalition with ... Read More »

How to Protect Liberal Democracy

U.S. interests neither totally agree nor totally conflict with those of other states. Paul R. Pillar The National Interest The acquisition of power, through the ballot box, in a democracy by political forces that undermine that very democracy—by surreptitiously channeling the influence of a foreign state or by using authoritarian tactics to retain power—is the stuff of thriller fiction. It is grist for stories like The Manchurian Candidate . In a democracy such as the United States, such scenarios present political quandaries ... Read More »

Germany Considering Israeli Defense System To Protect Tanks From RPGS

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems testing the TROPHY system on Germany’s Leopard 2. Anna Ahronheim JP Israel’s TROPHY active protection systems (APSs) might soon be supplied to Germany for it’s Leopard 2 main battle tank, The Jerusalem Post has learned. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems will be testing the system on the Leopard 2 later this year along with the tank’s manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmenn. According to a report by defense site Defense-Update, the details were disclosed at the International Armored Vehicles (IAV) event which took place ... Read More »

We must not abandon the Kurds

The civilized world owes a debt of gratitude to the Kurdish people in general, and to their stalwart Peshmerga fighters in particular, for their successful efforts to combat ISIS. Neville Teller JPost One major factor behind President Trump’s decision to withdraw US special forces from Syria is the dominant position achieved by Russia, in alliance with Iran, in restoring the fortunes of Syria’s President Bashar Assad. Another seems to have been a telephone discussion with Turkey’s President Erdogan just before ... Read More »

Angola decriminalises homosexuality

Angola’s parliament has also voted to ban discrimination against sexual orientation with offenders facing up to two years in prison. AFP-SBS Angola’s parliament has decriminalised homosexuality, removing a notorious “vices against nature” provision in its penal code and banning discrimination against sexual orientation, in a reform hailed by rights watchdogs. On Wednesday, 155 parliamentarians voted for Angola’s first overhaul of the criminal statute books since independence, while seven abstained and one voted against. “Angola has finally shed the… Angola decriminalises… Read More »