Politics

Protest is a school for democracy

Children are citizens, not mere citizens-to-be. They have political views that deserve an audience. Kei Nishiyama Brisbane Times “What we want is more learning in schools and less activism in schools,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Parliament last week. His pronouncement was a reaction to a school students’ strike against government inaction on climate change all over the country. The young protestors had said: “We are school kids temporarily sacrificing our education in order to save our futures from dangerous ... Read More »

Medical evacuations are essential to maintain basic human decency

Some lessons are learned too late. For refugee Hamid Khazaei, who died of sepsis contracted on Manus Island, belated reforms can no longer help. Catherine Stubberfield The Sydney Morning Herald Reflecting on his death, the Queensland State Coroner earlier this year could not have been clearer in his findings. That bureaucrats and politicians should never be allowed to override a clinical decision made by a medical doctor. That Australia retains responsibility for those it has relocated under so-called “offshore processing” ... Read More »

Behind closed doors, Labour inches closer to a second referendum

In a Commons tearoom, the shadow cabinet made a decisive move towards shifting its strategy on Brexit Toby Helm The Guardian Last Wednesday at 2.30pm Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet gathered as usual in the Norman Shaw North wing of the House of Commons for their weekly meeting. Tea and plain biscuits were served – and the mood was serious to the point of being almost sombre. Particularly so, initially, because discussion focused on a disturbing report on poverty in the UK ... Read More »

Doing the Doughnut at the G20?

This weekend the G20 are meeting in Argentina, with the aim (they say) of ‘building consensus for fair and sustainable development’. Kate Raworth Since they collectively generate 85% of global GDP, whether they do or don’t transform their economies will profoundly affect us all. So how close to the Doughnut’s safe and just space are the G20? Here’s one way of assessing it, using the pioneering national doughnut analysis by Dan O’Neill, Andrew Fanning, Julia Steinberger and Will Lamb at the ... Read More »

The Pentagon Doesn’t Know Where Its Money Goes

The military finally submits to an audit, and the results are poor. The Editorial Board The New York Times After decades of ducking the legal requirement that it undergo a thorough financial audit, the Pentagon finally opened up its books to 1,200 outside accountants and analysts. The report was recentlycompleted, and here’s the good news: The Army Corps of Engineers (most of it, anyway) and the Military Retirement Fund passed the audit. The bad news: The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines and most other ... Read More »

‘Escalation’: Trump’s meeting with Xi likely to make trade war much worse, says Goldman Sachs

President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina this weekend, in what is among the most widely watched bilateral meetings of 2018. Will Martin Brisbane Times There have been tentative signs that a deal may be struck, but according to analysts at Goldman Sachs, the most likely outcome of the meeting is that the trade war actually escalates. “We currently see ‘escalation’ as the most likely ... Read More »

Under far-right pressure, Europe retreats from UN migration pact

Populists seize chance to put favorite issue on agenda ahead of EU vote, causing ructions among governments. Eline Schaart Politico A previously obscure 34-page, jargon-filled document is causing political convulsions across Europe — even though it’s not even legally binding.   Italy this week became the latest in a string of European countries to say it would not sign the U.N.’s Global Compact on Migration at a ceremony in Marrakech in just under two weeks. From the Netherlands through Belgium and Germany ... Read More »

Chinese government orders fishing boats to behave during G-20 summit

Beijing has issued a notice to Chinese fishing boats operating overseas, warning them to avoid illegal activities during the G-20 summit in Argentina this weekend. Nyshka Chandran CNBC Asia-Pacific The country’s Agricultural Ministry released a statement this week asking Chinese offshore fishing enterprises to stay at least three nautical miles away from other countries’ marine exclusive economic zones. This distance will ensure that violations such as cross-border fishing don’t occur, it… These measures are designed to protect China’s image as ... Read More »

Six Steps to Make the Most of the U.S. Senate’s Yemen Vote

By an unexpectedly large margin, the U.S. Senate voted on 29 November to move ahead with a bill to end U.S. involvement in the Yemen war. ICG Crisis Group calls on the key actors to seize this opportunity to suspend the fighting and… The U.S. Congress is notoriously reluctant to take tough decisions on matters of war and peace, which makes the Senate’s 29 November vote on the conflict in Yemen all the more remarkable. The Senate voted by a ... Read More »

Prominent Chinese photographer taken by police in Uighur region: wife

Beijing: Lu Guang’s photos exposed the everyday realities of people on the margins of Chinese society: coal miners, drug addicts, HIV patients. WAtoday AP Now, the award-winning photographer is at the centre of his own stark story. He was taken away by state security agents three weeks ago for unknown reasons, Lu’s wife, Xu Xiaoli, told The Associated Press. Xu said Lu was traveling in Xinjiang on November 3 when she lost contact with him. He had connected with photographers in ... Read More »

Mexico’s New President Squares Up to High Hopes for Peace

On 1 December, Andrés Manuel López Obrador will assume Mexico’s presidency. He won pledging to end a drug war that has killed tens of thousands. Falko Ernst ICG But, as Crisis Group’s Mexico Senior Analyst Falko Ernst argues, he faces formidable challenges that will make it hard for him to uphold his promises. What are the main challenges facing López Obrador? Andrés Manuel López Obrador inherits several deepening crises. The first is crime: at least 200,000 people have been killed ... Read More »

Ukraine urges Nato to deploy ships amid standoff with Russia off Crimea coast

‘Put Putin in his place,’ Kiev diplomat tells Germany Tom Embury-Dennis Independent Ukraine’s president has urged Nato to deploy naval ships to the Sea of Azov amid a stand-off with Russia. “We hope that states within Nato are now ready to relocate naval ships to the Sea of Azov in order to assist Ukraine and provide security,” Petro Poroshenko said in an interview with German newspaper Bild. Mr Poroshenko’s request comes after the Russian coastguard on Sunday fired on and seized three Ukrainian vessels trying to pass through the Kerch Strait, which separates Russia’s mainland and ... Read More »

Crimea Annexation 2.0

Similar to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, Western powers have been confined to watching events from the sidelines without finding an effective response—so far. Gwendolyn Sasse Carnegie Europe The events in and around the Kerch Strait over the last five days are a stark reminder of two things: the central role of Ukraine in the relations between Russia and the West, and the misleading notion of a… It has become apparent how quickly a new cycle of confrontation and ... Read More »

As Italy’s first black minister, I suffered vile racist abuse. But this poison damages us all

Respect for human rights is at the heart of the EU’s ethos. Together, we need to fight all forms of discrimination Cécile Kyenge The Guardian Racial discrimination is now “commonplace” across 12 European countries, and one in three people of African descent has experienced harassment in the past five years, a report this weekfound. This doesn’t surprise me. Since my election to the Italian Chamber of Deputies in 2013, I have constantly faced racist abuse. When I became Italy’s minister for ... Read More »

Yes, Prime Minister, I’m striking from school: consider it a climate lesson

I am Veronica, 15 years old, from Scott Morrison’s electorate. Despite our Prime Minister’s calls for students not to strike from school on Friday, we’re choosing to no longer be powerless. Veronica Hester * The Age We will be striking with thousands of other students, to show we will not stand for our government’s inaction on climate change. Mr Morrison has condemned the strike, saying he does not support our schools being turned into parliaments. “More learning and less activism,” ... Read More »

Goodbye Grotius, Hello Putin

Russia’s provocations in the Kerch Strait aren’t just a challenge to Ukraine. Like Beijing in the South China Sea, Moscow is seeking to undermine international maritime law. James R. Holmes FP Sunday’s encounter between Russian and Ukrainian vessels in the Kerch Strait, the entryway to the Sea of Azov east of the Crimean peninsula, revived an age-old question in international politics: Can a coastal nation own the sea? International law says no; authoritarian states such as China and Russia say ... Read More »