Politics

Sweden’s solidarity is needed on the UN Security Council

On November 4th Americans will elect a new President. José Ramos-Horta  As for me, from the little country of Timor-Leste I am already invoking God and all Christian Saints and Animist Spirits to deliver to us Hillary Rodham Clinton. Timor-Leste owes much to William Jefferson Clinton, who as President in 1999 played a central role in getting the UN to authorize an international peace force to be deployed to our island, quelling the violence in our countryside and paving the ... Read More »

The Chilling Effect of Fear at America’s Colleges

The coddling of students’ minds has resulted in grave restrictions of free speech on campus—but academic leaders are also to blame. Jonathan R. Cole The Atlantic No great universities exist in the world without a deep institutional commitment to academic freedom, free inquiry, and free expression. For the past 60 years, American research universities have been vigilant against external and internal attempts to limit or… The Chilling Effect… Read More »

Memo to the Coalition: don’t come to an arts policy debate without an arts policy

Cultural policy is an election issue for the first time in 20 years. To understand why, look no further than arts minister Mitch Fifield’s performance at an industry debate.. You have to feel for the arts minister, Mitch Fifield. It’s never easy turning up to a political debate where most of the audience is against you. That’s what Fifield had to endure at Wednesday’s national arts election debate, held at Melbourne’s Wheeler Centre. As they say in show business, it ... Read More »

The case for Hillary Clinton, by a Bernie voter

As a woman, I know that having a female nominee is a really big deal.. When my grandmother was born in Philadelphia in 1920, women couldn’t vote. Her opinion about her country and the people who governed it mattered less — or, frankly, not at all — than the men around her. Even after the ratification of the 19th Amendment on Aug. 20, 1920, my… Source: The case for Hillary Clinton, by a Bernie voter – The Washington Post Read More »

Israel suspends permits after deadly attack

The Israeli military revoked on June 9 permits for 83,000 Palestinians to visit Israel and said it would send hundreds more troops to the occupied West Bank after a Palestinian gun attack that killed four Israelis in Tel Aviv. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the assault by two gunmen on Wednesday in a trendy shopping and dining market near Israel’s Defense Ministry, but Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups were quick to praise it. The assailants came ... Read More »

Erdoğan lifts Turkish MPs’ immunity in bid to kick out pro-Kurdish parties

President signs bill that allows prosecution of lawmakers currently under investigation – most of whom are from pro-Kurdish or opposition parties.. The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has signed a bill lifting lawmakers’ immunity from prosecution – a constitutional change likely to remove a pro-Kurdish opposition party from parliament… Source: Erdoğan lifts Turkish MPs’ immunity in bid to kick out pro-Kurdish parties | World news | The Guardian Read More »

Britain reborn as Greek wild-child?

ATHENS // It is a surreal experience to write about a possible EU Brexit from the country that was the first to raise the spectre of bailing out of the bloc. Greece, was painted as Europe’s wild-child last summer when it went to the polls in a Yes or No referendum on a multibillion-euro bailout and its attached demands from creditors. It was interpreted by many as the country deciding whether or not to stay in the EU. The initial ... Read More »

Rodrigo Duterte ‘legalises’ murder of drug dealers in Philippines

EVEN before Philippines president-elect Rodrigo Duterte told citizens he would give a medal to anyone who shot dead a drug dealer in a national address at the weekend, the bodies were starting to pile up.. But since that speech, at least five people allegedly connected to the drug trade as well as an indeterminate number of low level pushers have been exterminated by street assassins. Unlike the hundreds of petty criminals and drug pushers who have “involuntarily… Source: Rodrigo Duterte ... Read More »

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Beijing’s artificial islands bring South China Sea crisis to the boil

A tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague is ready to give its verdict on a complaint by the Philippines, which has challenged China’s territorial rights in the South China Sea. The verdict is set to address the simmering crisis in the South China Sea which will come to the boil later this month. Assertion China has rightfully asserted that the tribunal cannot adjudicate maritime boundaries; these can only be determined through bilateral negotiations between the parties ... Read More »

Nigeria: The Challenge of Military Reform

Nigeria’s military is in distress. President Muhammadu Buhari’s over-due reforms aren’t yet enough to turn an under-resourced, over-stretched and corrupt army back into a professional force. A complete overhaul is needed, including accountability for human rights abuses, if Nigerians are not to be left at the mercy of Boko Haram and other armed groups… Source: Nigeria: The Challenge of Military Reform – International Crisis Group Read More »

In a Reversal, Germany’s Military Growth Is Met With Western Relief

BERLIN — You know times have changed when the Germans announce they are expanding their army for the first time in 25 years — and no one objects. Back when the Berlin Wall fell, Britain and France in particular feared the re-emergence of a German colossus in Europe. By contrast, Berlin’s pledge last month to add almost 7,000 soldiers to its military by 2023, and an earlier announcement to spend up to 130 billion euros, about $148 billion… Source: In ... Read More »

Cyprus sidelined as Brussels scrambles to save Turkey migrant deal

Push to allow Turkish participation in European agencies worries Nicosia.. The European Commission has put new pressure on Cyprus in a bid to meet Turkish demands for quicker integration into the Brussels lawmaking machine. After convincing Nicosia earlier this year to soften its opposition to Ankara’s EU membership bid in order to secure a deal with Turkey on stemming the flow of refugees into Europe, the Commission is now reviving long-frozen Turkish requests for participation in European rule-making bodies on ... Read More »

Switzerland holds referendum on basic income

Swiss voters have overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to introduce a guaranteed basic income for all. Final results from Sunday’s referendum showed that nearly 77% opposed the plan, with only 23% backing it. The proposal had called for adults to be paid an unconditional monthly income, whether they worked or not. The supporters camp had suggested a monthly income of 2,500 Swiss francs (£1,755; $2,555) for adults and also SFr625 for each child… Source: Switzerland holds referendum on basic income – ... Read More »

Greek Leaks Expose IMF Chief Overruling Pro-Debt Relief IMF Negotiator

Securities lawyer Dimitri Lascaris says recent leaks to the press show that IMF Chief Lagarde forced her negotiator to give up the previously stated position to insist that creditors offer debt relief to Greece.. Recent press reports have revealed that International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde forced her negotiator to renege on an agreement that would have provided debt relief to Greece. Eurozone finance ministers and the IMF appeared to reach a deal last week that would have cleared the ... Read More »

Imagine Europe in chaos, and freedom just an empty slogan

Ten years after the vote, I fear an EU unravelled and nationalistic ghosts ruling its former members.. It’s 2026. Ten years have passed since the British voted to pull out of the European Union. In London, the Ukip prime minister has organised ceremonies to mark the anniversary of the “sovereignty referendum”. What does the world look like? How have Britain and Europe fared?… Source: Imagine Europe in chaos, and freedom just an empty slogan | Natalie Nougayrède | Opinion | The Guardian Read More »

The Left backing Brexit: The European Union won’t bend

The EU is a game set up more for big business than for ordinary people. Many people’s response to seeing massive structural flaws within the European Union is to say “Yes, of course the EU isn’t perfect, but it’s better to stay in and reform it than give up and leave.” This is the Labour party line, which we tend to hear whenever an awkward truth is brought up in a debate: Yes it is awful, but let’s try and ... Read More »