Politics

Frydenberg rejects foreign bid for ‘critical’ pipeline network

The Morrison government risks another feud with China over foreign investment after rejecting a $13 billion bid for Australia’s dominant gas pipeline network ahead of a crucial meeting in Beijing that… David Crowe & Cole Latimer, with Kylar Loussikian The Sydney Morning Herald The decision halts a divisive plan from Hong Kong company CK Group to buy APA Group and its massive energy network, giving the overseas bidder two weeks to appeal the ruling amid warnings of… Treasurer Josh Frydenberg issued ... Read More »

Macron wants ‘Euro army’ to combat China, Russia and US

Paris: Emmanuel Macron, the French president, has called for a “real European army” to defend the continent against Russia, China and even the US. Henry Samuel The Age Telegraph, UK Mr Macron, who has pushed for a joint EU military force since his election last year, issued the call in northern France in the run-up to the centenary of the end of the First World War. “We will not protect the Europeans unless we decide to have a true European army,” ... Read More »

Scotland’s plot to REVERSE Brexit heard in top European court

A LEGAL case to reverse Brexit has made its way to the European Union’s top court. Laura Mowat Express The European Court of Justice (ECJ) will decide whether the UK can withdraw its decision to leave the EU without needing approval from Brussels. Two Scottish MEPs and two MSPs argue the UK should try to establish a legal right to stop Brexit regardless of whether the rest of the EU members agree. A Scottish court raised the case by asking ... Read More »

Macron criticizes ‘ultra-liberal’ Europe

French president points the finger at all those who have resisted his plans. By ZACHARY YOUNG AND NICHOLAS VINOCUR Politico PARIS — Emmanuel Macron is gearing up to win back his popularity and influence in the European Union — by railing against “ultra-liberals” who he says have failed the bloc’s working people. In his first appearance on a radio talk show since he was sworn in, the increasingly unpopular French president came out swinging against an EU he is better known for defending against ... Read More »

Australia calls on China to end its ‘alarming’ mass detention of Muslims

The Australian government has expressed “alarm” at China’s crackdown against Muslim minorities and called for an end to the detention of up to 1 million people in indoctrination… Fergus Hunter WAtoday, with Reuters In the strongest Australian intervention yet on the Chinese government campaign, officials delivered a statement at the United Nations highlighting reports that minority groups and… “Australia shares the UN [Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’s] alarm at numerous reports of detention of large numbers of ethnic Uighurs ... Read More »

The United Arab Emirates in the Horn of Africa

The UAE, together with its ally Saudi Arabia, played a highly visible role in helping make peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia. ICG As its footprint across the Horn of Africa grows, the UAE should avoid having intra-Gulf competition colour its engagement. What’s new?  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been expanding its role in the Horn of Africa. Along with other Gulf powers, it is broadening its ties to the region. Strategic rivalries, including those within the Gulf Cooperation Council ... Read More »

Khashoggi murder: how states are increasingly repressing dissidents beyond their borders

Authoritarian states have long tried to suppress dissidents who oppose the regime But in the age of globalisation, they are increasingly able to mobilise beyond their territorial borders and target political opponents overseas. Aurhors: The Conversation The brutal murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a former Saudi regime insider who became a critic in self exile of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is an extreme example of this new reality. Although the precise details of Khashoggi’s murder have yet to be proved, his grim fate – he ... Read More »

China Poses the Biggest Threat to the U.S. Elections

What the Chinese are doing is much more sophisticated than what the United States saw in 2016 from the Russians. Tyler Grant The National Interest Did you think the trade war was bad for U.S.-China relations? Well recently, President Donald Trump upped the stakes and further escalated tensions by accusing the Chinese of interfering in the U.S. elections. To back up his claims, the president pointed to a four-page advertorial the state-controlled China Daily took out in the Des Moines Register , which criticized Trump’s handling of the ... Read More »

Why a sack full of Russian cash won’t change UK Brexit debate

Leave voters have proved highly resistant to a change of heart on Brexit. James Randerson Politico CCTV footage emerges of Vladimir Putin entering the offices of unofficial Brexit campaign Leave.EU weeks before the 2016 referendum and handing over a sack of cash to figurehead Nigel Farage and main funder Arron Banks. Voters erupt in shock that they were duped and express indignation that a referendum on the most important British political decision in a generation was bought by a foreign ... Read More »

Diplomatic thaw shows Beijing eager for friends, experts say

Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne’s crucial visit to Beijing this week shows the Chinese government is eager to get its relationship with Australia back on a friendly footing after a year of diplomatic frostiness, China experts… David Wroe The Age Senator Payne’s planned visit – the first by an Australian foreign minister since Julie Bishop in 2016 – comes as the Trump administration cranks up pressure on Beijing over issues such as… Richard McGregor, a China expert at the Lowy ... Read More »

Iranian hardliners dig in as US sanctions snap back

Rouhani’s government is working to salvage the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, but Iranian hardliners are digging in for resistance By ALISON TAHMIZIAN MEUSE Asia Times Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed on Monday to defy United States sanctions on the country’s petroleum sector, even as the conservative Guardian Council went further – rejecting a bill meant to relieve US pressure. Rouhani said Iran would “proudly bypass” the US sanctions in a televised speech on state TV as the 180-day deadline passed. Brigadier ... Read More »

Foreign nationals to be allowed to join armed forces without having lived in UK amid recruitment crisis

Ministry of Defence scraps residency requirements in bid to tackle shortfall Peter Stubley Independent Commonwealth citizens who do not live in the UK will be allowed to join the British armed forces in greater numbers as part of a bid to tackle a growing recruitment crisis. The Ministry of Defence has revised residence requirements in the hope of attracting an extra 1,350 personnel a year to the army, navy and air force. At least 8,200 are needed to fill the biggest shortfall in the full time military in ... Read More »

‘May will have FIGHT on her hands!’ Fishing campaigner warns against Brexit backtracking

A BREXIT campaigner has warned that any extensions to the two year transition period will be met with fury among fishing communities. Freddie Jordan Express June Mummery, vice chairman of Lowestoft Fish Market Alliance (LFMA), told a BBC spokesperson: “We’ve had the Fisheries Bill, which is looking good. “But I just hope that it is the truth. “I hope we’re not going to get any of this backtracking again. That’s what worries me with my Prime Minister. BBC correspondent Andrew ... Read More »

Uncertainties Deepen in Cameroon after Divisive Election

Cameroon went to the polls on 7 October amid several crises, notably the conflict between the government and Anglophone separatists. ICG Crisis Group’s expert Hans De Marie Heungoup, in Cameroon during the vote, says it has compounded the country’s problems but also offered reason for hope. On 22 October Cameroonian authorities declared incumbent Paul Biya winner of the presidential election with a score of 71 per cent. What happened? The presidential election was held amid the worst insecurity since 1992. ... Read More »

Alexander Stubb’s campaign in vain

Former Finnish prime minister warns of digital upheaval in bid to be conservatives’ Spitzenkandidat. By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN Politico LISBON — It was more TED talk than campaign stump speech. In a Lisbon hotel ballroom, Alexander Stubb was making his pitch to be the European People’s Party nominee for European Commission president, telling young conservatives about the risks and possibilities of the… To the EU’s usual worries about populism and Brexit, Stubb added digital dictatorships, DNA manipulation and a… Alexander Stubb’s… Read More »

‘Perth, we’re in trouble’: Scaffidi’s tweet and the standard we walk past

If the standard you walk past is the standard you accept, might I respectfully suggest Lisa Scaffidi raises her standards? Kate Hedley WAtoday On Sunday, the City of Perth’s suspended Lord Mayor tweeted two photos. Shown in the images were two men, at two different inner city locations. They were both asleep with their meagre possessions nearby. One had a couple of small suitcases with him, the other had not much more than a yoga mat and a dirty old pillow. ... Read More »