Politics

A Mixed Economic Bag in 2019

Since the global synchronized growth of 2017, economic conditions have been gradually weakening and will produce an across-the-board deceleration in the months ahead. Nouriel Roubini Project Syndicate Beyond that, the prospect for markets and national economies will depend on a broad range of factors, some of which do not bode well. NEW YORK – After the synchronized global economic expansion of 2017 came the asynchronous growth of 2018, when most countries other than the United States started to experience slowdowns. ... Read More »

Mysterious Turkish Firm Helped Maduro Move $900 Million in Gold

Two months after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro visited his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, a mysterious company called Sardes sprang into existence. Bloomberg The firm started business with a bang in January of 2018, when it imported about $41 million worth of gold from Venezuela, the first such transaction between the two countries in records that go back 50 years. The next month its volume more than doubled, with Sardes transporting almost $100 million worth to Turkey. By November, ... Read More »

German CDU chief: Europe must adapt to survive

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer talks to POLITICO about EU’s future, China, Orbán and elections. By FLORIAN EDER, ANDREW GRAY AND STEPHEN BROWN Politico Europe must change to prosper in a “contest of systems” with China and the United States, according to Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the new leader of Germany’s ruling Christian Democrats. In an interview with POLITICO, Kramp-Karrenbauer sketched out a vision that would mean changing EU competition policy to create “European champion” companies, giving greater weight to industrial policy, and striking a balance between French President Emmanuel ... Read More »

End the US Stranglehold on the World Bank

Since the World Bank was created after World War II, its president has always been selected by the United States and backed by European powers, which enjoy a similar monopoly over the directorship of the International Monetary Fund. Jesse Griffiths Project Syndicate But with US President Donald Trump having nominated an unsuitable candidate, that may be about to change. ONDON – Nominations opened this week for the World Bank presidency, one of the most powerful and important jobs in the ... Read More »

A Sovereign Democracy and a Dud Partner: Explaining the Slide in U.S.-Turkey Relations

What’s wrong with U.S.-Turkey relations? For over a decade, ties between the United States and its NATO ally have been a rollercoaster ride, leading some in the United States to conclude that Turkey has either lost or is losing its value as a strategic partner. Nadir Firat War on the Rocks Observers have offered various explanations for the tensions, including Aykan Erdemir and Merve Tahiroglu in War on the Rocks and Steve Cook, who gave a long list of disheartening reasons… ... Read More »

Canada opens doors to some 750 ex-slaves from Libya

Canada will welcome some 750 ex-slaves from Libya as refugees, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said on Feb. 6. OTTAWA – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The number of migrants traveling through Libya to reach Europe has increased tenfold since the fall of Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, according to the United Nations. And their fate was highlighted – dramatically in 2017 – by multiple shipwrecks in the Mediterranean and the broadcast of a CNN report showing a Libyan slave market. “In 2017, the world was shocked to see ... Read More »

Forget Those F-35s and Nukes: Is Iran’s Military Stronger Than Israel’s?

Israeli media is abuzz over a website that ranks the world’s armies—and placed Iran above Israel. Michael Peck The National Interest Is Iran’s military stronger than Israel’s? Israeli media is abuzz over a website that ranks the world’s armies—and placed Iran above Israel. Iran’s armed forces ranked thirteenth in the world, according to GlobalFirepower.com’s 2018 rankings, which apparently combined various statistics to assemble a composite military power rating (0.3131 for Iran, with 0.00 being a perfect score). Israel ranked sixteenth, ... Read More »

Migrants calling us in distress from the Mediterranean returned to Libya by deadly ‘refoulement’ industry

When they called us from the sea, the 106 precarious travellers referred to their boat as a white balloon. Maurice Stierl The Conversation This balloon, or rubber dinghy, was meant to carry them all the way to safety in Europe. The people on board – many men, about 20 women, and 12 children from central, west and north Africa – had left Khoms in Libya a day earlier, on the evening of January 19. Though they survived the night at ... Read More »

Ignore the Free-Riding International Peanut Gallery

Foreigners nudging America into their wars have brought us only debt and misery. Doug Bandow The American Conservative Control Washington and you control the world. At least, that is what many foreign interests believe. Other countries have long had strong opinions about what America should do internationally, and have sought to see those ideas implemented in D.C. No surprise, then, that what they propose usually benefits them more than Americans. America’s policymakers should ignore this advice, no matter how fervently ... Read More »

Why so many young women don’t call themselves feminist

In recent years, feminist movements have attracted significant attention in Europe and North America. So why do so many young women still say they do not identify with the term? By Dr Christina Scharff, King’s College London BBC Fewer than one in five young women would call themselves a feminist, polling in the UK and US suggests. That might come as a surprise as feminism – the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of equality of the sexes – has been in the ... Read More »

Venezuela crisis explained: a tale of two presidents

Venezuela finds itself with two presidents engaged in a high-stakes game to control the country’s future. Daniel Hellinger The Conversation The country has also had two “national assemblies” and many questions about how the constitution should be applied. So, how did it find itself in this position? President Nicolás Maduro claims to be Venezuela’s constitutional president because he won the presidential election in July 2018. On January 23 2019, Juan Guaidó, one month after becoming president of Venezuela’s National Assembly, ... Read More »

Trump envoy urges Europe to ‘link arms’ against China

But first Brussels must start correcting the ‘enormous’ trade imbalances that have stoked transatlantic tensions, says Gordon Sondland. By HANS VON DER BURCHARD Politico Donald Trump’s man in Brussels has a simple message for Europe: Let’s be friends — and fight China. Describing China’s influence as “malign,” Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, told POLITICO that his country and the EU should overcome their current trade tensions and… “We should … combine our mutual energies — we ... Read More »

The Saudi women activists still being ‘tortured’ months after driving ban ended

In June last year, Saudi Arabia finally gave women the right to drive, but the most well-known figure behind the campaign to end the ban wasn’t there to celebrate. Maani Truu SBS Loujain al-Hathloul’s Twitter has been inactive since 12 March 2018. The Saudi women’s rights activist was once a prolific tweeter with 307,000 followers and is reportedly a friend of the Duchess of Sussex. Her feed is a record of causes she was passionate about, most notably, her efforts ... Read More »

When unaccompanied young asylum seekers turn 18, many face an immigration cliff edge

Every year, 2,000 to 3,000 children arrive in the UK alone, without parents or guardians, to seek asylum. Kelly Devenney The Conversation They are provided with an education, support from social workers and often live with foster families. If they aren’t granted refugee status upon arrival, they’re normally given a temporary period of leave to remain until they are 18. But as many of these children aren’t granted refugee status before they turn 18, they face an immigration cliff edge ... Read More »

Theresa May Is Negotiating Like Yasser Arafat

The late Palestinian leader was legendary for forsaking promising opportunities, caving to extremists, and failing to appreciate the challenges of negotiating against a stronger opponent. Britain’s prime minister has perfected his diplomatic style. Garvan Walshe FP A few weeks after the 2016 Brexit referendum I got chatting with a Palestinian journalist at a wine bar in London. “How did you vote?” I asked, as the conversation turned to the inevitable subject. “Leave,” he said. “Why?” I asked. “Immigration,” he replied. ... Read More »

Australia can’t be allowed to play politics with refugees’ lives any more

There is an urgent medical crisis on Nauru and Manus. It needs an urgent medical solution, not a political one Freya Dinshaw The Guardian I have seen up close how six years of abject hopelessness can viciously conquer a person’s body and mind to the point where they are a shadow of a human being. A man, barely in his 30s, left catatonic, unable to speak, unable to eat, wasting away in a bed. A woman attempting to take her ... Read More »