Leadership

Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen says Trump knew it was wrong to make hush-money payments during campaign

Donald Trump directed Michael Cohen to arrange hush-money payments with two women because then-candidate Trump “was very concerned about how this would affect the election” if… By George Stephanopoulos, Eric Avram, Eliana Larramendia James Hill abc NEWS Cohen’s comments are his first since being sentenced earlier this week to three years in federal prison for financial crimes, lying to Congress and two campaign finance violations in connection with the… “I knew what I was doing was wrong,” Cohen told ABC ... Read More »

In the words of Taffan Ako: “I believe you have to be in the system in order to change the system”

By UN Women – A refugee from Iraqi Kurdistan, Taffan Ako fled to Sweden in 1997 with her family. Women You Should Know Today she is the Coordinator of One Young World Ambassadors for Scandinavia and Eastern Europe and founder of EmpowHERment, an organization that assists women and young girls who have been former ISIS sex slaves or victims of human trafficking. Her foundation finances integration projects for children and women in Europe and in Iraqi Kurdistan. Ako was one of ... Read More »

Democracy has no clothes

Experiments with citizens’ juries point to a better way of making decisions. Patrick Chalmers Politico TOULOUSE, France — In the Danish fable “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” it was a little boy who pointed out what no adult dared expose: The king was naked; his court, a cast of pompous fools beguiled by tricksters. It’s time to do the same with our own reified system of government — representative democracy and its so-called free and fair elections. Shocking? Of course it ... Read More »

European Parliament raises concerns about EU funds in Czech Republic

Prime Minister Babiš’ business interests have come under significant scrutiny. Lili Bayer Politico The European Parliament Thursday adopted a resolution raising concerns about conflict of interest and the use of EU money in the Czech Republic. The Parliament “regrets that for a long time the Commission remained passive, despite there having been strong indications since 2014 that Mr [Andrej] Babiš had a conflict of interest in his role as Minister of Finance and later as Prime Minister,” the MEPs wrote ... Read More »

Theresa May wins confidence vote

British prime minister gets backing from Conservative MPs to stay as party leader. By CHARLIE COOPER AND ANNABELLE DICKSON Politico LONDON — U.K Prime Minister Theresa May won a vote of confidence Wednesday, defeating an attempt by some of her party to oust her and install a new leader to take control of Brexit. Her victory comes as short-term relief for May but marks a crisis delayed, not averted, at a critical time in negotiations with the European Union. The prime minister won ... Read More »

Four journalists, one newspaper: Time Magazine’s Person of the Year recognises the global assault on journalism

Time Magazine has just announced its “Person of the Year” for 2018, and for once, it isn’t one person. This time it is four people and a newspaper. Prof. Peter Greste The C0nversation Collectively calling them “The Guardians”, Time has awarded the accolade to the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Filipino journalist Maria Ressa who edits the Rappler news website, two… Time’s Person of the Year cover is reserved for those who the magazine judges have had “the greatest impact ... Read More »

If May loses, Brexit could be delayed or even abandoned

Analysis: It seems if May wins tonight’s vote by any margin, she will stay put Theresa May’s defiant statement outside 10 Downing Street, promising to fight “with everything I’ve got” to keep her job, set out the case she will make to Conservative MPs ahead of tonight’s confidence vote. Denis Staunton The Irish Times A leadership election now would mean that her successor would not be in place until at least the middle of January, too late to renegotiate the Brexitdeal ... Read More »

Theresa May faces leadership challenge as Brexit deal anger boils over

London: British Prime Minister Theresa May faces a challenge to her leadership as anger surrounding her handling of Brexit boils over among her party colleagues. Nick Miller The Sydney Morning Herald But May, in a defiant speech on the steps of Number 10, said the challenge risked delaying or even stopping Brexit and warned a Conservative party leadership change would “put our country’s future at risk”. On Wednesday morning, London time, it was revealed that enough Conservative MPs had sent ... Read More »

Marise Payne urged to ‘step up’ at Aung San Suu Kyi meeting in Myanmar

Amnesty International Australia has called on Australia’s foreign affairs minister to act on the Rohingya crisis, as she visits Myanmar this week. Nick baker SBS As Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne begins her two-day visit to Myanmar, Amnesty International Australia has urged her to “step up and show leadership” at a meeting with controversial leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Ms Payne is in the Southeast Asian nation on Wednesday and Thursday and will meet with senior government ministers, including ... Read More »

Theresa May calls off MPs’ vote on her Brexit deal

Prime Minister Theresa May has called off Tuesday’s crucial vote on her Brexit deal so she can go back to Brussels and ask for changes to it. BBC As it stands the deal “would be rejected by a significant margin” if MPs voted on it, she admitted. But she said she was confident of getting “reassurances” from the EU on the Northern Ireland border plan. But European Council President Donald Tusk said the remaining 27 EU countries would not “renegotiate” ... Read More »

Brexit: UK can unilaterally revoke article 50, says ECJ

Britain can stop Brexit process without approval of member states, court of justice says Soverin Carrell The Guardian The UK can unilaterally stop the Brexit process, the European court of justice has said in a ruling that will boost demands for a second EU referendum. The court concluded that any EU member state can revoke an article 50 process without needing approval from every other member state, but only before its withdrawal comes into force. “The United Kingdom is free to revoke ... Read More »

Group led by Thomas Piketty presents plan for ‘a fairer Europe’

Manifesto by progressive Europeans calls for €800bn of levies to tackle inequality, disillusionment, climate change and migration. Jennifer Rankin The Guardian A group of progressive Europeans led by the economist and author Thomas Piketty has drawn up a bold new blueprint for a fairer Europe to address the division, disenchantment, inequality and rightwing populism sweeping the continent. The plan, crafted by more than 50 economists, historians and former politicians from half a dozen countries, includes huge levies on multinationals, millionaires and carbon ... Read More »

Adapt or become obsolete, lead candidate Timmermans tells European Socialists

Dutchman becomes center-left nominee for Commission presidency. By MAÏA DE LA BAUME Politico LISBON — European Socialists will need to adapt if they don’t want to “become obsolete,” European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans told a party congress in Lisbon on… Timmermans’ nomination as the European Socialists’ Spitzenkandidat was a formality after fellow Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič, the only other contender, pulled out of the race last… The nomination makes the Dutch former foreign minister the Socialists’ official candidate to be the… Adapt or ... Read More »

Voters are crying out for better government but have mixed views on how to achieve it

Support for democracy and trust in politicians is falling. We hear a lot about evidence-based policy as a way to stem this decline, but less about how that evidence should be generated. Authors: The Conversation One idea that may generate the type of evidence that will help make more informed decisions appears, paradoxically, fairly unpopular with the punters. Perhaps the problem is that not enough has been done to explain to the public what this idea – carefully testing new ... Read More »

PM escapes threat to his control of Parliament as Labor backs down on encryption

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has survived a dire threat to his control of Parliament from a determined attempt to change asylum seeker policy, sparking a blame game that forced Labor to back down on… David Crowe The Age Mr Morrison blocked attempts to amend migration laws to transfer more asylum seekers from Manus Island and Nauru to Australia, but was forced to delay a major policy on energy in order to avoid a… The ruthless tactics deepened hostilities between the ... Read More »

Australians’ trust in politicians and democracy hits an all-time low: new research

Over the past four years, we have conducted a range of attitudinal surveys with the Social Research Institute at Ipsos on the relationship between trust in the political system and attitudes towards democracy in… Authors: The Conversation Our latest research, conducted in July 2018 (prior to the Liberal Party’s leadership spill), includes a quantitative survey of a representative sample of 20 focus groups and 1,021 Australians from a wide range of… We understood political trust in this survey as “keeping ... Read More »