Leadership

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

My Good Friend Roosevelt

Were US-Cuban relations soured for the want of ten dollars? Perhaps better than anyone else, Fidel Castro was keenly aware of the fact that the histories and destinies of Cuba and the United States were profoundly intertwined. Luis Martínez-Fernández History Today A fascinating and virtually unknown document housed in the US National Archives and Records Administration demonstrates that Castro was aware of this from an early age. ‘My good friend Roosvelt’, opens a letter a young Castro sent to President Franklin Delano ... Read More »

Trump Asks for Unity, but Presses Hard Line on Immigration

WASHINGTON — President Trump delivered a message of bipartisan unity on Tuesday night in his first address to Congress in the new era of divided government, but signaled that he will continue to wage war for the… Peter Baker The New York Times In a nationally televised speech that toggled between conciliation and confrontation, Mr. Trump presented himself as a leader who can work across party lines even as he pressed lawmakers to build a… “We must reject the politics ... Read More »

How EU Leaders Can Prevent a No-Deal Brexit

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s strategy of threatening a no-deal Brexit requires a hard deadline that forces her opponents to capitulate. Anatole Kaletsky Project Syndicate Without that, “running down the clock” becomes “kicking the can down the road,” which more accurately reflects May’s paradoxical combination of robotic inflexibility and exasperating indecisiveness. LONDON – Has British Prime Minister Theresa May outmaneuvered all her opponents? By defeating Parliament’s effort to rule out a disorderly “no-deal” rupture between the European Union and its ... Read More »

Europeans fear Trump may threaten not just the transatlantic bond, but the state of their union

BERLIN — As President Trump prepares to deliver his second State of the Union address, the leaders of the United States’ closest allies in Europe are filled with anxiety. Dan Balz and Griff Witte The Washington Post They are unsure of whom to talk to in Washington. They can’t tell whether Trump considers them friends or foes. They dig through his Twitter feed for indications of whether the president intends to wreck the European Union and NATO or merely hobble the ... Read More »

Is authoritarianism bad for the economy? Ask Venezuela – or Hungary or Turkey

Democracy is at risk worldwide. And the economy may be, too. Seventy-one out of the world’s 195 countries saw their democratic institutions erode in recent years, according to the 2018 year-end report by democracy watchdog Freedom House, a phenomenon known as “democratic backsliding.” Authors: The Conversation Signs of backsliding include elected leaders who expand their executive powers while weakening the legislature and judiciary, elections that have become less competitive and shrinking press freedom. When government institutions erode like this, it ... Read More »

McGowan remains tight-lipped about refugee legislation despite removal of children

The government has finalised the removal of the last children from Nauru, as it battles to head off a parliamentary defeat on legislation to facilitate medical transfers from offshore. Michelle Grattan The Conversation Scott Morrison and Immigration Minister David Coleman said on Sunday: “There are now only four asylum seeker children on Nauru and they have all been approved for departure to the United States of… When parliament rose for its summer break a government filibuster had prevented amendments reaching ... Read More »

George III Lost America. Theresa May Could Lose the United Kingdom Over Brexit.

Brexit has shown the world a British parliament and a political class that resembles a ship of fools without a captain. Clive Irving The Daily Beast Britain is locked in the most serious peacetime crisis in its modern history, the increasingly desperate attempt to secure the nation’s orderly departure from the European Union. Brexit has shown the world a British parliament and a political class that resembles a ship of fools without a captain. One veteran of Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet ... Read More »

No kids on Nauru is a milestone worth marking – but it’s hardly one for the trophy cabinet

Within days, no refugee child will be left on the island of Nauru. That this is a milestone worth marking – or even celebrating – should be a shock and a shame. Michael Koziol Brisbane Times These kids and their families had been there more than five years. Two thousand days. It had been so long that many people here in Australia finally seemed to agree enough was enough. Peter Dutton has always proclaimed – rightly – that he didn’t ... Read More »

Living inside the world’s worst economy, Venezuela

Hungry and without access to medicine, Venezuelans are suffering as a political crisis unfolds. Al Jazeera In oil-rich Venezuela, people don’t have enough to eat, infant mortality is soaring at a faster rate than in Syria, and according to the UN, some three million people have fled the country since 2015. Once Latin America’s richest nation, Venezuela and its people are suffering from the ravages of hyperinflation. On January 23, the leader of the legislature, Juan Guaido, began a push to remove ... Read More »

Mexico’s New Neutrality in the Venezuela Crisis

Bucking the U.S. and several large and influential Latin American states, Mexico has not recognised Juan Guaidó’s claim on Venezuela’s presidency, and has instead argued for negotiations to end the country’s crisis. As Crisis Group’s Senior Mexico Analyst Falko Ernst explains, this position is rooted in a new Mexican foreign policy doctrine. What is Mexico’s position on the fast-developing events in Venezuela? Mexico has declined to recognise Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela, and has adopted a… Mexico’s New ... Read More »

UN Rejects Guaido, Favors Discourse With President Maduro

Guterres reiterated his concern about the impact of the current Venezuelan crisis on the people. UN News, by teleSUR/ jf-GB The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recognized, Friday, the representation of the Venezuelan Government – led by its Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza – while rejecting the interests of deputy of the National Assembly (AN), Juan Guaido, who… Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general, confirmed that Guterres responded to a letter, which was sent by Juan Guaido asking the agency to send humanitarian aid to… UN Rejects Guaido… Read More »

Australian politics a billion-dollar business, say latest donation records

Newly-released donation and financial records show Australian politics is now a billion-dollar business. SBS Australian politics is now a billion-dollar business, the latest donation records reveal. The major parties raked in more than $154 million in political donations, returns on investments and asset sales in 2017/18. As well, their associated entities have lodged $926 million, according to Australian Electoral Commission figures released on Friday. West Australian Greens convener Chilla Bulbeck was the largest individual political donor last year, gifting almost ... Read More »