Protest

Sri Lanka: Stepping Back from a Constitutional Crisis

The return to power of controversial former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as Sri Lanka’s prime minister is unconstitutional and destabilising. ICG International actors should make future security and economic cooperation contingent on parliament reconvening immediately to select a prime minister through legal channels. What’s new? On 26 October, Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena abruptly dismissed the prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and appointed controversial former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the premier’s post, in a move that contravenes the constitution and threatens to destabilise ... Read More »

Angela Merkel’s African business summit marred by protest

The German chancellor welcomed 11 African leaders to Berlin to introduce them to the CEOs of Germany’s biggest firms. Ben Knight DW Outside, protesters demanded Germany stop doing business with dictatorships across the continent. “Africa is open for business.” South African President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa couldn’t have made the basic purpose of the G20 investment summit any clearer. Ramaphosa was one of 11 African leaders in Berlin on Tuesday for what the German government said was the biggest African event ... Read More »

Jerusalem embassy move ‘could land Australia in the International Court of Justice’

A top international law expert has warned Australia could face legal action in The Hague if it went ahead with moving its Israel embassy to Jerusalem, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison doubles down on the… David Wroe The Age The Palestinian Authority has already filed a suit with the International Court of Justice against the United States after President Donald Trump shifted his country’s embassy to Jerusalem, whose territorial status remains unresolved in the… Don Rothwell, a professor of international law ... Read More »

NDIS funds to be ‘repurposed’ for drought relief under Morrison plan

Disability advocates have slammed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s decision to “repurpose” $3.9 billion originally set aside for the NDIS to pay for drought relief, but the plan has been cautiously welcomed by… Dana McCauley The Sydney Morning Herald Mr Morrison unveiled his $5 billion Drought Future Fund at a summit attended by farmers, economists, industry bodies and state and federal ministers in Canberra on Friday, promising measures to drought-proof the… The first $3.9 billion of the scheme, which would operate ... Read More »

Don’t Mention The War In Wentworth: Dr Peter Slezak

The furore over the Morrison government’s ‘riffing’ on moving Australia’s embassy in Israel has distracted from the even greater crimes being perpetrated against Palestinians. Dr Peter Slezak explains New Matilda Despite the storm of local and international condemnation, Prime Minister Morrison’s willingness to consider moving Australia’s Israel embassy to Jerusalem is a significant public relations win in the larger political scheme of things. Whether or not the harshest criticisms of the proposal are warranted, the furore over the embassy issue has ... Read More »

Not one government official was consulted about Australia’s major Israel foreign policy shift

Just after lunchtime on Monday last week, the head of Australia’s Foreign Affairs Department, Frances Adamson, took a call about the government’s planned Jerusalem announcement. David Wroe WAtoday Public servants, even the most seasoned, aren’t unimpeachable, but they are the government’s bedrock for advice on major and complex issues. So it must have been a surprise for the nation’s most senior diplomat that the call from Foreign Minister Marise Payne’s office wasn’t so much asking for her input as letting ... Read More »

China’s hidden camps

What’s happened to the vanished Uighurs of Xinjiang? BBC China stands accused of locking up hundreds of thousands of Muslims without trial in its western region of Xinjiang. The government denies the claims, saying people are willingly attending special ”vocational schools” which combat ”terrorism and religious extremism”. Now a BBC investigation has found important new evidence of the reality. Detention in the desert On 12 July 2015 a satellite swung over the rolling deserts and oasis cities of China’s vast ... Read More »

Thousands in London march for vote on Brexit terms

Organizers claimed 700,000 turned out in London, calling for a vote on the terms of the Brexit deal. Prime Minister Theresa May has repeatedly ruled out another referendum. DW Thousands of people marched through central London on Saturday to call for a second Brexit referendum. Organizers and participants in the People’s Vote March have expressed concerns that the UK’s exit from the European Union looks nothing like the Brexit outlined ahead of the first vote in 2016. The 2016 referendum ... Read More »

European court orders Poland to freeze judicial changes

Ruling comes just two days before local elections seen as key test for ruling party. Jan Cienski Politico WARSAW — The Polish government was ordered to “immediately” suspend changes to the country’s Supreme Court by the European Court of Justice on Friday. The ruling — issued just two days before local elections — comes in reaction to a series of recent laws revamping the functioning of the Polish court and lowering the retirement age of judges that critics said violated the constitution and undermined the… The ... Read More »

Home Secretary accused of ‘sowing division’ after tweeting about ‘Asian paedophiles’

‘In a nod to the far right, he has increased the risk of racist abuse and violence for Asian people’ Saman Javed Independent Sajid Javid is facing backlash from MPs and race equality advocates after tweeting about “sick Asian paedophiles”. The home secretary’s tweet came after a gang of 20 men were found guilty of the rape and sexual abuse of girls aged as young as 11 in Huddersfield. The full tweet reads… The tweet, which targets Asians, was condemned by Labour MP David Lammy who ... Read More »

Asylum seeker families leave Nauru

Multiple asylum seeker families have left Nauru and flown to Australia for medical treatment as pressure builds on Scott Morrison to get children off the island. Angus Livingston msn aap Refugee advocates confirmed three families left the Pacific nation on Monday, while another three families left on Tuesday, and two more on Wednesday. The prime minister has been under pressure from his own backbench to get asylum seekers off Nauru, as doctors say they are mentally “shattered” after years in ... Read More »

Washington Think Tanks Still Divided On Whether To Return Saudi Donations Over Journalist’s Disappearance

The Middle East Institute, a prominent Washington think tank, said it would no longer seek donations from Saudi Arabia, but the Center for Strategic and International Studies said it was undecided. Emily Tamkin BuzzFeedNews The Center for Strategic and International Studies, one of Washington’s most prominent think tanks on international affairs, still has not decided whether to return funding from Saudi Arabia in the… But another influential research center, the Middle East Institute, said it would stop taking Saudi donations ... Read More »

Universities should tolerate ‘offensive’ ideas

It goes without saying – or at least it ought to – that freedom of speech should be a core value of universities. As a scholar of freedom of speech and a university academic, it has been gratifying to see so many vice-chancellors (and a… Adrienne Stone Brisbane Times This attention to freedom of speech is a response to recent controversies on campus. Bettina Arndt’s university tour met with rowdy and obstructive demonstrations. Students have accused each other of bullying ... Read More »

Viral letter to PM shows the people are united

The Prime Minister’s rejection of the Australian Medical Association’s call for the transfer of the asylum seeker and refugee children and their families off Nauru has been swift but it hasn’t deterred us. Dr Sara Townend Brisbane Times Now, just over two weeks later, more than 5600 doctors and medical students from around the country say they agree. They’ve signed an open letter to the Prime Minister Scott Morrison. A letter we felt compelled to write because the situation on ... Read More »

Biggest split in modern Orthodox history: Russian Orthodox Church breaks ties with Constantinople

In the biggest rift in modern Orthodox history, the Russian Orthodox Church has cut all ties with the Constantinople Patriarchate, effectively splitting from it after it granted independence to the… RT The Holy Synod, the governing body of the Russian Orthodox Church, has ruled that any further clerical relations with Constantinople are impossible, Metropolitan Hilarion, the head of the… “A decision about the full break of relations with the Constantinople Patriarchate has been taken at a Synod meeting” that is currently ... Read More »

World has been slow to wake up to Saudi depravity

It’s reassuring to see that the Western world still has the capacity to be outraged at the abuse of human rights. Specifically, a government that appears to have murdered a journalist. Peter Hartcher Brisbane Times The Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi walked into a Saudi consulate in Turkey two weeks ago. He was a critic of the Saudi dictator and living outside his home country for his safety. By setting foot in a Saudi diplomatic property to pick up marriage papers ... Read More »