John Feffer examines what it means that North Korea has been driven ever closer to fellow nuclear powers Russia and China.
Sovereignty was once the king’s prerogative; he was, after all, the sovereign. Today’s autocrats, like Vladimir Putin, are more likely to have been voted into office than born into the position like Kim Jong-un. The elections that elevate such autocrats might be questionable (and are likely to become ever more so during their reign), but popular support is an important feature of the new authoritarianism. Putin is currently backed by around 80% of Russians; Orban’s approval rating in Hungary hovers near 60%; and while Donald Trump could likely win again only thanks to voter suppression and increasingly antidemocratic features baked into the American political system, millions of Americans did put Trump in the White House in 2016 and continue to genuinely believe that he’s their savior. Bolsonaro in Brazil, Nayib Bukele in El Salvador, Narendra Modi in India, Kais Saied in Tunisia: they were all elected.
Yes, such leaders are nationalists who often act like populists in promising all sorts of handouts and feel-good nostrums to their supporters. But what makes today’s autocrats particularly dangerous is their exceptionalism, their commitment to the kind of sovereignty that existed before the creation of the United Nations, the earlier League of Nations, or even the Treaty of Westphalia that established the modern interstate system in Europe in 1648. Both Trump and Xi Jinping harken back to a Golden Age all right — of rulers who counted on the unquestioned loyalty of their subjects and exercised a dominion unchallenged except by other monarchs.
Source: As Falls Russia, So Falls the World – scheerpost.com
Not so Tanzania or Rhodesia it was a German Colony
From the very beginning, Queen Elizabeth II’s reign was deeply connected to Britain’s global empire and the long and bloody processes of decolonisation.
Indeed, she became Queen while on a royal visit to Kenya in 1952. After she left, the colony descended into one of the worst conflicts of the British colonial period. Declaring a state of emergency in October 1952, the British would go on to kill tens of thousands of Kenyans before it was over.
Source: The Queen has left her mark around the world. But not all see it as something to be celebrated
Will this trend towards progressive governments continue? With elections later this year in Sweden, Latvia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Austria, Israel and Slovenia, we shall soon see.
Source: The world is now a much better place, not just Australia
The latest Coalition climate catastrophe, Senator Matt Canavan declaring national net zero policy “dead,” rings alarm bells for what’s ahead if the Morrison government is returned to office. Meanwhile, our new rival in the Pacific region, China, is seizing the mantle of climate leadership. Blair Palese reports on Australia’s greatest failure as a nation.
Source: Net Zero Transition: China, world leave Australia behind on climate – Michael West
In fact, with less than a third of Lower House seats filled by women, Australia is currently ranked 56th in the world when it comes to female representation in parliament, according to figures from the Inter-Parliamentary Union. So what’s holding Australia back while women elsewhere are seemingly smashing through glass ceilings to hold top office?
Source: Politics isn’t super-appealing to women in Australia right now. Is it different elsewhere? – ABC News
While the rest of the planet is making an effort to fall into line and agree on the existential disaster facing it. Scott Morrison remains the last man standing in denial marketing. He sounds more the voice of the Tobacco Industry rather than the leader of the world’s biggest polluter per head of population and an apologist for it. Like Trump he’s all for seemingly telling Australia he’s going to make “some of us great” and fuck the rest including the world. “We are going to do it the IPA/Murdoch/NLP way”
However, with the European Union recently not ratifying a Comprehensive Economic agreement with China, buying into mostly US driven human rights accusations on China, which in my research hold little evidence, with conflicting claims, is putting humanity at a great risk in hampering a joint strategy in tackling climate change. Geopolitical finger-pointing with agendas never helps humanity. However, a cooperative approach does. The climate change clock is ticking close to an irreversible point for humanity and the European Union must decide.
Source: Climate change clock ticks as the EU and China work on a Clean Energy Strategy – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Australia was in a world-leading position on managing COVID last year and squandered it.
And now continues to do so with small-minded, inward-looking debate while the world moves forward.
Fortress Australia is not just physical, in the form of all but closed borders, but mental and emotional, as we and our leaders choose to reinvent processes and debate that have already been had elsewhere.
Instead of taking advantage of international advances and knowledge that may allow us to accelerate towards normality, we choose to argue among ourselves.
Source: Zoe Daniel: How Australia squandered its world-leading pandemic position
Covid-19 in Australia
14.1% fully vaccinated
17.8% only one dose
37/38 ranked in OECD
How does Australia’s coronavirus vaccine rollout and schedule compare with other countries, when will Australia be fully vaccinated and when will you be eligible to get your dose? We bring together the latest numbers on daily new Covid-19 cases, as well as stats and live data on total vaccination figures in Victoria, NSW, Queensland and other states Follow our Covid live blog for the latest updates Restrictions: NSW; Vic; Qld; SA; border restrictions Hotspots: NSW map; Vic list; Qld; SA Get our free news app; try our weekend edition app; get our morning email briefing
Source: Covid Australia vaccine rollout tracker: total number of people and per cent vaccinated, daily vaccine doses and rate of progress | Australia news | The Guardian
Trump was not the only rightwing populist on the world stage. A combination of unregulated social media disinformation, backlashes against modernism, efforts to retain undue privilege by domestic ethnic majorities at the expense of disadvantaged minorities, and the elevation advantage-taking con artists have all contributed to the a disturbing global alliance of incompetent authoritarians. Nations as diverse as Brazil, Hungary, India, Russia, Turkey, Poland, Israel, the United Kingdom and the Philippines have all empowered far-right leaders, most with clownish conservative temperaments and a habit of doing more to troll the orthodoxy of international decency than to serve their own people.
Source: Trump Is Gone (For Now), But Right-Wing Populism Is Still a Global Curse | Washington Monthly
Whether this is true or not, I think we can all agree that it’s an amazing achievement by an Australian PM to have almost achieved the remarkable accomplishment of announcing a target for 2050. With the current rate of progress we may actually have one before the year itself!
Source: When You Reduce Emissions By Preferring Your Own Milkshake! – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Morrison’s overly dependant narrow focus is fast catching up with him.
If the Prime Minister thought 2021 was about to get a little easier, he should think again. At US President Joe Biden’s Climate Leaders Summit to be held next week, Australia will come under unprecedented pressure to join global efforts to stop global warming. So far though, the Prime Minister looks to be turning up to the summit empty-handed.
Source: The world running out of patience with our excuses on climate change
United States – 503,594 cases, 19,701 deaths
Spain – 161,852 cases, 16,353 deaths
Italy – 147,577 cases, 19,468 deaths
France – 125,942 cases, 13,216 deaths
Germany – 122,855 cases, 2,736 deaths
China – 83,014 cases, 3,343 deaths
The total includes 44 cases in Macau and 765 cases – four deaths – in Hong Kong.
United Kingdom – 79,841 cases, 9,891 deaths
Iran – 70,029 cases, 4,357 deaths
Turkey – 47,029 cases, 1,006 deaths
Belgium – 28,018 cases, 3,346 deaths
Switzerland – 24,900 cases, 1,015 deaths
Netherlands – 24,565 cases, 2,652 deaths
via Coronavirus: Which countries have confirmed cases? | News | Al Jazeera
For decades, Washington had a habit of using the Central Intelligence Agency to deep-six governments of the people, by the people, and for the people that weren’t to its taste and replacing them with governments of the [take your choice: military junta, shah, autocrat, dictator] across the planet.
Source: Is America Poised to Become the Most Dangerous Country on Earth? | The Nation
Politicians all over the world are reacting as Donald Trump has become president-elect of the United States. Some are congratulating him, while others are in shock.
Source: ‘Congratulations’ vs ‘shock’: Politicians react to US election results — RT News
The week will be dominated by politics, not economics, which will make it harder to hear the messages coming through about the future of our economy, and indeed that of the wider world. But if you are looking into the UK from the outside, there is one particularly troubling thing to look for. That is what is happening to long-term interest rates.
Source: The economic threat facing the world is bigger than Brexit | Voices | The Independent