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Power Politics: Reshuffle Reveals Johnson And Cummings’ Iron Grip

It was billed as a moderate shake-up. A few fresh faces—particularly in the junior ranks—but effectively a continuity Cabinet, one committed to carrying out the Conservatives’ winning manifesto. Did nobody tell Dominic Cummings? Boris Johnson’s tough-as-nails top aide was in no mood for compromise this morning, forcing from office Britain’s second most powerful politician. Sajid Javid—now former Chancellor of the Exchequer—had been given an ultimatum: sack your senior staff, or you’re finished.

Explaining Sinn Féin’s Election Success

To upend a century of two-party rule, it takes an electoral earthquake. In Ireland, on Saturday, one struck. Sinn Féin, a group long shunned for its ties to sectarian terrorists, stormed the nation’s general election, beating both of Ireland’s dominant centrist parties in the popular vote. Now starts a frantic, and likely protracted, spell of coalition-building, as the roaring republicans look to lock their mainstream rivals from government. “Something of a revolution” was underway, said Sinn

Far-Right Upset At German Election Is A Warning Moderates Had Better Heed

In Germany this week—as the nation marks 75 years since the fall of fascism—the spectre of far-right rule reared its head. A startling series of events saw Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), a party of ardent nationalists, play kingmaker in a regional election. The result is likely to be undone—but Germany’s guiding post-war principle, to keep power in moderate hands, has been punctured. The drama played out in Thuringia, an eastern state governed in recent years by the left-wing Die Linke part

Why U.K. Prisons Are ‘Warehouses’ Of Terrorism

Two months, two eerily similar attacks. Late last year near London Bridge; on Sunday, a south London street. Members of the public mauled by knife-wielding young men bent on murder. Two corrupted minds untempered by recent prison terms for terror-related offences. Sunday’s assault on Streatham High Road could have been far, far worse. Tailed by counter-terror cops as he left his parole hostel, 20-year-old Sudesh Amman was shot dead before he could claim a life. In November, Londoners were less

After UK leaves EU on January 31, what will change?

On Friday evening, as the clock strikes eleven, Britain will leave the European Union. More than three and a half years since the EU referendum, during which the country has seen two general elections and much political wrangling, the wishes of 17.4 million Britons will be realised. • What price will the developing world pay for Brexit? But do not expect an end to the drama. January 31 marks a single page-turn in the Brexit odyssey and the next chapter could be just as fraught. A transition p

U.K.’s Trading Future Far From Clear As Brexit Looms

We’re on the final straight. After four frenzied, fascinating years, on Friday 31st, Brexit will happen. At the stroke of 11:00 p.m., the wish of 17.4 million Brits will be realized. For the first time in four decades, the U.K. will be truly standing on its own two feet. An independent trading nation, bridled by Brussels no more. Well, not exactly. At the end of the month, Britain will indeed cease to be an EU member. There will be no more U.K. MEPs, no British commissioner, no ministers in at

2020: The Year The Greens Take Europe?

As record temperatures roasted Europe last summer, eco-fever swept the land. Surging atop the political agenda like never before, environmentalism—once the reserve of an entitled fringe—took centre stage—and, in some areas at least, it shows little sign of stopping. In Austria, the new decade just hours old, history was made: the country’s Greens agreed to enter national government. They will serve alongside the People’s Party, right-wing conservatives, signalling a curious crossing of the cont

Huawei: Britain’s Brexit Future At Stake As U.K. And U.S. Clash

Is Huawei the right way? It’s a question bedevilling Britain’s Boris Johnson—one he will soon have to answer. There are no easy options. Entrust the Chinese tech giant with Britain’s 5G future, and he’ll incur the wrath of Washington; but kowtow to the Americans, and he risks nobbling his nation’s networking potential. It’s a delicate decision that could, in time, define Brexit Britain’s place in the world. Johnson’s Huawei dilemma is years in the making. His predecessor, Theresa May, backed pl

E.U. Sidelined On Libya As Russia And Turkey Take Leading Role

As Colonel Muammar Gaddafi sped from his crumbling Sirte stronghold in 2011, it was European fighter jets—not Libya’s vanquishing rebels—that cut short his flight. But like the promise of peace that came with the dictator's demise, Europe's influence has not lasted. Libya is now in the throes of civil war, a catastrophic conflict inflamed immeasurably by foreign interference. From the periphery, EU leaders call for peace—but beside the region’s new power brokers, their once pivotal voice is scar

Europe Powerless As Trump Takes On Iran

As American missiles screamed down from the skies above Baghdad airport on Friday, European hopes for peace in the Middle East took a similar trajectory. In killing General Qasem Soleimani, President Trump has stepped perilously into the unknown, inviting Iranian retribution upon the U.S. and her allies. Whether revenge will be sought militarily, we do not know; but decisive diplomatic action is inevitable. Even before the attack, the West’s headline agreement with Iran—the Joint Comprehensive

2020 Could See Renewed Refugee Crisis In Europe

A desperate scramble from Syria’s Idlib province has begun. Pouring from the last rebel stronghold as state troops advance, the region’s weary populace face a perilous journey. The road north is their only real hope—but strafed daily by machine gun fire and aircraft missiles, it’s a daunting prospect. Still, if they’re to reach the Turkish border, it’s a route they must brave. And then what? Into Europe, somehow, and a spot in a squalid, disease-ridden refugee camp. It’s a passage tens—if not h

Christmas Rail Strike Chaos As French Pension Reform Protests Continue

Steeped in an unseasonal stillness, Paris’s central rail station sits eerily quiet. Outside, a very different scene. As drums thump and red smoke spirals skyward, the streets throng with railway workers protesting President Emmanuel Macron’s divisive pension reform plans. Both sides have made minor concessions, but with neither budging on their key demands, a Christmas of commuter misery approaches. For 20 days, travel chaos has gripped France. A full 85% of train drivers—employees of the SNCF

Europe Plans To Lead The World Away From Climate Catastrophe—But Not All Are Convinced

High above the smoke-choked cities of 18th century Europe, our planet’s intractable climate crisis commenced. The continent’s breakneck industrialization gave way to a worldwide carbon conundrum, which—a quarter millennia later—we’re yet to solve. But solve it we will, citizens of Europe were told last week. And that's where we’ll do it, on the continent the catastrophe first took shape. A bold Green New Deal is to be adopted, announced Ursula Von der Leyen, president of the European Commission

What are Boris Johnson's Key Policies Aside from Brexit?

He smashed Labour’s so-called ‘Red Wall’ on Thursday – but now Britain’s Boris Johnson must pick up the pieces. From Dudley in the West Midlands to Sedgefield in England’s North East, former socialist strongholds turned blue as Johnson’s Conservatives swept the board. Brexit undoubtedly played a pivotal role, but honouring the UK’s EU exit vote won’t alone sustain his newfound working-class support. The Prime Minister must fulfil a raft of socially-minded policy pledges, and fast. “I am humbled

Aside From Brexit, What Are Boris Johnson’s Most Pressing Priorities?

As he strolled victorious through Labour’s once impregnable heartland on Saturday (December 14), a sobering sense of responsibility will have stalked Boris Johnson. He was in Sedgefield, where, for 81 years, voters have rejected Conservatism. On Thursday, that changed. Like countless others across the middle and north of England, the former mining constituency turned blue. Brexit was a critical factor, undoubtedly; but if the prime minister is to sustain his newfound working-class support, bold

What The U.K. Election Means For Scottish Independence

Amidst the flurry of congratulatory cards and Christmas well-wishes, an interloping envelope will—in the very near future—land on Downing Street’s doorstep. The contents will come as no surprise to Boris Johnson, but he’ll be uneasy nonetheless. The sender, Nicola Sturgeon, last night scored electoral success on a par with the Prime Minister—and now her foremost goal, another ballot on Scottish independence, looks closer than ever. Scotland’s First Minister will soon dispatch her official deman

New Peace Talks Offer Hope To War-Torn Eastern Ukraine

For almost six years, Eastern Ukraine has known war. Locked in a seemingly unending cycle of conflict with separatist militias, Kiev’s battalions are battered and bruised – but still they fight on. A ceasefire was signed in 2015, but the breakaway forces, backed, it seems, by Russia, have continued their struggle. In total, some 13,000 have lost their lives. But now, after a period of relative calm, a fresh push for peace is being made. This week, Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, wi

France Seeks Help With its Counter-Terror Struggle in the Sahel

Caught in a costly counter-terror quagmire, France’s Emmanuel Macron is calling for help in West Africa. For six years, his soldiers have toiled to tame rampant Islamic extremism in the Sahel. It has been a bloody struggle. Last month, thirteen Frenchmen perished in an aircraft collision. The incident, Paris’s gravest military disaster in decades, has spurred Macron to once again seek international assistance. But with the body count building, support – both within Africa and outside – is provin

New Talks Seek Peace In Ukraine, But European Leaders - And Trump - Have Their Own Motives

As winter’s bitter chill descends on the mud-swamped trenches of Eastern Ukraine, there seems little hope for a thaw in hostilities. Almost six years of grinding war have ravaged the region, as Kiev continues its bloody struggle with separatist forces backed, most agree, by Russia. In 2015, a ceasefire was signed - but the promise of peace did not materialise. Over 13,000 have died in the protracted, punishing campaign that refuses to end. But on Monday (December 9), a fresh effort at accord wi

Malta's PM Muscat Says He'll Resign But Opponents Want Him Gone Now

Malta’s Joseph Muscat thought, on Sunday night, that he was giving the people what they wanted. He was wrong. Battered by a political crisis rooted in the murder of a journalist, the prime minister bowed to public anger, announcing his plan to stand down in January. But for the slain woman’s family, Muscat’s EU counterparts, and – crucially – the maddened Maltese masses, it is not enough. Worried that his continued tenure prevents a truly free investigation into one-time cabinet colleagues, they
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