Following months of reporting from news media and academic researchers on the extent and conditions of internment camps in Xinjiang, where up to 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Turkic
Paul Volcker, the towering former United States Federal Reserve chairman who tamed US inflation in the 1980s and decades later inspired tough Wall Street reforms in the wake of the global financial crisis, died on Monday at the age of 92, according to The New York Times, which quoted his daughter.Volcker, who media reports said had been suffering from prostate cancer, was the first to bring celebrity status to the job of US central banker, serving as chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1979 to…
Indicted and embattled, Israel’s prime minister faces new calls for yet another corruption inquiry.
This week, Democracy Now! is broadcasting from inside the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Spain, where representatives from almost 200 countries have gathered to negotiate solutions to the climate crisis. Known as COP25 for "conference of parties," the summit offers a rare opportunity for all countries, especially those on the frontlines of the climate crisis, to have an equal say in negotiations. It comes four years after the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise to "well below 2 degrees Celsius," or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. But as the summit heads into its final days, representatives from the Global South say that the United States and other rich countries are obstructing the talks and trying to avoid their obligation to assist poorer countries already facing the worst effects of the climate crisis. We speak with Harjeet Singh, climate change specialist at ActionAid, and Asad Rehman, executive director of War on Want. He has worked on climate change issues for over a decade. "The U.S. is in all streams of discussions that are happening, be it finance, be it loss and damage," he says. "They're everywhere. And everywhere they are obstructing and not allowing any progress to happen."
In a world of rising unilateralism and anti-globalism sentiment, talk of decoupling is occurring more frequently across economic and political spheres, especially in the context of the trade tensions between China and the United States. There is talk of decoupling in the simple trading of goods, across the more complex supply and value chains, and even in the frontiers of innovation and technology.
However, given the complexity of interconnections, even a trade decoupling may not necessarily…
The past decade is almost certain to be the hottest on record, weather experts warned on Tuesday, painting a bleak picture of vanishing sea ice, devastating heatwaves and encroaching seas in a report launched at a climate summit in Spain.
Singapore’s new defence pact with the United States – allowing it to set up a fighter jet training detachment in Guam – is a nod to deepening military ties between the countries, experts said, adding that it was the city state’s way of assuring Washington of its loyalty despite boosting cooperation with Beijing.Singapore has “always been a close friend” of the US, said Faizal Abdul Rahman, a research fellow at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, citing its contribution to…
Investors are betting that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will sweep to victory in Thursday's election. If he doesn't, the pound and UK stocks are poised to plunge.
A lovelorn singing whale, a world-famous feline sourpuss and ravenous goats credited with thwarting a dangerous California wildfire were among animals whose escapades across the United States made...
Growers in northern states are combating virulent outbreaks of a disease as seasons grow warmer, orchards have been reconfigured for higher yields and new varieties may be more vulnerable.
Spain’s King Felipe VI on Wednesday asked caretaker Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez to try and form a government, even though the Socialist leader appeared short of political support. Sánchez’s Socialist … Click to Continue »
The ages of those killed range from 7 to 81, according to local news reports
An Oregon teenager has been arrested after a video spread on social media showing someone climbing onto a wild mule deer buck and riding the animal, according to state authorities. … Click to Continue »
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday said Moscow wanted to publish a cache of communications with Washington that he said cleared Russia of allegations it interfered in the 2016 US
Lawmakers in Turkey on Dec. 11 brawled during the budget discussions at the parliament over the privatization of the national tank factory, according to local media reports.
At a Climate Change conference Thursday, Agriculture Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried announced that her newly created council to address climate and energy issues would not only consider how the state … Click to Continue »
A win over Georgia on Saturday should be a strong argument for making the Tigers the playoff’s top seed, ahead of Ohio State, but will the committee see things that way?
A bill that proposes to eliminate Florida’s Best and Brightest teacher bonus passed its first legislative committee Monday, a sign that the state Senate is getting on board with eliminating … Click to Continue »
Seoul police have asked prosecutors to consider pressing charges against a member of hit South Korean boyband BTS over an October car crash, Yonhap news agency reported on Tuesday, citing police officials.
The U.S. State Department on Dec. 10 designated former Consul General of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul for his involvement in human rights violations.
Ahead of his trip to Washington, PM Abdalla Hamdok tells Bel Trew in Khartoum that the Trump administration should de-list Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism
Tax regulations make it easy for landlord to avoid reporting at all to the authorities, and housing policies have made things worse
The New York State Department of Financial Services has sent letters to around 23 opioid manufacturers and distributors
France, Germany and Britain claimed in a letter to the United Nations that Iran was working on nuclear-capable ballistic missiles. That came as a report on Wednesday said the United States was weighing sending up to 14,000 more troops to the Middle East, in the face of a perceived threat from Iran.The mulled deployment would include “dozens” more ships and double the number of troops added to the US force in the region since the beginning of this year, The Wall Street Journal said, citing…
House Democrats announce an agreement on the new trade agreement expected to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement between United States, Mexico and Canada.
The legal retirement age in France will remain 62 with the new French retirement plan, but workers will need to work until 64 to get a full pension, French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe announced on Wednesday.
AIPAC backs a two state solution. But its refusal to comment when the Trump administration 'legalized' Israeli settlements, a key obstacle to any future Palestinian state, demonstrated its lack of purpose - and spine
Devastating oil spills of the Deepwater Horizon variety aren’t the only risk posed by expanded offshore drilling in waters off the United States, a new environmental report says. New oil … Click to Continue »
The BBC is not allowed to report details of campaigning while the polls are open.
A new federal report on the Arctic finds the region is in the midst of drastic and sudden changes as a result of human-caused warming.
A widening rift within the largest member in Malaysia’s ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition, which became exposed after rival leaders lashed out at each other during a key weekend meeting, has stoked concerns it would unsettle the administration and hurt its chances at the next general election.The People’s Justice Party (PKR) is led by Anwar Ibrahim, 72, to whom Prime Minister Mahathir had vowed to hand over power after laying the groundwork for a new administration that began last May when the…
Houston oilfield service giant Halliburton is laying off dozens of employees in California amid an ongoing slump in drilling and completion activity in the United States and Canada.
The investigation into journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder inspired protests against Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who will resign in January.
It's going to feel more like mid-January than early December this week as extreme cold temps move across the United States.
The Pentagon announced on Tuesday it was halting operational training of all Saudi Arabian military personnel in the United States until further notice after a Saudi Air Force lieutenant shot and killed three people last week at a base in Florida.
Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala Investment Co has invested $100 billion in the United States, more than 40 percent of its roughly $240 billion portfolio, Deputy CEO Waleed al-Muhairi said on Tuesday
A member of the Saudi Air Force visiting the United States for military training was the suspect in a shooting that killed four people and injured eight at a U.S. Navy base in Florida on Friday, the state governor and other officials said.
The United States has so far been unable to confirm Iran’s involvement in drone and cruise missile attacks on two Saudi oil facilities in September, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said.
An investigation by the State of Maine says Cooke Seafood corrected problems that were revealed in a hidden-camera exposé done by an animal rights group. Video showed salmon being smashed against posts, stomped on and discarded at a Maine hatchery.
At times, it can feel as if British and American politics are on converging paths. After all, both the United States and the United Kingdom experienced seismic votes in 2016. The outcomes of both—the decision to leave the European Union in Britain and the election of Donald Trump in the U.S.—have been attributed, at least in part, to a growing polarization and division within their respective societies. Both countries are led by men who are seen as encapsulating these divisions.
And now, both are headed for elections.
But that is where the similarities stop. For while the two votes will revisit the issues that have embroiled both countries since 2016—in the U.S., Trump is up for reelection amid an inquiry into whether he should be impeached; in the U.K., the issue of Brexit remains at the fore—they also reveal fundamental differences between these two democracies.
This isn’t to say parallels don’t exist. In fact, a number of U.S.-style electoral practices have made their way across the pond in recent years—including, perhaps most notably, the televised debate. Though they have been a ubiquitous part of American presidential races since the late ’50s, the format wasn’t introduced in Britain until the 2010 general election. At the time, the inaugural three-way debate between the leaders of the Conservative, Labour, and Liberal Democrat parties was regarded by some as the “presidentialising of British politics.” Televised debates have since become a more common part of the country’s electoral system. This year’s election campaign has already featured several of them.
Another feature of recent British elections that more closely resembles American-style politics has been the heightened emphasis on party leaders themselves. Britons don’t elect their prime ministers directly. Rather, they cast a ballot for their local member of Parliament, which in turn influences which party can secure enough seats to form a government and, by extension, who becomes prime minister. More recently, though, the personalities of the prospective prime ministers appear to be looming larger in the public’s mind than simply which party they belong to.
“Even though Britain is still formally a parliamentary system … it’s become more presidential,” Leslie Vinjamuri, the head of the U.S. and Americas Program at the London-based Chatham House think tank, told me. She said part of this can be attributed to the increased attention paid to party leaders by the media. In some cases the effort to brand parties after their leaders is done by the parties themselves.
And as certain elements of Britain’s elections have gradually become more Americanized, actual Americans have gotten involved in running them. The country’s 2015 general-election campaign featured two high-profile advisers from President Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns: David Axelrod was hired by the Labour Party to deliver for the then–opposition leader Ed Miliband the kind of victory he had helped achieve for Obama in 2008 and 2012. Jim Messina, another alumnus of the Obama reelection campaign, joined the Conservatives to do the same.
“There was a huge push … to try and replicate what Obama did in terms of youth enthusiasm [and] online and on-the-ground grassroots and digital campaigning,” Theo Bachrach, a former staffer for U.S. and U.K. election campaigns, told me. And it’s not just Democrats whom Britons have been borrowing from. In preparation for his first televised debate with Jeremy Corbyn, Boris Johnson reportedly enlisted the help of the Republican election guru Brett O’Donnell, who has previously coached former President George W. Bush and the 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
“Where the U.S. goes, the rest of the world really does follow,” Bachrach said. “It doesn’t always work, though.”
[Read: The time Boris Johnson thought Trump was ‘out of his mind’]
The reason for that is simple: The two countries, while sharing many of the same tactics and consultants, adhere to fundamentally different electoral rules. Take money, for example. In the U.S., Trump and his Democratic challenger, Hillary Clinton, collectively spent more than $1 billion. The total cost of the 2016 election, including campaign donations and congressional races, is estimated to be six times that amount. Though the 2020 race is still almost a year away, presidential hopefuls have already raised at least $624 million between them.
Britain’s elections cost nowhere near this much, because there are limits on how much can be spent. If a party were to field candidates in every seat across the country, it would still be limited to spending £19.5 million ($25.1 million). During the last general election, in 2017, British parties and campaigners spent a collective £41.6 million ($53.5 million). That’s less than 1 percent of what was spent in the U.S.’s 2016 elections.
This discrepancy with money feeds into other differences. Whereas bumper stickers, yard signs, and T-shirts supporting a candidate or party are all common features of any U.S. campaign, they are largely absent in Britain—a factor Bachrach said is largely to do with the sheer cost of it all. The strict limits on spending make it so that British candidates have to be careful with how they spend their money and, by extension, are less motivated to fundraise to the scale that American candidates do.
And while political advertising on television and radio is a common feature in U.S. elections, in Britain, political advertising on broadcast media is strictly prohibited. (Instead, parties are granted free airtime in election broadcasts to ensure that “due weight” is given to all involved.) “It keeps the cost of our politics relatively low,” Justin Fisher, a political-science professor at Brunel University in London, told me. Presidential candidates for 2020 have already spent almost $41 million on television ads ahead of next year’s election.
[Read: Britain’s meh election]
But perhaps the greatest difference between American and British elections is the length of the campaigns. In the time it takes to run a single U.S. presidential race from start to finish, Britain could hold more than a dozen general elections. (Americans can at least claim to have more control over how many elections they hold, because presidential contests run on a four-year cycle. For Britons, things are much less certain: Including its referendums on Brexit and Scottish independence, the U.K. has had five elections in six years.)
So regardless of the outcome of either election, Britons can at least say the end is near for them: This contest, which lasts about five weeks, ends on December 12. Americans have another 11 months—or approximately eight British elections—to go.