Ben Roberts-Smith, Australia’s most decorated veteran of the war in Afghanistan, isn’t just embroiled in a defamation case. By launching legal action against journalists, he's effectively put himself on trial for war crimes. At the heart of the case is whether he murdered six Afghan prisoners of war in 2009 and 2012—and revelled in their killing. If that were true, it would be the act of “an ostentatious psychopath”, his barrister, Bruce McClintock SC, declared in his opening address in court this week. Indeed.
More than exposing yet another presidential transgression, Donald Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky reveals what passes as normal in politics. We all know that influence and wealth cleave to those in high elected office. Just ask Hunter Biden. His name is worth a lifetime of wealth and security, no matter how often he fucks up. The consensus among commentators is that his dad Joe, former vice president in the Obama administration and front runner in the Democrats’ presidential primaries race, did nothing wrong.
Triple j’s hack tv special on the little Aussie Fuhrer Blair Cottrell was exactly what commentators grappling with the rise of Pauline Hanson have been calling for: a conversation.
“A new phase of the Syriza era” is how one activist characterised the political situation in Greece since the re-election of the post-bailout Syriza government in September.
From the vantage point of the Swiss Alps, world leaders and their wealthy friends who attended the World Economic Forum in Davos cast an eye over the potential threats to their order. This year they identified “large scale involuntary migration” as the biggest “risk” in 2016.
The Greek ruling party, Syriza, won a convincing victory in the national election held on 20 September, winning 144 seats, down from the 149 seats won on 25 January. Prime minister Alexis Tsipras resigned last month to make way for the poll after he signed a third memorandum with the country’s creditors. That agreement will deliver the harshest austerity yet experienced.