Blog Profile / The Interpreter

Filed Under:News / International Affairs
Posts on Regator:4952
Posts / Week:25.4
Archived Since:August 31, 2011

Blog Post Archive

Weekend catch-up: Ukraine and Munich, Malcolm Turnbull's foreign policy, West Papua, economic growth and debt and more

Bringing together the best longer Interpreter articles you were too busy to read this week. Events have moved fast this week regarding the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The 51st Munich Security Conference, held last weekend, showed the cracks that were beginning to develop in NATO over the continuing crisis. Show More Summary

SA's Royal Commission into nuclear energy: Let's talk about waste

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has announced the establishment of a Royal Commission to consider Australia's, and specifically South Australia's, possible future role in nuclear energy. He has invited comments on the terms of reference of the Commission, which are to be finalised in March. Show More Summary

North Korea's emerging cyber capabilities

The cyber attack on Sony Pictures by North Korea in response to the film The Interview (which opens in Australian cinemas today; see my review) came after a series of North Korean hacks of institutions in South Korea. It appears North Korea is improving its cyber capabilities and widening its target list. Show More Summary

Indo-Pacific security links: Submarines, US Navy in Darwin, Arvind Kerjiwal, ASEAN and more

The Indo-Pacific is a strategic system encompassing the Indian and Pacific oceans, reflecting the expanding interests and reach of China and India as well as the enduring role of the US. The Lowy Institute's International Security program...Show More Summary

China's leaders read an old French book

It is witty these days to observe that the Chinese Politburo's required reading list, apparently recommended by the daunting anti-graft chief Wang Qishan, includes The Old Regime and the Revolution by Alexis de Tocqueville. This French noble is well known for his admiring perspective on Democracy in America. Show More Summary

Quick comment: Michael Fullilove on Australia's dysfunctional politics

A quarter-century of political stability and effective government gave Australia an international reputation that attracted future leaders such as Tony Blair and David Cameron to Australia to learn from the likes of Hawke, Keating and Howard. Show More Summary

70 years on, lessons from Yalta

The past week has marked the 70th anniversary of Yalta, one of the most controversial diplomatic conferences in modern history. On 4-11 February 1945, the 'Big Three' political giants of the Allied cause – US president Franklin D Roosevelt,...Show More Summary

The president formally known as Jokowi

Behind the scenes at The Interpreter, we've had some debate about what to call Indonesia's newest president. His name is Joko Widodo but, as news outlets everywhere will tell you, he is 'popularly known as Jokowi'. Jokowi is not the first Indonesian president to have a nickname. Show More Summary

Pacific Island links: West Papua, TB in PNG, disaster risk management and more

Last Thursday, PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill created a stir when he spoke out about human rights issues in West Papua. Jenny Hayward-Jones analysed the significance of his speech. PNG is facing a major health crisis with multi-drug...Show More Summary

Australians can now go see 'The Interview', but they probably shouldn't

It has been almost two months since The Interview was released online, but it is due to hit Australian cinemas tomorrow. The critical consensus seems to be that the film is juvenile and mildly funny, a poor if necessary choice for the defence of artistic expression, but also possibly somewhat subversive for North Koreans, if only they could see it. Show More Summary

Syria: Are the US and Europe drifting towards a pro-Assad stance?

After popular protests broke out in Syria against the ruling regime headed by Bashar Assad in 2011, supporters of the president adopted a catch-cry. The slogan was seen scrawled on walls where the government had taken harsh punitiveShow More Summary

Abbott's submarine about-face is bad news for Shinzo Abe

Rikki Kersten was recently a guest of Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss security policy with Japanese policymakers. While Tony Abbott has faced his leadership crisis over the last week, the policy ground has shifted underneath Japan's defence and security policy-makers. Show More Summary

Thailand: A pawn is moved in the US-China great game

As many analysts have cautioned, Thailand has swung closer to China's orbit since the junta took control in May 2014. This wasn't Nostradamus-level foresight. The US was always going to have a tough time publicly maintaining relations with a military government, particularly with so much riding on Myanmar's democratic transition next door (ie. Show More Summary

Obama talks to Vox

Barack Obama's media advisers have always been pretty new-media savvy, and now they have their boss doing interviews with the relative newcomer Vox; a Buzzfeed interview is on the cards too. Here's a short video in which Obama explains...Show More Summary

Southeast Asia links: Oil prices, Malaysia's ASEAN, Thai vendettas and more

As international pressure continues to mount on Thailand's junta, the FT says that the 'pursuit of the former prime minister looks like a political vendetta.' Also in Thailand, as Cobra Gold kicked off this week, the ongoing 'managed...Show More Summary

Kevin '17 and the race to be the next UN Secretary-General

In April last year, the Saturday Paper ran a story suggesting Kevin Rudd was looking to take on the world's most impossible job: UN Secretary-General. Nick Bryant quickly poured cold water on the idea, writing that 'the problem with this narrative is that it overlooks some nettlesome details.' Rudd's name, nevertheless, continues to circulate. Show More Summary

How ISIS governs

For revolutionaries and radical groups alike, appearing to govern (setting policies, laying out standards, regulating) is essential to establishing legitimacy in the eyes of the population they seek to rule. Many Islamist insurgencyShow More Summary

Do multinational corporations pay all the tax they should?

Is this a silly question to ask, given the reported low taxes paid by Google, Apple, Yahoo, Starbucks and others? The G20 and OECD think there is a major problem and have launched an Action Plan to combat 'base erosion and profit shifting'...Show More Summary

US in the Middle East: With friends like these...

Here in Lebanon, three events have dominated the headlines over the course of the past few weeks. The death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, the skirmish between Hizbullah and Israel in the Golan, and the desperately cruel murder of the Jordanian pilot by ISIS. Show More Summary

How much is too much? The debt mystery

The 2008 financial crisis left no doubt that ill-considered debt can cause major damage not just to an individual country, but to the global economy. You might think that by now, six years later, balance sheet repair would have taken debt below pre-crisis levels. Show More Summary

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