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Reader riposte: Aid to Latin America

Paul Cotton responds to Wendy Jarvie, who wrote about the lack of Australian aid to Latin America: Your article could be read as stating that 20 million people in the Pacific are poor (living under $2 per day). This is misleading and would not be acceptable to all the people of the Pacific Islands. Show More Summary

Movie trailer: Attack the Block

The timing of this movie couldn't be much worse — it's about an alien invasion of a South London estate, with the hoodies and chavs as the heroes. Well, they need all the good publicity they can get, I suppose. Watch video For a somewhat darker depiction of Britain's yoof, try Harry Brown. Superb Michael Caine performance in what is frankly a deeply unpleasant film.

Watching the Soviet coup from Brisbane

Watch video This week marks the 20th anniversary of the military coup that was meant to preserve the Soviet Union but instead ensured its demise. Gorbachev's recollections make for fascinating reading, but for me these events had anShow More Summary

Monday linkage

End game for Qadhafi: follow events via this Twitter mashup and Al Jazeera's live blog. Google also has a regularly updated map of fighting in Tripoli. Israel and Hamas seek to restore the cease-fire. A proxy war between China and the...Show More Summary

A qualified defence of Ben Bernanke

You might have thought that the debilitating arm-wrestle over the US debt ceiling was about as dismal as politics could get, but Texas Governor (and Republican presidential hopeful) Rick Perry demonstrates that it is possible to explore...Show More Summary

Our diplomatic network in disrepair

In our report released today, Alex Oliver and I argue that, despite some positive developments since the Institute's Diplomatic Deficit report in 2009, Australia's diplomatic network remains severely overstretched, jammed between rising demands and two decades of cuts. Show More Summary

Interview: Dark days ahead for Libya

Back in June we featured an article by the former Australian diplomat and now consultant Philip Eliason on what was then the still distant possibility that the rebel movement arrayed against Muamar Qadhafi would retake Tripoli and topple the regime. Well, welcome to 22 August. Show More Summary

Southeast Asia through Chinese eyes

Armed with your questions, David Cohen and Peter Martin from Sinocentric are conducting a series of interviews on behalf of The Interpreter with Chinese intellectuals and academics. We'll be speaking next Tuesday to Tang Qifang, a Southeast Asia specialist at the foreign ministry-affiliated China Institute of International Studies. Show More Summary

Reader riposte: Diplomatic despair

Bill Carmichael, co-author of a Lowy Institute Policy Brief on protectionism, writes: The Government's review of trade policy, released in April, stated that trade policy would in future be pursued as a domestic policy issue, and as part of a broad domestic reform agenda aimed at improving flagging national productivity. Show More Summary

In Libya, the hard work is just beginning

Philip Eliason, who we interviewed yesterday, is a Middle East specialist and former diplomat who has worked on Libyan issues. This piece also appears in today's Australian. Yesterday morning a colonel in the Libyan army told me from Tripoli that the city was quiet after Sunday's shooting. Show More Summary

Tuesday linkage

Fareed Zakaria tentatively suggests the US should move to a Westminster system. Marc Lynch on Arab reaction to events in Libya. Could Pakistan's dire situation help compel better relations with India? How do (and how should) regimesShow More Summary

A call to Asian cinema buffs

On Andrew Sullivan's blog today, I found a link to a Korean movie trailer that made me realise something unflattering about my editing of this site. When I post trailers or write the odd review of a film with a political, strategic or...Show More Summary

Why Julia Gillard should make this military funeral her last

It will be a brave politician that makes the decision to stop attending the funerals of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan, but that is exactly what Prime Minister Julia Gillard should do. The upcoming funeral of the soldier killed yesterday in Afghanistan should be the last she attends. Show More Summary

Bipartisan support for a stronger DFAT?

In parliament yesterday the Labor member for Melbourne Ports, Michael Danby, tabled the report of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade on DFAT's 2009-10 Annual Report. In an unusual show of bipartisanship,...Show More Summary

Reader riposte: Asian cinema

Evan Rees writes (warning, some links are NSFW): I just saw your post calling for blogs/resources on Asian cinema. I would suggest reading Wise Kwai's Thai Film Journal. Thai cinema received international attention this year for 'Uncle...Show More Summary

Blogs leapfrogged?

All the selling points of Twitter that my colleague Rory Medcalf mentions in his latest American Review column — it connects lone thinkers directly to a wide audience, it can expose you to fascinating new reading, it breaks stories ahead of the mainstream media — are true of blogging as well. Show More Summary

Who wears the (Aussie) pants in Libya?

My thanks to the eagle eye of colleague Anthony Bubalo who brought this interesting photo of Saif al-Islam Qhadhafi to my attention. Jubilant after his reappearance in front of the media in Tripoli after news of his arrest was apparently...Show More Summary

Wednesday linkage

With Qadhafi almost gone, just how many tyrants are left in the world? Who's guarding Qadhafi's small collection of chemical weapons? When reading up about Libya, don't forget The Arabist. Stocking up on (physical) gold to avoid theShow More Summary

What an Indian naval shipyard looks like

This photo, courtesy of Indian milblog Broadsword, shows three sleek and modern destroyers in various stages of completion. Perhaps this appearance is deceiving, but when you look at the wider scene, you do ask yourself how they ever build such advanced vessels among the disorder and decay. Show More Summary

Reader riposte: Gillard's last military funeral

An Australian Army officer writes: The presence of politicians at military funerals fulfils a number of important roles: comfort to the family that the government respects the role their loved one performed on behalf of this nation; recognition...Show More Summary

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