Brexit and the power of perspective London, United Kingdom This column was first imagined by my mother as providing insights on events in the Philippines from the perspective of exile. That was my only perspective as I grew with one metaphoric foot in exile in Shakespeare’s “sceptered isle,” the other in Rizal’s “Perla del Mar de Oriente.” Ever since, I have found myself testing my experiences with the different lenses of an Asian (at heart) in the West and a European (by education) in the East, looking through a viewfinder adjusting focus as the lens shifted from wide angle to telephoto, seeking clarity. The view from a distance either way, as well as close-up, can sometimes provide a much needed added perspective, perhaps never more than in this time of Brexit. In the last few hours, the subjects of the United Kingdom have learned that their next Prime Minister will almost certainly be Boris Johnson, former Mayor of … [Read more...] about Brexit and the power of perspective London, United Kingdom
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PARIS: The fight between President Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen in Sunday's (May 26) European election in France mirrors a larger battle across the continent between competing visions of bloc's future.Macron, France's youngest ever president, and Le Pen have a lot riding on the results of the polls which both have pitched as a re-run of their duel for the presidency two years ago.The last opinion surveys appeared to show the far-right National Rally (RN) with a slight edge over Macron's centrist alliance, including his Republic on the Move (LREM) party.One poll on Friday put the RN on 25 per cent, up 1.5 points in a week, with LREM and its allies stable on 22.5 per cent.Analysts say that two years into his five-year term, the EU represents a critical juncture for Macron and might influence whether the 41-year-old can pursue his pro-business reforms domestically.But his reputation as the champion of more integration among EU member states is also on the … [Read more...] about Macron and Le Pen in battle for EU’s soul
PARIS: From her French parliamentary office, where her e-cigarette and a book entitled “10+1 Questions on the European Union” sit atop folders on her desk, far-right leader Marine Le Pen (pix) is plotting revenge. Two years ago, the 50-year-old lost to French leader Emmanuel Macron in a bitter presidential election that left her physically exhausted and facing questions over her future. But after a break, a re-branding exercise of her party – previously known as the National Front – and an overhaul of its programme, she has campaigned since January with the head of state in her sights. In European parliament elections in France on May 26, she sees the chance not only to deal a blow to Macron’s faltering presidency, but for her ideas to move further into the political mainstream. “Everything has changed,“ she said in an interview with AFP last week in the parliamentary office she has occupied since winning a seat in the National Assembly two … [Read more...] about Le Pen seeks Macron’s downfall in French European polls
HAVANA: Russia is stirring the ghosts of Cuba's Cold War past as it looks to re-establish its influence in the Communist-run island nation, although this time analysts say Moscow has no intention of bankrolling Havana.Whereas once the Soviet Union and Cuba were linked by an ideological bond, now pragmatism and a shared rejection of US foreign policy is drawing them together again.At Havana's colorful May Day parade Wednesday, Raul Castro, the first secretary of Cuba's Communist Party, received the highest distinction from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation: the Order of Lenin.The former Cuba president said the prize - first presented in 1930 by the Soviet Union - pointed to the "historic relations" between the two countries that "have endured different scenarios and today are being reinforced and renewed".This rapprochement is not new but has been consolidated by shared opposition to sanctions imposed on Cuba by Washington, which accuses the Caribbean nation of … [Read more...] about Russia’s increasing influence in Cuba stirs ghost of Cold War
By Tara Deschamps Special to the Star Mon., April 29, 2019 New European rules that will make tech firms liable for copyright violations on their platforms have been both lauded by musicians and artists and lambasted by those who champion intellectual freedom. But one thing that’s not in dispute is that similar rules won’t be coming to Canada any time soon, experts say. The copyright directive, endorsed by 19 European countries in mid-April, will compel companies such as Google and Facebook to ensure copyrighted content — everything from music and films to news and books — isn’t posted on their platforms without a creator’s permission. Some tech firms may have to acquire licences to host such material. The EU’s 28 member states now have two years to adopt the rules and create their own policies. The reforms have been touted as a way to rein in powerful tech firms and restore revenues to creative industries, often paid fractions … [Read more...] about Canada likely won’t copycat EU copyright rules, experts say. So what’s next?