Saturday 20 Apr 2019 | 07:09 | SYDNEY
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The Americas

US Navy carries out third FONOP in South China Sea

The US Navy has carried out another freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea. According to defence sources, it was conducted, on the morning of 10 May, by the USS William P. Lawrence, a guided missile destroyer within 12 nautical miles of Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands

Is Sanders' race just about done?

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are both the most strongly disliked presidential candidates for decades, according to this analysis by fivethirtyeight.com. It helps to explain why Bernie Sanders seems like such a nice guy. Soon we are likely to see if he is a nice guy who will be graceful in defeat

Fallows on Trump: America hits peak crazy

Those wondering how Donald Trump became the presumptive  Republican party presidential nominee should have a look at this video, and listen to the short comment below. In a case of remarkably fortunate timing,  the Lowy Institute, publisher of The Interpreter, today hosted a lunchtime lecture

What's funny and what's not in this election campaign

With the outcome of this week's primary in Indiana generally expected to be a key indicator in the GOP nomination (The Hill suggests a win for Donald Trump would  put him on 'a glide path'), perhaps it's time for a bit light of relief. Here some jokes about the election from White House

Yes, the US is at a fork in the road: Please bear with us

Easy, Australia. Don’t let some bombast and uncivil language from Donald Trump change your view of the United States and its intentions. We share a language, a set of values and too many common interests to be anything but friends and allies. Cover your ears and bear with us for another six

Ted Cruz: The walking ghost

Ted Cruz is a walking ghost. In deadly radiation poisoning, this term describes the symptomless period that may follow immediate nausea, right before the immune system shuts down. Cruz has already lost the nomination, it's just that he and the so-called 'Never-Trumps' are yet to realise it.

Sanders goes down in Brooklyn

Walking home from the subway tonight, my passage was blocked by a tangle of yellow police tape strewn across the wide avenue bisecting the two main grounds of Brooklyn’s large Farragut public housing complex. Bystanders told me ‘a cop shot someone; they’re killing all of us’. Even casual

Trump to take New York: Republicans a step closer to revolt

It's all eyes on New York where everyone has an opinion on this week's primary, including former world chess champion and big-time Ronald Reagan fan Garry Kasparov. While the Russian-born Kasparov took a nicely placed swipe at Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders ('I'm sorry Bernie fans, but I lived

Donald Trump, a Nixon-Kissinger realist (part 1)

In my previous post I labelled the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, Donald Trump, a 'Nixon-Kissinger realist'. Since then, Trump has provided a detailed account of his worldview in an interview with David Sanger and Maggie Haberman from the New York Times. It affirms my

Trump tears down free trade orthodoxy

The photos of Xi and Obama meeting in Washington last week reminded the world that, in nine months' time, there will be a new face sitting down with China's president for such tête-à-têtes. And what if that new face is Donald Trump?   This week, while ruminating on what a Trump administration

Clinton trumps Trump. For now.

One of the unexpected joys of watching the primary season unfold is discovering the nicknames of the US states. Possibly my favourite to date is the Badger State, aka Wisconsin, where Democratic and Republican primaries will take place in a week's time.  Right now, Ted Cruz appears to have a lead

The US presidency, on screen

The US president is seemingly everywhere as a fictional character these days, but let's bring together some more recent developments in the sub-genre. First, a trailer for Bryan Cranston's depiction of LBJ in All The Way: The latest season of House of Cards started screening on Netflix this month

Why Sanders isn't giving up

Okay, so it a different kind of slugfest to that seen at recent Trump rallies but the verbal fisticuffs over whether Bernie Sanders could still win the Democratic Party nomination are getting pretty lively. First, the story so far. 270towin (named after the number of Electoral College votes it

Clinton vs Sanders: Black women decide

African American women have had a long history of political activism in the United States. Before women’s suffrage, the 15th amendment, and even as bondswomen they admonished racism, sexism and classism as tenets of America’s founding ideals. So it not surprising black women today  carry on

What does Trump really think about women?

On International Women's Day let's look at what women are saying about Republican front runner Donald Trump. Quite a large part of his appeal is that he is a political neophyte, an outsider who owes no-one anything, so he doesn't have to play for favours. On the campaign trail with daughter Ivanka

Trump's success: Uncomfortable but completely compelling

Back in 1999 the world was scared. The source of that fear was Y2K, aka the millennium bug; a programming glitch that, it was thought, would render many computer systems useless when the clocked clicked over into the new century. The Reserve Bank of Australia even held a press conference on 2am on 1

Video: What a Trump rally is like

I confess I didn't sit through the whole 20 minutes of this film, all filmed with shaky phone cameras, though nicely edited. But I did find parts of it revealing: You sense from his supporters that Trump's campaign is almost pure emotion. Most of those interviewed in this film cite not a single

As you were after New Hampshire, but disruption looms

Avowed 'democratic' socialist Bernie Sanders and unashamed arch-capitalist Donald Trump were the big winners in today's New Hampshire presidential primary. The Sanders win will lead to a huge, albeit probably temporary, loss of confidence for the Hillary Clinton campaign while there is now even

Time for Rubio to cut a deal with Trump

Marco Rubio should drop out of the White House race and become Donald Trump’s vice presidential nominee. Rubio devotees; hear me out. First, some facts: Every Republican candidate who has been the frontrunner for as long as Trump has gone on to win the nomination. Never has a Republican

Bloomberg: Will he, won't he?

On the eve of the New Hampshire primary Michael Bloomberg has confirmed he is considering a run for the White House this year. The billionaire's interview with the Financial Times verifies a report a few weeks ago in The New York Times. It has also given every other candidate something to think

After Iowa: Trump down, but still the likely nominee

Results are now in for the first primary: Cruz for the Republicans, Clinton for the Democrats. What does this mean for the US presidential election 2016? For Republicans the Iowa result opens a can of worms. As I've argued previously, a Trump win in Iowa would have effectively ended the race.

Sanders: 'Unslick in a really slick way'

Who'd have thunk it? A 74-year-old who wants to raise taxes, describes the US economy as rigged, hates kissing babies, is pro-choice, and in favour of gay marriage, has just become Hillary Clinton's worst nightmare. OK so Bernie Sanders hasn't won the Iowa Democratic Caucus. But he has come so

The Iowa caucus: Become an expert

This rather splendid (and splendidly brief) video from Vox is a gift to US politics junkies. With the Iowa Caucus date of Feb 1  closing in, it's worth a watch if you want to understand how the Democrats and Republicans in this Midwestern state will decide their respective favourites in the

Why Trump is going to be the Republican nominee

Trump is going to win the Republican nomination. The GOP establishment and some (but not all) of the punditry class have finally awoken from denialist torpor and are yawning into this long-standing reality. Theories about how Trump loses the nomination have become increasingly incredible. The

Who votes, who doesn't, and why it might hurt Trump

First up this week is a great bit of television from two comic masters. Jon Stewart popped up on Stephen Colbert's Late Show and — with the help of wig and some Cheeto makeup — gave a rather splendid Donald Trump impression. Stewart wanted to make a plea for Congress to secure funding for

Conservatives are learning there's no bumping Trump

As noted by Crispin Rovere in 'The Shocking Truth: Why a Trump Presidency could be good for ANZUS', Donald Trump has boasted he hasn't had to spend any money on advertising because he gets so much free media coverage. And why not? The same straight talking that wows the crowds makes for terrific

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