Remember Old Europe? It was said to be dying, it was becoming irrelevant, it was a “corpse” to which British Brexiteers did not want to be shackled — and now, suddenly, it isn’t. Suddenly it looks more stable, more hopeful and especially more consensual. There is talk of reform and renewal, not revolution. Growth is up. Predicted far-right surges have failed to materialize.
Paris and Berlin are united and confident, while Washington and London are divided and dysfunctional. Something is rotten in the Anglo-Saxon world, or at least its U.S.-U.K. axis. Although it’s too early to be definitive, here are some guesses as to why:
Source: – The Washington Post
THERESA MAY called a snap election two months ago to build a “strong and stable” government. How those words will haunt her. On June 8th voters decided that, rather than transform her small majority into a thumping one, they would remove it altogether. The result is a country in an even deeper mess. Mrs May is gravely wounded but staggering on. If and when she goes, yet another election may follow—and its plausible winner would be Jeremy Corbyn, of Labour’s far-left fringe. On the eve of the Brexit referendum’s first anniversary, the chaos it has unleashed rumbles on unabated.
With negotiations due to begin in Brussels in days, the circumstances could hardly be less promising. Yet the electoral upset has thrown up a chance for Britain and the European Union to forge a better deal than the one which looked likely a week ago. Because Mrs May’s drastic “hard Brexit” has been rejected by voters, the question of what replaces it is back in play.
More at Economis
Support for the EU among its citizens has jumped sharply since the Brexit vote, even as Europeans expressed doubts about Brussels’ handling of migration, trade and the economy.
Countries including Germany, France and even the UK all reported a big rise in the number of people with a favourable view of the EU as the bloc’s reputation recovered from a series of crises in recent years.
Britain’s vote in June last year to leave the EU has helped coalesce support for the bloc among the 10 countries surveyed, according to the analysis by Pew Research Center, which surveyed just under 10,000 people.
More at Finacnial Time
The general election proves there is no appetite for a hard Brexit – and now is the perfect time to change our minds.
After Theresa May’s disastrous election gamble, it is clear the British public have rejected her plans for an extreme job-destroying Brexit.
MPs are now scrambling to find a softer option that includes staying in the free trade area.
However, once the sad reality of this Norway-type deal becomes clear, who is to say the people won’t change their minds again?
The option of remaining in the EU must be put back on the table.
When the Florentine Renaissance artist Baccio Bandinelli insulted his rival Benvenuto Cellini by calling him a “filthy sodomite,” Cellini replied that he obviously hadn’t been singled out by the gods and that those who engaged in sodomy were just imitating those higher beings – a reference to the free sexual practices of the Olympians.
This is just one of the stories that visitors to Madrid’s Prado Museum have been able to discover since the gallery on Thursday opened its new exhibition, The Other’s Gaze. Spaces of difference. Timed to coincide with the World Pride 2017 event in Madrid, it contains 30 works of art, most from the museum’s permanent collection and in their usual positions.
The exhibition aims to get visitors thinking about the historical reality of relations between people of the same sex and also about the nature of sexual identity.
More at El Pais
A gay woman has been appointed prime minister of Serbia in a double first for the EU-candidate state.
Ana Brnabić, 41, a graduate of the University of Hull in England, is the Balkan nation’s first gay PM and first female PM.
Brnabić’s appointment, which comes in the same week that Leo Varadkar was formally elected as Ireland’s first gay PM, is all the more remarkable given that virulent homophobia is still widespread in the Balkans.
The Serbian president, Aleksandar Vučić, announced on Thursday evening that he was giving Brnabić, a non-party technocrat, the mandate to form a new government, describing her as “hard-working, [with] professional and personal qualities”, the Serbian news agency B92 reported.
Source: The Guardian
Catholic theologians expressed concern and dismay about President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change, with at least one theologian calling such action “objectively sinful.” The president’s announcement had come one week before a group of Catholic theologians met for their annual convention, which focused on the intersection of faith and care for the environment.
“By reneging on its commitments, the U.S. could well undermine the shared trust that keeps other nations committed to the accord, with potentially devastating consequences for the entire planet,” said Jesuit Fr. David Hollenbach, outgoing president of the Catholic Theological Society of America. “This suggests that Trump’s decision to withdraw can be seen as objectively sinful.”
Source: National Catholic Reporter
There are plenty of reasons to want the Liberal Democrats to have a new leader. In a period defined by Brexit, their 100%, undiluted Remain message has failed to get through, suggesting there may be a problem with delivery or that they misjudged how to respond. Some think Tim Farron doesn’t really look like a leader and struggles to get a hearing with the public.
But that isn’t why he has stepped down. He has been forced to step down because of his faith.
Yesterday, former Lib Dem mayoral candidate Brian Paddick quit, citing “concerns about the leader’s views on various issues”. Within hours, Farron was gone. In his resignation speech he said:
“To be a political leader, especially of a progressive liberal party in 2017, and to live as a committed Christian, to hold faithfully to the Bible’s teaching, has felt impossible to me.”
Taking stock of their efforts over the past six months to combat some Trump administration attempts to crack down on undocumented people living in the United States, Catholic bishops meeting in Indianapolis today pledged to be more proactive in laying out a vision for comprehensive immigration reform.
Bishop Joe Vasquez, head of the bishops’ migration committee, said in a report to fellow bishops that church leaders now seek “to move beyond simple reaction to the various negative proposals we have seen lately.”
More at : America Magazine
An open letter cautions that human rights aren’t a barrier to fighting terrorism, but part of the solution.
From the Institute for Security Studies, Africa:
Dear Prime Minister,
Congratulations on your election victory, which comes at a difficult time for your country and your leadership. What the United Kingdom (UK) needs now is certainty, you’ve said. Citizens will no doubt look to your campaign promises to see what that might mean for them.
That’s what we wanted to talk to you about, actually. Usually, we criticise politicians when they fail to deliver on their sweeping campaign promises. This time, we are in the strange position of hoping that there is one promise you won’t keep.
The twin terror attacks in Manchester and London in the run-up to the vote were tragic. The very real threat of terrorism facing the UK was rightly condemned in the strongest terms by leaders across the political spectrum, yourself included. ‘Enough is enough,’ you said, and ‘things need to change’.
You’re right. Things do need to change. But we’re worried about the changes you propose to make.
More at – ISS Africa