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World

10 August 2018

Ten years on from the August War, South Ossetia remains a frozen conflict

Foto: SP

Ten years ago this week Russian troops entered South Ossetia in response to Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili's decision to send his army to attack the region which, though officially still Georgian territory de jure, had seceded de facto seventeen years earlier, in 1991. The attack had been launched the day before the Russian response, which occurred on 8th August.

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9 August 2018

Hiroshima, Nagasaki – never again!

Just over 73 years ago, on 6th August 1945 – so within the memory of the very oldest people still alive - the Japanese city of Hiroshima was virtually wiped from the face of the Earth by a single nuclear bomb. In the seven decades which have passed since that historic event, the world is replete with bombs which make those dropped on Hiroshima and, three days later, on Nagasaki, look like fire-crackers. We should remember, however, that even these relatively small bombs were terrifyingly destructive weapons. Many people died instantly, but those casualty figures were doubled within a few months, so that the number of deaths from the bombings' acute effects may have been well over 200,000, with even the lowest estimates reaching two-thirds of that figure. Lingering radiation sickness would kill many more as the years went by. SP Senator Tiny Kox, who is also a member of the Dutch delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, wants to ensure that these weapons of mass destruction will never be used again. “I want to see the government sign up to the international campaign to ban nuclear arms,” he says.

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26 July 2018

Trump bluffs, Juncker capitulates

Foto: SP

The SP is opposed to the deal which European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has signed with Donald Trump. Explaining the party's hostility to the deal, SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur said: “It's a slap in the face for the widespread resistance to the TTIP, the free trade treaty between the EU and the US, negotiations over which were halted in 2016. Instead of making agreements on fair and sustainable trade, Juncker has committed the EU to importing more liquid gas and more soya, as well as running down all barriers to trade and product standards, These are of course designed to protect the consumer and the environment. Juncker and Trump also want to intensify trade in services, chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

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26 July 2018

Time to take action against Israel's apartheid 'nation state' law

What was in reality already the case has now been formally incorporated into Israeli law. In the country once counted a democratic good example in an authoritarian region, apartheid has now been confirmed as a legal principle. The law from now on will state that only Jewish inhabitants of Israel have the right of self-determination. The 1.8 million Arabs who live there are now also officially second class citizens, their language no longer recognised as one of the official languages and their fate made dependent on the wishes of the Jewish population.

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11 June 2018

Improvement of the Dutch language won’t be in the Constitution

Not only Papiamentu, but also the Dutch language has many words that have been copied from other languages. Most of these words originate from French and German. After the Second World War, English became the dominant language. However, I think all these English terms we use don’t improve the language. Turn on the radio and you hear English songs, turn on the TV and you see programmes in English.

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5 June 2018

Ten years later

'The crisis is over'. I hear this often in The Hague. If you look at big corporations' profits, that's indeed the case. But if you look at the lives of ordinary people, you get a very different picture. Wages have hardly risen, more than half of young people have insecure work, and older people must continue working longer.

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29 May 2018

Trade treaty with Latin American countries a threat to public health

The trade treaty between the EU and a number of Latin American countries, those which make up the trade association Mercosur, presents a threat to European public health. It cannot be ruled out that more 'salmonella chicken' will end up on the European consumer's plate. For this reason the treaty should be immediately rejected, argues Anne-Marie Mineur, MEP.

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28 May 2018

Palestinians urge Europe to increase involvement in Middle East crisis

Foto: coolloud

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki last week paid an official visit to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. The minister is urging the Court, of which Palestine is a member, to investigate whether Israel is guilty of human rights abuses in the Palestinian territories which it occupies. This is a grave request.

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23 May 2018

Aid? Self-interest, more like

On Friday, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag presented her policy note "Investeren in perspectief", ('Investments in prospect'), in which she sets out her plans for development aid and trade policy. What was striking about this was that Kaag, who has in the past received high praise for her knowledge of her subject as well as her international experience, was obliged to stick within the neoliberal lines laid down by Prime Minister Mark Rutte's 'Rutte III' government.

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