The Shortlist Daily

The best reads from around the world

12th of July 2016

Theresa May to become British prime minister “The topsy-turvy politics of Britain’s endlessly unpredictable summer took another stunning twist on Monday, with the selection by default of a prime minister who had advocated staying in the European Union but will now come under immediate pressure to fulfil her promise to lead the nation’s exit. Theresa May, the hard-charging home affairs secretary, was elevated to Britain’s top job when the woman who was to spend the summer campaigning against her, Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom, preemptively dropped out of the contest to succeed outgoing leader David Cameron. With only one candidate left in the race, the 59-year-old May was named the winner by acclaim, a decision met with table-thumping approval by her fellow Tories in Parliament. She will take the keys to 10 Downing Street on Wednesday, once Cameron has had a final turn in the weekly political combat session known as Prime Minister’s Questions.” (Also: Who is Theresa May? and David Cameron hums tune to himself after resigning as British PM)

The Washington Post

11th of July 2016

South Sudan ‘back to war’ “South Sudan is ‘back to war’, a spokesman for the vice-president says, as rival factions clash and hundreds have been reported killed. Forces loyal to Vice-President Riek Machar say government troops attacked their positions in the capital, Juba. But Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth said the reports of war were ‘dishonest’. The UN mission said hundreds had sought shelter in its compounds, and called for leaders to restrain their troops. Col William Gatjiath, Mr Machar’s military spokesman, says President Salva Kiir ‘isn’t serious’ about a peace agreement. He said ‘hundreds’ of Mr Machar’s troops had died on Sunday, and that troops loyal to Mr Machar were advancing on Juba from different directions.”


8th of July 2016

Climate change claims a lake, and a way of life “The water receded and the fish died. They surfaced by the tens of thousands, belly-up, and the stench drifted in the air for weeks. The birds that had fed on the fish had little choice but to abandon Lake Poopó, once Bolivia’s second-largest but now just a dry, salty expanse. Many of the Uru-Murato people, who had lived off its waters for generations, left as well, joining a new global march of refugees fleeing not war or persecution, but climate change. ‘The lake was our mother and our father,’ said Adrián Quispe, one of five brothers who were working as fishermen and raising families here in Llapallapani. ‘Without this lake, where do we go?’ After surviving decades of water diversion and cyclical El Niño droughts in the Andes, Lake Poopó basically disappeared in December. The ripple effects go beyond the loss of livelihood for the Quispes and hundreds of other fishing families, beyond the migration of people forced to leave homes that are no longer viable.”

The New York Times

7th of July 2016

Tony Blair unrepentant as Chilcot gives crushing Iraq war verdict “A defiant Tony Blair defended his decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003 following the publication of a devastating report by Sir John Chilcot, which mauled the ex-prime minister’s reputation and said that at the time of the 2003 invasion Saddam Hussein ‘posed no imminent threat’. Looking tired, his voice sometimes croaking with emotion, Blair described his decision to join the US attack as ‘the hardest, most momentous, most agonising decision I took in 10 years as British prime minister’. He said he felt ‘deeply and sincerely ... the grief and suffering of those who lost ones they loved in Iraq’. But asked whether invading Iraq was a mistake Blair was strikingly unrepentant. ‘I believe we made the right decision and the world is better and safer,’ he declared. He argued that he had acted in good faith, based on intelligence at the time which said that Iraq’s president had weapons of mass destruction. This ‘turned out to be wrong’.” (Also: Key points from the Chilcot report and The mind-boggling incompetence of Bush, Blair and Howard laid bare and Calls for an Australian inquiry into Iraq war)

The Guardian

6th of July 2016

Baghdad bombing death toll passes 250 “The death toll from a massive suicide bombing in Baghdad over the weekend has reached 250, Iraq’s Health Ministry says. The suicide car bombing ripped through Baghdad’s Karrada district early on Sunday when it was teeming with shoppers ahead of the holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, sparking infernos in nearby buildings. Iraq’s interior minister submitted his resignation on Tuesday as authorities sought to contain the public's anger about the bombing. ‘I placed my resignation before the Prime Minister,’ Mohammed Ghabban told a news conference, though it was unclear if it would be accepted, and he may yet stay in office. Mr Ghabban said the explosives-rigged truck came from Diyala province, north of Baghdad, meaning it likely successfully navigated a security checkpoint on the way into the capital.” (Also: A map of every car bomb explosion in Iraq since 2003)


5th of July 2016

NASA’s Juno spacecraft poised for one-shot try to orbit Jupiter “A NASA spacecraft is poised for a one-shot attempt to slip into Jupiter’s orbit for the start of a 20-month-long dance around the solar system’s largest planet to learn how and where it formed. Confirmation of whether Juno had successfully placed itself into polar orbit around Jupiter was not expected until 11:53pm EDT on Monday (1:53pm AEST on Tuesday). Launched from Florida nearly five years ago, Juno must be precisely positioned, ignite its main engine at exactly the right time and keep it burning for 35 minutes to shed enough speed so it can be captured by Jupiter’s gravity.” (Also: What to expect when NASA’s spacecraft Juno gets to Jupiter and NASA’s Juno mission page)


4th of July 2016

Malcolm Turnbull ‘will need to deal with Pauline Hanson’ “Malcolm Turnbull’s bid to clear out micro party senators has backfired spectacularly, and he will be forced to deal with new and expanded Senate crossbench – including a surging Pauline Hanson – if he manages to form government. As the fall-out from the July 2 poll deepens and it looks increasingly likely that no one will be able to form majority government in the lower house, election analyst Antony Green told Fairfax Media that he simply can’t see how Mr Turnbull will win the 76 seats needed for a majority.” (Also: We don’t have a winner so what happens now? and The six eclectic MPs Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten will need to sweet-talk)

The Age

1st of July 2016

Dead heat on election eve as final poll points to cliffhanger “Fewer than one in five voters think Bill Shorten will win the election, yet around half intend to give his party either their first or second preference, according to a poll on the eve of the election. The contradiction points to a looming dead heat that has lifted the potential for Saturday’s election to deliver either a shock Labor win, a narrow Coalition victory, or a hung Parliament with no side commanding a majority in the House of Representatives. A massive 27 per cent of voters remain intent on supporting Greens and other crossbench parties and independents, as support for the major parties threatens to erode further. The tightness of the contest has the parties scrounging for every last vote, especially in key marginal seats.” (Also: Why elections are bad for democracy and A realtime crowdsourced map of sausage and cake availability on election day)

The Sydney Morning Herald

30th of June 2016

EU meets without UK “European Union leaders met Wednesday for the first time without the UK in more than four decades, declaring afterward their determination to stay united but showing no appetite for a grand gesture to tie the remaining 27 nations closer together. The leaders, faced with growing discontent in many countries throughout the bloc, said they ‘stand ready to tackle any difficulty that may arise’ from British voters’ decision in a referendum last week to leave the EU. But, according to people in the meeting, leaders ruled out any change soon in the EU treaties—a fraught process that would require ratification in all 27 states—to bind the bloc closer together legally. The leaders did coalesce firmly around one theme: that the UK couldn’t cap migration, a key issue in the referendum, and expect unrestricted free access to the bloc’s single market of 440 million people. The EU bakes into its rules ‘four freedoms’, allowing movement of labor and capital, and free trade in goods and services.” (Also: EU may trade migration cap for banking restrictions and Corbyn faces leadership challenge and Theresa May and Boris Johnson run for Tory leader)

The Wall Street Journal

29th of June 2016

Attack at Istanbul airport leaves at least 36 dead “Suicide attackers killed more than 30 people and wounded dozens more at Istanbul’s main airport on Tuesday night, in the latest in a string of terrorist attacks in Turkey, a NATO ally once seen as a bastion of stability but now increasingly consumed by the chaos of the Middle East. Shortly before 10 p.m., officials said, two gunmen opened fire with automatic weapons at a security checkpoint outside Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, one of Europe’s busiest, and then detonated their explosives, setting off two fireballs. A third attacker detonated explosives in the parking lot, a Turkish official said. The attack killed at least 36 people and wounded more than 140, officials said. Hours after the assault, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that the early indications suggested that the Islamic State was responsible. But as of early Wednesday, the group had not claimed responsibility for the attack.” (Also: Suspected car bomb detonated outside Perth mosque as hundreds pray inside)

The New York Times