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Commentary: Middle Europe turns its back on the EU

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In the Oct. 15 Austrian elections, the 31-year old head of the conservative Austrian People’s Party took his formerly languishing party to victory and secured the chancellorship for himself. Sebastian Kurz is on course to be the youngest leader in the developed world. His first big decision will be whether or not to form a coalition with the far-right Freedom Party, which came in a virtual tie for second place with the center-left Social Democrats. Kurz said in post-election interviews that his government would be “pro-European” and intolerant of any anti-Semitism, with which the Freedom Party has been strongly associated – though now softened by its present leader, Heinz-Christian Strache, who has shifted from general xenophobia to a focus on opposing Muslim migration.

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Commentary: Trump’s Iran decision hurts chance of a North Korea deal

Donald Trump’s undermining of the Iran nuclear deal only shrinks U.S. options for dealing with North Korea. The U.S. president’s decertification of Tehran’s compliance will be well noted in Pyongyang, giving North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a credible excuse for refusing to negotiate with Washington.

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Commentary: Blame the Constitution for Trump’s undemocratic executive orders

Donald Trump last week signed an executive order and took further administrative action that will weaken the healthcare coverage of millions of Americans. The president is required by Article Two of the Constitution to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” So are his efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional?

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Commentary: How money will divide Europe after Brexit

Right now the European Union is united on one thing above all: to get Britain to pay as big a divorce bill as possible when it exits the EU. But while money will unite leaders at this week’s European summit, it will divide them after Brexit.

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Commentary: We boomers are leaving a toxic legacy

Among many of us in the generations that have done well out of the post-World War Two period, there’s now a feeling of guilt - as there should be.

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Commentary: There’s a way to reduce the wildfire toll. We won’t like it.

Deadly wildfires are raging in the wine country region of northern California – the third straight month of infernos across the western United States and Canada. By Thursday, the California fires had killed at least 23 people and destroyed 3,500 homes or businesses. Those numbers are likely to increase once the fire is suppressed and officials can conduct more thorough searches.

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Commentary: A former Iranian diplomat on what Trump needs to know about Iran

With the fate of the Iran nuclear deal at stake, Donald Trump has until October 15 to tell Congress if he believes Tehran is complying with the seven-nation agreement. Many expect that the U.S. president will decertify Iranian compliance with the deal -- returning U.S.-Iran relations to a state of overt hostility.

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Commentary: How hate speech can harm your brain

In a flurry of confident pronouncements within an hour of the massacre at a Las Vegas country music festival, conservative commentators and activists linked the perpetrator, Stephen Paddock, to liberal or Islamist influences. Rush Limbaugh, still the doyen of right-wing talk radio, credited Islamic State with being Paddock’s ideological home, arguing that it was disguised by the liberal media because “for the American left, there is no such thing as militant Islamic terrorism.” Pat Robertson, the socially conservative activist and televangelist, said the shooting stemmed from the news media’s and liberal protesters’ “profound disrespect for our president” and other institutions.

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Commentary: Trump’s ‘business-friendly’ gun plan will worsen global conflicts

The Trump administration is on the precipice of making a major – and little-noticed – mistake in its foreign policy. As Reuters recently reported, the White House is preparing to shift oversight of the sale of American-manufactured small arms from the diligent State Department review process to the business-friendly Commerce Department. By loosening the inter-agency guidelines in an attempt to boost America’s share in the global marketplace, the Trump administration runs the risk of fueling the civil wars currently bringing misery to millions worldwide.

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Commentary: The tax reform that Republicans are missing

Republicans in Congress and the White House haven’t been able to get any major legislation passed yet. But they're betting they can pull it off with a bare-bones proposal for tax reform outlined last week, which they claim will help the middle class despite the evidence that it will overwhelmingly benefit the rich.

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Commentary: For hurricane-hit Puerto Rico, an insider’s guide to disaster management

It seems there’s a template that critics follow for Donald Trump versus the Hurricanes: they say he won’t do enough, that it isn’t being done fast enough, that everything will collapse (ready Katrina headlines) and then the draining, heroic reality of the response takes hold. With post-Maria Puerto Rico the latest example of that trope, it’s time for a better understanding of how disaster management works.

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Commentary: Spain's missteps supercharge the Catalonia crisis

If Spanish authorities hoped strong-arm tactics against the referendum independence for Catalonia would nip nationalist feeling in the bud, they will almost certainly be proved badly wrong. Sunday’s footage of violent police action against unarmed demonstrators may prove just the catalyst pro-independence groups wanted, handing Europe yet another crisis when it needed it least.

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Commentary: Europe’s war of the nationalists picks up steam

The defeat of ultra-nationalist parties in the Netherlands and in France earlier this year gave European leaders the sense that fear of a far-right surge had, after all, been misplaced. As it turns out, it was the relief that was misplaced.

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Commentary: How we could have prevented some of Puerto Rico’s misery

One week after suffering a staggering collision with Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico is in the throes of an agonizing humanitarian disaster.

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Commentary: Trump’s Iran threats risk a U.S. break with Europe

Donald Trump is approaching a crucial deadline on his Iran policy. On Oct. 15, he will have to certify whether Tehran is observing the 2015 multinational agreement to forego nuclear weapons. Trump has reluctantly certified Iran’s compliance, which is due quarterly, twice since taking office. This time, his belligerent address to the United Nations suggests he may not.

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Commentary: Uber’s London fight a sign of tech battles to come

If there’s been one common thread running through almost every industry in the last decade, it has been how a handful of tech firms have revolutionized how the world does business. There’s Google for accessing information; Twitter for sharing opinion and news; Facebook for interacting with friends; Amazon for shopping, AirBnB for places to stay and Uber for getting around.

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Commentary: Why the Kurdish referendum means the end of Iraq

There are many worthy markers that America’s Iraq Wars have been a terrible, terrible waste, but as history loves a signature event, let it be the September 25, 2017 Kurdish independence referendum. While the referendum is non-binding and the final vote tally may not be known for several days (though it will certainly be “yes” to independence), the true results of America’s decades of war in Iraq are already clear.

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Commentary: How Congress is hacking away at disability rights

On September 7, on a straight party-line vote, the Republican-controlled House Judiciary Committee moved forward a bill that would gut key protections for people with disabilities. Although versions of this legislation had been introduced in prior years, the bill did not go anywhere while President Barack Obama stood ready to veto it. But now that President Donald Trump, whose actions have demonstrated hostility to civil rights, occupies the White House, the proposal presents a real risk of passage. If Republicans in Congress do eviscerate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it will be the culmination of their recent abandonment of the bipartisan consensus in favor of inclusion and equality for disabled persons.

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Commentary: The ‘somewheres’ and the ‘nowheres’ in Britain’s Brexit mayhem

British politics are a terrible mess. But don’t blame populism, however that’s defined. If anything, blame democracy – however that’s organized.

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Commentary: At the UN, Trump’s silences spoke volumes

President Donald Trump’s opening speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday is drawing widespread criticism for his aggressive statements about North Korea and Iran, but it is just as significant for what he didn’t mention at all.

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The views expressed by the authors in the Commentary section are not those of Reuters News.

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