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Stephen Laws: Why a Money Resolution with Queen’s Recommendation Is Required for a Bill for the Postponing or Cancelling of “Exit Day”

UK Constitutional Law Association

In a post on this blog yesterday, Andrew Denny argued that I was wrong to suggest that a money resolution, with Crown recommendation, would be needed under the Standing Orders of the House of Commons for a  provision of a Bill for the purpose of securing the postponement of the expiry of the UK’s Article 50 notification or the revocation of that notification (“a postponing or revoking provision”).

He accurately sets out the standing orders and my argument from the paper, written for Policy Exchange, in which I made the suggestion. That argument is that any postponing or cancelling provision would involve (as the published Bills for securing a postponement do) a provision for the postponement or cancellation of “exit day” (within the meaning of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018). That, in turn, would mean the postponement or cancellation of the repeal of section 2(3) of the European…

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Can Indirect Questioning Induce Honest Responses on Bribery Experience Surveys?

GAB | The Global Anticorruption Blog

As I noted in my last post, bribery experience surveys – of both firms and citizens – are increasingly popular as a tool not only for testing hypotheses about corruption’s causes and effects, but for measuring the effectiveness of anticorruption policies, for example in the context of assessing progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals’ anticorruption targets. Bribery experience surveys are thought to have a number of advantages over perception-based indicators, greater objectivity chief among them.

I certainly agree that bribery experience surveys are extremely useful and have contributed a great deal to our understanding of corruption’s causes and effects. They’re not perfect, but no indicator is; different measures have different strengths and weaknesses, and we just need to use caution when interpreting any given set of empirical results. In that spirit, though, I do think the anticorruption community should subject these experience surveys to a bit more critical…

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Guardian ‘photos of the week’: Gaza and Syria. A case study in ‘disproportionality’

The Guardian’s institutional hostility to Israel is in part driven by their near obsession with the plight of the Palestinians – a story almost always framed, regardless of the facts, in terms of the latter’s suffering at the hands of the former.  This disproportionate focus was evident in our review of their ‘Photos of the Week‘ series, which they describe as “The best photographs in news and culture from around the world”.

Our survey of this series since March 31st – when the Hamas-led ‘Great March of Return’ began – found that 31 photos depicted scenes from the weekly Gaza border riots.

(This count doesn’t include photos related to other non-protest related Gaza violence – such as IDF responses to Hamas rocket attacks – or events in the West Bank. If we were to include such photos, the count would be significantly higher.)

In contrast, the Guardian published a…

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WRITER, SAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY: ERNEST HEMINGWAY’S SECRET ADVENTURES, 1936-1961 by Nicholas Reynolds

Doc's Books

Image result for photos of ernest hemingway in Spain

(Ernest Hemingway in Spain during the Civil War)

In Nicholas Reynolds new book, WRITER, SAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY: ERNEST HEMINGWAY’S SECRET ADVENTURES, 1935-1961, the author, the CIA Museum’s historian poses the question as to why Hemingway, who tried all forms of spying, before and during World War II would sign on with Stalin’s henchmen at the NKVD.  Reynolds relates that he had been working on an OSS (Office of Strategic Services) exhibit at the museum when he came across the links between Soviet intelligence and Hemingway and wondered how this could have happened, and what it means for Hemingway’s legacy.  Reynolds thesis is clear; Hemingway’s relationship with the NKVD was impactful, and this chapter in his life has often been overlooked.  According to the author it influenced Hemingway’s decision making the last fifteen years of his life and played a role in his eventual suicide in 1961.  With the Cold…

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IN EXTREMIS: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF WAR CORRESPONDENT MARIE COLVIN by Lindsey Hilsum

Doc's Books

Image result for images of marie colvin

(Marie Colvin in the Chechen Mountains, 1999)

“Why do I cover wars…. It is a difficult question to answer.  I did not set out to become a war correspondent.  It has always seemed to me what I write about is humanity in extremis, pushed to the unendurable, and that it is important to tell people what really happens in war—declared and undeclared.” (Marie Colvin, The Sunday Times, Sri Lanka, April 22, 2001)

Lindsey Hilsum’s new biography of Marie Colvin is a stark reminder of the plight of journalists in our ever-dangerous world.  According to the Washington Post at least 43 journalists were killed in 2018 with another 12 deaths whose causes are not totally clear.  The role of a journalist is to report the news as accurately as possible so citizens can make intelligent judgements about world events.  The life of Colvin presented in IN EXTREMIS: THE LIFE AND…

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