Analysis

How the loss of Native American languages affects our understanding of the natural world

Alaska has a “linguistic emergency,” according to the Alaskan Gov. Bill Walker. A report warned earlier this year that all of the state’s 20 Native American languages might cease to exist by the end of this century, if the state did not act. Rosalyn R. LaPier The Conversation American policies, particularly in the six decades between the 1870s and 1930s, suppressed Native American languages and culture. It was only after years of activism by indigenous leaders that the Native American ... Read More »

Taiwan is revolutionizing democracy

TAIPEI — Compared to the established democracies of the West, Taiwan’s is still in its infancy. Yen-Tu Su The Washington Post It did not become a full democracy until 1992, and it only held its first direct presidential election in 1996. And yet, Taiwan’s young democracy has made rapid progress, through social movements, representative politics, the judicial process and now, through direct democracy. In the beginning of this year, it rolled out one of the most citizen-friendly systems for ballot initiatives and ... Read More »

World politics explainer: The twin-tower bombings (9/11)

At 8:46am on a sunny Tuesday morning in New York City, a commercial jet plane flew into the North Tower of the World Trade Centre, cutting through floors 93 to 99. Barbara Keys The Conversation As the news was beamed around the world, shaken reporters wondered whether the crash had been an accident or an act of terrorism. At 9:03am, viewers watching the smoke billowing from the gash in the building were stunned to see a second jet plane dart ... Read More »

Art show takes on the misrepresentation of Muslims

Muslim women in the West have been battling inaccurate stereotypes for ages. In the post-Sept. 11 era, Muslim women have come to be seen as one-dimensional figures in need of saving by the “West” and lacking dynamism or the ability to act. Nadiya Ali The Conversation This month, a visual art exhibit opening in Toronto aims to challenge those representations. (Mus)interpreted is presented by the Truth and Dare Project and organized by artist Zahra Agjee and curated by Agjee and ... Read More »

What’s Going on in Brussels?

Migration is dividing the European Union Preston Huennekens Center for Immigration Studies The European Union began in 1952 as the European Coal and Steel Community. The original six countries — Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, West Germany, and… Negotiations continue with outsiders that could see the group’s total membership rise to over 30 by 2020. Some commentators point to the E.U. as a superpower. Well-intentioned visionaries believed that increased European integration and supranational cooperation would bring prosperity, peace, and progress to ... Read More »

Warrior women: despite what gamers might believe, the ancient world was full of female fighters

One of the great things about computer games is that anything is possible in the almost endless array of situations on offer, whether they are realistic or fantasy worlds. Eve MacDonald The Conversation But it has been reported that gamers are boycotting Total War: Rome II on the grounds of historical accuracy after developers introduced women generals, apparently to please “feminists”. But while it’s true that the Romans would not have had female soldiers in their armies, they certainly encountered ... Read More »

How to deal with the next financial crisis – take some lessons from Iceland

It has been ten years since the global recession hit – and the perfect opportunity to rethink and reassess the crisis with the benefit of time. Iosif Kovras The Conversation Much of the focus so far has been on economic or policy failures, with the question of accountability left out of the discussion. In stark contrast to the grassroots calls for punishing those responsible, political leaders were not overly concerned with accountability, leaving bankers off the hook. This was a ... Read More »

A really simple guide to the US mid-term elections

Two years after Donald Trump was elected, American voters take to the polls again on 6 November for the mid-term elections. BBC These elections happen every four years in November – so-called because they take place in the middle of the president’s four-year term of office. This time they’re choosing new members of Congress, but how they vote could affect how the rest of Mr Trump’s presidency turns out. If you want to find out more, please click the. Who is being elected? ... Read More »

World politics explainer: The fall of the Berlin Wall

Nearly 30 years ago, in the night of November 9-10, 1989, East German border police opened the gates at crossing points in the Berlin Wall, allowing masses of East Berliners to stream through them unhindered. Andrew Bonnell The Conversation This started a night of unbridled celebrations as people crossed freely back and forth through the Cold War barrier, climbed on it, and even danced and partied on it. The signal for the mass breach of the previously heavily guarded wall ... Read More »

Pipeline Dreams

Eastern Mediterranean gas creates new allies—and deepens old enmities John Psaropoulos the weekly Standard Athens On January 30, the deepwater drillship Saipem 12000 sent its drill bit into a cavern beneath one-and-a-quarter miles of water and a mile of rock in the eastern Mediterranean. The Italian oil and gas company Eni, which had contracted the ship, announced a week later that the cavern, called Calypso, was “an extended gas column,” containing an estimated six to eight trillion cubic feet of ... Read More »

Confrontations Shape Identity

The question is how to get those confrontations right. A strong national identity is good, but a xenophobic backlash is not. Joergen Oerstroem Moeller * The National Interest Human beings need an identity. Together with self-respect, it forms the core of each individual’s life-explaining and shaping behavior. It is found by comparing themselves with people “on the other side of the hill.” Identity is conducive to depict those other people as enemies or opponents. The search for identity thus sows ... Read More »

Aung San Suu Kyi’s extraordinary fall from grace

Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s civilian leader and de facto president, is under fire from all sides. Domestically, she is facing growing criticism for stalled economic and political reforms, glacial progress on policy and service improvements, and the suppression of freedom of expression and press freedom. Authors: The Conversation But it is her international reputation that is most in tatters. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, imprisoned for 15 years over a 21-year period in her struggle for human rights and ... Read More »

How should we judge people for their past moral failings?

The recent allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have further divided the nation. Andrew Khoury The Conversation Among the questions the case raises are some important ethical ones. Not least among them is the question of moral responsibility for actions long since passed. Particularly in light of the #MeToo movement, which has frequently involved the unearthing of decades old wrongdoing, this question has become a pressing one. As a philosopher, I believe this ethical conundrum involves ... Read More »

Cameroon: Divisions Widen Ahead of Presidential Vote

The risk of violence around the 7 October vote is greatest in Anglophone regions, but other parts of Cameroon could also be affected. ICG The government should take steps to curb divisive rhetoric and declare a ceasefire, even if only temporary, with Anglophone armed groups. What’s new?  Cameroon’s presidential election on 7 October comes at a tense moment. The country is torn between the fight against Boko Haram in the Far North and the Anglophone conflict in the Northwest and ... Read More »

11 Takeaways From The Times’s Investigation Into Trump’s Wealth

Donald J. Trump built a business empire and won the presidency proclaiming himself a self-made billionaire, and he has long insisted that his father, the legendary New York City builder Fred C… By Russ Buettner, Susanne Craig and David Barstow The New York Times “I built what I built myself,” the president has repeatedly said. But an investigation by The New York Times has revealed that Donald Trump received the equivalent today of at least $413 million from his father’s ... Read More »

Wildfires in Mediterranean Europe will increase by 40% at 1.5°C warming, say scientists

Europe’s Mediterranean regions have strong sunshine, bright blue seas, beautiful beaches, and pretty holiday houses immersed in pine forests that provide welcome shade. Authors: The Conversation It sounds very inviting, but such a scenario is also perfect for severe wildfires such as the ones that killed 99 people this July in the popular holiday resort of Mati, in Greece. Now, new research in Nature Communications suggests that the summer fire season in Mediterranean Europe is going to get worse. Under ... Read More »