Analysis

We Don’t Need Private Health Insurance

New single-payer plans don’t need to worry about carving out roles for health-care profiteers. Adam Gaffney The Nation Does achieving “Medicare for All” mean mostly eliminating private health insurance? Single-payer proponents say yes: After all, if a public plan provides comprehensive, no-deductible coverage for everyone, nobody would want—much less be willing pay for—duplicative private coverage. Yet candidates who previously embraced single-payer sometimes seem a bit unsure. For instance, Senator Cory Booker, who co-sponsored Senator Bernie Sanders’s single-payer plan back in ... Read More »

Russia to China: Together we can rule the world

Only Europe can prevent an Eastern bloc. Bruno Maçães Politico Europe’s obsession with Russia is unrequited. Moscow just isn’t interested in the Continent anymore. It doesn’t care about European integration, or moving toward Europe. But neither is it interested in Europe’s predicted disintegration, or in pulling countries away from the West and closer to its way of thinking. In the halls of the Kremlin these days, it’s all about China — and whether or not Moscow can convince Beijing to ... Read More »

A peace agreement in Afghanistan won’t last if there are no women at the table

Over the past weeks, the US government has been in peace negotiations with the Taliban. Susan Hutchinson The Conversation It has been 17 years since US and allied troops first deployed to Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban and support a democratically elected government. The current peace negotiations have progressed further than any other attempted during the conflict. But they have two serious problems. Firstly, they have have not included the democratically elected government of Afghanistan, led by President Ashraf Ghani. ... Read More »

Must the president be a moral leader?

The best presidents – including figures such as Abraham Lincoln and George Washington – are celebrated not only as good leaders, but as good men. They embody not simply political skill, but… Michael Blake The Conversation Why, though, should anyone expect a president to demonstrate that sort of virtue? If someone is good at the difficult job of political leadership, must they demonstrate exceptional moral character as well? Character and democracy Voters disagree about the extent to which the president ... Read More »

This Is What the Beginning of a Real Israel Debate Looks Like

Before Ilhan Omar came to the national stage, Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer tried to discuss pro-Israel lobbying. Ben Ehrenreich The New Republic They were shouted down. With all the shouting it was easy to miss, but something new happened in Washington this week. If you can’t see it yet, put yourself back in 2006, when everything about a Somali-American, Muslim congresswoman tweeting a line from a Puff Daddy song—as Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar did Sunday evening—would have been unthinkable. In March ... Read More »

Four lessons from 11 years of Closing the Gap reports

Scott Morrison today became the fifth prime minister to deliver a Closing the Gap report to parliament – the 11th since the strategy began in 2008. Nicholas Biddle The Conversation Closing the Gap has aimed to reduce disadvantage among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with particular respect to life expectancy, child mortality, access to early childhood education, educational achievement and employment outcomes. Almost every time a prime minister delivers the report, he or she states the need to move ... Read More »

U.S. ally Turkey looks to Russia and Iran to protect its interests

Analysis: The U.S. organized a global conference on the Mideast in Warsaw, but Turkey’s leader is at a summit with Russian and Iranian leaders instead. By Dan De Luce NBC WASHINGTON — As Trump administration officials presided over the second day of an international conference in Warsaw dominated by calls to ratchet up pressure on Iran, one longtime U.S. ally and NATO member was noticeably absent — Turkey. Snubbing the gathering in Poland, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday ... Read More »

Crisis Group Yemen Update #4

Below is the fourth weekly update as part of Crisis Group’s Yemen Campaign. ICG This week we look at fighting near the Saudi-Yemeni border and strains on the ceasefire around Hodeida, as well as international developments. Trendline: The Overlooked Battle for Yemen’s Northern Border Though the battle for the Red Sea port and city of Hodeida is paused until the UN-brokered deal to demilitarise the area succeeds or collapses, fighting on other fronts has intensified, particularly along the Saudi-Yemeni border. ... Read More »

Having a sense of meaning in life is good for you – so how do you get one?

The pursuit of happiness and health is a popular endeavour, as the preponderance of self-help books would attest. Lisa A Williams The Conversation Yet it is also fraught. Despite ample advice from experts, individuals regularly engage in activities that may only have short-term benefit for well-being, or even backfire. The search for the heart of well-being – that is, a nucleus from which other aspects of well-being and health might flow – has been the focus of decades of research. ... Read More »

‘How to Hide an Empire’ Shines Light on America’s Expansionist Sidε

The word “empire” has a distinct place in the American lexicon: readily applicable to other countries but rarely, if ever, to the United States itself. Jennifer Szalai The New York Times Even in the spring of 2003, when American forces were occupying Iraq and Afghanistan and government officials were writing torture memos, the defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld seemed almost offended when a reporter asked whether the United States was engaged in anything like “empire-building.” “We’re not imperialistic,” Rumsfeld insisted. “We ... Read More »

Rebel Incursion Exposes Chad’s Weaknesses

An early February incursion by the Union of Resistance Forces (UFR) into Chad from Libya was halted by French air strikes, conducted in coordination with the Chadian army. ICG This most severe security threat for several years highlights the weakness of the country and President Idriss Déby’s rule. On 3-6 February 2019, at the request of N’Djamena, planes from the French Operation Barkhane proceeded with a series of strikes against a group of Chadian rebels in the north east of the country. According ... Read More »

What is the essence of the Saudi-Turkish Conflict?

The establishment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as it is known by the world today, dates back to 1932 by Abdulaziz Al Saud. Osama Dlykan Geopolitika.ru But what many do not know is that this kingdom is the third state of the Sauds; the first one (1747-1818) and the second (1818-1891). Both states were overthrown militarily by the Ottoman Turks, the first directly, and the second indirectly through the Turks’ support of the Al Rashid, who were the rivals ... Read More »

UK Human Rights Act is at risk of repeal – here’s why it should be protected

There have long been attempts to “scrap” the Human Rights Act 1998, which incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into UK law. Stephen Clear The Conversation But while none have gained traction to date, parliamentarians have recently raised concerns that the government could be wavering in its commitment to the act post-Brexit. The House of Lords’ EU justice sub-committee said in January that it was worried to see the government change the wording of the political declaration it ... Read More »

Yes, Sustainability Can Be a Strategy

In recent years, a growing number of companies around the world have voluntarily adopted and implemented a broad range of sustainability practices. Ioannis Ioannou and George Serafeim Harvard Business Review The accelerating rate of adoption of these practices has also provoked a debate about the nature of sustainability and its long-term implications for organizations. Is the adoption of sustainability practices a form of strategic differentiation that can lead to superior financial performance? Or, is it a strategic necessity that can ... Read More »

We don’t know how many asylum seekers are turned away at Australian airports

The immigration department doesn’t keep a record of how many people apply for asylum at Australian airports, and how many are turned away. Authors: The Conversation Documents released under Freedom of Information show a lack of accountability and oversight by Australian immigration officials with regard to people who request asylum at airports. This means the ultimate decision to admit or deny an asylum seeker entry into Australia rests with the Border Force official who interviews them. Without oversight, an asylum ... Read More »

Europe, Please Wake Up

The first step to defending Europe from its enemies, both internal and external, is to recognize the magnitude of the threat they present. George Soros The Project Syndicate The second is to awaken the sleeping pro-European majority and mobilize it to defend the values on which the EU was founded. MUNICH – Europe is sleepwalking into oblivion, and the people of Europe need to wake up before it is too late. If they don’t, the European Union will go the ... Read More »