Analysis

Why covering the environment is one of the most dangerous beats in journalism

From the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Kashoggi by Saudi agents to President Trump’s clashes with the White House press corps, attacks on reporters are in the news. Eric Freedman The Conversation This problem extends far beyond the politics beat, and world leaders aren’t the only threats. At Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, we train students and professional journalists to report on what we view as the world’s most important beat. One hard fact is that those ... Read More »

Friday essay: turning up the level of civilisation

In October 2005 Stephen Colbert was just starting his eponymous show. It is somewhat chilling to realise that this was when he came up with the word truthiness: it seems so now. Julianne Schultz The Conversation It has taken a while to reach maturity and morphed into the even more menacing trumpiness. Truthiness captures the slippery world inhabited by those unencumbered by books, or facts, context or complexity – for those who just know with their heart rather than their ... Read More »

A county in Idaho offered Spanish-language ballots for the first time and here’s what happened

On the morning of Election Day, the top trending search on Google was “donde votar,” which means “where to vote” in Spanish. Gabe Osterhout The Conversation Voter access to the polls was a major issue during the 2018 midterm elections in the U.S. Charges of voter suppression were made in in Georgia and North Dakota. Critics of new voting rules claimed they disenfranchised African-Americans and Native Americans. While those problems were extensively covered by the press, less attention was paid ... Read More »

Refugee comics: personal stories of forced migration illustrated in a powerful new way

When a work of art called the “The List” was installed in July 2018 at the Liverpool Biennial in the UK, it contained the names of 34,361 refugees and migrants who died crossing the borders of… Emma Parker The Conversation By September, it had been defaced with the words “invaders not refugees”. While local officials condemned the culprits as “fascist thugs”, rhetoric which portrays refugees as nameless “invaders” has been used repeatedly by European leaders and politicians in recent years. ... Read More »

Brexit deal EXPLAINED: What we know about Theresa May’s 500-page Brexit deal

THERESA May has completed a draft Brexit deal with the European Union and now must seek the approval of her Cabinet at a crunch meeting in Westminster this afternoon. Joe Barnes Express The Prime Minister’s latest proposals have already become deeply controversial with rumours of more ministerial resignations and Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party ready to vote down the… But in what is considered largely as a victory by Brussels and Downing Street, Mrs May has secured a UK-wide Irish ... Read More »

Like. Share. Kill.

Nigerian police say false information on Facebook is killing people By Yemisi Adegoke and BBC Africa Eye * Nigerian police say false information and incendiary images on Facebook have contributed to more than a dozen recent killings in Plateau State – an area already torn by ethnic violence. When BBC Africa Eye got in touch with Facebook, the company disabled the account of a man in the UK who was spreading misinformation to thousands in Nigeria. Facebook’s third-party fact-checking partners ... Read More »

Italy’s beggar’s nationalism

The populist government’s reckless budget relies on other countries being ready to bail it out. Alberto Mingardi Politico MILAN — One of the bestselling books in Italy right now is a novel based on the life of Benito Mussolini, the Italian dictator who invented fascism.   “M” by Antonio Scurati aims to be the first in a trilogy. Though several historical inaccuracies have been spotted, the novel captures well the spirit of the troubled times in which Mussolini came to power. ... Read More »

Why the history of messianic Judaism is so fraught and complicated

When Loren Jacobs, member of the Shma Yisrael Congregation, offered a prayer for the victims of the Tree of Life congregation at a campaign rally attended by Mike Pence, it left many Jews feeling very upset. Ingrid Anderson The Conversation The vice president’s office later denied inviting Jacobs to the event. Jacobs is a messianic Jew and part of a group called Jews for Jesus. Here is why their relationship with Jews is so fraught. Messianic Jews Messianic Jews consider ... Read More »

A Rising Tide of Murder in Venezuela’s Mineral-rich South

Dead bodies are appearing across the Orinoco river basin of southern Venezuela. Bram Ebus ICG In this Q&A, Crisis Group consultant Bram Ebus explains how the killings are linked by jostling among criminals, guerrillas and soldiers for mineral wealth amid the country’s wider socio-economic meltdown. What happened? A spate of mass killings in southern Venezuela is stirring international concern as the country’s political and economic crisis continues to drive a migrant exodus. On 14 October, at least seven miners were murdered ... Read More »

Bangladesh-Myanmar: The Danger of Forced Rohingya Repatriation

Bangladesh and Myanmar have struck a deal for the involuntary repatriation of over 2,000 Rohingya refugees. ICG But the agreement is rushed and threatens stability on both sides of the border. Myanmar and Bangladesh should halt the plan and instead work to create conditions conducive to a safe and dignified return. What’s new?  Bangladesh’s government is preparing to return several thousand Rohingya refugees to Myanmar. Under pressure from China, the two countries have agreed to start implementing a repatriation agreement ... Read More »

Palestine and Britain: forgotten legacy of World War I that devastated the Middle East

For those of us of an age to have known only peace in Western Europe, the centenary of the end of World War I is a an opportunity to learn something of the extreme consequences of the failure to… James Rodgers The Conversation And when the world marked the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, millions fell silent to remember the pain and sacrifice of that conflict. But another anniversary that fell this year – that of the end of the ... Read More »

10 Years After My Kidnapping, The World’s Even More Dangerous For Journalists

Every day, reporters around the world are risking their lives in pursuit of truth. Mellissa Fung HuffPost Ten years ago today, I stumbled out of a hole in the middle of Afghanistan and into a world that would, for a while, be defined by my trauma. In October 2008, I was kidnapped by a bunch of wannabe Taliban while I was reporting on the internally displaced Afghans that had set up camp on the outskirts of Kabul (a… My kidnappers ... Read More »

World War I ended 100 years ago, but what if it happened now?

Meet James, he is 21 and a labourer. He loves the cricket, hopes to start his own business and hangs out with his mate Harry on weekends. Laura Gartry ABC He’s been dating his girlfriend Ashleigh for six months, and she’s told her best friend Lucy she’s pretty sure he’s the one. James has never considered joining the army and the closest he’s come to violence is seeing a fight at the pub. Then war breaks out on the other ... Read More »

Factbox: Greece’s territorial waters and Turkey

Following his resignation from the post of foreign minister, Nikos Kotzias said that Greece was ready to extend its territorial waters in the Ionian Sea to 12 nautical miles. Angelos M. Syrigos * ekathimerini This came as surprise to Greece’s political parties and drew a strong reaction from Turkey, which claimed that any extension of Greece’s territorial waters in the Aegean would be considered a casus belli. Here I would like to examine some of the most important questions related ... Read More »

Is a U.S.-China Clash Over Taiwan Inevitable?

With Beijing long viewing Taiwan as a red-line and Washington continuing to consider the defense of Taiwan as a core component of its Asia policy, the room for error is getting dangerously slim. Daniel R. DePetris The National Interest At a time when the trade war between Washington and Beijing shows no signs of abating and China’s policy in the South China Sea remains a major irritant in the bilateral relationship, events like the U.S.-China Diplomatic and… Defense Secretary Jim ... Read More »

Could consciousness all come down to the way things vibrate?

Why is my awareness here, while yours is over there? Why is the universe split in two for each of us, into a subject and an infinity of objects? Tam Hunt The Conversation How is each of us our own center of experience, receiving information about the rest of the world out there? Why are some things conscious and others apparently not? Is a rat conscious? A gnat? A bacterium? These questions are all aspects of the ancient “mind-body problem,” which ... Read More »