Analysis

Russia is cracking down on minority languages – but a resistance movement is growing

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Russia has spent the last several years aggressively advocating for the rights of Russian minorities abroad, and in particular for the “protection” of the Russian language. Guzel Yusupova The Conversation Whenever a country takes any step that can be construed as suppressing or marginalising Russian speakers, the Kremlin is quick to respond in the most strident of tones. In October 2017, when Latvia’s government made Latvian the default language of education, Sergey Zheleznyak, the member of Russia’s State Duma Committee ... Read More »

When MSNBC or Fox News airs in public places, how do people react?

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Have you been traveling and noticed that all the televisions in an airport terminal were set to CNN? Or grabbed a drink at a bar and realized that Fox News was being broadcast to its customers? Frank Waddell The Conversation You might grouse that you’re being forced to watch something that doesn’t jive with your political views. Or maybe you think it’s no big deal – your views are already fully formed, so you can just tune it out. However, ... Read More »

Nonprofit newsrooms are reaching bigger audiences by teaming up with other outlets

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When images of NBC intern Cassie Semyon sprinting out of the Paul Manafort trial to deliver the verdict to her newsroom went viral, questions bubbled up on social media. Is she a trained runner? Was she barefoot? What was she… Magda Konieczna The Conversation What no one asked was, why was she running so fast? That was obvious: to beat the competition. After all, everyone expects journalists to fight for scoops and guard sources jealously to make sure no one ... Read More »

Sweden election: yes, the far right made gains, but we’re not falling apart

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Sweden is recovering after a very tense election night. The centre-right and the centre-left blocs have effectively secured very similar shares of the vote, but neither have come away with quite enough leverage to form a strong government alone. Anamaria Dutceac Segesten The Conversation The far-right Sweden Democrats, a niche party campaigning on a nationalist agenda, registered its highest electoral score to date. Under different circumstances, its vote share of around 4.7% would put it in the position of kingmaker. ... Read More »

Climate change conflicts are here – and ‘scallop wars’ are just the beginning

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As the planet warms, species are moving further north to climate zones which are closer in temperature to what they originally evolved in. The oceans have absorbed most of this temperature increase, and… Heather Alberro The Conversation In the face of this disruption, legal boundaries for fishing fleets could become increasingly irrelevant. As the fish stocks they once contained move out, conflict is likely to arise between countries exploiting… As a result, the ongoing “scallop war”, which has seen tense ... Read More »

The Real Cost of the 2008 Financial Crisis

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The aftermath produced a lost decade for European economies and helped lead to the rise of anti-establishment political movements here and abroad. John Cassidy The New Yorker Audio: Listen to this article. To hear more, download the Audm iPhone app. September 15th marks the tenth anniversary of the demise of the investment bank Lehman Brothers, which presaged the biggest financial crisis and deepest economic recession since the nineteen-thirties. After Lehman filed for bankruptcy, and great swaths of the markets froze, ... Read More »

American Democracy Can’t Fix Itself

FILE PHOTO: People cast their ballots for the 2016 general elections at a crowded polling station as early voting begins in Carrboro, North Carolina, U.S., October 20, 2016.  REUTERS/Jonathan Drake/File Photo - RC1F7DF2A330

Instead of placing their faith in the resilience of the system, ordinary voters are going to have to step up and restore the constitutional balance of power. Julian E. Zelizer The Atlantic The claims this past week that high-level officials are secretly undercutting the president in an effort to restrain a commander in chief they no longer feel is fit for office has left many Americans deeply unsettled. “Just a glance at recent headlines should tell you that this moment ... Read More »

Weak hand at helm as Australia drifts upon stormy regional seas

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Political turmoil compels leadership to prioritize domestic survival, rather than the greatest series of foreign policy challenges Canberra has faced in decades. By LACHLAN COLQUHOUN Asia Times Australia faces arguably its greatest series of regional foreign policy challenges in decades – including, most notably, how to balance its relations with a rising China – but political turmoil is hampering a coherent and committed response. New Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently visited Indonesia to ink a new trade deal, while Foreign ... Read More »

Mobile platforms can give refugees access to vital information when they arrive in Australia

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Waves of asylum seekers emerging from conflict zones in Myanmar, Syria, Sudan, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere are expected to add more than one million people to global resettlement needs this year. Authors: The Conversation These refugees face a world of closing doors, but they also offer economic opportunities and cultural enrichment to countries that welcome them. While some refugees are integrating well in regional Australia, others still face significant challenges in the capital cities. As concerned researchers, we are interested ... Read More »

Is the Yemen Peace Process Coming Back to Life?

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The UN special envoy to Yemen has invited the principal parties in the country’s civil war to Geneva for “consultations”. ICG With the war rapidly approaching its fifth year, Crisis Group Consultant Peter Salisbury explains why any such Geneva talks are important and what should happen next. First of all, what is happening and why does it matter? After two years of political inertia, we should be cautious about what can be achieved. Given the lack of diplomatic progress since ... Read More »

Freedom of Navigation and the Environment

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The US has long maintained that freedom of navigation (FON) for warships in foreign 200-nautical-mile Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) is essentially “absolute.” Mark J. Valencia IPP Review China and some other countries disagree and have placed some restrictions on the activities of foreign warships and aircraft in their EEZs. But the US is undermining its own position by placing restrictions on its own military’s activities, and by extension those of foreign militaries, in its own EEZ. Military activities in EEZs ... Read More »

Why do people talk politics online? Because they don’t care what you think

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Wading into a political debate online can be a minefield. Search any comment section or thread on a social media site, and you’re likely to come across some pretty strong views. Authors: The Conversation But that’s not necessarily just the nature of the debate. It could also reflect the kind of personalities that are drawn to online discussions of this kind. In our research, we’ve found that people who don’t care about what others think are more likely to engage ... Read More »

World politics explainer: the assassination of John F. Kennedy

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At precisely 1pm on November 22, 1963, the 35th president of the United States was pronounced dead at Parkland Hospital Trauma Room 1 in Dallas, Texas. Lloyd Cox The Conversation John F Kennedy’s personal physician stated the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head. This was officially announced to a stunned public half an hour later. The shock waves of the president’s assassination, the fourth in US history, continue to reverberate today. What happened? While the events ... Read More »

4 charts show Venezuela’s worsening migrant crisis

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A few years ago, Venezuela seemed to be setting the standard for social welfare in the region. Rebecca Hanson The Conversation In 2015, the United Nations recognized Venezuela as having made the most advances in the fight against hunger in the Latin American and Caribbean region. National rates of poverty and inequality declined under President Hugo Chávez from the early 2000s until 2012. Yet this is the same country where inflation last year reached 2,616 percent. The International Monetary Fund ... Read More »

Russia and Turkey Will Collide Over End of Syrian Civil War

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This is Washington’s chance to repair ties with Ankara to counter Moscow and Damascus. Gabriel White and Bogdan Belei The National Interest At the beginning of August, the Syrian military planes flew over the northwestern province of Idlib and dropped leaflets urging residents to surrender and threatening military action. It was the latest example of how Bashar al-Assad and his forces have ignored de-escalation agreements and continue a full-scale offensive against their opposition. The city of Idlib—the only majoropposition-held territory left ... Read More »

Foreign Influence in the Balkans

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The Balkans have always been fertile ground for foreign interests. Political intrigue in the region sparked the First World War and nationalist struggles after the dissolution of Yugoslavia filled world headlines in the 1990’s. Krithika Varagur Pulitzer Center It was in the latter period, and specifically during the Bosnian War, that the door was opened to substantial investment from the Middle East. Both Saudi Arabia and Iran helped countries like Bosnia and Kosovo reconstruct their infrastructure, schools, and places of ... Read More »