Analysis

Migrants calling us in distress from the Mediterranean returned to Libya by deadly ‘refoulement’ industry

When they called us from the sea, the 106 precarious travellers referred to their boat as a white balloon. Maurice Stierl The Conversation This balloon, or rubber dinghy, was meant to carry them all the way to safety in Europe. The people on board – many men, about 20 women, and 12 children from central, west and north Africa – had left Khoms in Libya a day earlier, on the evening of January 19. Though they survived the night at ... Read More »

Ignore the Free-Riding International Peanut Gallery

Foreigners nudging America into their wars have brought us only debt and misery. Doug Bandow The American Conservative Control Washington and you control the world. At least, that is what many foreign interests believe. Other countries have long had strong opinions about what America should do internationally, and have sought to see those ideas implemented in D.C. No surprise, then, that what they propose usually benefits them more than Americans. America’s policymakers should ignore this advice, no matter how fervently ... Read More »

Why so many young women don’t call themselves feminist

In recent years, feminist movements have attracted significant attention in Europe and North America. So why do so many young women still say they do not identify with the term? By Dr Christina Scharff, King’s College London BBC Fewer than one in five young women would call themselves a feminist, polling in the UK and US suggests. That might come as a surprise as feminism – the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of equality of the sexes – has been in the ... Read More »

Venezuela crisis explained: a tale of two presidents

Venezuela finds itself with two presidents engaged in a high-stakes game to control the country’s future. Daniel Hellinger The Conversation The country has also had two “national assemblies” and many questions about how the constitution should be applied. So, how did it find itself in this position? President Nicolás Maduro claims to be Venezuela’s constitutional president because he won the presidential election in July 2018. On January 23 2019, Juan Guaidó, one month after becoming president of Venezuela’s National Assembly, ... Read More »

Europe’s new Reformation

Five hundred years ago a political and religious crisis tore Europe apart. Now the continent is entering another age of schism. Brendan Simms New Statesman It is no secret that the European Union is in severe crisis. Besides the challenge of Brexit, the established order is threatened by a range of other schismatics and heretics to the south, east and indeed within the… What is less well understood is that in many ways we have been here before – 500 ... Read More »

Trump envoy urges Europe to ‘link arms’ against China

But first Brussels must start correcting the ‘enormous’ trade imbalances that have stoked transatlantic tensions, says Gordon Sondland. By HANS VON DER BURCHARD Politico Donald Trump’s man in Brussels has a simple message for Europe: Let’s be friends — and fight China. Describing China’s influence as “malign,” Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, told POLITICO that his country and the EU should overcome their current trade tensions and… “We should … combine our mutual energies — we ... Read More »

3 philosophers set up a booth on a street corner – here’s what people asked

The life choices that had led me to be sitting in a booth underneath a banner that read “Ask a Philosopher” – at the entrance to the New York City subway at 57th and… Lee McIntyre The Conversation I’d been a “public philosopher” for 15 years, so I readily agreed to join my colleague Ian Olasov when he asked for volunteers to join him at the “Ask a Philosopher” booth. This was part of the latest public outreach effort by ... Read More »

When unaccompanied young asylum seekers turn 18, many face an immigration cliff edge

Every year, 2,000 to 3,000 children arrive in the UK alone, without parents or guardians, to seek asylum. Kelly Devenney The Conversation They are provided with an education, support from social workers and often live with foster families. If they aren’t granted refugee status upon arrival, they’re normally given a temporary period of leave to remain until they are 18. But as many of these children aren’t granted refugee status before they turn 18, they face an immigration cliff edge ... Read More »

Theresa May Is Negotiating Like Yasser Arafat

The late Palestinian leader was legendary for forsaking promising opportunities, caving to extremists, and failing to appreciate the challenges of negotiating against a stronger opponent. Britain’s prime minister has perfected his diplomatic style. Garvan Walshe FP A few weeks after the 2016 Brexit referendum I got chatting with a Palestinian journalist at a wine bar in London. “How did you vote?” I asked, as the conversation turned to the inevitable subject. “Leave,” he said. “Why?” I asked. “Immigration,” he replied. ... Read More »

Eight Priorities for the African Union in 2019

With this commentary, coming in the wake of our annual Ten Conflicts to Watch and EU Watch List, Crisis Group turns to what 2019 will mean for the African continent and the African Union (AU) ahead of its February summit. ICG The broad trends identified in those two preceding publications are mirrored here as well, to wit: a transition wrapped in a transition, wrapped in a transition. The first transition is occurring at the local level, where entrenched governments face a perilous mix ... Read More »

Brexit in the Context of British History

How should Brexit be seen against the broad backdrop of British history? Patrick Cockburn CounterPunch Analogies multiply, with the crudest coming from prominent Brexiteer MP Mark Francois who denounced the head of Airbus for writing a letter stressing the negative economic impact for Britain of leaving the EU. Francois claimed that this was yet one more example of teutonic arrogance, adding pugnaciously, “My father, Reginald Francois, was a D-Day veteran. He never submitted to bullying by any German. Neither will his son.” With this, he ... Read More »

My Good Friend Roosevelt

Were US-Cuban relations soured for the want of ten dollars? Perhaps better than anyone else, Fidel Castro was keenly aware of the fact that the histories and destinies of Cuba and the United States were profoundly intertwined. Luis Martínez-Fernández History Today A fascinating and virtually unknown document housed in the US National Archives and Records Administration demonstrates that Castro was aware of this from an early age. ‘My good friend Roosvelt’, opens a letter a young Castro sent to President Franklin Delano ... Read More »

The Death of Clothing

The underlying problem of weak demand is expected to dog the apparel industry for years, meaning more store closures and more bankruptcies lie ahead — with or without Amazon. BoF By Bloomberg By: Lindsey Rupp, Chloe Whiteaker, Matt Townsend and Kim Bhasin NEW YORK, United States — The apparel industry has a big problem. At a time when the economy is growing, unemployment is low, wages are rebounding and consumers are eager to… The woes of retailers are often blamed ... Read More »

Venezuela: Denial of food is a human rights crime

In early February, the Lima Group, a coalition of several Latin American countries and Canada, urged the Venezuelan military to sever ties with President Nicolás Maduro. Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann The Conversation The group called for the urgent delivery of humanitarian aid and for international governments to refrain from doing business with the nation “in oil, gold and other assets.”  Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland reiterated Canada’s opposition to military intervention in Venezuela to solve the crisis, as… How does ... Read More »

How EU Leaders Can Prevent a No-Deal Brexit

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s strategy of threatening a no-deal Brexit requires a hard deadline that forces her opponents to capitulate. Anatole Kaletsky Project Syndicate Without that, “running down the clock” becomes “kicking the can down the road,” which more accurately reflects May’s paradoxical combination of robotic inflexibility and exasperating indecisiveness. LONDON – Has British Prime Minister Theresa May outmaneuvered all her opponents? By defeating Parliament’s effort to rule out a disorderly “no-deal” rupture between the European Union and its ... Read More »

Regulating Speech in the New Public Square

Despite the ominous headlines, the influence of fake news on political decision-making appears to be limited. Madeleine de Cock Buning and Miguel Poiares Maduro Project Syndicate But that does not make digital deception any less dangerous; fake news feeds – and is fed by – polarization, and, paradoxically, the more it is discussed, the more disruptive it becomes. FLORENCE – Today, debates about public issues play out on social media, people receive their news via digital platforms, and politicians pitch their ... Read More »