Analysis

Diarmaid Ferriter: Nuns’ side of story needs to be heard

Silence and selective recounting of history reinforces caricature of ‘bad nuns’ Diarmaid Ferriter The Irish Times Just what is the nuns’ story? That is a question I’ve often pondered when absorbing the revelations of recent years about Ireland’s reliance on institutions, the things that went on within them and the social, economic and cultural currents that… There has been much testimony from survivors of abuse and numerous declarations of sorrow from politicians reacting to the publication of the reports of ... Read More »

Your DNA Is Out There. Do You Want Law Enforcement Using It?

A genealogist and a data science company are solving cold cases and finding the unfindable On the afternoon of Nov. 18, 1987, Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg left Saanich, B.C., their hometown, to pick up some furnace equipment in Seattle for Cook’s father. By Drake Bennett and Kristen V Brown Bloomberg Saanich and Seattle are a little more than 100 miles apart, but the trip takes almost five hours: a ferry into the U.S. across the Strait of Juan ... Read More »

Why believing in ghosts can make you a better person

Halloween is a time when ghosts and spooky decorations are on public display, reminding us of the realm of the dead. Tok Thompson The Conversation But could they also be instructing us in important lessons on how to lead moral lives? Roots of Halloween The origins of modern-day Halloween go back to “samhain,” a Celtic celebration for the beginning of the dark half of the year when, it was widely believed, the realm between the living and the dead overlapped and ghosts ... Read More »

When America Was Great, Savage White Un-Settlers Raped a Continent and Assaulted a Planet

Your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings…are…a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States, at this very hour. – Frederick Douglass, July 4th, 1852 Paul Street CounterPunch “Together,” Donald “Make America Great Again” Trump told U.S. Naval Academy graduates last May, “there is nothing Americans can’t do, absolutely nothing. In recent years, ... Read More »

Trump administration plants US flag in Armenia

A visit by National Security Advisor John Bolton made clear that the past practice of looking the other way as Armenia deepened ties with Iran is over. Richard Giragosian Asia Times For the small country of Armenia, the past several months have marked an impressive emergence on the world stage. In a first-ever visit by a German leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Armenia in late August, followed by French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, joining other ... Read More »

Italy’s Budget Isn’t as Crazy as It Seems

EU officials must recognize that the country needs stimulus. Ashoka Mody Bloomberg Europe’s leaders have come down hard on Italy for its plans to increase spending with the aim of boosting growth and helping the poor. What they fail to recognize is that a little stimulus might be just what the… The outlook for the global economy is deteriorating more rapidly than forecasters realize. A slowdown in China has hit global trade, European exports are decelerating, and euro-area business sentiment is sharply down. All ... Read More »

Brazil’s Bolsonaro Is No Friend of Liberty

The prospect of the left-wing Workers’ Party returning to power in Brazil has encouraged many to enthusiastically support the candidacy of Jair Bolsonaro, the country’s far right candidate. Juan Carlos Hidalgo The National Interest ”The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” goes the ancient proverb. In the case of Brazil, the prospect of the left-wing Workers’ Party (PT) returning to power has encouraged the markets and some liberty advocates to enthusiastically support the candidacy of Jair Bolsonaro, a far ... Read More »

Don’t Mention The War In Wentworth: Dr Peter Slezak

The furore over the Morrison government’s ‘riffing’ on moving Australia’s embassy in Israel has distracted from the even greater crimes being perpetrated against Palestinians. Dr Peter Slezak explains New Matilda Despite the storm of local and international condemnation, Prime Minister Morrison’s willingness to consider moving Australia’s Israel embassy to Jerusalem is a significant public relations win in the larger political scheme of things. Whether or not the harshest criticisms of the proposal are warranted, the furore over the embassy issue has ... Read More »

Khashoggi’s Murder Heralds a New Era of Impunity

The ugly geopolitics in the wake of the Saudi journalist’s death point to a world in which impunity reigns The head of the United Nations delivered a dark and, it turns out, prophetic warning several weeks ago. Uri Friedman The Atlantic As power diffuses from the United States, the world is devolving into chaos. “Impunity and unpredictability” are becoming “the name of the game,” António Guterres told me. At the time, the UN secretary-general had the kaleidoscopic and catastrophic Syrian war top ... Read More »

Why Wall Street’s tumble is bad news for Trump

US stock markets fell sharply Wednesday, erasing all gains for the year and muddying one of President Donald Trump’s favourite talking points two weeks before the midterm elections. Brisbane Times The Washington Post The technology-heavy Nasdaq fell 4.4 per cent Wednesday, its worst one-day drop since the financial crisis. The index has slid more than 12 per cent since the end of August. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, which tracks a broader group of US companies, has lost $US2 ... Read More »

Watch List 2018 – Third Update

Crisis Group’s third update to our Watch List 2018 includes entries on economic reforms in Libya, preserving the fragile quiet in Syria’s Idlib province, addressing the plight of civilians in eastern Ukraine, supporting Colombia’s uneasy peace process and averting violence in Nigeria’s upcoming… ICG This annual early-warning report identifies conflict situations in which prompt action by the European Union and its member states would generate stronger prospects for peace. Libya’s Economic Reforms Fall Short Libya has seen… Watch List 2018… Read More »

Mark Carney, eco-warrior

The Bank of England governor is pushing banks and investors to take climate change seriously. And they listen, whether they want to or not. By SILVIA SCIORILLI BORRELLI, KALINA OROSCHAKOFF AND CAT CONTIGUGLIA Politico LONDON — Mark Carney’s job is to guide the pound and the British economy through the Brexit storms. But the Bank of England chief is also building a legacy in another, unexpected field: climate change. From twin perches atop the British central bank and a global oversight body, Carney ... Read More »

Saving Guatemala’s Fight Against Crime and Impunity

Next year, President Jimmy Morales vows he will end the mandate of the UN-backed Commission against Impunity in Guatemala. ICG Hugely popular, the commission has helped reduce the country’s terrible murder rate. To keep it going, its supporters should refocus on fighting the worst violent crime. What’s new?  Research by International Crisis Group has for the first time quantified the positive impact of the UN’s Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CI-CIG). This report shows how CICIG’s justice reform activities since ... Read More »

Migrant caravan members have right to claim asylum – here’s why getting it will be hard

Roughly 5,000 people, mostly from Central America’s violent and unstable “Northern Triangle” of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras are reportedly making their way through Mexico with the intention of claiming asylum at the U.S. border. Abigail Stepnitz The Conversation The so-called “migrant caravan” is attracting intense social and political attention, with U.S. President Donald Trump declaring it a “national emergency.” He has also claimed, erroneously, that the migrants “have to” claim asylum in Mexico first. Migrants aren’t obligated to claim asylum in ... Read More »

China’s hidden camps

What’s happened to the vanished Uighurs of Xinjiang? BBC China stands accused of locking up hundreds of thousands of Muslims without trial in its western region of Xinjiang. The government denies the claims, saying people are willingly attending special ”vocational schools” which combat ”terrorism and religious extremism”. Now a BBC investigation has found important new evidence of the reality. Detention in the desert On 12 July 2015 a satellite swung over the rolling deserts and oasis cities of China’s vast ... Read More »

China Expands Its Peace and Security Footprint in Africa

At the 2018 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and China-Africa Defence and Security Forum, Beijing showcased an increasingly strategic approach to its defence relations with African countries and its role in managing challenges to peace and security on the continent. Michael Kovrig ICG China’s growing engagement with African countries got a publicity boost on 3-4 September with the latest Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). The triennial event brought leaders and officials from 53 African countries and the African Union (AU) to Beijing for ... Read More »