Analysis

Royal commission recommends sweeping reforms for Catholic Church to end child abuse

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The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been dominated by abuses perpetrated in the Roman Catholic Church. Timothy W. Jones Its final report bears enduring witness to abuse on a horrific scale. The Conversation The commission constitutes the most sophisticated and thorough investigation yet into abuse within the Catholic Church globally. Its recommendations are breathtakingly bold. They provide the most comprehensive pathway so far, to redress and prevent abuse in an institution that has had endemic ... Read More »

Can Peacekeepers Break the Deadlock in Ukraine?

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Implementation of the Minsk ceasefire agreement remains deadlocked Russia’s first proposal of a UN peacekeeping force in Ukraine’s breakaway eastern regions cannot work, but it opens a much-needed window for diplomacy. ICG What’s the issue? In September 2017, Moscow proposed the deployment of UN peacekeepers along the line dividing Ukrainian from separatist and Russian forces in eastern Ukraine. Such a mission would not help end the conflict. To do that, peacekeepers would need a greater role, including helping secure the Ukraine-Russia ... Read More »

An Introduction to Crisis Group’s Iran-U.S. Trigger List

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The risks of a direct, indirect, deliberate or inadvertent clash between Iran and the U.S. are rising to new highs. Our Iran-U.S. Trigger List is a unique interactive map and early warning tool that monitors and analyses the many flashpoints between the two countries, and shows how they are linked to the fate of the 2015 nuclear deal. ICG Tensions between the U.S. and Iran, as well as between Iran and Saudi Arabia, are reaching a critical level, as are risks of ... Read More »

Uzbeks Feel Challenged by October Terror Attack

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As more Central Asians become U.S. citizens and voters, their impact and influence on domestic American political dynamics will inevitably grow. Navbahor Imamova The National Interest Immigrant communities in America have grown cohesive—and sometimes even powerful—by organizing themselves into civically aware and politically active diasporas. But for immigrants from Central Asia, one of the youngest communities in the United States, growing numbers have yielded little in the way of political cohesion. Some 350,000 immigrants have arrived from these former Soviet ... Read More »

How Washington Lost Its Status as an Arab-Israeli Mediator

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The Trump administration has abdicated Washington’s role as a responsible custodian for Arab-Israeli affairs Evan Gottesman The National Interest Much has been made of the immediate ramifications of President Trump’s Wednesday announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and initiating the relocation of the U.S. Embassy: namely, the specter of Palestinian violence in Israel and the occupied territories and implications for a future two-state… Yet, perhaps the most underappreciated impact will be on the United States’ standing in the Middle East, ... Read More »

3 myths about the poor that Republicans are using to support slashing US safety net

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Republicans continue to use long-debunked myths about the poor as they defend lower taxes for the rich and deep cuts to the social safety net to pay for them. Michele Gilman In so doing, they are essentially expressing scorn for working class and low-income Americans. The Conversation Sen. Chuck Grassley, for example, recently justified reducing the number of wealthy families exposed to the estate tax as a way to recognize “the people that are investing, as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, ... Read More »

The Sultan and the Sultan

CBDRWN Sultan Abdul Hamid II, Ottoman Sultan of Turkey as Sick Man of Europe. Cover of French Satirical Magazine, 'Le Rire', May 1897

Faced with a vast, decaying empire, the Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II ruled with an iron fist, curtailing press freedom, promoting Islam and severing ties with the West. William Armstrong Miscellanies History Today His similarities with Turkey’s current president have not gone unnoticed. Turkey’s relationship with the West is in the middle of a slow-motion car crash. After years of tension, the country’s rift with its western allies has widened since an attempted military coup against the government of the country’s ... Read More »

Timeline: game-changing gas discoveries in the eastern Mediterranean

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Massive gas discoveries in the Mediterranean Sea’s Levant Basin have attracted a flood of investment – and no shortage of geopolitical tension. Chris Lo Offshore Technology This timeline brings together some of the most important milestones in the development of offshore gas projects in the eastern Mediterranean. Unlike the Gulf of Mexico or the North Sea, the Mediterranean Sea has always been better known for stunning climate, cuisine and a booming tourism trade than offshore oil and gas. But as ... Read More »

Finding the Right Role for the G5 Sahel Joint Force

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Launched in February 2017, the G5 Sahel joint force is an experiment in a region crowded by sometimes-competing military and diplomatic initiatives. Weapons and money will not be enough to resolve the Sahel’s crises, so the force must win the trust and support of both local populations and regional powers. ICG What’s the issue? Ten months after the Sahel’s five countries set up the G5 Sahel joint force (FC-G5S) as a means of settling the armed conflicts within the region, multiple ... Read More »

An anthropologist explains why we love holiday rituals and traditions

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The mere thought of holiday traditions brings smiles to most people’s faces and elicits feelings of sweet anticipation and nostalgia Dimitris Xygalatas We can almost smell those candles, taste those special meals, hear those familiar songs in our minds. The Converstion Ritual marks some of the most important moments in our lives, from personal milestones like birthdays and weddings to seasonal celebrations like Thanksgiving and religious holidays like Christmas or Hanukkah. And the more important the moment, the fancier the ... Read More »

Three reasons Australians should be concerned that NGOs’ voices are not being heard

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A healthy democracy is built on the premise that public debate should allow for many and diverse voices to be heard as part of the contest for ideas that informs policymaking. Andrea Carson Sarah Maddison If Australians want this to be the case, the current state of play offers three reasons for concern. The Conversation NGOs are self-silencing The first is the finding in our research, released today, that Australian NGOs are self-silencing. Our data show that many not-for-profit organisations, ... Read More »

The name ‘Macedonia’ cannot work

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Although my grandfather, Josip Broz Tito, “gave” the name “Macedonia” to one of the six constituent republics of Yugoslavia, it is obvious that this act did not aim to create irredentist claims with its neighbors, with which Yugoslavia developed friendly relations and fruitful cooperation. Svetlana Broz * e-kathimerini For many years Skopje’s authorities had been presenting maps of “Greater Macedonia,” extending “the geographical and ethnic border of Macedonia” into Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia and Greece. Is that the model of regional ... Read More »

Confronting Corruption: Commitment, Innovation, Impact

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The World Bank Group (WBG) will mark International Anticorruption Day with a program of events that includes several panels and a 60-minute live conversation with WBG President Kim and former WBG President Wolfensohn. This event will be co-moderated by Pascale Hélène Dubois, Vice President of Integrity, and Deborah Wetzel, Senior Director, World Bank Governance Global Practice. World Bank Headquarters – video Read More »

Myanmar’s Rohingya Crisis Enters a Dangerous New Phase

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The mass flight of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar’s Rakhine State has created a humanitarian catastrophe and serious security risks, including potential cross-border militant attacks. ICG The international community should press the Myanmar government to urgently implement the Annan commission’s proposals, including as regards discrimination, segregation and citizenship. What’s the issue?  The response of Myanmar’s military to militant group Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army’s (ARSA) August attacks has led to one of the most catastrophically fast refugee exoduses in modern times. More ... Read More »

Counting the Costs of U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

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President Donald J. Trump on 6 December 2017 declared U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, breaking decades of precedent even while saying the U.S. was not “taking a position of any final status issues”. ICG In this Q&A, Ofer Zalzberg and Nathan Thrall, Senior Analysts for Israel/Palestine, examine what the decision means for Israelis, Palestinians and the future of their conflict. Has President Trump endorsed Israel’s position on the status of Jerusalem? Not precisely, although many are understanding it ... Read More »

Economic Instability Endangers Democracy

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The world’s leading consolidated democracies have seen rates of economic growth consistently and persistently decline over the past forty years Jordan Willcox  The National Interest In recent years, a foreign-policy community once focused on a managed decline in U.S. global predominance has witnessed the birth of disquieting new phase. The European community is closing its borders and debating Brexit; nationalism and ethnocentrism is on the rise in rich-nation political parties; the Trump administration is working to exit major trade agreements. The Western ... Read More »