Analysis

Time for Germany to Learn to Lead

Washington’s move to abandon its global leadership role marks the end of Germany’s foreign policy innocence Christiane Hoffmann Spiegel Berlin will soon be faced with difficult choices that could dent its moral standing It is often a single sentence that goes down in history, one that epitomizes an idea, a movement, an era or a personality. Two sentences from Angela Merkel come to mind. One, focused on domestic politics, was an entreaty: “We can do it.” It was a pledge ... Read More »

Economic and geopolitical risks ahead for 2018

Last year was a year of disruption and distraction – yet another year of squandered policy opportunities John Hewson * The Canberra Times I had hoped 2018 would be different, driven by real leadership and real policy, effectively responding to the needs, expectations and aspirations of the majority of the electorate, as they struggle with key elements of their daily costs of living, with their wages flatlining, and constant concern about the security of their jobs. Yet the year began ... Read More »

Bannon: Robespierre of the Right

Bannonism is imperiled like never before, but a path forward exists—even for presidential ambitions. Curt Mills The National Interest Events since Wednesday—when excerpts of journalist Michael Wolff’s new White House profile surfaced, prompting an unprecedented White House response—have roiled Bannonworld like never before. Since then, the former White House chief strategist has publicly lost his most generous financial backer, the secretive Mercer family, and is reportedly in the throes of surviving a coup attempt against him at Breitbart News. “Yesterday morning, he… ... Read More »

Winds of change: Britain now generates twice as much electricity from wind as coa

Just six years ago, more than 40% of Britain’s electricity was generated by burning coal. Grant Wilson Iain Staffell The Conversation Today, that figure is just 7%. Yet if the story of 2016 was the dramatic demise of coal and its replacement by natural gas, then 2017 was most definitely about the growth of wind power. Wind provided 15% of electricity in Britain last year (Northern Ireland shares an electricity system with the Republic and is calculated separately), up from 10% in 2016. ... Read More »

Watch out for ‘Land of Morning Warning’

Japan is universally known as the Land of the Rising Sun and the Korean peninsula as the Land of Morning Calm Abhijit Bhattacharyya, The writer is an advocate practising in the Supreme Court. The views expressed here are personal. The Asian Age It is now time for a new template. Yes, be ready to acknowledge China as the indisputable “Land of Morning Warning”. This new proverb was introduced by none other than Chinese President Xi Jinping. On a chilly winter morning, ... Read More »

How Iran’s President Rouhani Can Turn Crisis into Opportunity

Daily street protests across Iran since 28 December 2017 have pitted many young Iranians against the government, but the state’s response is revealing deep fractures in the political establishment. Ali Vaez ICG To outflank both the unrest and his political opponents, President Rouhani’s best option is to address head-on the drivers of the protests and pursue popular reform. Manifold reasons lie behind Iran’s ongoing protests, but the immediate trigger appears to be widespread disgruntlement over the country’s economic performance, especially ... Read More »

China and India dominate planned pipelines additions

GlobalData’s latest analysis of global planned trunk/transmission oil and gas pipelines for the period 2018 to 2022 shows that the Xinjiang–Guangdong–Zhejiang SNG gas pipeline in China is the longest planned pipeline globally with a length of 8,972 kilometres (km). By GlobalData Energy Hydrocarbons Technology The onshore pipeline is expected to start operations in 2022 China Petrochemical Corp has 100% equity in the pipeline while China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation is the operator. The pipeline has a… The second longest planned ... Read More »

For richer or poorer: 4 economists ponder what 2018 has in store

Editor’s note: We asked four economists to offer their thoughts and insights on what they expect to be a key theme or issue in 2018. Greg Wright, assistant professor of economics, University of California, Merced Patricia Smith, professor of economics, University of Michigan Christos Makridis, Ph.D. candidate in labor and public economics, Stanford University William Hauk, associate professor of economics, University of South Carolina The Conversation Income and wealth inequality are currently at levels last seen during the Gilded Age ... Read More »

10 Conflicts to Watch in 2018

From North Korea to Venezuela, here are the conflicts to watch in 2018. Robert Malley FP It’s not all about Donald Trump. That’s a statement more easily written than believed, given the U.S. president’s erratic comportment on the world stage — his tweets and taunts, his cavalier disregard of international accords, his readiness to undercut his own diplomats, his odd choice of foes, and… And yet, a more inward-looking United States and a greater international diffusion of power, increasingly militarized ... Read More »

Kim Jong-un’s strategy: drive a wedge between South Korea and the US

Seoul: Beyond a New Year’s declaration by North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, that he would move to the mass-production of nuclear weapons and intercontinental missiles in 2018 lies a canny new strategy to initiate direct talks with South Korea: drive a wedge into its seven-decade alliance with the United… Choe Sang-hun NYT Brisbane Times Kim, perhaps sensing the simmering tension between US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, called for an urgent dialogue between the two Koreas before ... Read More »

10 Conflicts to Watch in 2018

From North Korea to Venezuela, here are the conflicts to watch in 2018. It’s not all about Donald Trump. Robert Malley ICG That’s a statement more easily written than believed, given the U.S. president’s erratic comportment on the world stage — his tweets and taunts, his cavalier disregard of international accords, his readiness to undercut his own diplomats, his odd choice of foes, and his even odder choice of friends. And yet, a more inward-looking United States and a greater ... Read More »

Donald Trump’s Biggest Fear: A Romney 2020 Primary Challenge

The retirement of Sen. Orrin Hatch sets up a bigger political play. With Sen. Orrin Hatch’s announcement that he will not run again in 2018, Mitt Romney is on the verge of gaining his revenge against President Donald Trump. Jacob Heilbrunn The National Interest Until now, the Republican establishment has lacked a figurehead behind which it could mobilize against Trump. If Romney runs for Hatch’s position, he will be poised to challenge Trump in the 2020 Republican primary and to ... Read More »

The notion that lower corporate tax rates will lead to a repatriation of corporate cash and an influx of job creation in the United States is a complete nonsense.

When the founders of the United States framed the American Constitution, one of the concerns that guided their work was the knowledge that popular democracy would eventually become an entirely commercial proposition. Christopher Whalen The National Interest This fear is clearly illustrated by the tax “reform” legislation just passed by the Republican majority in Congress. It seeks to buy votes next November with reductions in federal tax revenue that must ultimately be funded with ever larger amounts of public debt. ... Read More »

How climate change is increasing forest fires around the world

Forest Fires Have wildfires increased globally over recent years? And if so, is global warming to blame? Research has illuminated this, along with what wildfires do to us and our environment, and which areas are most vulnerable. Are wildfires increasing around the world? Unusually large wildfires ravaged Alaska and Indonesia in 2015. The following year, Canada, California and Spain were devastated by uncontrolled flames. In 2017, massive fires devastated regions of Chile – and now, a deadly blaze in Portugal has… How climate change… Read More »

There Is No Case for the Humanities

Τhe humanities are not just dying. By some measures, they are almost dead. Justin Stover American Affairs In Scotland, the ancient Chairs in Humanity (which is to say, Latin) have almost disappeared in the last few decades: abolished, left vacant, or merged into chairs of classics. So too in the same period, the University of Oxford revised its famed Literae Humaniores course, “Greats,” into something resembling a technical classics degree. Both of these were long survivors, throwbacks to an era in which ... Read More »

2017 — The year in figures and charts

Telling the story of the last 12 months through data BY THE NUMBERS From Brexit negotiations to migration, Donald Trump’s Twitter feed to the #MeToo movement, these are the figures behind the topics that defined 2017. By HANNE COKELAERE  Politico #MeToo Widespread discussion of sexual harassment, sparked by allegations of sexual misconduct and assault against prominent men like Harvey Weinstein, only really kicked off toward the end of 2017, but the topic was one of the defining aspects of the ... Read More »