Europe

End the US Stranglehold on the World Bank

Since the World Bank was created after World War II, its president has always been selected by the United States and backed by European powers, which enjoy a similar monopoly over the directorship of the International Monetary Fund. Jesse Griffiths Project Syndicate But with US President Donald Trump having nominated an unsuitable candidate, that may be about to change. ONDON – Nominations opened this week for the World Bank presidency, one of the most powerful and important jobs in the ... Read More »

A Sovereign Democracy and a Dud Partner: Explaining the Slide in U.S.-Turkey Relations

What’s wrong with U.S.-Turkey relations? For over a decade, ties between the United States and its NATO ally have been a rollercoaster ride, leading some in the United States to conclude that Turkey has either lost or is losing its value as a strategic partner. Nadir Firat War on the Rocks Observers have offered various explanations for the tensions, including Aykan Erdemir and Merve Tahiroglu in War on the Rocks and Steve Cook, who gave a long list of disheartening reasons… ... 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 »

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 »

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 »

Numbers of Turkish universities soar, but quality falls

Undergraduate and graduate enrollment has increased spectacularly at Turkey’s universities in recent years. And while the infrastructure has kept pace, the same can’t be said of the quality of education. Metin Gurcan Al-Monitor The number of students and academic capacity has grown tenfold in just the past decade. Going back further, in 1979 there were only 12 universities in Turkey. There are now 203. In 1980, out of 467,000 students who participated in university entrance exams, only 42,000 (9%) were able to enter, whereas ... 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 »

INF nuclear treaty: Russia plans new missile systems after pullout

Russia says it is planning to develop new missile systems after both Russia and the US suspended their involvement in an arms control pact. BBC The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) banned the pair from using short- and medium-range missiles. The US has long accused Russia of violating the pact, and last week US President Donald Trump announced he would exit it. Russia followed suit. The moves have raised concerns about a new arms race. The INF was signed during ... Read More »

France declares day marking ‘Armenian genocide’

France has declared a national day of commemoration to remember the 1915 Armenian genocide. The announcement is set to provoke an angry response from Turkey. DW French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday declared April 24 to be a national day to commemorate the 1915 Armenian genocide. Macron made the statement at an annual dinner of the Coordination Council of Armenian Organizations in France, fulfilling a 2017 campaign promise. France was among the first countries to denounce “the murderous hunt of ... Read More »

Anxiety on rise among the young in social media age

YouGov survey shows 18% of young people in UK do not think life is worth living Robert Booth The Guardian The number of young people in the UK who say they do not believe that life is worth living has doubled in the last decade, amid a sense of overwhelming pressure from social media which is driving feelings of inadequacy, new research suggests. In 2009, only 9% of 16-25-year-olds disagreed with the statement that “life is really worth living”, but ... 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 »

Europeans fear Trump may threaten not just the transatlantic bond, but the state of their union

BERLIN — As President Trump prepares to deliver his second State of the Union address, the leaders of the United States’ closest allies in Europe are filled with anxiety. Dan Balz and Griff Witte The Washington Post They are unsure of whom to talk to in Washington. They can’t tell whether Trump considers them friends or foes. They dig through his Twitter feed for indications of whether the president intends to wreck the European Union and NATO or merely hobble the ... Read More »

Refugees deported by Europe attacked by Taliban, ISIL

Afghans deported and returned from Europe tell Al Jazeera how they are caught in the crossfire amid rising attacks. Shereena Qazi Al Jazeera Nasir, a 26-year-old shopkeeper from the northern Kunduz province, left as a refugee for Europe in July 2015 – the year his father, a local police officer, was killed by unknown assailants. Last month, having returned to Afghanistan after being deported from Finland, he was injured in a Taliban-claimed massacre in Kabul that killed more than 100 people. As he recovered in a ... Read More »

Dutch former anti-Muslim politician converts to Islam

Joram van Klaveren is the second ex-PVV politician to convert. A former member of Geert Wilders’ far-right Dutch party announced Monday that he has converted to Islam. Eline Schaart Politico Joram Van Klaveren said he made the switch from critic to convert while writing a book about Islam. “During that writing I came across more and more things that made my view on Islam falter,” he… Van Klaveren was a member of parliament for the Freedom Party (PVV) from 2010 to ... Read More »

Is authoritarianism bad for the economy? Ask Venezuela – or Hungary or Turkey

Democracy is at risk worldwide. And the economy may be, too. Seventy-one out of the world’s 195 countries saw their democratic institutions erode in recent years, according to the 2018 year-end report by democracy watchdog Freedom House, a phenomenon known as “democratic backsliding.” Authors: The Conversation Signs of backsliding include elected leaders who expand their executive powers while weakening the legislature and judiciary, elections that have become less competitive and shrinking press freedom. When government institutions erode like this, it ... Read More »