World

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 »

Israel extends intelligence document classification period to 90 years

The government of Israel has increased to 90 years the period during which documents belonging to intelligence and security agencies can remain secret, extending it by 20 years. Josef Fitsanakis IntelNews Until last month, government documents produced by Israeli spy agencies, such as its external spy organization, the Mossad, or its domestic security agency, the Shin Bet, could remain hidden from public view for up to 70 years. Last year, however, the administration of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commissioned a ... 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 »

Having More Education Won’t Slow the Effects of Dementia, New Study Says

”Researchers are still trying to piece together how and why the brain starts failing in old age, but one thing seemed for sure: that having more education earlier in life could build up a robust enough brain reserve to slow down the… Alice Perk Time But in a new study published in the journal Neurology, researchers found that education may not be as important in combating cognitive decline and dementia as they once thought. In a study involving nearly 3,000 ... 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 »

A draft plan from Puerto Rico’s utility reveals a huge shift towards solar power

The island’s future is slowly bending towards renewables, with ambitious plans for the future. Ε. Α. Crunden Think Progress A year and a half after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico is increasingly looking towards more resilient energy sources as the island works for long-term recovery. According to a draft version of the 2019 integrated resource plan (IRP) from the publicly-owned Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), renewable energy is increasingly appealing for the island. The IRP, shared with ThinkProgress, lays out ... 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 »

Trump Asks for Unity, but Presses Hard Line on Immigration

WASHINGTON — President Trump delivered a message of bipartisan unity on Tuesday night in his first address to Congress in the new era of divided government, but signaled that he will continue to wage war for the… Peter Baker The New York Times In a nationally televised speech that toggled between conciliation and confrontation, Mr. Trump presented himself as a leader who can work across party lines even as he pressed lawmakers to build a… “We must reject the politics ... 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Groped, propositioned, ogled: life as a female barrister in Victoria

Jenna*, not her real name, is a barrister who has practised for more than a decade and experienced many types of sexual harassment. Miki Perkins Brisbane Times These included repeatedly being grabbed on her bottom at legal functions, being propositioned for sex multiple times during case conferences in chambers, and being exposed to highly sexualised conversations with fellow barristers. One male barrister she worked alongside constantly commented on who he’d like to have sex with, including graphic detail about sexual ... Read More »

I’m a contented atheist. My conscience is my only god

I floated in and out of Catholic and Hindu beliefs until one day I stopped Cauvery Madhavan The Irish Times I was born in India into a reasonably devout Hindu family and therefore, very unsurprisingly for then, received a traditional Catholic schooling. Educated by nuns, Irish in the main, I was one of many millions of children who were part of that strange trade-off between middle-class Indians of various faiths and the Catholic Church. To be “convent-educated” meant you had received more than ... 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 »