Society

Devan Shimoyama’s Vision of a Dazzling Black Future

A reading list for black futurity—what might it contain? The paintings in Devan Shimoyama’s “Shh…,” a small recent show at De Buck Gallery in New York City, offer some… Antwaun Sargent NYR Daily Each of the six large glittering collages, painted in oil and acrylic and adorned with the artist’s signature rhinestones, sequins, and fabrics, shows a lithe harlequin figure with bejeweled, searching… Some are self-portraits or portraits of friends and acquaintances, others are completely out of Shimoyama’s imagination. All ... Read More »

Thai King Vajiralongkorn to be crowned in three-day ceremony

Thailand has begun three days of coronation ceremonies for King Maha Vajiralongkorn. BBC King Vajiralongkorn inherited the throne in 2016 when his long-reigning father Bhumibol Adulyadej died. Days ago in a surprise announcement the palace said the king had married his long-term partner and royal consort who would now be Queen Suthida. Thailand has a constitutional monarchy, but the royal family is highly revered by Thais and wields considerable power. Thailand also has strict laws, called lese majeste, which ban ... Read More »

Europe’s Glorious Years of Peace and Prosperity

The Munich Security Conference was a depressing gathering this February. By Michael A. McFaul The New York Times THE GLOBAL AGE Europe, 1950-2017 By Ian Kershaw Throughout the Cold War and for decades thereafter, Wehrkunde (as the conference was known when it started in 1963) was the premier event for Europeans and Americans committed to NATO, trans-Atlantic ties and the West. For decades, Senator John McCain led the American congressional delegation. In his last address to the conference in 2017, ... Read More »

Gambling industry fails to meet charity donation target

MPs call for compulsory levy as GambleAware reveals many firms gave £10 or less in 2018-19 Rob Davies The Guardian The gambling industry has fallen short of a target of £10m in voluntary donations to the leading charity that funds addiction treatment and research, fuelling renewed calls from MPs for a… Data released by GambleAware, the recommended recipient of donations, showed the industry gave it £9.6m in 2018-19, with some firms ensuring their presence on the list of donors by ... Read More »

Up to a million species are at risk of annihilation – UN report

Sixth wave of extinction dawns as planet’s life-support systems near danger zone Kevin O’Sullivan The Irish Times The destruction of nature threatens humanity at least as much as human-induced climate change, a global report on species loss will warn on Monday. Complied by hundreds of leading specialists on biodiversity loss, the report will provide evidence that the planet’s life-support systems are approaching a danger zone for humanity. Up to a million species are at risk of annihilation, many within decades, ... Read More »

Searching for the European spirit

The European Parliament will be held from May 23rd to 26th across the European Union (EU). Tara Varma ORF EU’s democratic foundations may be endangered not just by the rise of anti-European parties but also by the faltering efforts at renewing the European project. The European Parliament will be held from May 23rd to 26th across the European Union (EU). The Parliament is the only EU body elected by direct universal suffrage, thus constituting one of the EU’s main democratic ... Read More »

Facebook bans US extremist figures

Facebook Inc says it is banning American conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and other controversial US political personalities for violating the social media company’s policies on… Katie Paul Australian Associated Press The Canberra Times Most of the individuals whose accounts are being removed are popular figures on the far right, including commentators Milo Yiannopoulos, Laura Loomer and Paul Joseph Watson. Facebook also said it is banning Paul Nehlen, an avowed white supremacist who ran for Congress in 2018, and Nation of ... Read More »

Climate change: If we fail to act, we already know what will happen – Joyce McMillan

In northern Mozambique, people used to living in stable climatic conditions suddenly find themselves facing a drowned and devastated world in a warning about the dangers of climate change, urges Joyce McMillan. Joyce McMillan The Scotsman Search on the internet for the city of Pemba in northern Mozambique, and you’ll see pictures of a beautiful, palm-fringed seaside city marketing itself as a holiday resort; a place of pools, beaches, and luxury hotels, with a nearby national park. From this week, ... Read More »

Might China Withdraw From the UN Law Of The Sea Treaty?

The move would come with serious costs – but Beijing might come to think the gains are worth it. Mark J. Valencia The Diplomat The early April passage of the French frigate Vendémiaire through the Taiwan Strait, amid a significant increase of such passages by U.S. warships despite China’s objections, gives Beijing one more reason to… Withdrawing would have serious costs as well as benefits and both need to be considered. The idea of withdrawing from UNCLOS (“denouncing it” in ... Read More »

Kim Jong-nam: Vietnamese woman freed in murder case

The Vietnamese woman accused of the 2017 killing of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korea’s leader, has been released, her lawyer says. BBC Doan Thi Huong was freed after accepting a deal with Malaysian prosecutors and pleading guilty to a lesser charge of “causing injury”. Ms Huong and Indonesian Siti Aisyah had been accused of smearing VX nerve agent on Mr Kim in Kuala Lumpur airport. Both women deny murder and say they thought they were part of a ... Read More »

How the European Union’s eastern expansion created Brexit and made an enemy of Russia

Fifteen years on from the EU’s enlargement, the extension arguably sabotaged more than just the quest for an ever-closer union Mary Dejevsky Independent Fifteen years ago this week, the European Union grew overnight from 15 members to 25 in the biggest and most ambitious enlargement it had ever ventured. The new members, eight of them former Soviet-bloc states, were ablaze with celebratory fireworks; there was ecstatic waving of blue and gold flags; Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” played on a seemingly eternal ... Read More »

Just making fathers take parental leave won’t solve much

Greater workplace gender balance needs broader approach Maeve McElwee The Irish Times Achieving greater gender balance and equality in the workforce has been a long-standing policy and economic priority. The proposed Parental Leave and Benefit Bill announced last week is a small step in the right direction in this regard. The measure, which would introduce two additional weeks of parental leave benefit for both parents within the first 52 weeks, seeks to begin a rebalancing of the share of responsibility ... Read More »

All you need to know about the European Parliament elections

The European Parliament vote is often considered mundane but with Brexit and rising populism, this year could surprise. Stephane Faure Al Jazeera Between May 23 and 26, millions will choose who represents them at the European Parliament (EP), the European Union‘s (EU) parliamentary institution directly elected by citizens aged 18 or… The EU is often considered an obscure and technocratic body – somewhere between a nation-state and an international organisation such as the United Nations. Many have lost faith in its… ... Read More »

Disgraced MP Fiona Onasanya loses seat after recall petition

Brexit party to field first candidate in Peterborough byelection triggered by move Rajeev Syal The Guardian Fiona Onasanya, the MP found guilty of lying to avoid a speeding ticket, has become the first parliamentarian to be removed from office after a recall petition, triggering a byelection in her Peterborough seat. Nigel Farage’s Brexit party will field its first parliamentary candidate in the seat, which voted 60-40 to leave the EU. The bellwether constituency usually swings behind the party that wins a general ... Read More »

Caruana Galizia murder: Fighting for justice for my murdered mother

Once every few months I have to sit in a room with the person investigating my mother’s murder. Our family first encountered him six years ago, when he came to our home to arrest her. By Matthew Caruana Galizia World Press Freedom Day BBC My mother had published a satirical blog post about a candidate for Maltese prime minister on election day and one of his supporters filed a police report. So, the detective was sent to our family home ... Read More »

Want to become a better person? Travelling more might be the answer

Travelling offers new experiences and can open people’s minds. Hector Gonzalez-Jimenez The Conversation It allows you to get out of your daily groove – of work, commuting, housework and cooking – to think about the things that really matter and enjoy some quality time in a different place. Of course, with growing awareness of the environmental impact of long haul flights and tourism, many people are now opting for more sustainable methods of travel – with some choosing staycations… But ... Read More »