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1100 mutilated dolphins found washed up on beaches in France

A record number of dolphins’ bodies have been found horribly mutilated on the French Atlantic coast. 9news AP What has shocked French marine researchers wasn’t just the brutality of the deaths of these highly intelligent mammals, but the numbers involved – a record 1,100 have landed on France’s beaches since January. The mass deaths, widely blamed on industrial fishing, have alarmed animal welfare groups and prompted France’s ecology minister to launch a national plan to protect them. “There’s never been ... Read More »

Brexit was designed to fail

Too big to fail? Please. The 2016 referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership in the European Union involved a constitutional question so large it was too big to succeed. The Week This is the only reason the national vote on Brexit was ever allowed to take place. Like Ted Heath and John Major before him, former British Prime Minister David Cameron found himself faced with the impossible task of placating the Tory Party’s right wing. His exceedingly clever answer was ... Read More »

Venezuela’s Maduro blocks Guaido from office as the opposition scoffs

Venezuela‘s opposition leader Juan Guaido will be barred from public office for 15 years, the government comptroller said on March 28, as it seeks to crack down on the U.S.-backed rival to President Nicolas Maduro. CARACAS – Reuters Hurriyet Guaido has been recognized as head of state by most Western countries after invoking the constitution to assume the interim presidency, arguing Maduro‘s 2018 re-election was illegitimate and that he became a usurper when his second term began in January. Maduro dismisses Guaido‘s claim to the presidency as a Washington-backed ... Read More »

Jessie Simmons: How a schoolteacher became an unsung hero of the civil rights movement

Jessie Dean Gipson Simmons was full of optimism when she and her family moved from an apartment in a troubled area of Detroit to a new development in Inkster, Michigan in 1955. Valerie Hill-Jackson The Conversation With three children in tow, Jessie and her husband settled into a home on Colgate Street in a neighborhood known as “Brick City” – an idyllic enclave of single, working-class families with a shared community garden. The plan was simple. Like many African Americans ... Read More »

UN Strengthens Peacekeeping Despite U.S. Scepticism

This Friday, the UN hosts the 2019 Peacekeeping Ministerial Conference, an opportunity for politicians and diplomats to fill gaps in blue helmet missions. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s UN Director Richard Gowan previews the agenda. What is the point of the conference? This is the latest edition of a series of conferences that former U.S. President Barack Obama kicked off with other leaders at the UN General Assembly in 2015. Vice President Joe Biden had chaired a trial run the ... Read More »

Spain and Mexico’s centuries-old blame game

Mexican demand for apology for conquest has the potential to damage Pedro Sánchez’s electoral prospects. Diego Torres Politico MADRID — The latest diplomatic spat in Spain has been 500 years in the making. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s demand that the king of Spain apologize for the abuses committed during the conquest has put pressure on Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez ahead of a national election and sparked debate on the issue of historic apologies. It has also raised questions ... Read More »

The dying art of conversation – has technology killed our ability to talk face-to-face?

What with Facetime, Skype, Whatsapp and Snapchat, for many people, face-to-face conversation is used less and less often. Melanie Chan The Conversation These apps allow us to converse with each other quickly and easily – overcoming distances, time zones and countries. We can even talk to virtual assistants such as Alexa, Cortana or Siri – commanding them to play our favourite songs, films, or tell us the weather forecast. Often these ways of communicating reduce the need to speak to ... Read More »

The Fall and Troubled Rise of a Ukrainian Populist

The country’s former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko is running to be president, but Ukraine’s allies worry she may endanger the country’s only plan for peace. Ian Bateson The Atlantic SLOVIANSK, Ukraine—Yulia Tymoshenko is nothing if not a crowd-pleaser. Running to be Ukraine’s next president, she has promised to triple pension payouts and halve heating-fuel charges; pushed to impeach the incumbent president, Petro Poroshenko, weeks before the presidential election; and said that immediately after being elected, she will close the country’s ... Read More »

Confronting racism is not about the needs and feelings of white people

Too often whites at discussions on race decide for themselves what will be discussed, what they will hear, what they will learn. And it is their space. All spaces are Ijeoma Oluo The Guardian I was leaving a corporate office building after a full day of leading workshops on how to talk about race thoughtfully and deliberately. The audience for each session had been similar to the dozens I had faced before. There was an overrepresentation of employees of color, ... Read More »

The Eurozone’s Real Weakness

A new eurozone crisis would most likely have a less uneven effect than in 2008 or 2011, not least because its largest economies are currently weak. Lucrezia Reichlin Project Syndicate But if a recession hits, policymakers will find it hard to mount an effective response. LONDON – The 20th anniversary of the euro this year is a good time to reflect on the robustness of Europe’s monetary union. The memory of the last crisis, which began in the United States ... Read More »

Denmark cannot name timeline for its decision on Nord Stream 2

The need to find an alternative route to the Nord Stream 2 is linked to changes in Danish legislation STOCKHOLM, March 28. /TASS/. The Danish Energy Agency will decide on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline after environmental impact of the pipeline route in the exclusive economic zone of Denmark is assessed and public hearings are held, head of the… “The Danish Energy Agency has requested that Nord Stream 2 AG investigate the environmental impacts for a route south of ... Read More »

Trump’s Green Light to Israel: First the Golan, Then the West Bank?

Nazareth. When President Donald Trump moved the US embassy to occupied Jerusalem last year, effectively sabotaging any hope of establishing a viable Palestinian state, he tore up the international rulebook. Jonathan Cook CounterPunch Last week, he trampled all over its remaining tattered pages. He did so, of course, via Twitter. Referring to a large piece of territory Israel seized from Syria in 1967, Trump wrote: “After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty ... Read More »

Do you have a moral duty to pay taxes?

It’s tax season. Americans will pay an average of US$10,489 in personal taxes – about 14 percent of the average household’s total income. Brookes Brown The Conversation Most will do so because they think it is their civic duty. Many believe they are morally obliged to obey the law and pay their share. But as tax day approaches, many Americans will bemoan their tax bill and complain that it is unfair. So, how are we to know if paying taxes ... Read More »

Wall of Death: Will Feds challenge use of international driftnets?

Senators and representatives have been proposing bills on controversial fishing practice in recent years, but is the United States standing tough on the global stage? Parimal M. Rohit theLog NATIONWIDE—Labeling anything as a “Wall of Death” is certain to capture the attention of, well, anyone who is paying attention to whatever is being labeled as a Wall of Death. In this instance the Wall of Death is a drift gillnet, also known as a driftnet. Most people reading The Log ... Read More »