Analysis

The Real Issue Behind the Border Wall Debate

For the United States, immigration has always been a necessity and an agony. The debate over a wall separating the United States and Mexico goes to the heart of American society. The wall itself is about preventing illegal immigration, but the debate inevitably flows to the question of immigration in general, as it always has in American history. George Friedman Geopolitical Futures An Agonizing Experience The American nation was forged from fragments of other nations. The English, Scotch-Irish, Swedish, Germans, ... Read More »

Davos: leaders talk about globalisation as though it’s inevitable – when it isn’t

Global leaders have descended on the Swiss ski resort of Davos for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting. Jennifer Johns The Conversation This year’s theme is “Globalisation 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution”. On the agenda is how countries can respond to and shape changes in how goods are produced, distributed and consumed. It is based on the idea that the world is entering a fourth industrial revolution, where a new wave of ... Read More »

Francis Bacon: the 17th-century philosopher whose scientific ideas could tackle climate change today

If we don’t make a fundamental change to the way we are living, the world faces the destruction of entire eco-systems, flooding of coastal areas, and ever more extreme weather. Michael Wilby The Conversation Such was the stark warning in a recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. The task is enormous. One way to approach it is to look back to a time when scientific thinking did manage to initiate revolutionary changes in our outlook. In the 17th ... Read More »

The impact of any no-deal Brexit upon the Republic of Cyprus and the Sovereign Base Areas in the Island of Cyprus

An Open Letter addressed to the President of the European Commission, the President of the Republic of Cyprus, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas By Klearchos A. Kyriakides Published by Agora Dialogue on 21 January 2019 at  http://agora-dialogue.com/ Date: 21 January 2019 Dear President Juncker, President Anastasiades, Prime Minister May and Major General Illingworth Re: The impact of any no-deal Brexit upon the Republic of Cyprus and the Sovereign Base Areas ... Read More »

Save our minds by saving the world

For some time I’ve had a policy not to debate the existence of human-induced climate change, especially not with strangers on the internet. Caitlin Fitzsimmons The Age In my experience the only people still in doubt are not the type to be persuaded by facts. If you present evidence, they’ll simply attack the credibility of the source and insult you for believing it. My position as a journalist is simple. When the scientific community has genuine debate, I’ll report the ... Read More »

Fleeing family violence to another country and taking your child is not ‘abduction’, but that’s how the law sees it

Fiona (not her real name) came to Australia from New Zealand as a 19-year-old backpacker. Gina Masterton The Conversation Here, she met a man, got married and had two boys. The domestic violence began after her first son’s birth, and Fiona endured it for several years. In 2017, when her children were eight and ten, Fiona summoned the strength to leave her husband. Not being an Australian citizen, she found she wasn’t eligible for government assistance, so Fiona fled back ... Read More »

DR Congo: A Recount and Talks to Find a Way Out of the Crisis

The DR Congo is facing a major political crisis over the 30 December election’s result. ICG A recount would allow subsequent negotiations to take place on the basis of a clear understanding of who won. A dispute over the results of the DR Congo’s 30 December election cast a dark shadow over what should be a historic transition of power but a surprisingly robust reaction by regional actors offers a genuine chance for a course correction. According to official tallies, ... Read More »

Revolt and Repression in Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwean government’s decision to hike fuel prices has sparked fierce opposition.  Piers Pigou What triggered this explosion of unrest? In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Senior Consultant Piers Pigou explains how economic hardship is driving ordinary citizens to unprecedented acts of resistance. On 12 January, in response to persistent fuel shortages compounded by manipulation and mismanagement of a currency crisis, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a fuel price hike of over 200 per cent to $3.31 per litre – making the ... Read More »

Stammtisch – Red Rosa and the German Left

This month marks 100 years since the murder of socialist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg. Kate Brady Deutsche Welle So, on this week’s Stammtisch we’re asking: why is Luxemburg so important today for left-wing politics? Listen to audio And how is the radical Left in Germany doing anyway? Stammtisch hosts Damien McGuinness and Michaela Küfner are joined by journalist Siobhán Dowling and The Guardian’s Kate Connolly… Stammtisch – Red Rosa and… Read More »

To Save the Sound of a Stradivarius, a Whole City Must Keep Quiet

CREMONA, Italy — Florencia Rastelli was mortified. As an expert barista, she had never spilled a single cup of coffee, she said. But last Monday, as she wiped the counter at Chiave di Bacco, the cafe where she works, she knocked over a glass and it shattered loudly on the floor. Max Paradiso The New York Times The customers all stood still, petrified, Ms. Rastelli recalled. “I was like: Of all days, this one,” she said. “Even a police officer ... Read More »

How to feed a growing population healthy food without ruining the planet

If we’re serious about feeding the world’s growing population healthy food, and not ruining the planet, we need to get used to a new style of eating. Authors: The Conversation This includes cutting our Western meat and sugar intakes by around 50%, and doubling the amount of nuts, fruits, vegetables and legumes we consume. These are the findings our the EAT-Lancet Commission, released today. The Commission brought together 37 leading experts in nutrition, agriculture, ecology, political sciences and environmental sustainability, ... Read More »

The Golan Heights Should Stay Israeli Forever

At least one of Israel’s occupations will be permanent, whether anyone else likes it or not. Steven A. Cook FP Should the United States recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights? The question has come up in the last few weeks, because Israel is having an election in April. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly been lobbying the Trump administration on the idea of formally acknowledging Israel’s 1981 annexation of Syrian territory. There’s plenty of reason to suspect this diplomatic ... Read More »

Millennials, Gen X, Gen Z, baby boomers: how generation labels cloud issues of inequality

Generations can be defined by family structure, stage of life or historical events. Beverley Searle The Conversation But most often, they’re categorised as “cohorts” of people born during a particular period in time. Catchy labels such as baby boomers, millennials and Gen X and Gen Z tend to stick with each cohort, which are assumed to have shared experiences, behaviours and ideals. This is known as a “cohort effect”. But common generalisations – for example, that baby boomers are hoarding ... Read More »

Re-conquest of Constantinople

Vehbi Kara is just another Islamist columnist who would not surprise you. He writes for this columnist’s favourite Islamist daily, Yeni Şafak. Burak Bekdil Sigma Insight Turkey His column on January 11th did not offer readers a revolutionary view –nor was it expected to– but was useful in trying to decipher the “conquest fetish” among conservative Muslims. Mr Kara wrote: “Devout people (Muslims) view Hagia Sophia as a symbol of Islam’s domination in these lands … It (as it is ... Read More »

On Thin Ice: The Iran Nuclear Deal at Three

Remarkably, the Iran nuclear deal has survived the Trump administration’s withdrawal. ICG Now it must weather 2019, its year of greatest peril, as mounting U.S. pressure tests Iranian patience. With Europe’s help, Tehran must keep sticking to the agreement in anticipation of sunnier times ahead. What’s new? The Iran nuclear deal is entering its fourth year of implementation, with Iran remaining in full compliance with its obligations. Meanwhile, the Trump administration, which unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from the deal in ... Read More »

Five Steps to Save Yemen’s Stockholm Agreement

The Stockholm Agreement, though imprecise, offers a real shot at building a peace process for war-ravaged Yemen. Peter Salisbury ICG But the accord is faltering amid mutual recriminations. The UN, and the wider international community, should act now to make sure the combatants follow through on their commitments. In December 2018, representatives of Yemen’s internationally recognised government and the rebel Huthi movement did something unexpected: they agreed on something. At UN-mediated talks in Sweden, the two parties announced what is ... Read More »