Analysis

Tunisia’s Political Polarisation Worsens after First Big Terrorist Attack in Two Years

A 29 October suicide bombing in the heart of Tunis dealt a blow to much-improved security since the last violent jihadist attacks in 2015-16. ICG In this Q&A, our Senior Analyst for Tunisia Michael B. Ayari says it has also hammered a… What do we know about what happened, and who was behind the attack? On 29 October, a suicide bomber set off an improvised explosive device in her backpack on Habib Bourguiba Avenue in downtown Tunis – the city’s ... Read More »

What Thucydides Knew About the US Today

On the morning after the 2016 presidential election I tried to distract myself by reading some pages of Thucydides that I had assigned for a class the next day, and found myself reading the clearest explanation I had seen of the… Edward Mendelson The New York Review of Books In the third book of his History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides describes the outbreak of civil war on the northern island of Corcyra in 427 BC: There was the revenge taken in ... Read More »

Bolsonaro wins Brazil election, promises to purge leftists from country

After the most polarized and divisive campaign in its modern history, Brazil has elected as its next president a right-wing politician who openly disdains human rights and admires military dictators. Helder Ferreira The Conversation Jair Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old congressman who had strong evangelical backing for his law-and-order stance on policing, support for gun rights and opposition to abortion, won 55.7 percent of votes. Bolsonaro’s leftist competitor, Fernando Haddad, a former education minister and ex-mayor of São Paulo, received 45 percent of the… Bolsonaro’s angry, populist… Bolsonaro wins Brazil… Read More »

How a Democratic majority could undermine Mueller probe

Democrats want to open probes into issues the US special counsel is also investigating. Darren Samuelsohn Politico U.S. Democrats have religiously deferred to special counsel Robert Mueller over the last 17 months, hamstrung by their lack of congressional power and expressing faith that the respected investigator will get the job done if left alone. That could all change after November. If Democrats retake the House in the midterm elections, they’re prepared to use their newfound subpoena power to aggressively open ... Read More »

Ghana must move from coping with floods, to adapting for them

Ghana has a serious flood problem. Over about 50 years, 4 million people have been affected by floods, resulting in economic damage exceeding USD$780 million. At least one major flood disaster has occurred every year over the… Authors: The Conversation Floods are not uncommon in West Africa. Rainfall variability and land use changes have made them increasingly common throughout the region. In Ghana’s urban areas, like Accra and Kumasi, floods are mostly triggered by seasonal rainfall combined with poor drainage, the dumping of waste into waterways and the… Ghana must move… Read More »

Why India Might Be Wasting Its Time on Aircraft Carriers

Carriers are also expensive symbols of national prestige, and it is unlikely the Indian Navy will want to risk losing one, two or all three. Robert Beckhusen The National Interest Essentially, this makes Indian carriers’ self-defeating, with the flattops existing primarily to defend themselves from attack rather than taking the fight to their enemy. The Indian Navy has put out a proposal for its third aircraft carrier, tentatively titled the Vishal due to enter service in the latter 2020s. The 65,000-ton Vishal ... Read More »

Despite PR duress, Saudi $6bn to Pakistan comes with strings

Saudi Arabia’s crisis over Khashoggi murder is Imran Khan’s gain, but Pakistan may still be expected to up military cooperation with the kingdom. Suddaf Chaudry Asia Times Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan returned home this week from Saudi Arabia with a pledge of $6 billion in loans. Khan was likely able to secure the deal with fewer strings than a previous rejected offer, due to enormous international scrutiny on the kingdom in the wake of the Jamal Khashoggi murder. But ... Read More »

The UN Wants to be Our World Government By 2030

In the 1960s, an informed but naïve undergraduate, I was walking across the campus of the University of Pennsylvania with the Chairman of the Chemistry Department, Prof. Charles C. Price. E. Jeffrey Ludwig American Thinker He told me that he was president of the United World Federalists, and asked if I knew what that organization was. When I said that I did not, he replied that they believed in a one-world government that would grow out of the United Nations. ... Read More »

Diarmaid Ferriter: Nuns’ side of story needs to be heard

Silence and selective recounting of history reinforces caricature of ‘bad nuns’ Diarmaid Ferriter The Irish Times Just what is the nuns’ story? That is a question I’ve often pondered when absorbing the revelations of recent years about Ireland’s reliance on institutions, the things that went on within them and the social, economic and cultural currents that… There has been much testimony from survivors of abuse and numerous declarations of sorrow from politicians reacting to the publication of the reports of ... Read More »

Your DNA Is Out There. Do You Want Law Enforcement Using It?

A genealogist and a data science company are solving cold cases and finding the unfindable On the afternoon of Nov. 18, 1987, Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg left Saanich, B.C., their hometown, to pick up some furnace equipment in Seattle for Cook’s father. By Drake Bennett and Kristen V Brown Bloomberg Saanich and Seattle are a little more than 100 miles apart, but the trip takes almost five hours: a ferry into the U.S. across the Strait of Juan ... Read More »

Why believing in ghosts can make you a better person

Halloween is a time when ghosts and spooky decorations are on public display, reminding us of the realm of the dead. Tok Thompson The Conversation But could they also be instructing us in important lessons on how to lead moral lives? Roots of Halloween The origins of modern-day Halloween go back to “samhain,” a Celtic celebration for the beginning of the dark half of the year when, it was widely believed, the realm between the living and the dead overlapped and ghosts ... Read More »

When America Was Great, Savage White Un-Settlers Raped a Continent and Assaulted a Planet

Your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings…are…a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States, at this very hour. – Frederick Douglass, July 4th, 1852 Paul Street CounterPunch “Together,” Donald “Make America Great Again” Trump told U.S. Naval Academy graduates last May, “there is nothing Americans can’t do, absolutely nothing. In recent years, ... Read More »

Trump administration plants US flag in Armenia

A visit by National Security Advisor John Bolton made clear that the past practice of looking the other way as Armenia deepened ties with Iran is over. Richard Giragosian Asia Times For the small country of Armenia, the past several months have marked an impressive emergence on the world stage. In a first-ever visit by a German leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Armenia in late August, followed by French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, joining other ... Read More »

Italy’s Budget Isn’t as Crazy as It Seems

EU officials must recognize that the country needs stimulus. Ashoka Mody Bloomberg Europe’s leaders have come down hard on Italy for its plans to increase spending with the aim of boosting growth and helping the poor. What they fail to recognize is that a little stimulus might be just what the… The outlook for the global economy is deteriorating more rapidly than forecasters realize. A slowdown in China has hit global trade, European exports are decelerating, and euro-area business sentiment is sharply down. All ... Read More »

Brazil’s Bolsonaro Is No Friend of Liberty

The prospect of the left-wing Workers’ Party returning to power in Brazil has encouraged many to enthusiastically support the candidacy of Jair Bolsonaro, the country’s far right candidate. Juan Carlos Hidalgo The National Interest ”The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” goes the ancient proverb. In the case of Brazil, the prospect of the left-wing Workers’ Party (PT) returning to power has encouraged the markets and some liberty advocates to enthusiastically support the candidacy of Jair Bolsonaro, a far ... Read More »

Don’t Mention The War In Wentworth: Dr Peter Slezak

The furore over the Morrison government’s ‘riffing’ on moving Australia’s embassy in Israel has distracted from the even greater crimes being perpetrated against Palestinians. Dr Peter Slezak explains New Matilda Despite the storm of local and international condemnation, Prime Minister Morrison’s willingness to consider moving Australia’s Israel embassy to Jerusalem is a significant public relations win in the larger political scheme of things. Whether or not the harshest criticisms of the proposal are warranted, the furore over the embassy issue has ... Read More »