Analysis

‘Revolutionary change’ needed to stop unprecedented global extinction crisis

We are witnessing the loss of biodiversity at rates never before seen in human history. Michelle Lim The Conversation Nearly a million species face extinction if we do not fundamentally change our relationship with the natural world, according to the world’s largest assessment of biodiversity. Last week, in the culmination of a process involving 500 biodiversity experts from over 50 countries, and 134 governments negotiated the final form of the Global Assessment of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and… ... Read More »

The European Union Can Barely Hold Itself Together—and Putin Knows It | Opinion

Brexit and similar populist movements in Europe have prompted Brussels to question itself and its policies. Theodore Karasik Newsweek Whatever happens to these insurgencies, there must be a wholesale re-examination of how the EU treats states and economies dependent on it —both inside and outside its borders. Since the founding of the European Union, it has almost by default become associated with international solidarity, open trade, and rights for citizens. This is a natural consequence of any union between countries ... Read More »

Turkey is playing both Russia and US

During the past week the Western press has reported Russian and Syrian bombing of north-western Idlib province and the flight of thousands of civilians from targeted villages. Michael Jansen Gulf Today Writers complain that Moscow and Damascus have been violating the “de-confliction” deal reached last year between Russia and Turkey with the aim of halting an all-out military operation against… Those who have reported the situation in this way are indulging in promulgating “fake news.” Russian and Syrian government forces ... Read More »

Nearly 2 out of 3 nursing homes are understaffed. These 10 charts explain why aged care is in crisis

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety begins hearings on residential aged care facilities, or nursing homes, in Sydney today. Authors: The Conversation The standards of nursing homes in Australia have been in the public eye since the Oakden Aged Mental Health Care Service in Adelaide became embroiled in an elder abuse and neglect scandal, sparking reviews, inquiries and… This was the most prominent of a series of incidents of abuse and negligence that eventually led to the ... Read More »

Inside Facebook’s European election war room

The social network has created a team in Dublin to counter wrongdoing, but political ads and misinformation are still reaching voters. Mark Scott Politico DUBLIN — In a sparsely decorated office in the center of the Irish capital, dozens of Facebook staffers are working to protect the upcoming European election. The group of twentysomething coders, engineers and content specialists sit hunched over multiple screens, scanning the platform for potential illegal behavior. Wall-mounted television monitors keep them up to date on the latest ... Read More »

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un need the European Union

Much ink has been spilled analyzing the surprising turn of events at the US-North Korea Hanoi summit in late February. Tereza Novotná and Alessandro Ford Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Accounts differ as to what happened, or which side overstepped first with its demands. At a late-night post-summit press briefing, North Korea sought to make its position abundantly clear: It would give up the nuclear production facilities in the Yongbyon complex in… The United States, on the other hand, has ... 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 »

Turkey’s deal with Sudan on intelligence and military affairs in limbo

Cooperation between Turkey and Sudan in intelligence and military affairs, spearheaded by ousted Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir, was thrown into limbo when Islamist Turkish… Abdullah Bozkurt Nordic Monitor Having invested so much stock in al-Bashir, Erdoğan was frustrated to see that his credit may not be as good with the transitional government. Speaking at a ruling Justice and… He nonetheless vowed to continue supporting his brothers in Sudan. Erdoğan and his people point fingers at Egypt and Saudi Arabia in ... 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Cameroon’s Anglophone Crisis: How to Get to Talks?

After twenty months of clashes, the government and the separatists are both refusing to give ground. ICG Both sides must explore compromise solutions aimed at a level of regional autonomy somewhere between the secession the separatists yearn for and the fake decentralisation proposed by Yaoundé. What’s new? The conflict in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon is deadlocked. There is no dialogue between Yaoundé and the separatists, who are both refusing to give ground: the government is counting on a military ... Read More »

A “People’s War”: How China Plans to Dominate the South China Sea

“Essaying some foresight into these matters now could pay off handsomely if China tries to put General Chang’s—and Mao’s—strategic concept into practice.” James Holmes The National Interest By all means, let’s review China’s way of war, discerning what we can about Chinese warmaking habits and reflexes. But these are not automatons replaying the Maoist script… How they might transpose Maoist doctrine to the offshore arena—and how an unruly coalition can surmount such a challenge—is the question before friends of maritime ... Read More »

End to Aids in sight as huge study finds drugs stop HIV transmission

Paper says risk between male partners is zero if virus fully suppressed by antiretrovirals Sarah Boseley and Hannah Devlin The Guardian An end to the Aids epidemic could be in sight after a landmark study found men whose HIV infection was fully suppressed by antiretroviral drugs had no chance of infecting their partner. The success of the medicine means that if everyone with HIV were fully treated, there would be no further infections. Among nearly 1,000 male couples across Europe ... Read More »