Analysis

Why Assange and Ecuador Fell Out

Seven years ago, Julian Assange seemed at the height of his powers—a superstar information warrior behind the biggest leak in history—when he faced his first major legal blow. Dan Collyns NYR Daily He had lost a long fight against extradition to Sweden, where two women had accused him of rape. The possibilities for the rootless WikiLeaks founder, who was used to working from other people’s sofas and hotel rooms around the world, narrowed rapidly. Fearing that the Swedish investigation could ... Read More »

Tackling rising inequality

High inequality is likely to undermine democracy, promote corruption and cronyism. Reduction of inequality on the other hand will lead to faster reduction of poverty a goal sought by both the Congress party and… Jayshree Sengupta ORF In the ongoing election, the ruling Bharathiya Janata Party (BJP) has focused on the concept of ‘New India’ and India’s future. Glorifying India’s past and promising progress in all economic fields are usually very attractive propositions for the average Indian who is sick ... Read More »

To Counter China and Russia, U.S. Mulls Inviting Hungary’s Orban to D.C.

Team Trump is trying to pull Hungary back from its cozy relationship with Moscow and Beijing. But it comes at a cost, critics say. By Robbie Gramer, Amy Mackinnon FP The Trump administration is expected to invite Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to Washington this month in what would be a public relations coup for the Central European leader, who has flouted democratic norms and… According to four current and former U.S. officials familiar with internal talks, Orban is expected ... Read More »

It’s time to vote for happiness and well-being, not mere economic growth. Here’s why:

As the federal election approaches, we’re expected to drown in slogans like “lower taxes”, “wage growth”, “franking credit reform” or “negative gearing reforms”. Authors: The Conversation These mostly assume voters are as obsessed as the politicians with economic and financial issues, rather than, say, the kind of Australia they want their grandchildren to live in. There’s no doubt we value a healthy economy and it can be argued Australia has enjoyed a “remarkable run” over the past 50 years. But ... Read More »

Picking Up the Pieces After Venezuela’s Quashed Uprising

A failed uprising by Venezuelan National Assembly Chair Juan Guaidó has emboldened President Nicolás Maduro and deepened the country’s political deadlock. ICG However difficult, outside actors should continue to press the two sides to form a transitional cabinet, stabilise Venezuela’s economy and hold elections. The events that shook Caracas on 30 April remain shrouded in mystery, but their immediate impact seems clear: further polarising a political stand-off and raising the likelihood of domestic or… They began with the… Picking Up ... Read More »

Is the Assange indictment a threat to the First Amendment?

A British court sentenced Julian Assange on May 1 to almost a year in prison for jumping bail. Ofer Raban The Conversation That’s not the end of Assange’s legal travails: he still faces the possibility of an extradition to the U.S. After a brief initial hearing, the matter will be taken up again at a hearing on May 30 in London. The American government has many reasons to dislike Assange, the co-founder of WikiLeaks, who is responsible for the dissemination ... Read More »

Voting Capacity

Why European Parliament elections matter A citizen’s relationship with the voting process is contingent on their understanding of their country’s history and of the state of its politics. Above all, however, it is founded on the citizen’s notion of how they can affect change. Nicholas Karides * Citizens who vote in national parliamentary elections usually have a good grasp of their legislature’s role and work, but what prompts them to actually make the trip to the polling station is that ... Read More »

Moral injury: violating your ethical code can damage mental health – new research

Should a soldier shoot the child who is pointing a gun at them and their colleague? Authors: The Conversation Should a photographer film the aftermath of a terrorist attack or help the injured? Many situations present professionals with ethical dilemmas – and the decisions made can have profound psychological consequences. For many years, researchers have looked at the impact of traumatic events and the onset of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But until recently, feelings of deep shame and guilt, stemming ... Read More »

Why Europe Needs a Security Council

In the new world of great power competition, European cooperation is vital for survival.  That’s why a new institution is needed. Ulrich Speck Berlin Policy Journal The end of any hope for liberal convergence; the tougher tone in international affairs; the United States’ focus on competition with China, and also with Russia; Donald Trump’s ruthlessness toward… Europeans increasingly realize that to leave defense and strategic leadership largely to the US and to focus mainly on domestic affairs isn’t going to ... Read More »

Sri Lanka Bombings: A New Pattern of Transnational Terror

The recent attacks are part of Islamic State’s global expansion through local ‘franchises.’ By Angshuman Choudhury and Sarral Sharma The Diplomat On Easter Sunday morning, April 21, the world witnessed one of the century’s biggest terror attacks. The multiple suicide bombs that ripped through three churches and three luxury hotels in Sri Lanka ended the lives of at least 259 people. As the massive death toll indicates, the attack was not an ordinary one by any measure. The Islamic State ... Read More »

Council of Despair? The Fragmentation of UN Diplomacy

Wracked by divisions and political infighting, the UN Security Council is failing to respond to some of the world’s most pressing crises. ICG To overcome dysfunction and retain credibility, the council’s members should prioritise the few cases where international cooperation is still possible. What’s new?  Longstanding doubts about the effectiveness of the UN Security Council are intensifying, due to deepening tensions among the U.S. and its allies and between Western powers and Russia and China. Why does it matter?  As ... Read More »

Estonia joins the far-right club

LETTER FROM TALLINN Nationalist party, inspired by Donald Trump, vows to keep out immigrants and protect ‘indigenous’ Estonians as part of new government. By EVAN GERSHKOVICH Politico TALLINN — Europe’s populist wave has hit Estonia — hard. In a national election in March, the Conservative People’s Party — a far-right upstart that says it wants to protect an “indigenous Estonian” population under threat — won 19 seats in the… Its real victory came a few weeks later, when it was included in the ... Read More »

“There’s Always Hope!”

Since 1989, the West has become stuck in the “politics of eternity,” failing to think either about the past or the future, argues historian TIMOTHY SNYDER in an interview. Timothy Snyder Berlin Policy Journal It’s high time this changed. Is this the end of the West as we know it? It might be. But it’s up to us. Over the last 25 years or so, we have contributed to the Western decline because we have failed to actually think about ... Read More »

China is attempting a large-scale rewriting of history

Burning maps, which is instrumental to China’s actions in the future, is an inseparable part of this project. Prabhakar Singh The Telegraph On March 26, the Press Trust of India reported that the People’s Republic of China has destroyed some 30,000 old maps. Printed in China, the allegedly “incorrect” maps had depicted Taiwan as a separate state and Arunachal Pradesh as part of India. Such unprecedented, large-scale map burning mimics State-sponsored rewriting of history textbooks. The burning of maps has, ... Read More »

No Ever Closer Union

Pro-Europeans have long avoided a debate on the end goal of EU integration. Heinrich August Winkler Berlin Policy Journal It’s time for honesty: ever closer cooperation between member states is the only realistic way forward. In the run-up to the European Parliament elections, none of the German political parties has shown quite as much ambition as the Free Democratic Party (FDP). In its election program, adopted at the end of January 2019, the pro-business liberal party calls for the convening ... Read More »

Slow cinema: what it is and why it’s on a fast track to the mainstream in a frenetic world

It feels apt that Claire Denis’s new film, High Life is reportedly an idea she’d been toying with for 15 years. Andrew Russell The Conversation The movie is already drawing comparison to Solaris, a science fiction film by the seminal slow cinema director Andrei Tarkovsky. Denis has dabbled with slow cinema aesthetics before. Her 2009 film White Material portrays a struggling female coffee producer who elects not to flee an impending civil war. The cinematography revels in stillness and quietude. ... Read More »