Analysis

Khashoggi’s Murder Heralds a New Era of Impunity

The ugly geopolitics in the wake of the Saudi journalist’s death point to a world in which impunity reigns The head of the United Nations delivered a dark and, it turns out, prophetic warning several weeks ago. Uri Friedman The Atlantic As power diffuses from the United States, the world is devolving into chaos. “Impunity and unpredictability” are becoming “the name of the game,” António Guterres told me. At the time, the UN secretary-general had the kaleidoscopic and catastrophic Syrian war top ... Read More »

Why Wall Street’s tumble is bad news for Trump

US stock markets fell sharply Wednesday, erasing all gains for the year and muddying one of President Donald Trump’s favourite talking points two weeks before the midterm elections. Brisbane Times The Washington Post The technology-heavy Nasdaq fell 4.4 per cent Wednesday, its worst one-day drop since the financial crisis. The index has slid more than 12 per cent since the end of August. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, which tracks a broader group of US companies, has lost $US2 ... Read More »

Watch List 2018 – Third Update

Crisis Group’s third update to our Watch List 2018 includes entries on economic reforms in Libya, preserving the fragile quiet in Syria’s Idlib province, addressing the plight of civilians in eastern Ukraine, supporting Colombia’s uneasy peace process and averting violence in Nigeria’s upcoming… ICG This annual early-warning report identifies conflict situations in which prompt action by the European Union and its member states would generate stronger prospects for peace. Libya’s Economic Reforms Fall Short Libya has seen… Watch List 2018… Read More »

Mark Carney, eco-warrior

The Bank of England governor is pushing banks and investors to take climate change seriously. And they listen, whether they want to or not. By SILVIA SCIORILLI BORRELLI, KALINA OROSCHAKOFF AND CAT CONTIGUGLIA Politico LONDON — Mark Carney’s job is to guide the pound and the British economy through the Brexit storms. But the Bank of England chief is also building a legacy in another, unexpected field: climate change. From twin perches atop the British central bank and a global oversight body, Carney ... Read More »

Saving Guatemala’s Fight Against Crime and Impunity

Next year, President Jimmy Morales vows he will end the mandate of the UN-backed Commission against Impunity in Guatemala. ICG Hugely popular, the commission has helped reduce the country’s terrible murder rate. To keep it going, its supporters should refocus on fighting the worst violent crime. What’s new?  Research by International Crisis Group has for the first time quantified the positive impact of the UN’s Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CI-CIG). This report shows how CICIG’s justice reform activities since ... Read More »

Migrant caravan members have right to claim asylum – here’s why getting it will be hard

Roughly 5,000 people, mostly from Central America’s violent and unstable “Northern Triangle” of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras are reportedly making their way through Mexico with the intention of claiming asylum at the U.S. border. Abigail Stepnitz The Conversation The so-called “migrant caravan” is attracting intense social and political attention, with U.S. President Donald Trump declaring it a “national emergency.” He has also claimed, erroneously, that the migrants “have to” claim asylum in Mexico first. Migrants aren’t obligated to claim asylum in ... Read More »

China’s hidden camps

What’s happened to the vanished Uighurs of Xinjiang? BBC China stands accused of locking up hundreds of thousands of Muslims without trial in its western region of Xinjiang. The government denies the claims, saying people are willingly attending special ”vocational schools” which combat ”terrorism and religious extremism”. Now a BBC investigation has found important new evidence of the reality. Detention in the desert On 12 July 2015 a satellite swung over the rolling deserts and oasis cities of China’s vast ... Read More »

China Expands Its Peace and Security Footprint in Africa

At the 2018 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and China-Africa Defence and Security Forum, Beijing showcased an increasingly strategic approach to its defence relations with African countries and its role in managing challenges to peace and security on the continent. Michael Kovrig ICG China’s growing engagement with African countries got a publicity boost on 3-4 September with the latest Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). The triennial event brought leaders and officials from 53 African countries and the African Union (AU) to Beijing for ... Read More »

Beyond Short-Term Solutions in the Middle East and North Africa

The United States and Europe should pursue a strategy of long-term civil society development in the MENA. They should also seek stability and an end to conflicts in the short term. Richard LeBaron The National Interest In the final months of 2018, seven years after historic change swept the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), countries in the region still face significant political, economic and security challenges. In most countries that underwent a transition, the situation is worse than before: ... Read More »

What is the greatest challenge to the future of human rights? We the people are

When considering the future of human rights and whether they will be viewed as more, or less important in the years to come, many potential challenges come to mind: climate change, nationalism, inequality, growing… Stephen Hopgood The Conversation Ultimately, many of these different threats are linked to one another in complex ways – for example, inequality has fomented nationalism, and climate change can increase inequality. But they also depend on the answer to a deeper question: “How important are the ... Read More »

Cartoonists can be an important voice of dissent: but they can also be divisive

Rwanda has introduced legislation which criminalises the public humiliation or insult – through gestures, writings or cartoons – of national authorities, public service officials or foreign state and international organisation representatives. Daniel Hammett The Conversation This is a clear restriction to the freedom of political and editorial cartoonists. Political cartoons are powerful spaces in which negotiations of power and resistance are expressed. They provide insights into power relations, key social issues and events. By mocking or ridiculing the excesses and… Cartoonists can be… Read More »

A New Report Shows the White House Is Terrified of Socialism

The Council of Economic Advisers’ investigation into the “opportunity costs of socialism” reads like a nervous undergraduate’s term paper. Kate Aronoff The Nation The White House Council of Economic Advisers this week authored a report assessing the “Opportunity Costs of Socialism.” Really. The council may have decided to pull the trigger and release it after polling came out yesterday showing that a majority of Republicans support Medicare for All, which the report spends no small amount of space attempting, unsuccessfully, to… At 72 ... Read More »

Chinese missile buildup strained US-Russia arms pact

The 1987 INF Treaty banned land-based missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. Gregory Hellman Politico U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of a landmark arms control treaty with Russia comes after nearly a year of appeals from top military leaders to confront China’s rising missile ambitions — perhaps the… Trump told reporters Monday outside the White House that Beijing’s growing arsenal played into his decision to withdraw from the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, even ... Read More »

Trump, Saudi Arabia and à la carte Human Rights

Saudi Arabian Journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Turkey Khashoggi was interrogated, tortured and then killed. It has been widely reported that Khashoggi was cut to pieces in the embassy whilst still alive. Turkish secret recordings of the murder are said to confirm this. Vasilis Giavris * Khashoggi was a dissident who was critical of the Saudi Royal family. He relocated to the United States in June 2017, where he obtained permanent residency and began ... Read More »

The Myth of Whiteness in Classical Sculpture

Greek and Roman statues were often painted, but assumptions about race and aesthetics have suppressed this truth. Now scholars are making a color correction. By Margaret Talbot The New Yorker Mark Abbe was ambushed by color in 2000, while working on an archeological dig in the ancient Greek city of Aphrodisias, in present-day Turkey. At the time, he was a graduate student at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts, and, like most people, he thought of Greek and Roman ... Read More »

Why America Shouldn’t Threaten Preemptive War

Continually pushing for dominance in the backyards of the world’s nuclear powers is madness. Doug Bandow The National Interest As a Senator, Kay Bailey Hutchinson was a moderate conservative. But as the current U.S. ambassador to NATO, Hutchinson seemed to lose her prior restraints. She appeared to threaten an attack on Russia. Moscow is developing a new cruise missile which Washington claims would violate the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty. If Russia proceeds, said Hutchinson, then the Putin government would be put ... Read More »