Analysis

Averting War in Gaza

Israel and Hamas stand on the brink of another full-scale confrontation in Gaza. The only viable exit from the ongoing cycle of escalation is for international actors to use carrots and sticks to bring about intra-Palestinian reconciliation, thereby allowing the Palestinian Authority (PA) to govern the Gaza Strip. ICG What’s new?  What is new is that little is new: despite repeated claims that efforts are being made to address the situation in Gaza, Israel and Hamas once again are sliding ... Read More »

Cultural appropriation, you just can’t be too careful

We all agree that racism is a terrible, unforgivable thing but even the most enlightened of us are sometimes guilty of what could be called inadvertent racism – I refer, of course, to cultural appropriation. Russel Grenning OnLineOpinion Put as simply as possible, cultural appropriation is a concept dealing with the adoption of elements of a minority culture including, for example, cultural and religious traditions, fashion, symbols, language and songs by those of a dominant culture. Critics of the practice ... Read More »

Full speed ahead on the new US Navy frigate

The U.S. Navy is, by its own admission, in trouble. Over the last several decades, its shipbuilding account has been underfunded and the Navy has too often mismanaged the money it did have. Jim Talent Defense News The Navy has focused too much on high-end ships and has neglected the importance of less expensive, smaller vessels that can perform important combat missions on their own for sustained periods on the high seas, even in… No one has more respect for ... Read More »

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg clarifies Holocaust comments after outcry

Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, recently defended the company’s decision to keep on its platform the site Infowars, a prominent right-wing outlet known for spreading conspiracy theories and… Hamza Shaban Brisbane Times / The Washington Post Zuckerberg said in an interview published by Recode on Wednesday that Facebook has a responsibility to curb the viral spread of hoaxes and blatant misinformation. But he maintained Facebook should not ban publishers for spreading false claims, a position he described as “too extreme.” “The ... Read More »

Building on Afghanistan’s Fleeting Ceasefire

The end-of-Ramadan truce in Afghanistan was brief but encouraging, demonstrating that both Afghan government soldiers and the Taliban rank and file will respect ceasefire orders from above. ICG Both sides, alongside the U.S., should now seize the opportunity to edge closer to meaningful talks about peace. What’s new? The Afghan government, international forces, and Taliban insurgents all observed a temporary ceasefire during the Eid al-Fitr holiday. The truce was unprecedented in Afghanistan’s long war, brought a remarkable decline in violence ... Read More »

This map shows what white Europeans associate with race – and it makes for uncomfortable reading

This new map shows how easily white Europeans associate black faces with negative ideas. Tom Stafford The Conversation Since 2002, hundreds of thousands of people around the world have logged onto a website run by Harvard University called Project Implicitand taken an “implicit association test” (IAT), a rapid-response task which measures how easily you can pair items from different categories. To create this new map, we used data from a version of the test which presents white or black faces and positive or ... Read More »

The U.S. Needs a Russia Strategy Now More Than Ever

The Real Lesson From the Helsinki Summit Michael McFaul Foreign Affairs U.S. President Donald Trump shocked the world earlier this week when, standing side by side with Russian President Vladimir Putin, he refused to accept the basic facts of the Kremlin’s interference in the… Trump appeared to back Putin over his own intelligence community, saying during a press conference in Helsinki, “I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia that hacked into… In that one answer, Trump guaranteed ... Read More »

Overtourism: a growing global problem

The summer holidays are in full swing – and protests against overtourism have begun (yet again) in a number of popular European cities. Authors: The Conversation Overtourism is not a new problem. Barcelona, in particular, is at the centre of these mounting concerns about the rapid growth of tourism in cities, especially during peak holiday periods. In fact, Destination Barcelona estimates that there were 30m overnight visitors in 2017, compared to a resident population of 1,625,137. But across southern Europe ... Read More »

Men who murder v men who abuse: Queensland research aims to find the difference

Researchers will interview Queensland prisoners in the hopes of discovering the difference between men who abuse their intimate female partners versus men who murder them. Lucy Stone Brisbane Times Griffith University professor Paul Mazerolle hopes the project could provide much-needed practical information on the reasons behind the escalation from violence to murder. “A number of years ago we undertook the Australian Homicide Study, so we have an existing data set of 302 people who have murdered somebody, and a subset ... Read More »

I Came as a Journalist to Ask Important Questions

If I hadn’t been forcibly ejected from the Trump-Putin press conference, here’s what I would have asked. Sam Husseini The Nation came to Helsinki to ask Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin questions about the threat of nuclear weapons and to distribute an open letter about the need for secure elections and true national security. Instead, I was dragged out of their press conference before it even began and into a Finnish jail. No charges were pressed against me. Here’s what I would ... Read More »

Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean Alliance

Concrete steps over the past three years have set the foundations of an Eastern Mediterranean Alliance (EMA) comprising Israel, Greece, and Cyprus. John M. Nomikos BESA The convergence of the three nations is the natural outcome of close democratic similarities and a joint desire for stability and progress in a region tormented by perennial Middle East strife, radical Islamism, and the morphing of Turkey into a fundamentalist Islamic autocracy. The EMA is emerging at a time of increasing global instability. ... Read More »

Philippines: Addressing Islamist Militancy after the Battle for Marawi

The Philippine city of Marawi, on Mindanao island, remains in ruins more than a year after a five-month jihadist takeover. ICG To avoid fuelling militancy, Manila must involve locals in reconstruction, implement a 2014 deal with Mindanao separatists and go beyond efforts to counter jihadist ideology. In May 2017, Muslim militants acting in the name of the Islamic State (ISIS) seized Marawi, a lakeside economic hub in the Lanao del Sur province of Mindanao, the second-largest island in the Philippines. ... Read More »

BRICS From Above, Seen Critically From Below

The Durban rapper Ewok captured the spirit of progressive social forces in South Africa with his condemnation of elite politics at a March 2013 protest outside the Durban International Convention Centre: “You dropping BRICS from above? We’re throwing bricks from below!” Patrick Bond CounterPunch For the second time, the leaders of the Brazil-Russia-India-China-SA (BRICS) summit in South Africa, this time at Johannesburg’s Sandton Convention Centre from July 25-27. The bloc has great potential to change the world in positive ways. But under ... Read More »

Lure of the race card too much for Turnbull to resist

Malcolm Turnbull won’t mind a bit that he was “embroiled in a race row” on Tuesday There was puzzlement, anger and complaints of “racist dog whistling” on Tuesday after the Prime Minister went on Neil Mitchell’s 3AW program to carry on about “Sudanese gangs” when in the past he has left the… Noel Towell The Age Sure, nobody likes being called a racist, but in the end Turnbull and his senior Victorian MPs will be reflecting on a mission accomplished. ... Read More »

Chomsky on the Trump NATO Ruse

Recently NPR featured retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges who was the commanding general of NATO’s Allied Land Command in 2014. Daniel Falcone CounterPunch He remarked how he “was disappointed to see President Trump bring a wrecking ball to Brussels” after “publicly [humiliating] our most important allies.” He went on to explain, and I believe correctly that Trump “either doesn’t understand the concept of an alliance and allies or he doesn’t care” with the latter being the most accurate. I set ... Read More »

Chart of the day: The Government hasn’t been very good at predicting population growth

Australia’s population growth has outstripped official expectations for more than a decade, according to the Government’s own estimates. By political reporter Jackson Gothe-Snape BBC The Intergenerational Report provides “a projection into the future, giving us an estimate of the challenges we face as a nation”. But across the four reports stretching back to 2002, the Government has repeatedly underestimated how fast the population is growing. In 2002, the first report assumed net overseas migration would continue at 90,000 people per ... Read More »