Features

Fiscal therapy: 12 framing facts and what they mean

The American economy is in great shape in many ways. Riding the cusp of an expansion that started in 2009, the stock market is up, consumer confidence is booming, and unemployment has fallen to historically low levels. William G. Gale Brookings But dig beneath the surface and trouble looms. America faces two distinct but related challenges that policymakers must address in the coming years if they hope to provide a brighter future for the nation and its people. The first ... Read More »

Sharia in Brunei: Gay sex, abortion, extramarital sex, stealing now punishable by stoning, amputation, death

Today, the Brunei Government ushers in a harsh new penal code that requires death by stoning for extramarital sex, anal sex, and abortion; amputation of limbs for stealing; and 100 lashes with a whip for lesbian sex. dateline SBS “Brunei’s new penal code is barbaric to the core, imposing archaic punishments for acts that shouldn’t even be crimes,” said Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch’s deputy Asia director. The controversial changes to Brunei’s penal code were first published in 2013, and ... Read More »

The Modi Years

In its attack on civil liberties, its restructuring of the State to effect an acute centralisation of power, and its pervasive purveyance of fear, the Modi years resemble Indira Gandhi’s Emergency. Prabhat Patnaik NewsClick In its attack on civil liberties, its restructuring of the State to effect an acute centralisation of power, and its pervasive purveyance of fear, the Modi years resemble Indira Gandhi’s Emergency. But the resemblance stops there. In fact the two differ fundamentally in several ways. First, ... Read More »

Children face reduction in life expectancy of 20 months ‘due to air pollution’

New research shows how a child born today could be affected by highly polluted air The Irish Times The life expectancy of a child born today will be reduced by an average of 20 months due to health damage caused by air pollution, researchers said on Wednesday. In South Asia, where air pollution levels are highest, the life expectancy for children born in countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh is forecast to fall by more than 30 months, according to the annual State of Global Air ... Read More »

How Climate Change Is Fuelling the U.S. Border Crisis

In the western highlands of Guatemala, the question is no longer whether someone will leave but when. By Jonathan Blitzer Photography by Mauricio Lima The New Yorker In the center of Climentoro, in the western highlands of Guatemala, a dozen large white houses rise above the village’s traditional wooden huts like giant monuments. The structures are made of concrete and fashioned with archways, colonnaded porches, and elaborate moldings. “Most of them are empty,” Feliciano Pérez, a local farmer, told me. ... Read More »

‘Put yourself in their hooves’: Tourists urged to reconsider riding donkeys in Santorini

Donkeys have been used to ferry human cargo up Santorini’s notoriously steep steps for generations, but holidaymakers are being urged to think twice before riding mules on the Greek island, after some of the animals were found to have spinal injuries and saddle sores. Gavin Haines The Telegraph Welfare groups have partly blamed overweight tourists for the travails of Santorini’s donkeys, which are often overburdened and typically spend long days in the sun with little access to shade or water. ... Read More »

Climate Change Drives Collapse Of Baby Corals In Great Barrier Reef

The catastrophic die-off from recent ocean heat waves severely affected the reef’s ability to produce new corals and bounce back. Chris DÁngelo HuffPost The deadly back-to-back bleaching events that hammered Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in 2016 and 2017 led to a collapse in the recruitment of new corals, severely affecting the ecosystem’s ability to recover from the devastation. That’s according to a new study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, which found that the number of juvenile corals that settled ... Read More »

Pence Takes Germany to Task Over Defense Spending

US vice president also warns Turkey against purchase of Russian missile defense system Ashish Kumar Sen Atlantic Council US Vice President Mike Pence on April 3 chastised Germany for not spending enough on defense, warned Turkey against going ahead with the purchase of a Russian missile defense system, cautioned against the rise of China, and sought to reassure NATO allies that they will always have the United States’ support. US President Donald J. Trump has led the charge against NATO ... Read More »

Turkey’s marriage of F-35 and S-400 ‘absolutely unsustainable,’ says EUCOM nominee

WASHINGTON — The U.S. general nominated to lead American forces in Europe said Tuesday that if Turkey buys the Russian S-400 air defense system, it “should not get” the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter from the United States. Joe Gould DefenseNews At his Senate Armed Services Committee nomination hearing to lead U.S. European Command, Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters called the co-location of the F-35 and the S-400 “absolutely unsustainable.” “I concur with this committee’s belief that the S-400 and the ... Read More »

Turkish democracy is the winner in these momentous local elections

By toppling the AKP in Ankara and Istanbul, the opposition has shown that Erdoğan’s ruling party is not an invincible force Sinan Ülgen The Guardian Sunday’s local elections in Turkey resulted in a major setback for the president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and his ruling alliance. The ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) and nationalist MHP coalition lost Turkey’s major cities to an opposition ushering in an era of change at the local level. The political transitions in Istanbul and Ankara ... Read More »

Defusing the Crisis at Jerusalem’s Gate of Mercy

A standoff looms between Palestinian worshippers and Israeli police over a shuttered building at Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade. ICG Israel and Muslim religious authorities should reopen the building to lessen tensions at the sacred site, where small incidents have blown up into prolonged violence before. What’s new? At Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade (Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount), Israeli authorities and Palestinian worshippers are struggling over control of a building next to the Gate of Mercy. Shut by Israeli authorities since 2003, Palestinians forcibly regained ... Read More »

A Turning Point for Turkey’s Opposition?

The AKP’s losses in key major cities in Turkey’s local elections provide opposition parties the opportunity to hold the ruling party accountable. A.Kadir Yildirim Carnegie After an unusually quiet campaign season in Turkey, the March 31, 2019 local elections delivered one of the most stunning results in recent memory. While securing a majority of the votes nationwide, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost major ground. Interestingly, from a historical perspective, the AKP outperformed ... Read More »

English judge says man having sex with wife is ‘fundamental human right’

Court of protection in London considering case involving woman with learning difficulties Owen Bowcott The Guardian A row has erupted after a judge spoke in court about the “fundamental human right” of a man to have sex with his wife. The remark was made by Mr Justice Hayden, who had been asked to consider imposing a court order preventing a man from having sex with his wife of 20 years because she may no longer be able to give her ... Read More »

Spanish fireman faces 20 years in prison for rescuing migrants at sea

Italian authorities have accused Miguel Roldán of aiding human traffickers after he helped save thousands of people from drowning in the Mediterranean. NACHO SÁNCHEZ El Pais English version by Asia London Palomba. It is June 2017, and firefighter Miguel Roldán has been working for 18 hours on a migrant rescue ship in the Mediterranean Sea. A phone call warns him that another migrant boat is sinking. It is past 10pm and completely dark. He sets out with two of his ... Read More »

When Socialism Was Tried in America—and Was a Smashing Success

For much of the 20th century, Milwaukee was run by socialists—and Time magazine called it “one of the best-run cities in the U.S.” John Nichols The Nation “If I owned all the real estate in the world, I wouldn’t feel so powerful as I do on the streets of this socialist city,” declared former New York City councilman Baruch Vladeck when he arrived in Milwaukee in 1932 for the Socialist Party’s national convention in that city. Norman Thomas, the famed ... Read More »

Egypt targets artists in ongoing crackdown on dissent

Egyptian actors Amr Waked and Khaled Abu El Naga face accusations of “high treason” in Egypt after criticizing alleged human rights violations by the Egyptian government at a March 25 meeting with US members of Congress in Washington. Shahira Amin Al-Monitor Waked and Abu El Naga also used their meeting with the US lawmakers to lobby against proposed constitutional amendments that would allow President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to remain in office until 2034 and would also, critics say, “enshrine military rule.” The controversial proposed ... Read More »