Languages

I Will Not Stay Silent. Our Leaders Are Failing Human Rights.

I spent four years defending human rights at the U.N. — and they’ve never been more at risk. By Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein The New York Times In the video Op-Ed above, a former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, argues that world leaders are weak, shortsighted and mediocre, and no longer willing or able to defend human rights. Abuses used to be called out and stopped, and human rights offenders had something to fear. Today, they ... Read More »

Brexit: It’s so obvious the will of the people has changed – Christine Jardine MP

It’s time for Theresa May to stop pretending the UK is united in its desire to leave the European Union. It never was and the public mood is radically different to three years ago, writes Christine Jardine MP. The Scotsman I could not believe how quickly the numbers were rising. It was changing so quickly that every time you said the latest figure out loud it was instantly out of date. Less than 24 hours after the Prime Minister had ... Read More »

Sánchez bets big on women in Spanish campaign

The ruling Socialists have strong feminist credentials, but an anti-feminist party is on the rise. MADRID — Pedro Sánchez made feminism a banner as soon as he became prime minister nine months ago, and now he’s doubling down on women’s votes to keep him in office after Spain’s election on April 28. Diego Torres Politico With an openly anti-feminist party — the far-right Vox — on the rise, Sánchez’s Socialists and their mainstream rivals trampled on each other to get the… The ... Read More »

The President Who Wants to Break Up His Own Country

Once praised by Madeleine Albright as “a breath of fresh air,” Bosnia’s new president, Milorad Dodik, now threatens a fragile U.S.-brokered peace accord. Maxim Edwards The Atlantic SARAJEVO—Few national leaders would call their own country an “impossible state.” Fewer still would actively advocate for it to be broken up. Almost none would risk a decades-old peace accord to do so. And then there is Bosnia’s Milorad Dodik. “I am a Serb … Bosnia is only my place of employment,” Dodik ... Read More »

Tusk compares backstop to the Gordian Knot unravelled by Alexander the Great

Analysis: May insists a deal is achievable; Barnier says negotiations need more time Denis Staunton The Irish Times As Theresa May prepares to address EU leaders before dinner at Wednesday’s summit in Brussels, both sides are determined that there should be no repeat of the rancorous displays at Salzburg last month. Michel Barnier said on Tuesday that the Brexit negotiations needed more time while May told her cabinet that negotiators had made significant progress and that a deal was achievable. Still unresolved, however, is the ... Read More »

5 lessons from Team Obama to save Europe

PARIS — With next year’s European Parliament election shaping up as a showdown between pro-EU parties and Euroskeptics, the race is on for both sides to find a winning edge. Zachary Young Politico For the pro-EU camp, one possible source of inspiration lies in Barack Obama’s successful U.S. presidential campaigns, which managed twice to win majorities for liberal and outward-looking policies. In the past year, French President Emmanuel Macron has portrayed himself as the great champion of the EU and further ... Read More »

Orban under fire as George Soros refuses to close his Budapest university

HUNGARY’S Central European University (CEU), which was founded by the Hungarian-American investor George Soros, said it would continue to recruit students in Budapest as it demanded Viktor Orban’s government recognise it complies with Hungarian law. Laura Mowat Express The university has been accused of not operating within the law by the right-wing Hungarian government. CEU, which was founded in 1991, aims to create an “open society” and has become a target for anti-immigrant Orban. They came into trouble when a ... Read More »

Friday essay: Australia’s dangerous obsession with the Anglosphere

Over the past three weeks the ABC program Four Corners has presented special reports on American politics, which involved one of our best journalists, Sarah Ferguson, travelling to the US on special assignment. Dennis Altman The Conversation I watched these programs and I enjoyed them. But in part I enjoyed them because they covered ground that is already familiar. If the same effort had gone into bringing us in-depth special reports from, say, Jakarta or Mumbai they would have been ... Read More »

Be afraid, be very afraid: North Korea’s long-term strategy

The TV camera focuses on Kim Jong-un. “Fellow countrymen, I am determined to make sure that you have not endured your many sacrifices in vain,” he says. Bradley Martin Asia Times “We have forced the world to notice us and respect us, and now we need to translate that achievement into food, clothing and shelter for our long-suffering population. “Today, I am ordering military storehouses opened. We will distribute a million tons of war-reserve rice to our citizens, who need ... Read More »

One man’s quest to save the Jewish Iraqi language

On Friday mornings in a class on the heritage of Babylonian Jewry, Oded Amit has taught a small group of Israelis to speak Jewish Iraqi, the language of his ancestors. Jacky Hugi Al Monitor Amit, 70, was born and raised in Baghdad, and Jewish Iraqi was the language in which his mother raised him. “It’s a beautiful… One man’s quest… Read More »

The international companies using only english

A growing number of global firms are using as English their main language – even if they are based in Japan or France. Bryan Borzykowski BBC News Nearly every meeting Keiko Claassen must attend at work is held in English. No big deal… The international companies… Read More »

Turkey takes another step toward despotism

SINCE ASSUMING the nominally ceremonial position of president in 2014, Turkish ruler Recep Tayyip Erdogan has aspired to endow it with far-reaching powers, replacing the country’s parliamentary system with something more like what Vladi­mir Putin has established in Russia. The Washington Post By Editorial Board His… Turkey takes another… Read More »

You need to back to school and relearn English

With non-native English speakers outnumbering native speakers, it’s up to Anglophones to learn how to speak their language within a global community. BBC News Lennox Morrison Until seven years ago, Chicago-born Ben Barron had worked only with fellow Americans. But when he took a job with Zurich Insurance… You need to back to… Read More »

NT Indigenous MLA Yingiya Mark Guyula seeks to speak native language in Parliament

An Indigenous Northern Territory politician says he feels “stronger and more powerful” when he uses his own language and is seeking support for a motion to remove restrictions on speaking it in Parliament. ABC Sara Everingham “I am here in the Parliament House with my language and cultural background; it’s the first time trying to ask for permission, trying to ask kindly that I need to use my language in the Parliament house,” Independent MLA Yingiya Mark Guyula said. Under ... Read More »

Buhari’s Nigeria: Boko Haram Off Balance, but Other Troubles Surge

The peaceful election in March 2015 of President Muhammadu Buhari, a former army general, raised hopes that some of Nigeria’s most pressing security problems could soon be tamed. One year later, the new government has struck at the Islamist Boko Haram insurgency. But Nigeria is sliding deeper into other difficulties. Senior Nigeria Analyst Nnamdi Obasi looks at the main challenges… Source: Buhari’s Nigeria: Boko Haram Off Balance, but Other Troubles Surge | Crisis Group Read More »

The man who studies the spread of ignorance

How do people or companies with vested interests spread ignorance and obfuscate knowledge? BBC News Georgina Kenyon Georgina Kenyon finds there is a term which defines this phenomenon. In 1979, a secret… The man who studies… Read More »