World

My Good Friend Roosevelt

Were US-Cuban relations soured for the want of ten dollars? Perhaps better than anyone else, Fidel Castro was keenly aware of the fact that the histories and destinies of Cuba and the United States were profoundly intertwined. Luis Martínez-Fernández History Today A fascinating and virtually unknown document housed in the US National Archives and Records Administration demonstrates that Castro was aware of this from an early age. ‘My good friend Roosvelt’, opens a letter a young Castro sent to President Franklin Delano ... Read More »

A draft plan from Puerto Rico’s utility reveals a huge shift towards solar power

The island’s future is slowly bending towards renewables, with ambitious plans for the future. Ε. Α. Crunden Think Progress A year and a half after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico is increasingly looking towards more resilient energy sources as the island works for long-term recovery. According to a draft version of the 2019 integrated resource plan (IRP) from the publicly-owned Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), renewable energy is increasingly appealing for the island. The IRP, shared with ThinkProgress, lays out ... Read More »

The Death of Clothing

The underlying problem of weak demand is expected to dog the apparel industry for years, meaning more store closures and more bankruptcies lie ahead — with or without Amazon. BoF By Bloomberg By: Lindsey Rupp, Chloe Whiteaker, Matt Townsend and Kim Bhasin NEW YORK, United States — The apparel industry has a big problem. At a time when the economy is growing, unemployment is low, wages are rebounding and consumers are eager to… The woes of retailers are often blamed ... Read More »

Trump Asks for Unity, but Presses Hard Line on Immigration

WASHINGTON — President Trump delivered a message of bipartisan unity on Tuesday night in his first address to Congress in the new era of divided government, but signaled that he will continue to wage war for the… Peter Baker The New York Times In a nationally televised speech that toggled between conciliation and confrontation, Mr. Trump presented himself as a leader who can work across party lines even as he pressed lawmakers to build a… “We must reject the politics ... Read More »

Venezuela: Denial of food is a human rights crime

In early February, the Lima Group, a coalition of several Latin American countries and Canada, urged the Venezuelan military to sever ties with President Nicolás Maduro. Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann The Conversation The group called for the urgent delivery of humanitarian aid and for international governments to refrain from doing business with the nation “in oil, gold and other assets.”  Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland reiterated Canada’s opposition to military intervention in Venezuela to solve the crisis, as… How does ... Read More »

INF nuclear treaty: Russia plans new missile systems after pullout

Russia says it is planning to develop new missile systems after both Russia and the US suspended their involvement in an arms control pact. BBC The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) banned the pair from using short- and medium-range missiles. The US has long accused Russia of violating the pact, and last week US President Donald Trump announced he would exit it. Russia followed suit. The moves have raised concerns about a new arms race. The INF was signed during ... Read More »

France declares day marking ‘Armenian genocide’

France has declared a national day of commemoration to remember the 1915 Armenian genocide. The announcement is set to provoke an angry response from Turkey. DW French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday declared April 24 to be a national day to commemorate the 1915 Armenian genocide. Macron made the statement at an annual dinner of the Coordination Council of Armenian Organizations in France, fulfilling a 2017 campaign promise. France was among the first countries to denounce “the murderous hunt of ... Read More »

Anxiety on rise among the young in social media age

YouGov survey shows 18% of young people in UK do not think life is worth living Robert Booth The Guardian The number of young people in the UK who say they do not believe that life is worth living has doubled in the last decade, amid a sense of overwhelming pressure from social media which is driving feelings of inadequacy, new research suggests. In 2009, only 9% of 16-25-year-olds disagreed with the statement that “life is really worth living”, but ... Read More »

Groped, propositioned, ogled: life as a female barrister in Victoria

Jenna*, not her real name, is a barrister who has practised for more than a decade and experienced many types of sexual harassment. Miki Perkins Brisbane Times These included repeatedly being grabbed on her bottom at legal functions, being propositioned for sex multiple times during case conferences in chambers, and being exposed to highly sexualised conversations with fellow barristers. One male barrister she worked alongside constantly commented on who he’d like to have sex with, including graphic detail about sexual ... Read More »

I’m a contented atheist. My conscience is my only god

I floated in and out of Catholic and Hindu beliefs until one day I stopped Cauvery Madhavan The Irish Times I was born in India into a reasonably devout Hindu family and therefore, very unsurprisingly for then, received a traditional Catholic schooling. Educated by nuns, Irish in the main, I was one of many millions of children who were part of that strange trade-off between middle-class Indians of various faiths and the Catholic Church. To be “convent-educated” meant you had received more than ... Read More »

How EU Leaders Can Prevent a No-Deal Brexit

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s strategy of threatening a no-deal Brexit requires a hard deadline that forces her opponents to capitulate. Anatole Kaletsky Project Syndicate Without that, “running down the clock” becomes “kicking the can down the road,” which more accurately reflects May’s paradoxical combination of robotic inflexibility and exasperating indecisiveness. LONDON – Has British Prime Minister Theresa May outmaneuvered all her opponents? By defeating Parliament’s effort to rule out a disorderly “no-deal” rupture between the European Union and its ... Read More »

Regulating Speech in the New Public Square

Despite the ominous headlines, the influence of fake news on political decision-making appears to be limited. Madeleine de Cock Buning and Miguel Poiares Maduro Project Syndicate But that does not make digital deception any less dangerous; fake news feeds – and is fed by – polarization, and, paradoxically, the more it is discussed, the more disruptive it becomes. FLORENCE – Today, debates about public issues play out on social media, people receive their news via digital platforms, and politicians pitch their ... Read More »

Chinese navy veteran warns training, not hardware is key to military preparedness

As China expands its military might a retired naval officer points out that size is not everything in modern warfare ‘It is the people who use these weapons that count’ When Wang Yunfei, a retired Chinese naval officer, was on vacation in Okinawa in January, he watched with a heavy heart as Japanese fighter jets and helicopters carried out a routine training exercise at Naha Airport. Guo Rui South China Morning Post The cloud was low and the sky was ... Read More »

Israel Boosts Protection Of Gas Fields, Shipping

TEL AVIV: With over 80 percent of Israeli’s commerce carried by sea and its offshore gas fields crucial to the economy, the country is boosting spending on protecting its shipping lanes, littorals and… Arie Egozi Braking Defense Hezbollah sees the large natural gas reservoirs and the rigs that probe them in the Mediterranean as potential targets and this puts heavy pressure on the Israeli navy to safeguard them. David Ben–Bassat, former commander of the Israeli navy, told Breaking Defense that ... Read More »

Europeans fear Trump may threaten not just the transatlantic bond, but the state of their union

BERLIN — As President Trump prepares to deliver his second State of the Union address, the leaders of the United States’ closest allies in Europe are filled with anxiety. Dan Balz and Griff Witte The Washington Post They are unsure of whom to talk to in Washington. They can’t tell whether Trump considers them friends or foes. They dig through his Twitter feed for indications of whether the president intends to wreck the European Union and NATO or merely hobble the ... Read More »

Crimes, radical changes to super, home lending from Hayne final report

Banks face the prospect of criminal charges while the superannuation and home loan sectors are likely to be radically overhauled, in the wake of sweeping recommendations for change from the… By Sarah Danckert, Clancy Yeates & Eryk Bagshaw The Sydney Morning Herald A slew of banks and insurance companies have also been referred to financial regulators overseeing the sector for civil and criminal breaches relating to their superannuation and… However, the report stopped short of making any radical changes to ... Read More »