Society

Should Trump Worry About the Putin-Xi Meeting?

The Chinese-Russian bilateral relationship is better than at many points in the past, but it remains superficial. Doug Bandow The National Interest Russian president Vladimir Putin left his meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un to journey to Beijing. The former’s destination: a forum on China’s infamous Belt and Road initiative, where Putin announced the approval of a toll road tying Belarus to Kazakhstan. The more important objective, though, for the Russian leader was meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping. The ... Read More »

Can Capitalism Beat Climate Change?

Only clear targets can transform rational self-interest from a potentially catastrophic force into a powerful driver of beneficial change. Adair Turner Project Syndicate Once investors know that the non-negotiable end point is zero carbon in 2050, they will desert any company whose plans are incompatible with that objective. LONDON – Easter visitors to London have found some streets and buildings occupied by “Extinction Rebellion” activists, warning of climate catastrophe and rejecting “a… Followers of central bank thinking have seen the ... Read More »

Post-Bouteflika Algeria: Growing Protests, Signs of Repression

A groundswell of popular unrest has ended Bouteflika’s twenty-year rule and brought Algeria to a fork in the road. ICG The regime should embark on substantive reforms and enter dialogue with protest leaders in order to prevent the cycle of mass protests and repressive counter-measures spiralling out of control. What’s new? On 2 April, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Algeria’s aging and ailing president, resigned under pressure from the military. The move was the result of five weeks of street protests at the ... Read More »

‘Outrage is justified’: David Attenborough backs school climate strikers

Exclusive: broadcaster says older generations have done terrible things and should listen to young Damian Carrington The Guardian The outrage of the students striking from school over climate change inaction is “certainly justified”, according to Sir David Attenborough, who said older generations had done terrible damage to the planet. In an interview with the former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres, the broadcaster and naturalist dismissed critics of the widely praised global movement of school strikes as cynics. “[Young people] understand the ... Read More »

Global inequality is 25% higher than it would have been in a climate-stable world

Those least responsible for global warming will suffer the most. Poorer countries – those that have contributed far less to climate change – tend to be situated in warmer regions, where additional warming causes the most devastation. Nicholas Beuret The Conversation Extreme weather events such as Syria’s prolonged drought, South Asia’s catastrophic monsoon floods, and Cyclone Idai in South-East Africa, the third deadliest cyclone on record, are becoming more likely and more severe. These events are disproportionately bringing death, displacement, ... Read More »

What the Greek tragedy Antigone can teach us about the dangers of extremism

In a Greek tragedy written in the middle of the fifth century B.C., three teenagers struggle with a question that could be asked now: What happens when a ruler declares that those who resist his dictates are enemies of the state, and that ruler has as many supporters as he has detractors? Elizabeth A. Bobrick The Conversation The story of Sophocles’ Antigone and the accursed royal family of Thebes belongs to the mythical pre-history of Greece. Greek tragedy portrays in ... Read More »

Lettuce-Farming Robots Might Grow Your Next Salad

California’s grow houses are making use of applied intelligence and robotics to cultivate the time- and labor-intensive greens. Dimitra Kessenides Bloomberg Your next salad might include leafy greens grown by robots in California greenhouses. About 75 percent of the lettuce farmed in the U.S. comes from that state’s Central Coast and San Joaquin Valley. Cultivating it requires warm temperatures, not too much rain, and lots of time and labor. Startups such as Iron Ox, a maker of agricultural robots, and… ... Read More »

Democracy: ‘Inclusion is the future – not exclusion’

The rise of right-wing populism is being fuelled by polarisation in society that we must address without resorting to the claim of moral superiority, or protest voters will become the… Annette Ekin Horizon Horizon spoke to Prof. Merkel about the challenges for democracy, who is being left behind and how he sees right-wing populists gaining at the European elections starting 23 May. These are uncertain, tough times for democracy – the decline of voter turnout, the rise of right-wing populist ... Read More »

Turkey’s “Outsider” Threats

Ever since it was founded as a republic in 1923, Turkey has struggled with its so-called Kurdish issue. Madhuri Karak JSTOR Daily In Turkey, the cost of living has soared and inflation is hovering at 20%. During last month’s local elections, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party—A.K. Parti in Turkish—blamed this on “outsider” threats undermining Turkey over longstanding economic issues at home. The weakening currency, for example, was cast as an American and Zionist-led conspiracy against Turkey. ... Read More »

Inmates End Own Lives to Protest Rebel Kurdish Leader’s Treatment in Turkey

At least four Kurdish activists have died in prisons across Turkey since last week, in what lawyers and officials have called suicides over the poor prison conditions of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK… Rikar Hussein Ezel Sahinkaya VoA The series of alleged suicides by Kurdish prisoners started on March 17 when Kurdish officials confirmed that Zulkuf Gezen took his own life, followed by the deaths of Ayten Becet and… Officials of pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) also confirmed on Monday the ... Read More »

Central American women fleeing violence experience more trauma after seeking asylum

The number of Central American women who make difficult, often harrowing, journeys to the United States to flee domestic and gang violence is rising. Laurie Cook Heffron The Conversation I’m a social science researcher and a social worker who has interviewed hundreds of women after they were detained by immigration authorities for my research about the relationship between violence against women and migration. I find that most female asylum seekers experience trauma, abuse and violence before they cross the U.S. ... Read More »

Venezuela’s Trade Scheme With Turkey Is Enriching a Mysterious Maduro Cron

Investigators say retrofitted criminal networks are being used to trade gold for the food that’s propping up the regime. By Michael Smith and Monte Reel From: New Economy Forum In the late afternoon of July 15, 2016, a cluster of staffers inside the Turkish Embassy in Caracas struggled to make sense of the images from home flashing across their televisions and computer screens. Military trucks were blocking a bridge over the Bosporus, tanks were rolling into the Istanbul airport, and ... Read More »

It’s time political parties started taking data protection seriously

When the major political parties were spared the tedium of complying with the Privacy Act in 2000, the then-Howard government argued their exemption would enhance political communication and free up the democratic process. David Wroe Brisbane Times It was a controversial enough view at the time, but it has become almost ludicrously counterproductive in the years since. Technology in 2019 means malign actors can steal data and then use it to manipulate elections. That includes data on individual voters. So ... Read More »

104th anniversary of Turkey’s founding evil

The Armenian Genocide is Turkey’s founding evil. Cengiz Aktar Ahval Is it possible for a system that was founded on this atrocity – the liquidation of the non-Muslim citizens of the Ottoman Empire – to work properly? How can this huge loss determine Turkey’s situation today? Here are a few examples, from many thousands, of the political and social cornerstones of the system that fosters a culture of denying equal citizenship, extortion, denying responsibility, and accountability, impunity, and making people ... Read More »

Not Proclaiming Exclusive Economic Zone Costing 28 Billion Kuna

ZAGREB, April 25, 2019 – MOST MPs Nikola Grmoja and Tomislav Panenić said on Thursday that Croatia is losing between 170 and 270 million euro each year for not declaring an… HINA Total Croatia News Grmoja told a press conference that during Wednesday’s parliamentary debate on a MOST-sponsored motion for Croatia to declare an EEZ, Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) whip… “Because of that every year we lost funds equalling the value of one Pelješac bridge,” Grmoja said and added that ... Read More »

Addressing the Rise of Libya’s Madkhali-Salafis

Adherents of a Salafi school, the Madkhalis, are gaining prominence on both sides of Libya’s divide, causing concerns about puritanical agendas imposed through military and… ICG Negotiators should ensure that rebuilt security forces are politically neutral and secure the Madkhalis’ pledge to respect pluralism. What’s new? Madkhali-Salafis, followers of an ultra-conservative Sunni Muslim doctrine originating in Saudi Arabia, have gained great influence across Libya, including in key armed groups and… Although they helped fight ISIS and provide security, their rise ... Read More »