Speaking Truth to Power Monday, August 5th, 2019

US President Donald Trump’s nomination of John Ratcliffe, a highly partisan Congressman with little international experience, to replace Dan Coats as Director of National Intelligence raised the red flag of the politicization of intelligence. Opposition to Ratcliffe among Democrats and..

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Are Moonshots Still Possible? Friday, July 19th, 2019

I cannot look at the Moon without being reminded of July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted the first human footprints on its dusty surface. Then a young astronomer at the University of Cambridge, where the English astronomer Fred Hoyle was the top professor, I joined hundreds of..

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Manus, Nauru and an Australian Detention Legacy Thursday, July 18th, 2019

It could be called a gulag mentality, though it finds form in different ways. In the defunct Soviet Union, it was definitive of life: millions incarcerated, garrisons of forced labour, instruments of the proletarian paradise fouled. Gulag literature suggested another society, estranged and removed..

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From Moon Walk to Space Wars

Fifty years after astronauts first walked on the Moon, space wars have gone from Hollywood fantasy to looming threat. Not content with possessing enough nuclear weapons to wipe out all life on Earth many times over, major powers are rapidly militarizing space. Given the world’s increasing..

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A Digital Path to Health for All Saturday, July 6th, 2019

Global leaders at the recent annual gathering of the World Health Assembly in Geneva expressed worry and optimism in almost equal measure. Delegates at the Assembly – the decision-making body of the World Health Organization – likened the scope of the world’s health crisis to that of the..

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There are two professions all over the world that seem to have no entry barrier. Anyone can get in and get out at any time. One is politics ( Yes, people from all sorts of background with or without formal education enter politics at various levels these days to get powerful positions and make..

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Findings of Torture: The UN Rapporteur and Julian Assange Saturday, June 1st, 2019

Another crude and sad chapter, yet more evidence of a system’s vengeance against its challengers. Julian Assange, like they dying Roman emperor Vespasian, may be transforming into a god of sorts, but the suffering of his mortal physical is finding its mark. While some in the cynical, narcissistic..

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It is reported that leader of Tibetan government in exile Mr. Lobsang Sangey was not invited to Mr. Narendra Modi’s swearing in ceremony for his second term as Prime Minister of India. However, the Tibetan leader was invited for Mr. Modi’s swearing in ceremony for the first term in 2014. Why..

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How Central-Bank Independence Dies

With the global rise of populism and autocracy, central-bank independence is under threat, even in advanced economies. Since the 2008 financial crisis, the public has come to expect central banks to shoulder responsibilities far beyond their power and remit. At the same time, populist leaders have..

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How to Live Better and Stop Destroying the Planet Saturday, May 25th, 2019

Earlier this month, a bleak global assessment of the shocking state of life on Earth made headlines worldwide. According to the report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), about 12% of all known animal and plant species are now threatened..

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The Russians Are Coming Friday, May 24th, 2019

Is Russia engaged in a new type of war against the West? If so, what effect might it be having on Western politics? Such questions are roiling the United States after the publication of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, which states unequivocally that Russia launched a “sweeping and..

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Are Indian Democracy’s Weaknesses Inherent?

The failure of the Indian state to provide basic public services and implement job-creating infrastructure projects was a prominent theme in the country’s recent general election. In this regard, critics often compare India unfavorably to China’s seemingly purposeful and effective authoritarian..

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2019 Parliamentary election in India is unique ,since it has not been a contest between political parties but a contest between one man and several others who are pledged haters of the single man. People reposed faith on the one man and gave him a second term as Prime Minister of India. It is now..

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The Real Cost of Trump’s Tariffs

Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump suddenly revealed that a trade agreement between the United States and China was not imminent after all. On the contrary, on May 10, the Trump administration raised its previous 10% tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25%, and threatened to..

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Monsanto, Scientific Deception and Cancer Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

Money may not be able to buy the purest love, but it can buy the best, life-ending cancer. For Monsanto, giant of rule and misrule in matters of genetically modified crops, known for bullying practices towards farmers, things have not been so rosy of late. Ever the self-promoter of saving the world..

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Can the Belt and Road Become a Trap for China?

Critics often claim that China is using its massive “Belt and Road Initiative” as a form of coercive “debt-trap diplomacy” to exert control over the countries that join its transnational infrastructure investment scheme. This risk, as Deborah Brautigam of John Hopkins University recently..

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In Defense of Europe Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

The geopolitical chessboard is back. Following a post-1989 interlude in which the direction of history seemed to tilt toward a peaceful liberal international order, we now witness mounting great-power competition, quests for hegemony, and quasi-imperial expansion. Russia is brazenly breaking..

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Trump’s Faltering Middle East Coalition Monday, September 23rd, 2019

On October 2, it will be a year since the brutal murder in Istanbul of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. In June this year, a United Nations report concluded that..

Normal Intrusions: Globalising AI Surveillance Sunday, September 22nd, 2019

Should Profane Contracts Be Sanctified? Sunday, September 22nd, 2019

Can Capitalist Democracy Survive? Saturday, September 21st, 2019