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Shifting alliances

| November 4, 2020 | 0 Comments
Shifting alliances

Joe Varner looks at the ways in which allies have shifted their priorities, and therefore their allegiances, in the time of COVID-19. Time does not stand still in life and certainly not in international affairs. The year 2020 has been one of change for the world’s foremost military alliance and NATO’s relationship with Turkey. The […]

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COVID disrupts fight against TB

| October 31, 2020 | 0 Comments
COVID disrupts fight against TB

6.3 million people will develop TB by 2025 due to COVID-related diversions of health-care services; another 1.4 million will die. Editor’s note: The TB/COVID-19 Civil Society Organizations working group wrote a report titled The Impact of COVID-19 on the TB epidemic: A community perspective. We excerpt the executive summary and key findings here. Tuberculosis is […]

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Two steps forward; one step back

| October 31, 2020 | 0 Comments
Two steps forward; one step back

Autocrats, even democrats, always find it hard to give up office — especially in Africa. Likewise, no matter how often the African Union condemns military coups and sanctifies elected heads of state, soldiers oust politicians and refuse to stay in their barracks. Equally, there are authoritarians who abuse and assassinate their opponents, squelch those who […]

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Estonia’s e-government revolution

| August 2, 2020 | 0 Comments
Estonia’s e-government revolution

The tiny country of 1.3 million has put itself on the global map with innovative e-government programs, one of which allows foreigners to establish companies there, from afar. After Estonia finally gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, following 51 years of occupation and poverty, then-prime minister Mart Laar was searching for a way […]

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Lost UN seat could be a win

| August 2, 2020 | 0 Comments
Lost UN seat could be a win

Many Canadians were disappointed at Canada’s recent loss in the “Western Europe and other” regional race for a two-year seat on the United Nations Security Council. The late start aside, errors abounded in our campaign. Kaveh Shahrooz, a Harvard-educated lawyer formerly at Global Affairs Canada, criticized it for omitting such issues as Beijing’s mass human […]

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COVID-19 hits Africa

| August 2, 2020 | 0 Comments
COVID-19 hits Africa

Despite a woeful medical infrastructure, widespread disease, food insecurity and crowded urban slums, much of Africa — compared to the Americas and Europe — has largely been spared a wrenching public-health disturbance from this year’s raging coronavirus. So far. At the same time, economies throughout the continent have tanked and Africans have been thrown back […]

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Preparing for disaster

Preparing for disaster

Humans are fearful. We grapple with our mortality, unable to imagine the planet without us, but optimistic that we will prevail. Our anxiety has been reflected in popular culture for eons, from the Epic of Gilgamesh, circa 2000 BC, to The Walking Dead. Our fears rise as the century wanes and the new one begins. […]

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Iran’s new ‘hard war’ stance

| August 2, 2020 | 0 Comments
Iran’s new ‘hard war’ stance

Iran’s experience in the years-long Iran-Iraq War had a profound impact on its threat perceptions, national security strategy and doctrine regarding the use of force. The Iran-Iraq war, which took place between 1980 and 1988, by conservative Western estimates killed 367,000 people, 262,000 of whom are believed to have been Iranian. Officially, Iranian estimates put […]

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China’s role in the COVID-19 pandemic

| August 2, 2020 | 0 Comments
China’s role in the COVID-19 pandemic

China has come under scrutiny for its handling of the pandemic that began to tighten its now-worldwide grip in January. Joe Varner investigated what has been reported in independent media and what the Chinese government has stated on wide-ranging aspects of the pandemic. At publication time, we are still emerging from almost four months of […]

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Anti-corruption rallies on the rise

Anti-corruption rallies on the rise

Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index keeps track of the issue worldwide. We offer excerpts from the report: The Corruption Perceptions Index 2019 reveals a staggering number of countries are showing little to no improvement in tackling corruption. Our analysis also suggests that reducing big money in politics and promoting inclusive political decision-making are essential to […]

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