Tag: Featured

Africa’s urban problems to worsen

| December 16, 2016 | 0 Comments
Africa’s urban problems to worsen

Africa’s destiny is in its cities. Already the home of half of sub-Saharan Africa’s 1 billion people, with untold more millions to come, some of the cities of Africa will soon be the largest in the world — with all of the possibilities and problems that pertain to megacities with high potential and inadequate infrastructures […]

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The trade-offs of peacekeeping

| December 16, 2016 | 0 Comments
The trade-offs of peacekeeping

The Canadian peacekeeping monument stands on an island in the midst of busy traffic opposite Ottawa’s National Gallery. It commemorates a Canadian ideal. Three peacekeepers — two men and a woman — stand as a symbol of hope over the broken debris of war. But today the monument is hardly noticed and its meaning has […]

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Yemen: Exotic and utterly war-torn

| December 16, 2016 | 0 Comments
Yemen: Exotic and utterly war-torn

In January 2014, I was appointed as the representative for the United Nations refugee agency to Yemen. In this capacity, I was to lead and co-ordinate the protection and assistance services for hundreds of thousands of refugees, asylum-seekers, new arrivals and internally displaced Yemenis. Two months later, I was asked to assume the functions of […]

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‘Big Daddy’ Xi at the helm

| October 4, 2016 | 0 Comments
‘Big Daddy’ Xi at the helm

Xi Jinping is the most powerful Chinese leader in a generation. Not since Deng Xiaoping retired more than a quarter century ago has any Chinese leader been able to centralize such control in his hands and exercise undisputed leadership over the Communist Party, the Chinese government and the People’s Liberation Army. Yet, Chinese are deeply […]

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UN raps Chinese expansionism

| October 4, 2016 | 0 Comments
UN raps Chinese expansionism

In July, the UN-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague released a 500-page judgment on competing claims by the Philippines and China in the South China Sea. The court found that there is no legal basis for China’s historical claims to sea areas based on the “nine-dash line”; that none of the contested features […]

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Icelandic foods: A challenging history

| October 4, 2016 | 1 Comment
Icelandic foods: A challenging history

Seeking solitude and seclusion, Irish monks in the seventh Century happened upon Iceland by chance, but fled two centuries later as Vikings from Sweden and Norway stumbled upon the island. After that, Norse settlers from Sweden and Norway soon began dotting the country with homesteads, having fled political strife on the Scandinavian mainland. From that […]

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The future lies here: China’s New Silk Road Economic Belt Initiative gives a boost to Xinjiang

| October 4, 2016 | 0 Comments
The future lies here: China’s New Silk Road Economic Belt Initiative gives a boost to Xinjiang

At a hotel last May in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, a woman from South Africa was having breakfast on her sixth visit to China. She and her husband had just arrived from Kashgar, an ancient city in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, located in the far west of China. Kashgar was a key stop on the old Silk […]

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Portugal’s diplomatic residence off the beaten path

| October 4, 2016 | 0 Comments
Portugal’s diplomatic residence off the beaten path

Portuguese Ambassador Jose Moreira da Cunha and his wife, Lurdes, live in what they describe as a modest embassy residence on Island Park Drive, far from some of the baronial manor houses of Rockcliffe where many of their diplomatic friends live. But they say they couldn’t be happier. Not only do they love the location, […]

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Liberals’ China dilemma

| October 4, 2016 | 0 Comments
Liberals’ China dilemma

During the 2015 federal elections in Canada, the Liberal Party platform spoke of building up the Canadian middle class. One of the ways it said it would do that was by forging greater trade relations with emerging markets, including China. But, during the Munk Centre foreign policy debate between the Liberal, Conservative and NDP leaders, […]

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China’s domestic problems

| October 4, 2016 | 0 Comments
China’s domestic problems

Economic growth stood out for a long time as the big story coming out of China, concealing other aspects of its governance that were problematic, including environmental degradation, rising inequalities, worrying demographic imbalance, abuses of power, corruption and a poor record on human rights. For many years, the Communist Party answered critics of its poor […]

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