Sub Categories: » HOMEPAGE / OPINION/ GWYNNE DYER
Tuesday, September 13 2011 , Your time is 15:58:00
Martin McGuinness, who began as a terrorist and ended up as Deputy First Minister in Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government, died peacefully in hospital on Monday aged 66
Thirty years ago most of Southeast Asia was run by thuggish dictatorships. Then the Philippines showed the rest of the world how to get rid of dictators without violence, and its non-violent example was watched and copied around the world. But now the thugs are coming back to where it all started.
The Sunni-Shiite civil wars in Iraq and Syria are both nearing their end, and in both cases the Shiites have won – thanks largely to American military help in Iraq’s case, and to a Russian military intervention in Syria. Yet Russia and the United States are not allies in the Middle East. At least not yet
Maybe they reach sexual maturity very young in Scotland. What else could explain the fact that they are going to have another referendum on Scottish independence only three years after the last one?
The Dutch political system may not have been deliberately designed to produce middle-of-the-road outcomes, but it certainly works that way in practice: many small parties, multi-party coalitions to create a majority government, perpetual compromise. It is almost impossible to radicalize a system like this, but Geert Wilders is going to try
Only 39 light-years away, astronomers have found seven planets circling a very small “red dwarf” star called Trappist-1. All seven are in or near what we call the “Goldilocks zone”: Not too hot, not too cold, but just right for water to remain liquid on the planet. So we all speculate once again, but a little more bravely this time, about whether some of these planets might be home to life
For the first time in six years, there is famine in the world: a real, United Nations-declared famine, with more than 30 percent of the affected population suffering acute malnutrition and more than a thousand people dying of hunger each day. And there are three more countries where famine may be declared any day now
There’s a new idea that might be the solution to runaway populism. Well, it’s not that new, really – it has been kicking around in left-wing circles for a least a quarter-century – but it has suddenly gone mainstream. It’s called Universal Basic Income (UBI), and pilot programmes to see if it really works in practice are being launched this year in four different countries
By the end of 2015 the BND, the German foreign intelligence service, had grown so concerned that it warned the government about Saudi Arabia’s new Deputy Crown Prince and defense minister, 30-year-old Muhammad bin Salman. “The previous cautious diplomatic stance of older leading members of the royal family,” it wrote, “is being replaced by an impulsive policy of intervention.”
“Without a proper sense of urgency, we will be eventually defeated, dominated and very likely destroyed,” wrote former Gen. Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, in his recent book. “They are dead set on taking us over and drinking our blood.”
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