After three decades of supposedly planned socialism (1960-1990), when government plans were often only halfway fulfilled, lost in oblivion due to lack of oversight or of realism, or in the best of cases carried out any which way just to live up to the goals, Cubans got used to waiting (with or without hope) for the political leadership, financed with heavy Soviet subsidies, to come up with the next “plan”.
As anti-government protests in the Ukraine move into their third week, there are growing concerns among individuals and civil society organisations in the country over the regime’s approach to protestors.
A March 2012 decision by the Swedish authority supervising foundations is a ticking box of dynamite under the Nobel Peace Prize. Even presented in an official, open document, the decision has not reached the general public and become the news story it actually is.
The terrible bloodshed in Syria has been going on for over two and a half years. It has caused one of the worst humanitarian crises in recent history, with more than half of Syria’s pre-war population now needing humanitarian assistance for their survival.
In a passage in Charles Darwin’s The Voyage of the Beagle, he condemns an egalitarian native people at the tip of South America to remain primitive.
According to statistics from the United Nations, one in five cases a year of honour killings internationally comes from India. Of the 5000 cases reported internationally, 1000 are from India. Non-governmental organisations put the number at four times this figure. They claim it is around 20,000 cases globally every year.
The battle lines are clearly drawn. At a time when food security in the developing countries is snowballing into a major trade conflict between the developed and developing countries, what in reality is at stake is the livelihood security of an estimated 1.5 billion small farmers in the majority world.
The devil is in the details. This cliché is already being invoked regarding the deal concluded this past weekend between Iran and the so-called P5+1 – the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, plus Germany, along with the European Union’s High Representative, Baroness Catherine Ashton.
Israel, Saudi Arabia, and some of the other ArabGulf states are deeply sceptical of the Barack Obama administration’s efforts to reach a deal with Iran limiting its nuclear programme and to improve U.S.-Iranian relations generally.
Are Malawians, apparently, overwhelmingly prejudiced against homosexuality? And what does it signal when politicians call for a referendum on the issue of homosexuality?
In June, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia were enveloped in haze as hundreds of forest fires burned across the island of Sumatra, in the worst pollution crisis to hit Southeast Asia in more than a decade.
The linchpin of an empire is the link between two elites, one in the imperial centre, the others in the peripheries. Symmetric alliances exist, but not when there is a superpower at the centre.
Saudi Arabia’s public anger against the United States masks the kingdom’s growing concern about its diminishing influence in the Persian Gulf and the wider Arab world.
Signs of rapprochement between Tehran and Washington are growing. A new era seems about to begin. It is now possible to imagine a political solution that would put an end to the 33-year confrontation between Iran and the United States.
Eight decades ago, during the Great Depression, newly elected U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt introduced the New Deal consisting of a number of mutually supporting initiatives of which the most prominent were: