North America

Donald Trump, Working Class Hero?

In his early February annual State of the Union address, US President Donald Trump typically hailed his own policies for increasing wages and jobs to achieve record low US unemployment. Directly appealing to labour for a second term, Trump claimed exclusive credit for the US “blue-collar boom”.

White House Fenced In: Trump, Within, Ploughs a Lonely Furrow

President Donald Trump has got himself a wall. But it is not the one of his choosing, as one on the Mexican border. It is on Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC, a high fence that now separates him from his people. But as polls for him keep dipping, and the prognosis for a victory in the upcoming November elections keep worsening, a prediction from an unlikely person should bring him cheer. The source is none other than the Foreign Minister of a country that Trump considers to be in the forefront of his list of foes: Javad Zareef of Iran. I have known Zareef and worked with him as a fellow diplomat for years and would rate him as a person of extraordinary intellect. Speaking at an interview on Instagram with an Iranian journalist Farid Modaressi, Zareef stated that despite all that is happening, Trump’s support base of 30 to 35 percent has not moved , and till that occurs, he still has over 50 percent chances of re-election. Zareef did not elaborate if he himself would prefer such an outcome, calculating that four more years of America with Trump at its helm , might eliminate that nation totally from the global power scene, which for Zareef and Iran, ought to be a consummation devoutly to be wished!

Unlawful Use of Force by Police at Protests Across the US

Police forces across the United States have committed widespread and egregious human rights violations in response to largely peaceful assemblies protesting systemic racism and police violence, including the killing of Black people.

The Need, Within the UN, for an Honest Conversation on Racism

I want to once again express to all colleagues my enormous appreciation, my enormous gratitude, for your fantastic professionalism, your flexibility and the way you have been able to fully deliver for the people we care for during this period.

The Bible, Donald Trump and Plastic

Another episode of the spectacular show that could be called The Greatest Story Ever Told: The Saga of the Trump Presidency, scripted and acted by Trump himself, took place on 1st of June.

George Floyd: US’ Week of Broken Glass and Broken Dreams

The United States has been a story of broken dreams and broken glass this past week. Once again, an unarmed black man died at the hands of a white police officer, with George Floyd being pinned to the ground under a lawman’s knee in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as stunned passersby made cell-phone videos of the incident to post on social media.

Black Americans are Bearing the Brunt of Coronavirus Recession – This Should Come as no Surprise

As the COVID-19 pandemic worsened in April, many Americans were shocked by the extent that black Americans were being disproportionately impacted: higher infection rates, more deaths and greater job loss. But many black Americans were not surprised.

Coronavirus, New Threat for Mexican Migrant Workers in the U.S.

As the high season for agricultural labour in the United States approaches, tens of thousands of migrant workers from Mexico are getting ready to head to the fields in their northern neighbour to carry out the work that ensures that food makes it to people's tables.

Diverse Voices Should Be Represented in Coronavirus Experts on TV

During a crisis, such as the novel coronavirus, whose impact changes with every passing minute, the urge to listen to and watch the news, and get firsthand insights and real time updates can be constant. Indeed, millions of Americans are frequently checking the news. I know I am. What I’ve noticed on three of the major TV stations I’ve watched across the day is the absence of diversity in the experts commenting on the pandemic. This is inexcusable.

Modern Day Slavery Reaches a Far Corner of the World

The deadly, fast-spreading coronavirus which upended three key UN conferences—on the empowerment of women, on nuclear disarmament and on indigenous rights—claimed another casualty last week when a commemorative meeting on the transatlantic slave trade was postponed.

CORRECTED VERSION: Stock Market Bubble Threat

The US is currently still in a stock market bubble which, if history is any guide, is likely to end, as argued by Thomas Palley. While President Trump would, of course, like to sustain it to strengthen his November re-election prospects, the Covid19 black swan is already showing signs of pricking the bubble

Q&A: ‘Place Gender Equality at the Heart of our Work’

Ambassador Mona Juul started her role as the Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations in January 2019, and is also the president of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). 

Personal Conviction Versus Fandom: The Case of Mitt Romney

The great American impeachment show has ended not with a bang, but with a whimper. The dirt was washed away from President Trump, the perfect Teflon Guy. Maybe his invulnerability comes from the fact that he appears to be more of a brand than a real person, adapted to a frame of mind that increasingly dominates social media – cheap entertainment, shallowness, vulgarity, invectives, and catchy phrases without support in well-founded facts. Trump is all and nothing, a shape shifting trickster pretending to be the role model for voiceless masses.

Lucky Trump Looking Smug

Meeting the President of the Republic of Korea in September 2019, President Donald J Trump bragged that the “US economy is the envy of the world”. Trump reiterated such claims in his State of the Union address in early February, hailing his own policies with typical humility.

U.S. President’s Global Gag Rule is Having Negative Impact on the Health of Malawians: Report

A report released last week has detailed the complex ways in which President Donald Trump’s ‘Global Gag Rule’ (GGR), that blocks U.S. global health assistance to foreign non-governmental facilities providing abortion or abortion-related services, is affecting the population in Malawi, a country already hard hit with numerous climate change disasters. 

Is Iraq Now a Virtual “US-Occupied Territory”?

Pat Buchanan, a senior advisor to three US Presidents and twice candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, once infamously described the United States Congress as “Israeli-occupied territory” -– apparently because of its unrelentingly blind support for the Jewish state.

In the Elusive Grip of an Abusive Partner: A Migrant’s Story

To live in a home with family, to have a safe environment, food and basic human necessities, are some of the essentials that most people expect to have without giving it all much thought. When a child is born, parents or caregivers are likely to provide these things. These expectations get renewed whenever someone gets married and moves to a new home, a different neighborhood, or a city. We can hardly find someone who will say that they were not expecting happiness and safety when stepping into a new relationship, or starting a new chapter of life. But these expectations of a better life turn disastrous for millions of people when they step into another country as a dependent.

U.S. Might Pull Troops from West Africa, but Who Will it Affect?

While the United States is busy with foreign operations such as killing Qasem Soleimani, a key figure in Middle East Politics, behind the scenes it is reportedly considering a change that experts worry might be of grave concern: a potential withdrawal of troops from West Africa. 

Impeachment: An Ordinary Citizen’s View

When I decided to become a US citizen in 1990s, it was a deliberate decision to spend my life fighting for preserving and deepening democratic freedoms at a place where I have spent all my adult life. Having struggled against a brutal military dictatorship while I was a teenager, I knew that democracy is something you have to fight hard for. Therefore, when I became a citizen, for the swearing in event I took with me key documents of US democratic heritage. These included the constitution, the federalist papers and related documents from the 1780s. Since that ceremony I have tried to learn as much as I could about the crucial idea of democratic checks and balances among the executive, legislative and judiciary branches of our government. I have come to realize how prescient some of the revolutionaries from the 1770s and 1780s were in identifying the potential sources of tyranny and corruption of democracy. I have always looked at the impeachment provisions in this light.

Hollywood and Business Luminaries Spotlight World’s ‘Stateless’ Woes

Movie star Cate Blanchett and businessman Richard Branson spoke up this week for the millions of people around the world who cannot get passports and other papers because they lack an official nationality.

Brief Reflection on Trump’s Impeachment

It is very likely that the idea of impeaching Donald Trump will be a boomerang. Trump fans are listening to a furious campaign which smacks of coup d’etat and call his accusers traitors who deserve to go to jail.

Next Page »