Violence has erupted across several US cities
after the death of a black man, George Floyd, who was shown on video gasping for breath as a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck. The unrest poses serious challenges for President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden as each man readies his campaign for the November 3 election.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A week ago, downtown New York witnessed one of the most historic moments in the climate action moment — hundreds of thousands of people attended the Climate Strike, where teen activists delivered powerful speeches and blows to world leaders for not taking climate change seriously.
On Monday, United States President Donald Trump continued to float the idea that he should be awarded a Nobel Prize, but that it would never happen because the system was rigged.
With up to one billion undernourished people around the world, and agriculture and land use systems increasingly vulnerable to climate change and land degradation, more companies within the global food industry need to start aligning their operations with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs.
The United Nations is an institution which promotes multilateralism and preaches some of the basic tenets of multiparty democracy and liberalism, including the rule of law, universal human rights, free speech, civil liberties, the rights of refugees and freedom of the press.