Only 50 years of Cold War (and the fact that German Chancellor Angela Merkel grew up in East Germany) can possibly explain the strange political power of the United States over Europe.
The victory of the Conservative Party and the debacle of the Labour Party in the recent British general elections is yet another sign of the crisis facing left-wing forces today, leaving aside the question of how, under the British electoral system, the Labour Party actually increased the number of votes it won but saw a reduction in the number of seats it now holds in Parliament (24 seats less than the previous 256).
The results of a survey
of what 3,500 young people between the ages of 18 and 24 – in all Arab countries except Syria – feel about the current situation in the Middle East and North Africa have just been released.
The United Kingdom has been accused
of “sleepwalking” into the Ukraine crisis – and the accusation comes from no less than the House of Lords, not usually considered a place of critical analysis.
For a long time, citizens of the United States have firmly believed that their country has an exceptional destiny, and continue to do so today even though their political system has become totally dysfunctional.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups in Central and Eastern Europe, which still faced mixed prospects as they fight for rights and acceptance, are now taking some heart from the “failure” of a referendum in Slovakia, a member of the European Union.
When I am asked whether Europe is still a relevant “protagonist” in the modern world, I always answer that there is no doubt about it. For a long time now, the continent has been shaken by financial crises, internal security strategy crises – including wars – and instability within its borders, which definitely make it a protagonist in world affairs.
The fact that in a referendum Switzerland has taken a path that goes in the opposite direction from that of Europe is an unusual fact which calls for reflection, especially because Switzerland has taken a much more progressive path, while we all were accustomed to see it as a very conservative country.
After the Italian sea search-and-rescue operation Mare Nostrum at a cost of nine million euros a month, through which the Italian Navy has rescued nearly 100,000 migrants – although perhaps up to 3,000 have died – from the Mediterranean since October 2013, Europe is now presenting its new face in the Mediterranean.
Immigrants in Russia could face a wave of violence following thousands of arrests in a crackdown on illegal immigration which has been condemned not only for human rights breaches but for entrenching a virulent negative public perception of migrants.
The new European Commission looks more like an experiment in balancing opposite forces than an institution that is run by some kind of governance. It will probably end up being paralysed by internal conflicts, which is the last thing it needs.
New military measures to deter what NATO perceives to be a direct threat from Russia were adopted at the alliance’s Heads of State meeting in Wales (Sep. 4-5). A few days earlier, President Barack Obama made promises in Estonia that the three tiny Baltic NATO member states would “never stand alone”.
While the United States, United Kingdom and NATO are pushing for war with Russia, it behoves people and their governments around the world to take a clear stand for peace and against violence and war, no matter where it comes from.
At last, after the obligatory summer break, the European Union (EU) has some new faces to fill the top vacancies on the team that began to emerge from the May 25 parliamentary elections.
The recent call from Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev for “tightening belts” has convinced even optimists that something is deeply wrong with the Russian economy.
The Sixth BRICS Summit which ended Wednesday in Fortaleza, Brazil, attracted more attention than any other such gathering in the alliance’s short history, and not just from its own members – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
“It's okay to be gay in Russia if you live in a big city such as St. Petersburg or Moscow, study at university or work at a liberal company, but even here you can't feel absolutely safe,” says Nikita Mironov, describing the climate of fear that many homosexuals face in Russia.
When the Cold War peaked in the late 1960s and '70s, the United States and the then-Soviet Union were armed with one of the most effective non-lethal weapons in their diplomatic arsenal: a veto in the U.N.'s most powerful body, the Security Council.
As the Syrian army has stepped up its attacks against opposition strongholds in Homs and elsewhere, the U.S. and its allies have achieved little consensus in choosing a course of action to oust President Bashar al-Assad.
Quiz: Over the next three months, three former Soviet republics will hold elections – Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Russia. Whose official outcome will most closely resemble the truth?