Showing posts with label Global. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Global. Show all posts

16 August 2018

Can I Ruin Your Dinner Party? One of the two pillars of the West is in jeopardy.

By Thomas L. Friedman

ROME — I’ve found lately that I can ruin any dinner party. It’s like magic. Just get me going on Trump or Putin or climate change and I can put a frown on every face and a furrow in every brow. I do weddings and bar mitzvahs, too. So I thought I’d come to Italy for a little sun and risotto. I made the mistake, though, of spending a few days with Italian government and international experts trying to understand the refugee crisis that is fracturing the European Union, much of which originates in Italy. And guess what? Now I can ruin your dinner party — and breakfast! Because what you find when you take a close look at the situation here is something profoundly worrying. I was born in 1953 and have been living my entire life inside the community of democracies that came to be known as “the West” and eventually spread to include democracies around the world, such as Japan, Brazil, South Korea and India. At the core of this community were two pillars: the U.S. and the group of European democracies that became the European Union.

31 July 2018

Behemoth, bully, thief: how the English language is taking over the planet

By Jacob Mikanowski

On 16 May, a lawyer named Aaron Schlossberg was in a New York cafe when he heard several members of staff speaking Spanish. He reacted with immediate fury, threatening to call US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and telling one employee: “Your staff is speaking Spanish to customers when they should be speaking English … This is America.” A video of the incident quickly went viral, drawing widespread scorn. The Yelp page for his law firm was flooded with one-star reviews, and Schlossberg was soon confronted with a “fiesta” protest in front of his Manhattan apartment building, which included a crowd-funded taco truck and mariachi band to serenade him on the way to work.

Where Water Wars Are an Imagined Threat—and Where They Are a Real Danger

Although alarmist headlines often announce imminent water wars over scarce resources, the truth is that cooperation over shared waterways, particularly rivers, is historically more common than conflict. In fact, even among bitter enemies, the historical record shows that water conflicts around the world do get resolved, even to the point that international cooperation often increases during droughts. However, common causes of water conflicts remain a concern. Unilateral actions to construct a dam or river diversion in the absence of a treaty or some other protective international mechanism are highly destabilizing to a region, often spurring decades of hostility before cooperation is even pursued. Similarly, as access to irrigation water is threatened, one result can be mass migrations of out-of-work, disgruntled people from the countryside to the cities—invariably a recipe for political instability.

27 July 2018

World Economic Outlook Update, July 2018

Less Even Expansion, Rising Trade Tensions

Global growth is projected to reach 3.9 percent in 2018 and 2019, in line with the forecast of the April 2018 World Economic Outlook(WEO), but the expansion is becoming less even, and risks to the outlook are mounting. The rate of expansion appears to have peaked in some major economies and growth has become less synchronized. In the United States, near-term momentum is strengthening in line with the April WEO forecast, and the US dollar has appreciated by around 5 percent in recent weeks. Growth projections have been revised down for the euro area, Japan, and the United Kingdom, reflecting negative surprises to activity in early 2018. Among emerging market and developing economies, growth prospects are also becoming more uneven, amid rising oil prices, higher yields in the United States, escalating trade tensions, and market pressures on the currencies of some economies with weaker fundamentals. Growth projections have been revised down for Argentina, Brazil, and India, while the outlook for some oil exporters has strengthened. Full Text PDF

21 July 2018

The New Economy’s Old Business Model Is Dead


The titans of the new economy are different from their predecessors in one very important way: They aren’t job creators — at least not on a scale to match their dizzying growth in value. General Motors, at its peak in 1979, had some 618,000 employees in the United States and 853,000 worldwide. Facebook had just a few more than 25,000 employeesin 2017, up from nearly 12,700 as recently as 2015. Google’s parent corporation, Alphabet, is the third-largest company in the world by market capitalization but has only about 75,000 employees.

18 July 2018

We Need a Food Revolution


The Earth is 45 million centuries old, but this century is unique, because it is the first in which a species could destroy the entire basis of its own existence. Yet much of the world seems unbothered by this existential threat, refusing to build sustainable systems for survival. In 1984, I gathered the most successful musicians of the time to form a “supergroup” called Band Aid to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. The next year, an even larger grouping was formed for Live Aid, a major benefit concert and music-based fundraising initiative that continues to this day. At last month’s International Forum on Food and Nutrition, held by the Barilla Foundation, the enduring – and increasingly urgent – need for efforts to strengthen food security could not be more obvious.

13 July 2018

Global Freshwater Availability Trends

Key Points

The NASA Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission tracked trends in global freshwater supplies from 2002 to 2016. An analysis of the satellite data identified 19 hotspots where there were dramatic increases in water stress. Some of that stress could be alleviated by the application of green solutions, such as wastewater recycling, to reduce the reliance on grey infrastructure, such as reservoirs. Countries need to develop multilateral, co-operative management practices and initiatives for shared water resources, including the fostering of transboundary water sharing agreements.

12 July 2018

The US-Launched Trade War: Its Wide-Ranging Impact – Analysis

By Vincent Mac*

The United States under President Trump has in effect launched a trade war with its announcement of new tariffs targeted at imports from US allies and China. But this strategy could backfire, with devastating effects that reverberate far beyond the US. The United States’ recent imposition of new tariffs on aluminium and steel has fuelled fears of a trade war between the US and the rest of the world. This potential war is largely politically driven, whether for the purpose of fulfilling election promises or reciprocating political threats. But the economic rationale against a trade war is clear, and the repercussions would be felt globally. The imposition of tariffs is only an effective economic weapon if the targeted goods can be easily sourced domestically. If importing goods from an international source is more costly, vendors would be inclined to buy from a domestic source.

10 July 2018

Marx's Theories Evolved - Marx Did Not

Written by Steve Keen, Steve Keen's Debtwatch

Marx was the committed revolutionary, so much so that, when reflecting on his life, he said that if he had his time again, he would still be a revolutionary, but he would not marry, to save a wife having to suffer the privations of life with him. There were, of course, many committed revolutionaries in the 19th century. What set Marx apart from and above them all, was that he had proven that revolution not only would happen, but had to happen. It was inevitable. And then, one day, he proved, using a significant advance in his own economics, that revolution did not have to happen: that the inexorable force he had believed pushed in that direction was the outcome of a flaw in his own theory. When the flaw was corrected, the force was gone, and not only was revolution not inevitable, it might not even be necessary. How do you think he reacted?

8 July 2018

Domesticating the Giant: The Global Governance of Migration

By Patrycja Sasnal

Migration is a natural and defining phenomenon of the globalized world. The challenge of governing migration lies in its inevitability, volume, and heterogeneity. As a portion of the global population, migrants represent around 3 percent, but their absolute number is rising. There were 170 million migrants in 2000; today there are roughly 260 million. Migration levels will certainly grow while hostilities continue in the most conflict-ridden regions of sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, the global wealth gap persists, climate change aggravates living conditions in many areas, and the poorer half of the globe becomes more populous. Moreover, migration is a complex heterogeneous process. Depending on the cause, duration, and legality, migration can be voluntary or forced (refugees and internally displaced persons, including survival migrants such as climate and disaster refugees), permanent or circular, regular or irregular.

7 July 2018

Global economy 'under threat as tariff war bites'

Kamal Ahmed

Global economic growth is under threat as the world's economic super powers trade tit-for-tat trade sanctions, according to the World Trade Organization. In its most sober assessment of the growing tariff war between the US, European Union and China, the WTO said the global system of agreed trade rules was at "potentially large risk". It said world economic growth was "in jeopardy" and pleaded for a "de-escalation". The threat of a tariff war was sparked after US President Donald Trump ordered tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from the EU and China.

6 July 2018

WTO Faces Existential Threat in Times of Trump

By Martin Hesse

Roberto Azevedo, the director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), is enjoying the moment. Outside, in front of the neo-classical Centre William Rappard, the headquarters of the WTO, Lake Geneva is glittering in the spring sun, while inside, Azevedo is not facing a particularly challenging start to his day. His agenda calls for him to open the Natural Disasters and Trade Symposium - a routine duty. Azevedo shows up in the conference hall 10 minutes late, shakes hands and chats briefly with colleagues. He is met with goodwill on all sides - which has become a rarity for the guardian of free trade in these turbulent times.

5 July 2018

The start of a new poverty narrative

Homi Kharas, Kristofer Hamel, and Martin Hofer

We now have the first actual data points that ring the alarm bells about a new, unfolding story on global poverty reduction that is far less favorable than pieces such as Nick Kristof’s New York Times column “Why 2017 was the best year in human history.” These new data are available courtesy of the World Poverty Clock, a web tool produced by World Data Lab with which the three of us are associated. (A paper presenting the methodology underpinning the World Poverty Clock has been published by Nature’s Palgrave Communications journal.)

3 July 2018

A New World Order

Manoj Kewalramani

A weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom. This week, Xi outlines his vision for a new world order, as China and India become unusual bedfellows.

1. Xi’s New Foreign Policy

China will look to “build a more complete network of global partnerships, so that new advances will be made in major country diplomacy.” This was the overwhelming message from President Xi Jinping’s speech at the Central Foreign Affairs Work Conference in Beijing over the weekend. Xi has termed his foreign affairs vision and approach as “thought on diplomacy of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era,” and outlined 10 key aspects of this approach.

26 June 2018

Three Glimpses of the Future


As the world hurtles toward a systemically digitized existence, some unpleasant alternatives to governance are coming clearly into view.

In May, the European Union imposed sweeping laws on technology companies that shift control of data to the customers, protect privacy, and require curation to stop libelous and hate content. Facebook, Google and others must from now on obtain informed consent from users that their data can be repurposed or monetized, allow users to opt out of consent immediately, allow them to invoke the right to be forgotten (or expunged from the internet) or to transfer data to another organization, and provide them with the right to transparency regarding use of their data and by whom.

24 June 2018

Global Peace Index 2018

This twelfth edition of the Global Peace Index ranks the peacefulness of 163 nations according to 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators. In addition to providing the index’s findings and an overall trend analysis, the report also includes an updated assessment of the economic impact of violence as well as trends in Positive Peace: the attitudes, institutions and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies.


4 June 2018

The World Wants You to Think Like a Realist


One of the ironies of contemporary U.S. thinking about foreign policy is the odd status of realism. On the one hand, realist theory remains a staple of college teaching on international relations (along with many other approaches), and government officials often claim that their actions are based on some sort of “realist” approach. But Washington remains for the most part a realism-free zone, with few genuine realists in positions of influence. Moreover, the realist perspective is almost entirely absent from the commanding heights of U.S. punditry. This column, and the consistently insightful writings of people such as Paul Pillar or Jacob Heilbrunn, does not make up for realism’s exclusion from the New York Times,Washington Post, or Wall Street Journal.

27 May 2018

Infographic Of The Day: Chart: The Most Influential Countries In Asia

They say the pen is mightier than the sword. However, what they often fail to mention is that the pen is even mightier when it comes with massive amounts of leverage, influence, and power backing it up on every stroke.

25 May 2018

The Road to a TB-Free World


Despite being preventable and curable, tuberculosis infects more than ten million people each year and is the most common cause of death by an infectious agent in modern times. The international community needs to take five specific actions to eliminate the scourge of TB once and for all. GENEVA – When Mabruka was 18, she came home from school one day and started coughing up blood. She had been feeling sick for about two months, and when she went to a health clinic, she described symptoms such as weight loss, fatigue, shortness of breath, fever, night sweats, chills, loss of appetite, and pain when breathing and coughing. Mabruka was diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) and prescribed a daily regimen of 9-10 pills. The treatment lasted six months, and during that time she could not attend school.

24 May 2018

Human Rights and the Fate of the Liberal Order


According to “realist” international-relations theorists, one cannot sustain a liberal world order when two of the three great powers – Russia and China – are anti-liberal. There are several problems with this argument. Many experts have proclaimed the death of the post-1945 liberal international order, including the human-rights regime set forth in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The cover of Foreign Policy recently displayed the white dove of human rights pierced by the bloody arrows of authoritarian reaction.