While Boris Johnson fiddles, fluffs and faffs about, threatening to yank Britain out of the European Union on Oct. 31 — “Do or die,” he said. «Come what may.” — my Scottish emigre heart burns with terror.
If his threat materializes — and even if it doesn’t — a million people like me may have to watch, voiceless, as their homeland, Scotland, decides for the second time since 2014 whether to remain a part of the United Kingdom. It seems more likely that a referendum conducted now would succeed in approving independence after it lost so narrowly the last time. Who in their right mind would vote to stay in a toxic relationship with Britain’s ruling Conservative Party, which drove us into this quagmire?… Seguir leyendo »
On Sept. 1, Argentina’s central bank announced new restrictions on foreign currency transactions — reversing the decision taken four years earlier to eliminate currency controls. This was not welcome news for many Argentines, whose ability to buy their currency of choice — the U.S. dollar — faces renewed restrictions.
President Mauricio Macri focused his 2015 election campaign on freeing economic constraints that the left-wing government had put in place over the previous decade. One core part of this agenda was his promise to eliminate the capital controls. Within days of taking office, Macri rolled back those controls, which had made it difficult to buy dollars and other foreign currency.… Seguir leyendo »
Les Etats se sont réunis durant les deux dernières semaines d’août au siège de l’Organisation des Nations unies à New York, pour discuter de l’adoption et du contenu d’un traité dédié à la conservation et l’utilisation durable de la biodiversité dans les zones situées «au-delà des limites de la juridiction nationale», à savoir la haute mer et les grands fonds marins internationaux. Ces espaces couvrent presque la moitié de la surface de la terre et 64% de celle des océans. Le champ d’application substantiel et spatial du futur accord est donc immense, ce qui en annonce l’importance environnementale, économique et géopolitique.… Seguir leyendo »
No one thought baby Ibrahim was going to make it.
The 18-month-old boy, Belgian by birth, was malnourished, dehydrated, and vomiting every half an hour from a stomach bug. In Al Hol, the refugee camp in northeast Syria where he was staying, the heat regularly reached a relentless 100 degrees by midmorning, there was scant medical care, and fresh water, when it arrived, usually teemed with bacteria. Video of Ibrahim, listless and throwing up, had made its way from this desolate desert patch of Syria to his aunts in Belgium, who had shared it with doctors there. “I’m going to be honest, this baby is going to die,” one said.… Seguir leyendo »
The British do not normally have constitutional crises.
One reason is that we do not have a constitution, at least not in the normal sense. There is no single text labeled “The United Kingdom Constitution.” Instead, there is an accretion of statutes, conventions and customs — going back to Magna Carta of 1215 — which can be changed fairly easily. So we do not have the regular standoffs between executive and legislature which the United States seems to take in stride, even when (to British astonishment) it means closing down the federal government. The present conflict between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and a heterogenous majority in Parliament is new to us, exciting, even alarming.… Seguir leyendo »