José Moliné Escalona

Katherine Mansfield, centenario de ‘un pájaro herido’

Este 2023 se cumplen cien años del fallecimiento de la escritora Katherine Mansfield, una mujer que vivió y amó rápido y que escribió algunos de los mejores relatos del siglo XX.

Una neozelandesa con alma inglesa

Nacida como Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp el 14 de octubre de 1888 en Wellington (Nueva Zelanda), Katherine fue la tercera de los seis hijos del matrimonio compuesto por Harold Beauchamp y Annie Beauchamp. De ascendencia inglesa y procedentes de la alta burguesía neozelandesa, inculcan en ella una rígida educación acorde con la estricta moral victoriana de la época.

Mansfield ingresa en la escuela de primaria Karori en 1895.…  Seguir leyendo »

¿Tienen futuro las criptomonedas?

En 2023 nos enfrentamos a preguntas sobre las criptomonedas que están pendientes de responder desde hace tiempo. Posiblemente desde que nacieron pero que, como las cosas iban bien, no era importante responderlas. En cambio, el año pasado su cotización sufrió los embates de la inflación y cayeron dos gigantes de las criptoinversiones: la plataforma Terra y, a finales de año, FTX.

Tal vez la pregunta más relevante sea: ¿de verdad tienen futuro las criptomonedas?

Otras preguntas importantes serían: ¿es un modelo mejorable? ¿Es mejor esperar a que los bancos centrales lancen sus propias criptomonedas antes de invertir en ellas? ¿Qué lecciones deja a los inversores su actuación en los mercados?…  Seguir leyendo »

Qué riesgo implica el peligroso brote de fiebre de Lassa surgido en África

Durante las primeras tres semanas de 2023, el Centro para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades de Nigeria (NCDC) ha notificado un total de 244 casos confirmados de fiebre de Lassa en 16 estados del país, con 37 muertes y una tasa de letalidad del 15,1  %. Esta situación implica una tendencia al alza sin precedentes en el número de casos confirmados notificados en comparación con años anteriores. Por eso se ha activado el nivel 2 del Centro Nacional de Operaciones de Emergencia multisectorial para la fiebre de Lassa.

La primera paciente fue una enfermera misionera

La fiebre de Lassa es una fiebre hemorrágica viral, a menudo fatal, causada por el virus de Lassa.…  Seguir leyendo »

Oleksiy Lysianyi, CEO of wooden models company Ugears, with new products in Gorenka, Ukraine after the company resumed full production following Russian bomb damage to the factory. Photo by SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images

Despite the inevitable loss and damage inflicted on Ukraine’s economy by Russia’s war, there is some optimism from Ukrainian companies about their own commercial future and the country’s economy overall.

In those Ukrainian territories less affected by hostilities and occupation, companies began recovering their operations just a few weeks after the Russian invasion began and have continued despite ongoing attacks on Ukraine’s power grid causing massive disruptions to power supply.

Throughout the country, its corporate climate has been recovering in recent months, thanks in no small part to the military victories of the Ukrainian army and its upgraded ability to defend both its territory and people from shelling.…  Seguir leyendo »

Terroristas judíos y suicidas palestinos: las entrañas de dos comportamientos radicales

La teoría propuesta en la publicación Violencia, política y religión: una teoría general de la radicalización violenta permite extraer algunas conclusiones sobre los terroristas judíos encarcelados, por una parte, y los suicidas palestinos, por otra.

Los terroristas judíos (según un amplio estudio de Arie Perliger y Ami Pedahzur en el que manejaban una base de datos con gran cantidad de información) proceden de comunidades previamente radicalizadas que no justifican el uso de la violencia, pero que rechazan frontalmente toda forma de vida que ponga en jaque su viabilidad cultural. Dentro de esos contornos culturales cerrados, la radicalización violenta se produce a través de grupos contraculturales muy estrechos, de amigos y familiares, compuestos por personas que se identifican de manera fortísima con la comunidad mayor dentro de la que se encuentran.…  Seguir leyendo »

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with supporters during the party's Bharat Jodo Yatra march in the Samba District on January 22. Waseem Andrabi/Hindustan Times/Getty Images

By the time he had walked 400 kilometers in the wet and humid Indian monsoon season, the soles of Vaibhav Walia’s feet were covered in giant blisters. His colleague, Lhingkim Haokip, had been diagnosed with a minor fracture in her leg. Walking alongside them, I experienced something I’d never previously heard of — blisters developing inside my blisters. Every step was beyond agony.

All of us kept walking. We had a long way to go.

Walia, 36, Haokip, 48 and I are members of India’s oldest political party, the Indian National Congress. Along with tens of thousands of party cadre, we were part of the Bharat Jodo Yatra (Unite India March), a marathon trek on foot across the length of India, with a route totaling over 4,000 kilometers.…  Seguir leyendo »

Forced laborers construct the Krupp factory at Auschwitz during World World II. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

In December, a German court made headlines when it convicted a 97-year-old former Nazi concentration camp secretary for her role in the murder of over 10,000 people during the war. The decision to pursue a crime 77 years after the end of World War II is the latest in Germany’s assurance of its utmost commitment to atoning for the Holocaust.

Across the United States and Europe, the Holocaust is rapidly fading from memory, but Germany is trying to prove that it will never forget. In addition to prosecuting Nazis, the country has been a leader in ensuring Holocaust education is a core part of the school system.…  Seguir leyendo »

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meets South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor during his recent visit to the African continent. Ihsaan Haffejee/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Russia seems to be outmaneuvering the United States in Africa. In recent days, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov underscored that stark reality as he wined and dined his way through a tour of four African capitals.

As much as President Joe Biden would like African countries to join the Western alliance in isolating Russia over its brutality in Ukraine, Russia is making a show of bolstering ties with some powerful players on the continent.

Instead of being treated like a global pariah as the US wants, leaders in South Africa, Eritrea, Angola and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) treated Lavrov like a cherished friend during his visit.…  Seguir leyendo »

Crisis Group’s Watch List identifies ten countries and regions facing deadly conflict, humanitarian emergency or other crises in 2023. In these situations, early action, driven or supported by the EU and its member states, could save lives and enhance prospects for stability.

President’s Take

By any measure, the European Union (EU) has a tough year ahead. So far, along with other Western powers, it has responded well to Russia’s assault on Ukraine, backing Kyiv while avoiding escalation with Moscow. Neither cracks in that policy nor feared gas shortages appeared over the winter. Nonetheless, many of 2022’s challenges still loom large. The EU’s room for manoeuvre, meanwhile, is narrower, with budgets strained by the pandemic, the energy crisis and assistance to Ukraine.…  Seguir leyendo »

China is expanding its nuclear arsenal, from a few hundred weapons to roughly 1,000 by 2030. It may have 1,550 warheads or more by the mid-2030s—the limit agreed to by Russia and America in a deal originally signed between them in 2010. This Chinese buildup is changing geopolitics. The American-Russian bipolar nuclear system, which has dominated the nuclear balance for over half a century, is evolving into a less stable tripolar system that risks undermining long-standing pillars of deterrence and triggering a nuclear arms race.

All this comes as America prepares to modernise its ageing “triad” of nuclear-weapons delivery systems (land-based and submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and long-range bombers).…  Seguir leyendo »

‘The administration of Joe Biden has now passed the world’s most generous package of climate incentives.’ Photograph: Héctor Vivas/Getty Images

European governments have for many years basked in a sense of climate superiority over the US. We had the most ambitious climate goals; we were the constructive actor at Cop conferences; we had carbon-pricing mechanisms; and since 1990, we have reduced emissions by 28% against just 2% in the US. The US, by contrast, had climate-denying Republicans.

The Biden administration now has the world’s most generous package of climate incentives – a $370bn green subsidy package, which goes by the misnomer Inflation Reduction Act. But instead of celebrating the US handouts and tax breaks for investment in such things as electric vehicles and solar panels, many European governments are furious.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Decisive Test for Germany Is Still to Come

After months of indecision, hand-wringing and uncertainty, Germany last week committed to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. The delay was a measure of the decision’s significance. For a country long wary of active military involvement in conflicts, the release of its most advanced war machine for battle with Russian troops is momentous. A taboo has been shed.

The decision has revealed something of an enigma. Who is the man leading Germany during the fiercest conflict in Europe since World War II: a strategic genius or a fainthearted dawdler? Over a year into his tenure, Chancellor Olaf Scholz remains hard to decipher.…  Seguir leyendo »

A pelican suspected to have died from H5N1 avian influenza on a beach in Peru in December. Ernesto Benavides/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

As the world is just beginning to recover from the devastation of Covid-19, it is facing the possibility of a pandemic of a far more deadly pathogen.

Bird flu — known more formally as avian influenza — has long hovered on the horizons of scientists’ fears. This pathogen, especially the H5N1 strain, hasn’t often infected humans, but when it has, 56 percent of those known to have contracted it have died. Its inability to spread easily, if at all, from one person to another has kept it from causing a pandemic.

But things are changing. The virus, which has long caused outbreaks among poultry, is infecting more and more migratory birds, allowing it to spread more widely, even to various mammals, raising the risk that a new variant could spread to and among people.…  Seguir leyendo »

Lo que los nuevos medicamentos para perder peso nos enseñan sobre la fuerza de voluntad

En la casa de la niña en Hertfordshire, Inglaterra, se necesita un código para entrar en la cocina, donde todos los armarios están con candado y cadena, y el bote de la basura está cerrado con llave. Sin estas medidas, la niña —cuyo nombre no puede publicarse porque actualmente se encuentra en un lugar de acogida— no podría dejar de comer, ni siquiera restos de carne cruda o restos de pasta que se desperdician en la basura.

“Está constantemente alerta ante cualquier posibilidad de acceder a la comida”, me dijo su padre de acogida, como un misil que busca calorías. Su cerebro no registra que ya comió.…  Seguir leyendo »

Go See What Happened to My City, Then You’ll Know How I Am

Homs is the name of my city.

Once it was the capital of the Syrian Revolution and in all the newspaper headlines. In its neighborhoods and alleyways, the rebels held out against government forces for years. Many buildings were flattened or shot full of holes. In the end, as everyone knows, the government took back what was left.

Even before Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, the world had moved on from Homs. One of the most destroyed cities in Syria became a footnote. But not to me.

I left Syria in November 2011. Peaceful protests were sweeping across the city but they had been met with brutal violence.…  Seguir leyendo »

Israeli soldiers on Shuhada Street in Hebron passing by Palestinian children. A film still from “H2: The Occupation Lab.” Philippe Bellaïche

The West Bank city of Hebron, less than an hour’s drive from Jerusalem, is a unique place: the only Palestinian town in which Jewish settlers live among the local residents, and not in separate communities.

This is why, after the Israeli military pulled out of other West Bank cities in the mid-1990s as part of the Oslo peace accords, it kept control over Hebron’s ancient center, which includes the holy site of the Cave of the Patriarchs, revered as the place Abraham himself was buried. Known as H2, it is an urban area under one of the longest direct military occupations in the world, a fact that is immediately visible to any visitor: The shops are closed; Palestinian movement is heavily restricted; and concrete walls, wire, security cameras, roadblocks and checkpoints are everywhere.…  Seguir leyendo »

The first Boeing 747 after being rolled out of the Boeing factory in Everett, Wash., in 1968. Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Some legends really are true, and indeed it is the case that two men on an Alaskan fishing trip in the mid-1960s struck a bargain that wound up starting the era of the jumbo jetliner, which democratized air travel in ways that are hard to appreciate today.

“If you build it, I’ll buy it”, said Juan Trippe, the head of Pan American World Airways.

“If you buy it, I’ll build it”, countered Bill Allen, the president of the Boeing Airplane Company.

Remarkably, barely three years after a handshake agreement, the Boeing 747 rolled out of a giant factory a bit north of Seattle.…  Seguir leyendo »

A makeshift hospital for Covid-19 patients in China in 2020. EPA, via Shutterstock

I caught Covid for the first time in early December.

I panicked when I saw the two lines on my rapid antigen test indicating a positive result. China’s government was still clinging to its “zero Covid” approach of using mass lockdowns and testing in a vain attempt to stop the virus from spreading. Would the dreaded health workers in their head-to-toe protective white suits, who seemed to have taken over the country, come to drag me away to a grim quarantine facility?

Millions of Chinese had been living in fear of that knock on the door. So I hid in my Beijing apartment.…  Seguir leyendo »

Fue acusado de amenazar de muerte a su compañero de apartamento. Al menos siete muertos y un herido en Half Moon Bay, California, el 23 de enero de 2023

Creía que su familia había intentado envenenarlo. Al menos 11 muertos y nueve heridos en Monterey Park, California, el 21 de enero de 2023.

Pensaba que sus compañeros de trabajo conspiraban en su contra. Seis muertos y seis heridos en Chesapeake, Virginia, el 22 de noviembre de 2022.

Estos son detalles condensados de los perfiles de los presuntos autores o autores condenados de más de 150 tiroteos masivos en Estados Unidos.

Él había estado coleccionando armas y blindaje en el sótano.…  Seguir leyendo »

US president Joe Biden during a meeting with Japan prime minister Kishida Fumio on their strategic relationship in the Indo-Pacific, at the White House's Oval Office. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images.

Although primarily a domestic affair, the president’s remarks in the annual State of the Union (SOTU) telegraph the US’s foreign policy priorities to the rest of the world. They reveal the prism through which the US understands its national security and its role in the world.

The 2023 address comes as the first anniversary of the Ukraine invasion rapidly approaches, and the US is also trying to build international support for tough economic measures towards China. Domestically, Republican control of the House of Representatives will exert new pressure on US foreign policy choices. Electoral pressures are also around the corner and Joe Biden should announce soon whether he plans to run for president in 2024.…  Seguir leyendo »