On Jan. 8, 1918, less than a year after the United States entered World War I, President Woodrow Wilson spoke before a joint session of Congress to present a vision of a radically new international system that he believed would prevent the outbreak of another war. Wilson called for an “impartial adjustment of all colonial claims,” respecting the sovereignty of the people living under colonialism, and a redrawing of borders “along clearly recognizable lines of nationality.”
Though the actual postwar settlement fell far short of Wilson’s vision, the idea that national borders should be based on ethnic self-determination had a more wide-ranging impact than he intended.… Seguir leyendo »
While the world’s attention has been mainly focused on the war in Gaza, the deteriorating situation in eastern Ukraine, and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the Islamic State’s campaign of terror in both Syria and Iraq has continued. In Syria, fighting between ISIS and Bashar Assad’s forces has led to some of the bloodiest days of the conflict so far.
In Iraq, things seemed to have reached a stalemate, with ISIS’s rapid advance through the country stopped short of Baghdad and the predominantly Shiite areas of southern Iraq. All the same, more than 1,700 Iraqis were killed in July, making it one of the deadliest months since the height of the Iraq war.… Seguir leyendo »
The Brazilian government is carrying out a controversial scheme to address a shortage of medical professionals in rural areas by importing more doctors from Cuba, reports the Financial Times:
Dr. Wlad came to Brazil in the late 1990s as part of an earlier generation of Cuban doctors working abroad to generate export earnings for the island’s dictatorship. Now Ms. Rousseff is ramping up the scheme, known as “Mas Médicos,” or “More Doctors,” with 3,000 mostly foreign medics starting work this month across Brazil.
By March next year there will be 6,600 doctors working in thousands of municipalities, the majority of them Cuban.… Seguir leyendo »
Given the allegations currently being leveled at Syrian President Bashar Assad, readers might be wondering why Assad and his senior commanders have not been charged with war crimes by the International Criminal Court like leaders such as Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi and Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir. After all, the court was specifically set up to “have the power to exercise its jurisdiction over persons for the most serious crimes of international concern,” and last month’s chemical attacks certainly fit the bill. A number of NGOs and dozens of countries have called for such a prosecution.
Unfortunately, international law is once again protecting Assad’s violations of international law.… Seguir leyendo »
One of the cruelest ironies of global warming is that a problem largely caused by wealthy countries will be predominantly felt by the world’s poorest. Whether it’s coastal flooding in Bangladesh or deserts expanding across Africa, these consequences can seem distant to those lucky enough to enjoy the air-conditioned automobiles and factory-farmed meat of the global north. But 1 percenters won’t go completely unscathed. Here are five ways climate change will affect the lifestyles of the rich and comfortable in coming years.
1. Bumpier flights: A study recently published in Nature Climate Change finds that “climate change will lead to bumpier trans-Atlantic flights by the middle of this century.” In addition to spilled drinks and white knuckles, the effect is likely to increase the number of flight delays and — to make matters worse — increase emissions from airlines.… Seguir leyendo »