Marc Champion

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When it comes to democracy, perhaps Tunisia should now be teaching Turkey.

After the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011, it seemed as if it would be the other way around. Then, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, now president, toured the region in triumph, promoting the so-called Turkish model of reconciling Islamism with democracy to produce prosperity. He even publicly advised Egypt's short-lived Muslim Brotherhood government to adopt a secular constitution, much to its irritation.

The Arab Spring, of course, quickly turned to nightmare -- except in Tunisia. Ennahda, that country's iteration of the Brotherhood, chose to share power and form a coalition with secular parties, rather than try to rule alone and impose its views.…  Seguir leyendo »

Are we all quite mad here in the developed world?

A petition to save Excalibur, the pet dog of a Spanish nursing assistant who has contracted Ebola, received more than 370,000 signatures before the animal was sedated and killed as a precautionary measure this evening. As his corpse was taken away in a van for incineration, a crowd of activists who had clashed with police during the day were reportedly shouting: "murderers!"

I don't remember people clashing with police to persuade their governments to do more to help stop the spread of Ebola in Africa, where more than 3,400 human beings have died from the disease.…  Seguir leyendo »

As we steel ourselves for the prospect of a war in Ukraine, perhaps we can avoid it by learning the lesson of some recent history.

In August 2008, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili claimed he was sending his forces into the separatist Georgian territory of South Ossetia because Russia had just invaded. His claim was quickly debunked, yet in a sense he may have been right: Russia had already intervened illegally, just not in the way he tried to sell to the world.

In the weeks leading up to Saakashvili’s ill-fated and ill-advised attempt to retake South Ossetia, Georgian officials had been reporting that unbadged troops and unmarked armored vehicles had been coming through the tunnel that connects the Russian Federation with South Ossetia.…  Seguir leyendo »

Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine's most famous political prisoner, cut a frail and diminished figure when she emerged from jail last weekend to address the crowd on Kiev's Independence Square from a wheelchair. They were less than ecstatic, but don't count her out. She is one of the world's truly tough women.

What to do about Tymoshenko will be one of many difficult questions for Ukraine, assuming the country doesn't first descend into civil war. On her release, she told Ukrainian reporters she would run for president in elections May 25. Later, though, her aides said she was undecided. It's easy to see why she may be recalculating: The world changed while she was incarcerated.…  Seguir leyendo »