The Guardian

Este archivo solo abarca los artículos del periódico incorporados a este sitio a partir del 1 de diciembre de 2006.

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Members of the Sudanese Armed Forces parading in Karima city, Northern State, in May 2024. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

The war in Sudan has become one of the worst ongoing humanitarian crises in the world. In a little over a year of fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), there have been 6.8 million people internally displaced, 2 million fleeing the country, and 24.8 million, almost half the population, in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

The United Arab Emirates is the foreign player most invested in the war. In fact, without its direct and all-around support, the RSF would not have been able to wage war to the same extent.

Sudan is key to the UAE’s strategy in Africa and the Middle East, aimed at achieving political and economic hegemony while curbing democratic aspirations.…  Seguir leyendo »

A resident waiting to be evacuated from Vovchansk, as Russia continues its offensive in Kharkiv oblast. Photograph: Global Images Ukraine/Getty Images

The Russian offensive on the Kharkiv region this month has, after 20 months of relative peace, again placed many of the villages where my charity works, repairing homes destroyed by bombs, at the forefront of the war.

I began volunteering in Kharkiv two years ago, having dropped out of my master’s degree in Russian literature and set up the charity to support Ukrainians. After the region’s liberation in September 2022, hundreds of thousands of people had started to return to Kharkiv city and the wider region from other parts of Ukraine, and countries that had taken them in as refugees. The villages where I work were reawakening, the craters that lined the streets had been filled, shops were reopening, electricity was back on.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘It is time for these key western governments to reconsider.’ Photograph: Anadolu/Getty Images

‘It is time for these key western governments to reconsider.’ Photograph: Anadolu/Getty Images

The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, responded with predictable vitriol to international criminal court (ICC) accusations against him and the Israeli defense minister, Yoav Gallant. Yet his arguments are all spin, designed to divert attention from their devastating conduct in Gaza. The American, British and German governments were little better.

On Monday, the court’s chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, announced that he would seek arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant as well as three senior Hamas officials. He proposed charges against the Hamas leadership for atrocities on 7 October as well as the mistreatment of the hostages since then.…  Seguir leyendo »

Robert Fico at a press conference with Hungary's prime minister, Viktor Orbán, on 16 January. Photograph: Dénes Erdős/AP

Shortly after the shooting of Robert Fico, I received a phone call from my sister. She was extremely upset – not just about the shocking attack, but also about an incident on the bus on the way home from work in the moments after the news had broken. Two elderly fellow passengers reacted to the attempted assassination by blaming liberals and progressives in general, and in particular Michal Šimečka, an opposition politician and former vice-president of the European parliament. One passenger called for the death penalty to be reinstated and order to be restored.

At that point, the circumstances of the shooting were entirely unclear, information was partial, and it was too early to condemn or point the finger at anyone.…  Seguir leyendo »

Slovakia’s prime minister, Robert Fico, left, with the Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orbán, following a meeting in Budapest, Hungary, 16 January 2024. Photograph: Szilárd Koszticsák/EPA

A few years after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993, known as the “velvet divorce”, the newly independent Slovakian state to the south was already a cause of concern. The US secretary of state at the time, Madeleine Albright, called it “the black hole” of Europe.

Eventually, in 2004 Slovakia joined the EU and Nato. The assumption then in the west was that the country, finally, had a settled identity and a settled set of alliances.

Then came Robert Fico, a prototype populist. He was an early embracer of identity politics: the good men and women of toil in the small towns and villages versus the metropolitan elite in Bratislava, the capital, with their imported ideas.…  Seguir leyendo »

A person with a European Union flag ahead of Europe Day celebrations in Brussels, Belgium, 4 May 2024. Photograph: Virginia Mayo/AP

Europe no longer wields the power it once did in world affairs, when there was a liberal international order that hinged on US power and in which international cooperation flourished. In that world, Europe was not a superpower, but the hallmarks of the post-cold war era – multilateralism, regional cooperation, interdependence, the flourishing of democracy, soft power and free trade – were also insignia of the European Union.

Today we are in a post-post-cold war era and the world has changed direction. Some features of the old system live on. But contrasting forces such as nationalism, protectionism and unilateralism are all on the rise.…  Seguir leyendo »

Assistance from AI will allow programmers to see computer code anew. Photograph: Science Photo Library/Alamy

When digital computers were invented, the first task was to instruct them to do what we wanted. The problem was that the machines didn’t understand English – they only knew ones and zeros. You could program them with long sequences of these two digits and if you got the sequence right then the machines would do what you wanted. But life’s too short for composing infinite strings of ones and zeros, so we began designing programming languages that allowed us to express our wishes in a human-readable form that could then be translated (by a piece of software called a “compiler”) into terms that machines could understand and obey.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘The Kremlin on Monday issued an angry statement announcing that Russia would soon conduct a tactical nuclear weapons exercise near Ukraine.’ Photograph: Valery Sharifulin/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN POOL/EPA

Frustrated by the precarious state of Ukraine’s war effort and the long delays in US aid, leaders in France and Britain have stepped up their promises to Ukraine in the last few days. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, repeated in an interview last week that he might send ground forces to shore up beleaguered Ukrainian defenses. Meanwhile, speaking in Kyiv, the British foreign minister, David Cameron, gave Ukraine the green light to strike into Russian territory, clearly signaling that the UK wants a more aggressive approach to the war.

Their frustration is understandable, as is the temptation to get more directly involved in the war, with more powerful weapons and more guarantees of long-term backing for Ukraine.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘You don’t have to agree with everything or anything they are standing for, but if you believe in democracy, surely you believe in their right to stand for it.’ Photograph: Craig Ruttle/AP

Teaching an undergraduate class on democracy at Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs this semester has felt urgent and clarifying. In the classroom, we’ve been looking at backsliding and the slow corrosion of democratic norms in so-called democratic countries. Meanwhile, what’s been happening outside the classroom in more than 120 universities around the US and the world tells us a more ominous story about democracy.

For two weeks, we focused on the United States; there were lively discussions on political polarization, January 6 and the threat posed by supporters of Donald Trump, as well as how robust or fragile US democracy currently is.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘Women across Florida and the south rushed to find money, transportation, a doctor and an appointment before the law took hold.’ Photograph: Octavio Jones/Reuters

A Woman’s Choice, an abortion clinic in Jacksonville, usually sees somewhere between 10 and 15 patients a day. But last week, they extended their hours. On Monday, they scheduled somewhere between 70 and 80 patients, according to the Washington Post. The president of one reproductive health center spoke of warning her incoming patients about the scenes they would encounter at Florida’s abortion clinics. “We’re telling them, ‘Hey, it’s going to be busy,’” said Kelly Flynn.

For some, a deadline loomed after an anxious period of trying to scrape together the funding for the care they need: one doctor recalled calling patients who had delayed their appointments – in most cases because they hadn’t been able to secure enough money for the procedure yet – and reminding them that they don’t have much more time.…  Seguir leyendo »

Emmanuel Macron speaking on European policy at the Sorbonne, Paris, France, 25 April 2024. Photograph: Accorsini Jeanne/Abaca/Rex/Shutterstock

In the latest of his visionary speeches on the future of Europe, Emmanuel Macron called for the EU to transform itself into a military power or face “death”. Yet his own presidency of France may be about to enter a long twilight zone unless he can reverse his party’s deepening slump in June’s European parliament election.

Macron’s unpopularity is the main reason why his centrist pro-European Renaissance party is trailing a distant second in opinion polls behind Marine Le Pen’s hard-right National Rally (RN). Le Pen’s list is led by Jordan Bardella, 29, the rising star in the populist anti-immigration party.…  Seguir leyendo »

Pedro Sánchez, leader of the Socialist Party (PSOE), and his wife Maria Begoña Gómez. Photograph: Pablo Blázquez Domínguez/Getty Images

Pedro Sánchez has built a reputation as a successful political gambler, but suspending public duties and threatening to resign, as he did last week, was a political bombshell. It was so extraordinary it led to five days of national puzzlement and the wildest speculation over his motives: from mental health to true love and all kinds of shenanigans associated with the dark arts of politics in between. His announcement that he would not, after all, be resigning, came as another surprise, even to some of his political allies.

The timing of this apparently self-inflicted political turmoil adds to its oddity. The centre-left socialist prime minister spent months putting together a fragile parliamentary majority after a close election in July 2023.…  Seguir leyendo »

Like Germany’s president, I love a good kebab. Cosying up to autocrats like Erdoğan, less so

“Nazis eat döner kebabs in secret”, must be one of the dumbest slogans I have seen at German protests against the far right. Yes, the popularity of the kebab in Germany has become something of a symbol of labour migration from Turkey after the second world war. And yes, Nazis get hungry, too. So what? If the consumption of ethnic-minority food was really an obstacle to the ideology of white supremacy, Germans would either be starved out by now or they wouldn’t vote for Alternative für Deutschland (AfD). Neither of these is the case: the kebab is the second most popular fast food among Germans, and according to polls, the AfD their second most popular political party.…  Seguir leyendo »

Old military vehicles arrive for a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution in Lisbon, Portugal, 25 April 2024. Photograph: Antonio Pedro Santos/EPA

Fifty years ago, on 25 April 1974, a military-led movement in Portugal took down the rightwing authoritarian regime that had governed the country for 41 years. The Carnation Revolution, named after the flowers people offered soldiers on the streets, led the country to democracy and an era of immense social progress – reducing infant mortality and illiteracy rates, for example, which were comparatively very high in 1974. By 1986, Portugal had made enough strides to be able to join the European Communities, now the EU.

I was born in the early 1990s, but even in my generation 25 April is a hallowed anniversary for many.…  Seguir leyendo »

A protest against the decision to release members of the ‘wolf pack’ gang on bail in Madrid, Spain, June 2018. Photograph: Marcos del Mazo/LightRocket/Getty Images

For three and a half years, we worked in secret. Our families didn’t know what we were doing. Neither did our friends. We were making a film about the case that had triggered Spain’s 2018 #MeToo movement and secrecy was how we could best protect the survivors and participants. We also needed time to slowly and methodically build a documentary powerful enough that it could make something invisible – the universality of sexual violence against women – visible.

The story at the heart of our film began at the San Fermín festival in Pamplona, famous for the “running of the bulls”, where in 2016 a woman was sexually assaulted by five men who called themselves “the wolf pack”.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘Germany has the political influence to significantly reorient thinking about drug policy.’ Photograph: Lisi Niesner/Reuters

Germany’s cannabis reforms were approved this week, overcoming the final legislative hurdle when the Bundesrat, Germany’s upper house, voted through the bill that passed with a huge majority in the Bundestag (lower house) last month. Germany is a significant addition to the growing list of countries defecting from the drug war consensus that had held for more than half a century. More than half a billion people now live in jurisdictions establishing legal adult access to cannabis for recreational use.

When Germany’s new law comes into force on 1 April, it will decriminalise possession of up to 25g of cannabis for personal use (and up to 50g in the home), allow requests to remove criminal records for past possession offences, legalise home growing of up to three cannabis plants for personal use, and establish a regulatory framework for not-for-profit associations within which cannabis can be grown and supplied to members.…  Seguir leyendo »

Geert Wilders in The Hague, Netherlands, November 2023. Photograph: Hollandse Hoogte/Shutterstock

Despite winning the Dutch elections last year, the far-right leader Geert Wilders has reluctantly given up on the prospect of becoming prime minister after his prospective coalition partners blocked his path. This may seem like a victory against the far right, but think again: as leader of the biggest party in the upcoming coalition, Wilders will be conducting from the wings. And free of day to day prime-ministerial responsibilities, he is likely to ramp up his decades-long culture war against the European Union.

Forming a coalition government in the Netherlands has always been a rocky road, but this time it has taken an unexpected turn.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘The retraction of Chen’s essay at Guernica and the boycott of Standing Together are parallel actions.’ Photograph: Anadolu/Getty Images

In early March, most of the all-volunteer staff of the leftwing political and literary journal Guernica resigned in protest of the publication of an essay by an Israeli woman about her struggle in the weeks after 7 October to “tread the line of empathy, to feel passion for both sides”.

What they objected to most in Joanna Chen’s essay, From the Edges of a Broken World, was what it left out: an explicit critique of Israel’s longstanding policies of apartheid, its violent occupation and the genocide it is currently committing in Gaza. Guernica’s former co-publisher called the piece “a hand-wringing apologia for Zionism”.…  Seguir leyendo »

Bars and restaurants in Barcelona, Spain. Photograph: Kumar Sriskandan/Alamy

Spain’s employment minister and deputy prime minister, Yolanda Díaz, described the late opening hours of restaurants and bars, earlier this month, as “madness”. “A country that has its restaurants open at one o’clock in the morning is not reasonable”, she said. Hospitality industry figures and conservative politicians responded with outrage. “The deputy prime minister thinks she lives in Sweden instead of Spain”, a furious restaurant owner in Barcelona told El País, pointing out the late sunset in her city. That day, 6 March, the sun set in Stockholm at 5.29pm, and in Barcelona at 6.48pm. In Stockholm, restaurants typically close at 11pm; in Barcelona, restaurants and bars are allowed to open until 2.30am on weekdays, and until 3am at weekends.…  Seguir leyendo »

André Ventura, leader and founder of Chega, in Lisbon, Portugal, 11 March. Photograph: Paulo Spranger/Global Imagens/Atlntico Press/REX/Shutterstock

If the westernmost nation of mainland Europe was once seen as a paragon of sensible governance, it is now set for months or even years of political instability. Neither Portugal’s outgoing Socialists (PS) nor the centre-right Social Democratic party (PSD) were able to garner a majority in Sunday’s elections, ending the night barely one point apart and with a two-seat difference in the Assembleia da República. All eyes are now on the third force, the far-right party Chega (“Enough”), which quadrupled its parliamentarians from 12 to 48. Here is the real headline: an unprecedented victory for the far right in Portugal’s democratic history.…  Seguir leyendo »