The Guardian

Este archivo solo abarca los artículos del periódico incoporados a este sitio a partir del 1 de junio de 2007.

Sex workers in Rome: the Nordic model has been shown to reduce the numbers of women working on the streets and elsewhere Photograph: Andrew Medichini/AP

I’ve just returned from a conference in Rome called Prostitution: Is Italy ready for the Nordic model?. The event was the first of its kind to be held in the Italian senate and it has caused some controversy.

A new bill drafted by senator Alessandra Maiorino was launched at the event, which, if approved by parliament, would criminalise the buying of sex and decriminalise those in prostitution. Known as the Nordic model, this approach to tackling the harms of the sex trade was first introduced in Sweden in 1999 and has since been adopted by a number of countries, including the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, France, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Israel.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘It was none other than Justice Neil Gorsuch’s mother, Anne Gorsuch, who helped Reagan try to strip the EPA for parts.’ Photograph: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

In remarks to the first Earth Day gathering in 1970, the Maine senator Edmund Muskie made the case for the Clean Air Act – a bill he helped draft – in stark terms. “There is no space command center, ready to give us precise instruction and alternate solutions for survival on our spaceship Earth”, he told the crowd. “Our nation – and our world – hang together by tenuous bonds which are strained as they have never been strained before – and as they must never be strained again. We cannot survive an undeclared war on our future”.

In its Thursday ruling on West Virginia v EPA in line with a string of decisions that will make life here more dangerous – the US supreme court all but declared that war, curtailing the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate power plants under a provision of the Clean Air Act and – more worryingly – striking an opening blow to the government’s ability to do its job.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘In Poland, an already restrictive abortion law was made draconian in 2020.’ A demonstrator in Warsaw protests against the constitutional court’s abortion law ruling, November 2020.’ Photograph: Omar Marques/Getty Images

Abortion access is about to be severely curtailed or cut off for millions of women in the United States following the supreme court’s decision to abolish the constitutional protections for the termination of pregnancy established by the landmark Roe v Wade case 50 years ago.

The decision allows state legislatures to ban abortion and half are now likely to limit access.

Despite the condemnation from many European leaders, not all EU states have decriminalised abortion. Malta retains a total ban. And in Poland, an already restrictive law was made draconian in 2020. Medical personnel now face lengthy prison sentences for providing or procuring an abortion and women have died as a result.…  Seguir leyendo »

A demonstration against the planned EU copyright reform in Berlin in Mar 2019. Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

The tide is seemingly turning against Meta, Google and other tech giants. Groundbreaking new European Union legislation is imminent, aimed at forcing the large digital platforms to do more to keep users safe and cutting down market abuses, data capture and surveillance infrastructure.

As the Digital Services Act package was being finalised, the very public crossing of swords between Elon Musk and the European Commission over Twitter captured headlines . Yet the Musk spectacle was a sideshow.

Much more urgently in need of scrutiny is big tech’s hidden lobbying against the DSA. It is unlikely that Brussels has previously seen campaigns on such a scale and practices so out of line with the requirements of a democratic, open society.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘More than a housing estate, Mjølnerparken is a community.’ A hijab store near Mjølnerparken in Copenhagen, Denmark. Photograph: Andrew Kelly/Reuters

We make a habit of idealising Scandinavia. Living in Britain, a country of damp sandwiches, dilapidated housing and extortionate gas bills, makes it easy to fantasise about places like Denmark, with its generous welfare state and 37-hour working week. We laud its social philosophies, binge on its politics as dramatised by TV’s Borgen.

The idealised version of this looks like a social democratic utopia in which the state takes care of your worries. It does not look like the experiences of Muhammad Aslam, a taxi driver I spoke to recently while visiting Denmark. Aslam’s story is one that proponents of the Nordic model do not want you to hear.…  Seguir leyendo »

A wheat farmer in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, 21 June 2022. Photograph: Efrem Lukatsky/AP

So here we are. The pound has slumped and Britain has the lowest growth and highest inflation in the G7. Manufacturing output has stalled and the financial markets are advising that sterling should be treated as an “emerging market” currency. The prime minister has broken the law and the government will reportedly soon publish a bill that could break international law in our name. You can only imagine the enormous respect and influence that Boris Johnson will carry into the room when G7 leaders meet in Germany. If they don’t burst out laughing at the sight of our threadbare prime minister it will only be because of decent diplomatic manners.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘The longer the war proceeds, the greater the likelihood the west will lose some of its unity against Russia, especially as soaring energy prices, rising inflation, and worries about a recession lead western politicians to focus on the home front.’ Photograph: Eliot Blondet-Pool/Sipa/Rex/Shutterstock

Wars are a series of twists and turns. Momentum can shift and quickly alter fortunes on the battlefield, and intangible elements like leadership and motivation can shred the assessments of the most seasoned military analysts. Military campaigns that look promising initially can, over time, turn into quagmire, as mistakes accumulate, terrain changes and the adversary alters its tactics. The war in Ukraine is a textbook case in point.

During the war’s first two months, the Ukrainian army proved to be formidable, courageous and highly innovative against a better-armed Russian foe, which military experts had almost unanimously expected would prevail. A day after Russia’s invasion began, the US intelligence community was concerned that Russian forces would capture Kyiv in a matter of days.…  Seguir leyendo »

Boris Johnson and Vladimir Putin at the International Libya conference in Berlin, Germany, January 2020. Photograph: Alexei Nikolsky/Sputnik/Kremlin/EPA

The British government has taken the first steps to unravelling its agreement with the EU on Northern Ireland – the so-called Northern Ireland protocol. Many Europeans are baffled by this. How can the government – which not only signed this legal agreement but negotiated it “word by word, comma by comma”, to quote the EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier – just tear up a binding international treaty that only came into force last year?

But surprised, they are not. Not really. Because in its relationship with the EU, the UK is increasingly starting to behave like Russia – by unilaterally creating facts on the ground.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘The US strategy to counter-act through Europe is far from self-evident.’ Photograph: Francisco Seco/AP

For me, John Lennon’s mega-hit Imagine was always a song popular for the wrong reasons. Imagine that “the world will live as one” is the best way to end in hell.

Those who cling to pacifism in the face of the Russian attack on Ukraine remain caught in their own version of “imagine”. Imagine a world in which tensions are no longer resolved through armed conflicts … Europe persisted in this world of “imagine”, ignoring the brutal reality outside its borders. Now it’s the time to awaken.

The dream of a quick Ukrainian victory, the repetition of the initial dream of a quick Russian victory, is over.…  Seguir leyendo »

Emmanuel Macron with supporters in Le Touquet, 19 June 2022. Photograph: Michel Spingler/EPA

Emmanuel Macron likes to defy historical precedent. In 2017, he disrupted France’s political landscape by winning the presidency and upending the country’s traditional left-right divide. In April this year, he became the first French head of state to win re-election for two decades. And now he has bucked the trend again, although not in a manner that will please him: after Sunday’s elections, Macron’s centrist alliance, Ensemble, lost its parliamentary majority – a highly unusual occurrence for a president in the history of the Fifth Republic.

Ensemble won 246 seats, 43 fewer than was needed for a majority. The consensus of the main French polling organisations had been that Macron’s alliance would win between 255 and 295 of the assembly’s 577 seats.…  Seguir leyendo »

The climate crisis is not a concern only of the rich. Water had to be brought by train to India's state of Rajasthan during May’s global heating-induced heatwave. Photograph: Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images

“What do you mean, ‘why am I working in this heat?’ If I don’t work, we will die of hunger”.

That was how Shiv Kumar Mandal, a Delhi rickshaw driver, explained why he continued to transport passengers during a prolonged and horrific temperature spike that experts attribute to global heating.

Mandal, one presumes, does not consider planetary warming a topic relevant only to the rich.

Yet, in the wake of the Australian federal election, we’re hearing versions of that claim again and again and again.

Think of how Liberal Senator Hollie Hughes – one of the Coalition’s senior spokespeople on climate, no less – recently dubbed warming “almost like a luxury issue”.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘Mélenchon’s latest bid has moved away from geopolitical issues in favour of bread-and-butter policies.’ Photograph: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images

In 2017, Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s La France Insoumise (Unsubmissive France) sat alongside Spain’s Podemos, Greece’s Syriza, the Bernie Sanders campaign in the US and Labour under Jeremy Corbyn as part of a worldwide “left populist wave” that combined charismatic leadership with radical policies. He channelled French citizens’ anger at austerity policies – blamed on Brussels bureaucrats – and proposed an exit from the EU (in case treaty change was not achieved) and Nato. Mélenchon held rallies looking like an enraged tribune of the people in a Mao suit, and took swipes at the French elite: “the caste and its puppets” and the “ignoble” politicians of the socialist party.…  Seguir leyendo »

Anti-Macron protesters in Paris, France, in July 2021. Photograph: Michel Euler/AP

In the autumn of 2018, as the gilets jaunes movement took off, Emmanuel Macron faced a crisis in France that also represented a personal political failure. A little more than a year previously, he had arrived at the Elysée, elected on a centrist, social-liberal, pro-Europe agenda. He embodied fierce opposition to national populism, yet now seemed the president on whose watch populism in France was growing. At the time, I wrote an article for the Guardian asking if centrist and anti-populist leaders were creating breeding grounds for the populists they had sworn to defeat. Barack Obama, after all, had been followed by Donald Trump.…  Seguir leyendo »

A sperm whale stranded on Pegwell Bay, Kent, in September 2019. Photograph: ZSL/UK CSIP/PA

In the aftermath of 9/11, scientists noticed a curious impact on the stress hormones of North Atlantic right whales. Ships are ubiquitous in our oceans but, for a brief window, immediately after the planes flew into the twin towers, there was a dramatic drop in traffic along the North Atlantic eastern seaboard, reducing underwater noise. While the world above ground was reeling, our underwater neighbours were thriving.

So often we think of the golden age of whaling as being over. Japanese and Icelandic whaling ships are now pariahs in the international community. But too often, out of sight is out of mind, and it remains easy to ignore the impact of our actions above ground on marine life.…  Seguir leyendo »

A vigil outside the Brazilian embassy in London for Dom Phillips and Bruno Araújo Pereira on 9 June. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA

It’s now more than four days since veteran Brazil correspondent Dom Phillips and Indigenous expert Bruno Araújo Pereira disappeared in the Javari Valley, a remote part of the western Amazon thought to have the world’s highest concentration of uncontacted people.

Pereira, a longtime defender of Indigenous rights who previously worked for Funai, Brazil’s government Indigenous rights agency, had reportedly received threats for his work monitoring illegal activities in the region.

Phillips and Pereira were last seen early on Sunday while travelling in a boat on the Itaquaí river in the northern Brazilian state of Amazonas, near the border with Peru. Itaquaí is a remote, lawless, and strategically important area for illegal trafficking, fishing and mining.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘A recent overture to oil-rich Venezuela met with immediate backlash from both Republicans and Democrats, who condemned the White House for negotiating with the country’s authoritarian president, Nicolás Maduro.’ Photograph: Yuri Cortéz/AFP/Getty Images

With the war in Ukraine and a ban on Russian oil sales, the Biden administration has been seeking alternative sources of crude to try to ease prices at the gas pump. But a recent overture to oil-rich Venezuela was met with an immediate backlash from both Republicans and Democrats, who condemned the White House for negotiating with the country’s authoritarian president, Nicolás Maduro. And last month, when the White House said that it would let Chevron begin talks with the Maduro government that could possibly lead to an expansion of its very limited activities in the country, there was a similar outraged response.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘With more equipment and ammunition, pushing Russia back is a realistic prospect.’ Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, right, meets a soldier in Kharkiv. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

We Ukrainians want peace more than anyone in the world. For about 100 days, we have been fighting Russian forces on the ground, in the sky, on the sea, and in cyber and information spaces. Defence experts originally gave us little hope of success. They changed their position when we showed our ability to resist. Now we need to demonstrate the strength to hold our course and resist the temptations of a false resolution.

In this existential battle for our future, ostensibly friendly or consoling pundits and politicians persistently suggest we should surrender to achieve peace more quickly. Of course, we do not want a war to take longer than necessary, but we will not get trapped into a bogus deal which will only make things worse.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘The Kremlin thinks Russia’s threshold for economic pain is higher than the west’s, and it is probably right about that.’ Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Wednesday. Photograph: Mikhail Metzel/AP

It is now three months since the west launched its economic war against Russia, and it is not going according to plan. On the contrary, things are going very badly indeed.

Sanctions were imposed on Vladimir Putin not because they were considered the best option, but because they were better than the other two available courses of action: doing nothing or getting involved militarily.

The first set of economic measures were introduced immediately after the invasion, when it was assumed Ukraine would capitulate within days. That didn’t happen, with the result that sanctions – while still incomplete – have gradually been intensified.…  Seguir leyendo »

This is the third time in less than a year that Biden has declared the US would use force to keep Beijing from seizing Taiwan. Photograph: Mark Schiefelbein/AP

Joe Biden made a potentially dangerous statement on Monday. In Tokyo, he gave a flat “yes” to a reporter’s question of whether he was willing to “get involved militarily to defend Taiwan”. “That’s the commitment we made”, the president claimed. In fact, the United States scrapped its formal commitment to defend Taiwan in 1979, replacing a treaty of alliance with the Taiwan Relations Act, which obligates the United States to help equip Taiwan to defend itself.

This is the third time in less than a year that Biden has publicly declared that the United States would use force to keep Beijing from seizing the island.…  Seguir leyendo »

Priti Patel with the mayor of Kigali, Pudence Rubingisa, left, visiting premises allocated for refugees in Rwanda on 14 April 2022. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

It’s easy to fall prey to misconceptions about Rwanda. I’ve done so myself while writing about the small country – about twice the size of Yorkshire – to which we are dispatching our “migrant problem”. With flights to Kigali imminent, and the president, Paul Kagame, proposing alleged UK-based “génocidaires” be extradited to face trial, I wonder if we really understand what we’re getting into.

Faults in Priti Patel’s policy should not need rehearsing. Yet so great is western ignorance and amnesia about Rwanda (and the wider Great Lakes region of Africa) that the arguments against require reinforcement. For there has, since the genocide, been a “blank ahistoricism” about the country, as the Rwanda expert Michela Wrong has put it.…  Seguir leyendo »