By Joan W. Scott* – The Nation
On the fast train from Brussels to Paris a few years ago, I met a young woman from the Philippines who was taking a weekend holiday from her job in Belgium to visit France for the first time. As the train entered the outskirts of Paris, she turned to me and said in surprise, “I didn’t realize the French were a black people.” It was my turn to be surprised, until I looked out the window and saw that we were in the banlieues, the segregated neighborhoods consisting largely of West and North African “immigrants” that ring the city. I put “immigrants” in scare quotes because many of these people are long-term residents of France; indeed, many of them are citizens. The word is nonetheless regularly used in France to distinguish them from the Français de souche—the legitimate (white) members of the nation.
By Jessica Stern *
UNITED NATIONS, Sep 20 2017 (IPS) – On September 18 and 19, US President Donald Trump addressed world leaders at the opening of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly in New York.
Time and time again, President Trump has threatened to curtail the United States’ obligations to the international human rights system and to the United Nations itself. In his remarks, the word he said most often – “sovereignty” – underscored that his political agenda promotes political isolationism and undermines the global cooperation that protects vulnerable people from natural disasters, corrupt governments, and civil war.
By RICHARD C. PADDOCK and HANNAH BEECH – The New York Times
NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar — Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and de facto leader of Myanmar, stood before a room of government officials and foreign dignitaries on Tuesday to at last, after weeks of international urging, address the plight of the country’s Rohingya ethnic minority.
But those who expected Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi to eloquently acknowledge a people’s oppression were disappointed.
Dani McClain – The Nation
You could be forgiven for thinking the movement has gone quiet. But you’d be wrong.
On June 1, the right-wing blogger and avowed white supremacist Jason Kessler and other alt-right activists met for dinner on the patio of Miller’s Downtown, a popular burger joint in Charlottesville, Virginia. The dinner was two weeks after white nationalists had gathered in the city’s Lee Park, wielding torches as a kind of dress rehearsal for the mid-August “Unite the Right” rally that left counterprotester Heather Heyer dead and dozens more injured. According to local reports, members of the white-led group Showing Up for Racial Justice surrounded Kessler’s party that night at Miller’s, recording the gathering on their phones and shouting, “Nazi, go home!” At a nearby table sat University of Virginia professor Jalane Schmidt, who at the time was trying to establish a Black Lives Matter chapter in Charlottesville. As black passersby stopped and showed interest in the confrontation, participants in the SURJ action directed them to Schmidt’s table.
By Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen*
NEW YORK, Sep 18 2017 (IPS) – The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), by virtue of its position of being the second largest international organization outside the UN system with 57 member countries comprising one fifth of the world population and covering Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas, is indeed an important actor in dealing with rapprochement between cultures, in particular rapprochement between the Muslim World and its international partners like the USA.
Rapprochement between cultures through dialogue among civilizations and diverse faiths as an agenda item was pioneered by the OIC at the international level as early as 1998.
Charles M. Blow* – The New York Times
That was only one in a string a tweets on Sept. 11 by ESPN host Jemele Hill in which Hill goes on to say that Trump is “the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime,” that he hired and courted white supremacists, that “His rise is a direct result of white supremacy,” that “if he were not white, he never would have been elected.” Hill insinuates that the Republican Party “has done nothing but endorse/promote white supremacy.”
ANALYSIS , Shishir Gupta – Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The international community has questioned Myanmar for the Rohingya crisis but has forgotten the bloody contribution of Pakistan-based jihadist groups to this catastrophe
The UN Security Council has criticised the Myanmar government for condoning violence against Rohingya Muslims in its Rakhine State leading to a humanitarian crisis with lakhs fleeing to neighbouring Bangladesh fearing persecution. The current crisis is the fallout of a coordinated attack on multiple police posts on August 25 by more than 150 Rohingya militants in Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung townships in the north Rakhine State.
By Nik Sekhran*
UNITED NATIONS, Sep 15 2017 (IPS) – The United Nations, governments, civil society, business, thought leaders and media will gather in New York on September 17 to celebrate the winners of the Equator Prize 2017. The 15 prize winning communities successfully advance innovative solutions for poverty, environment, and climate challenges.
Opinion, Greg Sargent* – The Washington Post
THE MORNING PLUM:
Barely a few hours after Democrats announced that they had reached a tentative deal with President Trump on protecting the “dreamers,” Trump unleashed a steaming-hot morning tweetstorm that seemed to suggest that there was no deal at all.
But make no mistake: If you read between the lines, Trump’s tweets actually signal the clear outlines of a deal that would, in fact, protect hundreds of thousands of young people brought here illegally as children, on terms that might end up proving acceptable to all sides — with the crucial exception of a few very loud voices on the right, who may be able to derail any such deal, as will be argued below.
By Staff Correspondent – The Daily Star, Bangladesh
Sep 14 2017 (The Daily Star, Bangladesh) – Twelve Nobel laureates and 15 other eminent global citizens yesterday urged the UN Security Council to intervene immediately to end the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
“We call on UNSC to intervene immediately by using all available means. We request you to take immediate action for cessation of indiscriminate military attack on innocent civilians that is forcing them to leave their home and flee country to turn into stateless people,” they said in an open letter to the president and member states of the UNSC.
By Dr. Hanif Hassan Al Qassim*
GENEVA, Sep 2017 (IPS) – Thanks to globalization and trade liberalization of commodities, services and goods, global trade has reached an unprecedented level. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, world trade in goods was valued at approximately USD 16 trillion. North-North trade generates the highest trade volume at approximately 6 trillion; trade flows within and between countries of the Global South amounts to 4.6 trillion. Trade between the Global South and the Global North -approximately between 2.5 and 3 trillion – add up to less than the trade flows within the Earth’s two main poles.
George Monbiot* – The Guardian
The perpetual quest for growth drives our economics. That’s why our environment and financial system lurch from crisis to crisis
There was “a flaw” in the theory: this is the famous admission by Alan Greenspan, the former chair of the Federal Reserve, to a congressional inquiry into the 2008 financial crisis. His belief that the self-interest of the lending institutions would lead automatically to the correction of financial markets had proved wrong. Now, in the midst of the environmental crisis, we await a similar admission. We may be waiting some time.
By Vladimir Mitev*
The former adviser to the European Commission of Jacques Delors, activist for the definition of water as a common good, instead of a commodity, university professor and left intellectual speaks with Baricada, telling the story of the transformation of welfare inspired societies into the main sources of a ”global disorder” and violence – a story of subjugation to a new world generation of greed technocratic elites and their push to commodification of life.
Naomi Firsht *
Jonathan Haidt on the crisis of resilience on campus.
Worrying things have been happening on US campuses of late. While most of us are now familiar with the campus censors’ vocabulary of ‘trigger warnings’ and ‘microaggressions’, authoritarian student behaviour has recently taken an even more sinister turn. At Middlebury College, Vermont, protesting students assaulted an academic who tried to protect speaker Charles Murray, because they considered Murray racist. In video clips Yale students were shown screaming at a professor who dared to suggest that Halloween costumes should not be policed for offensiveness. And at Evergreen College, Washington, when a professor refused to participate in a day of absence in which white students and staff were asked to leave campus for a day to raise awareness about race and equity, a student mob occupied the college president’s office and the campus ended up on lockdown.
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD – The New York Times
The news was hard to digest until one realized it was part of a much larger and increasingly disturbing pattern in the Trump administration. On Aug. 18, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine received an order from the Interior Department that it stop work on what seemed a useful and overdue study of the health risks of mountaintop-removal coal mining.
The $1 million study had been requested by two West Virginia health agencies following multiple studies suggesting increased rates of birth defects, cancer and other health problems among people living near big surface coal-mining operations in Appalachia. The order to shut it down came just hours before the scientists were scheduled to meet with affected residents of Kentucky.
By Baher Kamal
ROME, Sep 11 2017 (IPS) - When officials and experts from all over the world started the first-ever environmental summit hosted by China, they were already aware that climate and weather-related disasters were already seriously beginning to set the international agenda – unprecedented floods in South Asia, strongest ever hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and catastrophic droughts striking the Horn of Africa, among the most impacting recent events.
BY ISHAAN THAROOR – The Washington Post
There’s a population of around a million people living in fear right now, facing the likely wrath of an uncaring government that doesn’t seem to recognize their claim to the country they have always called home. The crisis along the Burma-Bangladesh border has dramatically intensified over the past week, with more than 125,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing a Burmese military offensive in restive Rakhine state, according to aid organizations. Reports keep flooding in of mass killings carried out by Burmese security forces, as well as torture, rape and the systematic razing of Rohingya villages.
Robert J. Burrowes*
For those of us committed to systematically reducing and, one day, ending human violence, it is vital to understand what is causing and driving it so that effective strategies can be developed for dealing with violence in its myriad contexts. For an understanding of the fundamental cause of violence, see ‘Why Violence?’
by Jim Lobe* – Lobelog.com
With the eviction of Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka from the inner precincts of the White House and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson besieged and taking fire from virtually all sides, neoconservatives – even the NeverTrumpers among them – must be quietly harboring renewed hopes that their restoration may soon be within reach.
And, as should become clear Tuesday, those hopes reside largely with the Trump administration’s ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, who’s been on a tear against Iran for several weeks now.
By Hazel Henderson* – Ethical Markets
The European Union (EU) has sweeping reforms of financial markets coming into force January 3, 2018. They will affect Wall Street firms in many ways, covering all transactions of EU securities wherever traded worldwide. Whether the firm is on the buy-side: portfolio managers, mutual funds, institutional investors, or on the sell-side: broker-dealers, investment advisors, researchers, consultants, MIFID II will affect business models, research, trading, reporting and order execution.