Myanmar’s Rohingya Crisis Meets Reality


The news coverage of Myanmar over the past several months has led many people to conclude that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of the country, has abandoned her responsibility to protect human rights. Hundreds of thousands of people from the Rohingya ethnic minority are being expelled by the military from lands in western Myanmar, where they have lived for centuries. By any standard, we are witnessing the most fundamental violations of human rights.

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Monitoring Progress on UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

By Abby Maxman*

BOSTON, Massachusetts, Sep 22 2017 (IPS) – Two years ago, world leaders joined together to endorse a new and ambitious agenda not to reduce poverty but to eradicate it, not to lessen hunger but to end it once and for all, and not to overlook inequality but jointly to attack it.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) broke new ground in the fight against poverty by moving beyond social development targets to better protect our fragile planet, reduce economic and social inequalities, and promote human rights. Today, the hard work to achieve this ambition is just beginning.

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Unmasked: Trump Doctrine vows carnage for new axis of evil


North Korea, Iran, Venezuela are targets in “compassionate” America’s war on the “wicked few.” It’s almost as though Washington felt its hegemony threatened

This was no “deeply philosophical address”. And hardly a show of  “principled realism” – as spun by the White House. President Trump at the UN was “American carnage,” to borrow a phrase previously deployed by his nativist speechwriter Stephen Miller.

One should allow the enormity of what just happened to sink in, slowly. The president of the United States, facing the bloated bureaucracy that passes for the “international community,” threatened to “wipe off the map” the whole of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (25 million people). And may however many millions of South Koreans who perish as collateral damage be damned.

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The Crisis of Refugees and Their Sufferings Call for a Solution

By Dr. Hanif Hassan Al Qassim *

GENEVA, Sep 21 2017 (IPS) – The pursuit of international peace and security has been on the agenda of international decision-makers ever since the establishment of the League of Nations on 10 January 1920. There has been a constant ambiguity about the way this commitment has been translated to practice. The Covenant of the League of Nations committed itself “to promote international co-operation and to achieve international peace and security”: nevertheless, the eruption of violence and geopolitical confrontations lead to another major confrontation two decades later.

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The Culture Veil. The real crisis of European multiculturalism.

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.

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President Trump at the UN: a Reaction

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.

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Aung San Suu Kyi, a Much-Changed Icon, Evades Rohingya Accusations


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.

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Matter Win in the Age of Trump?

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.

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Islamic Organization Promotes Cultural Rapprochement Between US & Muslim World

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.

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Is Trump a White Supremacist?

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.”

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Pakistan is fuelling unrest in Myanmar’s backyard

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.

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Communities Can be Role Models for Sustainable Development

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.

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Trump’s latest tweetstorm signals major concessions may lie ahead

Opinion,  Greg Sargent*  – The Washington Post


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.

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Intervene now, take action

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.

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South-South trade cooperation key to sustainable and inclusive model of globalization

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.

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A lesson from Hurricane Irma: capitalism can’t save the planet – it can only destroy it

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.

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Riccardo Petrella: Financial dictates led the EU to failure and drove the world to devastation

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.

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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.

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President Trump’s War on Science

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 defectscancer 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.

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Floods, Hurricanes, Droughts… When Climate Sets the Agenda

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.

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