Gandhi: ‘My life is my message’

Robert J. Burrowes*

As most of the world ignores or hypocritically celebrates the 147th birthday of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on the International Day of Nonviolence on 2 October, some of us will quietly acknowledge his life by continuing to build the world that he envisioned. When asked for his message for the world, Gandhi responded with the now famous line ‘My life is my message’ reflecting his lifelong struggle against violence.

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Britain sets off in search of a role – again

by Philip Stephens – Financial Times

Boris Johnson looks more comfortable in the role of court jester than thoughtful policymaker

Word in Westminster has it that Boris Johnson would like to apologise personally to Barack Obama for raising his “part-Kenyan” ancestry when the US president backed the pro-Europeans during the EU referendum. Word in Washington is that the UK foreign secretary would do as well not to bother. Such slights are not easily forgotten by the first African-American president.

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Colombia Referendum – First Acid Test for Peace

By Constanza Vieira

BOGOTA, Sep 2016 (IPS) – It was like a huge party in Colombia. “Congratulations!” people said to each other, before hugging. “Only 20 minutes to go!” one office worker said, hurrying on her way to Bolívar square, in the heart of Bogotá. And everyone knew what she was talking about, and hurried along too. Complete strangers exchanged winks of complicity.

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Kristalina Georgieva, the EU’s budget chief, joins race for top UN post

Julian Borger* – The Guardian

Previous Bulgarian candidate, Irina Bokova, fails to win support but may remain in contest to be secretary general

The EU budget commissioner, Kristalina Georgieva, has entered the race to become the United Nations’ next secretary general, after the Bulgarian government swung its backing behind her.

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Current emissions could already warm world to dangerous levels: study

Andrew Glikson*

Current greenhouse gas concentrations could warm the world 3-7? (and on average 5?) over coming millennia. That’s the finding of a paper published in Nature today.

The research, by Carolyn Snyder, reconstructed temperatures over the past 2 million years. By investigating the link between carbon dioxide and temperature in the past, Snyder made new projections for the future.

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At the First Debate, Clinton Faced Asymmetric Warfare—and Won

By Joan Walsh – The Nation

“Donald, I know you live in your own reality,” she said calmly. And it gradually became clear she was right.

So it happened: Donald Trump faced Hillary Clinton onstage in the first presidential debate, and the earth didn’t swallow us up and end civilization as we knew it. The earth did not stand still. What had seemed like a bad dream wasn’t a dream: Trump is the GOP nominee for president of the United States, and only Clinton stands between him and the nuclear codes. There must be a German word for the feeling you get when something so terrible happens, you think you’re imagining it, but I haven’t found it yet.

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For the first time, Saudi Arabia is being attacked by both Sunni and Shia leaders

Robert Fisk* – The Independent, UK

What, the Saudis must be asking themselves, has happened to the fawning leaders who would normally grovel to the Kingdom?

The Saudis step deeper into trouble almost by the week. Swamped in their ridiculous war in Yemen, they are now reeling from an extraordinary statement issued by around two hundred Sunni Muslim clerics who effectively referred to the Wahhabi belief – practiced in Saudi Arabia – as “a dangerous deformation” of Sunni Islam. The prelates included Egypt’s Grand Imam, Ahmed el-Tayeb of al-Azhar, the most important centre of theological study in the Islamic world, who only a year ago attacked “corrupt interpretations” of religious texts and who has now signed up to “a return to the schools of great knowledge” outside Saudi Arabia.

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It’s Hillary Clinton’s Election to Lose

By Matthew Cooper – Newsweek

Comedian Bill Maher captured the anxiety of Democrats about the presidential election when he returned to his weekly HBO show in mid-September after a summer hiatus. “When I left five weeks ago, Hillary had a huge lead,” said the host of Real Time. “What the fuck happened? They say the race is tightening. My asshole is tightening.”

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China Takes Its Place on the International Stage

By Mahmood Hasan * – The Daily Star, Bangladesh

Sep 2016 – China hosted the 11th G20 summit from September 4-5, 2016 at Hangzhou for the first time since the group formally started holding summits when the world economy slipped into deep recession in 2008. The theme for the summit was “Towards an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy”. China also invited leaders of eight developing countries and chiefs of international organisations to participate at the conference.

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Land Degradation Aggravating Migration, Warns UNCCD Chief

Interview by Ramesh Jaura with UNCCD Executive Secretary Monique Barbut

NEW YORK | BONN (IDN) – “Migration associated with natural resource depletion and climate change is much wider in scale than previously appreciated,” Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), has warned in an interview.

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China, Germany and Sliding US Demand

By Lili Bayer – Geopolitical Futures

Declining U.S. demand for major exporters’ goods could spell disaster.

The world’s exporters are in turmoil. Over the past days, we learned that Chinese exports fell 2.8 percent in August compared to the same time last year, while Japanese exports declined 4.8 percent. German exports plummeted 10 percent year-over-year in July, while the European Union’s overall exports fell 2 percent between January and July compared to a year earlier.

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No One Is Indispensable in a Democracy

By Oscar Arias Sanchez*

SAN JOSÉ, Sep 20 2016 (IPS) – I have put a great deal of thought into whether or not to return to politics. Groups from different political parties, and without party affiliation, have expressed their concern over the current situation in the country and have offered me their support. And the opinion polls indicate that I would have a chance at a third presidential term.

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Migrants are Human Beings, Not Documents

by Rev. Liberato Bautista* – Church and Society

A commentary on the eve of the UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants

High level summit, and why words matter

It is the eve of a crucial political process at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the High Level Summit for Refugees and Migrants to be convened on September 19. As UN member states arrive and UN officials and international public servants plan and prepare, NGO representatives are also busying themselves to find space and voice. United Methodists will be in attendance, for certain.

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Can the EU’s Leaders Muster a Show of Unity?

Geopolitical Diary – Stratfor Global Intelligence

The heads of government of the European Union will meet Friday in Bratislava for an informal summit, the first to be held without a representative from the United Kingdom present. Their main goal is to show unity at the continental level after the Brexit referendum. But fulfilling that aim will not be easy because, as is often the case with the bloc, though its members agree that the union is in trouble, they cannot agree on a strategy to counter its increasing fragmentation. Since the Bratislava summit will be informal, and the United Kingdom (which is still a full EU member) will not be present, no formal vote or binding decision on reforming the bloc should be expected.

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European Security with our without Russia?

By Roberto Savio* – Fondazione Italiani

Consequences of the Chinese-Russian Alliance on the relationship between USA and EU

The joint military manoeuvres between the Russian and Chinese navies, armies and air forces has kicked off. The common military manoeuvres, that just concluded, it’s a clear message for Washington, which has recently strengthened its action in Asia, indicating that as a country that overlooks the Pacific, it wants to play an important role in the continent, aimed at containing the Chinese expansion. Obama, during his visit to Laos, the first by an American President and his last in Asia as President, has explicitly stated that the United States are guarantors of Asian stability. One must also consider that the greatest continent of the world is going through a wave of nationalism (China, Japan, India) or populism (Philippines). Joint military manoeuvres are a clear message: the United States cannot decide the destinies of Asia.

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