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Le Monde
Iraqi elections, but where are the women?
Iraqi women have been well known for their pioneering role in Iraqi society since the 1930s. They became members of political parties (especially the Iraqi Communist Party), actresses, singers, newscasters and lawyers. Their position was boosted when the first Iraqi (and Arab) woman was appointed minister in 1959, a year after the revolution that overthrew the monarchy. In 1967 a new constitution gave women equal voting rights. Between 1980 and 2003, under the Baathist regime, there were (...) - Blog posts /
Sumqayit, an ecological Armageddon
Sumqayit, in Azerbaijan, is one of the most polluted places on earth. For more than 40 years the city was an important center for chemical production in the Soviet Union. The people living here are still suffering from the consequences. And the current Azeri regime is not doing much to clean up the mess.
When Azerbaijan was part of the Soviet Union, Sumqayit was one of the most important centers for heavy industry and chemical production in the socialist empire, but no measures to protect (...) - Photo essays from around the world /
Iraqis await elections with a heavy heart
On April 30, Iraqis will wake from one nightmare only for another to begin.
National elections, barely two weeks away, are likely to reinforce Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's authoritarian grip on power in Baghdad and further marginalize any opposition. Elections are not the promise of stability for which many Iraqis dream, but rather the stabilizer itself. Once over, the slow sense of entropy in Iraq may well accelerate. A Maliki victory will shatter the country's already fractious (...) - Blog posts /
Washington fights fire with fire in Libya
Is the U.S. secretly training Libyan militiamen in the Canary Islands? And if not, are they planning to?
That's what I asked a spokesman for U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). "I am surprised by your mentioning the Canary Islands," he responded by email. "I have not heard this before, and wonder where you heard this."
As it happens, mention of this shadowy mission on the Spanish archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa was revealed in an official briefing prepared for AFRICOM chief General (...) - Open page
How green is my valley?
In part, Mary Evangelista's bio reads as follows:
". [She] has many years' experience as a critic and curator. Her past exhibitions have included Art New Zealand, a touring exhibition of contemporary Maori and New Zealand artists, two exhibitions of contemporary Israeli Art, and Designing a Nation's Capitol exhibition at New Orleans Museum of Art. As a critic, she has worked for publications including ART News, Saturday Review and Newsday."
"In 2005, New York-based critic and curator Mary (...) - Open page
AFRICOM goes to war on the sly
What the military will say to a reporter and what is said behind closed doors are two very different things - especially when it comes to the U.S. military in Africa. For years, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) has maintained a veil of secrecy about much of the command's activities and mission locations, consistently downplaying the size, scale, and scope of its efforts. At a recent Pentagon press conference, AFRICOM Commander General David Rodriguez adhered to the typical mantra, assuring the (...) - Open page
A Plan C for Europe
Elections to the European Parliament in May will have a special significance. They will either help the EU regain public trust or let it sink further: it's a "make it or break it" game.
Europhiles want to stick to the EU because the end of European integration is likely to hamper businesses and take Europe back to old style geopoliticswith numerous destabilizing implications. They want to reform the EU, but they cannot imagine integration without it.
Eurosceptics have little trust in the (...) - Blog posts /
Open systems and glass ceilings
The Web is regularly hailed for its "openness" and that's where the confusion begins, since "open" in no way means "equal." While the Internet may create space for many voices, it also reflects and often amplifies real-world inequities in striking ways.
An elaborate system organized around hubs and links, the Web has a surprising degree of inequality built into its very architecture. Its traffic, for instance, tends to be distributed according to "power laws," which follow what's known as the (...) - Open page
The arrival of The New Normal
Today's world is a fast-changing and conflict-laden territory. States and businesses in many places have fine-tuned their priorities to the post-crash requirements of power, profit, survival and renewal. Various post-crash establishment ideologies are on offer: from 'change we need' to 'we are all in this together', 'for hardworking people', 'one nation' and 'shared prosperity'.
Instead of the 'collapse' and 'death' of neoliberalism that many observers predicted, we are seeing an intensification of the (...) - Blog posts /
Syria: who can you trust in Manajir?
Though the Assad regime has been severely weakened in the north-eastern corner of Syria, the two main forces confronting it are also confronting each other. The People's Protection Units (YPG, a Kurdish left-wing organisation) and the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS, a former al-Qaeda affiliate) have radically different ideas about what kind of system should replace the current regime - the YPG favours a decentralised secular democracy, ISIS an Islamic caliphate.
ISIS has virtually no (...) - Blog posts /



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