Archive for the ‘World current affairs’ Category

Encouraging news on North Korea – but beware of false dawns

March 9th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

The most encouraging world news in a while is the surprise revelation that North Korea is willing to negotiate giving up its nuclear weapons programme and that the presidents of North Korea and the United States will meet in the next couple of months. There have been no significant negotiations between the US and North […]

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Stumbling Block and Last Address – remembering the past and its victims

March 8th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

In the 1990s, an initiative started in Germany called  the Stolpersteine project. Stolpersteine (stumbling blocks) are brass plaques the size of a cobblestone laid into the pavements of German towns and cities, outside the houses where the victims of Nazi atrocities had lived. Each plaque bears the name of the victim as well as the […]

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How would one summarise the current Chinese political system?

March 2nd, 2018 by Roger Darlington

In my recently updated short guide to the Chinese political system, I conclude: The Chinese Communist Party is almost schizophrenic in its economic policies. On the one hand, China is still a communist society but, on the other hand, its economy is more capitalist than most European countries. This contradiction is blurred by language with […]

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Television in China

February 26th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I’m just back from a two week trip to China – my fourth visit to this fascinating country..  I stayed in six hotels and visited five family homes, so I saw a fair bit of local television.  I think you can learn a lot about a country by watching its television   All the hotels […]

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Which are the best and the worst countries in terms of the rule of law?

February 1st, 2018 by Roger Darlington

The World Justice Project produces a Rule of Law Index which measures – across eight factors – rule of law adherence in 113 countries and jurisdictions worldwide based on more than 110,000 household and 3,000 expert surveys and it has just published its latest annual report for 2017-18. More countries’ overall rule of law score […]

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Flooding in Paris and drought in Cape Town

January 27th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

If I ever doubted the centrality of water to humankind (you could write a history of civilisation around the theme of water), the importance of H2O was underlined for me when I spent five years chairing the Customer Challenge Group for the regional company South East Water. So I can’t help but noticing two current […]

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New Oxfam reports reveals that 82% of all of the growth in global wealth in the last year went to the top 1%

January 22nd, 2018 by Roger Darlington

“In 2016, annual share dividends from the parent company of fashion chain Zara to the world’s fourth-richest man, Amancio Ortega, were worth approximately €1.3bn. Stefan Persson, whose father founded H&M, is ranked 43 in the Forbes list of the richest people in the world, and received €658m in share dividends last year. Anju works sewing […]

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What are the prospects for Africa in 2018 – and does anyone care?

January 3rd, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Over the years, I’ve been to Africa 8 times and visited eight countries (Kenya four times). But the continent is home to no less than 54 nations and, in. terms of the world’s media, very under-reported. In this short article, the Africa correspondent of the “Guardian” newspaper briefly reviews the state of the continent and […]

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What is it like to be in Iran?

January 1st, 2018 by Roger Darlington

At the turn of the year, the major news from the Middle East is the wave of demonstrations in Iran. We’re not sure how these have spread so rapidly and how things will develop. But I visited Iran shortly after the last major wave of protests organised by the Green Movement and indeed made contact […]

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Why the UK’s international aid is so important

December 20th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

“UK aid has already done so much to change the lives of the world’s poorest children. British aid has educated 11 million children in the last five years. The UK’s investment in immunisation in the same period ensured 67.1 million children were protected against preventable diseases. That’s more than the population of the UK. This […]

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