Archive for the ‘World current affairs’ Category


What are the assets of the Cayman Islands?

January 14th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

As you might of guessed, this is trick question. Currently I am reading “Seven Ways To Change The World: How To Fix The Most Pressing Problems We Face” by Gordon Brown. In the chapter on tax havens, he reveals that the the territory’s foreign assets are valued at an astonishing 1,500 times the size of […]

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How many passport holders are there on St Kitts and Nevis?

January 14th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

As you might of guessed, this is trick question. Currently I am reading “Seven Ways To Change The World: How To Fix The Most Pressing Problems We Face” by Gordon Brown. In the chapter on tax havens, he reveals that the population of St Kitts and Nevis is a mere 50,000 or so, but that […]

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Just how common are pandemics? You might be surprised.

January 4th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

Currently I am reading “Seven Ways To Change The World: How To Fix The Most Pressing Problems We Face” by Gordon Brown. In his chapter on ‘Preventing Pandemics’, he writes: “Lest we think COVID-19 is a ‘black swan’ and that global pandemics are one-offs, it is worth examining the evidence. Throughout history, more people have […]

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The sad burning of the South African Parliament Building

January 3rd, 2022 by Roger Darlington

I was sad to hear of the news of the fire at the South African Parliament Building in Cape Town. Somehow it seems symbolic of the flawed attempt to create a new democracy in South Africa. But more immediately it poses questions such as: how did the arsonist gain entry to the building? why did […]

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What can the world expect in 2022? Another year of living dangerously.

December 30th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

“On the brink of a new year, the world faces a daunting array of challenges: the resurgent Covid-19 pandemic, the climate emergency, the struggle between democracy and authoritarianism, humanitarian crises, mass migration, and trans-national terrorism. There is the risk of new inter-state conflicts, exacerbated by the breakdown of the rules-based international order, and the spread […]

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What’s the most fearful Christmas that you can imagine?

December 5th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

Something to do with the global pandemic? Perhaps evidence that the newly-discovered Omicron variant is more transmissible, more virulent and more resistant to current vaccines than all previous variants. Something to do with weather, climate or geology? Perhaps something on the scale of the tsunami of Boxing Day 2004 which killed a quarter of a […]

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Ever heard of the Thucydides’ Trap?

December 2nd, 2021 by Roger Darlington

In foreign policy discussions, this is a deadly trap first identified by the ancient Greek historian Thucydides. As he explained, “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.” The term was popularised by American political scientist Graham T. Allison to describe an apparent tendency towards war when an […]

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The latest tragedy to hit the wonderful country of Ethiopia

November 24th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

“… for the tourist who wants something different and is prepared for some challenges, Ethiopia is a great destination. The exotic names of places we visited were themselves magical: Addis Ababa, Axum, Lalibela … But the history was so rich and fascinating, whether it was the skeleton of Lucy, the stelae of Axum, the rock […]

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It’s World Toilet Day – and that’s serious

November 19th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

World Toilet Day (WTD) is an official United Nations international observance day on 19 November each year to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. Worldwide, 4.2 billion people live without “safely managed sanitation” and around 673 million people practice open defecation. Sustainable Development Goal 6 aims to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”. In […]

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What do you know about the Central Asian nations with names ending in -stan?

November 17th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

The name ending ‘-stan’ means ‘land of’. In Central Asia, there are seven of them. I have been to one – Uzbekistan [see travel notes here] – and plan to make a trip next year to five of them: Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. There are two others – Afghanistan and Pakistan – but […]

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