Archive for the ‘World current affairs’ Category


What’s happening in Ethiopia? – and do you care?

July 10th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Two important books which I’ve read recently – “Enlightenment Now” [my review here] and “Factfulness” [my review here] – both make the fundamental point that most of the progress which is being made by humankind is not reported by the media  because it is gradual and undramatic and therefore unnewsworthy.  This is especially true of […]

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My review of “Factfulness” by Hans Rosling – or 10 reasons we’re wrong about the world

July 9th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I read this important book by Swedish professor of international health Hans Rosling shortly after reading “Enlightenment Now” by American professor of psychology Steven Pinker which was published just a few months earlier [my review here]. Both works essentially have the same message: if you look at the facts, on most measures humankind is making […]

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Whose side is Turkey on?

June 24th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

“The US and Europe need Turkey for a host of strategic, political, practical and geographical reasons. But Turkey under Erdogan is proving a less than constant friend. Not so much an ally, it is increasingly seen as a threat.” On the day when Turkey holds hard-fought presidential and parliamentary elections, Simon Tisdall uses an article […]

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It’s World Refugee Day …

June 20th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

… and the “Guardian” newspaper has produced this special feature. Faced with a lack of official data, the Dutch activist group United for Intercultural Action has gathered newspaper articles, NGO records and coastguard reports to collect details of the deaths of 34,361 migrants travelling to Europe since the early 1990s. The List is revealing: deaths do not just […]

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Is there a solution to the Cyprus problem?

June 15th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

“The Cyprus Problem” by James Ker-Lindsay (2011) Before I visit a new country, I like to read about the place and, in the case of a forthcoming holiday in Cyprus, it seemed essential to familiarise myself with the issues around the partition of the island and this short and balanced account by an academic at […]

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A review of the fascinating book “Enlightenment Now” by Steven Pinker (2018)

May 11th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

The Enlightenment took place from the mid 17th century to the late 18th century but, 300 years later, the triumphs of Enlightenment thinking and values, with their emphasis on reason, science and humanism, still need explaining and defending to a world in which populism and so-called post-truth are seeking to challenge the fruits of progress. […]

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In short, what is the nuclear deal with Iran?

May 9th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

“Iran and a six-nation negotiating group reached a landmark agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in July 2015. It ended 12 years of deadlock over Tehran’s nuclear programme. Struck in Vienna after nearly two years of intensive talks, the deal limited the Iranian programme to reassure the rest of the world that […]

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The continuing tragedy of Syria’s civil war

May 8th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I spent two hours this Bank Holiday weekend watching a double programme about the civil war in Syria. It was broadcast by the BBC and presented by its Canadian-born chief international correspondent Lyse Doucet. You can check it out here. The seven-year Syrian civil war is a conflict which has now lasted longer than the Second […]

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What does the Korea summit actually mean?

April 28th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

A few months ago, war on the Korean peninsula looked dangerously likely, but incredibly on Friday President Kim Jong-un of North Korea and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea met, talked, and signed the Panmunjom declaration. The BBC has highlighted five key moments in the programme and provided access to the full text of the agreement […]

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Is the state of the world really as bad as we think?

April 16th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I’m currently reading a fascinating book titled “Enlightenment Now” written by the American professor of psychology Steven Pinker. The theme of the work is that, if you follow the trend lines rather than the headlines, you will see that we are making spectacular progress on every measure of human well-being. But most people don’t know […]

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