Archive for the ‘World current affairs’ Category


Anti-corruption referendum in Colombia

August 27th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

This is major year for voting in the South American state of Colombia.  In March, there were elections to the Congress (both House of Representatives and Senate) and in May and June there was voting in the two stages of the presidential election. Now today – coincidentally the day I arrived in Colombia for a […]

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A review of a travel guide to Colombia

August 19th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

As I explained in an earlier posting, I’m about to have a holiday in Colombia. Therefore I’ve just read a travel guide titled “Culture Smart! Colombia” by Kate Cathey (2011). This book proved to be a short but comprehensive guide to the country’s history, politics, economy, customs and traditions. However, the book was published before a […]

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Worldwide which are the best and the worst cities in which to live?

August 15th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Each year, the Economist Intelligence Unit produces a Global Liveability Index and it has just published this year’s results. The ten most liveable cities in 2018 are: 1. Vienna, Austria 2. Melbourne, Australia 3. Osaka, Japan 4. Calgary, Canada 5. Sydney, Australia 6. Vancouver, Canada 7. Tokyo, Japan 8. Toronto, Canada 9. Copenhagen, Denmark 10. […]

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Will Colombia’s peace settlement survive the change of president?

August 7th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Today a new president takes office in the South American state of Colombia. On 17 June, Ivan Duque, the conservative  candidate of Democratic Centre – who is alleged to be under the control of the former president Alvaro Uribe – beat the leftist Gustavo Petro (a former member of the guerilla group M-19) standing for […]

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How high can inflation go? Pity the people of Venezuela.

July 28th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Currently I’m doing a short course at the City Literary Institute on the Weimar Republic of Germany from 1919-1933. A defining feature of that country at that time was the hyper inflation experienced in 1923. At the start of the crisis in July 1922, one American dollar could be bought for 493 German marks. By […]

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Have you had a lot of really hot weather recently? You’re not alone.

July 23rd, 2018 by Roger Darlington

“Across much of the northern hemisphere, intense and prolonged heatwaves have triggered disruption and devastation as North America, the Arctic, northern Europe and Africa have sweltered in record-breaking temperatures. In Africa, a weather station at Ouargla, Algeria, in the Sahara desert, recorded a temperature of 51.3C, the highest reliable temperature ever recorded in Africa. In […]

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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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