Five Eyes’ influence challenged by the emergence of the Quad

Anxiety in London, Ottawa and Wellington that their influence is waning

Five Eyes’ influence challenged by the emergence of the QuadRecently there has been a welcome debate about the extent to which the Five Eyes security partnership between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States can and should be mobilized for strategic and diplomatic activities outside of its traditional intelligence, military, and law enforcement collaborations. This debate was further fuelled in…

Is the West judging Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed fairly?

Or are false accusations crowding out the truth?

Is the West judging Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed fairly?No other Nobel Peace Prize winner in recent memory has endured the wrath of the international media, the fury of global think tanks, and the scolding of UN, EU, and U.S. officials as much as Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The Washington Post describes the decision to bestow the Peace Prize on him as “the…

A year after U.S. citizens stormed the Capitol, America remains upside down

If a huge majority of Americans can't denounce what happened on Jan. 6, 2021, the U.S. has big problems

A year after U.S. citizens stormed the Capitol, America remains upside downImagine a country where football players kneeling on the sideline peacefully protesting inequalities in their country are labelled “unpatriotic,” “treasonous” and “sons of bitches” by the president of the country, while citizens who violently storm the nation’s Capitol and break into the House Chamber in an attempt to stop the certification of a presidential election…

A true story that inspired a classic western movie

Kidnapped by Commanches then rescued, Cynthia Ann Parker was a victim of cultural genocide twice over

A true story that inspired a classic western movieMovie enthusiasts invariably sing the praises of John Ford’s The Searchers. Released in 1956 and starring John Wayne, the film has been described as a masterpiece and shows prominently in critical lists of the best films ever made. It’s inspired by a true story. Or maybe that should be stories in the plural. The Searchers…

Government-induced competition rarely works

A U.S. program to increase competition in meat-packing won’t work

Government-induced competition rarely worksUnited States President Joe Biden recently introduced a billion-dollar program to lower food inflation by increasing competition in meat-packing. It’s likely ill-fated. A few weeks ago, a damning report out of Washington suggested the top U.S. meat-packing plants have increased profit margins by 300 per cent since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report,…

India, U.S. account for a quarter of COVID-19 misinformation: study

At 85 per cent of total output, social media accounted for the largest amount of COVID-19 misinformation

India, U.S. account for a quarter of COVID-19 misinformation: studyIndia is the world’s top hot spot for COVID-19 misinformation, accounting for roughly one in six pieces of global output, according to a University of Alberta master’s student who studies world media. Hard on India’s heels are the U.S., Brazil and Spain, said Sayeed Al-Zaman of the U of A’s Department of Media and Technology…

Oil markets dampen with new COVID strain, release of reserves

The dip came as a new COVID-19 strain sparked fears of renewed lockdowns and demand destruction

Oil markets dampen with new COVID strain, release of reservesWorld crude oil markets crashed on Friday by more than 10 per cent. For the first time since late September, West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. crude, tumbled below $70 a barrel, while the global benchmark, Brent, slumped to less than $75 a barrel. This crash wasn’t anticipated. The relief didn’t just come from the co-ordinated…

Democratic Party disarray creates pressure to dump Kamala

Given Biden’s age and niggling concerns therein, there’s a non-trivial chance he won’t see full term

Democratic Party disarray creates pressure to dump KamalaJust a year after giving Donald Trump his electoral walking papers, the Democrats are in some degree of disarray in the United States. It’s still early days and things may turn around before the 2024 election, perhaps even in time for the 2022 midterm elections in the U.S. But the Democrats’ jubilant triumph of 2020…

U.S. tries to force a drop in world oil prices

U.S. "commitment" to tackle climate change crumbles in the face of climate poverty

U.S. tries to force a drop in world oil pricesWith the possibility of co-ordinated moves by major crude-oil consuming nations, the markets took a hit last week. On Friday, oil prices were down four to six per cent. Strong demand growth and a tight leash on global supplies have driven the oil markets in recent months. New COVID-19 lockdowns in parts of the world…

Biden must act now to rein in rising oil prices

Most likely course of action is a release of oil from emergency reserves

Biden must act now to rein in rising oil pricesU.S. President Joe Biden must act – and act quickly – to rein in the crude oil markets. Pressure is coming from all sides, including from his Democratic Party. Last week, 11 Democratic senators, including several known for their concerns on climate change, urged Biden in a letter to act quickly. “As the United States…

Sometimes demographic ‘facts’ aren’t quite what they seem

Much of what’s presented as news now is better described as narrative spinning

Sometimes demographic ‘facts’ aren’t quite what they seemIf you follow American news, you’ve probably come across many assertions that by mid-century the United States is set to become a “majority-minority” country. For the first time since its founding, whites will no longer form a majority of the population. This has been greeted with a range of reactions. Some people are dismayed, or…

Pressure mounts on OPEC+ from all sides

It is defying oil-consuming nations to increase output, for now

Pressure mounts on OPEC+ from all sidesA tug of war has erupted on the world oil market. Despite growing pressure from major crude-oil consuming nations, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies in the expanded OPEC+ announced they would stick to their original plan by increasing output by only 400,000 barrels per day (bpd). OPEC+ members seemed to be…

Each loss of a police officer is a tragic indictment of social failure

Policing is fraught with physical dangers that most of us never see. Then there's the psychological trauma

Each loss of a police officer is a tragic indictment of social failureThe attack on the United States Capitol in Washington and its aftermath have taken a toll. Unfortunately, the Jan. 6 incident will remain remote and extraordinary for most. The incident has been politicized, sensationalized and reconstructed, but its tragic impact on those on the front lines is undeniable. Metropolitan Police Officer Kyle DeFreytag was found…

Canada, allies must unite to stop China’s economic domination

Opposition to the Communist Party of China’s aggression needs to be multilateral

Canada, allies must unite to stop China’s economic dominationThe Chinese economy is growing and surpassing the United States economy in size. That stature, with its consequent soft and hard power, means opposition to the Communist Party of China’s regime needs to be multilateral. No matter how much unipolarity the U.S. has enjoyed in recent decades, it can’t go it alone and would benefit…

AUKUS may create as many problems as it solves

The planet is watching as China and the U.S. prepare for all possibilities

AUKUS may create as many problems as it solvesThe hasty new geopolitical alliance of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States (AUKUS) is clearly a change of strategy designed to enhance security in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The alliance envisages the United States and Great Britain providing Australia with the technology to develop nuclear-powered submarines, among other things. The U.S. is…
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