History often repeats itself – sometimes as a tragedy, sometimes as a farce. Some editorials over the past few weeks have referred to the Maldives’ 2008 elections as a precursor of the Arab spring, now reversed; others are puzzled by the rapidity with which the international community acknowledged the new President, and abandoned ex-president Nasheed – who had, after all, enjoyed substantial political support from Prime Minister Cameron's UK Conservatives and has been likened with Presidents Mandela and Obama. By Gabriele Köhler and Aniruddha Bonnerjee
The burning turmoil and violence in the Maldives has come as a shock for those who equate the small country either hedonistically with the sun, beaches and high-end tourist resorts; or, as environment activists, appreciate the Maldives as a leader of visible and vocal action to address climate change; or as proponents of democracy have welcomed its introduction in the Indian archipelago. The ex-president Mohammed Nasheed led the movement of small island states and other countries at sea level for drastic action on global warming, speaking with evidence and passion at the UN General Assembly, in the climate summits, and hosting a dramatic underwater cabinet session to raise awareness ...
At first glance, everyday life seems not to have changed in Istanbul. The streets are congested; people hurry to the ferry or the bus. For weeks, there has been no terror attack. Nevertheless, there are some visible changes. There are much more policemen in the streets. In some days, the Istiklal Caddesi, the main shopping street on the European side, seems to be under a state of siege. At every street corner, there is police van with the blue light switched on.
Recent disturbing trends in international finance have particularly problematic implications, especially for developing countries. The new United Nations report, World Economic Situation and Prospects 2017 (WESP 2017), is the only recent report of a multilateral inter-governmental organization to recognize these problems, especially as they are relevant to the financing requirements for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Trump government signals unequivocally the end of international US hegemony. An international hegemon is able to define rules that find relatively broad acceptance internationally and plays a role in safeguarding international economic stability. The Trump government announced measures that go against the present economic rules while not proposing new ones.
The global deficit in quality jobs and deteriorating economic conditions in a number of regions threatens to undo decades of progress in poverty reduction, warns a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Employment and Social Outlook (WESO) 2016.
Weakening of workers' rights in most regions is being aggravated by severe crackdowns on freedom of speech and assembly, according to the 2016 Global Rights Index. Restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly, including severe crackdowns in some countries, increased by 22%, with 50 out of 141 countries surveyed recording restrictions.