25/06/2013

Brazil, Turkey: “The Street’s the Place to Go”

Whether in Turkey or Brazil, “the street’s the place to go” (from a song by the Weather Girls). Social media has allowed hundreds of thousands to protest against government policies throughout the two countries. But questions remain about the identity of the protesters, what they are protesting against, and the outcomes desired.

 

There were two specific issues during the 1968 protests in the United States: ending racial segregation and ending the Vietnam War. Although the protests were not necessarily identical, these were the fundamental issues around which students and sympathizers coalesced. Many of the same people participated in both protest movements, united by the two progressive causes. (I will ignore those cynics who said that the real issue behind the May 1968 movements was for students to get out of final exams.)

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20/06/2013

Banking Secrecy and the Reconciliation of Swiss Values

The recent pressure on Switzerland to cooperate with the United States and eventually other countries to transmit banking information has sent shock waves from Zurich to Geneva and afar. The lower house of Parliament has voted not to consider the Federal Council’s proposal to cooperate with the American authorities. The general opinion throughout Switzerland has been of unfair intervention in internal affairs by the U.S., if not a downright violation of sovereignty. In addition, the vocabulary used bemoans capitulation before the forcing exercised by the superpower. In sum, a grave injustice is being done by the United States to Switzerland.

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11/06/2013

Edward Snowden and Acts of Conscience

A young, former C.I.A. technician has publicly stated that he was behind the recent revelations about the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programs. According to a June 9 New York Times article, “he took the extraordinary step because ‘the public needs to decide whether these programs and policies are right or wrong.’”

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07/06/2013

“Going down in flames if that was required”: The Limits of Liberal Interventionism

Frenzied diplomatic action is taking place in Geneva and around the world to prepare for an eventual conference to try to halt the continuing fighting and grave human rights, humanitarian law violations in Syria. Originally scheduled for June, the conference is now being touted as perhaps taking place in July in Geneva.

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