Are You Afraid?

Fear and security are headline items. In Geneva, attacks against the elderly are front page. In the United States, hordes of illegal immigrants are profiled approaching the southern border while primitive pipe bombs are sent to politicians and a killer attacks worshippers during a Sabbath synagogue service. In a suburb of Paris, a student holds a gun to the head of a teacher.

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Davos in the Desert: To attend or not, that is not the question

The disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul amid published reports that he was murdered and dismembered by representatives of the Saudi government has caused a dilemma for many announced participants at a glittery investor’s conference. Is it the right thing to do to attend a meeting in Riyadh when doubts exist about Khashoggi’s assassination by orders of the royal family? How would it look for a leading businessman to be seen next to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman when investigators are examining his personal role in Khashoggi’s disappearance?  

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Do You Drink With a Plastic Straw?

The recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is alarming, to say the least. It maintains that the Earth has heated up 0.7 C in the last 120 years. That unprecedented rise in temperature, it found, is due to human activities associated with burning fossil fuels causing increased Co2 in the atmosphere. In addition to merely higher temperatures, the report maintains that the environmental consequences of food shortages, wildfires, violent storms, rising water levels causing the displacement of millions of people, the loss of most of the world’s coral reefs, etc. profoundly affect our daily lives. And the situation will only get critically worse as early as 2040 if we don’t reverse the trend.

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Justices Go to Cocktail Parties and Brett Kavanaugh’s Nomination

The emotional outrage over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court raised numerous questions about who determines what is right or wrong. Kavanaugh’s defense – superbly satired by Matt Damon on Saturday Night Live – was an equally emotional counter-attack to defend his reputation. After Kavanaugh had passed examination of his legal qualifications, allegations of improper behaviour called into question his personality. Who is Brett Kavanaugh? Should he be a judge on the Supreme Court?

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Remembering Kofi Annan While Trying to Forget Donald Trump

“He was always trying to bring out the best in us,” said a young, Libyan woman in a moving testimonial to the former Secretary-General at an emotional memorial service at the United Nations in Geneva. She, like many of the speakers, paid tribute to Annan’s ability to connect optimistically with people across geographic, generational and status lines. “He really listened to us and always encouraged us to help others,” she said as a representative of the Youth Leadership Movement of the Kofi Annan Foundation.

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