Region Archives: Global

On abortion: Why it should be a woman’s decision…

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‘Throughout the whole Greco-Roman civilisation abortion was permitted by law. It was Christianity which revolutionised moral ideas in this matter by endowing the embryo with a soul; for then abortion became a crime against the foetus itself’. – Simone De Beauvoir, The Second Sex. There is one reason only a woman should have the legal right to more…

Syria: Does Ireland have the resources to deal with intra state conflict?

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It’s been an article of recent considered thought in foreign policy circles that inter state war is being replaced by intra state conflict. Today there was panic when the UN announced that forty three peacekeepers had been ‘detained’ by “an armed group”. #454288150 / gettyimages.com There are an estimated 130 Irish soldiers with the 44th more…

Investment bubbles: houses, cars and tulips

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This is not really a typical slugger topic but I thought it would be interesting to look at parallels with the housing bubble in Northern Ireland (and even more so the RoI). Keep that in mind if you find what I am writing too tedious. I have a major interest in classic cars. I have more…

Stopping Islamic State in Iraq: parallels with Vietnam

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The ongoing disaster that is Iraq continues. When the Americans (with British help) invaded Iraq in 2003 I must confess to feeling it has the potential to become another Vietnam. As time has gone on that appearance has strengthened centrally in that like Vietnam the Americans would have been wiser not to invade and having more…

Gaza: listen to Warsi & UK could help wage peace, not war

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Baroness Warsi’s hard-hitting resignation letter to David Cameron has served to focus attention on the UK’s policy on the carnage in Gaza. The former Foreign Office minister says her resignation was prompted by the government’s “morally indefensible” policy – one of arming the Israelis, while pressuring the Palestinian Authority not to seek justice through the more…

Friday thread: Your Summer tracks?

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A couple of summer tracks from Emma Ni Fhioruisce. The first a translation of ‘Better Together’… And the second a great rendering of the more traditional Cailin deas cruite na mbo… Summer always takes me back to Donegal, give us tracks that bring summer home to you?

Iain Overton: human rights and hubris #feile2014 @amnestyni

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Iain Overton delivered this year’s annual investigative journalism and human rights lecture at lunchtime today as part of Féile an Phobail. It may also have been the first [Ed - and last?] annual honest-about-hubris lecture. But more about that later. In a change of format away from Amnesty’s previous panels of local journalists, Iain began more…

Ukrainian crisis: it hasn’t gone away

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The conflict in Gaza seems to have largely pushed that in Ukraine off international consciousness. The Guardian, however, reports that the Ukrainian government have been making steady gains against the pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country. The west has become somewhat quieter about the downing of the Malaysian airliner MH 17 over the more…

Panti Bliss: Before I die I want to get married in Belfast!

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But how long will she have to wait? Happy Belfast Pride! On Thursday, Panti Bliss, aka Rory O’Neill, paid the city a visit to give the Amnesty International Pride Lecture. Alan in Belfast has a full audio-recording of the lecture here, but meanwhile here’s a little taste of what Panti told us before the sell-out lecture at more…

Wilfred Mitchell: We need to expand Belfast City Airport

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A RECENT snap poll conducted by the Federation of Small Businesses for Northern Ireland (FSB NI) has confirmed that the majority of local small businesses would like to see an increase in destination routes, as well as airline providers, from George Best Belfast City Airport, conveying evident support for expansion at the airport. Due to more…

McGregor, an ancestor of John Kerry is labelled the Irish Moses, as US monitors persecution of Christians

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  It’s amazing what the Economist picks up… the half forgotten and much missed tradition of Presbyterian liberalism, forced to emigrate to the States and often confused there with the Irish Catholic variety. Could they have possibly read Turgon? DOES the Obama administration care about religious liberty round the world? In some ways, it has more…

The downing of MH 17 shifts spotlight back to Ukraine

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The downing of Malaysian Airlines flight 17 over Ukraine has been one of the major events of last week. Most of the fingers of blame have been pointed at the pro-Russian separatists who have previously shot down Ukrainian military aircraft with sophisticated Russian surface to air missiles (though both sides have access to such weaponry). more…

Israel/Palestine and the Irish perspective

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The people of Ireland are hugely sympathetic to the people of Palestine! There you go my bid of understatement of the year is well and truly lodged. Like most people, I have watched incredible and horrific scenes of Palestinian people losing their homes, jobs and relatives as they face a pounding from one of the more…