Region Archives: Global

Brussels, one month later

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This morning I got off the metro at Maalbeek station, it’s not the closest one to my office in Brussels, but today was the first day it was open since last month’s attacks and I felt as I owed to it the city to say I wasn’t afraid. Its cleaned platform and white panels seemed more…

President Obama jumps the Sinn Féin shark…

One of the benefits of being a US President in your final year in office, as well as getting to decide who can and can’t come to your party, is the freedom to say what you really think – even if President Obama continues to appear to be mis-briefed on shared, as opposed to integrated, education more…

#DemDebate Live Blog – (Kicking off at 2am BST)

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My good friend Ollie has been kind enough to offer to live-blog this evening’s US Democratic debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernard Sanders, from New York City where he will be attending it for us. The debate starts at 9 pm, 2 am for many of our British and Irish readers. He’ll introduce himself here in more…

News of investment in NI may be good enough to be true

Wow! 36 deals worth £392 million secured in the first quarter of 2016 I admit I don’t really understand what the figures mean and how much accrues to people who live and work in northern Ireland. Still, it seems like good news for the professional classes in high tech. In the first quarter of 2015, more…

Mark Cousins: “In the middle of the joy, modernity and new tolerance that we have, we have to allow a bit of space to acknowledge that creature from the Black Lagoon, that sense of, ‘Wow, did we really do that? Were we that inhuman?’ Yes, we were.”

The Guardian’s eminent film critic Peter Bradshaw, briefly and favourably, reviews film-maker Mark Cousins’ “meditative tribute” to his hometown, “I am Belfast”- a “valuable, heartfelt tribute to a city”. …there is much food for thought. He notes the fact that images of the Titanic, created at Belfast’s Harland and Wolff shipyard, are everywhere in the city since more…

Northern Ireland’s first fact-checking service launched: FactCheckNI

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FactCheckNI — Northern Ireland’s first ever fact-checking service — was officially launched at the Skainos Centre in Belfast. The project — funded by the Big Lottery Fund through Building Change Trust — aims to influence public policy in regards to the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector, keep politicians right in terms of both more…

“as head of British intelligence, you would be derelict in your duty if you did not do everything in your power to assist that process…”

Via the Pensive Quill.  In this transcript of a discussion on Radio Free Éireann in New York, with John McDonagh (JM) and Martin Galvin (MG), veteran journalist Ed Moloney (EM) has some “stupid” questions for the leadership of Sinn Féin, British Intelligence Services, and the local media.  From the transcript EM: There’s a whole untold story of more…

Frank Flannery caught in the mega net of the Panama Papers…

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The 2009 Westminster expenses scandal just got eclipsed, and by some way. 11.5 million files have been leaked to Mossack Fonseca, a law firm operating in the tax havens of Switzerland, Cyprus and the British Virgin Islands, and in British dependencies Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man. It is the world’s fourth biggest provider of more…

Thoughts on Terrorists and Nuclear Bombs

The Nuclear Security Summit which has just ended in Washington included the usual assertions about the danger of nuclear proliferation whether to rogue states or terrorists. It is interesting, however, that despite a vast number of nuclear weapons being produced by a large number of countries and many weapons tested not one since 1945 has more…

Gulf War 25 years on

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It is now twenty five years since the First Gulf War. I remember being woken by my radio alarm clock on the first morning of the air campaign. There was a roaring sound which I thought was static on my analogue radio. Actually it was the planes taking off on bombing raids: the harsh sound more…

Gerry Adams’ White House ‘controversy’: “Quite apart from being bumptious, paranoid and absurdly self-pitying…”

In the Irish News Newton Emerson highlights the unintended consequences of Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams’ intemperate outburst following his recent misunderstanding with security at the White House.  From the Irish News GERRY Adams could have been pragmatic and diplomatic about being locked out of President Obama’s St Patrick’s Day reception and simply laughed it off. more…

Friday Thread: Could we have a democracy without Politicians?

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We are all gearing up for an Assembly election at which we will select decision makers, complain about them for the next five years, and then select a slightly different crew in five years time. This is called democracy. Broadly speaking it works, but given the gridlock in the system and a pervasive sense of more…

This time next year we could have Trump in the White House, Boris in Downing Street and be on our way out of the EU…

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Closer to home, the border could be reinvigorated providing a bonanza for ‘good’ Republicans to make fortunes out of fuel-smuggling and dumping toxic waste, while not-so good Republicans will celebrate the centenary of the Easter Rising by blowing up as many people as possible. Some of these nightmare scenarios may be the result of self-inflicted more…

Bringing our own lens: Visualising conflict in Palestine

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Bringing our own lens: Visualising conflict in Palestine by Allan Leonard for Northern Ireland Foundation 15 March 2016 The rear room at Common Grounds Cafe was the venue for a display of three types of imagery — participatory, documentary, and expository — for the Imagine! Festival of Ideas & Politics event, Visualising Conflict in Palestine, more…

Syria: 360° of destruction #ImagineBelfast

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After five years of war and against all the odds, civil society still survives inside Syria. Unsurprisingly, a key priority for activists is to document the impact of the war on civilians and to appeal for help from the international community. Since early 2011, Amnesty has been working closely with Syrian media activists to help them more…