Region Archives: Global

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Trading Partners Wanted: looking at Vietnam

As it stands, Ireland’s largest trading partner is the United Kingdom. This has been the case since Independence although the balance has shifted greatly since Ireland entered the EEC in 1973 with the UK no longer wholly dominate although our reliance on the UK in certain sectors such as beef, timber, pork and much more. more…

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If no one wants a hard border, who on earth is going to give us one?

Hard to know which of Newton Emerson’s Thursday columns to blog each week, but I think the one in the Irish News carries a couple of important points that some have been (deliberately?) blinding themselves to. First, he points out that there is no party integral to these talks who wants a hard border of the sort being hyped more…

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Playing the Long Game – Conservative Evangelicals and the US Supreme Court

Many observers of American politics are utterly befuddled by the reaction of many Republicans, first to the candidacy and then the actual presidency of Donald Trump. Why, so many wonder, do they tolerate, and even defend, a candidate who has so often been openly contemptuous of them and their party? He has belittled, insulted, denigrated, more…

Is Sinn Fein planning to make a virtue of its inability to ride two horses north and south?

One of the most enduring political quotes of 20th British politics is attributed to the Independent Labour MP John Maxton for Glasgow Bridgton, which goes to the effect that “if you cannot ride two horses at once, you shouldn’t be in the circus”. When you consider from a distance what’s been occupying Northern Ireland’s columnists, ie more…

Peter Taylor: “Gradually I got used to reporting death. But I never became insensitive to it.”

In advance of the broadcast on BBC Radio 4 tonight, 8pm, of Peter Taylor’s documentary, Fifty Years Behind the Headlines – Reflections on Terror, the renowned journalist has written an article on the subject for the BBC website.  Most revealing, on many levels, is the part in which he recounts the “interview [which] affected [him] personally above all others.” more…

Our cultural leaders have a choice about what they want to be: brokers or gatekeepers…

Globalisation, borders, migration, and the collapse of regimes feature daily in headlines as the world is reshaped politically, socially and culturally. Historians will say it has been ever thus – every few hundred years empires topple, centres of trade move.  Embrace, resent or ignore it, our worldview and ways are challenged by exchange with other more…

Disclosures tribunal

When journalistic confidence marginalises “the more basic and important obligation not to deceive”…

Michael Foley is professor emeritus of journalism at Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). Writing in the Irish Times he picks up on an interesting angle arising out of Mr Justice Peter Charleton’s opening remarks at the Disclosures Tribunal: At the opening of the Garda whistleblower tribunal, the tribunal chairman Mr Justice Peter Charleton, said he more…

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Who will Win the Tipperary Peace Prize? Nominee Fr Patrick Devine to Speak at Queen’s, 22 March

The shortlist for this year’s Tipperary International Peace Prize has been announced. Most of the coverage in the Northern press has highlighted that Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness is among the nominees. As in previous years, the range of nominees extends far beyond the island of Ireland. Other nominees with Irish connections are Amnesty International Ireland more…

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Friday thread: If you can use language to activate your world view in somebody else, you have power.

George Lakoff, Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of California Berkeley talks to Tavis Smiley of PBS about what cognitive science might tell us about how Donald Trump is leading the media down endless rabbit holes, and what they might do about it. Raising the subject of President Donald Trump may seem to be against more…

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Seven years of Solar Dynamics

It seems like only yesterday that I was noting First Light on Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory [SDO], and the early hours of this morning for ‘three years in three minutes‘ and ‘SDO Year 4‘.  In fact the SDO was launched on 11 Feb 2010, with First Light in April of that year. [Seven long years… more…

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Cannabis Oil; An idiot’s guide

Patrick, 84 this year, is nothing short of a minor miracle.  A bright, intelligent and curious man, had he not been such a heavy and committed drinker, his life might have been very different.  He has always lived in the street where he grew up in the pitiful poverty of the 1930s.  In spite of more…

Friday Thread: How Fake Are The Analyses Of ‘Fake News’?

I keep reading these analyses by commentators and earnest academics on ‘fake news’, its fertilizer of social media, with Brexit and Trump its fruit. Their thesis is along the lines of: 2016 marking the arrival of post-truth politics, social media being used to promulgate it, and the ‘new’ politics of populism arising. But it only more…