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Why is France emulating the U.S.?

Photo: Léo Mabmacien/flickr

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Keep Karl on Parl

Everybody seems to speak French this week, love France and sympathize with the French. "Empathy" is now a French word. Even the British, long-time enemies of the French people, forgot about their jealousy, their rivalry in colonizing the world, their British superiority complex, and they did the undoable: on Monday The Guardian ran a long editorial en français!

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Endless war is creating an unprecedented global crisis

Photo: Syria talks. Credit: European External Action Service/flickr

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"To understand the nature of the present war -- for in spite of the regrouping which occurs every few years, it is always the same war -- one must realize in the first place that it is impossible for it to be decisive." -- 1984, by George Orwell

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Weapons sales stand in the way of solutions to refugee crisis

Photo: Freedom House/flickr

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The flood of people fleeing war and misery is swelling daily, reaching the shores and borders of Europe in a desperate bid for safety. They come from Syria, where a brutal civil war during the past half-decade has killed well over 200,000, and caused the displacement of 12 million people, both inside and outside the country's borders -- half of Syria's population.

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In the wake of Iran nuclear deal, give diplomacy a chance

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Cuba and U.S. flags fly side by side once again

Photo: ithinkx/flickr

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Open veins and conciliation on the path of U.S.-Cuban relations

Photo: PresidenciaRD/flickr

For the first time in more than half a century, the presidents of the United States and Cuba have had a formal meeting. Barack Obama met with Cuban President Raúl Castro at the 7th Summit of the Americas, held this year in Panama City. Cuba's participation has been blocked by the U.S. since the summit began in 1994. This historic moment occurs with some sadness, however: Eduardo Galeano, the great Uruguayan writer who did so much to explain the deeply unequal relations between Latin America and the U.S. and Europe, died as the summit ended.

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Faith-based policy and the West's dangerous game with Russia

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What are the consequences when elected governments make policy based on faith and imperial hubris instead of science and expertise? It's a question that is forcing itself on the world as we watch the U.S., Britain, NATO and the Harper government continue to up the ante in the confrontation with Russia over Ukraine. There are real enough geopolitical dangers in the world without actually creating them out of arrogance and ignorance but that is where we are right now, and the consequences could be catastrophic.

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U.S. blunders, prepares military escalation in Ukraine

Photo: Globovisión/flickr

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On February 9, following a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. President Obama announced he is considering shipping arms to Ukraine. Merkel is on a world diplomatic mission explaining that the Russian role in promoting civil war in Ukraine cannot be ended by military means.

A joint press conference revealed that the U.S. still thought it could increase the pressure on Russia by supplying arms to Ukraine, while Merkel wants more efforts to be made to engage diplomatically with Russia.

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Death of a Princess revisited

Antony Thomas. Photo: Kempton/flickr

Last week, very wisely, the New York premiere of the film The Interview was cancelled. This week, Sony Pictures cancelled the release of the film, then changed its mind and announced it will release it on Christmas Day.

Am I the only one to find an air of déjà vu in the North Korean-The Interview affair? Has everyone forgotten, or are they too young to remember, that in 1980, the British film Death of a Princess, by Antony Thomas and Gladys Ganley, provoked similar responses on the part of Saudi Arabia?

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U.S. and Cuba: Is it the start of a new relationship?

Photo: Martin Abegglen/flickr

The failed United States policy against Cuba, which has for more than half a century stifled relations between these neighbouring countries and inflicted generations of harm upon the Cuban people, may finally be collapsing. On Wednesday morning, we learned that Alan Gross, a U.S. government contractor convicted in Cuba for spying, had been released after five years in prison. Another person, an unnamed Cuban imprisoned in Cuba for 20 years for spying for the U.S., was also released. This has made global headlines. Less well explained in the U.S. media are the three Cubans released from U.S. prisons. They are the three remaining jailed members of the Cuban Five. The Cuban Five were arrested in the late 1990s on espionage charges. But they were not spying on the United States government.

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