We need to deconstruct the Islamic State. While feared as terrorist organization, it is exaggerated as a geopolitical threat. More than anything, it is a symptom of a deeper power struggle in the region.
Pummeled by a wave of almost unimaginable electoral defeats, the left in Europe and the US must now examine how it managed to misunderstand all the changes in a society that has lashed out against it.
The French right has a storied tradition. Each new leader tries to mold the republic according to the historic context and to his own interpretation of republican values. Now François Fillon stands poised to initiate a shift in that tradition.
France is gearing up for presidential elections in the midst of a wave of anti-EU populism. With the Socialists in crisis, the center-right must strike a difficult balance if it hopes to navigate between the ascendant far-right and the shattered left.
The government of Matteo Renzi fell for a variety of reasons. But the electorate’s resounding rejection of his proposed structural reforms is a symptom of a much deeper refusal – that of a general unwillingness in the developed world to adapt to reality.
US - Culture wars
As if to underscore the demise of ideologies, a presidential campaign focused on self-aggrandizement and character assassination has brought a new kind of leader to power in the United States.
Tensions between China and Donald Trump flared up after the President-elect took an unprecedented phone call from Taiwan’s leader. Such slights could seriously damage an important bilateral relationship.
Now that Fidel Castro is no longer physically there to act as Cuba’s revolutionary conscience, the country is bracing itself for a more abrupt transition out of its Communist doldrums.
New technology creates more jobs than it destroys. Job losses can be offset by employment growth in areas such as computing, math and engineering. Every robot worker will need a maker, a manager and a maintenance person.
Family businesses in emerging markets are different from those in developed countries. They benefit from a greater sense of cohesion. With proper planning they will be instrumental in powering economies that are struggling with the decline of big industry.
Investing in the agricultural industry would seem like an obvious way of dealing with hunger and poverty in Africa. Unfortunately, that aid – with its attendant ecological disruptions and land grabs – may spell doom for the continent.
Italian TV and films are flourishing well beyond the peninsula. Often dealing with the dark reality of life in Italy, they are reviving an already rich cinematic tradition.
As the temperature at the poles rises, so do the water levels throughout the rest of the world. One of the first victims is the reindeer population. The rest of the world will no doubt follow.