The problems in Spain have only just begun. After the formation of the first coalition government of democracy (not without shading some doubts), new challenges arise for the country.
Not only are there so many people unhappy with this government per se: the pacts with the terrorist gang ETA (now Bildu), the tense anti-clerialal statements, and now a new problem that has definedly touched the sensitive fiber of a sector of the population with much to say: parents.
First of all, we should know what is the parental pin. This parental pin is so called a “weapon that allows parents to stop their children attending talks, workshops or classes during school hours whose content ‘goes against their moral principles’”. This has become the epicenter of a heated school debate.
Just as a section of the left wing parties is against being taught religion to their children, in the right they are against losing control of the education of minors. There is a conflict of interest between parents who want their children to be properly educated and teachers who have an obligation to teach, but without moving the red line of indoctrination.
Spain’s new Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, described the measure as an “attempt at educational censorship”. It is no surprise to know that one of the proposals of the far-left Party Unidas Podemos is to have the control over education.
However, doesn’t a father know better what’s best for his son? Shouldn’t parents protect the most vulnerable and easy to manipulate? Time will tell who’s right.
Do the children belong to the parents or the state? Do you think parents have the right to veto content in classrooms?
Do you think the “parental pin” is being properly leveraged by the government to approve proposals without public opinion noticing?
The great majority of the European Parliament has eventually voted in favour of the Withdrawal Agreement, according to which the UK will not be any more a member of the European Union from February 1st. The approval was accompanied by the notes of “Auld Lang Syne”, sung by the MEPs of the United Kingdom. Now, a transition period will start and it will last for the next 11 months.
What about the rest of Europe?
Brexit will deepen and intensify inequalities among British nationals living in France. The first step is the requirement of a carte de séjour (residence permit) for every British resident. With the second largest population of UK citizens in Europe, France already seems to witness a growth of inequality: uncertainty, instability and poor rights especially for women and the less well-off.
Not only Brexit will affect the immigration and/or integration policies of British people living in France, but it will also impact French economy. As a matter of fact, a recent study published by the Dutch Rotterdam University revealed that France, given its great volume of trade with the UK, will suffer serious economic consequences.
Regarding trade and agriculture, Northern France will pay the consequences especially in the automotive sector, where Toyota and Yaris operate – and whose major trading partner was UK, amounting to the 16% of exports in 2016. There are also major economic concerns regarding the port of Calais. With the UK leaving the single market, the police and customs will have to treat it as any other third country, thus applying higher customs tariffs.
How will countries closely linked to the UK , such as France, support and fuel their economy without such a major partner?
Will the transition period let the UK have some favoured permissions regarding the trade of goods with the closest geographic countries?
What will be the social and economic implications of this apparently definitive Withdrawal Agreement?
Super Bowl final, February 2020. The football teams San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Pitchers face each other in the biggest sport event in the world. With over 102 million people watching it live, this night is supposed to be a moment of glorification for the American culture. However, this worldwide show became once again a display of the complicated history between the United States and their Native culture.
All throughout the tournament, the Kansas-City team – which ultimately won the Super Bowl – was highly contested for their supporting chants. The so called “Tomahawk Dance” involves all the Kansas fan dressing up as Native Americans – complete with feathery headpieces and face paints – and wildly scream and cheer to support their team. Whereas this event could easily be dismissed as a minor concern, this choreography actually entails a variety of issues that are at the core of the convoluted relations between the so called, “Indians” and the US.
Indeed, by wildly chanting and screaming these supporters are depicting Native Americans as this brute and belligerent people in front of 102 million people. Not only that, they are doing so in order to intimidate their opponent by showing their savagery. They are saying “we are dangerous rabid people, thus you should fear us.”
Many Americans broadcasts have tried to sugar-coat this whole situation by comparing it to the Haka, the famous ritual dance that the All Blacks (the national New Zeland rugby team) perform before every match. However, they could not be further apart. The Haka ritual dance reflects a tribal heritage that has been integrated into a modern society, whereas the Tomahawk dance is a display of complete misunderstanding of a neighboring culture.
This episode perfectly encapsulates the butchering of Native American culture in the modern American society. Indeed, the idea of the West as a spiritual land inhabited by forces that go beyond the understanding of men has drastically crumbled before the American capitalist project. Thus, not only an entire population has been largely slaughtered and stripped of his native lands, but now the same population is also forced to watch as their culture is reduced to a gimmick.
Many different medias have tried to depict the struggle of the Native Americans to adapt in this new modern world, but only few quite achieved what Smoke Signals did in 1998. The movie is based on the short story “This is what it means to say Phoenix Arizona” by Sherman Alexie, who has also contributed in the script for the movie. The story revolves around the journey of Victor and Thomas-build-the-fire – two Native Americans who live in the reservation of Idaho – who embark on a journey to Phoenix Arizona to retrieve the ashes of Victor’s estranged father, Arnold.
Since the very beginning of the movie it is established the different understanding of what it means to be Indian for our two main characters. Victor is constantly angry at the world for the way he had to grow up stranded in a reservation in Idaho away from the rest of the world. Also, he has forsaken his Native American traditions and has adopted a more “corporate” way of presenting himself by going around with a suit and getting rid of his braids. On the other hand, we can see how Thomas Build-the-fire is more in touch with his tribal roots, and throughout the movie he becomes a sort of narrator by exploring the themes of family, traditions and values. Indeed, Thomas is a story-teller, and a big chunk of the movie is just him telling stories on their journey to Phoenix with his dream-like narration.
This is the outside layer of the movie: a story of rebirth and discovery through a cross country journey of two young man, and it is actually a quite light tone that most audience would enjoy. However, there is so much more than meets the eyes.
Smoke signals deals with the conditions of Native Americans inside of the reservations. The movie shows how the people resent being stranded in the middle of nowhere, and how they usually result in alcoholism and violence due. This is presented in the character of Arnold – Victor’s father – who was an alcoholic and actually caused the death of Thomas’s father. By showing us how much Victor’s initially resents his father, the director Chris Eyre is creating the perfect metaphor for the position of Native American tribes in these reservations.
Ultimately, Smoke Signals is about not only what it means to be Indian but what it means to be human in a broader sense. The movie excels in conveying the sense of belonging to the land of the Native American culture, as well as exposing the grudge they feel for they were stripped of such land. In this road trip movie both Alexie and Eyre resume all the wronging that this population has suffered, as well as their inherent pride and spiritualism.
Thus, many of the so called “true American “should think twice before going on live televisions with painted faces and feathers on they head, and they should really learn to pay respect to a culture of which only fault was to trust the white man.
The views and opinions expressed in the article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The New Global Order|the Blog. Any content provided by our authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company or individual.
Set up at 100 seconds away from midnight, the Doomsday Clock is closest than ever of theWorld’s destruction. Created in 1947 by The Bulleting of the Atomic Scientist, this clock is a metaphor about how close we are of destroying our planet.
The danger of a nuclear war and climate change, besides the threat of a cyber-enabled information warfare that undercuts society’s ability to respond are the reasons why this group of scientists had set up the clock closest of catastrophe than ever. The Bulleting of Atomic Scientist clarified that the international security situation is dire, not just because these threats exist, but because the inactivity of world leaders to face these challenges.
The last two years the Doomsday Clock was setting up at two minutes of midnight. It was even closer than during the worst years of The Cold War, when United States and Soviet Union were testing hydrogen bombs. Nowadays, the Doomsday Clock’s position has beaten the record of self-destruction. The tension between United States and Iran does not help the situation.
A big part of History was created by wars. Weapons had made already a huge damage to humanity. The First and Second World Wars are clear examples of it. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were 75 years ago. Right now, the use of atomic weapons will be even worse. As lot of times has been said it, just pressing a button our planet will be totally destroyed.
Do you think we will witness a Third World War?
What could we do to stop the scale of international tension and to control the Environment’s damage?
A 100 segundos de la medianoche, ‘el reloj del juicio final’ está más cerca que nunca del apocalipsis. Creado en 1947 por el Boletín de Científicos Atómicos, este reloj es una metáfora que expresa cuánto le queda a la humanidad para autodestruirse.
El inminente peligro a una guerra nuclear y el cambio climático, junto a la desinformación cibernética que merma la capacidad de respuesta de la sociedad, son los factores en los que se sustenta la nueva posición del reloj. El Boletín de Científicos Atómicos también aprovechó para aclarar que la seguridad internacional se encuentra en peligro, no solo por la existencia de estas tres amenazas, sino también por la inactividad de los líderes mundiales.
Los últimos dos años, el ‘reloj del juicio final’ estaba a dos minutos de la medianoche. Incluso más cerca de la autodestrucción que durante los peores años de la Guerra Fría, cuando Estados Unidos y la Unión Soviética estaban ‘jugando’ con bombas de hidrógeno. Hoy en día, la tensión entre EEUU e Irán no ayuda a la situación.
Gran parte de la Historia ha sido escrita por guerras. La Primera y la Segunda Guerra Mundial son ejemplos claros. El lanzamiento de las bombas atómicas en Hiroshima y Nagasaki fue hace 75 años y acarreó consecuencias que aún perduran. Los daños de una bomba atómica ahora serían incluso peores. Como muchas veces ya se ha dicho, estamos a solo un botón de la destrucción total.
¿Crees que verás una tercera guerra mundial?
¿Qué podría hacerse para frenar esta escalada de tensión internacional y paliar el cambio climático?
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wrote on Twitter: “The Rohingya are one of the most discriminated against and vulnerable communities on Earth” and it seems true when we analyse their story. Peaks of violence have been recorded in 1978, 1991-1992, and again in 2016. In 2017 Rohingya numbered one million but after a clash between Muslim and Buddhist factions, 700.000 were forced to flee and Bangladesh welcomed them, even if resources are running out. An humanitarian crisis is underway.
Rohingya are an ethnic group, mainly Muslim, with their own identity, language and tradition and principally residing in Rakhine State. Myanmar is a rich country of diversity: it is the home of 135 ethnic groups, more than 100 languages are spoken; but from the census of 2014 populations from certain northern zones of Rakhine State and some villages in the states of Kachin and Kayin were not counted, as reported by Minority rights group international.
They are stateless, as they are not recognised by the government due to a citizenship law dating back to 1982, which distinguished between three categories of citizenship, namely citizenship, associate citizenship and naturalized citizenship. According to this law, they doesn’t fit for any of these categories, causing a discrimination that has to do with the access to education, to own lands and to enjoy basic political rights.
Rohingya crisis has broken out in 2017 when armed attacks between a Rohingya group and government army ended up in some deaths for the latter, unleashing brutal repression against the minority group.
Today these violations are denounced by NGOs such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, but also from the United Nations, that through its reports has confirmed heavy human rights violation, such as arbitrary arrests, torture, rape and deaths in detention. This provided the basis for the approval of the resolution on 27th December in which the General Assembly, in a 134-9 vote with 28 abstentions, urged the Myanmar government on defending Rohingya and minorities rights. Resolutions are not binding, but they are a clear mirror of international community opinion.
Citing the fact finding mission’s documentation, the General Assembly called for an immediate cessation of fighting and hostilities and to put an end to all discrimination and statelessness issue. Myanmar’s UN ambassador, Hau Do Suan, referred to it as example of “selective and discriminatory application of human rights norms designed to exert unwanted political pressure on Myanmar.”
On 11th November 2019, Gambia filed a case before the International Court of Justice against Myanmar and its alleged violation of 1948 Genocide Convention. The ICJ, the principal judicial organ of United Nations, on 23rd January 2020 delivered its order on the request submitted by Gambia and unanimously solicited The Republic of the Union of Myanmar to take measures in order to prevent and stop the perpetration of all acts, committed by the military and any irregular armed units, within the scope of Article II of Genocide convention (killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to the members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; and imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group) and invited the government to take effective measures with the aim to preserve evidence of these allegations.
Is the duty to prevent a norm that should be applied in this case?
Which is or are the responsibilities of the international community?
Will the international community condemn the non-fulfilment of the Burmese government?
I numeri hanno spesso l’effetto di appiattire la portata dei fenomeni sociali, essendo il mero dato quantitativo incapace di rimandarci indietro una chiara immagine del problema della povertà in Italia.
Affermare che attualmente nella penisola ci sono 5 milioni di persone in condizione di povertà assoluta può lasciarci indifferenti se non ci si avvicina alle storie di ognuno di loro, a cosa vuol dire precipitare “dall’altra parte”, e soprattutto se non si guarda alle sfumature del fenomeno.
La prima considerazione da fare riguarda la facilità con la quale un numero crescente di persone “scivola” in uno stato di indigenza, specie quando si trova da tempo in uno stato di precarietà. Un licenziamento, la morte di un parente, il sopraggiungere di una malattia, un divorzio e la vita cambia bruscamente il suo corso e queste persone si ritrovano letteralmente per strada, senza più la possibilità di avere accesso ai beni e servizi considerati primari.
La povertà non ha un unico volto: può essere sanitaria, educativa, abitativa non solo monetaria. E questa diversità di forma è spesso ignorata a favore di una narrativa che ne mette in evidenza solo l’aspetto economico. La recente attuazione del reddito di cittadinanza mostra chiaramente come la stessa classe politica italiana affronti il tema solo in termini di mancanza di lavoro, quando il fenomeno – anche ad un’analisi forfettaria – non si può comprendere con una lente di lettura tanto limitata quanto distorsiva.
Il tema è ad oggi oggetto di due approcci molto diffusi: quello criminalizzante – che tratta l’indigenza come una colpa personale o peggio una scelta personale – e quello caritatevole, intriso di un paternalismo stantio che ignora tutto il campo delle possibili soluzioni e si dedica esclusivamente ad un aiuto una tantum che finisce per essere ininfluente per i suoi destinatari.
La buona notizia è che ci sono una miriade di piccole e medie realtà – perlopiù sconosciute e invisibili agli occhi dell’opinione pubblica – che lavora giorno e notte per contrastare le varie forme di povertà, adottando tipologie di azioni spesso molto innovative. Il loro obiettivo è quello di non lasciare nessuno solo. Perché la solitudine è il peggior meccanismo di esclusione sociale e la più grande povertà che si possa immaginare.
Iniziative come: il riciclo del pane a Roma; il cohousing a Firenze; la raccolta del reso dei supermercati e dei mercati ortofrutticoli o i progetti per facilitare il ricollocamento nel mondo del lavoro sono solo alcuni esempi di quanto viene fatto da tantissime organizzazioni a vario titolo. Quest’ultime tuttavia lavorano troppo frequentemente come delle “isole di ossigeno” per offrire sollievo ai poveri, riuscendo a raggiungere solo una piccola percentuale di loro. Non è raro infatti che vi sia una forte mancanza di dialogo e collaborazione fra pubblico e privato, che condiziona l’impatto delle misure a contrasto del problema.
Quale potrebbe essere il nuovo sguardo della politica sul tema?
Partendo dalla considerazione che l’uguaglianza sostanziale tra gli individui è il solo strumento in grado di debellare la povertà, Come si può garantire le stesse condizioni e tutele a tutti i cittadini?
The Ukrainian plane that was shot down this 8th January 2020 just added more tension to an already heated situation.
This fatidic event occurred after the missile attacks between the US and Iran, after Qassem Soleimani’s murder by the order of Donald Trump. The escalation reached its peaks, and the world was expecting to get into another world war – but then, we heard Iran calling for retaliation, and other political forces asking Iran not to fall into the trap of the attacks and menaces.
When the tension seemed to be scaling down, an Ukrainian jet with 176 people on board was shot down in Iran, leaving no survivors. For 3 days, Iran denied the attack and did not want the black box to be investigated. Now it has been communicated that the aerospace forces of the government mistakenly identified the plane as an American missile.
The head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps accepted full responsibility for the incident, but still, just after the civil mourning for Qassem Soleimani, now it is hundreds of Iranians mourning and then protesting publicly asking for the resignation of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
As of the 14th January, the spokesman of Iran’s judiciary announced several arrests in regard to the plane crash, without revealing the identity of the detainees. It seems that both Ayatollah Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani have made their efforts to find justice after the attack, setting up a special trial court for this case. Let’s not forget that the individuals who are guilty for this attack belong to the high rank Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a government entity.
According to official record, Iran’s president Rouhani did not know about the accident until two days later, which would mean that the IRGC kept information from the highest members of the government – which they would be held accountable for in the trial to come.
As per the big amount of demonstrators protesting the crash of the plane, things have been difficult: they have been attacked with gunshots and tear gas by the local police in Teheran, which has increased citizen rage towards the established government and the lack of sensitivity and accountability of its officials.
While evidence points at the US for beginning the new Iran-US crisis, this mistake by the Iranian government may play a significant role in Iran’s internal relations, and to the international and regional crisis as well, regardless of whether there may be a war or not. The fact that this incident shook the Supreme National Security Council and can even affect Ayatollah Khamenei – some have been asking him to resign – will certainly weaken Iran internally.
Will Iran prosecute the members of the government involved?
Will it keep on accusing, like some hard-liners, foreign forces for the influence of the accident?
On August 5, 2019, the Indian government announced the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, which granted independence to Kashmir since 1947, when after a dispute over the territory’s independence and a Pakistani’s attack, Kashmir turned to India to ask for protection. The intervention of the Indian government in defence of Kashmir took place on the condition that from that moment on, the first one would be in charge of external affairs, defence and communications. Thus, Kashmir was not granted complete independence. As the Minister of Home Affairs Shri Amit Shah affirmed, “Article 370 has prevented J&K to merge with India rather than being a basis of its merger” and “ is equally harmful for people of all religion”. The reference to religion is important because Indian-administered Kashmir entails Kashmir Valley, Jammu, and Ladakh, counting respectively 95%, 30% and 46% of Muslims in their population.
This dispute is characterized by a degree of complexity that has persisted for years. Suffice it to say that in 1957, an Indian diplomat by the name of Krishna Menon set the record for the longest speech, which is 8 hours, before the UN Security Council talking about the reasons why Kashmir should be considered as a part of India. Probably the importance of the state lies in political, geographical and economic reasons: for India, it was about a desire to create a secular and democratic state; for Pakistan, it was about a region that could be home for South Asian Muslims. Furthermore, it is a central territory between three nuclear power states, strategic position, with great resources and “out of six rivers that run through Pakistan three of them which include River Jhelum, Indus and Chenab originate from Kashmir while the remaining Rivers Bias, Ravi and Sutlej have their origin source in India” (R. S. Hashmi, A. Sajid, Kashmir Conflict: The Nationalistic Perspective (A Pre-Partition Phenomenon, p.228).
Nowadays it raised concern for human rights violations, as a report released by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in July 2019 claimed. In particular, the OHCHR pinpoints two laws that constitute a threat to human rights, that are 1) public safety act (PSA), 1978, 2) armed forces (Jammu and Kashmir) special powers act (AFSPA), 1990. With PSA, a person could be detained for up to two years due to security reasons and public order. The AFSPA granted immunity to security forces making them unaccountable for what happened during possible unrest. Section 7 doesn’t allow prosecution against military forces before the government agreement. In 2018, 160 civilians were killed.
To the list, OHCHR adds other violations such as excessive use of force, arbitrary detention, restrictions on freedom of assembly and association, censorship and restrictions to freedom of expression. In particular, restrictions to freedom of expression is a recent concern for India’s Supreme Court. After the abrogation, Kashmir was subjected to curfew and interruptions to the normal functioning of means of communication. Internet services were suspended for more than 150 days. The Supreme Court asked New Delhi to review the suspension within a week because it compromises freedom of expression and the enjoyment of human rights. The government has until now explained its rule due to order reasons. As Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor of Kashmir Times, “It’s significant in the sense that the Supreme Court has in principle laid down that access to the internet is a fundamental right. It’s a basic right and cannot be denied”.
Should Internet access be considered a basic human right?
What should be the limits to the actions taken on behalf of maintaining “public order”?
Is India’s Supreme Court going to rule against the crackdown?
R. S. Hashmi, A. Sajid, Kashmir Conflict: The Nationalistic Perspective (A Pre-Partition Phenomenon, South Asian Studies, Vol. 32, N. 1, 2017.
The French head of state refused to benefit from a 1955 law that makes him receive for life upon leaving the Presidency an equivalent amount to the salary of a state councilor of about 6,220 euros gross per month.
France pension system is divided into 42 “special regimes” across private and public sectors. Pensions for private-sector employees are calculated based on their 25 best years of salary; meanwhile, in the public sectors, pensions are based on the last six months of salary. Under the new retirement plan, those who have worked a full career will be entitled to a monthly pension of €1,000 minimum per month.
The reform does not end here and not everyone is happy: strikes around the nation have collapsed France since controversial pension reform in December 2019: this consists on the implementation of a single points-based system with a mandatory minimum retirement age of 62 instead of 42 separate schemes that provided early retirement for many public-sector workers.
Macron then, becomes the first French president to renounce his life pension as former president of the Republic. He will not receive it at the end of your term, or when he will retire.
Do you think that the life pensions of politicians are an unnecessary waste?
Are the French protests justly motivated?
Do you think Macron has given up his pension because of the political difficulties he is going through?