Newsletter – May 2013

Welcome to the May newsletter.
This month we have Joschka Fischer, German Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor from 1998-2005 writing on Europe’s woes; a review of Professor Jerry Brotton’s latest book “A History of the World in Twelve Maps”; Andrea Baranes on a Financial Transaction Tax for Europe; Paul Rogers OpenDemocracy’s international-security editor on the latest weapons craze for lasers and also on the North Korea crisis seen from the point of view of Korean history; Patricia Davis the former director of the Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA on the trial of the former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt; Jennifer Norris, who worked for the UN political mission in Afghanistan as a Governance Officer and was stationed in Kunar province on the Afghan ,militias who are being set up to take over from US forces in Afghanistan; Patrice de Beer, the former London and Washington correspondent for Le Monde on French politics; Julian Petley, the Professor of Screen Media at Brunel University on the disinformation campaign relating to how the Royal Charter will change the media industry in Britain and Nareg Seferian on US/Armenian relations.

A History of the World in Twelve Maps
By Allston Mitchell

Jerry Brotton's "A History of the World in Twelve Maps" traces the history of the world through the development and art of map-making by looking in detail at twelve maps that literally made history.

A Financial Transaction Tax for Europe
By Andrea Baranes

A tax on financial transactions in Europe could reduce harmful speculation and help restore some political control over the markets. So why don't we have one yet?

The Erosion of Europe
By Joschka Fischer

Joschka Fischer, German Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor from 1998-2005, on the leadership crisis facing Europe, the possible disintegration of the Union and the need for a solidarity-based solution to the debt crisis.

In Guatemala, A Mass Grave for the Truth
By Patricia Davis

In a week of remarkable events and reversals in Guatemala, the genocide trial of former dictator Efrain Rios Montt came to an abrupt halt on April 18 as a judge ruled all proceedings to date invalid.

A Legacy of Rogues in Afghanistan
By Jennifer Norris

Afghan militias created by the United States have been accused of committing serious human rights abuses against local populations. Americans who left Zero Dark Thirty thinking that the dark stain of torture is behind us should be cautioned by the U.S. exit strategy in Afghanistan.

Bonjour Tristesse
By Patrice de Beer

French parliamentarians – left or right, including the Socialist Speaker of the House – stick tooth and nail to their perks. The opposition is crying out against what they call being taken back to the times of Robespierre's “Terror” under the French Revolution. François Hollande has the unenviable task of trying to give voters more confidence in their politicians who are generally considered to be corrupt.

A Right Royal Row
By Julian Petley

In the wake of the Leveson Report, Julian Petley, Professor of Screen Media at Brunel University looks beyond the disinformation campaign and dissects exactly how the Royal Charter will change the media industry in Britain. "There is an urgent need for a system of self-regulation ensuring that what we read in British newspapers has at least some relation to the truth".

Why the Armenian Genocide Matters for America
By Nareg Seferian

There is good reason for the US to implement Turkey's recognition of the Armenian Genocide as federal policy given that the "Greater Middle East" is so vital to American interests.

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