Concerns over Ukraine in Estonia’s Russian speaking community | euronews, reporter. "People here want to live in an independent Estonia, not in some kind of 'New Russia'" Since the events in Ukraine, the Estonian government has pushed for an increased NATO presence in the north east of the country. This small Baltic republic is nervous. Politicians and citizens are starting to ask some uncomfortable questions: will the Kremlin try to destabilize Estonia too? And will the country’s large Russian minority remain loyal to Estonia? Those questions are particularly pertinent in Narva, a city just over the border from Russia. The Estonian armed forces are made up not just of Estonians but also ethnic Russians, some of whom speak mainly Russian. Lieutenant Nikolai Predbannikov is a Russian speaker. “We organize special language training for those who struggle with Estonian. But for many the crucial question is this: are Russian speakers in the Estonian armed forces ready to defend their country against potential agression from the East?
Lieutenant Predbannikov thinks they are. The Singing Revolution, a documentary film. Most people don’t think about singing when they think about revolution. But song was the weapon of choice when Estonians sought to free themselves from decades of Soviet occupation. The Singing Revolution is an inspiring account of one nation’s dramatic rebirth. It is the story of humankind’s irrepressible drive for freedom and self-determination. The Singing Revolution shares how, between 1987 and 1991, hundreds of thousands of Estonians gathered publicly to sing forbidden patriotic songs and share protest speeches, risking their lives to proclaim their desire for independence. While violence and bloodshed was the unfortunate end result in other occupied nations of the USSR, the revolutionary songs of the Estonians anchored their struggle for freedom, which was ultimately accomplished without the loss of a single life.
The Singing Revolution tells the moving and dramatic story of how the Estonian people peacefully regained their freedom--and helped topple an empire along the way. 2014 September/ October | Why Populism Is Here To Stay | Foreign Affairs. Since Roman times, virtually every type of government that holds competitive elections has experienced some form of populism -- some attempt by ambitious politicians to mobilize the masses in opposition to an establishment they depict as corrupt or self-serving. From Tiberius Gracchus and the populares of the Roman Senate, to the champions of the popolo in Machiavelli’s sixteenth-century Florence, to the Jacobins in Paris in the late eighteenth century, to the Jacksonian Democrats who stormed nineteenth-century Washington -- all based their attempts at mass mobilization on appeals to the simplicity and goodness of ordinary people. By the mid-twentieth century, populism had become a common feature of democracy.
As the political scientists Seymour Martin Lipset and Stein Rokkan famously observed, during the postwar years, the party structures of North America and western Europe were “frozen” to an unprecedented degree. To continue reading, please log in. Don't have an account? Register. 2014/07/14 Do far right parties in the European Parliament pose a threat to democracy? — Debating Europe. Are Europe’s fundamental values endangered by the expanded far-right representation in the European Parliament? The appointment of Udo Voigt, former leader of the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD), to a seat on the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee has intensified concerns about the impact the election of more far right MEPs is having on democracy in the EU.
Voigt received a suspended prison sentence for inciting racial hatred during the 2006 World Cup in Germany, is on record praising Adolf Hitler and has downplayed the numbers killed in the Holocaust. The European Network Against Racism says the expanded far-right presence after the European Parliament elections in May “threatens the core European values of human rights and equality” and has called for a strong response from the Parliament. How dangerous is the presence of the far right in the European Parliament? And what should be done about it? What do you think? 2014/10/16 Should Europe's politicians start listening to the "populists"? — Debating Europe. On 9 October 2014, leading European politicians, civil society actors, business leaders and policy-makers gathered in Brussels for the annual State of Europe roundtable.
Organised by our partner think-tank, Friends of Europe, participants were discussing the many challenges facing the EU, including the anti-establishment “wake-up call” delivered by elections to the European Parliament in May. Early in the debate, the problem of falling trust in mainstream politics and the rise of “populism” was discussed. With Europe suffering high unemployment and weak growth, one participant suggested that necessary economic reforms were becoming more difficult to implement and quoted incoming EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker: “We all know what to do, we just don’t know how to get re-elected after we’ve done it.”
However, is it wrong to blame “populism” for Europe’s problems? We had a comment sent in by Wouter arguing that the real problem is that politicians aren’t listening to voters: 2014/11/20 Populism: a flashing amber signal? - Policy Network. 2014/11/23 Populists Challenge European Political Order - NYTimes.com. Political Economy By HUGO DIXON | REUTERS A specter is haunting Europe, the specter of populism. The old political order of Britain, France, Italy and Spain — not to mention smaller countries such as Greece — is facing challenges from populist movements, of the right and the left. Of the major European Union economies, only Germany is largely untouched. Last week, the United Kingdom Independence Party, a right-wing populist party, won its second seat in the British Parliament. With the exception of Greece, where the radical left Syriza movement may take control of the government if there is an election next year, none of the populist groups is close to power.
The establishment has a lot to answer for. The cures proposed by the populists, however, are worse than the disease. Such policies, if ever implemented, would create a new set of economic crises. Populism is good at tapping into discontent but it comes up with bad, superficial solutions. First, Europe needs to fix its economy.
01/02/2015 Editorial | The Guardian view of Europe’s populists: left or right, they are united by a worrying xenophobia. With Syriza in power in Athens, and Podemos showing its strength on the streets of Madrid, there is a growing sense that a southern coalition of anti-austerity parties in Europe will overturn the existing dogma of economic discipline, largely upheld by Brussels and the north. There is cause to rejoice in the fact that stringent belt-tightening is now being questioned as the best way to pull Europe out of its doldrums. But the rise of these radical political forces tends also to fragment still further an already fragmented continent. In northern Europe, they attack the establishment from the right; in the south, from the left.
The May 2014 European parliamentary elections were the first sign of a European Union-wide drive towards a populism which is now taking root in domestic politics across the member states, and 2015 will be a year of many general elections in the EU. Both Spain and Greece have certainly been badly hit by the crisis and its aftermath. 17/02/2015 The Guardian | The problem with populism | Cas Mudde. The recent electoral success of leftwing populist parties such as Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain has given a new impulse to the debate on populism in Europe.
Until now, populism was almost exclusively linked to the radical right, leading to an incorrect conflation of populism and xenophobia. In its original form, populism is an ideology that considers society to be ultimately separated into two homogenous and antagonistic groups: “the pure people” and “the corrupt elite”, and argues that politics should be an expression of the volonté générale (general will) of the people. Practically, populist politicians almost always combine it with other ideologies, such as nativism on the right and socialism on the left. Up until a couple of years ago the consensus among European elites on the left and right was that populism was inherently bad. Populism tends to get ugly when it gets into power. In short, populism is an illiberal democratic response to undemocratic liberalism. Life in the Land of Britain's UKIP Party. CLACTON-ON-SEA, England—In 1964, as Britain experienced an influx of Asian and African post-colonial immigrants, Conservative Party member Peter Griffiths was controversially elected to parliament, winning on the slogan, “If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Labour.”
It was a virulently racist campaign that shocked the British establishment, leading Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson to brand Griffiths a “leper,” jumpstarting the Birmingham division of the Ku Klux Klan, and evoking ire—and a whistle-stop visit—from Malcolm X. Fast-forward 50 years, and Britain is once again engaged in a row over racism in the lead-up to a general election on May 7—this time centering on the UK Independence Party (UKIP) headed by Nigel Farage. The beer-guzzling euroskeptic leader is perpetually surrounded by scandal, whether as a result of his unabashed dislike of Romanians or his call for the abolishment of race laws aimed at preventing prejudice in the workplace.
Rightist Movements - Transform Network. Debating Europe – Discuss YOUR ideas with Europe’s leaders. 14/04/2014 Do young Europeans want to travel or is the crisis forcing them to leave? — Debating Europe. Young Europeans are fed up with national politics and the failure of governments to respond effectively to the crisis. They want better progress made in tackling youth unemployment and many would like to see wide-ranging educational reforms, including better recognition for non-formal education and more training on sustainability and entrepreneurialism. These are some of the recommendations and ideas presented by the AEGEE (Association des États Généraux des Étudiants de l’Europe) European Students’ Forum yesterday, during one of the events organised as part of their Europe on Track, a project involving two teams of interviewers travelling across Europe and speaking to students and young people.
The project – which is interviewing hundreds of young people across the continent – investigates attitudes towards youth mobility in the EU. Do YOU think that youth mobility in Europe is a good thing? Voting is closed in our Debating Europe Vote 2014! IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Aditya. 06/10/2014 Is the idea of world peace an impossible dream? — Debating Europe. The First World War was supposed to be the “war to end war”. One hundred years ago, millions were dying in one of the deadliest conflicts in history. Machine guns, barbed wire and poison gas brought innovative new ways of brutalisig our neighbours. Of course, 1918 did not bring the end of warfare. An even more bloody conflict would begin in 1939 and, as Syria, Iraq, Ukraine and Gaza have shown this summer, warfare is very much still alive in the 21st Century.
However, is it naïve to believe that war might one day become a thing of the past? So, how peaceful will the 21 Century be? To get an answer, we spoke to Sameer Patil, Associate Fellow of National Security, Ethnic Conflict & Terrorism studies at the Indian think-tank Gateway House. Well, Faragó, I would like to list three major security challenges for the Asia-Pacific region.
If we want the world to be a more peaceful place, should we be spending less on guns and more on butter? Hi, Rudi. 20/10/2014 Are young Europeans becoming racist and bigoted? - Are Europeans becoming racist? — Debating Europe. “United in Diversity” is the official motto of the European Union. Despite this, Eurostat polling suggests that only 22% of European citizens think the EU really represents “cultural diversity”. In 2014, are Europeans less united by diversity than the founders of the EU might have hoped? In recent years, anti-immigration parties across the EU have been riding a wave of popular anger (including in the European Parliament elections in May) and the mainstream political discourse has been growing increasingly focused on “cracking down” and getting “tough” on immigration. Far-right parties argue that this is just a sign that “common sense” attitudes are finally prevailing. Are they right? Or are Europeans growing more close-minded and intolerant of diversity?
Nobody disputes that huge changes are taking place in cities and neighbourhoods across Europe today. According to Eurostat, the changes to society are only going to accelerate as people grow more mobile over the coming decades. 22/10/2014 Is youth unemployment the biggest threat facing Europe? - Should governments create more jobs to boost the economy? — Debating Europe. One fifth of young people in the European Union are currently without a job. However, at an EU summit on jobs and growth in Milan earlier this month (8 October), the leaders of Germany, France and Italy each left empty-handed, failing to agree on any new measures to help combat unemployment. Youth organisations criticised the summit as nothing more than “an opportunity for politicians to meet and make it appear like there was action.” Talk of the “break-up of the Eurozone” seems to have calmed (for the time being), but what we are left with isn’t much better: feeble growth rates and an unemployable generation with no work experience and no decent career prospects.
As you can see from the infographic below, youth unemployment in the EU has shot up from 15.7% before the crisis to 23.4% in 2014. Are these levels of youth unemployment sustainable over the long-run? Next, we spoke to Carl Bildt, former Swedish Foreign Minister (and a former Prime Minister of Sweden). 26/11/2014 Is renewable energy sustainable or just a waste of money? — Debating Europe. The 2014 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP20) in Lima, Peru, is the last UN climate summit before the meeting in Paris 2015, when governments hope to agree to a global legal framework setting binding targets to reduce CO2 emmissions. Leaders will be desperate to avoid another disappointment along the lines of the climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009, when an ambitious global agreement failed to materialise despite high expectations.
Ahead of the Lima climate summit, the European Union agreed to the 2030 Framework for Climate and Energy, setting binding EU targets for 2030 of at least 40% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, at least 27% of energy used by the EU being generated by renewables, and an energy efficiency increase of at least 27%. Proponents argue that setting tough climate targets will spur a sustainable, green growth boom in Europe, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and boosting innovation.
Is “green energy” really as green as advertised?
Marijuana Industry in Colorado 05/02/2015 - NYTimes.com. Continue reading the main story Video It was zero degrees in Denver on a late December morning, and the ice-covered streets were mostly empty. Mark Mason, wearing a full-length black coat, green wool hat and sunglasses, sat in a white Buick LaCrosse, eyeing the squat building across the street. It was the local branch of the Federal Reserve Bank. “Behind that gate, that’s where the armored cars come in,” he said, pointing to a parking lot.
“They’ve got a bunch of money in the basement — a bunch.” For some months, Mr. Photo Mr. Medical marijuana has been legal in Colorado since 2001, and recreational marijuana use became legal in December 2012. Without a bank account, pot businesses deal in cash, lots of it, held in safes, handed out in clipped bundles on payday, carried in brown paper bags and cardboard boxes to the tax office and the utility company, ferried around the state by armored vehicles and armed guards. The Fourth Corner partners saw a need and a business opportunity.
Mr. Mr. In Australia's outback 04/01/2015 - LA Times. After a Spa Day, Looking Years Younger 02/01/2015 - NYTimes.com.
A new civil right era? 04/12/2014 - LA Times. Public Schools Separate Girls and Boys 30/112014 - NYTimes.com. ‘Vape’ Joins Pot Lingo, with hat tip to Oxford 21/11/2014 - NYTimes.com. Yes means yes, says Mr Brown 04/10/2014 - The Economist. Egg-Freezing Oct. 2014. The First HIV/AIDS Generation Reaches Retirement Age 18/09/2014 - Newsweek. Islamic, yet integrated 06/09/2014 - The Economist. Vocable All English (2014-2015) Correspondances européennes. Correspondances européennes on Vimeo. Article "Commission en direct" Correspondances européennes - Philippe Perchoc. Correspondances européennes - Philippe Perchoc (Aperçu du livre Google books) L'invitation au voyage de Philippe Perchoc (Commentaire) The End of American Exceptionalism. BBC A Rough History of Disbelief Part 1 - Jonathan Miller.
When Men Are the Loudest Feminists. It’s Not Just You. Feminism Does Seem To Be Getting Weirder. | TIME. Waste Accumulation (2013-2014)