Wednesday Night #1792
As the expression goes, the Brexit story continues to have legs and will likely continue to do so for some time, whether because of turmoil in the financial markets or the seemingly interminable ‘ou[s]tings’ of sleazy politicians. No wonder the original House of Cards was set in the British parliament! Suggested reading must include A Brexit post-mortem: 17 takeaways for a fallen David Cameron by former Canadian High Commissioner to the UK, Jeremy Kinsman.
Wednesday Night’s two Davids weigh in with David Jones‘ Brexit Will Bring Changes, but How Much Change Is Not Clear and David Kilgour‘s Britain Needs to Exit Brexit in which he suggests that “A new prime minister could simply declare that the U.K. will not risk national dissolution by honoring the Brexit victory.”
Henry Mintzburg attacks the pro-globalization views of NYT columnists Roger Cohen and Thomas Freidman arguing that imbalance in society is the underlying cause of what ails the planet including Brexit. Trump. Sanders. Democracies in retreat. Thugs in presidential palaces. Backlash against globalization. Add to these: climate change and corruption in America (worse than Brazil).
There are and have been other events to which we should pay attention including, of course, the political circus south of the border. While the FBI has announced that it does not recommend charging Hillary Clinton with deliberate mishandling of classified information, the report, combined with Bill Clinton’s inexplicably clumsy encounter with the Attorney General, gives Donald Trump plenty of ammunition and he has started firing away. Being The Donald, he has gone beyond the pale, but that never seems to bother his supporters. More suggested reading: Bill and Hill in 10 Talking Points.
With so much focus on the U.S. political scene, most will not have paid attention to the cliff-hanger election in Australia. The outcome is still unsure, but the BBC reports that the ruling Liberal-National coalition appears to be inching towards victory. So, little or no change in policy? The Guardian served up a look at key policy areas including health, economy, immigration, Indigenous affairs, young people, retirees, environment, society and education
ISIS is losing ground [Cracks show inside Islamic State’s shrinking caliphate], but has stepped up its vicious attacks on civilians in other countries, concluding with Sunday’s bombing in Baghdad. Sadly, as The Washington Post points out [The worst ISIS attack in days is the one the world probably cares least about], the world is inured to such events in Iraq and no signs of solidarity are evident in social media.
In Pakistan, the number of horrific honour killings is on the increase [Pakistan sees rise in honour killings] as the world wrings its collective hands and does nothing. The only hope seems to be that more than 70 percent of Pakistan’s 180 million people are under 30, and among the younger, more tech-savvy generation, some are vocally challenging the traditions of their elders to an unprecedented degree. But how long will that take?
One month to go before the opening of the Rio Olympics and the outlook is not good. Most recently, CNN reports that Brazilian scientists have detected a drug-resistant bacteria growing off some of Rio de Janeiro’s most stunning beaches – right where some of the sailing events will take place.
We call your attention to a splendid article by John Walmsley, Head of UWC Atlantic College, Brexit shows how much we need international education and invite you to then move from the sublime to the incomprehensible decision of the Quebec government in the matter of history exam question 22 the answer to which was leaked online the night before the test. In its wisdom, the government has opted to give everyone the points regardless of whether the answer was right or wrong Quebec students to get full marks for history exam essay question. Wonderful, let’s continue to encourage the sense of entitlement – not to mention parochial thinking. Words fail us.
Is there any good news?
Yes, the exciting and positive conclusion of the five-year odyssey of the Juno spacecraft, which is now orbiting Jupiter and sending images back to Earth. The New Yorker story The Juno Spacecraft Reaches Jupiter is a very worthwhile read.
Depending on your viewpoint, Canada’s controversial Northern Gateway oil pipeline may not be built after all would qualify. Our view is that the ruling of the Federal Court of Appeal that the government “offered only a brief, hurried, and inadequate” opportunity for dialogue about the project, particularly with First Nations offers the Trudeau government the opportunity to right a number of wrongs and find a more environmentally acceptable route.
There is a charming piece on the BBC about Singapore’s celebrity urban otter family. Did you know that the 13th International Otter Congress is taking place in Singapore this week, with the theme Otters and People? Another animal-centered item features Angus, the Springer Spaniel who sniffs and exposes C. difficile in hospital wards.