All posts by Contributor

“I don’t want the last car made in Germany to end up in a museum”

LAST week I caught up with Cem Özdemir, lead candidate of Germany's Green Party, to talk about his country’s future. The latest polls put his party at about 8%. Mr Özdemir’s perspective matters, for two reasons.First, the polls suggest that...

/ September 21, 2017

Twin earthquakes expose Mexico’s deep inequality

Early in the morning on Sept. 16, 1810, priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla rang the bell of his church in the small town of Dolores, near Guanajuato, Mexico. His parishioners gathered round, and he urged them to revolt against Spain’s...

/ September 20, 2017

Commission scales up EU’s response to cyber-attacks

On 13 September, in his annual State of the Union Address, President Jean-Claude Juncker stated: “In the past three years, we have made progress in keeping Europeans safe online. But Europe is still not well equipped when it comes to...

/ September 20, 2017

IMF chief tells bankers to not dismiss cryptocurrency

Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, has a message for the world’s central bankers: Don’t be luddites. Addressing a conference in London on Friday, Lagarde said virtual currencies, which are created and exchanged without the involvement of...

/ September 19, 2017

Nuclear threat at highest level since Cold War

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the world’s leaders Tuesday that the threat of a nuclear attack is at its highest level since the end of the Cold War and “fiery talk can lead to fatal misunderstandings.” In his first state-of-the-world...

/ September 19, 2017

Can the world’s megacities survive the digital age?

Today, megacities have become synonymous with economic growth. In both developing and developed countries, cities with populations of 10 million or more account for one-third to one-half of their gross domestic product. Many analysts and policymakers think this trend is...

/ September 19, 2017

London train bombing: Why is Europe seeing so many terrorist attacks?

The Sept. 15 terrorist bombing in a crowded London subway station – which injured at least 30 passengers but caused no deaths – was the latest in a string of terrorist attacks in Western Europe in recent years. In mid-August,...

/ September 19, 2017

German politics is about to tip rightwards

A CERTAIN sort of Anglo-Saxon commentator is permanently convinced that Germany is about to fall apart. Witness those American shock jocks ranting about no-go zones in cities whose names they would struggle to spell, let alone find on a map....

/ September 17, 2017

EU executive body proposes stricter party finance rules

The EU will introduce reforms to curb abuses in party financing for European Parliament elections as it tries to bolster trust in the bloc’s democracy, a senior official said Friday. The European Commission, the EU executive, announced the plans as...

/ September 15, 2017

Why seismologists didn’t see Mexico’s deadly earthquake coming

Mexico has a long seismic history, so any given earthquake here does not necessarily come as a surprise. In the pre-Hispanic epoch, inhabitants of the country’s central zone reported on earthquakes in their “códices,” or indigenous records, attributing the shaking...

/ September 15, 2017

Seeds in space – how well can they survive harsh, non-Earth conditions?

Will we someday colonize space? Will our children visit other planets? To achieve goals like these, we’ll need to crack one crucial challenge: how to feed ourselves for long periods away from Earth. A trip to Mars would take months,...

/ September 15, 2017

Commuting by subway? What you need to know about air quality

Four more major Indian cities will soon have their own metro lines, the country’s government has announced. On the other side of the Himalayas, Shanghai is building its 15th subway line, set to open in 2020, adding 38.5 km and 32 stations...

/ September 15, 2017

Casino Minnow Donaco Absorbs Star Vegas And Will Now Eye Even Bigger Prizes

Donaco spent US$360 million for Star Vegas, the leading casino in Poipet, the Cambodian border casino cluster closest to Bangkok. (Photo credit: Donaco International)Donaco International Donaco International has absorbed what it calls a “transformational acquisition” of Star Vegas in Cambodia....

/ September 15, 2017

This old Catholic ritual is giving Brazil’s economy a small boost, one Virgin Mary statuette at a time

Brazilians are moving away from Catholicism. Today, fewer than 50 percent of Brazilians identify as Roman Catholic, down from 92 percent in 1970. But after 500 years in South America, the Catholic Church remains deeply enmeshed Brazil’s economy and society....

/ September 13, 2017

Colombia’s FARC rebels have rebranded as a political party – now they need a leader

Ever since Colombia signed its fragile, contested peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in November 2016, the big question has been: What will this no-longer-armed insurgency do next? On Aug. 28, the FARC made its official...

/ September 12, 2017

When the world is not enough: how to find another planet to live on

The seafaring explorers of the 16th century famously found many new homes for humanity in faraway, unknown corners of the world. While it may seem that such colonisation has since ground to a halt, some have argued it is only...

/ September 11, 2017

Rohingya genocide: the world can’t help until Myanmar changes its ways

After two weeks of extreme violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, where at least 400 people have been killed and 270,000 Rohingyas have fled their homes, the country’s de facto leader, Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, finally spoke up to...

/ September 11, 2017

How Not To Win Friends And Influence Japan Casino Legalization

Sheldon Adelson's Marina Bay Sands in Singapore is the most profitable and perhaps the most admired casino property on earth. But Adelson doesn't want Marina Bay Sands to be the model for Japan's casino legalization. (Photo credit: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg) Las...

/ September 10, 2017

Could Trump be holding Dreamers hostage to make Mexico pay for his border wall?

Fulfilling one of United States president Donald Trump’s campaign promises, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme. The initiative, launched by former president Barack Obama in 2012, allows people...

/ September 9, 2017

The three pillars of Merkelism

ANGELA MERKEL is the longest-serving head of government in the EU. When she became chancellor, in 2005, her international counterparts were George W Bush, Tony Blair and Jacques Chirac. She became leader of the CDU during the Clinton administration. Yet...

/ September 9, 2017