Analysis

A Path to Self-Reliance for Afghanistan

The Brussels Conference on Afghanistan this week marks an important opportunity to create a roadmap for the country’s future. While Afghanistan’s current path has led to some progress, it is far from the most direct route to prosperity – not least because of deep flaws in aid delivery and domestic governance.
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A Virtuous Cycle for Conservation

Poor and rural people around the world rely on plants and animals for shelter, food, income, and medicine. In fact, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 15) on sustainable ecosystems acknowledges many developing societies’ close relationship with nature when it calls for increased “capacity of local communities to pursue sustainable livelihood opportunities.
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Saving Europe by reversing Brexit

“Never let a crisis go to waste” has always been one of the European Union’s guiding principles. But what about five simultaneous crises? Today, the EU faces what Frans Timmermans, European Commission Vice President, describes as a “multi-crisis”: Brexit, refugee flows, fiscal austerity, geopolitical threats from East and South, and “illiberal democracy” in central Europe.
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Europe’s leadership crisis

The European Union’s list of crises keeps growing. But, beyond the United Kingdom’s “Brexit” vote to leave the bloc, Poland’s constitutional-court imbroglio, Russian expansionism, migrants and refugees, and resurgent nationalism, the greatest threat to the EU comes from within: a crisis of political leadership is paralyzing its institutions.
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Turning off the dividend spigot [PHOTO]

European banks’ high litigation and restructuring costs have resulted in major losses on their books and abysmal stock-market performance. As the industry and European regulators now reflect on this dismal state of affairs and search for solutions, they should consider banks’ revenue distribution – including employee bonuses and shareholder dividends – as part of the problem.
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Watering the Middle East

The United Nations World Water Development Report confirms what many already know: hundreds of thousands of people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) – especially in Algeria, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen – have faced the worst water shortages in decades in 2016.
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The Perils of Planned Extinctions

A cynical move is underway to promote a new, powerful, and troubling technology known as “gene drives” for use in conservation. This is not just your everyday genetic modification, known as “GMO”; it is a radical new technology, which creates “mutagenic chain reactions” that can reshape living systems in unimaginable ways.
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Killing non-communicable diseases

Over the last 25 years, thanks partly to a coordinated global effort to fight infectious diseases, including malaria, tuberculosis (TB), HIV/AIDS, and polio, childhood mortality rates have been reduced by 50%, and average life expectancy has increased by more than six years. Moreover, the share of the world’s population living in extreme poverty has been halved. These are major achievements, but they have brought a new set of challenges that must urgently be addressed.
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Taking Trump seriously about NATO

A Donald Trump presidency would be a catastrophe for NATO and the West. Aside from threatening to withdraw the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement and to start a trade war with China, Trump praises Russian President Vladimir Putin and suggests that America should not honor its commitment to defend its NATO allies unless they pay more for that protection.
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The economic trend is our friend

These are days of grave disillusionment with the state of the world. Sinister forces of fanatical, faith-based killing – something that we in the West, at least, thought had largely ended by 1750 – are back. And they have been joined by and are reinforcing forces of nationalism, bigotry, and racism that we thought had been largely left in the ruins of Berlin in 1945.
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