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Iran’s Isolation Fatigue

and | September 16, 2014

Fresh from a week in Tehran, where we met with senior political and business leaders, the overwhelming message was that Iranians want back in; they eagerly wish to re-engage with the West.

Thirty-five years of isolation from the U.S., and three years of tough sanctions cutting off oil revenues and the European Union market, have taken their toll. Tehran has a fatigued look. Infrastructure requires a massive overhaul, life is stressful and technologies are dated. More …


Pitting capitalism against the climate

| September 16, 2014

As one of Canada’s most well known activists and journalists, Naomi Klein surprises few when she comes out with a new, hard-hitting, call-to-action tome. Her latest, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, took no less than five years to write, following the release of bestsellers The Shock Doctrine and No Logo.

Before its release today, Sept. 16, Klein launched the book Monday night to a packed house in Toronto, describing to the audience the momentum she documents in her book: “It is a movement so driven by love of place; it’s really about people falling in love more deeply with where they live. It’s not an ‘anti’ movement. It’s such a positive movement.”

Klein sat down with CIC Managing Editor Eva Salinas on the eve of her book’s release to discuss this movement, the economic model it challenges, and how upholding native land rights may be one of the best chances we have to protect the planet. More …


The Cuba Question

| September 15, 2014

Most Latin American and Caribbean states have indicated they will not attend the Americas Summit planned by Panama for April 2015 unless Cuba is invited. Canada and the United States have expressed reservations about Cuba’s participation on the grounds that it would gravely weaken the Inter-American Democratic Charter. Yet neither Ottawa nor Washington can afford to see the summit fail. In an age of emerging regional powers and increasing involvement by external heavyweights like China, North Americans are rightly concerned about being left on the margins of new hemispheric relationships. More …


On the frontlines: drug reform in Texas

| September 12, 2014

For the first time in decades, drug reform advocates feel as if the tide of history is turning in their favour. Recent changes have been impressive. Uruguay has moved toward the legalization of marijuana and 20-plus U.S. states have some form of medical marijuana system in place with more on the way. Polling data now shows that a majority of Americans think marijuana should be legalized. The debate on marijuana has taken on an air of inevitability. But marijuana legalization must be viewed as an uneven process with a long historical arc. How is the reform process playing out in conservative states such as Texas?

To answer this question we at Rice University’s Baker Institute recently ran a series asking the question, “when will marijuana legalization come to Texas?” We received varied analyses from key experts, addressing if and when Texas might legalize marijuana and how the wording of the debate matters. But will marijuana legalization be the silver bullet against the Mexican cartels? More …

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  • London

    The Canadian firms that will benefit most from the trade agreement with the EU will be those that can innovate and adapt to the European market, argues Danielle Goldfarb.

    “Climate change is a global issue,” writes Jeff Goodell for Rolling Stone. “Nothing any single nation does is going to matter much when it comes to solving the problem. Except, that is, for China.” If China can curb their carbon emissions, the world has a chance to stabilize the climate. And China knows it.

  • peshmerga

    Is this an R2P mission? Are party members taking the debate seriously? Should there be a vote? By Steve Saideman.


    Iranians want to re-engage with the West, say Sergio Marchi and Ken Lewis. How can Canada meet them half way?

  • Naomi-Klein

    With the release of Naomi Klein’s new book on climate change, she talks new economic models, collective action and indigenous rights.

    Matthieu Aikins spends seven days with Syria’s first responders – the people who care for the civilians caught on the front lines of the war in Aleppo: “What they were best known for – what they had become famous for in Syria and abroad – were the dramatic rescues, the lives they pulled from under the rubble.” Published by Matter.

  • Casto

    Most Latin American and Caribbean countries want Cuba at the next Summit of the Americas. Canada and the United States don’t. Stephen Baranyi on how to resolve the standoff.

    If ISIS demonstrates the ultimate failure of the Iraq War to build a stable Iraq, what is in store for Afghanistan? Bing West writes about that “forgotten war” for Politico Magazine, where he sees the same broken strategy that played out in Iraq happening all over again.

  • Scotland

    Tom Cooper and Andrew Reddie face off on this week’s crucial vote: Yes to a new, fairer society, or No to risky, economic instability.

    Afghan families often dress their girls like boys because they need another income and girls aren’t allowed to work, because the road the school can be more dangerous for girls, or simply because Afghan society “undervalues daughters and demands sons at almost any cost.” Jenny Nordberg reports for the Atlantic.

  • Obama-and-Bush

    The president had hoped to chart a new course. But events have a way of disrupting the best-laid plans. By Roland Paris.


    Could marijuana be legalized in one of the most conservative states in the U.S.? By Nathan Jones.

  • Drug-Reform-646

    An online panel discussion on some of the most pressing questions around global drug reform. Friday, Sept. 12 at 12 p.m. ET.

    Can architecture and urban planning be used to help solve political conflicts? Nate Berg explores the potential in a piece for Foreign Policy: “The urban settings of conflicts are more than just dots on a map, and any effort to help them recover will need to consider the complex relationship between human culture and space.”

  • NATO

    The alliance has taken on decidedly imperialist hues of late, says Ramesh Thakur. But poking the Russian bear amounts to strategic idiocy.


    If we were serious about harm reduction, we would manage drug markets, not crack down on them, argues Jean Daudelin.

  • Humanitarian NGOs are increasingly being used like Lego bricks – interchangeable not just with each other, but also with government, military or private-sector actors, writes Paul Currion for Aeon. We need a post-industrial, post-imperial model that mobilizes resources through global networks.


    An interview with Dan Werb on what changes in U.S. drug law mean for Canada.