THE BEST OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
FROM AROUND THE WEB
August 27, 2015
The global effort to stop the spread of ‘blood diamonds’ began 15 years ago, but has it become any easier to identify stones mined in unethical and deplorable conditions? “The lineage of one of the most valuable products that many consumers will ever buy in their lifetime remains shrouded in uncertainty,” reports Aryn Baker for TIME.
August 26, 2015
The banlieues of Paris
After the massacre at the Charlie Hebdo offices earlier this year, tensions are high in France, with both anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim sentiments seemingly on the rise. For The New Yorker, George Packer spends time in France’s 'banlieues' and asks: are the city’s immigrant suburbs really incubators of terrorism?
August 24, 2015
Asia’s WWII ghosts
In Japan, events of the Second World War cast a long shadow. Seven decades after the country's defeat, memories of the war still stir powerful emotions and divide East Asia. This essay by The Economist explores how the history that both victors and victims are a part of continues to shape the lives of their children and grandchildren.
August 24, 2015
El Salvador’s violent streets
A shattered truce between El Salvador’s politicians and street gangs has turned the country back into a dangerous war zone where no gang member, police officer, bus driver or child can consider themselves immune to the threat of violence and murder. Stephanie Nolen reports for The Globe and Mail from San Salvador.
August 21, 2015
Strangers in Calais
Simon Cottee speaks to Syrian refugees in limbo in Calais for The Atlantic, and finds a host of nuanced emotions - hope, fear estrangement, shame, vulnerability - amongst the crowd. “Only the same story here. You wake up, we have breakfast, we smoke, we laugh, and after that in the night we have a try [at escaping to England]. Every night.”
August 21, 2015
For three years, the regime-held city of Aleppo – Syria’s largest and oldest – has suffered a barrage of violence as Syrian army soldiers clash against the rebel movement. “This crude slaughter by both sides has turned Aleppo into a Syrian Stalingrad,” James Harkin writes for Newsweek. In a visit there, he asks: could Aleppo really fall to insurgents?
August 20, 2015
Urban warfare in Karachi
In Karachi, one of the world’s deadliest cities, politics and organized crime are inextricably linked. For Harper’s Magazine, Matthieu Aikins reports on the urban warfare taking place in the city’s slums and poorest neighbourhoods, and on one former gang leader’s damning accusations against high-ranking politicians.
August 18, 2015
Giving back at sea
Granted political asylum in London, one Eritrean is helping to rescue other refugees on the Mediterranean sea. In The Guardian, Mark Townsend writes about how Darwit - a pseudonym - spent his summer volunteering with a Médecins Sans Frontières rescue boat, as European leaders argued over how to respond to the crisis.
August 17, 2015
China’s burgeoning service industry
There are big changes underway in China, and Nathan VanderKlippe of the Globe and Mail explains that these would be best understood by looking at the country’s hotels, investment banks, restaurant chains and airlines, instead of its factories and steel mills, which are taking a back seat to a growing services sector.
August 14, 2015
What next for the Eurozone
In an essay for the London Review of Books, Jan-Werner Müller ponders the problems with and future of the Eurozone, and warns that we can expect more Greek drama before too long. “Greece could still be forced out,” he writes. “Things don’t have to end with a bang. The EU could slowly fragment, leading to resentment all round.”
August 14, 2015
A life under sanctions
Pedestrian is a writer from Khuzestan, in southern Iran. In her latest piece for Vox, she muses about the current Iran nuclear deal, and asks: “All that we are promised by this deal — more stability, a financial recovery, more open political and social space — we have had and lost before. Who can guarantee it won't be lost again?”
August 13, 2015
Mothers of foreign fighters
In The Huffington Post, Julia Ioffe recounts the heart-wrenching stories of six mothers abandoned by children who left to fight and die for the Islamic State. Now, dozens of these mothers are coming together. “What they want, more than anything,” Ioffe writes, “is to make sense of the senselessness of what happened to their children.”
August 12, 2015
Canadians fighting ISIS
Maclean’s Adnan R. Khan spends time in Syria with a political philosophy major from B.C. and a former infantryman from Ontario. Cody Bergerud and John Gallagher have found common ground fighting the Islamic State alongside Kurdish forces. “I’m in this for the long haul,” Gallagher says. “I think it’s my duty to do what I can to defeat them.”
August 11, 2015
Gaza, one year on
Last summer, war broke out between Israeli and Palestinian militants in the Gaza neighbourhood of Shejaia and the Israeli kibbutz of Nahal Oz. One year later, Globe and Mail correspondent Patrick Martin and photographer Heidi Levine visit the former battlegrounds and find two communities still very much divided.
August 7, 2015
True climate nightmares?
From rising ocean temperatures and sea levels, the spin-off effects of climate change on habitat and species are more extensive than anyone could imagine — right down to "a stunning drop in the number of plankton." Eric Holthaus describes the detail needed to understand the crisis on our hands. For Rolling Stone.