Facts, and Opinions, that matter this week


More Food No Answer to Africa's Hunger. Above, a Malawian subsistence farmer surveys her maize fields in Dowa near the capital Lilongwe, February 3, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
More Food No Answer to Africa’s Hunger. Above, a Malawian subsistence farmer surveys her maize fields in Dowa near the capital Lilongwe, February 3, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Fresh works on Facts and Opinions this week:

Bush’s War on Terror Unending, by Jonathan Manthorpe   Column

Fifteen years ago George W. Bush launched the “War on Terror.” It was an incalculable strategic mistake, and there is no end in sight.

Rage over Racism: America Asked For It, by Tom Regan  Column

Many years ago, I was waiting in Boston’s Park Street T-station on my way to Cambridge, when a group of African-American teenagers came down the stairs. They were a swarm of loud, boisterous kids. I had a white person’s reaction. I felt myself tense. I moved away from the group. I gripped my luggage bag tighter. Honestly, I was a bit afraid. Then suddenly I caught myself.

Healing the Divide: Israelis help ill Palestinians, by Shaul Adar  Magazine

Every day, hundreds of Israeli volunteers drive ill Palestinians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to hospitals in Israel. Shaul Adar joins them on the road and learns why they see their neighbourly help as a step on the journey to peaceful coexistence.

More Food No Answer to Africa’s Hunger, by Alex Whiting

Thousands of people demonstrate against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) in the centre of Brussels, Belgium September 20, 2016. Reuters/Eric Vidal
Thousands of people in Belgium demonstrate against new trade deals on September 20, 2016. Reuters/Eric Vidal

As a young university student of agriculture, Edie Mukiibi believed the latest hybrid seeds which promised bumper crops were the answer to improving the lot of maize farmers in his part of Uganda.  But the consequences were “terrible”, he said.

EU Bids to Seal Canada trade Pact as US Prospects Dim, by Philip Blenkinsop and Tatiana Jancarikova  Report

EU ministers took steps to approve a contentious free trade deal with Canada, while France and Austria demanded that talks towards a similar agreement with the United States should stop. Both deals have triggered demonstrations.

Is the Environment Stuck in US Journalism’s Basement? by Peter Dykstra   Analysis

Environmental journalism has reached a certain maturity: Decades of quality, often courageous and ground-breaking reporting on life-or-death issues, an imperfect-but-enviable record of accuracy, and at least a dozen Pulitzer Prizes to show for it in the U.S. But some see another view.

Recommended elsewhere:

Here’s a photo essay that no one should miss: Ethiopia, Albania, Australia, Finland, Peru and Spain are portrayed in a stunning production in Sunday’s  New York Times Magazine.


British Guardian writer George Monbiot takes on car culture this week in a piece titled, Carmageddon Beckons. Excerpt: “Global car production has almost doubled in ten years. The number of cars on Earth is expected to rise from 1.2bn to 2bn by 2035. Carmageddon beckons: a disaster for the climate, public health and our quality of life. Yet it is still treated as an indicator of economic success. We are told that this is about choice. But surely there should be a hierarchy of choice: the choice of whether or not to suffer a premature death should take precedence over our choice of transport ….

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