Coastal Maine Climate Futures

Posted on Thursday December 5 2019

By Sean Birkel and Paul Mayewski

Climate and weather exert a critical influence on the health of Maine’s people, ecosystems and economy. Across coastal communities, where fishing, forestry, tourism, and agriculture serve as the economic backbone, the changing climate poses near and long-term challenges. These challenges include warming ocean temperatures, a longer growing season and shorter snow season, more frequent extreme precipitation events, drought, soil moisture deficits, storm surges, and rising sea level. Insights into possible changes in climate over the next 20 years – between now and 2040 – are offered in this report to help community, commerce, non-governmental, and government planning efforts.

To read the complete report: click here.

To learn more about the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine click here.

 

Winning the Peace in Iraq — Don’t Give Up on Baghdad’s Fragile Democracy

Posted on Tuesday October 29 2019

By Linda Robinson

For Americans who came of age near the turn of the current century, the war in Iraq was a generation-defining experience. When the United States invaded the country in 2003, toppling the government of Saddam Hussein in a matter of weeks, many saw the war as a necessary or even noble endeavor to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction, which Saddam was allegedly developing—and bring democracy to parts of the world that had long suffered under the weight of tyranny…

This article was recommended by Ambassador Douglas Silliman, the November 4, 2019 Forum speaker.  To read the entire article, click here.

When Fighting Fake News Aids Censorship

Posted on Friday October 4 2019

By Courtney C. Radsch

Laws meant to curb “fake news” may be well intentioned, but their implementation has been sloppy, with few mechanisms to ensure accountability, transparency, or reversibility. Governments are outsourcing censorship to the private sector, where maximizing shareholder value, not upholding journalistic freedom, drives decision-making.

To read the entire article, click here.

Articles on Guatemalan Migration

Posted on Tuesday September 10 2019

Recommended by David Stoll

Guatemala is now the largest source of illegal immigrants headed to the U.S., with the emigration epicenter in Joyabaj, population 100,000 and falling …

To read articles on Guatemalan Migration and its impact on both the United States and Guatemala click here:  Guatemalan Migration Articles

Trump Wants New Nukes. We Can’t Let Him Have Them.

Posted on Tuesday September 10 2019

By Andrew C. Weber

The nuclear weapons posture of the United States of America can make the world safe, or lead us to Armageddon. It generally does not get the attention it deserves, as public concern about nuclear weapons issues declined after the Cold War ended.

President Donald Trump is about to issue a radical Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) which breaks sharply from a bipartisan consensus that has endured since the Reagan administration.

To read the full article, click here:  Trump Wants New Nukes.

 

The Trade Guys

Posted on Friday August 16 2019

Bill Reinsch and Scott Miller

Trade experts Bill Reinsch and Scott Miller break down the buzz around trade, how it affects policy, and how it impacts your day-to-day. The Trade Guys is hosted every week by H. Andrew Schwartz at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C.

To listen to their programs click here:  The Trade Guys

U.S.-China Trade: If We Get to Yes, Will It Make Any Difference?

Posted on Monday July 29 2019

By William Alan Reinsch

The rapid rise of China to the status of economic powerhouse has roiled marketplaces all over the world and caused serious disruptions in the global trading system. Part of this was inevitable—in economics, as in many things, size matters, and China is the proverbial 800-pound gorilla. Once it emerged from its largely self-imposed economic cocoon, it was bound to leave a very large footprint.

To read the full article, click here:  U.S.-China Trade

 

A Glimmer of Light in Venezuela’s Gloom

Posted on Wednesday July 24 2019

Report of the International Crisis Group

Principal Findings:

What’s new? After a failed opposition uprising to oust Venezuelan President
Nicolás Maduro in April, a discreet diplomatic effort by Norway now offers the
best prospect for finding a peaceful negotiated settlement to the country’s political
crisis and averting more violence and instability.

Why does it matter? Venezuela’s economy is in freefall, infrastructure is
falling apart and millions have fled. Without a negotiated solution, the risks of
violence will multiply and threaten to spill over regionally. A small window of
opportunity has opened but could close again at any moment.

What should be done? Pragmatic elements on both sides should seize this
fleeting opportunity to seek a compromise solution including early, free, fair and
internationally monitored elections and guarantees against a winner-take-all
outcome. External allies of government and opposition, together with more neutral
international actors, should back these efforts and coordinate their support.

To read the complete report, click here:  A Glimmer of Light in Venezuela’s Gloom

 

What a Military Intervention in Venezuela Would Look Like: Getting In Would Be the Easy Part

Posted on Saturday July 20 2019

By Frank O. Mora

The United States has a clear objective in Venezuela: regime change and the restoration of democracy and the rule of law. Yet sanctions, international diplomatic isolation, and internal pressure have failed to deliver a breakthrough. Minds are turning to military intervention. U.S. President Donald Trump has said that “all options are on the table.” What if he means it?

To read the full article, click here:  What What Military Intervention in Venezuela Would Look Like

Transatlantic Populism

Posted on Wednesday June 19 2019

by John Shattuck

The US and the European Union (EU) are confronted to-day by a surge of populist nationalism that presents multiple challenges to transatlantic democracy.   Populism is a form of grassroots rebellion against governing elites with a long history and complex relationship to democracy, as illustrated by two historical examples, the rebellions in colonial America and post-1989 Czechoslovakia, both of which led to democratic governments, and two contrary contemporary examples, in the US and Hungary, which have gone in the opposite direction…

To read the full article, click here:  Transatlantic Populism

What We Know About Syria’s Secret Torture Prisons

Posted on Tuesday May 14 2019

By Anne Barnard

Nearly 128,000 people are missing inside a sprawling system of secret prisons run by the Syrian government. Hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have passed through it since the Syrian uprising began in 2011, as the authorities used torture — and the fear of it — to crack down on opposition to President Bashar al-Assad.

Here is what we know about the brutal system that has been critical to Mr. al-Assad’s success in crushing an eight-year revolt.  [click to read more]

Why the U.S. Should Stay Out of Saudi Politics – Let the Royal Family Do Its Job

Posted on Wednesday April 24 2019

By F. Gregory Gause III

In the May/June 2018 issue of Foreign Affairs, I wrote that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), had consolidated his position within the ruling family to such a degree that he was free of the constraints imposed by the collective leadership model that characterized the Saudi regime in the past. That freedom of action allowed MBS to take important steps toward economic and social change, such as privatizing five percent of the state oil company, Saudi Aramco, and allowing women to drive… [click to read more]

Democracy undone: the global rise of populist authoritarianism

Posted on Sunday February 10 2019

by the GroundTruth Project

 

BOSTON  One third of the world’s people now live in countries that are becoming less democratic, including India, the United States, Brazil, Colombia, Russia, Turkey, Israel, Thailand, Ukraine, Hungary and Poland.  According to the latest annual Freedom in the World report by the NGO Freedom House, global freedom has declined for the last 13 years, in what they call a “democratic recession.” “Of the 41 countries that were consistently ranked Free from 1985 to 2005, 22 have registered net score declines in the last five years,” says the report, with the trend now reaching traditional, established, democracies.

The driving force? Populist authoritarianism, say scholars and authors like Joshua Kurlantzick, Vikram J. Singh and Max Boot.   “The rise of populist authoritarianism is perhaps the greatest threat we face as a world right now. It is eroding democratic institutions in so many corners of the world and here in the United States. We ignore this threat at our own peril,” said Max Boot, an American conservative who has been among the vanguard of those sounding the alarm on this issue.

As Kurlantzick writes, autocratic populists “win democratic elections and then undermine democratic institutions and norms without becoming outright dictators.” These efforts take different forms, including harassment or imprisonment of civil society leaders, attacks against the press, restrictions on civil liberties, erosion of democratic norms as well as tacit and sometimes overt condoning of violence and hate crimes. All are fueled by nationalist and xenophobic rhetoric distributed on social media platforms.

At the same time, some scholars and policymakers are taking a careful look at how the current global economic order is pushing societies toward populism and a new generation of human rights advocates are stepping up to try to turn the tide.

As part of its commitment to reporting on rising global authoritarianism, GroundTruth is offering five, 2-month reporting fellowships for emerging journalists to report these issues in-depth. We are looking for talented, emerging journalists from around the world to be part of this project, and we invite applications from any medium. But please note this special coverage will be the basis for the 2019 season of the GroundTruth Podcast, so all candidates (even those for whom audio is not their primary medium) should include clear and detailed ideas for how they will convey the reporting using evocative and compelling audio.  Past podcasting experience is not required. If you have never worked in audio, we will have producers and editors who will help you execute in the field.

With new support from the MacArthur Foundation and in close collaboration with major publishing outlets, GroundTruth will be able to offer $10,000 to each fellow to cover a project budget for travel/lodging expenses, risk assessment, insurance and training as well as compensation for stories and podcast episodes produced.

Fellowship candidates are asked to apply via Submittable by March 17.

“Putin wanted to interrogate me. Trump called it ‘an incredible offer.’ Why?”

Posted on Wednesday August 29 2018

By Michael McFaul.          “I thought I was done worrying about Vladimir Putin. I left Moscow in 2014 as the departing U.S. ambassador, after Putin spent my two-year stint deploying state-controlled media outlets and their surrogates to propagate disinformation about me. He’d been received tepidly in his campaign to retake the presidency from his ally, Dmitry Medvedev, and he needed an enemy. So his proxies falsely argued [keep reading] . . .

“The Magnitsky Affair”

Posted on Tuesday August 28 2018

By Amy Knight (New York Review):       “Last May, a money-laundering suit brought by the United States against Prevezon Holdings Ltd., a Cyprus-based real estate corporation, was unexpectedly settled three days before it was set to go to trial. The case had been at the center of a major international political controversy. Prevezon, which is owned by a Kremlin-connected Russian businessman named Denis Katsyv, was accused by the US government of using laundered money from a 2007 Russian tax fraud to buy millions of dollars’ worth of Manhattan real estate. The fraud, which was discovered by a Russian accountant named Sergei Magnitsky. . . [Click to Read More]

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Announcements

Coastal Maine Climate Futures

Posted on Thursday December 5

By Sean Birkel and Paul Mayewski Climate and weather exert a critical influence on the health of Maine’s people, ecosystems and economy. Across coastal communities, where fishing, forestry, tourism, and agriculture serve as the economic backbone, the changing climate poses near and long-term challenges. These challenges include warming ocean temperatures, a longer growing season and […]

Read full announcement »

Winning the Peace in Iraq — Don’t Give Up on Baghdad’s Fragile Democracy

Posted on Tuesday October 29

By Linda Robinson For Americans who came of age near the turn of the current century, the war in Iraq was a generation-defining experience. When the United States invaded the country in 2003, toppling the government of Saddam Hussein in a matter of weeks, many saw the war as a necessary or even noble endeavor […]

Read full announcement »

When Fighting Fake News Aids Censorship

Posted on Friday October 4

By Courtney C. Radsch Laws meant to curb “fake news” may be well intentioned, but their implementation has been sloppy, with few mechanisms to ensure accountability, transparency, or reversibility. Governments are outsourcing censorship to the private sector, where maximizing shareholder value, not upholding journalistic freedom, drives decision-making. To read the entire article, click here.

Read full announcement »

Articles on Guatemalan Migration

Posted on Tuesday September 10

Recommended by David Stoll Guatemala is now the largest source of illegal immigrants headed to the U.S., with the emigration epicenter in Joyabaj, population 100,000 and falling … To read articles on Guatemalan Migration and its impact on both the United States and Guatemala click here:  Guatemalan Migration Articles

Read full announcement »

Trump Wants New Nukes. We Can’t Let Him Have Them.

Posted on Tuesday September 10

By Andrew C. Weber The nuclear weapons posture of the United States of America can make the world safe, or lead us to Armageddon. It generally does not get the attention it deserves, as public concern about nuclear weapons issues declined after the Cold War ended. President Donald Trump is about to issue a radical […]

Read full announcement »

The Trade Guys

Posted on Friday August 16

Bill Reinsch and Scott Miller Trade experts Bill Reinsch and Scott Miller break down the buzz around trade, how it affects policy, and how it impacts your day-to-day. The Trade Guys is hosted every week by H. Andrew Schwartz at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C. […]

Read full announcement »

U.S.-China Trade: If We Get to Yes, Will It Make Any Difference?

Posted on Monday July 29

By William Alan Reinsch The rapid rise of China to the status of economic powerhouse has roiled marketplaces all over the world and caused serious disruptions in the global trading system. Part of this was inevitable—in economics, as in many things, size matters, and China is the proverbial 800-pound gorilla. Once it emerged from its […]

Read full announcement »

A Glimmer of Light in Venezuela’s Gloom

Posted on Wednesday July 24

Report of the International Crisis Group Principal Findings: What’s new? After a failed opposition uprising to oust Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in April, a discreet diplomatic effort by Norway now offers the best prospect for finding a peaceful negotiated settlement to the country’s political crisis and averting more violence and instability. Why does it matter? […]

Read full announcement »

What a Military Intervention in Venezuela Would Look Like: Getting In Would Be the Easy Part

Posted on Saturday July 20

By Frank O. Mora The United States has a clear objective in Venezuela: regime change and the restoration of democracy and the rule of law. Yet sanctions, international diplomatic isolation, and internal pressure have failed to deliver a breakthrough. Minds are turning to military intervention. U.S. President Donald Trump has said that “all options are […]

Read full announcement »

Transatlantic Populism

Posted on Wednesday June 19

by John Shattuck The US and the European Union (EU) are confronted to-day by a surge of populist nationalism that presents multiple challenges to transatlantic democracy.   Populism is a form of grassroots rebellion against governing elites with a long history and complex relationship to democracy, as illustrated by two historical examples, the rebellions in colonial […]

Read full announcement »

What We Know About Syria’s Secret Torture Prisons

Posted on Tuesday May 14

By Anne Barnard Nearly 128,000 people are missing inside a sprawling system of secret prisons run by the Syrian government. Hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have passed through it since the Syrian uprising began in 2011, as the authorities used torture — and the fear of it — to crack down on […]

Read full announcement »

Why the U.S. Should Stay Out of Saudi Politics – Let the Royal Family Do Its Job

Posted on Wednesday April 24

By F. Gregory Gause III In the May/June 2018 issue of Foreign Affairs, I wrote that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), had consolidated his position within the ruling family to such a degree that he was free of the constraints imposed by the collective leadership model that characterized the Saudi regime in the past. That freedom […]

Read full announcement »

Democracy undone: the global rise of populist authoritarianism

Posted on Sunday February 10

by the GroundTruth Project   BOSTON — One third of the world’s people now live in countries that are becoming less democratic, including India, the United States, Brazil, Colombia, Russia, Turkey, Israel, Thailand, Ukraine, Hungary and Poland.  According to the latest annual Freedom in the World report by the NGO Freedom House, global freedom has declined for […]

Read full announcement »

“Putin wanted to interrogate me. Trump called it ‘an incredible offer.’ Why?”

Posted on Wednesday August 29

By Michael McFaul.          “I thought I was done worrying about Vladimir Putin. I left Moscow in 2014 as the departing U.S. ambassador, after Putin spent my two-year stint deploying state-controlled media outlets and their surrogates to propagate disinformation about me. He’d been received tepidly in his campaign to retake the presidency from his ally, Dmitry […]

Read full announcement »

“The Magnitsky Affair”

Posted on Tuesday August 28

By Amy Knight (New York Review):       “Last May, a money-laundering suit brought by the United States against Prevezon Holdings Ltd., a Cyprus-based real estate corporation, was unexpectedly settled three days before it was set to go to trial. The case had been at the center of a major international political controversy. Prevezon, which is owned by a […]

Read full announcement »

Read all announcements »