China conscripts Blackwater chief for its march into Africa

JONATHAN MANTHORPEJanuary 31, 2014 As the contest for influence in Asia between China and Japan spills over into a scramble for trade, resources and political support in Africa, Beijing has gathered into its camp one of the world’s most famous mercenaries. Erik

Singin’ for Freedom: Pete Seeger

American icon Pete Seeger died Monday, January 27, 2014. Author and filmmaker Silver Donald Cameron wrote this newspaper column about Pete Seeger in the dark days of 2001, and F&O re-publishes it here, free of charge, with Silver Donald’s kind permission. An

Pete Seeger: Farewell to a Giant

American icon Pete Seeger died Monday, January 27, 2014. Author and filmmaker Silver Donald Cameron wrote this newspaper column about him in the dark days of 2001. By SILVER DONALD CAMERONPublished on F&O January 28, 2014 In June, 1969, I was rattling

On the science of handedness and brain symmetry

A new science piece in Expert Witness looks at handedness and brain asymmetry, once regarded as unique to humans — but  widespread among animals, and a factor in language and tool use. An excerpt: Although it may be the absence of asymmetry

Rethinking bias, left or right

“It’s a popular refrain that the facts have a left-wing bias,” writes Natural Security columnist Chris Wood. “But that doesn’t make the progressive left immune from the same sort of selective consciousness its members so quickly denounce on the right. Empiricism is

Follies to the right, follies to the left

CHRIS WOOD: NATURAL SECURITYPublished January 25, 2014  It’s a popular refrain that the facts have a left-wing bias. Sometimes. But that doesn’t make the progressive left immune from the same sort of selective consciousness its members so quickly denounce on the right.

Coups threaten Thailand’s controversial leaders

Government and politics are in such turmoil in Thailand that some citizens are even re-thinking its one-person-one vote democratic structure. International affairs columnist Jonathan Manthorpe looks at the history and recent reasons for clashes between the protesting “elites” and the rural voters who

Thailand’s PM Yingluck faces judicial as well as military coup

JONATHAN MANTHORPEJanuary 24, 2014 Not only Thailand’s generals, but also its judges, are manoeuvring to oust beleaguered Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from government. The Constitutional Court today provided a legal opening to postpone an election set for February 2, which Yingluck called

On corporations and democratizing prosperity: McNiven

The word “corporation” has lately been vilified in polarized political discourse — but not so long ago, it was the political “left” that championed corporations, writes Thoughtlines columnist Jim McNiven. “Democratizing prosperity would have been virtually impossible without ‘freeing’ the corporation, he

Roe V. Wade: a selction of American reporting on abortion

  On the 41st anniversary of the United States’ Roe v. Wade court case, legal battles over abortion in the country still rage. ProPublica compiled some of the more interesting takes on the topic and the broader issue of women’s rights. Go

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