Brexit, aboriginal day, Colombia, a poem: Matters of Facts, and Opinions

Dawn breaks behind the Houses of Parliament and the statue of Winston Churchill in Westminster, London, Britain June 24, 2016. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Dawn breaks behind the Houses of Parliament and the statue of Winston Churchill in Westminster, London, Britain June 24, 2016. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

‘Explosive shock’ as Britain votes to leave EU, Cameron quits, by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton  Report

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks after Britain voted to leave the European Union, outside Number 10 Downing Street in London, Britain June 24, 2016. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron speaks after Britain voted to leave the European Union, outside Number 10 Downing Street in London, Britain June 24, 2016. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

 Britain has voted to leave the European Union, forcing the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron and dealing the biggest blow since World War Two to the European project of forging greater unity.

Brexit Factbox: Who, where, when why – and what next, by Alastair MacDonald, Report

In England’s Mean and Truculent Land, by Jonathan Manthorpe, F&O International Affairs columnist

Britain’s departure from the EU will be a journey across new territory full of terrors and treacherous terrain. Among the many stupidities in Cameron’s management of the referendum was allowing a simple majority for victory.

An American “Brexit” revolt? Not likely, by Tom Regan, F&O Summoning Orenda columnist

Immediately after the Brexit vote, to take Britain out of the European Union, the hyperventilating United States  media found umpteen different ways to say “It could happen here.” This American media chorus is wrong.

Joyful rebels sign ceasefire with Colombian government, by Marc Frank and Carlos Vargas, report

A historic ceasefire deal brought Colombia’s government and leftist FARC rebels close to ending the longest running conflict in the Americas. Capping three years of peace talks in Cuba, it sparked celebrations, and set the stage for a final deal to end a guerrilla war born in the 1960s out of frustration with deep socio-economic inequalities.

Note to our readers: Facts and Opinions will take a summer break next week, returning on July 10.

Commentary:

The Revolt of (some of) the 4.5%, by Jim McNiven, Thoughtlines  Column

One of the American presumptive presidential candidates has been creating a big nationalist fuss about ‘Making America Great Again’. Somehow, according to this interpretation, the country’s just not given the respect it had in the past….

Canada’s National Aboriginal Day, by Deborah Jones/Free Range Column

Time, some vast and today unfathomable sweep of time, may eventually heal the wounds in the people, families and communities left by Canada’s treatment of its first peoples; of even the theft, abuse and murder of generations of children. For now, on the first day of summer each year, Canada celebrates National Aboriginal Day.

Singing is the best revenge, by Penney Kome/Over Easy Column

Heightened security will greet a major Denver music festival, from  July 2 – 6. For a week, the U.S. city’s music venues will showcase 6000 singers in 130 groups.

Arts: 

 

Georgia O'Keeffe - Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico / Out Back of Marie's II, 1930 Oil on canvas mounted on board. Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Gift of The Burnett Foundation ©Georgia O'Keeffe Museum via The Tate

The Tate Modern in London debuts its Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition July 6. Said the museum, “with no works by O’Keeffe in UK public collections this exhibition is a rare opportunity to see over 100 of her remarkable paintings outside the US.” Image: Georgia O’Keeffe – Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico / Out Back of Marie’s II, 1930 Oil on canvas mounted on board. Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Gift of The Burnett Foundation ©Georgia O’Keeffe Museum….. visit the Tate site.

Fearful Symmetry — a poem, by Stephen Collis, excerpt

A poem  from the Chapbook New Life, available this month by Above/Ground Press.

Note to our readers: Facts and Opinions will take a summer break next week, returning on July 10.

FINDINGS:

NASA updated our image of the Big Blue Marble this month. Read Jim McNiven on Robert Goddard's role in the technology that made possible space exploration.

NASA updated our image of the Big Blue Marble this month. Read Jim McNiven on Robert Goddard’s role in the technology that made possible space exploration.

“Act locally, think globally.” We’ve all heard that one. But the mayors of more than 7,100 cities, in 119 countries, just put it into practice, announcing their commitment to tackle climate change. The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy represents some 600 million people, more than 8 per cent of the world’s population. Read about it on the covenant site.

Also on the climate front, a new paper in the science journal Nature Climate Change, Why the right climate target was agreed in Paris may convey hope. The researchers, from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said limiting temperature rise within survivable limits “is possible, yet requires transformational change across the board of modernity.” Their work, remarked a Washington Post report, suggests that the  Paris climate agreement has what it takes to stabilize climate change. “That’s a pretty big deal,” wrote Chris Mooney.

Brexit became a household word overnight. But in the larger context, are all of Europe’s fault lines deepening dangerously?  Conflict experts told Common Space the European Union is in for a rocky time, even without Brexit, due to “nationalistic and racist politics” and with economic conditions …. continue reading at Common Space.

When even the IMF warns America about its poverty levels, people listen. The U.S. economy “is in good shape” — but is threatened in future by declining labor force participation, falling productivity growth, polarization in the distribution of income and wealth, and high levels of poverty, said the International Monetary Fund, after an annual analysis. It said about one in seven people are impoverished, and recommended raising the minimum wage and offering paid maternity leave. … find the IMF press release here.

William Koch’s recent sale of 20,000 bottles of wine for $21.9 million prompted Oliver Roeder of FiveThirtyEight to look into this rarefied underground.  “… wat I found was a high-end wine market, and a blockbuster auction, with notes of geography, chemistry, economics, culture and thousands of years of history — with a detectable aroma of bullshit.” …. read The Weird World of Expensive Wine.

Elsewhere, Nepal banned its citizens from working in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria because of the recent slaughter of 13 Nepalis and the ongoing terrorist threat. Thousands of migrants were rescued on the Mediterranean this week. South Africa’s top court ruled that 800 corruption charges against  President Jacob Zuma will stand. Game of Thrones production will not be affected by Brexit, said HBO, responding to stories warning filming in the UK would be disrupted. Pope Francis named the mass killings of Armenians — a red hot button in Turkey — “genocide.” Rulings by America’s top court put paid to an amnesty plan, and upheld affirmative action at a Texas university — a case, reports ProPublica, not quite as the plaintiffs presented it.   In Bangladesh, Buddhist monks served food to Muslims breaking their fast at sunset.

— Deborah Jones

Updated June 25 to include Tom Regan’s column

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