Journalism Matters: F&O’s fresh sheet

A combination photo shows the St. Basil’s Cathedral (L) and the Kremlin wall, before (top) and after the lights were switched off for Earth Hour in Red Square in central Moscow, Russia, March 25, 2017. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

European leaders renew fraying Union’s vows on 60th anniversary, by  Alastair Macdonald and Jan Strupczewski, Report

German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks back during the EU leaders meeting on the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, in Rome, Italy March 25, 2017. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

Europeans must contain their squabbling and carping about the EU if the Union is to survive, leaders warned on Saturday as they marked the 60th anniversary of its founding in Rome by signing a formal declaration of unity. Four days before Prime Minister Theresa May, absent from the ceremony in the Italian capital, delivers an unprecedented blow to the bloc’s growth by filing Britain’s formal exit papers, her fellow leaders hailed 60 years of peace and prosperity and pledged to deepen a unity frayed by regional and global crises.

Lights go out around the world for 10th Earth Hour, by wire services, with slideshow

The lights are being switched off around the world at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday evening, to mark the 10th annual Earth Hour, and to draw attention to climate change.

America’s Republican Quandary by Jim McNiven   Column

There is a classic John Cleese TV comedy performance, in which as “Basil,” owner/manager of a small British hotel called ‘Fawlty Towers,’ suffers a concussion then mocks German guests by goose-stepping around them, decades after World War II ended. The episode brings to mind today’s Washington, DC.

McGill University mangles academic freedom, by Tom Regan  Column

I recently experienced a moment of cosmic irony.  I had just learned that Andrew Potter, a former editor of the Ottawa Citizen, had “resigned” as head of the Institute for the Study of Canada at McGill University in Montreal, when I received an email from McGill touting that another of their own, Karina Gould, as Canada’s new Minister of Democratic Institutions. How sad that Gould won’t be able to include her alma mater in her new area of expertise.

Sri Lanka’s slow shuffle to lasting peace, by Jonathan Manthorpe   Column

After all wars, the euphoria of peace quickly gives way to the bleak, forbidding reality of the human and physical toll that must now be rebuilt. Resolution is less simple in the aftermath of civil wars. Civil wars are caused by internal social dislocations of one sort or another, and if those root causes are not addressed, the peace is often just a ceasefire. That’s the conundrum facing Sri Lanka eight years after the 26-year civil war ended in 2009.

Fukushima still in hell, by Penney Kome   Column

Six years after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami ruined four nuclear reactors at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi, urgently needed clean up is still stalled. What affects one nation affects us all. The ongoing  tragedy cries out for the United Nations to step in, take charge, and direct all the world’s best minds and resources to containing the disaster and rescuing the people who live there.

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European flags on display in Brussels, Belgium, March 9, 2017. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

In case you missed them:

 Turkey’s dispute with Europe feeds Erdogan’s power thirst, by Jonathan Manthorpe, International Affairs  Column

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, in fighting off a populist challenge from Islamaphobe Geert Wilders, unwittingly gave another demagogue the leg-up he needs to achieve supreme power. The diplomatic face-off between the Netherlands and Turkey was a gift to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

America’s coming civil war … in its GOP, by Tom Regan   Column

There is a war looming on America’s horizon. Not with Iran or China or North Korea … for the moment. No, this war will take place entirely in America, and it will involve members of the Republican Party. It won’t be pretty.

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Noteworthy elsewhere:

Follow America’s political meltdown at these diverse, authoritative and credible news sites: Reuters, the New York TimesPolitico,Washington PostBBC, The GuardianAl Jazeera, France24Financial Times, and The Economist. Consider what many American voters are seeing at Fox News —  but watch with a heaping dose of skeptical salt, and compare Fox coverage to that of the peer-respected, professional and mostly ethical sites listed above.

Terror, shipwreck, guns – 24 hours in a Karachi ambulance, by Samira Shackle, Mosaic. Who would risk their own safety tending to the injured and recovering the dead in one of the most violent cities on earth? Samira Shackle rides along with a driver from the world’s largest voluntary ambulance service.

How the Spanish political laboratory is reconfiguring democracy, by Ramón Andrés Feenstra, Andreu Casero-Ripolles, John Keane and Simon Tormey, The Conversation, part of a series on Democracy Futures.

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