Weekly Links

Preparations for the 1945 San Francisco Conference. By United Nations Photo.

By Patrick Pierson

Angus Deaton, recent recipient of the Nobel Prize for Economics, suggests that foreign aid might be less helpful than we’d like to think. Other scholars suggest that cash grants given directly to the poor may be our best bet. If all else fails, you can forego the more traditional routes altogether and join Oxfam in their support of a reality show featuring female agriculturalists in Tanzania.

While Angela Merkel’s embrace of migrants is laudable, recent trends suggest that the German public’s eagerness to accept refugees may be waning. Unfortunately, such sentiments manifested themselves over the weekend in a horrendous attack on a mayoral candidate in Cologne. While such attacks tend to garner the most media attention, one Eritrean refugee-turned-Catholic priest demonstrates that a single person can still be a force for good.

And although some would argue that “immigration is the greatest anti-poverty program ever devised”, recent history in South Africa demonstrates the need for a thoughtful and carefully nuanced long-term solution – for the sake of the German state and the migrants that cross its borders.

The US military’s latest “fashion” trends have much to say about the country’s broader geopolitical strategy in coming years. The new look may find action sooner than anticipated with the recent announcement of direct US involvement in the fight against Boko Haram.

The fear-mongering and politicization of Islam, specifically the wearing of the niqab, continues to dominate headlines in the run-up to Canadian elections on the 19th. On a related (albeit it surprising) note, the National Front in France is actually making a targeted appeal to Muslim voters while their leader, Marine Le Pen, simultaneously faces charges of hate speech for a 2010 comment comparing Nazis and Muslims.

 

1 comment
  1. Re the niqab, it’s no surprise that as the Conservative Party began to fall in pre-election polls they dredged up the niqab issue in a desperate attempt to garner media attention and rally their hardcore supporters, who, it was speculated, were going soft for the Liberals. This is the same party who is so desperate for re-election they allowed the Ford brothers (Rob Ford is the notorious former mayor of Toronto who, among other embarrassments, was/is a crack addict) to host a pep rally last night. The linked-to article is skewed, as so many flashmob media headlines are, and while it’s important to work against fear-mongering in all its guises, it certainly does not reflect the fuller picture.

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