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Had enough of ‘alternative facts’ and immigrant-bashing? openDemocracy is different - join us and hear from Elif Shafak, Brian Eno, Peter Oborne, Sultan al-Qassemi, Birgitta Jonsdottir & many more on what we can do together in 2017.

This week's editor

Manuel Serrano

Manuel Serrano is junior editor at DemocraciaAbierta.

Why mindfulness matters now

I didn’t learn how to cross lines of difference when I was younger. Maybe you didn’t either, but we can all learn it now.  

Inequality and protest – getting it right

We are making a choice, “Can we live with the outcomes of this economic system? Or are we going to have to change this system?”

Armenia: before the goldrush

A British mining company has struck gold in southern Armenia. What’s in it for the locals? Updated 3 February with reply. Русский

Dirty power corrupts

It's time for the Welsh government to act against filthy coal power.

Debunking the myths that underpin Britain's arms exports to Saudi Arabia

The five main arguments for the UK to keep exporting arms to Saudi Arabia all hold little water.

Lies and manipulation threaten US media and politicians

If America under Trump begins to look like the old Middle East and Russia, the risks of a crisis getting out of hand are huge. Português Español

Turkish academics know the danger of post-truth. We can learn from their experience

The belief that there exists a central truth that can be secured from above yet that remains somehow liberal rather than authoritarian is a fatal mistake. 

Ukraine’s eastern front: a Trump card in a bigger game?

nybmIlf4_0.jpgEverybody wants better relations between Russia and the west. But leaders in Moscow and DC could throw Ukraine under the bus to get them.

 

Haiti’s “linguistic apartheid” violates children’s rights and hampers development

Haiti’s educational system routinely discriminates against those who don’t speak French—which is the vast majority of the population. Kreyòl

Rolls Royce's corruption has real victims

Britain's biggest manufacturor has apologised in court for bribing middle-men around the world. But the ruling on Rolls-Royce’s settlement – following widespread corruption allegations – fell rather short; particularly for their victims.

Penal populism and the BDS movement after Security Council Res. 2334

Despite a backdrop of symbolic mislabelling, campaigns such as BDS seem to have formulated new horizons of civil and political practice (in opposition to the mere declamation) of human rights.

Do you remember what happened to David Kelly?

In this extract from his memoirs, Tom Mangold recounts the real story of what happened to his friend, the world's leading weapons inspector, Dr David Kelly.

Brazilian anti-indigenism

The co-optation of the state by large building companies and corporations in the mining-energy sector is adding to the agony of indigenous peoples, dispossessed of their ancestral territories by government resolutions. Español Português

Do the people of Kurdistan live in security?

The main threat to the people in the Kurdistan Region in Iraq is not ISIL, but failed governance which endangers human security.

Where now for Ukraine’s brave new journalism?

Three years on from the start of Ukraine’s democratic revolution, freedom of speech still isn’t valued by the authorities. And there’s only more ways to shut down debate. Русский

Trump is creating a real threat to security by trumpeting a false one

The order is not only morally reprehensible and legally problematic; it is also strategically irresponsible and will create real security risks for the United States.

Escaping domestic violence: ‘according to the law, you are not here’

Many women survivors of violence in Europe cannot access support services because of their migration status. The right to live free from violence should be based on presence in a territory not legal status.  

A separation: Syrian asylum seekers in Germany

Rapidly changing asylum policies, plus legal and bureaucratic hurdles mean that many Syrian asylum seekers in Germany are separated from their families for years or even forced apart post-arrival. Gender shapes this experience.

Trump's slap in the face of Lady Liberty

Will women be turned away from the UN Commission on the Status of Women, to be held in March, in New York? The world's global institutions must fight the 'Muslim Ban', starting with the United Nations.

What will happen mañana? Brexit and return migration of retirees from Spain

Brexit could prompt hundreds of thousands of British retirees to return from continental Europe, placing additional strain on the UK’s health and social welfare systems.

Who wants to live in a frictionless world?

Unless life is uncomfortable, there’s no room for transformation.

Theresa May’s refusal to speak in Ireland’s parliament is an act of foreign policy vandalism

Turning down an invitation to become the second ever British PM to address the Dáil, while clutching Trump's hand, May displays disastrous imperial neurosis.

Trump & Modi hover over Jaipur Literature Festival

Since both Trump and Modi excite hearts rather than minds, they ought to be invited to the next Jaipur Literature Festival.

China and the embarrassment of western democracy

The trouble for democracy does not come from Beijing, or from globalisation, or from abroad, or, in Britain, from immigration or from Europe. It resides at home.

Broken politics: from 9/11 to the present

The years since 9/11 have cast a dark shadow over global politics in many respects. But we have the option of recalling where the pursuit of authoritarianism leads.

A word about Trump from the American republic's founders

And a warning to Republicans who claim to revere them.

What we can learn from the Supreme Court decision on Article 50

The Miller case teaches us about the British Constitution and exposes alarming ignorance from those at the top.

Under Trump, we are all women

The same strategies used against women for decades by the Christian right and the anti-abortion movement are now, under Donald Trump's presidency, being turned on the American people as a whole.

‘Woman’ has become a dirty word

The Women’s Marches' use of ‘pussy’ as a symbol has led to accusations that they were trans-exclusionary.  Are we witnessing the erasure of woman as a sex category?

Privacy and Data Protection Day: restoring trust for digital citizens

The web has made our world increasingly borderless, and digital security should be borderless too, not just a privilege of those who can afford it.