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Glory, Geopolitics and Goodbyes: August 27th - September 2nd on openDemocracy

A week that saw the death of the first person to set foot on the moon and the start of the global Paralympic games is a reminder of how far human ingenuity and imagination can reach. OpenDemocracy continues to ask whether these qualities can be applied to solving shared, collective problems - from extremist violence in Norway and conflict in Syria to corruption in Russia and childbirth mortality in Chad.

5 October 2012

 After the verdict in the Breivik trial, Marte Christensen presents video-interviews from Norwegian observers, Cas Mudde sees the outcome as a vindication of democratic values while oD’s Editor-in-Chief Magnus Nome writes on the three key texts of the terror attack.

The persistence of even greater violence in the Middle East was a strong focus, with Carsten Wieland and Michael Degerald taking an in-depth look at the background to Syria’s crisis, and Bill Park assessing the impact of the conflict on Turkey’s relationship with the Kurds.

Paul Rogers sees the US’s arms-sales to and close links with Israel and Saudi Arabia as a key to the prospect of war with Iran, while Chelsea L. Daymon gauges the Egypt-Iran connection. Also in the region, Tim Parsons and Rhiannon Smith chart the fallout of revolution in Egypt and Libya. Ibu Sanjeeb Garg tracks the upsurge in ethnic violence in India’s eastern borderlands, and the failures of state are echoed in a critique of Italian policy towards immigrants.

This, however, was also a week of modest progress in Colombia and Somalia, the subject of careful overviews by Kristian Herbolzheimer and Lawrence Gitonga Mwongera. In east Asia, Kerry Brown asks what is really at issue in the latest “islands” spat between China and Japan, and Tsering Passang proposes a referendum to end the Tibet crisis.

The domestic problems of two former superpowers provide rich argument. Ruth Rosen’s analysis of “voter suppression” in the US is buttressed by Joseph Attwood on the spreading controversy. A portrait of Putin’s realm begins with Sergei Lukashevsky on the background to the “Pussy Riot” affair in Russia, and is amplified by Grigory Tumanov’s hard questions of Moscow’s anti-extremism agency, and Asmik Novikova and Natalya Taubina’s on its police reform.

OurKingdom and OurBeeb’s dissection of British politics and broadcasting focuses inter alia on the roots of riots, G4S security fiasco, rail scandals, and the future of the Left.

It was also a week of farewell: to the innovative Israeli-Palestinian e-zine Bitterlemons, marked by the founders Yossi Alpher and Ghassan Khatib, and tributes by Rosemary Hollis and Allison Good. Thanks to the net, their valuable decade’s work lives on.


Links not to miss:


Desmond Tutu says Tony Blair should face trial over Iraq war

Robert Borosage on Romney and Republican short memories

 Fox News shocks the world by introducing some fairness and balance – Sally Kohn’s critique of Paul Ryan’s convention speech. (They then do their best to bury it after it went viral.)

 

openDemocracy’s week in 400 words is emailed to Members and Friends to help pay for our great content. Please forward this to any contact you think might be interested and want to join; they should see here or email [email protected].

 

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

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