May 21 - 27 on openDemocracy

Øyvind Paasche calls on climate change scientists to get out of their hamster wheel and make an impact. But mostly our writers bring passionate understanding to local issues. Starting in Africa, Adoyi Onoja examines the flaws in Nigeria's evolving model of security, a theme extended by Phil Clark's reflection on the possibilities of successful protest in sub-Saharan Africa. Moving north, Mariz Tadros assesses the Muslim Brotherhood's threat to women in Egypt; Ziba Mir-Hosseini and Zainah Anwar (also in 50:50) explore the space in Muslim tradition for decoding patriarchal family laws; Francis Ghilès recalls a half-century's entanglement with Tunisia; and, following the death of the Libyan convicted over the Lockerbie atrocity, Paul Rogers reopens the question of responsibility for the crime.

7 June 2012

A leadership transition approaches in the most powerful country of the greater Eurasian landmass China. openDemocracy’s columnist, Li Datong is cautiously hopeful that the next generation will be bold enough to make needed reforms; for Henryk Szadziewski, the demolition of ancient Kashgar in China's far west reveals a bleaker story. In oDRussia, the return of Vladimir Putin provokes Artemi Troitsky to piteous scorn of his lonely president and Shamil Yenikeyeff to worry over the country's stagnation, while Vladimer Papava in Georgia questions the integrity of the west's "democratic" claims. 

On the continent’s southernmost edge the reconciliation efforts of young Sri Lankans in the diaspora across ethnic-political divides offer a hopeful example, and Massimo di Ricco scrutinises the issue of debate about conflict against the background of a kidnapping case in Colombia – both in a striking openSecurity debate. 

In the Middle East, Yossi Alpher finds little hope for Israeli-Palestinian peace in the formation of a new government in Israel, while in openSecurity, Andrea Teti suggests that Nato can learn from the EU's experience in the region.

Iannis Carras ponders the theme of suicide as Greece and Europe prepare for its new election in the ongoing crisis of the EUEric Gordy anatomises a new Serbian disillusion, and Patrice de Beer measures the French president's delicate political balancing-act.

Anna Minton tracks the London Olympics' expropriation of public space as a new debate is launched in the British section. John Davey welcomes England's emergence from Britain's failed modernisation, Jeremy Fox mourns the UK's anachronistic brand-projection, Gerry Hassan presents a vision of Scotland's self-determination, and Julian Sarayer and Padraig Reidy highlight different aspects of Twitter's political potential as Tony Curzon Pricereviews the birth of the English Bible.

The new debate on the BBC runs Dan Hind's challenging open letter to the Corporation's chairman while its Steering Group meets for the first time to cries of protest from readers. 

Links you wouldn't want to miss from around the web:

Is internet manufacturing the democratic industrial revolution?

Progressive politics for hard times

Poland emerges as a central European powerhouse

A blueprint for the P2P economy




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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