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This week's editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Telling the story of how women become asylum seekers

Let the women who come to Britain for asylum from rape and mayhem in their own countries, be heard. The theatre brings their stories to life.

The road to endless war

The politicians and diplomats lead the summits and rule the airwaves. But a close look at the Afghanistan-Pakistan conflict reveals that the United States military take the decisions.

HIV Prevention: towards the medicalisation of sex?

2010 will be a year to remember for the field of HIV prevention. Two clinical studies are raising the hope that the HIV epidemic can be tamed. But only if we get it right.

Rescue the EU’s External Action Service from the European Commission

The air in Brussels is thick with a storm over the European External Action Service, basically caused by the European Commission trying to break its word on peace-building.

Iraqi refugees: problems and prospects

Iraqi refugees in neighbouring Arab states are unwilling to return to their country and unable to emigrate further west. Their perilous situation needs to be addressed by the powers who created this humanitarian crisis, says Dawn Chatty.

‘N-A-T-O? What’s that stand for?’

How can we cheer NATO for promising equality for women in an institution we deplore? We are saying: ‘military security’ is an oxymoron. Women ascribe a totally different meaning to the word security

Prophecy is suggesting the possible

"Our values of interdependence are no longer crazy talk. Our language has been mainstreamed." Diana Francis reports on a discussion between peace academics about how to globalise the work of conflict transformation

War crimes trial of Congolese militia leader begins at International Criminal Court

War crimes trial begins of Congolese militia leader accused of turning blind eye to mass rape and killings. Circumstantial evidence emerges of Hezbollah link to Hariri’s assassination. Al-Qaeda boasts of parcel bomb plot in latest propaganda magazine. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

Confusion over US-Israel settlement deal

The US and Israel deadlocked over settlement negotiations. The speaker of the Lebanese National Assembly has said the Israeli withdrawal from Ghajar does not mean the end of resistance. French President Sarkozy is under increasing pressure to speak out over his complicity in using funds from arms sales to Pakistan to fund a Presidential campaign. NATO chiefs meet at a crucial summit in Lisbon. All this and more in today’s security update…

Civil resistance and the language of power

“If you want to build a ship, don’t gather your people and ask them to provide wood, prepare tools, assign tasks. Call them together and raise in their minds the longing for the endless sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Scotland: The end of devolution as we knew it

Scotland's budget may have been announced by the Finance Minister for the governing Scottish National Party, but it closed an era without opening the prospects for a new one

After Lisbon, what next?

This weekend world leaders are assembling in Lisbon to discuss a new NATO security concept for Europe. Yet in focusing on external threats, the alliance is likely to ignore significant back-yard tensions. The continent would be wise to look elsewhere to ensure its long-term security, writes Jana Kobzova.

The trifecta of civil resistance: unity, planning, discipline

Three attributes can make the difference between success and failure for nonviolent movements around the world: unity, planning, and nonviolent discipline.

Israel vs Iran: the Washington factor

The mid-term election results in the United States carry implications for Israel’s military plans towards Iran.

Calls for calm after Haiti riots target UN

Calls for calm after riots target UN over cholera. State of emergency declared over post-election violence in Guinea. Attempted 'coup' as Madagascar votes on constitutional referendum. All this and more in today's briefing...

War and 1325: principles or diversity checkbox ?

Why were women career soldiers, US defense contractors, female peace activists and Pentagon officials talking to each other in Washington DC ? Lyric Thompson reports on a most unusual conversation...

Can Murdoch be stopped? Britain examines its stable door

As with Italy, it is not just the failure to maintain public standards that damages the nation. A foreign media tycoon wields staggering power and control over British politics and yet, so shabby has public life become, that even the pretence of integrity seems too much effort for the political class to muster.

Remember the Suffragettes: a Black Friday vigil in honour of direct action

A hundred years ago a massive confrontation outside parliament led to two suffragettes dying from police brutality as many were wounded. We should join a memorial vigil and honour the methods as well as the sacrifice and the cause of those who died.

'Lord of War' arrives in US following extradition

Viktor Bout, the man at the centre of a long-standing war of words between US and Russia, finally arrives in NYC; Millions of North Koreans face food-shortages despite better harvest, says UN report; Serbia asks Interpol for help in the hunt for Ratko Mladic. All this and more in today's global security briefing.

Red lenses on a rainbow of revolutions

Given continued strikes in Iran and the freeing of Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma, neither the Burmese nor Iranian struggle for democracy is a story that should be characterized as an example of a failed movement and successful repression. But it is up to us - the global audience - to understand our responsibility in this dynamic.

The Anishinabe and an unsung nonviolent victory in late twentieth-century Wisconsin

In the wake of the civil rights movement in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s, many Native Americans adopted civil resistance to fight for rights supposedly guaranteed in the 19th century by the government's treaties with their tribes. This true story is how one tribe in Wisconsin, using nonviolent strategies, prevailed in that fight.

Repression’s paradox in China

From the authoritarian’s perspective, internal dissidents are easy to deal with – put them in jail, have them disappeared, exiled, or executed. It is not so easy to silence the prestigious Nobel committee, however, let alone the international community. Of course, that is exactly why Professor Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Upsurge in repression challenges nonviolent resistance in Western Sahara

Sahrawis have engaged in protests, strikes, cultural celebrations, and other forms of civil resistance focused on such issues as educational policy, human rights, the release of political prisoners, and the right to self-determination. They have also raised the cost of occupation for the Moroccan government and increased the visibility of the Sahrawi cause.

Humiliated Met police is an enemy of free speech

It shouldn’t come as a great surprise that a powerful institution like the UK's Metropolitan Police, wrong footed and deeply embarrassed by the student protest at Millbank on 10 November, would throw its resources into a major operation to hunt down the protesters who had humiliated them.

People power and the new global ferment

People power does not lend itself to the geo-strategic interests of empires or warlords, since it is based on collective action and civic unity, as well as the refusal to comply with existing power-holders. Any movement that opts for civil resistance has to encompass and attempt to represent diverse social groups.

Killing a Mockingbird: Letter to my unborn daughter

There is something about education that confers dignity and breaks chains. It is the reason, dear daughter, why I cannot wait to read you this book once you are born. What Jem and Scot know at 10 and 6 years of age, many adults do not know at 50 and 60 years of age

Rights groups call for investigation into violence in Western Sahara

Rights groups call for international probe into violence in Western Sahara. Cholera reaches Port-au-Prince, confirming health workers’ worst fears. Iraqi politicians finally negotiate government after months of deadlock. Former Navy admirals slam decision to scrap Harriers, claiming the move will jeopardise the Falklands. All this and much more in today's Security Briefing...

Leaving Camp Liberty

An interview with Michael (pseudonym), US citizen, born in 1978, who went to work in Iraq in April 2010 for a company taking care of logistics for the US. After three months at three military bases, he concluded that it would be better for the Americans to leave

Turkey's judgement day: the trial of the Kurds

Margaret Owen, a member of the UK Independent Observer delegation, reports on the KCK trial in Diyarbakir before today's ruling

America vs al-Qaida: the widening war

The signals of growing turbulence in a range of military environments - Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen and beyond - send a worrying message to Washington.

Admirals' letter liberated from behind the Times paywall

British naval establishment writes to the Times to protest the planned cuts and warns of dire consequences.

Armenia and Georgia foil latest uranium smuggling plot

Joint anti-nuclear proliferation operation results in multiple arrests in Georgia. One year after Fort Hood shootings, US army outlines plans for radical security overhaul. Somali pirates land largest-ever ransom payment. All this and more in today's security briefing.

Documents at odds: the UK’s national security review

The narrative of the Cold War imposed a simplified vision of the world. The UK’s defence review does move towards an understanding that risks normally associated with domestic concerns now have to be dealt with on a global scale. What it does not do is to create a capability for this kind of intervention

Delegation to Berlin

To mark the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, we have a true story from its early days. It is about a young man's rites of passage, but also an era of deception, self-deception and co-option, when those who made the journey to the other side could be turned by the Cold War into weapons.

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