For the Global Thinker

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Skyping with the enemy: I went undercover as a jihadi girlfriend

He got out of his car and his smartphone showed images of a devastated Syria. Not a person in sight. It was about 9pm there, and it was absolutely silent. Suddenly, men’s thick voices broke the silence.
“Don’t say anything!” Bilel ordered. “I don’t want anyone to see or hear you! You’re my jewel; you’re pure. OK? Do you understand?”
Mélodie said she understood. I listened to the conversation. I was able to distinguish the voices of two other men. They greeted each other in Arabic, then French, which sounded like their mother tongue. They laughed, congratulating themselves for having “slaughtered them”.



Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Killing of Osama by Seymour Hersh

The White House still maintains that the mission was an all-American affair, and that the senior generals of Pakistan’s army and Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) were not told of the raid in advance. This is false, as are many other elements of the Obama administration’s account. The White House’s story might have been written by Lewis Carroll: would bin Laden, target of a massive international manhunt, really decide that a resort town forty miles from Islamabad would be the safest place to live and command al-Qaida’s operations? He was hiding in the open. So America said.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Am I being executed?

A Brazilian man executed by firing squad along with seven other prisoners in Indonesia on Wednesday had no idea he was about to be killed until his final minutes, the priest who counselled him has said.


He was hearing voices all the time,” Burrows told Irish radio. “I talked to him for about an hour and a half, trying to prepare him for the execution. I said to him, ‘I’m 72 years old, I’ll be heading to heaven in the near future, so you find out where my house is and prepare a garden for me.’
“But when they took [the prisoners] out of the cells … and when they put these bloody chains on them, he said to me, ‘Am I being executed?’ ” Burrows said.
“I said, ‘Yes, I thought I explained that you.’ He didn’t get excited – he’s a quiet sort of a guy – but he said, ‘This is not right.’


Saturday, April 25, 2015

China’s Offering a World Bank Alternative — and U.S. Allies Are Signing Up


The United States and 15 developed countries control 52 percent of voting rights at the IMF, leaving 48 percent for the 168 other member countries. China, now the world’s biggest economy, has only 3.8 percent of voting power — that’s a smaller share than those of the UK, France, Germany, or Japan. Brazil, South Korea, and Mexico each enjoy less voting power than tiny Belgium.
Despite much protest from the BRICS and other developing economies, they’ve received just 6 percent more voting power over the last 20 years. The proportions and trends have been roughly the same at the World Bank.

The United States and the Europeans have also held tightly to what’s been characterized as their “feudal” prerogatives of filling the World Bank presidency with a U.S. citizen and the managing director post at the IMF with a European.

With some 17 percent of the vote in both institutions, the United States also exercises veto power over key policy decisions. To show that it didn’t want to replicate the Americans’ behavior at the World Bank, Beijing announced that despite its contribution of the largest share of capital to the AIIB, it would not demand veto power over policy decisions.

Read full article here:

Friday, February 6, 2015

"Prison to college" programme builds brighter futures

We are in a university English class watching a lively debate about Macbeth. The enthusiasm of the visiting professor and the students is infectious.

We feel like we could be in any university across the United States. That is until the harsh crackle of a prison guard's walkie-talkie cuts the ambience and reminds us that 


Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think

Exceptional article...I really hope we are in the last days of the War on Drugs.

Read full article here...

The Body Modifiers

Humans have been altering their bodies permanently for thousands of years. Tattoos, piercings, and scarification have been practiced to demonstrate tribal allegiances, to show a life history, to say a constant prayer, to give a warning, or simply to act as an amazing work of art.....