16 April 2015   Leave a comment

Pope Francis ignited a firestorm of criticism from Turkey with his reference to the Armenian genocide.  The genocide, which took place 100 years ago, was the first of the particularly bloody 20th century.  The Turks admit that killings did take place, but they were deaths associated with the conduct of the first World War.  The New York Times ran an article that brings substantive information to the debate and places the horrible episode in historical context.   The discussion is especially vital in light of Holocaust Remembrance Day, a tragedy that we all must assure never happens again.

The World Bank was created in 1944 to aid in the reconstruction of Europe after World War II.  In the 1960s it changed its focus to the newly liberated states in what was then called the Third World.  Since it is an institution built upon liberal principles, it is not surprising that it has favored market solutions to the problem of poverty in the former colonies.  Since the 1960s, many analysts have questioned whether these principles are in fact responsive to the needs of impoverished peoples.  The critiques of World Bank activities are extensive, and the most recent one focuses on how the World Bank resettles poor people in order to build projects that rarely make a dent in local poverty.

A high unemployment rate has fueled the rise of anti-immigrant sentiment in South Africa.  Many of these migrants are fleeing violence in their home countries as well as the lack of economic opportunities.  In the most recent protests, four immigrants have been killed in recent weeks.  The anger goes back to 2008, and many migrants are preparing to leave the country or are being shunted to safer places.  The government has issued strong statements against the violence, but has done precious little to prevent it.  Anti-immigrant sentiment seems to be nearly universal sentiment in many countries in the world today.  Unless the economic situation improves globally, one should expect such feelings to grow.


Posted April 17, 2015 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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