Global Challenges

  • Geopolitical hotbed Yemen is helping to reverse the dollar and oil trend.

    The Dollar and Oil Reverse Course Over Several Factors Including Geopolitical Concerns

    The US dollar is broadly lower, with the escalation of the conflict in Yemen dragging it down, as are month and quarter-end position adjustments and the ongoing technical correction following last week's FOMC meeting.  The euro, yen and Canadian dollar are at new highs for the week.  The sharp rally in oil prices is helping spur the short squeeze in the Canadian dollar, and appears to be lifting the Norwegian krone as well.  Oil prices are up 4-5%, on supply disruption worries, but also in recognition that this is part of a bigger conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran.&n

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  • Russia is pressing UEFA to recognize Crimea apart from Ukraine.

    Could UEFA Help Russia Legitimize Crimean Annexation?

    Russia is hoping football can become an instrument that it can use to help legitimize its annexation of Crimea.

    Russian troops invaded Crimea in late February 2014, in response to the Euromaidan Revolution in Kyiv. Pro-Russian Crimean authorities signed an annexation pact with Russia on March 18, 2014, to formalize the first forceful change of a European border since the end of the Second World War. The European Union and the United States do not formally recognize Russia’s land grab, and have imposed economic sanctions on Russia to punish its aggressive actions.

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  • Exercising self-defense is a huge political challenge for Japan's Abe.

    Japan's Abe Battles Interpretation in Setting New Self-Defense Guidelines

    On 1 July 2014, the cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued a decision reinterpreting the Japanese constitution’s Article 9 ‘peace clause’ to allow the country to exercise collective self-defence — the right to use force to aid an ally under attack. Despite overturning decades of government interpretations, many observers have highlighted that the new interpretation has important limits.

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  • The UN has been trying to regulate multi-national corporations for 40 years.

    Regulating Multi-national Corporations is as Difficult as it Sounds

    Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, South Africa and Venezuela proposed a treaty to regulate transnational corporations last year. You’d be forgiven for feeling a sense of déjà vu. It has been a long and complicated road tightening the leash on the giant, global corporations, which can dominate our lives.

    The United Nations has had it on the agenda for around 40 years.

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  • Australia's foreign policy history has been a series of hits and misses.

    Australia's Regional Role will Largely Depend on its Relationship with China

    Australia’s foreign policy has been a mix of positives and negatives under the Liberal-National Coalition government, as was true of the previous Labor government. Former Prime Ministers Gough Whitlam and Bob Hawke recognised the need for Australia to think strategically about future regional developments, and John Howard’s thinking gradually moved in that direction. There is an urgent need for such long-term strategic thinking, centred on Australia’s geographic realities and its evolving regional relationships.

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  • Across the former USSR women fight vigorously for equal rights.

    'We Want a Voice': Women Fight for Their Rights in the Former USSR

    Women had stood shoulder to shoulder with men in the Russian Revolution of 1917, according to its leader Vladimir Lenin, and were said to be at the vanguard of the drive to build an equal society in the world’s first communist state; the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).

    From Moscow in European Russia to Tashkent in central Asia, Soviet leaders embarked with revolutionary zeal on a mission to liberate downtrodden women – and by 1930, Joseph Stalin, Lenin’s successor in the Kremlin, declared the job done.

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  • China's air pollution goes beyond the big cities.

    China's Ever-worsening 'Airpocalypse'

    Under the Dome, a documentary released on 28 February 2015, has the potential to become a turning point in China’s long march against the ever-worsening environmental crisis.

    When Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring in 1962, it brought environmental concerns home to tens of millions of ordinary Americans. It led to an overhaul of the national pesticide policy, resulting in the banning of DTT and other forms of synthetic pesticides.

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  • Businesses dealing with climate change is inevitable.

    Business Preparedness and the New Normal of Climate Change

    The world is changing. The weather is becoming more volatile, with the number of extreme weather events on the rise. Climate change represents the new normal: the Earth is already showing the impacts of our actions, which will continue to become more visible.

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