The news this week – 13 October

pais banner four dotsBy Benjamin Gannon

Politics Reconsidered’s editorial team highlights some of the stories and analysis from around the world this week.

A fitting Nobel for Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi – Amy Davidson, The New Yorker.

Malala Yousafzai, 17, became the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, sharing the award with Indian education campaigner Kailash Satyarthi. Amy Davidson believes that Malala has achieved an almost impossible feat: she has managed to be greater than simply a symbol of Taliban oppression, being as much rewarded for her tireless recent campaigning as for the assassination attempt that made her famous.

Last November, Dr Renske Doorenspleet and 20 Warwick PAIS students put questions to Malala as part of a 2 hour long interview in front of an audience of students in Birmingham. The event was broadcast on Dutch television, and can be viewed (in English with Dutch subtitles) here.

Thousands protest against US-EU trade dealEuronews

Protestors have taken to the streets in over 1,000 cities across Europe to display their opposition to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the proposed trade zone between the US and EU, currently under negotiation. Concerns include potential decreased standards for food and environmental protection, as well as the proposal that foreign investors would have the right to sue host governments who subsequently change policy.

Containing Ebola will require powerful new weapons – Editorial, Boston Globe

Officials in the US are trying to calm public anxiety about Ebola on home soil by stressing that developed states have the capacity to treat and contain the disease. However, unless greater resources are put into funding and supplying working medicines to West Africa, it is likely that the virus will continue to spread exponentially in the areas least equipped to deal with it.

Ebola-Stricken Countries Appeal for Help as Nations Gather for Annual Meetings – Donna Barne, Voices: World Bank official blog

The World Bank released a report early in the week suggesting the economic cost of the Ebola outbreak could hit $32.6 billion dollars by 2016 unless it is quickly contained. The leaders of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone all travelled to the annual World Bank-IMF Meeting on Thursday to plead their case for greater international support to help slow down the epidemic.

Anarchy vs. Stability debate:

Are Dictators Worse than Anarchy? – Christiane Hoffmann, Der Spiegel

Dictatorships and Chaos Go Hand in Hand – Mathieu von Rohr, Der Spiegel

Der Spiegel’s editorial team debate the value of pursuing democracy in an increasingly chaotic Middle East region. Hoffman puts forward the case that, given the rise of ‘failed states’ amongst the Middle Eastern democracies, supporting an autocratic state with the means to ensure security and order is the more prudent choice. Von Rohr opposes this and claims that whilst the Arab Spring saw an inflated level of optimism for Arab democracy, it is the failures of dictatorships that have caused much of the current problems, not democracy.

Reading North Korean Intent – Tong Kim, Korea Times

Professor Tong Kim analyses the surprise visit of three high ranking North Korean officials to the Asian Games in the South earlier this month for signs that the regime’s policies may be shifting. The delegation only gave a day’s notice, declined to meet the President of South Korea and failed to bring a letter from Kim Jong-un. Kim suggests the visit may have been more about domestic politics, than international relations but emphasises that many questions remain unanswered.

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