2020 newspaper clippings

Editorial notes see here. Main webpage see here. Monthly summary see here. For 2021 see here.


December 31

FT India farming reforms grow into political crisis for Modi.

Farmers fear to loose their government backed position designed to secure the food security after independence. Anger as to the tactics of the regulation process are also at play. Moreover other aspects of the economic process are not keeping up with the position changes of the farmers.


FT EU strikes a trade deal with China shortly before the U.S. administration changes.

The treaty is the result of years of negotiations and aims to get more balance in trade. The EU parliament responsible for relations with China Reinhard Bütikofer branded it a “strategic mistake” which risks violating EU human rights standards.



December 30

FT Resist a false divination from the Covid crisis.

Beyond the tautological — good government is preferable to bad government — the world has amazingly little insight to show for its year of anguish.


FT Africa nations struggle to hit deadline for continental free trade area.

The continent attempts to move away for colonial economic model of perpetually being an exporter of primary commodities but misses the infrastructure and connections (both hard and soft) to develop internal trade freedom and the prosperity that will accompany it.


FT Indonesia still in the process of developing its sovereign wealth fund.

The country tries to avoid the problems of the embezzlement scandal in a similar effort in neighbouring Malaysia. Headhunters are aiming to hire the right managers for the fund. Low interest rates might be contributing to investors’ interest in the new sovereign wealth fund.


NYT Ethiopia signals further crackdown on journalism with arrest of Reuters cameraman.

Mr. Kumerra Gemechu was not charged and without a lawyer present a judge ordered a further 14 days detention. A Kenyan journalist held for 47 days last summer wrote that he had been beaten. Significantly PM Abey in the past called police violence in detention “state terrorism.



December 29

FT The perverse political effects of Covid-19 in geo-politics.

Superpowers China, the U.S. and the E.U seem to be strengthened. Geo-politics continues to be in favor of them.


FT Capitalism’s flaws have been exposed by the pandemic.

Governments have new chances to trigger societal changes. Investment needs to benefit the larger sphere like infrastructure, sustainability and worker security. The U.N. S.D.G.’s are the north star to that future.


FT Nigeria’s port delays worsen in pandemic.

It now costs as much to haul a container from the port 20 km inland as the whole journey from China. Dysfunction in Lagos is allowing other west African ports, servicing far smaller markets.


FT Turkey tightens grip on civil society groups.

The oversight rules for NGOs apply to a myriad of civil society groups including rights advocates, sports associations and religious groups. Anti-terrorism arguments are used as a reason for the clamp down.


NYT Chinese journalist sentenced for reporting the truth about Covid19.

The fiercely critical reports threaten the narrative the government wants to promote.



December 25

TT About 12.5 million Africans were taken from their homes and brought west across the ocean.

Finally an effort starts to record the full personal consequences of this crime.



December 24

TT Russia sends troops to Central African Republic.

The huge country with few people and ample resources suffered 5 coups and many rebellions after its liberation from colonizer France. Unrest started after the court rejected the participation in upcoming elections of a former president indicted for war crimes.



December 23

FT The newspaper thinks Nigeria is at risk of becoming a failed state, a state no longer in control.

Banditry is becoming the best business model. The population grows at record speed and the old generation is still in charge, while capable young are available.


FT Democracy with enshrined individual rights loses worldwide to political capitalism.

The author sees a third hybrid version of capitalism: demagogic authoritarian capitalism. If interests can engage enough votes, they can rule.


TT German church after hundreds of years says sorry for witch convictions.

Present day campaigners say the church was culpable as secular courts used religious doctrines to treat fictitious crimes. The witch trials were a means to combat the Reformation.



December 22

FT With regard to the Middle East the US president elect should learn from the Arab uprising 10 years on.

Uprisings keep recurring: from Algeria to Sudan, or Iraq to Lebanon. This reveals fundamental and intrinsic weaknesses in Arab societies and states. Lacking vibrant institutions and a common civic culture (social capital) leaves family, clan, sect and tribe a social resort. Institution-building is critical to create stability.



December 21

FT Debt dilemma Emerging countries seek action to avert crisis.

The debt ratio to GDP and level of risk is turning upside down due to the crisis.


NYT Nepal falls into political turmoil amid rising tensions between its neighbours China and India.

Nepal has long exploited its position between the two super powers. It has extensive economic ties with India, where many of its people work. With regard to ethnicity, religion and accessibility India has an edge but relations have soured in recent years.



December 18

FT EU’s rule of law clash is becoming a culture war.

The EU allows a narrative that obscures the true nature of the showdown with Brussels and western EU members. EU has previously left family law issues largely to member states. The EU has to be sensitive to differing sociocultural attitudes among members, but democracy depends on individual freedoms.


FT WHO team to visit China in January amid US protest about lack of transparency.

An earlier team was prevented from travelling to  Wuhan. Core problem is how to build on the earlier indigenous research.


FT The current pandemic will change healthcare forever.

The hardest of all forms of innovation is the systemic kind. Crises often destroy old habits and create new ones. Learning how to use data more smartly would be a good habit to change healthcare. Smartly does not necessarily  mean largescale but a balanced appropriation to make the most of it.


TT Hundreds of abducted school boys in Nigeria free.

344 Boys are said to be set free alive. The circumstances of their release are unclear. The authorities have paid militants for hostage release in the past.



December 17

FT Distrust stalls internal development of Islam in European countries.

Governments are wary of terrorism threats while most radicalize through online contacts. Peaceful communities are doubly victimized: “To non-Muslim Europeans, we become a fifth column but from the perspective of religious fanatics, we have sold our souls”.


TT Whatever happened to the Venezuelan opposition leader?

The once hugely popular Mr Guaidó, who two years ago declared that the toppling of President Maduro was imminent, lost out despite being recognized by over 50 countries. The present government can continue despite having blown a trillion-dollar oil windfall in little over a decade.



December 16

FT USA president elect should beware liberal identity politics.

The new administration will feel the pressure to accommodate the Democrat’s left wing, while the broad election results show that with 81 m he failed to make large inroads into the white non-college educated vote. Even with the non-white votes the Republicans despite all Trump’s racism did remarkably well.


FT UK draws up plans to rival Singapore with post-Brexit shipping tax regime.

London could be a rival for Singapore as a hub for shipping companies to register their vessels.  One insider said the UK’s departure from the EU was an opportunity.


FT Thai students fail to sway state’s stance on monarchy.

Despite opening a space for protest, however, the students had failed to break down authority and governance assumptions.


FT Hungary limits gay rights and restricts opposition parties.

A constitutional amendment stipulating that “the mother [of a child] is a female, the father is a male”. Political parties participating in national elections must field candidates in a larger number of constituencies.


NYT Somalia Severs Diplomatic Ties With Kenya.

The rift with Kenya is the culmination of years of steadily deteriorating relations. It came a day after Kenya’s president hosted the president of Somaliland, the northwestern region that declared independence from Somalia in 1991.



December 15

FT Romania far-right gains with church blessing.

For years, Romania had been an outlier in central and eastern Europe as it had no prominent far-right party. A new nationalist party capitalizes on Corona measures sentiments, church support and effective social media campaign. Turn out in the elections was a record low: 30 %.


FT 57 per cent of French Muslims under 25 think sharia law is more important than the law of the French republic.

Many protest new legislation in France which curbs home schooling, outlaws gender segregation in public swimming pools and protects public servants from online hate speech.


FT US deletes Sudan from state sponsor of terror blacklist.

The country was on the list since 1993 when it was hosting Osama bin Laden in Khartoum.


NYT Free Papua Movementʼ intensifies amid escalating violence in territory annexed by Indonesia 58 years ago.

Benny Wenda, who escaped from an Indonesian jail 18 years ago and later received political asylum in Britain, declared himself head of West Papua’s first government-in-exile on Dec. 1, the anniversary of the independence declaration.



December 14

FT laments quid-pro-quo USA deal with Morocco for the benefit of the Israeli government.

The USA recognizes Morocco’s claim in the Western Sahara in exchange of Morocco establishing relations with Israel. A UN resolution in 1991 which underpinned a near 30-year ceasefire called for the status of the Western Sahara to be decided by a referendum.


FT Sweden’s neighbors offer help as second wave COVID19 worsens.

Sweden state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell said repeatedly in the spring that Stockholm would soon reach herd immunity, but it has been hard hit again in the second wave. In Stockholm region 99 per cent of its intensive care beds are full, while large numbers of health workers quit their jobs.


FT China flashes some star quality in push to eclipse USA.

The drive to promote its one party societal and political system delivers rhetoric that reminds of the cold war. Space, tech and pharma are the spearheads.


FT New Nigeria school kidnapping in presidents home state.

426 out of 884 students of the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara could be confirmed safe, while some others may have escaped at the shootout. The president visited his home village when the kidnapping happened 200 km away on Friday.


TT 2016 Assassinated Taliban chief had life insurance and a property empire in Pakistan.

This is raised in a court case. Pakistan seeks to remove itself from the “grey list” of countries suspected by the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF) of abetting terrorist financing and money laundering.



December 12

FT Chocolate fight leaves bitter taste in west Africa.

Industry tries to avoid Living Income Differential tax by two leading production countries. Farmers get less than 7 % of the end price of products.


FT Western Sahara conflict set to worsen after US-Morocco-Israel pact, diplomats fear.

A ‘forgotten’ conflict on the fringes of the Sahara desert is heating up. It might even draw in neighboring Algeria and add to broader instability in the region.



December 11

FT Lebanon’s PM charged with criminal negligence over harbor blast.

Earlier the judge was saying there was ministerial immunity. Although the ammonium nitrate had been left where it was for six years, no other prime minister has been charged.


FT The common touch of the financial crisis and the pandemic: populists benefit.

Austerity measures over proportionally hit the least well-off. Democracy is on the back foot and populists benefit, in the course of events giving credit to autocratic rulers.


NYT Nigeria farmers caught between authorities and Boko Haram, mass executions are the result.

“We are accused of being collaborators by both the security operatives and the insurgents, when all we did was look for peace,” said Garbati Sani, a village elder. “What do we do to stay safe?”


TT Hong Kong media tycoon among demonstrators charged under security law.

Beijing foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunyi claims the protesters want: “the freedom to do whatever

they want to undermine Hong Kong’s rule of law and stability.”



December 10

FT Kuwait, with $550bn sovereign wealth fund, faces trouble paying the ballooning public sector salaries.

Legislature blocks governments debt law renewal and tapping into the sovereign wealth fund. Credit rating for the country has dropped. The country failed to develop alternative economic activity and 80 % of the work force is employed by the government.


TT South Korea government faces criticism with anti-propaganda law.

Government tries to control cross-border communication following a June incident with balloons that angered North Korea government. Both right and left see it as curtaining freedom of expression.



December 9

FT Profit as sole goal for companies is socially unacceptable.

The problems with the grossly unbalanced economic, social and political power of companies inherent in the current situation are vast. Economy of scale has consumed social responsibility.


FT China uses social media to silence critics from open societies.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao from his days as an embassy councilor in Pakistan has success in trolling critics on media blocked in China itself. The controversial tactics, popular at home, could provoke backlash internationally.


NYT Opposition leaders in India claim to be detained to curtail their support for the growing farmer protest.

Tension grows for the government in the heavily agricultural country.



December 8

FT China’s overseas lending cut fits with rethink of Belt and Road Initiative.

Figures show a collapse from $75bn in 2016 to $4bn in 2019. One commentator suggests China may want to keep dollar assets at home. Also, the old model, whereby the interests of Chinese companies and local elites take precedence over the good of the borrowing country, bears a disproportionate amount of the project failure risk.


FT European bank EBRD chief defends lending role in autocracies.

Set up in 1991 to help eastern Europe, it has expanded its activities to the Middle East and north Africa and is planning a push into sub-Saharan Africa. The bank argues that nurturing the private sector reduces the power of a state over its population.


FT EU agrees sanctions regime to tackle human rights abusers.

The US, Canada and UK have similar systems to impose travel bans and asset freezes.


FT Venezuela president wins poll boycotted by opposition.

The opposition will hold its own online referendum, asking Venezuelans if they want fresh presidential elections and an end to Mr Maduro’s rule.



December 7

FT Government is turning Mexico into a militarized state.

The president pledged to return the military to their barracks. Instead it’s involvement is only increasing.


FT The world can look at Ghana’s elections as an example.

One observer said: “This in Ghana, who wins wins”. The Mo Ibrahim Foundation, which monitors governance, ranked Ghana eighth out of 54 countries in Africa on its overall index.


FT Saudi prince during a seminar denounces Israel as ‘western colonizing power’.

The also participating Israeli panelist responded by a diplomatically worded remark.



December 5

FT Ethiopia’s brutal conflict revealed by tales of atrocities of refugees.

Some 50,000 refugees seeking shelter in the Um Rakuba camp and other sites just across the border in Sudan.



December 4

NYT In India farmers dig in for protests against market reforms of government.

Government officials said they could compromise on one of the farmers’ demands: enshrining minimum prices for some crops into law.



December 3

FT Belarus government crackdown on protests fails to silence citizens.

But the brutality of the crackdown has begun to have a chilling effect and success of protest is still unclear.


FT In Ethiopia both parties engage in a propaganda war.

Both sides demonize the other on social media, in broadcasts and in print.


FT Demonizing other still accepted as acceptable strategy among activists.

And while all sorts of bigotry are shunned — racism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism — ridiculing someone for their lack of education, or for their social class, often appears to remain acceptable.



December 2

FT China’s move on Ant makes the fight with Big Tech global.

While the US puts uses market rules to mitigate harms, the EU frequently references fundamental rights protection as a driver. The Chinese system relies on a forceful state.


FT Venezuela’s anti-Maduro coalition frays.

Ahead of the elections this weekend where the opposition is expected to loose control a foreign affairs representative resigns.


FT Second U-turn opens Sweden to fresh fire over its outsider Covid policy.

Children from infected parents are no longer allowed at schools.


TT How raising children can help polarized societies.

Anthropologists studying nomadic family life in winters with minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit and summers of perpetual light notice the absence of escalated response on behavior. Mistakes are treated in a fashion of “accidents happen”.



December 1

FT Global response is needed to prevent a debt crisis in Africa.

South Africa president and chair of the African Union Cyril Ramaphosa calls for giving substance to the sentiments recently expressed by the G20 to avoid a debt crisis in Africa over short term obtacles. One of the risks is that major credit rating agencies will put countries on negative credit review if they seek relief from private creditors (a third of the total debt burden).


FT Unilever tests 4-day week in effort to boost staff happiness and productivity.

Workers would still have to produce the same output, effectively increasing labor productivity. Unilever hopes it makes workers happier, healthier and more productive.


FT UN body accused of climate project fraud.

An internal report flagged “fraudulent activities” at two country offices and “suspicions of collusion among various project managers” at another, without naming the countries. The reported misconduct is linked to the climate change body.


TT Adapt, a book by Tim Harford, argues for trial and error response and not macro bench mark solutions.

The words of Sir Karl Popper should be pinned to the walls of policy maker offices: “True ignorance is not the absence of knowledge, but the refusal to acquire it.”



November 30

FT Ethiopia claims capture of Mekele, Tigray capital.

The government calls this the “final phase”, while claiming to now focus on rebuilding. No arrests of TPLF leaders is accounced. The chairman texted to Reuters, speaking of “invaders”. It is unclear whether ordinary Tigrayans remain loyal to the TPLF, according to analysts.


FT Japanese youth search for stability.

They have a growing aversion to risk, because they are pessimistic about the future and feel society will not support them when they are old.


November 28

FT New U.S.A. government must combine its liberal values with fresh thinking.

There is a need for an opportunity to show that a rethought American internationalism can repair some of the damage of populist nationalism, but the context is a world with a changed center of gravity. Failure will bring back a Trumpian administration in the White House.


FT China lauds 19th century entrepreneur to signal role model for society.

President Xi proposes him as a model as compared to Jack Ma’s Ant group halted IPO and after the government placed self-reliance at the heart of the country’s long term strategy.  Zhang Jian was an entrepreneur who also worked at advancing broader society.


FT Iran accuses Israel after killing nuclear mastermind.

Foreign minister Zarif calls on the international community: “to end their shameful double standards & condemn this act of state terror”. In July an explosion at a nuclear plant was attributed to “industrial sabotage”.



November 27

FT Chinese media query origins of Covid-19.

Theories are published to argue that the coronavirus pandemic was brought to Wuhan by frozen foods or their packaging and its spread was merely amplified in a local market. Imported cold chain seafood is pointed at. All happens ahead of a World Health Organization investigation into the origins of the virus.


FT Playing up the US urban-rural divide misses the real problem.

There is a gulf between those with education and wealth and those without, regardless of geography. US policymakers have largely failed to interrupt that cycle. That shows in the vote.



November 26

FT China embassy in Australia hands media list of “14 grievances”.

This action gives a glimpse of what a China dominated world order would look like. The document is backed up with an article by China’s leading Oceania scholar describing Australia in a litany of pejoratives.


FT Indonesia tests appetite for sovereign wealth fund.

The country wants to give a boost to foreign investment with a secure environment, also for the country itself. Doubts have to be countered with the fate of a similar effort in Malaysia, that ended in corruption.


FT Ethiopia rebuffs international pressure and claims TPLF commits violence on ethnic and religious minorities.

For the first time since the conflict escalated the UN Security Council held a (closed) session meeting on the conflict. An AU mission arrived in Addis yesterday.


FT Protesters in Thailand take on big business.

One protester: “Choosing what to buy is a way of protesting too.” A popular media channel started to be more nuanced in reporting, though publicly disagreeing with the protesters against their stand on the monarchy.



November 25

FT New U.S.A. president should steer clear of idealism in his foreign policy.

The self-image of the country does not hide its important mishaps over the decades. The idea now launched to establish a “league of democracies” seems low hanging fruit as compared to the prudence of Obama. Yet the Obama period “was realpolitik distilled”.


FT What are the societal lessons from the current pandemic?

The case for suppressing the disease fully, where feasible, looks evident. The failure to persist until full control over the virus was achieved in the first wave looks a big mistake.


FT Nigeria turns to local investors now that FDI falters.

Local investors “understand the way this economy works”. The government has done some to bolster domestic production like banning importers of fuel and other raw material from accessing foreign exchange. Yet there is still an atmosphere of “blind faith and crony capitalism”.


NYT Pope Calls Uighurs ʻpersecutedʼ in the book  ‘Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future’. China responds.

China claims there is ‘no factual basis’ to the pope’s words. ‘The Chinese government has always protected the legal rights of ethnic minorities equally’ the spokesperson said.



November 24

FT Former South African president snubs graft inquiry.

He claims the enquiry mistakes state with personal relations and walks out after his legal council fails to convince the court. The inquiry’s presiding judge, ordered a criminal complaint against Mr. Zuma.


FT Israeli PM secretly meets de facto leader Saudi Arabia under auspices of the U.S.A.

The only other participant of the alleged meeting in Saudi’s new “international” city Neom was the U.S. Secretary of State.


FT West stays quiet as Egypt’s repressive regime moves on civil society.

Three leaders were arrested as they were doing their job, that is to host a meeting of 13 western diplomats, including the ambassadors of Germany and France and the number two from the British embassy, to discuss human rights.



November 23

FT Nigeria hit by slump in oil prices.

Crude receipts provide half the governments revenue. The recession reminds of a similar situation in 2016. Then the government exacerbated the crisis by not acting.


FT Ethiopia military leader tells citizens of regional capital Mekele to flee or take shelter.

The military operation against the Tigrayan region started after what PM Abiy calls “a surprise attack on federal troops this month”. Now the government claims the Tigrayan leadership hides within the public in Mekele. With their message the military leadership wants to activate the citizens to influence their leaders.


FT China’s president wants to double economy in 15 years.

When looking at similar countries (Japan, Brazil) three stages can be identified. The first stage is infrastructure investment driven. GDP grows faster than debt. The second stage is an attempt to increase demand over investment, often with little success. In the third phase governments struggle to reduce debt levels while rising consumption. Failing productivity growth often spoils the attempts.



November 22

TT China pours billions into economy of Tibet to eradicate the Buddhist influence.

According to the communist party the emphasize on the afterlife weakens the effort to pursue happiness in the current life.



November 21

TT A book on problematic aspects of transgender attracts book burning suggestions.

Book critics from big U.S. newspapers being told not to review the book. An American Civil Liberties Union activist claimed on twitter he wanted to die over this cause. A leading scientist wanted the burn the book, later claiming it was irony. The author felt her critics were being disingenuous.



November 20

FT Brute force will not end the tragedy in Ethiopia.

Election have now been set for June, but military action cannot replace national dialogue. PM Abiy, who formerly worked for those he now labels as “a criminal clique”, needs to walk the talk.


FT Zambia fails in its effort to borrow on the global financial market.

The drive for financial credibility was combined with misrule. The problem is not in the borrowing but in the investing. The government is more concerned with the upcoming elections which will provide another drive for patronage mis investment.


FT Nigeria requests its national bank to block accounts of those protesting against police brutality.

The bank claims to have been asked to do so at the request of the Abuja High Court, to check on them “who are alleged to be involved in suspected terrorism financing”.


FT Australian troops in Afghanistan committed war crimes, their own Inspector-General’s investigation shows.

The whistle blower calls it a “big wake-up call, for all militaries”. There was a “warrior culture” and one of dishonesty, concealed at the patrol commanders level.


FT The elected president of the U.S.A. wants to boost the democracy creed.

This seems a risky priority and signals a taste of the era of George W. Bush, which did not stop authoritarians. Also, the world has been given clear evidence of the malfunctions in the U.S. system. In practice his priority should be to revive democracy in his own country.



November 19

FT Ethiopia faces ethnic and national feelings to be pitted against each other.

To those opposing it Abiy’s “medemer” simply means assimilation and the flattening of identity into one. Though the TPLF was deeply authoritarian, it won many plaudits. Dani Rodrik, professor of economics at Harvard University, says Meles’ effort to transform Ethiopia from a poverty-stricken peasant economy into a middle-income country scored real successes. Politically, however, the experiment was unsustainable.


FT G20 nears accord over IMF relief funds.

Debt relief is likely to be offered but with what is called “technical support”, an IMF programme to have it accompanied with structural measures on financial management.


FT Egypt arrests human rights official.

His organization said that this was done after they met with “a number of ambassadors and diplomats”.



November 18

FT Russia builds naval base in Sudan.

It strives to expand its global military footprint and cement its burgeoning trade and defence ties with the continent. This is the second base outside Russia, after Tartus in Syria. China already has a rival naval base in Djibouti while Turkey has a military base in Mogadishu, Somalia.



November 17

FT In Sweden rise in cases forces government to go beyond advise and dependence on common sense.

The PM calls on a “new normal”. Compliance  with advise is lower. Now more of a ban but still no complete lockdown is announced. The PM calls on citizens “to make the right choice for yourself, for society, and for Sweden.”


FT Pro-EU Sandu on course to be Moldova’s first female president.

The pro-Russian incumbent Igor Dodon has “provisionally” congratulated Ms Sandu. The two formed an unlikely alliance this year to oust a third party, led by an oligarch.


FT Biden’s Foreign Affairs article shows a flawed plan for U.S. world leadership.

International negotiations may promote accepting compromise outcomes that are unpopular in Washington, one of them being the U.S.A. not automatically “at the head of the table”. Time is over when terms “American-led world order”, “liberal world order” and “rules-based order” sounded like the same. The Asian trade deal signal new facts on the ground.


NYT Peru legislature chooses 3rd President in a Week.

Five months ahead of elections, first the popular incumbent was fired and the head of legislature appointed. He was then dropped in favor of a 76 year old newcomer in Congress, one of the few who voted against the ouster of the incumbent. Half the legislature is under investigation for corruption charges.



November 16

FT Free trade deal: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea. India withdrew from negotiations in 2019. The regional deal is similar to what the EU or North America did.


FT Western Sahara rebel group ends 30 year ceasefire.

The Algeria backed group accuses Morocco, who took control when the western occupying power pulled out in 1975, of breaching its terms by attacking civilians protesting peacefully in a remote buffer region near the Guerguerat border post. U.N. SG tries to avoid further escalation. A self determination referendum has been repeatedly failed as sides failed to agree.


FT What Ethiopian PM Abiy claims to be a swift “law enforcement” operation prompts fear of civil war(s).

Tigrayans have a history of independence fighting and from 1990 stabilized modern Ethiopia as the dominant member of a four-party coalition. Now they are squeezed as also Eritrea’s president Afwerki loathes them.


FT The class background of the American elections result.

Unlike Hillary Clinton and Obama Biden spoke with empathy to the have-nots. He avoided contempt for people with more traditional views.


TT Outgoing administration U.S.A. wants to move on troops withdrawal in Afghanistan.

Newly appointed defense secretary, in 2001 a special forces member in Afghanistan: “Now it’s time to come home. This fight has been long, our sacrifices have been enormous and many are weary of war. I’m one of them.” The outgoing defense secretary and the Chief of Staff are in favor of a more coordinated approach.



November 14

FT Climate change diplomacy wins over zero-sum mindset.

Many countries have always sounded committed at conferences but relaxed after. Now the notion that action on climate change is investment rather than expense is winning more support among nations.


FT Mental illness turns into an epidemic.

There needs to be more focus on the structural and societal roots of poor mental health.


FT Ethiopia PM accuses rebels of mass killings.

Tigray People’s Liberation Front is pushed in the defensive by government forces. Supposedly, hundreds of mainly ethnically Amhara residents, have been brutally murdered. Amnesty could not confirm TPLF responsibility. U.N. High Commissioner Human Rights said that either parties involvement amounts to war crimes.


FT U.S.A. elections show: Disinformation narratives are how you play elections.

The 2016 foreign influence debate did not take mainstage again. Domestic influences seem to be equally rampant. The loser is the freedom of the individual conscience.


TT Without proper action the next pandemic will be sooner than later.

The world needs to get together, but not like after “WWI” when the French insistence on retribution defied Wilson’s “peace without victory”, thus incubating “WWII”. Travel bans are the last resort. Keeping animals in a factory and market-like conditions are worse than a bio weapon.


NYT Nigeria makes a show of their response to the protest movement.

Behind the scenes there is a targeted campaign against people associated with the uprising in order to harass, impede and break up the movement.



November 13

A precious chance to personalize education for the digital age.

Technology driven education was often defined by people without teaching experience. DrFrostMaths aims to provide what machines are good at, not what teachers are good at. It claims that digital access and solutions can massively enhance learning.


Costa Rica’s eco-tourism experiment offers a path to recovery.

The government sees tourism as a driver for conservation. The country develops tourism through economic alternatives that are sustainable, long-term and add value.


Nagorno-Karabakh’s  truce cements Turkey’s power in Russia’s backyard.

Azerbaijan/Armenia is a third region where the two regional powers are at different sides but will likely manage conflicts. Their power over other countries will increase.


Myanmar’s Suu Kyi’s party set for second term in election.

The land slide win shows ethnic prejudice and anti-military sentiment. The military supported the opposition. Both sides have a similar view on the position of the Rohingya minority. Watch dogs declared elections credible.



November 12

FT Ethiopia president Abiy by awarded the Nobel peace prize joins ranks with Obama and Aung San Suu Kyi as perhaps being honored too soon.

The leader with a messianic flair fails to convince with his vision of medemer, an Amharic word connoting strength through diversity. Many of his peoples fear the centralizing of power.


FT Angola intensifies effort to recoup billions.

President Joao Lourenço wants to reclaim $ 24 billion from former ruling circles, more than the $ 20 billion owed to China. IMF stepped in with $ 2,5 billion debt relief and claims Angola is negotiating major relief from main creditors, believed to be Chinese.



November 11

FT Azerbaijanis cement territorial gains from Armenia in ceasefire.

Nagorno-Karabakh, populated by ethnic Armenians,  will get a land corridor between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia, which will be monitored by Russia.


FT Warnings over cardinal were ignored, Vatican report shows.

Lack of clear evidence of sexual misconduct prolonged Theodore McCarrick’s career under John Paul II despite serious warnings of his behavior.


FT Covid crisis accelerates medical innovation.

The development of a new technology with a different approach, originally developed as a cancer therapy, is turbocharged by the pandemic. Apart from that it is potentially faster to develop and easier to manufacture than some other technologies.


FT Top South African political figure faces arrest.

ANC SG Ace Magashule is accused of corruption. He is also president Cyril Ramaphosa’s main political opponent and an acolyte of former president Zuma.



November 10

FT Covid promotes the importance of the state, which is not without risks.

History shows that it can lead to a toxic cocktail of corruption, nepotism and crony privatization.



November 9

FT Finally the U.S. joins nations with top-official that bursts through glass ceiling.

It takes a daughter of an Indian immigrant and a Jamaican immigrant to make it to the vice-presidency. As a child she was bussed to a school for desegregation reasons.


FT For international reasons UAE moves on equality and justice rights.

The country decriminalises alcohol and suicide, allowing the cohabitation of unmarried couples and criminalising honour crimes against women in order to be able to attract the right expertise.


FT The French do not maintain their liberty claims in the fight against terrorists.

Most radicalized through societal margins and social media rather than religious centers. In addition the “reinforce laïcité” motive does have a smell of state tyranny.



November 7

FT Ethiopia’s federal government moves on region said to be rebellious.

Young PM’s grand vision increasingly looks a pipe dream without check on social realities.


FT Trade sanctions by China makes Australia government calls on exporters to cut reliance on China trade.

China steps up measures against Australia following the call in April for an inquiry into the origins of the Covid-19 outbreak.


FT Mink cull in Denmark highlights the risk of Covid transfer from animal to human.

Overly-close proximity between humans and animals poses risks that are undervalued.


FT The U.S.A. has been fickle ever since the cold war.

This makes it all the more clear that one country cannot lead the world. As it was before WWII the internal strife in America is likely to continue.


TT U.S.A.’s out-going president Trump deserves a wary appreciation.

He got it right on China, NATO and on the WHO.



November 6

FT Ethiopia needs to avoid civil war.

PM Abiy does not deliver from his lofty communications which signals also the difficulty of the challenge. Tigray moved where the PM delays his agenda on democratic reforms. The previously dominating section of society could be remembered their own take at devolving structures did not work either.



November 5

FT Anti-Trump camp should worry the lack of a landslide in the U.S.A. elections.

For all the evidence of non-deliverance has not dwarfed the president’s popularity.


FT China’s online business Ant listing shows constraints with 21st market power.

Giant companies need a political and social license to operate as responses of nations show. It would be a folly to forget their power.


TT Kazakhstan female activists protest with shaving their hair.

A videos of themselves shows this to draw attention to the lack of democratic rights in the central Asian country.


TT Russian Orthodox church warns against do-it-yourself exorcism at home.

The church leadership supports “spiritually strong” priests to have a role in practices against “the dark forces”.


TT Contemporary literature for adolescents is male hostile.

Their failure on commitment of males is a leading motive, but misleading too.



November 4

FT Hungary considers criticism of EU bias towards its policies.

EU threats deny problems “just because we say no to migration, no to multiculturalism, and because we have a different view on the role of family in society,” says the justice minister Judit Varga.


FT Ethiopia ‘massacre’ latest of several clashes in last four weeks.

Killing happened shortly after army withdrew without reason and unexpectantly. Unity and openness effort of current administration seems to falter after decades of federalist policy.


FT Tanzanian opposition leader held after call to cancel election result.

Incumbent winner Mr Magufuli was originally elected after promises to crack down on corruption.


FT Ivory Coast incumbent neglects opposition and international pressure for third term despite constitutional limit.

Opposition praised for being peaceful but declarations amount to parallel government, says Nigeria-based Centre for Democracy and Development.


FT Ukraine president reaches make or break point in crushing corrupt oligarch pressure.

His foes use the corrupt court system to get rid of anti-corruption measures and the president does not seem to manage enough resolve to stop them. The populist president might have underestimated the skills and dedication needed for institution building and purification.



November 3

FT The state of secularism in France threatens the private choices of a minority.

What started as separation of state and religion cannot handle religious convictions of a minority of citizens.


FT Algeria backs two-term limit for president with a turnout of only 24 %.

A 2/3 majority favors this move after the former president being ousted and the sitting president in Germany for medical treatment.



November 2

FT Gang terror destabilizes Sweden democracy.

Parallel societies are being formed, often based on family ties, in immigrant dominated areas. Inclusion and adult role models fail.


FT Landslide win for Magufuli in Tanzania condemned as fraudulent.

Opposition appealed to the AU observers, claims fresh elections need to be held and called for protests.



October 31

FT African-American cardinal joins the drive for the reformation of the Vatican.

Both pope Francis and the new cardinal want the church to be more mission oriented, pastoral rather than clerical in nature. During his tenure Francis has named 73 out of the 128 current elector cardinals (only those under 80 can vote).



October 30

FT Russia backs return of land to Azerbaijan taken by Armenia to enable its hold on Nagorno-Karabakh.

Putin pleads for a balanced solution, which includes of a self-governed Nagorno-Karabakh with a corridor linking the region to Armenia.


TT In Britain a soccer star comes to the relief of schoolchildren stay hungry.

It’s an awkward debate. The hot potato is the role of parenting in social mobility. People on the left avoid talking about it because they do not want to judge or blame. People on the right recoil from interfering in private family life. Both let children down.



October 29

FT Ivory Coast incumbent reverses decision not to seek a third term at age 78.

While the victory will be easy, it marks a general trend in Africa of engineer a generational shift of leadership.


FT The appreciation of democracy will enter a new phase as China endeavors to bring prosperity without it.

Incompetence is the real threat to any form of governance.


FT Chile voted for a new constitution, something the continent is very good at.

With another country on the continent drafting over 30 constitutions since 1844 and a country legislating “promoting leisure” in it as a government task South America beats most. Slashing income distribution while generating sustainable outcomes, the underlying cause of instability, seems to be a more difficult task.


FT India invites Australia to join the “QUAD” naval exercises in the Indian ocean.

The Himalaya’s incidents triggers a change in perception of maritime security like nothing since the Europeans arrived at the end of the 15th century. While India is at a geopolitical more advantageous location China is building a network around it.


FT Libya permanent ceasefire at risk.

Tripoli based Interior minister warns that foreign forces need to leave to prevent a breakdown.



October 28

FT French speaking Africa sustains the colonial time established ties with France.

Mr. Macron’s attempt at a reset appears to many to have run into the sand.


FT Roosevelt “arsenal of democracy” has run its cause and ends whoever wins the next U.S.A. elections.

The appetites of the young seem to be similar to China’s as lamented on October 24 below.


TT Russia hints it can send troops to Belarus “to counter NATO buildup”.

In the past Belarus ruler turned down Russia’s proposal to increase its presence in the country but is under pressure for enduring protests.



October 27

FT Debt restructuring runs into risks with a-symmetrical lender-borrower relations.

China officially committed to the World Bank relief mechanism but its portfolio is mixed and may cause countries to falter, which threatens now in Zambia.


FT Latin America sees a number of election victories for socialist parties.

The trend may be set to punish incumbents who fail to deliver in difficult times.


TT Protest movements are everywhere but face increasing state arsenal.

Learning from each other is shown in not having figureheads. The result: the protesters are left without any real strategy. In the late ‘80’s in Eastern Europe it paid to steer clear of the main taboos and focus on internal country institutions. Also it took a decade or so to end up with any result.


TT In Zimbabwe a relative of the president is caught with illegal gold while trying to board a plane to Dubai.

This can be signal of the ongoing power struggle within the ruling party.



October 26

FT Africa is sustaining the pandemic threat much better than other parts of the world.

Countries were acting even before the virus arrived. Past experience with health threats must be credited for the swift response.


FT China sets new long term goals.

Developing domestic demand and self-sufficiency are the goal, likely to be the focus for the rest of president Xi’s rule.


FT Egypt’s foreign investors are returning after a drop during the initial pandemic.

The country is the only one in North Africa that has avoided economic contraction in 2020, despite certain sectors being affected, such as tourism and remittances from Egyptians working abroad.



October 24

FT Libya’s warring factions achieve UN brokered permanent ceasefire.

The country de facto remains split along regional, tribal lines.


FT It Is unwise to be blind to China’s rise.

Empires rise when they are productive and earn more than they spend, increasing assets faster than liabilities. Behavior, education and export orientation reinforce a countries global opportunity and China does perform from that perspective.


FT Nigeria’s president Buhari (‘Baba go slow’) is a democratic president with a military mindset.

Since he succeeded to be elected in his fourth try in 2015 he achieved a mixed record in his bid on corruption, security and alleviating poverty. The first issue probably brought his best result, as compared to his predecessor.


TT China’s 400 million millennials prefer IPhone’s over democracy.

“Most young people of my generation view Donald Trump as dumb,” says one of them. The government has handled the pandemic and the propaganda about it really well. The perception is that efficient response mattered. The emergence of the disease and initial secrecy has disappeared from attention.



October 23

FT Australia bets on green hydrogen as an export product.

Energy should come from 1,600 wind turbines and 78 sq km of solar panels to create the largest power station on earth.



October 22

FT Pope in a documentary approved of civil union gay couples.

As an archbishop he endorsed civil unions. He did not say anything on the prospect of Catholic same-sex marriage. The comments ( a 19 seconds excerpt from a 2019 interview) are liable to increase controversy in the Vatican.


FT International outrage about crack down of Nigeria military of Lagos protests.

Lagos state governor Mr Sanwo-Olu urged president Buhari to investigate, and said he did not “control the rules of engagement of military”.


TT Thai PM revokes State of Emergency and pleads for protesters to await the parliamentary process.

He seemed to regret using violence against the protesters. The protesters want the monarchy to come under the constitution.



October 21

FT In Nigeria’s most populous city Lagos a 24 hour curfew is imposed to quell unrest.

Government claims criminals use the protest movement to stir instability. Signs indicate there is a generation conflict also at play.



October 20

FT China’s recovery and growth is caused by imbalanced public and private investment.

Relying on domestic demand cannot cater for the effect of closing borders. The latter will stimulate export partners to look elsewhere.


FT Distraction of the U.S. may help China to embark on a campaign to reclaim de facto independent Taiwan.

The government newspaper editor says that the historic moment is getting closer and incidents seem to be used to increase the tension.


FT Migration will decrease as a result of the COVID pandemic.

OECD calculated that in the 37 richest countries an average 1 in 5 workers were immigrants. Higher infection rates due to crowded housing and reduced economic activities in sectors with high immigrant involvement are causes. Saudi Arabia saw the number of granted permits drop by 90 % in the first six months compared to the year before.


TT U.S. will remove Sudan from terror list.

Sudan agreed to compensate the families of U.S. victims of al-Qaeda attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. Sudan is claimed to have provided sanctuary to the bombers prior to the attach. The removal of Sudan from the terror list will enable debt relief and foreign financing. A direct link to Sudan establishing relations with Israel is avoided by the Sudan government.


TT Equatorial Guinea’s son of ruler posts images of his break in an extremely luxurious resort on his 98.000 followers Instagram account.

His yacht, previously held by the Swiss authorities, was also spotted on sight. 50 year old Teodorin Obiang, one of 42 recognized children, is thought to be groomed for succeeding his 79 year old father, who rules the intensely poor country in he overthrew his uncle in 1979.


NYT Elections in Bolivia: The Socialist Project of evicted Evo Morales Lives On

Morales party achieves a clear win and the contender accepts the result. The winning party responds in a moderate way to calm the situation.



October 19

FT A major report about the response to the Covid19-crisis, part 1.

China and WHO is a very uneven relationship. The latter can’t do much without the former. China’s political system is totally top-down. This prevented swift initial action but accommodated effective containment.


FT Transparency of lenders and borrowers can offer a way out of Zambia’s debt crisis.

There is lack of clarity with regards to inefficient motives to borrow money and how it used, increasing inequality inside the country and among creditors.


FT Death of peace promoting Kuwait & Oman rulers bodes instability risks in Middle East.

Conservative nations try to contain political Islam that threatens their tribal based rule. Turkey along with Qatar strive to obtain new role. U.S. election results on both sides do not promise peace incentives.


TT Ahead of referendum on changing the constitution Chili protesters burn churches.

Chile’s stability crumbles as elite is not able to contain social unrest and protesters use the position of the church to put their mark.



October 17

TT What keeps the records of Covid19 low in Africa?

Swift lockdown, young population and poor infrastructure (less movement).



October 16

FT Developing nations should not make the mistake of the ‘60’s.

It was argued then to industrialize through import substitution. The east Asian tigers — Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea — ignored this fashionable consensus and promoted their manufacturing exports. When they succeeded, China followed. Developing nations should follow that route now.


FT Nigerian government disbands notorious police team after accusations of brutality and promises reform of the police.

This includes a pay rise to make them less liable to resort to extortion to supplement meagre wages. The Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the biggest and most influential of the many mega-churches in deeply religious Nigeria, also threw its weight behind the protests. A background is the evolving labour market, less dominated by government job creation.


TT Shenzhen: a China vision for development.

President XI: “We must unswervingly implement the innovation-driven development strategy,” the Chinese leader said this week, “to build a technological and industrial innovation highland with global influence.”



October 15

FT The World Health Organization has become a scapegoat.

The mistakes of the WHO result from genuine dilemmas about how to respond to health emergencies. They reflect the difficulties of dealing with sovereign states, and the breakdown of a postwar order that is struggling to accommodate the rise of China.


FT Zambia warns of pandemic-linked default.

“Two big concerns we have are the lack of clarity on what debt relief they are getting from other creditors, and the lack of a medium-term fiscal framework to put the debt back on a sustainable path.”


FT Lukashenko changes tack in Belarus stand-off.

President Lukashenko held an unannounced roundtable with his jailed opponents. One of them was released and gave an interview to state television in which he praised Mr Lukashenko for “holding dialogue”. Two days later officials threatened to use live rounds on future demonstrations.


FT Lebanon and Israel hold talks on disputed maritime waters that are potentially rich in natural gas.

The meeting comes at a time of political disarray with Lebanon’s sectarian leaders struggling to form a government. A commentator argues the meeting was done under pressure of sanctions.



October 14

FT Zambia struggles to strike debt relief deal with China creditors.

Zambia has said it will resist pressure from Chinese creditors to make paying arrears a condition of pursuing debt relief talks, as the southern African nation battles to restructure $11bn of external debts.


FT South Africa corruption arrests put top ANC official in spotlight.

The targeted Mr Magashule teased last week that he would be arrested next. “It’s going to be a Hollywood-style type of thing,” he told the South African Independent Online outlet.


October 13

FT China has broader aims with vaccine diplomacy.

Beijing is attempting to portray itself as a good global citizen.


FT Saudi ban on Turkish goods hits global fashion retailers as rivalry escalates.

The problems have been viewed by businesses as an attempt by Riyadh and its close ally the United Arab Emirates to punish Ankara for what they deem to be its destabilising interventions in the Arab world.


FT Turkey stirs alarm in Greece by resuming Med exploration.

The Turkish foreign ministry said yesterday Athens’ “maximalist” claims about the rights bestowed by the island of Kastellorizo (2 km from Turkey) were “not compatible with either international law or international legal precedent”.


FT Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire frays as fighting restarts.

Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but is populated by ethnic Armenians and runs its affairs with heavy support from Armenia. Turkey, which views Azerbaijan as a “brother nation”, has disrupted Russia’s traditional role as mediator.



October 12

FT In public economics, Dawn breaks on a new era of thinking.

IMF analysis refutes the idea that government intervention costs efficiency and growth.


FT Russia president Putin contends with a neighbourhood in turmoil.

Russian hegemony over the ex-Soviet space can no longer be assured. The model of crony authoritarianism adopted by the former Soviet republics is inherently unstable — and increasingly liable to implode when public anger over corruption or denied rights boils over.


FT Vatican sells charity assets to pay down €242m Credit Suisse loan.

News that Catholic charitable funds were mortgaged to make risky financial investments adds to recent revelations that Vatican officials who oversaw the donations were engaged in complex financial engineering.


FT Serbia strives to balance ties with China and US.

Belgrade caught in middle as Xi and Trump court country for trade negotiations.


FT Slovakia president urges EU to toughen stance on rule of law.

President Zuzana Caputova says EU’s actions must match declared values.


FT Sudan’s PM says US sanctions hurting move to democracy.

The US designated Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism. Washington put Sudan on the list of state sponsors in 1993, when Bashir’s regime was hosting Osama bin Laden.


FT Nigeria ends violent crime unit after mass protests.

The federal police unit had been the target of days of mass protests against police brutality across Africa’s most populous country.


NYT With Elections Ahead, Some African Presidents Try Engineering Results.

Presidential elections are set to take place in at least 10 of Africa’s 54 countries. Most incumbents want to stay in office. European colonizers frequently damaged or destroyed Africa’s own systems and traditions of holding power to account. Post-colonial African governments have instead relied them.


NYT In Belarus, Women Led the Protests and Shattered Stereotypes.

Whether or not the protest movement succeeds in ousting Mr. Lukashenko, it has already shattered deeply entrenched gender stereotypes built up over generations.



October 10

FT Hotspots of resurgent Covid erode faith in herd immunity.

Mass protection believed only temporary and unlikely to last without vaccine.


FT Lunch interview with the head of the IMF Kristalina Georgieva.

Austerity and autocracy offer comparable challenges. In both cases, it’s not that people buy less. It’s that for reasons outside their control, they can’t be productive.


FT Stopping the descent into a new cold war.

If China wants its businesses to expand, it will also have to change laws that subordinate those businesses to China’s national security objectives. The US should rein in any instinctive desire to block the rise of China for reasons of power politics.



October 8

FT Former Swiss bank chief Thiam linked to Elysée talks on Ivory Coast impasse.

Macron’s plea to postpone presidential poll turned down by incumbent.


FT The growing momentum towards curbing Big Tech.

The focus should be broadened to the impact of corporate power on market structure, competition, innovation, and quality. Regulators also need adequate resources.


TT UK trade envoy: We can learn from sub-Saharan Africa on closing gender gaps.

The concentration of female entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa is the highest in the world, despite being a region where many women face serious barriers to equality through lack of access to education and investment.


TT Kyrgyzstan PM goes from prison to power in two days.

On Monday, he was in jail serving 11 years for hostage-taking. Yesterday, he was sworn in as prime minister. Rival opposition groups met that decision with anger and Mr Zhaparov was forced to flee through a back door after a mob broke in to the hotel.



October 7

FT Liberal democracies have a creeping loyalty problem.

The creeping normalisation of clientelist governance produces a politics that is indifferent to the success or failure of policy implementation.


FT Kyrgyzstan’s opposition claims to have taken power.

Kyrgyzstan’s central election commission said yesterday it had invalidated Sunday’s parliamentary poll amid allegations of vote-buying.


TT Quadrilateral Security Dialogue talks a milestone in birth of ‘Asian Nato’ ranged against China.

In the past the benefits of joint action of Australia, Japan, India and the U.S.A. seemed to be outweighed by the dangers of infuriating and alienating such a powerful neighbour and valuable trading partner as China.


TT Vatican corruption charges.

Cecilia Marogna is alleged to have received €500,000 from the Vatican secretariat of state at a time when its financial activities were managed by Cardinal Angelo Becciu, also from Sardinia. She said the money had served to create a high-level diplomatic network “to try and free priests and nuns kidnapped in difficult territories”.



October 6

FT Why the world’s richest countries are not all rich.

Eleven of the 12 countries in the list are either investment hubs or resource-based countries. This is a reminder that, absent strong redistributive channels, economies are often internally unequal, because the ownership of resources is confined to a few.


FT Time is right for a new global debt architecture.

For poor and emerging economies, weak public finances all too easily trigger balance of payments crises that add damage to the economy, in turn dragging tax revenues down further.


FT New Cold War? A 21st-century confrontation.

Henry Kissinger said that Beijing and Washington were now in the “foothills of a cold war”. Michèle Flournoy, a possible US defence secretary if Biden wins the U.S. election: “They could conclude that they should move on Taiwan sooner rather than later.”


TT Cardinal Pell demands inquiry into ‘Vatican bribes paid to convict him.’

Ed Condon, an editor at the Catholic News Agency, said: “There’s never been a shortage of people at the Vatican noting the coincidence of the timing of Pell’s departure, but that doesn’t make it a conspiracy.


TT United States to reject applications for residency or citizenship from members of all communist parties.

To bypass the US law, the Chinese Communist Party allows its members to suspend their memberships so they can claim they are not party members when seeking admission into the US.


NYT Indonesiaʼs Parliament Approves Jobs Bill, Despite Labor and Environmental Fears.

Parliament approved the bill through a process known as “fraksi” in which each party casts a vote, rather than each lawmaker. This method is often used when there is little doubt about the result.



October 5

FT Mexican president López Obrador becomes a new strongman.

When a president demands “blind loyalty” from officials, calls for a people’s vote on prosecuting his predecessors, launches a broadside at the independent electoral body and publicly shames those who criticise him, there is good reason to feel fearful.


FT Thai activist vows to step up royal protests.

Campaign leader criticises king for living abroad and spending lavishly.


FT Democratic Alliance party leadership hopeful urges South African opposition to concentrate on black voters.

She told the Financial Times she was “absolutely focused” on boosting the DA’s black vote and ending infighting that has left President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC without strong opposition amid economic turmoil in Africa’s most industrialised nation.


NYT In an encyclical  pope Francis laments poor cooperation among countries and warns the forces of “myopic, extremist, resentful and aggressive nationalism are on the rise.”

The pope devoted a full chapter, one of eight, to his view on politics. He sees an enemy to fraternity spoiling it.


NYT Hopes Fade for New Political Course in Algeria a Year After Popular Uprising.

“Khaled Drareni, independent journalist! ” demonstrators shouted. Algeria President : “He didn’t even have a press card,” casting Mr. Drareni as an activist with dubious credentials. Mr. Drareni once interviewed the president himself.



October 3

FT French government starts clampdown on Islamist ‘separatism’.

The draft legislation, designed to build on a 1905 law enforcing separation of church and state, will tighten controls over management and financing of cultural associations and places of worship.



October 2

FT Germany’s tough choices amid disorder.

For over three decades, history was on Germany’s side. Now, the external stability on which it built domestic success has been replaced by the most significant geopolitical uncertainty of the postwar era.


FT Powers demand ceasefire in Caucasus.

Russia, France and US condemn escalation but Turkey stands defiant.


FT China military flights raise Taiwan stakes.

Fighter jet incursions increase as Beijing is angered by island’s closer ties with US. ‘If we react, the risk of incidents rises. If we don’t, they undermine our sovereignty.’


TT Pontiff adrift on a stormy See.

Enemies of Pope Francis seize on his trust of prelates later mired in scandal as proof of an inability to get a grip on the Vatican.



October 1

FT U.S. elections: Biden fights a class war rather than a culture war.

Mr Trump, he said, only encountered suburban life when he “took a wrong turn”. He and those around him “look down on people who don’t have money”.


FT Turkey and Russia could end up in a face-off in Nagorno-Karabakh.

What has changed the dynamics is the role being played by Mr Erdogan and his growing appetite for military adventurism. Nagorno-Karabakh adds a third flashpoint, with Ankara and Moscow already supporting opposite sides in Syria’s and Libya’s civil wars.


FT Cuba nears first devaluation of peso since 1959 revolution.

Economists have long argued that the currency system is so unwieldy that it stymies exports, encourages imports and makes it difficult to properly analyse corporate profitability.


FT Atlanticism likely to remain in retreat no matter who sits in White House.

‘We need to look at the deep trends, not presidential tweets. Look at how American society is being reshaped.’


FT U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo takes Vatican to task over appeasing Beijing.

“Nowhere is religious freedom under assault more than it is inside of China today. That is because . . . the Chinese Communist party deems itself the ultimate moral authority.”



September 30

FT Good policy and luck explain Africa’s low toll.

Part of the credit for the relatively low death toll goes to the early response by most African governments. But Africa has undoubtedly benefited too from being the world’s youngest continent.


FT Amnesty halts work in India after bank accounts frozen.

The action against Amnesty is part of a wider clampdown on civil society groups that the government believes tarnishes its image.


FT Turkey’s clout complicates Caucasus conflict.

Russia’s desire to please both sides and Turkey’s position in the conflict means Moscow will probably rely on diplomacy rather than an aggressive military response, in contrast to other territorial conflicts in the post-Soviet region, such as in Ukraine and Georgia.



September 29

FT An American history war resurfaces.

Was the American nation founded in 1776 or 1619? It has become an issue in the 2020 presidential election. The so-called 1619 project was a reframing of US history that placed slavery and racial oppression at the heart of the American story. By contrast, Mr Trump argues that liberty is.


FT EU states clash over budget proposal.

Plan links payments to countries with adherence to bloc’s legal principles.



September 28

FT Precise planning helps Finland contain Covid-19.

The ‘level of preparedness is just way beyond anything we would even dream about in Sweden’.


FT Fighting flares up over Caucasus enclave.

Both sides blamed each other for starting the fighting in the Caucasus Mountains, the latest flare-up in a decades-long conflict and the worst since a five-day war in 2016 in which more than 100 people died.


FT ‘Disastrous’ economy weighs on Sudan.

“Traders control everything. There is a lot of speculation going on,” said Ibrahim Onour, a professor of economics at the University of Khartoum.


TT Lenin’s doctrines are still dividing the West. China and Russia have adapted the Bolshevik leader’s call to sow discord and acquire influence.

A much-needed refresher about their significance comes in Active Measures: The Secret History of Disinformation and Political Warfare, a new book by Thomas Rid, a German professor at Johns Hopkins University.



September 26

FT Why we need to put a number on our natural resources.

The World Economic Forum has guesstimated that $44tn — about half — of global gross domestic product depends on natural capital.


FT Thai legislators stir anger by rejecting reform.

Thailand’s government has threatened legal action against US social media groups for hosting material critical of the monarchy, but many posts are accessible on Facebook and Twitter.


FT Swiss ties with EU in play as public votes on border controls.

A populist leader takes pains to play down any similarity to Brexit: “Switzerland is not in the EU. We are a relatively small country. People put more strain on infrastructure, while Swiss people are pushed out of the labour market.”


FT Lunch with the ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.

“There is certainly this very vicious attack on multilateralism itself,” she says. “We have seen that, and the ICC is no exception . . . But what we have also seen, I believe, is a strong pushback.”


TT Good judgment is stifled by the big state.

Might state control invite antisocial behaviour? Might a tighter police grip on our collars weaken our own sense of social responsibility? I believe so.


NYT Chinaʼs Xi Calls Policies in Xinjiang ʻTotally Correctʼ.

“Viewed overall, Xinjiang is enjoying a favorable setting of social stability with the people living in peace and contentment. The facts have abundantly demonstrated that our national minority work has been a success.”



September 25

FT An African at WTO’s helm would fit region’s free trade instincts.

Although the WTO director-general’s powers to influence global trade policy are limited, the platform would give Africa a chance to address, at least rhetorically, some of the iniquities of the world trading system that hold it back.


FT Why autocrats are lining up for Trump.

The common denominator is Mr Trump’s view of foreign policy as about personal relationships and deals. His transactional approach leaves no place for grand strategies, let alone values.


FT Political rivalries erupt on streets of Beirut.

‘At a time when there’s a general perception of an eroding state and weakening order, loyalty to local and sub national leaders increases.’


NYT Powerful Cardinal, a Fixture of Vatican Intrigue, Resigns  Suddenly.

Cardinal Becciu is not your everyday eminence. As a former sostituto, or chief of staff, in the Vatican’s secretariat of state under Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, he oversaw the Vatican’s ambassadors and played a major role in running the Curia, the bureaucracy that governs the Vatican, and had unfettered access to the pontiff.


NTY Young Women Take a Frontline Role in Thailand’s Protests.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said: “Everyone says that we have to create justice, women and men have equal rights. Thai society will deteriorate if you think this way.”



September 24

FT South Africa riles Harare with wooing of opposition.

ANC approaches Mnangagwa rivals amid concerns over rising level of repression.


FT Oil exports to resume from blockaded Libyan port.

The export of oil from Hariga was made possible by a controversial Russian-backed agreement announced on Friday between Gen Haftar and Ahmed Maiteeg, deputy prime minister of the internationally recognised government based in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.


FT China ramps up its punishment diplomacy.

The extralegal, plausibly deniable measures are designed to avoid cases being brought at the World Trade Organization and to allow Beijing to dial the action up or down without a formal change in policy or law.


NYT Trudeau Promises Bold Plan to Reset Canada, and His Political Career.

Kathy Brock, a professor in the policy studies department at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, said the speech was so stuffed with promises, it may be difficult for the government to deliver.


NYT Saudi King, in First U.N. Speech, Assails Longtime Nemesis Iran.

The king’s sentiments were basically the opposite of those expressed a day earlier by President Hassan Rouhani of Iran, who portrayed his country as a peace-loving force for good in the region and the world.



September 23

FT  Palestinians face a difficult new reality after the UAE – Israel deal.

An equitable settlement remains the only sustainable solution to the conflict. To keep the dream alive Palestinians must ensure their own house is in order.


FT Populists and kleptocrats are a perfect match.

It is time to do away with bank account secrecy, not just formally but effectively: all money must be traceable to natural persons, with uniform legal identifiers to make this logistically straightforward.


NYT USA Secretary of State Pompeo’s Quest to Redefine Human Rights Draws Concern at U.N.

The new Human Rights panel started by the U.S. government is grounded in the vision of Robert P. George, a Princeton professor and leading proponent of “natural law” theory, a term human rights scholars say is code for “God-given rights.”



September 22

FT Beware the long arms of US and Chinese law.

This looks less like the 21st century, as imagined by international lawyers and more like the 19th century, in which imperial powers imposed their will on others.


FT US presses Sudan on Israel ties and terror victims.

US negotiators are pushing Sudan to establish diplomatic relations with Israel and reach a financial settlement with victims of terror in return for its removal from a US list of states that sponsor terrorism.


FT Ethnic tension: Ethiopia opposition leader rejects terrorism charges.

‘The reason why I’ve been detained is only because we’ve challenged the government.’


FT Africa takes tentative steps out of lockdown.

Economies are reopening in a region where coronavirus has not been as deadly as feared.


NYT To Protest Colonialism, Congelese activist Takes Artifacts From Museums.

Mwazulu Diyabanza will appear in a Paris court this month after he tried to make off with an African treasure he says was looted. France and its attitude to the colonial past will be on trial, too.


NYT Mali Appoints New President After Military Coup.

Many Malians have expressed their support for the coup plotters, and their mistrust of the country’s politicians.



September 21

FT Thai protesters issue direct challenge to king.

Students deliver list of 10 demands for royal reform and step up pressure for military government to stand down.


FT South Korea fringe churches question state over pandemic.

For South Korean Christians such as CG Hwang, watching the state sue his church and suspend religious services has confirmed his suspicions: the leaders in Seoul are comparable to the rulers in North Korea.


FT The west should heed Napoleon’s advice and let China sleep.

Keep that in mind, instead of proceeding on autopilot with current policies towards China.


FT Strongmen contemplate a post-Trump future.

The region’s most powerful leaders cultivated the Trump White House as it targeted Iran and prioritised arms sales over human rights. But some now fear a change in president could see them lose access.


FT Migration through a biologist’s lens.

Shah’s biological perspective on human migration is thought-provoking. But given her book’s title, there is too little focus on social, economic and political factors.


NYT Abortion Was Back-Burnered in the U.S.A. Presidential Race. Not anymore now that a new Supreme Court member needs to be appointed.

Mainstream views on abortion are more moderate than those of the activists on either wing.



September 19

FT Forced labour is the price of a cheap cotton T-shirt.

One way to grasp the scale of the task is to examine a garment you are wearing, and ask where the fabric, or the thread in the fabric, originated.


TT Pope Francis ‘naive’ in deal with China to name bishops.

“Rome has been coming up with candidates, sending the names to Beijing for tacit approval, but China says nothing, so there is gridlock. The only thing the deal was meant to achieve is not happening”.



September 18

FT Putin’s risky gamble on the dictator of Belarus.

Protests in ex-Soviet republic are pro-democracy, not anti-Russian.


FT Turkey vows to resume talks with Greece.

Many EU states alarmed by Ankara’s behaviour are also reluctant to intensify hostilities because of the role played by Turkey, which is home to 4m refugees from Syria and other countries, in limiting migration to Europe.


TT Great Britain: A hydrogen-fuelled future energises PM Johnson.

“The beauty of hydrogen is, like coal in the industrial revolution, you can produce it indigenously.”



September 17

FT Boeing hid ‘catastrophic’ design flaws of 737 Max in race to get jet airborne.

The report added that there was a “disturbing pattern of technical miscalculations and troubling management misjudgments made by Boeing”.


FT China’s great power play puts Asia on edge and risks flare-ups with US.

‘China is risen and you have to accept that China is the pre-eminent power in Asia.’


FT South Africa must break ANC taboos to lift growth.

South Africa cannot spend more than it raises in taxes indefinitely. Nor can it fill the void with ever-increasing debt.



September 16

FT Opposition rejects Spain’s historical memory law as ‘a diversion’.

“It is based on the principles of truth and justice . . . and seeks to pay Spanish democracy’s debt with its past.”


FT Political prisoner in Turkey lashes out at human rights court.

While the politician stressed that only the Turkish people themselves could rescue their country from what he called its “bad state of affairs”, he said that the ECHR should provide “support” through its decisions to those fighting for change in the country.



September 15

FT Venezuela’s opposition can learn from Belarus.

In Belarus, an attempt to rig elections and secure continued legitimacy for an authoritarian ruler has galvanised the opposition and provoked protests so large they threaten the regime.


FT Fears grow over Trump refusing to concede in U.S.A. elections.

In 2000, court battles between George W Bush and Al Gore over vote counting in Florida escalated to the Supreme Court, which ruled in Mr Bush’s favour by stopping a recount.


FT Split within Libya’s ruling alliance threatens fragile peace.

The split within the Government of National Accord burst into the open when armed men supporting one faction fired weapons to disperse protesters angry at government inability. The other faction stated publicly that the civilian police under their command would protect demonstrators.


TT The British Government can’t bend rule of law as they please.

Parliamentary sovereignty entrenches the idea that nothing is above the will of the people as expressed through their elected representatives.


TT Why Israel’s deals with Bahrain and the UAE mark an important change.

The US-brokered deals will not secure peace in the Middle East — but are a significant first step without much fear of blowback.



September 14

FT EU urged to unite after ‘flames’ engulf bloc neighbours.

Josep Borrell also said the Balkans were a “powder keg” that the EU must help defuse to improve regional security and meet its ambition to be a credible world foreign policy force.


FT Ramaphosa urged to make reforms and halt economic slide.

This year the country’s sovereign debt completed its fall into junk status, Moody’s downgraded it in March, and the budget deficit is likely to hit double digits as a percentage of GDP.


FT The threat to Korea’s cultural power play.

Big Hit’s stock market launch demonstrates the appeal to investors of the leading K-pop bands. But a growing outcry over harassment threatens the country’s cultural export drive through its award winning films and music.


FT Sweden’s Covid-19 experiment holds a warning.

Next time we had better make sure that the data justify severe measures beyond reasonable doubt and put policies in place to deal with the consequences.


FT India and China are edging towards a serious conflict.

A plausible hypothesis for escalation is that China is worried about the future of Tibet, with strengthening international support for its struggle for independence.



September 12

FT Afghanistan and Taliban set for direct peace talks in Qatar.

‘It’s a massive moment, but this is just the start of what will be a long road and a complicated process.’


FT Competence poses a test for populist leaders.

Reality catches up when simplistic promises are left unfulfilled.


FT Hearts don’t beat faster for ‘the rules-based international order (RBIS)’

If we need a single overarching term, then the broader concept of “liberal international order” is more persuasive than RBIS.


FT China and India agree to ‘disengage’ troops.

“Until there is physical disengagement on the ground, you could still get an accident that forces one or both sides into a conflict that they don’t want.”


FT Erdogan’s embrace of Hamas riles Israel.

President’s warm relations with militant group plays into broader regional struggle.



September 11

FT Myanmar poll will fall short of democratic standards.

Aung San Suu Kyi is still revered by most of Myanmar’s Bamar Buddhist majority, a status consolidated at the International Court of Justice last year when she defended the military’s brutal expulsion of more than 750,000 minority Muslim Rohingya.


FT Post-Brexit UK must respect the rule of law.

A plan to rewrite the EU withdrawal agreement destroys trust and undermines democracy.


FT Kenyan borrowers shamed into repaying Silicon Valley loans.

People who have gotten a phone call from their local priest deep in their rural areas asking them why they haven’t paid.


FT Dollar shortage hits Nigerian World Bank-backed power plant.

The $900m Azura-Edo Independent Power Plant in Edo state has been unable to source dollars through the Central Bank of Nigeria, which has restricted access to the greenback in an effort to support the local naira currency, according to an industry executive and a financier briefed on the matter.


TT Maria Kolesnikova: Security agents threatened to force me out dead or alive.

Ms Kolesnikova, one of the opposition troika who contested disputed elections last month and the only one who remains in Belarus, evaded forced deportation on Monday by tearing up her passport and climbing out of a car window after state security ocers drove her to the border.



September 10

FT China digs deep in the Middle East.

Beijing gains in oil and influence as successive American presidents withdraw.


TT China reveals that Australia expelled six journalists and academics.

The Australian government had not announced the June action.



September 9

FT We need a new asset class of healthy soils and pollinators.

Valuing nature as we do traditional goods and services will help protect biodiversity.


FT Tigray poll puts Ethiopia on edge after months of violence.

To the Tigrayan leadership, the prime minister’s emphasis on national unity undermines a federal system that guarantees significant autonomy for ethnically defined territories, such as Tigray.


FT Disputes over gasfields and Libyan war raise east Mediterranean tension.

Why does Turkey feel isolated? The EastMed Gas Forum, nicknamed ‘the Opec of Mediterranean gas’ was formally established in Cairo this year. It brings together Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Greece, Cyprus and Italy, with the aim of establishing the region as an energy hub. France has asked to join, while the US has requested to become a permanent observer.


FT Beijing offers Taliban roads-for-peace deal.

After a strategic dialogue between China, Pakistan and Afghanistan in July, foreign ministry officials from the countries warned of a “potential terrorist resurgence” in Afghanistan if US troops were not pulled out “responsibly”.


FT Australian reporters flee China after stand-off.

The hurried departure of the Australian journalists represents the latest deterioration in relations between Canberra and Beijing following a series of diplomatic disputes and trade tensions.


FT South Africa’s economy plunges in second quarter.

‘The GDP data is shocking . . . growth forecasts may be subject to further downward revision’.


TT Tensions soar after shots fired across Himalayan border.

Shots have been fired across the Himalayan border that separates India and China, ratcheting up tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours.


TT The Times view on Brexit negotiations: Rule of Law.

The government’s extraordinary admission that it is proposing to breach international law raises questions for the attorneygeneral and justice secretary.


TT Strong men like Kagame take the West for fools.

The Rwandan president was praised by politicians who turned a blind eye to his serial abuses.



September 8

FT Nuclear states engage in a dangerous game.

The erosion of nuclear deterrence gives rise to two distinct, but related, risks. The first is of a conventional war, which could happen if two nuclear-weapons states believe they can fight each other without the risk of nuclear escalation. The second is of a nuclear war, which could happen if a conventional war escalated unexpectedly.


FT The next Latin American decade need not be a bust.

Challenges are immense in a region hungry for honest, pragmatic governance.


FT Cracks emerge within Belarus opposition as president digs in.

‘We have a stand-off. Neither side has really been able to advance.’


FT Ecuador’s successful debt restructuring held up as an example.

The IMF agreement played an instrumental role: the deal with bondholders was contingent on it.



September 7

FT We ignore online conspiracies at our peril.

Throughout history, undermining truth has created the conditions in which lies have thrived.


FT Covid-19 curbs ‘not worth pain’ for low-income countries.

Economic contractions in India and Mexico show damage caused by severe lockdowns.


FT President says ‘Hotel Rwanda’ film hero was not kidnapped.

President Paul Kagame said yesterday that Paul Rusesabagina had “brought himself” in.


FT Venezuela’s Maduro tightens grip after dividing opposition.

Henrique Capriles, a former presidential candidate, shattered the unity that had prevailed among Venezuela’s notoriously fractious opposition for almost two years on Wednesday when he announced that he favoured participation. “We’re not going to leave the people without an option”, he said.



September 5

FT Kidnap of Rwanda critic underlines long arm of Kagame’s rule.

The mysterious arrest of the Belgian citizen and resident of Texas highlights the long arm of Rwandan policing and puts renewed focus on allegations that Mr Kagame’s government — praised for transforming the nation into a thriving economy after the genocide — silences opponents at home and abroad.


FT Nigeria given go-ahead to challenge $10bn award over gas deal.

“Investigations into the [gas contract] are ongoing, and we are firmly committed to overturning the award — no matter how long it takes — to ensure that this money goes towards Nigeria’s future, not into the pockets of millionaires trying to exploit our country.”



September 4

FT UN top official warns Libya at ‘turning point’.

Despite a ceasefire, foreign players are still sending arms to rival factions.


FT Home truths in the eastern Mediterranean.

Europe can no longer rely on the US to act as referee in the Greek stand-off with Turkey.



September 3

FT Germany’s welcome inquiry on Wirecard.

Reliance on consensus has created a political system in which clubbiness thrives and too little emphasis is placed on challenges to the status quo.


FT Belarus Lukashenko crackdown threatens flourishing tech sector.

“When you see this first hand, you realise this can happen to me, this can happen to my team. And this is the biggest motivation [for leaving].”


FT India reacts to border tension with ban on 118 Chinese apps.

The ban follows days of confrontation between Indian and Chinese troops jockeying for control of strategic heights and other advantageous positions in the sparsely populated Ladakh border area.


FT US military puts space weapons in its sights to counter China.

Senior US military officials are making the case for a new generation of space weapons in a sign of their concern about China’s extraterrestrial capabilities, including its recent development of a rival version of GPS.



September 2

FT Africa counts cost of pandemic-related corruption.

Across Africa, officials are being swept up in investigations into whether they used their positions to siphon funds intended to tackle the pandemic.


FT Corona crisis: A cheap, simple way to control this pandemic exists.

The idea that weekly testing of whole populations can reduce transmission so that normal life can continue has been endorsed by leading epidemiologists and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Romer.


FT How western nations can support Taiwan.

If dozens of countries simultaneously upgraded their interaction with Taiwan, Chinese attempts to “punish” them all could instead leave Beijing isolated.


FT UN’s credibility on the line over Iran sanctions dispute.

The dispute between members of the UN Security Council over the reimposition of UN sanctions on Iran is paralysing one of the key engines of postwar multilateralism.



September 1

FT Brussels sounds alarm on critical raw materials.

The EU’s over-reliance on imports of critical raw materials threatens to undermine crucial industries and expose the bloc to supply squeezes by China and other resource-rich countries, the European Commission will warn member states this week.


FT Japan PM Abe’s struggle with China is incomplete.

Appeasement of Beijing would eventually come at a heavy price in Japanese freedom and autonomy.


TT Pupils protest as China bans lessons in Mongolian.

The shift in the education policy appears to be the latest attempt by Beijing to rein in the country’s largest ethnic minorities, which have their own languages and distinct cultural traditions.


TT Paul Rusesabagina: Hero of Rwanda genocide seized from exile to face terror charges.

The dissident was recently named in a high-profile terrorism case being heard in Kigali involving one of his opposition colleagues.


TT The West must wake up or be left behind.

Covid-19 has exposed government complacency and the danger that Europe and the US will be eclipsed by the East.


NYT Sudan Signs Peace Deal With Rebel Alliance.

While observers cautioned that Monday’s deal needed to be followed with concrete reforms, it was widely viewed as a critical first step to a more enduring peace.



August 31

FT Arm tech company’s destiny is vital for Britain’s future.

As the UK is rapidly discovering, the limitations on sovereignty in the 21st century are pressing in on the nation state, particularly on vital technology issues amid escalating tensions between the US and China.


FT France and Mali junta forced to co-operate.

in effort to stamp out jihadi threat in SahelWhen the French ambassador to Mali and its military chiefs last week held an audience with the strongman leader who had just overthrown their ally, it was an acknowledgment of the facts on the ground.


FT Japan’s Shinzo Abe’s legacy must not be squandered.

His espousal of “womenomics” was also a blow in favour of personal freedom.



August 29

FT Merkel warns Putin against deploying reserve force to quell Belarus unrest.

Ms Merkel dismissed the idea of pulling out of a Russian gas line. “I think that we should decouple those things,” she said. “Our view is that Nord Stream 2 should be completed.”


FT South Africa’s Ramaphosa urges calm after killing of teenager.

South Africa’s police ombudsman body has said that it was investigating the killing.


FT World Bank suspends index over data ‘irregularities’.

“This is a huge admission by the World Bank with far-reaching implications,” said January Makamba, a member of parliament and former deputy minister in Tanzania.



August 28

FT The coup is making a comeback in Africa.

Paradoxically, the return of the coup is the flipside of more entrenched democratic norms. Across the continent, regular elections are now standard.



August 27

FT WHO team tracing origins of virus in China fails to visit Wuhan.

Last week, the agency said: “A two-person WHO team has recently concluded its three-week assignment in China to lay the groundwork for an investigation into the source of the virus.”


FT Purge paves way for China’s Xi to assume Mao title and hold on to power.

One way for Mr Xi to keep control of the party without necessarily holding all his current positions would be to follow Mao to become party chairman, a title last used in 1982.


FT Lebanon political elite ‘in denial’ over reform.

A system designed to avoid inter communal conflict resulted in the emergence of a political class of warlords, who reserved the premiership for a Sunni Muslim.


TT Vladimir Putin offers ‘reserve police force’ to prop up President Lukashenko in Belarus.

Mr Putin insisted that Russia was behaving with “greater restraint and neutrality” in its reaction to events in Belarus than the US and European states.



August 26

FT The risk of China-US military conflict is disturbingly high.

Talking past each other is better than not talking at all.


FT Court drama puts spotlight on India’s judiciary.

Critics contrasted the court’s alacrity in convicting Mr Bhushan with the sluggish pace of hearing legal challenges to controversial government policies, including the legalization of large, anonymous corporate donations to political parties, a divisive citizenship bill and the detention of political dissidents.


FT Beware leaders’ rush to approve vaccines.

While mass inoculation has done far more good than harm, there are instances of vaccines for diseases such as polio and swine flu being rushed out, only for pernicious side effects to emerge later.


FT Germany raises alarm over risk of ‘disaster’ in eastern Med.

“No one can have an interest in that, and certainly not in a military confrontation between Nato partners and neighbours.”


FT Sudan presses US to remove it from list of terrorism sponsors.

“We had a direct & transparent conversation regarding delisting Sudan,” Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok tweeted after the meeting. “The democratic transition under way is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the people of Sudan,” Mr Pompeo said.


FT Poison is the crudest way to repress dissent in Russia.

Modern authoritarian systems prefer to deflect the blame for violence against their critics on rogue low-level agents, or to keep quiet altogether.


NYT Outspoken Atheist, Arrested in Nigeria for Blasphemy, Hasnʼt Been Seen Since.

He was arrested by the state police after being accused of violating anti-blasphemy laws, which can
carry a death sentence. He has not been seen since.



August 25

FT Royal scandal shows Spain deserves a more accountable democracy.

Notwithstanding the gravity of the alleged misdeeds, Juan Carlos is unlikely to face trial for his actions while king. The Spanish constitution states the person of the king “is inviolable and not subject to [legal] responsibility”.


FT Mali is the epicentre of a growing extremist threat.

The ousted president was indeed a poor choice. He governed on behalf of the southern elite and failed to implement a 2015 Algerian-brokered peace deal that had at least held out the possibility of an accommodation with the restive north.


FT India snub on Huawei 5G gear risks fresh political tensions with Beijing.

New Delhi has not issued a formal ban on Chinese equipment suppliers. Industry executives and government officials said it had been made clear that telecoms groups should avoid using Chinese equipment in future projects, including 5G networks.


FT Zambia president criticised for firing central bank governor.

The IMF said yesterday “the macroeconomic stability that most developing countries have enjoyed in recent years has greatly relied on the much-improved effectiveness and increased independence of central banks”.


FT Nigeria on track to suffer second recession in four years.

The World Bank, the IMF and the finance ministry, which has had to slash the national budget, have estimated that Nigeria could fall into its deepest recession for decades.


FT Botswana’s ex-president rejects $10bn looting allegations.

A forensic report by the law firm of Cherie Blair, commissioned by Ms Motsepe, sister-in-law to South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, found that the claims were false and used illicitly obtained data to appear real.


FT Japan aims to ease ban on returning foreign residents.

The rules have made Japan the only G7 country to discriminate between citizens and foreign residents with Covid-19 entry restrictions, raising questions about Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to attract foreign workers and promote Tokyo as a business centre.


NYT Africa Celebrates the End of the Wild Poliovirus (but Not the End of All Polio).

Dr. Pascal Mkanda, the World Health Organization’s polio eradication coordinator for the Africa region, said: “There’s no program like the global eradication program. There’s no program which uses so much data, so much innovation.”



August 24

FT Belarus warns of military response to protesters.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said yesterday there were “clear and extremely important signs the situation was stabilising” but claimed that unnamed powers were attempting to “provoke bloodletting” in a “Ukrainian scenario”, according to Interfax.


FT Tehran alarmed as Iranians delay having children.

Urbanisation, a high literacy rate and the expansion of higher education have all contributed to the prevalence of family planning in Iran, relative to other states in the region.



August 22

FT Belarus: President targets striking workers to stifle dissent.

“They need to stop the workers from striking because if the industrial giants cease production, then he’ll have to go.”


FT Mali opposition celebrates military coup despite regional condemnation.

Opposition groups had organised mass rallies calling for Mr Keita’s resignation all summer and threw their weight behind the military coup.


NYT Libyan Rivals Call for Peace Talks. It May Be Wishful Thinking.

In recent weeks, after months of stalemate in Sirte, German and American diplomats have been lobbying both sides to accept a United Nations proposal to establish a demilitarized zone around the city, as a first step in wider peace talks.



August 21

FT Globalisation need not mean deregulation.

Both Mr Trump’s trade war and the immediate impulse from the pandemic have been about repatriating production.


FT Russia’s dark culture of political violence.

But anyone seeking to engage should have no illusions about the nature of the system Mr Putin has created.


FT Traditional medicine can help Africa combat Covid-19.

There is compelling evidence that the majority of practitioners are skilled and experienced, and that their herbal prescriptions can be effective.



August 20

FT Macron’s low profile of France on China is strategic.

True to Gaullist tradition, he is a proponent of “strategic autonomy” for Europe.


FT A new generation in Thailand finds its voice.

Breaking old taboos, they have proposed checks and balances on Thailand’s powerful monarchy.


FT Mali mutineers plan general election after overthrowing president in coup.

One factor in public frustration with Mr Keita’s government had been its failure to contain spiralling violence in central and northern Mali, killing thousands and displacing millions.


FT Coronavirus outlier Sweden chooses its own path on masks.

“It is very dangerous to believe face masks would change the game when it comes to Covid-19,” Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s state epidemiologist, told the Financial Times.


FT Corruption probe is manna from heaven for López Obrador.

But the way in which Mr López Obrador has pursued his anti-corruption crusade has raised multiple red flags.



August 19

FT Belarus sheds the carapace of dictatorship.

The protests are not pro-western or anti-Russian. They are pro-civic rights, pro-truth and anti-Lukashenko.


TT Junta promises Mali ‘transition to elections’.

Mali’s neighbours and its allies in the West fear that a military takeover will only fuel further violence, including from Islamic insurgents.


TT Hong Kong rewrites school textbooks to promote loyalty to China.

Textbooks will also clarify that Hong Kong’s political system is not based on separation of powers but adopts an executive-led governance model.



August 17

FT Africa urged to boost internal trade.

The collapse in foreign direct investment to African economies during the pandemic has bolstered the need for intra-African trade, the continent’s top trade official has said, warning it will take years for investment to return.


FT US elections – Bidenomics and the new New Deal.

The US left should picture a Biden presidency as their chance to pass reforms that stalled under Obama.


FT US stance on South China Sea undermined by Philippines.

Philippine president Duterte made a laconic statement that he was unable to assert Manila’s claim to the waters because “China has the arms, we do not”.


FT Why banks fail through the ages.

Looking back selectively through history, the book identifies the reasons for absent management as an inability to cope with complexity.


TT Writers and priests arrested in Zimbabwe’s ‘unprecedented’ crackdown.

Zimbabwe’s Catholic Church has denounced as “unprecedented” a vicious political crackdown that has seen
scores of lawyers, journalists, priests and novelists jailed, abducted or forced on to the run by the regime of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.



August 15

FT Global Insight Middle East. Rapprochement helps Netanyahu and Trump, but not peace.

Yet it does demonstrate Iran’s ability to goad others into forging alliances against its interference in the Arab nations that Tehran so often assists into failed statehood: from Iraq to Lebanon, and from Syria to Yemen.


FT Keeping the torch of global democracy alight.

The political scientist Francis Fukuyama argues a competent state apparatus, trust in government and effective leadership count for more in tackling the pandemic than the type of political system.


TT Erdogan warns Macron to give up ‘colonialist’ dream after military exercises with Greece.

He made the “colonialist” jibe in reference to Mr Macron’s visit to Lebanon after the Beirut explosion last week, suggesting that France would “never let go” of its former colony.



August 14

FT Harris and the future of the Democrats.

Biden’s running mate embodies the progressive trend of the party.


FT Israel and United Arab Emirates strike historic peace agreement.

“Acting unilaterally is inconsistent with the initiative . . . some [Arab states] will be angry, others will be less angry,” the Arab diplomat said.


FT France deploys navy to waters off Cyprus.

Paris backs Athens in row with Ankara over oil and gas rights in disputed area.


FT Political chaos in Tunisia boosts support for populist leader.

A Tunisian populist politician who aligns herself with an ousted dictator has been rising in the polls in the north African country, as chaos in the fragmented parliament scuppers efforts to tackle its economic crisis.


NYT We Just Saw the Future of Anti-Abortion Laws.

Clearly what the four laws have in common is to make getting an abortion more onerous.



August 13

TT Greece and Turkey square up over the rights to undersea gas.

“The Libya issue, the east Med issue, the Greece-Turkey maritime issue have all been intertwined, and we can add the adjacent Red Sea-Horn of Africa region because of the way Egypt and Turkey compete there.


TT Isis seizes key Mozambique port city after six-day battle.

The mostly Muslim 2.3 million population of Cabo Delgado has seen little of the area’s vast natural wealth, which includes the world’s biggest ruby mine, and the neglected region had become a ripe ground for recruitment.



August 12

FT Palestinians rue lack of tools to boost economy.

West Bank does not control a currency, has low reserves and cannot borrow from markets.


FT Thai protesters risk jail for criticizing king.

At Monday’s demonstration, protesters invoked Thailand’s 1932 revolution that ended absolute monarchy.


TT Hopewell Chin’ono: Journalist chained up at Zimbabwe’s worst prison.

“Bad apples who have attempted to divide our people and to weaken our systems will be flushed out,” the president warned critics in a televised address last week. “Enough is enough.”


TT Belarus election: Svetlana Tikhanovskaya ‘left country to be with her children’.

Her ally Maria Kolesnikova told a press conference she suspected that Mrs Tikhanovskaya had been coerced into making the video while she was eectively detained for three hours in Minsk on Monday evening.


NYT Effort to Disarm Communities in South Sudan Fuels Deadly Clashes.

The latest violence comes as South Sudan’s unity government, which was formed in February, struggles to bring peace and stability.



August 11

FT Erdogan and Modi thrive on divisive politics.

For two such important nations to turn their backs on secularism and liberal values is significant in itself. But the changes in India and Turkey are also part of a broader global story of the rise of identity politics at the expense of liberal universalism.


TT ‘Dangerous’ to think masks will stop virus.

The Swedish strategy has followed the two central principles that the corona virus pandemic will be around for longer than any lock down and that the only viable answer in the long run is to trust people to make sensible decisions for themselves.



August 10

FT A history of Chinese comebacks, book review.

The book divides the country’s reform-driven history after the 1976 death of Mao Zedong into distinct cycles: the opening of the economy under Deng Xiaoping; the period from the crackdown after the 1989 Tiananmen demonstrations to the 1997 Asian financial crisis; and the changes associated with China’s 2001 entry into the World Trade Organization.


FT US official’s Taiwan trip widens rift with China.

As the political establishment, and public opinion, in the US has turned against China, pressure has built for better treatment of a fellow democracy.


TT Chinese jets enter Taiwan airspace during US visit.

Alex Azar, the US health secretary and the most senior US official to visit Taiwan since 1979, praised its response to the corona virus and congratulated its democratic elections.



August 9

TT Warring tribes can doom whole nations .
When loyalty to clan takes precedence, everyone pays the price.



August 8

FT America needs a modern-day JP Morgan to combat Huawei.

If nothing changes, America is poised to lose the race for 5G telecommunications technology to China.


FT A strong India cannot be built on religious division.

While Mr Modi’s status will be raised among his Hindu nationalist supporters for delivering the temple, his rhetoric on the day was less inflammatory than sometimes in the past, paying at least lip service to national unity.


FT Lebanon, a nation brought to its knees.

Even before the explosion in Beirut this week, Lebanon was facing a massive economic crisis and the risk of becoming a failed state. Angry citizens are now calling for the overthrow of the entire political class.


FT Zimbabwe warned of implosion unless public’s voice heard.

Mr Mnangagwa has been unrepentant. In a national address this week he promised to “flush out” opposition to his rule and he blamed a “few rogue Zimbabweans acting in league with foreign detractors” for unrest.


FT Ivory Coast president’s third-term bid attacked.

But his party asked him to reconsider following the sudden death of his chosen successor, Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, last month. Mr Ouattara was officially nominated last week and accepted on Thursday.



August 6

FT China breaks away on drilling for the ‘new oil’ (data).

As with oil, we can see data protection becoming a matter of national priority, long-term strategies, and conceivably, conflict.


FT Senior US politician’s Taiwan visit annoys China.

Azar was in the forefront of the effort to get Taiwan to attend the World Health Assembly in Geneva in May, and US foreign policy officials have repeatedly lauded Taiwan for the way it handled the coronavirus crisis.


FT Modi initiates temple at mosque site.

“This is the creation of almost a new basic structure for the Indian constitution, with majoritarianism as the dominant idea of India.”


TT Justin Welby defends Rosie Duffield, MP accused of transphobia over cervix tweet.

“She does not seek to demean others. To troll her is simply cruel and wrong.”



August 5

FT Tech cold war comes to India.

The competition between US and Chinese tech giants for the Indian market is intense, with access to a market of 1.4bn people spurring multibillion-dollar bets.


FT Leading WTO candidates back US call for reform.

Two favourites (both females from Africa) for top job say criticism of body’s dispute settlement system are valid.


TT Tanzanian miner Saniniu Laizer makes millions after second tanzanite gemstone find.

He has promised to use his newfound wealth to build schools and promote education, something he lacked while growing up in the area of northern Tanzania, the only place in the world where the mineral is found.


TT China is winning this war of the worlds.

Like HG Wells’s 1898 novel The War of the Worlds, which was in part a commentary on British imperialism, Liu’s novels are an exploration of the 21st-century fight to control the future.



July 31

FT A farming revolution is what we need in this crisis.

We have an opportunity to reimagine our food systems.


FT Cold war is the wrong way to challenge China.

Trump thinks his belligerent stance towards Beijing is worth votes in the presidential election.


TT China has left the West behind in the 21st century’s gold rush.
Precious metals and minerals will drive a new Industrial Revolution that will be dominated by Beijing unless democracies unite, says Roger Boyes.



July 30

FT Antique Chinese bonds are now in play among dealers.

When the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949, its leaders broke with the tradition of maintaining the debt obligations of previous regimes. But they never formally de-recognised the debt. Leading Republicans like senator Lindsey Graham say the US should consider cancelling the $1tn-plus China holds in US Treasury obligations to seek reparation from the Covid19 disaster.



July 29

FT Japan treads carefully in dealings with China.

Geographical proximity and business ties are reflected in the response from Tokyo.


FT Second inquiry clears African Development Bank president.

The panel found that submissions made by Adesina were ‘consistent with his innocence’.


FT The US-China rift has now become ideological.

What started as a tariff war is morphing into a battle of values.



July 28

FT UN official warns of Libya ‘pure proxy war’.

Continuing foreign activity among rival factions at risk of escalation, envoy fears.


FT US urged to explore fissures in Russia-China ties.

Deterioration in relations with Beijing prompts calls for renewed interest in Moscow.


TT Hong Kong tycoon scales down plans for new city in Ireland.

He said that his team was now looking for a 50 sq km site for a new city that would integrate into the host country, rather than operate as a separate entity.



July 27

FT Biden dents hopes of those wanting return to multilateralism.

It wants much broader Buy American procurement rules, strongly supports the Jones Act restrictions on foreign shipping, and demands that technology developed in the US should be manufactured there.


FT Africa needs more help with its crisis response.

Hunger and disease are beckoning in small and fragile states.


NYT Colonialism Made the Modern World. Let’s Remake It.

In just three decades, anti colonial nationalists had transformed the world’s map.



July 24

FT China’s abuse of Uighurs is a moral outrage.

US and UK are right to condemn internment of Muslim population.


FT Is Germany’s apprentice system as good as it looks?

The apparent merits of the German system — skilled workers, recognised qualifications, good job opportunities, social prestige — has long fascinated outsiders.


FT The path from Covid to a new social contract.

A new social contract would start with policies to reward enterprise but punish rent-seeking, shift the burden of tax away from income and towards accumulated capital and establish job and income protections to boost productivity.


TT Silence of Muslim states on Uighurs’ plight is chilling.

In July last year numerous Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Pakistan, signed a letter
MENU saturday july 25 2020 defending China’s treatment of the Uighurs.



July 23

FT Argentina’s thriving wine country ponders going it alone.

Mendoza consistently runs a balanced budget and, if freed from “Argentine risk”, would pay less interest on its debt.


FT Closure of consulate in Texas raises spectre of return to cold war.

“The ultimate ambition of China’s rulers isn’t to trade with the United States. It is to raid the United States.



July 22

FT Recovery fund is a huge breakthrough for the EU.

This is a game-changer for perceptions of the viability of the euro.


FT Egypt backs deployment of troops in Libya.

A Turkish presence in eastern Libya would be perceived by Cairo as a threat to its national security.


FT Australia and China share ‘knowledge boom’.

Australia-China collaborations make up 16.2 per cent of total Australian scientific publications, up from 3.1 per cent in 2005.


TT Britain doesn’t need a Cold War with China.

We should confront Beijing over its abuses while using our influence to temper US hostility.


TT ‘Africa’s Erin Brockovich’ Phyllis Omido wins £9m for polluted slum.

A slum in Kenya where thousands were poisoned by a smelting factory has been awarded £9.5 million in compensation after a tireless “David and Goliath” campaign by a former worker.


TT Demographic apocalypse: collapsing birth rates will turn our world upside down.

China’s population is predicted to wither during the second half of the century, falling to 730
million from 1.6 billion.



July 21

FT Virus surge tests Africa.

‘I don’t really see any evidence that we’re seeing a qualitatively different course of the pandemic in Africa’ ‘We see young people running around with Covid, living their lives normally. But we need [research] to back this up’


TT India teams up with US for anti-China war games.

Michael Kugelman, at the Wilson Centre think tank in Washington, said: “There’s certainly a realisation that the
Ladakh crisis gives India a powerful incentive to shed its inhibitions about antagonising China and to move closer to the US. But there’s also a realisation that Delhi won’t easily jettison a strategic autonomy policy that has come to replace nonalignment.


NYT Three Decades After His Coup, Sudanʼs Former Ruler Is Held to Account.

It quickly became clear that the ideological drive for the putsch came from a small group of Islamists led by Mr. al-Turabi, an erudite, Sorbonne-educated cleric who dreamed of leading a Pan-Arab Islamist renaissance.



July 20

FT The EU and US can still beat Chinese tech.

Europeans share many of concerns that the US has about the Chinese surveillance state, and the dangers that it poses to competition, privacy and liberal democracy.


FT German plan for supply chain law stirs debate over human rights.

A plan by two German ministers to propose a due diligence law for supply chains has sparked a fierce debate in Europe’s largest economy over how to meet human rights and fair competition standards in a globalised world — and who is responsible for ensuring it.


FT Clashes erupt on Azerbaijan-Armenia border.

One of the world’s longest-running territorial disputes in the Caucasus Mountains has erupted anew.


FT Muslim cleric Dicko amplifies people’s cry for change in Mali.

Mahmoud Dicko has previously campaigned against homosexuality, alcohol and women’s rights and last year led protests that forced the resignation of Mali’s prime minister.


FT Turkey fuels regional power game.

‘Erdogan and some of his allies believe that Turkey is restoring its importance in the eyes of its western allies’.


NYT Tunisian Woman Sentenced to Prison Over Joke Alluding to the Quran.

Ahmed Benchemsi, the communications director for Human Rights Watch in the Middle East and North Africa, called the ruling a “setback for freedom of expression in a country that has otherwise made great strides on the path to democracy.”