Look who’s got a new URL!
Just a quick note here for you all - if you are not following me through Tumblr, then please update your bookmarks, because I just got a new URL!
From now on you can find me at www.blabbingworldaffairs.com.
It sounds professional, doesn’t it? :)
I’ve been planning this for quite a long time now, and just found the time and energy to act on it.
I am also planning a few changes and upgrades on the site - so it can live up to it’s new URL. :) Well, but seriously. I know I have said this a few times already, I have always had a bunch of ideas, but then it was never the right time. When I felt creative and full of ideas, I never had the time and vice versa.
But now I am really planning to take this thing to the next level in so many ways. As for the time part - I hope I can work it out.
Thank you all for reading so far and I do hope you guys will stick around to see what I have in store for all of us.
Have a great weekend!
United Nations along with European Film Gateway published this great three minute video with scenes from World War I.
The fact itself that we are watching 100-year-old footage makes it special, while the tragedy and sadness of the first global war vividly comes through.
Today and every day - I support the values she stands for.
Happy Birthday Malala!
Happy Sunday and happy World Cup Final everybody!
Hope you all had a great weekend. My past week was exhausting once again, and the weekend was no exception. All I really need now is a proper amount of sleep.
Fortunately I have a whole week to recharge with five days off of work, so hopefully by this time next week my old self will be back.
This one must be the most rough-and-ready Sunday Smack ever, seriously, I am writing this half asleep. I really hope you’ll enjoy, though.
A UN View of the Gaza Conflict
The UN Secretary General spoke out against escalation of the conflict in Gaza.
The growing refugee crisis in Ukraine
There is a lot (but never enough) talked about the Middle Eastern refugee crisis, now here’s another serious one.
Does a ban on wearing the full veil promote women’s equality? An Analysis of the European Court of Human Rights Decision
I have already covered SAS v. France last week, but there were many great posts about it this week. Like this one. And yes, I just had to include the illustration.
Italian-Swedish diplomat Staffan de Mistura was named UN mediator for Syria on Thursday, taking on the Herculean task of finding a political solution to the dragging civil war. He replaces the hugely respected Lakhdar Brahimi, who resigned in May after two rounds of peace talks collapsed and as the conflict escalated into a fourth year, killing more than 162,000 people. UN chief Ban Ki-moon confirmed the appointment of the special representative and his Egyptian deputy, urging the much-divided Security Council and Syrian parties to work closely with him. Ban has frequently criticized animosity on the Council between Western powers and Russia, a close ally of Damascus, which has all but paralyzed an international response to the crisis.
How is it going for everybody?
Crazy working hours continued this week for me, even had to bring stuff home for the weekend, and I am in such a need of a holiday right now, I can’t even tell. I’m dreaming of doing absolutely nothing for a day. Or even half a day would be fine. Just one more week of work until then.
Hope you’ll like what I found especially interesting this week.
Forced Migration as a Weapon of War in Iraq and Beyond
The numbers are disturbing as to how many people are forced to leave their homes due to internal conflicts in their countries these days.
SAS v. France: Does Anything Remain of the Right to Manifest Religion?
Another long awaited ECHR decision that kind of shook up international lawyers from their summer rests this week. I am among those who don’t necessarily agree with this decision. As a lawyer of course I can understand how the Court could not find legal ground to decide otherwise, although I was still hoping they would find a way to do so. Even knowing that France has a long history of denying minority rights, it is just hard for me to accept how the French couldn’t be “living together” with people who lead a different life than most of them. I believe French chlildren - as all children around the world - should be taught how very different we all are and how diversity is something to cherish and preserve instead of abolish.
African Union leaders granted themselves immunity from prosecution for the most serious war crimes. That is, before the newly established African Court of Justice and Human Rights. Well, they don’t usually recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC anyway, it was high time they created a new court that would leave them alone.
Exclusive: Russia Vetoes House of Cards
I love House of Cards and it could have been the next in the line of big TV shows that were allowed to shoot inside the walls of the UN. Only the Russians said no.
The new European Parliament
I love infographics, don’t you? This one’s from epthinktank.eu, showing the political groups in the new EP.
Happy weekend everybody!
There could not possibly be anyone who needed this weekend more than me. I have worked 10-12 hours/day all week, substituting for two of my colleagues away on vacation. It left me really worn out and anxiously looking forward to my own vacation two weeks from now.
Catching up on world news was kind of a relaxation after all that.
How about you all? How is your summer going so far?
A Call for Article 51 Letters
There are rules in the UN Charter for the instances of using force. And then there is reality. Perhaps this might be a good time to start thinking about new rules that would not be so hard to abide by.
Syria’s Declared Nerve Agent Is Gone. So Why Is Nobody Celebrating?
Yes, this news went almost unnoticed by world media this week. Certainly, it does not solve the humanitarian crisis in Syria and as Western diplomats warn, it’s not even sure it’s true.
To Juncker or Not to Juncker - Is That the Question?
To Juncker indeed, that is for sure now. But the train of thought in this post remains interesting.
How Do Witnesses Feel Testifying Against Accused War Criminals?
The results of a sociological study trying to answer this question are very instructive.
"Serb Student Assassinates Archduke and his Duchess", from the Washington [DC] “Times”, 6/28/1914 [p.1]. And so World War One began 100 years ago today with an assassination in Sarajevo. This account, from an evening edition, is noticeably short on details and incorrect on one important point: the bomb was not thrown by the “Servian student”, but by another would-be assassin earlier in the day. Gavrilo Princip, the young man who actually shot the couple, was the second assassin after the bomb-thrower, and if, later in the day, the Archduke hadn’t decided to visit victims of the bombing, Princip wouldn’t have had the opportunity to shoot him. Furthermore, nor would Princip have been in a position to shoot him if the Archduke’s chauffeur hadn’t followed the original route from earlier in the day. Like so many assassinations that have changed history, a couple different choices, so evident in hindsight, would have averted tragedy.
World War I began on June 28, 1914.
Now, how about this?
[JURIST] Kuwait’s Supreme Court on Sunday upheld the two-year jail sentence of an opposition online activist for writing tweets found to be offensive to the country’s Emir. After the ruling, activist Hejab Al Hajeri said on his Twitter [official website] account that his “determination is bigger than their jail.” Al Hajeri, a law student in his early 20s, was sentenced by the Emirate’s lower court last April after it found that comments he made on his twitter account were critical of the country’s Emir, Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah [official website]. The appeals court upheld the sentence six months later. Al Hajeri has been out on bail, but now must serve the jail term [AFP report] since the supreme court’s verdicts are final. Criticizing the Emir is illegal under Kuwaiti law and carries a jail term of up to five years.