Articles on USA

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We got credentialised! climbnh2003

The box-ticking future of a university education

Among the many changes currently sweeping through US public universities is a move away from traditional seat-time in class. Known as “competency-based education”, it is often done online, asking students…
Ukraine got rid of its nuclear weapons in 1994. EPA/Stringer

Ukraine nuclear security fears were exaggerated

As the curtain fell on the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit, the Dutch organisers must surely have experienced mixed emotions: relief that the summit was a success, yet frustration that media attention was…
Kerry and Lavrov keep talking. EPA/Martial Trezzini

Can the US and Russia talk their way out of crisis in Ukraine?

Talks between US secretary of state John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in Paris, followed after a week of high-level diplomacy, including a phone call between presidents Obama and Putin…
On message: a pro-Russian newspaper in Simferopol, Crimea. EPA/Yuri Kochetkov

Ukraine, Kremlin propaganda and the Cold War trap

Facebook can be a confusing place. For the follower of Ukrainian and Russian politics the messages could not be more different. At the same time that “Euromaidan PR” is posting pictures of “Putler” and…
Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey hosting the recent G20 finance ministers’ meeting in Sydney, a lead-up event to November’s Brisbane Summit. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

Double or nothing: Australia’s G20 energy challenge

When Australia hosts the G20 Leaders’ Summit in November, a top agenda item for its “Brisbane Action Plan” will be “practical actions to improve productivity and competitiveness”. So here’s a good place…
After destroying towns and cities, Syria’s civil war is spilling into Lebanon. Christiaan Triebert

No end in sight as Syria misery spreads across region

The second round of the Geneva II talks on Syria have ended with no agreement and without even a decision on the date of a further meeting. The highly experienced UN mediator, Lakhdar Brahimi, was clearly…
Glimpses of horror: while the West watches, Syria burns. SIcco2007

Syrians suffer as world plays politics with humanitarian aid

The humanitarian crisis in Syria is no longer news. It is simple fact: tragedy writ large, as cities burn and lives are ruined. Our eyes may widen at the sheer scale of this destruction: four million people…
Good morning America! Wikimedia Commons

All hail Beatlemania – when culture crossed the pond

Fifty years after the Beatles first appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, the band is still the benchmark for Anglo-American relations. With their swift rise to fame in the US, they started the so-called British…
‘Let your mouth rejoice’ (bite the wax tadpole): Coca Cola in China. Ming Xia

China’s youth want a movie, a Coke and a Big Mac

It’s clear that the financial influence of China is now global: it has invested $75 billion in Africa over the last 10 years in large infrastructure projects while China’s state news agency, Xinhua, has…
Negotiations: Sergei Lavrov and John Kerry hammering out a deal on Syria. US Department of State

Progress on Syrian WMDs but real test for UN lies ahead

The Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has announced it is sending a second team of weapons inspectors to Syria where, director-general Ahmet Üzümcü reports, destruction of al-Assad’s…
Yes, it’s getting hotter. Now President Obama is taking action. EPA/Dennis Brack

Obama’s climate change plan: Congress not required

President Obama’s speech at Georgetown University yesterday marks the most significant development in US climate change action so far. The “President’s Climate Action Plan”, a 21-page document, sets out…

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