Gwynne Dyer is an independent journalist whose articles are published in 45 countries. His new book is 'Growing Pains: The Future of Democracy (and Work)'.
At first I was going to write about the "Arab Problem", because there is not a single functioning democracy in the Arab world. This week's presidential coup in Tunisia has probably ended democracy in the one country that actually achieved it during the "Arab Spring" of 2010-11.
Zeitgeist is a slippery word. At best it's just a fancy German way of saying "the spirit of the times"; at worst it is only pretentious noise. So maybe we should say "inflection point" instead. I think we are passing through an inflection point.
Sooner or later ex-president Donald Trump is bound to be indicted for some crime. It doesn't matter which -- it could be a fraud or corruption charge, or a sexual offence, or incitement to violence, or even just tax evasion. (That's what finally got American gangster Al Capone.) And it doesn't matter whether he's convicted, either; the real drama will come before that.
The presidential dogs were still alive, which meant that something was very wrong with the official explanation of the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise on July 7. In very poor countries even moderately prosperous people whose houses contain things worth stealing usually have large dogs, and those dogs are trained to attack intruders.
First the "heat dome", with temperatures in the mid-to-high forties Celsius in many parts of western North America for up to a week (49.6°C in Lytton, British Columbia). Then, when the forests were tinder-dry, came the wildfires (which wiped Lytton out). From northern California to northern British Columbia, the records were being broken every day.
Most analysts thought it would take a year or two of guerilla war for the rebels in Tigray to drive Ethiopian federal forces out of their state, but it has only taken eight months. "The capital of Tigray, Mekelle, is under our control," Getachew Reda, spokesman for the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), said last week.
The Chinese Communist Party is celebrating the centenary of its foundation tomorrow and most people in China accept the origin myth that justifies its dictatorial rule. China was a horrendously impoverished and unequal society in 1921, the official line says, and owes its current prosperity and freedom from foreign rule to the Communist revolution of 1949.
'Lifting Trump's sanctions, @SecBlinken, is a legal & moral obligation, NOT negotiating leverage. Didn't work for Trump -- won't work for you," tweeted Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif late last month. But what if US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (and President Joe Biden) have just decided that reviving the 2015 nuclear deal is a lost cause?