Democracy in Decline?

23 November 2020 There’s no hurricane coming, but the windows of downtown Washington are covered with plywood. They were initially boarded up due to fear of street violence during the election, but that fear lingers three weeks after the vote because the restaurateurs and shop-owners (whose premises remain open behind the plywood) think the violence …

Democracy in Decline? Read More »

mRNA Miracle?

18 November 2020 All the usual caveats apply: don’t go out and celebrate, don’t let your guard down, it’s still going to be a long haul. This winter will be “hard”, warned Uğur Şahin, co-founder and CEO of BioNTech, the German company that announced the first effective Covid-19 vaccine only a week ago. It can’t …

mRNA Miracle? Read More »

Armenia Ceasefire

11 November 2020 This time, the truce will last. The 2,000 Russian troops flying into Armenia this week and fanning out to police the ceasefire lines in Nagorno-Karabakh are being sent there for five years renewable, and neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan will challenge them. Armenia is in shock, but what remains of the Armenian enclave …

Armenia Ceasefire Read More »

New War in Ethiopia

9 November 2020 Americans should congratulate themselves. Their election system is definitely better than Ethiopia’s. In fact, it works so well that there’s unlikely to be another American civil war. The United States, a federal country with a complex and decrepit voting system, has nevertheless just held a national election despite about a quarter-million Covid-19 …

New War in Ethiopia Read More »

Azerbaijan Wins

28 October 2020 The month-old war between Azerbaijan and Armenia is so low on everybody else’s list of concerns that when Azerbaijan won the war last Monday morning, hardly anybody in the media elsewhere even noticed. Shortly after 8am local time on Monday, Azeri troops gained control of the road through the Lachin Pass. That …

Azerbaijan Wins Read More »

The Unfrozen Arctic

25 October 2020 It’s the last week of October, and the main nursery of new Arctic Ocean sea ice has not yet started to refreeze. Hardly surprising, since 2020 is on course to be the second-warmest year on record, but it’s still a matter of concern. It should have started refreezing about five weeks ago. …

The Unfrozen Arctic Read More »