As people of faith, Christians should offer hope and not accept an inevitable descent into chaos, even in times of turmoil IN these fraught times the risk for us all is to imagine that the more familiar - which usually means one's own system and experience - is the norm and all else which we encounter which is therefore different from that is somehow abnormal. When faced with the 'abnormal', our instant response can be to impose a solution or a viewpoint which might be familiar to us, but alien to the other. We can in a way expect societies and people to change to our normality or to adapt to changes in a 'fast-forward' way. Such an approach whether about the adoption of democracy or a hasty application of values, personally or professionally can carry huge risk and result in pushback. The diplomat in each of us, one would hope, could see the flaws in their own system or person and therefore encounter other cultures and systems with a degree of humility and openness. That openness … [Read more...] about Francis Campbell: Finding hope for 2019 amid the turmoil
Where hope prevails
Two months have passed since President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's announcement of a new offensive to northern Syria, this time east of the Euphrates. Today, Syrians from different ethnic backgrounds – including Kurds, Arabs and Turkmens – are clinging to the hope that the Turkish military operation has given them so that they can return their homes. Inspired from the lyrics of a Turkish classical song, Erdoğan said, "We might come suddenly in one night," last week when reporters asked him about the exact timing of the operation that aims to eliminate the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) terrorists as well as Daesh remnants. Turkey became a second home for many Syrians after the brutal civil war that ravaged their country. They have had to deal with anti-migrant rhetoric in most of the other places they fled to, especially European countries. Turkey has been hosting over 3 million Syrian refugees since the war erupted in 2011. So far, nearly 300,000 … [Read more...] about Syrians want peace to prevail again with Turkish operation east of Euphrates
Daryl Gurney’s World Championship dream came to an end in the last 32 at the hands of last year’s beaten semi finalist Jamie Lewis. Gurney who lifted the last major title before the world championships was an odds on favourite to beat the Welshman who is ranked 23 places below the world No5 but Superchin’s power scoring deserted him on the Ally Pally stage.Lewis held leads of 2-0 and 3-1 but an out of sorts Gurney fired back with eight out of nine legs and raced into a 2-0 lead in the deciding set.Gurney looked set to wrap the match but with one dart in hand for D16 Superchin strayed into the D8 bed and Lewis pounced to win four legs in the row and set up a last 16 showdown with Dave Chisnall.Gurney was under pressure from the first leg but hit the bull to hold his throw, the players exchanged legs before both had double trouble but Lewis prevailed to win the set 3-2.Lewis kicked of the second set with an 11 darter and won the next two legs to double his advantage.Set … [Read more...] about Daryl Gurney: World Championship darts hopes gone after loss to Jamie Lewis
Sanaa -- Yemen's flashpoint city of Hodeida was calm on Tuesday following heavy clashes that erupted after a United Nations-brokered ceasefire started at midnight, pro-government sources and residents said. The truce agreed at the U.N.-sponsored peace talks in Sweden came into effect at midnight Monday, but sources said heavy clashes and air raids continued after the deadline. "There has been complete calm since 03:00 am Yemen time (7 p.m. Monday Eastern) in the city of Hodeida," a military source loyal to the government told AFP on Tuesday.Residents confirmed by phone that there had been no fighting between the government forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition and Iran-aligned Houthi rebels since 03:00 am.But it was not possible to determine if the halt in fighting was in response to the ceasefire or just a temporary stoppage. Residents said that daily fighting would usually be fierce in the evening and at night, before coming to a standstill at dawn.Hope for a more lasting peaceThe … [Read more...] about Yemen truce off to rocky start, but calm prevails on day 1
And while the democracies of the UK and US look more vulnerable by the day, countries as diverse as India, Hungary, Brazil, Turkey, Russia, Venezuela and the Philippines are already in the hands of authoritarians. In 2017, the Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index recorded a fall in the number and quality of democracies in every region of the world, as countries struggled to deal with deeply divided electorates. After the 'holiday from history' when the Berlin Wall came down and it looked like democracy would soon rule the world, we're now in the middle of a global backlash. What's going on? 52:48 The Numbers Making Politics Impossible When architects look at classical buildings, they see the 'Golden Mean', the mathematical proportion that creates symmetry and harmony. When pollsters look at electorates, they see everywhere the ratio 52:48, the bare majority that means constant political anger and seesawing between extremes. * Brexit v Remain: 52:48 * Current composition of the … [Read more...] about A new world order: With the US and the UK in disarray, where can Ireland look for a new democratic role model?