Sunday Discussion

Why Does Malaria Still Exist?
TED Talks features a speech by Sonia Shah, a scientist and author, on why we have – to date – been unable to eradicate malaria. She describes the the ability of the parasite to “shape-shift” and to remain hidden from detection and the plethora of environments in which mosquitoes breed.

The Lessons Of The Recession
The Christian Science Monitor’s cover story looks at the five lessons learned from the Great Recession. Mark Trumbull says one of the more important lessons is that what occurs in the United States will have repercussions worldwide due to the global character of the economy.

“Finance experts differ in the details of their prescriptions, but many say what’s needed is a culture of caution that Dodd-Frank envisions but can’t guarantee. It’s a finance sector in which markets are disciplined because the pay of bankers is based on their ability to show prudence as well as short-term profits, because investors don’t believe they have an insurance policy called “bailout,” and because regulators foster vigilance – especially in good times,” he cautions.

What The West Does Not Understand About Putin
Dmitri Trenin of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Peace argues Russian President Vladimir Putin’s present goals are greater than simply achieving a deal concerning Syria’s chemical weapons. What he seeks is a deal concerning the international security system as a whole – and one in which Russia holds a major role.

“His central thesis is that a stable world order should be based on the institutions of the United Nations, and in particular consensus among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council: China, France, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S. In this vision, nothing serious could be done in the field of international security, especially the use of force, without Russia’s approval or acquiescence. For Putin, this amounts to an essential equality among the major powers, which he sees as a foundation of global stability,” Trenin writes.

Have Negotiations With The Taliban Done More Damage Than Good
Marvin Weinbaum, a scholar at the Middle East Institute, says it has been the people of Afghanistan who have paid the highest price for the decision of its government and international policymakers to negotiate with Taliban forces.

In addition to damaging the image of the US among Aghans, discussions pursued by the government of Hamid Karzai has harmed relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan. But, he says, it is the people who bear the biggest burden.

“But the most destructive fallout from the ill-founded prospect of a negotiated peace with the insurgency has been its effect on the Afghan people, only a minor fraction of who support the Taliban’s return. The possibility that the Taliban might once again wield power has exacerbated ethnic tensions within Afghanistan. . . . Overall, the possibility of a Taliban return to power has spread confusion among Afghans and intensified hedging strategies beyond those already occasioned by the withdrawal of foreign forces,” Weinbaum concludes.

Collective Action Required To Address Education Gaps In Global South
A research panel with the Brookings Institution has released a paper laying out the case for businesses to take a more active role in providing resources for and access to education for those living in the “global south” — Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

“A quality education for all young people, especially those in the global south, is a good for which there is a global public interest and it is time to ensure that all that benefit from it can play a role in ensuring its provision.

They conclude that “global collective action” is needed and that national governments “should think about how fiscal incentives could be used to help attract and reward private corporations that embrace a long-term investment mindset toward talent development.”









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