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Towards a Global Counter-terrorism Architecture

By Wyn Rees

Contemporary terrorism represents a global security challenge. To address this threat, the international community requires a global framework of counter-terrorism measures to prevent an adversary thriving in, what FBI Director Robert Mueller described as, the ‘seams of our jurisdictions’. Some analysts have called for such a world-wide institutional architecture to be created, yet they appreciate that such a goal is still a long way off. What exists presently is more of a patchwork of counter-terrorism governance embodied in a variety of settings and operating at a relatively embryonic stage. No dedicated international organisation has emerged in this field with an all-embracing body of rules.

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Veteran Protests in Croatia

By Mladen Pupavac and Vanessa Pupavac

‘Minister Matić and his deputy Vesna Nad insulted me personally’, disabled Croatian veteran Đuro Glogoški informed waiting veterans and reporters outside the Croatian Ministry of Veterans on 19 October 2014 (http://www.braniteljski-portal.hr/Novosti/Hrvatski-branitelji/Prosvjed-branitelja-Koliko-ponizenja-moramo-trpjeti). The wheel-chair bound veteran representative had gone to see the veterans’ Minister Predrag Matić about the problems of disabled veterans. Matić is himself a veteran diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But veterans object to Matić as ‘one of them’, part of the Croatian establishment, enjoying ministerial perks and betraying their interests, and are demanding the Minister and his deputy resign.

The incident has triggered other veteran organisations, informally led by a former special police commander Josip Klemm, to camp in protest outside the Ministry of Veterans for the last month. The protesters claim that a systematic campaign is being waged against veterans. The protests became particularly tense after the sad death from natural causes of one of the disabled veterans camping out.

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Where things stand – Rochester and Strood

By Mathew Goodwin 

A new poll in Rochester and Strood provides further insight into Ukip’s evolving support ahead of this crunch parliamentary by-election. 

Today we have a new and fourth poll from Rochester and Strood, this time from Lord Ashcroft. The past three polls each gave Ukip a comfortable lead of 9, 13 and then 15 points. My hunch was that the new poll would show the race to be slightly tighter because of three factors. First, Lord Ashcroft polls (and others) in battles like Heywood and Middleton tended to underestimate Ukip support. Second, since the earlier batch of polls the Conservatives have been turning up the volume on their negative coverage of Mark Reckless, the Ukip candidate. And, third, Ukip are not used to being in the lead. It was plausible that a young party might take its foot off the pedal.

The latest snapshot does suggest a reduced Ukip lead of 12 points but the basic picture remains the same: a strong lead for Ukip, a difficult second for the Conservatives and David Cameron, and a distant third for Labour -a party that held this area of Kent as recently as 2010. If these snapshots turn out to be accurate on November 20th then Nigel Farage’s party will be handed their second seat in the House of Commons -and in the 271st most Ukip-friendly seat in the country.

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Typhoon Yolanda: One Year Later

By Pauline Eadie

Nearly a year ago, on 8 November 2013 super-typhoon Yolanda hit the Visayan region of the Philippines. Winds reached up to 200 mph with a ‘storm surge’ of over 17 feet. The storm surge was actually the height of a tsunami and the damage was catastrophic. The latest available official figures show that 6,293 individuals have been reported dead, 1,061 are missing and 28,689 are injured, vast areas of agricultural land were devastated and whole towns destroyed. The typhoon affected 591 municipalities and the total damage is estimated at US$904,680,000. The total number of people affected by this disaster in terms of livelihood, environmental and food security are approximately 16 million people. However on 6 November 2013, when the potential force of Yolanda was becoming clear, the President of the Philippines, Benigno (Noynoy) Aquino III, declared that government agencies were aiming for zero casualties.

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Rivers and swarms: how metaphor fuels anti-immigrant feeling

By Caryl Thompson 

In a recent interview with Sky News, the UK defence secretary, Michael Fallon, described British towns and communities as “swamped” by migrants, a controversial phrase he was later forced to retract. And while it’s easy enough to dismiss this as a sad glimpse into a politician’s personal views, Fallon’s language fits right into a rhetorical war that’s been waged on immigrants for decades.

The language used by politicians to depict migrants obviously influences public opinion – which, as surveys suggest, currently demonstrates high levels of opposition to immigration even though public perceptions of immigration figures are often inaccurate and exaggerated.

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