The Swiss rather like guns too but they haven’t had a mass shooting in 17 years

by Rashmee

Posted on February 21, 2018


Imagine a country in the western hemisphere where a referendum that calls for a national gun registry is defeated. Imagine a country where the proposal to store guns owned by soldiers in public arsenals is rejected. Imagine a country where children as young as 12 are routinely taught how to shoot. Not America but Switzerland. … Continue reading “The Swiss rather like guns too but they haven’t had a mass shooting in 17 years”

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One does not have to be Muslim to seek the freedom not to bare

by Rashmee

Posted on February 18, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


Love fashion or hate it, there are three reasons to pay close attention to women’s clothing right now. So-called modest wear, ostensibly for Muslim women, is becoming a powerful political statement. In turn, it is tailoring corporate priorities. Macy’s, one of America’s oldest and largest retail store chains, has introduced a “modest” fashion line aimed … Continue reading “One does not have to be Muslim to seek the freedom not to bare”

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Africa’s old guard holds back change – and the necessary youthquake

by Rashmee

Posted on February 14, 2018


That African leaders are markedly older than the people they rule is a given. That they’re about 10 years older than European leaders (or US presidents, Donald Trump excluded) is an interesting reflection on the state of politics on the African continent. New Zealand has a young prime minister – Jacinda Ardern is 37 and … Continue reading “Africa’s old guard holds back change – and the necessary youthquake”

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Italy has fewer migrants now but hateful Trumpian echoes resound

by Rashmee

Posted on February 11, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


By every calculation, Italy’s election in early March will settle nothing. The country may or may not end up with a government straight off after the vote. It could be the populist Five Star Movement or a centre-right coalition composed of the Forza Italia, the Northern League and the Brothers of Italy. However, having a … Continue reading “Italy has fewer migrants now but hateful Trumpian echoes resound”

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Could bamboo literally be the green replacement for plastics?

by Rashmee

Posted on January 24, 2018


  The search for eminently biodegradeable products and materials to serve food, provide packaging and basically serve as an alternative to plastics has thrown up the following, so far: kulhar, the traditional unglazed clay cup from India bamboo a new plastics-free paperboard from southeast Finland, which would be suitable for disposable coffee cups and food … Continue reading “Could bamboo literally be the green replacement for plastics?”

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Plastic pollution is already a big problem. This year it just got bigger

by Rashmee

Posted on January 23, 2018 / The National


Here’s what the small Alpine town of Davos could be discussing today, but won’t. The use of traditional materials to replace plastic waste. More specifically, the annual meeting of global political and business elites could consider tangibles. For instance, the kulhar, the unglazed earthenware pots South Asians have been using as food containers for hundreds … Continue reading “Plastic pollution is already a big problem. This year it just got bigger”

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What? Japan is populism-free because a populist heads the government!

by Rashmee

Posted on January 22, 2018


Ian Buruma, editor of ‘The New York Review of Books’, recently asked an interesting question. Why is Japan free of populism? But then he followed it up with a rather strange answer. Apparently, Japan is free of populism because “elements of right-wing populism are at the heart of the Japanese government”. Let me explain. Japan’s … Continue reading “What? Japan is populism-free because a populist heads the government!”

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The tapestry of Macron’s active diplomacy – more than Bayeux and Britain

by Rashmee

Posted on January 20, 2018


They’re calling it gesture diplomacy, French president Emmanuel Macron’s instinctive use of ceremonial events, symbolic gifts, history-laden references and pageantry reminiscent of times past to deal with foreign countries. Consider this: Ahead of Mr Macron’s arrival in Britain on Thursday, January 18, it was made known that he would loan it the Bayeux tapestry. That would … Continue reading “The tapestry of Macron’s active diplomacy – more than Bayeux and Britain”

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UK’s plastic-wrapped cauliflower ‘steaks’ go to the heart of West’s waste problem

by Rashmee

Posted on January 15, 2018


I return to a UK aghast at the assidously plastic-wrapped cauliflower “steak” sold by Marks & Spencer for nearly five times the price of a whole head of the brassicaceous vegetable. This revulsion at needless plastic wrap (and yet more non-biodegradeable waste) comes at a particularly interesting moment in world consciousness. Britain is a rich … Continue reading “UK’s plastic-wrapped cauliflower ‘steaks’ go to the heart of West’s waste problem”

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Tunisia protests a truth told elsewhere: ‘There’s no magic money tree’

by Rashmee

Posted on January 12, 2018


Today I leave a Tunisia that’s once again featuring high on international news bulletins. That’s on account of violent protests across the country. Eight years after the so-called ‘Arab Spring’, Tunisians in several cities are protesting against their government. Not about the government’s make-up but about its policies, particularly the austerity measures. Tunisians are upset … Continue reading “Tunisia protests a truth told elsewhere: ‘There’s no magic money tree’”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, UK and US