Democracy’s defence lies in the hands of those who practice it. We, the people.

by Rashmee

Posted on September 25, 2020


It’s a familiar dirge. Democracy is in decline. With every month that passes, the world is less democratic. Everywhere you look, there are undemocratic governments. That’s what journalists and op-ed writers constantly insist and TV talking heads assert. I have written about this many times over. (Click here for my November 2018 piece, in the … Continue reading “Democracy’s defence lies in the hands of those who practice it. We, the people.”

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Trump’s 2020 convention is surely the one Lukashenko would’ve had in Belarus

by Rashmee

Posted on August 24, 2020


Depend upon it, if Alexander Lukashenko had been minded to stage a re-election convention instead of just going ahead and winning by a landslide, the Belarusian strongman would have modelled it on Donald Trump’s 2020 event. Out of habit or perhaps for propriety’s sake (or may be out of fear of legal challenge by the … Continue reading “Trump’s 2020 convention is surely the one Lukashenko would’ve had in Belarus”

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Belarus is not Ukraine. But it might yet be like Armenia in 2018

by Rashmee

Posted on August 23, 2020


The opposition in Belarus has called a major rally in the capital Minsk today (Sunday, Aug. 23). The US will despatch a deputy secretary of state this coming week to the Lithuanian foreign capital Vilnius and Russia for talks on Belarus. So, what’s likely to happen next with Belarus? Well, it’s significant that the US … Continue reading “Belarus is not Ukraine. But it might yet be like Armenia in 2018”

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Donald Trump’s America is trying to gaslight the world – without much success

by Rashmee

Posted on August 17, 2020


On August 14, the Trump administration’s attempt to indefinitely extend a UN arms embargo on Iran failed in fairly pitiable fashion. The resolution secured only two votes on the 15-strong UN Security Council – the US and the Dominican Republic. China and Russia voted against. Eleven UNSC members abstained. The US was revealed as isolated, … Continue reading “Donald Trump’s America is trying to gaslight the world – without much success”

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The great drama in Belarus is matched by the great indifference of Trump’s America

by Rashmee

Posted on August 11, 2020


  The great drama around elections in Belarus is matched only by the great indifference of the United States. Consider what’s happening. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the principal opposition candidate, has fled to Lithuania, along with her campaign manager Maria Moroz, who had been in detention for days. The head of Belarus’s secret police, which is still … Continue reading “The great drama in Belarus is matched by the great indifference of Trump’s America”

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There is reason to pay attention to the Belarus election – but perhaps not the one you think

by Rashmee

Posted on August 9, 2020


Until recently, I, like everyone else, paid little attention to elections in Belarus. What did they matter when the result was already known and Alexander Lukashenko would continue in power, as he has for 26 years? The sense that Mr Lukashenko faced little or no serious challenge ahead of elections today (August 9) was reinforced … Continue reading “There is reason to pay attention to the Belarus election – but perhaps not the one you think”

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Turning the NYT’s Morning Briefing into a ‘good news’ bulletin – Part II

by Rashmee

Posted on July 29, 2020


Here’s an update on my July 24th creative experiment in positivity bias in which I turned part of the NYT’s ‘Morning Briefing’ into a good news bulletin. A reader, whose profile says they are a “startup engineer”, commented that “the doom laden news cycle isn’t a representation of reality – it has huge negative bias … Continue reading “Turning the NYT’s Morning Briefing into a ‘good news’ bulletin – Part II”

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The war for Libya is not what it seems

by Rashmee

Posted on July 15, 2020 / The Focus


The war for Libya is getting hot again. The country’s eastern-based parliament has said it would “welcome” Egyptian military intervention in the civil war. The Libyan Parliament’s green light for outside meddling is supposed to be an attempt to end yet another country, Turkey, meddling in its affairs. Turkey has been supplying military hardware as … Continue reading “The war for Libya is not what it seems”

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Mars is the new moonshot. Here’s why

by Rashmee

Posted on July 14, 2020


Some are calling it “the summer of Mars”. Three missions from three different countries are headed for the red planet within a month. The US, China and the United Arab Emirates – a very new player in planetary exploration – are launching Mars missions. Why, one might ask, considering Mars is considered to be the … Continue reading “Mars is the new moonshot. Here’s why”

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6 non-Coronavirus ‘white swans’ that could still fly, post-pandemic

by Rashmee

Posted on July 11, 2020 / The Focus


Before Covid-19, there were black swans — unknown unknowns — and white ones, or predictable financial crises. Not too long ago, economics professor Nouriel Roubini laid out the “white swans” of 2020, which is to say predictable financial crises that occur because vulnerabilities are not addressed. The professor’s list, briefly summarised, contained six, non-Coronavirus white swans. They could still … Continue reading “6 non-Coronavirus ‘white swans’ that could still fly, post-pandemic”

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