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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The US and EU are competing to play peacemaker in the Balkans

by Rashmee

Posted on June 30, 2020 / The National


The Serbia-Kosovo dispute is back in the news more than two decades after the war ended. A peace summit that was to be held over the weekend at the White House between the presidents of both countries had to be postponed. But Kosovo’s Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti and Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic met the president of the European … Continue reading “The US and EU are competing to play peacemaker in the Balkans”

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Keeping up appearances: Putin leads Russia to tactical wins

by Rashmee

Posted on June 29, 2020 / The Focus


Russia’s week-long vote on constitutional changes is expected to end in a predictable manner on 1 July: with the people gladly permitting president Vladimir Putin to stay on in office until 2036, if he so chooses. Equally predictably, Putin’s opponents will continue to say the 67-year-old president has pulled off a constitutional coup. Putin has … Continue reading “Keeping up appearances: Putin leads Russia to tactical wins”

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How to read Trump’s threat to bring the army on to America’s streets

by Rashmee

Posted on June 2, 2020 / The Focus


It was Peter Thiel, Donald Trump’s only Silicon Valley supporter before the 2016 US presidential election, who had the best, most insightful line on the property magnate turned politician. The media, said Thiel, takes Trump literally, not seriously. Instead, they should take him seriously, not literally. It’s a distinction without a difference now the US … Continue reading “How to read Trump’s threat to bring the army on to America’s streets”

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Trump eviscerates G7 - and America’s leadership

by Rashmee

Posted on May 31, 2020 / The Focus


Donald Trump wants to turn the G7 group of advanced economies into the ‘G10 or 11’ vs G1. Which is to say the US president wants an expanded G7 — with Russia, India, Australia and South Korea added on — to unite against China. This is wishful thinking. If anything, Mr Trump’s decision to postpone the summit, invite into … Continue reading “Trump eviscerates G7 - and America’s leadership”

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A pandemic isn’t an existential threat to humanity; nuclear weapons are

by Rashmee

Posted on May 5, 2020


  A philosopher on the radio the other day said a pandemic isn’t as much of an existential threat to humanity as nuclear weapons. He’s probably right. Even if the coronavirus pandemic takes a terrible toll – in terms of lives, incomes, economic wellbeing – it won’t be an existential threat unless there is a … Continue reading “A pandemic isn’t an existential threat to humanity; nuclear weapons are”

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Plato used the image of the political leader as a doctor. That is particularly true in a pandemic

by Rashmee

Posted on March 31, 2020


Taiwan’s remarkably effective response to the coronavirus pandemic is thought to be in some measure because it’s lucky enough to have an epidemiologist as vice president. (Click here for my blog from last week.) Technically speaking, the European Union should have the same advantage. After all, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, is a … Continue reading “Plato used the image of the political leader as a doctor. That is particularly true in a pandemic”

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Black swans, grey rhinos and the global oil market

by Rashmee

Posted on March 15, 2020 / The Arab Weekly


Until Russia’s refusal to accede to production cuts, the global oil market was suffering the effects of falling demand on account of the coronavirus outbreak. Once upon a time there were “black swans,” a term used by Lebanese-American scholar, statistician and risk analyst Nassim Nicholas Taleb to describe unknown unknowns —  unforeseeable, or highly improbable, … Continue reading “Black swans, grey rhinos and the global oil market”

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Erdorgan waves his refugees trump card in Europe’s face

by Rashmee

Posted on February 28, 2020


Today (Friday, Feb. 28), Turkey’s president Erdogan has been speaking to US President Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron about the situation in Syria. The sub-text of any conversation with the Europeans is: Or else. Or else, we’ll release the refugees we hold into Europe. Mr Erdogan’s party, the Justice … Continue reading “Erdorgan waves his refugees trump card in Europe’s face”

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Libya arms embargo is a ‘joke’, said a UN envoy. But it’s peace-making that is a farce

by Rashmee

Posted on February 26, 2020


Now that European foreign ministers have agreed on a new Mediterranean naval mission to enforce the widely breached UN arms embargo on Libya, it’s worth thinking what it might really mean. The mission, which will replace Operation Sophia that was derailed last year, is still to be finalised. A senior UN official recently called the … Continue reading “Libya arms embargo is a ‘joke’, said a UN envoy. But it’s peace-making that is a farce”

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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