German economy is sickened by more than the virus

by Rashmee

Posted on May 15, 2020


What does it mean that Germany, Europe’s biggest economy has plunged into a recession? That times are hard, to use the platitude doing the desperate rounds on email, in Twitter DMs and in conversations, as people lose their jobs in so many sectors, in so many parts of the world. Last month, German economy minister … Continue reading “German economy is sickened by more than the virus”

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‘Sell city, buy country’? The pandemic won’t empty London, NYC

by Rashmee

Posted on May 14, 2020


Some very clever people are writing off cities. Not altogether, but quite substantially. Consider a new piece in Politico magazine by Parag Khanna, bestselling author and managing partner of the data and scenario-based strategic global advisory firm FutureMap. The pandemic “may cause fundamental shifts in our human geography,” Mr Khanna writes. “Why choose to stay in a … Continue reading “‘Sell city, buy country’? The pandemic won’t empty London, NYC”

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Can we tackle both climate change and Covid-19 recovery?

by Rashmee

Posted on May 13, 2020


According to Betteridge’s law of headlines, “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no”. It’s not a law, of course, but an adage and it is named after British technology journalist Ian Betteridge. It’s also of relatively recent vintage – a mere 11 years. Despite Betteridge’s law, I would … Continue reading “Can we tackle both climate change and Covid-19 recovery?”

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New study says something deeper than the simple truth that hard physical labour is…well, hard

by Rashmee

Posted on May 12, 2020


  New findings on lower healthy life expectancy for workers in physically demanding jobs are out today (May 12) and they have serious implications for European governments seeking to raise retirement age. The large long-term study of Danish workers in hundreds of different types of jobs is published online in Occupational & Environmental Medicine, one of … Continue reading “New study says something deeper than the simple truth that hard physical labour is…well, hard”

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How the bubble might be a healthful strategy in a pandemic

by Rashmee

Posted on May 11, 2020


With no vaccine or cure in sight for this coronavirus, the “bubble” is increasingly seen as a viable health strategy. New Zealand put it out as a model, with the single bubble comprising a single household. Parts of Canada are pioneering the double bubble, which allows a household to join with one other household in … Continue reading “How the bubble might be a healthful strategy in a pandemic”

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O brave new world. It’s the week it opens the door and gingerly peers out

by Rashmee

Posted on May 10, 2020


This is the week the world tries to recover its nerve even though we remain months away from a vaccine for Covid-19 and still have no cure. As 15-year-old Miranda said in Act V of The Tempest: “How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world That has such people in’t!” Indeed, rather a brave attempt … Continue reading “O brave new world. It’s the week it opens the door and gingerly peers out”

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In a world hit by a pandemic, does Brexit even matter anymore?

by Rashmee

Posted on May 9, 2020


Britain will leave the European Union’s (EU) single market at the end of its post-Brexit transition period, which is to say January 1, 2021 will be the start of a whole new phase in the life of the United Kingdom. Will this matter in a world hit by a pandemic? More to the point, does … Continue reading “In a world hit by a pandemic, does Brexit even matter anymore?”

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The Zagreb Declaration shows up Europe’s ambiguity on Muslim-majority Albania

by Rashmee

Posted on May 8, 2020


    The countries of the Western Balkans “belong in the European Union”, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on May 6. But she offered no indication of when they might become member states, which is to say, really “belong” in the bloc. On Albania, as with Turkey, Europe faces another defining moment. In March, … Continue reading “The Zagreb Declaration shows up Europe’s ambiguity on Muslim-majority Albania”

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A photo journal of a plague month (-and-a-half)

by Rashmee

Posted on May 7, 2020


Britain went into lockdown, reluctantly and rather later than much of the world, on March 23. In the past six weeks, here’s a snapshot of the small but significant changes to the way we live now. I see masks everywhere. Not as many as are being worn in other countries because the British are apparently … Continue reading “A photo journal of a plague month (-and-a-half)”

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Look who’s having a good pandemic. A female ‘authoritarian’ leader

by Rashmee

Posted on May 6, 2020


Bolivia’s interim president Jeanine Anez was meant to be in the job for just the few weeks it took to organise elections after the country’s long-serving leader Evo Morales quit in November amid electoral fraud allegations. Six months on, she’s still in the Palacio Quemado, the president’s official residence. What’s more, she has rejected a parliamentary … Continue reading “Look who’s having a good pandemic. A female ‘authoritarian’ leader”

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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