When politics shouldn’t come into it. Heathrow’s third runway – By Alex Stockler

30 May

Heathrow is London’s enfant terrible. Delays, crowds, queues, and cancellations are all daily features of the centre of UK, and some say world aviation.  Almost all of the problems that Heathrow faces could be solved by one thing, building a third runway.  However, there is one slight problem. No party wants to be the one to finally give the idea a green light; it would be political suicide. Why? Primarily NIMBY syndrome, and also a fair whack of environmentalism. Yet, I’ll bet anything that all politicians (except perhaps the green party) want to do it. Continue reading

Could Syria’s uprising lead to a regional conflict? – By Nadim Souss

29 May

With the mounting tensions provoked by the on-going uprising against the Assad regime in Syria, one question arises: are we on the verge of a new regional war?

Syria is by no means an isolated country; it borders countries such as Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq. Its geographical situation makes it a prime candidate for a full-fledged conflict between the Arabs and the West on one side and Russia and Iran on the other.  According to Andrew Tabler, a Syria expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy Weapons, “already, weapons have been coming in from Lebanon. You will now see more coming in from Jordan, from Turkey, from Iraq or from Russia. Everyone will start to operate in this environment.” Continue reading

Jenna Talackova: The New Civil Rights Icon? – By Aidan Press

22 May

On 4 April 1968, the day following the now famous ‘I’ve Been to the Mountaintop’ speech, the sound of a gunshot filled the air around the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee; Martin Luther King Jr., the icon of the 1960’s civil rights movement, had been shot dead.  Since the death of King, the battle for civil rights for ethnic minorities appears to have advanced with Barack Obama having been elected President of the U.S.A. whilst North Carolina and Louisiana have elected Governors with Asian heritage.  Now, however, it appears that a new civil rights movement is advancing, not only in the U.S.A. but, throughout the entire planet: the LGBTUA+ movement. Continue reading

Bigger is not always better – By Andrew Sklover

15 May

When President Barak Obama addressed US armed forces at Baghram AFB on May 2, he spoke to the Strategic Partnership Agreement that had just been signed. Regarding the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, Obama stated that “we’re not going to do it overnight, we’re not going to do it irresponsibly, we are going to make sure that the gains, the hard fought gains that have been made are preserved.” But to what strategic extent will we be able to guarantee this? Continue reading

Modern Day Slavery: The Sex Trafficking Industry – By Rebecca Collier

4 May

Sex Trafficking is a subject that has received a huge amount of coverage over the past year or two, and is quickly becoming a ‘hot’ topic for discussion. This illegal trade of men, women and children for sex is second fastest growing in the world, only just trailing behind the global drug trade. This fact is disturbing enough, and one I personally find difficult to fathom. More people are stuck in slavery now than ever before, with approximately 20 million people involved in the human trafficking industry. Of this number, roughly 1 million are children. This problem exists everywhere, it is not unique to a certain race, country, or socio-economic background. It exists both in the Developed World and Third World, with 161 countries reported to have some involvement with the industry in their country, whether this be as a source, transit or destination country. Continue reading

Through the looking glass: A fairy-tale gone wrong – By Bongani Ncube

3 May

“We tend to put people in boxes. We see someone trying to make a few rands by, as you gave as example, helping people park their cars,,and we attach a single story to them – poor. No consideration for the person behind that poverty. That guy could be an artist, could be a really intelligent person who just got unlucky and didn’t perhaps have the money to continue studying. Point being there’s more to people than just what the eye sees. And I felt like a hypocrite, ’cause there are people i look at in 3D, like my cleaner mommies. I know they probably have families, children waiting to be fed, fees to be paid, etc. I sympathise with that. But i cast fleeting glances at others, like people who help park cars. I forget they too have lives other than that.” – Heather Moyo

Today I saw something that broke my heart. As I was sitting in a minibus on my way to Johannesburg CBD to meet a friend, we passed through the area that houses the world famous Witwatersrand University. Imagine the long stretches of fencing that demarcate the border between the hustle and bustle of Joburg’s street and the hallowed halls of higher learning. Car parks filled with BMW’s, Audi’s and all the contributions that Europe annually makes to the automobile industry are parked in the vast parking complexes. They await their owners who are inside the huge glass and concrete auditoriums and lecture rooms absorbing the knowledge that will lead them on to a brighter future (at least that’s what one hopes for when you are paying almost US$ 10 000 per year for your education).  The buildings slowly gave way to the University’s vast stretches of sporting green, where the future graduates practiced their sports of choice as they took a break from digesting their lectures. It was a typical scene, rugby in one field, hockey in another and a rather energetic game of soccer in the last pitch. Then we saw them. Continue reading

Israel’s human rights abuses must be reported despite America’s protestations – By Natasha Lipman

2 May

In March, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) voted to appoint a panel to evaluate the effects on Palestinian civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of continued Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Thirty-six states voted in favour of the resolution, with ten abstentions. The US was the only country to vote against the decision. Continue reading