A Week of Terror

The Round-Up Three Elections Gunman Referendum

The World in a Flash The week's RoundUp is short and sweet, with just enough room for some of the key stories from the week. First up is the Manchester bombing and how the United States has annoyed one of its closest allies. Second, we discuss the attacks in Jakarta. Third, a quick look at the martial law in the Philippines. Finally, a quick look at what you need to know about the NATO summit.  Manchester Bombing This past Monday, Salman Abedi detonated a homemade bomb at the Manchester Arena during a concert by Ariana Grande. 22 people have been killed and 116 people are injured as a result. Many of the victims are children making the tragedy even worse. In response, the UK has

Corruption Protests & Inquests

The Round-Up Three Elections Gunman Referendum

The World in a Flash The Round-Up this week is very purposefully un-Trumped. Instead, we look at the new President of Haiti, continued protests in Romania, continued corruption drama in South Korea,  chaos in South Africa's parliament, & the police strikes in Espirito Santo.  1. Haiti's New President: Jovenel Moise Jovenel Moise was sworn in this week as Haiti’s 58th President and has a daunting road ahead of him. The tiny half-island is still in the midst of recovery from 2010 earthquake, last year’s Hurricane Matthew, the UN-assisted Cholera outbreak and the UN World Food Programme estimated that 2.5 million Haitians live in poverty. The 12-year-old UN peacekeeping force is also due to leave the island nation later this year. Though Moise also faces

An Earthquake & A Climate Change ‘Debate’

The Round-Up Three Elections Gunman Referendum

The World in a Flash This week the Round-Up is short and sweet. We look at Renzi's resignation, the earthquake in Indonesia, Trump's pick for the EPA, and a possible peace deal for Aleppo.  1. Italy’s PM Resigns Following Referendum Following a constitutional referendum on Sunday, Matteo Renzi, the Italian Prime Minister, handed in his resignation three days later. The PM supported a change the national parliament’s upper chamber among other reforms in an attempt to pass legislation through quicker. However, the referendum failed, and the PM followed through on his promise to resign. The Italian President, Sergio Mattarella, has officially received Renzi’s resignation and is now in the process to speaking to major political parties in parliament to designate a new PM. The

Uncertainty & Apprehension

OM's Chatter: From NoKo to NATO

On this episode of OM's Chatter there's a lot of uncertainty, apprehension, with more questions than answers. We cover Trump's latest shenanigans, a tsunami hitting Fukushima has stirred up apprehension, Russia puts missile launchers in Kaliningrad and NATO freaks, & Karan talks about coal in Canada. What is Trump doing? What is the 'alt-right' doing? What are we going to do about it? Why was Fukushima on high alert this week? What does the recurrence of tsunamis mean for urban planning on Japan's east coast? Why are missile launchers in Kaliningrad? Why is NATO mad? What is NATO going to do about it? What is happening to coal in Canada? Why are some provinces mad about it? What will Trump's desire to reinvigorate coal

Rhino Horn & ICC Scorn

The Round-Up Three Elections Gunman Referendum

The World in a Flash This week Trump's impact on international relations began to become apparent with China and Japan weighing in, the fight against ISIS takes on a new dimension, South Africa's Security Minister reels from a Rhino horn scandal, the crisis in South Sudan gets grimmer, and even more countries withdraw from the International Criminal Court.  1. China Hits Back at Trump on Climate Change ‘Hoax’ Climate change was in large part left out of the general election in the United States. President-elect Trump had little say on the issue other than climate change is a hoax created by the China. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin took some time this week to remind Trump that it was the US in

Romania’s Anti-Austerity, Public-Sector Strikes

The severe austerity implemented in Romania in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, carried out on the backs of working people, has spurred a period of accelerated economic growth and rising profits but it has been at the expense of the hard strapped workers of Romania. In this context, the pent up anger and frustration has led to the calling of indefinite strikes in the public sector starting October 31st. Romanian Growth Recent Romanian economic growth has come on the back of ruthless austerity and structural adjustment policies pushed by the IMF and the European Union institutions put in place in 2010 by the Băsescu government. Despite nominal changes in the makeup of the government, austerity has continued under both Social

Arrested Accounts & Advancing Attacks

OM's Chatter: From NoKo to NATO

On this week's episode of OM's Chatter, Vennesa and Karan ditch Nate and take over to talk bank accounts, political shake-ups, and right-wing extremism. They start out in Thailand and discuss what the death of King Bhumibol will mean for the country and its relationship with the monarchy moving forward. Then they turn towards the advance by the Iraqi army & Peshmerga forces in Mosul, why this attack has taken so long, and what the underlying issues might mean for Iraq after the fact. Moving to the UK, they discuss the threatened freezing of RT's bank accounts and if this tit-for-tat might bite British news outlets operating in the former USSR. They hang out in the UK for a little longer to look

Is Some Corruption Really Acceptable?


Corruption is one of those issues that has a special ability to get the collective blood boiling. When corruption comes to light it has the power to destabilize entire countries. While researching for a piece on corruption in sports I came across an idea that at first really perturbed me. The idea that some corruption is acceptable. Surely that can’t be right. The more I thought about it, and dug into it, the more I found that this is not a new idea and there are many articles that in one way or another asserted that corruption can be good, effective, and even necessary. These arguments can be put under the ‘greasing-the-wheels’ hypothesis. Under this hypothesis, most of the arguments stop

Starving Workers & Political Shirkers

OM's Chatter: From NoKo to NATO

This week, the team get together to discuss their final thoughts before the Rio Olympics, Trump and his latest entanglement with the powerful sacrifice for one's country, Duterte's foreign policy shift for the Philippines, a Nigerian scammer, and 10,000 starving migrant workers from India in Saudi Arabia.  With Rio about to host the Olympics, the team takes a moment to informally discuss their concerns over the issues plaguing the city, and the country as a whole. Will these issues surface during the games, or get swept under the rug as attention moves to the glitz and glamour of competition? On Trump, the team begrudgingly puts their mind back into American politics and discuss the larger implications of the military and political campaigning in the

Background: India, Pakistan, & Kashmir


The team at Observatory Media takes a look at the evolution of the conflict over Kashmir and resulting wars between India and Pakistan. The information will be released in five segments starting with a Backgrounder. Backgrounder         At the end of Imperial rule in undivided India in 1947, there was a creation of two separate states: India and Pakistan; and, since the formation, there has been intense competition between the two. The competition for dominance in the region has directed the foreign policy of the both nations and has even resulted in four major wars between the nations. It is important to understand, however, that the conflict is by no length resolved, there is no clear victor of the two; by the