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  • OPINION

    Anti-Trump protests are detrimental

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 17/11/2016

    » The footage of the anti-Donald Trump marches and the belligerent tweets criticising the US president-elect fill me with ambivalence. On the one hand, Mr Trump's victory hardly makes me happy; then again, as someone who has seen, and taken part in, both successful and failed mass protests, I believe the liberal cause would be better served if the demonstrators stayed home.

  • OPINION

    US-EU trade negotiations getting hung up on politics

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 31/08/2016

    » Germany's vice-chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, says talks about a major trade deal between the European Union and the US have failed, though "nobody is really admitting it". That statement should be taken with a grain of salt, but the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) appears to be doomed, at least until after elections in the US and major European countries.

  • OPINION

    Merkel, Juncker fight the dreamers

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 08/07/2016

    » It is increasingly clear that the European Union (EU) is about to waste the crisis brought on by the UK's withdrawal vote. The leaders of the nation states have no stomach for any meaningful reform of EU institutions, the bureaucrats in Brussels are forced to take a back seat, and federalist dreamers are unceremoniously shunted aside.

  • NEWS

    Why Putin won't admit the truth about Russia doping

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 21/07/2016

    » Russian President Vladimir Putin is changing his tune about the doping scandal that has engulfed Russian Olympic and paralympic athletes. As proof mounts that the use of performance-enhancing drugs is a state-sponsored system in Russia, Mr Putin appears less and less willing to cooperate with international sports organisations and increasingly inclined to complain about political conspiracies against his country.

  • OPINION

    Catch some Pokemon and get a glimpse of the future

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 20/07/2016

    » One of the interesting debates over Pokemon Go, the addictive smartphone game that 9.5 million Americans play -- and probably a lot more than that now -- is whether it's truly augmented reality (AR), an up-and-coming companion technology to virtual reality (VR).

  • OPINION

    World-class experts in atonement

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 07/06/2016

    » The German parliament's recognition of the 1915 genocide of Armenians in Turkey has predictably angered the Turkish government, which has even recalled its ambassador from Berlin. But more importantly, it raised the question of what constitutes sufficient atonement for the past sins of entire nations.

  • OPINION

    There is no rule book for doing away with corruption

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 16/05/2016

    » UK Prime Minister David Cameron's anti-corruption summit coincided with the release of an International Monetary Fund staff paper that explains why corruption is bad for economies and suggests ways to eradicate it. But neither these recommendations nor those expressed at the forum will do much to fix the developing world's problems. That would require much more than better anti-graft laws and dogged enforcement.

  • OPINION

    Crimean conflict simmers on with Jamala's victory

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 18/05/2016

    » Ukraine may not be able to win its wars against Russian-backed rebels and against domestic corruption, but it has just beaten Russia in spectacular fashion at the Eurovision Song Contest. The political message has been amplified by the pundits, but the Russians and Ukrainian voters themselves seemed unwilling to be dragged into the propaganda war.

  • OPINION

    If you expect it, it's not a 'Black Swan'

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 11/05/2016

    » It's the bread and butter of pundits to speculate what the world might look like after a relatively improbable but potentially disruptive event, like the UK's exit from the European Union or a Donald Trump victory in the US presidential election. The perceived probability of these "black swan" events is pretty high, after all, and contingency plans may be in order. It's useful, however, to remember how the author of The Black Swan, Nassim Taleb, framed it in his 2007 book:

  • OPINION

    Integrate and treat a Muslim better, hurt Islamic State

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 27/04/2016

    » It is intuitively appealing to connect the number of fighters a country sends to the Islamic State (IS) with poverty and inequality. The more desperate and economically downtrodden people are, the more likely it is that they'll join a terrorist group, right? Wrong, recent research indicates: It's much more likely that the reasons for the IS's recruitment success are cultural.

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