A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘western balkans

[NEWS] Five politics links: Québec and Brexit, EU and Brexit, Macedonia, Angola, China

  • Chantal Hébert at the Toronto Star notes how the chaos and uncertainty around Brexit is doing much to deter support for (what I think is a better-planned) separatism in Québec.
  • Ronan McCrea at Euronews suggests that, without a shift in British public opinion on Europe, there might well be many in the EU who would not welcome an end to Brexit.
  • This Ekathimeri opinion piece makes the point that a final settlement of the Macedonia name dispute will allow people in Greece, North Macedonia, and elsewhere to enjoy normality across borders, hopefully within the EU.
  • Atlas Obscura notes the case for making a new national park in the interior of eastern Angola, and the background of human suffering that made the park possible.
  • David Fickling writing at Bloomberg suggests that some of the autarkic policies favoured for China by Xi Jinping might keep China from escaping the feared middle-income trap.

[URBAN NOTE] Five city links: Ottawa, Montréal, Val d’Or, San Francisco, Tirana

  • CBC notes that some hopeful owners of cannabis shops in Ottawa who went ahead in setting up their locations without securing a license are upset with their lost investments.
  • A new urban regeneration program is afoot for an east-end Montréal neighbourhood, CTV notes.
  • Labour shortages in Québec have reached the point that some immigrants are searching for jobs, and finding them, in the city of Val d’Or in the Abitibi region. CBC reports.
  • A San Francisco contractor who leveled a historic home in that city, without seeking authorization, has been ordered to rebuild it exactly as it once was. BBC reports.
  • CityLab notes the youthful energy, and youth-led planning, that pervades Tirana, the growing capital of Albania.

[NEWS] Four geopolitics links: democracy, Trump and China, India and Pakistan, western Balkans

  • The suggestion by David Moscrop, at MacLean’s, that between the rise of authoritarian China and the Trump ascendancy in the US, liberal democracy may face particular peril this year seems worryingly plausible.
  • Evan Osnos at The New Yorker looks at how the savvy Chinese government is taking advantage of Trump’s incapacities.
  • This DefenseOne essay arguing that India is facing a point where it is unable to defeat Pakistan in conventional battle is worth noting.
  • This B92 essay arguing that the European Union should make special provisions for the western Balkans to avoid their protracted decay outside of the Union convinces me, at least.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • blogTO notes that the old HMV store in the Dufferin Mall is now a fidget spinner store. This has gone viral.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talks about her week in Paris.
  • Centauri Dreams notes one paper examining the complex formation of the dense TRAPPIST-1 system.
  • Far Outliers reports from early 20th century Albania, about how tribal and language and ethnic identities overlap, and not.
  • Language Log notes efforts to promote Cantonese in the face of Mandarin.
  • The LRB Blog wonders if May’s electoral defeat might lead to the United Kingdom changing its Brexit trajectory.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that cars have more complex computer programming these days than fighter jets.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that the counter-cyclical Brazilian fiscal cap still makes no sense.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that Russia is edging towards an acknowledgement of its involvement in the Ukrainian war.

[LINK] “Former Yugoslav States, Albania Vow to Step Up Drive to Join EU”

Bloomberg’s Jasmina Kuzmanovic and Gordana Filipovic report on the renewed push in the western Balkans for European Union membership. Certainly it’s not as if the western Balkans have any other future.

Former Yugoslav republics and neighboring Albania vowed to resuscitate their drive for European Union integration after the migrant crisis rocked the region and created the worst political rifts between Balkan states since the civil wars of the 1990s.

The heads of state for EU members Croatia and Slovenia and EU outsiders Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania signed a joint commitment to strengthening the stability and prosperity of the region. They also aim to strengthen ties to the U.S. and seek an expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization deeper into the Balkans.

[. . .]

The western Balkans has been stretched by the flood of hundreds of thousands of migrants escaping the violence in Syria as well as refugees from as far away as Afghanistan and Northern Africa. Slovenia and Croatia strained their EU ties after Slovenia declared its intention to build fencing along the two countries’ shared border. The dispute is being echoed across the EU as governments grapple with a crisis on a scale not seen since the 1940s.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 26, 2015 at 3:02 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO notes an old mansion at Bloor and Sherbourne is being moved to make room for the new.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talks about her routines and rituals.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes a catalog of nearby stellar systems.
  • Joe. My. God. observes the bizarrely rigid British ban on poppers sales.
  • Language Hat notes the remarkable flexible language used in Albanian bazaars.
  • Language Log notes a politely-worded anti-smoking sign in New York City’s Central Park, partly written in Chinese, and how this differs from the standard.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that Central Americans have not benefited from globalized trade agreements, at all.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the underperformance of the white English.
  • The Planetary Society Blog’s Emily Lakdawalla examines the small moons of Pluto-Charon.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer announces the introduction of an economic history category.
  • Towleroad notes an anti-trans activist who led the successful fight against an anti-discrimination law, on the grounds that trans people would harass women, himself defended men who took illicit photos of women changing.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the Russian government is trying to present sanctions as the new normal.

[DM] “Notes on the emergent western Balkan route of migrants”

At Demography Matters I have a post up noting the emergent western Balkans route for unauthorized migrants.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 19, 2015 at 3:59 am

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO notes that a party celebrating the end of Rob Ford’s term as mayor is being planned for election night at City Hall.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the discovery of secondary targets for New Horizons after it passes Pluto.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper that looks to examine the oblateness or otherwise of some exoplanets discovered by Kepler.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to one paper examining underwater archeology and links to a series debating the question of whether or not there was a human presence 30 thousand years ago at a site in Uruguay.
  • Eastern Approaches reports on the aftermath of a failed claim by Radek Sikorski that Russia made a 2008 proposal on partitioning Ukraine.
  • Joe. My. God. notes a Costa Rican survey suggesting that up to a fifth of Costa Rican police think that harassing GLBT people is OK.
  • Language Hat notes the etymology of the Egyptian title of “khedive”, apparently obscure for a reason.
  • Language Log notes a contentious issue in Chinese translation: “rule of law” or “rule by law”?
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer looks at the aftermath of a stunt at a Serbian-Albanian football game.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog considers estimates for Russian losses in Ukrainian fighing.
  • Towleroad notes that Argentina has granted asylum to a Russian GLBT claimant.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that Ukrainian events have awakened Belarusian nationalism.

[LINK] “With a parade for Putin, Serbia walks a tightrope”

Reuters’ Matt Robinson describes how Serbia’s flirtations with both the European Union and Russia is becoming increasingly untenable. Something will be giving.

On Thursday, guns, tanks and planes will be back in the city, now capital of Serbia, for a Liberation Day parade held four days early to accommodate the guest of honor — Russian President Vladimir Putin, en route to a summit in Milan.

It is a gesture with huge symbolism in a Cold-War-style East-West split over Ukraine that has forced Serbia, politically indebted to Russia but seeing its economic future with the European Union, into a delicate balancing act.

The United States is uncomfortable about the idea of Putin and his military chief taking the salute at a parade of 4,500 Serbian soldiers while NATO says Russian soldiers are still making war in eastern Ukraine.

“You can have good relations with Russia and China, and with the United States. But our view of visits by Chinese and Russian officials differs; the Chinese haven’t attacked anyone, but the Russians have,” Michael Kirby, the U.S. ambassador to Serbia, was reported as telling the Serbian daily Vecernje Novosti in an interview last month.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 16, 2014 at 10:50 pm

[NEWS] Some Monday links

  • Al Jazeera warns about the militarization of the Ukrainian state, notes the alienation of Turkish Kurds from their goverment and wonders if northern Syria will become a Turkish protectorate, wishes Arab authors could travel to the United States more readily, wonders about the impact of immigrants on Catalonian separatism, and notes Wheaton College’s issue with new federal healthcare regulations.
  • Bloomberg observes the shrinkage of the American labour force, the success of the coffee crop in Vietnam, the emigration from ethnic Czechs from Ukraine to the Czech Republic, the successful retention of industry in Singapore, observes the debilitating toll of illegal fisheries off of the West African coast, and notes the call for an investigation into the treatment of the United States’ first Ebola victim.
  • Bloomberg View notes that Uber can succeed only in the context of a struggling labour market, looks at the economic issues of European petrostates, notes how political concerns override fears for the Russian economy, argues British cities also need autonomy, and via Faroese fish exports notes that sanctions may not have that much effort.
  • CBC notes Tanya Tagaq’s stalking by a sexually aggressive man in Winnipeg, and notes that Windsor is using cayenne peppers to deter squirrels from attacking the city’s tulips. (That last should work.)
  • The Inter Press Service notes the scale of Samoan emigration, observes the negative consequences of climate change for livestock farmers in the Caribbean, looks at the drought besetting Sao Paulo, looks at an economically questionable train line in Sri Lanka, considers how the Karabakh issue makes Armenian entry into the Eurasian Union problematic, and u>observes anti-Palestinian discrimination in housing in the Jerusalem area.
  • IWPR reports on growing Ukraine-related ethnic tensions in Kazakhstan and observes Georgia’s clampdown on immigration.
  • Open Democracy recommends a consistent policy of European Union opening to the western Balkans, notes the plight of Copts in Egypt, looks at ethnic tensions in North Ossetia between Ossetians and Ingush, examines Basque and Corsican separatisms, fears for the future of secularism in Mali and Senegal, and considers the dire demographics of Ukraine.