A Saudi prince has been revealed to be the buyer of Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi," for which he spent $450.3 million. Had he given the money to the poor, as the subject of the painting instructed another rich man, he could have restored eyesight to nine million people, or enabled 13 million families to grow 50% more food. - Peter Singer.
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Results for Opinion
Wednesday 13 December 2017
Monday 11 December 2017
New York, USA
Globalization, which was supposed to benefit developed and developing countries alike, is now reviled almost everywhere, as the political backlash in Europe and the US in recent years has shown. The challenge is to minimize the risk that the backlash will intensify, and that starts by understanding – and avoiding – past mistakes.
Thursday 7 December 2017
The US has talked itself into Kim Jong-un’s trap of exaggerating how much power his rocketry gives him. If the US could deter a much stronger Soviet Union from taking an isolated West Berlin for three decades, it can deter North Korea. - Joseph S. Nye.
Thursday 30 November 2017
On this year’s World AIDS Day, on December 1, we should remember the 35 million people who have died of AIDS-related illnesses, and the 76 million who have been infected with HIV since reporting began. And we can celebrate the fact that nearly 21 million people living with HIV now have access to life-saving treatment. But we also must not lose sight of the fact that more than 15.8 million people are still awaiting treatment, while an estimated 11 million people do not even know they have the virus.
Monday 27 November 2017
The Australian government has published a new Foreign Policy White Paper. It is 14 years since the Howard government launched its own Foreign Affairs and Trade White Paper in 2003, although the Gillard government produced the 'Australia in the Asian Century White Paper' in 2013. Much has changed in Australia’s international environment since either of those papers were released. ...The White Paper makes clear that the most significant of the challenges Australia's policymakers now face stems from the two major powers in our region — the United States and China — and the relationship between them. - East Asia Forum, ANU.
Tuesday 21 November 2017
Brighton, United Kingdom
Despite the clear evidence linking poverty to psychological distress, policies tackling poverty do not typically take shame into account. ... Being poor is a highly shameful experience, degrading one’s dignity and sense of self-worth. While the manifestations and causes of poverty differ, the humiliation that accompanies it is universal. Recent research conducted at the University of Oxford found that from China to the United Kingdom, people facing economic hardship – even children – experience a nearly identical assault on their pride and self-esteem.
Sunday 19 November 2017
Next year’s “Talanoa Dialogue” – to be convened by Fiji, which last week became the first island state to chair UN climate talks – will help countries identify exactly how they can achieve the goals set in the Paris agreement. That dialogue, which countries should approach in good faith, must be a springboard for further action. By Hilda Heine and Kevin Rudd
Friday 10 November 2017
What kind of government would Tongans like to have working for them following the 16 November election? It's evident that the new government, to be formed by the end of this year, has an enormous challenge ahead, because our elected leaders need to rescue Tonga from a “free-fall” situation that we have found ourselves in, after seven years under a reformed system that has not met the public's expectations. Editor's Comment, by Pesi Fonua
Thursday 9 November 2017
Over the last few weeks there has been ample amounts of negative media attention given to Mate Ma'a Tonga fans. I in no way support fans fighting or being aggressive and it is worrying. However, what I am most concerned about is the amount of negative articles that have been circulated by some media outlets. The constant reporting of a few incidents where a minority group of fans were fighting has dominated the media and has painted all Mate Ma'a Tonga fans as being out of control. - Jean Allen
Wednesday 8 November 2017
Solutions to the climate crisis are often associated with big conferences, and the next two weeks will no doubt bring many “answers.” Some 20,000 delegates have now descended on Bonn, Germany, for the latest round of United Nations climate change talks. The talks in Bonn should focus on the implementation of the Paris climate agreement. And the path forward is clear. By Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder and Jörg Haas.
Wednesday 1 November 2017
Perhaps the most enduring lesson of Luther’s call for a scholarly debate – and his use of technology to deliver his views – is that it failed. Instead of a series of public discussions about the Church’s evolving authority, the Protestant Reformation became a bitter battle played out via mass communication .... The question today is how we can ensure that new technologies support constructive debate. The world remains full of heresies that threaten our identities and cherished institutions; the difficulty is to view them not as ideas that must be violently suppressed, but as opportunities to understand where and how current institutions are excluding people or failing to deliver promised benefits. By Nicholas Davis.
Sunday 29 October 2017
The outcome of Tonga's November 16 General Election could be a game changer for the slow-moving democratic parliamentary reform that was begun in 2010. Editor's Comment by Pesi Fonua
Sunday 29 October 2017
New York, USA
For the last 40 years, China has implemented a national strategy that, despite its many twists and turns, has produced the economic and political juggernaut we see today. It would be reckless to assume, as many still do in the US, Europe, and elsewhere, that China’s transition to global preeminence will somehow simply implode, under the weight of the political and economic contradictions they believe to be inherent to the Chinese model. ...When China does become the world’s largest economy over the next decade, the current rule-based international order will not remain immune from this fundamental geo-economic and geopolitical change....To believe otherwise is willfully to ignore the deep changes that are now afoot. By Kevin Rudd
Tuesday 24 October 2017
The Earth today is more than 1°C hotter than it was in pre-industrial times, and the terrible symptoms of its fever are already showing. This year alone, back-to-back hurricanes have devastated Caribbean islands, monsoon flooding has displaced tens of millions in South Asia, and fires have raged on nearly every continent. Pulling the planet back from the brink could not be more urgent. Those of us who live on the front lines of climate change – on archipelagos, small islands, coastal lowlands, and rapidly desertifying plains – can’t afford to wait and see what another degree of warming will bring. By Loren Legarda
Monday 16 October 2017
With Tonga only weeks away from a snap General Election, the Tonga government is taking full control of the Tonga Broadcasting Commission, in a move that has annihilated its right to function as an honest Public Broadcaster. Its two most senior journalists have been ordered out of the newsroom and into a corner. By Pesi Fonua
Friday 6 October 2017
Just as some of us live longer than others, countries have different average life expectancies. At the bottom of the scale is Swaziland, the only country in the world where a newborn still cannot expect to reach age 50. And at the top is Hong Kong, where a newborn can expect to live to age 84...But life expectancy can also vary significantly within countries, between rich and poor...Moreover, this gap widened over time.
Wednesday 4 October 2017
London, United Kingdom
This weekend, Stephen Paddock opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, from an overlooking hotel, killing at least 59 people and injuring more than 500 others. Paddock, a 64-year-old former accountant with no criminal record, was ultimately found in his hotel room, dead, with some 23 guns, including more than ten assault weapons. Police later found an additional 19 firearms, explosives, and several thousands of rounds of ammunition in Paddock’s home. What the authorities have not yet found, however, is a motive.
Thursday 21 September 2017
Last week, in a brazen rebuff to tough new United Nations sanctions, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s regime fired a ballistic missile over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido – its second launch over Japan in less than three weeks. But, far from indicating that sanctions don’t work, Kim’s move shows that they still aren’t tough enough. ... it is the time to do whatever is needed to defuse nuclear tensions and protect the lives of those in the Kim regime’s crosshairs.
Sunday 17 September 2017
Myanmar is in crisis. The Rohingya – a Muslim ethnic minority group in a predominantly Buddhist country – are under attack by the military, with many fleeing for their lives. This escalating conflict is threatening to undermine Myanmar’s ongoing democratic transition – and to tarnish irrevocably the reputation of the country’s de facto leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. By Syed Munir Khasru.
Thursday 14 September 2017
New York, USA
“Leadership,” in this case, doesn’t necessarily mean an individual positioned at the top of a government or business hierarchy. Rather, it is defined by actions aimed at improving a community’s wellbeing, and it can come from anyone. We have seen firsthand how the presence of a diverse set of engaged leaders at all levels – educators, parents, students, policymakers, advocates, and others – can make or break efforts by a community or country to maximize opportunities to improve its education system. By Wendy Kopp and Dzingai Mutumbuka