Category Archives: World

07Nov/22

How can black people feel safe and have confidence in policing?

Clare Torrible, University of Bristol

The inquest into the death of Chris Kaba opened on October 4 2022. Kaba, an unarmed black man, was shot and killed in Streatham Hill, south London on September 5 2022 by a Metropolitan police officer.

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01Nov/22

Could Russia collapse?

Matthew Sussex, Australian National University

Among the many questions asked about Russia’s disastrous war against Ukraine, one of them is posed only very rarely: can Russia survive what seems increasingly likely to be a humiliating defeat at the hands of its smaller neighbour?

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01Nov/22

From QAnon to The Sandman: how demons found a place in popular culture

Zohar Hadromi Allouche, Trinity College Dublin and S. Jonathon O’Donnell, Queen’s University Belfast

In western culture today, demons exist as something of a paradox. Religious belief in them is often presented as marginal. Many mainstream Christian denominations are silent or give them little prominence.

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01Nov/22

70 years of data suggest the Conservatives will suffer a big defeat at the next election – here’s how I worked it out

Paul Whiteley, University of Essex

With the UK’s new prime minister in office, it looks like the political turmoil of the last few months is likely to ease, at least for the time being. Rishi Sunak and his fellow MPs must put their political differences aside to focus on stabilising the economy and calming financial markets. But Sunak will of course have one eye on the next election, which he must call before January 2025.

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30Oct/22

Quasi-experimental analysis of new mining developments as a driver of deforestation in Zambia

Author: Jonathan Morley et al
Publication: Scientific Reports
Publisher: Springer Nature
Date: Oct 29, 2022

Abstract

Mining is a vital part of the global, and many national, economies. Mining also has the potential to drive extensive land cover change, including deforestation, with impacts reaching far from the mine itself. Understanding the amount of deforestation associated with mining is important for conservationists, governments, mining companies, and consumers, yet accurate quantification is rare. We applied statistical matching, a quasi-experimental methodology, along with Bayesian hierarchical generalized linear models to assess the impact on deforestation of new mining developments in Zambia from 2000 to present. Zambia is a globally significant producer of minerals and mining contributes ~ 10% of its gross domestic product and ~ 77% of its exports. Despite extensive deforestation in mining impacted land, we found no evidence that any of the 22 mines we analysed increased deforestation compared with matched control sites. The extent forest lost was therefore no different than would likely have happened without the mines being present due to other drivers of deforestation in Zambia. This suggests previous assessments based on correlative methodologies may overestimate the deforestation impact of mining. However, mining can have a range of impacts on society, biodiversity, and the local environment that are not captured by our analysis.

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26Oct/22

Four scenarios for a world in disorder

David Bach, International Institute for Management Development (IMD)

Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s recent speech to the Communist Party Congress could be one of the most consequential of the decade. He told the audience – and the world – that his economic growth-crushing zero-COVID policy is here to stay, and that Beijing is more determined than ever to reunify with Taiwan, peacefully if possible and by force if necessary.

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25Oct/22

It matters that Rishi Sunak has become the UK’s first prime minister of Indian descent

Parveen Akhtar, Aston University

Following his uncontested run at the top job, Rishi Sunak acquires the less-than-coveted title of second successive un-elected British prime minister to take office in 2022. However, coming from Punjabi heritage, he also takes on the more esteemed title of the nation’s first British Asian leader.

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25Oct/22

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak: who is he and how did he end up with the top job in British politics?

Victoria Honeyman, University of Leeds

When Rishi Sunak lost to Liz Truss in the first Conservative Party leadership race of 2022, few were surprised. Many of the people given the chance to choose between the two candidates blamed Sunak for Boris Johnson’s downfall. They also preferred Truss’s “optimistic” economic policies to Sunak’s sombre assessment of the fiscal outlook. Where she promised generous tax arrangements, he argued that economic circumstances would be hard and taxes could not be cut in the short term. Indeed, he warned, they might even have to rise.

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23Oct/22

Liz Truss resigns as prime minister: the five causes of her downfall explained

Matthew Flinders, University of Sheffield

As Liz Truss stepped away from the lectern outside No.10 Downing Street after resigning as leader of her party, it probably occurred to her that her time as prime minister will have been only as long as the leadership campaign that got her there.

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15Oct/22

Kwasi Kwarteng: only a desperate prime minister sacks a chancellor

Despina Alexiadou, University of Strathclyde

Having seen her government’s popularity plummet just weeks after taking office, British prime minister Liz Truss has sacked her chancellor of the exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng in a bid to save herself. Kwarteng, widely seen as Truss’s right-hand man, was rushed back to London from New York for the occasion, where he had been meeting with IMF officials on Thursday evening.

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