How Dangerous Are COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories In Italy?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, conspiracy theories caused protests and violent attacks in Italy. This is not exactly a new phenomenon. Conspiracy theories have always existed. While some can be harmless, others can be extremely dangerous. During the pandemic, the dissemination of dangerous conspiracies increased dramatically. Radical right extremists all over the globe filled social media… Continue reading How Dangerous Are COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories In Italy?

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Making Sense of Joe Biden’s Foreign Policy

Fair Observer’s new feature FO° Insights makes sense of issues in the news.  Even as US President Joe Biden leaves for his inaugural Asia visit, American foreign policy is in turmoil in the aftermath of the disastrous Vietnam-like withdrawal from Afghanistan and the catastrophic Russia-Ukraine War.  Therefore, we spoke to Contributing Editor Christopher Roper Schell,… Continue reading Making Sense of Joe Biden’s Foreign Policy

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Fly on the Wall: Anderson Cooper Mentors a Young Journalist

The latest in Fair Observer’s series of fictional dialogues intended to make sense of the underside of the news. FADE IN: INT. COFFEE SHOP – DAY As ANDERSON COOPER, holding a bottle of spring water, and BILL SMEDLEY (Late 30’s) a black coffee, slide into a booth. SMEDLEY Mr. Cooper, thanks again for the opportunity,… Continue reading Fly on the Wall: Anderson Cooper Mentors a Young Journalist

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Do Rumors of Boris Johnson’s Purported Twelfth Child Matter?

I have just flown back from London, a city where history seems to seep through every brick. Over the last five centuries, this has been the city that has defined the destiny of the world. Plaques on houses remind us as to who lived when and where. During this trip, I saw plaques on houses… Continue reading Do Rumors of Boris Johnson’s Purported Twelfth Child Matter?

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Memories of Russia’s Far East from the Winter of 1991/92

Note: This is a long read of over 7,000 words, which recounts a deeply personal experience in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. So, late one night in 1991, still sitting at my desk at the headquarters of Catholic Relief Services in Baltimore, it had come to me.  A channel where the barrier… Continue reading Memories of Russia’s Far East from the Winter of 1991/92

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The Caliph v The Emir al-Mu’minin: Which Islamic Model of Statehood Will the Taliban Adopt?

The world imagines the Taliban to be a monolith of bearded Islamic fundamentalists. However, much like Afghanistan and the rest of the region, the Taliban are deeply divided. There are two main factions: the Haqqanis and the Kandaharis. The former are led by Khalifa Sirajuddin Haqqani while the latter follow Amir al-Mu’minin-Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, the… Continue reading The Caliph v The Emir al-Mu’minin: Which Islamic Model of Statehood Will the Taliban Adopt?

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Is Ukraine about Weathering a Storm?

The United States claims to be the exceptional nation. Perhaps what makes it particularly exceptional is not just its belief in but also its consistent commitment to two things that are only seemingly contradictory: democracy and war. Most people, after all, associate democracy with ideas such as justice, fairness, tolerance, peace and collective problem-solving. The… Continue reading Is Ukraine about Weathering a Storm?

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The Education of Priests and the Future of the Catholic Church in Ireland

It is a great honor to be invited to speak at this important event.  I have lived much of my life in sight of the magnificent spire that is the centerpiece of the college.  My father told me he had met a man who sat on the cross which is at the very top of… Continue reading The Education of Priests and the Future of the Catholic Church in Ireland

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India Looks to Finland for an Effective Educational Model

For some time, the world of education has become aware of the exceptional success of Finland’s boldly innovative education system. The ideas that guided the Finnish government were not new or original. They have been debated, applied, experimented and validated by educational reformers in multiple contexts for more than a century. Finland is the only… Continue reading India Looks to Finland for an Effective Educational Model

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