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 / News & Politics
New Internationalist

New Internationalist

November - December 2019

New Internationalist tackles today's most challenging global issues, confronts inequality and injustice and reports on positive changes happening around the world. Well-known for writing about topics before they reach the wider media, it is an essential read for those who want to explore progressive ideas.

United States
New Internationalist Publications
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£6.46(Incl. tax)
£33.46(Incl. tax)
6 Issues


1 min.
fear of a red planet

YOHANN KOSHY for the New Internationalist Co-operative newint.org It’s 1860 and the ‘century of humiliation’ is underway: China is forced to open up to the opium trade and Hong Kong has been handed over to London. British troops slaughter thousands and burn the emperor’s Old Summer Palace to the ground. Today it’s Britain that goes to Beijing cap in hand. A Chinese firm is putting almost £2 billion ($2.4 bn) into redeveloping London’s Royal Albert Dock, from where imperial ships once set off, and partly financing the UK’s largest infrastructure project, a nuclear power plant in Somerset. George Osborne, former chancellor, put it bluntly: ‘China is what it is. And we have to either be [there] or be nowhere.’ The average Briton is likely unaware of this historical reversal. The average Chinese person…

1 min.
this month’s contributors include

Amy Hawkins is a freelance journalist who writes about Chinese culture, technology and society. You can follow her on Twitter @XLHawkins. Ma Tianjie is managing editor of chinadialogue in Beijing. Before this, he was Greenpeace’s Programme Director for mainland China. Trifonia Melibea Obono is a novelist, activist and academic from Equatorial Guinea. Her recent work focuses on lesbian lives in her country. Helena Norberg-Hodge is founder and director of Local Futures, an NGO dedicated to cultural and biological diversity and strengthening local communities and economies worldwide.…

4 min.
send us your feedback

Share better Re: ‘Who is militarizing the South China Sea’, NI 521. What is needed is an objective and equitable international agreement on national sea boundaries, providing fair resource regions to all. China’s ‘nine-dash-line’ is blatantly inequitable, justified only by China’s military ability to dominate all the other nations in the region, so it is hardly surprising that the US is engaging in ‘gun boat diplomacy’ in support of its allies, and also to save its own ‘face’ (‘face’ is not an exclusively Asian concept, a fact that the Chinese leadership would be well advised to recognize). The question is how far will China go to assert its claims, and how far will the US go in response? Or, in other words, will the current low-level conflict in the South China Sea…

3 min.
wish fulfilment

In the women’s section of the Shah Ali shrine, popularly known as the Mirpur mazaar, the atmosphere was calm. It’s a space large enough for supplicants to sprawl in, albeit their chief purpose remains invocations and prayers. There is no limit to how much time one can spend there, so some make it a quick jaunt – hasty prayers, a nod to the tomb, exit – while others linger in deeper contemplation – longer prayers, Qur’an recitations, quiet meditations, hushed conversations with their fellow visitors. Among the serene visitors, a caretaker of sorts played a much more vocal role as one-part enforcer, two-parts host. She made sure nobody hogged time at the narrow look-through to the main hall with the sarcophagus (which only men are allowed to enter) and asked for…

1 min.

Being ‘flamboyant’, public displays of affection and frequenting gay discos, are key to a successful asylum claim for Muslim LGBTQI people seeking refuge in Germany, a recent study has found. This is unproblematic for some – asylum-seekers with middle or upper-class backgrounds, who were assigned male at birth and were activists in their home country are likely to be successful. But it’s a different story for those who do not conform to a Western stereotype of ‘gayness’. Anthropologist Mengia Tschalaer has recorded how people who were not ‘out’ at the time of their asylum interview or found it hard to speak openly about their sexuality or gender identity usually had their claim rejected – as did those who were married or had children. Tschalaer – who spoke to LGBTQI refugees and asylum-seekers from Tunisia,…

2 min.
brazil law and disorder

On 20 September 2019, eight-year-old Ágatha Félix died after being shot in the back in her local neighbourhood, in Rio de Janeiro. Four days later, 11-year-old Victória Ferreira was shot in the leg on her way home from school. Episodes like these are not exceptional. Rio residents know that other innocents will die the same way as Ágatha Félix. This year has been bad even by the violent standards of Rio de Janeiro state. Police violence now factors among the leading causes of death for the poorest. In 2019, there were 1,075 police killings in just six months. In August 2019, they killed at least five people per day in the state of Rio; and police were responsible for 40 per cent of all homicides in the city during the first quarter of…