Oppositionist on syria election: “this should be a sign of strength”.

Sadiqu Al-Mousllie is a member of the Syrian National Council. The Assad opponent explains the dictator’s strategy and the role of the West.

"Assad does not need elections," says opposition member Sadiqu Al-Mousllie. Image: dpa

site: Mr. Al-Mousllie, Bashar al-Assad’s announcement to hold elections on June 3 is generally perceived as a farce by the West. What is his intention in doing so?


Starbucks boycotts facebook: advertising break

Starbucks is another corporation putting pressure on Facebook to take stronger action against hate speech. The loss of advertising revenue is having an effect.

Starbucks puts pressure on Facebook. Capitalism versus capitalism? Photo: Gene J. Puskar/ap

Internationally operating coffee house chain Starbucks declared over the weekend that it would no longer run ads on Facebook until further notice. This makes Starbucks one of now more than 160 large companies that are taking the lax handling of disinformation and hate speech on the platform as an opportunity to keep their advertising money with them, at least temporarily. The driving force behind this development is the "Stop Hate for Profit" campaign, which is not even two weeks old and is run by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a long-established non-governmental organization that is primarily dedicated to the fight against anti-Semitism.


Peruvian mountain guide sues rwe: in court against climate change

Saúl Luciano Lliuya attacks the electricity company RWE: For the first time, a victim of global warming wants to force the polluters to protect the climate.

Looks beautiful, but can be dangerous: Glacial lake near Huaraz. Picture: imago/westend61

With an unprecedented action, a victim of climate change is fighting back against the fossil fuel industry on the other side of the world: On Monday, Peruvian mountain guide Saúl Luciano Lliuya, through his German lawyer, demanded that the Essen-based energy provider RWE finance protective measures against the melting glaciers in the Andes, which threaten his home. If RWE does not pay, the Peruvian wants to file a lawsuit.


New translation of “main street”: city, country, woman

With "Main Street," Sinclair Lewis wrote a novel in 1920 that has now been retranslated. In the Trump era, it’s great fun again.

Sinclair Lewis and Dorothy Thompson in 1928 Photo: Imago / United Archives International

What on earth is going on among the wheat fields? Why do people in rural areas of the U.S. feel so strongly about a sexist and racist rumbling president? Where does the anxious traditionalism come from, the slobbering against anything unfamiliar, educated, cosmopolitan – against the big cities?


Vacations in times of the corona pandemic: the second wave threatens

Corona numbers are rising dramatically in Spanish tourist centers. First countries have ordered quarantine for Spain returnees.

Keeping distance is hardly possible on the beach of Barcelona

Fans, hats and other souvenirs are available at the Plaza Mayor of Madrid. The merchants pay more than 30,000 euros in rent for their small stores on the large 17th century square in the center of the city. Since March, they have sold hardly anything, and the tourists are still staying away. The situation is similar in Barcelona. There, only 80 hotels are currently open, just 25 percent of all accommodations, and even those are only 20 percent occupied. It is unlikely to get much better. Several countries are warning against travel to Spain or have imposed a quarantine for returnees from Spain.


Commentary on the iran nuclear agreement: in the shadow of an unholy alliance

The first agreement on Iran’s nuclear program was a major success. But Israel and other opponents could still prevent a final agreement.

Willing to compromise? Iran’s new President Hassan Rohani could end ten years of dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program. Photo: reuters

The first agreement between Iran and the international community after a decade of escalating dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program is a major success. Even if it is being sold as a hard-won compromise for the sake of saving face for Iran’s new President Hassan Rohani: Tehran has met all but one of its demands in the negotiations.


New border administration in the gaza strip: difficult reconciliation process

Cooperation between the Palestinian organizations Fatah and Hamas is progressing. But concerns about an escalation of violence remain.

A Palestinian stands at Checkpoint Erez, one of the few border crossings between Gaza and Israel Photo: ap

Barely three weeks after signing a reconciliation agreement, Hamas, which has ruled Gaza until now, has handed over border management to the more moderate Palestinian Authority. In the presence of Egyptian representatives, control at the Rafah crossing was transferred to Egypt in a solemn ceremony on Wednesday. A total of five border checkpoints are involved, although two of them have been closed for a long time.