• Local mayors – and Paris law – destroying French historic villages

    In France, they love their patrimoine, or cultural heritage — at least, that’s what they claim. Why, then, are developers being allowed to tear the heart out of historic villages. The following article by Edward Girardet – What’s French for Nimby? – was first published by the Sunday Times of London on May 15, 2016.  It has since received numerous comments, both […]

    Local mayors – and Paris law – destroying French historic villages
  • The greenest deal ever? From a car company.

    Business funding of public projects, including actions by Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, have come under cold scrutiny lately. But private-public partnerships are also becoming crucial as conventional donors cut back on funding to non-profit initiatives. Are the ideological purists missing the story? Peter Hulm in Geneva considers the question.   The company’s called Plentiful Rice. You probably know it […]

    The greenest deal ever? From a car company.
  • Cartooning for Peace: Modern-day court jesters

    The granting last week of the shared 2016 Cartooning for Peace award in Geneva to Tanzanian caricaturist Gado and Malaysian artist Zunar is not just in recognition of their talent, but also their willingness to risk loss of employment, prison and other forms of persecution.  Journalist and author Edward Girardet explores the role these artists play in the pursuit of […]

    Cartooning for Peace: Modern-day court jesters
  • Too tall tiger tales

    When the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Global Tiger Forum (GTF) roared the news last week that “for the first time in 100 years, tiger numbers are growing”, the media, including the New York Times, splashed the headline around the world.  Few journalists checked out the headline or the facts. After all, WWF said so. Yet, as science writer […]

    Too tall tiger tales
  • Will climate change destroy Columbus’s islands?

    Earlier this month, the Bahamas National Trust held a special workshop to explore how climate change is affecting the fauna and flora of this Caribbean island chain. Contributing editor Peter Hulm highlights some of the issues discussed in advance of this week’s Bahamas Natural History Conference in Nassau. If any country should care about climate change it’s The Bahamas, an […]

    Will climate change destroy Columbus’s islands?
  • Why the World Humanitarian Summit is adrift – and how to salvage it

    With two months to go until delegates assemble in Istanbul for the first-ever UN summit devoted to humanitarian affairs, the odds on a successful outcome are slim. As Nick van Praag of Ground Truth Solutions maintains, the problem is not lack of urgency in shoring up a sector under strain. The challenge is translating a long list of disparate topics into […]

    Why the World Humanitarian Summit is adrift – and how to salvage it
  • Malaysia: Ensuring that corruption is not governance

      The 31st session of the Human Rights Council, which began earlier this week in Geneva, will troop out the usual high-level panels about universality, indivisibility, interdependence, and other such politically-correct verbiage. What is often missing, however, is the Council’s ability to shame those who abuse their own peoples in order to stay in power. Essential Edge co-editor Edward Girardet […]

    Malaysia: Ensuring that corruption is not governance
  • Is the US Slouching towards a Weimar Scenario?

    Remember Germany’s 1930’s Weimar Republic and the diminutive, firebrand populist who eventually seized power?  Although he sees no problem in quoting Mussolini and at least initially hesitated at denouncing the Ku Klux Klan, Donald Trump is not exactly comparable to Hitler, at least not quite yet, but then neither was Hitler at the beginning. The true extent of depravity only […]

    Is the US Slouching towards a Weimar Scenario?

Other News

Fortress-America Walls Keep a Mean-Spirited Nation Inside

Fortress-America Walls Keep a Mean-Spirited Nation Inside

Former Associated Press senior foreign correspondent and Essential Edge contributing editor Mort Rosenblum, who currently lives occasionally in the United States but primarily in France, sent the following dispatch on how America’s penal system has become a worrisome indicator of an increasingly sick society. This is part of Mort’s every-so-often Unplugged series.      Florence, Arizona – The back road […]

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Migration, climate change, terrorism…Geneva’s 14th International Film Festival

Migration, climate change, terrorism…Geneva’s 14th International Film Festival

  The issues are all too painfully familiar, but this year’s Geneva International Film and Human Rights Festival (FIFDH), (14th edition from 4-13 March, 2016), will be placing particular focus on migration, refugees, rape and other forms of violence, coping with climate change, terrorism, Israel-Palestine, human trafficking, abuses in Saudi Arabia and Russia, the death penalty in the United States, […]

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HUMAN – Seven billion people tell their story

HUMAN – Seven billion people tell their story

Launched simultaneously last September at the United Nations in New York and the Venice Biennale Film Festival, HUMAN is based on 2,000 filmed interviews recorded over three years around the world. It is an exceptional cinematographic project that seeks to explore how ordinary people view life. “I wanted to try and understand humanity with this film,” explained French photographer and […]

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Overcoming extreme poverty by 2030 –  what can you do?

Overcoming extreme poverty by 2030 – what can you do?

There will be a double-anniversary concert in Geneva’s Victoria Hall 13 March 2016 at 17:00, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the 1% for Development Fund and the fifth anniversary of the United Nations Orchestra with Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony and Brahms double concerto for violin and cello. To remind readers about the purpose of the 1% for Development Fund, initially created […]

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Taken For A Ride –  A cautionary tale of wealth-management   

Taken For A Ride – A cautionary tale of wealth-management  

Many expatriates may not feel comfortable placing their hard-earned income with Swiss investment advisors because of language or unfamiliarity with local customs. But relying on fellow foreign nationals operating out of Switzerland also has its pitfalls. Claire Doole explains how she lost a small fortune after being taken for a ride by a Lake Geneva-based British financial consultant – and […]

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Ronnie Koven: International press freedom community loses doyen

Ronnie Koven: International press freedom community loses doyen

Ronald Koven, a distinguished journalist who became a defender of a free press around the world, died on Friday, Oct. 30 in Paris of complications following a long battle with cancer. He was 80. For those of us at The Essential Edge who knew him as a friend and colleague, he will be  missed. A report from Reporters sans Frontières.  The […]

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The European Broadcasting Union’s Mini-FIFA

The European Broadcasting Union’s Mini-FIFA

The FIFA corruption scandal may be growing steadily worse, but yet another Swiss-based organization may not be far behind. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which manages the Eurovision Song Contest, has come up with its own version of hidden agendas, lack of transparency and blatant conflict of interest. Of concern, too, is the impact of such abuses on international organizations […]

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Arrest in the Netherlands: How an Afghan war crime came to light

Arrest in the Netherlands: How an Afghan war crime came to light

Dutch police arrested a former Afghan communist army commander allegedly involved in a massacre of more than 1,000 men and boys in Afghanistan 36 years ago. This article was first published by the Christian Science Monitor on 4 November, 2015. Two accounts of the atrocity by Essential Edge co-editor Edward Girardet, who is also a Monitor correspondent, played a role. (A […]

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Battling the wrong giants: Security snoopers vs Wikileaks

Battling the wrong giants: Security snoopers vs Wikileaks

Which is more important for media in society? Security snoopers or Wikileaks? Or is it the collapse of traditional business models with the rise of social media? Swiss journalists came together at the Fourth Journalistic Assizes on 27 October at the Swiss Press Club in Geneva. Contributing editor Peter Hulm reports. Europe’s private print and public broadcast media are battling each […]

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Is this the new face of philanthropy?

Is this the new face of philanthropy?

Still in his 30s, Yonathan Parienti is a straggle-haired ex-banker in blue jeans. Now his mission is to bring social activists together via the Internet. For under-35s there’s no paradox. As Essential Edge contributing editor Peter Hulm writes, they don’t have their parents’ hangups about the public vs private sector. The Occupy Me generation also believe in action for causes […]

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