We should have seen it all coming. The civil war and the underlying tensions rocked Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula should be no surprise to us. Indeed the unprecedented rise of Islamic extremism and the foundation of an organisation like ISIS, along with the independence and anti-EU movements in Britain, along with many other global issues.
I know what it's like to lose your childhood to war. When I was five and conflict raged in Sudan, my family and I were amongst the lucky ones to leave for Egypt. Four years later we were granted asylum in the United Kingdom. Inspired by legendary South Sudanese basketball player Manute Bol, my siblings and I took up basketball which helped us fit in. Like Manute, I was lucky enough to turn the sport I loved into a career as a professional NBA player in the United States.
I've risked major mockery in the last month for asserting confidently amongst friends that England are different this time around, that we can match the fluent approach play of more successful nations, because this time we have the personnel. After watching our 3-0 snooze-fest against Peru, I stand by this marginally fantastical statement.
This stems from a major difference between the Middle Eastern and Western cultures; in the UK, ecommerce leads the way, with consumers preferring the convenience and speed of browsing and ordering online to the hustle and bustle of the high street. In the Gulf, however, 'mall culture' remains dominant.
Increasing evidence and scientific analysis is showing why these events are associated with human induced climate change. The related impacts are becoming more widespread and complex, affecting society from health issues to agriculture, from transportation to economics, and becoming more severe, long-lasting and costly with increasing frequency.
There has been a lot of rhetoric by politicians and commentators claiming that what we are seeing today is Cold War behavior and a resurgence of Soviet Russia. Not only is this view wrong, it completely misunderstands Vladimir Putin's intentions. What we see Russia doing in Crimea today is not Cold War Russia, it is Imperial Russia.
Given the precarious legal and constitutional framework on which the current status of Crimea has been built since the Soviet period, a purely legal "solution" taking recourse to past institutional arrangements is unlikely to be possible or even desirable. What is required is first and foremost a political decision and a commitment to put it on a sound legal and constitutionally as well as internationally agreed basis.
The future for Bahrain is uncertain. However, one certainty amidst the chaos, is that change is Bahrain will remain a mirage so long as the king is bolstered by so much international support. Let's not beat about the bush, the British government is publicly supporting a oppressive and undemocratic government in Bahrain.
The Sochi Olympic Games are taking place in a region of tightly interwoven conflicts, the roots of which lie as much in contemporary military, political and social upheaval and the post-soviet geo-politics as in historical events and their various interpretations among different Russian and Caucasian populations...
Science tells us that no particular adverse weather event either can or should be put down to climate change. That is just not the way climate change works. However, science also tells us that climate change will certainly bring an increase in both the frequency and severity of adverse weather events in general.
Structurally and psychologically, many universities are just not built to deal with anything that isn't the traditional, white 18 year old undergraduate student. Rather than Universities UK worrying about the decreasing numbers of international students, and the millions of pounds of revenue lost that could entail, we need to be doing more about the international students who currently study here.
There are a new cast of heroes and villains on the international development scene. They are not governments, charities, NGOs, but businesses. Firstly, two caricatures - the big, evil business vs. the small, ethical enterprises. On the one hand, the Nestlés pushing breastmilk substitutes, the BPs oozing oil. On the other hand the newly applauded, smaller heroes
Warsaw revealed some serious divisions amongst groups of countries, and the language used became ever more heated. Indeed, the negotiations may well have raised the curtain on what will be some very difficult discussions when countries come forward with their 'contributions' from the end of next year.
Over the first week of the UN climate change negotiations in Poland we have seen the alarming results of studies showing increased decline of tropical forests. It is clear from newly available data from satellite monitoring stations that there are now growing areas being deforested as a result of illegal logging, agriculture and mining.