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Photo Essay: One Picture Tells…Masks on the Ground

November 4, 2021 – 5:21 pm |

Disturbed by the number of masks of varying types that I have seen since the pandemic when walking around London I decided to do a small experiment.
I wanted to see just how many I could find within 15 minutes. Without barely even looking I found six. This is a disturbing …

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A First Port of Call? Free Ports and the UK Economy

March 25, 2021 – 5:21 pm |

The March budget presented free ports as the remedy to economic uncertainty in the face of Brexit and COVID, but are they a good solution?
The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak’s budget speech hailed free ports, where imported goods are exempt from tariffs, as a silver bullet to fix the economic …

Musevini Wins Ugandan Election Amidst Uneven Covid Legislation

January 17, 2021 – 5:00 pm |

The new year continues with the pandemic being used by some authoritarian African leaders as a way to cling to power. 
Saturday saw Yoweri Musevini win his sixth term in office after the election was postponed in 2020 due to the risk of Covid, with Mr Musevini telling Ugandan NBS Television …

Your Body Your Choice: The Silent Scalpel of Intersex Surgeries

November 10, 2017 – 1:12 pm |

For over 20 years activists within the intersex community have been calling for changes to how operations are performed on those born with the condition and last year a United Nations convention condemned the practice that it describes as “Intersex Genital Mutilation” within 15 countries including the UK.

Are the Regulations on Initial Coin Offerings a Tide Change Towards Cryptocurrencies?

October 10, 2017 – 11:10 am |

No sooner had China put a ban on ICOs, Initial Coin Offerings, than the following week the FCA issued a statement on their website about how to use them. Should UK companies who use this fundraising system be worried?
Initial Coin Offerings are a means for cryptocurrency companies and Blockchain industries …

A Big Fat White Avalanche: Trump Tries to Take on Europe

March 31, 2017 – 5:28 pm |

Donald Trump’s policy towards Europe is like a glaring white avalanche careering down a hill. The US is on a path to an isolationist freeze, set in motion by Trump’s nationalist rhetoric in which the president is considering changing long-standing foreign policy and this is starting to have a powerful …

The Rise and Decline of Eurosceptic Parties and their Impact Within the EU

December 10, 2015 – 1:31 pm | 2 Comments

Even though some Eurosceptic parties in Europe have seen an ebb within support from voters recently, the changing political landscape could mean that their political presence and influence within the union might be irreversible.
The 2008 recession formed a catalyst for Eurosceptic parties across the political spectrum on the continent. Support …

Alternative Issue: Growing up on an Israeli Military Base and Fighting for Peace

June 24, 2013 – 1:17 pm |

 
In Israel, everyone goes to the military service at the age of 18. But living in military bases before reaching 18 might be quite odd for some people. Nitzan Regev-Sanders, 25, an International Politics and Sociology student at City University, London talks about her extraordinary experience of growing up in …

Is Dialogue in Bahrain Genuine or just Cosmetic?

May 19, 2013 – 1:55 pm |

 
It has been two years since the start of the uprising in Bahrain.  Back then in 2011, thousands of Bahraini went into the streets of the small island kingdom demanding political reforms and civil rights following similar protests in other Arab countries like Tunisia and Egypt.
Since then, demonstrations in Bahrain …

From PCC to Royal Charter: The Forming of a New Press Regulatory Body

April 10, 2013 – 11:54 pm |

Dr Benedetta Brevini, responsible for communication in the Media Reform Coalition (MRC), a coalition consisting of 20 different organisations from the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) to the Hacked Off group headed by actor Hugh Grant, says the outcome of a Royal Charter  as the new press regulatory body wasn’t quite what …

Writer, Lecturer and Media Reform Campaigner: Dr Benedetta Brevini on Italy, her Career and her Books

March 15, 2013 – 2:34 pm |

Dr Benedetta Brevini is coauthor of a book on Wikileaks and its aftermath and is writing a new one on Public Service Broadcasting (PSB) online and media regulation. She worked as a journalist in Milan, London and New York and contributes to The Guardian‘s Comment is Free. She is also a lecturer in Media …

Viewpoint – Alternative: Education that Says what it Means, the Original Free Schools

March 5, 2013 – 5:20 pm |

Taught by volunteers and inclusive to all, squat schools provide an alternative to Cameron’s Big Society free schools, without cost to the taxpayer.
Talia Rose, 28, who has been an English Foreign Language (EFL) teacher for the last nine years, volunteered as a facilitator in free schools in squats. She passionately …

Planet Issue: Long after Pythagoras – The World of the Flat Earth Society

March 5, 2013 – 3:18 pm | 4 Comments

Flat Earth believers have been around since biblical times and even photos of Earth taken from space have not deterred them.
Michael N Wilmore, 27, was born in London and moved to Ireland in his teens. He is the vice president of the Flat Earth Society, which he joined in 2006. …

Viewpoint – Planet: Europe’s Dirtiest Capital?

March 5, 2013 – 3:13 pm |

London smog.

In 1952 an estimated 4,000 people died as a result of severe air pollution in London. Today the same number are estimated to die early each year because of poor air quality in the Capital.
Dr Benjamin Barratt, of the Environmental Research Group at King’s College London, measures air quality …

Planet Issue: Food for Thought, Re-using what can Still be Eaten

March 5, 2013 – 2:53 pm |

The UK is one of the richest countries in the world, but there are still massive issues of food waste and poverty. According to FoodCycle an estimated four million people are affected by food poverty in the UK.
Inspired by an American campus kitchen project, Foodcycle is a charity tackles food waste, …

Alternative Issue: Recipes on walls – Gourmandizing, what are you Hungry for?

March 5, 2013 – 2:25 pm |

Two Americans have launched a project that uses public art to share recipes, which are painted across walls in South East London.
Gourmandizing London is an artwork and community project that aims to celebrate the diversity of people, through a series of recipes collected for residents living in the nearby communities.
Jason …

Country in Focus the Alternative Issue: What do you think about the recent legal changes towards marijuana laws in the US?

March 5, 2013 – 12:49 pm |

Mary Stevens, 21, from North Carolina studies at City University and  speaks about the recently passed changes to marijuana laws.
I personally think that it can be useful for medical reasons and is less dangerous than cigarette smoking; it can be fun as well. I believe that the US have taken …

Alternative Issue: Street Crime Beaten Back by Boxing Clubs

March 5, 2013 – 12:41 pm |

Dave Ryan doesn’t just deliver mail around one of London’s toughest neighbourhoods he has spent most of his life and spare time trying to improve it.
Having been a community volunteer and local postman for over 42 years he has put blood, sweat and tears into his local boxing club where he …

Viewpoint – Alternative: Occupy, where are they now?

March 5, 2013 – 12:00 pm |

It’s a year since Occupy London left the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral, but many of the group are still campaigning for change.
George Barda was one of the most recognisable faces of Occupy London. With his long dark hair and wiry beard he often appeared as a spokesperson for the …

Planet Issue: Deaths on Britain’s Roads can put off Cyclists Despite Londons Mayor’s Encouragement

March 5, 2013 – 11:56 am |

Cycle hire scheme in London “Boris Bikes”.

Cycling is a great way to exercise and a form of travel environmentalists will always favour. To them, the more who choose to cycle rather than travel using vehicles that emit harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the better.

Last week Green party member Jenny …

Alternative Issue: Dive Tourism Threatens Marine Life

March 5, 2013 – 11:31 am |

In the last two decades, the dive tourism industry has exploded into a global giant and has become a welcome source of income in less economically developed countries.
According to The Professional Association of Diving Instructors statistics, its membership numbers have increased by almost 70 per cent since 1993. Experts believe …

Censorship Issue: Bulagaria’s not so Free Press

March 5, 2013 – 11:30 am |

Bulgarian newspapers.

Bulgaria has the lowest level of press freedom of any European country according to this year’s Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index.

This widely accepted measure of how free the world’s media are, described the small Balkan state as a country “whose promise of reform came to nothing and where the …

Alternative Issue: Burkina Faso’s Paralympians Pave Way for Equal Rights

March 5, 2013 – 11:18 am |

When Burkina Faso’s Paralympic team arrived in London with nowhere to stay, nowhere to train and not enough money to salvage the situation in a strange country, 24 year old Liam Conlon decided to take matters into his own hands.
The Cambridge graduate put some of the athletes up in his …

Alternative Issue: Islamic Finance Investments on the Rise, but are there any Jobs?

March 5, 2013 – 11:04 am |
Left: Harris Irfan - Director at European Islamic Investment Bank. Right: Mohammed Amin - Writer and Speaker on Islamic finance

Investments in Islamic finance are increasing at a rapid rate globally. According to Ernst and Young global Islamic banking assets held by commercial banks are set to reach almost two trillion this year, up from the US$1.3 trillion of assets held in 2011. The sector has seen a 150% increase …

Alternative Issue: Tourism Threatens Balinese Culture

March 5, 2013 – 10:44 am |

As immigration and tourism soars in Bali, locals are clamping down more than ever to preserve their unique Hindu culture and island beauty.
Made Dedik, Balinese local and owner of Double D Surf School at Seminyak Beach is no exception, and vehemently believes in protecting the island he grew up on.  …

Viewpoint – Planet: Will British Aviation get a Second Wind?

March 5, 2013 – 9:07 am |

In 2010 plans for a third runway at Heathrow airport was dropped by the new coalition government. Now, in response to other European countries’ growing aviation capacity, the issue has resurfaced.
The Howard Davies aviation commission will spend 2013 determining the future need for expansions and deliver their report to the …

Viewpoint – Alternative: Squatting Faces its Death Blow

March 5, 2013 – 9:07 am |

Co-authored with Christian Jensen.
A new campaign will try and make squatting completely illegal. In September 2012, squatting in a residential location, the act of living in a building without paying rent, was made illegal. But now the government is considering extending this to all squatting.
Mike Weatherly, Conservative MP, is one …

Viewpoint – Health: Furious Crusade Against Bad Science

December 27, 2012 – 6:22 pm |

 
Ben Goldacre, medical doctor and Guardian journalist is the father of Bad Science a collection of books, hundreds of articles and videos with one goal: challenging myths, rumours and shady businesses in the medical world.
Goldacre’s work is rife with aggression and challenges against other “experts”, with his book Bad Science …

Country in Focus the Health Issue: Longevity and the Italian Lifestyle

December 23, 2012 – 6:59 pm |

 
Ruggero Galtarossa is from a small city in Northern Italy called Padova. He is 22 years old he has been living in London for two and a half years. He is in his third year studying journalism and sociology for a BA joint honours degree.
The Italians have an exceptionally high …

Country in Focus the Sex Issue: Palestine, the West and a Little Thing Called Sex

December 14, 2012 – 4:31 pm |

Bahaa Milhem, a 3rd year journalism student at City University, talks about the difference in culture when it comes to sex in Palestine and here in the UK.
First sex in general and particularly for young people; sex outside marriage?
It’s not illegal but it is looked heavily down upon, especially for …

“Oi miss! Nice butt!”: Why is street sexual harassment so widespread and what can we do to stop it?

December 7, 2012 – 11:36 pm |

 
“I was doing my shopping in the beauty aisle in Sainsbury’s,” Liz*, an undergrad student at City University recalls, “and a middle-aged man, maybe 50 or 60, comes up to me and asks me with this disgusting smirk on his face: ‘Do you know where the Vaseline is?’ It completely …

Has the Paralympics Effect Started to Wane?

December 7, 2012 – 6:15 pm |

The Paralympics brought with them a positive change in attitudes towards disabled people, yet there is still a long way to go.
The French company Atos, contracted by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to reasess the situation of 2.6 million people on incapacity benefits by 2014, was one of …

Viewpoint – Sex: The Struggle for Sexual Sobriety

November 16, 2012 – 10:39 pm |

Most people have some idea of what an addiction is, but sex doesn’t seem to be one that first comes to mind.
When Steve McQueen’s Shame, a film about a sex addict living in New York, hit the cinema earlier this year, it provoked a lot of controversy. It seems that …

Viewpoint – Censorship: Against a Brick Wall, The Internet in China

June 25, 2012 – 1:00 pm |

 
 
A study by Harvard University released this month reveals that China’s Internet Censor’s new focus is on topics that might incite protest in the country.
Citing examples that two of the most censored topics concerned protests in China’s Inner Mongolia region and in Zengcheng. The study showed that in both cases …

Viewpoint – Censorship: When Silence is the Price for Truth…Journalism in DRC

June 4, 2012 – 12:57 am |

 
Reporters Without Borders stated that a journalist from Radio Liberté and two journalists from Kisangani News were released from prison in the last few weeks.Their crimes were that they asked too many questions about the government… But at least they are still alive.
According to Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) between …

Donnacha De Long a Journalist with Many Callings: from NUJ to the Irish Rebellion

April 5, 2012 – 4:17 pm |

Donnacha De Long is president of the NUJ and last week he chaired a debate on the topical Leveson inquiry for the Benn Lectures. He became President in April 2011 after being a National Union of Journalists (NUJ) member since he was 19. As his role as president is coming …

‘Journos Abroad’ Burma Elections and Ethnic Struggles

March 25, 2012 – 5:46 pm |

On Sunday the first of April 2012 Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy will for the first time have a chance to challenge the current military-backed civilian government head-on. But even if she should win every seat it will only be a first small step in solving Burma’s problems …

Country in Focus the Censorship Issue: Syria One Year on…. Has Any Solution Really Come of it?

March 17, 2012 – 8:17 pm |

March 15 marked the one year anniversary of the Syrian uprising against President Bashar al Assad’s regime, which has shown no signs of slowing its offensive in the cities that have been key hubs of the opposition.
The pro-Assad forces overran most of the northern city of Idlib, while the military …

Viewpoint – Censorship: The Long Walk to Freedom into a Cul-de-sac? The South African ‘secrecy bill’

March 12, 2012 – 5:43 pm |

 
An information bill that is being debated in the next few months in South Africa could put democracy to the most extreme test.
Nelson Mandela came out of prison in the 90s at the end of apartheid, which was a state led separation and oppression of non-whites, and assumed power in …

A Swedish Class Safari

February 10, 2012 – 5:47 pm |
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

 
 
 
In January 2012, a small organisation called Allt åt Alla (Everything for Everyone), organised an event to highlight the issues surrounding inequalities in Sweden. It did this by organising what they called an “upperclass safari” and for 50kr (£4.70) members could go on a bus-ride to a wealthy suburb called …

Country in Focus the Europe Issue: Germany ‘a lot of untapped potential’

November 29, 2011 – 10:35 pm |

Julien Rath, a second year journalism student with a personal passion for everything Europe, has given Synchronicity an insight into the financial pinch Germany currently finds itself in.
Born in Duisburg, Germany, Julien moved to America when he was five and returned to his native country as a teenager. After spending …

Viewpoint – Europe: Overreaction to a right-wing Threat? A Q&A with Dan Hodges of Searchlight

November 20, 2011 – 2:51 pm |

Since the recession of 2008 there seems to be more than just financial issues at stake. The disillusionment with traditional politics has resulted in hung parliaments in Britain and in some countries in Europe.
The knock on effect of this lack of support has seen voters trying to find solutions. Some …

Viewpoint – Europe: Christiania, Last Bastion of Free Thought

May 20, 2011 – 3:41 pm |

Forty years after a group of hippie squatters stormed and took over an ex-army base in Copenhagen for a permanent home, they now face the biggest challenge in their extraordinary history. The city’s new right wing government has asked the 1,000 members of the Christiania commune – the largest and …

Viewpoint – Europe: Debate Over the True Nature of the ‘True Finns’

May 20, 2011 – 2:36 pm |

Finland’s growing nationalist party, the True Finns, have been put in the spotlight by their bid to block the European Union’s €78bn bailout of Portugal. While they were unsuccessful in stopping their country from backing the rescue package, they did succeed in grabbing the headlines all around Europe, many of …

Viewpoint – Europe: A Year From the French Presidential Elections… Who’s in the Race? Interview with John Lichfield from The Independent

May 20, 2011 – 1:44 pm |

Nicolas Sarkozy, the least popular president of recent history, will struggle hard to win a second term at the Elysee Palace. Meanwhile, the opposition party – the ‘Parti Socialiste’ (PS) – is yet undergoing another leadership crisis, with the arrest of one of their leading figures, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who had …

Viewpoint – Independence: ‘I was a protest virgin’, Jack said – 2011 London Student Fees Protest

February 6, 2011 – 1:04 pm |

 
Jack wears a poppy on his jacket and Doc Martens on his feet. “It’s the first time I have worn them” he says, proudly showing-off his brand new boots on the way to the demo. Until September 2010, Jack was living in Loughborough and never had the opportunity to raise …

Viewpoint – Independence: Voices Raised to No Effect – 2011 London Student Fees Protest

February 6, 2011 – 1:00 pm |

I met Mikaela, 20, an International Relations student, on my way back from marching the streets of London towards parliament in protest of the tripled caps on student fees Nick Clegg had promised not to touch, but back tracked on with nothing more than a vague apology. She was sitting, chatting …

Viewpoint – Independence: Distortion of a Struggle – 2011 London Student Fees Protest

February 6, 2011 – 12:59 pm |

Streets full of noise and faces full of smiles – that was the picture that was apparent in London at the student protests on the 10th November. Even the sun was out to illuminate the way.
The feel was like every other march that makes this revolutionary city such a special …

Viewpoint – Independence: Don’t Let the Budget Cuts Bite – 2011 London Student Fees Protest

February 6, 2011 – 12:58 pm |

18-year-old, Tamara London was one of nearly 50,000 people who attended the boisterous march past the Houses of Parliament.
A gap year student from Barnet in north London she  expressed her concern at the government’s planned raise of tuition fees: “They should be encouraging people to go into education, instead they are putting …

Country in Focus the Independence Issue: To Live and Dwell with Nostalgic Notions of South Africa

February 6, 2011 – 12:55 pm |

“The Call” was the national anthem and the voice of the orange, white and blue the colours of the oppressive regime that was South Africa. The masses beaten into submission by the nightstick known as apartheid.
I was very young in the 1980s when I saw the photographs in the papers showing …