Iranian foreign minister Mohammed Javad Zarif:  “We are in the region. We will never leave. We cannot leave our home. We are not asking anyone to leave.” File photograph: Getty Images

Iran is most stable country in Middle East region and therefore best able to project force

The UK side is ill-prepared, divided on objectives and seeking to use Ireland as a bargaining card in the wider negotiations on trade and market access. Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth

UK must give written guarantees on post-Brexit Border to restore trust

Eric Hobsbawm:  writing in the late 1980s, he regarded the Russian revolution as the central event of the 20th century as one-third of humanity lived under communist regimes deriving from those events.

Whatever about Putin’s unease, events of 1917 set the tone for the hundred years since

Chinese president Xi Jinping: “It’s my conviction that the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation will become a reality.” Photograph: How Hwee Young

Xi’s ‘middle-income power by 2021’ will be monitored on ‘seven unmentionables’

The national flag of Spain, left, flies beside the Catalan flag. Photographer: Angel Garcia/Bloomberg

Brexit and Catalonia challenge the European political order

French president Emmanuel Macron attends an EU summit in Tallinn, Estonia. Photograph: Ints Kalnins/Reuters

World View: Emmanuel Macron has dared Europeans to think big about the bloc’s future

In a speech at the European Parliament, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker called for a more united and democratically accountable European Union. Photograph: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

Prospects for Juncker proposals rest on leaders and citizens, not EU commission

The English nationalism that drives Brexit reaffirms most Irish people’s belief that they are better off staying in the European mainstream. Image: iStock

But staying in the EU means choices will have to be made on neutrality and taxation

Global Footprint Network: calculates how many planets we would need to sustain the lifestyles of different countries, groups and individuals

If everyone was to live like the average US citizen we would need five planets

The EU must work with Asean for common pressure on China to multilateralise its Belt and Road Initiative and to dissuade the US from misapplying hard power in the region. Photograph: STR/AFP/Getty

Asean model stands up well compared to EU supranationalist integration

New study  examines how the attitudes of voters, election candidates and political parties  overlap and diverge. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Over half of Sinn Féin voters and a third of independent voters fall into this category

Moroccan migrants rest at the port of Barbate after 163 migrants, including 50 children, were rescued from the Strait of Gibraltar on Friday. Photograph: Marcos Moreno/AFP/Getty Images

A new study shows how reporting often reduces migrant experiences to stereotypes

The long goodbye: European Council president Donald Tusk with British prime minister Theresa May, June 22nd. Photograph: AP

Hard or soft? Complex Ireland question is the opportunity for a less binary approach

Emmanuel Macron: the French Gaullist tradition of asserting multipolarity against the US is being resurrected in his encounters with Donald Trump.   Photograph: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

The US retreat from global leadership raises challenges for the EU and China

Chinese president Xi Jinping speaks at a news conference at the end of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing. Photograph: Jason Lee/EPA

Paul Gillespie: Belt and Road initiative a potential pivot of geopolitical change

Emmanuel Macron’s  decision to put European issues centre stage in debates with Marine Le Pen politicises them beyond French borders for Europeans made more aware of possible disintegration by Brexit and Donald Trump. Photograph: Getty Images

Chance to revive constructive politics at European level and confront populists

Religion is a key value in bringing up children in the south Mediterranean and far less so in the north, where respect for other cultures tops a list.

Paul Gillespie: Survey explores negative stereotyping by populist movements

 US president Donald Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. Trump has gone from accusing China of manipulating its currency to denying it. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Paul Gillespie: US president remains an opportunistic populist despite policy shifts

Brexit challenge: Ireland and the UK face a more uncertain future than at any time since they  joined the EU, in 1973. Photograph: Artur Widak/Nurphoto via Getty

Dynamics of Political Change in Ireland review: This authoritative collection tells a cautionary tale

Maintaining Ireland’s role in Europe must take full account of how Brexit affects Northern Ireland and the future of the UK itself. Photograph:  Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

Worldview: Strengths and weaknesses of Irish economy and political system will be crystalised

Scottish  first minister Nicola Sturgeon (left) and British prime minister Theresa May: the Scottish National Party case for staying in the single market and customs union were dismissed by May. Photograph: PA Wire

The Belfast Agreement has been disrupted by Brexit and Conservative party behaviour

Taoiseach Enda Kenny  in Brussels: says keeping the Border open will be a political decision and not a technical one. Photograph: Eric Vidal/Reuters

The return of a hard Border would have a devastating impact North and South

Donald Trump and Steve Bannon:  “That chilling prospect concerning migration should focus attention on the group of ‘alternative right’ ideologues Trump has gathered around him.” Photograph:  Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

New US administration is determined to use its power to fight for what it believes in

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban:  like other right-wing populist leaders, he is skilled     at targeting refugees and blaming social ills on immigration. Photograph: Laszlo Balogh/Reuters

With populism on the rise and social-media platforms enabling incendiary comment, restoring media ethics of accuracy and impartial(...)

Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon: cited as blaming globalism, multilateral institutions like the EU, Davos and multiculturalism for undermining national communities and Judeo-Christian values. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Universal values along with social solidarities may offer bulwark to Trump

European Commission chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier: Some critics have misinterpreted his Gaullism. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

We should eschew a bilateral agreement with the UK for the time being

‘President Barack Obama’s admirers  emphasise the dignity, grace, restraint and moderation with which he exercised power as the first black president.’ Photograph: Patrick Hamilton/G20 Australia via Getty Images

Greatest material legacy may be his rescue of US capitalism from the 2008 recession

Donald Trump and Nigel Farage: “Would Ireland rather go with a ‘Brexited’ UK and a ‘Trumped’ US towards a reinforced neoliberal future?” Photograph: Nigel Farage/PA Wire

Neoliberal path puts us at risk of going in the same direction as UK and US

 EU Council president Donald Tusk: “In my opinion, the only alternative to a hard Brexit is no Brexit.” Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

Growing realisation that the fundamental principles underlying the EU are at risk

 Donald Trump speaks  in Sarasota, Florida, on the day before the US election. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty

Donald Trump’s foreign policy priorities will change the international order

A Tunisian woman shows her ink-stained finger after voting in the country’s first post-revolution election. Photograph: Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images

Negative media images of Arab world and north Africa must be counteracted

Death in Aleppo: Response to Syrian conflict needs much more informed and constructive international debate, especially in a Europe that bears many of the actual and potential consequences. Photograph: Reuters

Big states see EU as just another multilateral forum to pursue national goals

‘Donald Trump’s strategy is to mobilise key sectors of the Republican electorate more effectively than before.’ Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s campaigns rely on mobilising core supporters

Lost legitimacy? Demonstrators burn an EU flag on a  march against austerity policies in Athens, Greece,  in 2010. Photograph: Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

James Wickham’s analysis of the EU’s response to economic crisis since 2008 concludes that ‘only a social Europe can rescue Europe(...)

“For the UK to concede a separate deal for Northern Ireland with Brussels would endanger Westminster sovereignty, notwithstanding Theresa May’s undertaking to involve the UK’s three devolved territories in the Brexit negotiations.” Illustration: The Irish Times

Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales could all have separate relationships with the EU similar to Flanders and Wallonia

The last couple of years have seen a growing revolt against the negative consequence  of globalisation by populist movements of the right and left in Europe and the US.

Worldview: Response to Apple tax claim must reflect the changing global mood

A range of business and academic figures defend technological innovation as historically precedented and socially progressive. Photograph: Getty Images

‘He draws on recent dystopian business literature predicting imminent loss of jobs to machines, which talks of 47 per cent of US j(...)

Bernie Sanders achieved remarkable support in the Democratic primaries from young Americans convinced his social democratic message can help overcome the closing off of mobility in their society.  (Josh Haner/The New York Times)

Its not as simple as the young and poor versus the rich and the old

Kenny and Martin comment on border poll are welcomed as a stimulus for debate

A woman from the remote Turkana tribe in Northern Kenya carries water from a well. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Women must be centrally involved if sustainable development goals are to be achieved

The British state itself looks less secure after this result. Scottish independence is once more put on the agenda. Photograph: Getty Images

Paul Gillespie: Britain’s Imperial legacy writ large via links with rest of world

A mural  on a derelict building shows  US presidential hopeful Donald Trump sharing a kiss with former London Mayor Boris Johnson. Photograph:  Matt Cardy/Getty Images

‘Boris Johnson’s vision has been denounced more for its false analogies with Hitler and Napoleon on European unity than for its un(...)

Naomi Klein: the commitment to perpetual growth is incompatible with planetary limits. Photograph: Getty Images

Paul Gillespie: ‘These are big, bold and challenging ideas with a significant and informed following in Ireland’

President Barack Obama walks down the steps of Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base after returning from a foreign trip to Saudi Arabia, England and Germany. Photograph: AP/Susan Walsh

President says US leadership and agenda-setting is expected wherever he goes

Tahrir Square in Ciaro on February 1, 2011. Most 18-29-year-olds in the region have disengaged from politics after the uprisings. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

There are more young people in the Middle East than ever before, and many feel ignored

An image of Sackville Street (now O’Connell St) and the River Liffey at Eden Quay. Photograph: PA/PA Wire

Counterfactual speculation about the timing of the Rising puts 1916 into its proper international context as a huge stimulus of po(...)

The reality that Britain will not join the euro means Ireland can no longer share a path with it but must adjust to a Europe dominated by German rules. EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

A comparison with three Nordic countries indicates that an intellectual failure to think originally was behind the Irish system’s (...)

The recent negotiations between the UK and the EU were highly centralised, with little or no specific Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish input. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/Getty Images.

It is helpful to read the UK referendum on leaving the EU through a Scottish lens

The mother of a killed Ukrainian journalist (unidentified) holds a candle and a sign reading ‘’Impunity kills’ during a memorial rally to mark the 13th anniversary of Ukrainian journalist Georgy Gongadze’s murder at the Independence square in Kiev on September 16, 2013

The space for civil society is shrinking as states use the threat of terrorism and the need for security to restrict the journalis(...)

The principle German security fear is of a France ruled by Marine Le Pen.” Photgraph: Denis Charlet/AFP/Getty Images

Concern that Le Pen, Wilders, and other right-wing populists will be inspired to seek similar outcomes

It would be a symbolic move, helping to put international pressure on the Israelis and could usefully be debated in the general el(...)

A good year for scientific research in Ireland: Donegal-born William Campbell received the Nobel prize for physiology or medicine.Photograph: EPA/CJ Gunther

The euro zone crisis politically entangles Irish, German, Greek, and Spanish citizens

Costumed activists demonstrate near the Eiffel Tower during the COP21, the United Nations Climate Change Conference. AP Photo/Matt Dunham

Radical critics see real opportunities for protests and social movement action against governments and fossil fuel industries

Arlene Foster: “We are part of the UK as a nation-state. Whatever it decides it decides”.  Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The main question is just how bad the impact would be, whether on the border, economics and trade or higher education.

Further external interventions would provoke deeper regional upheavals and send more refugees and instability towards Europe.  ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images

Federal state with power sharing most convincing solution

‘A 2012 Eurobarometer survey found 40 per cent of Irish people were able to hold a conversation in at least one foreign language, compared to an EU average of 54 per cent.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Ireland is the only European state where a foreign language is not a compulsory part of the primary, secondary or third level curr(...)

British prime minister David Cameron must  spell out the  major fields of EU reform he seeks. Photograph: Carl Court/Getty Images

The referendum on UK membership will be a rollercoaster ride with long-term implications

The leaders of Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia sign  the peace agreement on Bosnia in  December 1995 whilst world leaders look on. Photo: Getty.

US brokered deal was imperfect and based on exhaustion and impasse rather than justice. But it stabilised the region

A  child sits in front of other migrants waiting for the lunch offered to them for the celebration of Eid-al-Adha in the village of Miratovac, south Serbia. Photograph: Hazir Reka/Reuters

Deeper engagement with fragile states is required as population pressures increase

‘Juncker’s initiative seeks to wrest power back to the Commission by invoking European values and citizenship norms. His argument that these values express the preferences of most Europeans echoes voices of leadership from other leaders such as Angela Merkel (above) and seems to resonate strongly with changing public opinion throughout the continent.’ Photograph:  Sean Gallup/Getty Images

“The time when the old cannot yet die and the new cannot yet emerge are the times of monsters” – like the existing EU system

Xi Jinping, China’s president,  makes the point that while China may look like a colossus to outsiders, its development is in fact highly uneven and on average its income remains a fraction of that in the more developed world. Photograph: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

‘Much of the world’s future will depend on how this transition happens and how it is organised’

 A dinghy overcrowded with Syrian migrants approaches a beach on the Greek island of Kos this week after crossing a part of the Aegean sea from Turkey to Greece. Photograph: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images

‘US and British governments were unable to intervene decisively because of hostile public opinion after Iraq and Afghanistan’

Michael D Higgins: “We need to confront the hegemonic ethic of individualism and insatiable consumption at the roots of our behaviour and replace it with a new thinking”. The President was speaking at  the Consciouness Summit in Paris.  Photograph: EPA/ETIENNE LAURENT

‘Nineteen per cent of the world’s richest populations is responsible for 73 per cent of carbon output’

Bail-out, bail twine ... the Greek flag is bound up with a parcel string to illustrate ‘bailout package” in Kaufbeuren, Germany. Photograph: EPA/Karl-Josef Hildenbrand.

Too soon to see in Greek ‘surrender’ an historical turning point

UK Labour Party  ‘still in deep shock after its defeat and the UK’s future figures little in its current leadership contest’ ....   contender Andy Burnham (right) speaks as fellow contenders  listen during a hustings Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Scotland and EU debates open up federalising challenges, but no-one’s biting ...

‘On a high  turnout Turkish voters  endorsed a political alternative by bringing a new Kurdish-based party into parliament on a multicultural programme, thereby depriving Erdogan’s party of its governing majority.’ Above, officials count votes after the close of voting in Diyarbakir, Turkey.  Photograph: EPA/SEDAT SUNA

‘If Greece were to face economic collapse, and exit from the euro zone or even from the EU after the failure of these talks, the i(...)

‘Wellington was born Arthur Wesley (later changed to Wellesley) in what is now the Merrion hotel, Dublin, in 1769. His family were gentry near Trim in Co Meath, having inherited land there.’ Photograph:  Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Wellington remained proud of his Irish heritage: in 1807-09, he first voiced his opposition to the penal laws against Catholics

‘This contradictory aspect of equality led Karl Marx (above) to argue, when criticising the Gotha programme adopted by the German Workers’ Party in 1875, that the equal rights it proclaimed were in fact constrained by their emergence in capitalist society judged by the amount of labour they supply.’ Photograph:  Henry Guttmann/Getty Images

‘Various political philosophies have struggled with the issue of how to reconcile definitions of equality as identity with the hum(...)

‘Robert Schuman’s declaration 65 years ago today proposed the pooling of French and German coal and steel production so as to make any future war between them “not merely unthinkable, but materially impossible”.’ Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Has EU become more a museum than a laboratory of change?

‘SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has been the star performer in television debates, even among English voters.’ Above,  Sturgeon speaks at the launch of the Scottish National Party (SNP) election manifesto in Edinburgh on April 20th. Photograph:  Lesley Martin/AFP/Getty Images

Paul Gillespie: Scottish issue becomes toxic in British election debate

Restrictions on  domestic water use have been introduced in California, but their impact is limited as the state’s  agriculture industry uses 80 per cent of its water.  Photograph: Michael Nelson/EPA

Planet could be facing a 40 per cent water shortfall by 2030, says Unesco

‘The AIIB will address the need for investment in Asian transport, energy and telecommunications.’ Jin Liqun (left), Secretary-General of the Multilateral Interim Secretariat for Establishing Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, talks to Khalid A Al-Falih, President and CEO of Saudi Arabian Oil Company, during the China Development Forum  in Beijing this week. Photograph:  EPA/ROLEX DELA PENA

‘Failure to stop allies joining Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a substantial political setback for Washington’

“ ‘We are not seeking a grand bargain’, said John Kerry in Riyadh after his nuclear talks with Iranian ministers in Switzerland.”  Photograph: REUTERS/Brian Snyder

US President would be helped along if Netanyahu loses next week’s Israeli elections, as now looks possible

‘While the single currency needs to be strengthened, this may not be politically feasible. Macroeconomists such as Yanis Varoufakis bring a new politics to bear on this question.’ Photograph: Yorgos Karahalis/Bloomberg

‘The success of macroeconomists such as Varoufakis will be judged by the precedents they set in inspiring others over that longer (...)

‘Angela Merkel has seemed this week to be deeply informed by the realist school of international relations when she repeatedly insisted there is no military solution to that conflict but only a political and diplomatic one.’ Above, German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at the presidential residence in Minsk on February 11th. AFP PHOTO /HO / PRESIDENTIAL PRESS-SERVICE/ MYKOLA LAZARENKO

Merkel is correct: it would be illogical to arm Ukraine without being willing to go to war

‘Other governments will recognise the imperative to fulfil a democratic mandate. They may also understand Tsipras’s argument that the alternative to dealing with radical left governments is to deal with far right ones.’ above, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (front row centre) and members of his government after the first meeting of the new cabinet in the parliament building in Athens. Photograph: REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

Alexis Tsipras’s European internationalism can be a material factor if it encourages support for similar policies in forthcoming S(...)

 British prime minister David Cameron and Taoiseach Enda Kenny at Stormont House with Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers, Tánaiste Joan Burton and Minister of State Seán Sherlock. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

The East-West dynamic was clearly visible in the just-concluded Northern negotiations

‘Water becomes a symbol of more general disenchantment with the political system and how it works.’ Above, an anti water charges protest march, in O’Connell Street, Dublin, earlier this year. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

‘Compared to the scale and intensity of protest movements in Greece, Iceland, Spain, Italy or France the Irish ones have undoubted(...)

‘Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian profile has been sharply ratcheted up this year, pursuing critics and opponents into an expanding gulag of political prisons.’  Above, Putin addresses the Federal Assembly, at the Kremlin in Moscow, this week. Photograph: Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

World View: It seems better to preserve an analytical detachment, rather than plumping for either camp on the assumption that a ne(...)

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones

Opinion: Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones proposed a constitutional convention on the UK’s future

‘Led by Pablo Iglesias,  Podemus draws substantial support from the young unemployed, precariat graduates, participants in the associated Indignados social movement and from a much wider constituency disgusted with the corruption scandals afflicting the two main parties.’   Photograph: REUTERS/Andrea Comas

Opinion: ‘According to economist Guy Standing, this precariat is recruited from working class, migrants, ethnic minorities and the(...)

A convoy of East German cars queue up at Unter den Linden avenue in East Berlin before crossing the border line under the Brandenburg Gate into West Berlin as a result of the opening of the Berlin Wall on November 11th, 1989. Photograph: Derrick Ceyrac/AFP/ Getty Images

What have been the consequences of German unification for Europe and the world?

 ‘The Scottish referendum campaign on independence hardened public support for all powers of taxation and spending to be held there, with only foreign affairs and defence exercised through Westminster.’ Photograph: Mike Wilkinson/Bloomberg News

Opinion: Government and peoples must choose how to deliver on promise of deeper devolution to Scotland and whether to withdraw fro(...)

‘Most of the two to four million irregular migrants in Europe have lost their documented status because of exploitation, administrative delays or misinformation rather than because they have broken any law.’ Above, migrants arriving at Porto Empedocle in Sicily after being rescued approximately  40km off the Libyian coast by a Dutch freighter the Dinteldijk. Photograph: Frank Miller / The Irish Times

Opinion: ‘Recent moves in some EU member-states to criminalise those who help refugees make matters worse’

‘Other voices in this debate are more optimistic about the corporate, market and technological means of change even if equally convinced there is only 15-20 years to execute it.’ The rally against climate change in Times Square, New York, last weekend. Photograph: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

Opinion: Politics must be reinvented to cope with the pace of global warming

‘The main question at issue in next Thursday’s referendum  is whether voters decide that statehood is a necessary step towards that condition or whether it can be achieved by radically reconfiguring the UK after a No vote.’ Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Opinion: Scottish political scientist Michael Keating uses term ‘post-sovereign’ to describe the emergent political and social con(...)

“Do more with less. Not just now but permanently”. This message from David Cameron was delivered in his speech to the Lord Mayor’s banquet in the City of London last November. It articulates a common theme among conservative leaders throughout Europe.   Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters

Opinion: Mark Blyth calls on the ECB to provide a credit line for 80 per cent of the EU’s taxpayers to kickstart growth

Supporters of outgoing Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki carry his pictures during a demonstration in central Baghdad, this week. Photograph: Ali Abbas/EPA

Opinion: ‘Grand bargain’ dismissed by Bush administration in the euphoria of the invasion

‘Anyone attending  a conference– and many do as part of their professional careers – must select ruthlessly what to attend based on their specialisms, interests and curiosities, as well as finding time to network and explore wherever they are held. Presenter

Opinion: Food for thought: from Hirschman to Scott

Under the Obama administration, US policy has rebalanced or pivoted towards Asia.

Opinion: For the most part, European states have no security presence in Asia

Thirty-nine per of  Irish people would choose other  European countries in which to start a new life. Photographer: Dara MacDonaill

Opinion: Just 19 per cent of Irish people would choose Ireland

‘In Turkey, prime minister Erdogan has increasingly antagonised opponents by his growing authoritarianism and intolerance, where his Islamist party once seemed able to court such alliances.’ Above,  a protest against the visit of  Erdogan in Vienna this week. Georg Hochmuth/EPA

Opinion: US military reintervention would deepen existing divisions

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin  and China’s President Xi Jinping attended a signing ceremony last month. Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom  earlier signed a long-awaited gas supply agreement with China. Photograph: Reuters/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Opinion: We now have a Russian pivot to Asia in the form of a gas deal signed by Vladimir Putin on a visit to Beijing

‘Spain, Portugal or Ireland don’t have parties like our neighbouring Ukip. It will have difficulty forging alliances with the National Front in France,  or with the Dutch Vlaams Bloc.’ Above,  National Front party leader Marine Le Pen at a campaign rally prior to the  European Parliament elections. Photograph: Jean-Paul Pelissier Reuters

Opinion: Turnout change is the key thing to watch

 ‘Thomas Piketty and a group of French academics propose that a common tax base must be agreed in the euro zone along with a fiscal capacity, debt mutualisation and much deeper political integration to provide democratic accountability.’ Photograph: Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images

Opinion: How can the EU become more effective?

‘Ottmar Edenhofer said tackling climate change requires an urgent move away from “business as usual”.’ Photograph: Steffi Loos/Reuters

World View: Inequality is built into consumption globally as well as nationally

‘Thomas Piketty   believes  equality must be promoted politically if democracies are to protect themselves from oligarchical rule.’ Photograph: Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images

World View: Piketty warns of swing towards oligarchy

Scotland First Minister Alex Salmond holds a public discussion on Scottish independence at the Volunteer Rooms in Irvine, Scotland.

Outcome of two key referendums will shape future British- Irish relations

‘Observers noted a sharper edge to US diplomacy over Ukraine. It reflects an impatience with European caution about sanctions on Russia and a realisation that the US has less to lose.’ Photograph: Zurab Kurtsikidze/EPA

World View: Declining European military spending is a longer-standing US complaint

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