This could so easily have been the best news story in a year when the world seems especially fraught with conflict and misery. The two main signatories of a historic agreement to end the longest war in the western hemisphere, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC rebel leader Rodrigo Londoño, were even being tipped for the Nobel Peace Prize (Santos has since won the award, for his efforts).
Then came the result of the plebiscite on the peace accord – and the devastating realization that 50.2 per cent of Colombian voters had ticked the ‘NO’ box. Our Big Story for this month looks at what happens now to Colombia’s tortuous peace process – and finds reason for hope.
We also pick over two subjects that are in and out of the news with some regularity. The first is the question of a universal basic income – usually seen as ‘a good thing’ on the Left. But is there a destructive agenda at work behind its championing by sections of the Right? And then there’s PrEP, the medication that could drastically cut HIV transmission. Should it be readily available and publicly funded? And for whom?
There’s much more besides – a frontline report from Burma’s drug crisis, the views of Dutch physicians who perform euthanasia, and a fascinating exploration of why commercial competition almost always does a disservice to technical innovation. Lively thinking in sober prose.
Vanessa Baird & Dinyar Godrej for the New Internationalist co-operative.
Britain’s long-term commitment to nuclear disarmament has been wobbly at best, but things might have to change soon, writes Kjølv Egeland.