The common response to yet another mass shooting caused by a young gunman is the usual polemic about the right to keep and bear arms in the United States. But it is a reductive view that does not take into account all the factors involved. What emerges is the deep despair in the perpetrators of these massacres, a lack of meaning that drives them to death. This should be the starting point for reflection.
Monkeypox, an extremely rare disease, is hogging the headlines. Smallpox has been eradicated since 1980. A new vaccine, in case of its deliberate spread (i.e. biological warfare) was announced in 2019. Monkeypox is one of many zoonoses and cases are few. Why the alarm?
While the most recurrent question in the media concerns China's intentions, the arrest of 90-year-old Cardinal Zen poses a serious embarrassment for the Holy See, whose first reaction is predominant silence. At stake is the renewal of the secret agreement with China for the appointment of bishops, but it would be a disaster if the freedom of a cardinal and of the Church were sacrificed for this.
With Russia on one hand, the EU and the USA on the other, a fierce conflict has commenced which damages all parties involved, but a group of countries is emerging whose primary interest is to insist that this conflict end: Turkey, Brazil and India, who fear a new world recession and the reinforcement of China, provoked by the conflict between the two blocks.
For over a year, Britain has been planning rules and measures to stop illegal immigration and has signed a special agreement to this effect with the Rwandan government. Criticism immediately poured in from France, Amnesty International, and UNHCR, the UN refugee agency. And yet the real problem to be solved does not feature among any of those alleged.
More weapons to Ukraine, more stoking the fire of war, while Russia warns of the risk of World War III. Everyone is excited about the war, talking about negotiations and peace has become taboo. An alternative is possible, but that requires will, and the Ukrainian government must also play its part.
Emmanuel Macron is the second French President to win re-election. For political scientist Alexandre Del Valle, it was the support of the media and big business that counted. Le Pen's failed electoral campaign, which was over "normalised", also took its toll, as did the decisive contribution of the extreme left-wing voters who had voted for Mélenchon in the first round. And the Islamic vote counted, too. But what if Le Pen had won? "It would have been considerably more complicated for her to govern than it was for Trump"
In view of the decisive vote on 24 April, the Association of Catholic Families of France compared the two presidential candidates. Le Pen's ideas only come close to the non-negotiable principles in a few cases, but on the whole (from her No to euthanasia and cannabis to her Yes to educational freedom) they are more reassuring than Macron's.
The Northern Ireland Assembly is up for renewal on May 5, but the two main nationalist parties, Sinn Féin and SDLP, have already turned their backs on Catholics: they not only support abortion and gay marriage, but are in favor of a law that promotes state schools penalising Catholic schools. Yet, the number of those electing not to vote is on the increase.
Catholics too are fascinated by the opposing ideal motivations of the war in Ukraine: Western values of freedom against Russian totalitarianism, or the struggle of a Russian Christian leader against the New World Order. But it is neither; the reality is much more down to earth...
Biden has made too many inappropriate affirmations regarding Putin for them to be attributed exclusively to his lack of diplomacy: it seems their objective is to purposely irritate Moscow, distancing the moment of possible negotiations and therefore risking the acceleration of a potential conflict which threatens to involve Europe. Once again, the divergence of interests which separates the USA from Europe is emerging, together with the revelation of the mediocrity of the EU governing class, apparently willing to permit itself to be placed under outside management.
While Russian military operations in Ukraine are proceeding, Mariupol is about to fall, and pressure is high across the east of the country, the flow of gas to Europe is steady and orders are even increasing. The EU countries are engaged in economic warfare against Russian aggression, but they continue to buy gas from Moscow and expose themselves to economic reprisals.