Weekend Roundup: Double Barrel Game-Changing Events — A Civilian Plane Shot Down Over Ukraine and The BRICS’ Alternative to The World Bank and IMF


Nathan Gardels is the editor-in-chief of Noema Magazine.

As the cyclical violence in the Middle East continued with an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza, two game-changing events happened elsewhere. If the suspicions that the Malaysian airliner was shot down over eastern Ukraine by Russian-supplied rebels prove correct, the implications are vast for Russia’s relations with the West, and in particular Europe and NATO. The founding of the new BRICS Development Bank to rival the World Bank and IMF — mostly capitalized by China and based in Shanghai — marks the beginning of a major shift away from Western dominance of the global financial order.

Writing from Kiev as the world awaits a verdict on who shot down the Malaysian airliner, Ukrainian Parliament Member Olga Belkova charges Vladimir Putin with playing a double game with conciliatory words while he continues to support pro-Russian separatists. Parag Khanna sees the new BRICS bank as the cornerstone of an alternative world order.

WorldPost Middle East Correspondent Sophia Jones reports from the frontlines in Gaza and Jerusalem on the human impact of that endless conflict. French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy worries about the anti-Semitic tone when opposition to Israel’s action in Gaza conflates Israel and the Jews.

The rift between the U.S. and Germany over spying has further escalated this week with the exposure of another U.S. double agent. Former German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and his colleague Lothar Determann look at the larger issues of surveillance, sovereignty and privacy in the digital age. Yale Professor Bruce Ackerman warns that the close post-war alliances between the U.S., Germany and Japan are unraveling.

Young-hie Kim writes from Seoul that the current “honeymoon” between China and South Korea is worrisome if it goes too far and alienates Japan and the United States. The editorial board of the popular Shanghai website, Guancha, mocks the recent intervention of Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong, in current Hong Kong affairs.

On the refugee front, Alex Nowrasteh points out that child migrants are not fleeing to the U.S. from Nicaragua because gangs, drug and violent crime are at very low levels in that country once at war with the U.S. Actress Keira Knightley draws attention to the recurrent plight of refugees in camps in South Sudan.

Chetan Bhagat, India’s most famous English-language blogger, who is also a screenwriter, writes from Kolkata about his effort to change the country’s course with his columns, novels and screenplays.

In an interview with The WorldPost, Bill Gates’ “guru” Vaclav Smil — who says he never blogs and doesn’t have a cell phone — argues that more efficient new technologies actually increase, instead of decrease, the consumption of energy and resources.

Finally, UNICEF’s Olav Kjorven reflects on his recent visit to a Shinto shrine in Japan and the critical importance of “spiritual capital” to development.


EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Senior Advisor to the Berggruen Institute on Governance and the long-time editor of NPQ and the Global Viewpoint Network of the Los Angeles Times Syndicate/Tribune Media, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Senior Editor of the WorldPost. Alex Gardels is the Associate Editor of The WorldPost. Nicholas Sabloff is the Executive International Editor at the Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s 10 international editions. Eline Gordts is HuffPost’s World Editor.

CORRESPONDENTS: Sophia Jones in Istanbul; Matt Sheehan in Beijing.

EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media) Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera), Dileep Padgaonkar (Times of India) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun). Sergio Munoz Bata is Contributing Editor-At-Large.

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy) and Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review). Katherine Keating (One-On-One) and Jehangir Pocha (NewsX India) .

The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea.

Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine.

ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as the Advisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail, and Zheng Bijian.

From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt.


The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets.

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