FROM John McArthur
Should Western Values Be a Condition of Foreign Aid? Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has broad support in Uganda for a new law imposing sentences up to life in prison for homosexual acts. Nigeria and many other sub-Saharan nations also have anti-gay laws. Such harsh anti-gay laws in African countries have the US and other donors threatening to reduce foreign aid. Norway, Denmark and the World Bank have withheld or diverted some $110 million in aid. President Obama says the US is "reviewing ties." Is it right to withhold food and medicine based on acceptance of western values? Will attaching strings to foreign aid make targeted leaders stronger than ever? Will African soldiers continue to protect western interests? Finally, does aid do more harm than good by making nations dependent? Would the money be better spent to help them help themselves?
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?