The crew here at Worldcrunch is busy scouring the best foreign-language journalism in search of untold local stories and points of view from different countries: like this German story from deep in Bavaria or a Chinese op-ed about China's Olympic performance. Sometimes, though, it's also useful to zoom back out, and weave together the whole world in 800 words or less. For that, we know we can always rely on the brain power and prose of Les Echos columnist Dominique Moïsi, a French master-connecter of the global dots.
This latest piece looks back on what appears to be a chain of seemingly unrelated (bad) events, from the July 14 terror attack in Nice, France, to the interests of Turkey and Russia (re)aligning in Syria, to ever uglier rhetoric from the Republican nominee for the White House — and back around to an almost surreal debate in France over what Muslim women wear to the beach. "What the summer of 2016 has shown is how bad we've become at seeing the world's bigger challenges," Moïsi writes. "While some issues are sensationalized, many others go underreported. It's a dangerous mix of ignorance and indifference."
The G20 conference currently being hosted by China in Hangzhou would, in theory, be a chance for world leaders themselves to try to do some connecting of the dots. The annual gathering, after all, accounts for two-thirds of the world population and 85% of global GDP. Though attention is inevitably devoted to things like ice cream and missing red carpets, and binding agreements across the 19 country members (and the European Union) are rare, it does force world leaders to both think more broadly, as well as sit down for some urgent bilateral talks.
Moïsi ends his piece with a whiff of post-summer optimism, imagining how a chain of events could be triggered in the right direction. It all begins, naturellement, in November â€¦ with a resounding defeat of Donald Trump.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY
- Labor Day in the U.S.
- G20 summit in Hangzhou wraps up.
- British MPs to discuss Brexit, after petition for a second referendum triggers debate.