Politics

Dear Secretary-General, In the coming weeks negotiations to finalise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for eradicating poverty will begin. We urge you to champion the cause of economic growth as the foundation stone for achieving long term poverty reduction. No country has succeeded in significantly reducing poverty without sustained economic growth. The current SDG proposals list a wide variety of noble ambitions including securing food, health, education, and energy. Yet, poor attainment in these areas is in large measure a consequence of poverty and a lack of growth. There is a risk that presenting the SDGs as if they could be directly delivered by public action inadvertently casts ordinary people in the passive role of recipients of government largesse. Without...
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Dear friends, In the past two months we have all been in a turbulence of violence, uncertainty, and clash of values and beliefs. After 14 years of rockets falling on civilian communities, on men, women, and children, the Israeli Government decided to act. Whether the actions were the right ones, and whether the rockets will stop – we are still in the midst of the operation and only time will tell. But, I have decided to write to you now, so you can feel a little bit of what we feel here. I was drafted on the first day of Operation Protective Edge. At 19:00 in the evening, I got home, put all the gear in my usual Miluuim backpack, gave a big hug to my wife and two children, and started my way towards my unit which sits in the center of Israel. After a night of gearing up and making...
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Dear Nashville mayoral candidates: First, congratulations on your decision to run for mayor. Nashville needs strong, decisive, effective leadership to continue the great momentum our city currently has. I look forward to learning more about the issues you feel are important and your identified priorities. With the recent announcement from Mayor Dean not to pursue funding for the Amp in the last year of his term, I am interested in your thoughts on whether the city should continue expending dollars for planning, design and public relations on this project or if we should step back until new leadership is in place to review the entire mass transit plan. Here is a brief history to get you up to date: First, in June 2013, the Metro Council authorized the appropriation of up to $7.5...
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Dear Sen. Paul, We agree with you that Congress should obey the Constitution. We should never engage in foreign wars without a congressional declaration of war, a restraint on military action put in place by our Founding Fathers to ensure lawmakers never send our troops to war without deliberation. But a constitutional war in the Middle East is just as bloody, destructive, and likely to incite terrorism as an unconstitutional war. Our half-century of interventions in the Middle East have been a colossal failure. We have provided arms, military training, and subsidies to virtually every country in the region, inciting continual war and unrest. This has created a breeding ground for international terrorists that pose a real danger to our country and the world — one that would not...
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Dear Mr. President, First, I wish to express my deep condolences over the killing of innocent citizens in the recent terror attacks in Paris. Second, I want to apologize to Your Excellency for not revealing my true identity. After you read my letter, you will realize why people like me are afraid to reveal their real identity. I decided to write to you this letter after hearing my president, Mahmoud Abbas, declare that you had invited him to attend the anti-terror rally in Paris earlier this week. Like many Palestinians, I see President Abbas's participation in a rally against terrorism and assaults on freedom of speech as an act of hypocrisy -- a condition that is not alien to Palestinian Authority leaders. In fact, many Palestinians nearly fell off their chairs upon...
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Dear Mr Dmitry, The military exercises Zapad-2009 are being carried out in our country now. More than 6000 Russian soldiers take part in them. It’s the first time in the history of independent Belarus when the country meets such amount of foreign soldiers. The objective of the exercises is training to repel a possible military aggression from the West. In our view, presence of such amount of Russian soldiers in Belarus is inadmissible and may be a threat to our country's independence. You often say in your speeches that your aim is creating a new Russia. You also warn not to repeat the tragic mistakes of the past. However, we see that Russia’s policy towards our country hasn’t changed for many centuries. Neither Russian tsars, nor Bolsheviks regarded our country as an...
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Dear Ms. Arbour, As representatives of non-governmental human rights organizations engaged in combating racism, discrimination and xenophobia, we feel obliged to strongly support the report and recommendations of Mr. Doudou Diène, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, devoted to the Russian Federation and presented on 11 June 2007 at the Fifth Session of the UN Human Rights Council in accordance with the UN General Assembly Resolution No. 60/251 from 15 March 2006. Mr. Diène visited the Russian Federation in June 2006 and drafted the aforementioned report in large part on the basis of information and testimony collected during his visit. In the course of preparing for this mission, Mr. Diène had a...
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Dear Mr David Granger, I am confident that the situation around the amendment to the Anti Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Bill in Guyana has not only been on the front burner of the local political agenda, but it has captured the attention of countries around the region and the world. Largely, this is due to the fact that the issue of anti money laundering is of concern to many developed countries. The issue has been actively discussed at the G8 Summit at Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, in June 2013 and the G20 Summit in St Petersburg, Russia, in September 2013. From July 1, 2013 the Russian Federation has been presiding at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Our country strongly upholds efforts of the organisation aimed at effective...
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Dear Real-Life Russian Spies That Recently Got Busted: Seriously, guys (and hot red-headed chick)? Really? This is how you represent your craft? The long and time-honored tradition of international espionage? Well, I'll be the first to say it. It is utterly unacceptable. First of all, you got caught. You're SPIES, man! Although I've never actually seen a spy handbook, I'm pretty sure the No. 1 rule is don't get caught. And I'm assuming the No. 2 rule is that if you do get caught, you're supposed to swallow a cyanide pill to protect your secrets. But NO! Not you guys. You got busted, and now all your mugs and information are all over the news. Not to mention, you spent time sitting in jail cells like a bunch of schlubs. I mean, come on, guys (and hot, red-headed chick). You...
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Dear Mr. President, We know you've done us a lot of favors lately, after getting off to a slow start. The repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the call for the Boy Scouts to admit gay troops, all those gay ambassadors you've named. Once you finally evolved on marriage equality, you became an eloquent supporter and have been made it clear that the federal government recognizes same-sex marriages now that DOMA is gone. But here's the thing about evolution: it doesn't end. (Although in the case of the GOP, the trend may be in the opposite direction. But that's another story.) And that's why it's time to take on your toughest challenge yet: letting Russia — and in particular your counterpart, Vladimir Putin — know that the U.S. won't tolerate its attacks on the LGBT community, Russia is...
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