Atle Hetland

  • Most of the time, politics and elections in Europe are quite orderly and safe as compared to many other parts of the world, where elections sometimes aren’t really elections, but a varnish covering up heavy-handed and unequal policies. In Europe, election frauds and counting inaccuracies are ...

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  • Sweden just had its general election on 11 September, and the two blocs, the social democratic left and the more conservative right became almost equal, as they often do in Swedish elections. The ‘predicted surprise’ was that the populist right-wing party, the Sweden Democrats (SD), ...

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  • Queen Elizabeth II passed away at 96, two years after her husband for 77 years, Prince Philip, who died at 99. When the Queen ascended to the throne in 1952, 70 years ago, she was not only the head of state of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, but dozens of colonies in what was then ...

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  • Mikhail Gorbachev (1931-2022) passed away this week at the age of 91. He was the last president of the Soviet Union, resigning in 1991. He is considered one of the world’s topmost leaders of the 20th century. He led the Soviet Union through a peaceful ‘glasnost’ and ‘perestroika’ so that ...

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  • As the world changes, politics and thinking must change, at home and abroad, in practical ways and in the way we think. We are today at the crossroads in so many fields, especially in Europe, where there is a broad existential crisis and a need for a renewal in politics, culture, economics, ...

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  • It is easy to criticise other people; we all do it and to some, it has become a pass time, not really with any purpose. We like to criticise people in power, too, such as politicians, not always knowing quite knowing enough about the policies and actions in question, and alternatives that they ...

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  • In today’s article, I shall emphasise the importance of imagination and creativity in education. I shall use two persons as models, Albert Einstein (1879-1955), the famous theoretical physicist from Germany who became a refugee in America, and Haakon Ellingsen (b. 2004), the founder and CEO of ...

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  • In a few articles during the school holidays, I have discussed education issues. I have suggested that we should make basic education for all by sharing the resources we have, and we should change the content to focus on values and the children’s interests, not an overcrowded curriculum. The ...

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  • The term ‘inclusive education’ became more commonly used some twenty years ago, although it had been used earlier, from the mid-seventies concerning special education. We didn’t quite know at first if the noun should be ‘inclusivity’ or ‘inclusiveness’, but after a while settled for ...

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  • Debates about education and learning are never-ending issues, also now during school holidays. Education commissions, specialists, and politicians talk about what we should do. Alas, they rarely come up with alternatives and exciting ideas, just more of the same. Today, I shall draw attention to ...

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  • It is holiday time for many now in July, including school children and youth at colleges and universities. Many would not like to think about studies and homework at such a time, while others, students, teachers, parents, and policymakers, would have time to read my article precisely because it is ...

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  • When change is required, as it always is, since we have never reached the ultimate lasting situation, it is essential that we first analyse and make up our minds. In the title of the article, I say that we must have our priorities right, define the goals and aims, strategise, and keep at it, seeing ...

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  • Last week, when the Norwegians held a fairytale celebration of Princess Ingrid Alexandra’s 18th birthday and her age of majority, it was an elegant event for the young woman to become head of state. The royal family in the country is down-to-earth and quite ordinary, yet, with unordinary ...

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  • A political system in a country is influenced by and embedded in the country’s political culture. Political culture is the broad set of values and ways in politics. Many times, these are based on traditions, beliefs, attitudes, and other things that form the overall culture or cultures in a ...

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  • The World Economic Forum (WEF) held its annual meeting from 22-26 May this year, instead of at the usual time at the end of January, when the tourist resort is a fairytale with snow and ice, long moonlit nights, short sunny days, or perhaps more snowfall. Indoors, after a dip in the pool and a ...

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  • A few days ago, I had the opportunity to talk with two young men from Ukraine in Islamabad, one a doctor and the other still a student. They said that they wanted to return to Ukraine because the situation had improved in their hometown. Besides, the doctor’s wife wanted to go home soon, showing ...

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  • A few days ago, I had the opportunity to talk with two young men from Ukraine in Islamabad, one a doctor and the other still a student. They said that they wanted to return to Ukraine because the situation had improved in their hometown. Besides, the doctor’s wife wanted to go home soon, showing ...

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  • The highly respected American philosopher and thinker on political, social, and economic issues, Francis Fukuyama, 69, at Stanford University in the US, is a neo-liberal, yet, he is quite leftist on economic issues and centrist, even towards the right, on social issues. He became famous when he in ...

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  • In my article today, I shall present a short history of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, also called the North Atlantic Alliance. It is talked about alot nowadays, not the least related to the Russian War in Ukraine, and in our region, also related to Afghanistan and Iraq. It is the ...

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  • War is never good. War is never fair. War never solves any problem. War is never holy, or is it? History is full of such wars, but if we look closer at them, they are about power, land, oceans, resources, wealth and riches, and the right to rule and control, collect taxes, and more. Ethnic ...

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  • There is good news from Europe this week, although along with terrible news from the Russian war in Ukraine. The good news is that President Emmanuel Macron (44) has won a second 5-year term as President of France, with close to sixty percent of the vote against his opponent Marine Le Pen (53), a ...

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  • We human beings, states and organisations, seem to be very good at making borders and dividing people in a myriad of ways, in cultures and colours, lands and languages, faiths and ideologies, rich and poor, and much more. The war in Ukraine shows us this, yet again, when Russia has invaded Ukraine, ...

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  • It is easier to criticise and be righteous than to present and implement alternative solutions. It is easier to be negative and talk about what we don’t have than to be thankful for what we do have. It is also easier to be righteous and pretend we have better ideas than others, especially those ...

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  • Ramzan has begun, giving us all time to reflect, be quiet, pray, and listen to the inner voice of our soul. It is a sacred time, and it is a time to talk and listen to family and friends. It is a time for Iftar dinners and gatherings, and for planning of Eid parties at the end of the month, ...

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  • War is devastating, cruel and terrible—and, actually, that is what it is meant to be. No need to describe this now when the Russian war in Ukraine rages. We are now reminded of it daily as TV spectators, but that is nothing compared to how it is for those who have sons there as soldiers, on both ...

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  • Five weeks ago, I thought that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was not going to happen. Four weeks ago, it was a fact, and I thought it would be a short attack, more like a manifestation to show what could happen if Ukraine did not succumb to certain Russian demands. Now, the war has raged for a ...

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  • Asalam-o-Alaikum, Salama, and Shalom are known greetings—the first is in Arabic, to include the whole Muslim world, indeed also Pakistan; the second, ‘Salama’, is in Kiswahili, the language used by people in East and Southern Africa; and ‘Shalom’ is the Jewish greeting used in Israel long ...

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  • Life is unpredictable, we often say, and that is true, both as regards individuals, family and friends, and structurally. In a way, the most constant in our life is change, yes, a constant change, yet also with many things staying the same. If we want a certain change to happen, that is mostly ...

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  • Having followed intensely the Europe-NATO-Ukraine-Russia security crisis for several weeks, it was sad, but not surprising, that Russia a few days ago sent troops—for peacekeeping—to Eastern Ukraine to take control over the breakaway Donetsk and Luhansk provinces with 2.3 and 1.5 million ...

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  • Last Saturday on February 5, Kashmir Solidarity Day was marked. But since I don’t know how to solve that issue, and nobody else knows either, I shall not attempt to write about it. Well, I have some opinions, but let me leave them for another time. Instead, I shall today write about the ...

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