As Obama opens doors to the Muslim world, will Europe close them?

President Obama’s 4th June speech in Cairo about relations with the Islamic world rightly got huge plaudits, including here. It doesn’t solve all problems but doors are open for new dialogue, policies and approaches. But as Washington wins credit and credibility through expressions of openness and respect and heads towards better links with the Muslim world, is Europe moving the opposite way? Continue reading

Deflated in Davos? Impressions of economic leaders at work and play

News media have been reporting a deflated mood among the business leaders gathered in Davos for the annual World Economic Forum meeting. Some have even suggested an air of contrition and a bit of hair-shirt atonement, cutting down on the number of parties, ski-outings and suchlike. Perhaps that’s what they have seen and it’s all subjective and relative – but it’s not really what I’ve seen. I wouldn’t say the mood is upbeat, and of course there’s an awareness of the economic crunch all round. But what’s going on is a bit more subtle than mood-swings. Continue reading