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Our 2016: the 10 most read articles on New Internationalist



As 2016 finally came to a close, the New Internationalist editorial staff wrapped up the year’s top articles. Have you missed any?

Year 2016 wasn’t a great year for internationalists: it brought us an outbreak of Zika virus, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Brexit, the Colombian referendum on the government’s peace deal with FARC (which, however, didn’t stop the peace process completely), and President Trump – to name just a few.

At New Internationalist, we have covered all of these historic turning points in various levels of depth. But it wasn’t these happenings that grabbed our readers’ interest the most.

Instead, most of our2016 most read articles are largely the under-reported issues that only New Internationalist, alone or with a few other publications, shed light on.

Here is our top 10 of the year.

10. German judges issue damming indictment of TTIP

If you’re worried about our sovereignty read the judges’ statement, writes Nick Dearden.

A bit of goods news: TTIP aimed to rewrite the rules of the global economy in favour of big business, but a group of German judges made that a little bit harder to do.

9. Who is cashing in on keeping migrants out?

Ruben Andersson unpicks a murky border control industry that generates its own demand.

The refugee crisis kickstarted by the Syrian civil war continued to be an unsolved issue through much of 2016. In this infographic, part of our January-February 2016 magazine, ‘Humanity Adrift’, we made some math: who has an economic interest in closing the borders?

8. Five ways to practise anti-racist solidarity in Brexit Britain

A lot of people on the Left have woken up to the uncomfortable reality that racism exists in Britain. So what can you do about it? asks the Wretched of the Earth collective.

Much of the UK woke up shocked to the wave of racism that hit the country after Brits voted to leave the European Union. We suggested a few basic things – starting points – anyone could do to demonstrate active solidarity with those experiencing racism, and toward dismantling white supremacy in the country. Don’t wait around for something to happen to speak up.

7. Blood brothers – Saudi Arabia and the West

The Saudi regime, a champion human rights violator, provides much of the world’s oil and a booming market for arms trading nations. It also supplies the ideology (and more?) that fuels al-Qaeda and ISIS. But the kingdom’s rich cloak of immunity may be wearingthin.

The issue isn’t over. When UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Saudi Arabia was a ‘puppetteer’ in Middle East proxy wars, his criticism sparked immediate backlash by the British government, and started a small feud with PM Theresa May.

Part of our February 2016 issue: ‘Saudi Arabia and the West’, which revealed, among other things, that a whopping 71 per cent of arms deals with the Saudi regime and made with UK and US combine.

6. Corporations running the world used to be science fiction – Now it’s a reality

Global Justice Now has launched a petition to convince the UK government to protect human rights from corporate power, Aisha Dodwell writes.

Imagine a world in which all of the main functions of society are run for-profit by private companies. Schools are run by multinationals. Private security firms have replaced police forces. And most big infrastructure lies in the hands of a tiny plutocratic elite. Just imagine...

5. Brexit to hell

Farewell cosmopolitan Britain – hail mean, delusional (and rather elderly) little England. Vanessa Baird responds to the referendum result.

Picture the scene. Little England, lonely little England, with Wales in tow, burdened by outdated delusions of grandeur, spending the next few years trying to negotiate free trade deals around the world.

Anyone who believes for a second that this will mean a break from the neo-liberal agenda that has done so much harm to working people and which deepened inequality over the past three decades, is living inla-la-land.

4. Philippines at risk of ‘full-blown’ HIV epidemic

So why has the government cut funding for contraception? asks Iris Gonzales.

For decades, the Philippines had dodged the global AIDS crisis. But things have changed.

3. Cowspiracy: stampeding in the wrong direction?

There’s much to admire in Kip Andersen’s viral documentary, but its political framing – and a head-slapping statistical error – threaten to undermine its core message.

If you have been moved by Cowspiracy and want to take action on animal agriculture, long term vegan Danny Chivers says please don’t use the 51 per cent figure. Please. You’re making us all look bad.

2. The demoralized mind

Western consumer culture is creating a psycho-spiritual crisis that leaves us disoriented and bereft of purpose. How can we treat our sick culture and make ourselves well? asks John F Schumaker.

Resilience traits such as patience, restraint and fortitude have given way to short attention spans, over-indulgence and a masturbatory approach to life. From our April 2016 issue: Forests.

1. The coming war on China

A major US military build-up – including nuclear weapons – is under way in Asia and the Pacific with the purpose of confronting China. John Pilger raises the alarm on an under-reported and dangerous provocation.

Ahead of the launch of his latest documentary, ‘The Coming War on China’, John Pilger was the guest editor of New Internationalist’s December Issue, and his report on the silent escalation of tension instantly broke into our most read articles of the year.

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