Gwynne Dyer, Special to Postmedia Network

Gwynne Dyer is an independent journalist whose articles are published in 45 countries.

Stories

U.S. President Donald Trump returns to the White House, on May 17, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty Images)

Trump's dysfunction cannot be contained

All the talk of special prosecutors and the like will not bring the man to book. No amount of dysfunction in the White House will make it stop until early 2019 at best, even though a great deal of damage will have been done by then.

Northern Irish politician Martin McGuinness stands outside the Republican Information Centre in Londonderry, 23th September 1985. An alleged IRA leader, he became deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland in 2007. (Photo by Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images)

IRA violence may not die with McGuinness' legacy

Martin McGuinness, who began as a terrorist and ended up as deputy first minister in Northern Ireland's power-sharing government, died peacefully in hospital on Monday aged 66. His career spanned almost five decades in that troubled place -- and by resigning from the power-sharing government in January, he began a new and possibly final act in that

This NASA artist's concept illustration obtained February 23, 2017 shows each of the seven planets orbiting TRAPPIST-1, an ultra-cool dwarf star. (AFP PHOTO /NASA/JPL-CALTECH)

Discovery makes it clear: There's life in deep space

Only 39 light-years away, astronomers have found seven planets circling a very small "red dwarf" star called Trappist-1. All seven are in or near what we call the Goldilocks Zone: not too hot, not too cold, but just right for water to remain liquid on the planet.

Prince Mohammed Bin Salman al-Saud. (Mohammed Bin Salman al-Saud's Office/Handout)

Risk-taking Saudi prince gambling with stability

By the end of 2015 the BND, the German foreign intelligence service, had grown so concerned that it warned the government about Saudi Arabia's new deputy crown prince and defence minister, 30-year-old Muhammad bin Salman.

Gabon's President Ali Bongo Ondimba, second from right, speaks to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during a meeting in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on December 7, 2016. (FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)

Despite shameless frauds there's hope for Africa

There are a number of ways to win an African election. The simplest is to win the most votes, but this is hard if you've been the president for a long time and people are getting fed up with your rule.

A copy of the local Chinese magazine Global People with a cover story that translates to "Why did Trump win" is seen with a front cover portrait of U.S. president-elect Donald Trump at a news stand in Shanghai on November 14, 2016. (JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)

Trump's denial can't stop shift from fossil fuels

Even before Donald Trump hijacked the Republican Party, he was loudly declaring the science of climate change, like Barack Obama, had not been born in the United States. It was, he insisted in 2012, a Chinese hoax "created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."

Ruthless Turkish leader derails once bright future

"In Turkey, we are progressively putting behind bars all people who take the liberty of voicing even the slightest criticism of the government," wrote author Orhan Pamuk, Turkey's first Nobel Prize winner. "Freedom of thought no longer exists. We are distancing ourselves at high speed from a state of law and heading towards a regime of terror" driven by "ferocious hatred."

Supporters listen to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during a campaign rally the Orlando Amphitheater at Central Florida Fairgrounds November 2, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. With less than a week before Election Day in the United States, Trump and his opponent, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, are campaigning in key battleground states that each must win to take the White House. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

No matter who wins, things will get messier

Even if Donald Trump loses the U.S. presidential election next week, the wells are poisoned. Either "Crooked Hillary" becomes president, and spends the next four years fighting off legal challenges and fearing assassination by Trump's more deranged admirers, or Trump becomes president, and the United States becomes the world's biggest, most dangero

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto delivers a speech during the welcoming ceremony in honour of Australian Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove (out of frame) at the National Palace in Mexico City on August 1, 2016. Cosgrove arrived in Mexico on an official visit. / AFP / ALFREDO ESTRELLA (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

Political choices fuelled by startling ignorance

The five most ignorant countries in the world are Mexico, India, Brazil, Peru and New Zealand. And the five best informed are South Korea, Ireland, Poland, China and the United States. Ignorant about what? About the realities in their country.

French President Francois Hollande (L) talks with French Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois (R) after a Mass at the Notre Dame Cathedral in tribute to the priest Jacques Hamel, killed on July 26 in his church of Saint Etienne du Rouvray during a hostage-taking claimed by Islamic State group, in Paris on July 27, 2016. France probes an attack on a church in which two men described by the Islamic State group as its 'soldiers' slit the throat of a priest. An elderly priest had his throat slit in a church in northern France on July 26 after two men stormed the building and took hostages. The attack in the Normandy town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray came as France was still coming to terms with the Bastille Day killings in Nice claimed by the Islamic State group. / AFP / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

France declares 'war'

"Our country is at war," said French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday, after a priest was murdered near Rouen in front of his congregation by two attackers who claimed to be serving Islamic State. It's the sort of thing leaders feel compelled to say at times like this, but it does send the wrong message.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump waves to supporters after arriving in Cleveland on the third day of the Republican National Convention on July 20, 2016, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AFP PHOTO/DOMINICK REUTERDOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)

A frightening glimpse into a Trump presidency

Let us suppose it is July 2017. Let us suppose Donald Trump, nominated as the Republican candidate for the U.S. presidency a year ago, won the November election, narrowly, but the polls are certainly suggesting such a thing is possible.

Former Prime Minister, Tony Blair speaks during a press conference at Admiralty House, where responding to the Chilcot report he said: 'I express more sorrow, regret and apology than you may ever know or can believe on July 6, 2016. in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

UK's reckless role exposed in ruinous Iraqi invasion

"Suppose that the Iraqis feel ambivalent about being invaded and real Iraqis, not (just) Saddam's special guard, decide to offer resistance," wrote British prime minister Tony Blair to U.S. president George W. Bush in December 2001, two years before the U.S. and the UK invaded Iraq. At least Blair had some doubts, but neither man could really imagi

Nicolas Maduro, President of Venezuela, addresses the United Nations General Assembly on September 29, 2015 in New York City. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Saudi monarchy beats Venezuelan democracy

On Monday, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans began validating their signatures on a petition demanding a recall referendum on elected president, Nicolas Maduro. Food riots are breaking out and the capital, Caracas, has the highest murder rate of any city in the world. Many citizens expect a revolution.

Floral tributes and candles are placed by a picture of slain Labour MP Jo Cox at a vigil in Parliament square in London on June 16, 2016. Cox died after a shock daylight street attack, throwing campaigning for the referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union into disarray just a week before the crucial vote. (DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Shame on Brexit leaders as silence speaks volumes

U.K.'s Parliament met in London, England Monday, so MPs of every party could express their horror and disgust at the murder last Thursday of their colleague Jo Cox, MP for Batley and Spen in West Yorkshire. And everybody did, including leaders of the Brexit campaign, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove. But up to that point, the Brexit leaders had said

British Prime Minister David Cameron (R) attends a meeting with and European Council President Donald Tusk (L) and European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker (C) during a European Union leaders summit addressing the so-called Brexit on February 19, 2016. YVES HERMAN/AFP/Getty Images

Reports of EU's death being greatly exaggerated

How's this for apocalyptic? "As a historian I fear Brexit (a British vote to leave the European Union in the referendum June 23) could be beginning of the destruction of not only the EU but also Western political civilization in its entirety," said Donald Tusk, president of the European Union, in an interview in the German newspaper Bild.

Protesters disperse color paint during a protest against the government, at central square, during an anti-government protest in Skopje on June 6, 2016, in a series of protests dubbed Colourful Revolution. AFP Photo/Robert ATANASOVSKI

Macedonia gets artistic to salvage democracy

Abstract expressionism is no longer cutting-edge art in most places, but in one country it is enjoying a massive popular revival: Macedonia. The artists are at work day and night in the capital, Skopje, splattering public buildings and statues with every colour in the rainbow in a style clearly inspired by Jackson Pollock.

British Prime Minister David Cameron poses with a campaigner as he makes a joint appearance with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (not seen) to launch the Britain Stronger in Europe guarantee card at Roehampton University on May 20, 2016 in London, United Kingdom. The 'guarantee card' lists five pledges should Britain remain in the EU, including the protection of workers' rights, full access to the single market and stability for Britain. U.K voters go to the polls on June 23 to vote in a referendum on the continued membership of the UK in the European Union. (Photo by Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Brexit surge spells woe for Cameron, Britain

After months in which opinion polls showed a six to 10 per cent lead for the "Remain" side in the referendum campaign on continued British membership of the European Union, the numbers have suddenly shifted in favour of "Leave."

A fighter of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) holds an ISIL flag and a weapon on a street in the city of Mosul, Iraq, in this June 23, 2014 file photo. To match MIDEAST-CRISIS/IRAQ-TURKEY REUTERS/Stringer/Files

West's vigilance vital in hate-fuelled business

Because most think of Islamic State, al-Qaida and their ilk as crazies motivated solely by hatred, they are not puzzled by recent terrorist attacks on the West like those in Paris, Brussels and Los Angeles. Like villains in comic books, the terrorists are simply evil, and no further explanation is needed. But in the real world, being violent and fa