June 2013 – Newsletter


Welcome to this month's edition of The Global Dispatches.

We have the economist Nouriel Roubini on gold and where it is heading, our arts reviewer Bendicò on Masaccio's masterpiece 'The Holy Trinity', Husain Abdulla, the founder and Director of Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain looks at the last two years since the uprising in Bahrain, François Godement, Professor of political science at Sciences Po in Paris and Senior policy fellow of the European Council on Foreign Relations on the EU-China solar panel war; Bob Rigg, the former senior editor of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, asks: "In a region with a long history of nuclear and chemical weapons, when is a red line a red line?"; Gary Burnett on Son House, the epitome of the Delta blues man; Giorgio Cafiero and Shawn VL on the nuclear policy connection between Iran and North Korea; John Keane, the Director of the newly-founded Sydney Democracy Initiative and Professor of Politics at the University of Sydney offers a fascinating short history of banks and democracy and Alastair Wood takes part in the annual bird survey at the Coorong, the vast lagoon at the mouth of Australia's mighty Murray River.

Masaccio’s “Holy Trinity”
By Bendicò

Florence produced many masters during the Renaissance, a miraculous feat given its 50,000 inhabitants but Masaccio stands out as a radical and innovative genius who changed the history of painting forever, leaving behind the stiffness of international gothic and inventing a new naturalness and vivacity.

After the Gold Rush
By Nouriel Roubini

Nouriel Roubini on why the gold bubble has burst and why gold is likely headed towards $1,000 in 2015. We may see some volatility in coming months but the underlying trend will be downwards, Gold remains John Maynard Keynes’s “barbarous relic,” with no intrinsic value and used mainly as a hedge against mostly irrational fear and panic. The gold rush is over.

In Bahrain, An Uprising Unabated
By Husain Abdulla

Husain Abdulla, the founder and Director of Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain looks at the last two years since the uprising in Bahrain and the vital relationship between the Bahraini rulers and the US administration.

Europe flunks the solar panel test
By François Godement

François Godement, Professor of political science at Sciences Po in Paris and Senior policy fellow of the European Council on Foreign Relations asks whether the fact that Chinese solar panels are benefitting from unfair subsidies is damaging to the EU and its negotiating position.

Chemical weapons, the Middle East, the UN and Syria
By Bob Rigg

The former senior editor of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Bob Rigg, asks: "In a region with a long history of nuclear and chemical weapons, when is a red line a red line?"

Son House – Preachin’ the Blues
By Gary Burnett

Son House, the epitome of the Delta blues man, wavered all his life between doing the Lord's work as a minister and playing the devil's music. “Oh and I had religion Lord this very day. But the womens and the whiskey, well they would not let me pray.”

In Tehran, All Eyes on North Korea
By Giorgio Cafiero and Shawn VL

“What happens with respect to North Korea can affect Iran, and what happens with Iran can affect North Korea.” This statement, issued last month by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, underscores the Obama administration’s understanding of the North Korea-Iran connection.

A short history of banks and democracy
By John Keane

The extraordinary bounce-back of the banks reveals the most disturbing, but least obvious, largely invisible, feature of the unfinished European crisis: the transformation of democratic taxation states into post-democratic banking states.

Bird Count at the Coorong
By Alastair Wood

Birds are good barometers for the health of any environment. Alastair Wood takes part in the annual bird survey at the Coorong, the vast lagoon at the mouth of Australia's mighty Murray River, whose eco-system has for years been in critical condition.

 
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