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The Middle East: a long-term view

By Foulath Hadid - Mishana Hosseinioun in Features, September 29, 2013

The Arab world’s problems of conflict and misrule are deeply rooted in the region’s history. But its awakened peoples’ demands for accountable government and a new social contract offer hope, say Foulath Hadid (1937-2012) and Mishana Hosseinioun.

16 days in Australian politics

By Felicity Ruby in Politics, September 24, 2013

Australia’s 7 September election produced a conservative government that has acted swiftly on promises to reduce aid, increase defence spending and dismantle efforts to address climate change. However, a hostile Senate until July 2014 may block its legislative agenda.

Handel in Bhutan

By Alessandra Quattrocchi in Arts and Culture, September 3, 2013

In October 2013, Handel’s opera; “Acis and Galatea” will be performed in the Bhutanese capital Thimphu – an ambitious and utopian project that will see combined the genius of Handel with traditional Bhutanese dance and music. The conductor Aaron Carpené assures us; “It promises to be an exciting and mysterious adventure into the world of Baroque opera”.

What Awaits the U.S. in Syria

By Fred H. Lawson in Politics, September 2, 2013

Military intervention in Syria would have no unambiguous allies on the ground and no well-defined territories to secure but if it did manage to destabilize the Ba’thi regime, who knows what additional horrors might be inflicted upon vulnerable communities all across Syria?

Children of the Days

By Allston Mitchell in Arts and Culture, August 27, 2013

Like a medieval Book of Days, each page of Eduardo Galeano’s “Children of the Days” tells an illuminating story inspired by that day of the year, resurrecting the heroes and heroines who have fallen off the historical map but whose lives remind us of our darkest hours and sweetest victories.

Wild ghosts: Bo Xilai on trial

By En Liang Khong in Politics, August 26, 2013

The trial of the disgraced Chinese politician is hurtling towards its predictable conclusion. But a spectre still haunts the Party, and all those at play in China’s political life. It is the spectre of the Cultural Revolution.

Tiger, tiger … nowhere in sight

By Irene Dogmatic in Travel Writing, August 25, 2013

The Chitwan National Park in Nepal is famous for its Royal Bengal tigers and one-horned rhinoceros, but the wonderful creature we got to know – and love – best was the elephant. The Bengal tiger, however, remained elusive.

Germany’s Arms Sales and the Middle East

By Daniel Wagner - Giorgio Cafiero in Politics, August 23, 2013

A combination of domestic factors and recent geopolitical developments in the Arab world have prompted Germany to become a major arms supplier for the Gulf Cooperation Council states,

What is Shadow Banking?

By Stijn Claessens, Lev Ratnovski in Economics and Finance,

There is much confusion about what shadow banking is and why it might create systemic risks. Shadow banking is ‘all financial activities, except traditional banking, which require a private or public backstop to operate’.

A militarized media in Egypt: a dirty war making many of us blind

By Gigi Ibrahim in Politics, August 22, 2013

The people will soon see the “true colours” of SCAF – or will they? It depends where they get their information from.