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Robert Johnson’s Hellhound on My Trail

By Gary Burnett in Arts and Culture, March 28, 2013

Robert Johnson is a mythical figure in the history of the blues. The details of his life are sketchy but his versatility and invention make him the most influential blues singer ever.

The Guantánamo Bay Hunger Strike

By Aisha Maniar in Politics, March 27, 2013

The majority of the remaining 166 prisoners at Guantanamo have been on hunger strike since early February, mostly held without charge or trial, yet there has been a continued media silence on the issue. This flagrant abuse of justice must be challenged.

America’s Other Dark Legacy In Iraq

By Joy Gordon in Politics, March 25, 2013

The author of “Invisible War: The United States and the Iraq Sanctions”, Joy Gordon, explains that even putting aside Iraq’s horrifying descent into sectarian violence, the United States did a spectacularly poor job of governing the country.

The Dirt on Plastic Waste

By Marino Xanthos in Environment, March 23, 2013

Roughly half of plastic products, such as packaging, are intended for one-time, short-lifespan (less than six months) applications prior to disposal. Given that most of these items are not biodegradable, and are not recycled, plastics waste is building up – with serious environmental consequences.

The Alexei German I knew

By Ian Christie in Arts and Culture, March 22, 2013

Russians recently bade farewell to a man many considered to be the country’s greatest living filmmaker. ‘My Friend Ivan Lapshin’, Alexei German’s signature piece, was praised as the ‘best Soviet film ever made’ by fellow director Andrei Tarkovsky

Will China Wear Out Its Welcome in Africa?

By Nan Chen in Politics,

In 2009, China overtook the USA as Africa’s biggest trading partner. In 2000, the total Sino-African trade volume was approximately US $10bn; it is now closer to $200bn per year.

Is Egypt Being Primed for a Coup?

By Conn Hallinan in Politics, March 21, 2013

When an important leader of the political opposition hints that a military coup might be preferable to the current chaos, and when a major financial organization proposes an economic program certain to spark a social explosion, something is afoot.

The crumbling of Finland’s consensus culture

By Johanna Korhonen in Features, March 20, 2013

Finland underwent a spectacular populist upheaval in 2011, when the True Finns won over nearly one fifth of the vote and became the main opposition party to the current government.


By Göran Rosenberg in Features,

In this excerpt from ‘Sweden: the reluctant nation’, published as part of Counterpoint’s ‘Europe’s Reluctant Radicals’ project, Göran Rosenberg explores the history of the Swedish political ideal of ‘folkhemmet’ [the people’s home]. The rhetoric of nostalgia has always been a potent force in Swedish politics.

Iran and Egypt: An Unrequited Union

By Emily Boulter in Politics, March 18, 2013

It is still a mystery why President Morsi of Egypt has begun a rapprochement with Iran, a country with which it has little in common, given the country’s poor reputation in the Middle East and the mutual suspicion that exists along the Sunni-Shiite divide.