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Is China Reentering the Great Game?

By Dong Yu in Politics, February 14, 2012

Afghanistan, apart from having a strategic geo-political position also has abundant mineral resources, which makes it an attractive prospect for resource-hungry China. Afghanistan has seen a massive increase in investment from China.

Blood on the Kazakh Oilfields

By Astrit Dakli in Politics, February 11, 2012

December’s massacre of striking oilfield workers in the city of Zhanaozen caused few ripples in the international community, unwilling to challenge a strategic partner with such abundant oil resources. The response of the new Kazakh government has been to crack down on the opposition.

Faradzh Karaev: a life in music

By Allston Mitchell in Arts and Culture, February 3, 2012

Faradzh Karaev is one of the leading composers of the post Soviet era – composing, teaching and conducting between his native Azerbaijan and Moscow where he currently lives. He discusses his own musical career, modernism, the musical avant garde and new developments in teaching.

Hiriko: the plug-in city car

By Jane Somerville in Environment, February 1, 2012

Now that you know that 40% of petrol is used up looking for parking spaces, take a look at the new Hiriko, a Basque country project started by MIT that is set to produce electric city cars that you can pick-up and drop-off at designated points. A revolutionary project.

Assange Case: We Are All Suspects Now

By John Pilger in Features,

John Pilger examines the implications of the Supreme Court’s hearings in the Assange case. The case has profound meaning for the preservation of basic freedoms in Western democracies.

Anthony Shadid on Qatar

By Allston Mitchell in Politics, January 30, 2012

R.I.P. Anthony Shadid who died recently on assignment in Syria. Pulitzer Prize winner and “New York Times” Foreign Correspondent talks to TGD about this very small but extraordinarily wealthy country’s increasing influence in the Middle East.

Nigeria’s Perfect Storm

By Francis Njubi Nesbitt in Politics, January 29, 2012

Nigeria is facing a perfect storm of crises including a national strike, widespread protests, and sectarian violence in the north. Much of the violence in the north is blamed on an Islamist sect called Boko Haram, which means, “Western education is sinful.” Nevertheless, encouraging a military solution is is not the answer

Are China and India Converging?

By Ejaz Ghani in Economics and Finance, January 24, 2012

Mention China and India to economists and their first thought will be rapid growth. Their second thought might be how differently the two economies are achieving this: China through manufacturing, India through services. Could this stereotype be changing?

Why Hollande Will Win in 2012

By Tory McBride in Politics, January 7, 2012

Although dubbed “Monsieur Ordinary” by the Guardian, presidential candidate François Hollande has a cool head, an extremely fine wit and vast political experience. It would be an error to mistake his unassuming manner for dullness. Sarkozy’s era of “mauvais gout” looks set to end.

Sao Paulo’s “Lado Centro”

By Elisa Franzinetti in Travel Writing, January 6, 2012

Lado Centro is home to many recording studios, a growing group of small theaters and music venues catering to every imaginable taste. Most of the people in the music scene at the moment are all very young, driven and talented. But it is still seen as the wrong side of the tracks.