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Stromboli: Under the Volcano

By Alessandra Quattrocchi in Travel Writing, October 5, 2011

Despite being an active volcano, Stromboli, one of the Aeolian islands just north of Sicily, is a popular summer destination. “Iddu”, as the locals call the smouldering volcano, is indeed the main attraction. Alessandra Quattrocchi attempts the night-time climb up to the top of the crater.

Afghanistan Journal

By Allston Mitchell in Politics, October 4, 2011

Joshua Foust’s new book is a collection of blog posts from written during his time working as an advisor to the US Army. It takes an analytical and sometimes passionate look at the policy and strategy failures of the military and identifies why NATO is not winning this war.

Greece: More or Less Chaos?

By David Underwood in Economics and Finance, September 28, 2011

If Greece lurches into a default that has not been adequately planned for this October, then Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland could follow, which would lead to the collapse of the Eurozone and a global markets meltdown. It sounds dramatic and it could truly be just that.

Nils Petter Molvær: Baboon Moon

By Allston Mitchell in Arts and Culture, September 19, 2011

Nils Petter Molvær, Norwegian trumpet player, composer and producer, has just brought out a new CD: “Baboon Moon”. Already famous for his huge success with “Khmer”, an album that mixed jazz, ambient, house, electronic and break beats, he is back with a new band.

Kyrgyzstan at the Crossroads

By Astrit Dakli in Politics,

Elections are about to be held in Kyrgyzstan. Russia’s Vladimir Putin is predicting that “too much democracy” will merely result in instability while China and the USA look on sceptically. President Roza Otunbayeva is challenging traditional “clan logic” and pushing for a functioning democracy.

Evliya Çelebi: an Ottoman Traveller

By Lev Myshkin in Travel Writing, September 15, 2011

Known variously as a Turkish Pepys, a Muslim Montaigne and an Ottoman Herodotus, 17th century traveller, Evliya Çelebi, recounts his adventures in the 10-volume “Seyahatname” (Book of Travels). A new translation has revived interest in this remarkable man.

Interview with Patrick Seale

By Allston Mitchell in Politics,

Patrick Seale’s latest book “The Struggle for Arab Independence” traces the history of the Middle East from the final years of the Ottoman Empire up to the 1950s, focusing on the remarkable career and personality of Riad el-Solh, independent Lebanon’s first prime minister.

Reporting the Libyan War

By Amedeo Ricucci in Politics,

Veteran war correspondent Amedeo Ricucci talks to TGD about covering the revolts in Libya and Tunisia. He discusses the alarming levels of propaganda and disinformation coming from all sides as well as the demands for sensational “live war” TV in an era of “infobesité”.

The Eurobond Headache

By Allston Mitchell in Economics and Finance,

Will Eurobonds save us? The EU will be looking at a firm proposal to create Eurobonds later this year but Germany and France are dead against the idea. But are Eurobonds the only way to stave off a complete collapse of the Eurozone?

Mulatu Astatke – King of Ethio-Jazz

By Allston Mitchell in Arts and Culture,

Mulatu Astatke, the father of Ethiopian Jazz, is finally hitting the big time with two recent CDs. In 2009 he recorded “Inspiration Information” with the Heliocentrics and a year later his own “Mulatu Steps Ahead” with members of Either/Orchestra.