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Decrepit Florence

By Allston Mitchell in Travel Writing, May 6, 2010

Two middle-aged and poorly disposed travellers make their way to Florence. The result was a series of back aches, some memory loss, far too many half baked impressions and a few insights into where Le Corbusier stole his ideas from and the reason why Winkelmann may have led us all astray, from Benvenuto Cellini that is.

Sharks in Paradise

By Jennifer Gacich in Travel Writing, May 3, 2010

It’s a beautiful balmy morning in paradise and we’re about to plunge into the Pacific Ocean for a dive. Rangiroa, an enormous atoll in the Tuamotus, French Polynesia, is renowned for its spectacular diving, and for good reason.

Caravaggio in Rome

By Gillian Britten in Arts and Culture,

There is a permanent queue outside the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome for this exhibition of Caravaggio’s work, held to mark the 400th anniversary of the artist’s death. Since being “rediscovered” in the early 20th century, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio has come to be regarded as one of the greatest and most popular painters of all time.

China: overheating economy?

By Allston Mitchell in Economics and Finance, April 22, 2010

The economy is accelerating steadily and not careering out of control or overheating but the real estate sector is the one to watch for a potentially destructive bubble.

Kyrgyzstan Revolts

By Astrit Dakli in Politics, April 9, 2010

Bishkek is in the hands of the opposition, the ousted President Bakiyev is in hiding but there is still uncertainty throughout the country. The signs were there though. The Tulip Revolution had disintegrated all too quickly into dictatorship, economic forces and utility prices did the rest.

Golf in China

By David Cherry in Features, April 8, 2010

You would have to think I am joking but I’m not. When one thinks of sport in China, as you do, one would probably come up with ping pong, swimming, hurdling, gymnastics, weight lifting and possibly soccer but never golf.

Israel Strains Ties with the U.S.

By Giampaolo Calchi Novati in Politics, April 4, 2010

Tel Aviv appears to be be deliberately souring relations with Washington. The close ties between the two countries have been put to the test in the past but this time it may be different.

Last Sunday in Kenya

By Richard Trillo in Travel Writing, April 3, 2010

In central Kenya, five thousand feet above sea level, exploring off the beaten track can take unexpected turns. Be prepared: give yourself plenty of time and maybe take a chain saw.

Lukoil and the Kremlin

By Edwin Pestle in Economics and Finance, March 30, 2010

The Russian government may use a recent fatal accident involving the Lukoil security chief to get a tighter grip on the company – even though it is effectively already a state-controlled venture.

Compromised Italians

By Allston Mitchell in Politics, March 6, 2010

A dramatic identity crisis or just reverting to type? A country where everyone is either being blackmailed or is hopelessly compromised.