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Kickstarting Japan

By Anastasia Amantikova in Politics, March 1, 2010

Where is Hatoyama’s Democratic Party leading Japan? Is Japan’s Prime Minister, who was swept to power by a public seeking an end to economic and political stagnation, managing to arrest the nation’s decline? “Our honeymoon period is over,” Hatoyama said in a New Year statement. “I would welcome severe criticism.”

Does the U.S.A. Deserve Obama?

By Allston Mitchell in Politics,

Is it politics or just the channelling of hate? Suddenly President Obama is a terrible failure. Where did this bandwagon of criticism come from? Is this the slow season for journalists? Whatever next? Nostalgia for the Bush clan? Is Obama too smart or are Americans just too witless? The politics of loathing are in full swing.

European Sovereign Debt

By Allston Mitchell in Economics and Finance,

A financial domino theory that could make the last financial crash look appealing. Spiralling debt, rising unemployment and the lack of leadership are exacerbating an already unsteady situation. The markets are looking for clear political leadership and a robust message that they can rely on.

Medical Cannabis

By Tato Grasso in Features, February 28, 2010

Will 2010 be the decisive year for new legislation? Multiple Sclerosis and pain sufferers find relief in cannabis spray.

The Green Movement in Iran

By Faranguis Habibi in Politics,

Individual courage and the Green Movement in Iran. More than eight months after the fraudulent election of M. Ahmadinejad to the Presidency of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the massive protest movement against this election is still making waves.

Africa in the Spotlight

By Michael Keating in Politics,

Africa will be in the spotlight in 2010. The World Cup will draw more international journalists to the continent than ever before. In countries with teams that have qualified, the coverage has already started, and not just on the sports pages.

Women in Turkey

By Ekrem Eddy Güzeldere in Features,

What is the situation of women in Turkey? Are they profiting from legislation in a “post-patriarchal” legal system or suffering from cruel traditions? There are examples for both, but the overall ranking in the World Economic Forum’s global “gender gap” remains poor, 129th out of 134.

Whale-watching in Polynesia

By Jennifer Gacich in Travel Writing, February 25, 2010

Swimming with humpback whales in the South Pacific. From July to October a small number of humpback whales megaptera novaeangliae make their annual migration to the sheltered waters of French Polynesia’s Australs archipelago to reproduce.

Easy Money

By Carmen Sanchez in Economics and Finance,

Are low interest rates bad for your health? Do they lead to the global misallocation of funds? Do they encourage conservative investors to speculate? Do they create asset bubbles and encourage ill-advised carry trades?

Penang’s Cultural Mix

By Deb Lavis in Travel Writing, February 15, 2010

Exploring the heritage of “The Pearl of the Orient”. Situated just off the coast of Malaysia in the Straits of Malacca, the island of Penang was for centuries a vital stopping-off point on the great East-West sea trade routes, linking Great Britain and Europe with the Malay archipelago and China, via the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.