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The Reckless Power Behind the Throne

By Susan de Muth in Politics, January 15, 2016

King Salman’s son Mohammad seems to be piloting Saudi Arabia into a series of ever more risky adventures. At the heart of all Sunni Saudi Arabia’s current woes is its longstanding sectarian and political rivalry with the Shi’a republic of Iran.

The Nobel Laureate vs. the Dictator

By Tatyana Ivanova in Arts and Culture, January 12, 2016

Nobel Prize Winner Svetlana Alexievich is challenging both a dictator and a bad case of historical amnesia. Svetlana Alexievich criticizes dictatorship and dictators of all kinds, including Lukashenko. She debunks their fraudulent elections and wars.

A Roadmap for Peace in South Sudan

By Daniel P. Sullivan in Politics, January 9, 2016

As the world’s youngest country enters its third year of civil war, there are new hopes for a durable peace.

The Geopolitics of Cheap Oil

By John Feffer in Environment,

Economists said the market would save the planet. It didn’t. The nosedive in oil prices has been good news for a lot of people and a lot of countries. But it’s not good news for the planet.

Islamic Reformation?

By Sami Zubaida in Features,

We keep hearing calls for an ‘Islamic Reformation’, but the Protestant Reformation was not a liberal enterprise: it was the original ‘fundamentalism’, whence the label now applied to Islam.

Fiscal crisis in Brazil: a tale of two inflations

By João Ricardo Mendes Gonçalves Costa Filho in Economics and Finance,

Surviving an impeachment will be a herculean task for Dilma Rousseff. With economic contraction and growing expenditure, the fiscal deficit will increase. There is no more room for gambling.

Poland’s right turn

By Marta Tycner in Politics,

Western commentators see the ‘sudden’ right-wing turn of Poland as a so-passé mixture of nationalism, populism and deficits of democracy. But the truth is very different. Is it inexplicable madness or a rational response? The new government inaugurated its tenure with a series of outrageous anti-democratic moves, including a frontal attack on the Constitutional Court and on the independence of the media.

Orson Welles, Essential American Artist

By Geoffrey Heptonstall in Features, December 25, 2015

It is thirty years since he died, but the success and failure of Welles will continue to be discussed as his career raises questions about the relation of imaginative art to popular culture.

Britain’s ‘empire of the mind’

By Gerry Hassan in Politics, December 24, 2015

Britain is off to war again. The parliamentary debate did not live up to the billing. Cameron and Corbyn underperformed. Hilary Benn stole the show and headlines.

Front National: victorious defeat

By Patrice de Beer in Politics, December 16, 2015

Patrice de Beer, the former London and Washington correspondent for Le Monde asks if after the recent regional elections, will the French be able to stop FN from finally breaking through the fragile glass ceiling?