Greece Has Reached Its Threshold of Pain

by Daniel Wagner Added 06.07.2015
It should not have come as a surprise that the majority of Greek voters opted not to accept more externally-imposed austerity, by voting “no” in Sunday’s referendum. The election pollsters once again were proven wrong. It was not a close race...

Oren's Orgy of Self-Justification

by James J. Zogby Added 06.07.2015
In his new book, "Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide", former Israeli Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, relates how late one night he received a frantic call from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu alerting him to the fact that...

Europe and Greece on the Brink

by Mark Roe Added 04.07.2015
CAMBRIDGE – A deal between Greece and its creditors might not happen. Several factors are in flux; Greek and northern European interests are not aligned; and personal animosities are in play. For Greece, an exit from the euro would not be easy,...

Solitary confinement is one of the worst forms of psychological torture

by Jordan Gaines Lewis Added 04.07.2015
The inmates of Litchfield Penitentiary, the fictional setting for the Netflix TV series Orange is the New Black, are not shy women. They’ve landed in prison for murder, fraud, stalking, drug-smuggling, theft, and political activism. They do...

While Saudi Arabia Goes to War Abroad, It’s Simmering at Home

by Giorgio Cafiero and Daniel Wagner Added 04.07.2015
To hear Saudi leaders tell it, the primary threat to the kingdom’s stability is the Islamic Republic of Iran. Worried over Washington and Tehran’s slowly improving relationship, Riyadh has projected an increasingly militarized and sectarian...

Reviving Islam’s Enlightenment

by Daniel Chirot and Scott L. Montgomery Added 04.07.2015
SEATTLE – In 1877, the great French novelist Victor Hugo wrote, “Invading armies can be resisted; invading ideas cannot be.” Nowadays, the power of ideas, for good or for evil, is something we need to take into account, particularly in...

A Way Out for Greece

by Jeffrey D. Sachs Added 03.07.2015
QUITO, ECUADOR – The Greek crisis is a tragedy for the country and a danger for the world economy. Germany is demanding that Greece continue to service its debts in full, even though Greece is clearly broke and the International Monetary Fund...

Greece, honour and the ancient ties of wergeld

by Alexander Douglas Added 03.07.2015
On the surface, it seems the Greek crisis is all about money. The Greek government has defaulted on a €1.6bn loan repayment to the IMF and is seeking a new bailout programme. Meanwhile, the Greek people are to take part in a referendum that is...

Why Apple Music is set to take over the streaming business

by Elena Novelli Added 02.07.2015
After much anticipation Apple has launched its new music streaming service, Apple Music. It’s the latest addition to Apple’s burgeoning product ecosystem which includes devices, software, online digital payment systems and digital media stores....

Chief prosecutor killed by car bomb as Egypt marks two years of al-Sisi

by Maria Gloria Polimeno Added 01.07.2015
Hisham Barakat, Egypt’s most senior prosecutor, has been killed by a car bomb that hit his motorcade in Cairo. The attack came just a month after Islamic State (IS) urged its followers to attack Egypt’s judges and its “deep state” in revenge for...

The End of Work as We Know It

by Jean Pisani-Ferry Added 01.07.2015
PARIS – In 1983, the American economist and Nobel laureate Wassily Leontief made what was then a startling prediction. Machines, he said, are likely to replace human labor much in the same way that the tractor replaced the horse. Today, with...

Putin Made Simple

by Georgy Satarov Added 30.06.2015
MOSCOW – Three weeks before Russian President Vladimir Putin’s first election victory, in March 2000, his campaign released a book, First Person: Conversations with Vladimir Putin, based on 24 hours of interviews with three journalists. With...

Tunisia attack shows the war with Islamic State is bigger than we think

by Paul Rogers Added 30.06.2015
As the number of Britons confirmed dead in the Sousse massacre continues to climb, David Cameron has again ruled out putting British troops on the ground in Iraq and Syria – but conceded that Islamic State (IS) is plotting “terrible attacks” on...

Path to Grexit tragedy paved by political incompetence

by Barry Eichengreen Added 29.06.2015
Since our last episode, the crisis in Greece has escalated further. Negotiations between the government and its creditors collapsed over the weekend, and restrictions on bank withdrawals will now follow. The next step is for the government to...

The EU, the Grexit, and Market Failure

by Daniel Wagner Added 27.06.2015
Responsibility for Greece's and the EU's current dilemma rests with all parties - Greece, the ECB, and the banks. But each party is so busy pointing fingers at everyone else they appear to have lost any sense of introspection (if they ever had...

A European Role in Palestine?

by Chris Patten Added 26.06.2015
LONDON – The international community’s attention in the Middle East nowadays is inevitably focused on the Islamic State’s military advances in Syria and Iraq, the failed states of Yemen and Libya, the activities of Islamic extremists everywhere,...

Erdogan’s Fall From Grace

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 26.06.2015
Turkish President Erdogan’s May 2013 plan to raze Gezi Park in Central Istanbul and replace it with a replica 19th century Ottoman barrack prompted anti-government protests in Istanbul and other cities across Turkey, which led to violent...

Is Financial Repression Here to Stay?

by Howard Davies Added 25.06.2015
LONDON – There are several definitions of financial repression – and the repressors and the repressed tend to see things differently. But what financial repression usually involves is keeping interest rates below their natural market level, to...

America, China, and the Productivity Paradox

by Stephen S. Roach Added 24.06.2015
NEW HAVEN – In the late 1980s, there was intense debate about the so-called productivity paradox – when massive investments in information technology (IT) were not delivering measureable productivity improvements. That paradox is now back,...

Paleo diet? Science has moved on since the stone age

by Tim Spector Added 23.06.2015
“Our ancestors didn’t eat like this, so we shouldn’t.” This is the main ethos of many modern diets which advise us to exclude a number of recent additions to our plates because they were not part of our distant predecessors diet. There are many...

A Healthy, Climate-Friendly Diet

by Brahma Chellaney Added 23.06.2015
BERLIN – This December, world leaders will meet in Paris for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, where they will hammer out a comprehensive agreement to reduce carbon emissions and stem global warming. In the run-up to that meeting,...

The Goebbels of the Kremlin

by Nina L. Khrushcheva Added 22.06.2015
MOSCOW – In Soviet Russia, everybody knew that they were being watched. Any deviation from officially sanctioned behavior would be treated with suspicion and most likely punished. The Soviet state saw itself as being at war with almost...

US Justice Censures Overuse of Solitary Confinement

by Jamie Fellner Added 20.06.2015
United States Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has lambasted the all too common use of solitary confinement in US prisons. From a human rights perspective, prolonged indefinite solitary confinement is cruel – and in certain circumstances...

The US Must Stop Enabling Israel

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 19.06.2015
No one can deny the close, abiding, and unparalleled friendship between the United States and Israel. This tight bond has served both countries well, especially Israel, which has benefitted politically, economically, and militarily from the US’s...

The Bloom Is off the BRICS

by Michael J. Boskin Added 17.06.2015
STANFORD – A few years ago, pundits and policymakers were predicting that the BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – would be the new engines of global growth. Naive extrapolation of rapid growth led many people to...

Backing the Wrong Horse in Iraq

by Daniel Wagner Added 17.06.2015
The Obama Administration's announcement that it is sending several hundred additional advisors to Iraq is consistent with America's failed policy in the country. The premise of the Obama Administration's policy - that sending "advisors" and some...

The Endgame in Greece

by Jeffrey D. Sachs Added 16.06.2015
PARIS – After months of wrangling, the showdown between Greece and its European creditors has come down to a standoff over pensions and taxes. Greece is refusing to acquiesce to demands by its creditors that it cut payments to the elderly and...

Totalitarianism 2.0

by Andrei Kolesnikov Added 16.06.2015
MOSCOW – In his 1970 treatise Exit, Voice, and Loyalty , Albert Hirschman considered the three options that people have for responding to dissatisfaction with organizations, firms, and states: they can leave, demand change, or concede. In the 45...

End “Extend and Pretend” With Greece

by Lucrezia Reichlin, Elias Papaioannou, and Richard Portes Added 15.06.2015
LONDON – Greece needs an agreement now with its creditors (the so-called troika comprising the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission, and the European Central Bank). Yet all parties are pursuing a disastrous “extend-and-pretend”...

China’s Real Reform Challenge

by Adair Turner Added 13.06.2015
".. leaving aside some oil exporters and the city-states of Hong Kong and Singapore only three countries – Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan – have come from far behind to achieve per capita GDP of at least 70% of the developed-country average over...

The Necessity Of Iraqi Sunni Independence

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 13.06.2015
One of the main prerequisites to defeating ISIS in Iraq is to determine the political future of Sunni Iraqis. As long as they do not know what the future has in store for them, they have no reason to put their mind and soul into the fight...

The Right Food Fight

by Kenneth Rogoff Added 12.06.2015
DRESDEN – To what extent should governments regulate or tax addictive behavior? This question has long framed public debate about alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and other goods and services in many countries worldwide. And now, in the United States...

David Cameron and the EU’s Waterloo

by Ashoka Mody Added 12.06.2015
PRINCETON – Two hundred years ago this month, at the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon Bonaparte’s defeat at the hands of an allied army, led by the Duke of Wellington, reshaped Europe’s future. Britain may now be poised to do so once again. The...

Criminalizing Criticism: A Zionist Project

by Lawrence Davidson Added 10.06.2015
Some Historical Background From the 1920s on into the 1990s, the Zionists controlled the storyline in the West on the Israel-Palestine conflict. This meant that their version of history was the only version as far as most of the people in the...

Life under austerity shows why Syriza are fighting it so hard

by Jamie Jordan Added 10.06.2015
Greece has been a key talking point at the G7 summit of economic powers. The current impasse in negotiations between the Syriza-led government and the country’s creditors comes down to some significant differences in opinion over austerity....

The G-7 Embraces Decarbonization

by Jeffrey D. Sachs Added 10.06.2015
NEW YORK – This week’s G-7 meeting at Schloss Elmau in the Bavarian Alps marked a major breakthrough in climate-change policy. The seven largest high-income economies (the United States, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and...

Why Hamas still relies on violent repression to control Gaza

by Jacob Eriksson Added 09.06.2015
Amnesty International recently released a report, Strangling Necks, detailing war crimes committed by Hamas during the 2014 war with Israel. Unlike previous reports on Hamas’ crimes, this one focuses on crimes committed against Palestinians,...

Grexit's Cost for Europe

by Alexis Giannoulis and Daniel Wagner Added 09.06.2015
It has been more than five months since the new Greek government took office. In Europe, Syriza's election led to a sense of uncertainty, given its mandate from the Greek people to end austerity and discontinue business as usual with Greece's...

Green Energy Surging and you’ll never Guess Why

by Juan Cole Added 08.06.2015
"Why is all this happening? Because solar power and wind power are competitive with hydrocarbons...." The adoption of wind and solar for electricity generation around the world is happening at a growing pace, and the likelihood is that it will...

Rising Nationalism a Threat to Asia

by Daniel Wagner Added 08.06.2015
"As the players in the South China Sea island disputes continue to jockey for position and ramp up their respective military presence, it is likelier than not that conflict will eventually erupt." Given its diverse cultural, linguistic and...

Why There Is No Stopping the Funding of the Islamic State

by Daniel Wagner and Alex Stout Added 06.06.2015
“The governments of Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia have for many years funded anti-Shia political and military movements in the Middle East…. After the Islamic State (Daesh) morphed into the monster that is has become…….these nations either...

It’s Time For A New Strategy

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 06.06.2015
Given the impasse between Israel and the Palestinians in the peace negotiations, the formation of a new right-wing Israeli government will make it further difficult for the two sides to come to terms on their own to reach a peace agreement....

Managing the Age of Disruption

by Richard Dobbs, James Manyika, and Jonathan Woetzel Added 05.06.2015
NEW YORK – Bold predictions based on intuition are rarely a good idea. Margaret Thatcher, as Education Secretary in 1973, famously asserted that the United Kingdom would not have a woman prime minister in her lifetime. IBM’s president, Thomas J....

The Limits of German Guilt

by Shlomo Ben-Ami Added 05.06.2015
"Simply put, historic guilt is no longer adequate to compel Germany to support Israel’s wrongheaded policies – especially when those policies are victimizing another group, the Palestinians. Israel’s current leaders should take note." MUNICH –...

Ukraine conflict is not in stalemate – it's getting worse

by Adam Swain Added 04.06.2015
"Ukraine is on the verge of collapse. GDP fell, year-on-year, by a barely conceivable 17.6% in the first quarter of 2015..." Heavy fighting has broken out near Donetsk, providing the clearest evidence yet that the truce between the Ukraine...

The Impunity Trap

by Jeffrey D. Sachs Added 03.06.2015
"Recent studies have shown that when “generalized trust” in society is high, economic performance is improved and life satisfaction is higher. Among other reasons, commercial agreements are more easily reached and efficiently implemented. It is...

FIFA Should Fix More Than Blatter

by Minky Worden Added 03.06.2015
Sepp Blatter stepping down as president of football’s governing body, FIFA, is no fix for the epic problems facing the World Cup’s organizers - and other  mega-sporting events. FIFA’s (non-corruption) problems are legion. Migrant workers...

The clever politics of Sepp Blatter's 'resignation' from FIFA

by Mark Doidge Added 03.06.2015
And so Sepp Blatter has defied all expectations and announced his intention to step aside from the presidency of FIFA after 17 years at the helm. Despite numerous scandals afflicting the organisation he ran, he won four successive elections....

How UEFA could leave FIFA and launch its own World Cup

by Mark Doidge and Thomas F Carter Added 02.06.2015
“….UEFA could secede from FIFA and declare itself the sole authority over European football…..” “….the European nations are the economic engine of the World Cup,….. “…..UEFA could establish the Champions League as the legitimate rival spectacle...

The Atlantic is entering a cool phase that will change the world’s weather

by Gerard McCarthy and Ivan Haigh Added 01.06.2015
The Atlantic Ocean’s surface temperature swings between warm and cold phases every few decades. Like its higher-frequency Pacific relative El Nino, this so-called “Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation” can alter weather patterns throughout the...
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Letter from the Editor

Merkel’s Greece legacy

The financial crises started in 2008. It has been argued that its starting point was worse than that of the Great Depression, but our knowledge of how the economy works has improved so much that the financial crisis of 2008 resulted in Great...

On Flags and Cultural Cures

by Lawrence Davidson Added 02.07.2015
Racially Motivated Murder On the evening of 17 June 2015 a 21-year-old white man by the name of Dylann Roof walked into an old and famous black church, the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in Charleston, South Carolina. The...

Pope Francis Gets the Moral Framing Right: Global Warming Is Where the Practical and the Moral Meet

by George Lakoff Added 29.06.2015
Beginning with my book  Moral Politics  in 1996 (Ch. 12), I have been arguing that environmental issues are moral issues. There I reviewed and critiqued conservative metaphors of nature as a resource, as property, as an adversary to be...

“Miss Rich is married and lives in Cambridge, Mass.”

by Mary L. Tabor Added 27.06.2015
You care about literature. You might even want to get published. Maybe you’ve got the short story done. You’re working on the novel. You don’t have an agent, a big publishing house. Reader or writer, you may say, “Literary Magazines: Why...

Nikki Haley's call to take down Confederate flag reveals ongoing shift in GOP strategy

by Joseph Lowndes Added 25.06.2015
This week in a televised press conference, Republican South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley called for the removal of the Confederate Battle Flag from the South Carolina Statehouse grounds. Before this week, Haley, like other Republican...

Confederate Ideology and the Second Amendment

by Charles J. Reid, Jr. Added 24.06.2015
"The idea of nullification in its own way is equally odious......... It is frightening that such an idea has captured the imagination of so many Republican legislators. It is an idea that the national GOP leadership should repudiate, and soon....

Confederate Flags: A Day Late, A Dollar Short

by Jeff Schweitzer Added 23.06.2015
"I told you so" just seems so inadequate. We needed a hideous  hate crime  for the nation to see the obvious; that any flag of the confederacy is a symbol of hate, bigotry and treason. I've been agitating to take down those flags for the past 15...

When it comes to older people and sex, doctors put their heads in the sand

by Sharron Hinchliff Added 22.06.2015
The sex lives of older people have received a lot of attention recently. From the Netflix sitcom Grace and Frankie, which stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin (both in their 70s) and does not shy away from the issue of sex, to the Channel 4 series...

Divine Time Import

by Lawrence Davidson Added 21.06.2015
Importing the “Divine Past” into the Present Prior to the 18th century - that is prior to the Enlightenment - if you had asked a literate Westerner when he or she thought the most ideal of human societies did or would exist, most of them would...

Captain Pope on the Titanic

by Jeff Schweitzer Added 19.06.2015
The Pope now  recognizes the obvious: our climate is changing as a consequence of human activity. But still, not everyone agrees.  James Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said the following: "We should be...

Pope’s climate letter is a radical attack on the logic of the market

by Steffen Böhm Added 19.06.2015
What makes Pope Francis and his 183-page encyclical so radical isn’t just his call to urgently tackle climate change. It’s the fact he openly and unashamedly goes against the grain of dominant social, economic and environment policies. While the...
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The ‘Yoda’ of the piano world dominates the Tchaikovsky competition

by Michael Johnson Added 02.07.2015
The International Tchaikovsky Competition in St. Petersburg and Moscow ended last night (July 1) in a virtual American sweep in the piano category, with gold and bronze prizes going to American-trained Russian boys and the silver to a...

San Francisco Symphony mixes things up with imagery and motion in “Missa Solemnis”

by James Bash Added 01.07.2015
With mixed results, the San Francisco Symphony performed Beethoven’s “Missa Solemnis,” using projected imagery and movement on June 11th [2015] at Davies Symphony Hall. It would be easy to say that this masterpiece by Beethoven doesn’t need...

San Francisco Opera creates magnificent spectacle with Berlioz’s “Les Troyens”

by James Bash Added 26.06.2015
San Francisco Opera pushed grand opera to the hilt with an inspiring, massive production of Berlioz’s “Les Troyens” (“The Trojans”) at the War Memorial Opera House on Friday (June 12). An all-star cast that featured Susan Graham, Bryan Hymel,...

“The Rake’s Progress” doesn’t stray in fine Portland Opera production underlined with Hockney artwork

by James Bash Added 23.06.2015
Igor Stravinsky’s “The Rake’s Progress” was served with verve and wit by Portland Opera on Sunday afternoon (June 14th) at the Keller Auditorium. Led by the superb singing of Jonathan Boyd, the agile playing of the orchestra under conductor Ari...

An updated Norma for today’s Bordeaux audience

by Michael Johnson Added 07.06.2015
The Bordeaux Opéra Nationale has been packing its 18th-century Grand Théâtre for a week of sellout performances of Norma, the great Vincenzo Bellini opera on which much of his reputation rests. The signature aria, “Casta Diva” still brings the...

Unexpected Places

by Glen Roven Added 06.06.2015
"The classical music scene in New York City is amazing. Not only for the quality, but also for the depth and breadth of the offerings. Yes, there are always the A-list attractions, Netrebko at the Met, Argerich at Carnegie. But on any given...

Note to Harvey Goldsmith: it's your music that's dead, not festivals

by Mike Jones Added 04.06.2015
Music festivals are about to die, according to leading rock promoter and manager Harvey Goldsmith. Speaking recently at the Hay Literary festival, he declared that it would be gatherings such as Hay, where a diverse range of interests are...

Tinkering with the ivories: Barenboim unveils his 'new' piano design

by Charles Wiffen Added 01.06.2015
In his 70s, the pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim continues to attract attention not only for his performance schedule but also for his views on global issues. He is in London to perform a cycle of Schubert’s piano sonatas in a series of...

Bordeaux falls in love with Lupu

by Michael Johnson Added 27.05.2015
When an aging Radu Lupu sauntered onstage in Bordeaux Tuesday evening (27 May) a hush fell over the packed Auditorium. This pianist is generally recognized as one of the world’s most accomplished keyboard artists, and the full house of 2,200...

Humor and seriousness collide in Seattle Opera’s “Ariadne auf Naxos”

by James Bash Added 08.05.2015
One can easily imagine an opulent home of a Seattle billionaire like Bill Gates or Paul Allen as a setting for Richard Strauss’s “Ariadne auf Naxos.” So after the curtain went up for Seattle Opera’s opening night (May 2) at McCaw Hall, the...
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Dear White People ponders post-racism – but we need to talk about that

by Victoria Anderson Added 26.06.2015
Is there such a thing as post-racism? That’s what Justin Simien’s film Dear White People asks us to consider. And it’s just about to hit the UK. Dear White People is a subtle and good-natured satire on the issues of race in the Obama age. It was...

Girlhood is remarkable – a film brimming with messages of empowerment

by William Brown Added 07.05.2015
Girlhood, Céline Sciamma’s new film, opens with one of the most remarkable sequences that I have ever seen in a cinema. Figures play a game of American touch football under the glare of floodlights set to Dark Allies by New York-based retro...

Celebrity twat or man of the people? Russell Brand is both in The Emperor's New Clothes

by William Brown Added 29.04.2015
A few moments from the end of The Emperor’s New Clothes, the new documentary made by the prolific Michael Winterbottom in collaboration with Russell Brand, the celebrity anarchist pretends to receive a phone call as he puts forward a proposal...
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