Italy’s Downward Spiral

by Hans-Werner Sinn Added 22.08.2014
MUNICH – Italy is now in a triple-dip recession. But it didn’t get there by itself. Yes, the economy’s long slide reflects Italian leaders’ failure to confront the country’s loss of competitiveness; but it is a failure that is widely shared in...

Let's Stop Whistling Dixie: Missouri's Toxic Political Culture Must Change

by Charles J. Reid, Jr. Added 21.08.2014
Quite properly, journalistic reaction to events in Ferguson, Missouri, has focused on the militarization of the police, on the role of racism in the killing of unarmed African-American men, and on the political disenfranchisement that allows...

Fixing Europe’s Orbán Problem

by Thorsten Benner and Wolfgang H. Reinicke Added 21.08.2014
BERLIN/BUDAPEST – In April, when German Chancellor Angel Merkel congratulated Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on his reelection, she let it be known that his large majority implied a “special responsibility” to use good judgment and behave...

James Foley murder: inside the mind of Britain’s jihadis

by Matthew Francis Added 21.08.2014
The chilling video showing the apparent murder of the journalist James Foley by the Islamic State has reinforced the terrible risks involved in the brave and important role that journalists play in reporting from overseas conflicts. In a 2012...

The High Cost of Cheap Meat

by Christine Chemnitz and Shefali Sharma Added 20.08.2014
BERLIN – Factory-style livestock production is a critical driver of agricultural industrialization. Its remorseless expansion is contributing to climate change, deforestation, biodiversity loss, and human-rights violations – all to satisfy...

The Liberal Zionist Dilemma

by Lawrence Davidson Added 19.08.2014
Part I - The Liberal Ideal Liberalism, framed as a socio-political ideal, argues that human beings are good and social progress achievable.  It is a “glass half-full” outlook. Within this paradigm all individuals, not just members of a specific...

The Great War’s Forgotten Soldiers

by Shashi Tharoor Added 19.08.2014
NEW DELHI – One hundred years after the start of World War I, the world has been commemorating that seminal event. Described as “a war to end all wars,” the Great War, as it was called at the time, failed to live up to its billing. Those who...

How Money is Made

by Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and Richard A. Werner Added 19.08.2014
BERLIN/SOUTHAMPTON – Last month, the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) announced the establishment of their own development bank, which would reduce their dependence on the Western-dominated, dollar-focused World...

Obama's Iraq Policy: Passing the First Hurdle

by James J. Zogby Added 18.08.2014
With Nouri al-Maliki agreeing to step aside in favor of Haider al Abadi, Iraq may have passed its first hurdle on the way to forming the kind of government that will be needed to defeat the Islamic State (IS) and save the country from further...

Revolutionary perovskite solar cells could be a game changer, but questions remain

by Jon Major Added 18.08.2014
Whenever I tell people I work with solar cells I am asked the same two questions: are they ever going to be really cheap? And can you get me some? While the answer to the second question is no, the answer to the first is a lot more positive....

Rise of the Islamic State signals a changing world order

by Daniel Wagner Added 16.08.2014
The world is transfixed at the rise of the extremist Islamic State group, contemplating its implications for the greater Middle East, and aghast at the inability of any country to stop its march across the Levant. The birth of the world's newest...

The Right Iraqi Intervention

by Gareth Evans Added 14.08.2014
CANBERRA – US President Barack Obama deserves unconditional support for his decision to use military force to protect the persecuted Yezidi minority from threatened genocide by marauding Islamic State (IS) militants in northern Iraq. The United...

Is anyone immune to the social media echo chamber?

by Vincent F. Hendricks Added 14.08.2014
It’s becoming increasingly obvious that as we spend more time communicating via social media, we are disappearing into bubbles. We receive information from the same sources and witness the views of the same people in our personalised newsfeeds...

Neither Hamas Nor Israel Can Have It Both Ways

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 13.08.2014
The earlier failure to achieve a new and lasting ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was not surprising. For Hamas to demand the complete lifting of the blockade without demilitarizing Gaza is a pipedream; no Israeli prime minster will ever agree...

Asia’s Reform Trinity?

by Kishore Mahbubani Added 13.08.2014
SINGAPORE – Asia is poised to enter a historical sweet spot, with three of its most populous countries – China, India, and Indonesia – led by strong, dynamic, and reform-minded leaders. In fact, China’s Xi Jinping, India’s Narendra Modi, and...

When Fewer Is Better

by Adair Turner Added 13.08.2014
LONDON – Is a shrinking population always a bad thing? Judging by the lamentations of some economists and policymakers in the advanced economies, where people are living longer and birth rates have fallen below replacement levels, one certainly...

Electromagnetic disaster could cost trillions and affect millions. We need to be prepared

by Anders Sandberg Added 12.08.2014
Predicting or worrying about disasters is a popular pastime. But we tend to take notice when somebody with money at stake becomes concerned. Financial people likely sat up when Paul Singer, manager of the Elliott Management hedge fund, warned in...

A Step Forward Today in Ending Violence Against Women in Europe

by Gauri van Gulik Added 12.08.2014
While wars in Gaza, Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere grab the attention of the world, a different, everyday struggle rages in Europe: violence against women. One in three women in the European Union has experienced some form of physical and/or sexual...

The New Loose Nukes

by Bennett Ramberg Added 12.08.2014
LOS ANGELES – Nobody would dispute the danger inherent in possessing nuclear assets. But that danger becomes far more acute in a combat zone, where nuclear materials and weapons are at risk of theft, and reactors can become bombing targets....

Responding to Ebola

by Jeffrey D. Sachs Added 11.08.2014
NEW YORK – The horrific Ebola epidemic in at least four West African countries (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria) demands not only an emergency response to halt the outbreak; it also calls for re-thinking some basic assumptions of...

Putin’s Dilemma

by Sergei Guriev Added 11.08.2014
PARIS – Many critics argue that the sanctions imposed on Russia for its actions in Ukraine are ineffective, because they are too limited in scale and scope. Moreover, sanctions are seen as allowing President Vladimir Putin to blame the West for...

The Gaza Saga Continues

by James J. Zogby Added 11.08.2014
Bombs stopped falling on Gaza for three days, allowing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to return to what had once been their homes and neighborhoods. For many, this brief respite provided no relief since they emerged from their shelters...

The Last Pagans of Iraq

by Sanjeev Sanyal Added 09.08.2014
SINGAPORE – With US President Barack Obama belatedly ordering air strikes and humanitarian airdrops of food and relief supplies to refugees in northern Iraq, the world is finally taking action against the Islamic State. Within a few months, the...

Progressives Should Stand with the President to Oppose Genocide

by Robert Creamer Added 09.08.2014
One of the reasons I supported Barack Obama for President in 2008 was his pledge to end the War in Iraq.  I have been a vocal opponent of that War since George Bush proposed the invasion in 2002.   I strongly believe that the actions President...

The Framing of MH-17

by William Burke-White Added 08.08.2014
PHILADELPHIA – US President Barack Obama called the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 an “outrage of unspeakable proportions,” whereas Russian President Vladimir Putin termed it an “accident” and a “terrible tragedy.” Ukrainian President...

Will Netanyahu Seize The Moment?

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 07.08.2014
There is a growing consensus among Israelis and Arabs that the Israel-Hamas war will end just like the 2009 and 2012 encounters. Hamas will declare victory by pointing out the casualties and pain inflicted on the Israelis and the likely limited...

The Global Economy’s Groundhog Day

by Ashoka Mody Added 07.08.2014
NEW DELHI – In the movie “Groundhog Day,” a television weatherman, played by Bill Murray, awakes every morning at 6:00 to relive the same day. A similar sense of déjà vu has pervaded economic forecasting since the global economic crisis began a...

More Crop for the Drop

by Henry I. Miller Added 07.08.2014
STANFORD – The United Nations has called drought the “world’s costliest natural disaster,” both financially, imposing an annual cost of $6-8 billion, and in human terms; since 1900, it has affected two billion people, leading to more than 11...

Out of Touch GOP Rapidly Seals Fate with Majority of Ordinary Americans

by Robert Creamer Added 07.08.2014
The Republican Leadership may be doing just fine with the Wall Street crowd and extremists who oppose birth control, but for the majority of ordinary Americans its actions over the last several weeks have rapidly begun to seal its fate as a...

No News Is Bad News in Hong Kong

by Sophie Richardson Added 05.08.2014
Terror, fear, and paranoia: These are some of the factors cited by a founder of the popular Hong Kong news site  House News  explaining the decision to close the publication.  The site’s finances were also reportedly in jeopardy – despite its...

Why Bomb Civilians?

by Ian Buruma Added 05.08.2014
NEW YORK – The time before last that Israel was fighting a war in Gaza, in 2009, Avigdor Lieberman, the foreign minister at the time, compared the conflict to America’s war with Japan. There was no need for a costly ground invasion; the enemy...

Europe’s Blast from the Past

by Joschka Fischer Added 04.08.2014
BERLIN – If there is one historical episode that still makes most Europeans shiver, even after a century, it is the outbreak of World War I, the seminal European catastrophe, which began in the last days of July 1914. In fact, exactly one...

Arab Americans and American Muslims Are at Risk

by James J. Zogby Added 04.08.2014
This past week the Arab American Institute (AAI) released its third biannual poll of American attitudes toward Arabs and Muslims. Conducted by Zogby Analytics, 1100 likely voters were surveyed nationwide. The results were deeply troubling. What...

Ethics in Gaza

by Peter Singer Added 04.08.2014
MELBOURNE – Is Israel’s military action in Gaza morally defensible? Different answers to that question are possible. Some depend on answers to prior questions about the founding of the state of Israel, the circumstances that led to many...

Russia’s Eurasian Vision

by Nouriel Roubini Added 03.08.2014
NEW YORK – The escalating conflict in Ukraine between the Western-backed government and Russian-backed separatists has focused attention on a fundamental question: What are the Kremlin’s long-term objectives? Though Russian President Vladimir...

China’s Victory in Ukraine

by Dmitri Trenin Added 31.07.2014
MOSCOW – For a generation, relations between the United States and Russia were essentially about history. Since the Cold War’s end, Russia had become increasingly peripheral to the US and much of the rest of the world, its international...

Trapped Between Delusion And Denial

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 31.07.2014
The Israelis and Palestinians have been trapped for decades between delusions and denial and both have resorted to ideological and religious dogmas that dismiss with conviction any factual evidence to the contrary. A powerful Israeli...

Unholy War

by Naomi Wolf Added 31.07.2014
NEW YORK – As the bombardment of Gaza continues, and the civilian death toll rises above 1,200 – with children comprising one-quarter of the victims – the world has become polarized. Supporters of Israel’s actions invoke its right to protect its...

The Internet’s Next Act

by J. Bradford DeLong Added 30.07.2014
BERKELEY – Ten years ago, the world emerged from the dot-com bust and started to look more soberly at the Internet’s potential. While speculative greed and fear of missing out might have overplayed the short-term outlook, the Internet’s immense...

The Status of Physics as Science

by Maria Spiropulu Added 30.07.2014
PASADENA – Almost a century ago, the first galaxy beyond our own was discovered, and within a decade the theory that the universe is expanding was first proposed. Since then, astounding technological developments have contributed to...

The Trauma of France’s Jews

by Dominique Moisi Added 28.07.2014
PARIS – “Death to the Jews!” In Paris and other French cities, the hate-filled words ring out. Attacks on synagogues have taken place for the first time since the Dreyfus Affair at the end of the nineteenth century. In suburban areas near Paris,...

The ‘Washington Post’ Fails in Gaza

by James J. Zogby Added 28.07.2014
Press coverage of this ugly war on Gaza has only served to remind us of the fundamental problem that has plagued the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the very beginning: Israelis are seen as real individual people; while Palestinians are an...

The Gaza Trap

by Shlomo Ben-Ami Added 28.07.2014
TEL AVIV – Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” against Hamas in Gaza is the kind of asymmetrical warfare that has characterized nearly all Middle East conflicts in recent years. Victories in such wars are always elusive. Whatever the...

The Other Nigeria

by Paul Collier and Acha Leke Added 28.07.2014
LAGOS – Nigeria has been getting a lot of bad press lately, owing largely to the militant Islamist group Boko Haram’s abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls in April, part of a brutal campaign of kidnappings, bombings, and murder. But, while...

One Hundred Days of Servitude

by Gordon Brown Added 26.07.2014
LONDON – Demonstrations around the world were held this week to mark the 100th day of captivity for more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls by the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram. Since their abduction in April, global outrage has not waned; on...

The Facebook Furor

by Esther Dyson Added 26.07.2014
AMSTERDAM – There has been a lot of fuss lately about the psychological experiment that Facebook conducted on nearly 700,000 of its users. In order to gauge how people’s Facebook “News Feeds” affect their moods, the company temporarily...

The Double Folly

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 24.07.2014
The war between Hamas and Israel has exposed the folly of both sides. Hamas’ long-standing objective to destroy Israel has come back to haunt it, which may eventually spell its own demise. Conversely, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s unwillingness to...

The Fertility Conundrum

by Karen Buch and Duksoo Kim Added 24.07.2014
BOSTON – It is perhaps inevitable that contraception and population growth are controversial topics, given the many perspectives brought to bear on them. Reproductive-health activists focus on family planning and a woman’s right to control her...

Europe’s Surplus of Stagnation

by Robert Skidelsky Added 23.07.2014
LONDON – While the rest of the world recovers from the Great Recession of 2008-2009, Europe is stagnating. Eurozone growth is expected to be 1.7% next year. What can be done about it? One solution is a weaker euro. Earlier this month, the chief...

Decentralizing to Munipalities in Arab Spring Countries

by Yossef Ben-Meir Added 23.07.2014
Decentralization - as a way of structuring public administration, in order to give local people and communities more control over their own affairs and to promote human development - is being closely considered for adoption by some Arab Spring...
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Letter from the Editor

About Facts & Arts

Facts & Arts is an internet publication that functions as a platform for writers of quality content, who are likely to have similar audiences, and whose articles on Facts & Arts accordingly support the distribution of one another. Facts & Arts'...

Gaza has New Atheists split over which religion is more wrong

by Stuart McAnulla Added 19.08.2014
The New Atheists are once again provoking controversy, this time with their comments on Gaza which has prompted divisions among those better known for presenting a united front against religion. Over the past decade, the likes of Richard...

Pray to Jesus -- Or Else

by Jeff Schweitzer Added 16.08.2014
I applaud those who retain the strength to fight the never-ending battle against ignorance, intolerance and persistent persecution of rationalists. The latest nonsense comes from  Georgia, a state that seems hell-bent on conserving medieval...

Laughter as Nutrition

by Jeff Schweitzer Added 13.08.2014
Humor is an essential part of the human experience. We tend to think of comedy as frivolous, a side show to the miseries of hunger, disease, and poverty that visit the vast majority of the global population. In the face of humanity's enduring...

Dangerous Personality Disorders in Leading Positions – The Role of Religion

by Ian Hughes Added 11.08.2014
ISIS in Iraq is murdering Christians and Shia Muslims alike under the guise of a Holy War. Israel’s merciless bombardment of  Gaza has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of women and children- the youngest to be killed was ten days old, the...

God and the Multiverse

by Charles J. Reid, Jr. Added 07.08.2014
In a broad sense of that term, reading Max Tegmark's Our Mathematical Universe is akin to a religious experience. I would not be at all surprised if Tegmark felt a similar sense of excitement in writing this massively learned yet wonderfully...

Kafka’s The Trial: Is the Search for Meaning Possible?

by Mary L. Tabor Added 27.07.2014
Note to my readers: This essay is a follow-up to my rereading of Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse, more personal essay than review. I hope to follow my musing on Kafka with another brief essay on James Joyce’s Ulysses —even in the face of the...

How to be a publishing parent – and help diversify children’s literature

by Natalia Kucirkova Added 25.07.2014
Many professional authors are also parents, but recently, there have been a number of success stories of parents simply writing for their own children and becoming very successful. And this recent surge is largely driven by digital technology...
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Mordecai Shehori: finding that special 'zing' in your piano

by Michael Johnson Added 18.08.2014
Pianist Mordecai Shehori’s prodigious output of CDs over the past few years must be setting some kind of record. Almost every piece of the piano repertoire he has studied throughout his long career is being preserved for posterity, now amounting...

Why Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem still resounds today

by Nicholas Ashton Added 14.08.2014
The past may be a foreign country, but in terms of war, they do not do things differently there; death is death at any time and in any language. No other work in the Classical repertoire could be more topical or appropriate in commemorating the...

Composer Scott Wollschleger: Painting with the Right Notes

by Ivan Ilic Added 19.07.2014
An interview by Ivan Ilic.  I first came across Scott Wollschleger as I browsed the Project Schott New York website.  Instantly, I knew that his Music Without Metaphor was the right piece for a new CD I was preparing. [1]   Wollschleger had...

Pianist Ernest So’s latest discoveries

by Michael Johnson Added 17.07.2014
Chinese pianist Ernest So’s eclectic tastes set him apart from the current run of young Asian keyboard superstars now filling concert halls around the world. He has the technical brilliance of the best of them but more importantly he is a...

Interview With Composer Gregg Lehrman

by Teddy Wayne Added 13.07.2014
Gregg Lehrman is a composer and entrepreneur who has helped score music for a number of big TV shows and films. Lehrman has also invented an ingenious new musical instrument,  REV, which reverses sounds. I spoke with Lehrman about his invention...

Caressing the arpeggios: Shirley Hunt does Bach’s cello suites

by Michael Johnson Added 09.06.2014
The Bach suites for solo cello can leave you suffused, body and soul, with their plangent resonances if you allow them to. These six intimate pieces seem conceived to exploit the sensual nature of the cello. Since the revival of the suites in...

John Cage: ‘More mainstream than ever’

by Michael Johnson Added 05.06.2014
When British music lecturer Julia Winterson offered composer John Cage a cup of coffee, he just looked at her. Ms. Winterson, recalling the 1989 encounter, said she thought maybe he hadn’t heard her or didn’t understand her Yorkshire accent....
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