Ghost of murdered mistress haunts Prime Minister of Malaysia

JONATHAN MANTHORPE: International Affairs January 16, 2015  Murdered Mongolian aspiring fashion model, translator and mistress to the mighty, Altantuya Shaariibuu, may yet get the last laugh. The men who murdered Altantuya in October, 2006, two police bodyguards to Malaysia’s prime minister, Najib Razak,

Noteworthy: prescriptions on inequality

Worth reading:  A joint American-British report today prescribed new policies aimed at reducing the growing gulf between haves and have-nots in Western democracies, using case studies from several countries. The middle class has not fared well lately in advanced economies roiled by globalization,

Artists call for ban on fracking near national park

Thirty two well known artists sent an open letter to Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper, and  Newfoundland & Labrador Premier Paul Davis, calling on them to establish a permanent buffer zone free of industrial activity around Gros Morn National Park  and UNESCO

Research adds a weapon in our war between germs and drugs

A research breakthrough in a report in Nature  this week, A new antibiotic kills pathogens without detectable resistance,  may turn out to be the biggest and most hopeful medical news of the year.  It’s been decades since scientists made significant progress on new weapons against

New on F&O: From Peak Civilization to Birdman

   Are We at Peak Civilization? By Chris Wood (subscription required) Will 2015 be the end of our capitalist consumer cornucopia world? That world cannot go on. And as some bright person once said (the words are variously attributed to Henry Ford and economist

Saudi Arabia upheaval will soon rock Middle East and beyond

Politics are heating up in Saudi Arabia, a key player in the three-cornered contest in the Middle East between modernity, theocracy and absolutism, a contest waged between warring proxies in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Libya, and felt in corners of the world from

John Frankenheimer: Emmys, enthusiasm, and energy

Film director John Frankenheimer was often at odds with Hollywood producers because he insisted on making movies for artistic rather than commercial reasons. But, as Arts columnist Brian Brennan reports, he later found his niche in television.  An excerpt of Brennan’s Brief Encounters

Saudi Arabia succession struggle looms as king ails

JONATHAN MANTHORPE: International Affairs January 9, 2015 It’s been a long time coming, but the looming crisis in Saudi Arabia’s absolute monarchy is finally in clear sight. What has brought matters into focus was the dispatch to hospital in Riyadh this week of

Are We at Peak Civilization?

 The 2008 financial crisis fit well with modeled conditions that also produce a global peak in per-capita industrial output in the next 12 months, inaugurating decades of economic and demographic contraction. CHRIS WOOD: NATURAL SECURITY January, 2015 I’ve been doing some seasonal reading.