Spinning into a northern summer: Facts and Opinions that matter

As we spin into a northern summer, F&O presents a rich reading smorgasbord for the end of one week and the beginning of another.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former head of the International Monetary Fund, was acquitted of sex crime accusations by a French court on June 12, the final chapter in a transatlantic scandal that destroyed the political ambitions of a man once tipped to become his country’s president. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
“All that for what? Such destruction,” whispered former IMF head and French presidential hopeful Dominique Strauss-Kahn, as he was acquitted of sex crime accusations by a French court. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

Dispatches — in Science, Justice, Geo, and Publica — explore how former IMF head Strauss-Kahn was acquitted in French vice trial, consider research suggesting potentially toxic residues are left in the brain from MRI drugs;  and read how drunken monkeys show that it’s only humans go overboard — and why that sheds light on our addictions.

A story with an arguably American perspective asks: Do Europe’s Revolving-Door Prisons Compound Terror Threat? Meanwhile in America,  New Snowden Documents Reveal Secret Memos Expanding Spying

In a setback for public trust in charitable giving, ProPublica’s investigation showed The Red Cross Raised Half a Billion — and Built Six Haitian Homes

If you’re planning to see Jurassic World this month dung beetles may not be top of mind. But look out for them, one scientist suggests, as he answers the questions, What is needed to create a real Jurassic World?

The punishing drought in Western North America is top of mind, for anyone who knows we’re all affected by food security, one of the world’s largest economies, and climate change. These two pieces, part of a major investigation by ProPublica, that explain some of the back story:  Killing the Colorado: Water Rights and the Right to Waste and How US dollars fund the water crisis.

In Commentary, read ecological anthropologist Philip Loring’s call for a new story of humanity’s place in the world. 

The Spout on Newfoundland's East Coast Trail near fishing village of Bay Bulls. Photo by Greg Locke. © 2009
We belong here, and belonging is a much more powerful narrative for sustainability than isolation, argues Philip Loring. Greg Locke. © 2009

Money flight impoverishes the poorest countries writes F&O international affairs analyst Jonathan Manthorpe, following up on his much-discussed earlier column about Vancouver real estate (this one’s public access): Vancouver: not mind-numbingly boring, but vacuously vain.

F&O Seeking Orenda columnist Tom Regan recalls his own wrenching introduction to sex ed, and in light of the protests in some North American jurisdictions over teaching children, writes, It’s time to start teaching “sexuality education” in kindergarten.

In Arts, F&O Arts writer Brian Brennan’s new Brief Encounter is about an unforgettable actor: From “Brief Lives” to “Game of Thrones”: Roy Dotrice

In case you missed them, do check out recent thought-provoking pieces:   Digital Domesday: surveillance and serfdom,  Regenerative capitalism: ‘the Great Work of our time’, and Mike Sasge’s Verbatim on The prescriptive World Happiness Report.   And recent good reads in in our Arts section include Photographic manipulation: trickery, art, or illusionism, Joyce Thierry Llewellyn’s review of a new television series,  Befuddled by Between,  and a brief about the latest international Booker: ‘Monumental’ generates prize for Hungary’s Krasznahorkai.

Last but not least, apologies to readers who were unable to find us online last Sunday. A surge in readership crashed the web site for a day; we have since added more room to expand, and we thank you for your interest in our work. We’re a small boutique outfit, doing something very different in the raging floods of new globalized media, and we appreciate your support. I would also appreciate your feedback: email me at djones AT factsandopinions.com.

— Deborah Jones   


Facts and Opinions is an online journal of select and first-rate reporting and analysis, in words and images: a boutique for slow journalism, without borders. Independent, non-partisan and employee-owned, F&O performs journalism for citizens, funded entirely by readers. We do not carry advertising or solicit donations from foundations or causes.

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