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11/07/2006

Magazine Roundup

The Spectator | Outlook India | Szombat | Il Foglio | The Economist | Die Weltwoche | Le Monde diplomatique


The Spectator,
08.07.2006 (UK)

The G8 summit takes place in St. Petersburg this weekend. The historian and columnist Anne Applebaum is astounded that the West is preparing the stage for Vladimir Putin's propaganda offensive: "By attending the summit, Western leaders will show their approval of the nationalisation of private property, destruction of the rule of law, violation of human rights and liquidation of democracy. ... The Kremlin — along with Venezuelans, Iranians, Arab leaders and other oil tyrannies — will sit back, laugh and agree that the leaders of the so-called West merely pay lip service to the ideals of freedom and democracy; they don't really believe in them. If you have enough oil, they'll let you into their fancy clubs anyway. As Putin's defence minister recently put it, 'In the contemporary world, only power is respected.' As Putin's adviser recently put it, 'They [the West] talk about democracy but they're thinking about our natural resources.'" Applebaum finds it similarly staggering that the Russian oil company Rosneft, which absorbed the assets of Mikhail Khodorkovsky's Yukos company when it was forced into bankruptcy, is to be floated on the London Stock market on July 14.


Outlook India, 17.07.2006
(India)

S. Anand remembers the first mutiny of Hindu and Muslim Indian soldiers against the British at Fort Vellore 1806. "Though discontent had been brewing among the Indian soldiers drawn from various parts of the Deccan over poor treatment, loss of erstwhile status, and poor pay, the immediate provocation for the unbridled outburst of aggression was apparently the introduction of a controversial new turban, viewed by Indians as a firangi topi (hat), and the implementation of new regulations over the sporting of caste marks on foreheads, earrings and facial hair." The mutiny ended with hundreds of dead on both sides.


Szombat, 01.07.2006
(Hungary)

"judapest" is the name of Budapest's first Jewish weblog which reports on alternative civil society initiatives and Jewish pop culture. In an interview with Csaki Marton judapest founder Bruno Bitter describes the scene's cultural diversity: "The blogger team consists of an anarcho-capitalist business punk, a member of the Lubavitchians who is also an expert on Japanese film, an author and ex-doctor, an accountant, a practising hedonist and a bike currier/psychologist. This is a heterogeneous bunch – also in religious terms: all the different views are represented, from the orthodox to the anti-clerical liberals. An orthodox friend of mine read my blogs and said I was a kind of 'art for art's sake' Jew. It sounds funny and it's true. Like most young people, I can't see the point of religious labels. Our identity is far too fragmented for us to avow to just one religion."


Il Foglio, 08.07.2006
(Italy)

Claudio Cerasa sticks his neck out for Luciano Moggi. The sport director of Juventus Turin is the central figure in the match-fixing scandal which is rocking Italian football. It's all water off a duck's back to Cerasa. "Which games were fixed? There are none. No games were manipulated so the whole system must be being manipulated. The only real evidence is the bugged telephone calls. There are no irregularities to be found. So everything must be irregular." And the finale was (sporting) proof of Moggi's system: Cannavaro, Zambrotta, Buffon, Viera, Trezeguet, Camoranesi, Thuram , Del Piero -" It is no coincidence that Italy will be represented by eight very Moggian players at the finale in Berlin."


Lanfranco Pace praise of Serge July, the founder and chief editor of the French newspaper Liberation who has been forced to quit his post. "He was the only one who could be at the same time father and the boss, psychoanalyst and strategist, manager and chief editor, reporter and opinion maker."


The Economist, 07.07.2006 (UK)

With the approach of George Bush's Germany visit to Germany, the magazine reflects on the marked improvement in German-American relations. But things are still a long way from a close alliance, the magazine warns. "Ms Merkel is herself more pragmatic than many Americans realise. She has adjusted Germany's bilateral relations, but the substance of foreign policy has changed little. And, as in domestic politics, there is a risk of overestimating what she can do. She may be Europe's most powerful leader now, but could she deliver her country (or the rest of the continent) if it came to tough action against Iran? Domestically, her position may also weaken if her reforms disappoint or upset voters—as this week's health-care plans may do. Here, indeed, lies the big danger to American-German relations: that America may expect too much help from Germany, whether on Iran, the Balkans or Russia. Ms Merkel has repaired ties with Washington at the same time as showing that she is no poodle, criticising Guantanamo and pushing the Americans to talk directly to Iran. But even this political acrobat could lose her balance if she is hugged too hard."


Die Weltwoche, 07.07.2006 (Switzerland)

Nomen est omen: Larry Brilliant "played a decisive role in eradicating the pox in India. A friend of the rock band The Grateful Dead, Brilliant lived for a while in an Ashram in the Himalyas. He was part of the 'The Well,' the first and undoubtedly the most formative 'virtual community' on the Internet. And he founded or a number of larger and smaller technology firms," reports Bruno Guissani. Now the 61-year-old Californian is to become the director of Google Foundation. The new foundation has big plans – of course with the help of the Internet. "Brilliant is planning a system for a digital anti-pox strategy connecting search engines, satellite images, historical databases and all manner of communication. It will comb the Internet for information on new illnesses like Sars and new cases of avian flu, but also for new biological threats from terrorism or accidents. And it will report on natural catastrophes, chemical and industrial accidents, floods, poisoned water, famine and other catastrophes where a quick response is decisive.


Le Monde diplomatique, 07.07.2006 (France / Germany)

Sinologist Isabelle Attane writes on the scandal that can't be decried often enough: the deficit of millions of women in Asian countries resulting from the systematic abortion of female foetuses and the mistreatment of girls. In China today, the number of boys born is 12 percent over the norm, and six percent in India, Attane notes. "The mortality rate among boys five years old and younger is normally higher than among girls. In India, by contrast, the mortality rate of girls is seven percent higher than that of boys. In Pakistan it is five percent higher, and in Bangladesh three percent. In China, Taiwan and South Korea, not having a male heir is tantamount to the end of the family line and the veneration of ancestors. In Hinduism, boyless parents see themselves condemned to eternal wandering, as the parents' burial ritual is traditionally taken care of by the son."
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