Daily Archives: July 12, 2011

Facundo Cabral

Image by AP

More tragic news from the frontline of Latin America’s “drugs war”: the murder of Argentine singer Facundo Cabral last weekend, at the hand of drugs gangs in Guatemala.

The death of the balladeer has not created much of a stir in the Anglo-Saxon world. In Latin America, however, it remains front page news. The closest equivalent is perhaps John Lennon’s murder in 1980: a man, with malice in his heart, shoots a singer known for advocating peace. Read more

The phrase “I hate to say I told you so” is annoyingly insincere. Normally, there is nothing people love more than saying, “I told you so.” So I will simply admit to mixed feelings in pointing out, that I wrote a column three months ago, suggesting that Italy would be sucked into the euro crisis. There were two crucial facts that led me to that conclusion. First, Italy’s debt-to-GDP ratio at 120% was already higher than that of Greece, Portugal and Ireland, at the point where they were forced to apply for help. Second, Italy’s financial position was only sustainable in a climate of very low interest-rates. And that would not last forever. Read more

A lot has changed in the Middle East since the Arab uprisings began. But one thing that remains constant is the obsession of international diplomats with the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process”. Monday saw yet another effort to drag the unwilling parties back to the negotiating table. A meeting of the Quartet (the US, the UN, the European Union and Russia), held in Washington, was expected to call for talks to restart, as a matter of urgency.