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Iceland: Loonie or no loonie, we want to trade

| January 4, 2013 | 0 Comments
Iceland: Loonie or no loonie, we want to trade

By Thordur Aegir Oskarsson Ambassador of Iceland Four years ago, Iceland became the first victim of the global recession that was starting to crawl over the globe. The situation was magnified due to the recklessness of the domestic banking sector. GDP fell by 10 percent; the krona (Iceland’s currency) was depreciated by 50 percent; unemployment […]

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Qatar: per capita, the world’s richest country

| January 4, 2013 | 0 Comments
Qatar: per capita, the world’s richest country

By Salem Mubarak Al-Shafi Ambassador of Qatar The Qatar government is using its vast oil and gas resources and the funds flowing from it to develop the country’s infrastructure, education and health facilities and modern hydrocarbon operations. With proven gas reserves of more than 900 trillion standard cubic feet in its North Field, and oil […]

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The top 10 hot spots plus 5 runners-up

| January 4, 2013 | 0 Comments
The top 10 hot spots plus 5 runners-up

The wars and rumours of war that will shape 2013 By Wolfgang Depner This piece opens with a proviso. Efforts to predict the future course of human events, no matter how sophisticated they might be, enjoy a less-than-satisfactory record, notwithstanding the recent accomplishments of poll aggregator Nate Silver in forecasting the outcome of the presidential […]

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Press freedom: the right to raise hell

| January 4, 2013 | 0 Comments
Press freedom: the right to raise hell

Only a fraction of the world’s population experiences a free press Laura Neilson Bonikowsky “It is a newspaper’s duty,” The Chicago Times observed in 1861, “to print the news and raise hell.” It is much easier to “print the news,” with or without hell-raising, when journalists are free to do their jobs. In North America, […]

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A sobering report on UN goals

| January 4, 2013 | 0 Comments
A sobering report on UN goals

Jon Lane is the former executive director of the UN’s Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council. WaterCan presented him with the Michael Lubbock Award in October in Ottawa for his contributions in the field of international water and sanitation. The following are excerpts from his acceptance speech. I started work in water and sanitation in […]

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Biodiversity in a bottle

| January 4, 2013 | 0 Comments
Biodiversity in a bottle

Utterly unperturbed, Lili Ana Rodrigues gently pries open the roof of a handmade wooden bee box, slices off paper-thin peaks of miniature mountains made of charcoal-coloured parchment, and carefully inserts a plastic syringe into what should be the dangerous, inner domain of several hundred wild bees. The inner hive is, in fact, pulsating with tiny […]

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Opium as product and policy

| January 4, 2013 | 0 Comments
Opium as product and policy

Thomas Dormandy, a retired British pathologist who knows whereof he speaks, has a great deal to tell us about opium as well as morphine and heroin, the two even more powerful painkilling drugs derived from it. His exhaustive, but not exhausting, new book, Opium: Reality’s Dark Dream (Yale University Press, US$40), is a splendidly informative […]

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Morocco’s exotic cuisine

| January 4, 2013 | 0 Comments
Morocco’s exotic cuisine

  Morocco’s culinary roots can be traced back to nomads, known as Berbers, who lived off the land. Subsequently, traders and conquering nations introduced a myriad of food customs, but the most profound impact came with the 7th-Century Arab invasion, which brought a wide variety of exotic spices (cumin, cinnamon, saffron, ginger and caraway). Today, the […]

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A short, chilly history of Canadian winters

| January 4, 2013 | 0 Comments
A short, chilly history of Canadian winters

How often in winter do we cringe at hearing the dreaded question, “Is it cold enough for ya?!” True, it is a conversation opener, and we Canadians do speak volumes about our weather. In Canada, winter is a part of our community to the extent that it defines us in the global consciousness. It also […]

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A welcoming Korean residence

| January 4, 2013 | 0 Comments
A welcoming Korean residence

Two large, fierce haetae guard the entrance to the stunning stone residence of Korean Ambassador Cho Hee-yong and his wife, Yang Lee. The strange creatures sitting on their plinths in front of the large circular driveway serve a purpose. In traditional Korean mythology, they are said to discern good and evil, prevent natural disasters and […]

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