Though east is a bimonthly, two themes demand our full attention: the ongoing strife between Palestinians and Israelis and the global economic downturn, whose woeful effects began resonating in the wake of the American sub-prime mortgage crisis. On the delicate subject of the Middle East, we host an editorial by Venice mayor and philosopher Massimo Cacciari as well as an interview with Avraham Burg, the Israeli intellectual who along with Abraham Yehoshua and Amos Oz created Hatnua Hahadasha, or New Movement. The interview is by Marina Gersony. Regarding the economic crises, we examine it from an Asian perspective. How are the newly-invigorated Chinese and Indian economies coping? What about growth? Will development models change? Our detailed reports come from Maria Weber, Giovanni Andornino, Alessandro Arduino, Claudia Astarita, Stefano Chiarlone and Marco Masciaga. Our cover story tackles the always relevant theme of religious freedom. We host reports from Francesca Lancini and Alessandra Garusi. Aldo Ferrari also contributes his views on the state of the Eastern Church. For readers who follow environmental issues, Antonio Barbangelo talks to Stefano Landi, whose northern Italian company is among the leaders in global LPG gas production. Elsewhere, Emanuele Confortin reports from Bhopal, India where the effects of the Union Carbine chemical spill are still felt 25 years later. Emiliano Bos captures the travails of Sri Lanka in its struggle with Tamil separatism. Finally, Massimiliano Di Pasquale heads for the Russian city of Yekaterinburg. This issue marks a time of change for east. We have a new publisher, which is also responsible for Italian weekly “Internazionale.” We thank Baldini Castoldi Dalai for his thoughtful hard work over the years and extend a warm welcome to the new managment, pledging full cooperation in this phase of the magazine’s development.