In this issue we publish a series of reports on the increasingly complex global issue of waste management and disposal titled The Smell of Money. Massive dumping has become a lucrative business, with Asia and Africa becoming the planet’s favorite landfill sites. We open reporting with Simone Pieranni’s “Taking out the Trash 2.0,” with photos by Luigi Baldelli. Next up is Bruno Perini’s report on a different kind of waste, online data dumps that allow hackers access to sensitive personal information. Pietro Veronese probes the darker side of Steve Jobs’ Apple legacy, which includes acres of iWaste, while Karima Moual and Eduardo Di Blasi look at how garbage has fouled Morocco and Naples, respectively.
On other subjects, senior writer Giuseppe Scognamiglio examines what Barack Obama, elected to his second term in November, needs to do reduce his country’s sprawling budget deficit and underscores the need to comply with European banking reform. Flavio Fusi probes the human and economic cost of the Spanish housing bubble collapse, Matteo Tacconi looks at China’s “bailout” of troubled European states, Astrit Dakli and Luisa Betti trace the plight of disabled children in Russia, and Massimo Di Pasquale combines a Ukrainian travelogue with insight into that country’s recent election. On Middle East and African themes, Farian Sabahi reports on Iran’s economic crisis, Giuliana Sgrena on Islamism in Tunisia, and Amedeo Ricucci on embattled Mali.
Our portfolio section focuses on Syria’s ongoing civil strife with photos by Seamus Murphy of Agency VII, which has won six World Press Photo awards. Worth noting is a stunning black and white photo report on Afghanistan compiled by Monika Bulaj. Finally, Andrea Milluzzi reports from Cyprus, which is marrying Lebanese nationals by the hundreds. Her report has shots by Linda Dorigo.
As always, we publish Roberto Santaniello’s Western Shore and Stefano Bottoni’s Eastern Shore, which tracks European highlights, and Manuela Dviri’s furnishes her Notes From Tel Aviv. Francesca Lancini That’s Incredible and Carlotta Magnanini By the Numbers round things out.
As always, east is available at most major newsstands or to download in PDF form. The website contains subscription information, but we also include a handy card. East is a great gift throughout the year, so why not share it with friends and family?
A vast floating waste island that’s so immense it seems like a continent unto itself. The subversive idea emerges from the mind of French playwright Daniel Pennac. in an otherwise pristine ocean, he portrays a continental “raft” piled high with plastic bags, bubble-wrap, broken phones, old computer parts, used clothes, dirty toothbrushes, and an assortment of cables. Pennac conjures up this drifting mountain of floating garbage to offset the illusion of cleanliness and order of the inhabited world.
As the online world begins taking in billions of advertising dollars, the attention of users has turned to security issues. Increasingly, web users rightly worry about the fate of personal information they thought was and would remain private.
The planet produces an estimated four billion tons of refuse annually, some of it highly toxic. Though efforts are underway to catalogue the trash, rein the movement of it most hazardous ingredients, and even use it to produce energy, the waste disposal industry remains something of a Wild West.