The new issue of East Global Geopolitics is on sale at newsagents and bookshops in 21 countries
After the abdication of Juan Carlos of Spain, we look at a few modern day ‘sovereigns’: Turkey’s Tayyip Erdoğan, criticized but apparently irreplaceable, the Hungarian Viktor Orbán, unloved abroad but hugely popular at home and the French Premier, François Hollande, unpopular most everywhere.
To add perspective, there’s also a portrait of Peter the Great, the first Emperor of “all the Russias.” He taxed beards, tried to teach his countrymen good manners and conquered Crimea (the first time around).
Hundreds of millions of voters have been called to elect their representatives to the Parliaments of the world’s two largest democracies, India and Europe, in both cases stunning pundits with unexpected results.
A new technology samples European sentiments through the automatic analysis of Facebook posts and “tweets.” Britain’s legal system attempts to come to terms with Islam’s incompatible Sharia law, and we look at Muslim women and the difficult choice between staying at home to cook or becoming a human bomb.
Anglo-Saxons call it money laundering. Continental Europeans refer to the phenomenon more delicately as “recycling.” Either way, it’s a growth sector. Willy Sutton, a famous American bank robber of the Thirties, once said that he robbed banks because “that’s where the money is.” He was right, but his submachine gun is passé.
This issue’s dossier is dedicated to marriage, a fundamental institution undergoing radical transformation in every corner of the globe. Poligamy – multiple marriage – is far more widespread than people think. Both Barack Obama and his challenger in the last US presidential elections, Mitt Romney, come from families practicing polygamy.
Al Jazeera is conducting an unlikely invasion of the United States – at least of its commercial television market – while the burkini, an “Islamically correct” bathing costume, allows Moslem women to play on the beach without sparking male lust. Afghanistan’s Mujahideen may be called to defend Earth against alien space monsters. We also pay homage to the animals who spearheaded off-world travel, including the first turtle to orbit the Moon.
It has been suggested that criminals be sentenced to ‘cognitive’ jail terms, subjectively doing life sentences in a single night while locked in a terrifying prison of the mind: an endless – and sadistic – punishment that could save tax payers bundles of money.
Counter-terrorism now has its own trade fair in London. Urumqi – the largest metropolis you’ve never heard of – may be interested in the anti-terrorist landscaping and bomb-proof manhole covers on offer. The city, again the capital of the Silk Route after a thousand years of obscurity, doesn’t want violent ethnic unrest to get in the way of business.