East 57

EDITOR’S NOTE – Chocolate and a plague


A Belgian chocolate maker has changed its name from ISIS Chocolates to Libeert in order to avoid an inadvertent association with the Islamic State after sales unsurprisingly crashed on decapitation news.

The company, previously known as “Italo Suisse,” had only recently – in 2013 – changed it name to ISIS because it no longer had an association with either Italy or Switzerland.

Beyond the food industry trade press, it is astonishing how rapidly the ‘new Caliphate’ has disappeared from newspaper headlines, especially since there is no indication that the problem it poses has been solved.

Vanishing news coverage of the deadly Ebola virus is a similar case.

Though Ebola may – or may not – have been effectively contained within the West African countries where it is present, in those places it is still reaping victims and destroying entire societies.

Both themes are the subject of important articles in this issue. Other items of ours worth seeing range from a look at the collapse of German military might – it once scared the world – to the state of the art in what may be everyone’s most popular crime: shoplifting.

Have you stolen anything in a store lately? We have managed to calculate how many people the CIA has so far assassinated with its killer drones: probably around 650. Oman’s pacific Ibadite Muslims show that Islam does not have to be about violent militants, while icy Greenland may have a future as a sort of snowbound Saudi Arabia.

Human trafficking – once better known as “white slavery” – is still with us and must be fought.

The world’s biggest Internet company is Chinese.

The video-game sector now matters more – much more – than the film industry and an Italian clothing manufacturer is helping the United Nations explain to the globe why you should not beat your wife or husband.

Former Italian Prime Minister and EU President Romano Prodi and his military advisor, Gen. Giuseppe Cucchi, explain why Europe’s errors in Libya are dangerous.

‘Net neutrality’ has a hard time staying neutral and Europe’s lawyers are very much in doubt about just how ‘European’ they want to be. Ireland’s economy is back – with scars – and we report on two hugely important Asian sports you’ve never heard of: kabaddi and sepak takraw. You need to know about them.

Our dossier is dedicated instead to twin themes that go together like a horse and carriage: crime and punishment.

Pray instead that you do not need to know about either. 


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