‘Gina Rinehart, Australia’s Mining Billionaire’, William Finnegan in The New Yorker

‘For billionaires who cannot buy good press, there is the option of buying the press.’ The Editor of a western newspaper recently remarked that Australia’s far-Right billionaire, Gina Rinehart, makes Rupert Murdoch seem ‘left-wing’. Read on:

Pope Francis and the Dirty War, posted by Jon Lee Anderson, New Yorker

‘Whatever the truth, [Pope] Francis the Humble, it would seem, has much to clear up about what he thought, how he behaved, and what he did during his country’s Dirty War’, the anti-Communist reign of terror by the military junta (1976-1983).

‘New Pope’s role during Argentina’s military era disputed’, Jonathan Watts and Uki Goni, Guardian:

Hugo Chavez (1954-2013): Tributes (2)

From Cuba: “Chavez is Cuban, too!” “A true son of Fidel”:

President Santos on Chavez’s contribution to peace between Colombia and Venezuela:

More from the Caribbean:–Holness-pay-tribute-to-Chavez

CPI(M) tribute:

pdf iconcpim-tribute.pdf

Hugo Chavez (1954-2013): Tributes

A first list of reactions and tributes, mainly from Latin America and the Caribbean, quickly compiled:

Brazilian President Dilma Roussef: “All Latin Americans are saddened by the death of President Hugo Chávez”:

Caribbean leaders “devastated”:

Evo Morales “shattered”:

“Argentinean President Cristina Fernández declared a three-day mourning…Some Argentinean ministers exclaimed, ‘Until victory!’ once they were informed about his death”:

Lula: “Chavez fought for a fairer world”:

From the English edition of Granma:

Jimmy Carter “praised Chávez’s efforts to ‘create new forms of integration’ in Latin America and the Caribbean, noting that during his 14-year tenure Venezuelan poverty rates were cut in half and a more effective participation in political and economic life was facilitated to millions”:

The Venezuelan people react:

From the Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States:

Some others:

What a fall for a senior Cardinal, who admits and apologises for a career of sexual misconduct, Guardian & NYT

‘There have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal’ — Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Britain’s senior-most Catholic cleric’Brien


‘Cardinal Keith O’Brien: how Britain’s Catholic leader fell from grace’, Catherine Deveney, The Observer:

‘O’Brien priest worries that church wants to ”crush” him’, Catherine Deveney, The Observer:

‘Unfit for purpose and in denial: a church that has lost all authority’, Kevin McKenna, The Observer:

‘Think New York Is Costly? In New Delhi, Seedy Goes for 8 Figures’, Jim Yardley in NYT

What makes real estate prices ‘in the heart of New Delhi…among the highest in the world’? Some insights into the conundrum:

The limits of papal power: uncertainties after Benedict XVI’s troubled reign, Daniel J. Wakin, NYT

What lies ahead for a deeply troubled, scandal-ridden Catholic Church with a worldwide following of 1.17 billion people — after a reactionary Pope stepped down, acting ‘like the CEO of a company’?

‘The Catholic Church Shifted Southward Over the Past Century’, NYT graphic:

On the same page: the satirist and the comedian, Tom Kington in Guardian

‘Grillo is like a character in one of my plays…He is from that school of medieval minstrels who played with paradox and the absurd’ — Nobel Prize-winning playwright Dario Fo on ‘what makes Beppe Grillo tick…after a quarter of Italians voted for his brand of populist insurgency in last week’s general election’:

Is it possible to like Milton? Colin Burrow in the London Review of Books (LRB), March 7, 2013

Is it possible to like John Milton (1608-1674), the poet and secretary for foreign languages in Oliver Cromwell’s revolutionary Commonwealth of England? Conceding that there’s ‘certainly a great deal to dislike’ and that ‘most people would think of him as an overlearned poet who combines labyrinthine syntax with a wide range of moral and intellectual vices’, Colin Burrow argues in this critical review of three new books that ‘to like Milton we really need to go right back to the beginning’, to the wonderful early poems. ‘One good reason for liking Milton’, he explains, is that ‘he was never entirely predictable…Learning to hear how hard Milton is working in these early poems is a big part of learning not just how to like but (for me anyway) to love the cussed old so and so.’