Russia

Democratic Accountability in Russia? Surely not! Putin, Retirement Age Concessions and Popularity Ratings This is what The Dweller’s Guide To The Planet’s entry on Russia, had to say: “Russia is a big and important anomaly. It’s a sort of pretend democracy, but actually President Vladimir Putin has total control. In the Moscow area alone some …

Iran (update)

The Iranian Blame Game As the dweller’s guide reported a few weeks back… With American sanctions about to bite and the value of the Iranian rial having fallen 80% since January, while food prices have doubled, it’s no surprise that Iranians are looking for someone to blame. So, who is blaming who? Naturally, Iranians still blame …

Venezuela

Venezuela: Maduro’s New Recovery Plan.  Venezuela was once South America’s richest country. In 1970 its GDP was higher than Spain’s. Now, the UN reports that two million people have fled Venezuela since Nicolas Maduro became President in 2014. The IMF estimate that the annual inflation rate will hit one million per cent by the end …

Austria

Vienna has overtaken Melbourne as The best City in The World to Live in. Except, it isn’t really. The latest Liveability Index from The Economist Intelligence Unit concludes that Vienna is the best city in the world to live in. The annual survey, considers 30 factors related to safety, health care, educational resources, infrastructure and …

Egypt

Does Reading This Deserve A Year in an Egyptian Prison? Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt’s opposition fearing President, has just given the courts the right to block websites ‘deemed a threat to national security’ – a standard euphemism for ‘being critical of the regime’ or ‘concerned about human rights.’ Anyone who browses such sites will face …

Turkey

Don’t call us Mr. Erdogan. We’ll call you. Erdogan urges Turkey to boycott i-phones In the latest round of the dispute between Turkey and the USA, Erdogan says Turkey will boycott the US technology such as i-phone and buy Samsung and Turkey’s own Vestel instead. This dispute is superficially about: Andrew Brunson, the Presbyterian pastor …

Iran

Which is the real Great Satan, Khamenei or Trump? How odd, that just when many Americans, have come to believe they have elected their own ‘Great Satan’  and have made the traditional Iranian epithet sound reasonable, Iranians themselves are thinking it might be a better description of their own ‘supreme leader’, Ali Khamenei. With American …

New Zealand

The Gates of Paradise are Closing. New Zealand bans foreign house buyers. New Zealand was disqualified from The Dweller’s Guide To The Planet on the basis of climate change threat. It was, admittedly, a marginal decision. It seems though, that if it survived the chapter on ‘angry gods’, it would not have made it through …

Turkey

Just Because You’re Paranoid Doesn’t Mean They’re Not All Out To Get You, Mr Erdogan – Chapter Two (See the 12th July post for Chapter 1.) Ever since the small scale attempted coup in 2016 Mr Erdogan has been desperately arresting anyone he can think of, not just who might have been involved, but who …

USA Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico: The USA Domestic disaster no one wants to talk about. Today we learned officially what was already widely known – that the death toll on Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria (followed by Hurricane Irma) was more than 1400 people, not the 64 people its government originally estimated. There will be some discussion about …