Germany's welfare state under fire

Cameron Abadi, Global Post

BERLIN, Germany — According to an article published this past summer in one of Germany’s most widely read newspapers, the country’s welfare state is a “fiscal kleptocracy” that has transformed the country into a “swamp of resentment” and degraded its citizens into “mystified subjects of tax law.” The text, by philosopher Peter Sloterdijk, goes on in that vein for some 3,000 words.

It was an argument meant to spark a public debate, and, by any measure, it's been a success. Among the country's intellectual class, the article has served as kindling for a fiercely fought and

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Africa's big issues for 2010

Stephanie Hanson, Global Post

TYAZO, Rwanda — Africa tends to burst into international news whenever a new conflict starts or an old one resurges. Africans across the continent lament this crisis coverage, complaining that the positive trends and stories in Africa go unnoticed.

However in June 2010, the soccer World Cup will descend on South Africa and televisions around the globe will broadcast a country eager to present itself as a success. Many Africans hope this footage will boost the world's image of the entire continent.

Looking ahead, there are still plenty of African hot spots, however, including Sudan’s

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The West Bank's third intifada approaches

Matt Beynon Rees


BETHLEHEM, West Bank — A writer seeks the surprise of a “man bites dog” story. The most violent times of the Second Intifada, which took place under the leaden winter skies of early 2002, gave me mine. I wrote about Arabs in the rain.

It was raining in the city of Jesus’ birth throughout “The Collaborator of Bethlehem,” the first of my Palestinian crime novels. I set the story during the brief Middle Eastern winter because it makes the place look different, not as one might expect.

That’s what I wanted to do for the Palestinians —

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