The “Guardian Weekly” is a weekly digest of memorable news items, columns, comments and analyses from the Guardian, the Observer, the Washington Post as well as from Le Monde (translated from the French). Comes printed on thin, crisp paper, delivered to your doorstep.
This week’s most memorable items, browsed by yours truly in Vienna’s Gänsehäufl, a, erm, city beach: George Monbiot about demonstrations and violence, stating his bewilderment over the realization that all major issues commonly summed up under the heading “globalization” are now getting attention only because there is fighting in the streets. “The disorienting, profoundly disturbing lesson from Genoa is also the oldest lesson in politics: words alone are not enough.”
Larry Elliott offers his annotated version of what G7 leaders really mean in their official statements:
. “While the global economy has slowed more than expected over the past year [we’re teetering on the brink of recession], sound economic policies and fundamentals provide a solid foundation for stronger growth [we’re going to carry on in the same way as before]. We will remain vigilant and forward-looking [unlike last year] in implementing measures, as necessary, to ensure that our economies move towards a more sustained pattern of growth, in line with their potential [provided it doesn’t interfere with the free movement of capital]. We pledge to pursue policies that will contribute to global growth by enhancing strong productivity in a sound economic environment [sacking people is good for profits and keeps the lid on inflation], through free trade [we will crack open the markets of poor countries while keeping the protective barriers around our own economies] and strengthened international cooperation [ha, ha].”
Rhetorically cheap, yet effective.
And, last but not least, news about the Simputer, a handheld PC that is due to become commercially available in India next year, for about $200, and provides online access to the illiterate by translating English text into a variety of Indian languages and then reading it out aloud to the user. Their software – including DHVANI (this is Sanskrit for “sound”), the Text-to-Speech engine – is freely available.
That’s yours truly reporting from the city beach.