Australian politics, society & culture

The Shortlist Daily

The best reads from around the world

Friday, 4 May 2012

Lead item

Debacle in Beijing "The story of a blind Chinese lawyer's flight to the US Embassy in Beijing is likely to ignite accusations and recriminations until the US presidential election in November. But what few will acknowledge is a harsher truth: that for all our desire to effect change, outsiders have little leverage to shape China’s future."

New York Review of Books

Friday, 4 May 2012

General item

Fascism rises from the depths of Greece's despair "One of the new lawmakers is likely to be Elias Panayiotaros. Speaking at the party's offices, Mr Panayiotaros said that the priority in the midst of the economic crisis was to throw out foreigners. The cost of jailing or deporting more than a million people would be offset, he said, by putting them into work camps."

The Independent
European debt, Greece

Young Obama and his girlfriends "In his own telling, (Obama) emerges as a conflicted and sensitive, but also intellectually confident and rather self-absorbed, young man, who is seeking his path. What Maraniss has done, thanks to some meticulous reporting, is complement this picture with a more objective view of Obama from two women, young at the time, who knew him intimately."

New Yorker
Barack Obama

Friday, 4 May 2012

General item

One universe among many? "An astonishing concept has entered mainstream cosmological thought: physical reality could be hugely more extensive than the patch of space and time traditionally called 'the universe.'" (Martin Rees)

Laws of physics

And finally

Kvelling in Their Seats: On Old Jews Telling Jokes "On Broadway, finding four Jewish producers was like finding hay in a haystack. I had always imagined that the role of the producer was to make decisions, eat pastrami sandwiches, and cash checks. So far, I’m batting two for three."

New York Magazine
Comedy, Humourists