Hey CNN: Ghosts in the ties that bind Cyprus and Russia

So I’m sitting in a restaurant eating my lunch and, up on the wall, the large-screen television is tuned to CNN, where a lengthy report is unfolding about a European Union plan attempt to raise the corporate tax rates on Cyprus, a land in which wealthy Russians have funneled billions into tax shelters. It’s all [Read More...]

No Catholics in the new Europe

This is a great country. I’ve been privileged to live and work abroad, but there is no place like America. It’s a cleaner, cheaper, nicer place. Big cars, big hair, the big country — purple mountains majesty, amber waves of grain and all that — makes me proud to be an American. Give me a [Read More...]

A quick, shallow visit to Mount Athos

Few subjects inspire the whole “National Geographic visits the strange natives” school of Godbeat journalism quicker than monasticism. This is especially true when journalists attempt to write about a place as genuinely strange, in a good sense of the word, and other worldly as Mount Athos, the stunningly beautiful peninsula in northeastern Greece that the [Read More...]


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