Showing posts from August, 2015

A Timely Thriller Featuring Iran's Nuclear Sting

This novel, Blind Scorpion: Iran's Nuclear Sting, lands right in the middle of the on-going debate around the recent agreement concluded with Iran about its nuclear program. In the coming weeks, this debate promises to heat up as the deal still needs approval from the American Congress since it involves the lifting of sanctions against Iran. This is something most Europeans want. European politicians are flocking to Iran, the British have just re-opened their embassy in Teheran.

In short, this book couldn't be more timely.

And fun. Unputdownable.

Though the premise is scary enough: what if Iran had already built its atomic bomb? What would it take to stop it?

The book is written by an Iranian-American in-the-know, Mr. Farsheed Ferdowsi, and it has been subsequently edited by best-selling author Mike Wells and republished with a new, enticing title: Blind Scorpion.

The two have been long-time friends since their college days at Vanderbilt University and Mike Wells describes hi…

Peace, Love and Romance for Baby Boomers

Back from my break...I  found this lovely  anthology, Peace, Love and Romance for Baby Boomers (like me) and as I had pre-ordered it, the book landed straight into my Kindle today, August 25, date of publication, flying in from the US though I live in Italy - Ah, the wonders of the digital age and exactly the kind of read I needed to extend the happy days of summer... As announced on Amazon (see here):
For a limited time, ten of today's hottest and bestselling authors bring you Peace, Love & Romance - a collection of full-length novels (some sweet, some sizzling!) all celebrating women who have loved, lost, and triumphed.  And here's the enticing cover:

Even before publication, it was already ranked 158th in the Kindle Store in the category "women's fiction - humor" (on August 24). Impressive!

It is also available on other platforms: Barnes and Noble (click here), Kobo (here) and Apple iTunes (here).

An anthology organized by 10 authors...I was immediate…

The Future of the United Nations - Kevin Rudd's views

I am happy to reblog this article that appeared on the online UNICEF magazine CONNECT. Mr. Kevin Rudd makes some very powerful remarks in it, that are in fact at the center of my own concerns (and the reason why I am working on a book about the United Nations). If you have time, view the full conversation on Youtube.

I have highlighted in yellow the main points he raised.

Article BYON UNICEF CONNECT10 AUG 2015 : Global Governance 2.0: insights from former Australian Premier

A young girl from Bangladesh smiles as her uncle picks her up. © UNICEF/UNI175476a/Noorani
Is there a future for the UN in a fast evolving landscape of new global challenges (as well as some old unsolved ones) and growing number of other multilateral institutions? Yes, said Kevin Rudd, Chair of the Independent Commission on Multilateralism and former Prime Minister of Australia. The Honorable Kevin Rudd recently came to UNICEF to debate the future of multilateralism with UNICEF Executive Director Anthony …

The Battle for the North Pole is Heating Up

There is a deep hole under the North Pole said to hide a treasure trove of natural gas, minerals and oil - an estimated 30% of the world's oil reserves - and the countries around it, Russia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, the US - all hope to lay their hands on it.

With the ice cap melting as a result of Climate Change, exploration and drilling for gas and oil has become much easier. And economic. So everyone is scrambling to get a piece of the (icy) cake. And the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is presiding over the scramble.

Under UNCLOS, countries with Arctic coasts can claim offshore territory beyond their 200-nautical mile economic zone, the so called Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)if they can prove underwater geology is an extension of their continental shelf.

Canada was the first to lay a claim (for a reasonable area) but Denmark won the first round in December 2014 by claiming  what appeared to be more than its due by simply pulling Greenland into the p…

The Rhythms of Life: an Interview with Francine Kaufman, MD

Dr. Francine Kaufman, chief medical officer and vice president of Global Diabetes for Medtronic, Inc since 2009, and previously head of the Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, is perhaps best known for her critically-acclaimed nonfiction book Diabesity: The Obesity-Diabetes Epidemic That Threatens America - And What We Must Do to Stop It (Bantam, 2005, available on Amazon here). She also has a long list of more technical writing as well, books and more 200 peer-reviewed publications.

But 2015 has proved to be a turning point for her with the publication of her first novel, Rythms. Here is the enticing cover that artfully reflects the theme of the book:

Since it is a novel that features a woman physician grappling with the last, harrowing three days in her mother's life (she is suffering from arrythmia), I was immediately struck by the implications, both for Dr. Kaufman who seems to have fictionalized a major event in her life and…

What the United Nations Really is: A Battlefield

Every issue that turns up in the news sooner or later ends at the United Nations (if it didn't actually start there). Recent examples? The killing of Cecil the lion and President Obama's decision to tighten fossil fuels regulations.

Regarding the latter, announced over the week-end, Obama appears determined to make of these new regulations  the second signature policy of his presidency - the first being of course Obamacare, the extension of health coverage to millions of Americans that didn't have it.

How does all this relate to the UN?

First, Cecil the Lion. In the midst of the scandal raised by Cecil's shameful killing by an American dentist and the announcement that Zimbabwe would ask for his extradition and the US Fish and Wildlife Service would launch an investigation (see here), the United Nations General Assembly adopted on 30 July, the "first ever" resolutionon 'tackling illicit trafficking in wildlife' with a high number of co-sponsors, includ…