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A new look and a view on the world: June 25- July 1st openDemocracy

It’s been a transformative week for openDemocracy; after months of preparation we’ve unveiled a completely redesigned site. We hope you like the fresher look, find it easier to explore our diverse content, and will forgive the kinks of early days. A good website is always work in progress, and we will be honing and shining in the weeks to come.

1 July 2012

Others face much bigger challenges - such as Yannis Stournaras, who has taken up the post as Greek finance minister! His friend Yanis Varoufakis writes him a compelling open letter. He isn’t the only economist to worry. Richard Layard and Paul Krugman lament that we’ve not learnt from the past, and urge all of us to support their Manifesto for Economic Sense. Meanwhile George Papandreou, the ex-Prime Minister of Greece hits back at the way his country was treated.

We have decided to break open a special debate on the future of the Euro: can it be saved, should it be saved? David Malone engages with oD writers and asks who we are really saving the Euro for, while Victoria Curzon Price writes that the slate must be wiped clean to salvage a deeply flawed project.

We believe intelligent action can make a difference. Susan Richards, one of openDemocracy’s founding editors, writes a moving memoir on a beautiful idea known as Bookaid. 1.4 million books were collected and sent as a “good infection” to what had only recently become the Soviet Union. In current day Russia, Dmitry Travin looks at a generational gap; in Ukraine the status of languages causes dissatisfaction.

In one of many great pieces in this week’s window on the Middle East, Rita from Syria teaches us what it means to be “wiping ElJokh". For women, the post-spring Arab world can hold disquiet and despair.

In Britain David Cameron is held responsible for his rhetoric, a job-seeker set himself alight and further scrutiny of security giant G4S shows its involvement in prisons and charities alike, while Mandy Rose sends an open letter to the incoming head of the BBC saying break the chains and embrace non-linear, interactive programming.

In the US, immigration reform still has a long way to go, the Pentagon plans for war on Iran, and little has changed when it comes to policy on Latin America. In India, Maoists continue with abductions, but overtures for a peaceful resolution have been met by government indifference.

We hope you are anything but indifferent to our new look - your suggestions and feedback are most welcome!

Elsewhere on the web

Jimmy Carter mourns the US that once was a champion of human rights, and pleads for a new course

Mother Jones aims its telescope at the universe of US super-PAC money, resulting in a handy chart for political stargazers

UK phone companies and ISPs to be required to install government surveillance hardware

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Who's getting rich from COVID-19?

Boris Johnson's government stands accused of 'COVID cronyism', after handing out staggering sums of money to controversial private firms to fight COVID-19. Often the terms of these deals are kept secret, with no value-for-money checks or penalties for repeated failures which cost lives. And many major contracts have gone directly to key Tory donors and allies – without competition.

As COVID rates across the country surge, how can we hold our leaders accountable? Meet the lawyers, journalists and politicians leading the charge in our free live discussion on Thursday 1 October at 5pm UK time.

Hear from:

Dawn Butler Labour MP for Brent Central and member of the House of Commons Committee on Science and Technology

Peter Geoghegan Investigations editor, openDemocracy, and author of 'Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics'

Jolyon Maugham Barrister and founder of the Good Law Project.

Peter Smith Procurement expert and author of 'Bad Buying: How Organisations Waste Billions through Failures, Frauds and F*ck-ups'

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