Longitude #69

March, 2017


Cover story

Trump wrestles with the office
by Stefano Cingolani

Campaigning was the part that came most naturally to the new US President. Now that he has gone gangbusters trying to fulfill his promises, there is resistance and even chaos from all directions.

by Stash Luczkiw

US-Russian relations are at a low point since the end of the Cold War. President Donald Trump has often expressed the hope of forging a new relationship with Russia. Will the art of the deal lead to a geopolitical grand bargain?

Canada hedges its bets
by Maurizio Stefanini

Even though relations between the US and Canada have always been excellent, the tension created by Donald Trump’s protectionism has Canada looking to other markets for its exports.


A stronger, smaller, but enlargeable core
by Maurizio Melani

The growing challenges of a rapidly changing world have not been lost on the European Union. Now is the time to restructure it, before the rest of the world passes it by and leaves it floundering in its incapacity. 

Too many Europes
map by Marie Joveneau

Featured briefing

Gas goes full throttle in the Levant
by Pasquale Salzano

The new finds of gas in the eastern Mediterranean could be a driving force that brings economic growth to many of the lesser developed countries racked by political turmoil.

Levantine gas fields
map by Marie Joveneau

The Orientalist

The battle for Mosul
by Ugo Tramballi

While it seems as if the Middle East has been on fire for years, the battle for Mosul may well be the first decisive one in what promises to be a smaller version of the last century’s world wars.


Gaining from adversity
by Marco Mona

Despite a difficult transition from the full-steam-ahead economy of the past decade, Australia has the potential of not only surviving, but of profiting from the challenges to come. But this may come at a cost that some Australians consider too steep.

Lucky numbers
map by Marie Joveneau


Cutting through the courts’ red tape
by Fabrizio Franciosi

China recognizes that it is in need of judicial reforms. But the method by which this is achieved must balance the seeming contradictions of an increasingly free-market society guided by one-party rule.


The global stability feedback loop
by Pietro Sebastiani

There is no separating environmental problems from political issues. By improving one, we inevitably improve the other in a virtuous circle that continually seeks to maintain a global balance. 

Sovereign funds

Government-run investment funds
by Ranieri Razzante

In recent years concern has grown over the uncontrolled proliferation of government funds, otherwise referred to as “sovereign funds.” These funds are often views as potential solutions to capital deficiency problems for states, but in practice they have been more about bailing out strategic companies.


Making AI work for your business
by Danilo Zatta

With artificial intelligence rapidly changing our existence, businesses are figuring out how to gain competitive advantages through the self-learning involved. But they mustn’t forget to always address the consumers’ needs. 


The real and the fake
by Gianluca Comin

Fake news is becoming a major influencer in electoral campaigns. The risk of undermining democratic institutions is so great that a joint response is now needed. 

Warming bloopers

When home is a floating island
by Carlo Clini

With the climate heating up, glaciers melting and sea levels rising, coastal cities are in danger. One solution is to build high-tech floating islands that will rise and fall with the water.