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The American public sphere has spent the last couple of weeks transfixed by the special election in Alabama being held to fill the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions. In the current climate, pretty much every election that happens, from local dog catcher on up the line, is characterized in the media as a referendum on Trumpism. (More…)

Nanni Balestrini’s 1971 novel Vogliamo tuttoWe Want Everything – has waited four and a half decades for an English-language translation from the Italian.  The novel, the most successful of Balestrini’s novels, recounts the radicalization of an anonymous young worker from southern Italy and the Fiat strike of the 1969, ‘hot autumn.’  (More…)

It will soon be a week since the May government secured the first part of the Brexit deal, it concerns the Irish border and the full alignment of UK regulations with EU standards. But what is more important than the minutiae of the agreement is what this says about the British withdrawal. (More…)

To: The President

From: The Charge D’Affaires, U.S. Embassy, Rome

Subject:  Scenesetter for Italian PM Berlusconi’s June 15 visit to Washington

Classified (More…)

ISTANBUL – Um Farouk almost drowned on her first trip from Turkey to Greece. The 47-year-old Syrian refugee said it was a “miracle” Turkish soldiers rescued her and 40 others from a boat that capsized in the Aegean Sea last year. Within a week, she tried the dangerous trip to Europe a second time with her son. (More…)

By contemporary standards, the red banner at the top of the CNN home page advertising its live coverage is completely normal. Every news organization wants visitors to watch video content. Ads sell for a lot more than print. And live video is better still, ensuring a captive audience. But yesterday, its message seemed wrong to me: “Wildfires burn near Los Angeles. Watch now.” (More…)

Elmore Leonard’s critically neglected novel Escape from Five Shadows speaks to social attitudes about incarceration that too many in the US public have forgotten.  Leonard published the novel in 1956 during his early career as a Westerns writer.  Some would argue, of course, that Leonard never stopped being a Westerns writer, only he changed locations. (More…)

When Theresa May first set the agenda for Brexit, the UK was a divided nation caught between two opposing opinions on the country’s membership of the EU. Fortunately, the May government succeeded in reuniting the British people against the Tory Party. (More…)

Considerable discontent is developing within the Italian Communist Party as a result of the growing feeling that the Kremlin is exploiting the party purely as an instrument of Soviet foreign policy and is neglecting the real interests of the Italian working class. (More…)

TBILISI – International actors have been positioning themselves to exploit new realities in Syria and solidify their involvement in rebuilding the country. Among the usual cast of world players, however, a new contender has emerged: Chechnya. (More…)

The Irish are no more given to myth making than anyone else, but having been on the losing end of a lot of things over the course of the last six centuries, it’s hardly surprising that myth and legends have come to play an outsized role in the Irish political imaginary. (More…)

The revelations of sexual misconduct by men dominating American media are having a profound impact on how people feel about their world. Last week, I stopped by the home of a senior citizen who needed help with something and heard, the second I opened the door, that M*A*S*H was playing on her television. But in place of nostalgia, I felt a surprising revulsion. (More…)