When the House and Senate budget talks got underway a few weeks ago, Paul Ryan, the GOP’s lead running dog on economic policy, reiterated the party line: The current situation is unsustainable. Negative consequences will fall hardest on the poor and the elderly. Therefore, sacrifices must be made…by the poor and the elderly. (More…)

It was as good as Daily Mail headlines get. “The Guardian has handed a gift to terrorists.” Paraphrasing a speech by new MI5 Chief Andrew Parker, in which the top spy took aim at the paper for publishing Edward Snowden’s leaks, the catchy language, though designed to pimp newsprint, testified to the gravity of Britain’s GCHQ crisis. (More…)

President Lukashenko appealed to the apparatchiks. They were fearful of the literati calling for human rights reforms, and raising the divisive issue of whether or not Russian should be Belarus’ official language, an issue that rankles to this day. He also seemed to rise above the intrigues of the post-1989 legislature, with his anti-corruption agenda, though post-mortems of his first campaign show that it was light on actual investigations, but high on image management. (More…)

Today my foot is mostly bruise-colored. I dislocated a toe last week training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I pointed out its new weird angle, and we all laughed. One of my training partners snapped it back so quickly that I barely had time to chomp the lapel of my gi. (More…)

I find Sayeeda Warsi curious. Despite our political differences, it is hard not to find some kinship in her stories of Paki-bashing, while being raised by a working-class Pakistani textile worker. It’s similarly difficult not to be impressed by her marital history, as she broke up her first arranged marriage in favor of another. Although this is hardly a revolutionary act, I recognize it as remarkable in its own way in our deeply sexist community. (More…)

For many outside her blessed shores, Britain is a cold, little enigma where some muddied twist of history has permitted a hereditary monarchy to continue existing alongside the Internet. If the British Isles were the USS Enterprise, someone would have declared we had been drawn into a tear in the space-time continuum decades ago.  (More…)

It was early May in the Russian city of Volgograd. Vladislav Tornovoi, a 23-year-old man, was drinking with a couple of other guys when he made a fatal mistake. He told his drinking buddies that he was gay. By the end of that night, Tornovoi had been brutally beaten, sexually tortured and, finally, killed. (More…)

You may have seen these posters plastered all over Germany. ‘Operation Last Chance’ is a witch hunt calling for all those who were Nazis and have yet gone unpunished. To be imprisoned and to rot. The organisation behind it says they have never met a Nazi who showed any remorse. This begs many questions. Is this true?  (More…)

Ten minutes off a flight from Tel Aviv, the television monitors were running a story on terrorism. “Big raids against Islamists,” the caption declared in German, beneath a photo of Muslims knelt in prayer. Security forces had just raided sixteen separate locations in the north, searching for wanted Salafists, from a banned organization. (More…)

It was, and likely remains, standard practice for troops deploying to our current theatres of war to be briefed by an official from the British equivalent of the NSA, known as GCHQ. Our man was a rather dusty-looking character, who seemed more like an academic than a spook, as he ambled out onto a stage to give us a briefing on information security. (More…)

The fight, in which Clément Meric died, apparently started over some shirts. An 18-year-old student at Paris’ prestigious Sciences Po, Meric was headed to a clothing shop in the 9th Arrondissement when he encountered a group of skinheads headed to the same store. His killer, Esteban Morillo, is alleged to have been associated with the rightist Jeune Nationaliste Révolutionnaire, the largest organized skinhead group in France. (More…)

Instead of covering the Gezi Park protests, CNN Turki chose to show a documentary on penguins. So Tweeted Aaron Stein, from Istanbul, last week.  It would have been one thing if it was just another Turkish broadcaster. Noted for their self-censorship, domestic news agencies had imposed a blackout on the uprising, one of the largest in the country’s history. (More…)