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At a time when European Union budgets are threatened by Brexit, Italian political instability and an unfinished economic crisis, the European Commission’s proposal for triple funding for borders, migration and asylum suggests an unusual consensus in favour of border security. (More…)

As Gaza’s Great Return March goes into its 12th week, the massive protest along the border with Israel has become a source of much-needed business for a variety of types of people. For example, hundreds of foreign journalists have flooded the Strip and most need fixers, videographers, photographers or producers to help them complete their coverage. That’s how I became fixer for a day, a new challenge for me. (More…)

Usually, if I walk in on a concert in progress, it takes me a while to pay full attention. I’ll go buy a drink, look for people I know, size up the crowd. This past Monday was different. Although I’d never heard of the band Lié before that moment, I knew I’d never stop wanting to hear them. (More…)

Two-thirds of the way through Freelancer on the Front Lines, Jesse Rosenfeld is filmed packing his flack jacket, as he prepares to return home to Beirut. (More…)

I have two preferred cafés. The first, near our home in Phoenix, is independently owned, with a wide porch looking out over an artificial lake. The owners are a Greek family and they make sure that there is baklava available.  (More…)

There was a problem and we fixed it.” For laconic President José María Aznar, these words were quite the political statement. The then Spanish president was speaking in July 1996, after 103 Sub-Saharan migrants who had reached Melilla, a Spanish enclave in North Africa, were drugged, handcuffed and taken to four African countries by military aircraft. (More…)

4:06 AM
Friday
25 May 2018

I woke up from a nightmare and turned off my mobile alarm just before it blared forth. I don’t know what I was dreaming about, but I know it was a nightmare. It has been so long since I was able to sleep in peace. It’s 4 AM, the perfect time to wake up for the Islamic al-fajr prayer, but that’s not the only reason why I had set my alarm for that hour. (More…)

We have reached such a pass in the modern world that political truths can only be spoken by comedians. The attacks by the political right on fact-oriented journalism, and on the reality-based community more generally, have created a situation in which political truths can only be spoken with kidding (not kidding) appended to them. (More…)

In Moby Dick, Herman Melville famously wrote of the “fast-fish and loose-fish” doctrine. A dead whale connected to an occupied boat or marked with a distinctive symbol – “waifed” – was a recognized possession, a fast-fish. Any other whale found floating was a loose-fish. His narrator Ishmael uses these two principles of the whaling community as the basis for an inquiry into the relationship between freedom and power. (More…)

Ireland’s landslide vote to overturn its ban on abortion should enliven the left to shake off its pessimism about the future. No matter how screwed up it might be, the world can still be turned right-side up. (More…)

I thought they were Arabs. “Where are you guys from?” I asked in Hebrew, as we waited to get off the plane. “Non parla Ebraico,” the oldest of the group replied in Italian. Switching to English, I apologised and carefully said, “You’d easily pass for Israeli.” (More…)

BEIRUT – Iraq’s self-declared victory over the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) at the end of 2017 was a key reason the country was listed as the second most improved state on the 2018 Fragile State Index, which assesses a state’s vulnerability to conflict or collapse. (More…)