News feed

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…)

In December 2009, the city of Genoa authorised the building of a mosque on a piece of land provided by local authorities. On 23 January, the Northern League organised a referendum for consultation at the city level, and allegedly, 99 percent of the 5,300 voters voted against allowing the new mosque. On 27 April, the spokesperson of the local Islamic community resigned after receiving threats from local citizens. (More…)

The Sixties are a cliché. They have been since the 1980s. But, who wouldn’t argue that the era isn’t preferable to the one we live in now. Everything in politics is about time these days. Nostalgia, in particular. (More…)

BEIRUT – Syrian government forces and their allies regained control of several strategic opposition-held areas in recent weeks, as its aerial campaigns and ground offensives culminated in a series of so-called evacuation deals. (More…)