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Even after 30 years, Salman Rushdie will forever be associated with the fatwa against him. The Satanic Verses still divides opinion today, but what more can be said about the controversy? (More…)

San Francisco, April 2008

Every weekday morning, I watch the news as I pick up our bedroom before heading off to work. Last Friday was no different. (More…)

The Gulf War was not ended by the military victory of America and the Allies. It was ended by the mass desertion of thousands of Iraqi soldiers. So overwhelming was the refusal to fight for the Iraqi state on the part of its conscripted army that, contrary to all predictions, not one Allied soldier was killed by hostile fire in the final ground offensive to recapture Kuwait. (More…)

The signs that the wheels are coming off the empire are all around and, contrary to what you may have read, Marie Kondo’s lack of English has nothing to do with it. (More…)

Northern Ireland is a small region within a rich nation-state, but the strength of the economic union has now become a source of instability.  The threat is that the Northern Irish business community has not seen a consistent “reduction of uncertainty”, as it depends on the prospect of stability. (More…)

In May 2017, Israel effectively cut one-fifth of asylum seekers’ wages, hoping people such as Eden Tasfamariam would leave the country. (More…)

Far from taking an independent line, European leaders are following Donald Trump’s lead on the crisis in Venezuela. (More…)

One measure of twentieth-century conceptual conflict over comics in China lies between the positions of literary critic Hu Feng and Mao Zedong. Hu Feng, an inheritor of the May 4th revolutionary tradition, argued that individual subjectivity provided the basis for responding to popular sentiment and political will. (More…)

One of the many consequences of the 12-year Israeli and Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip is the prevention of the reconstruction needed following past wars on the strip. This has prohibited thousands of families in Gaza’s eight refugee camps from having their homes repaired—forcing them to live in dilapidated, unsafe structures. (More…)

One of the biggest and most tragic migrations of peoples since World War II is being experienced by the states that arose on the territory of the former Yugoslavia. According to unverified information, on the territory of the former joint state, about 2.3 million people have been left without a home and a roof over their heads. (More…)

Could there be a more fundamentally depressing thought than that the Democratic Party might somehow contrive to run Joe Biden for president in 2020? Yet, even in the season of change that has seen an unprecedented number of women (and women of colour) elected to Congress, it remains the case that the indefatigable Mr Biden is a leading contender. (More…)

When I saw that my favourite place in Tucson, The Loft Cinema, would be celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation, with the band’s drummer Steve Shelley, its archivist Aaron Mullan, and local legend Howe Gelb — part of a national theater tour — I knew I had to be there. I wasn’t sure what would be happening but figured it didn’t matter. (More…)