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They live for crime. Not the refugees accused of committing them, but Germany’s largest opposition party, Alternative für Deutschland (AfD). Repeatedly denigrating refugees as lawbreakers, a cursory reading of the party’s Twitter account reveals a problematic investment in breaking German law. The repetition of the anxiety reads like projection as much as it does fear. (More…)

The French bourgeoisie piously intones that the Papon trial should serve as a “history lesson” to a new generation. Perhaps, but not in the way they want. His case vividly illustrates the brutal oppression meted out by both Vichy France and the (Fifth) Republic, and how they are directly connected rather than counterposed. (More…)

Not content with his expensive safari Christmas, Sajid Javid came home to bring in the New Year. What could have prompted such good cheer? (More…)

Security wouldn’t let them through. “Please, please,” the mother entreated the officer in Hebrew. “I need to get my daughter to the bathroom.” Her pleas fell on deaf ears. (More…)

Even more than previous years in what has been a consistently stressful decade for me, 2018 was defined by the divide between what I absolutely had to do and what I felt I didn’t have time for. As a result – and I think this applies to a great many people, even ones who had relatively good years – I ended up prioritizing experiences over the pursuit of novelty. (More…)

Mr Trump brought his own brand of Christmas magic to US troops serving in Afghanistan this week. As is so often the case, there were complications. Before we address the particulars, we might well take the opportunity of the end of Mr Trump’s second year in office to take stock of his position. (More…)

In late 2010 and early 2011, popular uprisings challenged the ruling dictatorships in Tunisia and Egypt, as opposition groups campaigned for a democratic transformation. Their actions inspired opposition groups in neighbouring countries, opening the door for change across the region, in what became known as the “Arab Spring.” (More…)

On a cold day in the Turkish city of Kayseri last November, we sat in the living room of two young men, Mustafa, aged 18, and Hafiz, 23, as they told us about their life since they arrived in Turkey. For single Afghan men such as these, seeking refuge in Turkey has always been a challenging affair. But in recent months, it has become all but impossible. (More…)

Her eyes were filled with fear, and her breath reeked of alcohol. “Andare, andare,” the activist yelled, telling me to leave. Unable to figure out why I shrugged my shoulders out of surprise. I was on her side, after all. “Your camera,” she replied, touching my Pentax. “Go.” (More…)

Where does prison literature begin and where does it end?  At the prison gates? Only with jailed writers? Given the sprawling impact of prisons on American society, no definition of prison literature will hold. (More…)

Great Britain announced her impending withdrawal from the Persian Gulf while I was resident on Bahrain, assigned as a staff officer to the US Commander, Middle East Force. At the time neither myself nor my neighbours, whether British or Bahraini, seemed particularly impressed by that news. Perhaps in early 1968 none of us really believed it would happen. Of course it did. (More…)

On 21 September, a boat carrying almost 40 Syrian refugees sank off the coast of Lebanon. They’d paid a smuggler to help them reach the European Union through Cyprus. Luckily, they were all saved – that is, almost everyone. A 5-year-old child, Khaled Nijmeh, drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. (More…)