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Saudi Arabia, 9/11, and what we know about the secret papers that could ignite a diplomatic war

Twenty-eight secret pages of a report locked away in a room in the Capitol in Washington lie in the centre of a crisis between America and Saudi …

Saudi Arabia

Donald Trump's 3 biggest failures as a New York City real estate mogul

Trump acquired the stretch of abandoned rail yards running along the Hudson River from West 59th Street to West 72nd Street in 1985 for $115 million. He planned to build a $4.5 billion project called Television City, later Trump City. It would have included 5,700 apartments and a 150-story …

Real Estate
Government
Guns

Comic Con 2015: Quentin Tarantino signals move into television with plans for 'three miniseries'

Quentin Tarantino looks set to become the latest Hollywood bigwig to remove his talents from the increasingly beleaguered film industry and turn …

Kill Bill

When Black Voters Exited Left

What African Americans lost by aligning with the Democratic Party<p>Days before the 1960 election, Coretta Scott King received a call from then-candidate John F. Kennedy while her husband was in a Georgia jail, charged with trespassing after leading a sit-in demonstration against segregation in …

Civil Rights

These are the Supreme Court cases Republicans are terrified Merrick Garland will help decide

The GOP has manufactured a fake rule: They claim that no president in the final year of his second term should be given the chance to place a new justice on the high court. This is plainly nonsense, as senior GOP lawmakers have admitted, and is not supported by law or by precedent.<p>Republican …

U.S. Supreme Court

Fact-Check: Bernie Sanders, Abandoned Buildings And NAFTA

<i>This story is part of NPR's fact-checking series, Break It Down.</i><p>Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton will face off in the Michigan primary on Tuesday, at a time when the state's major cities have seen better days. Flint faces a lead-tainted-water crisis, while Detroit is still reeling from its …

Globalization

The Room: Why so many love ‘the worst film ever made’

It’s not just bad – it’s intoxicatingly awful. But The Room has developed a cult following – and so has its mysterious creator, writes Nicholas Barber.<p>How does it feel to pour your heart and soul into a film, only for it to be ridiculed as history’s most atrocious crime against cinema? How does it …

Prince Charles

Hello. It’s me. Now quit using my songs for your racist, Islamophobic message, Mr. Trump!

Another election year, another round of candidates appropriating artists’ songs. Here’s this year’s crop<p>U.S. musicians have long intervened to prevent political candidates from appropriating their music for propaganda purposes—some repeatedly.<p>In 1998, Bobby McFerrin demanded George H.W. Bush stop …

Government

These Charts Show Why Trump and Bernie Are Wrong to Attack Free Trade

Like most economists, I am strongly inclined toward free trade. I cringe to see the way it is under attack from both parties during this primary season.<p>The two populist candidates are the worst offenders. Bernie Sanders, whom I support on many other issues, goes off the rails when it comes to …

Economics

'Islamic State': Raqqa's loss seals rapid rise and fall

<b>Abu Anis only realised something unusual was happening when he heard the sound of explosions coming from the old city on the western bank of the Tigris as it runs through Mosul.</b><p>"I phoned some friends over there, and they said armed groups had taken over, some of them foreign, some Iraqis," the …

Middle East

The dark side of Asia’s pop music industry

<b>They are known as "idols" and their job is "to sell dreams". For decades, the young pop stars of Japan and South Korea have been the envy of teenagers.</b><p>But behind the glamour, the lucrative industry is run by talent agencies with an iron fist. Two recent apologies by Japan's popular band SMAP and …

Billboard Charts

The Science of Soulmates

Do you believe in soulmates?<p>If so, you're not alone. According to a Marist poll:<p>73% of Americans believe in soulmates.<p>More men than women believe that they are destined to find their one, true soulmate (males: 74%, females: 71%).<p>79% of people younger than 45 believe in soulmates, while only 69% of …

Relationships

Pakistan Is Caught in the Middle of the Conflict Between Iran and Saudi Arabia

After severing ties with Iran — following the torching of the Saudi embassy in Tehran by protesters angered by the execution of a dissident Shi‘ite …

South Asia
Middle East

The 10 best country albums of 2015

Country music may have come in for some criticism, but this year saw many fantastic records from musicians on both sides of the mainstream/indie divide<p>Despite all the criticism lobbied at country music this year, the genre had an undeniably great 2015. In the mainstream, radio tropes that became …

Country Music

An 'Un-Holy' Endorsement of War: The Latent and Grave Consequences of of The Russian Church

For the last three months, almost twenty thousand innocent Syrians, mostly civilians, have been murdered by the Russian aggression. What makes the picture uglier is that both results on the ground and the U.S. satellites' images proved that ISIS has never been the prime or even a secondary target …

Middle East

Top 20 Films of 2015: Part Two (10-1)

Welcome to our rundown of the top ten films of 2015. To see the various cinematic delights that comprised the remainder of our top twenty, you can …

Top 10

Venezuela: Economy on the brink?

<b>Venezuelans went to the polls on Sunday to elect all 167 members of the National Assembly amid tension caused by the country's worsening economic decline.</b><p>The MUD opposition coalition won a majority of the seats.<p>But it will now face a long catalogue of economic problems.<p>Not only has Venezuela been …

Venezuela

6 Movies Worthy of Your Time This Thanksgiving Weekend

Middle-class

9 great holiday shopping events and sales before Thanksgiving

While, traditionally, Black Friday has been <i>the</i> day of shopping mania, we all know none of us is really waiting until the day after Thanksgiving to …

Winter farmers market guide for Chicago and suburbs

As the outdoor farmers market season ends in Chicago and the suburbs, the winter market season opens. You can still buy the seasonal vegetables you love, plus eggs, breads, pickled items and much more. Here is a list of Chicago and suburban farmers markets. Many will be open weekly through the end …

Urban Agriculture

Russia is doubling down on gold

Look more closely, said my friend. It isn't private or institutional investors buying. It is Russia. Russia's total reserves in US dollars have fallen recently (as you'd expect given the oil price collapse), but its holdings of gold are up by 30% since 2014. Russia now holds as many ounces of gold …

Russia

18 books billionaire Warren Buffett thinks everyone should read

Even now, he still spends about 80% of his day reading.<p>"Look, my job is essentially just corralling more and more and more facts and information, and occasionally seeing whether that leads to some action," he once said in an interview.<p>"We don't read other people's opinions," he said. "We want to …

Investing

Obamacare repeal hits resistance from conservatives

McConnell is having a hard time getting a simple-majority bill through the Senate.<p>Senate Republicans’ carefully-laid plans to use a powerful fast-track tool to send an Obamacare repeal to President Barack Obama is running into fresh resistance, with new opposition from high-profile conservatives …

Health Care

Four Priorities for Indonesian President Joko Widodo as He Arrives in Washington

When U.S. President Barack Obama welcomes Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the White House on Monday, certain similarities between the two leaders …

Asia

15 movie sequels that are even better than the originals

If a movie does well, or if it is based off an existing property, the likelihood that it will get a sequel is very high. Some sequels are simply pale imitations of their predecessors.<p>Then, there are some sequels that take their source material and bring it to another level entirely. They expand the …

Movies

Putin's aggression is baffling NATO

But the military display seemed faintly unreal while Russian warplanes were bombing Syrian rebels a few hundred kilometers to the east in a coordinated action with President Bashar al-Assad's armed forces and Iran's Revolutionary Guards.<p>NATO, which waged an air campaign to help Libyan rebels oust …

Geopolitics