Liju P Nandanan

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A Brief History of Attempted Russian Assassinations by Poison

With the announcement by British police on Wednesday that a former Russian spy was poisoned by a nerve agent, Sergei Skripal joins the long ranks of …

Yasser Arafat: why he still matters | Hussein Agha and Ahmad Samih Khalidi

He neither looked nor sounded like a natural leader. Yet Yasser Arafat dominated Palestinian politics for a generation before his death 10 years ago. How did he do it, and how much of a shadow does he still cast?<p>Hated and venerated in equal measure, Yasser Arafat dominated the Palestinian …

‘It’s not like Argo’: the trials of a tour guide in Iran

Photograph: Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty<p>European and Iranian tourists visit the 2,500-year-old Tachara palace at Persepolis in Iran.<p>276<p>http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2015/7/6/1436199479773/957257d0-e8c4-4b9b-9e7d-955212e27a4b-460x276.jpeg<p>460<p>Photograph: Behrouz …

Middle East

The reckless plot to overthrow Africa's most absurd dictator | Andrew Rice

In December, a handful of middle-aged American immigrants attempted to topple the autocratic ruler of the Gambia. They had few weapons and an amateurish plan. What possessed them to risk everything in a mission that was doomed to fail?<p>After the coup failed, the raids began. On New Year’s Day this …

West Africa

The selling of the Krays: how two mediocre criminals created their own legend | Duncan Campbell

With three new Kray films and yet more books on the way, Duncan Campbell recalls that the twins were always better at fame than crime<p>In 1965, David Bailey, already Britain’s most fashionable photographer, took a portrait of the gangster twins Ronnie and Reggie Kray, who looked fiercely well-groomed …

Who killed the 20th century’s greatest spy? | Simon Parkin

Photograph: Anonymous/AP<p>President Nasser of Egypt (left), shakes hands with Ashraf Marwan (right), during Marwan’s wedding to Nasser’s daughter, Mona (centre), on 7 July 1966.<p>84<p>http://media.guim.co.uk/b947e8b46f206677d9d9435f9eeb33bb6284921a/0_171_3000_1797/140.jpg<p>140<p>Photograph: Murdo Macleod for …

Tony Blair

Sara Khan is determined to protect young Muslim women from the lure of extremism – but has her vocal support for the government’s anti-radicalisation strategy alienated the very people she hopes to save?<p>When three schoolgirls from the Bethnal Green Academy in east London fled the UK and travelled …

The Louvre comes to Abu Dhabi | Kanishk Tharoor

Photograph: Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images<p>A pre-opening exhibition of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s collection included an installation by Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirrored Room – Filled with the Brilliance of …

Abu Dhabi

Alexander Litvinenko: the man who solved his own murder | Luke Harding

This week, the inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko will deliver its findings. The former Russian spy was poisoned with a cup of tea in a London hotel. Working with Scotland Yard detectives, as he lay dying, he traced the lethal substance to a former comrade in the Russian secret …

Russia

14 years a fugitive: the hunt for Ratko Mladic, the Butcher of Bosnia | Julian Borger

The Bosnian Serb general is accused of killing thousands of civilians at Srebrenica and Sarajevo – the worst atrocities in Europe since the Nazi era. Julian Borger tells the inside story of how he evaded capture for so long and was finally caught<p>In July 1997, a Yugoslav army officer named Milan …

Table Tennis

Why did two parents murder their adopted child? | Giles Tremlett

Asunta Fong Yang was adopted as a baby by a wealthy Spanish couple. Aged 12, she was found dead beside a country road. Not long after, her mother and father were arrested<p>One day in late June 2001, Rosario Porto, a petite, dark-haired lawyer from Santiago de Compostela, northern Spain, sat nervously …

Crime

Join us or die: the birth of Boko Haram | Andrew Walker

How the tattered remnants of an Islamist sect transformed into a relentless terrorist army that Nigeria cannot defeat<p>In February 2009, I was at a motor park in Maraba, a satellite of the Nigerian capital Abuja, looking for motorcyclists wearing dried vegetables on their heads. The Nigerian Police …

Africa

Tale of a Would-Be Spy, Buried Treasure, and Uncrackable Code

Author: Yudhijit Bhattacharjee. Yudhijit Bhattacharjee Magazine<p>Date of Publication: 01.25.10.<p>Time of Publication: 12:00 pm. 12:00 pm<p><b>One night in June</b> …

The Improbable Life of Paula Zoe Helfrich

The four Burmese officers who came to the apartment that morning in 1963 didn’t break down the door. They pounded hard, though, very hard. When Paula …

Asia

Iran ‘thwarts Mossad attempt to assassinate nuclear scientist’

Iran claims it has foiled an assassination attempt against one of its nuclear scientists by the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad. A senior …

Notorious Victoria: the first woman to run for president | Eileen Horne

More than a century before Hillary Clinton, ‘Notorious Victoria’ Woodhull made a bid for the White House – a pioneering protest for which she was called ‘Mrs Satan’ and sent to jail<p>On 2 November 1872, three days before the nation went to the polls to elect its 19th president, one of the candidates …

Hillary Clinton

1MDB: The inside story of the world’s biggest financial scandal | Randeep Ramesh

How a jailed former banker and a lone British journalist broke a story that shook the world<p>On 22 June 2015, Xavier Justo, a 48-year-old retired Swiss banker, walked towards the front door of his brand new boutique hotel on Koh Samui, a tropical Thai island. He had spent the past three years …

Goldman Sachs

Welcome to demokrasi: how Erdogan got more popular than ever | Christopher de Bellaigue

After a decade in power, Turkey’s ruler presides over a new form of democracy that the west neither likes nor understands: an authoritarian regime that exalts the will of the majority<p>The village headman, or <i>muhtar</i>, is the plankton in the food chain of Turkish politics. He – or, less often, she – is …

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Who murdered Giulio Regeni? | Alexander Stille

When the battered body of a Cambridge PhD student was found outside Cairo, Egyptian police claimed he had been hit by a car. Then they said he was the victim of a robbery. Then they blamed a conspiracy against Egypt. But in a digital age, it’s harder than ever to get away with murder<p>When six senior …

Cambridge University

The spy who couldn’t spell: how the biggest heist in the history of US espionage was foiled | Yudhijit Bhattacharjee

Ever since childhood, Brian Regan had been made to feel stupid because of his severe dyslexia. So he thought no one would suspect him of stealing secrets<p>The classrooms and hallways of Farmingdale High in Long Island were deserted on the morning of Saturday 19 August 2001, when a van pulled into the …

Long Island

Leonardo DiCaprio On For Crime Thriller The Black Hand

A man who seemingly never found a book he didn't want to adapt, Leonardo DiCaprio is attached to star in yet another movie drawn from a tome. And, as …

Crime Drama

Watch the terrific reverse thriller REWIND

"Luck is a four-letter word." Watch how this clever film by Atul Taishete unfolds entirely in reverse.<p>I caught this at an Indian Film Festival in LA …

Film Festivals

Fortune 5: The Biggest Organized Crime Groups in the World

It’s tough to go even a few months without seeing the effects of organized crime on the economy and everyday life. The most salient example these …

I travelled to 41 countries using borrowed air miles and credit card points

I am a 29-year-old woman from a middle-class Indian family from a Kolkata suburb.<p>My father worked with the Indian Army. Once a year, during the vacations, my family travelled in trains using my father’s leave travel allowance. Those journeys weren’t particularly luxurious, still I wanted to travel …

Jet Airways

I am a Hindu—and a proud Pakistani

I’m a Pakistani Hindu—and I am fed up with the unending list of unaddressed complaints regarding discrimination, marginalisation and hatred spewed against Hindus in books taught at our schools for the last 68 years.<p>A few days back, Lal Malhi, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s member of the national …

Pakistan

Meet the fast disappearing community of Indians and Pakistanis of African origin

When people think of Africans in Indian history, Malik Ambar tends to be the first name to come to mind. Brought to Ahmadnagar as a warrior-slave in the 16th century, he rose to be the general of the Deccan sultanate’s army—and eventually its regent.<p>Yet, Ambar was only the most successful of …

India

Timeline: The rise and fall of Rahul Yadav, the bad boy of Indian startups

The most gripping boardroom battle in India’s startup ecosystem is over—and the enfant terrible has been ejected.<p>After multiple bouts of speculation and much drama, Rahul Yadav—the 26-year-old chief executive officer and co-founder of real-estate portal Housing.com—has been fired from his job.<p>The …

India