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Do humans stand a chance in Earth’s sixth mass extinction?

Scientists recently suggested that the Earth’s sixth mass extinction has begun. As terrifying as that sounds, surely humans are too smart and too important to get wiped out? Paleontologists have long tried to shed light on this question by looking for general rules that might predict the survival …


Did U.S. intelligence officers downplay Islamic State reports?

Watch Video | Listen to the AudioGWEN IFILL: But, first, a look at a growing controversy that has gripped one part of the government’s intelligence …


Can EU countries still afford their welfare states?

As German Chancellor Angela Merkel is fond of repeating, the EU accounts for just 7% of the world's population and a quarter of its gross domestic product (GDP) but as much as half of its welfare spending.

Her underlying message is that Europe spends too much on social policies and thus has no …


Where Refugees Want to Go

As hundreds of thousands of the world’s most desperate people arrive in Europe —many of them Syrians, but also Afghans, Iraqis, Eritreans, Somalis, Sudanese, and others—several key issues are coming into sharp focus, which, together, say a great deal about the modern world. First and foremost, the …


Putin Sees Syria as Russia’s Path Back Into Good Graces of West

LIVIV, Ukraine — To much of the world, Syria is a scene of unending tragedy, but to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia it is a golden opportunity, a way out of the isolation he and Russia have endured since the West imposed sanctions over Ukraine — with the added bonus of wagging an “I told you …

Middle East

FirstFT – The Fed on deck, migrants tear-gassed and Corbyn’s crowdsourced questions

It’s decision time for the Fed, and whether the central bank will raise rates at its meeting today remains a mystery. Just under half of 30 …

UK News

What slowing trade growth means for the world economy

THE global economy has stumbled from one pothole to the next in 2015. America's economy slowed to a crawl during an icy first quarter. Then fears of …


Japanese politicians brawl in parliament over bill to allow troops to fight abroad

Japanese politicians scuffled on Thursday during a heated debate over a security bill that could see the military fight abroad for the first time in decades, after thousands rallied to voice their anger.

In scenes uncommon for Japan’s normally sedate parliament, members of the opposition and the …


Why Isis fights

For more than a century, Dabiq was one of northern Syria’s forsaken villages, a speck on a vast agricultural plain between the Turkish border and the deserts of Iraq, which hardly seemed likely to shape the fate of nations. A weathered sign at its entrance said 4,000 people lived there, most of …

International Relations

Saving your priceless memories

Organizing boxes of old snapshots is a daunting task. That must explain why so many of my snapshots have remained tucked away in one of our closets. It’s been about five years since I have worked on this project, and now, I am ready to work on it again and finish it up. Of course, with technology, …

Cloud Computing

Brazil’s Rousseff – is this the beginning of the end? A new poll suggests it is.

Stopping the downward spiral of Brazil’s economy will take a bitter combination of tax increases and spending cuts. But highly negative reactions to …


Amia Srinivasan: The New Utilitarians

Philosophers may talk about justice or rights, but they don’t often try to reshape the world according to their ideals. A new generation of moral …


A Very Unusual Subway Stop in New York

New York City’s long-suffering commuters might be wise to avoid a glittering new subway stop on the No. 7 line that opened Sunday at Hudson Yards on the West Side of Manhattan. After seeing the $2.4 billion station that has ignited a burst of development in this once-grim industrial area, riders …


Why Americans Still Think the Economy Is Terrible

If your entire understanding of the economy comes from headlines about the latest economic data, you would be forgiven for thinking these are the best of times. The unemployment rate is down to 5.1 percent, after all!

If your entire understanding of the economy comes from what is going on in …


US consumer prices drop for the first time in seven months.

US consumer prices fell in August as petrol prices dropped and a strong dollar curbed the cost of goods, the US Department of Labor has said.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) slipped 0.1% last month, the first decline since January.

But in the 12 months to August, the CPI rose 0.2% after a similar gain …

Finance (UK)

This sinister trade union bill is an assault on the rights of working people

Conservative MP David Davis said it was like something out of “Franco’s Spain.” Leading human rights groups called it “a major attack on civil liberties”. Vince Cable described it as “vindictive,” “ideological” and “provocative”. Business associations warned it could have “unintended …

Worker's Rights

Il vero Leone d’oro e i film più sopravvalutati di Venezia

Perché il potente Behemoth non ha vinto il Leone d’oro? Il film venezuelano che l’ha ottenuto è davvero il migliore del concorso? In che direzione …

The Broad: can a $140m gallery revitalise downtown Los Angeles?

When the door clicks shut and you stand enclosed in the Infinity Mirrored Room, a dark, mirror-lined chamber with thousands of tiny lights pulsating like a micro-cosmos, it can feel as if the stars are aligning for the Los Angeles arts scene.

The room sounds like something out of The Hitchhiker’s …

Los Angeles

It’s expensive to be poor

Why low-income Americans often have to pay more

WHEN Ken Martin, a hat-seller, pays his monthly child-support bill, he uses a money order rather than …


Does North Korea have nuclear capabilities?

North Korea says it is improving its nuclear weapons "in quality and quantity" after resuming what it describes as "normal operations" at its main nuclear facility.

The communist state suspended activities at the Yongbyon reactor complex in 2007 in return for diplomatic and economic incentives.

But …


Without stronger international support, Ukraine faces a winter of discontent

The annual Yalta European Strategy conference, now relocated to Kiev until further notice, is a good place to take the political temperature of …


US and Australian taxpayers pay billions a year to fund coal – report

Coal subsidies are costing US and Australian taxpayers billions of dollars a year, according to a new report.

The research examined the subsidies given to coal production in the US’s largest coal field, the Powder River Basin, and found they totalled $2.9bn (£1.9bn) a year. This equates to $8 per …

Australian News

The National Book Awards Longlist: Nonfiction

This week, The New Yorker is announcing the longlists for the National Book Awards. Previously, we presented the contenders in the categories of Young People’s Literature and Poetry. Today, Nonfiction. Check back tomorrow for the final category: Fiction.

Half of the titles on this year’s National …


More Evidence for Coming Black Hole Collision

The apocalypse is still on, apparently — at least in a galaxy about 3.5 billion light-years from here.

Last winter a team of Caltech astronomers reported that a pair of supermassive black holes appeared to be spiraling together toward a cataclysmic collision that could bring down the curtains in …


Bobby Fischer and the Difficulty of Making Movies About Geniuses

The prestige season of movies is the season of bio-pics. The three spotlight screenings at the New York Film Festival are bio-pics (“The Walk,” “Steve Jobs,” and “Miles Ahead”) and bio-pics about Hank Williams, Chet Baker, and the Kray brothers are coming up soon, too. I confess that I like the …


Migrants Plot Alternative Routes as Hungary Cracks Down

LONDON — Hundreds of migrants remained stranded on Serbia’s border with Hungary early Wednesday as Hungary’s decision to seal its border rippled across Europe and migrants scrambled to find alternative routes.

On Wednesday, migrants stuck in Serbia were trying to bypass Hungary in their effort to …


Robert Mugabe’s state of the nation speech – so good, he read it twice

Name: Robert Mugabe.

Age: 91.

Appearance: Befuddled lord mayor.

Occupation: President of Zimbabwe.

What does that entail? Consolidating power, allegations of overseeing electoral fraud, impoverishing a nation while enriching oneself and one’s cronies, giving speeches.

Giving speeches, you say? Tell me

Robert Mugabe

Top 10 literary biographies

The idea of writing about authors is, for me, irresistible, and I’ve just published my seventh. It was about Gore Vidal and I have often recalled Vidal’s wise suggestion (made 30 years ago) that I should write about major figures, as important lives make for Important Lives.

Needless to say, anyone …


Europe Must Plan for Immigration Juggernaut

European leaders probably don’t want to hear this now, as they frantically try to close their borders to stop hundreds of thousands of desperate migrants and asylum seekers escaping hunger and violence in Africa and the Middle East. But they are dealing with the unstoppable force of …


Memo to Donald Trump: Here’s the Difference Between Hamas and Hezbollah

On September 3rd, the conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt interviewed Donald Trump, in what was Trump’s first major discussion on foreign policy since he became a candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination. The interview turned out to be an embarrassment for Trump, who confused the Quds …

Donald Trump