Maulik Thakkar

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Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and the Rise of Radical Incompetence

LONDON — “I am increasingly admiring of Donald Trump. I have become more and more convinced that there is method in his madness.” These comments, subsequently leaked, were made last month by Boris Johnson, who was then Britain’s foreign secretary. Never one to discount praise, Mr. Trump reportedly …

Boris Johnson

The staggering rise of India’s super-rich

On 3 May, at around 4.45pm, a short, trim Indian man walked quickly down London’s Old Compton Street, his head bowed as if trying not to be seen. From his seat by the window of a nearby noodle bar, Anuvab Pal recognised him instantly. “He is tiny, and his face had been all over every newspaper in …

India

No homeland, no hope – Europe's Roma are back in the firing line | Tessa Dunlop

Matteo Salvini’s anti-Roma vitriol is the latest example of the shameful persecution of the biggest ethnic minority in Europe<p>• Far-right Italy minister vows ‘action’ to expel thousands of Roma<p>“Hey, Gypsy woman! Look into your crystal ball,” sang 1960s crooner Ricky Nelson while pondering his …

South Africa’s forgotten child soldiers have grown into traumatized adults

Johannesburg<p>At 14, they dropped out of school, picked up semi-automatic guns and arranged themselves into guerilla armies that would defend their neighborhoods. Now as adults, they struggle to integrate into the country they gave up their childhoods for.<p>While the brutality and dissociation of child …

Hungary is making a mockery of EU values. It’s time to kick it out | Owen Jones

Criminalising help for refugees is a sign of Viktor Orbán’s growing authoritarianism. Europe cannot afford to ignore it<p>It’s time for the European Union to kick Hungary out. There it is, a member state, casually flouting basic democratic norms and human rights, swiftly evolving into an authoritarian …

Human Rights

The most important skill nobody taught you

Before dying at the age of 39, Blaise Pascal made huge contributions to both physics and mathematics, notably in fluids, geometry, and probability.<p>This work, however, would influence more than just the realm of the natural sciences. Many fields that we now classify under the heading of social …

Parents who refuse to call their newborns "girls" or "boys" are leading the gender revolution

When Ashlee Dean Wells gave birth to her son 13 years ago, she was determined that his life wouldn’t be limited by gender. She gave him toys and clothes traditionally associated with both girls and boys, and found he enjoyed dresses and tutus as much as shorts and T-shirts. “There was no shopping …

The fate of the world’s media is being decided right now

A tangled web of deals has tied together the fates of the world’s biggest media conglomerates.<p>A federal judge will decide this afternoon (June 12) whether AT&T will be allowed to buy Time Warner, parent of <i>Westworld</i> and <i>Game of Thrones</i> network HBO, DC Entertainment, and <i>Harry Potter</i> studio Warner …

Why eight hours a night isn’t enough, according to a leading sleep scientist

For something that we spend a third of our lives doing (if we’re lucky), sleep is something that we know relatively little about. “Sleep is actually a relatively recent discovery,” says Daniel Gartenberg, a sleep scientist who is currently an assistant adjunct professor in biobehavioral health at …

How to increase your privacy online

In light of the recent Facebook scandals, we’ve become increasingly aware of how much data we leave behind online. Some of our data gets there because we hand it over to websites willingly, but a lot of it doesn’t happen that way. We leave involuntary trails behind us as we browse the web, and …

Growing up black in America: here's my story of everyday racism | Brian Jones

As a middle-class, light-skinned black man I am ‘better’ by American standards but there is no amount of assimilation that can shield you from racism in the US<p>I am a black man who has grown up in the United States. I know what it is like to feel the sting of discrimination. As a middle-class, …

United States

'You can’t disregard pure racism': Gypsy writer Damian Le Bas on the prejudice against Travellers

Le Bas, who grew up in a Gypsy family, set out to visit the stopping places in Britain where his ancestors rested – and to challenge discrimination along the way<p>The metallic blue Transit with a horseshoe on the radiator refuses to budge. Damian Le Bas turns the key again. And again. After the …

Imran Khan’s rise is a metaphor for a changing world the west has failed to see | Jason Burke

The ex-cricketer joins a long list of outsiders who are transforming global politics<p>It is election season in Pakistan. Expect massive rallies, dust, shouted slogans in stadiums, dirty tricks, a modicum of violence and industrial quantities of sweet tea consumed by candidates and voters alike.<p>The …

Hands off my data! 15 default privacy settings you should change right now

On the Internet, the devil’s in the defaults.<p>You’re not reading all those updated data policies flooding your inbox. You probably haven’t even looked for your privacy settings. And that’s exactly what Facebook, Google and other tech giants are counting on.<p>They tout we’re “in control” of our …

Facebook

Robots can build entire cities almost for free. These architects are making it happen.

Manuel Jimenez Garcia and Gilles Retsin are literally setting the foundations for an architecture of the future. They are co-founders of the Design …

The fight to legalise porn in India is a fight for women taking control of their bodies

For a country in the midst of a porn boom, the conversation about online sexual content and its consumption remains incredibly one-sided. In conservative India, which has tried many times to ban pornographic websites, they’re often viewed as something only men seek out; the desires of straight …

Technology is driving us to distraction | James Williams

How often are you diverted from a task by the seductive lure of your mobile phone? And does it matter? In a landmark book, James Williams argues we’re losing the power to concentrate<p>Imagine that you’ve just bought a new GPS device for your car. The first time you use it, it works as expected. …

Hydrogen is the energy future | Letters

There is truth in Professor Underwood’s assertion (Letters, 16 May) that nothing can surpass the “round trip” efficiency of lithium-ion batteries from, for example, solar input to final user’s output. But in focusing on this undoubted advantage he omits the overriding issue of energy storage at …

Hydrogen

The Dangerous Idea That British Rule Was Good for India

<b>Update, 4:30 p.m., EST:</b> On Monday, Tharoor was charged by police in Delhi with abetting his wife’s 2014 suicide and cruelty to his spouse. Tharoor …

Understanding the wisdom of Indian residential architecture

As the mercury goes beyond 40 degrees and tall concrete and glass buildings trap heat, resulting in more air conditioning and therefore more energy …

Caste, greed, and unending need: the story of India’s waste crisis

India seems to be drowning in garbage.<p>From Delhi to Mumbai to Bengaluru, mini hills of untreated organic and inorganic waste can be found even outside high-end shopping malls, tech parks, and eateries. Piles of plastic, paper, bottles, fruit peels, and more accumulate every day on the side of the …

Trump's Triumph, Trump's Folly

Either the president has succeeded with North Korea where his predecessors have failed, or he has fallen into the same trap that ensnared them.<p><i>All politics, even geopolitics, is domestic. (Sorry, Tip.) Friday’s historic meeting between North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un and South Korean President Moon</i> …

North Korea

Was I right to pay for a prostitute for my husband?

If you were hoping to add to his repertoire or experience, you will have failed, says Annalisa Barbieri<p><b>My husband and I have been together for six years. I married him when he was 18 and I was 24. I discovered, after we got married, that he had had sexual intercourse only with me; he’d had sexual</b> …

Relationships

Why Liberals Need Bill Maher’s Tough Love

With the constant barrage of bad news coming out of the White House these days, sometimes it seems like the late-night shows can barely keep up. …

Comedy

No, Personal Responsibility Won’t Solve Inequality: New Study Dispels Common Myths Behind Racial Wealth Gap

Much has been reported about the racial wealth gap—but much is still misunderstood. A new report on the wealth gap focuses on the stubborn, pervasive …

Mark Zuckerberg Is Certain A.I. Can Fix Facebook. Here's How He Knows

Facebook’s artificial intelligence capabilities. Of particular interest was the fact that Facebook relies so heavily upon artificial intelligence for data security and to detect cyber threats. It seems he also wants A.I. to be able to recognize such things as hate speech and otherwise undesirable …

China made solar panels cheap. Now it’s doing the same for electric buses.

Thanks, China.<p>It is now more or less taken for granted that solar panels are getting cheaper and cheaper. But that didn’t just happen — solar PV did not jump onto that trajectory on its own. After all, solar panels have been around for decades, but they didn’t really start plunging down the cost …

Syria exposes the broken state of global governance. How do we respond? | Scott Ludlam

People of good heart have a choice. We can stick to old interventions or write a new chapter in dissent and defiance<p>Trying to find your way to clarity through the fog of horror that surrounds the Syrian civil war, you could do worse than start with MSNBC television host Chris Hayes, who took to …

Oh, Jeremy Thorpe! The charismatic Liberal leader who hid dark secrets

A BBC drama recounts the old Etonian’s bizarre story at the heart of a corrupt British establishment<p>It’s a long time since the second week of May in 1979 when Jeremy Thorpe arrived in his lawyer’s brown Rolls Royce for the start of the trial that was billed as “the greatest show on earth”.<p>Few …

Your Body is a Teeming Battleground

It’s time to rethink the quest to control aging, death, and disease—and the fear of mortality that fuels it.<p>I went to medical school, at least in part, to get to know death and perhaps to make my peace with it. So did many of my doctor friends, as I would find out. One day—usually when you’re …