joan

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The Canada experiment: is this the world's first 'postnational' country?

When Justin Trudeau said ‘there is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada’, he was articulating a uniquely Canadian philosophy that some find bewildering, even reckless – but could represent a radical new model of nationhood<p>As 2017 begins, Canada may be the last immigrant nation left standing. …

Canada

Wolfgang Streeck: ‘Look at London – it’s a second Rome. This is what an empire looks like’

The political economist on Trump’s election, why we should be happy about Brexit and the crises facing western democracy<p>Outside was panic. Barely a couple of hours after Donald Trump had been declared the next president of the United States and even the political columnists, those sleek …

Europe

This is the most dangerous time for our planet

We can’t go on ignoring inequality, because we have the means to destroy our world but not to escape it<p>As a theoretical physicist based in Cambridge, I have lived my life in an extraordinarily privileged bubble. Cambridge is an unusual town, centred around one of the world’s great universities. …

Sub-Saharan Africa

Should we even go there? Historians on comparing fascism to Trumpism

Recent events around the world have prompted debate about the historical parallels between our times and the period preceding the second world war<p>Last Thursday, an 89-year-old Auschwitz survivor recorded a video which promptly went viral. She compared “the humiliation, the demonization of others” …

Political Science

The hygge conspiracy

This year’s most overhyped trend is a wholesome Danish concept of cosiness, used to sell everything from fluffy socks to vegan shepherd’s pie. But the version we’re buying is a British invention – and the real thing is less cuddly than it seems<p>Inescapably and suddenly, Britain has been invaded by</i> …

Hygge

The dangerous fantasy behind Trump’s normalisation

It was David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker, who crystallised the situation into a chilling shard, following the US presidential election result. Speaking on CNN, he said: “When I listen to Conrad Black describe Donald Trump, I think I’m hallucinating. When I hear him described as not sexist, …

Donald Trump

The Obama Doctrine

The U.S. president talks through his hardest decisions about America’s role in the world.<p>Friday, August 30, 2013, the day the feckless Barack Obama brought to a premature end America’s reign as the world’s sole indispensable superpower—or, alternatively, the day the sagacious Barack Obama peered …

The Lessons of Henry Kissinger

The legendary and controversial statesman criticizes the Obama Doctrine, talks about the main challenges for the next president, and explains how to avoid war with China.<p><i>Author’s note (November 10, 2016): Over the past several months, I’ve interviewed Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state,</i> …

I've heard enough of the white male rage narrative

‘Grab ’em by the pussy” was the line that was supposed to have ended Donald Trump’s campaign for presidency. Instead it turned out to be one of the most astonishing and successful strategies for the highest office. In a campaign based on racism, misogyny and bullying, Trump proved that boasting …

Feminism

As political discourse descends into rage, thank god for Michelle Obama

On Thursday night the US presidential election sparked two remarkable political speeches that in different ways illuminate our times. Donald Trump turned up the ampage on the conspiracy of a “totally corrupt political establishment” . False, unsubstantiated accusations about his sexual …

Michelle Obama

UN human rights chief: Western 'demagogues,' ISIS use same tactics

<b>(CNN) —</b> The United Nation's human rights chief has launched a blistering attack on the West's populist politicians, comparing their use of "half-truths and oversimplification" to spark fear in voters to the strategies used by ISIS.<p>Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, UN high commissioner for human rights, …

Human Rights

Aziz Ansari: Why Trump Makes Me Scared for My Family

“DON’T go anywhere near a mosque,” I told my mother. “Do all your prayer at home. O.K.?”<p>“We’re not going,” she replied.<p>I am the son of Muslim immigrants. As I sent that text, in the aftermath of the horrible attack in Orlando, Fla., I realized how awful it was to tell an American citizen to be …

Aziz Ansari

Brexit, Seen from the Top of Europe

The news of the Brexit vote—for all that it had been obviously plausible for years, highly possible for months, and even on the very eve was known to be at best a hairbreadth business—still shocked Europe, and perhaps the world, as no political event has since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The …

Europe

The Dangerous Acceptance of Donald Trump

“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, / As, to be hated, needs but to be seen,” the poet Alexander Pope wrote, in lines that were once, as they said back in the day, imprinted on the mind of every schoolboy. Pope continued, “Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, / we first endure, then pity, …

Scarborough rips Trump: Prove you're not a bigot

Donald Trump needs to prove once and for all that he is not a bigot, former congressman and MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said Wednesday.<p>“Donald, guess what, I’m not going to support you until you get your act together. You’re acting like a bush-league loser, you’re acting like a racist, you’re acting …

Donald Trump

Can Pakistan win its war against the Taliban?

Paranoid parents have always known that children’s parks are potentially dangerous places. That rickety seesaw might fling your child skywards. That slide is always too steep. That swing will snap one day. That toy plane that vibrates after you insert a metal token and sings Twinkle, Twinkle, …

Pakistan

Does It Really Matter What People Call the So-Called Islamic State?

“Language is part of the armory of human resistance,” says Wole Soyinka.<p>Is there a right and wrong way to describe depravity? When a terrorist organization has seized control over millions of people and chunks of countries, when it has killed thousands and drawn world powers into war, is what we …

Inside the hunt for Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Intelligence officials have pieced together details of the recent movements of the world’s most wanted man<p>At the closest point they can reach to the Islamic State heartlands, the Kurdish Peshmerga can almost feel their enemy. Most days Isis fighters fire mortars or bullets at their frontline, 10 …

Islam

Welcome to the age of Trump

Whether he wins the US presidency or not, his rise reveals a growing attraction to political demagogues – and points to a wider crisis of democracy<p>It was the night the American media were too demure to call Pussygate. At the time, Donald Trump had won nothing. Twenty-four hours later, he would be …

Political Science

Are French prisons ‘finishing schools’ for terrorism?

Alarmed that its jails are creating jihadis, France has launched a scheme to turn young Muslim prisoners back from radicalisation. But can prisons solve a problem society has utterly failed to repair?<p>A goldfish was being looked after by the warders when I visited the prison at Osny, just outside …

Religion

Welcome to the land that no country wants

In 2014, an American dad claimed a tiny parcel of African land to make his daughter a princess. But Jack Shenker had got there first – and learned that states and borders are volatile and delicate things<p>Bir Tawil is the last truly unclaimed land on earth: a tiny sliver of Africa ruled by no state, …

Africa

How the changing media is changing terrorism

Just like news organisations, terrorists need an audience – and both have adapted their tactics to keep your attention<p>Mohamed Merah, a 23-year-old petty criminal, spent much of the last 36 hours of his life crouched over a laptop in his small apartment in the south‑western French city of Toulouse. …

Terrorism

Your brain does not process information and it is not a computer – Robert Epstein

No matter how hard they try, brain scientists and cognitive psychologists will never find a copy of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony in the brain – or copies …