Featured articles


Biden’s war: does he know what he’s doing?

Anyone could see that Joe Biden veered off-script during his big speech in Poland. ‘For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,’ he said of Vladimir Putin, which sounded a lot like a cry for regime change. Luckily for him, though, and perhaps for world peace, Leon Panetta, a former secretary of defence under

Covid has changed London for the better

For some it was the taped-off park benches, or the sight of police officers handing out fixed penalty notices to sunbathers. For others it was the sheer numbers of deaths being reported in inner boroughs. London in the spring of 2020 was definitely not the place to be. As with other world cities, it faced

The scourge of urban gulls

Early this year, five dead herring gulls were discovered on a Cornish beach, and when tested it was found they had bird flu. This should have provoked serious concern: these were the first gulls to be found carrying bird flu in Britain. But because of the war and because we’re sick of epidemics, it was

Why the destruction of Ukraine’s churches matters

One small, deadly incident in the Ukrainian war proved memorable because it involved the ordinary things of life. A mother and two children trying to leave the town of Irpin on foot on 6 March died from Russian shelling. Their suitcases fell beside them and, miserably, a pet dog carrier. They lay on an ordinary

40 years on, war still casts a shadow over the Falklands

For the Falkland islanders, the war in Ukraine brings back haunting memories of their own trauma four decades ago. Having themselves experienced a barbaric invasion by a big bully next door, they understand all too well what the people of Ukraine are going through. ‘I still feel that gun in my back,’ one islander told

The descent of New York

New York When Will Smith strode to the stage and slapped Chris Rock, I was surprised by how many of my friends thought the violence had been staged to rescue the Academy Awards from its years-long ratings decline. I instantly recognised it as authentic rage, not because I know anything about Hollywood or Will Smith,

Ukraine’s most wanted – an interview with Dmitry Firtash

If you’ve heard of Dmitry Firtash, the odds are you’ll have the impression of a deeply controversial man. He was arrested in Austria in 2014 at the US government’s request on charges of ‘conspiracy to bribe’ in India. A warrant was then issued for his arrest in Spain. Last year, Firtash was sanctioned by Ukraine

My childhood Cold War fears are back

On the day before my seventh birthday, which I spent at my grandma’s in Yorkshire, a young man named Raymond Jones walked into North End Music Stores in Liverpool and asked the guy behind the counter for a record on which an obscure local group called the Beatles provided the backing track for a song

Notes on...

Crunch time: how to make the perfect crisp sandwich

A crisp sandwich is a private and personal endeavour. In my experience (and I have considerable experience in this particular area) it is usually eaten alone in the kitchen, often over the sink. It is deliberately unsophisticated, the ultimate fast food: simple, salty, satisfying. It is a snack that speaks of the person you are,