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Sweden’s refugee crisis

 Stockholm For a British boy to be killed by a grenade attack anywhere is appalling, but for it to happen in a suburb of Gothenburg should shatter a few illusions about Sweden. Last week’s murder of eight-year-old Yuusuf Warsame fits a pattern that Swedes have come slowly to recognise over the years. He was from

Save the whale-hunt!

 Toftir, Faroe Islands Almost twenty years ago I founded a heavy metal band called Týr. Our songs, with titles such as ‘Blood of Heroes’ and ‘Lady of the Slain’, might not appeal to all Spectator readers — but we’ve released seven albums and toured several times across Europe and America. Our album covers depict bloodstained

The Clinton problem

′Love Trumps Hate’ has become one of Hillary Clinton’s official campaign slogans. It’s a clunky pun but you get the point. Hillary stands for love — i.e progressive global values, equality, that sort of thing. Donald Trump represents white nationalism, bigotry, all the nasty stuff. Love is good; hate is bad. Trump must be trumped,

‘I have become their voice’

When the model and actress Anastasia Lin was crowned Miss World Canada last year, a fairly easy and lucrative career lay in front of her: magazine shoots, sponsorship opportunities and being paid to turn up to parties. She instead decided to use her position to confront the Chinese Communist party and call out its human

Warrant for alarm

A concerted effort is under way to make sure that, when it comes to the European Arrest Warrant, Brexit does not mean Brexit. The Police Federation, for example, will hear no ill spoken of the system. And the same might be said of the Prime Minister, who as home secretary praised it to the skies.


Italian Notebook

 Lido di Dante, Ravenna When the earthquake struck in the dead of night at 3.36 a.m. — the Devil’s Hour — I was in front of my computer in what used to be the cow shed. This is the only time of day when my six boisterous children and their high-voltage Italian mother are not

Notes on...

Bare ruined choirs

We’re so used to looking at the abbeys smashed up by Henry VIII — particularly Rievaulx and Byland, in north Yorkshire — that we forget quite how odd they are. It’s not just that they’ve been preserved as ruins for 500 years, although that’s odd enough in a country that’s only saved ruins properly for