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In 100 years we will be an entirely urban species

Chongqing is a dense and smoky inland city, the heavy-industry, high-rise home to over 30 million people. It is to China what Chicago was to 20th-century America, or Manchester to 19th-century England, and it’s growing at an extraordinary rate. Every day a tide of 1,500 new people washes in to Chongqing. Every day an extra

‘How many must be shot before Kashmir is news?’

It was unfortunate timing. At the very moment David Cameron was pleasing his Indian audience by criticising Pakistan’s sponsorship of terrorism, security forces in Indian-controlled Kashmir were gunning down civilian protesters in the streets of Srinagar, the summer capital of the disputed state. It is not clear why Cameron failed to mention the worsening crisis

What is Zardari doing at Chequers?

Pakistan’s President has provoked outrage by taking a tour of Europe with his son while thousands die in the floods at home. Isabel Villiers reports Pakistan’s worst monsoon rains continue, and thousands are now dead, many more trapped, surrounded by floods. The images on TV over here show vast expanses of putrid water where riverbanks

Why is the ‘Director BBC North’ staying down south?

On his vast salary, Peter Salmon could buy Wigan, says Rod Liddle. But he and the rest of the corporation’s managerial elite will not be abandoning their cosy London lives any time soon Do any senior BBC executives wish to move to Salford, as is being urged upon the corporation’s exponentially less well paid staff,

Suburban hymns

Arcade Fire’s third album The Suburbs is in a long, glorious tradition of pop lyricism inspired by everyday life, writes Christopher Howse Arcade Fire’s first album Funeral was not about a funeral. But, goodness, when we saw Régine Chassagne hammering away at her keyboard in red elbow-gloves with her husband Win Butler singing one of

Train à Grande Vexation

The marvels of French rail travel are a myth, says Ross Clark. Travelling by TGV is a rip-off — and the customer service is appalling Which Ryanair passenger, left fuming by lousy service and lashed by Michael O’Leary’s tongue, hasn’t opined that, if only they had more money and a bit of extra time, they

Letter from the Far East

In a tiny flat in Peking I heard a 105-year-old Chinese man explain how he was responsible for the capital of China being called Beijing. The centenarian, Mr Zhou Youguang, was the founder of Pinyin, the system of phonetic transliteration for all the Chinese characters. It might be argued that he is one of the