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Trump’s folly

In the White House on Tuesday, with the world just where he wanted it — eyes on the TV, transfixed by his boldness — President Trump uprooted the Iran nuclear deal. Under this agreement, which was signed in July 2015 by Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany,

The end of the deal

For someone so frequently denounced as a liar, Donald Trump keeps an awful lot of promises. In the 2016 election campaign, he promised that he would take the United States out of the ‘terrible’ Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the ‘Iran deal’. Last October, he insisted that the Iran deal be renegotiated. In January, he

Universities challenged | 10 May 2018

British universities have serious problems. The recent strikes protesting against a sudden reduction in pension rights were unusually effective, and a symptom of wider discontent. Yet international comparisons invariably show our universities to be among the best in the world, and incomparably the best in the European Union. This apparent paradox is easily resolved: universities

The ‘woke’ who do coke

Midnight in Shoreditch, and snaking round the brickwork of old east London is a line of chattering clubbers. Everyone seems to be queuing for something here: a new restaurant, or a new microbrewery. Inside the club, hipster students, bearded professionals and wealthy tourists fill the dance floor. I easily spot the drug dealers weaving in

The emoji con

Smiley face. Sad face. Smoochy face. Sick face. Edvard Munch ‘Scream’ face. How are you feeling today? Any of the above? When I worked as a teacher at a Saturday school for children who were struggling with English and maths, my pupils, all of whom were primary school age, had two emotions: they were ‘good’

Aussie rules | 10 May 2018

When friends speak, you should listen — and you would be hard pressed to find a better friend of this country in the London diplomatic corps than Alexander Downer. The 66-year-old, who has just finished a four-year stint as the Australian High Commissioner, is an Anglophile by instinct and upbringing. He spent much of his


Media Notebook

To anyone who has dreamed of becoming a journalist, the thrill of walking into a national newspaper office never goes away. My desk is in the glass-clad offices of the Sunday Times, next to the Shard; the outside ‘walls’ are all windows and the views from the ninth floor are spectacular. When I first came

Notes on...

Shirtmaker Simone Abbarchi

The Premio Rezzori literary prize — held every May in Florence — is named after the Austrian writer Gregor von Rezzori, who lived for years in the small village of Donnini, east of the city, with his aristocratic wife, Beatrice Monte della Corte. Von Rezzori died some years ago but his formidable wife, now 92,