12/12/2020
12 Dec 2020

Biden’s burden

12 Dec 2020

Biden’s burden

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Dominic Green
Biden’s burden: can he save the free world?

Joe Biden talks a lot about restoring America’s standing in the world. But the truth is that if he now has the chance to reshape America’s relationships for a new era, it’s because Donald Trump has already done the awkward stuff. The question is: can Biden and his team swallow their collective pride and build on Trump’s legacy, or will vanity and partisanship send the American Atlas tumbling to his knees? Trump won the 2016 election by forcing the difficult questions on to the national agenda.

Biden’s burden: can he save the free world?
Charlie Taylor
We must stop treating juvenile offenders as lost causes

At the end of October, just before I started as HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, the inspectorate and Ofsted visited Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre near Rugby. Rainsbrook was built by the Blair government to house the increasing numbers of children imprisoned as a result of policing targets and tough-on-crime policies and it was one of four centres contracted out to private providers. The great hope was that these better-funded centres would provide a more humane alternative to Young Offender Institutions.

We must stop treating juvenile offenders as lost causes
Francis Pike
Cold war: Russia’s bid to control the Arctic

It may be time for Father Christmas to look for a new home, before the Russians kick him out. ‘This is our Arctic,’ declared the Russian explorer Artur Chilingarov when he went to the North Pole in 2003. Four years later, another Russian expedition, again led by Chilingarov, planted a titanium flag on the seabed 2.5 miles below the Pole. It was a symbolic gesture of a geopolitical ambition. The jingoistic Chilingarov proclaimed: ‘Our task is to remind the world that Russia is a great Arctic and scientific power.

Cold war: Russia’s bid to control the Arctic
Claudia Rosett
Buying power: how China co-opts the UN

It was one of those forgettably historic moments at the United Nations. The year was 2015, the UN’s 70th anniversary, and China’s President Xi Jinping was in New York, speaking in person to the UN General Assembly. In festive spirit, Xi announced that China would set up a $1 billion trust fund to be dispersed over ten years to ‘support the UN’s work’ and ‘contribute more to world peace and development’. So began the Peace and Development Trust Fund, one of China’s more insidious projects to co-opt the UN, its logo and its global networks.

Buying power: how China co-opts the UN
Tanya Gold
‘The internet raised me’: the strange world of online star Belle Delphine

Belle Delphine lives in a mock Tudor house in a gated community in Hove. It’s necrotic, and soothing. You could be anywhere, and this is apt. Belle lives on the internet, where she entertains her subscribers, who pay $35 a month through the website OnlyFans. She is 21, and she grew up on the internet. ‘It raised me,’ she says. I watch one of her films before we meet. It shows her dressed as a Disney princess in a long pink wig and small clothes.

‘The internet raised me’: the strange world of online star Belle Delphine
Marcus Berkmann
The magnificence of the Covid ‘business lunch’ loophole

A friend of mine went for a walk in the Cotswolds last weekend with his wife. At around four o’clock, tired but happy, they fetched up at a country pub. ‘You’ll have to eat a substantial meal,’ said the landlady, crossly. ‘But it’s four o’clock,’ said my friend. ‘We’re not hungry.’ The landlady tutted and showed him a long and expensive menu. My friend and his wife turned around and walked out of the pub. This, I think we can safely say, represents one end of the Tier 2 pub spectrum.

The magnificence of the Covid ‘business lunch’ loophole
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