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Trump’s second act: he can still win, in spite of everything

Everyone knows F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous line from the end of his unfinished novel The Last Tycoon: ‘There are no second acts in American lives.’ But Fitzgerald wasn’t talking about second chances. He meant that, unlike in a traditional play – where Act I presents a problem, Act II reveals the complications and Act III

The final countdown: Turkey is on a knife-edge

‘Kilicdaroglu’ is a pronunciation nightmare for the non-Turkish. Yet after this Sunday’s presidential elections, international news presenters, who have struggled for 20 years with President Erdogan’s soft ‘g’, might have to work harder to articulate the name of the social democrat leader of opposition. ‘You may call him Mr Kemal [his first name] until he

The tragedy of Ukraine’s stolen children

One of the most appalling and perplexing atrocities committed by Vladimir Putin has been the abduction of Ukrainian children. At least 20,000 boys and girls, some just babies, have been separated from their parents and placed in Russian camps, orphanages or foster homes. They are portrayed in Russia as grateful orphans being saved from ‘Kyiv’s

The Anglican priests charged with exorcising evil spirits

Last month, a trailer for the new Exorcist film – the scariest trailer ever, apparently – was released. The Exorcist: Believer isn’t out until Friday 13 October – just in time for Halloween – but Hollywood movies about demons are legion. This one follows The Pope’s Exorcist (released on Good Friday), in which Russell Crowe

In Kyiv, tech start-ups are thriving

What better cocktail to try in Kyiv than ‘Lesya Ukrainka’s Dream’? Born in 1871, Ukrainka was a fierce feminist, poet, titan of Ukrainian literature and the angel-faced symbol of independent nationhood. In this time of war, writers like Ukrainka and Taras Shevchenko, the great 19th-century poet persecuted by the Russians, a man who has come

Notes on...

In defence of rats

I n the ranks of unloved animals, rats are  surely king – so reviled that other pest species are often referred to as variations of the rat archetype: pigeons are ‘rats with wings’, grey squirrels are ‘tree rats’. There was also a recent flurry of stories about Britain facing an ‘invasion’ of ‘300 million monstrous