It took days for police to acknowledge the extent of the mass attacks on women celebrating New Year’s Eve in Cologne. The Germans were lucky; in Sweden, similar attacks have been taking place for more than a year and the authorities are still playing catch up. Only now is the truth emerging, both about the attacks and the cover-ups. Stefan Löfven, our Prime Minister, has denounced a ‘double betrayal’ of women and has promised an investigation.
The negotiations may be ongoing, but David Cameron has given up waiting for the outcome of his talks with the European Union. The Prime Minister has made up his mind: he wants Britain to vote to stay in the EU — and the campaigning has already begun. His closest allies have been assigned to the task; Downing Street is already in election mode and a strategy is being devised.
As with the Scottish referendum campaign, the In campaign will consist of vivid warnings about the dangers of voting to leave.
Pakistan society intended Seema Aziz to be a wife and mother. Her father arranged for her to get married at a young age, and by her early thirties she had a comfortable life as a Lahore housewife, married to a chemical engineer.
Then she took charge of her own fate. In the late 1970s, well before the era of jihad, Pakistan was flooded with western products. People began wearing jeans and T-shirts, leading Seema to conclude that there was a market for high-quality Pakistani clothes produced locally.
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[/audioplayer]My adopted hometown of Brighton and Hove has always had a somewhat well-to-do image, it’s fair to say. Though we have pockets of poverty, I was surprised by the size of the houses and gardens — room for a pony! — when I started going to house parties on the notorious Whitehawk estate.
Some things are universally accepted as true. Water finds its own level; crumpets are best eaten in winter; and the England football team will not win the World Cup again, ever.
On a par with these things, the most accepted part of economics is Keynesianism. Of course, John Maynard Keynes said lots of things about economics in between his many and varied sexual encounters. But, as is the way of the world, one of the things he said turned out to be particularly influential.
I am writing on the morning that President Obama is to deliver his last State of the Union address. You, reader, therefore know what he has said. I can only guess. ‘We have come so far… yet there remains so much to do.’ Did I get it right?
Yet ‘much to do’ only mildly describes the staggering array of crises that President Obama will bequeath his successor. Abroad: a crisis in the Chinese economy that is plunging into depression commodity exporters from Brazil to Brunei… a third war in Iraq, this time fought in undeclared association with Russia and Iran… a wave of refugees into Europe that threatens to smash apart the world’s largest economic union.
If you’ve never heard of Lake Iseo, you’re not alone. Nestling shyly between chocolate-box Como and glamorous Garda, the smallest of Lombardy’s four major lakes has quietly resisted the limelight over the centuries. Fashionistas may frolic on photo shoots in Garda’s ritzy spas, while excursion boats patrol Como’s west bank in the hope of spotting George Clooney in his front garden. But pint-sized Iseo shelters beneath cascades of forest, her charms undisturbed by tourist hordes.