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Cindy Yu

Power jab: the rise of vaccine diplomacy

At the end of January the President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, gave a speech on the tarmac of Santiago airport. ‘Today is a day of joy, excitement and hope,’ he said, standing in front of a Boeing 787 which had just arrived from Beijing. Inside it were two million vaccine doses produced by the Chinese

China vs America: the struggle for south-east Asia

Is Antony Blinken, President Joe Biden’s secretary of state, preparing to abandon Barack Obama’s powder-puff Asian foreign policies? It is now widely agreed that Obama, under whom Blinken served as deputy secretary of state, ceded to China uncontested control of the South China Sea. Obama’s so-called ‘pivot to Asia’ was all talk and no trousers.

How middle-class is your dad?

Not all Facebook groups are forums for insurrection, anti-vaccine propaganda and rude remarks about Bill Gates. Some are just places where people talk about their dads. ‘Middle Class “Your Dad” Talk’ is a group where some 23,000 members share observations and witticisms that all follow the same format: ‘your dad is extremely specific about how

The decline of American journalism

The latest absurdity in American journalism is the forced resignation of the veteran New York Times reporter Donald McNeil Jr for uttering the word ‘nigger’ in front of a group of teenage tourists on a Times-sponsored trip to Peru. It has been justly ridiculed by many sane conservatives and even some courageous liberals. Although the

The importance of a good funeral

In ITV’s otherwise terrible drama Finding Alice, one line struck me with particular force. A funeral director is addressing our heroine, who finds herself unexpectedly having to organise last rites for her partner. Wicker coffins are particularly popular now with relatives, says the undertaker, and I found myself nodding in strong agreement. A light woven

The need for speed: can we outpace Covid?

The Spanish flu pandemic a century ago resulted in around 50 million deaths worldwide. Its second wave was over ten times more deadly than its first. History is repeating, with the global death toll from Covid-19 this second winter already three times that of the first. In the UK, the number of deaths in this

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