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Letter from Taiwan: life in the shadow of ‘The Bully’

The Grand Hotel sits on the outskirts of Taipei, at the edge of Yangmingshan national park. Overlooking the city, the 14-storey building is designed like a Chinese palace. It was built in the 1950s to host dignitaries when Taiwan was under authoritarian rule. Today it operates as a five-star hotel and is open to tours

Europe is turning against net zero

The contrast couldn’t be greater. In Britain a wealthy cabinet minister goes on television to boast of how he is installing a heat pump in his home – something his government is proposing to force on millions of British homeowners over the next few years in spite of them costing many thousands of pounds more

TV dramas like Welcome to Wrexham are spoiling sport

Wrexham had never seen anything like it: thousands of fans cheering their team as an open-top bus made its way through the city’s streets. On board, Wrexham’s footballers celebrated their side’s promotion back to the English football league. The club’s star owners, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, were there too – and with them, as

Why mass shootings won’t change Serbia’s gun culture

Two mass shootings in Serbia have left 17 people dead, many of them children, and there are protests on the streets of Belgrade. Demonstrators blame Serbia’s populist president, Aleksandar Vucic, and so Vucic has his own series of anti-gun rallies planned and has ordered a swift crackdown on gun ownership, a ‘practical disarmament’. But Vucic

Notes on...

The sex appeal of lobsters

The night before I moved a pet lobster into my flat, I ate agnolotti all’ aragosta for dinner. It was possible that my soon-to-be companion, Snips McGee – who I inherited from a friend – would outlive me (the oldest lobster on record was estimated to be 140 years old) and I wanted one last