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Arabian nightmare

In Abdallah Guech Street, a few hundred metres from the main mosque in the heart of Tunis’s old quarter, lies a red-light district which has thrived since the 19th century. Here the Ottomans legalised (and regulated) prostitution as they had in much of the rest of the Muslim world. Uniquely, though, in the Arab world,

Eire of sorrows

It doesn’t matter who wins the Irish elections – the country will remain an outpost of Brussels Dublin There is something tragically irrelevant about the elections taking place this weekend in Ireland. In recent months, Ireland has felt less like a country and more like the first acquisition of the Reborn Frankish Empire, after the

Sister act | 26 February 2011

Josef Ackermann is something of a rarity in big business these days. Speculating last month on the possibility of a woman one day joining his board, the Deutsche Bank chief executive remarked that she might make it ‘more colourful and prettier’. Despite howls of outrage from the sisterhood — or the Schwesternschaft, as they are

The alternative story

What the Electoral Reform Society doesn’t want you to know In ten weeks’ time, Britons will be asked to vote on arguably the dullest question ever put to a referendum: whether to adopt the Alternative Voting system in our general elections. Under AV, instead of picking one MP, voters would list their first, second and

Prize dupes

Britain now takes the Oscars seriously. That’s a crying shame There was a time when the British took a great deal of pleasure — and not a little bit of pride — in laughing at the self-adoring parade that is the Academy Awards ceremony. The Oscars were regarded as the film equivalent of the Eurovision

Dirty rotten scholars

Who was the dirtiest don in history? There must be many claimants for this title, especially in the 17th century, when all dons (except heads of houses) were bachelors. The diaries of Anthony à Wood bear witness. Actually my candidate for the title lived until 1940, and had a wife, too, though she was instrumental