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Katy Balls

The Starmtroopers: how Labour’s centrists took back control

On a cloudy Saturday in March, a group of unlikely characters gathered in an office near London’s Old Street for political training. A scientist, a prison officer, an army veteran and four economists were among them and they all hope to be elected as Labour MPs at the next election. A great many of them

Dutch farmers vs greens: why it matters

Amsterdam It’s not often that regional ballots in the Netherlands capture the attention of the international media. But last month that is exactly what happened. On 15 March, the so-called ‘provincial elections’ were held. Although technically these are regional, they also indirectly determine the composition of the Dutch senate – and, if the ruling parties

The terrible choice facing Russia’s opposition – stay, or go?

There was a time before the invasion of Ukraine when even the Kremlin’s opponents would talk of living in ‘vegetarian’ times. Before 2022, independent news organisations like Dozhd TV, the New Times and Novaya Gazeta were marginalised but not banned. Public protest was punished, but for the most part with sentences in days and months,

Meloni knows that immigration and fertility are linked

Ravenna, Italy Italy’s Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, met Rishi Sunak this week at the start of her two-day visit to Britain, as part of her mission to convince Europe that she’s a conservative not a fascist. Top of her agenda was the importance of continued military aid to Ukraine, but after that the two issues

Inside America’s Satanist movement

The largest gathering of Satanists in history is taking place in Boston this weekend. It’s not open to the public. Or, to be more precise, no longer open to the public. That’s because all the tickets have been sold. They’ve downgraded the supernatural in favour of aggressive secularism, with an emphasis on trans issues The


Are we entering an unknowable future?

Neither of the UK’s main political parties is saying anything especially interesting about education. In an economy chronically short of skills – more than ten million people lack the skills they need to do their jobs effectively – that’s odd. The education cupboard is not entirely bare. Last week saw the latest instalment of the

Notes on...

I’m grey – and proud

In the wake of new research by New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine, scientists think a treatment for stopping our hair going grey – and even reversing it – may soon be possible. Their optimism is based on early positive experiments with mice, which is great news if you’re a mouse, but what if