Greece’s age-old obsession with fire

Patmos While green Rhodes and greener Corfu burn away, arid Patmos remains fireproof because rock and soil do not a bonfire make. The Almighty granted some islands plenty of water, and other ones no H2O whatsoever. Most of the Cycladic isles lug in drinking water from the mainland, and make do with treated unsalted seawater for planting. The Ionian isles have springs and rivers and also fires, some of them started by firebugs who hope to gain – I have never figured this one out – from the blaze. It’s all very confusing, especially as the temperatures are rising and the energy to party diminishes by the hour. Everything was

‘Collective’ shines a light on Romania’s deadly corruption problem

A gripping Romanian documentary has made history as the country’s first film ever to be nominated for an Oscar in the international category. But ‘Collective’, which is also shortlisted for best documentary feature at tonight’s ceremony, isn’t a source of national pride. In fact, far from it: the movie shines a spotlight on the country’s rotten healthcare system. It follows a team of investigative journalists as they uncover deep-seated corruption in the aftermath of a deadly nightclub fire in Bucharest in 2015, that killed 65 people. While 27 died on the night of the fire, many more died in the months afterwards. They lost their lives in bacteria-riddled hospitals that were not only

The ‘cladding tax’ could end up being a disastrous mistake

Since the first buildings with dangerous cladding were discovered in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire, one question has hung continuously over all efforts to make them safe: who is going to pay? Now, after three and a half years of stilted progress, the government appears to be on the verge of answering that question. The answer it is reaching for could prove to be the most controversial and politically damaging mistake since the building safety saga began. The government’s current proposal began when Michael Wade, an insurance guru, was drafted by the Cabinet Office to help find a solution to the cladding problem. The idea he is reported