The President of Kazakhstan suggests his country should be renamed
By Sophie McBain - 21 February 12:06

President Nazerbayev doesn't want to rule a "stan" any more. So he's suggesting it become Kazakh Yeli or Kazakhiya.

New Statesman
Ukraine is at war, we're just not admitting it yet
By Agata Pyzik - 20 February 10:56

Ukraine finds itself in an impossible clinch, where it is alternately patronised (“those heroic Ukrainians!”) and refused serious help to counter Russia’s bailouts. With people dying on the streets as the violence intensifies, how much longer can this last?

Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot
Pussy Riot and the new age of dissident art
By Daniel Trilling - 19 February 9:50

Neither of these two new books about the feminist art collective leave one optimistic about the immediate future of Russian politics, but they show the deep effect the saga has had.

North Koreans stand onboard a ship in the Yalu River in Sinuiji
Sailing for North Korea: A voyage to the town where no one knows the Beatles
By Fraser Lewry - 19 February 9:20

The Chinese have always made the crossing: historically for trade, more recently for tourism. In May 2013, the North Korean city of Sinuiju opened up to westerners for the first time.

Front-line journalist: Chornovol is still recovering from her attack.
No chickening out for activists subject to intimidation in Kiev
By Lucy Ash - 18 February 14:23

“I don’t hide behind the title ‘journalist’ any more,” says Tetiana Chornovol. “My investigative reporting is just one of the weapons I use in my battle against Yanukovych and his clan.”

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, members of Pussy Riot
Two members of Pussy Riot arrested in Sochi
By Julia Ioffe - 18 February 13:41

Nadia Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina, who were released from prison less than two months ago, say they were arrested in Sochi with a group of activists and journalists.

Miners.
Underground epidemic: the tuberculosis crisis in South Africa's gold mines
By Heidi Vella - 18 February 10:33

South Africa's gold mining industry has suffered a number of setbacks in recent years. Repeated union strikes have resulted in bloody clashes between workers and police. Economic pressure has increased after a recent fall in the price of gold.

Migrant workers at Qatar's world cup stadium. Photo: Getty.
400 Nepalese construction workers have died since Qatar won the World Cup bid
By Sophie McBain - 17 February 12:37

Why are international sporting events so dangerous for construction workers?

“Good” and “bad” war – and the struggle of memory against forgetting
By John Pilger - 13 February 15:02

The regime that Washington created in the South, the “good” Korea, was set up and run largely by those who had collaborated with Japan and America.

Negotiating a path to peace: from Geneva to Aleppo, via Moscow
By Michael C Williams - 13 February 13:24

Syrian peace talks are promising, but much will need to be agreed (and a few Gordian Knots sliced) before there can be a lasting peace.

Gender inequality is costing the global economy trillions of dollars a year
By Sophie McBain - 12 February 15:00

A UN report released today has found that progress made towards reducing poverty is at risk of being reversed because of widening inequality and a failure to strengthen women's rights.

Three years on from the Arab spring, Egyptians hope another strongman can save them
By Sophie McBain - 11 February 13:11

Were millions in the region wrong to believe they deserved better?

As the US turns against new sanctions on Iran, has the Israel lobby lost its mojo?
By Mehdi Hasan - 10 February 9:09

The Aipac lobby group is famed for its ability to move bills, spike nominations and keep legislators in line – but is its influence waning?

Why is the Canadian rock band Skinny Puppy invoicing the Pentagon for $666,000?
By Sophie McBain - 06 February 12:04

How would you react if you discovered your music was being used to aid interrogations?

We cannot end FGM in the UK without ending it in Africa
By Lynne Featherstone - 06 February 10:52

We won’t stand aside as this violence is inflicted on girls in the UK and around the world. Britain is now the world’s biggest supporter of activity to end female genital mutilation.

How the west was lost: Frank Furedi’s First World War
By Richard Overy - 06 February 8:51

The Great War’s greatest legacy is uncertainty and a never-ending search for meaning.

Why the US should apologise for deaths in Iraq
By Burhan Al-Chalabi - 06 February 8:32

A US apology will not bring back the thousands of dead Iraqis, but at least it will amount to an acceptance of moral responsibility.

Calm, classless, striving for beauty: Yes, Scandinavia really is all it's cracked up to be
By Andrew Mellor - 05 February 12:42

British commentators have been dismissing Scandinavian culture and politics using selective statistics and un-contextualised observations. But from smart young people to art and happiness: the qualities of Nordic life are well established.

The loneliness of Vladimir Putin
By Julia Ioffe - 05 February 12:19

He crushed his opposition and has nothing to show for it but a country that's falling apart.

A new law in Afghanistan means men can attack their wives and daughters with impunity
By Sophie McBain - 05 February 11:55

The problem isn't just in Afghanistan. 30 per cent of woman suffer violence from an intimate partner, but globally laws do little to protect women at home.

What use is Gross Domestic Happiness to Bhutan's 106,000 global refugees?
By Prajwal Parajuly - 05 February 9:30

In Aberdeen, outside a takeaway called The Gurkha Kitchen, I met a Bhutanese refugee called Landless. Landless was eager to talk.

Why we must end the detention of female asylum seekers in the UK
By Caroline Criado-Perez - 30 January 17:20

We must believe these women when they tell us they would never have left their home, their family, their country, if they had a choice, and we must demonstrate this belief by telling our government that they must not be locked up.

The radicalism of fools: the rise of the new anti-Semitism
By Anthony Clavane - 30 January 12:02

No self-respecting person on the left should endorse anti-establishment positions that are in reality just cloaked anti-Semitism.

Dieudonné’s war on France: the Holocaust comedian who isn’t funny
By Andrew Hussey - 30 January 11:30

Dieudonné is no Bernard Manning or Frankie Boyle, whose humour is purposelessly offensive. In recent years, he has set out on a political mission to provoke the French state and test the limits of French law.

Robert Gates: memoirs of the “Soldier’s Secretary”, an old-fashioned realist
By John Bew - 30 January 10:29

The former US Secretary of Defense on what the president never knew.

Britain’s last great diplomat: Michael Butler
By Carla Powell - 30 January 9:25

Michael Butler was a man with a mission in life, not simply a diplomatic mission on his CV.

In “Mitt”, Mitt Romney is both alien and somehow also beautifully, terribly human
By Nicky Woolf - 29 January 16:46

A new film following Mitt Romney from his failed first presidential bid in 2007-8 to his doomed candidacy in 2012 may not be political dynamite, but it is an oddly compelling portrait of a very awkward man.

A third of school children aren't even learning the basics
By Sophie McBain - 29 January 14:40

250 million school-age children worldwide can't read, write or do a basic maths sum. 130 million of these children are enrolled in school. So what's going wrong?

South Africa’s emerging new left: the birth of a new socialist party
By Martin Plaut - 27 January 12:09

The aim is to create a movement similar to the United Democratic Front that fought the apartheid government.

In Egypt, a nation voted Yes to military rule and Yes to moving forwards
By Bel Trew - 27 January 10:31

The plebiscite amounts to a tacit endorsement for the military-installed government that has launched a crackdown on Morsi and his Islamist party, the Muslim Brotherhood.

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