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.

“I have been waiting for him to come home for 27 years, 3 months and 10 days”
By Marita Maharaj - 27 January 10:09

For more than half of his time in prison, Marita Maharaj's husband Kris was on death row. His sentence was commuted in 2002, but he still faces life imprisonment.

You have to be rather fond of someone to visit them in dreary, shoeless Gothenburg
By Nicholas Lezard - 23 January 17:59

This is the place to which the Beloved is committed.

Now that the president has gone, will violence in the Central African Republic stop?
By Louisa Waugh - 23 January 12:08

Decades of strife have left the Central African Republic with a damaged infrastructure and a tense peace that seems like it could end at any moment.

Before the First World War: what can 1914 tell us about 2014?
By Richard J Evans - 23 January 9:58

Old world decline, rogue empires, killing for God – looking at 1914, we can discover that there are many uncomfortable parallels with our own time.

New Statesman
The parrot who registered as a local candidate in Belarus, and other political animals
By Sophie McBain - 22 January 12:26

Yasha the parrot joins an elite menagerie of animals that have entered politics.

At Geneva this week, the government should push for the establishment of a Syria
Peace will not be achieved in Syria without Iran
By Douglas Alexander and Jim Murphy - 21 January 19:21

At Geneva this week, the government should push for the establishment of a Syria Contact Group involving both Saudi Arabia and Iran.

New Statesman
Syria: evidence of "systematic killing" of 11,000 detainees
By Sophie McBain - 21 January 14:03

Top lawyers say they have evidence that the Syrian government is responsible for crimes against humanity, but will these latest findings influence tomorrow's peace talks?

The road to nowhere: the Syrian refugees left out in the cold by Europe
By Daniel Trilling - 21 January 11:25

More than two million people have fled the civil war in Syria. Many of them are desperate to get into Europe – but no country wants them.

If Chris Christie wants to be president, he has to shake off the stench of New Jersey politics
By Nicky Woolf - 16 January 12:48

Chris Christie's presidential hopes have taken a hit, thanks to the "bridge" scandal. But if he learns the lesson that the American public has little tolerance for proto-Nixonion political thuggery, and – crucially – stops hiring people who operate that w

Why, in 2014, are first ladies still expected to behave like 1950s housewives?
By Rhiannon and Holly - 16 January 8:54

Open your mouth and identify yourself as a human being while daring to be married to a high-powered politician, and the media is unlikely to look kindly upon you.

Three reasons Egyptians should vote “no” in today's referendum
By Sophie McBain - 15 January 11:59

Egyptians are expected to vote “yes” in a referendum on their new constitution. This will prove a big mistake.

Hollande and the French kiss goodbye to era of private presidential affairs
By John Gaffney - 15 January 10:27

When things are going well, the “private life” is deliberately on display for all to see. That is how the French presidency thrives.

In the debate about immigration, we must not forget the exploitation of immigrants
By Sarah Karacs and Alan White - 14 January 12:57

Eva came from Hungary to London to work 21 hours a day as a nanny, but when she lost her job she had nothing. While we discuss the political issues of immigration, we can't forget the people who are being exploited on the black market.

Israel's Ariel Sharon dies at 85
By New Statesman - 11 January 14:04

The former Israeli prime minister is dead, eight years after a stroke which ended his political career.

Why the bridge scandal is so damaging to Chris Christie's presidential hopes
By Alec MacGillis - 09 January 16:25

The New Jersey governor is widely tipped as a potential Republican nominee for the 2016 election. But as a recent scandal involving gridlock on a bridge shows, he's more like Richard Nixon than than Rudi Giuliani.

Why the Tories have more in common with the Romanians than they think
By Nicholas Hillman - 08 January 16:52

It's a sweet irony that Margaret Thatcher is the heroine both of some of those who wish to come here and many of those who oppose their doing so.

Why is the media so easily taken in by stories about North Korea?
By Nelson Jones - 06 January 15:38

It now appears that the story about Kim Jong-Un's uncle being executed by a pack of 120 ravenous dogs can be traced back to a Weibo post by a Chinese satirist.

P W Botha and Margaret Thatcher in 1984.
What really happened when Margaret Thatcher met South Africa's P W Botha?
By Martin Plaut - 03 January 7:07

Thatcher and Botha met at the height of the apartheid government in 1984 - a crucial breach in South Africa's international isolation. But papers released under the 30 year rule reveal that Thatcher did not waver from her opposition to Botha’s racial poli

How Europe's far-right will - and won't - flourish in 2014
By Matthew Goodwin - 02 January 13:17

While the more established parties, such as the Front National and the Sweden Democrats, look set to enjoy the next year, others are likely to remain firmly on the fringe.

Whatever happened to the revolution in Egypt?
By Bel Trew - 01 January 8:58

The military leadership is trying to extinguish protest from both Muslim Brotherhood supporters and the liberals who helped overthrow President Mubarak. Will they succeed?

Bashar Al Assad: an intimate profile of a mass murderer
By Annia Ciezadlo - 30 December 13:23

How Syria's polite dictator won.

Syrians cannot afford for next year to be like this year
By Jim Murphy MP - 28 December 14:33

Violence, hunger and disease have become facts of life for millions. More can be done to alleviate their suffering, and more must be done.

The mouse that roared: Mandela's leadership of South Africa
By Sarah Baxter - 19 December 11:40

In this despatch from 15 April 1994, Sarah Baxter witnesses the moment Mandela held together a South Africa on the verge of falling apart.

Obama snubs the Sochi Games, giving Putin a star spangled middle finger
By Eleanor Margolis - 18 December 17:43

By snubbing the Sochi Games himself and picking tennis star and lesbian icon Billie Jean King to represent him, Barack Obama is effectively waving a rainbow flag in Putin's face. Three cheers for the “we’re here, we’re queer”-ness of the US Olympic delega

New Statesman
2013 is the second worst year for jailed journalists
By Sophie McBain - 18 December 10:48

There are currently 211 journalists in prison worldwide, and over 50 have been killed doing their job.

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