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.

Fawzia Koofi, the female politician who wants to lead Afghanistan
By Sophie McBain - 18 December 9:41

Though disallowed from the 2014 presidential race, Fawzia Koofi is optimistic about her political career in Afghanistan. Yet it is not clear what will happen to the state of women's rights before the next one.

Mandela’s stoicism, tea with Ian Smith, and South Africa’s civil war that never was
By Jason Cowley - 17 December 10:13

In 2000, on a visit to Zimbabwe, Jason Cowley met the former Rhodesian leader Ian Smith.

Why India is sitting on a social time-bomb of violence against women
By Sunny Hundal - 16 December 10:11

There are 37 million more men than women in India, and most of them are of marriageable age given the relatively young population. A social time-bomb is now setting off there with terrifying consequences, and until the gang-rape in Dehli a year ago, very

New Statesman
Britain should “hang its head in shame” over Syrian refugee crisis
By Sophie McBain - 13 December 12:31

Amnesty International condemns Europe's failure to resettle Syrian refugees.

A woman, suffering from Alzheimer's desease, holds the hand of a relative
Who will care for Alzheimer's sufferers in low income countries?
By Sophie McBain - 12 December 11:55

In 2050, 71 per cent of Alzheimer's patients will be in low to middle income countries. Will they be able to access medical care?

New Statesman
How Lufsig the cuddly wolf became a Hong Kong protest symbol
By Sophie McBain - 10 December 15:34

A short lesson in the art of mistranslating names into Chinese.

Full text: Barack Obama's tribute at Nelson Mandela memorial
By Barack Obama - 10 December 11:54

"We will never see the likes of Nelson Mandela again. But let me say to the young people of Africa, and young people around the world - you can make his life’s work your own."

Why Mandela’s Communist Party membership is important
By Martin Plaut - 10 December 11:29

As we mourn Mandela's death we should not forget and acknowledge the role that communists played in befriending and influencing this great man.

New Statesman
Why the UK needs to help deliver on women’s rights in Afghanistan
By Caroline Wright - 10 December 9:15

Caroline Wright tells the story of a fellow gynaecologist, “Dr D”, an Afghan health professional who has experienced death threats and attacks on her family in Afghanistan.

Why it’s misguided to treat the eurozone crisis as a morality tale about “lazy” southerners
By Mehdi Hasan - 09 December 14:19

As southern European countries rack up record debts, Helmut Kohl has told friends “Merkel is destroying my Europe”.

Mandela will never, ever be your minstrel
By Musa Okwonga - 06 December 14:26

"Mandela did what he felt he had to do and given the current economic inequality in South Africa he might even have died thinking he didn’t do nearly enough of it."

Mandela's right–hand man and prison mate on his “elder brother and mentor”
By Samira Shackle - 06 December 10:39

Ahmed Kathrada went to jail with Nelson Mandela, and in Mandela's later years sometimes acted as his spokesperson.

The Azerbaijan that you are allowed to see
By Cal Flyn - 05 December 9:15

As the Black City district is being redeveloped and renamed White City, contrasts between past and present in this oil–rich country could hardly be clearer.

New Statesman
If chimps become "legal persons" terrorism suspects should too
By Sophie McBain - 04 December 11:46

The good news is that the principle of habeas corpus may soon apply to chimpanzees in the US. The bad news is it still won't apply to humans suspected of terrorism.

New Statesman
Global school rankings: where are students happiest?
By Sophie McBain - 03 December 13:48

The UK is ranked below the top 20 in terms of science, maths, reading and - crucially - happiness at school.

Birth pangs of a new South African worker’s party
By Martin Plaut - 29 November 12:31

With considerable pain and after a long gestation it seems that a new workers’ party is being born in South Africa.

How everything became François Hollande’s fault
By Charles Bremner - 28 November 14:16

So much blame is heaped on Hollande that it is hard not to feel sorry for the amiable back-room party manager who, his friends say, still cannot believe his good fortune in landing the presidency last year.

New Statesman
What can I say to make you care about Syria?
By Sophie McBain - 28 November 12:19

Paul Conroy, the photojournalist injured in the attack that killed Marie Colvin in Homs, says he "can’t think of a single photo I could take at this moment in time that would increase public awareness." When will people start taking notice of Syria again?

An Israeli–Saudi alliance? It could only happen in the Middle East
By David Patrikarakos - 27 November 16:07

Strange alliances in tumultuous times.

Lebanon: the country that can't keep out of Syria's war
By Lana Asfour - 27 November 15:35

As the conflict drags on in Syria the tensions are felt strongly in Lebanon, which is hosting almost one million refugees.

WHO retracts claim half of Greek HIV infections were self-inflicted, blames 'editing error'
By Ian Steadman - 26 November 13:19

The WHO's latest health inequity report made a startling claim that "about half" of those with HIV deliberately infected themselves in order to claim benefits, a claim not backed by the study cited.

New Statesman
Eight companies where executives are paid 1000 times more than employees
By Sophie McBain - 25 November 15:17

Research by Bloomberg reveals the extent of the pay gap between executives and employees at 250 companies.

How to fight corruption with $5m in cash
By Sophie McBain - 21 November 15:12

Is it possible to build a fortune cleanly in African telecoms?

How Bill de Blasio became the mayor for the 99 per cent
By Nicky Woolf - 21 November 15:09

“Bill de Blasio will be a mayor for every New Yorker – and I would say that even if he weren’t my dad.”

Why Pinochet is the dictator who never dies
By Mira Galanova - 21 November 14:44

Why is there still support in Chile for a man considered a ruthless dictator by most of the democratic world? Pinochet’s sympathisers say his poor reputation is the result of a manipulation of history.

The eyes of Texas are watching as George W Bush returns to take on the Tea Party
By John Bew - 21 November 13:45

There is a growing nostalgia for Dubbya's brand of “compassionate conservatism”, which increased the role of federal government in education, expanded Medicare coverage and demonstrated willingness to address immigration reform.

New Statesman
Are rich countries taking too many antidepressants?
By Sophie McBain - 21 November 12:14

One in 10 people in Iceland are on antidepressants, and prescription rates across the OECD have dramatically increased.

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il with South Korean president Roh Moo-Hyun
How to live to 120, according to Kim Jong-Il
By Sophie McBain - 20 November 13:03

Regular blood transfusions and five-year-olds doing "adorable" things aimed to help the North Korean dictator become the world's oldest man.

New Statesman
What happened when Egypt's government unveiled a monument to Tahrir Square protestors?
By Sophie McBain - 19 November 15:24

If the army was hoping that a hulking great monument would, literally and metaphorically, set their version of history in stone, they were wrong.