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a new era in transatlantic relations?
Politics

a new era in transatlantic relations?

The meeting between a middle power and a great power was a high-risk, meticulously planned diplomatic operation. “You are now connected to Air Force One,” a White House operator said as British Prime Minister Keir Starmer leaned into a speakerphone in a short video released from 10 Downing Street on Saturday. “Congratulations, Mr. Prime Minister,” President Biden exclaimed on his way to a campaign rally in Wisconsin. “What an incredible victory!” The two leaders spoke warmly about the importance of the “special relationship” between the UK and the US, their shared commitment to defending Ukraine and an upcoming meeting: Starmer will travel to Washington on Tuesday, where Biden will host a NATO summit. Since Barack Obama took office, the White House and Downing Street have not been simulta...
What does the future hold for France after these unexpected elections?
Politics

What does the future hold for France after these unexpected elections?

Instead of bringing clarity, the snap election called by French President Emmanuel Macron has created a complex situation that could take months to unravel. The snap election, intended to secure a stronger mandate for Macron’s government, has instead led to a fragmented political landscape, with no party securing a clear majority. The French electorate delivered a mixed verdict, resulting in a stalemated parliament where alliances and coalitions will be crucial to governance. Macron's party, La République En Marche!, fell short of the majority needed to pass the legislation smoothly. This result forces Macron to negotiate with other parties, which could dilute his political agenda and slow down legislative processes. The main opposition parties, including the conservative Les Rép...
Rishi Sunak narrowly secures his parliamentary seat
Politics

Rishi Sunak narrowly secures his parliamentary seat

Rishi Sunak, the outgoing British Prime Minister, has managed to retain his parliamentary seat in North Yorkshire, albeit by a narrower margin than in the previous election five years ago. Sunak won 47.5% of the vote in his constituency of Richmond and Northallerton in northern England. The result was likely a relief to Sunak, who was said to be worried about holding on to his once-safe seat in the run-up to the election. Few in Richmond expected Sunak to be unseated. The Conservative Party has long dominated rural Yorkshire. A defeat would make Sunak the first sitting prime minister to lose his parliamentary seat. “If they put a goat in Richmond as conservative, it would still win,” observed Lawrence Hathaway, 94. “This area has always been conservative.” However, Sunak, a multimillionai...
Silence on Chinese doping scandal, except abroad
Politics

Silence on Chinese doping scandal, except abroad

In recent years, as Chinese athletes have been accused of doping, the Chinese government has mobilized its vast propaganda apparatus, including state-run newspapers, television commentators and social media accounts, to defend the accused and deflect criticism away from its sports system. Yet the recent revelation that 23 elite Chinese swimmers tested positive for a banned substance ahead of the 2021 Olympics has been met with an unusual response from China: near silence. While the scandal is hotly debated abroad, including in congressional sessions, Chinese media have largely limited their coverage to scant official statements. Online discussions of the controversy have been heavily censored, a level of suppression typically reserved for highly sensitive political issues. This shift in s...
Beryl heads to Jamaica after devastating the Eastern Caribbean
Politics

Beryl heads to Jamaica after devastating the Eastern Caribbean

Hurricane Beryl is moving toward Jamaica as a Category 4 storm, after wreaking havoc across the southeastern Caribbean and killing at least four people. Beryl intensified to a Category 5 storm with winds of at least 155 mph, but was downgraded to a Category 4 late Tuesday afternoon, with sustained winds near 165 mph, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. No Atlantic storm has reached Category 5 strength this early in the season, noted Philip Klotzbach, a meteorologist at Colorado State University. Major Atlantic hurricanes have sustained winds of 111 mph or more. Kingston, Jamaica’s capital, is in turmoil as people rush to gather supplies. Prime Minister Andrew Holness has ordered all non-essential government offices to close and told residents of low-lying areas to evacuate. J...
Gaza Hospital Director Released After Seven Months in Israeli Detention
Politics

Gaza Hospital Director Released After Seven Months in Israeli Detention

On Monday, Israel released Mohammad Abu Salmiya, the head of Gaza’s largest hospital, after holding him for more than seven months without charge. The move sparked immediate protests in Israel, highlighting the polarized views on the ongoing conflict. Abu Salmiya, director of Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, was arrested in late November during an attempt to evacuate patients while the hospital was under siege by the Israeli army. The military said he was being questioned about Hamas activities at the hospital. His release has amplified differing perspectives on the war. Human rights groups have criticized his continued detention without charge as indicative of Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners, who are often held without trial. In contrast, some Israeli officials have condemn...
The Amsterdam Museum will return the Matisse painting sold under duress during the Second World War
Politics

The Amsterdam Museum will return the Matisse painting sold under duress during the Second World War

The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam will return a painting by Henri Matisse, which has been in its collection since 1941, to the heirs of its original owner, a German-Jewish textile manufacturer and art patron who sold it to finance his family's escape from the Netherlands occupied by the Nazis. The museum announced on Tuesday that it was returning the artwork, titled "Odalisque," following a "binding opinion" from the Dutch Restitution Commission, a government body that handles cases of Nazi-looted art. The heirs described the decision as symbolic justice. "Matisse made the same journey from Berlin to Amsterdam as our grandparents," they said. "But she remained there, in the Stedelijk, with almost no recognition of her provenance for 80 years." Before World War II, Matisse's "Odalisque," c...