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New Statesman

The secret history of Mossad, Israel’s feared and respected intelligence agency

Mahmoud al-Mabhouh entered the lobby of the Al Bustan  Rotana Hotel in Dubai just before 8.30 in the evening, one of many guests coming and going. Like them, he was captured by the closed-circuit camera over the entrance. He had black hair, a slightly receding hairline, and a thick black ...

yesterday 18:26 open_in_new
The post-crash world: how the 2008 crisis led to our current age of extremes

In the middle of 2007, I had lunch with the boys who were about to run the economy. We were both new to this. I’d just joined the Guardian as economics leader writer and, with no great perceptiveness, could see that Gordon Brown would not be stopping long at No 10. To learn what the ...

yesterday 18:26 open_in_new
Why the “gender data gap” means doctors don’t take women’s pain seriously enough

“I always suspected my diagnosis was wrong,” Rebecca told me, “but doctors weren’t interested in investigating. I’d have weird symptoms and they’d sort of be written off as just one of those funny things that happen to people like you.” By “people like you”, her doctor meant ...

yesterday 18:26 open_in_new
How AI could kill off democracy

In May this year, to whoops and yeahs, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai unveiled Duplex, Google’s artificial intelligence (AI)-powered personal assistant. “Hi. Erm, I’d like to reserve a table,” said the machine to an unsuspecting restaurant receptionist, in a perfectly non-robotic tone. ...

yesterday 18:26 open_in_new
How good fortune is self-generated: the personal and social benefits to feeling lucky

Imagine that you are driving home from work one day when a stranger throws a brick through your car windscreen. It flies past your left ear and lands on the passenger seat behind you. Once the shock has subsided, would you curse your misfortune? How unlucky you were to have been the victim of ...

yesterday 18:26 open_in_new
Excessive CEO pay is a symptom of an economy that rewards owners not workers

This week’s labour market release suggests that, for most workers, wage growth remains stuck in the doldrums even as unemployment falls to new lows, with real wages still struggling to regain the ground lost in the wake of the 2007-8 financial crisis.

The leaders of the UK’s ...

yesterday 16:20 open_in_new
Driverless car start-up offers autonomous alternative to congested commutes

A UK-based artificial intelligence company has a fleet of data-collecting cars that will gather information from roads in Croydon and Bromley as it looks for an alternative to driving to work.

FiveAI hopes its technology can be used to run a driverless car service to replace the ...

yesterday 14:14 open_in_new
All the political parties make this mistake, but there is no word for it

There’s a tendency across all organisations – large and small, private and public – to, when faced with two sets of incompatible choices, to think about it and then try to do both, with predictable consequences.

I write about one such choice made by the Labour leadership today ...

yesterday 13:11 open_in_new
Chris Grayling’s attempt to blame the rail unions for fare rises won't work

The mere mention of Britain's railways is now enough to trigger outrage. For too many commuters, the daily journey to work has become an arduous odyssey characterised by repeated delays, cancellations and overcrowding.

And yet far from being compensated, passengers are set to pay ...

yesterday 12:08 open_in_new
Labour needs to decide if Corbyn’s foreign policy decisions are a distraction or an asset

When you talk to members of Jeremy Corbyn’s inner circle about foreign policy, you get two reactions. Some roll their eyes, tut or sigh. You hear words to the effect of: “We have a great domestic agenda, why on earth are we involved in a row about a wreath? Just concede and move on.” ...

yesterday 12:08 open_in_new
How the pariah state Zimbabwe is wooing the West for business

In the early hours of 3 August, Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared president-elect of Zimbabwe after a disputed election. Although there were a record 23 presidential candidates, the real contest was between Zanu-PF’s Mnangagwa, the 75-year-old winner of last year’s “non-coup-coup”, ...

yesterday 11:05 open_in_new
Freedom, flight, oxygen, breath, space: these themes whistle through Anne Tyler’s Clock Dance

My beloved grandmother introduced me to Anne Tyler. Today, on my shelves, Tyler remains my most trusted literary companion. Her haphazard Baltimorean families rarely acknowledge the contemporary world. Rather than modern events, it is the endurance of families, connection and community that ...

yesterday 11:05 open_in_new
Has a little girl from Northamptonshire just ended local government cuts?

A young child and her family have successfully challenged bankrupt Northamptonshire County Council’s decision to close 21 of the county’s 36 libraries.

The High Court has ruled the council’s library cuts unlawful. The judge said it failed to consider whether it would operate a ...

2018-08-14 20:17 open_in_new
The problem with Disney casting Jack Whitehall – a straight actor – to play its first gay character

Reports that comedian Jack Whitehall will play the first openly gay character in a Disney film have generated controversy on social media. Whitehall announced on Instagram that he is currently working on Jungle Cruise, a film based on a Disney theme park ride, starring fellow British actor ...

2018-08-14 20:17 open_in_new
Why you should probably ignore that interesting new poll

Last week, a lot of people got very excited about a YouGov poll showing the Conservative Party breaking into a decisive four-point lead after several weeks in which Labour were publicly divided over anti-Semitism. This showed how much damage was being done by (depending on your perspective), ...

2018-08-14 19:14 open_in_new
What the Turkish lira crisis means for President Erdogan’s hold on power

The Turkish lira has lost nearly half of its value this year. Ironically, it has occurred under the leadership of a man whose 15-year rule has relied on the stability his administration brought to Turkey following a turbulent decade of coalitions and economic mismanagement.

Currency ...

2018-08-14 18:11 open_in_new
Standing up for Scotland’s microbusinesses

Research by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found that there is a huge community of entrepreneurial “microbusinesses” which make up 94 per cent of all Scottish firms. Typically, a microbusiness will have fewer than nine employees and a turnover of less than £500,000 per year. ...

2018-08-14 18:11 open_in_new
The BBC isn’t wedded to balance – it’s dedicated to serving its audience

In response to Patrick Howse’s article in the New Statesman this week we’d like to reassure him that the BBC has not abandoned the journalistic standards he was proud of.

It’s a common misconception that the BBC aims for “balance”, no matter the issue. In fact, we’re ...

2018-08-14 18:11 open_in_new
A Labour councillor has shown the right way to say sorry. It’s time Jeremy Corbyn took note

“Sorry seems to be the hardest word”. Elton John was not wrong when he wrote those words, although at the time he probably had no idea his lyrics would become quite so relevant to the Labour Party.

When it comes to a relationship with the Jewish community, it seems no one is ...

2018-08-14 15:02 open_in_new
Why a fight with Benjamin Netanyahu is good news for Jeremy Corbyn

Few politicians would pick a fight with the Israeli prime minister with their party in the throes of an anti-Semitism crisis but Jeremy Corbyn has done just that. Having been attacked by Benjamin Netanyahu for his attendance at a wreath-laying ceremony for two of the architects of the 1972 ...

2018-08-14 00:20 open_in_new
The failure of the 2018 Unite the Right march shows that – for now – Antifa’s tactics work

One year ago this weekend, Nazis marched in America. They wore no hoods or masks, but marched proudly with Tiki torches through the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia. They chanted: “Jews shall not replace us.”

When they were met with counter-protesters, they responded with ...

2018-08-13 20:08 open_in_new