How a Late Bollywood Icon Saved This Correspondent’s Life


RIP Shammi Kapoor, Bollywood star of the 1960s. You danced, you sang, you romanced, you made movies fun. And although you didn’t know it, you saved my life.

Long before Indian song-and-dance movies became cool in the West, they were huge in the Middle East. In the 1960s, 70s and 80s, Bollywood stars like Raj Kapoor (Shammi’s older …

What Will Happen When the Palestinians Go to the U.N.?

The Palestinian Authority has set the date: Sept. 20, a Tuesday, is the day it will ask the United Nations for membership.  As for what comes the day after, well, that’s a good deal less clear, and efforts to read the murk betray only intentions.

An Israeli legal expert predicts chaos.

“There are huge legal consequences of …

After Protest, Chinese City Says it Will Move Chemical Plant


After the heavy-handed reaction this spring to the calls to being Jasmine Revolution-style demonstrations to China, it’s easy to think that the authorities’ only response to popular protest is to crack down. But as events in northeast China this weekend indicate, the government can be remarkably receptive to demonstrations, especially …

Could French Doubts On Afghanistan Influence Future Foreign Policy?

It may wind up proving to be nothing more than mere politics, but if the re-thinking now being expressed by French Socialists about the country’s engagement in Afghanistan is in earnest, it could have some serious consequences for the military operations Paris is already involved in—and any more than might be looming.

On …

Why Turkey Holds the Key to the Regional Power Game on Syria

As the Assad regime on Sunday escalated its brutal crackdown by sending gunboats to shell the coastal city of Latakia, yet the rebellion shows no sign of abating despite at least 1,700 deaths so far, Syria’s fate may come to rest less in the hands of its own people, than in the corridors of power in neighboring and more distant …

A Glimpse into Ai Weiwei’s 81 Days of Detention

Chinese dissident and artist Ai Weiwei spent his 81 days of detention in a 12′ by 24′ room, watched at all times by two military police who were never more than few feet away from him and was required to ask permission before moving, even to scratch his ear. While the artist, who is accused of evading taxes, did not suffer physical …

Is the U.S. the Western Hemisphere’s New Banana Republic?

Forget The Change-Up. The best body-swapping story these days doesn’t star Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds; it features Uncle Sam and Latin America.

The U.S. was once the responsible (albeit imperious) adult among the two, the superpower whose politics and finances were managed more reasonably and rationally. Latin America was …

After the Riots: the Economic Cost of London’s Mayhem

The shocking violence that rocked some of the U.K.’s biggest cities has ebbed, but the country is still counting the costs of the destruction — not only in lives (so far, five), but to property, tourism, and the difficult work of repairing the country’s reputation. The riots came at a wretched moment for the British—plunged in the …

From the Magazine: London’s Long Burn

The youth riots and disturbances in the U.K. may have calmed, but important questions still smolder in the wreckage left behind. Britain’s leaders pin the violence and looting on “sheer criminality”; the word “feral” was conspicuous in some coverage of the disturbances. But criminal opportunism is not a sufficient explanation. TIME …

London Rioters Vs. Stock Market Traders: Who’s More Destructive?


Spreading chaos stokes rising fear. People rush to secure or otherwise protect valuables suddenly exposed to threat. Every 24 hours or so, mobs of faceless people converge anew to form an unpredictable, menacingly amorphous force whose destructive power strikes terror throughout society. Distraught citizens look on at the frenzy with the …

Dispatch from Tottenham: Where the U.K. Riots First Started

As the crow flies Tottenham is eight miles from the center of London. As the traffic creeps, that translates to 45 minutes by car. The route takes one through the boroughs of Islington and Hackney—the latter still largely poor, but streaked by pockets of growing gentrification. To the right for much of the route one can see a mass …

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