How a soft Brexit differs from a hard one

How a soft Brexit differs from a hard one

THE debate over the right terms and conditions for Britain’s departure from the European Union is often simplified into two clashing concepts: a soft Brexit and a hard one. The first tends to be favoured by those who voted Remain in the 2016 referendum, the second by those who voted Leave. Yet what is the…

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Culture is not an excuse for oppressing women

Culture is not an excuse for oppressing women

THE light in her eyes had gone out. She sat on her hands, her head bowed, apathetic. We were in a salle d’écoute—a listening room—in a dimly lit hut in a village in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. I was there as Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, to prevent conflict-related sexual violence and end…

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An emergency EU summit makes little progress on migration

An emergency EU summit makes little progress on migration

IT WAS billed as the summit to save Angela Merkel. Instead it simply highlighted the unending difficulty that Europe’s leaders face in managing illegal immigration from outside the continent. At Mrs Merkel’s request, 16 EU leaders convened in Brussels today for an impromptu summit. The chancellor is under siege from a coalition partner that wants…

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Turkey’s president deserves to lose on June 24th

Turkey’s president deserves to lose on June 24th

WHAT does a president have to do to destroy the trust of Turks? Debauching the currency, poisoning relations with Europe and America, locking up tens of thousands of innocent people, muzzling the press, reigniting a civil war and fiddling with the constitution to gain the powers of a sultan surely ought to be enough. Recep…

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In praise of gentrification

In praise of gentrification

GENTRIFIER has surpassed many worthier slurs to become the dirtiest word in American cities. In the popular telling, hordes of well-to-do whites are descending upon poor, minority neighbourhoods that were made to endure decades of discrimination. With their avocado on toast, beard oil and cappuccinos, these people snuff out local culture. As rents rise, lifelong…

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How an algorithm may decide your career

How an algorithm may decide your career

WANT a job with a successful multinational? You will face lots of competition. Two years ago Goldman Sachs received a quarter of a million applications from students and graduates. Those are not just daunting odds for jobhunters; they are a practical problem for companies. If a team of five Goldman human-resources staff, working 12 hours…

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In Myanmar, sex education comes from smartphones

In Myanmar, sex education comes from smartphones

MASTURBATION does not exist in Myanmar—not the practice, which is presumably common enough, but the word itself, which is absent from the government-approved dictionary. When it comes to sex, accepted terms are hard to find. Linguists disagree as to whether “vagina” and “penis” have proper equivalents in Burmese. Most people simply point at their body…

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Turkey’s President Erdogan may yet be defeated

Turkey’s President Erdogan may yet be defeated

MUHAMMAD SHEIKHOUNI came to Turkey from Syria in 2006, long before his native country plunged into civil war, and fell in love with Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A decade later, after setting up a tourism and construction company in Bursa, the former seat of the Ottoman empire, the businessman joined the president’s ruling Justice and Development…

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