Ever wondered what happened to the babies born after being exposed to the zika virus? It seemed like the world moved on pretty quickly after the hysteria of 2016. All the scare stories about a little-known virus that has seemingly come from nowhere and could threaten the health and development of babies all around the … More Whatever happened to the Zika babies?
I first reported on Asia Bibi’s case almost nine years ago. I am thinking about it again as she awaits the outcome of her final appeal – and wondering whether she might now be free if there had been no publicity. In most cases, the more publicity, the more outrage, the more pressure the better. … More Does publicity help Asia Bibi?
If I had more confidence and time I would write something about our modern obsession with sincerity and authenticity. We want it from our burgers and our furniture. We want a narrative that tells us our chest of draws or cheeseburger is more than just a product. It has to have a story, a narrative, … More Sincerity, authenticity and truth in America
I reviewed Bob Woodward’s new book for The Telegraph here. In some ways it is a difficult book to review. The standard Woodward MO is to run through the big decisions, looking at political philosophy to deduce first principles and then going from there – via facts and interest groups – to the outcome, all … More Bob Woodward’s Fear: Trump in the White House
Also, Democrats have yet to work out how to counter this, relying for the moment on simple outrage and the idea that Trump’s behaviour is self-evidently bad or hypocritical. For a chunk of his support, Trump’s behaviour is self-evidently good. And being tough does not necessarily mean standing up to Putin; it means doing your … More Trump and Putin
Illuminating piece on HR McMaster in the latest New Yorker, in which you can learn not only why he might choose to go by HR rather than his given name but which also suggests President Donald Trump’s proclivity for staffing the higher reaches of his administration with military men. Maybe it is not just because … More Trump’s action men
I have written a bit about Donald Trump’s dog whistle in recent days. It seems that his desire to find moral equivalence between both sides in Charlottesville is not necessarily proof that he is some kind of racist or neo-Nazi. Of course it puts him on the wrong side, but it seems to me it … More On dog whistles
Is John Kelly the man to rein in Donald Trump? This is the question now that Mr Trump has brought in the retired four-star Marine Corps general to run his White House. If anyone is going to establish a proper chain of command it is Mr Kelly, runs the argument. He is about the same … More Just don’t call it a wall…
By now we know the story of how the Calibri font let to the downfall of Nawaz Sharif as Pakistan’s PM. But I only just caught up with this New Yorker piece on its history. I particularly enjoyed the way its designer dismissed competitors with a studied disdain that makes you want to write a … More Writing prompt
John Kelly, the retired four-star general, has had a good first day as White House chief of staff. Sacking Anthony Scaramucci sets the tone: Speak like that, act like that, and you’re out. Last week, all the signs were that the president loved Mr Scaramucci’s style. One of the reasons Reince Priebus lost the confidence … More Good first day for John Kelly