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- Taiwan earthquake: rescuers race to save dozens trapped under rubble
At least 23 have died in the quake in Tainan as the city’s mayor admitted it would be ‘very difficult’ to reach 100 still trapped deep under a collapsed building
Rescuers in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan were fighting against the clock on Sunday to save more than 100 people still trapped beneath rubble of an apartment block 24 hours after a strong earthquake shook the island.
Related: Taiwan earthquake: death toll rises with dozens trapped in toppled building Continue reading...
- North Korea launches long-range rocket and brings warning from US
John Kerry said the launch, which defied UN sanctions, was a ‘provocation’ to the region as Seoul says it may deploy a new missile defence system
The US has warned of “serious consequences” after North Korea launched a long-range rocket on Sunday morning, in defiance of international sanctions banning it from using ballistic missile technology.
Pyongyang said the rocket had successfully put an Earth observation satellite into orbit, but the US and its allies believe the regime uses satellite launches as covert tests of technology that could be used to develop a missile capable of striking the US mainland. Continue reading...
- Daily Mail’s EU rants would make anyone despair
So the British press has little traction among EU insiders. No surprise given the obsessive Brexit booming of most of our bugles – led by Paul Dacre’s Mail
Here’s one poll you might not have glimpsed amid last week’s Trump ’n’ Tusk melee. Consultancy ComRes asked 498 EU insiders – MEPs, staffers, lobbyists – what newspapers, broadcasters and online media they relied on. Their answers cut both ways, of course. Anyone who wants to rage against a Brussels bubble of incomprehension is welcome to their chance.
But just turn the figures around and point them at Britain. Who do the 498 find influential? Politico, the newly expanded US political website, and the BBC virtually tie at 52% and 51% respectively. The FT and the Economist are 39% and 30% powers. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal score 17% and 14%. But where, pray, is the thunderous might of the British press? The Guardian, at 5%, is just on the list. But the Sun, Times, Express, Telegraph, Mail, the bugles of proud, defiant Britain? They don’t begin to make the cut. Continue reading...
- Whitehall, where the view is clear and the doubts are secret
The corridors of power contain sceptics about everything from Europe to austerity. But nothing flickers on the imperturbable Treasury facade
One of the key negotiators of the terms of UK entry to the European Economic Community in the early 1970s went down in history as a loyal servant of prime minister Edward Heath, but himself had doubts about the entire venture.
The man in question, who is, as they say, no longer with us, would no doubt have been of great interest to the present band of Eurosceptics whom David Cameron is trying, if not exactly to win over, at least to pacify. His view was simple, and could be broadly paraphrased as: “Why did we fight the second world war if we end up doing this?” Continue reading...
- The BBC’s War and Peace: ‘Near the end I did worry, Oh God, have I ruined it?’
The latest TV adaptation has won almost universal praise – and director Tom Harper still can’t quite believe it. As the series comes to an end on Sunday night, he talks about the pressures of retelling a literary classic
It is a series that has attracted 7 million viewers and drawn praise from all quarters, with newspapers describing it as “a Sunday night jewel” and “a triumph”. Yet the young director of War and Peace, which reaches its concluding episode on Sunday, confesses to having been “very nervous” about how it would be received, and is still “amazed” that it has become such a talking point.
At an advance screening a few days ago, director Tom Harper, 36, who oversaw all six episodes, a cast of hundreds, loads of badly behaved hunting dogs, a bear, and nervy horses not accustomed to the smoke of battle, told the Observer: “You get so close to the work it’s very hard to look at it with any objectivity. Some of the reviews have been better than I ever hoped for.” Continue reading...
- Final Solution: The Fate of the Jews 1933-1949 by David Cesarani – review
The late historian’s bald, factual account of the Holocaust is both moving and overwhelming
Jan Karski, a courier for the Polish underground, was among the first to reach London and Washington after observing the mass killing of Polish Jews. In an interview for Claude Lanzmann’s 1985 film Shoah, Karski, still astonished after so many years, gets to his feet as he recalls the reaction of Felix Frankfurter, Franklin Roosevelt’s confidant. “I don’t believe you,” he recalls Frankfurter saying. “I know you are not a liar, but I don’t believe you.”
Similar sentiments will occur to the half-attentive reader throughout almost every page of David Cesarani’s account of the Final Solution. How many Jews were killed? How were they killed? Did the Hitler project really imply the extermination of every single Jew in Europe? And what sort of person could be relied on to kill one human being after another – women and children, the old, the young – day after blood-drenched day? Continue reading...