world

middle east May 27, 2017

Weapons deal repays Trump’s Saudi pivot

When Rex Tillerson lectured his new fiefdom, the about-to-be-decimated and sidelined State Department, earlier in May about how the Donald Trump administration would sometimes be detaching foreign policies from values such as freedom, dignity and “...

asia pacific May 27, 2017

Sharia in Aceh

There’s an ear-piercing screech as the loudspeakers mounted on the green jeep are turned on. “Go towards the mosque. It’s time for prayer,” commands a female voice. “Close all shops.” It’s Friday in Banda Aceh, the capital of Indonesia’s Aceh...

europe May 13, 2017

FBI probe lands its director in firing line

In early March, the new United States attorney-general, Jeff Sessions, recused himself from supervising investigations into Russia’s meddling in last year’s presidential election, after a newspaper revealed Sessions himself had met Russian...

middle east May 20, 2017

Widespread dismay at Trump intelligence

Where to begin with Donald Trump? To every scandal he comes back with two scoops more. The latest is that in talks with the Russians, he’s potentially blown the cover of an Israeli agent somewhere in Daesh territory in Syria, and been exposed asking...

south and central asia May 13, 2017

Deradicalising Indonesian terrorists

Amir Abdillah turns his head away. He doesn’t want to look at the photograph of himself. “I was proud of what I had done back when that photo was taken,” says the 41-year-old. In the picture, Abdillah is a 35-year-old prisoner, liable to be put to...

middle east May 6, 2017

Trump plays low-key for Turnbull visit

It used to be that an invitation to meet the United States president was a sure-fire political winner for an Australian prime minister. It has now become high risk, and when Malcolm Turnbull went to New York to meet Donald Trump on a superannuated...

middle east April 29, 2017

Donald Trump’s grandiose Mexico promise hits a wall

And so we’ve got to 100 days of the Donald Trump presidency, which The Donald won’t be celebrating by turning up at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner at the Washington Hilton on Saturday night to hear the predictable roasting by...

europe April 22, 2017

France prepares to put Le Pen to paper

The French turn out on Sunday for the first round of their presidential election, and it’s no exaggeration to say the fate of the European Union depends on the outcome of this and the runoff vote two weeks later. Marine Le Pen of the far-right...

middle east April 15, 2017

Seoul searching as Trump, Kim face off

Residents of Seoul will be keeping an eye out for the nearest bomb shelter this weekend as a mighty game of chicken is played out over their heads by Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. South Korea’s many Christians will be celebrating the death and...

middle east April 8, 2017

Mosul after Daesh

Khalil al-Layla was in his living room with his wife and two children, eight and 11, and his extended family. They were in the Daesh-controlled neighbourhood of Hay al-Dhubbat, in eastern Mosul, Iraq, waiting anxiously as fighting raged outside. It...

middle east April 8, 2017

Putin’s allies dispute Syria link to St Petersburg bomber

Russian investigators blamed a suicide bomber from central Asia for an atrocity in a crowded metro carriage in St Petersburg on Monday, which killed at least 14 people and wounded more than 60. To some it signalled a bitter blowback from Russia’s...