Margaret Thatcher’s bombastic funeral was less about grief than political calculation.

LONDON - Sweating soldiers carefully laid Margaret Thatcher’s coffin down under the cupola of St Paul’s Cathedral. Its stately procession up the stairs and along the aisle of the huge cathedral, past rows filled with bald heads and “fascinators” (as women’s headpieces are called here) had been long indeed. The entire funeral for the former prime minister altogether seemed too drawn-out, too pompous.

With Boris Beresovsky gone Putin is left with only loyal tycoons. The Russian president has turned the "Russia of the oligarchs" into a state oligarchy.

At the time of his self-chosen death Boris Berezovsky was what he probably detested most: an ex-oligarch. He had lost a super expensive court trial against his former partner Roman Abramovich last year in London. The internationally active business man Abramovich is worth 7.8 billion euros according to the 'Forbes' richest list 2013 *. Berezovsky on the other hand was broke. At the end he worried not to be able to feed his six children by three wives "sufficiently" any longer.


LONDON - One skips, the second muses sarcastically about life and the third moans: The “Three Sisters” are back. A brand-new Chekhov play just opened at London's Hampstead Theatre. “Longing” is the theatre sensation of this spring. And not only in London. The Chekhov-crazy Western world sees the premiere of an important new drama.

LONDON. The panic in Cyprus does not leave its neighbours unmoved: "Business and politics - it's all about mutual blackmail," says Greek journalist Kostas Vaxevanis. We are meeting in the "Free Word Centre" in East London, an office building of several international organizations fighting for the freedom of expression. The 45-year-old shakes his head. He has the distinct air of a man who would like to enjoy life a little more, but has been forced into the role of reluctant national whistleblower. "In Greece, it wasn’t about how to help the Greeks, but how to help the banks. In Cyprus, the EU and the Russians are arguing about money while the Cypriots fear for their savings."

Besides the largest yacht in the world, the English soccer club Chelsea and a private Boeing 767 Roman Abramovich could have owned also something really small but beautiful: a Cypriot citizenship. Cyprus likes to thank big investors with a passport - after all, an EU passport. But Abramovich let his partner go first and so Alexander Abramov became a Cypriot for his services to the island in 2010. Abramovich & Abramov have brought Cyprus in fact a lot: They keep their shares of the international steel giant “Evraz” via investment firm "Lanebrook Limited", which was founded in 2006 in Cyprus.

Dror Moreh

Dror Moreh

LONDON. He is proud of himself. "It was a clean operation", says Carmi Gillon, "elegant". He smiles like a small boy, who is almost embarrassed to be so proud. Maybe deep down he knows that not everybody will praise him for killing Palestinian bomb maker Yahya Ayyash per remote-controlled mobile phone in 1996. "Only he died. No one else. And on the ground floor they did not even hear the explosion."

LONDON - Edmund de Waal is sitting on the floor next to the piano in the “Austrian Cultural Forum” looking up at his father Victor. The old man thanks his son for helping publish the novel of Edmund’s grandmother. “The Exiles Return” is a largely autobiographical account of her own visit to Vienna in the Fifties. A poet, Elisabeth de Waal was exiled after the “Anschluss”, when her family was thrown out of Austria. Victor and Edmund de Waal are both visibly moved that Elisabeth’s book has finally got published - 75 years after the “Anschluss”.

On March 12th 1938, German troops crossed the border into Austria. On March 13th, Austria’s integration into Nazi Germany was proclaimed. “Much to the pleasure of many Austrians”, as Elisabeth Kögler, director of the Austrian Cultural Forum said in her speech. Edmund de Waal wanted to arrange the presentation of his grandmother’s book on precisely this date. Although he is Professor of Ceramics at Westminister University, the author of “The Hare With The Amber Eyes” is really a historian.

LONDON - And there they sat, next to each other in the dock, an empty chair between them in the courtroom. One of Britain's leading economists and her politician ex-husband. In the late afternoon of March 11 the judge sentenced both of them to eight months in prison: him for asking her to take his speeding points in 2003 and her for agreeing to do so.

What a disgrace. Not only for the former couple, who made their marriage break-up such a public spectacle. Let’s not even discuss Chris Huhne, who ran off with his press advisor a.k.a. “bisexual mistress” in 2010. (

Robert Schindel liest aus "Der Kalte"

Robert Schindel  "Der Kalte"

Vienna. In the lobby of Vienna's Akademietheater I run into the writer Doron Rabinovici, who says to me: "Hello, Sissy!" I have not read Robert Schindel's new novel yet so I don't know that I appear as a - tiny - character in his new book "Der Kalte", which will be presented here tonight. I look at my exboyfriend questioningly and he smiles: "I am your Boaz."


London. Did Hilary Mantel insult Kate Middleton on purpose? The famous author said about the professional princess in a speech at the British Museum at the beginning of February: “I saw Kate becoming a jointed doll on which certain rags are hung. In those days she was a shop-window mannequin, with no personality of her own, entirely defined by what she wore. These days she is a mother-to-be, and draped in another set of threadbare attributions. Once she gets over being sick, the press will find that she is radiant. They will find that this young woman’s life until now was nothing, her only point and purpose being to give birth.”

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© 2018 Tessa Szyszkowitz