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Al-Qaeda expert Abdel Bari Atwan about the second generation of Al-Qaeda and how much more dangerous ISIS is compared to the followers of Osama bin Laden.

Abdel Bari Atwan, 64, was editor in chief of ‘Al-Quds al-Arabi’ from 1989 to 2013. The most important pan-Arabic diaspora newspaper is published in London. Atwan moved to the British capital in 1979. He was born in a Palestinian refugee camp in the Gazastrip in 1950. He studied at the University of Cairo. Atwan has written several books, the latest one on the current subject of concern: “After Ben Laden: Al-Qaeda - The Next Generation” (Saqi Books 2012, London).

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The British debate centers on Juncker’s personal characteristics but it is really about the British islands floating away from the European continent under the leadership of a Prime Minister with a lack of vision. 

It’s almost funny how Jean-Claude Juncker has for many in the United Kingdom become “the most dangerous man in Europe”. The usually calm, good humoured Christian democrat was long standing Prime Minister of Luxembourg, the smallest EU state. For most of his political career the 59 year old had only one theme: compromise. Juncker is a master in forging alliances in Europe for Europe.

The Mother and Baby Home at Tuam

The Mother and Baby Home at Tuam

The Irish historian Catherine Corless talks about her work in uncovering the crimes committed against children out of wedlock in Ireland up until the 1960ties.

Catherine Corless remembers the children of the “St. Mary’s Mother and Baby Home” from her childhood. The home was run by nuns. What Corless did not know growing up was what crimes were committed there. She also could not imagine that she would be the one to uncover them.

In the middle of the 20th century unwed mothers were treated like criminals in Ireland. Pregnant girls where often sent by their families to these homes for mothers and children. They would give birth and live there for a year afterwards. The women would then return to their families while their children stayed with the nuns. Some were adopted. Many others died.

1. Photograph by Marco Anelli 2014

A Serbian cult artist doubles as my Yoga teacher in London’s Serpentine gallery.

“Breathe slowly”, she says and gently massages my shoulder. Not so bad for the beginning of a yoga class I think. But hold on: This is not my yoga teacher. The woman with the sensitive touch and Serb accent is Marina Abramovic.

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UKIP is not just a populist Eurosceptic party. Far right from it. 

Is UKIP less radical than Marine Le Pen’s “Front National”? Nigel Farage, leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party, certainly thinks so and does not want to have anything to do with her. Most inhabitants of the United Kingdom like to think so, too. It’s just too painful to admit the truth.

Sorry, but it cannot continue like this.

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Nigel Farage feels “awkward” when people in London’s Tube speak every language other than English.

Nigel Farage informed the public recently that he feels “awkward” when he travels on the train and nobody speaks English. The leader of the europhobic, populist UKIP obviously thinks it’s a bad thing if tourists and locals use different languages to communicate. But let’s face it: London is Babel. Is this so bad?

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Her subjects can’t wait - they want to know what happens after the death of their Queen.

Prince Harry is back in the media – this time not with naked pictures from Las Vegas but with “the real reasons why he and his girlfriend split” (if you really want to know: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2617385/Rows-best-friends-wedding-shadow-Chelsy-Cressie-Harry-really-split.html) But the fallback prince is in the limelight somewhere else, too. In the Almeida theatre in Islington. (http://www.almeida.co.uk/event/kingcharles3)

It is not only America’s or Europe’s antagonistic policies which drove Putin to endanger peace and stability in Europe.

25 years after the fall of the Berlin wall Russia’s president took to the stage in his Kremlin on March 18 to tell the world: „The Germans should understand the Russian need for re-unification.“ Valdimir Putin looked very serious when he said that, although I guess he was chuckling inside. In 1989 he was not at all happy that the East Germans broke through the wall to get to West Berlin. Because they ran away from him, the Soviet KGB officer in Dresden. He did not see the collapse oft he Soviet Union as liberation from a dictatorship; for Putin the end oft he real socialist empire was a catastrophe. The joy of the „Ossis“ to finally be reunited with the decadent, capitalist West was a personal humiliation for the young Russian.

I am getting tired of this anecdote of Vladimir Vladimirovich’s early life. As traumatising as it was, it does not explain his behaviour today. Putin did not seriously expect understanding from the Germans for his theft of Crimea. „Instead they threaten us with sanctions“, he complained. „Since the 17th century, this policy of containment against Russia has been in place, but it is still going on. Our western partners have crossed the line, they have acted irresponsibly.“

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© 2018 Tessa Szyszkowitz