International Politics Headlines

  • “I have a follow-up to my colleague’s question” – finally, the White House press corps works together

    In an increasingly rare briefing from the podium on Monday – her first in 42 days – Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders faced a White House press corps that felt much more like it was actually doing its job of holding the president to account than it has on previous outings. Nominally to announce the president’s proposed budget, an almost entirely fictional exercise given the Democratic party now controls the House of Representatives, the briefing quickly veered into combative territory over...

    @NewStatesman
  • The closed mind of Richard Dawkins

    An Appetite for Wonder: The Makings of a Scientist by Richard Dawkins (Ecco Press) If an autobiography can ever contain a true reflection of the author, it is nearly always found in a throwaway sentence. When the world’s most celebrated atheist writes of the discovery of evolution, Richard Dawkins unwittingly reveals his sense of his mission in the world. Toward the end of An Appetite for Wonder, the first installment in what is meant to be a two-volume memoir, Dawkins cites the opening lines of...

    @NewStatesman
  • How animals feel: the complexity of non-human emotions

    The embrace mentioned in the title of this superb book was between two primates in old age. One of them was an 80-year-old Dutch biologist, Jan van Hooff, and the other Mama, a 59-year-old chimp, one of the oldest ever in captivity and, for much of her life, a famous matriarch among the chimpanzees in Burgers’ Zoo, Arnhem. The YouTube footage of the moment is worth seeking out. It depicts an emaciated ape, close to death. Lying comatose in a foetal posture, she then recognises her long-absent...

    @NewStatesman