Gaza Is Nowhere – “There is another war waiting to happen in Gaza. The last one changed nothing. Hamas rockets are being test-fired. A Palestinian farmer has been shot dead near the border. Tensions simmer. The draft Security Council resolution at the United Nations, championed by the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, seeking a withdrawal of Israeli forces from the West Bank by 2017, amounts to an elaborate sideshow. The real matter of diplomatic urgency going into 2015, for the Palestinian people and the world, is to end the lockdown of Gaza.”
Tony Blair says Labour ‘left-wing’ warning ‘misinterpreted’ – Tony Blair has insisted he is fully behind Ed Miliband despite appearing to suggest Labour risks being too left-wing to win the general election. The former prime minister told the Economist May’s poll could become one “in which a traditional left-wing party competes with a traditional right-wing party, with the traditional result”.Asked if this meant a Tory win, he replied: “Yes, that is what happens.”
A year in a word: Novorossiya – “Vladimir Putin’s use of the word led many to fear Russian expansionism, says Courtney Weaver. Novorossiya – noun — the Black Sea territory that was part of the Russian Empire from the late 18th century until the Revolution of 1917. While most of the world considers the territory part of modern-day Ukraine, a group of pro-Russia rebels in eastern Ukraine and the Moscow leadership beg to differ.”
His first notable caper was in 1975, at Bellewstown, an Irish track more noted for its lovely setting than the quality of its racing. Mr Curley’s horse, Yellow Sam, had not finished above eighth in two years; it was carrying 10kg less than some of its rivals. Yellow Sam’s performance, however, was not Mr Curley’s only concern, or even his main one. The real worry was the odds.
Only fools and horses – The Economist recounts how the perfectly legal heists of a racehorse-trainer and former seminarian made him the bane of the bookies.
Debt piled up – A review by Eric Rauchway of THE SHIFTS AND THE SHOCKS – What we’ve learned – and still have to learn – from the financial crisis by Martin Wolf 496pp. Allen Lane. £25. “Over the course of his new book on the current economic unpleasantness, Martin Wolf conveys a sense of increasing frustration. … Governments, banks and international institutions did “just enough, almost too late” to prevent the worst possible result, which would have been a note-for-note replay of the 1930s including a slide into fascism and world war. But having done no more than avoid world-historic catastrophe, we find ourselves mired in a dim morass of our own making, with no sunlit uplands in sight. No wonder Wolf is exasperated.”