Connect to share and comment

Europe is changing. Here's how. A reported blog.

European court's judgment on "kettling"

Human rights tribunal backs British police use of controversial crowd-control tactic.
KettleEnlarge
Policedogs keep people inside the kettle at a G-20 protest in London in 2009. (CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

Since the new era of anti-globalization/anti-capitalism protests hit Britain a decade ago, the police have used a method of crowd control called a "kettle."  Basically protesters can go into an area, but then they cannot get out until the police deem the steam to have risen and dissipated through the spout. Or the police can allow a few out at a time.

More

British views of America: anonymous and uncensored

A bit of praise for Ira Glass's This American Life brings the trolls out
Ira glassEnlarge
This American Life creator, Ira Glass, is America's favorite radio nerd. But some people in Britain don't want to know about his show. (Michael Buckner/AFP/Getty Images)

As the Anglo-American love-in at the White House draws to a close, I thought it would be worth flagging some British views of the U.S. from below stairs.

More

Obama and Cameron meeting: British pundits' take

Divergent views of Washington DC love-in
Special relationshipEnlarge
British Prime Minister David Cameron seems a bit overcome by it all during last night's White House State Dinner. British pundits are keeping an eagle eye out for signs that Cameron is succumbing to proximity to the imperial power. (Alex Wong/AFP/Getty Images)

When British Prime Ministers visit American Presidents pithy analysis flows among the British punditocracy like West Coast wines at a State Dinner.

Most of this comment is focused on the current state of the most over-used cliche in British journalism: "the Special Relationship."

A lot of the speculation focuses on it's dangers: "Is it more "Fatal Attraction" than "Love, Actually?" asked Channel 4's veteran Washington correspondent Matt Frei.

More

Rule Britannica is at an end

Encyclopedia Britannica will no longer publish a dead tree version.
BritannicaEnlarge
Can you carry a Britannica around in one of these? (ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images)

The last printed edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica was published in 2010. When the last copy is sold that will be it for the printed edition of the almost 250 year old publication.

The reason why is obvious. The net has made the hard copy unnecessary. More specifically, to research why something called "Britannica" is published in Chicago, I went to Wikipedia. Here's what I learned:

More

President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron have a lot of things on their agenda today, including the world economy. But I doubt the President will be so rude as to ask the PM about the latest unemployment figures in Britain.

More

Goldman Sachs letter travels fast

Britain reacts to Greg Smith's very public resignation

By now you know about Greg Smith's astonishing public resignation from Goldman Sachs in the pages of The New York Times.

It has excited commentary here in Britain.

"A knee in the nuts," is how The Daily Telegraph's Iain Martin describes it.

More

A British Arabist's Advice for Syrian rebels

Get your political act together and negotiate the end of the Assad regime
Homs devastationEnlarge
Devastation in Homs is proof that Syrian rebels don't have the firepower to beat Syrian army, but they have other ways of removing the Assad regime. (-/AFP/Getty Images)

Chris Doyle runs an outfit called  CAABU, the Council for Arab-British Understanding, and he knows the Syrian situation as thoroughly as anyone outside official channels in Britain does.

You can listen to a very interesting interview Doyle gave to Guardian blogger Haroon Siddique here (scroll down to 2:21 p.m.).

More

Tensions between Italy and Britain over failed hostage rescue attempt

British raid in Nigeria led to deaths of two hostages held for more than nine months by Boko Haram
Nigerian hostageEnlarge
Briton Chris McManus, who was killed yesterday in Nigeria when British Special Forces tried to rescue him from his captors. (-/AFP/Getty Images)

Success has many fathers, but failure?

Yesterday's failed attempt by British Special Forces to rescue a pair of British and Italian men held hostage by Nigeria's Islamist Boko Haram for the last nine months has led to diplomatic repercussions.

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has expressed genuine anger at not being informed about the raid in advance. "The way the British government has behaved is quite inexplicable. To have failed to inform or consult Italy, with regard to a military action which could have such consequences," Napolitano said.

More

BMW says: Thank you, China

Massive rise in company's profits thanks to China sales
BeemerEnlarge
(FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

You think China is the world's workshop (or sweatshop, if you're manufacturing Apple products)?

Well, when it comes to luxury goods, Europe is the world's workshop.

Nothing proves the symbiotic relationship between China's rapidly growing upper-echelon consumer demand and Europe's luxury goods industries than sales figures released yesterday by BMW.

More

Lionel Messi breaks Champions' League record

Messi scores 5 goals against Bayer Leverkusen in quarter-finals of Champion's League
Messi the manEnlarge
Lionel Messi chips in the first of his five goals last night. (LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

UPDATE: UEFA has taken down the YouTube video linked to in this post. I call that an own goal.

We celebrate genius and special talent across Europe in this blog whether artistic (as in my take last week on the David Hockney exhibition at London's Royal Academy) or sporting.

And there is no genius in world football like Barcelona's Lionel Messi at the moment.

More