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Britain in the EU: To stay or not to stay?

LONDON — Once upon a time, British Conservatives behaved conservatively. Stiff upper lips, disciplined, cool heads in a crisis. They were pragmatists. Nowadays they act like American conservatives: shrieking, losing their heads over imagined crises everywhere, as disciplined as a kindergarten five minutes before lunch break. Decidedly unpragmatic. What wrought the change? In a word, "Europe.

Oldest, largest and most expensive: London's Tube turns 150

LONDON, UK — Abraham Lincoln had just published the Emancipation Proclamation a century and a half ago when London, then the world's greatest metropolis, opened the first below-ground railway. The Metropolitan Line connected the great railway stations along the northern border of the city's business area running from Paddington Station to Farringdon.

Are journalists what’s wrong with Britain?

  LONDON — Every political journalist — reporter, opinion columnist or editorial writer — has been told at one time or another by an exasperated politician: "If you think you can do better, why don't you get into politics!" A word of warning to politicians everywhere: Be careful what you wish for!

Can Britain’s government survive 2013?

  LONDON — In the EU and in the Middle East, 2013 appears to be shaping up as a year of ongoing processes: More euro zone muddling toward closer union; more disappointments for secular democrats in Arab countries; more hysteria from Israel about the Iranian nuclear threat, with no military action. But in the part of the world I report on, a great, shapeless miasma has come to define daily life. The big question on my mind is: can Britain's coalition government survive? By all rights it shouldn't.

British shrug as government orders five more years of austerity

LONDON, UK — For long-term expats, the character of the countries where we end up living is something we usually take for granted. But every once in a while you’re reminded that the place you live in is "foreign." That happened last week when Britain’s treasurer announced that austerity measures would be necessary until at least 2118 and no one blinked.

Leveson report prompts furor in Britain

  LONDON — Sixteen months ago, Britons stood aghast as the phone-hacking scandal at the Rupert Murdoch-owned News of the World tabloid revealed a pattern of pervasive eavesdropping by media with close connections to leading politicians. A report released today based on an inquiry into the scandal calls for the statutory self-regulation of newspapers under a regulatory body with the power to impose million-pound fines, plus an amendment to data-protection laws that may make it easier to obtain reporters' notes and other research.

Brixit: The European buzzword for 2013

LONDON — It's a remarkable irony that analysts have been discussing a “Grexit” for more than a year: Greece leaving the euro zone and, quite possibly, the EU. But Greece struggles on in the euro. Now Britain, which never joined the currency zone, is recognized as the country most likely to leave.
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