News & Features

Macron Remains Favorite to Win French Election

Gus Trompiz, Elizabeth Pineau and Yann Le Guernigou

Emmanuel Macron remains the favorite to win France's turbulent presidential election race, a poll showed on Sunday, on the eve of a first televised debate which could allow embattled conservative Francois Fillon to get back in contention. Macron, a former economy minister running as an independent centrist, would lead first-round voting with 26.5 percent, just ahead of far-right leader Marine Le Pen on 26 percent, before beating her 64-36 in the run-off.

The Fallen Monarch: Remembering Tsar Nicholas II

Hal Gordon

March 15 marked the 100th anniversary of the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. The milestone has attracted little notice. It is the opinion of most historians that Nicholas was a failure: feckless, dimwitted, reactionary—and henpecked to boot. But as Robert Massie makes clear in his admirable biography, Nicholas and Alexandra, the real Nicholas was more complex, more human and more interesting than the caricature.

Can’t Afford San Francisco Rents? Try Communal Living

Gabrielle Lurie and Melissa Fares

Houses like The Negev, located in a neighborhood known as "SoMa" or South of Market, have cropped up around San Francisco as an influx of young professionals, many of whom are tech workers, have faced the city's notoriously high rents and apartment shortages. It has three floors and roughly 50 rooms, filled with bunk beds, beer bottles and laptops, according to residents.

 

Working Class Will Be Hardest Hit by Republican Health Bill

Viji Sundaram

Many of those customers could lose their health insurance under the new bill, called the American Health Care Act, which would change Medicaid funding so that states would be forced to choose Medicaid funding as a block grant or as a per capita cap. Healthcare advocates believe neither funding mechanism will cover California’s ongoing needs. They have spoken out strongly against the bill. 

The Ongoing Power Struggle Between the White House and the FBI

Jim Jaffe

The idea that Felt simply changed his procedural and cultural spots because he was so offended by the misdeeds of the Nixon Administration requires an enormous amount of blind faith about human nature. Clearly FBI directors are much more overtly political than they once were. Finding FBI loyalty during the campaign inadequate because it now refuses to take direct orders from the White House (which it never has) may result in one of the more interesting and unreported power struggles of our day.

 

The Hunt for Cuban Cigars

Sarah Marsh

Puffing on a cigar at Cuba's annual Habanos cigar festival, American aficionado Paul Segal said he would buy as many boxes of cigars as he could carry home in case Donald Trump tightens regulations on visitors to the communist-run island again. Segal, who writes a cigar blog called Segal and Cigars, said he took 25 boxes back on a trip last year, shortly after former President Barack in October removed the $100 limit on the value of rum and cigars American travelers could bring back. 

America at a Crossroads

Andrew Lam

If America was once a country that opened its doors to immigrants and refugees, today its policies stand in stark contrast to this tradition, and its premise of open societies and sustainable, equitable growth are undermined by ineptitude and barely veiled racist intentions. It’s a country in which the immigrant becomes the enemy. To be sure the voice of opposition to the Trump White House and its assaults on civil liberties are reassuring.

The Rise of Hate Groups in the Trump Era

Ed Diokno

A year ago, the headline of the report on hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center read “Hate Groups on the Rise.” This year’s report concludes that hate groups have risen for the second year in a row. The rise in the number of hate groups in the U.S. corresponds with the radical right getting emboldened by the candidacy of Donald Trump, according to the SPLC’s annual census of hate groups and other extremist organizations​.

London Kicks Off Its Fashion Week

Marie-Louise Gumuchian

Among the first to present his autumn/winter 2017 collection was designer Eudon Choi, who dressed models in chunky ribbed jumpers worn like shawls, wide-leg trousers and sports shoes. Taking inspiration from architect Adolf Loos, London-based Choi, who first trained as a designer for menswear in Seoul, presented a line of "utilitarian designs," adding metallic button-like fastenings on his tailored looks.

Echoes of Peru in Trump’s America

Andres Tapia

In Peru we met eleven of the fourteen conditions. In the United States today, the rhetoric, actions, and expressed intent of the current administration arguably meet all of them. I have lived this story before and the march towards extreme authoritarianism is one that inexorably follows its own logic to terrible conclusions. This means that now is the time to address the early symptoms.

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