WB Yeats – “I think it better that in times like these/ A poet’s mouth be silent ...”

“Never such innocence again” In his poem “MCMXIV”, looking back on the first World War two decades later, Philip Larkin writes of it as the des(...)

‘Diaspora savings attributed to migrants from developing countries were estimated at €464 billion in 2013, mostly held in the banks of states to which they have migrated.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Keith Ellison, a Minnesota congressman, is worried about Ayan Hasan and her family. He wrote recently to the New York Times about his Somali constitue(...)

David Cameron: has warned of the UK “sleepwalking towards the exit” and  bizarrely sees his referendum pledge as a way of regaining control. Photograph: Leon Neal/Reuters

The preoccupation and worry in Dublin with the outcome of the UK general election is unusual. They usually matter a bit. This time, a lot. A subtext o(...)

‘The election had been called by Netanyahu not so much to steal a march on a rejuvenated opposition to his left but to strengthen his hand in dealings with cabinet allies to his right.’ Above: supporters of Benjamin Natanyahu cheer as they hear the first  predictions of the Israeli election results. Photograph: Abir Sultan/EPA

When he took to the stage for his victory speech on Tuesday night, Binyamin Netanyahu invited pop singer Amir Benayoun to come up and join him. The wa(...)

‘The contest to run the fourth largest city in the US has pitted President Obama’s former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, against an opponent not from the Republican Party, but a Democrat on his left, in an election that has been about austerity and cutbacks with parallels to the remarkable victory of of radical community activist Bill de Blasio in New York in 2013.’ Photograph: REUTERS/Jim Young

His opponent has dubbed him “Mayor 1 per cent”, the candidate of the rich, and the tag has stuck. The approval rating of Democratic Chicago mayor Rahm(...)

‘If it is okay to repair faulty mitochondrial DNA, the slippery slope argument goes, then what about other genetic diseases caused by faults in nuclear DNA?’ Photograph: Getty Images

The complex genetic procedures approved by the House of Commons on Tuesday were a headline writer’s dream. No need to get “mitochondrial donation” int(...)

 ‘In Germany establishment parties have ruled out co-operation with Pegida, the German acronym for “Patriotic Europeans Against Islamisation of the West”.’ Supporters of the Pegida movement waves flags while they gather for a march in their first Berlin demonstration,  following  marches in Dresden.  Photograph:  Carsten Koall/Getty Images

Barely a week gone, and 2015 has already not proved a good advertisement for European tolerance and multiculturalism. Mosques have been bombed in Swed(...)

‘There is the danger that in conceding that freedoms can rightly be limited we turn the discussion into one in which we are considering how much the victim of an attack on freedom of speech like Charlie Hebdo was to blame for its own fate.’ Above, a woman holds a placard   in front of the French embassy in Rome. Photograph:  Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

“Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.” – John Milton, AreopagiticaIt is an uncomfo(...)

An anti-Castro Cuban exile in Florida holds a Cuban flag during a protest after the announcement of the restoration of diplomatic ties between Cuba and United States. Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters

There is certain to have been a degree of ambivalence, albeit largely unstated, in Moscow over the announcement that President Obama is restoring d(...)

In happier times: Franklin Foer, right, with Chris Hughes, in May 2012. Photograph: James Estrin/The New York Times

Suicide by decapitation. In a rash act Chris Hughes, the 32-year-old internet tycoon who owns The New Republic (TNR), decided a week ago to bring the (...)