‘Life is like a ball of wool’: how Iranian poetry brought me closer to my father

A couple of years ago I decided to collaborate with a poet on a piece of music I’d written – three melancholy minutes of me on piano, my friend Nick on viola – and my mother made a suggestion. Why didn’t I ask my father, Bahram, to recite some Persian poetry over it? I was surprised the idea hadn’t occurred ...

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Fears, reciprocal, rights, EU, citizens and Britons abroad

Fears grow for reciprocal rights of EU citizens and Britons abroad

Theresa May’s promised “generous offer” on EU citizens’ rights at the start of the Brexit talks this week will fall short of protection of the status quo, meaning a difficult start to the negotiations, officials in Brussels fear. The British government is yet to provide any documents relating to its proposal regarding the 3.1 million EU citizens living in the UK, ...

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Syrian, refugee, children, Greek, detention, island

Abandoned and abused: the forgotten Syrian refugee children on a Greek detention island

Rasha went missing late afternoon last Saturday. Her peers describe hanging out as normal with the 20-year-old Syrian in the Greek refugee detention camp. Then she vanished. Last Tuesday her friend Amira, 15, received a flurry of images on her phone. Rasha was lying naked in bed with a man. Superimposed upon his head were grotesque cartoon faces and an ...

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Naomi Klein, Trump, idiot, underestimate

Naomi Klein: ‘Trump is an idiot, but don’t underestimate how good he is at that’

The fact that Naomi Klein predicted the forces that explain the rise to power of Donald Trump gives her no pleasure at all. It is 17 years since Klein, then aged 30, published her first book, No Logo – a seductive rage against the branding of public life by globalising corporations – and made herself, in the words of the ...

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character, Katy Perry, Katheryn Hudson, scary

‘I created this character called Katy Perry. I didn’t want to be Katheryn Hudson. It was too scary’

In among the typical recording detritus of New York’s Jungle City Studios – boxes of foam ear plugs, rolls of tape, untouched buttons on a soundboard the size of a London studio flat – sits a Febreze candle, its lime-green wax emitting a scent like sweetened detergent. It’s the first thing Katy Perry notices as she suddenly appears behind me. ...

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Jeff Sessions, agrees, appear, Senate, intelligence, committee

Jeff Sessions agrees to appear before Senate intelligence committee

The US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has agreed to appear before the Senate intelligence committee next week as it investigates alleged Russian meddling in the presidential election. In a letter on Saturday to Senator Richard Shelby, Sessions writes that his decision to appear comes in light of last week’s testimony by fired FBI director James Comey. Sessions had been scheduled ...

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Venezuela, mass, anti-government, demonstrations, enter, third month

Venezuela’s mass anti-government demonstrations enter third month

There is a pattern to the protests that have rocked Venezuela for the past two months. Anti-government demonstrators set off on a march to the government buildings in Caracas’s city centre to protest against a government they consider illegitimate. Halfway to their destination national guards and riot police deter them with gas bombs and water cannons. Clashes ensue and dozens ...

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'Drop hard Brexit plans', leading, Tory, Labour MPs, May

‘Drop hard Brexit plans’, leading Tory and Labour MPs tell May

Senior Tory and Labour MPs called on Theresa May to forge a new cross-party approach to Brexit as fears grew that the prime minister’s weakness could lead to the imminent collapse of talks on the UK’s exit from the European Union. In a dramatic demonstration of May’s loss of authority, as a result of Thursday’s general election – which stripped ...

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Harry Kane, denies, Scotland, win, England, Griffiths

Harry Kane denies Scotland win over England after Griffiths sparks frantic finish

The only word to describe it is bedlam. It was certainly difficult to make sense of that extraordinary finale other than to say that, ultimately, Harry Kane showed everyone right at the end why Gareth Southgate had made him captain for the day. It was the 93rd minute when Kane denied Scotland their “football, bloody hell” moment and, in the ...

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Anti-Muslim, rallies, US, denounced, civil rights groups

Anti-Muslim rallies across US denounced by civil rights groups

A wave of anti-Muslim rallies planned for almost 30 cities across the US on Saturday by far-right activists has drawn sharp criticism from civil rights groups and inspired counter-protests nationwide. A number of small protests took place and in many places, including New York and Chicago, a few dozen “anti-Sharia” demonstrators were outnumbered by counter-protesters. Hundreds of counter-protesters marched through ...

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